Millennial Harbinger Alexander Campbell Abridged Book 1



Alexander Campbell began his editorial work with the Christian Baptist. The first number of this magazine was dated July 4, 1823, Mr. Campbell being then in his thirty-fifth year. The Christian Baptist was devoted to the work of criticism of the sins and mistakes of denominationalism.

After continuing the publication of the Christian Baptist several years, Mr. Campbell realized the need of constructive work, and he discontinued the publication of the Christian Baptist, and on Jan. 1, 1830, he gave the world the first number of the Millennial Harbinger, a monthly magazine, published from Bethany, Va., now West Virginia.

One of the reasons of the change of name was that he feared his brethren would be called Christian Baptists, a name which was being given them. One reason for the selection of the name Millennial Har. binger w^as the profound influence the doctrine of the second coming of Christ was having over all religious minds at that time. Mr. Campbell planned to give large attention to this subject, and hence called the new magazine the Millennial Harbinger.

The gifted Robert Richardson, and in later years Robert Milligan and W. K. Pendleton, were called to his assistance in the editorial work. Mr. Campbell continued as editor until 1863, when he sold the Harbinger to W. K. Pendleton, who, w'ith Charles Louis Loos as assdsN ant editor, continued its publication until 1870.

The Harbinger was a storehouse of the best constructive thought of the leaders of the Reformation. There have already been republished several volumes from this great magazine of truth; viz.: "The Christian System;" "The Debate on Universalism;" "Christian Baptism;" "Debate on Spiritualism;" "Christian Preacher's Companion;" "Popular Lectures and Addresses;" "Acts of Apostles," by A. Campbell; and "The Work of the Holy Spirit," and "Communings in the Sanctuary," by R. Richardson. The matters contained in these publications have been largely omitted from this work.

The Millennial Harbingkk AitHiiH;i;i) is an attempt to rescue from oblivion much that is of permanent value; to arrange it topically an;i


chronologically; to eliminate matters of mere local and temporary character, and, by carefully indexing, to render it accessible and available.

 The Harbinger was not a symmetrical publication; it was a magazine, not a book; many subjects that we might wish had been fully discussed are not mentioned; many are partially treated, and many are repeatedly discussed, as they seemed of recurring interest; hence the Millennial Harbinger Abridged will not be found either symmetrical, systematic or exhaustive.

The work of selecting, abridging and editing was done as a special work from 1888 to 1894, while serving as minister of the First Chri* tian Churdh of Topeka, Kan.; building a new church house, and acting as corresponding secretary of the Kansas State Board of Missions. It has been a labor of love.

I wish to acknowledge myself greatly indebted to W. K. Pendleton for his interest and advice in the planning and doing of this work; to Jabez Hall for his help freely extended, and to Charles Louis Loos, the surviving editor, for his encouragement and for the Introduction.

That the attention and interest of our brethren, and especially our preaching brethren, might be recalled to the teaching of the fathers: that we might become endued with their spirit of loyalty to the Word of God; that we might catch their habits of careful study of the Divine Word until it shall dwell in us richly; that we might hold fast to the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and for which the fathers endured persecution; that we might catch the enthusiasm of the fathers and realize that every motive which justified them in making this great plea, now urges ua to send it all over this land and to the uttermost parts of the earth — these are the purposes which caused the preparation of these volumes for the press.

We commend them to our God, asking him to use them for bis high glory and for the help of his people. Cincinnati, 0., May 15, 1902.

Preface iii
Introduction. — Charles Louis Loos ix
Extracts from Prefaces of Various Volumes of the Harbinger . . xv
Existance of God 1-5
Providence of God 5
Proofs of Providence 8
Preservation 12
Government of God 16
General and Special Providence 25, 47
Divinit}' of Jesus Christ 53
Character of Jesus 53
The Claims of the Messiah 61
The Second Coming of Christ . iVt
The Relation of Jesus to God 97
The Gift of the Holy Spirit 109
Earnest of the Holy Spirit 115
The Bible 1^9
Inspiration of the Scriptures 150, 201
Principles of Interpretation l.'jS
The Double Sense of Scripture 167
Bible Reading 175
The Bible Cause 179
Effects of the Scriptures 181
Questions about the Bible 182
Prerequisites about Proper Interpretation 100
Different Theories of the Scriptures 192
Interpretation of the Scriptures 201
Sin unto Death and Sin against Holy Spirit 2C6
Plan of the Apocalypse 207
Patriarchal Age of the World 221
Abraham 226
Two Promises 226
Covenant of Circumcision 227
Sinaitic Covenant 228
Two Seeds
The Blessing of Abraham
The Jewish Institution
The Kingdom of Heaven ....
Elements of a Kingdom . . . .
The Name
The King
The Subjects of the Kingdom .
The Laws of the Kingdom
The Territory of the Kingdom
Manners and Customs ....
Induction into' the Kingdom
The Coming of the Kingdom
The Ascension of the Messiah . . . .
The Coronation of the Messiah
Present Administration of the Kingdom
Address to Citizens of the Kingdom .
A Word to Friendly Aliens
A Word to Belligerent Aliens
Number of Adherents of Various Religions
Number of Adherents of Various Divisions of Christianity
Power of Religion
Christianity Adapted to Man
. . 389
The Christian 315-318
A Synopsis of Christianity
Evidences of Christianity
The Truth and Divinity of the Bible
The Foundations of Chi-istianity
Arguments for Christianity
Revelation Possible and Probable
Tract.« for the People ; or, Evidence
Introduction to Debate on Evidence
The Gospel
Its Credibility
Sermon on the Law and the Gospel
Terms of Regeneration
Faith • . . . .
Regeiieraiiuu 455
The Bath of llegciieruiiou .' 458
New Birth 458
iteuewiug of the Holy Spirit 459
The New Life 4t)0
Physical Regeueraliuii 402
The Use of the Theory of liegeuoratioii 463
The Regeneration of the Church 465
The Regeneration of the World 482
Regeneralion of the Heavens and the Earth 483
The Moral Regeneration of the Age 484
God's Part of the Work 491
Regeneration and Remission of Sins 495
Syllabus on Regeneration •'iOO
(Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, Adoption 501)
Justification 503
Remission of Sins , . . . . 510
Criticism of Teaching 529
New Testament Use of Term Regeneration 539
Recapitulation 571
Eternal Life 579



The history of the reformation we advocate is, as we need not hesitate for a moment to declare, the most remarkable and interesting chapter in the religious annals of the United States. This will become more evident to men as this extraordinary movement will reach its fuller historical development, and its true character and power thus become better known. A cause like ours, that in a land so full of light, so wonderfully astir with the mighty spirit of the freest inquiry and judgment, has in a single lifetime won more than a million of adherents, representing the best intelligence and the most evangelical Christian faith of the nation, will every day more and more imperatively demand the attention and regard of men.

The history of its progressive development furnishes the reliable sources from which a correct knowledge of its true motives and character must be learned. The world has long since come to know, that often after the lapse of but a few generations the adherents, and even the public advocates, of a great religious reform lose the accurate knowledge of its true history, and so come to misunderstand its real motives and principles, and are thus led inevitably to misrepresent it to the people of their times. There is always a tendency to this departure from the fundamental ground of a great historic reformatory movement.

Fortunately for us and other inquirers, the entire progress, excepting its extreme incipient stage, of our work of reform is embodied in an abundant journalistic literature, that in a very masterful spirit and form has noted and expounded, by the hands of the leading men engaged in it, every step of its unfolding. What an interesting and instructive study this progressive historical panorama affords to us, who cherish in our hearts as a precious treasure this noblest effort to bring back the church of God to its primitive condition in faith, form and life!

The oldest men yet living among us, whose hearts still burn with the hallowed and soul-stirring memories of the heroic days of our early history, should cherish as of inestimable value this precious literature, and refresh in its pages their recollections of the men and the events that made that period so great, and by this means reassure their confidence in the glorious principles for which we have so long, so heroically and so victoriously battled. And the later born among us should here diligently seek a correct understanding of a cause


that deserves the highest appreciation of the enlightened Christian mind and the ardent devotion ot the earnest Christian neart.


Our reformation presents to us a process of constant and very manifest development, both in the minds of the men who were the chief actors in this wonderful drama, and also in its external expression in doctrine and practice. This is one of its most interesting features. The enlightened student of history always gives particular attention to this fact that characterizes, and normally and necessarily so, the course of all great onward movements of men, notably of all real reforms.

The first stadium of our reformation, beyond its initiatory years, is unfolded historically in the Christian Baptist. This journal recounts the interesting story of those reformers coming gradually but steadily to the consciousness of the real meaning and the wide-reaching logical bearing of the original great motive of their reformatory effort. The forward steps taken in this remarkable period were the strides of giants in strength and in the distance measured by them from year to year. It was an era of heroic purposes and action, reaching through a sabbatical stage of seven years, from 1823 to 1830.

When this stadium had been passed through, notable advance had already been made by the reformers. The principles that had been proclaimed in the beginning, and had become the motive, the life and inspiring energy of their heroic undertaking, had by this time, by full and earnest discussion and the severe test of practical application, become established as immortal in their truth, justice and power in the conviction and ardent acceptance of myriads of earnest Christian men and women. This pioneer revolutionary stadium had confirmed this reformation as a great permanent fact in the religious history of our land. A new period of riper and more far-reaching thought, aims and action now opened before the reformers, both leaders and people. They were entering upon the second clearly marked and momentous stadium of our history.


The eminent men who, to use Walter Scott's favorite expression, "stood at the binnacle and at the helm of the ship Restoration," saw with clear vision that the time had fully come for building for permanent strong life, for the actual realization of the aims and hopes that had inspired them thus far. This was a most important hour with them. The name Christian Baptist itself indicated a state of still tentative efforts. The progress that had been made during the life of this valiant journal was owing to the wisdom and the intellectual, well-cultivated power of the leaders, their extraordinary zeal, and the


lolty principles .vhieh guided them. The name ol' the juuinal that iaauguiaLed the uew period m the progress of their enterprise, at ouee revea.b a couOdeut, joylul outlooJc into the future. They had now reached, they thought, the aawn ol a millennial day that would see the church in the beautiful garments of its primitive faitli and life, and in tlie glory of its primitive power. The new journal was to tbem The Millennial Harbinger. This name reveals to us especially the thoughts and hopes that now filled the great leader. Such, we know from personal intercourse with our heroic men of that day, were at that hour the sensations that stirred their hearts, and gave unwonted energy to their life. I would that it were in my power to depict to the reader the joy that pervaded all hearts that were in full fellowship with this effort to restore apostolic Christianity. The particular questions that now filled the minds and hearts of the master spirits among these reformers — Alexander Campbell always in the front — demonstrate to us the eminent qualities in mental power, in clear vision, in supreme devotion to the cause of God, and in ardent desire to see accomplished a complete and not an imperfect work of reform.* Let us thank God that our fathers were such men!

It was the questions of Organization, Co-operation, and Edification that now rose into high prominence. It will be noticed in the first volume of the Millennial Harbinger that the subject of Organization at once became a chief topic of discussion.

A. Campbell and his wisest fellow reformers said that a proper organization of the individual churches, in all that this implies, and always such an organization as the New Testament justifies — mark this! — was essential to the divine order of the entire church, and alone could give to the particular congregations and to the church in general enduring life and power, and was necessary to justify the high claim to a restoration of the apostolic order of things. The congregations, as can be easily understood, were at this time, as a general fact, yet very defective in this respect.

The subject of Co-operation also soon began to urge itself with force upon the attention of the enlightened men among us at that time. It was clearly seen that the particular churches could not remain separated from each other; the unity of the church must be real and evident, not only in thought and faith, but also in action. It is this conviction that led first to district co-operation, and in time to State and National associated efforts for Home and Foreign Missions.

•A. Campbell, in one of those familiar addresses so customary with him, once soid t<> a comiinny f>f ns ministerial stiidonts: "Never become men of one i<ioa. however nttractive it may be. It will make you one-siilecl men. ami break up the integrity and Strength of your Iifi<. The only oitr i<lea worthy of your entire devotion, is the great cause of God in Christ, not any one part of it."


With these themes of high moment was coupled also at an early hour, and in progressive development, that of Edification in its largest sense; t. e., the vital question of the building up of the church in all its interests and power. This looked primarily to the establishing of a well-qualified ministry, to teach the congregations and to proclaim and advocate the gospel of Christ among men, both at home and abroad. A. Campbell and other leaders saw that, in spite of the many able preachers in our ranks at that time, this reformation was as yet very "imperfectly furnished with such a ministry as it needed and deserved, to educate the congregations and to represent our cause — the cause of God — faithfully, and with dignity and power, among men. It was a firm conviction of A. Campbell, one which he constantly uttered privately and publicly with the force of an axiomatic truth, that our reformatory work would never succeed without a well-educated ministry. This led him to establish Bethany College.

It was for many reasons not a very easy task to bring the people generally to a proper understanding and appreciation of these things, and above all to proper action in relation to them. The men of to-day, [ am confident, have a very imperfect notion of the years of patient and strong teaching it required to bring individuals and the congregations to correct thought in matters that were so vital to the welfare of the reformation, and that are so very clear to most of us now. But there are many still among us, who, after the rich instruction and experience of seventy years, have not yet learned these lesson'3 which our fathers, during the period of which I am speaking, strove so earnestly to teach. Fortunately, there were, during the very first decades of our history, many eminent men who not only understood clearly the reformation in its motives and principles, but who also "were united in an accurate discernment of what it needed for its success. This unity of mind and spirit of our leaders prevailed and brought victory.

 The Millennial Harbinger, which appeared in January, 1830, made these subjects of which I am speaking, in their full development and their practical execution, of special prominence during the entire period of its existence, especially while A. Campbell was its master spirit.

But still other questions of serious moment arose among us. We could not escape the common fate of the church in every age and in every land. At a comparatively early date men "arose among us speaking perverse things, and seeking to draw disciples after them."' Dr. J. Thomas's propagandism of "Materialism," "Soul-sleeping" in Virginia and elsewhere in the East, with a certain following in the West; the attempt of Jesse B. Ferguson, at Nashville, to found a "liberal, " "broad-gauge" religion among us, the evident fruit, as A. Camp-


bell ouce said to me, of his Unitarianism; the proposal to receive into fellowship the Unitarian "Christian" churches in the East, were all promptly and victoriously met by A. Campbell in the Millennial Harbinger.

The history of these exciting incidents should not be forgotten; the lesson it teaches is urgently needed to-day. Our fathers never "hunted" heresy — nor do we; but when it obtruded itself upon them, they boldly met it and vanquished it.

A. Campbell's debates with Bishop Purcell in Cincinnati, and with N. Rice in Lexington; his amicable written discussion with B. W. Stone on the divinity of Christ, with Dr. l.ynd on questions lying between us and the Baptists, and with Mr. Skinner on Universalism, will open to the reader of the Millennial Harbinger an interesting vision oi the stirring events that marked our history in our early days when heroic battles had to be fought.

The literature that embodies this history should not be lost. D. S. Burnet did us a good service by publishing in one volume an excellent compend of the Christian Baptist. A still more valuable treasure to us will be a liberal, wise selection from the riper journalistic literature in the Millennial Harbinger. We must therefore most heartily commend the undertaking to give to this generation the volume to which what I have here written is an introduction.

Orchard Island. Mich., July, 1901.



No. 1. Bethany, Vihginia, Monday. Janiaky 4, 1830. Vol. 1.

I saw auotliiT iiifssciij^iT tlyin^ tlimugli the midst of hcuvi-ii, having ovciia.slinggf>od ju'ws to priK'hliin to tho iiihiibilaiUs of tlic (,'artli, fVru lo every nation, and tribe, and t^ingiie, and people— saying with a loud voice. Fear God and give glory to him, for tho hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and tho fountains of water.— JouN.

 Great is the truth and mighty above all things, and will prevail.


This work shall be devoted to the destruction of Sectarianism, Infidelity, and Antichristian doctrine and practice. It shall have for its object the development and introduction of that political and religious order of society called thk Mii.LEN.MrM, which will be the consummation of that ultimate amelioration of society proposed in the Christian Scriptures.

Subservient to this comprehensive object, the following subjects shall be attended to:

1. The incompatibility of any sectarian establishment, now known on earth, with the genius of the glorious age to come.

 2. The inadequacy of all the present systems of education, literary and moral, to develop the powers of the human mind, and to prepare man for rational and social happiness.

3. The disentanglement of the Holy Scriptures from the perplexities of the commentators and system-makers of the dark ages. This will call for the analysis of several books in the New Testament, and many disquisitions upon the appropriated sense of the leading terms and phrases in the Holy Scriptures and in religious systems.

4. The injustice which yet remains in many of the political regulations under the best political governments, when contrasted with the justice which Christianity proposes, and which the millennial order of society promises.

5. Disquisitions upon the treatment of African slaves, as preparatory to their emancipation, and exaltation from their present degraded condition.

6. General religious news, or regular details of the movements of the religious combinations, acting under the influence of the proselyting spirit of the age.

7. Occasional notices of religious publications, including reviews of new works, bearing upon any of the topics within our precincts.


8. Answers to interesting queries of general utility, and notices of all things of universal interest to all engaged in the proclamation of the Ancient Gospel, and a restoration of the Ancient Order of Things.

9. Miscellanea, or religious, moral, and literary varieties.

Much of the useful learning which has been sanctified to the elucidation of those interesting and sublime topics of Christian expectation, will, we intend, be gleaned from the Christian labors of those distinguished men of liberal minds who are ranked among the most renowned Fathers of Christian Literature, and much aid is expected from a few of the more enlightened brethren of our own time.


Time, the great innovator, brings to pass everything. Gradual but unceasing is its march. It never slumbers. It never pauses. It gives maturity to everything.

When we are taught to read the volume of nature, or rather the great library of God, and have made some proficiency in the volume of Revelation, we discover that there is an admirable analogy between the volumes of Creation and Redemption. As is the progress of natural, so has been the progress of supernatural light. First, there are the glimmerings of dawn — then the twilight — then the risen day, and then the radiance of noon. So is not only the faith of the just, which brightens more and more until the perfect day; but also such are the developments of the light of life.

Starlight and moonlight ages are no more. The sun of mercy has arisen. But as in the natural, so in the moral world, there are clouds and obscurations. There are interceptions of the light of the sun. There are eclypses partial and total. In a total eclypse there is the darkness of night. There have been both partial and total eclypses of the Sun of Mercy since his rising. Not only have there been cloudy and dark days, but actual darkness like that of nightHad not a thick vapor arisen from the unfathomable abyss and hid the Sun of Mercy and of Life from human eyes, neither the beast nor the false prophet could have been born. Wild beasts go forth in the night, and in darkness commit their depredations. So the apocalyptic "loild beast" was the creature of night and of darkness.

Vapors arise from the waters, and from the unfathomable ocean * the densest fogs arise. When we dream of troubles, we wade through deep waters. Hence, the commotions and troubled agitations of communities, are symbolized by the waters of the great abyss. From these commotions, these deep waters arose the symbolic fog, the figurative vapors which overspread the heavens and hid the Sun of Right-

• Called in the King's Translation the bottomless pit; but most improperly. The sea was usually called the unfathomable abyss.


eousness from the eyes of mortals. The volumes of traditions, the cabalistic dogmas, the eastern philosophy, the pagan speculations, combined and modified, intercepted entirely, or totally eclypsed the light of the Moral Sun. Nearly all the earth was overspread in this darkness. The middle of this period has, properly, been called the Dark Ages.

Though the eclypse was total in Rome, it was not so everywhere. But the fairest portions of the Old World shared in it, and it was partial almost everywhere, where it was not total.

Why teas this sof is one question; but. Was it so? is another. That it was so needs no proof, because all agree in the belief of the fact. We know some reasons, which may yet be offered, why it was 60. But now we only appeal to the fact that it was so. This darkness has been only partially dissipated.

The Bible was brought out of prison, and Luther bid it march. He made it speak in German, and thus obtained for it a respectful hearing. It was soon loaded with immense burthens of traditions drawn from the cloisters and the cells where it had so long been incarcerated. It soon became unable to travel with its usual speed, and then stopped the Reformation. They took the points off the arrows of truth, and blunted the sword of the Spirit, so tliat the enemies of the truth could not be conquered.

About the commencement of the present century, finding that notes and comments, that glosses and traditions were making the word of God of little or no effect — I say, the pious of several of the great phalanxes of the rival Christian interests did agree to unmanacle and unfetter the testimony of God, and send it forth without the bolsters and crutches furnished by the schools; and this, with the spirit of inquiry which it created and fostered, has contributed much to break the yoke of clerical oppression, which so long oppressed the people — I say clerical oppression; for this has been and yet is, though much circumscribed, the worst of all sorts of oppression. The understandings, the consciences, the feelings, the bodies and the estates of men have been seized by this relentless tyrant. All who have demanded first fruits and tithes; all who have paralyzed the mind and forced the assent, or secured the homage of the conscience, have not been tyrants. Neither have all they who have rejected and reprobated this system, been humane, courteous, and merciful. There are exceptions even among priests. If the clergy never could reform the system, the system always could reform them. To repudiate the system, is to desecrate the priests, and whosoever has profaned or made common the priests, has been not only unchurched, but unchristianized. Such have been the past fates of those who ventured to depart from the consecrated way. But a new order of things has within the memory of the present [xviii] generation begun. Many of the priests have become obedient to the I'aith, and the natural, political, and religious rights of men have begun to be much better understood. All these auguries are favorable to the hopes of the expectants of the restoration of the ancient order of things. But nothing has so much contributed to the hopes of the intelligent, and nothing can more conduce to the regeneration of the church, than the disentanglement of the Holy Oracles from the intricacies of the variant rules of interpretation which the textuaries have fashioned into a system the most repugnant to all we call reason, common sense, and analogy.

In the happiest state which we can ever expect on earth, we can only, as individuals, enjoy as much of the favor of God as the most intelligent and devout of the first converts; and, as communities, we could enjoy no more Christian peace and joy than some of the first congregations after the first promulgation of the gospel. Greater temporal felicity might be enjoyed, but the spiritual attainments of many of the congregations can not, in the aggregate mass of religious communities, be much, if at all, surpassed.

Place the whole of any community, or even the great mass of any community, under influences similar to those which governed them, and what the most sanguine expect from a Millennium would in social and religious enjoyments be realized. But there is no fixing bounds to the maximum of social and refined bliss which would fiow from the very general or universal prevalence and triumphs of evangelical principles. To see a whole nation bowing, with grateful and joyous homage, to the King Eternal, immortal, and invisible, mingling all their affections in their admiration and love of him who had obtained immortality for man, would open a new fountain of enjoyments of which we have not yet tasted. To see even a few scores of intelligent Christians, in whom we confide as fellow-soldiers and fellow-citizens, and joint heirs of the heavenly inheritance, meeting around one and the same Lord's table, and uniting in the praises and adorations of one and the same common Lord and Saviour, imparts to us a joy which we are unable to express. What we should feel, or how we should feel, among myriads of such, is not for us now to conjecture. But of this in its proper place.

All I wish to remark on this occasion is, that the first step towards the introduction of this glorious age is to dissipate the darkness which covers the people and hides from their eyes the Sun, the quickening, renewing, animating Sun of Mercy. We expect no new Sun, no new revelation of the Spirit, no other than the same gospel and the same religion, only that it shall be disinterred from the rubbish of the dark ages, and made to assume its former simplicity, sublimity, and majesty. The demons of party must be dispossessed, and the false


spirits cast out. The human mind must be emancipated from the bondage of error, and information not only augmented, but extended to all the community.

I^ight is certainly increasing — charity enlarging the circle of its activities — the mountains of discord diminishing, and the deep valleys which separated Christians, are filling up. But much is to be done before all flesh shall enjoy the salvation of God. If all who love the Lord and the salvation of men, would unite their energies and bury the tomahawk of party conflicts, no seer could predict how rapid would be the march and how extensive the triumphs of the gospel.

But the mighty agent, or rather the successful means, of this most desirable revolution, will be the ancient gospel. There are many gospels now preached. The gospels of every sect are something different from each other, and something different from the apostolic. There can be, in truth, but one gospel; but there may be many new modified and perverted gospels. Some make their own god and worship him; and all who create a new god invent a gospel to suit his character. Surely no man of good common sense can imagine that the god of the Calvinists and the god of the Arminians are the same god. He that fancies that the god of the Trinitarians and the god of the Unitarians are one and the same divinity, can easily believe in transubstantiation.

The wisdom and the power of God, when combined, will be surely adequate to accomplish the most extraordinary promises on record. Now the placing of all na,tions under the dominion of his Son, under the reign of favor, under the influence of all that is pure, amiable, and heavenly, is promised; and by what means so likely to be accomplished as by that instrument which is emphatically called the wisdom and power of the Almighty? That instrument is the old gospel preached by the Apostles. This is almighty, through God, to the pulling down all the strongholds of infidelity and profanity, to the subversion of Atheism, Deism, and Sectarianism. It proved its power upon the nations once, and it begins to prove its power again. The sword of the Spirit has been muffled with the filthy rags of philosophy and mysticism until it can not cut through the ranks of the aliens. But so soon as this gospel is promulged in its old simplicity and in its native majesty, it will prove itself to be of God, and as adequate as in days of yore. It will pierce the hearts of the King's enemies; and while it slays their enmity, it will reconcile them to the authority and government of the Prince of Peace.

In prosecuting one of the great objects of this paper, and. indeed, the leading object, this point will not be lost sight of. Our modern gospels, like the metaphysics of the schools, have been inoperative. except to alienate men from one another, and to fill some with spiritual


pride, and to abase others under a moro&e humility. Here we see them exulting in enthusiasm, and there melancholy under a system of doubts. Between these two classes there is the opinionative, the speculative, the cold and stiff formalist — exact in the ceremonies, and precise in all the forms of religion, without the power. Some, from a bolder and more independent mind, and from a happier constitutional temperament, dared to be pious and to aspire after a higher enjoyment of the spirit of religion. But these do not give character to the age.

One of the two great Reformers attacked the practices, and the other the opinions * of the earlier part of the sixteenth century. The former was by far the most useful and puissant reformer. He gave the deadliest blow to the Beast. The other, intent on making men think right, only made converts from among the converted. This has always been the case. As Luther excelled Calvin, so did Wesley excel the Erskines. They both began upon communities called Protestants, but degenerating Protestants. Wesley directed his energies to the works of men, and the Erskines to their heterodox opinions. Wesley excelled his own more metaphysical brother, Fletcher. Fletcher was as far superior to Wesley as a reasoner and metaphysician, as Calvin was to Luther. But, as a reformer, Wesley was as far superior to Fletcher as Luther was to Calvin. The reason is obvious: the gospel called for a change of conduct — for obedience on new principles. It presented great operative principles, but called for immediate submission to new institutions. Luther's plan was more in unison with this than Calvin's; and Wesley's more than Fletcher's. Hence more visible and more useful in their tendencies. Practical men always have been the most useful; and, therefore, practical principles have been more beneficial to mankind than the most ingenious and refined speculations. Symmes might have amusingly lectured a thousand years upon his visions and his fancies; but Christopher Columbus, in one voyage, added a new world to the old one.

The ancient gospel spoke by facts, and said little about principles of action of any sort. The facts, when realized or believed, carried principles into the heart without naming them; and there was an object presented which soon called them into action. It was the true philosophy, without the name, and made all the philosophy of the world sublimated folly. It was ridiculous to hear Epicureans and Stoics reasoning against Paul. While they were talking about atoms of matter and refined principles, about virtue and vice, Paul took hold of the Resurrection of the Dead, and buried them in their own dreams. He preached Jesus and the Resurrection; he proclaimed

* Each of them attacked both sentiment and practice; but I mean one of them paid chief regard to practice— the other, to correct views.


reformation and forgiveness of sins; and before they awolte out of their reveries, he had Dionysius the Mayor of the City, the Lady Demaris, and other notable characters, immersed into Jesus.

The ancient gospel left no man in a reasoning mode about any principle of action. It left him in no doubt about the qualities or attributes of faith. It called for the obedience of faith; and by giving every man an opportunity of testing and showing his own faith by his works, it made no provision for cases of consciences, nor room for philosophic doubting. Hut I do not here eulogize it, but only intend to say that it is the only and the all-sufficient means to destroy antichrist, to heal divisions, to unite Christians, to convert the world, and to bless all nations; and viewing it in this light, we shall find much use for it in all that we shall attempt in this work.

In detecting the false gospels, nothing will aid us so much as an examination of their tendencies, and a comparison of their effects with what the Millennium proposes. The gospel of no sect can convert the world. This is with us a very plain proposition; and if so, the sectarian gospels are defective, or redundant, or mixed. To one of these general classes belong most of them.

When opposed by the interested, by those whom the corruptions of Christianity feed with bread and gratify with honor, I will call to mind the history of all the benefactors of men, and draw both comfort and strength from the remembrance that no man ever achieved any great good to mankind who did not wrest it with violence through ranks of opponents — who did not fight for it with courage and perseverance, and who did not, in the conflict, sacrifice either his good name or his life. John, the harbinger of the Messiah, lost his head. The Apostles were slaughtered. The Saviour was crucified. The ancient confessors were slain. The reformers all have been excommunicated. I know that we shall do little good if we are not persecuted. If I am not traduced, slandered, and misrepresented, I shall be a most unworthy advocate of that cause which has always provoked the resentment of those who have fattened upon the ignorance and superstition of the mass, and have been honored by the stupidity and sottishness of those who can not think and will not learn. But we have not a few friends and associates in this cause. There are many with whom it shall be my honor to live and labor, and my happiness to suffer and die.

The ancient gospel has many powerful advocates; and the heralds of a better, of a more blissful order of things, social and religious, are neither few nor feeble. No seven years of the. last ten centuries, as the last seven, have been so strongly marked with the criteria of the dawn of that period which has been the theme of many a discourse, and the burthen of many a prayer. Editor.


PREFACE.— 1831.

The first thought of the Almighty Maker of this stupendous universie, in reference to this system, was the ultimate and ineffable glory and bliss of his rational offspring. When creation is contemplated in accordance with the character of its Great Architect, this idea suggests itself to the mind. The most august palace ever reared by human hands was for the residence of him who designed it. His splendid and happy inhabitation was the first thought in the designer; and, in subordination to this, was the whole scheme originated and conducted. That which was first in the design is, however, always last in the execution. For although the Prince first thought of his magnificent abode in the castle which he erected, it was not till everything pertaining to its perfect completion was accomplished, that he made it the mansion of his glory. The painter's last touch precedes the entrance of the illustrious resident. The first thought is the end, and the first act the beginning of all things.

Before the real temple of Jehovah will be perfected and the city of the Great King ready for his reception, the scaffolding must be consumed. But the Most High God dwells not in temples made by human hands. He builds a temple for himself. And that temple will be the purified and glorified spirits of the saints. They are the materials of God's own house. "I will dwell among them and walk in them," says the Almighty. But all the saints shall be placed as stones in this heavenly temple before its gates are opened, before the New Jerusalem descends from the present heaven, and becomes the new and eternal mansion of Nature's Immortal King. Hence the general conflagration of the scaffolding of the works of nature and of grace is, in the visions of future things, to precede the first note of the eternal song to him who< will inhabit thenceforth the new praises of eternity.

The material systems are but the scaffoldings to the different stories of the heavenly temple of many mansions. As respects our race, it is nature first, grace second, and glory third and last of all. When all the lumber of seven thousand years shall have been consumed, and the dome of glory everlasting perfected, the first thought of the Great Contriver shall be intelligibly expressed to the universe ot glorified reason. God, all in all, is the chorus of the eternal song. The tongues which sing it shall not be eternal mutes. Every opposing mouth shall be stopped, when the great consummation vindicates the plan and progress. of the supreme government of all systems. Let us, then, kiss the Son, be silent, and adore.

Man was made in the image of God. His little creations are imitations of the Great Creator. We form designs and attempt their accom-


plishment. Our first thought is the end of our efforts; and if we live tc perfect our plans, we do no more than give expression to the first idea. The volume can not be read till the last word is written; but the reading of it is always in the intention of the writer. The effect to be produced is the ultimatum in his intention who writes a book. He thinks that he may write, and writes that it may be read; but the reading is solicited for the end proposed to himself.

When our bodies are immersed in water and our souls into the Holy Spirit, our plans are all religious. If we value intelligence, it is for its purifying tendencies; if we value purity, it is for its blissful termination. Bliss is our goal — intelligence and purity is the racecourse.

Human happiness is our end and aim in all our editorial labors. But as in the scheme of Heaven, wickedness must be punished, and the wicked afflicted; so in the most benevolent designs those who oppose the way of righteousness must be chastised, were it only by the exposure of their schemes.

We still flatter ourselves that we shall have less occasion for thj invective, and more room for the development of the renovating truth. It is always, however, difficult to remove the rubbish without raising the dust; and the Babel repairers have always obstructed the rebuilding of the Lord's city and his earthly temple.

Kind nature has given, as Anacreon saith, to each animal a defensive weapon, from which it has withholden an offensive one. Timidity is to the sheep what horns are to the goat; the swiftness of foot of the haro is its shield against the teeth of the dog; to the lion she has given teeth and paws; to the ox, horns; to the horse, his hoofs; and to (he wild cut, its viusk. Each, when attacked, relies for protection upon its natural armor of defense. Truth has argument; and error, vituperation and anathema for its defense.

Reason, we repeat, is the strength and dignity of man. He who has to employ another weapon in his own defense, degrades himself as well as his cause. Cannons are the last reason of kings, it is said; but this is an abuse of speech. Brutal force might as justly be called the eloquence of a highwayman. The anathema of a clerical council and the denunciations of a mercenary press are the last reasons of errorists: but these, like cannon balls, are not addressed to the understanding, nor the conscience; but to the animal fears of men.

The press is as venal as the pulpit, when error is to be propagated; and when passion and pride are to be gratified, a falsehood or a malediction is more suitable than the Sermon upon the Mount. Satan's kingdom has been built up by lies, as uniformly as that of the Messiah by truth. In the controversy about the body of Moses, Michael reasoned, but (lid not sland-^r nor revile: whil? Satan reviled and did not


reason. Ever since error was believed among men, it has been sustained by the same means by which it was first introduced.

By some strange fatality the opposers of reform have always defeated themselves. It is true they formerly succeeded in keeping a part of their kingdom from an apostasy from error. Those who succeeded in opposing Luther, succeeded in keeping up the superstitions of popery; and the children of them who opposed him are now inheriting their father's errors. In this way their gain was the loss and ruin of their own posterity. What they lost of their kingdom was little in comparison of what they lost in their own persons and families. In every war against the New Testament the loss is loss, the gain is loss, and every victory is a defeat. Thus error always defeats itself.

 Men are never more deceived than in their calculations upon success in opposing reformation principles. Even after their battles are wisely planned, their preliminary schemes successful, and victory in sight, the trophies often recede from the eye, and the crown from the touch of the confident aspirant. No doubt that Herod felt himself secured in his throne, and obtained a quietus to his fears after the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem. But he knew not that the infant whose death alone he meditated was sleeping securely in Egypt.

 When the chief priests, at the head of an exasperated populace, sustained by a Roman governor, had crucified the Prince of Life, they rejoiced that victory was won, and their lordship over the people retained in spite of the wonderful revolutionist. But transient was their joy, and short-lived their exultations! The dead Jesus is found instructing his disciples to wage a more successful war against the rulers of the darkness of this world. The Apostles alarm the Sanhedrim by the thousands who heard them gladly, and they began to machinate anew against these propagators of what they called the odious heresy. The ringleaders, Peter and John, are thrust into prison. The heretics secured, the priesthood again exult. Their joy, however, is soon turned into sorrow. To-morrow morning the prisoners are speaking to the people, and the people still hear them gladly. Every scheme to suppress, and every victory which the enemies of the ancient gospel imagined they obtained against it, only furthered its progress and gave it the ascendant over its rival systems. Even the martyrdom of Stephen, the dispersion of the great congregation which was in Jerusalem, and the fierce opposition of Saul of Tarsus, for a time — all conspired to give momentum and celerity to the march of reformation.

Every effort to reform has been opposed by those whose professions ought to have placed them in the van of the preachers of righteousness. But experience has proved that those in power with the people are always afraid of revolution. There were those at home as well as


those abroad who opposed the American Revolution. Often was the contest represented as very doubtful, and sometimes thought to be almost suppressed; but, like a smothered fire, it broke out again with all-conquering power. The enemies of liberty and equal rights in the old country, speaking through their representatives in Parliament, often said, "A few more ships of the line, and a regiment or two more dispatched to the colonies, and the rebels are vanquished." They raised new armaments, and equipped new ships, and sung, "Down with the insurgents!" but all in vain. The rights of man triumphed, and will triumph again!

Luther's Reformation was often represented as expiring in agonies. Still it lived and progressed. The councils of the Pope and his Cardinals were held often and at short intervals. The lesser and the greater excommunications were threatened, and relied upon. But what did they avail? The "bull" of excommunication is issued to gore Luther and his friends; but what of that? The very instant the councils had done all they could, the cause began to triumph.

Even yet the enemies of reform rely upon such measures; and because some of the reformers have suffered the greater excommunication from the hands of the general union councils de propaganda fide, the Luminary of the anti-reformists proclaims the speedy desolations of New Testamentism in Kentucky. A few months are allowed for the funeral obsequies, and the days of mourning for the reformers shall be ended.

But as soon will the Baptist Chronicle and its friends prevent the rising of the sun, as suppress the progress of reform in this commonwealth. There is a redeeming principle in this community which no man nor set of men can impede. Since my last visit to this country the conquests of the spirit of inquiry and research, everywhere apparent, and the progress of many great minds in the knowledge of the Christian institution, far surpass anything I had learned from the most flattering communications. The immense congregations which we meet in every town and village, as well as in the country, which no inclemency of weather nor unpleasantness of the roads prevents, with the crowds of inquirers flocking to the hospitable firesides of the friends of reform, constitute one of the signs of the times here, which no perversity of mind can misinterpret.

The chain of Xerxes did as much fetter the sea, as the Franklin Decrees can restrain the Inquisitiveness which is everywhere abroad. The minds of the Kentucky reformers have done as much homage to the Frankfort triumvirate as Mount Athos did to that vain and haughty monarch, who presumed to command it into obeisance. Some men are slow to leaxn, even in the school of expedence, or they would


ere now have learned that the human mind can not be restrained by prohibitions, nor made to think per orders of those in power.

PREFACE.— 1833.

Time, the material of which life is made, never pauses. In its onward current to the ocean of eternity, it carries with it all the busy tribes of men. Our fathers — where are they? and the Prophets — do they live forever? Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom and understanding!

The year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-three has arrived. Almost eighteen full centuries are completed since life and incorruptibility arose from the darkness of the grave, in the person of Messiah, to bless a dying world. The Apostacy is in its dotage, and the Man of Sin tottering on the brink of the grave. The world is in travail; a new age is soon to be born; and the great regeneration is at hand. The parchments, the leagues and covenants that bind the nations in their social and unsocial compacts, are moth-eaten. The foundations of the political mountains and hills are crumbling down to dust; and the imbecilities of all human policies to give to man the knowledge of his rights and the enjoyment of them, are becoming manifest to all. A solemn expectation, an eager longing for some great change, the sure prelude of a mighty system of revolutions, is marked in the pensive countenances of all who think and believe that the Lord Almighty reigns. Expectation is on tiptoe, stretching forward into the mysterious future, ready to hail with acclamation the harbinger of better times. Jew and Gentile now unite in the anxious anticipation of a great deliverer, whose right to rule the nations none dare dispute.

Our little party jealousies and strifes, our ecclesiastical bickerings and feuds, are all arguments of irresistible demonstration that the Christian profession has, in the long, dark night of error, mistook its way, and been jostled off the foundation of God.

The voice of reformation has been lifted up, and the banners of the ancient constitution of Messiah's kingdom have been unfurled. The ancient standard has been dug up out of the ruins of the ages of delinquency; but of the immense multitudes who acknowledge its theoretic excellence and practical utility, how few are inspired with that holy spirit of unconditional submission to the authority of the Prime Ministers of Messiah's realm, which distinguished the soldiers of the cross in the days of uncorrupted Christianity.

A remnant has always been found in times of the greatest delinquency; and in the close of the times of the Gentiles we have reason to rejoice, that there is a goodly number of the Gentiles who rally under the testimony of Jesus, and are zealous for his institutions.


The theory of reformation is, however, far in advance of the practice, and to this fait special rcyard icill be had in the volume which voe have just commenced. It is no common thing to be, in the constitutional import of the word, a practical Christian, or, ratlier, a Christian in fact. To admire and commend such a one is easy and pleasing to all; but to exhibit and fill up all the outlines of a child of God, a citizen of heaven, and an heir of immortality, is not the result of a wish or a prayer, but of the untiring efforts of an enlightened understanding, and a pure heart, to be conformed to the whole declared will of our I'^ather who is in heaven. Euitok.

PREFACE.— 1835.

Every day's experience develops more fully the profound depths of the philosophy of the Divine Author of the Christian faith. Wisdom, knowledge, and goodness infinite appear in all his aphorisms. Errors of some sort may be found, have been found, and will be found in some of the maxims and sayings of the wisest of the wise men of all times, either ancient or modern; but no man's age, wisdom, knowledge, or experience has yet found one flaw in the reasonings, one error in the conclusions, one mistake in all the recorded sayings of Jesus the Nazarene. Moreover, it is, to me at least, most clearly evident, that if human life were extended for the term of seven thousand years; and if one man's experience were so enlarged as to engross within it the experience of all the men that have lived or shall live in that long period, he would at the close of his life have as much reason as w-hen he first began to think for himself, to exclaim, C the depths both of the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ! How infinite! How unsearchable!

This fact constitutes no weak argument in proof of his celestial and divine descent. We might stake our hope of eternal life upon the inability of man. philosopher or sage, to detect an error or a falsehood in all that is recorded of him. But it was not for this purpose that we have made this remark; we have been led to it when about to quote a maxim from Jesus as pertinent to the commencement of a new volume. That maxim is, "F!ufpricnt for every day is its own trouble." From which I learn, first, that every day has its oicn trouble; and, in the second place, that its own trouble is sufficient for every day. This I did not know some twenty-five years ago.

In the bright sketches of a vivid imagination I foresaw, in the glowing visions of the future, many clear and cloudless days, without a sorrow or a sigh. But I was as one that dreamed. Every day, with all its pleasures and its joys, has had its troubles, too.

Though by kind nature happily inclined ever to contemplate the bright side of the picture, the (iiFapi)ointnients of every day have at


length thrown some dark clouds into all my paintings of the remnant of life. There are no moue golden days, free from cai-es and fears, within the horizon of my future anticipations. But the philosophy of Jesus happily interposes in my behalf, and admonishes me not to increase the troubles of to-day with those of to-morrow; but to regard the troubles of the present as sufficient without the addition of the anticipated evils of the future. While, then, the maxim of the Great Teacher assures us that every day "has its own trouble," it kindly admonishes us to regard its own trouble as sufficient.

From the preface to the volume of 1838 we extract this: The theory and practice of Christianity are as distinct as the theory and practice of medicine. Few persons are eminent in both. The busy theorist has not time to practice; and the busy practitioner has not time to theorize. We teach that right thinking must precede right speaking and right acting; but should we stop at the end of right thinking, and be satisfied with ourselves, we should prove ourselves to be wrong thinkers of no ordinary type.

We have had the Gospel and Christianity restored on paper and in speech; we want to see them living, moving, and acting on the stage of time, on a larger scale and with more brilliant light and power than has hitherto appeared.

 To extend the Christian profession, rather than to elevate it, has been too much the spirit of modern enterprise. To extend it is, indeed, most desirable and most consonant to the suggestions of the Christian spirit; but few seem to apprehend that to elevate it is the surer and speedier way to extend it. The boundaries between the church and the world are not sufficiently prominent to strike the attention of the truly inquisitive. The heavenly character of Christ's religion is so deeply veiled under the garb of expedient conformity to worldly maxims and worldly interests, that it is too dimly seen to command the attention of even those who ardently seek for some substantial joys to fill an empty mind.

Our brethren in the cause of reformation are indeed surrounded with some unpropitious circumstances. They began with theory, and their opponents are determined always to keep them in it. The reformer is too often regarded as the assailant, and the objects of his benevolence feel as though they ought to stand upon the defensive. So have we been often regarded. But while we earnestly contend for the faith anciently delivered, we ought to remember that even that faith was delivered for the sake of its living, active, and eternal fruits.

In 1840 he says: "Years roll on: the pulse of time never ceases, the wheels of Nature carry down all the living with a constant and rapid motion. We are born, we live, we die, and are forgotten amidst


the bustle of coming years. We are now. the actors — the dramatis pcrsonae on the stage of time. Each one plays his part, and retires behind the curtains of death. But the sequel is on another theatre, before other spectators and auditors. The plaudits and the hissings are eternal. We play for crowns and kingdoms — for deathless fame and imperishable treasures. A heaven is lost, or a heaven is won at the close of the last act.

"There are many subordinate parts in the great drama of human e.xistence. There are also very conspicuous and high places — great responsibilities — immense prizes — while every one has his own destiny at stake, and all are to be rewarded according to their works.

"Such reflections crowd upon us on the commencement of a new volume in the progress of a great revolution — a reformation — a change for the better in the ecclesiastic and moral relations and positions of society. We feel our obligations and responsibilities to be very great. The cause on hand is above all causes now before the bar of public opinion. It demands all our powers — it calls for all our resources. The question is variously propounded; but the substance is, Who shall rule in Zion? — Jesus or the Pope? — Christ or Antichrist? — the twelve Apostles or twelve hundred Synods and Councils? — the New Testament or a human creed? — the Word of the Lord or the Opinions of men? — Union or Schism? — Catholicity or Sectarianism? — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, or three Lords, three faiths, and three baptisms?"

Preface, 1841: "In the present volume some points claim our special attention: such as, the necessity of a more conciliatory spirit towards the more evangelical professors — the necessity and practicability of the enjoyment of larger measures of spiritual influence — education in all its branches, domestic, scholastic, and ecclesiastic."

In 1843 we find: "There is yet, however, much wanting in very many of our churches to bring them up to their own acknowledgments. We want a thorough church organization, a more efficient ministry, in and out of the church; Elders, Deacons, and Evangelists; and, above all, more spirituality and moral excellence; much less conformity to the world — and a more cordial, devout, and unreserved submission to the Lord, are points in which we are very generally yet wanting; to all of which, especially to the subject of church organization and family education, shall we devote, the Lord being our helper, the pages of the present volume."

In 1S44 he says: "Had I the means of accomplishing my desires, I would have a Quarterly Christian Review, of solid and substantial reading, composed of sacred literature, various Biblical criticism, reviews of new publications on Theology, notices of persons and things ecclesiastical."


In 1848 Mr. Campbell says: "Still we would not have our readers ilor the public conclude that we do not think that, in several instances and in some points, certain matters have had an exaggerated importance given to them by over-zealous and less informed brethren — that there has been much mismanagement, also some unchristian developments and speculations promulged amongst us, as well as a too dogmatical spirit displayed on the part of certain writers, editors, and preachers. We have, indeed, had as little of these as could have been rationally expected amongst so many disconnected and unassociated editors, writers, preachers, and teachers, coming from parties and schools as numerous and as various as all the parties and schools of Protestant Christendom. Had we not had cohorts of other minds well read and better balanced, zealous, indefatigable, and influential, we must have been greatly disappointed or signally defeated. It is all, indeed, the Lord's doing and marvellous in our eyes."

 In 1849 he says: "It was well for the cause that no one presumed to print anything for many years, till its main principles were well matured by a few. During the first ten years, while matters were under investigation and oral discussion, but one single pamphlet appeared on the legal and evangelical dispensations. We did not then grow so rapidly into scribes and editors as we have since done. Some amongst us, converted in their minority, very soon after their majority deem themselves competent to enter upon the responsible duties and calling of editors and teachers of old men and fathers."





Dr. Robert Richardson, as "K. R.," writes in the Millennial Harbinger, 183G, page 219, et seq.:

The existence of a Supreme Being, necessarily presupposed in the consideration of the preservation and government of the world, is so extremely evident, that it can scarcely with propriety be considered a matter to be seriously argued. It is the amiable Fenelon who observes, "that so far from being a thing that wants to be proved, it is almost the only thing of which we are certain." It is indeed a remarkable instance of human weakness and folly, that so obvious a truth should ever have been doubted, and more especially by some persons of erudition and high attainments.

It must be confessed, however, that very few have openly professed Atheism, the far greater number of Freethinkers having attempted to conceal their hatred of religion under the garb of Deism, ar. being more specious, and therefore less abhorrent to the universal reason of mankind. On this account Deism has been regarded as Atheism under another name, and with great propriety; for as the admitted existence of the sun brings along with it that of light and heat, by which only we are enabled to know that such a thing as the sun exists, so a sincere belief in the existence of God, naturally and necessarily involves an acknowledgment of the truth of revelation, and ol his regard for his creatures in the preservation and government of the world, which the Deists have refused to admit. Hence the doctrines of Epicurus, who supposed that the gods spent their time in luxurious ease, and that they did not concern themselves in tne affairs of mortals, were regarded even by Plato as amounting to Atheism. And many of the Deists have upon their death-beds either acknowledged the error of their system and the truth of revelation, liKe Voltaire, or like Hume, who when dying seemed to amuse himself with a game of chess, and have hy thus over-acting their part, betrayed the secret misgivings and forebodings of conscience.


In later times, infidelity has assumed a different form, and modern philosophists have become so chary of committing themselves, and so exceeding modest, that they will neither affirm nor deny the existence of God; but, affecting to be governed solely by their senses and their experience, confess themselves wholly ignorant of the matter. They absurdly imagine that they are independent of all reasonings and inferences, when they reject faith and testimony, together with the proof of the divine existence drawn from nature, and depend solely upon the knowledge derived through the senses; while at the same time they are unable to attain conclusions even from the impressions made upon their own senses without a process of reasoning from effect to cause, precisely similar to that which they reject in regard to the Divine Being.

But it were vain to argue either with thosie who imagine the world to have been made and preserved by chance, thus making Chance put an end to Chance and introduce order, design, necessity, and fate; or with those who disbelieve the existence of God without denying it, for none of them will believe any more than they can help on this subject,* or what suits their theory; and their reason consists only in contradicting the universal reason of mankind. For if the proposition that there is a Supreme Intelligent First Cause is not believed by them, though it be sustained by the wonderful marks of design and contrivance in the universe in the nice adaptation of the most delicate machinery to the most important and useful purposes, whether iu the human mind with its various co-operating faculties of curiosity, attention, imagination, memory, and judgment; or in the material part of creation with all its infinite variety of skill and purpose; they are wholly without the pale of argument, and beyond the reach of reason.

To the Christian, however, the volume of nature is full of meaning. He perceives the impress of an almighty and beneficent Being in everything around him. To him God is all and in all. His whole employment is to study and to imitate the divine character. In his view, indeed, the universe is but a revelation of the attributes of God, and his studies of nature are an investigation of the power, wisdom, and goodness displayed by the Author. Every new discovery of his perfections fills his bosom with delight, and animates his soul with pure and elevated principles, and he rejoices to know that eternity ' is a period fitted to the lesson he is to learn — the nature of the Infinite Jehovah.

•In other matters many of the Sceptics have been the most credulous of mankind. Charles II., on witnessing the credulity of tlic younger Vossius when on his visit to England, exclaimed, "There is nothing which Vossius refuses to believe except the Bible."


The Christian, therefore, is a constant and an improving pupil. His is not the bigotry wliich fixes upon a few imperfect dogmas, as containing all that can be known of God; nor is his the enthusiasm which a proud and vain imagination leads beyond the confines of nature, reason, and revelation. For him the darkness of Ignorance is no refuge; but he loves the light of Truth. The investigations of science, and the true knowledge of nature only serve to impress still more deeply his convictions of the power, wisdom, and goodness of Him who "created all things and for whose glory they were and are created." It is indeed always the effect of true science to develop the purpose and skill of the Divine Architect. Thus the reason of the peculiar formation of the human eye was not understood till Newton discovered the nature and laws of light, when it was found that these fixed laws had been understood and acted on by him who made the eye, which is so perfectly accommodated to these laws that the most ingenious artist could not imagine an improvement of it. Nor was i*. known why the bee should in all countries, and at all times, shape its cells precisely in the same manner, the proportions accurately alike and the size the very same to the fraction of a line; till the most refined mathematical analysis discovered that this form and size were of all others best adapted to the purposes of saving room, and work, and materials. "This discovery," says Brougham, "was only made about a century ago: nay, the instrument that enabled us to find it out — the tlmional calculus — was unknown half a century before that application of its powers. And yet the bee had been for thousands of years, in all countries, unerringly working according to this fixed rule, choosing the same exact angle of 120 degrees for the inclination of the sides of its little room, which every one had for ages known to be the best possible angle, but also choosing the same exact angles of 210 and 70 degrees for the parallelograms of the roof, which no one had ever discovered till the eighteenth century, when Maclaurin solved that most curious problem of maxima et viinima. the means of inves tigating which had not existed till the century before, when Newton invented the calculus, whereby such problems can now be easily worked."

But it is not alone the deep researches of science which confirm the Christian, for the evid'^nces of an intelligent and designing Being are displayed in bold relief to the eyes and understandings of men, even the most illiterate, in the wise and beneficent arrangements upon the face of nature. He marks, therefore, not merely the adaptation of the eye to light, but its adjustment to the conditions and circumstances of different animals, as in the case of the bat and the mole, the eagle and the lynx. He admires the wisdom which has given to those creatures which live in mud, not only a hard and horny eye,


but furnished them instead of eyelids with a little brush to clean the eye; and which, while it has given to man eyelids to moisten and protect the eye, has omitted them entirely, as unnecessary, in fishes whose eyes are washed by the water in which they swim. He contemplates with delight the beautiful proportions of the deer and ths swift antelope upon the mountains; and while, on the lake he loves to view

"The pilot swan majestic wind, With all his cygnet fleet behind, So softly sail, or swiftly row With sable oar and silken prow " —

he considers the design and skill shown in the formation of that "sable oar" — the web-foot, which the inventors of steamboat paddles have never yet been able even to imitate.

While the Christian thus regards the proofs of design and contrivance manifested in creation, he reasons that "had he to accomplish such purposes, he should (if possessed of sufficient power and skill) have used some such means," and therefore concludes that these

owe their origin to a Being supremely wise and infinitely powerful. "This process of reasoning," says Brougham, "is truly inductive, ani is not like, but identical with, that by which we infer the existence of design in others (than ourselves) with whom we have daily intercourse. The kind of evidence is not like, but identical with, that by which we conduct all the investigations of natural and moral science."

Thus the Christian, while he surveys the beauty, order, variety, and immensity of creation — whether, with the scientific Euler, he examine the singular and perfectly organized creatures which sport in a drop of water — whether, with the philosophic Newton, he contfjmplate those vast heavenly bodies, those worlds innumerable, which move with inimitable order and precision through the regions of space to the remotest boundaries of the universe; or, with the simple rustic, view the changing seasons — the fruits of summer and of autumn — the stern severities of winter, grand and magnificent in its terrors — or the new-born leaves and flowers of spring (equivalent to a new creation), clothing field and forest in a drapery forever charming and forever new — one thought is ever present, one conclusion ever certain, that it is God "that doeth wonders" — whose "name is excellent in all the earth," and whose "glory is above the heavens;" and while with the Psalmist he would exclaim, "0 Lord! how manifold are thy worksl in wisdom hast thou made them all;" conscious of his own dependent weakness, he humbly "trusts in the God of Jacob for his help, and his hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is: who keepeth truth forever."


"But the Lord shall find out them that hate him." "They shall be as chaff before the wind." "Their way shall be dark and slippery." "They shall be taken in their pride and consumed with terror, that they may know that God ruleth even unto the ends of the earth."


"/ tcill say of the Lokd, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God: ill him will I trust." — Davik.

The general idea of Divine Providence may be expressed in the periphrasis — The care of God in the preservation and government of the world. Or, it is the superintendence of the Creator over the affairs of the universe.

The idea of creation, then, is by no means included. Creation must necessarily precede, since it gives occasion to, both preservation and government. For if nothing were created, there would be nothing to take care of — nothing to superintend. The creation of the world, then, was just what we are accustomed to style it — an act of creation, and not a work of providence.

The notion of m.iracle is also excluded. A miracle consists essentially in a sudden change or suspension of what are termed the known or established laws of nature. We can have no idea of a miracle without including such a change or contravention of the regular course of things. On this account, as we have no information of what was the regular course of things before creation, we can not say, correctly speaking, that even the creation of the world was a miracle. "He spoke, and it was done — Hk commanded, and it stood fast" — but the records of eternity are not before us, and we have not the tongues nor the vocabulary of angels. How it may be termed by those glorious inhabitants of heaven who "can not die," who were "with the Lord in the beginning of his way before his works of old — when there were no depths nor fountains abounding with water; before the moun tains were settled and before the hills" — we know not. In our language we call It cKK.vTioN. and can not consistently with soundness of speech terra it miracle. No more can the agency termed Providence, which sustains and regulates the universe, be styled miraculous. For a miracle interrupts that very order which this agency preserves, and which by being thus preserved in unvaried regularitv through a long succession of ages, has become known as the order of nature. So long, then, as it is one thing to sustain the order of the universe, and another to interrupt it — one thing to enforce a law, and another to break it: so long will the idea of miracle be different from that of the divine agency in the preservation and government of the world.


These distinctions we conceive to be of the greatest importance, and absolutely essential to the correct understanding of the subject. It is not a question of power; it is a question of definition — of the use of words. If it were a question of power, we could easily grant that there is a stupendous power displayed in creating the world, as in any miracle; and it could as easily be shown that 't requires as great power to sustain as to create the universe. The creating of Adam an adult displayed as much power as would be exhibited in raising a man from the dead — but not any more than is required to clothe the little germ contained in a grain of corn with a neio body. twelve or fourteen feet high, with its tassel, its silk, its ears, and its shining leaves. Any one of these is just as possible as another, and no one of them is a whit more wonderful than another, if power were the question. But it is simply the application of terms. The first we call creation — the second, a miracle — the third, the providence of God, who gives "to every seed its own body." It is necessary, in order to avoid confusion of ideas, to employ these terms in their legitimate signification.

Further: when we thus distinguish between creation, miracles, and providences, we do not thereby exclude from the latter the idea of divine interference, any more than from the two former. The hand of the Almighty is indeed displayed in all, and in one as mu:h as in another. In the former, indeed, his purposes may be more suddenly accomplished, but not more certainly, nor in many cases more unexpectedly than in the latter. The mode and means of action may be different, but there is an agent in all, and that agent is the same. It is very unreasonable to suppose that every Divine interference must of necessity be miraculous — that a Creator is not required to sustain those very laws whose operation a miracle for a moment interrupts, or that this momentary interruption is a greater interference than was required to sustain for ages these principles in constant action — that a greater degree of power is needed or a different agent to produce cessation or change of action, than to originate and sustain that action — that it requires an agent to produce an effect by other than the ordinary means; and that none is needed to accomplish as great a purpose by the wise control, direction, and employment of influences with which we happen to be more familiar. It is indeed the very idea and definition of Providence, that it is the Divine agency exerted in sustaining and governing the universe. It differs from miracle in this, that its designs are brought to pass by means of the established laws and through the ordinary channels: while a miracle is the accomplishment of a purpose by other means.

We are indeed fallen upon "evil days and evil times," when infidelity and atheism seem to have taken the place of the opposite extremes,


credulity and idolatry. Formerly every hero and every hearth — every object of beauty and every element of nature hatl a tutelar deity. But now the chief wisdom is made to consist in a stupid attempt to explain everything by referring and restricting it to what are called natural principles, and a still more absurd halting at what are termed secondary causes; as though the mere knowledge of the mode in which a principle acts could explain the principle itself, or as if the idea of secondary causes did not abs-olutely involve that of a First Cause. And it is most unfortunate that even those who believe in a Supreme Ruler have partaken more or less of the deleterious influence of this vain philosophy, and that they have permitted the foolish wisdom of this world to substitute any unexplained explanation for the power o'' God; or any unmeaning or undefinable "Nature" for the Deity himself. Such was not the doctrine nor the language of the ancient Christians. With them it was not the mere operations of Nature — the mere clouds, but "God" who gave them "showers of rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness." It was not to any "electric influence" or any "internal heat" they attributed their enjoyment of life; but it was "in God they lived, were moved, and had their being." Nor was it to any concurrence of "secondary causes" they were wont to refer the judgments they witnessed and the deliverances they experienced. These were with them the "wrath of God," the chastenings of "the Lord" — It was "the Lord" who "stood" with them and "delivered" them — who "supplied all their need," and "of whom, and through whom, and to whom" were "all things" — to whom they gave the glory. By the Providence of God, then, we mean His care and superintendence in preserving and governing the world. By the preservation of the world is implied the upholding the being, the powers, and attributes of all created things; and by its government is signified a controlling and overruling power over everything which is thus upheld.

The subject, therefore, is naturally divided into preservation and government. And as the Divine Being exercises a particular care over certain departments of His universal empire, it will be convenient to make a further division into a general and a special providence, either of which may include preservation as well as government.

How important is it that in returning to the institutions of primitive Christianity, we should return also to that constant dependence upon God for all things, and that deep sense of the unceasing and watchful care and presence of our Heavenly Father, by which the disciples were characterized in the beginning! — Blessed are they who put their trust in Him! — He sustains all things — Hi.s dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.



"Say not unto the angel. There is no providence; lest God should be angry at your voice, and destroy the works of your hands."

The Sadducees, like the Atheists, denied the superintendence of God over the universe. This indeed is implied in what is said of them (Acts xxii. 8), viz., that "they say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit." For the exclusion of angel and spirit, necessarily excluded, among the Jews, the idea of providence, which the word ANGEL with them was frequently employed to express. Thus Abraham says, "God shall send his angel before thee to take a wife for Isaac" — that is, God shall superintend and direct you in this matter. And Jacob — "The God who fed me all my life long — the angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads" — signifying the protecting, preserving, guiding providence of God which he had experienced during his life. Thus also David — "The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear him;" and again, "He shall give his angels charge concerning thee," etc. We may observe here that this last passage is evidently restricted to ordinary preservation and protection by our Lord's answer to Satan, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" — that is, by rushing into unnecessary hazards. In Isa. xxxvii. 36, also, it is said, "the angel of the Lord" smote Sennacherib's army. What this "anger was, we learn from II. Kings, xix. 7 — "Behold, I will send a blast upon him;" i. e., the samiel or simoon. Thus too in Ps. Ixxviii. 49, the plagues of Pharaoh are called "evil angels;" so that it is evident that the Jews were accustomed often to use the term angel as expressive of the providential interference of God, and applicable to the natural agency by which he accomplished his purposes. Thus Paul quotes the 104th Psalm — "Who makes winds his angels [agents] and flames of fire his ministers;" the emphasis here being evidently upon the word angel as distinguished from Son. Hence too the parting salutation among the Jews — "The angel of God keep you company" (Tobit. v. 10). Hence also the phrases, "The good angel will keep him company" (ver. 21); and "Mine angel is with you" (Baruch vi. 7).

The Sadducees among the Jews, were, in this respect, like the Epicureans among the Greeks, who, as we formerly mentioned, admitted the existence of a God, but denied a providence, supposing that the Deity delighted in calm and undisturbed repose.

" Immortali cevo summa cum pace fruatur.

Semota a nostris rebus, sejunctaque." From earth remote, of endless life possess'd, No human cares disturb his peaceful rest.


Thus speaks Lucretius, who has embodied the tenets of their philosophy in his celebrated poem De rcr. nat., which, to use the language of Gillies, "is the boldest monument which the world is ever likely to witness, of learning, genius, and impiety."

It would be unnecessary to attempt to disprove the notion that there is no Providence, except by showing it to be congenial with the absurdities of Epicureans, Sadducees, and Atheists, were it not that few properly appreciate the necessary connection which exists between the belief in a Supreme Being, and in his preservation and government of the world. It is certainly unreasonable to suppose that such a Being, who has created the beautiful universe, adorned it with so many glorious objects, and furnished so many sources of happiness, should nevertheless be wholly unconcerned about his creatures, and indifferent to their welfare. But apart from this consideration, it is as great an absurdity to suppose that the world can preserve and govern itself, as that it could make itself. "For it is not with the being and nature of things," as Sherlock well observes, "as it is with the works of art, which, though they can not make themselves, yet, when they are made, can subsist without the artist that made them — the workman does not give being to the materials, but only to the form — but whatever receives its being from another, as all creatures do, has nothing to support its being but the cause that made it;" that is, there is nothing created which has a self-subsisting nature, or a necessary and independent existence. This may be regarded as abstruse reasoning. There is no one, however, who will consider the incessant changes which occur in the universe, the constant activity of animated nature, and the systematic arrangements, operations, and motions of all created things, who can for a moment suppose that these do not require an agent as much as creation — and the same agent, since he only who created, knows how to govern and preserve them. To be sure, we do not comprehend how they are sustained, but neither do we comprehend how they were originally created. And certainly it requires as much power, and is as striking a proof of divine agency, to clothe, in the spring of the year, the naked earth with verdure and the fields with flowers — to unfold the leafy umbrellas of the grove, or bend the boughs of the orchard and present to the hand the golden fruits of autumn, as to create them at the first. No one can show how an oak can be brought out of an acorn without divine agency, any more than how it could be created out of nothing without such agency. The argument therefore drawn from nature, proves as much for a Providence as it does for a Creator; and every consistent Deist must admit the superintendence of God over the universe upon the same principles upon which he infers his existence.


It is not a little strange that any one who believes in revelation should deny the doctrine in question. For the fact that a revelation has been given, apart from anything contained in that revelation, at once refutes the Epicurean hypothesis, and proves that the Divine Being does interest himself in the affairs of men.

When, how^ever, w^e examine the Scriptures themselves — when we reflect upon the history of the human family, mark the fulfillment of prophecy, and contemplate the judgments, the deliverances, and the Innumerable acts of love and condescending mercy experienced by the race of Adam at the hands of the beneficent Creator, no language can be found adequate to express the unmeasured depth of his goodness, and no human power able to enumerate the countless instances of his watchful care and superintendence.

Some arguments, drawn from the Scriptures, we will briefly notice:

1. In the sacred oracles God has delivered to the human family from the beginning great and precious promises — promises which have been accomplished in every age, which are now in the act of accomplishment, or which are yet to be accomplished; and which, involving as they do the fates and fortunes of empires as well as individuals, of cities and the globe itself, necessarily depend entirely upon the divine agency for their fulfillment. Without supposing such an agency in human affairs, such directing, governing, and overruling power over the destinies of the kingdoms and inhabitants of the earth, and the laws and elements of the material universe, no one can explain the accomplishment of these promises and predictions.

2. It is upon this doctrine, too, that all prayer is founded. It is the belief that God will hear — the confident assurance that he will grant the just petitions of his people, by which they are emboldened to approach the throne of favor — by which even they are entitled to expect the boon — for he that doubts must not suppose "he will receive anything from the Lord." Without a sincere conviction and lively sense, then, of the divine agency in the preservation and government of the world, prayer, one of the most important and necessary duties and highest privileges of the Christian, becomes nothing but a ceremonious mockery — an absurd theory — and a useless practice.

3. The denial of the doctrine is characteristic of the wicked. Thus David says, "They encourage themselves in an evil matter; they commune of laying snares secretly; they say, Who shall see them?" (Ps. 1x1 v. 5). "He hath said it in his heart, God hath forgotten, he hideth his face, he will never see it" (Ps. x. 11). "Yet they say. The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it" (Ps. xciv. 7). 'Is not this great Babylon," said Nebuchadnezzar, "that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" But "while the word was yet in the king's


mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: the kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Moat llitjh ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."

4. The superintending rare of God is, on the other hand, the frequent theme of the righteous under former institutions. Thus Job xxi. 4, "Doth he not see my ways and count all my steps?" And David (Ps. xxxiii. 18, 19), "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him — upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine." Again, Ps. xciv. 8, 9, 10, "Undor-stand, ye among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? And he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chasteneth tho heathen, shall not he correct? And he that teach eth men knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man that they are vanity." From this belief Hezekiah prays, "Incline thine ear,

Lord, and see and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he hath, sent to reproach the living God." And Jeremiah exclaims, "O Lord,

1 know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."

5. In the New Testament the same doctrine is expressly taught. Paul declares to the Lycaonians (Acts xiv. 17), "He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." And again, to the Athenians, "In him we live, are moved, and have our being, as certain of your own poets have said. For we are also his offspring." And finally, he "who spoke as never man spoke," thus in his own beautiful and impressive manner, taught his disciples: "Are not two .sparrows sold for a penny? yet neither of them falleth to the ground without the will of your Father. Nay, the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matt. x. 29, 30). No language can more emphatically express the notice and superintendence of God. No man can tell the number of the hairs of his own head — hut God has numbered them every one!

It would, however, require me to transcribe much of both Old ani New Testament, were all the references and allusions to the divine agency in the preservation and government of the world, to be noticed and enumerated. Enough of evidence has been presented from reason and revelation to place the doctrine beyond dispute, and lead every one, we trust, to say with David, "O Lord, thou hast searched m^ and known me. Thou knowept my down-sitting and up-rising: thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compa.ssest my path and


my lying-down, and art acquainted with ail my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou Icnowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me — it is too high, I can not attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall 1 flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the nighij shall be light about me — yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light to thee are both alike." To Him, therefore, "through whom and by whom and to whom are all things." be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. r. r., 1836.


Lord! thou preservest man and beast. — David.

By preservation is meant the constant supply of the necessary wants of all animated creatures, and the sustaining their being and their powers and faculties, together with the natural or fixed order and constitution of the universe. As the main spring of a watch constantly yet silently supplies to the wheels that power which enables them to fulfill the purposes or perform the motions for which they were fitted by art, so it is by the continued agency of the Creator that all things are sustained in their appointed courses, and enabled to accomplish those actions or operations upon which the well-being, and even the existence, of the universe depend. The preservation of the world ip to be distinguished from the government of it, as we have already stated; and this distinction, as Sherlock has ably shown, is of much importance. For, as to sustain the natural faculties and powers of all creatures, is merely to continue that constitution or being with which they were at first created, it follows that the sins of wicked men are in no wise chargeable upon God, even though his power preserve the action of the very faculties which they misuse. It becomes the Creator to preserve the natures and faculties of the beings he has formed, and if they misuse these powers he can no more be blamed for this than for creating them at first with such powers. Hence all the objections offered upon the score of God's sustaining wicked men in life and being fall to the ground. The mere preservation of their natural powers does not imply the exertion of any influence, or the suggestion of any motive to induce them to employ those faculties in an unlawful manner, or for a wicked purpose. And it is evident that


men mere puppets, and often I'rustrate the purposes of God both in delivering the righteous and punishing the wicked in this world. That God does uccasionally thus withhold his blessings and interfere with men in many ways, is certain. But this we will consider under the head of government, as it is quite a different branch of the subject, and entirely distinct from that constant and uninterrupted agency by which the natural constitution of things is r.ustained and perpetuated.

This agency is not less certain, because it is insensibly and silently exerted. The motions of the earth and of the heavenly bodies are constant, but imperceptible. The grateful dews of heaven descend invisibly, and are perhaps noticed only in the bloom they leave upon the meadows. Thus the invisible agency of the Divine Being is perceived and demonstrated in its effects; as the human spirit, though unseen, is known by the actions which it performs; and the Creator thus sustains the universe, as the human heart supplies life to the frame by its unwearied action by night and by day, when we are awake or asleep, in motion, or at rest, though we may be wholly unconscious and insensible of its beating.

That the power of God is exerted in sustaining and preserving the world equally as in its creation, is expressly asserted by the apostle Peter. "By the w'ord of God," says he, "the heavens were of old, and the earth subsisting from the water and by water, by which the world that then was, being deluged with water, perished. But the present heavens and the earth, by the same icord are treasured up, being kept for fire to a day of judgment, and destruction of ungodly men." The same phraseology is here used to express the Divine agency in preserving the world as in creating it. The worlds were made by the "word of God" — they are "treasured up" and "kept" by "the same word."

It is, too, upon the preserving care of God and his goodness in supplying the wants of his creatures that the ancient saints have delighted to dwell. "By terrible things in righteousness," says David, "wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: which stilleth the noise of the sea, the noise of their waves and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid of thy tokens; thou niakest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; thou settest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers; thou blessest the springing thereof: thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness; and


the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks: the valleys also are covered over with corn: they shout for joy, they also sing." And again in the 104th Psalm: — "Bless the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty: who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind; who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming flre; who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled: at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over, that they turn not again to cover the earth. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, the herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted; where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir-trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work, and to his labor, until the evening. Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou jnade them all: the earth is full of thy riches; so is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships; there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them, they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works."


The same doctrine, as we have already shown, is taught under the New Institution. How striking and beautilul are the sayings of our Lord in his sermon on the mounti "I charge you, be not anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor about your body, what you shall wear. Is not life a greater gift than food, and the body than raiment? Observe the fowls of heaven. They neither sow nor reap. Thoy have no storehouse; but your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Besides, which of you can by his anxiety prolong his life one hour? And why are you anxious about raiment? Mark the lilies of the field. How do they grow? They toil not: they spin not. Yet I affirm that even Solomon in all his glory was not equally adorned with one of these. If, then, God so array the herbage, which to-day is in the field, and to-morrow will be cast into the oven, will he not much more array you, O you distrustful I Therefore say not anxiously (as the heathens do). What shall we eat; or what shall we drink; or with what shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and the righteousness required by him; and all these things shall be superadded to you." It was he also who taught his disciples to address to the Father the petition, "Give us this day our daily bread."

It were much to be desired that Christians manifested in our day that confidence in the superintending care of God which so well becomes their profession. It must be very evident to the most casual observer, that in this, as well as in almost everything else, they have sadly apostatized from ancient Christianity. Nothing is more certain indeed than that in this respect they are now far excelled — (I am ashamed to write it) — even by the ignorant Turks! These indeed have a strong dependence upon Providence. We are told that while Burchardt was on the road to Mecca, where provisions are often scarce, he contrived very dexterously to put some bread which had been left into his sleeve. Upon this a Turk said to him, "Now I have discovered you! You are a Christian dog, and because you did not trust Providence for a single day, you have stolen the bread."

There is nothing more conducive to the happiness as well as the safety of the Christian, than to encourage himself in a constant dependence upon God, "who giveth us all things richly to enjoy;" and nothing more honorable to him or consonant. with his profession than to abound in thanksgivings to Cod "at all times for all things." Nor is there on the other hand anything more incompatible or inconsistent with his character than unthankfulness and ingratitude. We can not, however, better close our reflections upon this subject than by the following



"Surely man is the most unreasonable of all God's creatures. Feed the birds of the air, or the beasts of the field, and they will be satisfied; but the more that is given to man, the more he requires."

"If he have riches, he will hug his bags of gold, and carry out his plans to increase them. If he have estates, he will join house to house, field to field, and vineyard to vineyard: give him a country, or a kingdom, and he will crave for more.

"When we rise in the morning, we expect to pass through the day prosperously. If we lie down to rest at night, we expect to enjoy refreshing slumber. If we propose a journey, we expect to perform it unmolested and uninjured.

"If we pass through one birthday, we expect to arrive at another in good health; to eat and to drink, to ride and to walk, to wake and to sleep, in peace; without considering that these things can not take place unless God, of his infinite mercy, keep us from a thousand temptations, and deliver us from ten thousand dangers.

"So continually are we partaking of God's blessings, that we look on them as things of course; the seed we sow must, in our apprehension, spring up abundantly; our tables must be provided for, and the mercies of yesterday must be supplied to-day, and those of this year continued to us through the next. How seldom do we offer up the prayer, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' with a full consciousness of our entire dependence on our heavenly Father for our earthly supplies; and how frequently do we feel more gratitude to our fellow worms for a passing act of kindness, than to the Lord of life and glory, for his permanent and unmerited mercies. We bow and cringe to a fellow-sinner, to obtain at his hands the empty baubles of an hour; while the love of the Redeemer of the world, the means of favor, and the hope of eternal glory, are sought for with indifference.

"Let us look more on our common mercies as the gifts of God. Let our health and our strength, our days and our nights, our bits and our drops, and our meanest comforts, be regarded as being bestowed by a heavenly benefactor, and bear in mind our own unworthiness, that we may be more reasonable in our desires, and more grateful when they are attained." R. R. 1836.


"Let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." — Jeremiah.

Government implies overruling power, authority, or dominion exercised by any one, either in person or by delegation. The idea,

THE MILLKSSIAL tlAliliISai:i{ AlililDQEU. 17

then, of the divine government of the universe is, that God exerts such an overruling power in directing and controlling the order, motions, powers, and actions of all created things or beings. It does not consist in a mere permitting certain events to happen, or a mere general superintendence over the regular operations and laws of the universe; but in an active and overruling influence or agency, employed in the accomplishment of certain important purposes, which purposes constitute the proper ends of government. These are mainly the disappointing of the designs of the wicked and the protection of the innocent — the distribution of punishments to the wicked, and rewards to the righteous.

Such are the objects of all government, and hence the ultimate relation of all government is to intelligent beings, and though all things are governed whether animate or inanimate, mind or matter, it is upon the higher orders of creation which are possessed of understanding and accountability that all the purposes of government terminate, as it is for them indeed that inferior things exist. Thus the earth which we inhabit is for the abode of man. "The heaven, even the heavens," says David, "are the Lord's; but the earth hath he given to the children of men." And while the elements, and that inferior constitution of things which exist for man, are controlled, they are rather the instruments than the proper subjects of the divine government.

Government differs from preservation in this, that while the latter merely sustains the established order or existence of things, the former directs and employs what is thus sustained for the accomplishment of the purposes specified. Thus while Paul declared to the Athenians that "God gave to all life and breath and all things," he also afl[irmed that "he was Loud of heaven and earth." The acts of preservation, too, are constantly required — but this is not the case with many of the acts which belong to government. Thus under human government we enjoy, for a long time, peace and protection, without any visible action on the part of the government, and we remain as it were ignorant of the existence of any law until that law is broken. A man may be a thief or a murderer in his heart, but it i<; only when he commits evil or attempts to do so, that government makes itself visible in prevention or punishment. So with the divine government; and whenever the actions of any one are likely to affect any other person, then it is that the providence of God is concerned, either to permit, prevent, punish, or reward such actions. There are, however, some other special acts, as changing laws, fulfilling treaties, covenants, etc., arising from the various internal or external relations of society, in which the agency of government, whether it be human or divine, may be displayed.


That the absolute control of all the various departments of creation is in the hands of God, is clearly taught in the Scriptures. "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" "The Lord reigneth," says David, "let the earth rejoice." "All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me," said Jesus, the "King whom God hath set upon Zion's holy hill," upon whose "shoulders" now rests the "government," and whose "reign" shall continue until all his enemies are subdued. For it is to him that the reins of universal empire are now committed, and to him that "angels and authorities and powers are made subject." Seated at the right hand of God, his foes shall be made his footstool; and though the "kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed, he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision — for to the Son hath he given the heathen for his inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. He shall break them with a rod of iron, he shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." "The Father loveth the Son," said Jesus, "and hath given all things into his hands" — "Blesised, therefore, are they who put their trust in him," and who "honor the Son even as they honor the Father." "For the Lord," says David, "is the salvation of the righteous, and he is their strength in time of trouble."

We will now briefly consider the means by which the purposes of the divine government are accomplished as it regards the human family.

1. By the agency of the elements, or by what are called natural phenomena. Thus in displaying his goodness and long-suffering, "he sends rain upon the just and unjust," and gives to men "showers of rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness." Or, in order to punish and reform the disobedient, he deprives them of these blessings, as he declares in Amos iv. 6, "And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one place was rained upon, and the place whereupon it rained not withered. So two 01 three cities wandered into one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens, and your vineyards, and your fig-trees, and your olive-trees increased, tho palmer-worm devoured them; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord." By the controlling of natural influences Jeremiah distin-


gulshes (Jod from the idols of the heathen. He asks, "Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Art not thou he, O Lord our God?" The Lord himself inquires of Job, "Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings that they may go and say unto thee. Here we are?" "Whatsoever the Lord pleased," says David, "that did he in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deep places. He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings for the rain: he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries" (Ps. cxxxv.). And in Ps. cxlviii. he represents the "stormy wind" as "fulfllling his word.' Paul in Hebrews, quoting Ps. civ., says. He "maketh winds his angels and flaming fire his ministers." H was accordingly by a strong east wind that God brought the locusts from the deserts upon the land of Egypt — and by a west wind that he cast them into the Red Sea. It was by lightnings and fire and hail that he destroyed the crops of the Egyptians and "all that was in the field." "He destroyed their vines with hail," says the Psalmist, "and their sycamore trees with great hailstones. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts" — and thus "cast upon them the fierceness of his anger" by "sending," as he says, "evil angels among them." Again, it was by "the wind" that he "brought quails from the sea" for the children of Israel. (Num. xi. 31.) "He caused," says David, "an east wind to blow in from heaven; and by his power he brought in the south wind: he rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowl like as the sand of the sea; and he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations" (Ps. Ixxviii.). It was also by "a strong east wind" that ho caused the waters of the Red Sea to "go back all night, and made the sea dry land" for the Israelites to pass over. In this occurrence, however, there was also a miraculous agency, for the waters "stood like a wall upon their right hand and upon their left." And here we may observe, that in bringing about certain events both a providential and miraculous agency are employed. As far as natural causes or ordinary agencies can be useful, they are employed, and miracles (which we have said involve an interruption of established laws) are then, if necessary, superadded. For instance, when "certain Chaldeans" accused the three Hebrew captives, because they would not worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar and they were thrown into the fiery furnace, it was miraculous power which prevented the flames from hurting theni; but in the destruction of their enemies, who were slain by the flame of the fire while executing the king's urgent command, we perceive no miracle, but the providence of God. Again, it was through a miracle that Daniel escaped in the lions' den; but the lions acted in accordance with their nature, when


they tore in pieces the enemies of Daniel, who, by means of the divine or providential agency, were thrown within their power.

We can easily see, then, how the Divine Being can often accomplish the important purposes of government by means of natural agents. He thus punishes his enemies and delivers his people, and by means of pestilence and famine, by earthquakes, and the direction and control of ordinary and established influences, he can not only circumvent and frustrate the designs of the wicked, but bring down upon their own heads the evil which they designed for others. He thus changes the purposes of kings, and defeats their armies, as when he brought the simoon upon the army of Sennacherib and destroyed in one night 185,000 men, causing him to return with shame into his own land, because he defied the Lord and sought to take Jerusalem. Queen Elizabeth was so much impressed with a sense of divine agency in the dispersion of that immense armament, the Spanish Armada, and its destruction by storms and tempests, so that they could not even effect a landing in England, that she had a medal struck upon the occasion, representing a fleet beaten by a tempest and the ships dashing upon each other, with the motto Afflavit Deus ET uissipantur: "He blew ivitJi his ivind and they were scattered."

2. By means of the animal and insect tribes. Thus flies, frogs, and locusts became the instruments of punishment to the Egyptians, and flying serpents to the Israelites in the wilderness. Thus a lion met the disobedient man of God who prophesied against the altar at Bethel and slew him, but was not permitted to devour the body nor tear the ass upon which he rode. Bears also came out of the wood and destroyed the children who mocked Elisha; and worms devoured Herod, when, after his speech, the people cried, "It is the voice of a god and not of a man!" and he did not give God the glory.

3. By a concurrence of circumstances. It is well known how great an influence the peculiar circumstances which surround men have upon them, and how the most important events are brought about by circumstances often of the most trivial character. Thus Joseph's dreams excited the hatred of his brethren — his father sent him down to them in Dothan — they conspired to kill him — but it happened as it were accidentally that certain Ishmaelites passed by on their way to Egypt, and they sold him to them — they took him to Egypt — he was there tempted and imprisoned, but afterwards liberated when recalled to the memory of the chief butler by the apparently trifling circumstance of Pharaoh's dream — and finally exalted to great power in Egypt. Thus, by a singular train of circumstances, not only his dreams were verified, and his brethren brought to bow before him, but the preservation of Egypt and the prophecy of God to Abraham that Israel should sojourn in a strange land four hundred years were


accomplished. Yet all these important ends were ordered and brought about by the Divine Being. "As for you," said Joseph to his brethren, "ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good." That Is to say, "you intended evil, but God disappointed your designs, and brought the most happy consequences out of your evil action."

Sometimes, indeed, God hinders the actions of the wicked, but at other times he permits these to take place, and then counteracts their designs and brings upon themselves the evil which they designed for the righteous. Thus Haman was, by a peculiar train of circumstances, emboldened to erect a gallows for Mordecai. On the other hand, Ahasuerus was prepared, by reading during a sleepless night in the chronicles of the kings of Persia respecting the meritorious conduct o£ Mordecai, to meet Haman in the morning with the question, "What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" And after he had replied under the impression that he himself was meant, he was compelled to do these very honors to Mordecai, and was finally hung upon the gallows he had himself erected. Thus "the wicked are

snared in the work of their own hands" (Ps. ix. ).

We have a remarkable instance of the fulfillment of prophecy by a train of apparently accidental circumstances in the case of Ahab. "In the place," said the prophet, "where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine." Accordingly when Ahab went up to fight against Ramoth-Cilead, it being foretold that he would perish there, he disguised himself. But "a certain man" we are told "drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king between the joints of his harness." Being then taken out of the ranks and supported in his chariot until evening, when he died, the blood ran out of the wound into the chariot. Now, that chariot and his bloody armor were washed subsequently in the pool of Samaria, and there dogs licked up his blood according to the word of the Lord!

Thus it is that the most accidental circumstances are directed and overruled by the Divine Being, and by means of a thousand unforeseen and casual occurrences he can frustrate the best laid schemes of wicked men, and bestow upon others the most unexpected favors and deliverances.

4. By the agency of men. Good men, although they have sometimes been made to execute divine judgments, are more frequently made instruments to effect the kind and benevolent purposes of Heaven. They are taught to be "a peculiar people, zealous of good works," and are induced to engage in many undertakings which result in the most beneficial consequences to society. By them it is that the knowledge of the true God is spread abroad through all lands, and the gospel of salvation presented to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. And it is with them indeed often a subject of wonder and


admiration how unexpectedly, and by what simple circumstances, they have been rendered the ministers of the most signal benefits to the poor and needy — to the despairing sinner — to the oppressed — to the orphan and the widow. Thus God has raised up in every age of the world, from among his people, the benefactors of mankind. Noah preserved the whole human race, and became the heir and founder of a new world — In Abraham and in his seed all the nations of the earth are blessed — And by means of Luther, the dark ages of bigotry and superstition have given place to the light of divine truth, and the improvements of science and civilization.

Wicked men, on the other hand, are usually the instruments of vengeance. It is their delight to do evil; and though God never prompts them to evil, yet when they have determined upon any bad action, it concerns him either to hinder it, or direct where the stroke shall fall, and perhaps cause it, as we have already remarked, to descend upon the wicked person himself. In this way one wicked person is permitted to punish another, and sometimes even to inflict chastisement upon children of God who are disobedient. Hence the wicked are fitly called the sword of God. Thus David prays, "Deliver my soul from the wicked which is thy stvord." They are also compared to "a razor." "In that same day," says Isaiah, "shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet, and it shall also consume the beard." It is, however, to ravenous birds and beasts of prey that they are most frequently likened. "Remember this," says the Lord in Jeremiah, "and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous hird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." "Behold," says Jeremiah, speaking of Edom, "he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong." And Ezekiel says of Pharaoh, "Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas. Thus saith the Lord, The sword ot the king of Babylon shall come upon thee — and by the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall." Again in Isaiah: "Therefore Is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people. And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and behold they shall come with speed swiftly— their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions; yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall


carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it." It is worthy of remark also that dragons, eagles, lions, and various savage beasts, form the symbols by which ambitious and wicked kings and rulers are commonly represented in the prophecies. And in that remarkable and affecting Psalm, the 22d, where the sufferings of Christ are spoken of as being caused by the wicked, the latter are represented under the same striking figure: "Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulla have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have l>eset me round. They gapod upon me with their moutlis, as a ravening and a roaring lio7i. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax: it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the •wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."

Now it is very evident that the Divine Being can and does accomplish many of the important objects of government by means of wicked men — and this, not by making them wicked, or suggesting to them wicked designs, but simply by bringing those who are appointed to suffer within their power, and permitting the wicked to follow their own natural inclinations; just as a criminal would be subjected to the rage of a wild beast. Hence the apostle says in reference to our Saviour: "Him, being given up by the declared counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have apprehended, and by the hands of sinners have crucified and slain." The "giving" or " vp" was God's doing — but the taking, crucifying, and slaying was the work of sinners, acting according to their own evil disposition. Yet in murdering the Prince of Life, they accomplished the purposes of God, else he •would not have given his Son into their hands. This, however, does not at all alTect them as it regards the question of their own guiltiness or accountability. It is the delight of the ungodly to do evil — to kill and to destroy, and it is an important part of the divine government to protect the righteous from their machinations, so that they are never permitted to hurt them, except for some special reason. Hence •when Pilate said to Jesu.s, "Do you not know that I have power to crucify you, and power to release you?" he replied. "You could have no power over me, unless it were given you from above." The wicked, then, are kept as it were caged or chained, and are not permitted to do or attempt evil to others except when God pleases, nor any nioro evil than he pleases, or than is necessary for their own punishment, or that of other wicked men, or the chastisement of his own people. 01 finally for the manifestation of the long-suffering and justice of the divine character. Thus God. to inflict a certain degree of punishment upon Ahaz, said he would bring upon him the king of Assyria. But


when the king of Assyria came, he in his pride and ambition blasphemed the Lord and wished to take and destroy Jerusalem altogether. "0 Assyrian," says God, "the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give a charge to take the spoil. However, he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so: but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria and the glory "of his high looks. Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire."

5. By the ministry of .^xgels. Angelic beings have often been employed to carry into effect the divine counsels. Indeed, it is not improbable that many of the phenomena of the material universe which we are wont to attribute to visible or ordinary causes, are really occasioned bytheir agency. When David, for instance, committed sin in numbering Israel, and the Lord gave him the choice of three evils — seven years' famine, to be defeated during three months by his enemies, or three days' pestilence, he chose the latter: and the Lord sent a pestilence, and there died 70,000 men. Yet we are told that this was done by an angel, and that the Lord then said to "the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Oman the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." It is said also that it was the "angel of the Lord" who smote Herod. The Scriptures indeed abound with illustrations of this. And that the peculiar class of beings denominated angels, are made instruments of the divine government, can not be doubted. They have indeed in numberless instances been employed to perform miracles. Thus, an angel is said to have preserved Daniel from the lions, and to have revealed to him visions of the future. An angel delivered a message to Zacharias, and caused him to be dumb in consequence of his unbelief. Yet we are expressly informed that they are "ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation;" and we know not in how many various ways they may, without contravening any of the ordinary or established laws of the universe, defend and protect the just, disappoint the designs of the wicked, and


give such a direction to the course of things as to accomplish the most important results.

Upon these delicate themes and thinj^s invisible we presume not to speculate, nor to say by how many unknown and secret agencies the Divine Being preserves and governs the world. It is sufficient to know that God may and has accomplished his designs by the means which we have specified, and to be assured that the "eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears open to their supplication;" that "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way; and though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand:" that "although the wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth, the Lord shall laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming:" and that "the Lord shall deliver the righteous: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in him — because they have made the Most High their refuge; he shall cover them with his feathers, and under his wings they shall trust: his truth shall be their shield and buckler."


"The Lord is good: a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." — Naiium.

"The general providence of God" is a phrase employed by many to denote the agency which we have considered under the head of Preservation. Special providences, on the other hand, have usually been confounded with the interpositions of the Divine Being in the government of the world. It is easily perceived, however, that there are no just grounds for such a distinction between government and preservation, or for such an application of the terms general and special, since the agency employed in the preservation of men may be as special as acts of government.

Nor is it to be supposed that a general superintendence over the world consists in a mere supervision of universal laws or principles, while special providences are the particular instances in which these laws are administered and applied; for we can have no idea of the Divine agency in the affairs of men except as it is exerted in individual cases; nor can we at all regard the control of laws and principles as an end or a peculiar department of the Divine government, when it is only the means by which ulterior purposes are accomplished in relation to intelligent and accountable beings who are the only legitimate subjects of that control or interference which is termed providential.

The truth is, that as generals are made up of particulars, we can not conceive of a general providence without involving the idea of a


special one; nor can we imagine how the Divine Being can govern the whole human family without governing every particular individual who composes it. If, therefore, there be room for the distinction now under consideration, it is to be found in the peculiar character of the agency employed, or the degree in which it is exercised, rather than in the fact of such exercise itself.

In this view of the matter the distinction spoken of becomes a very just and important one. For nothing is more certain than that while the Creator governs and sustains all men, he pays more particular regard to a certain portion of the human family, which thus becomes the object of his peculiar care. This particular portion is composed of those who put their trust in him. And that God does so distinguish them is plainly asserted by the sacred writers. Paul declares that He "is the Saviour of all men, especially of those tcho believe:" — thus employing the very term by which the distinction is characterized.

We can as easily conceive this to be the case, as that God can be omnipresent — that he can "fill heaven and earth," and yet be more immediately and in a special and peculiar sense present in heaven, which is represented as his "dwelling-place," and as the "throne of his glory;" or that a monarch can superintend and administer the affairs of a vast empire, and pay respect to the interests of the whole community, while at the same time he views with peculiar complacency his immediate followers and dependents, and treats with special favor and affection the members of his own family.

This special regard must be considered as extending itself to every thing which can in any degree affect the character or happiness of those who are the subjects of it, whether it be to the bestowment of favors or the infliction of merited punishment, which may be in different cases or at different periods equally proofs of peculiar kindness. Hence while it is declared by Paul to the Hebrews that "the Lord is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him," he reminds them of the exhortation "which," says he, "reasons with you as with children — 'My son, do not think lightly of the Lord's chastisement, neither faint when you are rebuked by him: for whom the Lord loves he chastises, and scourges every son whom he receives,' " and proceeds to argue that if they were without that necessary chastisement, of which all sons are partakers, it would be a proof of neglect and would imply that they were regarded as bastards or aliens, and undeserving of the care exercised over the proper members of the family.

Such, then, is the special care bestowed by the Divine Being upon the "household of faith." He is their "Father in heaven" and they are his "children." He views with peculiar interest their condition and their conduct — "His eyes are over the righteous and his ears are


open to their supplication." He shall "hide them in the secret of his presence from the pride of man: he shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." For the Lord "loveth the righteous" and "taketh pleasure in his people — he will beautify the meek with salvation" and "fulfill the desire of them that fear him." Again, he is the "king" that reigns "in Sion" and "Israel is his dominion." He "shows his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He has not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them." Or, he is the "Shepherd of Israel" and "leads Joseph like a flock" — he leads him to the lofty "rock" for shelter; he feeds him in the "green pastures" and makes him to drink of the "river" of his pleasures.

When indeed we wish to form a proper idea of the special care which God has over his people, we have but to contemplate his former dealings with the literal Israel, and remember who are "Israel" now. As he admitted his ancient people to peculiar privileges; as he delivered them from their enemies, and made them the instrument both of vengeance and of salvation, while he failed not to punish their transgressions and to reward their obedience; so is he now the Father and the God — the King, the Shepherd, and the Saviour of his people; and "his face" is still "against them that do evil;" — he will yet "destroy the wicked" and "cut off the remembrance of them from the earth;" and when they "draw out the sword, and bend their bow to cast down the poor and needy, and slay such as be of upright conversation, their sword shall enter into their own heart and their bows shall be broken."

In all a^es have the righteous been the subjects of God's special providence, and a more particular regard has been paid to them both in their preservation and government than to any other portion of the human family. It may be well to observe, too, that on account of the relation which subsists between God and his people, an interference on their behalf is suspended upon certain conditions which have no place where the world at large is concerned. They are the children of God, and as such are expected to ask for what they need. This is not the case with un])elievers, who will not, of course, call upon one of whom they have not heard or in whom they have not believed. To the latter, therefore, the bounties of heaven are dispensed, and all necessary aid administered in the general care which God has over all his creatures; while the latter are admitted to the high privilege of making their requests known to God, and of receiving from him greater and more precious favors. Thus he causes his Eun to rise upon the evil, sends rain upon the unjtist, and permits the wicked to enjoy unasked prosperity, that his goodness may lead them to reformation. But it is the righteous who are to pray for "daily bread," and daily preservation, who find it a "good thing to.


give thanks unto the Lord — to speak of his loving-kindness in th«i morning and of his faithfulness every night;" and who can experience deliverance from the Lord "because they trust in him." The enjoyment of the wicked arises from the long-suffering of God; but if the righteous "have not," it is only because they "ask not," or because they ask tor improper things or purposes.

Prayer, therefore, is of the greatest importance to the children of God Their petitions should be as frequent as their wants; and their thanksgivings, as their blessings. Yet from their comparative ignorance of their true interests and circumstances, it is very certain that they often not only fail to ask when they ought, but desire things which would be injurious to themselves or imcompatible with the happiness of others. It is in these instances that the Divine Being, like a kind parent, may bestow necessary blessings unrequired, and withhold those things which, however ardently desired, would be fatal to the possessor. Nevertheless it is highly requisite that Christians, since they know the will of Cod, should ask those things which are "according to his will." It is only by so doing, in an humble reliance upon the Divine promise, that they can have the assurance of being heard; and such are the only petitions which are just or proper, as the will of God is the only rule of rectitude, and there can be no higher or better wish than this, that "the will of God should be done on earth as it is in heaven."

We have not space at present to enter as fully upon the subject of prayer in connection with special providences, as its importance deserves. It may be further observed, however, in relation to the objections of those who doubt the efficacy of prayer, that in order to form just views respecting it, it is necessary that several essential matters be attended to. It must be remembered that not only suitable requests are to be made, but that these are to be made in a proper manner — with earnestness, sincerity, and perseverance. Proper requests are sometimes presented in such an indifferent and careless way as plainly to show that the petitioner cares little about the things for which he prays, and consequently does not deserve them. At other times prayers are offered up, with the most earnest and ardent zeal, for things which are nowhere promised, and which, requiring miraculous or supernatural power for their accomplishment, are wholly inconsistent with the present economy of Heaven. Again, as it is impossible for men to know with accuracy what things they really need, or the proper times at which they should be granted, or even the channels through which they should be conveyed, so it would be plainly presumptuous in them to prescribe definitely in any of these matters to an Omniscient and Omnipotent Being. Christians undoubtedly are entitled to plead the promises of God; but there are no


express promises or special revelations to any particular individual, as many have absurdly supposed while under the influence of selflove or the visions of a heated imagination; and men often err in expecting the fulfillment of promises which have been already fully accomplished, and have no relation whatever to them, or even to the age in which we live. There are certain general promises upon which Christians may securely depend; such as that "God will never leave them nor forsake them" — and that "all things shall work together for good to them who love God;" and they manifest a much greater degree of confidence in the Divine Being, when, depending upon his regard and love for them, and sensible that he is best acquainted with their circumstances and their wants, they make their desires known to him, putting themselves at the same time absolutely in his hands — with a full persuasion that he will grant the wishes they have expressed, or what shall be better for them.

Sceptics and unbelievers have nothing to do with prayer either in theory or practice. "God hears not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God and doeth his will, him he hears." Sceptics profanely regard prayer as an experimenting upon the Divine promises, or a putting the Lord God to the proof; and their ignorance and folly will perhaps be apparent to themselves only when they experience the Divine faithfulness in the accomplishment of the solemn declaration that "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish shall be to every soul of man that doeth evil." It is the people of God who are admitted to communion with him, and who have been in all ages, as we have alicady remarked, the object of his peculiar care, and for whose sake he has so often specially interfered in the affairs of men.

When, indeed, we reflect upon the history of the human family, we can not fail to be struck with the important influence which the righteous have exerted over the condition and destiny of mankind. Noah became the means of preserving the whole race of Adam from extinction; and the existence of ten just persons in the city of Sodom would, through the intercession of Abraham, have saved it from destruction. For Israel's sake God smote the Egyptians, and expelled the inhabitants of Canaan; it was to punish his people for their apostacy that he delivered them into the hands of the king of Babylon, and to release them from captivity that he raised up Cyrus, and opened before him the two-leaved gates of that illustrious city. In short, they are represented as the "salt of the earth," and the "light of the world" — as those upon whose account long-suffering is exercised towards the guilty, and who are made the Instruments of dispensing the knowledge of God and of spiritual things to the sons of men. Hence it becomes their duty to pray and make intercession for all men — for kings and rulers, and not only to pray but to labor for


the convei'sion of the world — "for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." And it is most important that they should remember the high responsibilities which rest upon them, and that God has been pleased to suspend his favors towards men in a good degree upon the obedience and the prayers of his own people, as in Babylon the Jews were commanded to "seek the peace of the city" and "pray unto the Lord for it."

How glorious then is Zion! "God is known in her palaces for a refuge." The "daughters of Judah" rejoice "because of his judgments," for he "preserveth the souls of his saints and delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked — the Lord God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

How precious in the sight of God are them who love him and have laid hold of his covenant! "Fear not," says the prophet, "for thou Shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thy husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment: but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but thy kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

"0 thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I bave created the waster to destroy.


"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the l.ord."


Having in the foregoing essays (however imperfectly) defined the leading terms and sketched the main thoughts embraced by the subject of Divine Providence, I deem it expedient to close the examination of it for the present with the termination of the current volume of this work. Aware, however, of the various difficulties and objections which prevail in the minds of men with regard to the superintendence of God over the universe, I will in the meantime cheerfully receive such exceptions or questions as may be presented in relation thereto, and pay to them the attention which their importance may require.

As for you, oh! beloved and faithful, who have made a covenant with God, it is your happy privilege to repose upon his mercy and his truth, and to cast your "anxious cares" upon him, under the confident assurance that he "cares for you." It is your delight to contemplate the doings of the Most High, and to know that, in the language of the poet,

" 'TiB (;<j(l nlono with uniiiipassiim'd si^lit, Siirvcy.s the nico barrier of wroiif? and right; And while, siilwervient, a.s his will ordains, Obedient Nature yields the present means; While neither foree nor passions puide his views. E'en Kvil works the purpose he pursues! That bitter sprinp. tlie .souree of human pain. Heal'd by his toneli, does mineral health eontain; .\iid dark aflliction at his jintent rod. Withdraws its cloud, and brightens into good."

It is yours to learn in the sanctuary the end of the wicked; to comprehend why the long-suffering of God permits them often to flourish like a tree which groweth in its own soil; and to be assured that

"If while on earth triiiiuphant vice prevails, Celestial .Iustie<^ balances her .scales; With eye unbiass'd all the .scene surveys. With hand impartial i-v'ry crime she weighs;

Oft close pursuing at his trembling heels, J

The man of blood her awful ]))-<>sence feels; Oft by her arm, amidst tinbla/.e of state, The regal tyrant, with success elate. Is forc'd to leap the precipice of fate'. Or, if the villain pass unpunish'd here. 'Tis but to make the future stroke severe; For soon or late eternal Justice pays Mankind the just desert of all their ways."

How important, then, that all your conduct should be regulated by these conviction?: How necessary that the Divine will and approba-


tion s'nould be consulted in all your affairs and undertakings! And how conducive to your spiritual and eternal interest that you should ever realize the presence and unceasing care of your Heavenly Benefactor!

Of God's government, Mr. Campbell wrote in 1833, page 206:

Next to preservation, as that signifies God's upholding all things in being, and preserving and actuating their natural powers, we must consider God's government of the world. For God is the supreme and sovereign Lord of the world, who iloeth whatsoever pleaseth hivi both in heaven and in earth; and therefore the absolute government of all things must be in his hands, or else something might be done which he would not have done.

This all men grant in general words, who own a Providence; but when they come to particulars, there are so many excepted cases, which they will hardly allow God to have anything to do in, that they seem to mean little more by God's government than a general inspection of human affairs, his looking on to see the world govern itself; for three parts of four of all that is done in the world they resolve into bare permission as distinguished from an ordering and disposing providence; and then it can signify no more than that God does not hinder it. And if this be all, God governs the world in such cases no more than men do. The only difference is, that God can hinder when he does not; but men do not hinder because they can not; but still not to hinder does not signify to govern.

But rightly to understand this matter, the best way is to consider how the Scripture represents it; and because there are great varieties of acts in the government of the world of a very different consideration, I shall distinctly inquire into God's government of causes, and his government of events.

1. God's government of causes. And we must consider three sorts of causes, and what the Scripture attributes to God with respect to each. 1st. Natural causes. 2d. Accidental causes, or what we call chance, and accident, and fortune. 3d. Moral causes and free agents, or the government of mankind.

1st. Natural causes, or God's government of the natural world, of the heavens, and earth, and seas, and air, and all things in them which move and act by a necessity of nature, not by chance. Now the Scripture does not only attribute to God all the virtues and powers of nature which belong to creation, and to a preserving Providence, but the direction and government of all their natural influences to do what God has a mind should be done. God does in some measure govern the moral by the natural world. He rewards or punishes men by a wholesome or pestilential air, by fruitful or barren seasons. He hinders or promotes their designs by winds and weather, by a forward


or a backward spring, and makes nature give laws to men, and sets bounds to tbeir iiassions and intrigues; to overthrow the most powerful fleets and armies; to defeat the wisest counsels, and to arbitrate the differences of princes, and the fate of men and kingdoms. And if God govern men by nature, he must govern nature too; for necessary causes can not be fitted to the government of free agents without the direction and management of Uivine Providence, which guides, exerts, or suspends the influences of nature with as great freedom as men act. Men do not always deserve well or ill; and if the kind of malign influences of nature must be tempered to men's deserts, to punish them when they do ill, and to reward them when they do well, natural causes, which of themselves act necessarily without wisdom or counsel, must be guided by a wise hand.

Thus reason tells us it must be if God govern the world, and God challenges to himself this absolute and sovereign empire over nature. God has bestowed different virtues and powers on natural causes, and in ordinary cases makes use of the powers of nature, and neither acta without them nor against the laws of nature, which makes some unthinking men resolve all into nature without a God or a Providence. Because, excepting the case of miracles, which they are not willing to believe, they see everything else done by the powers of nature. And if it were not so, God had made a world and made nature to no purpose, to do everything himself by an immediate power, without making use of the powers of nature. But the ordinary government of nature does not signify to act without it or to overrule its powers, but to steer and guide its motions to serve the wise ends of his providence in the government of mankind.

For as God does not usually act without nature, nor against its laws, so neither does nature act by steady and uniform motions without the direction of God. But while everything in the material world acts necessarily and exerts its natural powers, God can temper, suspend, direct its influence, without reversing the laws of nature. As, for instance, fire and water, wind and rain, thunder and lightning, have their natural virtues and powers, and natural causes, and God produces such effects as they are made to produce by their natural powers. He warms us with fire— invigorates the earth by the benign infiuence of the sun and moon, and other stars and planets; refreshes and moistens it with springs and fountains and rain from heavenfans the air with winds, and purges it with thunders and lightnings, and the like. But then when and where the rains shall fall and the winds shall blow, in what measure and proportion, times and seasons natural causes shall give or withhold their influences, this God keeps in his own power, and can govern without altering the standing laws of nature; and this is his government of natural causes in order to


reward or punish men as they shall deserve. Thus God reasons with Job concerning his power and providence (Job xxxviii. 31, 32, etc.), "Canst thuu bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst ihou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season, or catist thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven, or canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings that they may go and say unto thee. Here we are?" This is above human power, but belongs to the government and providence of God. "Fire and hail, snow and vapor, and stormy winds fulfill his word" (Ps. cxlviii. 8). Sometimes God restrains the influences of nature, "shuts up heaven that it shall not rain" (II. Chron. vii. 13). And at other times he "calls to the clouds that abundance of water may cover the earth. He gives the former and the latter rain in its season, and preserveth to us the appointed weeks of harvest" (Jer. v. 24), as he promised to Israel (Deut. xi. 14, 15), "I will give you the rain of your land in due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine and thy oil; and I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full." He prescribes in what proportions it shall rain (Joel ii. 23, 24), "Be glad, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord ycur God; for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the former rain and the latter rain in the first month." Nay, God appoints on what place it shall rain (Ezek. xxxiv. 26), "And I will make thee and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." Amos iv. 7, 8: "And also I have withholden the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest. And I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city. One piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered; so two or three cities wandered to one city to drink water, but they were not satisfied."

It is impossible to give any tolerable account of such texts as these, without confessing that God keeps the direction and government of all natural causes in his own hands. For particular effects, and all the changes of nature can never be attributed to God, unless the divine wisdom and counsel determine natural causes to the producing such particular effects. Great part of the happiness or miseries of this life is owing to the good or bad influences of natural causes. That if God take care of mankind he must govern nature; and when he promises health and plenty, or threatens pestilence and famine, how can he make good either if he have not reserved to himself a sovereign power over nature?


The sum is this, that all natural causes are under the immediate and absolute government of Providenc(^-that God keeps the springs of nature in his own hands, and turns them as he pleases. For mere matter, though it be endowed with all the natural virtues and powers which necessarily produce their natural effects; yet it having no wisdom and counsel of its own, can not serve the ends of a free agent without being guided by a wise hand. And we see in a thousand instances what an empire human art has over nature— not by changing the nature of things, which human art can never do; but by such skillful application of causes as will produce such effects as unguided, and, if I may so speak, untaught, nature could never have produced. And if God have subjected nature to human art. surely he has not exempted it from his own guidance and power.

This shows how necessary it is that God, by an immediate providence, should govern nature. For natural causes are excellent instruments; but to make them useful they must be directed by a skillful hand. And those various changes which are in nature; especially in this sublunary world (which we are most acquainted with), without any certain and periodical returns, prove that it is not all mechanism; for mechanical motions are fixed and certain, and either always Che same or regular and uniform in their changes.

It is of great use to us to understand this, which teaches us what we may expect from God, and what we must attribute to him in the government of nature. We must not expect in ordinary cases that God should reverse the laws of nature for us; that if we leap into the fire it shall not burn us; or into the water, it shall net drown us. And by the same reason the providence of God is not concerned to preserve us when we destroy ourselves by intemperance and lust; for God does not work miracles to deliver men from the evil effects of their own wickedness and folly. But all the kind influences of heaven which supply our wants, and fill our hearts with food and gladness, are owing to that good providence which commands nature to yield her increase; and those disorders of nature which afflict the world with famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes, are the effects of God's anger and displeasure, and are ordered by him for the punishment of a wicked world. We must all believe this, or confess that we mock God when we bless him for a healthful air and fruitful season or deprecate his anger when we see the visible tokens of his venge ance in the disorders of nature. For did not Cod immediately interpose in the government of nature, there would be no reason to beg his favor, or to deprecate his anger upon these accounts.

2d. Let us consider God's government of accidental causes, or what we call chance and accident, which has a large empire over human affair.". Not that chance and accident can do anything, properly speak-



ing (for whatever is done has some proper and natural cause which does it) ; but what we call accidental causes, is rather such an accidental concurrence of different causes, as produces unexpected and undesigned effects: as when one man, by accident, loses a purse of gold, and another man, walking the fields, without any such expectation, by as great an accident, finds it. And how much of the good or evil that happens to us in this world, is owing to such undesigned, surprising, accidental events, every man must know who has made any observations on his own or other men-'s lives and fortunes. The wise man observed this long since (Eccles. ix. 11), "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; neither yet bread to the wise; nor yet riches to men of understanding; nor yet favor to men of skill: but time and chance happeneth to them all." Some unusual and casual events change the fortunes of men, and disappoint the most proper and natural means of success. What should conquer in a race but swiftness; or win the battle but strength? What should supply men's wants and increase riches, but wisdom and understanding in human affairs? What more likely way to gain the favor of princes and people, than a dexterous and skillful application and address? And yet the preacher observed in his days, and the observation holds good still, that it is not always thus: time and chance, some favorable junctures, and unseen accidents, are more powerful than all human strength, or art, or skill.

Now what an ill state were mankind in, did not a wise and merciful hand govern what we call chance and fortune? How can God govern the world, or dispose of men's lives and fortunes, without governing chance, all unseen, unknown and surprising events, which disappoint the counsels of the wise, and in a moment unavoidably change the whole scene of human affairs? Upon what little unexpected things do the fortunes of men, of families, of whole kingdoms turn! And unless these little unexpected things are governed by God, some of the greatest changes in the world are exempted from his care and providence.

This is reason enough to believe, that if God governs the world, he governs chance and fortune; that the most unexpected events, how casual soever they appear to us, are foreseen and ordered by God.

Such events as these are the properest objects of God's care and government, because they are very great instruments of Providence. Many times the great things are done by them, and they are the most visible demonstration of a superior wisdom and power which governs the world. But these means God disappoints the wisdom of the wise, and defeats the power of the mighty; "frustrateth the tokens of the liar, and maketh diviners mad; turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish" ( Isa. xliv. 25). Did strength and


wisdom always prevail, as in a great measure they would were it not for such unseen disappointments; mankind would take less notice of Providence, and would have less reason to do it, since they would be the more absolute masters of their own fortunes. A powerful combination of sinners, managed by some crafty politicians, would govern the world; but the uncertain turnings and changes of fortune keep mankind in awe, make the most prosperous and powerful sinners fear an unseen vengeance, and give security to good men against unseen evils, which can not befall them without the order and appointment of God.

That there are a great many accidental and casual events, which happen to us all, and which are of great consequence to the happiness or miseries of our lives, all men see and feel. That we can not defend ourselves from such unseen events, which we know nothing of till we feel them, is as manifest as that there are such events; and what so properly belongs to the divine care, as that which we ourselves can take no care of? The heathens made fortune a goddess, and attributed the government of all things to her tiuhe kuberna panta; whereby they only signified the government of Providence in all casual and fortuitous events; and if Providence govern anything, it must govern chance, which governs almost all things else, and which none but God can govern. As far as human prudence and foresight reach, God expects we should take care of ourselves; and if we will not, he suffers us to reap the fruits of our own folly; but when we can not take care of ourselves, we have reason to expect and hope that God will take care of us. In other cases human prudence and industry must concur with the divine providence in matters of chance and accident, providence must act alone and do all itself, for we know nothing of it; so that all the arguments for providence do most strongly conclude for God's government of all casual events.

And the Scripture does as expressly attribute all such events to God, as any other acts of providence and government. In the law of Moses, when a man killed his neighbor by accident, God is said to deliver him into his hands. Ex. xxi. 12, 13: "He that smiteth a man so that he die, shall be surely put to death. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hands, then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee:" where "God's delivering him into hia hands" is opposed to him "that smiteth a man so that he die," and "to him that comes presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him" (15th verse), and therefore signifies one who kills his neighbor by mere accident, as it is explained in Deut. xix. 4, 5, "And this is the case of the slayer that shall flee thither" (i. e.. to the city of refuge) : "whoso killeth his neighbor ignorantly. whom he hated not in time past — as when a man gooth into the wood with his neighbor to hew


wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor that he die — he shall flee unto one of these cities, and live." What can be more accidental than this? And yet we are assured that this is appointed by the divine providence; that God delivers the man ■who is killed into the hands of him that killed him.

Is anything more casual than a lot? And yet Solomon tells us, "The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord" (Prov. xvi. 33); which is not confined to the case of lots, but to signify to us that nothing is so casual and uncertain, as to be exempted from the disposal of Providence. For what seems accidental to us, is not chance, but providence — is ordered and appointed by God to bring to pass what his own wisdom and counsel has decreed; as is very evident from some remarkable instances of providence which are recorded. in Scripture.

By how many seeming accidents and casual events was Joseph advanced to Pharaoh's throne? His dreams, whereby God foretold his advancement, made his brethren envious at him, and watch some convenient opportunity to get rid of him, and so confute his dreams. Jacob sends Joseph to visit his brethren in the fields, where they were keeping their sheep. This gave them an opportunity to execute their revenge, and at first they intended to murder him; but the Ishmaelites, accidentally passing by, they sold Joseph to them, and they carried him into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar. Potiphar's wife tempts him to uncleanness, and being denied by Joseph, she accuses him to his lord, who casts him into the king's prison. Whilst he was there, the king's butler and baker were cast into the same prison, and dreamed their several dreams, which Joseph expounded to them, and the event verified his interpretation. The butler, who was restored to his office, forgot Joseph till two years after, when Pharaoh dreamed a dream which none of the wise men could interpret; and then Joseph was sent for, and advanced to the highest place of dignity and power next to Pharaoh. The years of famine brought Joseph's brethren into Egypt to buy corn, where they bowed before him, according to his dream. This occasioned the removal of Jacob and his whole family into Egypt, where Joseph placed them in the land of Goshon, by which means God fulfilled what he had told Abraham: "Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years" (Gen. xv. 13). How casual does all this appear to us! But no man will think that prophecies are fulfilled by chance; and therefore we must confess, that what seems chance to us, was appointed by God.

Another writer (Sherlock) teaches as follows:


"Let us, then, now more particularly consider how God governs mankind, so as to make them the instruments and ministers cf his providence in the world. The methods of the divine wisdom are infinite and unsearchable, and we must not expect fully to comprehend all the secrets and mysteries of God's government; but something wo may know of this, enough to teach us to reverence God, and to trust in him, and to vindicate his providence from the cavils of ignorance and infidelity, which is as much as is useful for us to know. And I shall reduce what I have to say to two general heads: — 1. The government of men's minds, of their wills, their passions, and counsels. 2. The government of their actions.

1. God's government of the minds of men, their wills, and passions, and counsels; for these are the great springs of action, and as free a principle as the mind of man is, it is not ungovernable: it may be governed, and that without an omnipotent power, against its own bias, and without changing its inclinations; and what may be done, certainly God can do; and when it is necessary to the ends of Providence, we may conclude he will do it. Let a man oe ever so much bent upon any project, yet hope or fear, some present great advantage or great inconvenience, the powerful intercession of friends, a sudden change of circumstances, the improbability of success, the irreparable mischief of a defeat, and a thousand other considerations, will divert him from it; and how easy it is for God to imprint such thoughts upon men's minds with an irresistible vigor and brightness, that it shall be no more in their power to do what they had a mind to, than to resist all the charms of riches and honors, than to leap into the fire, and to choose misery and ruin!

That thus it is, the Scripture assures us (Prov. xxi. 1), The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will." And if the king's heart be in the hand of the Lord, we can not doubt but he hath all other men's hearts in his hand also, and can turn and change them as he pleases. Thus the wise man tells us, "A man's heart deviseth his ways but the Lord directeth his steps" (Prov. xvi. 9). Men consult and advise what to do, but, after all, God steers and directs them which w^ay he pleases, for though "there are many devices in a man's heart, nevertheless che counsel of the Lord that shall stand" (Prov. xix. 21), which made the wise man conclude, "Man's goings are of the Lord: how then shall a man understand his own ways?" (Prov. xx. 24). That is, God has such an alisolute government of the hearts and actions of men, when his providence is concerned in the event, that no man can certainly know what he himself shall choose and do: for God can, in an instant, alter his mind, ard make him stoor a very different course from what he intended. As the prophet Jeremiah assures us, 'I Know that


the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. x. 23). And Solomon tells us something more strange than this: "The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is of the Lord" (Prov. xvi. 1), or, as the Hebrew seems to signify, the preparation of the heart is from, inan; a man premeditates and resolves what he will say; but notwithstanding that, the ansiver of the tongue is of the Lord. When he comes to speak, he shall say nothing but what God pleases. Which sayings must not be expounded to a universal sense, that it is always thus; but that thus it is whenever God sees fit to interpose, which he does as often as he has any wise end to serve by it.

Thus we are told, that "when a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Prov. xvi. 7). And it is a very remarkable promise that God makes to the children of Israel, that when all their males should come three times every year to worship God at Jerusalem, by which means their country was left without defense, exposed to the rapine of their enemies who dwelt round about them, that "no man should desire their land, when they go up to appear before the Lord" (Ex. xxxiv. 24). We have many examples of this in Scripture, and some of those many ways whereby (Jod does it. When Abraham sojourned in Gerar, he said of Sarah his wife, that she was his sister, and Abimelech, the king of Gerar, sent and took her; but God reproved Abimelech in a dream, and tells him that he had withheld him from sinning, and not suffered him to touch her. (Gen. xx. 1, etc.) Thus when Jacob fled from Laban with his wives and children, and Laban pursued him, God appeared to Laban in a dream, and commanded him that he should not ^peak to Jacob either good or hurt. (Gen. xxxi. 24.) Such appearances were very common in that age, though they seem very extraordinary to us; but God does the same thing still by strong and lively impressions upon our minds — by suggesting and fixing such thoughts in us, as excite or calm our passions, as encourage us to bold and great attempts, or check us in our career by frightful imaginations and unaccountable fears and terrors, or by such other arguments as are apt to change our purposes and counsels. ,

Sometimes God does this by concurrence of external causes, which at other times would not have been effectual, but shall certainly have their effect when God enforces the impression.

Thus God in a moment turned the heart of Esau when he came out in a great rage against his brother Jacob. It was an old hatred he had conceived against him for the loss of his birthright and of his blessing. And he had for many years confirmed himself in a resolution to cut him off the first opportunity he had to do it. And could it be expected that the present which Jacob sent him, which he could


have taken if he had pleased without receiving it as a gift, and that the submission of Jacolj when he was in his power, should all on a sudden make him forget all that was past and the very business he came for, and turn his bloody designs into the kindest embraces? No! this was God's work, the effect of that blessing which the angel gave to Jacob after a whole night's wrestling with him in Penuel. (Gen. xxxii. 33.) And when God pleases, the weakest means shall change the most sullen and obstinate resolutions.

Of the same nature of this is the story of David and Abigail. Nabal had highly provoked David by the churlish answer which he sent him, and David was resolved to take a very severe revenge on Nabal and his house. But God sent Abigail to pacify him, who, by her presence, and dutiful and submissive behavior and wise counsels, diverted him from those bloody resolutions he had taken, as David himself acknowledges: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou who hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with my own hand" (I. Sam. xxv. 32, 33).

Saul pursued David in the wilderness to take away his life, and God delivered him twice into David's hands; and the kindness David showed him in not killing him when he was in his power, did at last turn the heart of Saul, that he pursued him no more. (I. Sara. xvi. and xxvii.)

Thus God confounded the good counsel of Ahithophel by the advicn of Hashai, which Absalom chose to follow. And the text tells us this was from God, who had purposed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that he might bring evil upon Absalom. (II. Sam. xvii. 14.) Such an absolute empire has God over the minds of men, that he can turn them as he pleases, can lead them into new thoughts and counsels with as great ease as the waters of a river may be di'awn into a new channel prepared for them.

2. When God does not think fit to change and alter men's wills and passions, he can govern their actions and serve the ends of his providence by them. When God suffers them to pursue their own counsels and to do what they themselves like best — he does that by their hands which they little expected or intended. The same action may serve very different ends; and therefore God ana men have very different intentions in it. And what is ill done by men, and for a very ill end, may be ordered by God for wise and good purposes; nay. the ill ends which men designed may be disappointed, and the good which God intended by it have its effect. And this is as absolute a government over men's actions as the ends of providence require, when whatever men do, if they intend one thing and God another, "the commel of God shall stand," and what they intended shall have no effect any


further than as it is subservient to the divine counsels, as to give some plain examples of it: —

Joseph's brethren being offended at his dreams and at the peculiai kindness which their father Jacob showed him, resolved to get rid of him; but God intended to send him into Egypt, to advance him to Pharaoh's throne, and to transplant Jacob and his family thither. And therefore God would not suffer them to slay him as they first intended; but he suffered them to sell him to the Ishmaelites, who carried him into Egypt, which disappointed what they aimed at in it, never to see or hear more of him, but accomplished the decrees and counsels of God.

Another example we have in the king of Assyria, who came against Jerusalem with a powerful army with an intention to destroy it; but God intended no more than to correct them for their sins. This God suffered nim to do, but he could do no more. "0 Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation: I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire in the street." Thus far God gave him a commission; that is, thus far God intended to suffer his rage and pride to proceed. But this was the least of his intention: "Howbeit, he thinketh not so, but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few." But in this God disappointed him: "Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his proud looks" (Isa. x. 5, 6, 7, 12).

A great many examples might be given or this nature, but these are sufficient to show what different intentions God and men have in the same actions, and how easily God can defeat what men intend, and accomplish by them his own wise counsels which they never thought of. When God has no particular ends of providence to serve by the lusts and passions and evil designs of men, he commonly disappoints them; that when "they intend evil, and imagine a mischievous device, they are not able to perform it" (Ps. xxi. 11). Or he turns the evil upon their own heads: "The heathen are sunk down in thri pit that they made; in the net which they hid, is their own feet taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth. The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands" (Ps. ix. 15, 16). Or he doubly disappoints their malice, not only by defeating the evil they intended, but by turning it to the great advantage of those it was intended against; which was visible in the case of Haman, whose malice against Mordecai and all the Jews for his sake, did not only prove his own ruin, but the great advancement of Mordecai, and the glory and triumph of the Jewish nation.


3. Let us now consider what difference there is between God's absolute government of all events, and necessity and fate; for many men are very apt to confound these two. If no good or evil befall any man, but what God orders and appoints for them, this they think sounds like fate and destiny — that every man's fortune is written upon his forehead — and that it is impossible for any man, by ail his care, and industry, and prudence, to make his condition better than what God has decreed it to be in the irreversible rolls of fate. And yet an unrelenting, immutable fate is so irreconcilable with the liberty of human actions, with the nature of good and evil, of rewards and punishments, that if we admit of it, there is an end of all religion, of all virtuous endeavors, of all great and generous attempts: it is to no purpose to pray to God, or to trust in him, or to resist temptation, or to be diligent in our business, or prudent and circumspect in our actions; for what will be, will be: or if any means be to be used, that is no matter of our choice or care; but we shall do it as necessarily and mechanically as a watch moves and points to the hour of the day; for fate has, by the same necessity, determined the means and the end, and we can do no more nor less than fate has determined.

I shall now trouble you with an account of the various opinions of the ancient philosophers about fate, none of whom ever dreamed of such a terrible fate as some Christians have fancied, which reaches not only to this world, but to all eternity. What I have already discoursed is sufficient to vindicate the doctrine of Providence from the least imputation of necessity and fate.

For, 1st. Though God overrules the actions of men. to do what he himself thinks fit to be done, yet he lays no necessity upon human actions: men will and choose freely, pursue their own interests and inclinations, just as they would do if there were no Providence to govern them; and while men act freely, it is certain there can be no absolute fate. God, indeed, as you have already heard, sometimes hinders them from executing their wicked purposes, and permits them to do no more hurt than what he can direct to wise ends; but no man is wicked, or does wickedly, by necessity and fate. Though he may be restrained from doing so much wickedness as he would, yet all the wickedness he commits is his own free choice, even when it serves such ends as he never thought of; and therefore he is, and acts like a free agent, notwithstanding the government of Providence.

2d. Though God determines all events, all the good and evil that shall happen to men or nations, yet it is no more and no other than what they themselves have deserved; and therefore they are under no other fate than what they themselves bring upon themselves by the good or bad use of their own liberty; that is. thoy are under no


other fate than to be rewarded when they do well, and to be punished when they do ill: but this is the justice of Providence, not the necessity of fate. Those who do ill, and deserve ill, and suffer ill, might have done well, and have made themselves the favorites of Providence, and therefore are under no greater necessity of suffering ill, than they were of doing ill. The reason why God keeps all events in his own hands, is not because he has absolutely determined the fates of all men, but that he may govern the world wisely and justly, and reward and punish men according to their deserts, as far as the reasons of Providence require in this world. Now, while the liberty of human actions is secured, and the events of Providence are not the execution of fatal, absolute, and unconditional decrees, but acts of government in the wise administration of justice, and dispensing rewards and punishments — how absolute soever God's government be of all events, it is not necessity and fate, but a wise, and just, and absolute government. This, indeed, is what some of the wisest heathens called fate, and all that they meant by the name of fate, that God had fixed it by an irreversible decree, that good men should be rewarded and the wicked punished; and thus far we must all allow fate; and Providence is only the minister and executioner of these fatal decrees; and to that end God keeps the government of all events in his own hands. Now whether we say that God determines what good or evil shall befall men at the very time when they deserve it, or that foreseeing what good or evil they will do, and what they will deserve, did beforehand determine what good or evil should befall them — this makes no alteration at all in the state of the question; for if all the good or evil that befalls men, have respect to their deserts, this is not fate, but a just and righteous judgment.

In a word, God's government of all events is indeed so absolute and uncontrollable, that no good or evil can befall any man, but what God pleases, what he orders and appoints for him; and this is necessary to the good government of the world and the care of all his creatures. But then God orders no good or evil to befall any men, but what they deserve, and what the wise ends of his Providence require; and this is not fate, but a wise and just government of the world.

3rd. That the exercise of a particular Providence consists in the government of all events.

I have often wondered at those philosophers who acknowledged a Providence, but would not acknowledge God's particular care of all his creatures. Some confined his Providence to the heavens, but would not extend it to this lower world; and yet this world needs a Providence as much, and a great deal more, as being a scene of change and corruption, of furious lusts and passions, which need the restraints


and government of Providence: no creatures need God's care more than the inhabitants of this earth; and if ho take care of any of his creatures, one would think ho should take most care of them who need it most.

Others, who would allow that the Providence of God reached this lower world, yet confined God's care to the several kinds and species, but would not extend it to every individual; as if God took care of logical terms, of genus and species, but took no care of his own creatures, which are all individuals; or as if God could take care of all his creatures, without taking care of any particular creature; t. e., that he could take care of all his creatures, without taking care of any one of them.

Thus they would allow God to take care of the great affairs of kingdoms and commonwealths, but to have no regard to particular men or families, unless they made a great figure in the world; as if kingdoms and commonwealths were not made up of particular men and particular families; or that God could take care of the whole, without taking care of every part; or as if there were any other reason for taking care of the whole, but to take care of those particulars who make the whole. To talk of a general Providence, without God's care and government of every particular creature, is manifestly unreasonable and absurd; for whatever reasons oblige us to own a Providence, oblige us to own a particular Providence.

If creation be a reason why God should preserve and take care of what he has made, this is a reason why he should take care of every creature, because there is no creature but what he made; and if the whole world consist of particulars, it must be taken care of in the care of particulars; for if all particulars perish, as they may do if no care be taken to preserve them, the whole must perish.

And there is the same reason for the government of mankind; for the whole is governed in the government of the parts; and mankind can not be well governed, without the wise government of every particular man.

I am sure that the objections against a particular Providence are very foolish. Some think it too much troub'.e to God to take care of every particular; as if it were more trouble to him to take care of them, than it was to make them; or as if God had made more creatures than he could take care of; as if an infinite mind and omnipotent power were as much disturbed and tried with various and perpetual cares, as we are. Others think it below the greatness and majesty of God, to take cognizance of every mean and contemptible creature, or of every private man; as if it were more below God to take care of such creatures, than it is to make them: as if numbers made creatures considerable to God; that though one man is below God's


care, yet a kingdom is worthy of his care and notice; when the whole world to God is but "as the drop of the bucket, and the small dust of the balance."

Now it is certain there can be no particular Providence, without God's government of all events; for if any good or evil happen to any man without God's order and appointment, that is not Providence, whatever other name you will give it; so that if God does take a particular care of all his creatures, this is a demonstration that he has the absolute government of all events; for without it he can not take care of them: and if God have the government of all events, as the Scriptures assures us he has, this confirms us in the belief of a particular Providence; for if all the good or evil that happens to every particular man, be appointed by God, that is proof enough that God takes care of every particular man. God's government of all particular events, and his care of all individuals, include each other in their very natures. The care of particular creatures consists in the government of all particular events; and the government of all events is the exercise of a particular Providence, as our Saviour represents it (Matt. x. 29, 30, 31), "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows." Where God's particular Providence over all his creatures is expressed by his particular care of all events, which extends even to the life of a sparrow, and to the hairs of our heads.

Thus much is certain, that without this belief, that God takes a particular care of all his creatures in the government of all events that can happen to them, there is no reason or pretense for most of the particular duties of religious worship. For most of the acts of worship consider God not merely as a universal cause (could we form any notion of a general Providence without any care of particular creatures or particular events?), but as our particular patron, protector and preserver. To fear God, and to stand in awe of his justice; to trust and depend on him in all conditions; to submit patiently to his will under all afflictions; to pray to him for the supply of our wants, for the relief of our sufferings, for protection and defense; to love and praise him for the blessings we enjoy, for peace and plenty and health, for friends and benefactors, and all prosperous successes: I say, these are not the acts of reasonable men, unless we believe that God has the supreme disposal of all events, and takes a particular care of us. For if any good or evil can befall us without God's particular order and appointment, we have no reason to trust in God, who does not always take care of us; we have no reason to bear our sufferings patiently at


God's bands, and in submission to his will; for we know not wbether our sufferings be God's will or not: we have no reason to love and praise God for every blessing and deliverance we receive, because we know not whether it came trom God; and it is to no purpose to pray to God for particular blessings, if he does not concern himself in par ticular events. But if we believe that God takes a particular care of us all, and that no good or evil happens to us but as he pleases, all these acts of religious worshij) are both reasonable, necessary and jurt."

In 1855, page 601, Mr. Campljell teaches of


Providence occurs but once in the Christian Scriptures. The Greek representative of it is pronoia, and found in the Greek Testament but twice (Acts xxiv. 2). In this occurrence it is represented by providence, in the common version. In Rom. iii. 14, it is represented by provision ; literally it means foresight. The verb pronoeo is found three times, always represented by provide, and providing. In theological use, it indicates guardianship, guidance, direction, protection. In our English dictionaries it is defined — "The act of providing, or preparing for future use or application" (Webster).

Deists, Theists, and speculative Christians, designate what they call God, or "the Deity," by the term Providence. By the good old orthodox Presbyterians this was repudiated as irreverent and unchristian.

That God provides for all his creatures, is just as true as that he created them. This providence is as general as all creation. Though five sparrows were sold in old Jerusalem for two farthings, yet not one of them was forgotten or unprovided for by their Creator. He feeds young lions and tigers, ravens and doves; the animalcule, invisible to the human eye, though so small that millions of them are found in a cubic foot, and some affirm in a cubic inch!

But that. God's providence is as general or as broad as creation, no one, of any information or discrimination, can either doubt or deny.

Thirty millions of suns, and one hundred millions of satellites, or worlds moving round them, each of which is as large as our earth in a general average, having as many t/cnera and species of animated beings on them as our planet has; covered with hair or feathers, as a portion of our tenantry are, and yet so cared for, and provided for by Him, that not one hair or feather can fall from any one of them unheeded or unobserved by him. Such are our conceptions of the sublime, the awful, the incomprehensible grandeur and majesty of Him that fills immensity, that inhabits eternity, and who can bestow as much attention to any one animated atom as though it were the


solitary tenant of the entire universe. His creation ana providence are necessarily, eternally, and immutably co-extensive He opens his rich and liberal hand, and from his inexhausted and inexhaustible treasuries, supplies most abundantly the wants of every living thing. And so happy were they all, that before sin was conceived in heaven or in earth "the morning stars," in one grand concert, "sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. '

They who admit a general providence, and, at '.he same time, deny a special providence, are feeble and perverted reasoners and thinkero. A general, or universal supervision or providence, necessarily implies a special or particular providence. The executor of a will, or the superintendent of an estate, who selected out of either a certain partonly as worthy of his attention, and who executed or superintended that alone, would be judged and treated as a defaulter. And shall we impute to the Lord and Proprietor of heaven and earth that whicn we could condemn and reprobate in a steward, or in a superintendent of an earthly estate! But all such reasonings from the analogies of earth and time to Him that is from everlasting to everlasting, and as present everywhere and anywhere, are necessarily frail and imperfect. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" says He "who inhabits eternity." "What house can you build for me, and where is the place of my rest? Has not my hand made all these things?"

But says the great Teacher himself — "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, yet not one of them is forgotten before God!"* This, methinks, should suffice.

But still we do not comprehend, nor even apprehend, the claims of one of these objects upon the attention and care of the great Proprietor and Protector of a single sparrow. How many objects in this one object of his care and protection, must be cared for, provided for, and protected by this great Proprietor and Preserver of the sparrow! How many organs has it? As many as a mammoth! Yes! as many organs as a mammoth.

In order to a full appreciation of this most pregnant theme, so fraught with instruction to mankind, we shall notice, somewhat in detail, the history of ihe incidents of this distinguished patriarch, and the apparent contingencies on which their fortunes turned.

Joseph, the son of the beloved Rachel, for whom his father Jacob served Laban, his mother's father, full fourteen years, through paternal partiality, indiscreetly shown, became an object of envy and hatred on the part of his brethren, afterwards known as eleven of the twelve distinguished patriarchs, second in rank only to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

• Luke xii. 6.


This partiality consummated its weakness in a coat of variegated colors, bestowed on Joseph. Joseph himself, gifted with prophetic dreams touching his own destiny and that of his brethren indiscreetly told them to his brethren. These dreams intensified their envy into actual hatred, to such a degree that when, on a mission from his father to inquire after their welfare, he appeared in the plains of Dothan, his brethren, with the single exception of Reuben, conspired to take his life. Meantime a caravan of Ishmaelites appeared in sight, and Judah proposed to take him out of the pit and sell him as a slave to these merchants.

Ten of the brethren conspiring to sell him, demanded from them only two shekels apiece — in all, twenty shekels, equal to about fifteen dollars. Thus he was carried into an Egyptian market, and sold to Potiphar, a captain in Pharaoh's service — an eunuch of much authority in Egypt, who, like many eunuchs in that day, had a wife. Joseph, by his great moral worth, soon rose in the confidence of his master; but being assailed by the allurements of his unsatisfied wife, through his faithfulness to his master and his God, he escaped from her importunities and blandishments; which so exacerbated her temper that she machinated his ruin, and had well-nigh consummated it, having him confined in prison. But the Lord sustained him.

He formed an intimate and a happy acquaintance with the chief baker and the chief butler in Pharaoh's household, who providentially had each a portentous dream. In the fullness of their hearts, and with great esteem for Joseph, they told him their dreams. He had the gift of understanding and interpreting symbols, and most satisfactorily and truthfully interpreted their dreams, as the sequel proved.

In process of time, on Pharaoh's birthday feast, the chief butler was restored to his former station and service at the banquet, while his companion lost his life, as Joseph had foretold.





The whole tone of the Harbinger, the undertone and the overtone, is that of devotion to Jesus Christ. He is the sun out of which all Christian light comes; he is the light, the life; he is the full glory of the New Testament dispensation. There is no symmetrical formal treatment ot the character of the Christ or of the especial work of Christ in the Harbinger, but the Harbinger is saturated with the Christ Spirit. "For forty years," Mr. Campbell says in 1852, "we have preached Jesus Christ, the only Lord, our Saviour and our King." In 1862 there is an article as follows on the


Come now, all ye that tell us in your wisdom of the mere natural humanity of Jesus, and help us to find out how it is that he is only a natural development of the human. Select your best and wisest character; take the range, if you will, of all the great philosophers and saints, and choose out one that is most competent; or if, perchance, some one of you may imagine that he is himself about on a level with Jesus, (as we hear that some of you do,) let him come forward in this trial and say, "Follow me! be worthy of me! I am the Light of the world! Ye are from beneath, I am from above! Behold, a greater than Solomon is here!" Take on all these transcendent assumptions, and see how soon your glory will be sifted out of you by the detective gaze and darkened by the contempt of mankind! Why not? Is not the challenge fair? Do you not tell us that you can say as divine things as he? Is it not in you, too, of course, to do what is human? Are you not in the front rank of human development? Do you not rejoice in the power to rectify many mistakes and errors in the words of Jesus? Give us, then, this one experiment, and see if it does not prove to you a truth that is of some consequence; viz.: that you are a man, and that Jesus Christ is more?


The whole human family is sick. From the days of our progenitors down to the present time, all have been the subjects of an awful malady. The blighting hand of a disease far more destructive than pestilence has been laid heavily upon young and old, rich and poor, king and subject. All have suffered from its terrible ravages. It has drenched this beautiful world in blood, and made it one vast burying-

ground. It has changed Eden-happiness into burning tears, bitter



lamentations, and insufferable agonies. Sin is in our midst, rioting in the destruction of body, soul and spirit. We speak not of the reason why God has permitted it to be introduced into our world, or allowed suffering and death to follow in its footsteps. We have to do with facts, not with things fictitious. Speculations may be beautiful and pleasing, but are of no real value. After all our rounds in idealism, we must come back to the point of departure, take our stand on terra firma, and grapple with the difficulties, dangers and sufferings that environ us.

It can not be questioned that sin has taken a deep hold on our race, in consequence of which all are sick and need a physician. Man needs a physician, not only because he is diseased of sin, but because he is unable, in the absence of assistance, to relieve himself. Though the loftiest being in the rank of created intelligences, he is far too weak and short-sighted to devise a plan which will effectually destroy sin, remove its consequences, and restore him to his lost possessions — his original greatness. No, man can not do this. His past acts are a sad verification of the truth of this remark. Can then a physician be found altogether competent to heal all who will abide his instructions? Such a physician came into our world eighteen hundred years ago. He came from heaven in order to heal the sick, and to take such as would hear his voice and submit to his will to a land where there is no more sickness, no more death.

Let us look at a few of the leading features in this great and good physician's character. We trust he may appear to those who need his aid, the chiefest among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely:

1. His Wisdom. — All that God knew in the past, Jesus knew; all that God knows in the present, he knows; all events, great and small, that shall transpire in coming ages, are known to him as well as to the Father. He knows man infinitely better than he knows himself.. Man's greatness, weakness, powers of mind, capacities of soul — his glory, his shame, his nothingness, are open to him. He walked with man the tedious round of life — is well acquainted with his character in all its shades and attenuations — is wise enough to instruct the wisest, and lowly enough to reach the humblest. His sermon on the mount has been admired by infidel and Christian. The learned and great have contemplated with astonishment its unfathomable depths of wisdom and knowledge, while the meek and lowly have found consolation from its pure and holy teachings. No sham, no deception in this sermon. It will bear the severest scrutiny. Infidels say that Jesus was merely a great philosopher — the wisest and best that has ever lived. On this supposition, how shall we account for the wonderful display of wisdom in this inimitable sermon? Did he obtain it from Moses and the prophets, the bards and holy seers of Israel?


It tan Jiot l>e proved that he did. At least the premises for the conclusions to which he arrived, have never yet been brought forward from Old Testament Scriptures. It is presumable they never will be, inasmuch as they would long since have been offered to the world, had they been found there. But it may be said that he obtained his wisdom from the Gentile world. Satisfactory proof that he did, baa never yet been produced. His name was never enrolled in a Gentile school. He never sat at the feet of any philosopher, great or small. He was never found in the Academy, the Lyceum, or the Porch. Hia feet never trod on Grecian, Roman, or Persian soil. He never engaged in metaphysical disquisitions, or in dark, bewildering argumentation, which so much delighted Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the wise men of the East. His wisdom is far above all human wisdom. Nothing In story or in song is comparable to it. It uproots and grinds into powder the wise sayings, the proud maxims, the most profound systems of ethics, ever given to the world by the so-called moral philosophers. Surely the wisdom of Jesus could not have sprung from the wisdom of this world. Like his kingdom, it is not of this world. Whence, then, came the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus? He was not educated as a philosopher, but was born and reared in poverty. He borrowed not from Jew or Greek. Whence, then, came his wisdom and knowledge? Whence that power which enabled him to speak as never man spoke; that enabled him to give lessons of wisdom such as had never been given; that enabled him to present views in regard to the government of body, soul and spirit, such as had never been lieard; that enabled him to instruct mankind, as having a complete knowledge of the diverse and increasing wants of all, in every condition, in every circumstance, in prosperity and adversity, in affluence and poverty, on land, on sea, in all kingdoms, in all lands, and through all time? We are forced to the conclusion that the immense and unfailing treasures of wisdom and knowledge possessed by Jesus Christ, came from above — are of heaven and not of men — and that the exhibitions of his powers and capacities are worthy his divine origin. 2. His Goodness. — We have no desire to pronounce a eulogy on the character of Jesus Christ. The poor commendations cf the great and learned, have added nothing to its excellency. For centuries it has been before the world, and is at this moment as stainless, pure and irreproachable, as it was in the beginning. In his ministrations. Jesus was surrounded by the bitterest enemies — by Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Herodians — by all the malignant sects and parties of Judea — and still no blot was ever hxed upon his character. His words and deeds were closely scanned by his enemies; but nothing could be detected unworthy his position, or the glorious work in which he was engaged. The simplicity, beauty, purity, truthfulness and power


displayed in ali his utterances, in all his actions, struck with wonder and astonishment those who thronged his presence, and induced multitudes to acknowledge him as their Lord and Master.

When John was in prison, he sent to Jesus to know if he was the One that should come, or should another be expected. "Jesus, answering, said to those who came, Go your way and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached; and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me." Jesus desired John to know that he was engaged in doing good — what was the character of his work — and therefore instructed the disciples of John to tell what they saw and heard. Doing good was his constant employment. Whether in Jerusalem, in Nazareth, in Bethany; whether along the winding streams, the fruitful vales, or on the palm-covered hills of Judea, Jesus is seen, he will ever be found engaged in the same blessed, godlike work — doing good to all around him. He came to seek and save the lost; he sought them everywhere, with a deeper solicitude than ever parent sought an erring child. Whenever and wherever found, he administered to their wants, taught them the way to God, instructed them how to meet the difficulties of a rough world, and how to bear the many disappointments and misfortunes to which flesh is heir. In healing the sick, cleansing the leper, dispossessing the demoniac of the evil spirit, giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, life to the dead; on the Mount of Olives, at the well with the Samaritan woman, at the grave of Lazarus weeping with Mary and Martha, walking on the stormy Sea of Galilee, uttering his sad prophetic lamentation over Jerusalem, in the garden of Gethsemane, praying to his Father, at the Bar of Pilate and Herod, going to Calvary, or expiring in awful agonies on its summit; his majesty, his goodness, his condescending love and tender compassion to the children of men, shine forth with celestial glory. How kind, how generous, how magnanimous he was; how pure his words, how elevated his thoughts, how godlike his deeds. How simple in his greatness, how truly great in his simplicity! Hard must be the heart and cold the feelings of him w^ho can contemplate the sayings and doings of Jesus without emotion. Unnumbered are the evidences in favor of the goodness and condescending love of the Lord Jesus Christ. When man had revolted from the government of God, had wandered from the path of truth and righteousness, had become bewildered in the thick darkness of a world that knew not God, Jesus, leaving the communion of his Father, of angels, of seraph and cherub, came into our world in order to redeem the human family from the thralldom of sin. Heaven was interested in his advent on earth. An angel, to Judah's shepherds, keeping watch over their


flocks by night, proclaimed: "Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be lo all people;" and "suddenly there was with the angel a multitude ol' the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, (Jiory to C!od in the highest, peace on earth, and good will towards men." Uiisst'ul tidings, joyous announcement, prophetic of the regeneration of the world. Great is the work of salvation, great the work of our redemption; the blessings to be enjoyed transcendently great.

3. His Poicer. — A physician may possess wisdom, goodness, and condescension, and still not have sufficient power to accomplish the intended good. Has Jesus the necessary power? If the New Testament be a truthful record, he possesses power over all spirits — celestial, terrestrial and infernal; over all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. As vast as is the universe, so far does his power e.\tend. In contemplating his power, we will glance at a few, and only a few, of the characteristic features of his miracles.

These features distinguish the miracles of Jesus from all the pretended miracles of Mormonism, Mohammedanism, or Romanism. The miracles of Jesus Christ were wrought publicly, not secretly. They were wrought in the presence of friends and enemies, so that any fraud, trick, or conjuring, would have been instantly detected. Foes were ever nigh that slumbered not, nor neglected the slightest opportunity to entrap him. Yet he constantly mingled with thy people, and by his stupendous works established his claims to the Messiahship. He spoke with authority, and acted with authority, and hence he spoke as never man spoke, and acted as never man acted. Without pomp and parade, without long and labored effort, or the tediousness of well-guarded preparatory steps, he performed all his miracles, beginning in Cana of Galilee, and ending on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias, after his resurrection. Let the places where and the circumstances under which the miracles of Jesus were performed, be compared to the places where and the circumstances under which the pseudo-miracles of Mormonism, Mohammedanism and Roman Catholicism have been got up, and offered to the world. The contrast will be striking, the inquiry will prove beneficial, and if faith in Jesus be weak, it will be strengthened.

But the miracles of Jesus were wrought instantly. Days, weeks, and months were not required for their performance. In the name of his Father he spoke the word, and the lame walked, the diseased were healed, and the dead raised to life. Not so with those whose object is to deceive. They demanded more time in order to succeed.

Also, the miracles of Jesus were performed for the purpose of doing good. They were all benevolent in design and character. Not one that has an evil tendency. This cannot be affirmed of the frauds and deceptions of Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Mohammedanism,


and Paganism. These all have a far different object in view — a far different character — and subserve a far different end. No selfishness can be found in anything Jesus said or did. His character, as well as his words and deeds, is free from all accusation. He did not do good that he might gather up gold or silver. Though rich, for our sakes he became poor. He astonished all who came Into his presence by his wonderful words and deeds, and yet he asked no reward — only required faith in him and obedience to his commands, in order to the present and ultimate well-being of mankind. He was "great in goodness and good in greatnesis." In him, for the first and last time on earth, was perfect goodness, wedded to perfect greatness. Hia life was, and is, and will forever remain, the brightest display of all those virtues and graces that ran adorn the life, dignify the character, and ennoble the soul of fallen humanity. That Jesus is allpowerful to save, is manifest from his resurrection. He spoke to his disciples of his death, burial and resurrection. "When he was crucified and buried, however, all their fond hopes seemed dispelled forever. They went to their former vocations. But early on the morning of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother ot James, and other women, came to the sepulcher with sweet spices, to anoint the body of Jesus. They found not their Lord there. An angel had descended from heaven, rolled back the stone from the mouth of the sepulcher, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. He said to the women, Fear not; you seek Jesus who was crucified; he is not here, but is risen; come, see the place where the Lord lay. No, he was not there. His grave was tenantless. His enemies said that his body was stolen while the guard was asleep; his disciples declared that he had risen from the dead. Infidelity has ever been puzzled to account for the fact that the body of Jesus was missing on the morning of the third day. However

"Deep scienc'd in the mazy lore Of mad philosophy,"

infidelity, like Belshazzar on the fatal festive night, is here weighed

in the balance and found wanting. Jesus was the first being that ever

rose from the grave. All the sons and daughters of Adam no more

disturb its dread silence. Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon,

"Who warred with a world which conquered them only, When the meteor of conquest allured them too far,"

sleep the sleep of death, and will awake not until the morning of the resurrection. The dead, small and great, will break not their slumbers until the voice of the Archangel call them forth to judgment. But Jesus, on the morning of the third day, threw aside the habiliments of death, and walked forth in the majesty of his strength, mightier than all the proud heroes, statesmen and philosophers of earth.


4. Why are not all healed? — If Jesus possesses all wisdom, power, goodness, condescension and love, why are not the sin-sick healed of ail their terrible maladies? The medicine may not be good, the prescription may be imperfect, the medicine may not be taken, or it taken, the prescription may not be followed. Such suggestion might. by some, be offered. But the medicine is good — is just such as humanity needs. All agree in exalting it. Even infldelity is constrained to acknowledge its many virtues. The fault can not be in the medicine. Wherever and whenever taken, it has proved effective in restoring and preserving health. Its wonderfully happy effects upon body, soul and spirit, may be seen by looking over those lands where it has been most severely tested. It is the only panacea known beneath the skies for the sins of our ruined race. It is the only infallible remedy which has been found, or which will ever be found, for the awful maladies that are preying upon the vitals of the miserable inhabitants of earth.

But the prescription — is it perfect or imperfect? No valid objection can be offered against it. It is simple and plain — easily understood — adapted to the highest and lowest capacity — to all in every age, clime and country; so that those who are spiritually sick, may easily ascertain how they may be restored to health.

Since, then, the medicine is good, and the prescription faultless, and the physician the chiefest among ten thousand and altogether acceptable, man's perverseness and obstinacy may account for the fact that all are not restored to the enjoyment of spiritual health. Often the prescription for receiving the medicine is wholly neglected, and hence the consequences are fatal; often the prescription is observed but in part, and death is the inevitable result. Those who are selfwilled — of a perverse disposition — calling in the aid of human physicians — taking human drugs and potions and nostrums, must perish. For them there is no salvation. And this to a very great extent is the case in this day. The heaven-commissioned physician and the heaven-prepared medicine are not unfrequently spurned and rejected Thousands are thus acting. Such conduct is insulting to the Most High God, and ruinous to the soul. Hence, many in the Christian world are sick and dying. They have followed and are now following human devices. They have been deceived, and are now being deceived, by the spiritual quackery of the day. But in taking this medicine, all human devices, preparations or prescriptions must be studiously avoided. The wisdom of God far transcends the wisdom of man; and the directions given by Christ — our perfect physician — are far superior in excellence to all the concentrated wisdom of the wise, past and present. They are perfect, and can not with impunity be set aside, supplanted, or improved. Just as they are, must they


remain— without addition or subtraction. They point out the only means by which dying humanity can possibly live. In this age oL moral and spiritual degeneracy, they can not be too highly valued, or too closely tollowed.

Suppose a person to be sick. His system, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, is I'acked by a dreadful disease. Unless relieved, he must very soon enter the chambers of death. A physician is called for. One possessing all wisdom, power, goodness and lovp is procured. He informs the suffering victim that he has an infallible remedy — a specific for his disease; that it has never failed to restore the sick and the dying when properly administered — that it has been tested by millions in the past eighteen hundred years, and in every instance has proved effective — that unless be take this antidote he must inevitably die. But suppose the patient, addressing the physician, should remark, I acknowledge I am in a deplorable condition — am perhaps dying; I acknowledge that you are the only physician and possess the only antidote that can possibly cure me; still I desire to wait a little while, until I feel better, then I will take your medicine; or, I desire to wait until I feel like taking it; or, I can only take a part of it; or, I must take it in my own way; or, I think it unnecessary to be so particular as you prescribe; true you say I must be particular, and I know I must die unless you relieve me; but I must wait a little longer. What would be thought of the sanity of such a person, or of the wisdom of such suggestions? And how many thousands there are in this day who would condemn the unwise conduct of this suffering victim, and are acting with, far greater folly. They are spiritually sick and dying, but before receiving that which alone can do them good, they desire to feel better; very desirous are they to be saved, but are unwilling to be guided by Him who holds in his hands life and death. They stop to talk about things essential and not essential, what they like and dislike, or what does or does not appear right and proper according to their preconceived notions of propriety, not consulting, as they ought to, the infallible directions of the great and good Physician. Or if they are constrained to consult these, they must, as a matter of course, first inquire of Dr. Luther, or Dr. Calvin, or Dr. Wesley, before they can possibly ascertain the right method of taking the heaven-prepared antidote; thus virtually saying that God, who has spoken to the human family, has not made his word plain enough — that man's word must be consulted before God's word can be understood or obeyed. May God speed the day when all human creeds, confessions and formulas shall be repudiated, when all shall come to the Scriptures, without prejudice; believing all, doing all, confiding in all promises, and enjoying all rewards recorded in the Living Oracles of the Living God, w. c. R.



In 1863 Mr. Campbell writes:

Our kinsman Redeemer is now the absolute Monarch of the whole creation of Cod. All the angels, principalities and powers of the universe are at his command. What an honor to humanityl

Unitarianism is but another name for deism or theism. It is not Christianity. It is not the gospel of the grace of God.

Divinity, absolute Divinity, in all its grandeur, dwelt in him, and shall forever dwell in him. "All things were created by him and for him.' And he was before any creature — the eternal Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

Why should any man of good understanding make an effort to undeify the second Adam — the Lord from heaven, and the Lord of heaven I Did he not say, "I and my Father are one" (John x. 30) .' His contemporaries called this blasphemy, and took up stones to ston^; him. This was the second effort made to murder him. W'ith the Jews, this was blasphemy of the first degree. He was not, however, disposed to take it back, or explain it away. He condescended to reason with them. He argued the case: "If I do not the work of my Father, believe me not. But if I do the works of my Father, believe not me, but believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in me and I in him. Hence many there believed on him" (John x. 41).

I should cheerfully maintain his claims in New England, or in Old England, against any man of character or reputation who assumes Unitarianism, Arianism, or Socinianism, with either tongue or pen. I write not this boastingly, but with an ardent and philanthropic desire, believing, as I do, that there is not another name given under these heavens by or through which any human being can be saved. My motto is, "He that believes the gospel shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned," and consequently exiled forever from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.


The Apostles stood around the Lord on the eve of the last Passover, and hanging with melancholy pleasure upon his words — his parting words — he spoke of his departure, which was then at hand, and their hearts were sad; for years they had been his companions, while traversing the land of Judea, enduring the storm and contempt of those he came to save; they had listened to his pure teachings; they had seen the miracles of mercy he had performed; they were near him at the gates of Nain, when he gave such glad tidings to the widow, who mourned the loss of her only earthly stay; they stood by the tomb of Lazarus, when he called him from the embrace of


death; they had shared in his privations and sorrows, and now, when he was about to leave them to struggle against the world alone, deep sorrow was depicted in every countenance, and sadness brooded over every heart. He knew well the grief that caused them to bow their heads in silence; he saw the tears with which the pain of parting had suffused their eyes; his heart was stirred with sympathy, and tho words of consolation, "Let not your hearts be troubled," flowed from his hallowed lips.

He bade them believe — to exercise that noble principle of faith, by which, though absent, they might still be united. In the simplest; style he informed them of the cause of his departure; and consoled them by presenting to their minds the glories of that bright abode which he was about to prepare for their reception, where they should dwell forever at his own right hand. But there was one amid that tearful band, to whom these words seemed dark and mysterious; his mind was not sufficiently enlightened concerning the things of heaven — he saw not clearly, as he desired, the path to the home of the blessed, and, in the solicitude of his heart, he makes the anxious inquiry: "How shall we know the way?"

The Saviour reproves not the doubter; but kindly turns to resolve the doubts of this weak disciple, whose love was strong, though his faith was weak, and to point out the way to life eternal. He points him not to the old path, marked out by Moses and the Prophets, in which all God's ancient people trod; but, fixing his gaze upon Thomas, he exclaims, "I am the Way."

He does not represent himself as the great author of that system, which, if believed and obeyed, will result in the salvation of those who place themselves under its influence; or as the author of that new and living way which he came to open up for our lost race; but calling on those around to behold in him the full and perfect embodiment of the new dispensation, he declares, in the loftiest style of metaphor, "I am the Way." Since the day that man was exiled from Paradise, and the presence of his Maker, he has been continuallystriving to return, and recover his lost dignity; but his moral vision has been so beclouded by the effects of the fall, that all his attempts to find his way back to God have been almost fruitless — the true path has been lost, and, like the bewildered traveler, whom nightfall has overtaken in the midst of a dense forest, he groped his way through the gloom, uncertain whither his wandering footsteps led. True, he was permitted to worship at a distance, through the instrumentality of sacrifice; but when this method of approach was contrasted with his former intimacy, in the days of his innocence, when he stood face to face with God, the way seemed dark and mysterious, and he longed


for a closer approarh, for a nearer view of that pure and holy Being, from whom he had everlastingly departed.

Thia feeling was universally entertained, and all the rites of pagan worship have sprung from this irrepressible desire to find the way to (Jod, which nothing has been able to extinguish in the heart of our erring, fallen, yet not wholly degenerate race. Man has ever felt that there is some object in the universe to whom worship is due, that there is a happier clime than the earth on which he dwells, and that every victim he has slain, and every prayer he has offered, ha^ proved his belief in a great overruling Being, and his yearning desire for happiness, when all earthly scenes shall forever have closed.

Philosophers have arisen, who have looked upon and pitied the condition of their kind; they have reasoned profoundly, concerning the great Author of all things, and the nature of the worship that should be paid him, until dazzled by the splendor of the theories they have framed, and looking upon themselves as little less than divinities, have cried out to their fellows, "This is the way, walk ye in it. ' But the light of unassisted reason was too feeble to point out the path for the lost man's return and the theories of the wise men of this world only lead to bewilder and dazzle, but to blind; hence, all such striving after God has only resulted in the most debasing rites, and grovelling superstitions.

The night of moral gloom was fast closing over the world; the Jews had nullified the law which God had given them, by their traditions, which had usurped its place; the pagan nations were plunging into still deeper ignorance, and grosser superstition, and the world seemed to be abandoned to utter helplessness, when the Saviour came to visit, and bless us with the soul-cheering intelligence, "I am the Way."

The declaration of the Messiah has gone forth to all lands; much of the darkness which brooded over the minds of our race has been dissipated; the way to heaven has been made abundantly plain, and men of every condition and every clime, are called upon to turn their feet thitherward. But men, in their perversity, have sought out other paths for their feet, and thousands have been seduced into these forbidden ways under the delusion, that they led to the Celestial City> and often the error has not been discovered until it was too late to retrace their steps.

Christ is the only true way — all others are the paths of error, and will res' in the misery of those whose unwary feet walk therein; though they are pleasant to the eye, and soom like the way of life, they will lead at last to the chambers of death. Flowers may bloom along these paths, and luxuriant foliage shade the thoughtless wanderers from the noonday heat; yet. though cool fountains murmur.


and the bright bowers invite to repose, they are but the wiles of the evil one to lure to destruction; for though these paths seem so inviting, they lead to a fearful precipice, down whose rugged steeps, ail the lovers of the pleasant paths of sin, will be plunged to hopeless ruin. Listen not, then, to the syren voice of earthly pleasure, when she bids you turn your feet into her flower-strewn paths; but seek the narrow way of virtue which the Saviour points out, for though the way seem rugged, and beset with numberless difficulties, they will only prove your courage, and will soon be surmounted; the journey, though toilsome, will soon be ended, and your weary feet will stand in the City of God.

Christ is the only way to happiness and life — and to walk in that way is simply to imitate his example, and keep all his commandments, for thus only can we trace his footsteps still. Let us, then, pursue with ardor and delight, our upward, our heavenly way — and as Christ, our leader, is himself the Way, let us ever continue to walk in him.


The second coming of Christ and the Millennium fill large space in the Harbingers. The teachings of Wm. Miller, fixing the date of Hia ccming in August, 1843, attracted great attention. It is given very full treatment in the Harbingers. We give the following, as indicating the line of treatment:

-Mr. Campbell says, Millennial Harbinger, 1832, page 438:

The following twelve reasons why the prophecies relating to the second coming of Christ should be literally interpreted are worthy of candid consideration. They are published by Mr. Nesbit, London, 1831:  [A. C.]      

Sect 2 

All the promises do travail and are burthened with a glorious day of grace. The nations of this world are all to become the kingdoms of our King--they are all to submit to his government, and to feel the benign and blissful influences of his sceptre. This is the expectation of almost all the saints now living, as it was the expectation and the prayer of all those who have fallen asleep. The present essay proposes not to enter closely nor minutely into the development of the promises nor the prophecies relating to what is usually called "the Millennium." This we propose to do with great deliberation and with much detail. But we must approach it cautiously and gradually. We wish to discriminate and to draw the line accurately between what is certain and what is conjectural upon this subject. [A.C.]

Sect 3

I. Every part of the Jewish Tabernacle was typical of things to be established in and for the church in this earth. Its sacrifices were types of Christ's perfect sacrifice its priesthood a shadow of his priestly office; the tabernacle itself a complex volume of [65] hieroglyphics: the Holy of Holies a type of heaven itself. Now as every other part of the tabernacle was typical of what was to be accomplished in this earth, it is to be inferred that the Spirit of God, in directing the erection of a typical heaven upon earth in the midst of the camp of Israel, in which the glory of the Lord was visibly present, did thereby clearly signify to the church that there is a period in the dispensation of the fullness of times, when heaven itself, or the glorious manifestation of Jehovah, shall come down to this earth by the personal presence in it of the Lord Messiah. 

Were this not to be accomplished, then the highest and noblest part of the sacred structure of this tabernacle shall be without an antitype on this earth, or without anything correlative to its deep spiritual signification. 

Nay, were this not to be accomplished, the church in the Levitical dispensation, which had the visible presence of the Lord in the pillar of the cloud by day, and of fire by night, 

has a higher glory than the church in the dispensation of Messiah; for as this church was not properly constituted till the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles were endued with power from on high, and as before that day the Bridegroom had been taken from his infant church, 

it follows, from the views of those who advocate a spiritual advent, that there is no period when the church upon earth is to have his presence, and therefore the Levitical church in the wilderness had a higher glory than the church of Messiah is to have, according to this hypothesis, even in the Millennium. 

But this is utterly incredible, and expressly contradicted, both by the deep signification of the Holy of Holies, or typical heaven reared up in the camp of Israel, and by many plain prophetic annunciations. (Num. xxii. 21, 22; Zech. if. 10, 12; Ezek. xliii. 7; Isa. xxiv. 23; Zeph. iii. 15, 17.) 

II. Jesus is entered into heaven in the character of our High Priest. All the morning of the great day of atonement, the Jewish High Priest was employed in offering sacrifices, first for himself, and then for the people. He then entered into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the victims, having first taken a censer of coals from the brazen altar, and strewed incense on it, that he might go within the vail amidst the cloud of smoke which this sweet perfume emitted. 

During the time of his disappearance, the people mourned, and were humbled on account of their sins. But as soon as he had sprinkled the blood, and offered the incense, he put on his gorgeous robes, and coming forth to bless the people, turned their sorrow into joy. In all this he typified the true High Priest, 

who is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, and that with his own blood, and the incense of his own intercession, there to appear in the presence of God for us.

During the time of his disappearance, the people mourned, and were humbled on account of their sins. But as soon as he had sprinkled the blood, and offered the incense, he put on his gorgeous robes, and coming forth to bless the people, turned their sorrow into joy. In all this he typified the true High Priest, 

who is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, and that with his own blood, and the incense of his own intercession, there to appear in the presence of God for us. 

During personal absence, his church on earth is in a depressed and [66] suffering condition. It is a time of humiliation and conflict, warfare and reproach, under which they are upheld, and comforted, by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. 

But as the great High Priest of his church, the Saviour has another office to perform, which is, to come forth and bless them, to complete their redemption in body as well as in soul, and to bring their days of mourning to an end; this he will do, 

when in the true gorgeous robes of his priesthood he shall appear in his glory. "For as he was once offered to bear the sins of many, so to them that look for him, he will appear the second time without sin unto salvation." 

III. In typical illustration it is an invariable rule that the type is always inferior in worth, and in the scale of creation, to the antitype. Thus Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, etc., show how the less is always the type of the greater. 

Even the sun, moon, and stars are inferior in the scale of creation to the sovereignties which they represent. Now it is strongly insisted on by those who are opposed to a literal interpretation, 

that the decisive passage (Dan. vii. 13, 14) is simply a figure, denoting the conversion of the world by the spread of the Gospel. "I saw in the night visions, (says Daniel,) and behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. 

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." 

It is clear that there can be no dispute concerning the time of his Advent, as to whether or no it precedes the Millennium. The only question is, whether it be a spiritual or a personal coming? Now throughout the Scriptures, Christ is the great antitype; yet if this be not taken in its plain literal sense, Christ would appear merely as a type of the progress of his own Gospel in the heart of man, and therefore a type signifying something infinitely inferior in dignity to that which was pointed out by the morning and evening lamb of the daily sacrifice. 

IV. In the Scriptures the reigning of the saints with Christ, is not referred to merely as a state of future prosperity which the church in the latter days was to expect, 

but as the comfort and encouragement of the people of Christ in every age; as something in which they were personally interested, and as intimately connected with the;' resurrection from the dead. 

The truth is, this is the glory to which the suffering church (a character which exclusively belongs to it under the dispensation previous to the Millennium) is elected, being predestinated not only to be partakers of Christ's mercies, but to be partakers of the throne of his glory. 

The converted nation of the Jews, and the remaining inhabitants of the world, will enjoy a state [67] of eminent blessedness; but it will fall far short of that glorious height of dignity to which the once suffering church will be elevated. As kings and priests, it is implied that there are others over whom they are to reign, and for whom they are to interpose. 

V. All the prophecies which relate to the sufferings and humiliation of the Saviour, were fulfilled literally. Why, then, should not those prophecies which relate to his exaltation and reign upon earth, be in like manner literally accomplished? If we are at liberty to spiritualize all those prophetic declarations which foretell Christ's reign in glory, how can we blame the Jews for adopting a similar mode of interpreting other predictions not more clear and less numerous? The very fact of such prophecies, as, A virgin shall bring forth a son, etc., being ever fulfilled, renders their accomplishment a more glorious display of that divine tribute, which Jehovah claims as peculiarly his own, and in pros, of which he even appeals to prophecy. The legitimate conclusion from the literal fulfillment of prophecy in times past surely is, that predictions concerning the future will have a similar accomplishment. That as in Calvary Christ really made his soul an offering for sin, so will he really reign in Mount Zion and before his ancients gloriously. (Isa. liii. 10; xxiv. 23.)

VI. To those who oppose the literal interpretation of the passages in Scripture which refer to the approaching Advent of our Lord, it must appear singular, 

that there is not in the Gospels or Epistles the slightest reference to such a period of peace and purity, as the Old Testament prophecies everywhere represent, as still to be enjoyed on earth.  

Yet in the New Testament, so interwoven are the intimations of the coming of our Lord, and resurrection of the saints, with all reference to the Millennium, that if these events are placed after that happy time, then undeniably there is not the most distant allusion to it. 

If Paul refers to the Millennium when the sons of Abraham shall be grafted into their own olive tree, it is, when the Deliverer shall come out of Zion. (Rom. xi. 26.) If Peter alludes to it, as the times of restitution, it is, when the Lord shall send Jesus Christ. (Acts iii. 20.) If the same Apostle refers to the Millennium, when the promise of God, uttered by the prophet Isaiah, should be fulfilled, of new heavens and a new earth, when Jerusalem shall be created a joy, and her people a rejoicing, (Isa. lxv. 17, 18,) still with these new heavens and new earth our views are again directed to the coming of the day of God, which day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. (II. Pet. iii. 8-13.)

VII. On the supposition that Christ was not to return till after the Millennium, 

it would appear surprising that he should not have included that long term of holiness and happiness among the signs which shall precede his coming. (Matt. xxiv.) After the world has [68] for thousands of years been torn by dissension, and been the scene of every wickedness, such a lengthened period of universal purity and peace must have proved a very notable sign. 

But the words "immediately after the tribulation of those days," (Matt. xxiv. 29, 30,) prove that the coming of the Saviour shall precede the commencement of the Millennium, and therefore its existence could not have been given as a sign of his approach.  

VIII. When the disciples asked, (Acts. i. 6,) "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (and this question was put after their understandings had been opened, that they might understand the Scriptures, Luke xxiv. 45) our Saviour did not reprove them for cherishing expectations inconsistent with his design, as he did on occasions when this was really the case; but on the contrary gave them every reason to believe that their hopes were well founded. This also proves that at the period of his ascension, the Apostles did expect that he should personally restore the kingdom to Israel.

 IX. The Jewish church, overlooking the series of predictions which related to Christ's humiliation, and fixing their attention only on those which foretold his exaltation, expected with perfect unanimity from Dan. vii. 14, and other prophetic passages, that the Messiah would come as a glorious king to reign in the midst of them; ignorant that he must first suffer many things. The ancient Christian church did in like manner understand the passages of the Old Testament, now adduced by those who advocate a literal translation, as signifying the real, personal, and glorious advent of the Messiah. This strong fact is proved by the writings of St. Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenζus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Tertullian, etc.

It has been justly remarked by an anonymous writer on another subject, that "those who lived nearest to the Apostles, must have best known the minds of the Apostles.

If then a Romanist and Protestant differ as to the meaning of a text which is the basis of any particular doctrine, let the point in dispute, whenever it is practicable, be referred to the decision of the primitive church."  

X. In the New Testament there are three noun substantives used to signify the advent.

Apokalupsis, revelation; Epiphaneia, appearance; Parousia, coming, or presence. The first occurs I. Cor. i. 7; 11. Thess. i. 7; I. Pet. i. 7. The second occurs II. Tim. i. 10, in relation to our Lord's first coming in the flesh, and in relation to his second coming in the following texts: I Tim. iv. 14; II. Tim. iv. 1-8; Tit. ii. 13. The third, Parousia, occurs four times in Matt. xxiv.; I. Cor. xv. 23; I. Thess. ii. 19; iii. 13; iv. 15; v. 23. It is used for the coming or presence of St. Paul with the churches, II Cor. x. 10, Phil. i. 26. ii. 2. For the coming of Antichrist, II. Thess. ii. 9; the coming of Stephanus, I. Cor. xvi. 17; the coming of Titus, II Cor. Vii. 7. A [69] review of these passages will satisfactorily prove that these words are used to signify the second personal coming of our Lord; nor does it appear that any of these words is ever used to denote the spiritual or figurative appearance of any person. It is remarkable, too, that the word Epiphaneia was particularly employed by the Greeks to denote the appearance of their gods with circumstances of outward splendor. 

Now the coming of our Lord to destroy the man of sin previous to the Millennium, in II. Thess. ii. 8, is expressed by the union of two of the above nouns, te epiphaneia tes parousias autou, by the bright shining of his coming: and if neither of these nouns can singly denote a spiritual advent, much less can they when conjoined; and if each of them, when employed separately means a personal manifestation and presence, much more must they when united. 

Since, therefore, 

the glorious coming of Christ takes place at the destruction of Antichrist, 
and since his destruction occurs by the unanimous consent of the church of God in all ages before the Millennium, it follows that Christ comes in glory to judge the world before that period. 

XI. When the Lord and his Apostles would inculcate the necessity of watchfulness upon those who profess to acknowledge him as their Master, the language is remarkable. They do not address them in such words as these, "Watch, for death is hastening;" "Be ready, for shortly you must leave this earth"--but thus do they warn them: "Watch, therefore, for ye know not the hour your Lord doth come.' "Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." In fact, death is a subject to which the Lord and his Apostles but seldom refer, and which they do not bring forward as an incentive to watchfulness and preparation. 

The coming of the Lord, the second and glorious appearing of the divine Saviour, this it is which they urge upon us, and by the consideration of which, to connection with the events which are then to take place, they endeavor to overcome the inherent slothfulness of our nature, and stir us up to activity in the work of God, and to watchfulness over our hearts and spirits. For thus doth the Lord himself caution us: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares; for as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke xxi. 35-37).

 XII. The first event which distinguishes the advent of our Lord (Matt. xxv. 31), 

is, that he shall then sit on the throne of his glory. 
If it is not till the advent that he shall thus sit on the throne of his [70] glory, 
it necessarily follows, that he is not now sitting on that throne.

Accordingly, he himself assures us (Rev. iii. 21), 
that the throne where he now sits, is that of his Father (in heaven); 
and his words necessarily imply, that his session on his own throne is yet a future event. 

If we further inquire what is the identical throne on which Messiah, the Son of Man, shall sit? we find an answer in the well-known prophecy of Isa., ix. 7: 

"He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and establish it." Confirmatory of which, are also the words of Gabriel to his virgin mother (Luke 32): 

"The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." Unless, then, we identify the throne of David with that of the Eternal Father, which would be blasphemy,  we must acknowledge that the session of Messiah on his own throne, is a distinct event, and belonging to another period.

The judgment in Matt. xxv. 31, commences, therefore, when the Son of Man sits upon the throne of his father David. Now, is any light thrown upon the chronology of this stupendous event by other passages of Scripture?

In Matt. xix. 28, will be found the following remarkable words, spoken by our Lord to his Apostles: "Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." In the parallel text of Luke xxii. 28, 30, there is to be found the additional circumstance that it is in the kingdom of our Lord that this promise is to be fulfilled: "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations, and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Now, the precise time when this kingdom of the Son of Man shall be established, is manifest from Dan. vii. 13, 14. wherein the prophet sees the Messiah brought near to the Ancient of Days, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him. And that this event coincides with the beginning of the Millennium is generally acknowledged as a main and leading principle of prophetic chronology, even by the opponents of literal interpretation.

We read of no other kingdom given to the Son of Man than the one mentioned in this passage of Daniel, and the corresponding texts of the Apocalypse; and at the close of the dispensation of the kingdom, we learn that he delivers it up to the Father, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. xv. 24.) [JAMES NISBET.] 


Sec 4

The following is condensed from twenty-seven essays under the above title, published in 1841 to 1843, during the excitement produced by Wm. Miller preaching that Christ would come in August, 1843: [70]

Of all future events, that of the coming of the Lord in power and glory, is the most soul-subduing, enrapturing, and transcendant. In one sentence, it is "the blessed hope." The church has been praying for it, and the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain for it for almost two thousand years. "Behold, he cometh in the clouds of and every eye shall see him. They also that pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Then will "heaven's eternal arches ring" with shoutings of glory, and 'honor, and blessing, and praise, while his enemies will be confounded with terror and clothed with shame.

But when shall this most joyful hope be consummated in vision! When shall the Lord come! Whether shall it be before the triumphs of Christianity over Paganism, Mahometanism, Papalism, and Atheism, usually called the Millennium, or after this moral victory? 

This is the great question now in debate. My method of deciding it embraces in its philosophy as a primary evidence the events that are clearly and incontrovertibly declared to be concomitant with, or attendant upon his coming. These decided, and the question is, in my opinion, settled on the clearest and safest foundation. To discover and substantiate these, is the burthen of the present essay. Of necessity, therefore, this essay must consist mainly of testimony from which we may argue again. The points to which I solicit attention are four:--

 1st. The probability of the personal return of the Lord to this earth.
 2d. The certainty of it.
 3d. The manner of it.
 4th. The events then to be expected.

The probability of his return is argued from two facts:--1st. It is the place of his nativity. "And thou Bethlehem of Judah art not the least of the cantons of Israel; for out of thee shall he come--or in thee shall he be born, who shall become Governor of my people Israel." "The Word that was in the beginning with God, that was God," "by whom all things were made," became human flesh in the city of David, and was born of a daughter of Eve, in Asia, 1,836 years ago. It is human to love the place of one's nativity. And especially is it pleasant for one who has been raised to great honor and authority, and who has been long unknown to the place where he first saw the light of heaven, to revisit the scenes of his childhood, and re-survey the humble horizon which once bounded his views of the universe, and in which he first learned to know himself. No wonder, then, should our Lord delight to stand at "the latter day upon this earth," not far from the Mount of Olives, whence to heaven his earthly friends and relatives saw him triumphantly ascend. [72]

But there is a second fact that adds much to the probability of his return: He has much property in this earth. All things in it, on it, and connected with it, are his. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof"--"All things were made by him and for him, and he is before all things;" and by him all things are preserved, for he upholds all things by his all-powerful word. "The Lord has created all things for himself"--"For thy pleasure they are and were created." Where the treasure is the heart is. Where one has much property he has much thought and much attachment. Our Lord has much property here. The earth, the sea, the air--the kingdoms, animal, vegetable, mineral, are his.
        The Devil will not for ever usurp the territory of Christ's present kingdom; nor retain the field, the theatre of war, on which he and our Messiah in single combat fought the first battle, when first Satan felt the sharp two-edged sword that proceeded out of his mouth. He will take the field and drive the usurper down to eternal ruin. The earth is, moreover, dear to the Lord; because the ashes of all his saints, a few only excepted, are in it. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, etc. have their sepulchres with us to this day. From such considerations and facts we infer the probability of his return. But to the second point, the certainty of his return:--

1st. The types under the law indicate his return. The Jewish High Priest entered the most holy place once a year. He presented his sacrifice there before Him that dwells between the cherubim. Meantime, the people anxiously expected his return after he had for them made an offering and prepared a place. He ultimately returned to the door of the tabernacle and blessed them that looked for his return. So says Paul; Christ was once offered to bear the sin of many, and to them that look for him (as the Jews looked for the return of the High Priest) shall he appear the second time, without a sin-offering, to salvation, having made his offering within the vail.

2d. He promised to return. Matt. xvi. 27, "The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works." So also speaks the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt. xxv. 31); so also the parable of the Nobleman going into a far country to receive a kingdom and return (Luke xix. 11-23).
    And, without a figure, in his valedictory he says, "I go to prepare a place for you, and will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also" (John xiv. 3).
    This is excelled only by Acts i. 11, "Men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up to heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven." The certainty of his return being now as definite and plain as our language can make it, we shall now hear something of [73]

3d. The manner of his returning. In one word, we are informed, (Luke ix. 26,) that he will come in his own glory, his Father's glory, and in that of the holy angels. Well did Paul say, "Looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." In awful majesty God as lawgiver descended on Mount Sinai. (Ex. xix.) "On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud, so that all the people that was in the camp trembled." "And all the people saw the thunders and lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, and the fire blazing up into the midst of heaven; and they removed and stood afar off." Such was the glory of the Lawgiver.

But when he appears as a Judge, "a fiery stream issues and goes before him, thousand thousands of angels minister to him, ten thousand times ten thousand stand before him, and the books are opened.

Earth and heaven shall flee away, and there is found no place for them. Our God shall come, and shall no more be silent, but speak out. A fire shall go before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall summon earth and heaven. The Lord shall descend with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. His voice shall be heard by every ear, dead and alive, in the whole universe--all that are in their graves shall hear it and come forth." But we hasten to the four great events attendant on his coming:--

1. He will raise all the saints.

Some Millenarians say only some of the saints, and quote Daniel and John in proof of it. Daniel, alluding, as they think, to the second or premillennial coming of the Lord, says, 

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake--some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt." 

And John says, "I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." 

From these two Prophets some infer that there will be only a portion of the saints, as described by John, who shall share in the first resurrection, and that the remainder will sleep a thousand years to the second resurrection

In opposition to this view we assert that all the saints will be raised whenever the Lord appears in person. Some of our proof will be found in the following Scriptures: 

I. Thess. iv. 16, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall [73] rise first"--not a part of the dead, but the dead in Christ, shall rise first. We are here definitely assured that when the Lord himself (or in person) descends, the dead in Christ shall rise. The import of the term first, in its proper place, shall appear. A second proof we have from the same source. 

I. Cor. xv. 23, "All shall be made alive--they that are Christ's, at his coming." Not some of them, but "they that are Christ's," shall be made alive--not before nor after, but at his coming. This does not look like a part, a thousand years before another part. 

A third proof we have in the 52d verse of the same chapter: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump the dead [saints] shall be raised incorruptible." If these, which are but a sample, will not demonstrate that all the saints shall be raised not before, nor after, but at the coming of the Lord, a thousand repetitions of them in various forms would not. But in the second place, [74]

The living saints shall be changed immediately upon the raising of the dead saints.

Our proofs are found in the passages already quoted: I. Thess. iv. 15, "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not anticipate them that are asleep. The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." From this statement we learn that the dead in Christ shall rise at the sound of the trumpet; and while it yet sounds, the living saints shall be changed in a twinkling, and shall with them ascend to meet the Lord.

From the 15th of Corinthians we learn this mystery: "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment--the dead shall be raised, and the living shall be changed." Again, to the Philippians he says, "Our citizenship is in heaven, whence also we look for the Saviour the Lord Jesus, who shall change our humble body into a form like to his own glorious body, according to the working by which he is able to subdue all things to himself." The transformation of the living saints is, then, as evident and certain as the resurrection of the dead, at the coming of the Lord.

A third event that shall accompany the coming of the Lord, will be, the judgment and final separation of the righteous and the wicked.

Hitherto we have spoken only of the resurrection and transformation of the saints at the coming of the Lord. But we might have also connected with these two grand events the resurrection of all the wicked. Our Lord himself is first witness here. 

He says (John, v. 39), "Marvel not at this--for the hour cometh in the which all "that are in their graves shall come forth: they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation," 

Then cometh the general judgment; for this is [74] connected with the second coming (Matt. xvi. 27), "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his holy angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his actions.

The rewarding of all mankind is here connected with the coming of the Lord in glory. 

Again (Matt. xxv. 31),"When the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with all his holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them as a shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats," etc. 

Rev. xxi. 12, "Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give to every man as his works shall be." Indeed, the general and final judgment of the human race is almost universally spoken of in conjunction with the coming of the Lord in person. There yet remains a fourth grand event:--

The structure of the material universe shall be changed, and new heavens and a new earth created.

In the 102d Psalm we have this promise, "The heavens shall perish--they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture thou shalt change them." 

Therefore, according to the promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth: for, says Peter, quoting from an old Prophet, "The heavens and the earth that are now are reserved unto Fire, against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

In the day of the Lord "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." 

But He that sits upon the throne says, "Behold I create all things new" (Rev. xxi. 5); and accordingly John saw new heavens and a new earth. And from that point in the heavens where the saints of the Lord assembled around their Master during the general conflagration, John saw the New Jerusalem, the holy city coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband, to locate in the new earth, the everlasting home of man; for the tabernacle of God is to be there forever. 

The Old Jerusalem he called sodom

On this point I do not now amplify. My object is simply to produce Scriptural evidence that when the Lord appears a second time these four events will certainly follow in quick succession:--

1st. All the dead saints shall be raised
2d. All the living saints shall be changed
3d. All nations shall be judged and a final separation between the good and the bad shall take place. 
4th. New heavens and a new earth shall be created, and the earth shall then be the dwelling place of Jehovah, the centre of the universe, the throne of the Eternal, and all things shall be subdued to him.  These points being established, not by reason or argument, but by clear and unequivocal testimony, we shall in the sequel argue from them as [76] established points. 

Meanwhile, we offer the following question to the consideration of our brethren:--

If our Lord personally appear before the Millennium, what will the Millennium be, and where shall it be found? 

And if, according to Mr. Miller and some others, more imaginative than learned in prophecy, this event shall be within a few years; how shall all the promises and prophecies concerning Jew and Gentile be fulfilled? 

Do they all simply mean the resurrection and the glorification of the saints at the coming of the Lord! ! A hint is enough at present. We have many such to offer in their proper season.

A. c.

Sect 5

If the coming of the Lord be soon--within the present century, for example--then there will be no Millennium or triumph of Christianity over its various rivals now in the field. They will rather have triumphed over it. 

However much real Christians desire the return of their Master, there are few of them, 

I think, who would not desire his gospel to have a freer circulation and a more triumphant career in the world than it has ever yet had, before the last act of the drama of human existence on this present earth is finished. 

In this case, too, "the kingdom, and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven," has not been given according to promise, to the people of the Most High

and very many such promises have failed. This we can not yet believe. 

There are some, indeed, who look for the almost immediate return of the Messiah, 
        and yet calculate on the conversion of the Jews and of many Gentile nations:
        but they will have them converted by sight rather than by faith,
        and upon that principle all the world will be converted to the belief
        that Jesus is the Christ when they see him coming from heaven in power and great glory.
                But such a conversion will not be to salvation, but to condemnation.
                They shall see him, and wail at his coming.

But still the question returns, Will the Lord come before or after the Millennium? 

It is decided that if he come so soon as 1843, 1847, or 1866,
        there can be no thousand years' triumph of Christianity,
        because the events that are to follow in instant succession upon his coming
        preclude the possibility of any further conflict between truth and error;
        nay, preclude the increase of the human family, and forever separate the righteous and the wicked.

The structure of the earth is changed--new heavens and earth occupy its place--and instead of being with the Lord a thousand years on this earth, his people will be with him in a new earth to all eternity! This, then, is a summary way of settling the whole controversy about the literal or figurative return of the Lord before the Millennium.

We shall then proceed to the consideration of the second point, viz. — What are the events which are to precede the coming of the Lord? [77]

In general terms we answer, The fulfilment of all his promises concerning the destinies of his friends and enemies on this earth; or, to speak our views in the words of an Apostle, "Him the heavens shall retain until the times of the accomplishment of all the things which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets from the beginning of time."

 Of these the following are chief specifications:--

 1. The downfall of Judaism.
 2. The downfall of Papalism.
 3. The downfall of Mahometanism.
 4. The downfall of Paganism.
 5. The triumph of Christianity.

But before we speak particularly of these, we are, from the force of circumstances, constrained to examine a very notable passage in the Apocalypse,
        which will be urged by some against our views already expressed on the resurrection 
        which is to accompany the appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Rev. xx. 1-10.) 

This is the Millennium--the mysterious and wonderful passage on which there have been written a thousand volumes printed, and ten thousand sermons delivered. In ten verses we have one thousand years six times mentioned under some new circumstance:--

[what will be urged against Campbell's views]

 1st. Satan is bound for a thousand years.
 2d. He deceives not the nations for a thousand years.
 3d. The martyrs and confessors live and reign with Christ a thousand years.
 4th. The rest of the dead revived not for a thousand years.
 5th. They shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
 6th. At the end of a thousand years Satan shall be loosed,
        and the work of deception shall again commence.

Although we have this Millennium, or one thousand years, six times named in four periods, we have it only in three distinct connections: 

        1st. The destruction of Satanic influence for a thousand years. 
        2d. The living and reigning with Christ on this earth of certain saints, confessors
                and martyrs, for one thousand years.
        3d. The permission of Satan to revisit the earth after the thousand years are accomplished.

This Millennium, [being urged] it is worthy of remark, is to be preceded and succeeded by a resurrection. The first resurrection precedes and they second resurrection succeeds it. It is, then, an interval of a thousand years between two resurrections. 

Now that the resurrection before, and the resurrection after, this thousand years,
        are both figurative resurrections, and in various points to be contrasted with the literal [77]
        and true resurrection, is a proposition which we think can be fully sustained.

This we undertake, however, at this time because of a somewhat popular misapplication of the whole passage in its principal bearings upon that resurrection, true and proper, which is to follow upon the second coming of our Lord. But we shall make the contrast of the premillennial resurrection with the resurrection, accompanying the second advent, the subject of a special essay. A. C.   

Sect 6

That we may be understood in this antithesis, or contrast between the literal, and the figurative resurrection,
        we shall call the former the resurrection of the body,
        and the latter the premillennial resurrection.

1st. Before we advance into this subject, while in the portico we shall define a literal and a figurative resurrection. We have the literal and the figurative in things natural, moral, and religious. There are two births, circumcisions, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials; and why should there not be two resurrections?

Nicodemus was a great literalist when he asked, How can a grown man be born again? As great literalists, perhaps, may they be found who take "the first resurrection" mentioned in the 20th of the apocalyptic, visions, to be a literal one. But it is yet too soon to decide. We first examiner then decide.

We have a minute account of a figurative resurrection of the house of Israel by the Prophet Ezekiel. The Lord "opened the graves" and raised from the valley of "dry bones" a living and puissant army. That was a figurative resurrection. In baptism we are both buried and raised with Christ--planted in the similitude of his death, to be raised in the similitude of his resurrection.

The restoration of Israel in Rom. xi.
        Is by Paul called "life from the dead." "Since you have been raised with Christ, a
        scend in your affections," is a part of the beautiful imagery of Paul to the Colossians.
If there were two Elijahs, one literal and one figurative,
        we need not wonder that there should be two resurrections--a figurative and a literal one.

Now in the book of types and symbols the presumption is in favor of a metaphorical resurrection, unless something be connected with it that precludes the possibility or probability of such an appropriation.

When any cause is almost or altogether dead, whether it be good or bad, should it suddenly and unexpectedly revive, we would with Paul think of "life from the dead," or with John call it a resurrection. 

Nay, it may yet appear that John has a first and a second figurative resurrection--one before and one after his thousand years; for if after a long prostrate, dispirited, and ineffectual profession of the faith, a great and unprecedented revival should take place, and a [78] Prophet should call it a resurrection, might he not, at the end of that great revival or resurrection of the good spirits of the olden time, when an opposite class began to rise into power, think of another resurrection, which in contrast he would naturally call a second resurrection? This John virtually does by calling one of them a first resurrection; and by afterwards speaking of the "REST OF THE DEAD" living again. Whether I have got the true secret of interpreting the 20th of the Apocalypse, the following antithesis may in part demonstrate. 

We shall only add that while a literal resurrection has respect to the body dead and buried, a figurative resurrection in the Christian religion will indicate not bodies, but souls quickened, animated, and elevated by the Spirit of God. And that as in the same treatise John speaks of the death, and of "the spirit of life" reanimating and elevating to heaven the two witnesses, the presumption is that he is as figurative in the 20th as he was in the 14th chapter of his scenetic and symbolic representations.

1st. The resurrection of the body is only a resurrection of the body; 
        whereas the premillennial resurrection is a resurrection of souls, and not of bodies.

is the first resurrection." Now of the body Paul says, "It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body--it is sown a corruptible body and, raised an incorruptible." The premillennial resurrection is a raising of souls, while the resurrection which immediately follows the appearance of the Lord, is a raising of bodies.

See Revelation 19f

2d. The resurrection of the body is general--the premillennial is special.

"All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." "There shall be a resurrection of the just and the unjust." These, with other passages of the same significance, apply to the resurrection of the dead, as all admit. 

But in the account of the premillennial resurrection only some will participate in it: for, says John, "I saw the souls of them beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and whosoever had not worshipped the beast nor his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

3d. The resurrection of the body will be accompanied with the transformation of all the living saints--the premillennial will not.

No one pretends that all the living saints will be changed when the first resurrection (as it is called) transpires; and no one can deny that Paul says both the living saints shall be changed and the dead raised, and both ascend together to meet the Lord in the air. [80]

4th. The participants of the resurrection of the saints will live and reign forever; 
        while the participants of the premillennial resurrection
        are only to live and reign one thousand years.

I need not prove that the phrase, "we shall be ever with the Lord," applies to the subjects of the "resurrection of the just," nor need I prove that the limitation of the life and triumphs of the saints to one thousand years, precludes the idea of its being an eternal life and endless reign. If I promise a person a lease of an estate for ten or twenty years, it is by common consent understood that those years expired, his lease and occupancy terminated with that period. 

Now as it is said they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,
it must be understood that that being transpired,
the life and reign with Christ are necessarily completed.

5th. The resurrection of the body, its transformation and that of the earth, are almost coincident events;
        while the premillennial resurrection
        is neither accompanied nor succeeded with any such transformations;

        nay, it is to be succeeded by another resurrection of the souls of the wicked,
        called "the rest of the dead.

        "The rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were expired."
Now as the phrase, "they lived a thousand years," intimates that in that sense and state they lived no more than a thousand years; so the phrase, 

"the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were expired," intimates that as soon as the thousand years were expired they lived again. And, no doubt, this their life, was like that of their predecessors--their spirits lived after the thousand years, as the spirits of the just lived during the thousand years. It was a resurrection of wicked souls, as the first resurrection was of souls beheaded for Jesus.The loosing of Satan and this resurrection are contemporaneous events-as the binding of Satan and the first resurrection of the souls of the witnesses, are contemporaneous events.

And the peculiarity of this second figurative resurrection is, that it is not at the ultimate and final close of time, but at the end of the thousand years.

The spirits that disturbed the just before the first resurrection now appear in the field again, and encamp against the saints. And this, too, before the final consummation.
For after this second spiritual resurrection the souls under Satan, "who live and reign with him," go out to deceive the nations--to gather Gog and Magog to battle against the saints--a host as numerous as the sand of the sea.
 6th. The resurrection of the dead immediately precedes the destruction of the last enemy;
        but the premillennial resurrection leaves not only Satan,
        but death in the field, to gain new triumphs,
        more than one thousand years after its consummation.

So far from Death, the last enemy, being destroyed before the Millennium--so far from Satan being forever crushed by the first resurrection, it is intimated that he will be loosed, and that he will deceive the nations and raise a war against the saints even after the thousand years shall have been fulfilled

Can any one reconcile this with Paul's affirmation while expatiating on the resurrection of the dead? "Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed." "Death is swallowed up for ever." "Grave, where now thy victory!"

7th. It was before shown that the final conflagration and the new creation of a heaven and an earth more congenial with the new bodies of the saints, will immediately accompany the resurrection of the body; 
        while the premillennial resurrection indicates a residence
        on the present earth for a thousand years after it is burned up!

These seven specifications of antitheses between the literal and figurative resurrections may suffice for the present. There are other points that have occurred to us besides these; but these, 

we presume incontrovertibly show that the Lord can not possibly come in person before the Millennium; and that with me, at present, is all that I wish to establish. 

The events that do accompany, and those that must, according to the very plainest oracles, precede his personal return, 
        are such as forbid any one well read, or profoundly attentive to the subject, 
        to believe or teach the personal coming of the Lord, 
       or a literal resurrection of any portion of the saints, before the Millennium.

[A. C.] 

Sect 7

This subject is daily assuming more interest. That the coming of the Lord is near, comparatively very near, is now a popular doctrine. Protestants are generally, if not universally, in expectation of it. 

Hence "the many running to and fro;" the spirit of inquiry now kindling into a fervor, and the thousand heralds of the anticipation at home and abroad, calling upon the people to prepare for the sublime scene. All concur, whatever their theory of his coming, in the opinion that it is to be an awfully grand and glorious event. To Christ's party, a day of gladness--a joyful and triumphant time; to the opposing party, a day of terror and alarm--a day of darkness, an era of vengeance and destruction.

We are glad to see that our brethren are becoming less imaginative and more rational on the subject.

There is still, however, among some of us
        too much emphasis placed on the importance of the
        restoration of the unconverted Jews to their own land.

Some seem to regard a restoration of Israel according to the flesh, to the land of Judea, not merely as a consummation most devoutly to be wished, but as the consummation of the predictions of the Prophets. It becomes us not to question, at this time, [81] the return of the Jews to Palestine. Such an event is, to a certain extent, probable.
        But were it to take place tomorrow, it would not fulfill the prophecies of the restoration of Israel.

The 11th to the Romans opens brighter scenes to our vision. A thorough conversion and restoration of Israel to the rank of being once more the people of God in common with the Gentiles--a restoration of them to "their own olive tree," to a covenant relation to God, in virtue of the Messiah's triumph, is the burthen of the prophecy.

That the return of Israel to Canaan is not a matter in which the Christian Church is much interested, and more than the Jews themselves, we infer from the following consideration and facts:

1. The return or restoration of Israel to Canaan, is neither promised nor intimated in any form in the whole New Testament.

2. Unless their ancient temple and religion should be restored, 
        and the ancient wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles were to be rebuilt,
        we can discover no great blessing that it could be to the present Jews to take possession
        of the desolations of many generations, the ruined and dilapidated cities,
        and the poor impoverished valleys and rocky eminences of Judea.

3. Again, if returned to their own land in the style of some of the interpreters, they must have a government and national privileges of their own--a new monarchy or theocracy, or the Lord Messiah in person. 

        David was to be their king politically, when a restored people. 

Are we Gentiles prepared for this? Have we not proved already that he will never revisit the earth till the last day of all time! And were he to come in person as the son of David to reign in Jerusalem over the Jews, would we think the Gentiles were at all blessed by such an event? Would we then be "all one in Christ Jesus," as Paul has taught us?

4. But, in the fourth place, we are taught to expect their conversion to the Lord, than when seated in their own land;
for it is through the mercy of the Gentiles that they are hereafter to obtain mercy; for, says Paul in this chapter, "as you in time past have not believed, yet now have obtained mercy through their unbelief, even so have these also now not obtained mercy, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy."

Does not this indicate that the Jews are to be converted through the interposition of the Gentiles? Again, says Paul, "I would not have you" ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part has happened to Israel till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved;" for "out of Zion shall come the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."

This fully intimates their conversion. It is still more clear in the original than in the common version. [83]

This is again farther intimated in another promise still more plain, because spoken in the New Testament. Jesus says by Luke, "The Jews shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." 

Were this the city merely, and not the people, that are trodden down, it would be difficult to reconcile it with the facts of history ancient and modern. But that the people, the commonwealth of Israel, has been so trodden down, all the world knows and attests. But the close of this period shall come: for blindness in part has happened to Israel (only) until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and then "all Israel shall be saved."

Sect 8

Mr. Ward and his brethren regard the Millennium of the Apocalypse as a comet in the prophetic heavens. His words are--


This is revealed in Rev. xx., and from the first notice of it by Justin Martyr, has been a stumbling-block to the curious, a sort of absurd quantity to the prophetic mathematicians; an enigma of mystery, glorious, like Melchisedec among kings, and divine like Elijah among prophets; but abstruse as the lineage of that king, and unapproachable as the chariot of fire which carried that prophet into heaven. I have no solution of it quite satisfactory to my own mind, but I have learned to regard it as a comet in the heavenly system, forming and performing a true and important part in the economy of revelation; comet-like, of an orbit so eccentric, and a revolution so diverse among the great doctrines of the heavenly kingdom that no man has yet been able to measure its pathway, to determine its specific gravity, or to calculate its period: and seen in one view, its train on a time sweeps with terrific grandeur over a quarter of the skies, filling all hearts with dismay and alarm, and seen at another time, it dashes in among the moons of a planet, as if it would brush them all away, but absolutely passes off, and leaves them unharmed, unmoved, unshaken, itself pursuing its inscrutable way among the starry host of heaven, without any deviation or perceptible change.

 Before Justin Martyr we have Barnabas, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Hermas, whose writings record their hope of the coming and kingdom of Christ, as preached in the Evangelists; and I submit to every devout mind, how little we ought to be affected by any new view of divine truth, which first appears in the church after the middle of the second century; it seems to be safer to expound the Millennium by the kingdom of heaven, as the apostles and primitive Christians did, than to open a new doctrine out of Rev. xx., which some in the third and fourth centuries attempted to do.

This "comet Millennium," so little understood, it will be noted, is the only Millennium of which the whole Bible speaks. This is the Millennium discarded, as I conceive, by this new school, to find room for an "eternal" Millennium. [84]

The difficulty seems to be not about a personal glorious return of the Lord--not about the creation of a new earth and heaven; but whether we shall have a verification of the 20th of the Apocalypse in this world at all, or whether it be a prophecy including an eternal rest. 

Either myself or the Millenarians seem essentially to have mistaken the subject of the Millennium. Is not the Millennium one distinct promise? Is it not a new testament--an apocalyptic intimation? We have but one Millennium in the Divine Volume, and is not that but once spoken of by inspiration? We have no "comet" Millennium, solar, lunar, or sidereal. We have but one Millennium--one thousand years literal or figurative, which is to be temporal, and not eternal.

Sect 9

The hope of all true Christians is the glorious appearance of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The whole church, anticipating his coming, not for a sin-offering, but for the redemption of his people, exclaim with one voice, 

"Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" "We believe that when he shall appear we also shall appear with him in glory--we shall be like him--we shall see him as he is."

Every century since he left the earth has expected him. The many allusions to this most glorious of all events found in the apostolic; writings, have kept this hope alive in every age; and from the figurative and literal descriptions of it in time, place, and circumstance, many misapprehensions and mistakes have been diffused through society, occasionally, to the mortification of the more enlightened of the community of the faith, and sometimes to the general discredit of the profession.

There is still a prevailing idea that the inculcation and persuasion 
of his immediate return would greatly tend to the conversion of sinners and to the sanctification of the faithful.

To me, I confess, there has never appeared much reason for this conclusion, nor much in the history of humanity to warrant such an expectation.

All admit that the ultimate coming of the Lord in any given time can not be made more certain than the death of any individual in a given time; nay, that no reasonings on prophecy can make it so certain to any man at the age of thirty that the Lord will appear in person within forty years, as that he will go to the Lord in that period of time.

In one word, my death is always much more probable in any fixed period than that the Lord will come during my life. Now whether I go to the Lord or the Lord comes to me within forty-three or forty-seven, is certainly equal, so far as my personal salvation is concerned; and the former event being more probable or certain than the latter, will, of course, be a better argument in favor of personal holiness or Christian perfection, than any motives which could be deduced from the second advent. [85]

I confess, then, that I have never felt the force of reason in any argument drawn from the second advent as near at hand, come from what source it might. 

Indeed I am much more certain that our individual death is sometimes called the coming of the Lord, than I am of the truth or reasonableness of any of the Millenarian theories now being preached all over the land. 

I hear them all with candor, as I have impartially submitted them to my readers. 

Still my candor must not be construed into acquiescence with any of them.

"My Lord delays his coming," says an unfaithful servant in a parable, and straightway assaults his fellows for the promotion of his own interest or honor. This text and parable are now held out in terrorem over the heads of those who dissent from the propagators of some of those now current theories of the immediate return. They write and talk as though that text was written for the special benefit of the year 1842--as though it had no practical utility in the age when it was first promulged. It is regarded as a sign of an unfaithful servant should anyone just now say that the Messiah in his second advent need not be expected for some years.

True, indeed, there are some advantages to be derived from the settlement of the question concerning the Messiah's return--advantages to all parties--to the Millenarians and to the Millennists.

Were we assured, or were it more probable than the contrary opinion, that he would return immediately, we should neither build, nor plant, nor make any provisions beyond the time anticipated.

We would do as Noah did when warned of God of things not seen as yet. If we would not build an ark, we would lay aside all business and every pursuit prospective of a time beyond the period of the contemplated return. If we would not, Thessalonian like, forbear working altogether, we would extend our efforts only commensurate with the supposed interval.

On the other hand, should we conclude that generations are yet to intervene, and nations yet enveloped in the gloom of Paganism to be converted to Christ, before he appear to raise the dead and wind up the drama of human doings on the old theatre, we should institute an inquiry into the ways and means by which to extend Truth's dominions and the Gospel's conquests over its innumerable rivals in the human heart.

The practical tendencies of the true systems of prophetic interpretation are as dissimilar as the views of the respective parties now in the field. On this account, then, we suppose it important, if practicable, to come to some certainty as to the time when the pulse of Nature will make a full and perfect pause, obedient to the sovereign mandate of her Almighty Lord.

But there is another practical aspect which this subject bears to the work of conversion worthy of a remark or two. I never thought that the certainty of death, or the uncertainty of life, ranked either in the [86] first or in the second class of arguments and motives inductive to repentance or conversion. My chief argument in evidence is, that our Lord and his Apostles did not give it prominence in their public addresses. It rarely occurs in the Gospels, and still more rarely in the Acts of the Apostles. It is of more use to Christians than to sinners, and is therefore found most frequently in the Epistles.

Penitence superinduced by affliction, and repentance originating on a death-bed, have long since been of doubtful reputation. The goodness of God is the specific argument that leads to true repentance. Panic fears and impulses are not the eloquence of Christ's gospel. The terrors of the Lord are no doubt a necessary portion of the arguments that complete Heaven's grand appeal to the whole nature of man. Of all the arguments addressed to the fears and hopes of man, none is so soul-subduing and transforming as those deduced from his philanthropy as displayed in the gift of his dearly beloved and only begotten Son. This is the Alpha and the Omega of the eloquence of Prophets and Apostles.

I should fear that converts made to Christ from the preaching of his immediate return, in case of a disappointment would generally relapse again. They would rest more on probabilities and peradventures than on the sure word of divine testimony. If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Noah preached without salutary effect the immediate coming of the Lord for one century, and yet made not one true convert. How many may have been variously convicted, alarmed, and half persuaded, we are not told. One thing is certain: none were found worthy of a passage in the Ark from the Old World to the New. I much doubt, then, the expediency of making use of any theory, interpretation, or calculation, the burthen of a discourse on the gospel as an incentive to acquiescence with the overtures of divine mercy. We gain nothing from the Millenarians in persuading men to obey the gospel. On the contrary, it appears we have more to fear than to hope from any effort to induce men to come to the Lord, deduced from prophetic calculations. The gospel is the same document of divine wisdom and power now that it was when Christ had just left the earth, and it will have no fresh power from the apprehension of his immediate return.

The practical importance of the doctrine of the immediate return is much greater in another direction than in those attitudes in which it is so warmly represented. It affects more the action of the Christian world in reference to the Pagan, than it does the Christian community at home with a reference to itself. True, indeed, that portion of the civilized Pagan world found in Christian lands is as much within the circumference of its influence as that which lies wholly beyond its [86] precincts. But so far as it affects our action at home or abroad in the great work of evangelizing--so far as it affects our prospective endeavors in laying a foundation for future usefulness in any scheme of benevolence reaching into the future, so far the discussion is not without important bearings on the whole subject of Christian energies.

The coming of the Lord is not the hope of Christians; but it is a hope so intimately connected with the hope of eternal life at his appearing and his kingdom, that the Apostle exhorts to a looking for "that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," as one of the best means of holding fast our begun confidence unshaken to the end. They always kept it before the minds of the brotherhood as near at hand. It is in truth very near to us all; so near that no interval of time will be perceived by those who have gone out of time from the moment of their departure from earth. No suns rise or set to the dead in Christ. There is no distance nor time beyond our planet to human spirits severed from their mortal tenements. A.C.

Sect 10

The premises on which Mr. Miller mainly rests his confident assertions concerning the events of 1843, are his interpretations of Daniel's 2,300 days and his Bible chronology; at least so it appears to me. With him this is the year of the world 5999, and consequently 1843 of the Christian era is the 6,000th year since the creation.

Between him, then, and the chronology of Bede, Usher, Newton, and all the Protestant world, there is a discrepancy of one hundred and fifty-seven years! These years he makes up in part by conjecture, and in part by an induction of Old Testament events and dates, squaring them off to the answer in his prophetic arithmetic to the question,

When comes the Lord? whose answer with him is, In 1843. To his Bible chronology I have several objections mostly comprehended under two heads. He makes the lives of more than sixty persons in succession to have been just so many years, neither a day more nor a day less. In all this there may be half as many years of error as there are persons that lived. That sixty or seventy fathers and sons should have lived exactly so many years, neither a day less nor more, no man of reflection can believe; and yet this hypothesis is essential to the coming of the Lord in 1843, so far as the alleged age of the world is concerned.

 In the second place, his Bible chronology is not the only Bible chronology, because there is a Samaritan, a Greek, and a Hebrew chronology, especially of the two latter, that differ from themselves as they do from one another.

The world is now according to the Samaritan, 6542 years old.
  according to the Greek, 7714
  according to our common Hebrew, 5857
  and according to a mixed Hebrew and Pagan, 5843


The result of my examination of the chronology of the world is the full and fixed conviction that it is lost forever, unless revealed from heaven. But when I say lost, I do not mean to say that it is lost by thousands or by many hundreds of years. The chasm chiefly, indeed, lies beyond the period of prophecy, before the flood, and before the birth of Abraham. By the Hebrew text those epocha are quite ascertainable, but I do not think that we have full and satisfactory evidence that the Hebrew is always right when it differs from the Greek from Adam to Moses. Since the days of Moses, and especially since the Jewish Prophets, the errors, if any, can not be very material. Still even here there are difficulties that will forever restrain a man possessing a well balanced and well informed mind, from ever presuming to fix the era of Christ's coming from anything found in the Old or New Testament. The precise and the true age of the world is certainly lost. Still so much difficulty concerning short periods of the prophetic intervals remains, that no person, not enthusiastically confident, will speak with assurance.

On Mr. Miller's date of the commencement of the 2,300 days I must offer a remark or two. Although so early as my debate with infidel Owen, I inclined to the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus as the date of the 2,300 days, and have not yet seen valid reason to repudiate it, still it is but probable evidence, and probable evidence not of the superlative degree. That the 2,300 days denote so many years, and that the sanctuary, (Jewish or Christian, not the earth,) was to be cleansed at the expiration of those days, or was then to begin to be cleansed, is full as far as I then found myself authorized to go. But the greatest difficulty lies in the demonstration that the 2,300 days are to be counted from the year before Christ 457, or from the seventh year of Artaxerxes. Mr. Miller's confidence in this point does more to discredit his judgment in other matters than any other frailty in his whole performance, so far as I now remember. This is, however, the vital point, as concerns the events of 1843.

 We shall, then, for a moment, look into the dates of Daniel's visions:--

His first vision, chap. vi., we are told occurred in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, before Christ 555. His second, vision took place in the third year of the same prince, before Christ 553. This last vision was to be for 2,300 days, but no date is here fixed from which to calculate it. Fifteen years after this time, in the first year of Darius the Mede, Daniel had other explanations, if not a new vision, specially concerning the work and times of the Messiah. Mr. Miller says it is a part of the former vision explained, and not a new one: and on the clear demonstration of that rests his hypothesis. The demonstration given by him amounts, so far as I can see, to a clause [88] found in verse 23d of the ninth chapter, touching an event then occurring and fifteen years distant from the vision touching the 2,300 days.

 Mr. Miller says the word "vision" here alludes to that related in the eighth chapter, occurring fifteen years before; while some affirm that it relates to the views given immediately after concerning the events of the "seventy weeks," which are dated from the aforesaid decree. The demonstration, if such it may be called, is wholly inconclusive.

[A. C.]      

Sect 11

To say no more at present on this theory, I must repudiate it as wholly imaginative, if for no other reasons, for these four:

1. His chronology of the age of the world, on which he relies with so much confidence, I have shown to be palpably erroneous and false.

2. His dating of the 2,300 days, the sub-basis of his whole speculation, from the seventh of Artaxerxes, is without any sufficient authority; and especially his manner of identifying the vision in the third of Belshazzar, with the interpretations in the first year of Darius, we have shown to be palpably erroneous and deceptious.

3. His making the last thousand years of the world a mere day of judgment, is alike destructive of the meaning of the last day and of a thousand years, reigning of the saints, and of his own theory of the age of the world, as being of seven thousand literal years' duration.

4. And last, though not least, his radical misconception of the import of the word sanctuary, and especially of the phrase "the cleansing of the sanctuary," forbids any confidence in his biblical and philological attainments as a mere commentator, much less an interpreter of prophecy. In no respect is Mr. Miller elevated above his Baptist brethren in talent or erudition, except it be that he has studied the prophecies more than the most of them, and speaks with a dogmatical assurance greater than any of them. For my part, I do not think that any man who substitutes mourning benches and anxious seats for the Lord's ordinances, and calls for sinners to come up to him as a mediator to be prayed for, instead of beseeching them to be reconciled to God, and to come to God's ordinances for comfort and deliverance, can possibly speak by any inspiration of the Spirit, or be a chosen vessel to Harbinger the day of the Lord.

[A. C.]      

Sect 12

When men of ardent feelings and large ideality seize an idea of this magnitude--or, rather, when it seizes them--they seldom or ever any longer with patience endure any vigorous opposition, or calmly weigh the force of opposing evidence. It becomes with them the present truth and the all-absorbing, as well as the standing topic of public teaching and of private conversation. In a little time their souls become so inflamed with the splendors of their own imaginations, that, to them, it appears as though the whole universe of truth never [89] had any other meaning or design than to prove that the world will come to an end in a given year, and that from its ashes will arise a new and better planet, the residence of eternal youth and unfading beauty.

In their case, however, there is this favorable circumstance:--High excitement soon finds its own quietus in that consequent collapse of feeling and fitfulness which nature has kindly interposed as a sort of safety valve to the social system. I remember well the answer: which Elias Smith, of New England fame, gave to me in Boston in 1836, when interrogated on his present views of the personal reign of the Messiah in Jerusalem, with all his saints, as promulged in a volume issued by him in 1808; and I remember also the impression made upon my mind touching a peculiar class of minds with which I have been frequently in converse, while the old gentleman with the greatest candor said, "Sir, I was so greatly charmed and delighted with the idea, that I preached it incessantly for eighteen months all over the country before I recovered from the pleasing imagination. But, sir," continued he, "it then expired within me."

There are two sources of argument on which these friends more emphatically rely than upon any other. The one is the 2,300 days of Daniel--the other, the present age of the world, or the new chronology of Mr. Miller. Of the last of these I have spoken with some freedom and suggested certain difficulties fatal to the whole theory of the new chronology; to which no one, so far as I have seen, has yet attempted to respond. I shall at present raise one objection to the main corner stone of the whole theory, to which I very respectfully and earnestly invite some attention, in the way of exposition and removal, from some of those who have more leisure; and perhaps more taste than I for such investigations.

I believe it will be conceded on the part of all the candid advocates of 1843, as the year of the return, that this hope mainly rests upon the answer to a certain question propounded by one saint to another, (Dan. viii. 14.) The one saint asked, "How long the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" "And he said unto me, 'UNTO TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DAYS, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'" It is now assumed that these 2,300 days cover the whole interim between the date of the vision, and the literal return of the Lord to cleanse the sanctuary. Of course the accuracy of the interpretation essentially depends upon the accuracy of fixing the date of the commencement of those prophetic days. So all the Miller school seem to think and argue. The certainty of the year of termination must always depend upon the certainty of the year of commencement. The former can never be more evident than the latter. The certainty [91] of the ending in 1843 can not be greater than the certainty of the beginning in 457 before Christ; for these two sums only complete the period assigned to the continuance of this desolating abomination.

By what logic, then, it must be asked, do they date the commencement of these 2,300 days, in the year before Christ 457?

They assume, first, that the prophecy found in the ninth chapter of Daniel concerning the seventy weeks, is only a development of a certain period of the 2,300 days.

They assume, second, that those "seventy weeks" are to be taken or cut off the first part of the 2,300 days; and consequently that the date of the commencement of the "seventy weeks," and of the commencement of the 2,300 days, is one and the same.

In the third place, they assume that the days are each symbolic of a year; and that, therefore, the whole 2,300 days are equal to 2,300 years.

Other assumptions besides these, and almost of equal importance, are essential to the completion of the new theory; but at present we can not attend to them. To some one more profoundly read in the mysteries of this imposing theory, we desire to submit the following difficulties by way of objections, and will be thankful to any one who can give us a satisfactory solution of them:

1st. The vision in which the 2,300 days are found as the terminus ad quem, or the boundary to which it extends, occurred in the year before Christ 553, as all admit; whereas the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" occurred 538 years before Christ--that is, fifteen years later than the former.

2d. There is not one intimation in the prophecy concerning the "seventy weeks" made by Gabriel to Daniel, that these "seventy weeks" had any reference to any portion of the vision which he had enjoyed in Persia fifteen years before. And as Daniel was in the previous prayer asking no light upon the subject of that vision, nor at all alluding to it, it would seem a very unwarrantable assumption that the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" was given with a special reference to a vision then fifteen years old, and that merely because the word "vision" is found twice in the eighth chapter, without any allusion to any vision--whether to that of the first year, or to that of the third year of Belshazzar--the former seventeen, the latter fifteen years old.

The assumption that the vision of the third of Belshazzar, fifteen years anterior to the prophecy of the "seventy weeks," is now being explained by Gabriel, is the more difficult of admission, inasmuch as Gabriel was commanded then and there to make Daniel understand the vision; which he did to such a degree as to cause Daniel to take his bed for some time in utter astonishment and grief, because of the calamities coming upon his people. [92]

Again, if it had been the intention of the Spirit to have made Daniel and his people understand the times involved in the 2,300 days, would it not have been more apposite and edifying to have kept to the figure of days, and instead of a prophecy concerning "seventy weeks," ought it not to have been in keeping with the types of the vision, to have said 490 days are marked for thy people?

Again, if 490 days were marked off for Daniel's people, for whom were the remainder, 1,810 days, determined! ? There is, then, no account taken, nor interpretation given, of 1,810 days on the hypothesis that Gabriel is now explaining the times to Daniel or giving the full answer to the question, "How long?" This would be an omission unprecedented in any system of interpretation human or divine, claiming the respect of the intelligent and virtuous.

But I must proceed to the one and only objection that I intend to raise in the present essay against the speculations of my contemporaries, in reference to which I only allude to these minor difficulties. Now that I may do this with all clearness and despatch, I must request the reader to consider attentively the two prophecies between which that of the fortunes of the sanctuary stands. For--

Whether in the form of visions or of verbal representations, to us there are three distinct prophecies found in the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of Daniel; each of which has its own peculiar actors, events, and dates. Each prophecy has also its own specific design, and makes all its representations with a supreme reference to that design.

Now the period of 2,300 days belongs to the second vision and prophecy, and neither to the first nor to the third. And here arises the all-important question, From what event or incident shall it be computed? We must either find in it some person or thing of prominence, or we must arbitrarily select some extrinsic fact or circumstance without it, from which to fix its commencement. We shall therefore first read it: "Then I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram, which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast [92] him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he-goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken and for it came up four notable ones, toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Evident it is, that in the scenes just read, there is one supreme, while all the others are subordinate. And who can doubt that the LITTLE HORN and his achievements must engross the attention of the Prophet and of the interpreting angel, as well as occupy the largest space in the whole group? Neither does the "ram" with his two horns, nor the "he-goat" with his one horn, so much arrest the Prophet's eye as the presumptuous deeds and heaven-daring impiety of the "little horn." We must, therefore, in all reason, contemplate him as the hero of this drama. He was the person who was to desecrate the sanctuary and to tread down the host for 2,300 days.

When, then, did he appear? But first comes the question,
         Who is he?
We have to choose amongst but three candidates-        Antiochus Epiphanes, Mahomet, and the Pope.
But none of these can by any means subserve the views of the Millerites,
        or any of those who are predicting or anticipating the end of the world this year.

If Antiochus Epiphanes, the "days" must be literal days; and, indeed, no individual ever did more completely fill up a prophetic description for the time designated, than did that fierce enemy of the Jewish people, their temple, and worship.

Make the days prophetic we must, if we elect the Pope or Mahomet to this dishonorable conspicuity. Then each day will stand for a year. But if so, then the Pope and Mahomet, the two great Antichrists--one of the Eastern, the other of the Western defection, must yet reign some thousand years and more, supposing them to have commenced their career early in the seventh century. [93]

Some there are who would date the vision from the moment it occurred, as they would date a book from the year in which it was printed rather than from any character or narrative found in its pages. These, therefore, seize the date as its head, viz.: the third of Belteshazzar; and that being the year before Christ 553, the vision closed, and the sanctuary was cleansed in 1747, almost a hundred years ago. Others again take the scenes communicated in the vision, and begin with the Medo-Persian "ram," commencing with the 1st of Darius or the Fall of Babylon. But that helps not the chronology: for them the catastrophe is over and the sanctuary was cleansed in the year o our Lord 1762, some eighty years ago.

Again, in the preceding vision, chapter vii., and in the succeeding prophecy, chapter ix., the dates assigned are inseparately connected with the chief person or main subject of the scene--the LITTLE HORN of the seventh and the MESSIAH of the ninth. I ask then, in the name of all consistency, by what oracle of reason, by what canon of interpretation, can any one presume to depart from these precedents, and borrow the interpretation of the 2,300 days, the date of the intermediate prophecy, from the date of the third, rather than from that of the first; or from that of the first, rather than from that of the third?--!

From this difficulty I see no escape except in a new assumption, viz.: that the question propounded by the one saint in the intermediate vision has respect rather to the continuance of the whole vision, than to the days of the little horn, its main subject.

But then we must take the date of the vision, not from the year in ■which Daniel was favored with it, as before shown, (for then it is accomplished long since,) nor from the scenes of the Medo-Persian "ram;'' for in that case, too, the time is also expired, and the prophecy fulfilled, but from the vision of the "he-goat," and his empire alone, for that is the special vision of the eighth Daniel. Then the only question is. What is the date of the vision of the "he-goat" out of a fraction of whose empire the kingdom of the "little horn" arose. This question decided, and our objection is insuperable.

Now this question is of peculiarly easy solution; for no event in history is more notorious than the battle at the river Granicus, in which Alexander the Great, the first king of the Grecian Empire, triumphed over Darius and, broke to pieces the Medo-Persian dynasty. Now we can not date the Grecian Empire under the symbol of the •'goat," (which, by the way, was the ensign armorial of the Macedonian people,) more correctly than from the invasion of Asia by Alexander and his all-conquering army, in the year before Christ 334. Here, then, we are compelled, by the force of historic facts, to date the vision under consideration. From this date we compute the 2,300 days. And [95

what is tho result? The time of the end will be in the year of our Lord 19G6 — one hundred and Ixccnty three years yet distant.

If, then, the Millerites, and all who agree with them in their times and seasons, seek to rid themselves of all the previous difficulties by taking tho date of tho vision proper, to which the 2,300 days belong; if they prefer this horn of the dilemma, is it not as evident as demonstration that they have wholly mistaken the dales, (to say noiliing more,) and that which they are now expecting in 1843, can not occur till 196G! Having now directed my investigations to the cornerstone ot the Miller hypothesis, the very basis of all their assurance and strong assertions, and shown it to be, as I humbly conceive, a palpable mistake, I regard it as a work of supererogation to expose the other errors of the system, until at least some of them, or of our brethren who endorse for them in the main, shall have satisfactorily expounded and removed tho difficulty and main objection, offered in these remarks to their speculations on the subject.

I presume no man of sense among them will deny that their very confident predictions of all the exciting events of the present year, rest exclusively upon the date of the commencement of the 2,300 days of Daniel's second vision. While 1 regret to see the vile abuse ot an ignorant and unbelieving multitude of priests and people, heaped upon our amiable enthusiast and pious expectant of the world's end in 1843, 1 have no sympathy for a theory, which, in my humble opinion, makes of non effect much of the oracular predictions of Ciod's Spirit; and which, ill the manner of the operations of its author and his warm adherents, is calculated to do an infinite mischief, if it be possible for the most extravagant fictions and enthusiastic scenes, transacted in modern times, to do an incalculable mischief to the cause of a sulfering and degraded Christianity.

Sect 13

If the Lord will come next year, or "immediately," how can such Scriptures as these be verified?--

1. "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks." This indicates that after wars shall have ceased and the peace of Messiah's reign shall have become universal, swords and spears shall be fabricated no more; and that the demand for ploughs and pruning-hooks will survive the demand for the implements of war. Now if the world ends next year, or immediately, then we shall no more need ploughshares and pruning-hooks than swords and spears. Nor will it help the matter to view the last thousand years as one day of judgment, and thus make the Millennium and the day of judgment identical: for in the day of judgment they will no more need ploughs and pruning-hooks than swords and lances.

2. "Babylon the Great is fallen!" say the weeping merchants while they survey her smoking ruins. They lament that the market for [96] their wares has ceased forever. 

But if the world terminate immediately, Babylon never falls, unless Babylon means the whole world. Jerusalem and Babylon, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the lofty towers, the great globe itself shall dissolve into ruin at the same moment. Babylon, then, never falls if the world ends next year.

3. Again, Satan is never "bound for a thousand years" if the world end next year. There will be no nations to deceive; and, indeed, there will be no utility in binding him a captive when nations are no more.
4. Can any one believe that the following predictions have yet been accomplished?-

[A. C.]      

Sect 14

Isa. lix. 16-21; lx., lxi., lxii., and lxiii.; lxv. 17-25, and lxvi. 10-24. Also Jer. xxx. 1-3, 17-24; xxxi. and xxxii. 36-42, and xxxiii. 1-26; Ezek. xxxvi. and xxxvii.; also chapters xxxviii. and xxxix., concerning Gog and Magog. Can any one say that these prophecies are now fulfilled? and, if not, can any one show how they are to be fulfilled after the end of the world?

Dan. ii. 40-44; vii. 7-14, 23-27. Compare these with John's Apocalypse, chapter xvi. 12-21, with chapters xvii., xviii., xix., and especially chapter xx. 1-10. Surely no one will affirm that all these things have yet come to pass.

Sect 15

The following assumptions, while essential to this theory, are, nevertheless, fatal to the views of prophecy which they seem to entertain:--

 1st. The day of the Lord's coming is the end of all time.
 2d. It is also the end of the present heavens, earth, and sea.
 3d. It is, moreover, the end of all the nations of the earth.

Now, all this is only equivalent to affirming that, when the Lord comes, 

the material heavens, earth, sea, time, and nations, shall be no more. 

It is, therefore, incumbent on them to show that all the prophecies that respect these heavens, earth, sea, time, and nations, have been fulfilled. Indeed, this is their strong and oft-repeated assertion.

Will anyone skilled in that theory, please reconcile it and John's intimations in the following particulars?

1. John gave a thousand years' respite from Satan's influence. (Rev. xx. 1.) And how shall we count a thousand years after time is no more? 

2. John speaks of nations existing after the thousand yearn are past. Are we to expect new nations to be created after the present nations are destroyed?

He also speaks of the earth, in its common acceptation, as existing after the thousand years are ended. His words are--"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up upon the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints," etc. 

Now, all this is positively said to occur after the [97] Millennium--that is, after time, earth, sea, and nations shall have been destroyed, there shall be a thousand years--the present earth, and sea, and nations, numerous and puissant. Are these prophecies fulfilled? [A. C.]   

Sect 16

Pleasing and delightful, however, though the vision be, I regret that I can find no real foundation on which to build a hope that the opinion has any evidence from the "sure word of prophecy." Nay, the manner in which it seems to propagate itself is so destitute of rational arguments, or well defined Scriptural premises, that I can not acquiesce in the conclusions so strongly affirmed by some whom I greatly esteem and love.

Sect 17

When the excitement of the present year shall have passed away, it will be more profitable to analyze the whole premises from which we anticipate great changes in the world: 

for I am one of those that look for a thorough cleansing of the sanctuary as an event not only most devoutly to be wished, but most certainly soon to be commenced in a way which perchance but few of us either expect or are at all prepared for.

      1 Alexander Campbell. Extracts from Introductory Note to "Twelve Short and General Reasons." The
Millennial Harbinger
3 (September 1832): 438.
        2 ----------. Extract from "The Millennium.--No. I." The Millennial Harbinger 1 (February 1830): 53.
      3 James Nisbet. "Twelve Short and General Reasons." The Millennial Harbinger 3 (September 1832):
438-444. Reprinted from Twelve Short and General Reasons Why Those Passages in Scripture Which
Refer to the Second Advent of Our Lord, Previous to the Millennium, Should Be Interpreted Literally
Extracted from the Works of Messrs. Noel, Cunninghame, Begg, A Spiritual Watchman, &c. London:
James Nisbet, 1831.
      4 Alexander Campbell. "The Coming of the Lord.--No. II." The Millennial Harbinger 12 (February 1841):
      5 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. III." The Millennial Harbinger 12 (March 1841):
      6 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. IV." The Millennial Harbinger 12 (March 1841):
      7 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. IX." The Millennial Harbinger 12 (September
1841): 424-427.
      8 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XII." The Millennial Harbinger 13 (February
1842): 56, 58.
      9 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XVI." The Millennial Harbinger 13 (June 1842):
      10 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XVII." The Millennial Harbinger 13 (July 1842):
      11 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XVIII." The Millennial Harbinger 13 (August
1842): 334.
      12 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XX." The Millennial Harbinger 14 (February
1843): 49-55.
      13 ----------. Extracts from "Millennium: The Coming of the Lord.--No. XIX." The Millennial Harbinger 13
(October 1842): 464-465.
      14 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XXI." The Millennial Harbinger 14 (February
1843): 74.
      15 ----------. Extracts from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XXIII." The Millennial Harbinger 14 (May 1843):
      16 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XXV." The Millennial Harbinger 14 (July 1843):
      17 ----------. Extract from "The Coming of the Lord.--No. XXVI." The Millennial Harbinger 14 (October
1843): 445.

checkit above

In the Harbinger of 1833— pages 153-lCO— appears the following:


Dear Brother Campbell:

There are several of your readers, besides myself, in this vicinity, who respectfully solicit, for the truth's sake, and our fellowship in the same, a brief, but definite explanation of your remarks in the last Harbinger, page 9, on the nature of our blessed Lord. Whether it is to be attributed to obtuseness of understanding on our part, or to indefiniteness of statement on yours, the fact is, beloved, that from the closest attention we are capable of giving to all you have written on this subject, we do not yet understand you.

We are equally opposed with you to "Trinitarian, Arian, and Unitarian speculations on the divine essence." From the systems of fallible and erring man, we trust the Son has made us free. Our desire is, simply to understand what the Spirit of truth teaches on this and every other subject.

Most cordially do we, unite with you in acknowledging the Messiah as "a divine person, the only begotten of God." Most devoutly would we love, "worship and adore him" as "the only begotten of the Father, full of favor and truth." But we tremble at the word of HIM who will not give the glory to another, and we obey that word which teaches us to love and worship the Son "to the glory of God the Father."

Will you favor us with a definite answer to the following queries?

1. Who is the One God, besides whom there is none else--who is [98] to be acknowledged, loved, adored and worshiped as the eternal, unbegotten, independent ALL IN ALL, of whom are all things?

If you reply, in the words which the Holy Spirit teaches, (I. Cor. viii. 6,) "the Father," we ask--

2. Do you, in the term Father, used in the above sense, as "the one God," include or exclude the only begotten of the Father, who was with him "before the world was"?

3. Do you, or do you not, understand the terms first, only begotten Son, beginning of the creation of God, first born of every creature, "in the full import and meaning of (these) words," as we do, viz.: as teaching that the Son, in his highest personal nature, is a distinct being from the Father, and had a "beginning" of existence?

4. Do you understand our Lord's words, "My Father is greater than I," in a limited, or unlimited sense? Do you understand him to affirm this without any reservation? When the Son, or Word, was with the Father, before he came down from heaven, was he, or was he not, as independently wise, powerful, self-existent and eternal, as the Father?

5. Do you, or do you not, make distinction in the worship you offer the Father and the Son? Do you not worship the Son as the begotten of the Father? Do you not worship the Father as unbegotten? Do you not worship him as the one God, of whom are all things; who, by his own infinite, underived wisdom, power, and goodness, creates, upholds, saves, and judges? Do you thus worship the Son, also? or do you worship him as the one Lord BY whom are all things, by whom God made the worlds, by whom he saves, and by whom he will judge us? Do you not worship the Son to the glory of the Father, and the Father to his own independent glory?

I am aware that an answer to some, of these questions will necessarily involve an answer to others; but I have thus presented the subject, that we may, by a singleness of eye to truth and the favor of our Lord, obtain an understanding of what is written in our Father's book concerning his best beloved, and that believing we may have life through his name.

I have too much confidence in your kindness and candor to think that you will decline publishing this communication; nor can I imagine that you will excuse yourself from giving a definite answer (which many, for the truth's sake, are wishing to hear) with the plea that we have presented to your vain speculations. It will not be denied that Jesus Christ is the one God of whom are all things, or he is not. Nor can it be denied that it is important for us to know whether he is so or not, that we may worship with understanding and in truth.

Yours in the good hope through favor,
Hartford, Conn., February 6, 1833. [98]



With that promptitude and candor due to yourself and those of my readers whom you represent, I proceed to answer the questions which you have so affectionately and respectfully propounded to my consideration.

Averse to all speculations which can have no practical influence on the hearts or behavior of men, the only reluctance which I could feel in replying to some of these interrogatories is their apparent propinquity to the high and cold latitudes of metaphysical theology. In our ascent to these high and cold regions of abstract speculation, it is no easy matter to keep the mercury from freezing. I will, however, attempt to give them as practical an aspect as the off-hand and desultory thoughts of an hour snatched from other pressing subjects of examination will afford.

Before replying to your queries in the form of direct answers, 1 would request your attention to the following preliminary reflections. These considerations will, indeed, explain some of the reasons which influence the answers which I may tender, and therefore I would urge the necessity of giving them due attention.

The modus of the Divine existence, as well as the modus of the Divine operations in creation, providence, and redemption, is, to our finite minds, the creatures of yesterday, wholly inscrutable and incomprehensible. On both, the Bible is silent. Becomes it us, then, to be dogmatical on such a theme, or to stretch our inquiries beyond the terra firma of revelation?

My principal objection to the popular doctrine of "the Trinity"
        is not that it is either irrational, or unscriptural,
        to INFER that there are three Divine persons in one Divine nature.
That these three equally have one thought, purpose, will, and operation, and so one God; —

or, to use the words of the Westminster Confession, "In the Unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity;"

I say I object not to this doctrine because it is contrary to reason, or revelation

but because of the metaphysical technicalities,
the unintelligible jargon,
the unmeaning language of the orthodox creeds on this subject,
and the interminable war of words without ideas
to which the word Trinity has given birth. 

For example, in the same section from which I have quoted the above words is found the following jargon: "The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son."

Were any one to ask me, Can there be three distinct persons, or even being, in one God? I would say,
        Reason informs me not,
        and revelation does not assert it.

But if asked, Can there be one, and [100] one three in the same sense?
I reply, Both reason and revelation say No.

But then no Trinitarian or Calvinist affirms that the three are one, and the one three, in the same sense.

Language fails and thought can not reach the relation in which the Father and Son have existed, now exist, and shall forever exist.

But that there is, and was, and evermore will be, society in God himself, a plurality as well as unity in the Divine nature, are inferences which do obtrude themselves on my mind in reflecting upon the divine communications to our race. I will add, that common sense, reason, and revelation, give one and the same testimony, in my ear, upon this subject. 

If you ask how this can be, I will ask you, How can there be one self-existent, independent, unoriginated, eternal God? You will say, I believe, but can not comprehend. So say I. But while our faith has in its first effort to encounter a truth so incomprehensible, and to receive it; a truth so mysterious, supernatural, unsearchable, transcendent; a truth which, in its stupendous dimensions, encompasses infinite space, an eternity past--the universe, natural, intellectual, moral; a truth which leaves out no existence, past, present, or future; which overwhelms every intellect, and sets at defiance the combined efforts of all created intelligence--I repeat it, since this must be the Alpha of our faith, where shall we place our Omega, on the mode of the Divine existence? He that comes to God, must first believe THAT HE IS.

But I am not more confounded than delighted with the idea of the One, Self-existent, and Eternal God. To me, its incomprehensibility is a source of joy. With exultation I ask, "Who by searching can find out God, or know the Almighty to perfection?" My child says, Who made God? and, methinks, I am no wiser in the estimation of my superiors. 

But, sir, the Alpha and Omega of all the scholastic strifes about trinity, and all the questions agitated for fifteen centuries on the mode of Divine existence, appear to me to spring from one source. None appears to me to have noticed, with sufficient attention, that there is but one word in the language of mortals which is absolute and irrelative. If angels have a language, although I am in perfect ignorance of their stipulated signs, one thing I can affirm, that they too have but one word in their language which is not relative.

All the names of God are, with the exception of this one, the names of relations. God, Almighty, Lord, Creator, Father, King, Governor, Judge--infinite, omniscient, eternal, etc. If no Satan, there could be no God: if no mighty, no Almighty; if no dominion, no Lord; if no creation, no Creator; if no Son, no Father; if no subjects, no King. etc But what sublimity, what unspeakable meaning, in the [101] address to Moses (Ex. vi. 2, 3): "And God said to Moses, I am Jehovah. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 

I AM knows no relation to any creature, or being; to past, present, or future; to time or to eternity. It is equivalent to I exist, a name which can not be given to any being which by nature is not God, or self-existent. 

I repeat it, I am not more bewildered than delighted, in the idea of the incomprehensibility of the same JEHOVAH. And while this name is before us, let me ask the wavering to reflect, how man could be created social, and in the image of God; man, having in his nature plurality, incomplete in one person; for man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in nature or religion. I ask, 

How could man be created in the image of God, incomplete in one person, social, and necessarily plural; and that God, in whose image and likeness he was created, could be a solitary eternal unit, without society and plurality in himself! 

This I can not comprehend, when I believe that God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let him have dominion;" and, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 

While, then, I do most cordially repudiate the whole scholastic phraseology of the Trinitarian, Arian, and Socinian speculations,

I do not, with some Trinitarians, regard my Lord Messiah 
as having always been an eternal Son; nor can I, with the Arian, view him as some super-angelic creature, filling an immense chasm between Jehovah and the supernal hosts; and still less can I degrade him, with the Socinian, to the rank of a mere man, the son of Joseph.  Common sense, reason, and revelation, put their veto on such hypotheses.

No; my Lord and Saviour is no creature, nor the son of a creature. In the beginning he was T
HE WORD OF GOD, is now the Son of God, and will, when government is no longer necessary, be again recognized as the Word of God, "a name which no man knows, but he himself."
All "trinitarians" I have read speak of this society in God as similar to that which exists within a solitary man: Paul in 1 corinthians 2 confirms that the Holy Spirit is to God what our spirit is to us and that is "the Mind of Christ." Jesus, too, was a "triad being" but not twins:
John 11:33  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled
God was never said to be along: He always had His Word and Wisdom with Him.  The Word used by John is the WORDS which the ONE God spoke and as they "emanated" out by His "breath" they became audible and powerful:

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

Gen. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
    2822. choshek, figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
Gen. 1:3 And God SAID,

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Let there be light: and there was light.
      215 light, happiness, brightness, prosperity

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    2638 Katalambano take eagerly, comp;\rehend
Gen. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: [worked]

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
and God divided the light from the darkness.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Psa 33:6 By the
[1] word of the [1] Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the [3] breath of his mouth.
Psa 33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psa 33:9 For he SPAKE, and it was done; he COMMANDED, and it stood fast.
Psa 33:10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought:
        1011 bouleuo advice, or human volition, will
        he maketh the
devices of the people of none effect.
Psa 33:11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever,
thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psa 33:12 Blessed
        is the nation whose God is the Lord;
        and the people whom he
hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Campbell  I must be born again, and be endowed with other reasoning powers and have another revelation, before I can become an Arian. I will give you one reason out of a hundred, and but one, because I feel that it alone, if I had not another, would forever preclude the hypothesis: it is, in one sentence, Because the Arian philosophy converts the wisdom of God into folly.

If I am asked to explain how this can be, I refuse not. The Arian toils and sweats, and taxes his ingenuity to show what a glorious creature the Son of God was in his pre-existent state. He fancies and represents the Son as filling some intermediate rank more than midway between the Arch Seraphim and the Deity. 

He thinks he devoutly consults the honor of the Son, when he finds for him some [101] vacant throne, nearest to the Self-existent and Eternal, beyond the aspirations of the cherubim and seraphim. There he places him, a sort of sub-deity, whence he descends to become incarnate. Yet, strange to tell, when this first and high-born One, of unrivalled glory amongst the creatures of God, appears in human flesh, he gives him nothing to do, which the son of Joseph could not have done as well!!! Was ever folly more consummate! What is folly, but the adoption of inadequate means to ends? Is it not folly to give a diamond for a straw?--to raise a tempest to move a feather?--to discharge the artillery of heaven against a worm?--to hurl the thunderbolts of Omnipotence against a fly?--to despatch the Archangel on an errand which: the son of Joseph could have as well performed?

What creature could do more than Abel, Moses, John the Baptist, Stephen, Peter, James the just, or Paul did — tell the truth, the whole truth, lead an exemplary life, and as a martyr offer up his soul to God!

What, let me again ask, is folly, if this be not folly? To waste resources, or squander means, is as foolish as not to provide them. He who provides the materials for a palace, and builds a cottage, is as very a simpleton as he who attempts to build a palace out of the materials of a tent. Could not Gabriel, who waited on Daniel on the banks of Ulai; nay, could not Paul himself, do as much for the redemption of the world, as the Arian Son of God? When some philosopher appears, who with a dash of his pen can blot out sin, or show me that the tears of the penitent, or the blood of bulls and goats can wash it from the universe, then, but not till then, will I turn Arian.

For the same, or a similar reason, I can not be a Socinian. This is but a new edition of the fable--the mountain in labor, and a mouse is born. Heaven taught sages; legislators, kings, prophets, priests, and seers, for four thousand years, filled with the spirit of wisdom and revelation, exhaust all the similitudes, analogies, and imagery of this creation; impoverish the eloquence of heaven and earth, all figures and forms of speech, to raise the expectations of mankind in anticipation of a wonderful child, on whose shoulders the government of the universe was to remain, whose name was written, "Wonderful--Counsellor--the Mighty God--the Father of Eternity--the Prince of Peace--Immanuel"; yet when the prediction is accomplished, Mary travails, and the carpenter's son is born--a Son of God, it is true, as Adam was!!! 

With me, consistency must precede faith. I must see types, figures, prophecies, promises, harmonizing; I must see the means and the end correspondent; I must see wisdom, power, goodness; justice, mercy, love; condescension, truth, and holiness, shining in all the splendors [102] of Divinity, before I can subscribe to any proposition touching the personal dignity and standing of my Lord the King.

It will not suffice to puzzle me with hard questions about how this can be, since my faith has in its infancy to master the master truth of revelation--to admit that God is Jehovah; or, that God was, and always is, the self-existent, immutable and eternal, never-began-to-be, the eternal inhabitant of eternity. Believing this, I find no difficulty in believing that there was, and is, and evermore shall be, society and plurality--a liberal I, and thou, and he--a we, and our, and us, in one divine nature. 

This to me is as easy as the idea of SELF-EXISTENT; yea, more easy when I, and thou, and he deliberate on creation, providence, and redemption. I can not, for my life, even fancy a nature destitute of I, and thou, and he. I am certain it is not the human--I am certain it is not the angelic--certain, too, that it is not the divine.

In our nature there is no more than I, and thou, and he, as respects primary relation. There is no more in the angelic, and the Bible reveals no more than I, and thou, and he in the divine. But not turning aside to answer objections which are anticipated, be it observed that I make not this a matter of inference only

for there is an association of the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the revealed relation of the three persons, I, thou, and he, and just in the dignity of these three. "I send thee," "I and thou send him," "Jehovah and his spirit has sent me." On this principle the Christian economy is arranged and developed. So I read the volumes of revelation. These reflections premised, I proceed to answer your ingenious questions: 

[103] of Divinity, before I can subscribe to any proposition touching the personal dignity and standing of my Lord the King.

It will not suffice to puzzle me with hard questions about how this can be, since my faith has in its infancy to master the master truth of revelation--to admit that God is Jehovah; or, that God was, and always is, the self-existent, immutable and eternal, never-began-to-be, the eternal inhabitant of eternity. Believing this, I find no difficulty in believing that there was, and is, and evermore shall be, society and plurality--a liberal I, and thou, and he--a we, and our, and us, in one divine nature. 

This to me is as easy as the idea of SELF-EXISTENT; yea, more easy when I, and thou, and he deliberate on creation, providence, and redemption. I can not, for my life, even fancy a nature destitute of I, and thou, and he. I am certain it is not the human--I am certain it is not the angelic--certain, too, that it is not the divine.

In our nature there is no more than I, and thou, and he, as respects primary relation. There is no more in the angelic, and the Bible reveals no more than I, and thou, and he in the divine. But not turning aside to answer objections which are anticipated, be it observed that I make not this a matter of inference only

for there is an association of the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the revealed relation of the three persons, I, thou, and he, and just in the dignity of these three. "I send thee," "I and thou send him," "Jehovah and his spirit has sent me." On this principle the Christian economy is arranged and developed. So I read the volumes of revelation. These reflections premised, I proceed to answer your ingenious questions: 


Jehovah is the only living and true God. I can not adopt the answer you suggest (I. Cor. viii. 6), for that answers not your question. Had you propounded the question which Paul had in his eye, then I would have given his answer. It was not the contradistinguishing of the Father and the Son, as respects divinity, which Paul had in view; but the contradistinguishing of the "gods many," and the; "lords many" of Paganism, from the one God and one Lord of Christians.


As the phrase, "one God" (I. Cor. viii., 6), is not applied to the Father, but in contradistinction from "gods many;" so we can not say that in contradistinction from the Son or the only begotten, that it either includes or excludes; for that was not in the mind of the Apostle when he wrote to the Corinthians. 

The phrase "Son of God" in the New Testament imports a participation of the divine nature. [104] A little more reflection, and I presume you will perceive how I should err were I to answer your first question in the words of I. Cor. viii. 6. Were you asked, "Do you, in calling Jesus the one Lord, include or exclude the Father from the nature and essential attributes of the one Lord?" what would you answer? Would you not say, "The Father is not excluded; for certainly he is the one absolute Lord: for so the Prophets have named and addressed him a thousand times. But now he has made Jesus Lord. So that in the new economy the Father is our only God, and Jesus is our only Lord."


The word "being," in its full latitude, signifies simple existence; but in its appropriated sense here you mean something more than simple existence. I find the personal pronouns always used in the Holy Scriptures, speaking of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and therefore, if I must use an abstract term, I will use personbeing--though I am not much in love with either. 

The Scriptures nowhere teach me that the Son in his high personal nature had a beginning of being or existence; "the Word was in the beginning with God," even that Word "which was made flesh and dwelt among us." "The Word was God," and, as such, I venerate "the Word made flesh," "as God manifest in the flesh."  


"My Father is greater than I," I understand in an economical or restricted sense. But it militates not with the dignity of the Son of God, if, in some sense, the Father was always greater than he. The Trinitarians themselves, who make him an eternal Son, fairly concede this; for a Son is, in some sense, inferior to the Father; while, in another sense, he may be superior. But I regard all that was spoken by Jesus of this import as respecting his state of humiliation and its consequences.


In worshiping Jesus, I worship him as my Lord and Saviour, as the Son of God, to the glory of the Father. In worshiping the Father, I worship him through the Son; and therefore I honor both the Father and the Son. 

But, my dear sir, I do not think of worshiping with that exactitude of which you speak, as if I were to pay so much tax to the King and so much tithe to the Priest. I can not thus mathematically worship either the Father or the Son. The Father and the Son are one in my salvation. The Father is my God, and Jesus is my Lord. They are one in the admiration of my understanding--they are one in the adoration of my heart. [104] 

Thus, Brother Grew, if compelled to philosophize, I would answer your questions. I own that much depends upon our views of the personal dignity and standing of the Lord Messiah. 

Indeed, such was the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, 
and such is the glory which he now enjoys as Lord of all in our nature, that I think we are much more likely to fail in forming too low, than too high, conceptions of his essential dignity.

The Father has so glorified him as our head, and has so signified to us his delight in him, that, of all the texts in the Bible, there is none we could misapply in reference to Jesus more than that which says, "Jehovah will not give his glory to another." he has laid no restrictions upon the admiration and adoration of the human or angelic hosts in reference to his only begotten Son; nay, all angels and men are commanded to worship him. No idolatry in worshiping the King of glory!! I would not for the universe weaken the force of a single expression, or subtract from the boldest metaphor aught of its riches, designed to set forth the peerless claims of our Redeemer to the unqualified adoration of my soul. His is the temple of the universe--his the hallelujahs of the heavens--his the hosannas of the church. All things were created by him and for him. He made himself poor that he might make us rich; and shall our tongues falter in his praise, or our hearts not gladly bear their part in the general song? May it be your and my happy lot to stand before him, when he comes it his glory, approved; and to unite with the admiring and adoring throng, singing: 
To him who lov'd us, and has wash'd
Us from our sins in his own blood,
And who has made us kings and priests
To his own Father and his God,
The glory and dominion be To him eternally. Amen!

In this blissful hope, I remain yours,



In a series of essays on "The Gift of the Holy Spirit," in the Harbinger for 1834, Mr. Campbell says:

With many it is an easy matter to investigate and decide every subject. They have only to read a few texts of Scripture and hear a sermon from some popular preacher, and they are quite satisfied they understand the matter perfectly. One decides in favor of this theory, and another in favor of that, after a few days', or sometimes a few hours', reflection, and become as dogmatical as the pope. Others prefer the opinion of some favorite author or creed; and from their conviction of the learning, piety, and talents of those who have thought for them, they are willing to repose in full assurance that they are right, and to denounce all others, as in error who may falter in yielding unqualified assent to their borrowed opinions.

Many, indeed, can not take comprehensive views of any subject; and if they can only get a hold of a few simple ideas, they have no desire to extend their inquiries or their views on the subject. But there are some restive and inquisitive persons who are always prying into the most abstruse subjects, and are never satisfied till they get to the bottom of a subject, or have pushed their inquiries beyond the terra firma of revelation and experience.

For our own part, we are desirous to understand all that God has revealed, and to receive the exact ideas which are couched in the words which the Holy Spirit used.

I propose to institute a few inquiries and to attempt a Scriptural answer to them. Indeed, all that I now propose will be to ascertain the meaning of the sacred dialect on the Holy Spirit, and will, therefore exclude from our phraseology every scholastic term and phrase on this topic. Without further ceremony we proceed.

1. What is the meaning of the phrase, "the gift of the Holy Spirit"?

This phrase is found in the New Testament twice--in the Old Testament never. The gifts of the Holy Spirit is not a Scriptural phrase, and, therefore, we have nothing to say about it. We have said that the phrase is not found in the Old Testament: the idea is not, therefore, to be sought in that volume. It is a New Testament phrase, and its meaning must be found in the Living Oracles of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ.

That we may have clear and certain knowledge on this subject, we shall submit facts only. [109]

Fact 1. There are only the eight following words found in the approved Greek text, translated gift in the common version of the apostolic writings: dorea, dorema, doron, doma, dosis, merismos, charis, charisma.

Dorea occurs eleven times, and is used by Luke, John and Paul--dorema twice, used by Paul and James--doron eighteen times, used by Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul--doma four times, used by Matthew, Luke and Paul--dosis once, used by James--merismos twice, used by Paul--charis occurs more than one hundred and fifty times, and used by Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude, in the common version mostly grace. It is rendered charity in the new version two or three times. (II. Cor. viii.) Charisma is found seventeen times, used by Paul and Peter. Now, of these doma and doron denote common gifts from man to man, from father to child, or religious sacrificial donations according to the law. But dorea and charisma are the words which we have now to consider.

Fact 2. When "spiritual gifts" are spoken of, no other word is used but charisma--that is, where we have the phrase "spiritual gifts" in the common version, we have charisma expressed or implied in the Greek.

Heb. ii. 4 is not an exception, for there it is distributions: common version, "gifts"--not "the gifts" of the Holy Spirit. The word here is merismos, found only twice--Heb. ii. 4 and iv. 12. In the last place it is translated "dividing asunder"--common version.

Fact 3. But when the gift of the Holy Spirit is spoken of, or, indeed, alluded to, no other word than DOREA is used by any writer who speaks of it.

Every particular gift of the Spirit spoken of, or alluded to, is designated by charisma;
        but "the gift of the Holy Spirit" by dorea only.
        This is certainly worth something to those who wish to understand the Scriptures.

From this last fact the inference may be drawn,
        that a gift of the Spirit, or A spiritual gift,
        is not the same as the gift of the Holy Spirit,
            inasmuch as the sacred writers in their language never confounded them.
        Ought we not now to inquire what is the precise import of the words dorea and charisma?   

That the English reader, curious to understand this matter, may be furnished with all the means in his power to understand for himself, we shall now give him, in order, all the passages where these words occur in the original;

and first for dorea let him consult John iv. 10; Acts ii. 38; viii. 20; x. 45; xi. 17; Rom, v. 15, 17; II. Cor. iv. 15; Eph. iii. 7; iv. 7; Heb. vi. 4.

From a careful inspection of these passages both in the common and new version, he will discover, that this term expresses and denotes the largest, freest, and best bounty of God. To express the bounty of God in its most extensive display over all [110] creation, in the apocryphal book of wisdom (chap. xvi. 25) this word is found--he pantatrophos sou dorea--"thy all-nourishing bounty."

Wisdom 1:24 For creation, serving thee who hast made it, exerts itself to punish the unrighteous, and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee.

Wisdom 1:25 Therefore at that time also, changed into all forms, it served thy all -nourishing bounty, according to the desire of those who had need,

Jesus uses it to the woman of Samaria to exalt her conceptions of God's bounty.
        "If," says he, "you knew the bounty of God"--"the gift of God."
        Free gift is the fullest version of it which our language admits, according to Macknight;
        but this does not fully express it. It denotes the largest and freest gift of God.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Is. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Is. 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Is. 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Is. 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Charisma next deserves our attention. The English reader will examine all the passages in which it is found when he inspects the following: Rom. i. 11; v. 15, 16; vi. 23; xi. 29; xii. 6; 1. Cor. i. 7; vii. 7; xii. 4, 9, 28, 30, 31; II. Cor. i. 11; I. Tim. iv. 14; II. Tim. i. 6; I. Pet. iv. 10.

This word has always some indefinite favor or gift as its import--a favor or a bounty; and, when used definitely, it is the particular favor or gift before mentioned. It is specific in its import, while dorea is rather generic. Hence, prophecy, speaking foreign languages, interpretation of foreign languages, power of working miracles are fully expressed by charisma.

It might, indeed, be added, that dorea respects the bounty from which the gift flows;
while charisma represents the thing, the favor, or benefit, given.
But the splendid bequest, as well as the bounty which freely confers it, are also expressed by this term. Definition goes no farther.

We have this phrase, the gift of the Holy Spirit, as has been said, but twice, in all the apostolic writings-

Acts ii. 38 and x. 45, both of which denote all that is comprehended in the promise of Joel, the Holy Spirit in all his miraculous powers. It is, indeed (Acts viii. 20), called "the gift [dorea] of God;" and that gift, mentioned Acts x. 45, compared with that mentioned Acts ii. 28, is called by Peter (Acts xi. 17) ten isen dorean, the same gift.

Although, as has been said, this is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, it is also represented as the Holy Spirit himself. See Acts viii. 15, 17, 19, from which it is very evident that,
        in the judgment of Peter, John and Simon,
        this gift was regarded as the Holy Spirit himself;
        and is also called "the gift of God."

Campbell's exception does not prove that a person fell on them.
Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them:
        only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Acts 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

From all which the following conclusion is inevitable, that the phrase,

"the gift of the Holy Spirit," means the Holy Spirit himself given, as foretold by Joel, and vouchsafed to Jews and Gentiles at the erection of the kingdom of the Messiah, and on their admission into it.

But a question may here arise concerning what influences, or divine powers, the Holy Spirit displayed on the bodies, souls and spirits of those who received this gift, or in whom he made his abode.

[A. C.]

Having ascertained the import of the phrase,
        "the gift of the Holy Spirit," to be the Holy Spirit himself
        given, as foretold by Joel-

we proceed to examine some other phrases employed by the Spirit himself [111] in setting forth the effects of his residence in men. Be it observed that the Holy Spirit is himself a gift.

He is not the donor, but the donation.
He never gives himself.

This is the philosophy which explains the reason why no inspired man, saint, or Christian, till John's death, in the year of the world 4100,
ever prayed to the Holy Spirit, asked him, or thanked him for anything.
We address and thank the donor, not the gift.

The unscriptural prayers addressed to the Holy Spirit, and the hymns sung to him by those who study theology in the schools of human philosophy, and not in the church of God, show the state of biblical knowledge in this "enlightened age of benevolent enterprise!"

Jesus himself, after his baptism, received the Holy Spirit. In the form of a dove he descended upon him. God gave him this gift. John the Immerser says,

"To him God gives not the Spirit by measure" (John iii. 34). Singular phrase! "The Spirit by measure!" What can it mean?

The Prophets had received the Spirit by measure. By measure he was given to the Prophets--not by measure to the Son.

They spoke not always, and not only, the words of God; but, as John explains the phrase in the preceding verse, Jesus spoke only and always the words of God. The Spirit of the context is this: "Jesus whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives not the Spirit by measure to him." "To him" is a supplement, but a necessary one; else God always gives the Spirit without measure.

With respect to this word "measure" in reference to the Spirit, it is only found in this passage; unless we understand Rom. xii. 3 and Eph. iv. 7 as referring to the same subject. "The measure of faith" (Rom. xii. 3) is explained (verse 6) as denoting gifts spiritual. So in Eph. iv. 7, "To every one of us is given grace [charis] according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

This "gift of Christ" is explained (verses 8 and 11) as expressive of the offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers.

These offices, and those that filled them, are the gift of Christ alluded to; for when he ascended to heaven he received the promise of the Father, and gave gifts to men.

These gifts were the measures of the Spirit. "The measure of the gift of Christ" is the measure, or distribution of that Spirit which Christ on his ascension sent down.

Be it observed that the creation of an office is a gift; and the qualifications of the person who fills that office is also a gift or grace bestowed on the church: "Having, then, gifts differing according to the grace [office] given to us--if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the measure of faith, according to the gift of prophecy which we enjoy," etc.

No one person, it appears, possessed the Holy Spirit himself without measure. The Head of the Church had this pre-eminence; or, in other words, no person was so possessed of the Spirit as to be only and [112] always under his guidance and entire influence, except the Messiah.

One prophesied--another had gifts of healing--another, of speaking foreign languages--another, of interpreting these foreign languages. The Spirit distributed, or gave what measures he pleased to every person on whom he was bestowed.

For it is evident that the Spirit himself, though a gift,
        displayed his presence in the spiritual men
by such measures or distributions
        of his power as seemed good to himself.

Hear Paul (I. Cor. xii. 9-11), "To one, indeed, is given by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; and to another; faith [to attempt a miracle] by the same Spirit; and to another, the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; and to another, the operations of powers; and to another, prophecy; and to another, discerning of spirits; and to another, diverse kinds of foreign tongues; and to another, the interpretation of foreign tongues." Now all these (measures of himself) does the one and the same Spirit effectually work, distributing to each respectively as he pleases. These are the spiritual gifts, portions, or measures of the Spirit, bestowed by himself on those to whom he was given.

Having, then, from these examples, ascertained that such is the meaning of the phrases, "measures," "distributions of the Spirit," or "spiritual gifts," an inquiry arises,

Did everyone who possessed the gift of the Holy Spirit, or every one on whom the Spirit himself was bestowed, in the Scriptural acceptation of the phrase, possess and exhibit such "a manifestation of the Spirit" as those described, thereby investing him with superhuman power?

Such a question can only be answered correctly by an induction of all the particular cases mentioned in the New Testament, or by a definition of the terms found in the Record on this subject.

Be it remembered, that in proposing such questions, we have supremely in view the determining of the meaning of the words and phrases in current circulation in the times of the New Institution, or during the apostolic age. Our present inquiries extend no farther. The question now before us may be varied so as to bring up another New Testament phrase.
        For example--Is every measure, distribution, portion,
        or gift of the Holy Spirit recorded in the Living Oracles,
        a manifestation of the Spirit?

To proceed with deliberation and with confidence, let us first examine the phrase, "manifestation of the Spirit" (I. Cor. xii. 7).

Phanerosis (rendered manifestation, Old Version and New) occurs but twice in the Living Oracles. Paul is the only writer who uses it, and he only uses it once in each of his letters to the Corinthians (2nd Epistle, chap. iv. 2),

"By manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

2Cor. 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness,
        nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
        but by manifestation of the truth
        commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
2Cor. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Cor. 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

The word [113] PHANEROO, which signifies to make manifest, to disclose, to bring to light, occurs more than fifty times: from this is derived PHANEROSIS, manifestation, exhibition, disclosure.
It is quite obvious, then, that all the measures, gifts, or distributions of the Spirit, were visible, sensible, and manifest to all: for they are called "manifestations of the Spirit."
In writing on "spiritual gifts" (I. Cor. chaps. xii., xiii. and xiv.) in the opening of the subject, Paul (chap. xii. 7) classifies them under one general head, which he denominates "a manifestation of the Spirit." "

There is a manifestation of the Spirit given to every man [all the spiritual men] for the advantage of all [the brethren]." Then come the specifications of these manifestations of the Spirit before enumerated-
"To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom," etc., etc. If, then, by "a manifestation of the truth"
Paul meant such a public and sensible exhibition of it as would commend the honesty and sincerity of the heart to every man's conscience,
by "a manifestation of the Spirit" he meant such an exhibition of his presence and residence in the heart,
as would convince the understanding of all that these spiritual men,
        who professed to have received the Holy Spirit himself,
        did in truth possess that divine agent.
From all which, may it not be inferred that a person in the apostolic age, professing
        to have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit himself,
        without a manifestation of it; or who was unable to display
        it by some unequivocal exhibition of it,
would have been considered either a knave or a simpleton?

Before we approach nigher to the question before us, there is another Scriptural phrase, so similar to this, used by the same inspired writer, and in the same epistle, which deserves a passing remark.

The intelligent reader will no doubt think of "the demonstration of the Spirit" found in I. Cor. ii. 4, "I came not to you, brethren, with excellency of speech and of wisdom. My discourse also and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

We quote the whole passage, that the import of this word "demonstration" (apodeixis), which occurs but once in all the Living Oracles, may be duly felt.

The verb apodeiknumi (to demonstrate) occurs Acts ii. 22; xxv. 7; I. Cor. iv. 9; II Thess. ii. 4. Jesus Christ was "recommended [demonstrated] to you by God by powerful operations, wonders, and signs which God wrought by him in the midst of you."

Thus the verb is first used (Acts ii. 22); and from this we learn what is called a demonstration of the Spirit. "They were not able to prove [to demonstrate] their accusations against Paul" (Acts xxv. 7).

"God has set forth us [demonstrated us Apostles] Apostles last as persons appointed to death" (I. Cor. iv. 9).

"Sitting in the temple of God, openly showing [114] [demonstrating] himself to be a god" (II. Thess. ii. 4).

With all the premises in the Book, the reader may now see that a demonstration of the Spirit is a public, evident, sensible display of supernatural power, on which the faith of a person may stand as on the power of God; or such a manifestation or exhibition of the Spirit, evincing, beyond rational doubt, that he is no knave or vain pretender who says that he has received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps our question is already sufficiently answered to the satisfaction of the reader.

Was every one mentioned in the volumes of God as possessing the gift of the Holy Spirit,
able to give a manifestation or demonstration of the Spirit?

        This is the question now before us; and it is proved two ways-                either by an induction of all the cases which we have not yet attempted,
                or by a definition of all the phrases employed to express the meaning, design,
                        or extent of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The latter is more immediately our object--the other is rather a consequence drawn from the premises fairly exhibited and examined. This much we may say, and it must suffice for the present essay,

that, when the Scriptural import of the phrases "the gift of the Holy Spirit," "spiritual gifts," "measure" or "distribution of the Spirit," "demonstration of the Spirit,"
        is fully and clearly ascertained, they all indicate a "manifestation of the Spirit."

And perhaps it may be inferred that no man ever did possess the gift of the Holy Spirit,
        who could not, and who did not,
        afford a manifestation of the Spirit.

For every manifestation of the Spirit, says Paul,
        was given to every spiritual man for the advantage of all;
        and unless the demonstration of the Spirit was to all,
        it could not be an advantage to all.

Let none of the admirers and believers in "physical and moral operations of the Spirit"--in "common and special operations"--in "divine influences," be alarmed at this investigation of the matter.

We are now ascertaining from the proper authority (the Scriptures themselves),
        the true and only authorized meaning of the sacred dialect.

When we discuss the merits of these popular and ecclesiastic terms and phrases, we shall not use the Bible, but the creeds and commentators of modern Christendom. Meanwhile, it is Bible words and Bible ideas only we are prying into.

Sources[A. C.]
1. Alexander Campbell. Extracts from "Reply" to Inquirer's "The Gift of the Holy Spirit." The Millennial
Harbinger 5 (May 1834): 170-172. 
2. ----------. Extract from "The Gift of the Holy Spirit--No. II." The Millennial Harbinger 5 (May 1834):


Having ascertained the Scriptural import of the following words and phrases, "gift of the Holy Spirit," "spiritual gifts," "the Spirit by measure," "distribution of the Spirit," "demonstration of the Spirit," "manifestation of the Spirit" — we proceed to the examination of some other apostolic phrases relative to the same subject. The phrase "car7iest of the Spirit" next deserves our attention.


If the reader lias some preconceivea system in his mind which he desires to see established by these examinations, I think it is probable he will be disappointed; for we are not seeking to establish any. We prosecute this inquiry as if we had never written nor spoken ono word upon the subject. We are taking a new course of examination, and if it result as did our former inquiries by another process, it will be then confirmatory of the views already offered; just as if the working of a question by the Rule of Three should give the same result as already ascertained by the Rule of Practice, it establishes the certainty of the former solution; but if it should give a different result, then it must call for a reconsideration of the matter. The reader, then, if he do justice to himself, will place himself in the same circumstances as the writer, and, with the candor and docility of a student, open the Living Oracles, and ask. What say the Scriptures?

Arrahon, the word translated earnest in the phrase before us, found II. Cor. i. 22, occurs only in two other passages; viz.: II. Cor. v. 5; Eph. i. 14. It is a Hebrew word adopted into the Greek language of the New Testament, as the word baptism is a Greek word adopted into the English New Testament. It is translated usually pledge, earnest. In the common and in the new version, this word is always rendered earnest. The ancient Hebrew and Phoenician word is a commercial term, and indicates that part of the price of any article which was given in hand at the time of purchase. The goods were marked or sealed, and a sum in hand paid, when the purchase was made; hence the Hebrew verb from which it is derived signifies to make sure, or to become surety. It is found three times only in the translation of the Seventy, and always adopted as in the New Testament, from which writings doubtless the Apostles had it.

Before we attempt to ascertain the precise import of this phrase, there is a word which occurs in the same connection with it, both in the Epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians, which must be distinctly understood antecedent to a full intelligence of "the earnest of the Spirit." It is the word sealed. "God," says Paul, "has anointed us Apostles" — "Christ establishes us, God anoints us, and has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (II. Cor. i. 21, 22). And Eph. i. 13, 14, speaking of the Ephesian converts in the second person, contrasted with the Jewish converts who before expected the Messiah, Paul says, "Having believed, you were sealed with the Spirit of the promise, the Holy Spirit [the promised Spirit], who is the earnest of our inheritance, for the redemption of the purchase to the praise of his glory."

The reader now perceives the intimacy between God's anointing, sealing, and giving of the earnest of the Spirit, and feels the importance of understanding the terms sealed, anointed, as well as the term


Tilt: MILLLWMAL IlAIiBlNOER AliltlDQED. 117 earnest. We shall therefore attend to them in order; and first, to the word seal: tiijhnujis (seal) occurs in the New Testament sixteen times. Uf these, thirteen are in the Apocalypse; and always denote a public mark or external sign, such as the seal upon a letter. The instrument by which a visible mark or impression is made is literally a seal. This seal has an inscription upon it; and therefore we have the instrument, the inscription, and the impression made by it, all denominated "'seal:' They are, however, all visible. The instrument, the inscription, and the impression on the wax or on the paper, are called seals. Metaphor ically it denotes secrecy, and is so used in the Apocalypse. It also imports confirmation.

Let us now examine all the places in which it occurs. Rev. v. 5, "Seven seals" — visible impressions or marks indicative of security and secrecy. It is found chap. v. 1, 2, 5, 9, and chap. vi. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; viii. 1 — eleven times in this sense: chap. vii. it denotes the instrument by which impressions are matle; chap. viii. 1 and chap. ix. 4, the impres sion made on the forehead; II. Tim. ii. 19, it seems to be used for the inscription on the seal; and Rom. iv. 11 it denotes a confirmatory mark. Circumcision was in the person of Abraham a seal or confirma tion of the faith he had in uncircuracision. It is only found once more (I. Cor. ix. 2), "For the seal of my apostleship you are in the Lord." The converted Corinthians were a confirmation of Paul's apos tleship. From this comes the verb,

To seal (sphragizo) , which occurs seventeen times. Ten of these are found in the Revelation in the sense above defined — Rev. vii. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; X. 4; xx. 3; xxii. 10; Matt, xxvii. 66, it is applied to the stone on the sepulchre. John vi. 27, God has sealed his Son, confirmed his mission by the Holy Spirit without measure. Rom. xv. 28, meta phorically, to secure. The remaining passages bear upon the subject directly, and are found Eph. i. 13 and iv. 30, in the sense applied to Jesus, John vi. 27. God sealed his Son by the manifestations of his Spirit. The Apostles were sealed as his ambassadors by the same Spirit; and the converts from among the Jews and Gentiles were also sealed as God's people by the manifestations of the same Spirit.

To give a ring with an inscription, or to give a seal, indicated in all ages of the world the conferring of an office. Pharaoh gave Joseph a ring (Gen. xli. 42) when he made him governor. A similar example is found Esth. viii. 2; iii. 10. The Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Lord of the Privy Seal, and the Secretaries of State receive their oflSce by the king's delivering to them the seals of their respective offices.

The seal of the Spirit was then a pul)lic sign. mark, or pledge that God had sent his Son — that Jesus had sent the Apostles; and on their


converts it was a sign or a pledge that God had received them as his people. Every "manifestation of the Spirit" was a confirmation of the mission of the Apostles, a seal of their apostleship. The spiritual gifts bestowed upon the converts by the hands of the Apostles, was a seal of the apostleship of the persons who conferred them, and it was also a pledge that God had received the persons sealed as his property.

Connected with sealing is the figure of anointing: for kings, and prophets, and priests, on receiving their office, or on being sealed, were also anointed with oil. The pouring of oil upon the head was a literal anointing; but figuratively, the bestowing of the Holy Spirit, or some spiritual gifts, is the anointing spoken of in the New Testament. An examination of all the places where it is found makes this unquestion able. The word chrio (to anoint) is only found five times in the apostolic writings: Luke iv. 18; Acts iv. 27; x. 38; II. Cor. i. 21; Heb. i. 9. It is four times applied to Jesus, and once only to the Apostles; and certainly alludes to "the gift of the Holy Spirit" in the ascertained sense of that phrase. Luke iv. 18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," says Jesus, "because he has anointed me to preach the gospel." Acts iv. 27, "Against thy holy Son Jesus, whom thou hast anointed." Acts X. 38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth ivith the Holy Spirit and tvith power:' This explains the matter fully. Heb. i. 9, "God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" — his other public servants. The oil is the ointment or anointing, called the chrisma, found only in John's Letter, ii. 27 — the gift of the Spirit — • ■ The anointing teaches you all things." The remaining passage is II. Cor. i. 22, and is connected with the seal and the earnest: "God h^s anointed us, sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." As "the Holy Spirit and power" are not two things, neither is the anointing and the seal. "God anointed and sealed us" (Apostles) are not two distinct acts, but the same act presented under two figures.

 Those who regard John the Baptist as pouring water upon the Messiah call that his anointing, or christening ; and therefore those who sprinkle water upon the head of infants formerly called it christening, from the Greek word chrisas, which signifies anointing!

The oil, the pouring of the oil, and the head on which it was poured, are all external and visible. Hence the Holy Spirit descended on the head of the Messiah visibly, and sat upon the head of the Apostles in the resemblances of fiery tongues. Thus were Jesus and the Apos tles anointed.

There is, however, a difference in meaning between the word anointing and the oil, and between the oil and its effects. Oil had sensible effects upon the person. Hence, as the emblem of the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed on Jesus, it is called "the oil of gladness:' Joy in the heart, arising from consecration to the Lord, was the natural

nil-: MlLLKWfAL HAIiniSGER AliiniXiKI). 119

effect of this anointing. Tliis joy in the heart is a prelude of the fullness of joy, an earnest of the inheritance. This brings us within sight of the meaning of the association of the anointing, the seal, and the earnest.

A seal and an earnest are not the same thing, though the same thing may l)o both a seal and an earnest. Anointing and sealing are not the same act, though the same act may be both an anointing and sealing. .\ sign and a seal are not the same thing; yet circumcision to Abraham was both a sign and a seal. There is this difference between a seal and an earnest: they are the same so far as an assurance is concerned; but the seal assures of an inheritance without being any part of it: whereas an earnest assures us of an inheritance, and is a part 01 the inheritance itself. A seal may be a pledge to others, but an earnest is a pledge to ourselves.

The seal of the Holy Spirit, as explained by Paul (Eph. i. 13), is the earnest of the inheritance until the full possession of it. The seal may be upon my head, but the earnest is in the head and in the heart. If the head be anointed, the whole person is perfumed with its graces. The oil poured on the head of Aaron descended in its perfumes and influences to the tuft of his robe. The heart was always filled with joy when the head was anointed. All the members of Christ's body are anointed with him, and all experience the joy of that unction in their hearts; and this to them is an earnest, an assur ance of the aihness of joy. Cut to this subject we can not do full jus tice till we have examined "the fruits of the Spirit."

Thus far we have progressed — God anointed and sealed his Son and the Apostles by his Spirit, and sealed the converts made by their ministry as his people, by various manifestations of his Spirit; and those manifestations filled the heart with the fruits of God's Spirit, which constituted an earnest in their hearts of the full fruition of the heavenly inheritance.

The argument or assurance which the earnest of the Spirit in the saints gives, is thus expressed: "If the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in us, he who raised up Christ from the dead will make even our mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who dwells in us."

Before we speak of ''the fruit of the Spirit." and of "the first fruits of the Spirit." w^ think it necessary to extend our vision, and bring into our horizon what is spoken about the Spirit in the ages of the world antecedent to the Christian economy. We shall, therefore, glance through the ancient oracles.

There is not in the .lewish and Christian Scriptures a word of more diversified occurrence and of greater variety of meaning, than the word .'ipirit. It occurs very often without any epit!-rt. and we find it


in the following connections: Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Lord God, Spirit of adoption. Spirit of antichrist, Spirit of the Arabians, Spirit of bondage, Spirit of burning, Spirit of counsel. Spirit of divination, Spirit of Egypt, Spirit of error, Spirit of fear. Spirit of fear of the Lord, Spirit of glory. Spirit of grace, Spirit of jealousy. Spirit of judgment, Spirit of infirm ity, Spirit of knowledge, Spirit of heaviness, Spirit of holiness, Spirit of life, Spirit of meekness. Spirit of might. Spirit of your mind. Spirit of the Philistines, Spirit of promise. Spirit of prophecy. Spirit of slumber. Spirit of his Son, Spirit of truth. Spirit of understanding, Spirit of whoredoms. Spirit of wisdom.

We have also another class of combinations of this word; such as broken spirit, dumb spirit, evil spirit, free spirit, foul spirit, faithful spirit, good spirit, humble spirit, meek spirit, new spirit, patient spirit, perverse spirit, quickening spirit, quiet spirit, sorrowful spirit, unclean spirit, wounded spirit.

Add to these the phrases. Born of the Spirit, Earnest of the Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit, First Fruits of the Spirit, Newness of Spirit, Love of the Spirit, Mind of the Spirit, Sword of the Spirit, Demonstration of the Spirit, Manifestation of the Spirit, Ministration of the Spirit, Sanctification of the Spirit, Grieve not the Holy Spirit, Quench not the Spirit, Resist the Holy Spirit, Blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Cruden, in his Concordance, ascribes nineteen different acceptations or significations to the word Spirit as found in both Testaments. Cal met attempts to generalize them under four distinct heads of signifi cation, but evidently fails. Brown also makes an abortive attempt of the same sort.

Even when the Spirit of God is spoken of, it does not always mean the same thing. The Spirit of God sometimes unequivocally means the breath of natural life. Thus in Job xxvii. 3, "The Spirit of God is in my nostrils, all the while the breath is in me." The four winds are in the same metaphor, called the four spirits of the heavens. (Zech. vi. 5.) The Spirit of God moving upon the face of the great deep, may also be a figurative expression; for the Hebrews were accustomed to express their superlative comparison by adding the word God as an adjective to a noun. Thus "the cedars of God," "the hills of God," "the mountains of God," were very lofty cedars, hills and mountains. However this may be, we find the phrase does not always mean the same thing.

The "Spirit of God" in the Old Testament is spoken of thirteen times only. When Pharaoh discovered the divine wisdom which was found in Joseph after he interpreted his visions, he said to his serv ants, "Can we find such a man as this Joseph, in whom the Spirit of God is?" The Lord also called Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah and "filled


him with the Spirit of (Jod, in wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." The "Lord put wisdom in tho hearts of all who were wise-hearted," who with Aholiab and Bezaleel •were to construct the tabernacle and its furniture as the Lord com manded Moses. "The Spirit of God came upon Balaam [Num. xxiv. 21, upon Saul IL Sam. x. 10; xi. 6] and upon the messengers of Saul [xix. 20], and they all prophesied." The Spirit of God in like manner "came upon Azariah, and he preached to Asa, to Judah, and Benjamin" (11. Chron. xv. 1). Ezekiel says (xi. 24), "The Spirit took me up and brought me in vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea." This is all we learn of the Spirit of God from the Old Testament.

But although we have not this phrase more frequently in the Old Testament, much is said of the Spirit, in the ancient revelations. The Lord took of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and put it upon the seventy senators appointed to the government of Israel with Moses; and when the Spirit came upon them they prophesied without inter mission. (Num. xi. 17, 25.) When Moses heard of their prophesying, he said. Would to God that all the Lord's people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them!

Caleb and Joshua are spoken of as men possessing another spirit — it is spoken doubtless allusively to the Spirit of God. The spirit of Elijah means the spirit which God bestowed upon him, which also rested upon Elisha. The spirit came upon Amasa, one of David's cap tains, as the spirit of courage; and the same spirit gave a pattern of the Temple to David, according to which it was erected. (L Chron. xviii. 21.) This spirit dwelt in all the prophets. (Neh. ix. 39.) David prayed to be upheld by God's free Spirit. An excellent spirit was found in Daniel, and God by Solomon promised to pour out his Spirit upon all who turned to the Lord. "Turn, you sinners, at my reproof, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you."

But the phrase "Spirit OF the Lord" frequently occurs in the Old Testament. It is found twenty-six times, and is always used synony mously with the Spirit OF God. It, as well as the Spirit of God, some times signifies the WIND. Isa. xl. 7, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it. Surely the people is grass!" It came on the great warriors and judges of Israel — on Othniel, on Gideon, on Jephthah, en Samson, on Saul, on David, on Jehaziel, upon Isaiah, upon Ezekiel, and upon Micah, and upon all the prophets. AH who had "the Spirit of the Lord," or "the Spirit of God," in this age of the world, were supernaturally endowed in some respect or other.

"My Spirit " in the mouth of the Lord, occurs ten times in the Old Testament He promises to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh — upon all who returned to him — upon all the seed of Israel — upon the Messiah [122]

1Kings 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth,
        and I will be a lying
SPIRIT in the MOUTH of all his prophets.
        And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
1Kings 22:23 Now therefore, behold,
        the LORD hath put a lying
SPIRIT in the MOUTH of all these thy prophets,
        and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
2Chronicles 18:21 And he said, I will go out,
        and be a lying
SPIRIT in the MOUTH of all his prophets.
         And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
2Chronicles 18:22 Now therefore, behold,
        the LORD hath put a lying
SPIRIT in the MOUTH of these thy prophets,
         and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.
2Chronicles 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
        that the word of the LORD spoken by the
MOUTH of Jeremiah might be accomplished,
        the LORD stirred up the
SPIRIT of Cyrus king of Persia,
        that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom,
        and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia,
        that the word of the LORD by the
MOUTH of Jeremiah might be fulfilled,
        the LORD stirred up the
SPIRIT of Cyrus king of Persia,
        that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Nehemiah 9:20 Thou gavest also thy good
        and withheldest not thy manna from their
MOUTH, and gavest them water for their thirst.
Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my
        I will speak in the anguish of my
         I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 15:13 That thou turnest thy
SPIRIT against God,
         and lettest such words go out of thy
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read:
        no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate:
        for my
MOUTH it hath commanded,
        and his
SPIRIT it hath gathered them.
Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD;
SPIRIT that is upon thee,
        and my words which I have put in thy
        shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed,
        nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed,
        saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
2Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed,
        whom the Lord shall consume with the
        and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

—upon the prophets. This, of course, will be found in the same acceptation of the phrase "Spirit of God," "Spirit of the Lord," unless we regard it prospectively in reference to other influences promised in the times of the Messiah. This, however, only applies to those promises applicable to the Christian age.

'•Holy Spirit" in the first four thousand years of the world, is only found three times. David and Isaiah are the old prophets who use it. Davia says (Ps. li.), "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me;" and Isaiah (Ixiii. 10, 11) says of Israel, in reference to God's miraculous care of them, "They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit; therefore, he turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying. Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the Shepherd of his flock? Where is he that put his Holy Spirit within him, that led them by the right hand of Moses with uis glorious arm dividing the water before them to make himself an everlasting name?" From this we discover that the Holy Spirit is used as equivalent to the Spirit of God bestowed on Moses and Joshua, to the Spirit of the Lord which fell on the saviors of Israel.

It is here worthy of remark, that the King's translators did never use the phrase Holy Ghost in translating the Old Testament. On three occasions they ought, upon their own principles, to have used it; for it is the same phrase, which in the New Testament, with four excep tions, they have uniformly translated •'Holy Ghost."

Pneuma hagion, or to Pneuma to hagion, occurs ninety-four times in the New Testament. Ninety times they translated it Holy Ghost, and four times Holy Spirit. Curiosity is inquisitive to find some reason for these four exceptions. They are found Luke xi. 13; Eph. i. 13; iv. 30; I. Thess. iv. 8. In Luke xi. 13 there is no article — it simply reads, "Give a holy spirit to them that ask him." They did not say, "Give a holy ghost." Why? Is it because there is no article? We shall examine the other passages and see whether they are uniform in this. Eph. i. 13; iv. 30, and I. Thess. iv. 8 the article is found. Besides, in many other places, where the article is not found, they have Holy Ghost. Is it because what Luke calls "Holy Ghost," Matthew, in quoting the same passage of Christ's discourse (chap. vii. 11), uses "good things?" Probably it was; for they seem to .use "Holy Ghost" as if by it a person was always intended; at least, this will apply to the New Testament: for we have seen they have no Holy Ghost in the Old Testament. But then it will be asked. Are they uniform in this? Is not their Holy Ghost meant Eph. i. 13 and iv. 30 and I. Thess. iv. 8? It would appear so. But the construction is peculiar in Eph. i. 13, for the arrangement is, "You are sealed by the spirit of the prom ise, the holy:" and as the King's translators promised only the Holy [123] Spirit in tho Old Testament, and not the Holy Ghost, they could not with propriety speak of a promised Holy Ghost: for in chap. iv. 30 they seem to have their eyes turned back to Isa. Ixiii. 11, where they rendered it, "Grieve his Holy Spirit," and therefore they can not say, "Grieve not the Holy Ghost of God," the figure in Isa. Ixiii. 10, 11, bein? tho same found in Eph. iv. 30. They prefer to agree with themselves in the Old Testame'nt, rather than with themselves in the New. And in the last place U. Thess. iv. 8) we can find no reason, except that they found It incongruous to use Holy Ghost in reference to God himself— "Who has given to us his Holy Spirit," rather than his Holy Ghost. This is, in all candor, all we can say in their defense. There is, there fore, no good reason for preteiring Ghosl to Spirit ninety times to fow in the New Testament.

There is a saying found in the covenant subscribed by Nehemiah, the governor, twenty-two priests, seventeen Levites, and forty-four chiefs of Israel, which is worthy of attention here. The Tir.shatha (Neh. ix. 20), speaking of the instructions given to Israel in the wil derness by Moses and Aaron, says, "Thou gave«t also thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not the manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst;" and in verse 30, speaking of the various prophets sent to remonstrate with Israel, he says, "Thou testifiedst against them by the Spirit in thy prophets; yet would they not give ear."

The good bpirit, the holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, thy Spirit, and my Spirit, as applied to God in the Jewish Scrip tures, when not used metaphorically, always indicates the spirit of supernatural wisdom, knowledge, power and goodness bestowed upon the prophets, the kings, the priests, the judges, the artificers, the great generals and illustrious men of Israel. It was the spirit of wis dom and revelation in Moses and in the prophets: it was the spirit of might, and power, and courage, in all the heroes and judges of Israel: tho Joshuas, the Gideons, the Samsons, the Davids, etc.; it was the spirit of natural science and the fine arts in Bezalcel, Aholiab. and all the ingenious artificers that erected and beautified the Tabernacle and adorned the high priest of God. It was the spirit of holiness and goodness In all the models of human excellence, which yet give a lustre and renowfi to the splendid names enrolled on Israel's his toric page — which shed a celestial radiance around those magnificent constellations which will shine in the Jewish firmament forever and forever.

We now request the attention of our readers to one most important and prominent acceptation of this term in the New Institution. In order to this we shall carefully examine the phrase ''ministration of the Spir't."


Although we have the word diakonia, here rendered ministration, at least thirty-two times in the Apostles' testimony, we have it but once in connection with the word Spirit. (IL Cor. iii. 9.) This word is properly rendered by the word ministration, ministry, serving, serv ice, waiting, attendance, charge, according to the connection. This is universally admitted. The most common and current acceptation of tha word is indicated by the term ministry. Paul freqifently uses it in this precise import.

In the passage under consideration there can be no difficulty in ascertaining the meaning; for the ministration of the Spirit is con trasted with the ministration of death; ahd what is called the ministra tion of the Spirit is also called the ministration of righteousness; and this again is contrasted with the ministration of condevmation. Now the thing that was formerly ministered is in verse 6 called letter; and the thing that is now ministered, is called spirit.

 No passage in the Apostles' writings abounds more with strong contrasts than this third chapter of the second Epistle to the Corinthi ans. "We have in it Old Institution and New Institution — tables of stone, tables of the heart — letter and spirit — killing and making alive — • ministry of Spirit, ministry of death, ministry of justification, ministry of condemnation, ministry of Moses, ministry of the Apostles — Moses veiled, the Apostles unveiled — fading glory, abounding glory — the thing abolished, and the thing which continues.

The Apostle seems to have fallen into this mood by the petulance of some who talked about his carrying letters of recommendation to the church in Corinth. He told them that they themselves were Christ's letters of recommendation to him, though ministered by himself and his fellow-laborers, written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God ; not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tables of the heart.

Our present object, however, is only to ascertain the precise import of the phrase ministry or ministration of the Spirit. The contrasts drawn by the Apostle leaves no doubt on the mind of the attentive student, that, by these words the Apostle only means the introduction of the gospel, by the ministry of the Apostles, contrasted with the intro duction of the law by the service or ministry of Moses.

The contrast throughout is between tivo institutions — law and gospel — letter and spirit — a system of condemnation, a system of justification — death and life' — two writings — one on stone, and one on the heart — one killing, the other making alive' — one veiled in figure, and one unveiled — the one tending to bondage, the other to liberty.

The spirit, then, here is only another name for the gospel. This is so evident that most critics and commentators of eminence assert it. The reason is obvious — not indeed because the gospel was first preached accompanied by "the gift of the Holy Spirit" — not because the Apostles


proclaimed the gospel with "the demonstration and manifestation of the Spirit;" for Moses in the ministry of the letter was Eusiained by tho Spirit of God, by various demonstrations of its presence and power; but because the gospel is in part "the promise of the Spirit," and is designed to minister the Holy Spirit to all the believers. That which is begotten and born by the gospel is a new and holy spirit; or, in other words, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," Hence by a metonymy, a very common figure of speech in the sacred writings, the gospel is sometimes called the spirit.

Illustrative and confirmatory of this, the reader has only to examine the context in which this phrase occurs. The Old Institution or Testa ment is as often and as variously spoken of in this chapter as the New Institution or the gospel. It is explained as "the law tcritten and engraven on two tables of stone." It is by the same figure of speech called "condemnation" — "death" — because it ministered condemnation and death. It is said "to kill," while the gospel quickens or "makes alive."

Now, whatever gives life gives spirit. The law gave no life, no spirit, except that of bondage, because it killed — the gospel gives the spirit of liberty and life, because it makes alive. The law was not, however, naked or abstract death; neither is the gospel naked or abstract spirit. The law was death clothed in words of threatening; the gospel is spirit clothed in words of life.

This is not the only passage in which the Apostle thought and spoke in this manner of contrast. AVe find him using the sane leading con trasts and giving the same designations to law and gospel. In Romans?, seventh chapter, he contrasts the state under Moses and under Christ — under the letter and the spirit. In the beginning of the 8th chapter he asserts, "There is no condemnation to them under Christ;" because under Christ he has before shown, "we are not under law, but under favor." But here he adds, "Because the law of t.Re Spirit of life" — t. e., the gospel coming by Jesus Christ, "has made me free from the law of sin and death" — i. e., the letter. "We now serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of the letter."

In the same context he ppeaks of living according to the flesh, and according to the spirit; of living in the flesh and in the spirit; of hav ing both "Christ" and "the spirit of Christ" dwelling in us; of being "led by the Spirit," and "having the Spirit of God dwelling in us."

In his letter to the Galatians he speaks in the same language: "Walk by the Spirit," says he, "and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." "If you be led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. ' "Since we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." And it Is in this connection, when contrasting law and gospel, the walking by the flesh and ihe walking by the Spirit, he speaks of


"the fruit of the spirit."

This is opposed to the works of the flet,h, the offspring of that prin ciple, which under the law works death. The phrase "fruit of the Spirit," in the connection in which it stands, is equivalent to the fruit of the gospel. The gospel obeyed works out "love, joy, peace, Icng suffering, gentleness, goodness, fidelity, meekness, temperance: against such fruit there is no law" (Gal. v.). Again, says Paul (Eph. v. 8). "Walk as children of light." (Now the fruit of this light [the Spirit] consists in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.) "Be filled with the Spirit." "Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you," "singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Thus the phrases "Being filled with the Spirit," and "Having the word of Christ [gospel] dwelling richly in the heart,' are explained by the same injunction to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, with grateful hearts to the Lord. Compare Eph. v. 18, 19, and Col. iii. 16.

If, then (as I presume the intelligent will perceive), the phrase '^ministration of the Spirit" mean the introduction of the gospel by the ministry of the Apostles; and ''the fruit of the Spirit" mean the practical results of the gospel in the heart, or the gospel obeyed; and thus the term "spirit," in the style of the Apostles, occasionally means no more than the gospel, may it not be said that receiving the gospel into the heart, is, in the Apostles' sense, receiving the Spirit?

This question at least deserves a careful and devout examination. It is obvious that Christ is received by receiving the gospel; and if Christ be received by receiving the gospel, why not the Spirit of God also?

But where is the proof that Christ is received by receiving the gospel? "He came to his own people, and they received him not — believed not in him; but to as many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God," etc. To receive a person, is to receive him crediting and cordially recognizing him in his own proper character. "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord," walk by his directions. Thus they who credit his word, receive him; and are there fore said to "have Christ in them." "If Christ be in you," says Paul to the Romans, "the body is dead as respects sin." ''That Christ map dwell in your hearts by faith." "Christ liveth in me."

There was, then, a receiving of Christ, familiarly spoken of in the age of the Apostles; and there was a receiving of the grace of God, and a receiving of the Spirit also, in receiving the gospel. There was a dwelling and living of Christ in the heart; nay, there was an inhabi tation of God himself in the hearts of the believers. For "if a man love me," says the Messiah, "he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode xvith him." "Be


hold,' says Jesus, "I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will enter and sup with him and ne with me." "Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesua Christ our Lord."

But besides this indirect and figurative reception of the Spirit of Cod, the Holy Spirit, by the gospel; these gracious influences, sugges tions, illuminations, consolations and invigorating impulses of the good Spirit of God, by and through the gospel in the heart, making the heart a cistern, a fountain whence living waters constantly flow; is there not a substantive, a real and unfigurative reception of the Holy Spirit himself, in the sense of the question Paul asked the Galatians (iii. 2), "Did you receive the Spirit by works of law, or by obedience of faith?"

Such a reception of the Spirit there certainly was; and of this "gift of the Holy Spirit," this "demonstration of the Spirit," this "manifes tation of the Spirit," these "spiritual gifts," we have already spoken as conferred upon the firstfruits in the last days of the Jewish age — in the setting up of the kingdom of the Messiah; but of such a reception of the Si)irit since the last 1)ay.s of the Jewish age, since the creation of one new man of believing Jews and Gentiles, and the breathing into him the holy spirit of this new life, there has been no substaniive, abstract and literal communication of the Holy Spirit to any man. Such is the experience of all the catholic congregation of Christ. There has arisen no prophet, no originator of new ideas, no worker of miracles, no controller of nature's laws, no person having any manifestation of the Spirit, or showing any divine power among me".

Now these manifestations of the Spirit were for the benefit of the community; but the Holy Spirit as now promised and received through the gospel, is for the benefit of the subject himself. There are, how ever, other phrases and terms found in the Christian Scriptures which require our attention, and when correctly appreciated farther illus trate and confirm the preceding.

Although with respect to various misconceptions of what is writ ten on this subject, we have enlarged our remarks beyond the limits of literary investigation, still we aimed at no more in this essay than a fair and full examination of the phrases •'ministration of the Spirit," one acceptation of the word "Spirit," the "fruit of the Spirit," and "receiving of the Spirit." If we have ascertained these, it is all the merit we claim for the present essay.

The following Scriptural phrases are worthy of special considera tion, in attempting to understand what the Scriptures teach of the Influence of the Holy Spirit, in the hearts of believers: —

"The Spirit bears witness with our spirit." — "Grieve not the Spirit." — "Quench not the Spirit." — "Led by the Spirit." — "Walk in the


Spirit."— "Live after tlie Spirit."— "Strengthened witli might by the Spirit in the inward man."— "Sanctification of the Spirit." — "Immers ing into the name of the Holy Spirit."— "Communion of the Holy Spirit."

That the Spirit of God does influence believers, or work in their hearts, to think, will, and do, according to the good pleasure of God, is a proposition that no person, who has paid an ordinary attention to the writings of the Apostles and Prophets, can reasonably deny.

But concerning the nature, manner, aad extent of this influence or operation, real Christians have differed and may differ again, in their apprehensions and communications. Our province is to understand and teach the meaning of the words and sentences, which the inspired writers have used on this subject, judging that when these are fairly and fully, that is, grammatically and logically understood, we are in possession of the ideas which God designed to communicate to us.

We have clearly seen in the examinations already completed, that the Spirit of God was the author of all the supernatural intelligence, wisdom, and power, which appear in the writings and doings of all God's messengers to men: — and that he is the author of all genuine goodness in the human heart, is quite apparent. We have also dis cerned, that all the converting power — or saving power, which the Spirit of God exerts on the human mind, is now in and by the word written, read or heard; for that where this word has never been heard or known, not one supernatural idea exists; — not one ray of spiritual or celestial light has shone.

" 'Tis midnight with the soul, till he, Bright Morning Star, bid darkness flee."

But whether this influence is direct or indirect; in the word only, or without the word; abstract and naked, or clothed with light and motive; have been, and still are, questions undecided by many. To assist such persons, ia our supreme object in instituting the present investigation of words and phrases; and as we have already afflrmed, we are now only concerned to know and communicate the true intent and meaning of the Scripture style, as though we were examining a matter, on which we had formed no opinion ourselves.

Before we resume our philological labors in the phrases now before us for examination, it may be expedient to remark, with a special reference to the difficulties of some of the more thoughtful on this subject, that, — the %chole work of the Holy Spirit in the Apostles' time, was not to originate new ideas, fior to clothe men with super natural and extraordinary powers; — such as speaking foreign lan guages, and tongues unkyiown before, and in controlling or suspending the laws of physical nature; but in strengthening the m.ind and mem ory, and in reviving the recollections of things said and done, in


time lung past, — and in reproducing the exact images of things ichich had vanished from the mind. This is now simply premised, in refer ence to some phrases shortly to be examined; and to furnish to the curious speculators on this subject, some data, which at least are entitled to their consideration.

But we proceed to the phrase, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. viii. 16 — Com. ver.). "Also the Spirit itself beareth witness together with our spirit, that we are the children of God." — Macknight. "Also this Spirit bears witness together with our spirit, that we are children of God." — New version, fourth edition.

The preceding verse, which reads, "You have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father;" seems to present the argument thus, "But this Spirit of adoption is not the only proof that the believing Gentiles are the adopted sons of God: for in addition to this, the spirit which has thus breathed into our hearts the Spirit of adoption, has also borne, and still bears witness to our sonship, by the spiritual gifts bestowed on the believing Gentiles.

Two witnesses are adduced by the Apostles, concurring in the estab lishment of the fact, that believing Gentiles are divinely constituted sons of God. The first is the Spirit of adoption, which they had indi vidually received; infusing into their hearts the cry, "Abba, Father;" the other, the extraordinary gifts, or the manifestations of the Spirit, bestowed equally upon the Gentiles, at, and after, their first calling into the kingdom of Jesus.

As Dr. Macknight well observes, "God is said to have sealed the believing Gentiles as his sons, by giving them the Spirit" (II. cor. i. 22; V. 5; Eph. i. 13, 14). "By the Spirit's witness, we are to under stand a particular revelation to individuals," the same translator dis tinctly aflSrms.

I have learned from Prof. Stuart's version of the Epistle to the Romans, and his notes on this passage, which appeared since my dis sertation in 1830, on the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh verses of this chapter, that I was not alone as I then apprehended, in supposing the Spirit of adoption to be "the Spirit that intercedes for us, in sighs which can not be uttered;" for he testifies, page 324. that those who regard the Spirit of adoption spoken of in the fifteenth verse, to be the same with the spirit spoken of in the sixteenth verse, "compare this with verses twenty-six and twenty-seven, which they construe in the same way."

"For a long time," says the Professor, "I preferred this interpre tation;" that is, making the Spirit of God (verse 16) the same as the Spirit of adoption (verse 15). "But." he adds, "repeated and atten tive study of the whole passage in the connection, has of late brought


me to a pretty full persuasion, that auto to pneuma (verse 16) is the same as pneuma theou (verse 14);" or that the Spirit of God, rather than the Spirit of adoption, is intended in verse 16. I may add, that Professor Stuart in his version, renders the verse in examination, thus — "The same Spirit beareth witness to our spirit, that we are children of God." This may be sustained by Rom. ii. 15; ix. 1; but is not in so full accord with the word summarturei, according to the grammatical construction of the Greek language, as in the new ver sion. The Professor's version would, however, better express my views of the passage than the new version, if it could be as well sus tained. For it is to our spirit the witness is offered at last, read it as we may. I would paraphrase the passage thus: "The Spirit of God by his demonstrations or seal vouchsafed to the believing Gen tiles, as well as to believing Jews, bears witness to our understanding in conjunction with the Spirit of adoption, which we have individually received, that we are children of God.

When we speak of testimony or witness, there are two things always to be taken into consideration; — the fact or proposition in sup port of which the testimony is presented, — and the person or persons to whom the testimony is offered. There is something to be proved, and some person to whom or for whom it is to be proved. Now, a person can not be both the subject and the object of the same testi mony himself. For example. Let the question be, "Am I a child of God?'' This is to be ascertained for my own satisfaction. I am the person to xchom it is to be proved. There is something represented by the pronoun /, which is constituted judge in this case. This then can not be both witness and judge. A witness in me must be some thing distinct from me. Well: what is the witness in me distinct from myself, unless it be the Spirit of adoption breathing in me all filial dispositions? Now if Paul and his companions rejoiced in the testimony of their own conscience, why may I not rejoice in the tes timony of this witness? But as this is but one witness, and as everything of importance requires two witnesses; and especially as this witness may be suspected of being under the influence of near relation and not easily cross examined, it requires a concurrent testi mony. Now this is that which the Spirit of God has presented in the written word — sealed by its own demonstrations. An exact corre spondence between these two witnesses begets full confidence, or satis factorily answers the question, "Am I a child of God?"

But it must be observed, that the testimony of God in the authenti cated word, and the testimony within, are both necessary to the full assurance of our sonship. Hence, John says, "If our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence." By loving "not in word only, but in deed and in truth," says the divine Apostle, "we know that we are


of the truth, and shall assure our hearts l)otore him.'* Happy frames and good feelings are no evidence of our sonship, unless sustained by the testimony in the Holy Scriptures. And this calls for unre served obedience to all the commandments of Jesus.

But while this and much more may be necessary to illustrate the testimony borne to our spirits by the Spirit of God; the fact that such a witness exists, and the bare meaning of the phrase, are all that fairly lie within our present object. The Apostle's design in the con nection in which the phrase occurs, clearly ascertains its import. His proposition is: "As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God." "To be led by the Spirit," or to be led by any person, is simply to be guided by what they say. Those thus led, are chil dren of God. That they are the children of God, is proved to them selves by two witnesses; — what the Spirit has testified in the written word, and sustained by miracles, — and by the filial dispositions, called the Spirit of adoption, which it has inspired into the hearts of all the believers, whether Jews or Gentiles.

In ascertaining tne import of the phrase, "The Spirit hears tcit ness with our spirit," we quoted Dr. JMacknight as asserting that ""by the Spirit's witness we are to understand;" whereas it ought to have read, "By the Spirit's witness we are not to understand a particulz^r revelation to individuals." This typographical mistake was not noticed till after we sat down to write the present essay. It was implied, if not distinctly stated in our last, that the phrase "spirit of adoption" indicates those filial dispositions which are engendered in the believers by the Spirit of God, and that to be "led by the Spirit," is, in our style, to be guided by what he says to us.

The phrase now before us is, "Grieve not the Spirit." In the com mon version of the Scriptures, God is said to have been grieved for forty years with the manners of the Jews in the wilderness. (Ps. xcv. 10; Heb. iii. 10, 17.) Again, the question is asked (Ps. Ixxviii. 40), "How often did they grieve him in the desert?" Jesus also is said (Mark iii. 5) to have been "grieved at the hardness of their hearts." From these Scriptures we may easily perceive the meaning of grieving the Holy Spirit. As Israel of old grieved God in the desert, so Christians may grieve the Holy Spirit by suffering corrupt com munications to escape their lips, or by disobeying his precepts.

Children grieve their parents by their foolish behavior, and Chris tians are figuratively said to grieve the Spirit when they act in a way unbecoming his presence with them. The Lord was present with the Jews in the wilderness, therefore they could grieve him. His Spirit Is in the congregation, and therefore Christians may grieve him. The Spirit when grieved with Adam, forsook him — when displeased with the Jews, it forsook thorn. David, when conscious of his faults, prays.


"Take not thy Holy Spirit from me!" and the command, 'Grieve not the Spirit," implies that Christians may also be forsaken by God.

''Quench not the Spirit." This phrase, like the preceding, is found but once in the New Testament (I. Thess. v. 19). The gift of the Holy Spirit having been like a flame of fire, this figure is most expressive and beautiful. Referring to those gifts extraordinary, enjoyed by many of the first converts, Jewish and Gentile, the Apostle could, with all propriety of metaphor, say to them who had any spiritual gift, "Quench not the Spirit," "Despise not prophesying," etc. And to Timothy, in the same style, he could say, "Stir up the gift which is in you." The word used in Timothy is anazopurein, blow up this fire — quench it not — put not out this sacred fire in yourself or in others, but rouse it to a flame.

To "walk in the Spirit," and "live after the Spirit," are, in effect, the same as to be "led by the Spirit." Christians who think, speak, and act according to the gospel, are walking after, or according to, the Spirit — living according to the Spirit — led by the Spirit. Thus the Platonist was led by Plato — walked according to Plato — lived as Plato directed.

"Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man" (Eph. iii. 16); or, "Mightily strengthened by his Spirit in the inner man." Paul implores this blessing from God upon the Ephesians. There is much to be learned from the prayers of the Apostles, both for them selves and their brethren, as to their views, their practical views of the influence and aid of the good Spirit of God. That they expected some help from God of some sort, is clearly and fully expressed in all their petitions, both for themselves and for one another. Let the reader, intent on understanding the Apostles' views and style, care fully examine their prayers, as if to learn what they expected to be yet done for them. The following specimens will be sufficient to our present purpose: —

"On this account I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and upon earth is named, praying that, according to the riches of his glory, he would grant you to be mightily strengthened by his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be completely able to apprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height — even to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. Noiv to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think, according to the poioer tchich works effectually in us — to him be glory in the congregation by Christ Jesus, during all the end less succession of ages. Amen."


That the Apostle expected the strengtheuing of the faculties cf the mind, by the Spirit of God in the hearts of these saints at Ephesus, can not be doubted; but that this was to be effected by faith — by Christ dwelling in the heart by faith, is not to be questioned. If such petitions were necessary in the age of spiritual gifts, they are no less so in the present time; and that the Spirit of God does in some way by faith work in men both to will and to do, and that he does and may do for us above all that we ask or think, is not to be questioned, if Paul in this passage is to be understood according to what we call common sense.

The thanksgivings, as well as the petitions of the Apostle Paul, imply all this and more. When he heard of the faith and love of the Ephesians, he said, "I cease not to give thanks for you, making men tion of you in my prayers — that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation iti the knowledge of him; that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, you may know what is the hope of his calling, and ichat the riches of the glory of his inheritance among the saints, and tchat the exceeding greatness of his power in relation to us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his oicn right hand in heavenly places, far above all government, and power, and might, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come," etc.

The Apostles taught the Christians by precept or example to pray for the following things: — for eloquence and boldness for those who labor in the word and teaching; for wisdom for themselves; for favor, mercy, and peace for the brotherhood; for the healing of the sick; for an offending brother; for being filled with the knowledge of tne will of God; for their own strength and that of their brethren; for the good behavior of the brotherhood; for the protection and salva tion of kings, governors, and all sorts of men; for every promised blessing, and for every necessary thing, either for the present or the uture; for themselves and for their brethren.*

These apostolic prayers are full of edification: they are, in com parison of mere didactic communications, as experiment to theory, or as example to precept. The views of the Apostles on the subject of divine influences will be found in their petitions, supplications, arid thanksgiving. That they expected much in answer to their prayers, and that they and their converts did not ask in vain, need not be argued to those who will carefully examine this matter.

•Will tlie ciirioiis and inqiiisitivo attPiitivcly consider llio following portions of tho apostolic writings ? Jjis. i. 5; v. l(i; I. John v. 22; Col. i. 1>-11 ; Kph. vi. Ill; Phil. i. fl, 10. II; Koni. i. 10; Col. iv. 12; I. Thcss. v. 2o; I. Tim. ii. 1; Heb. iv. 16; I. Pet. v. 10; I. John ▼. 14, 15, etc.


But the phrase "communion of the Holy Spirit," will still mora fully illustrate their views. It is koinonia, fellowship, joint participa tion. We have this word twenty times from the day of Pentecost to the close of the Epistles. It is twice applied to the Holy Spirit— II. Cor. xiii. 13; Phil. ii. 1. It is applied to the Father and to the Son— I. John i. 3-6; I. Cor. i. 9. We have the communion of the Father, the communion of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, or the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; for it is the same term uniformly in the passages quoted. The communion of saints; of the blood of Christ; of the body of Christ, denote their joint participa tion of the influence, presence, and comforts of the good Spirit of God.

We have communion with one another when we mutually give and receive consolation, whether in sentiment, in sympathy, in communi cation, or in any of the blessings of society. Man was made for com munion with God and hig fellows, but he lost it in Adam the first. In Adam the second he is restored to that communion; but while in his mortal body his communion with God is only by his Spirit through. Jesus Christ our Lord.

But we have not yet caught the precise idea expressed in the Apos tle's benediction — "The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all!" There is suggested in this phrase a participation of the Holy Spirit common to all the members of the body of Christ. It is not some gift or special influence of the Spirit, imparted only to a few; but that fellowship of the Spirit which, under Christ, is common to the many — to all the family of God — of which the Apostle spoke. The best definition of the word communion which I can give, is, union in that which is common. Wherever there is union in common, there is communion. As the glory of the Lord equally filled all the taber nacle and the temple, so the Spirit of God animates, consoles, and refreshes the whole body of Christ. These consolations, joys, and refreshments from the presence of the Lord, the Apostle imprecated upon all the Corinthian converts. He wished them a full fellowship, an equal participation of those measures of the Holy Spirit which belonged to the body of Christ as such. The three greatest blessings which Paul could invoke on the Corinthians, were, "the favor of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit." These are not one and the same idea; but three distinct ideas — as distinct as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He that enjoys the favor of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, has all the fullness of God, and is as blessed as mortal man can be.

Into these relations to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit we are immersed; for the Lord commanded the believers to be immersed into the mime of the Holy Spiril as well as into the namo


of the Father and the Son. To be immersed into the name of the Holy Spirit, prepares for the enjoyment of this communion; as being Immersed into the Father, introduces into the enjoyment of the love of God; and as immersion into the name of Jesus Christ, introduces us into the favor of the Lord Jesus. This love, grace, and communion are the superlative glory of the Christian institution. They are equally apprehensible, though in their nature and modes of development incomprehensible. It is the duty, honor, and privilege of Christians to enjoy all that into which they are immersed. There is as much wisdom or folly in disparaging the communion of the Holy Spirit, as in undervaluing the love of God or the favor of Jesus Christ.

There is also as much reason, and Scripture, and honor in being immersed into the Holy Spirit, as into the name of the Lord Jesus. Should any one think that the communion of the Holy Spirit has ceased, he may as well imagine that the love of God has ceased and that the favor of Jesus Christ is extinct. If he can not comprehend the one, he can not comprehend the other. But as we are immersed into the name of the Holy Spirit, we must look for and constantly expect the communion of that Spirit, as well as the love of God and the favor of Jesus Christ our Lord.

There yet remains the phrase "sanctification of the Spirit." This understood, I presume the whole New Testament phraseology on ihe subject of the Spirit will be easily understood by every attentive reader. The original phrase is hagiasmos pneumatos, and is found only in II. Thess. ii. 13; I. Pet. i. 2. In both places it appears to refer to the sanctification of the spirit of believers. It is literally rendered 'sane tification [or holiness] of spirit." There is no article in the original and no epithet that suggests the Holy Spirit in either passage. God has chosen men to salvation through (or by) holiness of spirit; not through the holiness of his Spirit, but through the holiness of their spirit When Jesus prayed (John xvii.) for the sanctification or holi ness of his disciples, it was through the truth: "Sanctify them through the truth; thy word is truth." The belief of the truth is, therefore, by Paul associated with this holiness or sanctification of spirit. The Spirit of God is frequently denominated in these days, "the Sane tificr." Let it be granted that it is the Spirit that sanctifies or sets apart men to God, still it must be argued from the Record that ne sanctifies them only through the truth or gospel believed. A sanctified unbeliever is inconceivable; and, as "without holiness [or sanctifica tion of spirit] no man can see the Lord;" so, without faith, there can be no holiness, and no action acceptable to God.

All persons sanctified to God to any high office or function, were anointed, and thus consecrated to his special service. So all Chris tians, being priests, are anointed or sanctified by the Holy Spirit


through the obedience of the truth, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, cleansing their consciences from dead works to serve the living God. In this we find the secret of the most usual epithet of the Spirit. It is the Spirit of holiness, because it is the Spirit of truth. It is the Holy Spirit, because by its influence it makes us holy; and these influ ences which sanctify are always by and through the truth. When God chose men to salvation, it was through sanctification of spirit; and as a means to this, it was thi'ough the belief of the truth.

In 1842 and 1843 Robert Richardson presented a series of essays on "The Spirit of God." For his very full discussion, see the book, "The Work of the Holy Spirit," by R. Richardson. Editor.





Mr. Campbell's treatment of the Scriptures was most reverent. The pages of the Harbiriger overflow with the discussions and expo sitions of the Scriptures. He delighted in the one Book. We can give only a small part of what was written.

In 1845, page 433, Mr. Campbell wrote of the Bible:

The Bible is the oldest and best book in the world. It is trans lated into more languages and read by more people than any other volume ever written. Its history and its prophecy comprehend the entire destiny of the world. It presents to us man in his natural, preternatural, and supernatural conditions and characteristics. It records the three great ages of the world by developing three dis pensations of religion — the Patriarchal, the Jewish and the Christian. "Man as he was, man as he is, and man as he shall hereafter be, are its three grand themes. It reveals God by unfolding the mysterious relations of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the three great works of creation, providence and redemption.

The Bible is divided into two great departments, usually, but improperly called the Old and New Testaments. The former of these contains the inspired writings of Moses, the first of historians and' the greatest of lawgivers, together with those of the ancient Prophets; while the latter contains those of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ. Regarded as the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures, it comprehends sixty-six distinct and independent treatises. Thirty nine of these constitute the Jewish, and twenty-seven the Christian records. The Christian Scriptures are the work of only eight persons, six of whom were Apostles, and two of them Evangelists of Jesus Christ, and companions of the Apostles. The Jewish Scriptures were written by more than thirty persons, all of whom, save one,* were Jews. We put down the immediate authors or writers of the Bible at not less than forty, as th-? lowest number, though we can not with absolute certainty name them all. From the birth of Moses till the death of John the Apostle, is a period of full sixteen hundred and sixty years. These volumes were, therefore, in progress of comple tion not less than fifteen hundred years, and grasp in their historic outlines a period of forty-one centuries. A volume of such Immense compass, exhibiting details of persons, places and events, so numer ous and various, and of such transcendent interest to mankind, seems

'Job, II i.s presumed, was iin Iiluinenii or nil Anibinii snjri


to possess claims upon the attention and consideration of every human being capable of appreciating its history, its biography, its prophecy, its doctrine, or even its general literature, above those of any other volume in the world.

The Jewish Scriptures comprehend history, law, and prophecy. The Jews were wont to distribute them into "the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms." The Christian Scriptures pre-eminently consist of historical and epistolary compositions. Of all the Jewish writers, Moses, and of all the Christian writers, Paul, is the largest and most conspicuous. Both the Jewish and Christian Scriptures begin with history and end with prophecy. Facts or events, past and future, are, therefore, the main subjects on which inspired writers dwell. The historical books of the Old Testament are, in all, seventeen. The prophetic books are also seventeen; while the properly didactic and devotional are but five. The first five books of the New Testament are also historical, the last prophetical, and the rest epistolary. These last are miscellaneous in their character, containing sometimes his tory, doctrine, precepts and exhortations. The whole volume, indeed, in its spirit and tendency, is devotional. Whatever God has said in the form of declaration, precepts, promise, or threatening, is designed to make the man of God pure and perfect, and thoroughly accomplished for every good word and work.

The plan of the Bible, as an instrument or means of salvation, is admirably adapted to the human constitution and to the circumstances which surround man. The end to be obtained is happiness, but that end can not be accomplished without sanctification or personal devo tion to God. It is, indeed, as impossible for God to make any man happy, without making him holy, as it is for him to lie. Now the Bible is all arranged with a supreme reference to this fact. And as piety or holiness consists in a course of action correspondent with the divine will and character, and is not natural to man as he now is, it must be preceded by a change of heart. But this change of the affections being the result of faith or a belief of the testimony of God, that testimony for such a change must necessarily furnish motives. But these motives presuppose gracious acts of kindness on the part of God. Sacred history, then, records these facts — whether in the form of things said or done, commanded or promised by God. Faith apprehends and receives this testimony concerning these facts. These facts, when believed, produce corresponding feelings or states of mind, sometimes called repentance or a new heart; and this new heart leads to those good actions denominated piety and humanity, or holiness and righteousness. The links in this divine chain of moral and spiritual instrumentality are, therefore, five — facts, testi mony, faith, feeling, action: — the end of which is salvation. The


whole revelation of God is arranged upon this theory or view of man's constitution. Thus God acts, the Holy Spirit testifies, man believes, feels, and then acts according to the divine will. Thus becomes he a new creature. This view of man's constitution explains why the Bible is a volume of facts historical and prophetical— why it begins with history and ends with prophecy — why, in one sentence, God works, then commands, then promises.

To illustrate this by Uie gospel, it is only necessary to state the order of things narrated in the apostolic writings:—!. Jesus died for our sins. 2. The Apostles announced this, and it is proved by the Holy Spirit in his resurrection from the dead, and subsequent operar tions. 3. Jews and Gentiles believe these annunciations as reported to them by the Apostles and Evangelists. 4. They immediately repent of their sins, and inquire what to do. Their hearts are changed. 5. They then become obedient to the faith. They are saved.

The plan of the Bible can only be clearly understood when man's condition and constitution are clearly and fully apprehended. For, in truth, the Bible is a glorious system of grace — an absolutely com plete and perfect adaptation of spiritual means to a great and glorious end. This, however, is not the only grand comprehensive view of the volume of God's inspiration which we desire to lay before the reader. We wish to look into the mechajiism of this sublime instrument of renovation and salvation.

Jesus Christ is the centre of the whole evangelical system. He is "the root and the offspring of David" — "the Sun of Righteousness" — "the bright and the Morning Star" — "the Alpha and the Omega" of the volume. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit" of all sacred his tory and of all divine prophecy. Now the history of the Bible is very rationally or philosophically arranged both in its prospective and retrospective character, with a single and sublime reference to Jesus Christ. Let us analyze it.

The first promise to fallen man respects a Messiah — in these words: "I will put enmity between thee," O Serpent, "and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. He sii.vll biuise thy iii:ai». ami tiku' SHALT BuuiSE HIS HEEL." The whole Bible but demonstrates, illus trates, and applies this grand promise. Eve's son of blessings is now to be elicited out of the human race; and just so much of the history of the human race as is necessary to his identification, devel opment and (jlorification is given, and no more. Let the reader take this lamp in his hand, read all the historical books of both Testa ments, note every fact, incident, and document therein found, and see if they do not arrange themselves in a proper position, either to identify, develop, or glorify this benefactor of our race. We shall glance at Genesis for an illustration.


The single book of Genesis contains the only information we have of the human race for the long period of two thousand three hundred sixty and eight years. It begins with creation and ends with the death of the patriarch Joseph. The other books of Moses bring us down to the year of the world 2553. All this history antedates any authentic records of the human race now extant in any nation or language.

But the portions of Genesis assigned to the different epochs of human history, are most singularly and significantly disproportionate. Why is it that eight-filtieths, or eight chapters of fifty, are devoted to the history of creation and of the flood, and to the religious and political conditions of the human family, for the long period of one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years; while the single history of one Abraham occupies thirteen-fiftieths, and that of his descendants Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, twenty-four fiftieths! — ? Indeed, the for tunes of this Joseph occupy a larger space than that assigned to the first two thousand years of the world. This great disproportion in the details of things can be satisfactorily explained only in one way. That apprehended, and the plan and structure of the inspired writings can be properly understood and appreciated.

"The testimony of Jesus," says a divine oracle, "is the spirit of prophecy." It is, I presume, as truly the spirit of sacred history. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega of the Bible, because the Bible is the history of redemption. Everything takes precedence, occupies space, and engages attention in the direct ratio of its bearings upon the development and consummation of human redemption. Take, for example, the antediluvian age: from the moment the gracious intima tion that the woman's offspring would one day "bruise the serpent's head" is given, its development becomes the all-engrossing theme both of history and of prophecy. Persons, places, and events occupy a prominence and conspicuity as they happen to be connected with that grand central idea of the whole Bible. The altar, the victim, and the priest, appear in the history of Cain and Abel; while blood and faith triumph in his martyrdom. Cain's history, so far as it is given, is but the shade in the picture, and a few samples of his descendants illustrate the whole history of men in the flesh. From Enoch descended the sons and daughters of men. Polygamy was the consummation of his principles in the fifth generation. His offspring were brass and iron manufacturers, and the first that invented portable houses. Instruments of music, and that handled the harp and the organ. Tu balcain, or Vulcan, and his sister Naamah, inventor of the distaff and the spindle, are amongst his renowned issue. Not one saint is named in the whole posterity of Cain, the first born of woman and the pro totype of religious persecutors.


The history ot Cain and Abel being given, because of its connection with the altar and the sacrifice, the historian, prompted by the spirit of revelation, opens the illustrious lineage of the promised seed of woman; and that becomes, from this moment, the backbone of the whole Bible — the grand meridian line of all divine history and proph ecy. 8eth is born to fill the place of Abel, and his progeny is counted, one by one, down to Jesus of Bethlehem and of Nazareth. Thus the patriarchal chain of Messiah's ancestors down to the Flood, are Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah. From the Fall of Man to the Flood, all that is transmitted to us of human affairs or of divine providence connects itself with these ten patriarchs. After the Flood Noah's three sons engross our attention. Their connection with all the ancient nations of the earth is briefly but most interestingly sketched. But so soon as reasons are given in the history of Shem, of Ham, and Japheth, for a special providence in dispersing them over the whole earth, and in selecting the younger of these three to stand at the head of the postdiluvian line of the child of promise, the historian confines himself to the royal and sacerdotal line of the Messiah. He next counts off ten other progenitors of our Lord. These are Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abraham. The promise given to Eve and repeated to Shem, is still farther developed and committed to Abraham. To the end of Genesis we have five other noble links in this patriarchal chain. These are Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Phares, and Ezrom. Genesis then gives us in all five and twenty of our Lord's ancestors, and just so much of human affairs as is necessary to their favorable introduction to our notice. Joseph's history, so pre-emi nently connected with the whole drama of man's redemption, and ter minating in the migration and settlement of the symbolic nation in Egypt, is more minutely and particularly detailed than any one indi vidual history in the five books of Moses. His other books, occu pying but forty years' incidents, adds no new names to the illustrious line. After the books of Joshua and Judges, the book of Ruth is inserted to connect Judah and the promise made to him with David through Boaz, Obed, and Jesse — making the line from Ezrom to succeed thus: Aram, Aminadad, Naashon, Salmon, Boaz, Obod, Jesse, David.

The beautiful story of Ruth, the Moabitish saint, inserted for the express purpose of connecting David with Judah, Abraham and Seth, and of completing through him the illustrious line down to the Vir gin's Son, is itself a demonstration of the truth of our assumption, viz.: that the plan of the Bible is to reveal God to man and man to himself, by placing one family under a special providence, and in making all its fortunes first the subject of prophecy, and then of


history, from the beginning to the end of the world.* God meant more than any man has yet comprehended when he said, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. This is my name forever and my memorial to all generations." The history of that family is, then, a documentary revelation of the attributes of God, and especially of his truthfulness and covenant-keeping char acter, while all other histories of all other families serve as night to day in the contrast, to present his people in all the most favorable attitudes before us, and to induce all men to place themselves under the wings of his almighty protection.

Soon as David ascends the throne and his family obtains the sceptre of the twelve tribes, the royal lineage is in safe keeping. The books of Samuel, the Kings, and the Chronicles, down to the end of Old Testament history, not only faithfully preserve the records of the nation, but afford a thousand developments of human nature and of divine providence, full of instruction to all mankind in all ages of the world.

Matthew and Luke open the New Testament history by giving from the archives of the nation and the rolls of lineage the ancestry of Jesus up to Adam; the former, by his legal father, Joseph; the latter, by his natural mother, Mary. By the legal paternal line he is the sixtieth in descent from Adam; while by the maternal line he is the seventy-sixth. The apostolic writings give the history of the Jews down to the crucifixion of their promised Deliverer, the repudia tion of them as the nation and people of God, and the adoption of believing Jews and Gentiles as one in the Lord Jesus in their stead; while the prophecies of the New Testament indicate the destiny of Israel according to the flesh, as well as Israel according to the spirit, till the final consummation. Such is the plan of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

From the plan of the Bible, as well as from its philosophy, its claims upon the faith and admiration of mankind may be strongly argued. Its philosophy is, that without piety no man can be happy; and that with it any man in any outward circumstances may be happy to the full extent of his capacity for human enjoyment. But human enjoyment is neither animal nor angelic enjoyment. Animal or sen sitive enjoyments are supreme and exclusive in the brutal creation, but subordinate in man. Intellectual pleasures are necessarily depen dent upon the ministry which the intellect performs. If the intellect is made subordinate to the animal instincts, passions or propensities; or if the intellect is subordinate to moral and spiritual enjoyments, its pleasures are essentially different. In the former case they are

* See Ruth, cliaiJtci' iv. 18


but refined animalism; in the latter case they are spiritual and divine. In this view all human enjoyments are reduced to two classes: the one is spiritual, and the other carnal; the one is moral, social, and refined; the other is selfish, exclusive, and gross; the one rises, the other sinks to all eternity.

The philosophy of the Bible is, therefore, the philosophy of human happiness, and the only philosophy which commends itself to the cultivated understanding of man. No mere rationalist, philosopher, or sage, ever proposed such a view of happiness to man. It is peculiar to the Bible. It is an original and divine conception, and proves the divine authorship of the book. From the object and character of the book of revelation, its divine authority can be most triumphantly argued. It is a book equally worthy of God to bestow and of man to receive. Dictated by infinite benevolence, characterized by supreme intelligence, and perfectly adapted to the genius of human nature, it is worthy of universal reception and of the most profound and grate ful homage.

Its plan is superhuman and divine. No one class of men of any one age could have formed such a plan as that of writing the history of one family for seven thousand years, and of incorporating with that history a scheme of eternal redemption from sin. And yet it is as clear as the sun in a cloudless sky, that Moses, Joshua, Samuel. Ezra, Nehemiah — with all the Jewish historians, prophets and poets, during a period of fifteen hundred years, were, without concert, con ference, or voluntary co-operation, prosecuting just such an object •without seeming to comprehend it. And not they only, but all the patriarchs before Moses, all the renowned fathers of mankind from Adam to Moses, were orally transmitting such information to their descendants; and all the scribes of the Jews, from :\Ialachi to Mat thew, were in their chronicles of Jewish times recording such incidents and events as make out the entire history of the family of Jesus Christ from Adam to Joseph, his legal father, and to Mary, his natural mother. This was done but once in all time, and for a pur pose just as peculiar and singular as the Bible itself.

A sceptic or an infidel might as well argue that king Hiram's thirty thousand woodsmen and builders, and king Solomon's one hundred and fifty thousand hewers, stone-cutters, and carriers of burdens, with his three thousand three hundred supervisors and directors, were severally and individually working each one after a plan of his own; and that without concert or prearrangement, all their materials were fitted up into a temple the most splendid and magnificent that ever stood upon this earth — the wonder of the world and the glory of the architecture — as that shepherds, husbandmen, fisliernion, artizans, historians, lawgivers, kings, living in different


countries, in ages very remote, speaking diverse languages, and ot every peculiarity of character, could have, either by accident or design, got up such a volume as the Bible, marked in every page by a pecu liar originality of character, a most striking unity of design, pervad ing an almost infinite variety of circumstantial details, and in a style the most simple, artless, and sublime. The fortuitous concourse of atoms into a universe indicative of designs and adaptations as innu merable as the stars, as countless as the sands o,f the sea, would be a rational hypothesis, a plausible and credible theory, compared with such an assumption.

The divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures is, indeed, fully proved by the divine wisdom and knowledge contained in the record itself. The author is known in his works. God's book is full of divinity. It reveals what human wisdom can not fathom, but what human wisdom must believe and approve. God has not only affixed his sign manual to the mission of Apostles and Prophets in the mir acles which they wrought, and in the prophecies which they uttered; but he has stamped upon the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which it contains, and incorporated with all its gracious and sublime developments, its holy doctrine, its heavenly spirit, and its divine pre cepts, the indubitable indications of its superhuman, supernatural, and divine origin. But we shall, for the present, only attempt to prove its divine origin by the indirect method of reducing to an absurdity a contrary hypothesis Paul is my example and my author ity for an occasional assault upon the fortress of error by showing what will result from its admission to be truth, or, which is the same thing in other words, by assuming the truth to be a lie. He says, "If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ raised. If Christ be not raised, then all men are in their sins — preaching is useless, faith is vain; we Apostles are all liars, and all that have died in attestation of it have voluntarily destroyed themselves." So let us reason In this case as few words as those found in that admirable argument in proof of the resurrection. We assume that the gospel is true or not true. If it is true, it ought to be obeyed; if it is not true, it ought to be disproved and repudiated. All the world so far agrees with our postulata. Well, now, say it is not true; in other words, it is a falsehood — a lie. What then?

1st. There is not a credible history in the world; because no hiS' tory possesses so great a number or variety of the attributes of truth or reasons of faith as the gospel history. The original witnesses were plain, common-sense, ordinary, matter-of-fact men. They were eye witnesses and ear-witnesses of the facts which they attest. Their occupations of life were favorable to having good eyes and good ears. They were chiefly fishermen. The facts which they relate, and which


constitute the gospel, wore scnsibk' facts — subjected not to one sense, but to several senses. So speaks one of them: — "That which we have heard, which we have seen tcith our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life, declare we unto you."* They have nothing to gain, but everything temporal and fleshly to lose by the proclamation of these facts. They made themselves "of all men the most miserable." Their life, if their doctrine be not true, is more marvelous than their doctrine: no men ever gave stronger evidence of truthfulness than they. If they can not be believed, no historian can. There is, then, no credible history in the world.

2d. in the second place, there is no sincerity in martyrdom. It is an indisputable fact that the Messiah and most of the Apostles were martyrs. They died for what they said, and not for what they did. Mankind in all ages concur in the opinion that the strong est proof of any man's honesty or sincerity is his dying voluntarily in attestation of the truth of what he affirms. We allege that mar tyrdom does not prove the truth of a man's opinions, but only that he sincerely believes them. Sincerity is no test of truth in any matter of theory or speculation. But in all matters of sensible facts tested by the senses, seen or heard by many persons and on many occasions, sincerity in the avowal of them is proof of the certainty of them. Now as martyrdom proves sincerity, and sincerity on the part of witnesses of sensible facts proves the facts — the gospel, being founded on sensible facts, seen often, and seen by many, is true or there is no sincerity in martyrdom.

3d. If the gospel facts are false, then learning and talent are of no value. The value of talent and learning consists in the power they impart to their possessor to acquire and communicate truth. Now it needs not to be proved that innumerable multitudes of the most talented and learned men in all the ages of Christianity from its first promulgation till now, have been enrolled amongst the friends and advocates of the Bible. Nay, indeed, in all ages the literature and science of Christendom have been on the side of the Bible, and mainly employed in its service. If, then, the Bible be not true, learning and talent neither protect us from error, nor assist us in the acquisition of truth!

4th. But, again on the admission that the gospel is not true, there is no connection between goodness and truth — no excellency in truth. The best men in the world have always been those that believed in the Bible. The most humane, benevolent, public-spirited, philan thropic, and virtuous men that have ever lived, whose virtuous exam ples have been an honor to human nature, have been believers in the

•I. .John i. 1.


truth of the Bible. Now if the Bible be a cunningly devised fable, then there is no necessary connection between truth and moral excel lence, any more than between error and virtue. There is, then, no excellency in truth.

5th. Still farther, if the Bible be not true, falsehood, imj)OSture, and error are better than truth. The reason is obvious — the Bible is either true or false. If false, those who believe it believe a lie. But that lie has done more to civilize, refine, purify and adorn human nature, than all the atheism, infidelity and philosophy of Egypt, Chal dea, Greece and Rome. Surely, then, the Christian lie is better than all the philosophic truth of all ages and all nations. Hence we infer that if the Bible be false, error and fraud work better for mankind than honesty and truth.

6th. But, again — If the Bible be false, as all who reject it affirm, then there is no reason in the universe; or, what is the same thing, creation is a maze without a plan, and nature works in vain. We must judge of the unknown by the known. Now the fortunes of our planet are our data for the fortunes of all other planets. The fortunes of its inhabitants are, so far as nature or reason is our guide, the fortunes of the inhabitants of all other planets. Amongst earth's inhabitants there is one class of beings for whose creation and com fort all others do exist. Man is the name of that class of beings. He is the end of this terrestrial creation. If he be lost — forever lost, all is lost. Crops of vegetables annually spring out of the earth, and return to it again. Races of animals feed upon them, and die. They, like their food, but enrich the earth. Day and night succeed each other. Years revolve. The earth turns upon its axis, wheels around its orbit, feeds and buries all its tenantry. Man himself and his food alike perish forever.

Now what is gained by the whole operation? If man lives not again — if the Bible be not true; nature labors in vain: and if there be a Creator, he works without a plan, and toils for no purpose. Nature is an abortion, and the whole machinery of the universe a splendid failure. There is no reason for creation — for nature; and there is no reason in either. If, then, the Bible be not true — if the history it gives of man, his creation, his fall, his recovery, be not true — in one word, if the gospel be a lie and the Bible false, no living man can give one good reason for the existence of our planet, or that of any sun or system in that collation of worlds and systems which compose this mysterious and sublime universe.

But if the Bible be not true, it is not enough to say — 1st. That there is not a credible history in the world. 2d. That there is no sincerity in martyrdom. 3d. That human learning and talent are of no value. 4th. That there is no excellency in truth. 5th. That false


hood, imposition, and error, are better than truth. And 6th. That there is no reason in the universe; but we must also add. that TiiEnE i.s No G<»i)I

Nature ends in ruin — the world is full of sin and misery — there is no reason for anything — man lives for no purpose — no kind intimar tion has been given him of any great and good first cause; which is but equivalent to saying there is no good being above man — no one of almighty power, who could speak to him, enlighten him, or com fort him, touching his origin, his nature, his relations, his obligations, or his destiny; and that is equivalent to saying that there is no supremely Good One, no Creator or Proprietor of man. For who can imagine a supreme intelligence, of almighty power and of infinite benevolence — who made man and inspired him with such desires after the knowledge of himself — with such longings after happiness perfect and complete — and who has himself the faculty of speech, the power of communicating the knowledge of himself to man; and yet has never spoken to him, never enlightened him on the only point vital to all his interests, his eternal destiny; and compared with which all other enjoyments possible to man as he now is, are not in the proportion of an atom to a universe, or a moment to a bound less eternity! Such an hypothesis is at war with every oracle of reason, with every decision of common sense, and with all the analo gies of the universe. It can not be: it is impossible. There is a God — there is a Book of God — there is truth in history — there is sincerity in martyrdom — there is value in talent and learning — there is an excellency in truth — truth is better than error, falsehood and impos ture — and there is reason in the universe, and a glorious destiny for man.

The Bible has been proved to be a divine revelation as many mil lions of times as there are individuals who have believed it to the salvation of their souls. But it never has been proved to be false to a single individual of the human race. Nor can it ever be so proved. No man who understands what he says, can in truth affirm that he believes it to be false. Who can believe anything to be false without oral or written testimony? But no living man has either oral or written testimony contradicting the testimony of the Apostles ani Prophets: therefore, in the absence of such testimony, he can no more believe it to be false than a blind man can see the sun. A man may doubt whether it be true; but to believe it to be false, or to be assured that it is not true, is altogether impossible.

Some persons object to the Bible — because, as they say, its divine inspiration is yet a subject of debate. Such thinkers and reasoners are grossly defective in reason and education. Did ever anyone hear of anything that has boon proved by all tho world? Is there a


single historic fact that is believed by every human being? If there be not one, then every historic fact is yet in debate. But shall we say that no proposition is proved, because it is not proved to the whole world! The gospel will never be out of debate while there is one infidel or sceptic in the world. This is, however, no more a disparagement of its truth, or its claims upon all mankind, than it is an argument against any proposition, fact, or testimony, that all the world has not yet acquiesced in its truth.

We can not believe by proxy, as nations, as empires, or as worlds. We must each one believe for himself. Hence the evidence must be considered, understood, and appreciated by every individual for himself. But the fact that millions of all orders of mind, the greatest and most gifted of our race, have believed it to be true — multitudes of them even to martyrdom for its sake; and that not one individual can believe it to be false, is a consideration that ought to silence every modest inquirer, and, were it possible, cover with shame those reckless and senseless dogmatists who declaim against a book of whose contents and whose history they truly comprehend nothing, because it is yet in debate. On their showing, there is nothing cred ible or worthy of universal acceptance, because there is nothing that is not a matter of doubt or disbelief with some person. But we argue not the question of the Bible's truth with such opponents. We have not given a tithe of the topics from which its truth is irrefragably argued. Enough, it is presumed, to convince the candid whose minds can discern the force of argument, is contained in the preceding hints and reflections.

Christianity has stood erect in the midst of all sorts of adversaries — Jews, Pagans, Turks, infidels, etc.; and, like the pillars of Hercules, the rock of Gibraltar, or the everlasting mountains, bids defiance to all the billows of the ocean, and to all the tempests of Satan, to shake it from its immovable basis. To those who desire to understand it for their salvation, we intend in another tract to make a few suggestions on the best method of reading the Bible for edification and comfort.


On the inspiration of the Scriptures, "R. R." says, 1836, page 345: The proofs for the divine origin of our sacred writings, or, more correctly, for the inspiration of the Scriptures, have usually been drawn from two sources — the Bible itself, and those displays of super natural power by which revelation has been accompanied and con firmed. The latter, which are termed the external evidences, are well calculated to arrest the attention and compel the assent of the infidel; while the internal evidences, furnished by the Bible itself, deepen the convictions and increase the faith of the Christian. These


divisions are no doubt sufficiently convenient, though some of the more important proofs would seem to be of a mixed nature — as prophecy, which requires a prediction within the Bible, as much as the testi mony of fact or history without. Ihe mutual confirmation furnished by the Bible and the visible universe is of the same character; lor though the former bears a separate testimony that God has created all things, yet it is from the correspondencies and analogies which are observed in both, and the congruity which exists between them, that there is derived a most interesting and conclusive evidence that both have proceeded from the same Author.

Among those evidences which are properly called internal, there are some points which 1 have not seen much noticed, and which, nevertheless, in my opinion, carry no little weight with them. One of these, to which we will at present confine our attention, is the omission in the Bible of everything which tends merely to gratify curiosity.

The passion of curiosity, which may be called the desire of knowl edge, is one of the most active and powerful which we possess. It is worthy of remark, indeed, that the Divine Being has implanted in us the most anxious longings for those things which are really the most necessary to our existence, or most conducive to our happiness. Thus a natural inclination leads every one to partake of these neces sary things, and the support of life as well as the pursuit of every thing requisite to our well-being, instead of being unwelcome tasks imperfectly performed and often neglected, become the most urgent desires, and the most agreeable employments. As, therefore, the acquisition of knowledge is most necessary to fit man for the high purposes of his creation, he has been endowed with an almost unlim ited capacity and desire for knowledge. This is a desire which noth ing can abate, and which extends itself to everything real or unreal, fact or fiction. Who has not witnessed in the child the eager passion for the tales of the nursery? Or, when the narrator has stopped in the midst of a marvelous story, who has not observed in the infant listener, the agony of ungratified desire? And who is there, indeed, old or young, who has not experienced the delight derived from the acquisition ot knowledge, or felt the tortures of disappointed curiosity?

" Witnoss the spriglitly joy wIh-ii niif;lit unkiidwii Slrikos tlio quick sfii-c, uiul wakes encli notivo powor To bri->ki'r in<'iisiiro>; wiiiuws tlic ncglfct Of all funiiliiir nlijcct-*, tlioiiKli Ix'licM Witli trail-port onoe— tlir fond alti'iUive ga^o Of young a<toni»lini(Mit, tlio sober zeal Of ago coiniiu'iitiiig on prodigiou-* things. For such the bounteous providence of Heaven; In every breast iniphtnlin).' tliis desire Of object-new and strange, to urge us on


With unicmitted labor to pursue Those sacred stores, that wait the ripening soul, In Truth's exhaustless bosom. -What need words To paint its powerV-lTor this the daring youth BrcaliS from his weeping mother's anxious arms In foreign climes to rove,the pensive sage, Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp.

Hangs o'er the sickly taper

Hence by night

The village matron, round the blazing hearth,

Suspends the infant audience with her talcs,

Breathing astonishment,— of witching rhymes

And evil spirits,— of the deatli-bed call,

 To him who robb'd the witlow, and devour'd

The orphan's portion,— of unquiet souls

Bis'n from the grave, to ease the heavy guilt

Of deeds in life conceal'd— of shapes that walk

At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave

The torch of hell around the murderer's bed.

At every solemn pause, the crowd recoil.

Gazing each other speechless, and congeal'd

With shivering sighs,— till, eager for the event,

Around the beldame, all erect, they hang.

Each trembling heart with grateful terrors quell'd."

The passion of curiosity, like every other strong desire, is liable to transcend its legitimate boundaries and become excessive. An insati able appetite for the marvelous is an exemplification of this, and also the desire to accumulate vast stores of knowledge and indulge in remote speculations which oppress and bewilder the mind, and can never be turned to any useful end. Utility, indeed, is the purpose for which all the passions and faculties are given; and to indulge them further than this, or employ them merely for the sake of the pleasure which their exercise affords, is to abuse and misapply them. This makes the distinction between virtue and vice; and it is such an inordinate or unlawful indulgence, and consequent misuse of the powers and faculties of human nature, which forms a striking char acteristic of the bulk of the human family. Every passion too which is thus indulged is thereby increased in strength, and usurps the place and the powers of others, as the cultivated plant widely extends its luxuriant leaves, and monopolizes the nutritious qualities of the soil. Hence such passions, like the miser's love of gold, become as importunate as they are violent and insatiable.

The means now by which imposters have always succeeded in deceiving men, has been by ministering to these extravagant desires, and holding out a bait to some morbid appetite, until the bit was in their mouth and the saddle upon their back. And amongst all the desires, that of knowledge has been particularly regarded, and more especially by religious imposters. Like the tempter of Eve, they have proffered godlike knowledge, in exchange for obedience, knowing that


there are few who will not, like our first parents, forsake the path of duty for the gratifuation of curiosity.

Thus the Mormonites, in our own day. while they sought to min ister to this passion by the old wives' fables of the Book of Mormon, niid a pretended revelation of the fortunes of the lost tribes of Israel, the origin of the Indian nations, Free-masonry, etc., have labored assiduously to keep up the delusion by claims of miraculous power, and mysterious visions, and the novelty of a splendid decorated and gorgeous temple.

Thus too the arch imposter Mahomet, while he permitted to his votaries an inordinate indulgence of those passions to which the eastern nations are peculiarly addicted, declares expressly, "We have sent thee the Alcoran to clear to men the doubts touching religion, and to guide true believers into the right way." and accordingly pro ceeds to reveal the secret cause of Satan's expulsion from heaven. Reader, would you like to know it?— I shall not tell it you— such knowledge might be of use to devils, but it can not profit man. He also gives a particular account of the Aaraf or Prisons, a place between Hell and Paradise, and the condition of the persons in it; details some of Noah's conversation with the antediluvians; relates the story of the seven sleepers, and furnishes an account not only of the particular torments of the wicked, but the joys of the righteous— the gardens "beautified with date trees and vines, and rivers flowing in the midst"— and the seven heavens with all their glories; not to speak of his journey from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night— his supposed visit to heaven in company with the angel Gabriel, and mounted on a white Burac. during which he saw all the prophets that preceded him, and the wonders of Paradise— from a revelation of all which, the courteous reader, however curious, will excuse me. Nor is it necessary to speak of the visions of Baron Swedenborg, or the peculiarities of the many deceivers who have sought to gain their purposes by consecrating sensual indulgence, or catering novelties and prodigies for the eagerness of curiosity. It is sufficient for us to know that such traits are characteristic of them all.

But it is not so with the Bible. And it is with me a consideration of no little weight as it regards the proof of the inspiration of the sacred volume, that it is the only professed revelation of spiritual and eternal things which is free from evekytiiing cALcri-ATEu to OHATiFY MEUELY A vAix ciKiosrrY. In it there is nothing whatever impertinent— nothing unnecessary. It gives us no useless history of devils or of angels— the secret counsels of eternity remain undisclosed —the peculiar condition of departed spirits is not detailed— nor are the inhabitants of the sun, moon and stars described. It is intended for man during his abode upon this earth. It begins therefore with


the creation of the world and ends with its destruction. It is designed to elevate and perfect the character of man. It presents therefore the Divine Being, as manifested in his works of creation and the history of the human family, as the standard of perfection, and the object of supreme regard. Nothing whatever is introduced which has no tendency to inspire confidence, fortitude, and hope, or lead to personal purity and practical benevolence. It neither exposes the folly of the researches of antiquarians and philosophers, nor confirms their truth; and the history of future events is concealed in symbols and enigmas which are only to be understood when these events are accomplished. And finally, even the glories of heaven, the nature, laws, inhabitants, and enjoyments of that eternal world which it presents as the object of hope, are dimly sketched, or veiled in mysterious and allusive pictures.

The reason of his reserve is obvious — that man should neither be diverted from the acquisition of that practical knowledge necessary to his condition, through the indulgence of idle curiosity and vain speculation; nor be induced to neglect his duties by such a develop ment of the future as would wholly engross his mind and his affec tions. Enough is revealed to enforce duty, and to excite hope without the frenzy of enthusiasm.

While then we can perceive in the omission of everything merely tending to gratify curiosity, indubitable evidence of the inspiration of the Scriptures, we can see in the vain attempt to be wise above what is written and to intrude into things which they have not seen, a striking manifestation of the pride, the folly, and the ignorance of men.

In conclusion I may be permitted to illustrate the wisdom of this omission on the part of Heaven in the eloquent language of St. Pierre: "I remember that, on my return to France in a vessel which had been on a voyage to India, as soon as the sailors had perfectly dis tinguished the land of their native country, they became, in a great measure, incapable of attending to the duties of the ship. Some looked at it wishfully, without the power of minding anything else; others dressed themselves in their best clothes, as if they were going that moment to disembark; some talked to themselves, and others wept.

"As we approached, the disorder of their minds increased. As they had been absent several years, there was no end to their admira tion of the hills, the foliage of the trees, and even the rocks which skirted the shore, covered with weeds and mosses. The church spires of the village where they were born, which they distinguished at a distance up the country, and which they named one after another, filled them with transports of delight.


"But when the vessel entered the port, and when they saw on the quays their fathers, their mothers, their wives, their children, and their friends, stretching out their arms with tears of joy. and calling them Dy their names, it was no longer possible to retain a man on board; they all sprung on shore, and it became necessary, according to the custom of the port, to employ another set of mariners to bring the vessel to her mooring.

 "What then would be the case, were we indulged with a sensible display of that heavenly country, inhabited by those who are dearest to us, and who are worthy of our most sublime affections? The labo rious and vain career of this life would from that moment come to an end. Its duties would be forsaken, and all our powers and feelings would be lost in perpetual rapture. It is wisdom, therefore, that a veil is spread over the glories of futurity. Let us enjoy the hope that the happy land awaits us, and in the meantime let us fulfill with cheer fulness and patience what belongs to our present condition."


 On Principles of Interpretation he writes:

The whole Christian religion, in its facts, its precepts, its prom ises, its doctrine, its institutions, is presented to the world in a written record. The tcritings of Prophets and Apostles contain all the divine and supernatural knowledge in the world. Now, unless these sacred writings can be certainly interpreted, the Christian religion never can be certainly understood. Every argument that demonstrates the necessity of such a written document as the Bible, equally dem onstrates the necessity of fixed and certain principles or rules of interpretation: for without the latter, the former is of no value what ever to the world.

All the differences in religious faith, opinion and sentiment, amongst those who acknowledge the Bible, are occasioned by false principles of interpretation, or by a misapplication of the true prin ciples. There is no law, nor standard — literary, moral, or religious — that can coerce human thought or action, by only promulging or acknowledging it. If a law can effect anything, our actions must be conformed to it. Were all students of the Bible taught to apply the same rules of interpretation to its pages, there would be a greater uniformity in opinion and sentiment than ever resulted from the simple adoption of any written creed.

Great unanimity has obtained in most of the sciences in conse quence of the adoption of certain rules of analysis and synthesis: for all who work by the same rules, come to the same conclusions. And may it not be possible, that in this divine science of religion, there may yet be a very great degree of unanimity of sentiment and uni


formity of practice amongst all who acknowledge its divine authority? Is the school of Christ the only school in which there can be no unanimity — no proficiency in knowledge? Is the Book of God the only volume which can never be understood alike by those who read and study it? It can not be supposed, but by dishonoring God: for as all the children of God are taught by God, if they are necessarily unin telligent in his oracles and discordant in their views, the deficiencies must rather be imputed to the teacher than to the taught; for the pupils in this school can be taught other sciences in other schools, with such uniformity and harmony of views, as to make it manifest to all that they are the disciples of one teacher.

God's Book is, however, put into the hands of men as it was first spoken to men; but they have, in some cases, been taught not to receive it from God, but from men. They do not consider that the written book as well as the spoken word, is tendered to us under the stipulations of human language — according to the contract between man and man, touching the value or meaning of the currency of thought — that every word and sentence is to be weighed and tested by the constitutional laws and standards of the currency of ideas.

When one person addresses another, he supposes the person addressed competent to interpret his words; and, therefore, all wise and benevolent men select such words and phrases as, in their judg ment, can be interpreted by those addressed. Every speaker proceeds, in all hia communications, upon the principle that his hearer is an interpreter — that he has not first to be taught the science of interpre tation; and that he is bound so to express himself, that his hearer may interpret and understand his words by an art which is supposed to be native — which is indeed universal — common to all nations, bar barous aa well as civilized.

 Now, as God is infinitely wise and benevolent in all his oral com munications to men, he proceeded upon the principle that they were, by this native art, competent interpreters of his expressions; for other wise, his addresses could be of no value. He could not even begin to teach them a new art of interpretation, as respected his communi cations, but by using their own words in the stipulated sense, unless we imagine a miracle in every case, and suppose that all his words were to be understood by a miraculous interposition. And this idea, if carried out, would make a rerbal revelation of no value whatever to the children of men.

If human language had never been confounded — if a multitude of different dialects had not been introduced — no occasion for translating language, as a matter of course, would ever have existed. Again, if words and phrases, and the manners and customs of mankind, were unchangeably fixed, or universally the same at all times and in all


countries, the art of interpreting would have been still more simple than it is; for so far as it is artificial, it is owing to different dia lects, idioms, manners, customs, and all the varieties which the ever changing conditions of society have originated and are still originating.

At present, however, we would only impress upon the mind of the reader, that the very fact that we have a written revelation — that this revelation was first spoken, then written — supposes that there is somewhere a native or an acquired art of interpretation; that the persons addressed were already in possession of that art: for with out such an understanding, there would have been neither wisdom nor benevolence in giving to mankind any verbal communication from God.

In the present essay we shall offer a very few remarks upon, first, the inspiration of the Bible; second, the language of the Bible; third, the distribution of the Bible into chapters and verses; fourth, the different dispensations of redemption; and fifth, offer seven cardinal rules of interpretation: —

Revelation and inspiration, properly so called, have to do only with such subjects as are supernatural, or beyond the reach of human intel lect, in its most cultivated and elevated state. In this sense "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." But besides this inspiration of original and supernatural ideas, there was another species of supernatural aid afforded the saints who wrote the historical parts of the sacred scripture. There was a revival in their minds of what they themselves had seen and heard; and in reference to tradi tions handed down, such a superintendency of the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge as excluded the possibility of mistake in the matters of fact which they recorded. The promise of "leading into all truth,* and the promise of "bringing all things before known to remem brance," by the Holy Spirit, include all that we understand by inspira tion in its primary and secondary import.

But while this inspiration precluded the selection of incorrect or unsuitable words and sentences, the inspired men delivered super natural communications in their own peculiar modes of expressing themselves. To illustrate my meaning by another reference to the gift of tongue, the subjects of that splendid gift in a moment under stood those foreign languages as well at least as they knew their own; and in expressing themselves selected such terms as, in their judgment, most fitly and intelligibly communicated their ideas. In other words, their own judgment or taste in the sele<'tion of terms was not suspended by the new language. They used the terms of the new dialect, as they used the terms of their native tongue — chose such as. in their judgment, would most clearly and forcibly reveal the mind of the Spirit to their hearers.


We regard the Apostles of Jesus Christ as gifted with a full and perfect knowledge of the Christian institution; which entitled them, without the possibility of error, to open to mankind the whole will of their Master, whether in the form of fact, precept, promise, or threatening; and as furnished with such a knowledge of the signs of those ideas in human language as to express this knowledge clearly, accurately and infallibly to mankind. But from what they have spoken and written, we are authorized to think that they were as free in the selection of words and phrases as I am in endeavoring to communicate my views of their inspiration.

My reasons for this opinion are, that neither the Prophets nor the Apostles exhibit any sort of solicitude in always expressing them selves in the same words upon the same subject. Nor does any one of them seem at all concerned to be consistent with himself on all occasions, in using the same words; either in delivering precepts, uttering promises, or in giving a narrative of any of the incidents of his own life or those of his companions. We have no less than three accounts of Paul's conversion and mission to the Gentiles — one from Luke, and two from himself; one delivered to the Jews in Jerusalem, and one before Agrippa; yet no two of them agree in word, though in sense they are uniformly the same.* We have two accounts of the conversion of the Gentiles — one by Luke, and one by Peter ;t and these are as diverse in words, though as accordant in sense, as the narratives of Paul's conversion. We have four memoirs of Jesus Christ, brief records of his sayings and doings; and yet no two of them agree in words, in narrating a single speech, or in describing a single incident in his life; though there is, as far as they severally relate, a most perfect harmony in sense.

Peter's allusion to the epistles of Paul fully expresses all that wo desire to teach on this subject. "Paul wrote," says he, '"according to the ivisdom given him." Paul's epistles are, then, the development and application of that wisdom given to him, expressed in his own style. It may, indeed, be said that, guided by wisdom, it was impossible for him to select, on any occasion, words or phrases inaccurate, or not clearly and fully expressive of the ideas suggested; so that as Paul himself says, he explained spiritual things in spiritual words, or in words taught by the Spirit. We must, therefore, regard these words as the words of the Spirit. It was God's Spirit speaking to them, through such words as were natural to them from education and habit. According to these views, the English, or German, or French New Testament, is as much the word of the Spirit as the Greek original, if that original is faithfully translated; but in any other

*Acts IX., xxu., xxiv. +Actsx., xi.


view of inspiration, we liuve not the word of God, nor tlie teachings of the Spirit, only in the Hebrew and Greek originals of the two covenants.

Before we dismisa this subject it may be observed that we find many things in tliese writings which are quite natural and common, for which inspiration is neither claimed nor pretended; many speci mens of which will occur to the reader, when one is fairly exam ined. "Make haste to come to me soon; for Demas having loved the present world has forsaken me, and is gone into Thessalonica, Cres cens into Galatia, and Titus into Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me in the ministry. But I'ychycus I have sent to Ephesus. The cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus bring with you, and the books, but especially the parchments."*

The Apostles, acting under the high authority and commission of Jesus Christ, and inspired with all divine and supernatural knowl edge, exhibited in doctrine, in precepts, ordinances, promises, threat enings, and developments of things spiritual, celestial, eternal, are, ia consequence of these endowments and authority, worthy of all respect and regard, even when writing upon the most common matters; and these apparently uninteresting things are to the student of the Liv ing Oracles, of great value and of indispensable importance in giving a full development of the religion of Christianity, in all its con descensions and adaptations to the most minute and common concerns and business of this life.

God has spoken by men, to men, for men. The language of the Bible is, then, human language. It is, therefore, to be examined by the same rules which are applicable to the language of any other book, and to be understood according to the true and proper mean ing of the words, in their current acceptation, at the times and in the places in which they were originally written or translated.

If we have a revelation from God in human language, the words of that volume must be intelligible by the common usage of language; they must be precise and determinate in signification, and that sig nification must be philologically ascertained — that is, as the words and sentences of other books are ascertained, by the use of the dic tionary and grammar. Were it otherwise, and did men require a new dictionary and grammar to understand the Book of God — then, without that divine dictionary and grammar, we could have no rev elation from God; for a revelation that needs to be revealed ia no revelation at all.

Again, if any special rules are to be sought for the interpretation of the sacred writings, unless these rules have been given in thy

•II. Tim. iv.H-VI.


volume, as a part of tlie revelation, and are of divine authority — • without such rules, the Book is sealed; and I know of no greater abuse of language than to call a sealed book a Revelation.

 But the fact that God has clothed his communications in human language, and that he has spoken by men, to men, in their own lan guage, is decisive evidence that he is to be understood as one man conversing with another. Righteousness, or what we sometimes call honesty, requires this; for unless he first made a special stipulation when he began to speak, his words were, in all candor, to be taken at the current value; for he that would contract with a man for any thing, stipulating his contract in the currency of the country, without any explanation, and should afterwards intimate that a Dollar with him meant only tJiree Franks, would be regarded as a dishonest and unjust man. And shall we impute to the God of truth and justice what would blast the reputation of a fellow-citizen at the tribunal of political justice and public opinion!

As, then, there is no divine dictionary, grammar, or special rules of interpretation for the Bible, then that Book, to be understood, must be submitted to the common dictionary, grammar, and rules of the language in which it was written; and as a living language is constantly fluctuating, the true and proper meaning of the words and sentences of the Bible must be learned from the acceptation of those words and phrases in the times and countries in which it was written. In all this there is nothing special; for Diodorus, Herodo tus, Josephus, Philo, Tacitus, Sallust, etc., and all the writers of all languages, ages and nations, are translated and understood in the same manner.

Enthusiasts and fanatics of all ages determine the meaning of words from that knowledge of things which they imagine them selves to possess, rather than from the words of the author: "they decide by what they suppose he ought to mean, rather than by what he says."

 To adopt any other course, or to apply any other rules, would necessarily divest the sacred writings of every attribute that belongs to the idea of revelation. It must never be forgotten in perusing the Bible, that in the structure of sentences, in the figures of speech, in the arrangement and use of words, it differs not at all from other writings; and must, therefore, be understood and interpreted as they are.

How, then, is the meaning of its words to be acquired? Every word in the Scripture has some idea attached to it, which we call its sense, or meaning. But this meaning is not natural, but conven tional. It is agreement, usage, or custom, that has constituted a connection between words and the ideas represented by them, and


this connection between words and ideas has becuinc necessary by usage.

How this originated is not the question bciuru us; ihc ia< i is ail that now interests us. We are not at liberty to afBx what meaning we please to words, nor to use them arbitrarily; inasmuch as custom has affixed, by common consent, a meaning to them.

The meaning ol' words is, therefore, now to be ascertained by tcslimony ; and that testimony we have collected in those books called dictionaries, which, by the consent of those who spoke that language faithl'ully, represent the meaning attached to those terms, or the ideas of which those words were the signs. "The fact," says Professor Stuart, "that usage has attached any particular meaning to a word, like any other historical fact, is to be proved by adequate testimony. That testimony may be drawn from books in which the word is employed, or from daily use in conversation. But the fact of a par ticular meaning being attached to a word when once established, can no more be changed or denied than any historical event whatever. Of course, an arbilrary sense can never with propriety be substituted for a real one. All men in their daily conversation and writings attach but one sense to a word at the same time, and in the same passage, unless they design to speak in enigmas. Of course, it would be in opposition to the universal custom of language, if more than one meaning should be attached to any word in Scripture, in such a case" — that is, in the same passage, and at the same time.

But, although a word has but one meaning at the same time and in the same passage, it may, at another time and in another passage have a different meaning: for many words have, by common consent, more meanings than one. This is what has caused so much ambigu ity in language, and so much difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of some sentences and passages in all authors, and in the sacred writings.

Every word, indeed, had but one meaning at first; but to prevent the multiplication of words to an indefinite extent, and to obviate the difficulties that would thence arise in the acquisition of the knowl edge of a language, words, in process of time, were used to represent different meanings. A question then arises, IIoiv shall ice o/ira.v? ascertain the meaning of any particular uordf If it have but one meaning, testimony or the dictionary decides it at once; but if it have more meanings than one, the proximate words used in construction with it, usually called the context, together with the design of the speaker or writer, must decide its meaning. Usage and the context will generally decide. If these fail, the design of the speaker and the parallel passages must be summoned. These are the aids which the canons of interpretation authorize in such cases.


That there is, generally, perfect certainty in the proper interpre tation of a word — that is, in ascertaining or communicating its mean ing (for this is what is properly called the act of interpretation), is felt and acknowledged on all hands. But the foundation, or reason of this certainty, is a matter which should be evident to all.

Now, unless we are compelled by necessity, arising from the laws of language, to any particular meaning, there can be no certainty. Therefore, this compulsion is the very cause of certainty. Philologi cal necessity, or that necessity which the common usage of a word, the context, the design of the writer create, in giving a particular meaning to a word in a sentence, is the ground of that complete certainty, which, whether it can or can not explain, everyone feels in the meaning of the language. And as a very eminent critic has said, "If any one should deny that the above precepts lead to cer tainty, when strictly observed, he would deny the possibility of find ing the meaning of language with certainty." These remarks would be sufficient to guide us in acquiring the meaning of words, if they had any one class of meanings. But there is the literal and the topical or figurative meaning of words, which must be distinguished before we can feel ourselves competent to decide, with perfect cer tainty, the true and proper meaning of any composition.

And, first, of the literal meaning of tcords. As has been observed, every word originally had but one meaning; and this, of course, which was first, was the natural, or the literal meaning. Some of our most approved philologists and grammarians define the literal sense of words to be, "The sense which is so connected with them, that it is first in order, and is spontaneously presented to the mind, as soon as the sound of the word is heard." "The literal sense does not differ," says the celebrated Ernesti, "among the older and valuable writers, from the sense of the letter." But better defined by Professor Stuart, of Andover: "The literal sense is the same as the inimitive or original sense; or, at least, it is equivalent to that sense which has usurped the place of the original one: for example, the original sense of the word tragedy has long ceased to be current; and the literal sense of this word, now, is that which has taken the place of the original one." Popular writers, in speaking of the sense of words, are wont to substitute grammatical for literal, as equivalent; because literal, in its Latin extraction, and grammatical, in its Greek extrac tion, exactly represent the same thing. But in a shade differing from these they use the word historical in reference to the interpretation of the Scriptures. "Since," says T. H. Home, in his Introduction, "it is not sufficient to know grammatically the different expressions employed by writers to interpret ancient works, so it is necessary that we add historical interpretation to our grammatical or literal


kuowledge. By historical interpretatiou, we are to understand that we give to the words of the sacred author the sense which they bore in the age when he lived, and which is agreeable to the degree of knowledge which he possessed, as well as conformable to the religion professed by him, and to the sacred and civil rights or customs that obtained when he flourished."

When, however, we speak of the literal or grammatical sense of a word, we mean no more than its primitive meaning. And when we speak of the histurUal meaning of a word, we mean its meaning at any given time. The figurative meaning of words belongs to another chapter.

In no book in the world is the literal sense of words the only sense; and still less in the Bible. But no book in the world, either among the ancients or the moderns, has been interpreted, quoted, and applied so licentiously as the Bible. Learned and unlearned have quoted and applied its words, as if its authors were outlaws and rebels in the commonwealth of letters. Some of the ancient Jews said that every letter in a word in the Old Testament had a special meaning, and the very openings of the mouth to pronounce them was signifi cant of something sacred. The rabbinic maxim used to be, and per haps still is, "On every point of the Scriptures hang suspended moun tains of sense." The Talmud says, "God so gave the law to Moses, that a thing can be shown to be clean and unclean forty-nine differ ent ways." Little more than a century ago, Cocceius, of Leyden, maintained that "all the possible meanings of a word are to be united." He raised a considerable party upon this principle.

But an opposite extreme, and quite as dangerous, into which some have run, is, that "some passages of the Scriptures have no literal meaning at all." If by this it were understood that some passages have only a tropical or figurative meaning, it might be admitted without detriment to our knowledge of the will of Heaven; but as it is understood by many, a license is taken to allegorize, not only the historical part of both Testaments, but also the miracles of Moses, of Christ, and of the Apostles — the paradisaical state, the flood, and even the precepts and promises of the gospel institution; so that the whole revelation of God is thrown into the laboratory of every man's imagination, and the key of knowledge forever taken from the people. That the words of the sacred writings are taken both literally and figuratively, as the words of all other books, is now almost universally concedetl; and that the true sense of the words is the true doctrine of the Bible, is daily gaining ground amongst the most learned and skillful interpreters: in one word, that the Bible is not to be Inter preted arbitrarily, is the most valuable discovery or concession of this generation. This, indeed, was confessed by our most distingiiished


reformers. Melancthon said, "The Scripture can not be understood theologically until it is understood grammatically.'' And Luther affirmed that "a certain knowledge of Scripture depends only upon a knowledge of its words."

The various divisions and subdivisions of the sacred Scriptures into chapters, verses, and members of sentences, are of human author ity, and to be regulated as such. Anciently all the books of the sacred Scriptures were written in one continuous manner — without a break, a chapter, or a verse. The division into chapters that now universally obtains in Europe, derived its origin from Cardinal Cairo, who lived in the twelfth century. The subdivision into verses is of no older date than the middle of the sixteenth century, and was the invention of Robert Stevens. Whatever advantage these divisions may have been in the way of facilitating references, they have so dislocated and broken to pieces the connection, as not only to have given to the Scriptures the appearance of a book of proverbs, but have thrown great difficulties in the way of an easy intelligence of them. The punctuation, too, being necessarily dependent on these divisions, is far from accurate; and, taken altogether, it affords a demonstration that there is no more divinity in the chapters, verses, commas, semicolons, colons and periods of the inspired writings than there is in the paper on which they are inscribed, or in the ink by which they are depicted to our view.

From all of which, facts, the following rule is of essential import ance: —

In reading the historical and epistolary parts of the sacred writ ings, begin at the beginning and follow the writer in the train of his own thoughts and reasonings to the end of the subject on which he writes, irrespective of chapters and verses.

This rule must be observed in all cases when we read for the saka of understanding any of the sacred books or letters.

It must always be remembered by him who would be a scribe, well instructed in the kingdom of heaven, that the whole Bible com prehends three distinct dispensations of religion, or three different administrations of mercy to the human race. These are the Patri archal, Jewish and Christian ages of the world.

There are three high priesthoods, viz.: that of Melchizedek, that of Aaron, and that of Jesus the Messiah; and under each of these there will be found a different economy of things. A knowledge of the leading peculiarities of each is essential to an accurate knowledge of any of them and the right interpretation of the Bible.

It is a standing maxim in religion, that, the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change of the law pertaining to acceptable worship.


After the close of one dispensation, and the commencement of a new one, no man could be accepted in his approaches to God by the preceding economy. Moses, nor Aaron, nor the people of the Jews, after they had departed from Sinai, dare approach God by sacrifice — as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were wont to do.

The sovereignty and wisdom of God is most conspicuous in these arrangements. But it is our present duty only to say, that before we can feel any confidence in our interpretations of any law, command ment, or Institution of religion, a previous question must always be decided — viz.: To uhat dispensation did it belong.'

We shall now conclude this summary view of the principles of interpretation, by stating in order seven general rules of inter pretation of primary importance, deduced from the preceding reflections:

Rule I. On opening any book in the sacred Scriptures, consider first the historical circumstances of the book. These are the order, the title, the author, the date, the place, and the occasion of it.

II. In examining the contents of any book, as respects precepts, promises, exhortations, etc., observe who it is that speaks, and under what dispensation he officiates. Is he a Patriarch, a Jew, or a Chris tian? Consider also the persons addressed — their prejudices, char acters, and religious relations. Are they Jews or Christians — believers or unbelievers — approved or disapproved? This rule is essential to the proper application of every command, promise, threat ening, admonition, or exhortation, in Old Testament or New.

III. To understand the meaning of what is commanded, promised, taught, etc., the same philological principles, deduced from the nature of language, or the same laws of interpretation which are applied to the language of other books, are to be applied to the language of the Bible.

IV. Common usage, which can only be ascertained by testimony, must always decide the meaning of any word which has but one sig nification; but when words have according to testimony — (i. e.. the Dictionary) — more meanings than one, whether literal or figurative, the scope, the context, or parallel passages must decide the meaning; for if common usage, the design of the writer, the context, and par allel passages fail, there can be no certainty in the interpretation of language.

V. In all tropical language ascertain the point or resemblance, and judge of the nature of the trope, and its kind, from the point of resemblance.

VI. In the interpretation of symbols, types, allegories, and par ables, this rule is supreme. Ascertain the point to be illustrated; for comparison i.s never to be extended beyond that point — to all the


attributes, qualities, or circumstances of the symbol, type, allegory, or parable.

VII. For the salutary and sanctifying intelligence of the oracles of God, the following rule is indispensable: Y/e must come within the understanding distance.

There is a distance which is properly called the speaking distance, or the hearing distance, beyond which the voice reaches not, and the ear hears not. To hear another, we must come within that circle which the voice audibly fills.

Now we may with propriety say, that as it respects God, there is an understanding distance. All beyond that distance can not under stand God; all within it can easily understand him in all matters of piety and morality. God himself is the center of that circle, and humility is its circumference.

The wisdom of God is as evident in adapting the light of the Sun of Righteousness to our spiritual vision, as in adjusting the light of day to our eyes. The light reaches us without an effort of our own; but we musi open our eyes; and if our eyes be sound, we enjoy the natural light of heaven. There is a sound eye in reference to spirit ual, as well as in reference to material light. Now, while the philo logical principles and rules of interpretation enable many men to be skillful in biblical criticism, and in the interpretation of words and sentences, who neither perceive nor admire the things repre sented by those words, the sound eye contemplates the things them selves, and is ravished with the spiritual and divine scenes which the Bible unfolds.

The moral soundness of vision consists in having the eyes of the understanding fixed solely on God himself, his approbation, and complacent affection for us. It is sometimes called a single eye, because it looks for one thing supremely. Every one, then, who opens the book of God with one aim, with one ardent desire, intent only to know the will of God — to such a person the knowledge of God is easy; for the Bible is framed to illuminate such, and only such, with the salutary knowledge of things spiritual and divine.

Humility of mind, or what is in effect the same, contempt for all earth-born pre-eminence, prepares the mind for the reception of this light, or, what is virtually the same, opens the ears to hear the voico of God. Amidst the din of all the arguments of the flesh, the world, and Satan, a person is so deaf that he can not hear the still, small voice of God's philanthropy. But receding from pride, covetousness, and false ambition — from the love of the world — and in coming within that circle, the circumference of which is unfeigned humility, and the center of which is God himself — the voice of God is dis tinctly heard and clearly understood. All within this circle are


taught by God — all without it are under the influence of the wickea one. "God resisteth the proud, but he giveth grace \o the humble''

He, then, that would interpret the oracles of God to the salvatioa of his soul, must approach this volume with the humility and docil ity of a child, and meditate upon it day and night. Like Mary, h-i must sit at the Master's ieet, and listen to the words which fall from his lips. To such a one there is an assurance of understanding, a certainty of knowledge, to which the man of letters alone nevf>r at tained, and which the mere critic never felt. a. c, 1846, p. 13.


The darkness of mysticism is fast passing away. The double sense, or the triple and quadruple sense of Scripture, once so fashionable, so sacred, amongst the great mass of Protestant and Catholic com mentators and sermonizers, is falling much into disrepute amongst the most learned and pious of this generation. Ine textuary mode of interpreting, which grew out of the equivocal sense of Scripture, will soon be confined to the more enthusiastic and weak minds of the sectaries. Enlightened men of all denominations are fast abandon ing the double sense. 1830, page 38.

In 1831 Mr. Campbell wrote, "On the Laws of Interpretation." A more essential service, in our judgment, no man can render the present generation, than to call the attention of the readers of the Sacred Scriptures to the standard rules of interpretation. We are daily more deeply convinced that the confusion, ignorance, enthu siasm and superstition of this generation are attributable more to false principles, or, perhaps, to the lack of all principles of inter pretation, than to all other causes combined. It is the teachers that cause the people to err more in this respect than in any other. One says the Bible means what it says; another says it means not what it says. One denounces the literal, another the spiritual meaning of the book. One is all for the spirit, another all for the letter; and some are always in quest of the recondite and hidden meaning. Thus the people know not by what star to steer their course, and are in worse circumstances than if they acknowledged no other guide, over seer, or ruler, than plain, honest, common sense.


The following excellent rules for Scripture interpretation, are extracted from "A Discourse on the Nature and Subjects of Chris tian Baptism. By Moses Hemmenway, D. D., pastor of a church in Wells." Published in Philadelphia, in 1788. and written by a Paido baptist, in defense of infant spritikling. Had he pursued his own rules, they must have inevitably brought him to different conclusions


and inferences than those at which he has arrived, and which he has deduced; but, like too many others who are fine projectors, h3 has laid down excellent rules which in practice he has abandoned. This was the fault of the great philosopher Bacon. "Lord Bacon pointed out the method of true philosophizing; yet, in practice, he. abandoned it, and his own physical investigations may be ranked among the most effectual specimens of that rash and unfounded theorism, which his own principles have banished from the schools of philosophy." For the sake of illustration, I quote the author's text.

Matt, xxviii. 19, 20: Go ye therefore and teach [or disciple] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 1. The Scriptures are always to be understood in that sense of the words, which, taken in their connection, is most natural, plain, obvious and familiar to us, and those for whose instruction they were primarily designed. The literal sense is alioays to be preferred to a figurative one, unless there appear plain and good reasons to the contrary. For instance, though the word baptize in our text is some times taken in a figurative sense, for the giving of the Holy Spirit; yet as it literally and primarily signifies a washing in water, and this sense was most obvious and familiar to the Apostles, and is so to us, and the word commonly bears this sense in the New Testament, and there appears no incongruity with the context, or inconsistency with other parts of the Scripture, in understanding it thus in this place; we therefore conclude, that it is a literal and water baptism, that is here intended. On the contrary, when Christ tells his Apos tles, "I am with you to the end of the world," we can not understand the words literally of his bodily presence. For, as the Apostles were to disperse into different and remote parts of the world, it was impos sible that Christ should be always with them bodily. And besides, he was immediately to ascend to, and remain in heaven, till the end of the world. This must therefore be understood figuratively, ol those gracious assistances which he would afford to them.

2 The Scripture is the best and sxirest interpreter of Scripture, and if the meaning of any word or phrase seems doubtful, vje must compare it with other places, where a like expression is used, or where the same subject is treated of perhaps in plainer language, and that interpretation is to be adhered to, which is most consonant to the general language and doctrine of the Scriptures themselves. Thus the word baptize, in our text, may be compared with, and explained by the words of the Apostle, in which he says, "That the church is sanctified by the washing of water with the word;" whence we are


to conclude that water baptism is a gospel ordinance; and that bap tism signifies a washing.

3. The Scriptures are to he u'nderstood as containing not only those truths which are expressly asserted, but also those which are plainly implied. For example, it is not expressly asserted in our text, that baptism is to be a standing ordinance in the church to tha end of the world. But, then, as Christ has promised to be with his ministers in the execution of their commission to the end of the world; and as they were in this their commission instructed to bap tize, as well as teach; it is a fair consequence, that the duties, as well as the encouragements contained in their commission, were to continue to the end of t'me; and so baptism is a standing ordinance. And that this is the true meaning, implied, though not expressed.

4. That is the true sense of Scripture which best agrees with the original text. Though the Scriptures were written in Hebrew and Greek, by divine inspiration, yet they were not translated by divine inspiration. Some words are not exactly translated; and are to be corrected by the original. Our text, I think, is an example. This clause, "Go teach all nations," ought rather to be understood, "Go make all nations disciples;" for so the Greek word properly signi fies. To teach or indoctrinate is expressed by another word which we have in the latter verse of our text: "Teaching them to observe ail things whatsoever I have commanded."

5. That interpretation of Scripture is to be adhered to, which gives the best, apt est and most instructive sense to the icords: unless it should appear that a different sense uas intended. Thus, for exam ple, I think it makes better sense to read our text according to the amendment proposed: "Go make all nations disciples; baptizing and teaching them," etc.; tlian to read it according to our translation,

"Go teach all nations; baptizing them teaching them;" where the

repetition of the word "teach" seems needless and uninstructive.

6. The practice of the primitive church, so far as it is known, is to be attended to, in case doubts should arise concerning the mean ing and proper administration of gospel ordinances. The meaning of precept, is sometimes cleared and ascertained by authentic pr •• cedents. And we have no precedents which are so much to be regarded by us, as the practice of the church in its earliest and purest state; especially in the apostolic age. For example: in our text, baptism with water is not expressly mentioned; but we know that in the apostolic and primitive church, baptism with water was practiced: which seems to put the matter out of all reasonable doubt, that It is a water baptism that is here intended. r. ii.

"It IS said, that if the English language be divided into one hun dred parts, sixty parts would be Saxon: thirty would he I at in, includ


ing French; five would be Greek, and the remaining five from the other languages of the world."

We presume to think and to say, that if the ecclesiastico-heretical terminology, or nomenclature, of modern Christendom, were evan gelically analyzed, or repudiated in wholesale, and the apostolic dic tion, suggested by the Holy Spirit and consecrated by the prime ministers, or apostles of Jesus Christ, were substituted for it, more would be achieved to the cause of Christianity; to the union, har mony and co-operation of Christians, and to the progress of the Reign of the Lord Messiah throughout the earth, than has been effected since the Lutheran Reformation, by all the schisms and schismatical leaders that have figured on the pages of ecclesiastical history during the last three centuries.

In our feeble attempts to achieve something in this direction, we have been harassed on every side, by all the inflated partizans of every school in modern Christendom. Still, we have not labored in vain. Much has been achieved, despite of all opposition, and despite of the failures and frailties of those who have espoused and advocated the principles underlying such an enterprise. The influence of our views and pleadings has not been conflned to our own brotherhood that have come out of existing sects, but is more or less felt, mani fested, and practically approbated, in some of the Protestant denomi nations around us, as has been acknowledged by not a few of those occupying public and responsible positions on the walls of their respective Zions. Indeed, the prayers of myriads daily arise to heaven in behalf of union, harmony, and co-operation amongst all the citi zens of Christ's kingdom, and they are being, and will be, fully answered. Despite of partizan pride and self-ycleped orthodoxy, the very terminology of the cause we plead is occasionally heard an approved, even amongst those who are too vain, or too proud, . acknowledge any progress.

We are, on all the premises, greatly encouraged to hold on our way, assured that a good harvest will be gathered in at last, as the first fruits fully warrant. We would say nothing boastfully on these prem ises, but humbly and gratefully acknowledge the Divine favor and mercy displayed to us; for of ourselves we have nothing to boast- our sufficiency and our success are alike from God, to whom be all the glory!

We conclude, on all our premises, that much good might accrue, and much controversy and ill-feeling be suppressed or prevented, by a few definitions of terms and phrases, that have occasioned mucli debate and aberration in the greenest fields of modern partyism. We fha'l. therefore, attempt something in this way, not in the best order. but with the best intentions. We hope, in this effort, to correct and


neutralize much slander and defamation, and to afford to candid and Inquiring minds the means of appreciating and understanding our views, our aims, and our terminologj*. We shall follow up this sub ject in a series of papers, on all the great elements, facts and docu ments in the true Christology, and under the true Christocracy of the Messianic dispensation.

The doctrine of the "Trinity," as it is called, though really of Grecian or Roman origin, is regarded as number one of the true ortho doxy of polemic theology. On this account alone we give it prece dence. It is neither historically nor philosophically, neither philo logically nor Christologically, the first in order. But polemically and ecclesiastically it is of primordial conspicuity, and has been so for ages.

The Hebrew Cabolists. or Tradilionists of the Jews, with their cabala, or traditions, of which they were veritable doctors or teachers, laid the foundation for the most ancient heresies. The Essenes alle gorized the Mosaic law and institutions into a species of spiritualism, resembling not a little the Shaking Quakers of modern date. They v.cre still more harmless than the more orthodox Pharisees, or the more latitudinarian Sadducees.

By reprobating this speculative theology, we save the labor of many volumes, and, in the meantime, the careful reading of the Holy and Divine Oracles furnishes us with a full and satisfactory statement of Jkhovaii — a compound, according to Rabbinical literature, of Jaii, the essence, and Havaii. existing — "The Always Existing." This name is older than all human literature. Josephus calls it the Tetragram maton — the four-lettered name. Sanchoniathon, the oldest Pagan writer known to the literary world, names it, or writes it. Jkiu;. or Jkv(..

Diodorus, of Sicily, .Jerome. Origen, of the 2d century, and Clemens Alexandrinus, exhibit it in three letters, JAO. Hence the Jusjiater of the Greeks, in tlie genitive, is Jovis, Jovk. an abbreviation of Ji-.iiovAii. It antedates all written language. It is the one only incomviunicablc name in all the dialects of earth. Hence, Joshua, the hero man. son of Nun, is Hosea. or Oshea, and with the prefix Jk. indicates a Divine Saviour. Joshua preceded his antitype, Jesus, the son of David, 1.4.51 years. Salvation temporal, spiritual and eternal, is all of God, or of Jehovah.

We have five adjuncts or epithets added to Jehovah in the Law and the Prophets. Each of these enhance his glory. JehovaJi Jinh — the Lord tvill appear, or the Lord tcill provide. (Gen. xxii. 8.) Jehovah yissi — Jehovah nn/ banner. (Exod. xvii. 15.) Jehovah Shal low, or Jehovah of Peace. (Judg. vi. 4.) Jehovah Shammah — "Jeho hovah is there." he resides there. (Ezek. xlviii. 3,5.) Jehovah


 Tzidekenu — Jehovah our righteousness. (Jer. xxiii. 16, and xxxiii. 16.) These are approbated and recognized by Calmet.

Now, in the Christian development of the long promised, foretold, and typified salvation, Jehovah is manifested in three distinct person alities in reference to human redemption. In creation, providence, or moral government, there was no need for any other development of God than those given in these declarations or manifestations.

 But in the emergency of man's redemption, there was a necessity for a new revelation of Jehovah, Elohim, as our Jehovah in distinct personalities. Of these there are three now named — The Father, the Word, the Spirit. The Word became flesh, and dwelt in our human ity. The Spirit became the Holy Guest, or Ghost, and ever dwells in the true church — the mystical body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"God so loved the world as to send his Son," possessing the Holy Spirit without measure or limit. He became Incarnate, and dwelt on earth. He formed and educated a school of apostles. On the eve of his ascension, he promised, on his return to his native heaven, to send to them his Holy Spirit, to be their Guest, their teacher, and their help, in erecting his kingdom or church.

During his personal ministry he occasionally gave them the Spirit in some of his gifts. But he reserved his full dispensation till after he had vanquished death and the grave, and ascended to his native heaven. He went to receive a kingdom, and to be constituted, in our humanity, both Lord and Sovereign of the entire realms of the uni verse. He was formally inaugurated as Lord of all, in the capacity of the Son of man and the Son 'of God. He received the empire or creation. He then sent, as his ambassador, the Holy Spirit, and com menced his kingdom in the city in which he, fifty days before, had been crucified.

These were the facts to be announced by the apostles; and that all who died to sin, on confession of their guilt, were to be "born of water and of the Spirit," and thus become citizens of his kingdom, as now dispensed.

 Such was the Divine and Christian economy, or dispensation of Divine grace, under the immediate influence and direction of his Holy Spirit. The church then became "the temple of God," with Jesus Christ for its head and the Holy Spirit for its heart.

The commission given to the apostles, directed them first to the city in which he had been crucified, and there they were to commence a spiritual temple, to be animated and adorned with the graces, the beauty, and the grandeur of the HolV Spirit — to be "the light of the world," and "for salvation to the ends of the earth."

 What, then, was their mission? They were to announce or pro claim Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world,


tho Sovereign Lord of heaven and of earth. This was the sum and the substante of their Divine commission.

They prorlaimed Jesus as the Messiah; and faith, repentance and baptism, "for the remission," or "the tcashing away of their sins. ' These were never to be separated. Their commission was not to preach faith alone, nor repentance alone, nor baptism alone; bur. each of them in its own proper place, or significance. To as many as received their testimony, they commanded submission to Jesus the Messiah in all things, as the Sovereign Lord of all. So it came t.i pass, that when any one believed their testimony, confessed his sins, and was immersed in the name, or by the authority of the Lord, into the name of the Father, the Sun, and the Holy Sijirit, in this act there was, to him, a Divine declaration of the remission of all his antece dent sins, and the possession, in his heart, of that Holy Spirit as his guest : by whose testimony, or demonstrations of the claims of the Lord Jesus, he had already submitted to the new dispensation, or the reign in him of that same Spirit that had already attested Jesus; and had clothed his apostles with plenary power to give testimony and proof of his Divine personality and official fullness.

For this paragraph we, as a people, have been doomed to some thirty years' persecution or defamation. We thank the Lord for it; but we can not remit the sin of those who have perverted and misrep sented it and those who proclaim it.

Contextual interpretation, claimed by all denominations, was denied to us. Hence, by every form of ingenious verbal torture, we have been published, from Dan to Beersheba. as teaching "water salva tion," "baptismal regeneration," denying "Spiritual influence," "the person and work of the Holy Spirit," and I know not what other forms of "neology" and of "heresy."

But still more to be reprobated: Those guilty of these most false and fabulous tales, are self-convicted of this disingenuous and unchris tian attitude and course. This we learn from every point of the compass, and, not infrequently, even in our person and experience. Men are heard In every quarter of our country, where the cause we plead has obtained a footing, and sometimes even when railing against a fictitious "Campbellism." (as they are pleased to term it) they give full evidence, to evor>' discriminating ear, of their own pro ficiency in that which they so fabulously and impiously call "Camp bellism."

They preach it in part, and disclaim it in tnfo. We thank God a-^d take courage, that many, while hypocritically denouncing "Camp belli.'sm," preach it in very prominent item. The true clergy of this generation have nothing to learn. They are warranted and endorsed orthodox "divines." And they can preach any theology or Chrlstol


ogy, without suspicion and without shame. But, before many moons, they will have to become still more tinctured with this horrific heresy. They will have to immerse men into Christ, and not in Christ; or in other words, they will have to immerse men into the name, and not in the name, of Jesus the Christ; or "i^ito the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Instead of the Papal Roman formula — "In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." And they will have to immerse men into, or for remission of sins. And everybody knows that for thirty years' past we have been doomed — 1 was about to say damned — for this unholy innovation.

"Remissfon of sins," or "the washing away of sins," as some way connected with baptism, will have to be assented to by the persons, or their sons, who have been honoring us, for years, with their rep robation, for quoting or using the words of Peter and of Paul, speak ing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, when preaching or teaching the Christian institutions.

They will yet have courage to say to a believing querist, when asking what he should do, as a poor, self-condemned sinner, to have a full remission of his sins, what Peter said to the Jews on the first Pentecost — "Repent," or "Reform," and be immersed every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the comforts of the Holy Guest in your hearts: or as Christ's messenger, Ananias, said to Saul, they will say to a self-condemned sinner, awakened to know his condition — "Arise and be immersed, and wash away your sins, invoking the name of the Lord." This will some of them do, that have accused us of error and heresy of the first degree. They can not prevent the fulfillment of this — prediction, shall I call it? Nor will they then see any dif ficulty in defending this practice from the charge of heterodoxy or heresy. They will argue the questions raised against this practice, as we have been doing for many years, demonstrating that there is no incompatibility in such a practice with the grace of God, and the merits of Christ's blood, and faith, antecedent to baptism. Thousands, tens of thousands, that once withstood these views as incompatible with their former theories of faith, repentance, and the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, in type and prophecy, will see no incongruity, no contradiction, no difficulty whatever, in reconciling and in justifying this apostolic practice, than did Luther in maintaining his doctrine of justification by faith, against all the assumptions and presumptions of his orthodox opponents.

They will then see no irreconcilable difficulty between being bom both of the Spirit and of water simultaneously. They will then see that a man may be begotten and born when he is old — that he may be first quickened by the Spirit, or begotten through the belief of the


truth, and then washed; or that "the washing of regeneration" does not necessarily precede, in the Divine economy, regeneration itself, or the renewal of the Holy Spirit in its full acceptation.

They will then discover that the Holy Spirit works in faith, in repentance, and in baptism, in renewing, cleansing, and sanctifying the awakened sinner. This will be read and weighed when 1 shall have passed the bourne of time, and when my contemporaries, too, shall have crossed the Jordan and entered into the realities of the spirit world. Assured that we stand on the foundation of prophets and apostles, we have nothing to fear, but every good thing to hope. "The word of the Lord endureth forever. " And this is the word of the Lord on which we build, and not on the doctrines and traditions of men. "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believes not," though immersd a thousand times, is now, and shall hereafter be, condemned.

We can fully sympathize with Luther in maintaining the doctrin.^ of faith as the grand element of justification. And as he fully recon ciled Paul and James on the question of justification by faith, without the deeds of the law, and justification by works, too, in the examples given by James, so can we, and do we, reconcile the grace of God with faith, repentance, baptism and justification by faith.

Every Christian institution of which we participate is but a mean and not an end. a. c, 1856, page 123.


Nothing is more talked about, amongst professors, and less prac ticed or less understood, in proportion to its acknowledged importance than the reading of the Scriptures. It is indeed statedly read in many churches and families, but it is not read rationally nor religiously and therefore for the most part fails in being relished and conse quently in reaching the heart, and in being practically believed and understood.

 To be read advantageously, the Bible must be read in the order of its books, at regular intervals, and with a solemn and religious refer ence to the most exact and full conformity in heart, in word, in action, to all its pure, and hbly. and heavenly lessons and precepts. But even this is too vague and indefinite for the exigencies of the times. Permit me, then, to explain: It was not the design of the Author of the Bible that men should have a synopsis or summary of its doctrine, either before their eyes in writing, or committed to memory. Had such been his design, he would have given us, by the hand of some inspired person, just such a summary as would have been complete and infallible. But he has not done it: and. therefore such a document would be, to say the least, inoxpoiliont and unprofit


able. It would have been a substitute for the constant reading and studying of the Book. Now this is the very thing that the Author of the Bible does not desire. His will is that we be constant readers; that by the constant attrition or wearing of the truth upon our moral nature, our minds may be exactly conformed to the image of Him who breathes into us the Spirit of our God. It is impossible to keep any company long and constantly without catching its spirit and becoming assimilated. Equally impossible is it to be frequently in company with Moses and David, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Jesus and his Apostles, without catching their spirit. This is what God designs and desires in giving us the Bible to read. He would that we catch the spirit, rather than learn the doctrine, of this Holy Book. Now this is the philosophy of the fact, that there is no substitute for con stant reading: for although all the precepts and promises, or the whole doctrine of the Bible could be learned or committed to memory, and faithfully retained, it could not serve that special and supreme intention of the Author of this Book, in giving it to us as the means of sanctification and of our being imbued and inspired with the Spirit of our God.

Fortunes, it is now well established, are generally the ruin of their inheritors. The exceptions are just enough to make it a general rule that riches are laid up for children to their hurt. It is cruel in fathers to make fortunes for children: for, in so doing, they deprive them of the pleasure of employing their talents as they have done, and thus throw them, in great measure, idle upon society. They also prevent them of the pleasure of doing, and ultimately enjoying good; for we are so constituted that our powers of acquiring pleasure must ever be proportioned to our efforts in communicating it to others. And this i? a work for which they are pre-eminently disqualified who are taught to live on energies not their own.

Hereditary orthodoxy, or fortunes of sound doctrine, made and bequeathed by our fathers, are still more fatal to their heirs than large inheritances of earthly goods and chattels. If sons are generally ruined in this world by large inheritances from their parents, they are, perhaps, as often ruined in the next world by large inheritances of orthodox sentiments and opinions, of which they are possessed by the wills of their ancestors, without the trouble of reading and thinking for themselves. There are not more helpless cases on earth than the heirs of orthodoxy; for they are infallibly right without evidence, without examination, without any concern of their own. These per sons are wholly unapproachable. They are right by necessity, by prescription, by inheritance, because they are right; and you are wrong because you are wrong, or because you dis sent from them.


It is not intended by Him that rules in heaven, that we should possess either faith, knowledge, or grace by inheritance from our earthly or ecclesiastic progenitors. He intends that every man should dig in the mines of faith and knowledge for his own fortune — that every man should live and be rich by his own efforts. He thus calls forth and enu)loys all our faculties, and affords us the pleasure of profiting by our own exertions. "If," says Solomon, "thou criest after knowl edge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then thou shalt understand the fear of the Lord [true religion], and find the knowl edge of God," which is eternal ife.

Bible reading is, therefore, as much an essential part of Heaven s scheme of human sanctification, as the giving of the Bible is essential tp the communication of the light which it contains. There is no sub stitute for it. Sermons, prayers, conversations, catechisms, tracts, and each and every religious exercise superadded, can never compensate the neglect of Bible reading. It has a place, a power, and an influ ence peculiar to itself. There is a communion with the Father, and ■with his Son, our Saviour, attainable by means of this sacred read ing, which is not vouchsafed to mortals in any other way.

But there is a critical reading of the Bible — a polemic reading— a sectarian reading — and a penance reading — which, however frequent and sincere, reach not within the circles of grace and spiritual enjoy ment. The Bible is a sort of world in itself; and as mankind pursuo and find many different objects in this wide world of nature and society, so Bible readers of all classes will find in it the respective objects of their pursuit. The politician, the jurisconsult, the orator, the rhetorical florist, the chronologist, the antiquary, the poet, tho historian, the philosopher, the man of science, the artist, etc., etc., may all read the Bible with advantage to themselves and their pro fessions; and, indeed, every class will find that in it congenial wit'x its aims and designs in reading.

But a devotional and sanctifying reading of that sacred Book, is essentially different from the readings of the theologian, the moralist, the sectary, and the virtuoso of every caste and school. The man of God reads the Book of God to commune with God, "to feel after him. and find him," to feel his power and his divinity stirring within him; tc have his soul fired, quickened, animated by the spirit of grace and truth. He reads the Bible to enjoy the God of the Bible; that the majesty, purity, excellency, and glory of its Author may overshadow him, inspire him, transform him, and new-create him in the image of God. Such a reader finds what he seeks in the Bible as every other person finds in it what he searches for. The words of Jesus to such a one are Kpirlt and life; they are light and joy; they are truth and


peace. Such a one converses with God as one who speaks by signs. His readings are lieavenly musings. God speaks: he listens. Occa sionally, and almost unconsciously, at intervals he forgets that he reads, he speaks to Cod, and his reading thus often terminates in a devotional conversation with God. The Lord says, "Seek you my face;" he responds, "Thy lace will I seek." The Spirit saith, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;" the Christian reader replies, "Open thou my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Thy Spirit saith, "Blessed are they that keep his tes timonies, and that seek him with the whole heart;" and the devout reader answers, "With my whole heart have I sought thee. let me not wander from thy commandments." The Bible reading of all enlightened Christians generally terminates in a sacred dialogue between the Author and the reader.

There is a peculiarity attendant on this reading which I beg leavo to remark with emphasis. The Author of the Bible is always present with his Book. This is not true of any other book in the world. Most authors are dead; and we sometimes regret that we can not speak to them. But this author for ever lives, and is for ever present; and, therefore, while we read his written word, it is as natural as life sometimes to speak to him on certain subjects as they occur. "Truly, then, our communion is with the Father, and with his Son, Jes'js Christ, our Lord."

Christians, do you read the Bible in your families every day? Do you read it in your closet every day? And do you read it not to quiet your conscience as a work of penance; but do you read it as a pleasure anxiously to be sought after? If you do, I need not tell you what utility, pleasure, and happiness is in the blessed enjoyment. But if you do not, you may rest assured there is something greatly wrong, which, if it is not abandoned, subdued, or vanquished soon, will cause you sorrows, if not agonies, when you will be less able to conflict with them than at present. Resolve this moment, I pray you, that you will begin to-day to read the Bible, to enjoy God and Christ and the hope of immortality. "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." Then will you say with Solomon, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding: for the merchandize of it is better than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious fhan rubies, and all the things thou canst desire are not^ to be compared with her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honor: her ways are A/ays of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." "Begin to-day: 'ti3 madness to defer." The religious world — I mean the great majority


ot all professors — are Bible ueglectors. Their ignorance, prejudice, ai:J error show it. I beseech you, daily, habitually, constantly, prayer fully read the Bible in its proper connections, and you will grow m grace as you grow in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. The Lord will bless you, as he has said, in this deed. Reai Jas. i. 22-25, and may you prove it true! a. c, 1839, p, 35.


During that fearful gloom, justly called "The Reign of Terror," which was, in truth, the reigii of Atheism, when in France — that broad street of the Apostate City — the Bible, like a condemned crimi nal, was dragged through the mire of its public highways by the min ister of death — the cause of Protestant Christianity, the cause of trua religion, the cause of humanity, was at its lowest ebb. The bodies of the Two Witnesses — the Prophets and the Apostles — the Law and the Gospel — the Old Covenant and the New, lay dead and unburied for three symbolic days and one half — from the midst of A. D. 1794 to the end of A. D. 1797. Then the Spirit of Life reanimated them. They stood upon their feet. They began to rise, and in A. D. 1800 they were taken up into heaven, when, in the English metropolis, the friends of God and man agreed to enter into a public covenant not merely to stand up for the Bible, but, through bad report as well as through good report, to honor it, and to send it on the wings of every wind to every nation under heaven. This covenant was called the British Foreign Bible Society. This covenant was not entered into between ecclesiastic parties for any secular or partizan purpose. Gool men, of all parties, who felt their indebtedness to the Bible — who realized its untold treasures of wisdom and salvation — who were made partakers of its spirit of benevolence — bound themselves to make one grand effort — one strong co-operative and persevering effort, to send the message of mercy and hope to all the world.

The Bible, "witiioit note ou coxl.ment," from that moment began to be plead as the sovereign remedy for Paganism, Infidelity, and Sectarianism. The cause was of God. The best men in the world not only prayed for its success, but took hold of it. They gave il Loth their heart and their hand. The spirit of the enterprise went abroad in the Protestant world. It crossed the English Channel. It crossed many a river and many a mountain in Europe. It crossed the Atlantic. It visited the New World. It entered into the Protest ant brotherhoods. An Americax Bible Society was conceived. It soon came to maturity, and was developed. It began to send the Bib!^ over the New World. It thought of Asia, and of Africa, too. as did the and Foreign Bible Society. It desired to send back to Palestine, to Jerusalem, and to the lands beyond these, the "light of


life," which once had irradiated them and radiated from them. But this called for translation, and for co-operation in translating. Dif ferences arose in translating the apostolic commission. It was a serious matter. Conscience lifted up its voice, asserting its own rights and the rights of the Messiah. An "American and Foreign Bible Society" was the result. But it was not the field of labor so much as the true version of untranslated words, that possessed th(? hearts and constrained the efforts of the authors and founders of this new institution.

It just meets our views and uses the arguments which we have always used for a new version. It has selected nearly all the impor tant words we have selected, and given to them the same preference that we have given to them, and for the same reasons. They have done much abroad, and are now doing much at home, in this great work. They have raised up men, some eminent men — men of eminent attainments, of eminent sacrifices, of eminent piety, of eminent labors, of eminent success. Why not, then, add more contributions to their capital, and reap a share of their harvest at home and abroad? Why spend thousands in getting up new foundations, new agencies, and new ofRcers?

But we are told that these Baptist brethren have not dealt kindly by us; nay, that they have been cruel to us and proscriptive in tlie highest degree. For this reason, say some of our impulsive and uncal culating brethren, we ought not to pay them for abusing us!

But are we paying them? and if we are to repay them, ought we, as Christians, to repay them with blessings or with curses, or with silent disdain? My New Testament says, "Overcome evil with good." I believe it is the one only way of overcoming it.

 The Baptists have greatly improved in many respects, while in some others they have retrograded to pedorantistic ceremonies. Their public worship is, in many places, fast degenerating into a few fash ionable stale ceremonies. Still they have in their system recuperative and regenerating elefnents. They and we are one in all the grand distinctive principles ot the Christian Institution. They teach the great truths — that "Christ's kingdom is not of this world;" that every man must be enlightened, convinced, and converted for himself. They repudiate god-fathers, spiritual fathers, and all proxies in religion. They believe and teach that the Christian religion Ts a personal thing, both subject and object. And, consequently, their and our views of a church, with its officers, duties, and obligations, are the same, etc.

 Let us, then, not be such partizans as to differ for the sake of differing from them. Let us cultivate friendship, brotherly kindness and forgiveness. Thus will we fraternize with all that is good, and triumph over all that is evil, among them. Surely if there can be


an cntipapistical Evangelical Alliance, for the same reasons, and for one more, there may be an Evangelical Baptist Alliarice, without an amalgamation of all church relations and usages. We do not opposi such of our brethren in the interior as choose to form a Christ iun Society for themselves, for one state or for several states. We wouM much rather aid than injure them in any way. Do they conscien tiously feel it a duty to set up for themselves? Then let them please themselves. We will not only offer them no violence, but we will do them good. We only prefer a wider field, brighter prospects of use fulness, and larger hopes of a great reward, in giving our principal aid to that Society to which we have, for some years, contributed our mite. I do not pay them for either good or evil done to me. They have done me no favor, and they can do me no harm. But it is not to them we give. We do not repay them for good or for evil. We give to the Lord and to the human race. We scatter our bread upon larger waters, and we spread our net in broader streams than they who confine themselves to home distribution and to one version in the cities of the West.

Indeed, I am tired of rival establishments in everything called Christianity. There is too much flesh and too little spirit in thes*? antagonistic establishments. I wonder that we have not Baptist and Tedobaptist stores and shops, ploughs and penknives, as well as news papers, Bible Societies, Schools and Colleges.

Now, as a Bible is a Bible, no matter who prints it, sells it, buya It, or bestows it, there is nothing connected with the manufacture of the book, or with the flesh, blood, or bones of the colporteur who bears it away openly or incog., that would authorize the erection of a new Bible Society for every community in the land. Bibles are not party creeds, nor sectarian shibboleths, cast in a new or in an antique mould, deeply embossed with the ecclesiastic armorial of a party.

We have something called a catholic faith and a catholic Bible. Let us, then, have a catholic spirit, and co-operate with those who are doing all they can.

In 1847, page 511, Mr. Campbell wrote:


How comes it that this little volume, composed by men in a rude age, when art and science were but in their childhood, has exerted more influence on the human mind and on the social system, than all other books put together? Whence comes it that this book has achieved such marvelous changes in the opinions and habits of mankind — has banished idol worship — has abolished infanticide — has put down polygamy and divorce — exalted the condition of woman- raised the standard of public morality — created for families that


blessed thing, a Christian home — and crowned its other triumphs, by causing benevolent institutions to spring up as with the wand of enchantment! What sort of book is this, that even the winds and waves of human prejudice and passion obey it? What other engine of social improvement has operated so long, and yet lost none of its virtue? Since it appeared, many boasted plans of human ameliora tion have been tried, and failed; many codes of jurisprudence have arisen, and run their course and expired. Empire after empire has been launched on the tide of time, and gone down, leaving no traco on the waters. But this book is still going about doing good — leaven ing society with its holy principles — cheering the sorrowful with its consolations — strengthening the tempted — encouraging the penitent — calming the troubled spirit, and soothing the pillow of death. Can such a book be the offspring of human genius? Does not the vastness of its effects demonstrate the excellency of the power to be of God?

How wonderful that volume, which is at once the oldest and th« newest in the world — reaching to the remotest antiquity, yet forever widening in its revelations and influences, in the circle of human civilization and intelligence! "Simple as the language of a child,'' says an esteemed writer, "it charms the most fastidious taste; mourn ful as the voice of grief, it reaches the highest pitch of exultation. Intelligible to the unlearned peasant, it supplies the critic and the sage with food for earnest thought. Silent and secret as the reproofs of conscience, it echoes beneath the vaulted dome of tiie cathedral and shakes the trembling multitudes. The last companion of the dying and destitute, it seals the bridal vow, and crowns the majesty of kings. Closed in the heedless grasp of the luxurious and the slothful, it unfolds its awful record over the yawning grave. Sweet and gentle and consoling to the pure in heart, it thunders and threatens against the unawakened mind. Bright and joyous as the morning star to the benighted traveler, it rolls like the waters of the deluge over the path of him who wilfully mistakes his way. And, finally, adapting itself to every shade of human character, and to every grade of moral feeling, it instructs the ignorant, woos the gentle, consoles the afflicted, encourages the desponding, rouses the negligent, threatens the rebellious, strikes home the reprobate, and condemns the guilty."'


In 1832 Mr. Campbell issued an extra, of which the following on the Bible is a part:

The following questions and answers are tendered to our readers on a variety of subjects which have been discussed in our periodicals. The answers here given are the only answers which, in accordance with reason, common sense, and the Holy Scriptures, can be given.


The prool' is not, however, adduced, nor even are the answers fully illustrated; because we presume this has already been done in exftriso, in our previous pages. The object here is to give a condensed view of much that has been said and written on these subjects, and in the more striking form of questions and answers. It will also, we hope, be the means of not only reviving the recollections of our constant readers, on all these topics; but will, we anticipate, be the means of giving a proper direction to the minus of those who have not exam ined these matters with much attention.

If any person can answer any question in this collection in anv terms not in accordance with the meaning of the answers given, we shall thank him for his reasons. But as at present advised, we rather think it to be out ef the pale of any communion with experience, observation, and the inspired writings, to furnish other answers than those given. For proof, where it is required, we refer to all our former writings on these subjects.

Question 1. Is there any natural and co7nmon desire discovered in the human constitution, for the gratification of which there is nothing in existence?

A7isw€r, There can not be; unless we become atheists and say there is no God, or deists, and say there is no divine revelation.

Q. 2. But are there any common or natural desires in the human constitution?

A. The animal appetites and propensities are all natural and uni versal; so is the desire of happiness, or the full gratification of all our capacities.

Q. 3. Is the knowledge of our origin and destiny necessary to our happiness?

A. Yes; and, therefore, it is the most common and natural of all rational desires.

Q. 4. How would you prove that the desire to know our origin and destiny is a natural and universal desire?

A. There never was found a nation without some traditionary or fabulous account of its origin; without some prophecy, omen, augury, or sign, by which the future was to be known; and to which the indi viduals of that nation have had recourse. There can not now be founl an individual who desires not the knowledge of his origin and destiny. It is, therefore, a natural, a universal, and, we may add. a rational desire. The jirodnction of only one individual in the enjoyment of reason, who can say that he does not now. and nev-^r did, desire to know his origin and his destiny, would suffice to prove that the desire is neither natural nor universal. But in the absence of such an indi vidual, we affirm it to be universal.

Q. 5. Is man the author of this desire?


A. No more than he is the author of himself.

Q. 6. Can man satisfy tliis desire?

A. No: for he must have been before man, who can show him his origin; and he must know the whole future of existence, who can intimate to him his destiny. The Creator or Author of man alone can satisfy this desire.

 Q. 7. Has such a communication ever been made to man?

A. Yes; else we must affirm that the most natural, universal, and rational desire in our constitution is the only one for which the Creator has made no provision whatever!

Q. 8. How could God communicate to man this knowledge?

A. By a revelation in words.

Q. 9. Why not by his works?

A. Whatever may be said about the works of creation attesting the existence and perfections of God, nothing plausible can be said in behalf of a discovery of man's origin and destiny from the works of creation: for by words alone can the knowledge of the past and the future be communicated to man.

 Q. 10. But can God speak?

A. Most certainly, if any of his creatures can speak. To say that God could not speak to man, or that he never did speak to him, is, of all propositions, the most irreconcilable to all the principles from which we reason in reference to our rank and standing in the uni verse, and the character of the moral Governor of the world.

Q. 11. Has God spoken to man?

A. That he has, not only do our reasonings from his perfections, from man's rank in creation, from all analogies, from tradition, from miracles, abundantly attest; but the book, the record itself, the thing communicated, the revelation, irrefragably asserts and vindicates its authorship.

Q. 12. In what language has God spoken?

A. In the language of man — not in the language of angels.

Q. 13. Was it his design to be understood in our language?

A. Most assuredly it was his design to communicate ideas to man: and as there is no way of teaching things unknown but by things known, and of speaking intelligibly to man but by using his own words; so God, in speaking to man, has not only clothed his ideas in human speech, but has used our words in the common acceptation of them.

Q. 14. Could anything in the language of man be esteemed a reve lation from God, if the words chosen by God were not used by their common signification?

A. No: for if God annexed to our words, or the speech which he had given to man, a secret meaning, a private and peculiar sense,


Buch a communication would rather delude and confound, than illu minate the human understanding.

Q. 15. If, then, God speaks in human language, must not his com munications be submitted to the same rules of interpretation as all other verbal communications?

A. Yes: for were it otherwise, who could understand them? To what other laws of interpretation could they be submitted?

Q. Ir6. If an occult meaning, or a cabalistic sense, is to be sought for in the sacred Scriptures, by what rules, or means, could it be ascertained?

A. By none; and, therefore, no criminality could be attached to the most palpable ignorance of God, even where his word is most accessible.

Q. 17. But is it not impossible for a natural man to understand spiritual things, in whatever style they may be expressed?

A. Yes: if the word is not communicated to him. The child of pure nature, the savage, or the barbarian, without a verbal revelation, can not understand the things supernatural, any more than a man, having eyes, can see natural objects without natural light.

Q. 18. But if a natural man can not understand spiritual thing.s when communicated to him in plain language, is it not impossible for him ever to become a spiritual man?

A. Yes: unless we can suppose a man to be spiritual before he has a knowledge of spiritual things. And if a person can be made spir itual without the knowledge of spiritual things, then all the Scriptures are addressed to spiritual men: for how absurd would it be to address natural men on spiritual things, when it is utterly impossible for them to understand them, so long as they are natural men.

Q. 19. But are the Scriptures all addressed to spiritual men — or rather to converted men?

A. No: unless "wicked men," "stout hearted men and far from righteousness," "unbelievers, despisers, and all ungodly and profane persons," are amongst spiritual men, for all these are directly addressed.

Q. 20. Can you instance any addresses in the Old Testament or the New to such characters — to natural men, to unbelievers, which Intimate that they can understand them?

A. Very many, of which the following are only a specimen:

Old Testament Addresses. — "Look to me all yon ends of the earth, and be saved, for I am God. and there is none else. Let the wicked man forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him. and to our God. for ho will abundantly pardon. Hearken to me, you stout hearted and far from righteousness; you stiff necked and uncircum


cised In iieart and ears. I will bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory. How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity, and the scorner delight in his scorning, and fools hate knowledge; turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my spirit upon you: I will make known my words to you." To this effect a thousand passages in the Old Scriptures.

New Testament Addresses. — In the Christian Scriptures we have no lack of such addresses. Thus the harbinger of Jesus speaks — "Offspring of vipers — bring forth fruits worthy of reformation — reason not within yourself — Abraham is ours — reform, or you will be immersed in fire — the chaff he will consume in unquenchable flame. ' The Lord addressed Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Jerusalem, calling upon them to reform. He addressed the reprobates of that generation, tell ing them that the men of Nineveh, and the queen of Sheba, should arise to confront them in the day of judgment. He commanded them following him for the loaves and fishes, to labor for the bread which endures to everlasting life. Nay, the Apostles preached to pagans, idolaters, natural men of every shade and complexion of unbelief, and commanded all men everywhere to reform. Yes, and more still — • John says, the testimonies "were written" that natural men, uncon verted, infidel men, that sinners "might believe" that Jesus is the Messiah, and have life through his name. "As though God did beseech you by us, we pray you, irreconciled sinners, to he reconciled to God,'' etc., etc.

Much of both Testaments is addressed specially and emphatically to natural men. Now if they can not understand those things which are intended for making them spiritual men, why are they thus addressed? Is it all a farce, a mockery, a delusion! or is it because God can speak to sinners as well as to saints! If God ever spoke to man since the fall, he spoke first to a natural unconverted man — and addressed him as such.

Q. 21. Might we not, then, say that the portions of God's communi cations addressed to natural men, are just as intelligible to them, ar.d as well adapted to their conversion, as those parts addressed to Chris tians or saints, are adapted to their understanding, edification, and sanctification to God?

A. Most rationally and Scripturally we may say so — else Paul had no reason nor prudence in becoming all things to all men, that he might gain some — in addressing the Jew as a Jew, the Gentile as a Gentile; in rightly dividing the word of truth, and in answering every man according to his standing with God and men.

Q. 22. Can you mention any Scripture which commends the revela tion to all men as intelligible, and able to make them wise to salvation?


A. 1 ran. Paul says to Timothy, ' From a child you have known tho holy Scriptures, which are able to make you icisc to salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ; for all Scripture give by inspiration of God, is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruc tion in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly fitted for every good work."

Q. 23. Who of the New Testament authors writes the most upon the mysteries, or secrets of the Christian religion?

A. Paul.

Q. 24. Is there any declaration of his which would lead any of his readers to think that he could understand the knowledge which Paul communicates on these secrets of Christ?

A. Yes: Paul says to the Ephesians concerning the greatest secrets communicated to him, "By revelation God made known to me the mystery, as I wrote to you in few words; whereby, ichen you read, Yor MAY iNDKH.sTAND my knowledge in the mystery of Christ."

 Q. 2.5. Might it not be said that the natural man savors not spirit ual things, while the spiritual man savors all things?

A. Yes; in Paul's sense of these words. The natural man can unaer stand the things addressed to him, and these are all the things that should be addressed to him, so long as he continues out of the king dom of Jesus — until he believes and obeys the gospel. But when he is naturalized or born again, then may be communicated to him the secrets of the reign: for he can then discover the things of the Spirit. "The secret of the lord is with them that fear him." The things of the kingdom are veiled from those at a distance from it. They are too far off to discern them. Therefore they should be addressed as unbe lievers, exhorted and commanded to do the things enjoined upon such; but after turning to the Lord, a new song is put into their mouth: and a new lesson put into their hands; and thus the book of God adapts itself to all classes and conditions of men.

Q. 26. How comes it to pass that a book from such an author, on such a subject, and addressed to all mankind, should be so difficult to understand?

A. There are (n religion, as in nature, deep and unfathomable things, which overwhelm, in religious awe, all the powers of the human mind. These are the "things hard to be understood," while the language which suggests them is as plain and intelligible as any other language In the book.

Q. 27. But is not the gospel one of the plainest things in all the divine communications, and are not all the Christian institutions as plain as language can make them?

A. Most unhesitatingly we must answer yes. To the poor and the Ignorant the gospel is announced. Therefore it must he plain.


Q. 28. What then are the deep and unfathomable things?

A. Some of the principles of the divine government; the original and ultimate designs of creation, providence and redemption; to which department belong all the pages of prophecy yet unfulfilled, and all the prophecies of past times. In reference to these one may say, with the arch-treasurev of Ethiopia, "How can I understand these annun ciations, unless some one guide me?" But while prophecy always re quired an expositor, and while there are developments of that incom prehensible mind, which, in religion, as in nature, avouch the grandeur and majesty of Him who modeled the temple of the universe after the counsels of his own will; the word of life, the gospel of salvation, with all its sanctifying institutions, is so perspicuously and familiarly.', expressed that no honest mind can possibly mistake the path of life.

Q. 29. To what, then, are we to attribute the numerous and dis cordant theories of faith and salvation which have fractured Christen dom into so many sects?

A. These are not to be charged to the obscurities of the revelation, but to the pride of the human mind. Men will not submit to the righteousness of God. Mysticism, and philosophy falsely so called, have created an aristocracy in the commonwealth of religion, and from the times of the Platonic conversions till now, men have prided them selves in belonging to this aristocracy, in taking rank according to the precedence of mysticism and speculative science, and have thus become the prey of an empty and a deceitful philosophy. Not one in ten thou sand of the men of renown in the kingdom of the clergy, have ever stooped to the simplicity that there is in Christ. They have been soar ing to the skies in their speculations, and by their own recondite abstractions, have sought for elevation in a kingdom which regards not humility as the high road to honor. They have been interred in the piles of rubbish which they have reared. To them one might apply:

" O sons of earth ! attempt you still to rise, By mountains piled on mountains, to the Bkies! Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, And buries madmen in the heaps they raise."

But while God resists the proud, he gives grace to the humble. Every one who will sit at the feet of Jesus, will know that the knowledge of salvation is easily acquired; and that the simpleton, or he that becomes a fool that he may be wise, will attain to the full assurance of under standing in the mystery of Christ.

Q. 30. What! are there mysteries in Christianity?

A. Secrets there were until developed, and until developed to every man, there are mysteries still. But the greatest of all secrets, to this age, is, that Christianity consists in simply believing what God has said, and in doing what he has commanded.


Q. 31. Ale lliere not many honest men on the opposite sides of all tlieologital questions?

A. Honest to a theory and to the prejudices of education, they are;

. hcuest, also, to what they conscientiously apprehend to be the will of

heaven; honest, as was Saul of Tarsus, while he anathematized the

Messiah — but honest to the Bible they can not be, who mistake the

way of salvation.

Q. 32. But how can a man be honest to himself and not honest to the Bible?

A. In the same manner that many persons are honest to the rules of commerce and to the approved course of trade, honest according to civil law and the principles of mercantile education, while the com merce itself, and the principles of tiaffic approved by the world, are reprobated at the bar of right reason and the Scriptures of truth.

Q. 33. How can a man be honest to the Bible?

A. By coming to it without a single inclination to any opinion, theory, or system, whatever; submitting his mind to it, as the sealing wax is submitted to the signet, prepared to receive from it, its own impression. The mind of such a person, like a mirror, reflects tha image of the book.

Q. 34. Will all who approach it thus, receive from it the same impression?

A. Yes: the same impression, differing only as the substances which are impressed by the same seal, according to their respective quali ties. Thus the characters engraved by the same type, will be the same in all the grand outlines; although on paper of different qualities, and on materials of a different fabrication, there may be a considerable variety as respects distinctness and beauty.

Q. 35. Are there not many who approach the Bible without any bias, who, nevertheless, arrive at very different conclusions, or receive very different impressions?

A. Not on the matters which are connected with salvation. But it 13 to be suspected that the number who thus approach the Bible ara fewer than any sectary can think. The minds of almost the whole community are polluted with human inventions, from the first dawn Ings of reason, even before reflection has dared to compare, examine, or decide. From the constitution of the human family, the mind, as Well as the body, of one generation is dependent on that which pre ceded it; and this greatly contributes to the difficulty of reading the book without any prejudice.

Q. 36. Why are many good people so much divided in their general views of the Scripture?

.4. Because they belong to different sects, and have different Bystems, and they rather make the Bible bow to their own system,


received by tradition t'lom their lathers, than make their system bow to the Bible; or, in other words, each man, too generally, views the Bible through the medium of his system, and of course it will appear to him to favor it. Just as if A, B and C should each put on different colored glasses; A puts on green spectacles, B yellow, and C blue: each one of them looks through his own glasses at a piece of white paper, and each concludes he is right, not remembering that he has Ms spec tacles on. Thus to A it appears green, to B yellow, and to C blue. They begin to argue on the subject, and it is impossible for any one of them to convince another that he is wrong — each one feels a conviction next to absolute certainty that his opinion is right. But D, who has no spec tacles on, and who is standing looking on during the contest, very well knows that they are all wrong; he sees the spectacles on each man's nose and so accounts for the difference. Thus one professor reads the Bible with John Calvin on his nose; another with John Wesley on his nose; a third with John Gill, or some of the good old lights of Scot land. Thrice happy is the man who lifts the Bible as if it had dropped from heaven into his hands alone and whose eyes are anointed that he may see.

In 1849, Mr. Campbell wrote: "In attempting to restore the ancient order of things, the right of private interpretation is of the highest importance. It is the exercise of this right which has elicited and maintained the present effort at Reformation and this alone which can carry it forward to its legitimate results.


There is nothing more important than a suitable preparation of mind in the study of the Holy Oracles. Much depends, it is true, upon the condition in which these oracles are presented to our consideration. We must have the original, or a correct version, in which the true sense is given and in which there is not the slightest leaning to sec tarian tenets. But, taking it for granted for the present, that we have such a version before us, the ideas which we shall derive from it, and our success in the pursuit of divine truth will depend much upon the condition of our own minds.

One of the prerequisites to which we have already adverted, is the conviction that we have a right lo search and interpret the Scriptures for ourselves. A firm conviction that we possess this right is essential to our success. If we doubt our authority to search the Scriptures, we will scarce venture to consult them; or if we do, we will hardly trust ourselves to the conclusions to which they seem to lead us. If we fear that we are invading the province, and transgressing upon the prerogative of the clergy, we can have no confidence either in the teachings of the Scriptures or in ourselves. We dare not believe


what the Scripture seems to say, lest some learned theologian should have given a different interpretation to the passage; and we can scarce ly rely implicitly upon his explanation, lest some other equally learned commentator should have supplied a different one. We are either without any fixed convictions upon the subject; or, if we receive in any case the assertions of some favorite teacher, we are led to mistake credulity for faith. Nor is it difficult for men to slide into these states of mind which are almost equally indolent and inactive. It requires little exertion of thought, and less examination of evidence, to make a doubter; and the easy trust of the credulous layman saves him the trouble of thinking altogether. Nay, some have been known to carry their humility and reverential awe so far, as not merely to shudder at the thought of venturing to understand the Scriptures for themselves, but to regard it as a piece of presumption even to attempt to under sand their preacher.

In the pursuit of divine knowledge, we must neither doubt nor tamely surrender our right to examine and judge for ourselves. On the contrary, we must fully realize our true position in respect to the divine communications, and not only feel perfectly assured of our right to hear and consider them, but regard this as an imperative duty and a most precious privilege.

There is, however, another requisite to a proper preparation of mind, to which we shall briefly advert. This is the conviction that tee have to fear no delusion, and to guard against no sophism or artifice so far as the Bible ilsclf is concerned; and that we have to fear our own want of perception only, and to guard alone against the false and sophistical reasonings of our own minds.

When we are addressed by men, we have constantly to fear decep tion upon their part, as well as misconception upon our own. They desire to carry a point; to make a convert to their views; to secure the confidence and admiration of their followers. To this end they employ all the skill and ingenuity of the advocate, and often all the cunning and artifice of the sophist.

When, however, we take up the Holy Scriptures, we are spared this labor, except as it respects ourselves. To the Took of God there can never attach aught of uncertainty or delusion. Its teachings are above all suspicion. Hence there are no false facts; no sophisms; no mere rhetorical devices. Here we have to apprehend no entanglement in logical snares; no deceitful declamation; no error in historical detail; no want of foresight in anticipation of the future. Nor can we dread any imperfection in wisdom and knowledge, or any deficiency of regard for those addressed. In a word, we are enabled to commit ourselves h^art and mind to the word of Cod as to an infallible guide; an unerring teacher; and an ever faithful friend. There is no other


book in the world which can occupy tlie same position; the Natural World alone presents a just analogy and bears a similar relation to its Author and to man.

It is a delightful reflection that we have thus no fallacy to fear in the Book of God, as we have ever in the books of men. And it is important that we should constantly remember this, and approach the sacred volume with the most implicit and undoubting confidence. It is an evident proof of a perverted mind to undervalue this quality of the Scriptures, and to deny its existence evinces either absolute infidelity, or bold and dangerous heresy. A Hume may argue against the truth of revelation, and a Priestly may trifie with its authority and even style the Apostle Paul "an inconclusive reasoner;" but the real student of the Scriptures is troubled neither with doubt nor dis belief, and can be neither an infidel nor a heretic. He approaches the subjects of the Bible just as the naturalist draws near to the objects of the material world; and the latter would as soon think of doubting or disbelieving the existence of the material things he sees and handles, as the former the truthfulness and reality of the spiritual things pre sented to his consideration in the Bible.

Our own perceptions may be at fault. We may fail to pay a proper degree of attention. Our minds may be biassed by preconceived opin ions and theories. Our reasoning may be unsound, and our deductions false. It is just so with the observer of Nature. He may take a par tial and imperfect view of an object. He may decide too hastily upon its character and relation. He may wrest the facts of the material world to sustain a favorite hypothesis, and reason erroneously from true premises so as to reach a false conclusion.

There is required, then, in the student of the Scriptures, the same condition of mind necessary to the successful student of Nature. Both must have a just reverence for the common Author, and an unwaver ing confidence in the reality and genuineness of the things whether of Nature or Religion. Both should have the same freedom from prej udice and prepossession, and both exercise the same care in observa tion, and observe the same justness and accuracy in their conclusions. With such prerequisites there could be no fear of the result. Truth, thus diligently sought, would always be found; and new discoveries would constantly reward pursuit.


There is a great diversity of sentiment among men in regard to the clearness or perspicuity of the Scriptures. Some believe them so obscure, as well in respect to subject as to style, that their meaning can be determined with certainty by no ona Accordingly, they make no attempt to comprehend them.


We have, again, a numerous class of religious persons, who, while they agree In general with the views of those mentioned in regard to the obscurity of the Scriptures, £o that they do net pretend to be able to understand them, do nevertheless affirm that it is the privilege of a iKirticular class of men, called the Clergy, to comprehend and interpret these divine communications, which are thus put at least upon a level with the ancient oracles of Greece and Rome.

We have others, however, who insist that the Scriptures are plain •to every one, and that "he who runs" may not only "read," but under stand them. They believe that the whole Bible is, in the most evident sense, a revelation; and that it treats of no subject so intricate, and uses no language so ambiguous, as to be beyond the comprehension of the common mind. To them there is nothing in its pages hidden, either past, present, or to come. They can speak with so much confi dence, in unlicensed prose, of all the arrangements in the garden of Eden, that one would almost suppose them to have been there; and, as to the future, they feel themselves elevated upon the shoulders of both the lesser and the greater Prophets; and seeing, therefore, afar off, can tell you the very day, and give a shrewd guess as to the hour of the second Advent, and demonstrate the correctness of their views not only prophetically, but chronologically, arithmetically, hieroglyphically, pictorially, and almost geologically. To these per sons there is nothing new or unlocked for, and having a marvelous •want of marvelousness, they wonder at nothing, unless it be at the only mystery which they admit to be inexplicable — to wit, that everybody will not agree with them in their opinions.

great individuals, adopting in turn opposite views of the method of Scripture interpretation, and even holding them inconsistently at llie same time. The Church of Rome, the very mother of spiritual mystifi cation, declaring the sense of Scripture manifold and obscure, and denying to the laity both the ability and the right to interpret it, nevertheless insists, when it suits her purpose, that the Scripture means exactly what it says, and appeals confidently to this very prin ciple when endeavoring to substantiate the doctrine of transubstan tiation by the declaration of Christ: "This is my body." The great Luther, too, so conversant with language, and so just in general in his views of divine truth, seems to have been influenced by the same principle, when, in his celebrated conference with the Swiss Reformers, he wrote with a piece of chalk upon the velvet cover of the table at which they were seated: "Hoc est couris MKr>r." "Christ has said," exclaimed he, "this is my body. Let them show me that a body Is not a* body. I reject reason, common sense, carnal arguments and mathematical proofs. God is above mathematics. We have the word


of God; we must adore it and perform it." And not content with con tinually pointing with his finger to the words which lie had written, he closes the discussion by seizing the velvet cover, pulling it off the table and holding it up in front of Zuingle and Ecolampadius, "See, said he, "see! This is our text; you have not driven us from it, as you boasted, and we care for no other pi'oofs." Such is the influence in some cases of interested motives; and in others, of those impulses by which, as by oscillatory movements, the human mind is carried from one extreme to another.

We have, in our own times, abundant illustration of the unlicensed use of the right of private judgment, and of great perversions of that favorite saying: "The Scriptures mean what they say." The truth is, the great majority appear to mistake the meaning of this saying itself, and to be unacquainted with its origin and proper application. They suppose it to be an absolute expression — a fixed law of inter pretation; when it is merely a counter-assertion, a relative principle subordinate to the forms and laws of language. No one could commit a greater absurdity than to apply this as an absolute or literal rule in the interpretation of any book or author, human or divine; and it is important that so contracted a view should give place to a more enlarged knowledge of the subject, and to a proper acquaintance with the true principles of Biblical interpretation.

Alarmed at the rapid flood of innovation, and as yet ignorant of the great distinction between faith and opinion, and of the great truth that unity is quite compatible with diversity, the Protestant leaders endeavored to curtail the privileges which were at first so willingly bestowed.

In the present effort to recover the ground thus tamely surrendered to ambitious prelates, we, of course, seek to give conspicuity to the original Protestant doctrine, that all men may discuss and unanimously interpret the meaning of the inspired volume; and it is in opposition to the doctrine of the clergy, to wit, that the Scripture has a secret spiritual sense discoverable by them alone, that the saying, "The Scrip ture means what it says," has been introduced and employed. It was never intended as a literal rule of interpretation, but simply as a counter-assertion, equivalent to a denial of the proposition that the sense of Scripture is manifold, and that the true spiritual meaning is occult and discoverable only by those who are divinely called for the purpose of expounding it to the people.

And as to the sense of Scripture, because it is asserted that "it means what it says," it does not follow that every one who has learned to spell, is qualified to decide dogmatically either what it says or what It means. Alas! how many uninstructed and unlicensed, save by an overweening self-complacency, have assumed the character and office

the: millennial harbinger abridged. 195

of public teachers, and by their distorted views of divine trutli, and absolute ignorance of the true principles of the present attempt at reformation, have created unnecessary opposition and brought discredit upon the cause in which they had been ostensibly enrolled I

It is with slow, but we trust with sure steps, that Truth follows a path marked with desolation, to bring order out of confusion, and, like genial Spring, to evolve both grateful flowers and precious fruits from amidst the storms of a Winter of contention. It is by the word of God alone, rightly "divided;" rightly interpreted; rightly practiced, that the peace and harmony of the religious world can be secured. This word alone can cast out the demons of discord, and restore Chris tendom to a right mind. It is then that all true disciples will be found sitting at the feet of Jesus.

In a certain point of view it may be said, indeed, that all the great controverted points which have, for so many ages, agitated Christen dom, are mere questions of Scripture interpretation. The Romanist appeals to the word of God: so does the Protestant. Nay, each party of Protestants contends that it alone has discovered the true meaning of the divine communications to men. A difference of sentiment as to the import of the single word "baptism," has had the effect of sep arating the whole Christian community into great divisions. There is, indeed, scarcely a party, great or small, that we shall not find, upon examination, to be based ultimately upon a few biblical criticisms. The very distinctions or characteristics which belong to the present effort at reformation, may thus be resolved finally into proper defini tions of a few Scriptural terms — such as Law, Gospel, Testimony, Faith, Regeneration, Salvation.

It was by the words of Satan that the human mind was first deceived; and it is by the words of God, that it is disabused of error. As language was the medium through which the ruin of man was effected, it is also made, with great propriety, the medium of his restoration.

On the part of the Scriptures, no condition is needed but a correct version. We need read no fallacies in the word of God. It is against ourselves we must be upon our guard. We have to watch against our own imperfections in knowledge and capacity; our own prejudices and preconceptions; our own proneness to hasty and erroneous con clusions; our own unfitness for a proper reception of truth. The word of God, being inspired, is, of course, infallible as its Author. He who "can not lie" dictated it, and it can not deceive us. He who knows all things imparts therein a wisdom which can never mislead us. We may rely upon it, therefore, with the most implicit confidence.

Amidst the controversies respecting the perspicuity of this sacred volume, to which 1 have adverted, men seem to have lost sight of the


obvious truth, that thia quality is always relative. A treatise upon any subject, which, to an intelligent mind, or one familiar with the subject, would be perfectly clear, would be incomprehensible to another not possessed of the same capacity or knowledge. A matter, which seems obscure upon slight and partial consideration, becomes perfectly evident when maturely examined. The degree of attention has, indeed, in all cases, much to do with the proper understanding of the objects both of sense and thought; and, in deciding upon the perspicuity of any work, we must duly consider the nature of the subject which it presents, and whether it demands a greater degree of attention than the subject itself requires and deserves. And as there are some sub jects which address themselves to the reason or the fancy, while others have a special relation to the affections, we must also consider whether the proper kind of attention has been bestowed. He who considers, with cold philosophical abstraction, a subject which demands the warm est emotions of the heart, will be as far from comprehending it truly, as he who wildly speculates upon a matter requiring the most vigorous intellectual analysis, will be from the discovery of the truth he seeks.

The perspicuity of the Scriptures, then, may scarcely be made with propriety a matter of discussion. Being the dictates of inspiration, they are necessarily perfect in this as in every other respect.

Perspicuity, then, as said before, is a relative quality, and is to be regarded in a twofold point of view: 1st, as respects the power to impart knowledge; and 2dly, as it regards the ability to receive it. These are correlative and dependent upon each other. It matters not that a treatise have the utmost possible clearness which the sub ject admits, if there be not sufficient capacity, or knowledge, or atten tion on the part of its student. However brilliant the light of heaven, it may not penetrate eyes that are closed; however distinct and clear the truths the Bible utters, they will fail to enter into ears that are dull of hearing; however interesting and attractive the objects it presents for acceptance, they can find no admission into hearts already full of grossness and corruption. Hence it is that our Lord so often closes an important lesson of instruction with the singular but expres sive injunction, "He that has ears to hear, let him hear." The good word of the kingdom, too, is represented as seed sown upon various kinds of ground — on the beaten pathway where it did not enter; upon stony places where it had not sufficient depth of earth; among thorns by which its growth was hindered, or upon the good soil in whicn it flourished and brought forth abundant fruit. These different kinds of ground represent different classes of hearers, and as it is manifestly no defect in the vegetative power of the seed sown that occasions sucn various results, but differences in the soil on which it falls, so it is


owing to no deficiency in the word oi" (Jod, that all do not understand and receive it, but to the obtuseness and obduracy, the corruption and pride of the human heart itself.

Instead, then, of vainly endeavoring to make the Scriptures plainer, our efforts should be directed rather to the removal of the obstacles which prevent them from speaking to the consciences of men. Chris tians may be co-workers with the Lord and agents of the divine provi dence in breaking up the stony ground or the trodden paths of obdu racy, and in extirpating the rank weeds of depravity and vice. It is thus the skillful husbandman addresses his labors to the amelioration of the soil he cultivates, nor does ue ever dream of adding any vege tative power to the seed he sows, but seeks to secure an abundant harvest by preparing and opening the coil for its reception.

It has not been my design, in these papers, to enter upon the con sideration of the rules to be observed in translating the Scriptures from the original tongues.

It has been shown, I trust, that the state of mind of those to whom the Scripture is addressed, is a matter of the utmost importance; and that if the heart be not in a suitable condition, the proper impressions can not be made upon it. To this cause alone is evidently referred, in the parable of "The Sower," any failure or deficiency that may appear in the results designed to be accomplished by the word of God. Just as the sun's rays fall in vain upon the eyes of the blind, so does the light of truth fail to penetrate into the soul that is unfitted lo receive it. The perspicuity of the Scriptures, then, is necessarily rela tive, as we have before stated, depending quite as much upon the attention and disposition of the reader, as upon the intrinsic perfec tion of the oracles themselves. But their light is necessarily trans mitted through the medium of human language, in order that it may depict upon the human heart the bright image of the divine perfec tions. This medium must be so pure that no ray of the celestial light shall be intercepted; or, in other words, we must have a true ver sion, in which the divine communications are fully delivered; but it is no less necessary that the mind should be ready to receive the truth, and that this should dwell long enough upon the heart to produce its pioper impression. There can never be any imperfection in this impression, unless from some defect in the medium of communication, or in the heart itself on which the impression is to be made. If no defect exist in these, the heavenly light will truly reveal God to the human soul; and not only so, but will also reveal man to himself, and with such unerring truthfulness portray his real character, that no one can mistake the resemblance. It will not be here as in a miniature drawn by human art, which misrepresents; is seldom accurate, and almost invariably flatters; hut rather as in the Daguerreotype which


forms, by means of the light of day, a perfect image upon the polished plate fitted to receive it. The Bible, indeed, is the Daguerreotype KOR THE SOUL. Through it the spiritual light of heaven passes, and imprints upon the heart a faithful representation of the character. Like the Daguerreotype, however, it, too, may fail by a mistranslation or perversion of its language, which, like the lens of the former, is the medium through which the light passes — or by an insensibility or corruption of the heart, which is as the plate on which the image is portrayed. What care, then, should be taken that this celestial light, itself, so pure and perfect, should be transmitted through a pure medium, and received into a heart well prepared for its reception!

Ernesti says: "It has frequently been asserted, that in the inter pretation of Scripture, we should proceed in the same manner that we would do in regard to any other book of antiquity. To a certain extent, this position may be regarded as just, and many of the observa tions contained in the following pages are founded on it; but as the Bible contains subjects, which, of all others, are calculated to affect the heart, and it is generally admitted, that in proportion as the heart is interested in any inquiry, a corresponding degree of influence will be exerted on the processes of investigation; it is evident, that respect must be had to the moral state of the affections, if we would arrive at just and accurate views of divine truth.

"The high and exclusive claims of Scripture, too, give them an elevation of character, which commands peculiar attention and respect. Till the mind be satisfied on the subject of these claims, it may be conceded to an inquirer, to class the sacred writings with other works, pretending to a heavenly origin, though, even then, he could not be justified in treating their contents with levity and indifference of mind; but no sooner are their inspiration and paramount authority admitted, than, according to the natural constitution of the human mind, he is constrained to place himself under the influence of a prin ciple, which will lead him to bow with humble submission to their holy dictates, and to seek in all things to receive and practice what ever is presented to him, as the will of the great Author of revelation. "If he be imbued with the spirit of the Bible, and his affections be in unison with its dictates, nothing will be more natural and easy than the acquisition of correct ideas respecting its contents; whereas, i.f his views, feelings and inclinations are at variance with its require ments, he will infallibly, though perhaps unwittingly, endeavor to pervert the language in which these requirements are recorded, in order to bring them into accordance with his wishes, or the standard of his preconceived opinions.

"S 1. The primary moral qualification, therefore, of all who would successfully interpret the Scriptures, is vital and practical godliness —


that 'godliness,' 'which is profitable to all things' — 'the fear of the Lord,' which 'is the beginning of wisdom.' While it is the righteous determination of heaven, that 'none of the wicked shall understand;' we are taught by Him, who is truth itself, that all who conduct their inquiries under the influcnco of a predisposition to conform to the will of God, shall not be left without instruction; 'if any one is willing to do his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine' (John vii. 17). 'What man is he that feareth Uie Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose' (Ps. xxv. 12).

"S2. Unreserved suh7nission to the authority of divvie revelation. The language of him who interprets Scripture, should ever be in har mony with that of Samuel: 'Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. All favorite ideas, popular hypotheses, hereditary or self-cogitated systems and opinions, must be laid prostrate at the feet of the Bible, which must be 'received not as the word of men; but as it is in truth, the word of God.' 'To the law and the testimony' all our decisions must be brought. If they differ from them, 'it is because there is no light in them.' A divine revelation might naturally be expected to teach truths untaught by reason; and it is equally natural to expect, that our limited capacities should not be able to comprehend fully the modes, circumstances, and relations of these truths which reason could not teach, and which are known only by revelation, any more than of many physical and moral truths connected with our world, known without revelation.

"§3. An humble and teachable disposition of mind. As few things are more hostile to the pursuit of truth, in general, than self-conceit and pride of intellect, so there is no temper so offensive to the great Author of religious truth, as a proud and self-sufficient disposition: "Though the I^rd be high, yet hath he respect to the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off. Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. The meek will he guide in judgment, and the weak will he teach his way' (Ps. cxxxviii. 6; Prov. xvi. 5; L Pet. v. 5; Ps. xxv. 9). Hence, both in che general defense of Christianity, and in the successful interpretation of its essential doctrines, none have more signally distinguished themselves than they who, to a grasp of intellect above their fellows, have united the profoundest reverence and humility in exploring the depths of heavenly wisdom.

"S4. A decided attachment to divine truth, springing from a percep tion of its intrinsic beauty and excellence. That spirit of indifference which some would recommend as favorable to the discovery of truth, is perfectly incompatible with all just ideas of the nature and impor tance of divine revelation. The truths it discloses are so transcen dently excellent, and bear so directly on our best and dearest interest.


that whenever discovered in their native light, they must win the heart, and decide the choice. Accordingly, those who derive no sav ing benefit from the gospel, are said to receive not the love of the TRUTH. (II. Thess. ii. 10.) The more the true glory of the revealed system is perceived, the more will the mind be imbued with the spirit, and the influence which this imbuement will exert in leading to full and consistent views of that system, can not fail to be signally bene ficial.

"§5. Persevering diligence in the use of every proper means for dis covering 'the mind of the Spirit.' "While it is of prime importance for the interpreter of Scripture to form a just estimate of his natural faculties, and never to attribute supremacy to his own understand ing, or the judgment of any mere man, or body of men, it is obviously his duty to apply those faculties in the use of the various means with which he is furnished for understanding the Scriptures. Subject to those restrictions, which a sense of the supreme authority of the ora cles of God, and the natural darkness of the mind can not but inspire, human reason and science may, without hesitation, be allowed their full share in the interpretation of those oracles. Though incompetent themselves to the discovery of spiritual knowledge, yet, when discov ered, they are competent to discern, to examine, to compare, to illus trate, and to confirm it by means similar to those which, in every other pursuit, lead most certainly to improvement and perfection. Not only must the interpreter render himself familiar with the con tents of the sacred volume, by a constant and unremitting reading; but he must spare no pains in finding out, and appropriating to his use, all the accessory means by which his acquaintance with it may be facilitated and advanced: endeavoring to make himself mas ter of every subject in any way connected with the work in which he is engaged; and guarding against every temptation to precipita tion and rashness in drawing conclusions on matters of such."

'Incessant and earnest prayer for divine illumination,^' to which he appends the following remarks: "While it is freely admitted that no such extraordinary teaching, as was enjoyed in the age of inspira tion, can warrantably be expected in the present day, it is neverthe less undeniable that the Scriptures instruct us to believe in the en lightening influences of the Holy Spirit. (I. John ii. 20, 27.) This aid consists in a special, internal and efficient operation of that divine agent, and is no less distinct from the prophetic and apostolic im pulse, than it is from that mere natural assistance by which we dis cover common truths, and succeed in our ordinary undertakings. It is granted in answer to prayer, accompanied by the exercise of humble dependence on God, and a due use of all the ordinary means of im provement. 'If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth


to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall he c^ivkn iiisi' (Jas. i. 5).

"All eminent interpreters of Scripture have asserted the neces sity and utility of prayer. One of the qualifications which Wickliffe considered to be indispensably requisite in him who interprets the word of God, he expresses in the following striking terms: 'He should


MAUY Tt,vciiER.' To the same effect is the testimony of the great Dr. Owen: 'For a man solemnly to undertake the interpretation of any portion of Scripture without invocation of God, to be taught and in structed by his Spirit, is a high provocation of him; nor shall I ex pect the discovery of truth from any one who thus proudly engages in a work so much above his ability. But this is the sheet anchor of a faithful expositor in all difficulties: nor can he without this be satisfied that he hath attained the mind of the Spirit in any divine revelation. When all other helps fail, as they frequently do, this wul afford him the best relief. The labors of former expositors are of excellent use; but they are far from having discovered the depths of this vein of wisdom; nor will the best of our endeavors prescribe lim its to our successors: and the reason why the generality go in the same track, except in some excursions of curiosity, is not giving them selves up to the Holy Spirit in the diligent performance of their duty.' And Ernesti himself, whom none will accuse of fanaticism, scruples not to assert that 'men truly pious, and desirous of knowing the truth, are assisted by the influence of the Holy Spirit in their researches, specially in those things that pertain to faith and practice.' "

Dr. Richardson protests against the formation of any theory as to how the Holy Spirit aids— the fact is sufficient.


In discussing the general subject of Scripture interpretation, we have contemplated, in certain points of view, the two opposing theories respecting the perspicuity and intelligibility of the Bible. In order to keep these theories clearly before the mind, we will here briefly state them.

The one is, that the Scriptures possess in themselves an absolute and necessary power to make themselves understood, wholly irrespec tive of the state or character of the mind to which they are presented. In this view, no preparation of mind or heart is supposed at all neces sary to the reception of the truths of revelation. All minds are, at all times, fit for their reception. Everybody has "ears to hear," and to hear, is at once to comprehend. It is supposed that the Scriptures, Independent of the nature of the subjects which they present, and even of the attention that is paid to them, have the power to reach


and control the understanding and the affections, and all influences of every sort which may be thought by others requisite or even con ducive to these ends, are accordingly contemned. There are, it is true, a great many different degrees and phases of this doctrine; from the time at which it first modestly displays its horns, in the haze of the western horizon, to that at which, like another satellite, high in the zenith, it reveals its full-orbed face unveiled. But we prefer to state it, and to consider it, as it is really and essentially, free from those reticences and ambiguities by which it is so often rendered mis shapen or obscure. It is a necessary consequence of this view that to a proper understanding of the sacred writings, ignorance is just as conducive as knowledge, and that neither learning, nor talent, nor disposition, nor attention; in short, that no gifts, either natural or acquired, contribute any thing whatever to their interpretation. And the practical effect of it is, that the untaught and unstable, glad to receive and cherish a doctrine which places them upon a fancied equality with those of superior attainments ana abilities, adopt the most crude and imperfect notions of religion, and adhere to them so much the more tenaciously, as they are, in their opinion, the evident doctrines of the word of God, of which they are themselves competent and authorized expositors. Such individuals are readily recognized by the vanity and confidence with which they propound their half-formed tenets, and the dogmatic intolerance, and procacity with which they at once begin to controvert the views of others.

The other theory is, that the written word is a dead letter, having no power or tendency whatever in itself to act upon the human mind. Nothing can secure this result but a direct and independent operation of the Holy Spirit, which, it is supposed, can and often does, without the word, enlighten, convince, and convert the soul. Here, equally as in the other view, the state of mind is a matter of indifference, and all human aids which might be thought favorable to the object, such as learning, or natural ability, or purity of purpose, or earnestness of desire, or application, are absolutely unavailing. The wise know not God by their wisdom, nor do the prudent attain salvation by their vigilance, nor do the earnest secure to themselves a knowledge of the truth by strenuous perseverance. It is an instantaneous effect, pro duced by special supernatural power, whose exercise depends wholly upon the sovereign will and pleasure of the Deity. The natural ten dency and the actual effect of this doctrine is that the written word is neglected and its teachings disregarded, and that the supporters of the theory are characterized more by the unsettled state of their feel ings, than by the clearness of their views of Christianity; that they are more superstitious than religious; and far better oneirocritics than interpreters of Holy Writ.


It is in opposition to botli of tlio above theories that we have endeavored to show the perspicuity of the Scriptures is relative, and that a variety of influences .nay and do contribute to a proper com prehension of their meaning. We have already, we trust, in some degree, exhibited the importance of a proper state of mind — a suitable preparation of heart for the recepti<3n of the truth — and have briefly stated some objections to the popular doctrine which requires that this preparation of heart, or that spiritual discernment necessary to the just perception of Scripture truth, shall be invariably referred to "a special internal and efficient operation of the Holy Spirit."

We have not thought it necessary, at present, directly to contro vert this theory. It has been deemed sufficient, in relation to the general subject of Scripture interpretation, to object to it as an un authorized mixture of opinion with faith, an unnecessai-y introduc tion of the question of the mode in which prayer for wisdom is answered, and an undue restriction of divine agency to one precise and unvaried channel. It ought to be sufficient for the Christian to inculcate belief in the statements, and trust in the promises of Scripture, without insisting upon the addition of any theoretic view of the manner in which they are to be fulfilled.

We regard it, however, important to consider a little more fully the opposite notion, that the Scriptures possess in themselves an absolute intelligibility; and to exhibit the nature of those influences which are indispensable to a proper understanding of the things which they are designed to reveal. It is essential here that words be rated at their true value. This, indeed, is the very question in dispute. One party underrates; the other, overrates their power. The former supposes that ^he word alone does nothing; the latter imagines that it accomplishes everything. Between such conflicting extremes, calm and impartial investigation may discover the happy medium of reason and truth.

That the power of words to communicate ideas depends upon the capacity to understand them, is a matter so obvious that it requires no argument. And this capacity is, by no means, always given by a knowledge of the individual words employed to communicate the thought. There are many who, while they are willing to agree that we must understand the words in order to comprehend the thought, will by no means admit that we can fail to grasp the thought after having this acquaintance with the words employed to convey it. With them, each word has a certain determinate value, and it is only neces sary to add together these separate values to have the true result Words, however, are somewhat like numbers, whose value in combi nation is very different from that which they possess individually and alone. They are not, indeed, always affected by relative position to


the same extent, or in the same manner as numbers, but every one, at all conversant with language, must be aware how much depends upon the arrangement of words, and how readily the meaning of a sentence can be changed, and even reversed, by a slight alteration in the order of its words, without making any alteration in these words themselves. Hence it requires the largest acquaintance with language; the most highly cultivated powers of thought, and the greatest delicacy of perception, to determine, with accuracy, the proper signification of the phrases and various combinations into which lan guage may be wrought. The determination of these points involves often the exercise of the very highest powers of the human mind, and the utmost labor of research, and it is therefore the error of ignorance to suppose that a mere knowledge of the words will neces sarily communicate the ideas intended to be conveyed. A knowledge of the words is, indeed, necessary; but often much more than this is necessary; and it is this which the friends of the theory above mentioned seem to have wholly overlooked.

Again, there are many who seem to imagine that human language is a perfect medium of the communication of thought. But this is very far from being the case, even when the language is thoroughly understood. Different languages differ, indeed, in this respect, as they vary in copiousness and in delicacy of structure. Thus the translator of the noted passage (Matt. xvi. 18), "I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," may well complain of the imperfection of our English tongue, as compared with the Greek, because he finds it impossible to express, in the former, the distinction between "Peter" and "rock," so admirably exhibited in the latter by the differences of termination of the words Petros and petra. Not only is the allusive force and beauty of the passage wholly lost, in our language, by the want of resemblance between "Peter" and "rock,'' but an ambiguity is introduced which does not exist in the original, and which, depending merely upon two or three letters, is, nevertheless, foundation enough for St. Peter's and the Popedom. Thus, also, there are many delicate shades of thought which may be expressed in the French language, but not in the English. But there is no numan language which can perfectly reveal all the thoughts and workings of the mind.

Written language is, in this respect, especially defective, as com pared with that which is spoken. The changes of the voice, the emphasis and intonations of the speaker, will render his meaning clear, when his words alone will not express it. We feel this defici ency of written language often is. tlte scriptures, and more especially in that most important portion of them in which our Lord's discourses are recorded. These were spoken, and when thus delivered by our


Lord in person, were as different from those handed down to us in writing, as the living form is different from the skeleton. Hence much of the force and meaning of his language is wholly lost to the reader, who is either too superficial to penetrate the parchment veil, or too dependent upon naked arbitrary signs, to pass beyond their mere literal import. Of this we might adduce many examples were it necessary, but wo will here for illustration only refer to a very simple incident in the interview between Jesus and Mary after the resurrec tion, recorded by John (chap. xx. 15, 16): "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, "Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus saith unto her, "Mary." She turned herself and saith unto him, "Rabboni." Here, the mere utterance of a single word, "Mary," and that word, too, a mere proper name, and wholly insignificant as re gards the subject then before the minds of the speakers, at once pene trates the heart and understanding of the person addressed, and pours a flood of light and conviction upon her mind. But by the simple written words the reason of this sudden and wonderful effect is not at all expressed; nor is it possible to perceive it even when the pass age is read aloud in the usual monotonous and inexpressive style of common readers. He saith unto her, "Mary." Oh! how much was due to that gentle intonation; to that expressive accent; to that pecu liar and affectionate utterance with which that single word was spoken. How that soft inflection of the voice could make that word speak a meaning which was not in it; and reveal a fact of whose communica tion to others it could form no parti That word of itself states noth ing; explains nothing; reveals nothing; but the tone in which it is pronounced, states all; explains all; reveals all. What a crowd of convictions rush upon the soul of the Magdalenel What a flood of amotions fill her heart! It is the Lord! He is risen from the dead! He is alive again who delivered me; who died for me! My Lord! my teacher! my all! All this, and more than this, she feels, and all this, and more than this, she utters; not, indeed, in the written word "Hablx)ni,"* the single word, that with all the propriety of language, of truth and nature and feeling, is the sole reply; but in the deep affection, the reverence and joy with which that word was uttered.

It is most evident, indeed, that language, when oral, is much su perior to that which is written, as a means of communicating ideas. The inferiority of the latter, however, arises not merely from its in ability to represent by signs the various inflections of the voice which give such force and point to spoken language, but from the absence also of those gestures wbich are so usual and so important an accom-

* In the Galilean dialect, " My Ma.^ter. "


paniment of the latter. The want of these, to a reader, renders many pass-ages obscure, which were clear as a sunbeam to those who heard and saw the speaker. We may take a single example of this from the very next chapter of John: "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" (xxi. 15). The question here is: To what did our Lord refer by the word ''these''? Grammatically, it may apply to the other dis ciples present, or to the boats and fishing implements. Papists will adopt the first view, because, in the use they make of it, it serves to bolster up the supremacy of Peter and the Pope. Protestants will re ceive the latter, because it implies a deserved reproof to Peter for hav ing for a time forsaken his spiritual duties, to return to his old em ployment of fisherman. Both of these views are constructive, neither being expressed in the words; but they who heard the question, were at no loss to determine the precise meaning, as they could see the gesture by which our Lord pointed out the precise objects to which he referred.

It may thus be readily perceived how great are the disadvantages under which we labor in the interpretation of the records of the past, and how far written language really is from possessing any absolute or necessary power of communicating thought.


In reply to several queries on this subject, often alluded to In our writings, I am constrained by a recent request from King William, Virginia, to advert to the subject again.

"All manner of sins and blasphemies committed on earth, save one, are pardonable." That one Is defined by our Saviour to be a speaking against the Holy Spirit — a blaspheming his character. It is neither thought nor action alone; but maliciously sj)eahing against that Divine Agent. It is a sin of the tongue, prompted by a wicked heart. The reason why this renunciation and blasphemy of the Spirit never can be forgiven, is, as it appears to me, because he that commits it can never repent of it. This is also evident from the fact that all the goodness of God is so sinned against that there is no attitude in which it can be placed before the mind that can lead it to repentance. The Spirit, of course offended, leaves off all farther strivings with its calumniator; and then the Spirit being the last divine agent, no one succeeding it, it is impossible to renew such a one to repentance. It is, however, questionable whether now such a sin is at all possible: the Spirit not now appearing in such miraculous demonstration as for merly, and therefore not calling forth such an opposition or blas phemy. If I could write a volume on the subject, I would do little


more than amplify and place in diverse attitudes what is imported and implied in this paragraph. But a new word may be added on


This sin, as defined in my mind, is simple apostacy from, and an open renunciation of, Jesus Christ. It is treating him as in the case of the blasphemy above described the Spirit is treated by his calum niator. Jesus is denied, renounced, crucified in effect by one that openly abjures allegiance to him. This is the person for whom "remaineth only a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation." He is an adversary, open and avowed, of that same Jesus Christ whom he once acknowledged as the true Messiah. Paul to the Hebrews, in the 6th and 10th chapters, refers to that same sin to which John alludes in the 5th chapter of his General Epistle. But it must be distinguished from the sin of backsliding. Backsliders and apostates are very different characters, though the former may ulti mately terminate in the latter. Backsliders are comparatively many, while apostates are few. Backsliders may, and do repent, and are forgiven; while apostates sin unto death, never repent, and are con sequently never forgiven.

Many tender consciences have been oppressed with a fear of having sinned so much against light and conviction, as to have committed this, with them, unpardonable sin. I do not think that any persons other than those described, have ever committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or sinned the sin unto death. And certainly those who desire to be saved from sin, and would rejoice in the favor of God, labor under some morbid influence, physical or educational, when they imagine that they have been guilty of the one or the other of these unpardonable offenses. I say offenses: for although but one and the same in effect, and probably from the same remote cause, are never theless formally and apparently separate and distinct. To all who return to the Lord there is a promise of redemption; and whosoever sincerely desires to return, certainly is neither an apostate from Christ nor a blasphemer of the Holy Spirit. a. c, 1842, p. 181.

In 1845, page 388, we read:


This very sublime and mysterious portion of the apostolic writing.^ seems to be as necessary to the completion of the Christian revelation as the contents of it are captivating and interesting to every sincere Christian. Had the sacred writings of the Now Institution closed with the epistle of Jude. or with that of John to sister Electa, every one, well read in the Jewish records, must have regarded the Christian Scriptures as incomplete, if not imperfect. The Jewish Scriptures,


like the Pentateuch, begin with history and end with prophecy. This is, indeed, the plan of all the different departments of revelation. The merely perceptive, didactic, and exhortatory portions of the Bible, occupy but a small space compared with its history and prophecy. Both volumes of the sacred writings commence and end alike. The historian opens and the prophet closes the divine communications to Jews and Christians. There are, then, some good reasons why the book called the Apocalypse should be placed at the close of the last message which Heaven has vouchsafed to man. We thank kind Heaven that we have both the beginning and the end of the Christian Institution in this volume.

That this divine communication should be much read and much pondered seems to be so evident from the benediction pronounced in the beginning of it, as to need no argument to enforce it: — "Blessed is he that readeth. and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein." If the blessing had been confined to those only who understand and comprehend it all, then, indeed, it would have been enjoyed by no one from the days of John to the present hour. But the reading and practicing of the things enjoined in this book, so far as they are understood, has always been accompanied with the blessing promised. That it is more or less intel ligible to all sincere and attentive students of it, is, moreover, to be presumed both from its exordium and its conclusion, from the injunc tion to read it, and the consolation promised to those that keep its sayings.

Notwithstanding a thousand abortive efforts to comprehend it all, and a thousand failures to satisfactorily explain certain passages in this book, there has been derived from it very much light as to th.? future destiny of Christianity and the world. We may also add that much successful and important effort to bless the world by the Bible, has been both prompted and guided by the indications of the divine I'urposes and plans, gleaned from the assiduous and devout examina tion of it. So that, notwithstanding all the discouragements thrown in our way by weak and positive dogmatists, and visionary speculators upon the contents of this book, we are still strongly inclined to the opinion that the Revelation concerning the kingdom of Jesus Christ, presented to us in the visions of John, has paramount claims upon the church to devote to it much calm, prayerful, and unbiased study and examination.

I am not proposing to add to the general stock of knowledge already possessed on this book by the Christian Church, by any new light that I am now presuming to throw upon the sublime and awful subjects on v/hich it treats. I only purpose to assist the students of Christian prophecy by a few suggestions on the plan and method of the Apoca-


lypse, and by discriminating, as lar as we have certain knowledge, the fulfilled from the yet unfulfilled portions of the book. Though in this effort we may not be able to advance one step beyond the van of the most enlightened interpreters, though we could not even greatly assist the present school of apocalyptic students in advancing to the highest class of interpreters; still it might be a service full of reward and honor, could we only induce a great many Christians to enter the school of the prophets, and to learn to understand what the Spirit inti mates to us of the awful and glorious destinies of the human race. In the hope of inspiring some of our contemporaries with the desire to understand, and of aiding others who are seeking to comprehend these gracious developments of human destiny, I shall first undertake to examine the plan and method of the Apocalypse.

The TITLE of the book, in the first place, demands a moment's atten tion. Romanists and others call it, "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine." But this, like many other names imposed on parts of thi holy oracles, as well as on the things contained in them, is as wanting in good sense and good taste as in divine authority. In the short preface prefixed to the Book by the writer of it, it is styled, "A Rev elation of Jesus Christ, uhich God gave unto him to show unto hii servants things xchich must shortly come to pass." It is, then, a revelation of things future from its date; some of which were imme diately to come to pass, while others were as remote as the end of the world. Were we to condense this divine title, found in the text itself, we should call it, "A Ri;v?:latiox of future e\t:xts. addressed to



Next to the title comes the preface. John presents all the communi cations made to him in one letter addressed to the seven Asiatic churches. Hence the Apocalypse is one great epistle; and, indeed, it might well be called The Fourth Epistle of John, as any one of the three is called First, Second, or Third. It is one great letter; the first period of which is "John to the seven congregations which are in Asia: Grace to you, and peace from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne — even from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth." And this last period is, "The grace of our T.,ord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

In this grand letter, written by John, are found seven special epistles dictated by Jesus Christ, and addressed to each one of these Asiatic communities. Thus John addresses one letter to all the seven, while in that letter are found seven short epistles severally addressed to each of the communities by Jesus Christ himself.


The method adopted by John is as simple and rational as couH be imagined. In the first chapter h'fe directly addresses the seven churches, giving an account of himself, his location in Patmos, and the cause of it, with the scenes that there transpired on a certain Lord's day. He especially informs them that he was commanded by the Lord to icrite what he saw and what he heard of the things which were then existing, and of the things which were afterwards coming to pass. In the next two chapters we have a copy of the letters addressed to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

The fourth and fifth chapters state the preparation for the develop ments of the things then future. Here we have a vision. John was in the spirit when these celestial scenes passed before him. He saw a door opened in heaven, and had an invitation to ascend into the presence of the Lord. Immediately, he adds, I was in the spirit, and, I presume, like Paul, "was caught away into the third heaven," in obedience to the command, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter:" for it is in reference to this precept that he immediately adds, "I was in the spirit." The scenes there presented to his view, are, indeed, unearthly and divine; and his description of them is transcendently animating and transporting.

A celestial throne of high state is erected, and the Father Almighty is seated in it. Earth's brightest and most radiant gems lend their most brilliant rays of beauty and glory to adumbrate the splendors of His Majesty. The jasper and the sardius, with an emerald rainbow, mingling every color that adorns earth or heaven, conspire with all their powers to set forth his peerless eminence. Four and twenty infe rior thrones, at proper distance, encircle the awful throne of the Eternal, pouring forth its floods of light and glory upon them all. These, after reflecting upon each other their respective glories, send back again to their unwasting fountain all that beauty and grandeur which they have received from it. On these four and twenty thrones sat the grand peers of heaven in senatorial majesty, adorned in the snow-white raiment of absolute purity, each having his majestic brow encircled with a crown of gold. From the central throne perpetually issued coruscations of the most vivid lightnings, accompanied with mighty thunderings and overwhelming voices. Seven lamps of celes tial brilliancy flamed before the throne, symbols of the seven spirits of God, and shed their holy light upon a sea of glass, of more than crystal brightness, spreading its unmeasured waves of glory far beyond the horizon of angelic vision. In the circular interval between the four and twenty senatorial thrones stood at proper intervals corre sponding with our cardinal points, four living seraphim, creatures of no earthly resemblance, having each six wings, and covered within and


without with eyes of soul-piercing brightness. These four combined the courage of the lion, the patience of the ox, the sagacity of man, and the towering fleetness and lofty genius of the eagle. These were all engaged in a rapture of worship at the moment John in spirit drew near. The seraphim sang. "Holy, holy, holy Lord fiod Almighty, who wast, and art, and who art yet to cornel" The four and twenty elders fall prostrate before the throne, and cast their crowns at his feet, exclaiming, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Such are the solemn and sublime preparations antecedent to the opening of the Christian Church and its mighty fortunes.

The fifth chapter opens with a view of the eternal God, holding in his right hand a roll of parchment, written on both sides, seven times encompassing a roller, and sealed as often with a seal on one of its ends. A mighty angel, herald of that day, standing before him, chal lenges the whole created universe td present some one capable of break ing the seven seals and reading the seven rolls of that most mysterious parchment inscribed with the entire annals of the Christian Church and the human race. But no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, "was able to break the seal," unrol the parchment, and read its awful lines replete with the fortunes of the world. So en rapt was John and so eager to know, that, on hearing no one speak, and on seeing no one advance of all created intellects, celestial, terres trial, or infernal, he burst into a flood of tears. But while in this mournful agony, a celestial senator stooping from 'his throne, said, "Wekp not; Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed" to open the rolls of time and read its wondrous devel opments. Then appeared the Lamb, bearing the scars of death upon his person, yet living and having seven horns and seven eyes — perfect power and perfect knowledge of all things, past, and to come. Majesti cally advancing towards the central throne of the universe, he stretches forth his hand and receives the mystic volume. No sooner is he seen turning round to open the first seal, than all the celestial ranks and orders — angels, principalities, and powers — prostrate themselves before the Lamb: "And they sang a new song, saying. 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. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round al)out the throne, and the living crea tures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and


"Wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying. Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said. So LET IT BE. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."

Thus have we seen (thanks to the Father Almighty!) the volumes of providence and of moral government, replete with the church's des tiny, committed to Jesus Christ. This verifies the title of the book — "A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show unto Ms servants things which must shortly come to pass." The Lord has the rolls of time in his hand; for he alone could open them. His is the power and the intelligence, and he alone can reveal the future. "All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in him." To his throne of Grace and to his Apocalypse, let us look for all we desire to know, that we ought to know, of the things that are, and of the things which are yet to come to pass.

We shall now read and examine the sixth chapter, having for the present disposed of the first five. In this no less than six seals are opened. The Lamb stands between the four seraphim and the throne of God. He is above them all. He takes into his right hand the roll. He holds it up before the universe. Then breaks the first seal, and unrolls one fold of the curious volume. At that instant stands forth one of the seraphim, and with a loud voice summonses the attention of the universe to the mysterious inscription, saying, "Come and see."' What is it? A milk-white horse, whose puissant rider is the Messiah himself, goes forth with his faithful followers to subdue the nations with the sceptre of his grace, or the rod of his anger. He has one crown upon his head, a bow in his hand, and a quiver full of arrows by his side, and his course is onward, "conquering and to conquer." That we have not mistaken the first seal, we shall now prove by a develop ment that comes out of the last, or seventh seal, when the eventful campaign ia coming to a close. It is found in chap, xix., verses 11-16, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns: and he had a name written that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty


God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

He is in the field from the first to the end of the seventh seal. If he does not appear in them all, he is at work in them all, fighting by the sharp two-edged sword with which he smites the nations, against those who will not have him to rule over them, and still extending the victories of his love. All the symbols of this passage show that the Messiah is the person who mounted the white horse, having then but one crown, now returning covered with the blood of his enemies, and wearing the trophies of a thousand battles. Well did Isaiah say of him, chap. Ixiii. 1-6, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and 1 wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fur>', and I will bring down their strength to the earth."

The first act of the first seal and the last act of the seventh seal are most unquestionably applicable to the Messiah, and to him only; and indicate, very clearly, what is intended in the Apocalypse, and there fore impart great assurance to those who view the treatise as indic ative of the conflicts between King Jesus and Tiberias Cesar in some one of his Pagan or Papal successors, and of the various mutations and fortunes of a two thousand years' war between Christ and Belial — between his kingdom and the world.

I need not go into a prosing detail of the particular calamities to which the Christian Church was subjected down to the time of Con Btantine, set forth under the figures of the three next seals. I need not give the history of the red or war-horse of the Cesars. They soon drew the sword. They called for the blood of Christians. That oracle Ol the Messiah was fully verified in them. They unsheathed the sword, and they perished with the sword. Our Captain commences his pacific and conciliatory career mounted on a milk-white steed. The Cesars mounted first the red horse of war; then the black horse of famine; and finally the paJe horso of death. TYhe> ton, more or less, Pagan persecutions of the Christians, are most clearly and strikingly set forth under these appropriate and intelligible symbols. Any one who makes


himself well acquainted with, the history of the first centuries of Chris tianity, and carefully reads Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," will feel the most satisfactory evidence that the Pagan per secutions are here set forth with an especial reference to the sufferings of the Christians and of the world under that idolatrous and wicked government. Each of the four seraphim attends in succession on the opening of the four seals, three of which develop the general character of the cruelties of the opposition.

The fifth seal represents the souls of slaughtered myriads of Chris tians as congregated under the celestial altar, invoking vengeance on their enemies, and imploring mercy upon the earth, with the answers given them from their Chief.

The sixth seal presents great commotions in the Roman heavens and earth. The sun of the Cesars is covered with sackcloth, and their moon is baptized in blood. Their stars fall from their firmament, and the earth reels to and fro like a drunken man. Their political heavens are rolled up like a scroll, and the mountains and islands are moved out of their places. The whole population is in terror and alarm. The government is changed. Swarms of Barbarians for a series of years spread ruin and desolation over all their realms. Kings and princes, the rich and the noble, with the poor and the ignoble, the bond and the free, are overwhelmed in trouble and dismay — the consequences of their former tyranny and their hostility to the name of the Mes siah. Pagan Rome is in name, in form, and profession, no more. Christianity, in name at least, triumphs over avowed Paganism, and thenceforth the character and position of the parties lately engaged in hostile array are changed.

The seventh chapter continues the developments of the sixth seal. The four angels, ministers that command the forces of earth, that are ultimately to sweep from the earth with the besom of destruction those that oppressed the Christians, are for some time to hold the tempests of wrath in their hands till the saints are all sealed, that they may escape the impending evils about to overwhelm the world. Of the twelve tribes (a definite number put for an indefinite), soma one hundred and forty-four thousand are sealed for deliverance. An innumerable host of saints of all nations are now seen standing be fore the throne, uniting with all the celestial hosts in an ecstacy of admiration and worship — giving glory to God for their salvation and deliverance from their enemies, and for the triumphs of justice and truth over unrighteousness and falsehood.

The six seals, then, cover the whole period of the church's trials under the tyranny of those spirits and principles that first opposed the Messiah and his Apostles. Still there are yet in store for the Roman Empire innumerable woes to be developed under the seventh


seal. That power yet exists in new forms and combinations, waiting for a day of complete and perpetual desolation.

The period of the six seals numbers the days of Pagan Rome so far as she opposed the rising empire of the King Messiah. Tho church, and not the Roman Empire, is the special object of the calamities inflicted during the first three centuries of the Christian era. The seventh seal is comprehensive of all the fortunes of th»i world and the church to the end of the awful career of Papal Rome. It reaches to the second coming of the Messiah. Indeed, it embraces the sequel of human history under the remedial system. The devel opments of the seventh seal constitute the main burthea of the rev elation of Jesus Christ It grasps the annals of almost seventeen centuries, and therefore it includes the fortunes of the Roman Em pire from the days of Constantine till the fall of Babylon, or the utter ruin of Papal Rome.

The dismemberment of that empire because of its assaults upon the Christian church, and the calamities consequent thereupon, occupy six of the seven "trumpets." The gradual fall of the empire by the terrific irruptions of the Goths, the Vandals, the Huns, and the Lombards, during a period of something less than one hundred and fifty years, and extending to the overthrow of the last of the emperors by Odoacer, A. D. 476, engross the first four trumpets. There are not wanting some of the most learned and gifted interpreters of prophecy, most conversant, too, with both political and ecclesiastic history, who assign the first trumpet to Alaric the Goth, A. D. 400; the second to Genseric the Vandal, the maritime depredator, A. D. 420; the third to Ati'.a the Hun, that fiercest scourge of Heaven on Pagan Rome, A. D. 450; the fourth to Odoacer the king of the Heruli, A. D. 476. Still no prudent and learned expositor of the symbols would confine these trumpets exclusively to the doings of any four ii'dividual depredators. Hordes after hordes of these northern thun derbolts of war made irruptions upon the ill-fated empire of Rome, and wave after wave of indignation passed over it, until the empire was overwhelmed with floods of Goths and Vandals, of Huns and Lombards, that left behind them a fearful desolation.

.\fter these accumulated woes, those of the Saracens and Turks ensued, and with a mighty sweep of wrath reached from A. D. 612 to the overthrow of Constantinople, A. D. 1453, which entirely destroyed the eastern section of the Roman Empire. Some of our contempo raries assign to tho Saracen invasion a period of one hundred and fifty years, from 612 to 762. and give the prophecy cf the hour, the day, the month, and the year — a period of three hundred and seventy six years and one hundred and six days, to the Turks — from the ascendency of Togrul Beg, head of the Mahometan realm, to the fall


of the city of Constantine, A. D. 1453. Although I gave substantially these views of the Apocalypse in a course of lectures delivered to the church in Wellsburg, some twenty years ago, and have since that time seen them several times advanced by very eminent expositors, both in Europe and America, I should not lay much stress upon the exact assignment of particular persons to particular events, or of particular events to particular persons. Nor is the evidence of the special details of each seal or of each trumpet so satisfactorily clear and demonstrative as to leave no shadow of doubt of the exact har mony of the symbol or prophecy and the event. We therefore prefer to assign to a period — a well-marked and definite period, all that belongs to the seals, the trumpets, the vials, etc., rather than to find for each seal and for each trumpet a precise accomplishment in well ascertained historic facts and documents.

When, however, we remember that the blast of a trumpet was the well known and clearly established symbol of the proclamation of war, and of victory in war, we can not doubt that while the seven seals include all the secrets in the book, and that six of the seven indicate the fortunes of the church under Pagan Rome, and the calamities accruing in consequence to the empire — the trumpets inti mate the progressive destruction of the Pagan form of imperial Rome, to make way for the rise and development of the Man of Sin, whose full growth was hindered while yet Pagan idolatry was the religion of the empire.

A sort of interlude in this splendid poem or picturesque represen tation of the mysterious future occupies the seventh chapter. The eighth opens to us a new scene. Portentous of the sublime and aw ful developments of the seventh seal, there was a profound silence in heaven for half an hour. Divine worship was performed at the golden altar of incense, when an angel cast down upon the earth a censer full of flaming incense, which was followed by voices, thunder in gs, lightnings, and an earthquake. Then commence the seven blasts of the trumpet-bearing angels.

These seven angels belong to the seventh seal, but by no means exhaust its developments. Six of the seven depict the crash of Pagan Rome, as before intimated — interrupted, however, by other scenes afterwards developed by special symbols. While, then, the first six seals display the sufferings of the church under the Roman perse cutors, the first six trumpets represent the sufferings of these Roman enemies of the church, by the desolating hordes of the North, who distributed the empire among themselves in the form of ten kingdoms — fragments of the Roman Empire.

The seventh angel, like the seventh seal, is the most comprehensive of them all. During the awful blasts of his indignation seven vials


full of wrath are poured out upon a monster that sprung up out of the wreck of Pagan Rome, an amalgamation of Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity. This new mont-ter — this anomalous compound of idola try, law, and gospel, reduced to a system, though the most conflicting and jarring elements, has been most singularly compacted, main tained, and controlled by one mystic person called the beast — the Pope, or universal sire of a multitudinous brood — a mongrel progeny, neither Jews nor Christians, neither Pagans nor Turks; but a com bination of all creeds, traditions, opinions, and rites, more character istically called "papists" than anything else.

The Papal institution of Catholic errors has spread clouds of dark ness and error over the whole face of Christendom, and has left unscathed no form of religion to which the cognomen Christian has been affixed. So that Protestantism itself, in its most prominent and by law established branches, is, in fact, but reformed Popery, though avowing principles which, if carried out, would revolutionize and convert the world. This monster of iniquity occupies considerable space in the Apocalypse. His rise, progress, and ruin, are the subjects of several special symbols. Indeed, his mystic Holiness is himself with his worshippers, a main actor in the drama, and a main subject of prophecy.

The seventh angel, however, announces the catastrophe, and intl mates the subordination of all the nations of the earth to the sceptre of the Messiah. This is done in the eleventh chapter of the Apoca lypse, after sundry episodes have been introduced, and after several subordinate symbols have been developed; amongst which are the

THREE WOES, the SEVEN THUNDERS, the LITTLE BOOK, and the TWO WIT NESSES. But the full import of this trumpet reaches to the end of the volume. The prophet arranges his communications under the three leading classes of seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials; often, however, interrupted with matters somewhat foreign, yet still con nected with these leading visions. A very characteristic feature of the plan of the Apocalypse is its assortment of events more with regard to the class of symbols employed than to the chronological order of the events themselves. For example, seven seals contain all the revelation given to the church. Six of these are opened in imme diate sequence, and the remainder of the book belongs to the seventh. Under the seventh seal first come the seven trumpets. Six of these sound in rapid succession, and occupy, with some episodes, only a part of three short chapters. Under the seventh trumpet "the mysterv of Cod is finished;" or to quote the whole sentence, "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things therein, the earth and the things


therein, the sea and the things therein, that there should be time no longer" — or, should be no longer delay; — "but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished as he has declared to his servants the prophets" (x. 5-7). While the sixth angel was sounding another angel came down from heaven, of surpassing glory, standing both on the sea and on the earth, and cried with a tremendous voice; at the close of which seven mysterious thunders uttered their voices. This is that angel who sware that while the seventh angel sounded, the secrets of divine government and providence concerning the church should be fully developed.

The remaining future of the church's destiny is therefore all hid in the seventh trumpet. Under the seventh trumpet stand forth seven other angels, having each a golden vial filled with indignation, about to be poured upon the apostate church. These seven vials extend to the fall of Babylon. After which but one other angel appears in the drama of the church's destiny. He has the key of the bottomless pit in one hand, and a mighty chain in the other. He seizes the dragon, that old serpent, the devil and Satan, and binds him a thou sand years, and seals him up in that bottomless gulf. Then comes the first resurrection and the triumph of the saints. What follows are but details of the church's history and glory — the laS't conflict of Satan, and the final judgment.

The seventh seal, the seventh trumpet, the seventh vial, in their respective classes, are those of superlative interest to the church. The seventh seal contains seven trumpets and seven vials, with all that is subsequent to the desolations of the mystery of iniquity and the first resurrection.

Various digressions or episodes occur in these developments. These give special views of peculiar mystic personages and events necessary to a clear intelligence of what is detailed under the three great classes of seals, trumpets, and vials. Of these special mystic personages we may hereafter speak. A. o.





The world had its infancy as well as man. Families preceded nsr tioDS. Family worship was, therefore, the first religious institution.

At the head of this institution naturally stood the Father of every Family. From necessity, and from choice, he was the prophet, the priest, and the king of his household. As a prophet, he instructed his household in the knowledge of God and in the history of man. As a priest, he officiated at the family altar, interceded for those under his care, and pronounced benedictions upon his children. As a lawgiver and king, he commanded his children and servants, and rewarded them according to merit. By a divine ordinance the first fathers of mankind were thus constituted prophets, priests, and kings. Hence the first religious and political institution is properly called '"the Pa triarchal.'"

Family worship was, then, the first social icorship; and, during the first ages of the world (for at least 2,500 years) it was the only social worship of divine authority. Though other institutions have since been added, this has never been superseded. Having its foundation in the matrimonial compact, the most ancient of all religions and political institutions, and this being founded on nature itself, it never can be superseded. While the forms of this worship have always been adapted to the genius of the various revelations of God vouch safed to mankind, it has continued through all the changes of six thousand years, and will continue till the day when men, like the angels of God, shall neither marry nor give in marriage.

Family worship, so long as it continued the only social worship, underwent no material change; and this is the peripd which is prop erly called the Patriarchal Age of the World. So long as the de scendants of one man and one woman continued under the paternal roof, or until they became heads of families themselves, they contin ued under this religious and political administration. And if, after marriage, they did not migrate to a great distance from the patrimo nial inheritance, the paternal authority was still acknowledged and acquiesced in. Thus, in process of time, he who at first was only the head of a single family, if his days were prolonged and his prog eny multiplied, became the paternal prince or chief patriarch of a tribe.



In the youth of time and freshness of human nature families soon became large; and as the father and head could not be always present while he lived, and as he might die before all his children could have become heads of families, it became necessary that a substitute in his absence, and a successor in case of his premature death, should be appointed to fill his place and administer the affairs of the family. Nature and reason alike pointed to his first-born son, and religion consecrated him his vicegerent. Hence the privileges and honors of the first-born son were both religious and political; and thus the duties devolving upon him gave him a right to a double portion of the inheritance. Esau was, therefore, both prodigal and profane in selling his birthright for a meal of pottage.

The antiquity of this arrangement appears from the envy and jealousy of Cain, roused at the rejection of his offering and the accept ance of that of Abel. That jealousy seems to have been kindled into rage because of the birthright. This is fairly implied in God's ad dress to Cain, when that address is fairly translated and understood. "If you do well, shall you not have the excellency; and if you do not well, sin precludes you (from the excellency). And (Abel shall be subject to you) to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him." *

The moral and religious institutions of the patriarchal or family worship, which continued from the fall of Adam to the covenant of circumcision, were the Sabbath, the service of the altar, oral instruc tion, prayer, praise and benediction. With the addition of circum cision in the family of one patriarch, for special purposes, these were the pai'ts of that system which continued for two thousand five hun dred years.

The religious observance of weeks or Sabbaths in commemoration of Creation, and prospective of an eternal rest, to arise out of the sacrificial and typical institution, was religiously observed to the giving of the law, or the erection of the Jewish institution. Thus the law of the Sabbath commences with the words, "Remember the Sab bath." The righteous always remembered the weeks, and regarded the conclusion of the week as holy to the Lord. Hence even after the Apostacy, which issued in the neglect of family worship, in consequence of the sons of God intermarrying with the daughters of men, and which brought a fiood of water upon the world of the ungodly — we find Noah religiously counting his weeks even while incarcerated in the Ark. In the wilderness of Sin, before the giving of the law, we also find the Jews observing the Sabbath. And to facilitate the observance of it God wrought three special miracles during the peregrinations of Israel,

♦ Gen. iv. 7.


He gave two days' portion of nianua on the sixth day — none on the seventh — and preserved from putrefaction the portion laid up for the Sabbath.*

Sin-offerings and thank offerings, on altars both of stone and earth, were presented to the Lord — the former, in faith of the promise con cerning the bruising of the Serpent's head by the offspring of woman — the latter, in grateful acknowledgment of the goodness of God in creation and providence. Cain, without faith in the promised redemp tion, like many deists and natural religionists in our time, did acknowl edge the goodness and care of God by a thank-offering; but Abel, hy faith in that promise, not only offered his thank-offering, but a lamb as a sin-offering: therefore, while God respected not Cain's oblation without faith in that promise, he testified in favor of the gifts of Abel — he accepted his sin-offering and his thank-offering.

In the very brief and general outlines of almost two thousand five hundred years given us in the book of Genesis, we find sundry allu sions to this part of the patriarchal institution. Immediately after his egress from the Ark, we find Noah rearing his altar upon the bap tized earth, and of every clean bird and beast offering to the Lord whole burnt offerings. Thus began Noah, after the deluge, to worship the T.,ord according to the patriarchal institution. And thus we find Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, and other patriarchs presenting their sac rifices to the Lord, while the family woi-^hip was the only religious institution in the world.

Even libations, drink-offerings, and anointing as tokens of gratitude and consecration, are found in this most ancient and venerable insti tution. "Jacob rose up early in the morning, took the stone which he had put for his pillow, set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it."t "And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where God talked with him, even a pillar of stone, and he poured a drink-offerinti; thereon, and he poured oil thereon. "$

A beautiful and instructive instance of ancient family worship, and of the sacerdotal functions, as exercised by the patriarchs in reference to the Altar, we have in that most ancient of books, supposed by many to have been written by Moses, while in the land of Midian; but, according to others, by Job himself, who was certainly contemporary with ElipJiaz the Temanite. Eliphaz was the son of Teman, who was the son of Eliphaz, who was the first son of Esau, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. He thereforo lived before Moses. Thus we find him also oflficiating at the altar. We are told that "his sons went and feasted in each other's houses, every one his day, and sent and called for their sisters to eat and drink with them. And it was so, that

•Ex. xvi. 1.1-2". +(;cn. xxviii. IS. t<J<'"xxxv. M.


when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus acted Job continually." *

The same Job, by divine appointment, acted as priest or intercessor in behalf of his three friends, princes of Edom: for having spoken amiss, they were commanded to take seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to Job the servant of God, and to offer them up for themselves; and "Job my servant shall pray for you." "Job prayed for them, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and forgave Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar." "The Lord also accepted and blessed Job after he had prayed for these his friends, and the Lord turned again the captivity of Job."t

During this period of the world there was but one high or general priest, specially called and sent by God. "He was King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God." To him the patriarch Abraham paid tithes or gave the tenth of the spoils taken in war, and Melchisedeck blessed him. He was of an order sui generis: He had no predecessor, successor, nor equal in the age of family worship.

From all these facts and documents we learn that the service of the altar belonged first to the father of the family — next, to his eldest son; — that it consisted in presenting sin-offerings and thank-offerings of various sorts in behalf of himself or family — that all pious sons and individuals might for themselves erect altars, offer sacrifices, and pour out libations and thank-offerings to the Lord; — that these sacri ficial observances were generally, if not always, accompanied with prayer, intercession, and thanksgivings; — and that intercession in behalf of those under the care of any father or patriarch was a part of the first institution.

Benediction also was one of the duties of this office. Fathers pro nounced blessings on their children. Superiors in age and standing blessed their inferiors. Melchisedeck blessed Abraham, Isaac blessed Jacob, and Jacob blessed the twelve patriarchs. The invocation of blessings and the imposition of hands upon the head, were parts of the family worship institution.

Concerning prayer and praise, as we can not imagine a religion without them, it is unnecessary to speak particularly of them as parts of the patriarchal institution. Jubal soon taught men to handle the harp and the organ, and piety soon consecrated them to the praise of God. The melodies of nature soon taught man to tune his voice to God. Isaac went out into the fields at eventide for secret prayer. Abraham interceded for Sodom until he was ashamed to push his

•;Job xlii. 8-10.


importunities farther; and lor Abimelech, king of Egypt, and his family, he made his requests to God. Of him and his patriarchal char acter God said, "I Itnow Abraham that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the ways of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him." *

Prophets of a public character were occasionally raised up to bring men back to the primitive simplicity of the patriarchal institution, as well as to lead them forward to the future developments of God's pur poses in reference to the work of redemption. Amongst these the most conspicuous were Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. To all these were given new visions of the future, and thus they were all preachers of righteousness and reformers in their respective generations.

From these gleanings from the book of Genesis, one may learn that the family worship institution, which was divinely instituted ;n the first age of the world, embraced the observance of the Sabbath, the service of the altar, oral instruction, prayer, intercession, thanksgiv ing, and benediction. It contemplated no other bond of union than the marriage covenant and the relations springing out of it. Doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, were enforced in all its maxims, and in the examples of those whom God honored and approved.

There was, during the long period of this family institution, no community separated from the world larger than a single household — no public altars — no temples — no established order of public teachers; therefore, there were no initiating or separating institutions. There was no circumcision for the infant, nor icashing of regeneration for the instructed. These institutions of later times had respect to public professing communities; and, therefore, for two thousand years there was no initiating rite or ordinance amongst men.

Wherever the family curtains were spread and a tent erected, the devout father built his own altar to the Lord, gathered his own chil dren and domestics around him, instructed them in the knowledge of God the creator and preserver of all; and in the history of man, his origin and destiny, as far as revealed to them. They offered their thank-offerings, acknowledgments of favors received; and when con scious of sin, they presented their sin-offering, with confessions, and in faith of God's promise, supplicated pardon. Such are the essential attributes of the patriarchal institution, and of the family worship, as learned from the writings of Moses.

But as the root of all the subsequent dispensations of God's mercy and favor to man was planted in the patriarchal institution, it is neces-

•(ion. xviii. 1!(.


sary to our plan, before we advance farther, to pay some attention to one of these patriarchs, whose fame is eternal, on whom God bestowed an honor above all earthly honor, and who stands enrolled in the annals of time as the friend of God. The intelligent reader needs not to be informed that we now call his attention specially to


Reader, attend! "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations." And shall not the name, the calling, the blessing, and the history of Abraham always occupy a large space in the records of God's government of man, and in all the details of his redemption!

Because of his unprecedented faith in God's promises and exalted piety, he was constituted the father of all believers; and his whole life is made a model for all the children of God, as far as walking by faith in God's promises is an ornament to human character.

Sufficient then to our present purpose, we observe, that during the family worship institution, a little after the commencement of the third Millennium, about the 75th year of his life, God appeared to Abraham while he yet lived in Ur of Chaldea, and commanded him to depart out of that country, and that he would do for him certain things. Abraham obeyed. God gratuitously tendered to him two promises, not only interesting and valuable to Abraham himself, but to all the human race.

These two promises were intended to be the basis of a two-fold relation to God, and the foundation of two distinct religious institu tions called "the Old Testament and the New," "the Old Covenant and the New," "the Two Covenants," and "the Covenants of Promise." There was contemplated in them the constitution for a temporal and a spiritual kingdom of God — a kingdom of God of this world, and a kingdom of God not of this world. Be it, however, always remem bered, when we attempt to form correct and comprehensive views of the whole economy of God's redemption, that these two promises were made while the patriarchal institution was yet standing and several centuries before its close. What, then, it will be asked, are these


We find them in their most simple form in the beginning of the

twelfth chapter of Genesis. The first —

"7 will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make

thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. I wili bless them that

bless thee, and curse him that curses thee."

The second — "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." These promises when fully developed contained numerous blessings.

They are, however, in all their details separate and distinct from each

Tilt: miljj:.\m.\j. harbinger abridged. 227

other. Abraham's family alone are personally concerned in the first — all families of the earth in the second. Temporal and earthly are the blessings of the former — spiritual and eternal are the blessings of the latter. Paul calls tho second, "The gospel preached to Abraham, ' and "The covenant confirmed by God in reference to the Messiah, four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law." The Jewish kingdom in all its glory was but the development of the first — the Christian kingdom in its present and future blessings is the consum mation of the second.


In pursuance of the first promise, and in order to its exact and literal accomplishment, about twenty-four years after its promulga tion the "Covenant of Circumcision" was established. This "covenant in the fiesh" marked out and defined the natural descendants of Abra ham, and gave to the world a full proof of the faithfulness of God. putting it in the power of every one to ascertain how God keeps his covenants of promise with all people. This gave to the descendants of Abraham the title of "TJie Circumcision," and beautifully repre sented the separation of God's people from the children of this world.

The land of Canaan, as tJie inheritance of this nation, is repeatedly promised to Abraham; and as soon as Isaac, the child of promise, is born and circumcised, the promise of the "seed," in which all nations were to be blessed, is confined to him. Not in Ishmael, but "in Isaac shall thy seed be called."*

After the death of Abraham and towards the close of the life of Isaac, his father's God give him a second edition of these two prom ises. The first is considerably amplified in its details, while the second is repeated almost in the same words. That which was first to be accomplished is first developed, and its provisions pointed out. "I will be with thee and will bles? thee; for unto thee and to thy seed I will give all these countries, and I will perform all the oath which I sware to Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give to thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."t

The same two promises are repeated in almost the same words to Jacob the son of Isaac at the time he had the vision of the ladder reaching from earth to heaven, while in obedience to a command given him by his parents, he was on his way to Padan-aram in quest of a wife. On these three great occasions — to Abraham — to Issac — to Jacob

•Goii. xxi. lU. +(;<"n. xx\i. :'...'■>.


— these two promises are solemnly pronounced; always standing in the same order — never confounded; but as distinct as earth and heaven — as time and eternity.

Four hundred and thirty years after the first solemn declaration of these promises, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in virtue of the first promise, were redeemed out of bondage in Egypt, and saved from the tyranny and cruelty of Pharaoh. Then, in order to the full completion of its stipulations, God, by the hand of Moses, proposed a covenant with all Israel at Sinai; in which he guarantees to do all for them contemplated in the promise, confirmed by an oath to Abraham, in being a God to his seed after him. This


constituted them a kingdom of God, a holy nation, a peculiar people. All the blessings comprehended in the first promise to Abraham, or that could grow out of the relation to God which it contemplated, were in full detail carried out into this transaction, and secured to the whole nation. The relation was, however, temporal, and its blessings temporal and earthly. The second promise made no part of the Jewish institu tion or covenant at Sinai, more than it did of the patriarchal or ante cedent institution. The typical or figurative part of the family wor and earthly. The second promise made no part of the Jewish institu tion and made a part of it; and whatever spiritual privilege was enjoyed by the Jew, was enjoyed upon the same principle with the patriarch — by faith in the second promise, and by an intelligent and believing attendance upon all the appointed means which either pre figured the coming redemption, or realized the blessings which were to be derived through the promised seed.

The SEED in which all the families of the earth were to be blessed, was in the nation, but in no other sense than as it was in the people while in Egypt, or in the patriarchs before they went down into Egypt. It was in the nation, but no element of the national institution. They had the second promise made to their fathers, and all the faithful atid approved among them believed that promise, and acted conformably to it. Thus amongst the Jews, even before the coming of the Messiah, there were


The natural and the spiritual children of Abraham. The whole nation were his literal and natural children; and such of them as believed the second promise and understood it, were not only his natural chil dren, but his children in the same sense in which all believing Gentiles are by virtue of the second promise constituted the children of Abra ham: for these two promises raised up two seeds to Abraham. The


first, like Ishmael, were born according to the flesh — the fleshly seed of Abraham; the second, like Isaac, were the children of faith in the promise: and thus Abraham is the constituted father of all who believe in that promise, whether of his flesh or not.

But the second promise was not fulfilled for nearly one thousand five hundred years after the first, or after the national institution was confirmed at Sinai; and therefore


Which was to come on the nations through his seed, through faith in the accomplished promise, was to be the basis and the substance of a new institution. This "blessing of Abraham" includes all the spirit ual and eternal blessings which were laid up in his seed, who is the ark of this new constitution, in whom all the promises of God are verified, and in whom they are deposited for the comfort and salvation of all the children of God. Whatever concerned the family of Abra ham coming through the first promise, descended upon the family prin ciple, which is only flesh; but whatever concerns all saints of all nations, descends upon the new principle of faith. "They who are of faith," says Paul, "are blessed with believing Abraham." And "If you be Christ's, then," and only then, "are you Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise."

The blessing of Abraham was then promised in the patriarchal age antecedent to the Jewish national institution, and independent of ft; therefore, that institution can not affect, much less disannul, the bless ings promised in the covenant, confirmed before by God, respecting Uie Messiah, in the time of family worship, and four hundred and thirty years before the Jewish institution began.

In calling Abraham, and in making him the father of many nations, and the depository of still more precious promises and revelations, God did not supersede the family worship. He only added to the stock of religious knowledge, strengthened the faith, and enlarged the hopes of that single family. The family Institution continued without the slightest change, except in one particular specified in the covenant of circumcision, as respected the single family of Abraham, for four hundred and thirty years after the charter concerning his seed and that concerning the Messiah was secured to this renowned patriarch. Thus we have traced the continuance of the family religion, or patri archal economy, for two thousand five hundred years, and are now prepared to make a few remarks on the Jewish national institution, though we have already anticipated almost all that is necessary to our present object. Still, however, we shall make it the subject of a distinct notice.



In this age of improvement in divine institutions, we read and hear much of "two dispensations of the covenant of grace;" thus making the Jewish and the Christian institutions dispensations ot one "covenant of grace." Why not make the patriarchal, (still more vener able for its antiquity and which continued a thousand years longer than the Jewish,) also a dispensation of the covenant of grace, and then we should have had three dispensations of one covenant! This is but "a show of wisdom." The Holy Spirit calls them "two cove nants," or "two institutions," and not two modifications of one cove nant; and it speaks of each as established upon promises. The Jewish was established upon temporal and earthly promises, contained in the first promise made to Abraham; but the new, says Paul, "is established upon ttetter promises,'' growing out of that concerning the blessing of the nations in the promised seed.*

The Jewish institution commenced and continued about 1,500 years before the Reign of Heaven began. It was not substituted for the family worship, but added to it; affecting, however, the patriarchal institution in some respects, as far as concerned the single family of Abraham. The individual families of the nation of the Jews, as such, had still their family Worship — still the worship of God was heard in the dwellings of the righteous; and, like Joshua, every good Israelite said, "As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord."

In four hundred years the family of Abraham had, in the line of Isaac and Jacob, in fulfillment of the first promise, grown up into millions. Not less than two millionsf came up out of Egypt under the conduct of Moses. The heavenly Father, in progressive develop ment of his plan of blessing all nations, leaves all the world under the family worship institution, and erects the whole progeny of Abra ham that came up out of Egypt into one great national institution. He condescends to appear in the character of King of the Jetvs, and to make them a kingdom of God, as preparatory to the appearance of his 8o7i, who is predestined to be the King of the whole earth, and to have a kingdom which shall ultimately embrace all the nations of the world.

The twelve tribes were brought into the form of one great worship ing family, presenting through one common High Priest their united worship to God. This gav^e rise to the erection of one public house consecrated to the Lord, as the place of meeting in their social and national character. A constitution, political, moral, and religious, was submitted to the people; and on their adoption of it, they became a

* Jer. xxxi. 31.

■^Men lit for war are never more than the third or fourth of any population. There were six hundred thousand men of this class when they came to Mount Sinai.


covenanted people of God. This constitutional kingdom was built upon precepts and promises; and its worship when fully developed was little more than the extension of the family worship to one great national family. They had one king, one high priest, one national altar, one national house of God, one morning and evening sacrifice, one great national sacrifice, and one great annual atonement. The nation was a family of families, and whatever pertained to a single family in its family worship was extended and accommodated to this great confederate family.

Various mystic and significant institutions distinguished this nation from all others; for it was one principal object of its institution to keep its subjects separate and distinct from all other people till Mes siah (the promised seed) should come. Another object was, to figure out in appropriate types the spiritual worship of the kingdom of heaven, and to exhibit the great doctrine of faith, repentance, remis sion, adoption, and inheritance, by picturesque images, ingeniously devised to figure out the whole doctrine of reconciliation and sanctifi cation to God.

The Jewish institution is not to be regarded only in its political, moral and religious aspect, but especially in its figurative and pros pective character. God so wisely and benevolently contrived it from its origin to its close, that its whole history — the fates and fortunes of its subjects from their descent into Egypt, their travels thence to Canaan and settlement in the land of promise — their fortunes in that land to their final catastrophe, should exactly and impressively shadow forth the new institution with the fates and fortunes of the subjects of this new and more glorious order of things. "All these things hap pened to them for types," (examples,) says Paul, "and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come." The same great commentator on this institution not only presents the history of its subjects as instructive to the citizens of the new institu tion, but of the tabernacle he says, "It was a figurative representa tion for the time then present," the furniture thereof "the pattern of things in the heavens." "The law," he adds, "contained only a shadow of the good things to come." A shadow, indeed, proceeding from a man, a house, a tree, is not, and can not be, an exact image or representation of them; yet, when explained by a verbal description, it greatly facilitates an easy and correct conception of them.

So full of the doctrine of the new institution was the old, that we find all the Apostles and Christian writers unceremoniously applying everything they quote from the law, the prophets, and the psalms, to the Messiah, his kingdom, and the fortunes of his people; as if the Jewish writings had no other object than to unfold the kingdom of heaven. Jesus begins with Abraham seeing his day on Mount Moriah


in the typical resurrection of Isaac. Paul regards Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac, as the best illustration of the two mstitutions ; and John ends with the description of the descent of Jerusalem from heaven.

Every one, then, who would accurately understand the Christian institution must approach it through the Mosaic; and he that would be a proficient in the Jewish, must make Paul his commentator. While the mere politician, moralist, or religionist contemplates the one with out the other, though he may find much to admire in both, he will never understand either. A veil, thick as that which concealed the glory of the face of Moses from the Israelites, will hide the glory of the Jewish and Christian institution from his view.

Not only did the tabernacle, the temple, their furniture, the service of both, the priests, the sacrifices, the festivals, the convocations, and all the ordinances of that Ritual, together with the history of that people, assume the picturesque and figurative character, but almost all the illustrious and highly distinguished personages of that institu tion were made prophetic or typical of the Messiah, or of the great incidents of his life, sufferings, and triumphs, and the leading affairs of his government. Amongst persons in the patriarchal and Jewish ages, who, in one or more prominent characters or incidents, or in their general history adumbrated the Messiah, and his reign, the fol lowing group occupy a lofty eminence: — Adam, Abel, Noah, Melchise deck, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samson, David, Jonah. Of things of this class, as well as persons highly figurative and instructive, are the vision of Jacob's ladder — the burning bush — the pillar of cloud and fire — the manna — the rock Horeb, a fountain of living water in the wilderness — the veil of Moses — the brazen serpent — the victory over the nations of Canaan, and the land of Canaan itself. And of ordinances, the passover, the scape goat, the red heifer, the year of jubilee, the law of the leper, the kinsman redeemer, the cities of refuge; together with all the sacrifices, washings, anointings, and con secrations of the holy nation.

But a third object of the Jewish institution, of paramount impor tance to the world, was the furnishings of a new alphabet and language (the elements of heavenly science,) without which it would appear to have been almost, if not altogether, impossible to learn the spiritual things, or to make any proficiency in the knowledge of those relations which Christianity unfolds. The language of the new institution is therefore explained by that of the old. No one can understand the dialect of the kingdom of heaven who has not studied the dialect of the antecedent administrations of heaven over the patriarchs and Jews. The most striking and characteristic attribute of the sacred dialect is, that the elements of it are composed of the incidents of history, or what we call remarkable providences.


I can not explain myself better, nor render my readers a more essen tial service, than by illustrating by an actual detail of sacred history, the following proposition, viz.: That sacred history ur the remarkable incidents of God's providences to the Jews and Patriarchs are the foundation of the sacred dialect of the new institution. Or, if the reader will understand it better, it may be thus expressed — All the leading icords and phrases of the New Testament are to be explained atid understood by the history of the Jeicish nation and God's govern ment of them. Take the following as a mere specimen: —

God called Abram out of Ur, and changed his name into Abraham; and the name of his wife Sarai into Sarah. He promised Isaac as the person in whom his seed should be called. God did tempt Abraham, commanding him to offer Isaac for a burnt-offering — Isaac had two sons — Esau the elder, and Jacob the younger. Esau despised his birth right and sold it to Jacob. Jacob wrestled with God, and prevailed; he obtained a blessing, and was therefore called Israel. He had twelve sons: of these Joseph was his favorite. His brethren envied him, and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. Joseph found grace in the sight of his master. The Lord was with Joseph. He was cast into prison, and from thence was elevated to be the governor of Egypt under Pharaoh. A famine in Canaan compelled Jacob and his sons into Egypt for bread, and Joseph was made known to his brethren. Joseph died in Egypt and left his father's house in that land. They multi plied exceedingly, and the Egyptians greatly afflicted and oppressed the Israelites. Moses was born and exposed: Pharaoh's daughter found him and adopted him for a son. Moses fled into Midian, and married the daughter of the priest or prince of Midian, and kept his father-in-law's flock in the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush. The bush burned and was not consumed, Moses drew near, and then first stood on holy ground. God sent him to Egypt to lead his people out 01 bondage.

God bade him say to the children of Israel, "I am has sent me to you. Gather the elders of Israel, and say to them. The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham," etc., "has sent me to you. I will smite Egypt with my U'ondcrs, and bring you up out of the afflictions of Egypt. Tell Pharaoh, Israel is my son — my first born. Take Aaron with thee, and thou shalt put words into his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth and with his mouth: he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. Take thy rod in thy hand. The Lord sent Aaron to Moses: he met him in the mount and kissed him. And the Lord visited his people. And the people believed when they heard that the Lord had looked upon their afflic tion. Pharaoh oppressed them still more. The Lord said with a strong


hand shall he let them go. I will redeem them with a stretched out arm and with great judgments. I will give you Canaan for a heritage: I will take you to me for a people. I will he your God."

Moses said, I am a man of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pha raoh hearken to me? I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy prophet. I will multiply my signs, and bring out my people, and harden Pharaoh's heart. When he says, "Show me a miracle," cast your rod before him, and it shall become a serpent. Still Pharaoh refused, and hardened his heart. The magicians, overcome with the signs, said. This is the finger of God. The God of the Hebrews said. Let my people go. I have roused thee up (as a lion) to show in you my power and to make my name known through all the earth. The Lord slew all the first born of Egypt after he had plagued them exceedingly. Pharaoh commanded them to depart; but he pursued them to the Red Sea. Israel fainted at the sight before and behind them. Moses said. Stand still, and see the salvation of God.' The sea was divided. Covered with a cloud, Israel marched through as on dry ground. The waters stood on either side as a wall. Pharaoh pursued with his chariots and horsemen, but the waters returned and they were drowned. Thus the Lord redeemed, saved, delivered, and brought Israel out of bondage.

After this deliverance Moses and the children of Israel sang, "The Lord is become my salvation; he is my God. Thou hast overthrown them that rose up agaitist thee. Thou hast led forth thy people whom thou hast redeemed. Thou hast guided them in thy strength to thy holy habitation. The inhabitants of Canaan shall be still as a stone till thy people pass over, Lord! the people thou hast purchased. Thou Shalt plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance — in the sanctuary which thy hands have established.

They came into the wilderness of Sin. They cried for bread, and God rained bread from heaven upon them, that he might prove them whether or no they would -walk in his law: and they did eat manna forty years, till they came to the borders of Canaan.

They complained for water, and tempted God. And Moses smote the rock in Horeb, and water gushed out. But Moses was wroth, and smote the rock twice; and he and Aaron thus rebelled against God, and fell in the wilderness. The Lord made a covenant with the whole nation at Sinai, and made them a peculiar treasure above all people — • a kingdom of priests, a holy nation; and God spake all the words of the law, written on two tables of stone; and spake to Israel from heaven.

The Lord by Moses gave them directions for rearing a tabernacle, and a pattern for all its furniture. And as a ransom for his soul, every man, rich and poor, was to pay half a shekel as an offering to


the Lord, to make an atonement for his soul; and it was given lor the service of the tabernacle. When the tabernacle was reared and finished, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and the cloud cov ered it. And when the cloud uas taken up they journeyed; but until it was taken up they journeyed not. The cloud was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all Israel throughout all their journeys.

And before Moses died he laid his hands upon Joshua, and gave him a charge as the Lord commanded ; and thus put honor upon him, that the children of Israel might be obedieiit to him as their savior. "As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee," saith God; "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

Could we thus proceed with the history of this people, and add to their history the observances of their religious institutions, we should find out the true meaning of the sacred style of the New Testament with more accuracy and certainty, than from all the commentators of ancient and modern times. This, as a sample, must suffice for our present purpose.

From the premises now before us, the specifications of the outlines of the Sinaitic and national institution, and the terms and phrases found in the history of this people, we may discover in what relation they stood to God, and what favors he bestowed upon them in that relation.

They were called and chosen, or the elect of God as a nation. As such, they were delivered, saved, bought, or purchased, and redeemed. God is said to have created, made, formed, and begotten them. As such he is called their Father, their Ood, their Redeemer, their King, their Saviour, their Salvation; and they are called his children, sons, and daughters, born to him, his house, people, inheritance, family, servants. As a chartered and congregated people, they are called the city, the holy city, the city of the Lord. Jerusalem, Zion, Mount Zion, the city of David. Other nations, in contrast with them, are called, not a people, aliens, strangers, enemies, far off, unclean.

Various similitudes expressive of the kind relation in which they stood to God are also found on the pages of the ancient institution — such as husband and wife, shepherd and flock, vine and vineyard, mother and children. They are said to be tcritten or enrolled in the hook of God; to l)e planted, icashed, sanctified, clean, sepa7-ated to God; they are called the house, building, sanctuary, dwelling place of God; a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a peculiar people, saints, etc., etc.

Those who are curious to trace these phrases descriptive of the relation and privileges of the ancient kingdom of God, had better ( in addition to the passages quoted in their history from Egypt to the


Jordan) examine the following passages: — Ex. xiv. 30; xv. 16; xix. G: Deut. iv. 37; vii. 6; x. 15; xiv. 1; i. 31; vii. 5; xxxii. 6, 18, 19; xviii. 7; iii. 18, 20; xii. 9; I. Kings iii. 8; Ps. cv. 6; xxxiii. 12; cv. 43; cvi. 5, 21; Ixxiv. 2; cxlix. 2; Isa. xli. 8, 9; xliii. 1, 3, 5, 7; li. 2, 4; Ixi. 5; Ixiii. 16; i. 2; Ixii. 1, 6, 7; xxviii.; Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and the Psalms of David throughout, etc., etc.

Unless we should write a full treatise on these antecedent institu tions, we can not with propriety descend farther into details. The outlines, as far as subordinate to the theme of this essay, are now before the reader; and with this preparation we shall now invite his attention to THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

And why, an American will say, is it not called the Republic of Heaven, and the Chief called the President of a Celestial Republic? Certainly there were the Republics of Greece and Rome before the doctrine of this Kingdom was first promulged, and the Gentiles as well as the Jews could have understood the figure of a Republic as well as that of a Kingdom. It was not, then, because there was not in society a model or type of this sort; but because such a type would have been inapposite to the nature of this institution.

History testifies that Republics are better adapted to peace than war, and that they are forced and unnatural organizations of society, Aristocracies and Republics owe all their attractions to the excessive corruptions of the governments under which they have originated. They are the reaction of force and fraud, of cruelty and oppression, and are sustained by the remembrance and apprehension of the evils which occasioned ihem. They have alwaye been extolled and admired either in contrast with the vices and enormities of degenerate an.! profligate monarchies, or in the freshness of the recollections of the wrongs and outrages which occasioned them; and men have generally tired of them when they became corrupt and forgetful of the oppres sions and crimes which forced them into being. So that the corrup tions of Monarchies have given birth to Republics, and the corruptions of these have originated Monarchies again.

In these last days of degeneracy Republics are great blessings to mankind, as good physicians are blessings in times of pestilence; but yet it must be confessed that it would be a greater blessing to be without plagues and doctors. While men are, however, so degenerate, and while selfishness and injustice are so rampant in society, repub lican ofl!icers are better than kings — because we can get rid of them sooner. They are, indeed, kings under another name, with a short leased authority; and our experience fully demonstrates that in these degenerate days the reigns of our republican kings are nearly long enough. Till the King of kings comes, we Christians ought to be good republicans, under the conviction that human governments seldom


grow better, and that the popular doctrine of our country is true — that political authority generally makes a man worse, and public favors almost invariably corrupt the heart. Rapid rotation in office is the practical influence of the republican theory; and the experiment proves that, brief as republican authority Is, it is sometimes too long for republican virtue to sustain without deterioration. Now if this be true of republican virtue, the brightest and the best, what earthly virtue can long resist the contamination of long protracted authority? Monarchy is the only form of government, however, which nature recognizes. It was the first, and it will be the last. A government with three or thirty heads is a monster; and therefore the beast that represents it comes out of the sea with a plurality of horns as well as heads.

The most approved theory of human nature and of human govern ment now current wherever the English language is spoken, either in the Old World or in the New, is, that a monarchy would be always the best government, because the cheapest, the most efficient, and the most dignified; provided only, that the crown was always placed on the wisest head and the sceptre wielded by the purest hands. Could we always secure this we would all be monarchists; because we can not, we are all republicans.

But after this apology for the phrase Kingdom of Heaven, we would recall the attention of the reader to the concession made by republi cans themselves, that a kingdom is better adapted to a state of war, than a republic; and that this beautiful, because most appropriate figure, which occurs in the New Testament more than one hundred and fifty times, and very often in the Old, presupposes a state of war as existing in the universe. But for the reasons assigned in preference of monarchy, the natufaJ government of the universe, always was, is, and evermore shall be monarchy. God himself is of necessity absolute monarch of the universe. Had he not essentially sustained that rela tion to all his creatures, there never could have been rebellion nor sin in his dominions. The systems of nature are all after this model. Every sun is a king over the system which it controls; and in every sphere there is one controlling and supreme principle. It will be the last government; for when the episode in the great drama of rational existence which sin occasioned, shall have been completed, the govern ment of the universe will assume its ancient order, and God be supreme monarch again. But this will not be till Jesus gives up the kingdom to God, which a preternatural state of things put into his hands. This can not be till he has subdued man to his rightful allegiance, or destroyed forever every opponent to the absolute monarchy of the Eternal Supreme: "for Jesus must reign till all his enemies be put under his feet."


The kingdom which Jesus has received from his Father, however heavenly sublime, and glorious it may be regarded, is only temporal. It had a beginning, and it will have an end; for he must reign only till all enemies are put under his feet. But the transition of the sceptre into the hands of Emanuel has not changed the nature of the government. He is now the hereditary Monarch of the universe, as well as the proper King of his own kingdom. He now reigns as abso lutely over all principalities, hierarchs, and powers, celestial and ter restrial, as did the great God and Father of the universe, before he was invested with the regal authority.

We have said it was a preternatural state of things which originated the kingdom of Jesus: therefore the object of this remedial reign is to destroy that preternatural state of things, or to put down sin. Now as all human governments presuppose disorder, and as the kingdoms of this world generally have arisen out of confusion and war, this kingdom of heaven of which we are to speak owes its origin to the celestial and terrestrial apostacies — the revolt of Satan and of Adam. Were there not injustice within, or violence without, civil government would be wholly unnecessary, and its appendages an excrescence upon society. Had there not been such a revolt and rebellion as sacred history records, there would have been no such kingdom of heaven as that over which Jesus the Messiah now presides. Now as both this King and kingdom, and all that appertains to them, were occasioned by such a preternatural state of things, we must view them in all their attributes and details, with reference to those circumstances which called them into being.


We must understand the type, or we can not understand the anti type. We must understand that which is natural before we can under stand that which is spiritual. What, then, are the essential elements of a kingdom as existing among men? They are five — viz.: King, Con stitution, Subjects, Laws and Territory. Such are the essential parts of every political kingdom, perfect in its kind, now existing on earth.

In forming a state, the essential elements are people and country. The people make a constitution, and this makes a President or a King, citizens or subjects, and everything else belonging to a state. It is, then, the relation into which the people resolve themselves, which makes it a republic, an aristocracy, a monarchy. Do they choose a monarchy? They first make a constitution, and this places one upon the throne — makes them subjects, and he gives them laws. Although the constitution is first, in the order of nature, of all the elements of a kingdom, for it makes one man a king and the rest subjects; yet we can not imagine a constitution in reference to a kingdom, without


king and subjects. In speaking of them in detail, we can not then speak of any one of them as existing without the others — we must regard them as correlates, and aa coming into existence contempora neously. There is no husband nor wife before marriage, neither can there be a husband without a wife; yet one of the parties must be made before the other. Marriage makes a husband out of the groom, and a wife out of the bride. So the constitution makes the king or the governor, the citizens or subjects, out of the people, as the case may be: for there never can be a king or subject without a constitution, or, what is the same thing, an agreement, verbal or written, for certain privileges stipulated and conditioned. In every well regulated political kingdom, in the order of nature, the elements stand thus — 1. Constitution; 2. King; 3. Subjects; 4. Laws; 5. Terri tory.

In the kingdom which God set up by Moses, the elements stood in this order. The constitution was first proposed under which God con descended to be their King, and they were to be regarded as his people or subjects; he then gave them laws and established them in the terri tory before promised.

But in the kingdom of nature, or in the original kingdom of God, the elements are only four, and the order in which they stand, are — 1. King; 2. Subjects; 3. Laws; 4. Territory. As Father and Creator of that kingdom, God himself was absolute Sovereign, whose will is the supreme law of the whole realm of nature.

Having ascertained the essential elements of a kingdom, and marked the order in which they stand, before we particularly attend to these elements in order, we shall ask why this kingdom is called the Kingdom of Heaven F


Heaven, and the Kingdom of Heaven are not one and the same thing. God is not the Kingdom of God. But as the kingdom of God is some thing pertaining to God, so the kingdom of heaven is something per taining to heaven, and consequently to God. Whether always thj phrases "the kingdom of God" and "the kingdom of heaven" exactly represent the same thing, certain it is that both phrases are often applied to the same institution.*

This is true of them whether translated reign or kingd<m; and it is very evident that frequently the original word basileia ought in pref erence to be rendered reign, inasmuch as this term better suits ail

•If the following passapos arc carefully cxaiiiiiuNl and comparod. it will appear that both these phrases often represent the same tiling: Malt. iii. 17; Mark i. 14; Luki' iv, 43;— Matt. xiii. V>; Mark iv. 11; Luke viii. 10;— Matt. xi. 11; I.uke vii. lis. To these three distinet evidenees many more miKht l)e added. What Matthew calls " the King, dumof Jleaiin," Mark and Luke call "the Kingdom of <r<.d."


those passages where coming or approaching is spoken of: for while reigns or administrations approach and recede, kingdoms have attri butes and boundaries which are stationary. Reign and Kingdom of God, though sometimes applicable to the same subject, never contem plate it in the same light. They are, indeed, as intimately connected as the reign of King William and the Kingdom of Great Britain. The former represents the administration of the kingdom, and the latter the state over which this administration extends.

Two good reasons may be offered why Matthew, the oldest Chris tian writer, generally prefers Kingdom or Reign of Heaven, to the phrase Kingdom or Reign of God: I say generally, for he occasionally uses both designations.* He wrote to Jews in Judea who expected a Messiah, a King, and a kingdom of God on earth, a mere improve ment of the Jewish system; and, therefore, to raise their conceptions, he delights to call it the Reign or Kingdom of Heaven, in contrast with that earthly kingdom of God, of which they were so long in pos session.

He also found a good reason in the idiom of the Jewish prophets for using the word Heaven (both in the singular and plural form) for God. Daniel told the Assyrian monarch that his kingdom would be sure to him when he should have learned that "the Heavens do rule;" yet, in the preceding verse, he says, "Till thou knowest that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men" — thus using Heavens and the Most High as synonymous. The Psalmist says, "The wicked set their mouths against the Heavens." The Prodigal confesses that he had "sinned against Heaven," and Jesus himself asked whether the baptism of John was "from Heaven or from men." Thus he was authorized from the Jewish use of the word to regard it as equivalent to God. If, then, Matthew had meant no more by the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" than the "Kingdom of God," he was justified by the Jewish use of the word heaven, to apply it in that sense. Some may object to all these remarks upon Matthew's manner, that it was Jesus Christ and the preachers he commissioned who called it the Kingdom of Heaven, and not Matthew Levi. To such we reply, that the other sacred wri ters uniformly, in reciting all the same parables and incidents, use the phrase "Kingdom of God," and never the phrase "the Kingdom of Heaven."

From his use of the phrase "Kingdom of God," we must, I think, regard him as having special reference to the reason first assigned. He does not say the Kingdom of Heaven shall be taken from the Jews, but, "The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it;" for although it might with

•See cliapters vi. 33; xii. 28; xix. 2-t; xxi. 31, 48.


propriety, in his acceptation, be said, that the Jews already had the iiingdom of God, it could not be said that they had the kingdom of Heaven as proclaimed by Matthew.*

When compared with the earthly kingdom of God among the Jews, it is certainly the kingdom of Heaven: for Jesus alleges that his kingdom is not of this world; and Daniel affirmed that in the days of the last worldly empire the God of Heaven would set up a kingdom unlike all others then on earth; in which, as Paul teaches, men are "blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ:"! for he has raised the Jews and Gentiles, and "has set us down to gether in the heavenly places by Christ Jesus."t

There is, in the superior and heavenly privileges and honors be stowed upon the citizens of this kingdom, the best reason why it should have first been presented to this world under this title, rather than any other; and, for the same reasons which influenced Matthew to usher it into notice in Judea, under this designation, we ought now to prefer it; because many of our contemporaries, like the ancient Jews, see as much of heaven and glory in the veiled grace of the Mosaic institution, as in the unveiled grace of the Christian kingdom. The pertinency of this title will appear still more evident as we de velop the constitutional privileges of his kingdom.

But most evidently the kingdom of Heaven is "the kingdom of Christ and of God." \\ It is the kingdom of God because he sot it up,§ gave the constitution and King, and all the materials out of which it is erected.** It is the kingdom of Christ, because God the Father gave it to him as his Son, and as the heir of all things; and therefore, "all that is the Father's is mine," says Jesus, "and I am his."tt "God created all things by Jesus Christ and von him."

Having, then, noticed the reasons for the characteristic titles ot this kingdom, and having already ascertained what are the elements ab solutely essential to a kingdom, distinguished from those merely cir cumstantial or accidental, we shall now proceed to consider, in the order suggested, the Constitution, King, Subjects, Laws, and Terri tory of the Kingdom of Heaven.


God himself, after the gracious counsels of his own will, proposed and tendered the constitution of this kingdom to his own Son. This "glory he had with the Father before the world was." He that was "in the beginning with God" — "the iiisdom and poicer of God" — was "set up [constituted] from everlasting, or ever the earth was." "Then was I with God, as one brought up with him; I was daily his delight.

•Matt. xxi. «. +Epli. i.3. tKph. ii. «. I! Kpli. v. .■;. ^Dnii. ii. 41. ** Jor. xxxi. 31-31. t+Jolin xvii. 18.


rejoicing always before him — rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."* Therefore he who was to be '•ruler in Israel" was with God in counsel "in the beginning of all his ways;" for "his goings forth were from old, even from the days of eternity."t

It was TO DO THE wii^L, or fulfill the items in this constitution, that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." "I came to do the will of him that seiit me," and to finish "the work given me to do." "I have the power to lay down my life, and I have power to resume it; this commandment I received from my Father." The Father "com missioned and sent him forth into the world." He "came down from heaven." "Thou hast given me power over all flesh, that I might give eternal life to all that thou hast given me."

These, and many other passages which the reader will easily re member, unequivocally evince that an understanding and agreement existed ere time began between God and the Word of God — or, as now revealed, between the Father and the Son, respecting this king dom. In consequence of which, "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" — in consequence of which, "he divested himself" of his antecedent glory — "took upon him the form of a bond-servant" — "was made in the likeness of sinful flesh" — "took part with us in flesh and blood." In consequence of which agreement, and the promised glory, for "the joy set before him in the promise," of "seeing his seed, the travail of his soul, and being satisfied," "he endured the cross, despising the shame," and "was made perfect through sufferings to lead many sons to glory."

To the stipulations concerning eternal life, propounded in the con stitution of the kingdom of heaven, frequent allusions are made in the Apostles' writings. Thus the believers were "elected in him before the foundation of the world," and "eternal life was promised before the times of the ages," "according to the benevolent purpose which he purposed in himself for the administration of the fulness of the appointed times, to gather together all under Christ — all in the heavens and all on the earth, under him." He formerly marked us out for an adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to his purpose, who effectually works all things according to the counsel of his will.l

From all these sayings and allusions, we must trace the constitu tion of this kingdom into the days of eternity — before time began. We must date it from everlasting, and resolve it into the absolute gracious will of the eternal God. In reference to all the prospective developments of time, "known to God from the beginning," it pro posed to make the Word flesh, and then to make the incarnate Word,

* Prov. viii. 23-31. + Mic. v. 21. T Epli. 1. 3-12.


called Emanuel, or Jesus Christ, the King, to give him all who should be reconciled to God by him for subjects, to put under him all the angelic hosts, and constitute him monarch of heaven and earth, laic giver to the universe; and thus make him heir and Lord of all things.

As a constitution brings all the elements of a kingdom into a new relation to one another, so it is the measure and guarantee of all the privileges, immunities, and obligations accruing to all the parties' in that relation. It prescribes, arranges, and secures all the privileges, duties, obligations, honors, and emoluments of the King and the sub jects. Neither of them can claim more than it stipulates and guaran tees, and neither of them can rightfully be deprived of any of them.

From the premises now before us, and the light given to us in these Scriptures and those in the margin, we learn —

1. That God is the author of the constitution of the kingdom of heaven; that he propounded it to the Word that was made flesh, be fore the world was, in prospect of all the developments of creation.

2. That the Word accepted it, because the will of God was always his delight; therefore he said, "I come to do thy will, God!" Hence "Ood has so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but obtain eternal liffe."

3. That in consequence "all authority in heaven and earth" was given to Jesus Christ, and all orders of intelligence subjected to him, that he might be King over all, and have the power of giving eter nal life to his people.*

4. That the earth is now the Lord's, the present temporal territory of his kingdom; that the heathen people are given to him for his in heritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; that all ends of the earth are his, and all dominions, kindreds, tribes, tongues and people shall yet serve him on earth, and glorify him in heaven. ;-

5. That all he redeems are his seed — his subjects: that he will have their faith, confidence, esteem, admiration, and gratitude for ever: that he will be worshiped, honored, and revered by them in: a world without end: that God, angels and saints will delight in him for ever and ever.i He has, therefore, to raise the dead, jud.a;o the world, and to present the redeemed pure, holy, happy and triumphant before his Father, and then to give up the kingdom to God.

To comprehend, in any adequate degree, the constitution of this kingdom, we must learn more than its history, or the way in which it was introduced and propounded. We must regard all the elements of the kingdom as constitutional elements — the King as a constitu tional King; the subjects, laws and territory, including the ultimate

•^Matt. xxviii. iil. ji. U; vii. 27. + I's. ii. ('.-8; Ixxii. 2-18; nanii'l. 1 Hov. v. J»-14; Xiv. 1-5; xvi. :!, 4; »xi. it-27; Kph. i. 20, 21.


inheritance, as constitutional subjects, laws, territory, inheritance; and, therefore, we shall speak of them in detail.


The Lord Jesus Christ is the constitutional monarch of the kingdom of heaven. The privileges guaranteed to him in reference to the king dom are the following:

As King, he is to be the oracle of God — to have the disposal of the Holy Spirit — to be Prophet and High Priest of the Temple of God — to have the throne of his Father — to be. Governor of all nations on earth, and head of all hierarchs and powers in heaven — the supreme Lawgiver, the only Saviour, the resurrection and the life, the ultimate and final Judge of all, and the Heir of all things.

These honors, privileges, and powers are secured to him by the irrevocable grant of the God and Father of all; therefore, as said Isaiah, "The Lord cometh with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." "I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion." "Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the utter most parts of the earth for thy possession." "I have made him a leader and a commander to the people" — "a light to the Gentiles" — "salvation to the ends of the earth" — "a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedeck." "Sit thou at my right hand till I make thy foes thy footstool." "The government shall be upon his shoulders." "All things are delivered to me of my Father." "He is Lord of the dead and living." "Angels, authorities, and powers are subjected to him." "The Father gave the Spirit without measure to him." "He received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit." "The kingdom is the Lord's, and he is the governor among the nations." "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the Eurhrates to the ends of the earth." They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure to all generations." "The Father has committed all judgment to the Son."

But, not to weary the reader with quotations and proofs, we shall give but another: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights. I have put my Spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not fail nor be dis couraged till he have set judgment in the earth; and the Isles shall wait for his law. I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand and keep thee, and give thee for a covenant [a con stitution] of the people for a light to the Gentiles — to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house."*

♦Isa. xlii. 1-7; xlix. 8.



They are all born again. Their privileges and honors are the fol lowing:

1. Their constitutional king is the only begotten Son of God; whose title and honors are — image of the invisible God — effulgence 01 the Father's glory — Emanuel — Upholder of the Universe — Prophet of the Prophets — High Priest of the Temple of God — King of kings — Lord of lords — the only Potentate — Commander and Covenant of the people — Captain of Salvation — Counsellor, Lawgiver, Redeemer, Deliverer, Mediator, Saviour, Advocate, Judge. He is Sun of Right eousness, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Lion of the tril)e of Judah, the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star, Light of the World, the Faithful and True Witness, Bishop of Souls, Great Shepherd of the Sheep, Head of the Church. Lord of all. Heir ot the Universe, the Resurrection and the Life, the Son of Man, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Amen, etc., etc., etc. Such is the Christian's King, whose assistance in all these characters, offices, and relations, as exhibited under all these figures, is guaranteed to him in the Constitution. Indeed it is all expressed in one promise — "/ icill be your God, and you shall be my people."

2. It is guaranteed that "their sins and iniquities are to be remem bered no more." "There is no condemnation to them who are under Christ." "Sin shall not have dominion, nor lord it over them.' The Lord imputeth to them no sin. They are all pardoned, justified, and saved from sin.

3. They are adopted into the family of God; made sons and daugh ters of the Lord Almighty; children of God, and heirs — joint heirs with Christ. They have an advocate in the heavens, through whom their persons and prayers are accepted.

4. They all know the Lord. "All thy children shall be taught of God." The Holy Spirit of God writes the law of God upon their hearts, and inscribes it upon their understanding: so Ihat they need not teach every one his fellow citizen to know the Lord, "for they all know him from the least to the greatest." They are all sancti fied through the truth — separated and consecrated to God.

5. They have the promise of a resurrection from the dead, and eter nal life; an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading — new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness alone shall dwell forever.

Such are the constitutional rights and privileges of the citizens of the kingdom of heaven. And these have obtained for them the fol lowing titles and honors: Kingdom of heaven; Israel of God: chosen generation; body of Christ; children of God; habitation of God; fam-


ily of God; Jerusalem from above; Mount Zion; peculiar people; the elect of God; holy nation; temple of the Holy Spirit; house of God; city of the living God; pillar and ground of truth; living stones; seed of Abraham; citizens of heaven; lights of the world; salt of Ihe earth; heirs of God; joint heirs with Christ, etc., etc.

These privileges, honors, and emoluments belong to every citizen of the kingdom of heaven. Indeed, they are all comprehended in the summary which Paul (from Jeremiah) lays before the believing Hebrews: "This is the constitution which I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put my laws into their mind, and inscribe them upon 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 fellow citizen, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them; because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more."* To this sum mary the reader may add those scriptures in the margin as confirm atory to the above.!


The supreme law of the kingdom is love — love of the King and love of each other. From this law all its religious homage and mo rality flow. Precepts and examples innumerable present this to the mind of all the citizens. The kingdom of heaven is divided into small societies, called churches, or congregations of the Lord. Each of these communities in the reception of members, in the education and discipline of them, or in excluding them when necessary, is to be governed by the apostolic instructions: for to the Apostles the Saviour committed the management of his kingdom. After they had made citizens by preaching the gospel and baptizing, they were commanded to teach them to observe whatsoever the Saviour had commanded them.

These laws and usages of the Apostles must be learned from what the Apostles published to the w^orld, after the ascension and corona tion of the King, as they are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles: for we shall see in the sequel that the gospel was fully devel oped, and the whole doctrine of the Reign of Christ began to be pro claimed in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after the ascension.

The old, or Jewish constitution was promulged first on Sinai on the first Pentecost after the redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage; and from that day, and whac is written after it in Exodus and Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, all the laws, manners and

*Heb. viii. 10-1.3. +Rom. vi. ."5. fi, U; viii. 1, 33-89; I. Cor. vi. 11; Eph. i. 7; ii. 6, 19, 21, 22; Col. i. 13, ii; I. Pet. ii. 5-7; II. Pot. i. 10, 11 ; I. Johu ii. 2.


customs authorized by the national constitution are to be found. They are not to be sought after in Genesis, nor in the antecedent economy. Neither are the statutes and laws of the Christian kingdom to be sought for in the Jewish scriptures, nor antecedent to the day of Pen tecost; except so far as our Lord himself, during his lifetime, pro pounded the doctrine of his reign. But of this when we ascertain the commencement of this kingdom.

There is one universal law of naturalization, or for making citizens, out of all nations, enjoined upon those citizens of the kingdom who are engaged in the work of proselytism; but the laws of this king dom, like the laws of every other kingdom, are obligatory only on the citizens.

The weekly celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the weekly meeting of the disciples of Christ for this purpose, and for the edification of one another in their most holy faith, are the only positive statutes of the kingdom ; and, therefore, there is no law, statute, or observance in this kingdom, that in the least retards its extension from East to West, from North to South, or that can pre vent its progress in all the nations of the world.

It is, however, worthy of observation, that every part of the Chris tian worship in the small communities spread over the territory of the kingdom of heaven, like so many candlesticks in a large edifice, are designed to enlighten and convert the world; and, therefore, in all the meetings of the family of God, they are to keep this supremely in view; and to regard themselves as "the pillar and ground of the truth."

Concerning the details of the laws of the kingdom, we can not now speak particularly. "The favor of God which brings salvation, teaches all the citizens of heaven, that, denying all godliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously, and godlily in this present world, expecting the blessed hope^namely, the appearing of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to him self a peculiar people, zealous of good works." These things the Bish ops of every community should teach and enforce; for such is the spirit and such is the object of all the laws and statutes of the king dom of heaven.


In all other kingdoms, except the kingdom of heaven, the territory is the national domain and inheritance. It was so in the first kingdom of God under the constitution from Sinai. But in the typical kingdom they lived at a distance from their inheritance for one generation. During these forty years, in which they pitched their tents in the


wilderness, God was their inheritance. He rained bread from heaven upon them, and sent them flesh on the east wind. He made the flinty rock Horeb a living spring, whose stream followed them all the way to Jordan. He renewed their garments every day, so that for forty years they grew not old, nor needed a single patch. A pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day guided them on towards Canaan, the land of their inheritance.

The whole earth is the present territory of the kingdom of heaven, but the new heavens and earth are to be its inheritance. The earth, indeed, is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; but the children of God and the children of the wicked one — the wheat and the darnel, are both planted in it, and must grow together till the harvest. The righteous have their bread and water guaranteed to them while they live; for "godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that noio is, as well as of that which is to come." But the joint heirs with God are never taught to regard the earth as their inher itance. They may indeed say, though poor and penniless, "All things are ours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come — all are ours, and we are Christ's, and Christ is God's." But, like the Jews on their jour ney to Canaan, "they seek a better country" — "they seek a city yet to come." "My kingdom," says Jesus, "is not of this world." And, therefore, in the world Christians are strangers and pilgrims, and may expect tribulation.

The earth is the present theater of war ; therefore all Christians in the territory are soldiers. Their expenses are borne, their rations are allowed, the arms and munitions of war are supplied them from the magazines in Mount Zion, the stronghold and fortress of the king dom; where the King, the heads of departments, and all the legions of angels are resident. So that, on entering the Army of the Faith, every soldier is panoplied with the armor of God; and when inducted into the heavenly tactics under the Captain of Salvation, he is ex pected to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and to fight the good fight of faith courageously and victoriously.

The kingdom of heaven on this territory is greatly opposed by the kingdom of Satan; which ever seeks to make an inheritance out of the territory of the militant kingdom of righteousness; and, therefore, the citizens have not to wrestle with flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness of this world — with spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ever since the commencement of this kingdom, the governments of this world have either been directly opposed to it, or, at best, pre tended friends; and, therefore, their influence has always been op posed to the true spirit and genius of the Christian institution. Chris-


tians have nothing to expect from them except liberty of conscience and protection from violence, while leading peaceable and quiet lives, in all godliness and honesty, till Jesus take to himself his great power, and hurl all these potentates from their thrones, and make his cause triumphant — a consummation devoutly to l>e wished, and which can not now be regarded as far distant.


Touching the planners and customs of the kingdom of heaven, they are such as generally obtained in the land of Judea and in the East at the time of its erection; or, rather, they are the simple manners and customs of the family worship age of the world. These are conse crated by simply performing them with a regard to Jesus Christ, or from the motives prompted by the doctrine of the Reign of Heaven. As we treat our natural brothers and sisters in public and in private — as we address, salute, and converse with them — as we transact all family business, and conduct the affairs of the household — so are Chris tians to treat one another. There is no other virtue or utility in these, than as they cherish brotherly kindness and love, and are regarded to the Lord.


Into every kingdom, human or divine, there is a legal door of admis sion. This is, in the statute book of heaven, called a birth. Into the kingdom of nature we are born. Into the future and ultimate kingdom of glory we enter, soul and body, by being born from the grave. As Christ, the first-born from the dead, entered the heavenly kingdom, so must all his brethren. And as to this kingdom of which we speak, as now existing in this world, Jesus himself taught that into it no person can legally enter who is not born again, or "born of u-afcr and the Spirit."* The analogy is complete between the kingdoms of nature — of grace — and of glory. Hence we have natural birth, met aphorical or spiritual birth, and supernatural birth. There is a being bom of the flesh — born of the Spirit — born of the grave; and there Is a kingdom for the flesh — a kingdom for the Spirit — and a kingdom for the glorified man.

This second, or new birth, which inducts into the kingdom of God Is always subsequent to a death and burial, as it will be into the ever lasting kingdom of glory. It is, indeed, a literal death and burial before a literal resurrection, into the heavenly and eternal kingdom. It is also a metaphorical or figurative death and burial, before the figurative resurrection or new birth into the kingdom of heaven. Water is the element in which this burial and resurrection is per-

* John iii 5; Til. iii.


formed, according to the constitutional laws of the kingdom of heaven. Hence Jesus connects the water and the Spirit when speaking of enter ing this kingdom of God.

In naturalizing aliens the commandment of the King is first to submit to them the Constitution, or preach to them the gospel of the kingdom. Soon as they understand and believe this, and are desirous of being translated into the kingdom of Christ and of God, that "they may receive the remission of sins and inheritance among all that are sanctified," they are to be buried in water, into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and raised out of it confessing their death to sin, their faith in Christ's sacrifice and resurrection; and thus they are born of water and the Spirit, and constituted citizen.s of the kingdom of heaven. To as many as thus receive him he gives privilege to become the children of God; for they are "born of God" — born of God, when born of water and of the Spirit, because this is the institution of God.

In these days of apostacy men have sought out many inventions. Some have attempted to get into the kingdom of heaven without being born at all. Others imagine that they can be born of the Spirit, with out water, and that the King is as well pleased with them who have been born without a mother, as with those who are lawfully born of father and mother. Others think that neither Spirit nor water is necessary; but if they are politically born of the flesh, they can enter the kingdom as rightfully as the Jewish circumcised infants enter the earthly kingdom of Israel. But as we have no faith in any modern improvements of the gospel, change or amendment of the con stitution of the kingdom of heaven, we must leave them to account to the King himself, who "have transgressed the law, changed the ordi nance, and broken the everlasting covenant ;" and proceed to the ques tion,


When did the kingdom of heaven commence? "With the ministry of John," says one; — "With the ministry of Jesus," says another; — "With the first sending out of the Twelve Apostles," says a third; — "At the resurrection of Jesus," says a fourth; — "At none of them: but by degrees from the baptism of John to the fall of Jerusalem," says a fifth.

The reader will please remember that there are at least five ele ments essential to a perfect organized kingdom, and that it may be con templated in reference to one or more of these component parts. Hence the numerous and various parables of the Saviour. Sometimes he speaks of the administration of its affairs — of its principles in the heart — of its subjects — of its King — of its territory — of its progress —


of various incidents in its history. Hence the parable of the sower — of the wheat and darnel — of the leaven — of the merchant seeking goodly pearls — of the grain of mustard seed — of the sweep net — of the marriage of a king's son — of a nobleman going into a far country — of the ten virgins — of the talents — of the sheep and goats, present to our view the kingdom of heaven in different attitudes, either in its elements or in its history — its commencement or its close.

The approaching, or the coming of the reign of heaven, can properly have respect only to one or two of the elements of a kingdom; or to the formal exhibition of that whole organization of society which we call a kingdom. It can have no proper allusion to its territory; for that was created and located before man was created. It can not allude either to the persons who were constituted subjects, for they too were in existence before the kingdom commenced. It can not allude to the birth or baptism of the King, for it was not till after these that Jesus began to proclaim its coming or approach. It can. not have reference to the ministry of John or of Jesus, any more than to the patriarchal or Jewish dispensations; because Jesus did not begin to proclaim the coming of this reign till after John was cast into prison. This is a fact of so much importance, that Matthew, Mark, and Luke distinctly and circumstantially declare that, in conformity to ancient predictions, Jesus was to begin to proclaim in Galilee, and that he did not eommence to proclaim the doctrine or the gospel of the coming of the Reign, till after John's ministry ceased and he was cast into prison. In this assertion the Evangelists agree: — "Now Jesus [after his baptism and temptation in the wilderness] hearing that John was imprisoned, retired into Galilee; and having left Naza reth, resided at Capernaum. For thus said the Prophet," etc. From that time Jesus began to proclaim, saying, "Reform, for the Reign of Heaven approaches;" or, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," as says the common version.*

Some Baptists, for the sake of immersion, and some of our breth ren in the Reformation, for the sake of immersion for the remission of sins, seem desirous to have John in the kingdom of heaven, and to date the commencement of the Christian dispensation with the first appearance of John the Immerser. They allege in support of this hypothesis that Jesus said, "The Law and the Prophets continued till John," (the only instructers of men;) "since that time the king dom of God is preached, and every man presses into it." "Publicans and harlots show you the way into the kingdom of heaven," said Jesus to tho Pharisees. Again, "AlasI for you Scribes and Phari sees! for you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, and will neither enter yourselves, nor permit others that would, to enter."

'Matt. iv. 12; Mark i. U; Luku iii. 'in; iv. U.


"The kingdom of God is within you." "The kingdom of heaven has overtaken you." From these premises they infer that the kingdom of heaven was actually set up by John the Baptist: "For, say they, "how could men and women enter into a kingdom which was not set up? And did not John immerse for the remission of sins, and call upon men to repent and reform in order to baptism?"

The Paidobaptists, too, will have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, David, and all the circumcised Jews in the kingdom of heaven, because Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am;" "Abraham saw my day and was glad;" and Paul says Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt, and forsook Egypt in faith of the Christian recompense of reward. Yes, and Paul affirms that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their families, who dwelt in tents in the promised land, looked not only to the rest in Canaan, but they sought a heavenly country, and expected the city of foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Thus the Jews had Christ in the manna and in the Rock, and baptism in the cloud and in the sea.

The mistake is specifically the same. Christ was promised and prefigured before he came, and the kingdom of heaven was promised " and preached by John, by Jesus, the Twelve, and the Seventy, (who went about proclaiming the glad tidings of the Reign) before the reign of Christ, or kingdom of heaven, commenced. Because Christ was promised and prefigured in the patriarchal and Jewish agt^s, the Paidobaptists will have the kingdom of heaven on earth since the days of Abel; and because the glad tidings of the reign and kingdom of heaven and the principles of the new and heavenly order of society were promulged by John, the Baptists will have John the Baptist in the kingdom of heaven, and the very person who set it up.

Let us, then, examine this matter with all candor: and first we shall place the passages above quoted out of the testimonies of the Evangelists on one side, and the following passages on the other side; and then see if we can reconcile them. John says, "Reform, for the reign of God approaches." Jesus began to proclaim, saying, "Reform, for the reign or kingdom of heaven is at hand." He also commanded the Twelve and the Seventy to perigrinate all Judea, mak ing the same proclamation.* Of John the Baptist he said, though greater than all the Prophets, "The least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

Thus after John was beheaded we have some eighty-four preachers daily proclaiming the nigh approach of the reign of God; and Jesus often assuring his disciples that the kingdom of God was soon to appear, and that some of his companions would see him enter upon

*Matt. X. 8; Luke x. 1-11. Wlien eating the last supper he distinctly said that the reign of God was then future. Luke xxii. 18.


his reign before they died — and yet the kingdom was set up by John! Scribes and Pharisees were shutting the kingdom against men, when Jesus had only given the keys to Peter! John the Baptist was in the kingdom, and the least in the kingdom is greater than he! More than eighty preachers say, "Reform, for the reign of heaven is at hand;" and John the Baptist before he died introduced all Judea and Jerusalem into it! How, then, shall we reconcile these apparent con tradictions? Make both sides figurative, and it may not be done. Regard both sides literally, and it can not be done! To say that the kingdom came in one point of view at one time, and in another point of view at another time, is only to say that it came in different senses — literally and figuratively. For our part we must believe that the kingdom of heaven began, or the reign of heaven literally and truly commenced in one day.

Many of its principles were developed by the ancient Prophets; David, Isaiah, and others wrote much concerning it; John the Bap tist proclaimed its immediate and near approach, and more fully developed its spiritual design; therefore, he was superior to them. Jesus often unfolded its character and design in various similitudes; and every one who understood and received these principles were said to "press into the kingdom," or to have "the kingdom within them;" and wherever these principles were promulged "the kingdom of heaven" was said to "come nigh" to that people, or to "have over taken them;" and those who opposed these principles and interposed their authority to prevent others from receiving them, were said to "shut the kingdom of heaven against men;" and thus all those Scrip tures must of necessity be understood from the contexts in which they stand: for it was impossible that the reign of heaven could lit erally commence "till Jesus ivas glorified," "received the promise of the Holy Spirit," was "made Lord and Christ," and "sat down with his Father upon his throne" — for he left this earth to receive a kingdom *

To make this, if possible, still more evident, we ask, When did the kingdom of God, established by Moses amongst the seed of Abra ham, cease f This question penetrates the whole nature and necessity of the case: for will any one suppose that there were two kingdoms of God on earth at one and the same time? Certainly the one ceased before the other began.

Now that the kingdom of God, ministered by Moses, had not ceased during the personal ministry of the Messiah on earth, is, we think, abundantly evident from the following facts and documents: —

1. Jesus was to have appeared and did appear, "in the end of the world," or last days of the first kingdom of God. "In the conclusion

^Lakexix. 11-15.


of the age has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of him self." The "world to come" was one of the names of the gospel age. He has not subjected "the world to come" to the angels, as he did the world past, says Paul to the Hebrews. He appeared, then, not in the beginning of the gospel age, but in the end of the Jewish age.

2. The Temple was the house of God to the very close of the life of Jesus. For it was not till the Jewish ministry conspired to kill him that he deserted it. At the last festival of his life, and imme diately before he fell into their hands, on walking out of the Temple, he said, "Behold your house is deserted, for you shall not see me henceforth till you shall say. Blessed be he that comes in the name of the Lord!" It was his Father's house, the house of God till that moment. Then, indeed, the glory departed.

3. The Jewish offerings and service, as a divine institution, con tinued till the condemnation of Jesus. He sent the cleansed leper to the priest to make the offering commanded in the law. He com manded the people to hear the doctors of the law who sat in Moses' chair. He paid the didrachma. He was a minister of the circumci sion. He lived under, not after the law. He kept all its ordinances, and caused all his disciples to regard it in its primitive import and authority to the last passover. Indeed, it could not be disannulled, for it was not consummated till on the cross he said, "It is finished.'"

4. When he visited Jerusalem the last time, and in the last par able pronounced to them he told them plainly "the kingdom of God should be taken from them" and given to a nation who should make a better use of the honors of the kingdom; consequently at that time the Jews had the kingdom of God.

5 It was not until his death that the veil of the Temple was rent; that the things "which could be shaken were shaken." It was then, and not till then, that he nailed the legal institution to his cross. Then, and not till then, was the middle wall of partition broken down. The last Sabbath he slept in the grave. From the moment of his death there was no life in the old kingdom of God. The Temple was deserted, its veil rent, its foundation shaken, the city devoted, the ritual abolished, and as after death the judgment, the Temple, city, and nation waited for the day of his vengeance.

The kingdom of God was evidently in the Jewish institution till Jesus died. Hence the kingdom of heaven came not while Jesus lived. In anticipation they who believed the gospel of the kingdom received the kingdom of God, just as in anticipation he said, "1 have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" before he began to suffer; and as he said, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, shed for the remission of the sins of many," before it was shed. So while the doctrine of this reign — faith, repentance, baptism, and a


iipw principle of sonship to Abraham were promulging by John, the Twelve, the Seventy, and by himself, the kingdom of heaven was approaching; and those who received these principles by anticipation were said to enter into the kingdom, or to have the kingdom within them.

The principles of any reign or revolution are always promulged, debated, and canvassed before a new order of things is set up. A party is formed upon these principles before strength is acquired or a leader obtained competent to the commencement of a new order of things. In society, as in nature, we have first the blade, next the stem, and then the ripe corn in the ear. We call it wheat, or we call it corn, when we have only the promise in the blade. By such a figure of speech the kingdom of God was spoken of while as yet only its principles were promulging.

When these American states were colonial subjects of the King of England, and long before the setting up of a Republic, republican doctrines were promulged and debated. The believers and advocates of these doctrines were called Republicans, while as yet there was not a republic in this continent. He who dates the commencement of the kingdom of heaven from the ministry of John the Baptist, sympathizes with him who dates the American Republics from the first promulgation of the republican principles, or from the formation of a republican party in the British colonies. But as a faithful and intelligent historian, in writing the history of the American Repub lics, commences with the history of the first promulgation of these principles, and records the sayings and deeds of the first promulgers of the new doctrines; so the sacred historians began their history of the kingdom of heaven with the appearance of John in the wilder ness of Judea, preaching the Messiah, faith, repentance, a holy life, and raising up a neic race of Israelites on the principle of faith rather than of flesh: for this in truth was "the blade" of the kingdom of heaven.

Having from all these considerations seen that until the death of the Messiah his kingdom could not commence: and having seen from the record itself that it did not commence before his resurrection, we proceed to the development of things after his resurrection to ascer tain the day on which this kingdom was set up, or the reign of heaven began.

The writer to whom we are most indebted for an orderly and con tinued narrative of the affairs of the kingdom of heaven, is the Evan gelist Luke. His history begins with the angelic annunciations of the nativity of John and Jesus, and ends with the appearance of the great standard-bearer of the Cross in Imperial Rome. A. D. CA. That part of his hi?tory to which we now look as a guide to the affairs of


the commencement of the Reign, is the notices which he makes of the forty clays which the Lord spent in his crucified body, previous to his ascension. The reader ought not to be told (for he ought to know) that Jesus rose in the same body in which he was crucified, and in that reanimated fleshly body did eat, drink, and converse with his Apostles and friends for forty days. That body was not changed till, like the living saints who shall be on the earth at his second personal coming, it was made spiritual, incorruptible, and glorious at the instant of his ascension. So that the man Christ Jesus was made like to all his brethren in his death, burial, resurrection, trans figuration, ascension, and glorification; or rather, they shall be made to resemble him in all these respects.

The Apostles testify that they saw him ascend — that a cloud received him out of their sight — that angels descended to inform them that he was taken up into heaven, not to return for a long time — that he ascended far above all the visible heavens, and now fills all things. Stephen, when dying, saw him standing on the right hand of God.

Much attention is due to all the incidents of these forty days — ^as much, at least, as to the forty days spent by Moses in the Mount with God in the affairs of the preceding kingdom of God. For the risen Messiah makes the affairs of his approaching kingdom the principal topic of these forty days.* Towards the close of these days, and immediately before his ascension, he gave the commission to his Apostles concerning the setting up of this kingdom. "All authority in heaven and in earth is given to me: go, therefore," said he, "con vert the nations," (announce the gospel to every creature,) "immers ing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things which I have commanded you; and behold! I am with you always, even to the con clusion of this state. "t "But continue in the city of Jerusalem until you be invested with power from on high." Thus according to his promise and the ancient prophecy, it was to "begin at Jerusalem."t

The risen Saviour thus directs our attention to Jerusalem as the place, and to a period distant "not many days," as the ti7ne of the beginning of his reign. The great facts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, not being yet fully developed to his Apostles, they were not qualified to take any steps to the setting up of a king dom which was to be founded upon Christ crucified. They needed an interpreter of these facts, and a supernatural advocate of the pretensions of the King, before they could lay the foundation of his kingdom.

«Acts i. 3. fMatt. xxviii. 19, 20; Mark xvi. 16; Luke xxiv. 47, 48. tisa. ii. 3; Mic. iv. 2.


Again, the King himself must be glorified before his authority could be established on earth; for till he received the promise of the Spirit from his Father, and was placed on his throne, the Apostles could not receive it; so that Christ's ascension to heaven and coro nation were indispensable to the commencement of this reign of heaven.

Here let U8 pause for a moment — leave the earth, and on the wings of faith in the testimony of Prophets and Apostles, the two witnesses for Jesus, let us follow him to heaven and ascertain his reception into the heaven of heavens, and exaltation to the right hand of God.


Prophets and Apostles must now be heard. David, by the Spirit, says, "The chariots of God are twenty thousana, even thousands of angels; the Lord is among them as in Sinai in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them." * The same Prophet, in speaking of the solemn and joyful procession at the carrying up of the ark of the ancient constitution into Mount Zion, turns his eyes from the type to the antitype, and thus describes the entrance of the Messiah into heaven: — "Who shall ascend into the hill of God?" The attendant angels in the train of the Messiah, approaching the heaven of heavens, shout, "Lift up your heads, you gates! be lift up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in." Those within, filled with astonishment that any one should so confidently demand admis sion into those gates so long barred against the sons of men, respon sive shout, "Who is the King of glory?" The angels in attendance upon the Messiah reply in strains still as triumphant, "The Lord, strong and mighty! the Lord, mighty in battle!" and still more exult ingly triumphant, shout, "Lift up your heads, you gates! even lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? He is the Lord of hosts! he is the King of glory!" t


Everything in its proper order. He that ascended first descended. Jesus died, was buried, raised from the dead, ascended, and was crowned Lord of all. In the presence of all the heavenly hierarchs. the four living creatures, the twenty-four seniors, and ten thousand times ten thousand angels, he presents himself before the Ihrone. So soon as the first born from the dead appears in the palace royal

* INii. Ixviii. 1\ fl'sa. xxiv.


of the universe, his Father and his God, in his inaugural address, when anointing him Lord of all, says, "Let all the angels of God wor ship him" — "Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies thy footstool." "Jehovah shall send out of Zion [Jerusalem] the rod of thy strength: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies, [the city of thy strongest foes.] Thy people, willing in the day of thy power, shall come to thee. In the beauty of holiness, more than the womb of the morning, shalt thou have the dew of thy progeny. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent. Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedeck. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through the kings [that oppose thee] in the day of his wrath." "Thy throne, O God, endures forever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of rectitude. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows. Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foun dations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hand: they shall perish, but thou remainest; and they shall all grow old as does a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." *

Thus God highly exalted him, and did set him over all the works of his hands, and gave him a name and an honor above every name in heaven and on earth, that at the name of Jesus glorified every knee should bow, and every tongue confess, to the glory of God.

Now we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, that he might taste death for all, on account of the sufferings of death, crowned with glory and honor" — Now "angels, authorities, principalities, and powers are subjected to him." "His enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish."

The Holy Spirit, sent down by Jesus from heaven, on the Pentecost after his resurrection, to the disciples in attendance in Jerusalem, informs the Apostles of all that had been transacted in heaven during the week after his ascension, and till that day. Peter now filled with that promised Spirit, informs the immense concourse assembled on the great day of Pentecost, that God had made that Jesus whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ — exalted him a Prince and a Saviour to grant repentance to Israel and remission of sins.

The first act of his reign was the bestowment of the Holy Spirit, according to the prophecy of Joel and his own promise. So soon as he received the kingdom from God his Father, he poured out the blessings of his favor upon his friends; he fulfilled all his promises to the Apostles, and forgave three thousand of his fiercest enemies. He received pardons and gifts for them that did rebel, and shed

■ Psa. xc, c. and Heb. i.


forth abundantly all spiritual guts on tho little flock to whom it pleased the Father to give the kingdom. Thus commenced the Reign of Heaven, on the day of Pentecost, in the person of the Messiah, the Son of God, and the anointed Monarch of the Universe. Under him, his people, saved from their sins, have received a kingdom which can not be shaken nor removed.

Ihit as the erection of the Jewish tabernacle, after the commence ment of the first kingdom of God, was the work of some time, and of united and combined effort, on the part of those raised up and quali fied for the work; so was the complete erection of this new temple of God. The Apostles, as wise master builders, laid the foundation— promulged the constitution, laws, and institutions of the King, and raised the standard of the kingdom in many towns, cities, and coun tries, for the space of forty years. Some of them not only saw "the Son of Man enter upon his reign," and the kingdom of God commence on Pentecost, and carry its conquests over Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth; but they saw the Lord "come with power" and awful glory, and accomplish all his predictions on the deserted and devoted temple, city, and people. Thus they saw a bright display of the golden sceptre of his grace in forgiving those who bowed to his authority, and an appalling exhibition of the iron rod of his wrath in taking vengeance on his enemies who would not have him to reign over them,


During the personal absence of the King, he has committed the management of this kingdom to stewards. These were, first. Apos tles; next in rank to them. Prophets; next, teachers; then, assistants, or helpers; then directors or presidents, all furnished with gifts, knowledge, and character, suited to their respective functions. Besides these, many persons possessed of miraculous powers — gifts of healing and speaking foreign languages, were employed in setting up and putting in order the communities composing the kingdom of heaven. Angels also were employed, and are still employed, under the great King in ministering to them who are heirs of salvation. For Jesus now, as Lord of all, has the Holy Spirit at his disposal, and all the angels of God; and these are employed by him in the affairs of his kingdom.*

The Apostles were plenipotentiaries and ambassadors for Jesus, and had all authority delegated to them from the King. Hence every thing was first taught and enjoined by them. They were the first preachers, teachers, pastors, overseers, and ministers in the kingdom, and had the direction and management of all its affairs.f

*I. Cor. xii. 2.S; Eph. iv. II: Hcl.. i. U. +I[. Cor. iii. (5; v. 18-20.


The communities collected and set in order by the Apostles were called the congregations of Christ, and all these taken together are sometimes called the kingdom of God. But the phrases "church of God," or "congregation of Christ," and the phrases "kingdom of heaven," or "kingdom of God," do not always nor exactly represent the same thing. The elements of the kingdom of heaven, it will be remembered, are not simply its subjects, and therefore not simply the congregations of disciples of Christ. But as these communities posr sess the oracles of God, are under the laws and institutions of the King, and therefore enjoy the blessings of the present salvation, they are, in the records of the kingdom, regarded as the only constitutional citizens of the kingdom of heaven; and to them exclusively belongs all the present salvation. Their King is now in heaven, but present with them by his Spirit in their hearts and in all the institutions of his kingdom.

Every immersed believer, of good behavior, is, by the constitution, a free and full citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and entitled to all the social privileges and honors of that kingdom. Such of these as meet together statedly in one place in obedience to the King, or his ambassadors the Apostles, for the observance of all the institutions of the King, compose a family, or house, or congregation of Christ; and all these families or congregations, thus organized, constitute the present kingdom of God in this world. So far the phrases king dom of heaven and the congregation or body of Christ are equivalent in signification.*

Now in gathering these communities, and in setting them in order, the Apostles had, when alive, and when dead, by their writings still have, the sole right of legislating, ordering, and disposing of all things. But it is not the will of Jesus Christ, because it is not adapted to human nature, nor to the present state of his kingdom as administered in his absence, that the church should be governed by a written document alone. Hence in every city, town, and country where the Apostles gathered a community by their own personal labors, or by their assistants, in setting them in order, for their edifi cation, and for their usefulness and influence in this world, they uni formly appointed Elders, or overseers, to labor in the word and teach ing, and to preside over the whole affairs of the community. To these also were added Deacons, or public ministers of the congregation, who, under the direction of the overseers, were to manage all the affairs of these individual families of God. This the very names Bishop and Deacon, and all the qualifications enjoined, fairly and fully import.

'Rom. xii. 4-8; I. Cor. xii. 27; Hcb. iii. i


But as all the citizens of tlie liingdom are free men under Christ, they all have a voice in the selection of the persons whom the Apos tles appoint to these offices. The Apostles still appoint all persons so elected, possessing the qualifications which they, by the Holy Spirit, prescribed. And if a congregation icill not elect to these offices the persons possessing these qualifications; or if by a waywardness and selfwilledness of their own, they should elect those unqualified, and thus disparage those marked out by the possession of those gifts; in either case, they despise the authority of the Ambassadors of Christ, and must suffer for it. It is, indeed, the Holy Spirit, and not the congregations, which creates Bishops and Deacons. The Spirit gives the qualifications, both natural and acquired, and, speaking to the congregations in the written oracles, commands their ordination 01 appointment to the work.*

In the present administration of the kingdom of God, faith is the PKiNcirLE, and ordinances the means of all spiritual enjoyment. Without faith in the testimony of God, a person is without God, with out Christ, and without hope in the world. A Christless universe, as respects spiritual life and joy, is the most perfect blank which fancy can create. Without faith nothing in the Bible can. be enjoyed; and without it, there is to man no kingdom of heaven in all the domin ions of God.

In the kingdom of nature seiise is the principle, and ordinances the means of enjoyment. Without sense, or sensation, nothing in nature can be known or enjoyed. All the creative, recuperative, and renovating power, wisdom, and goodness of God, exhibited in nature, are contained in ordinances. The sun, moon, and stars — the clouds, the air, the earth, the water, the seasons, day and night, are there fore denominated the ordinances of Heaven, because God's power, wisdom, and goodness are in them, and felt by us only through them.f Now sense, without the ordinances of nature, like faith, without the ordinances of religion, would be no principle of enjoyment; and the ordinances of nature, without sense, like the ordinances of religion, without faith, would be no means of enjoyment. These are the unal terable decrees of God. There is no exception to them; and there is no reversion of them. To illustrate and enforce the doctrine of this single paragraph is worthy of a volume. The essence, the whole essence of that reformation for which we contend, is wrapped up in this decree as above expressed. If it be true, the ground on which we stand is firm and unchangeable as the Rock of Ages; if it be false, we build upon the sand. Reader, examine it icell!

<'Act.>< vi. 2-7; xiv. %\: xx. 17-:t(i: Pliil. i. 1; I. Tim. iii. I-lf.; Tit. i. .VIO; Hob. xlii. 7, 17. 'i.'). +.!<•!•. xxxi. ;!."i. :«>; .I(>1> xxxviil. :!l-:i:!; .Ii r. xxxiil. 2,").


In the kingdom of heaven faith is, then, the principle, and ordi nances the 7neans of enjoyment; because all the wisdom, power, love, mercy, compassion, or grace of God, is in the ordinances of the king dom of heaven; and if all grace be in them, it can only be enjoyed through them. What, then, under the present administration of the kingdom of heaven, are the ordinances which contain the grace of God? They are, preaching the gospel — immersion in the name of Jesus, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit— the reading and teaching the Living Oracles— the Lord's Day — the Lord's Supper — fasting — prayer — confession of sins — and praise. To these may be added other appointments of God, such as exhorta tion, admonition, discipline, etc.: for these also are ordinances of God; and, indeed, all statutes and commandments are ordinances:* but we speak not at present of those ordinances which concern the good order of the kingdom, but of those which are primary means of enjoyment. These primary and sacred ordinances of the kingdom of heaven are the means of our individual enjoyment of the present salvation of God.

Without the sun, there is no solar influence; without the moon, there is no lunar influence; without the stars, there is no sidereal influence; without clouds, there can be no rain; and without the ordinances of the kingdom of heaven, there can be no heavenly influence exhibited or felt. There is a peculiar and distinctive influ ence exerted by the sun, moon, and stars; yet they all give light. So in the ordinances of the kingdom of heaven — although they all agree in producing certain similar effects on the subjects of the kingdom, there is something distinctive and peculiar in each of them, so that no one of them can be substituted for another. Not one of them can be dispensed with— they are all necessary to the full enjoyment of the reign of heaven.

In nature and in religion all the blessings of God bestowed on man are properly classed under two heads. These may be called, for illustration, antecedent and consequent. The antecedent includes all those blessings bestowed on man to prepare him for action and to induce him to action. The consequent are those which God bestows on man through a course of action correspondent to these antecedent blessings. For example, all that God did for Adam in creating for him the earth and all that it contains, animal, vegetable, mineral; in forming him in his own image; giving him all his physical, intel lectual, and moral powers, and in investing him with all the per sonal and real estate which elevated him above all sublunary beings, were antecedent to any act of Adam; and these furnished him with inducements to love, honor, and obey his creator and benefactor. All

* Jas. i. 25.


that God did tor Abraham in promises and precepts before his obedi ence — all that he did lor the Israelites in bringing them up out of Egypt, and redeeming them from the tyranny of Pharaoh, were anie cedent to the duties and observances which he enjoined upon them, and to the privileges which he promised them. And all the blessings which Adam, Abraham, the Israelites enjoyed through conformity to the institutions under which they were placed, were consequent upon that state of mind and course of action which the antecedent favors demanded and occasioned. God never commanded any being to do anything hut the power and motive were derived from something God had done for him.

In the kingdom of heaven the antecedent blessings are the consti tution of grace, the King, and all that he did, suffered, and sustained for our redemption. These were finished before we came upon the stage of action. This is all favor, pure favor, sovereign favor: for there can be no favor that is not free and sovereign. But the remis sion of our sins, our adoption into the family of God, our being made heirs and inheritors of the kingdom of glory, are consequent upon faith and the obedience of faith.

Organization and life of any sort are of necessity the gifts of God; but health and the continued enjoyment of life, and all its various and numerous blessings, are consequent upon the proper exer cise of these. He that will not breathe, eat, drink, sleep, exercise, can not enjoy animal life. God has bestowed animal organization and life antecedent to any action of the living creature; but the crea ture may throw away that life by refusing to sustain it by the means essential to its preservation and comfort.

God made but one man out of the earth, and one earthly nature of every sort, by a positive, direct, and immediate agency, of wisdom, power, and goodness. He gave these the power, according to his own constitution or systeyn of nature, of reproducing and multiplying to an indefinite extent. But still this life is transmitted, diffused, and sustained by God operating through the system of nature. So Jesus, in the new creation, by his Spirit sent down from heaven after his glorification, did, by a positive, direct, and immediate agency, create one congregation, one mystical, or spiritual body; and, according to the constitution or system of the kingdom of heaven, did give to that mystical body created in Jerusalem, out of the more ancient earthly kingdom of God, the power of reproducing and multiplying to an Indefinite extent. But still this new and spiritual life is transmitted, diffused, and sustained by the Spirit of God, operating through the constitution, or system of grace, ordained in the kingdom of heaven.

Hcnco in setting up the kingdom of heaven, as in setting up the kingdom of nature, there was a display of divinity, compared with


everything subsequent, properly supernatural. Hence the array of apostles, prophets, extraordinary teachers, gifts, powers, miracles, etc., etc. But after this new mystical body of Christ was created and made, it had, and yet has, according to the system of grace under the present administration of the kingdom of heaven, the power of multi plying and replenishing the whole earth, and will do it; for as God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the spirit of life after he had raised him out of the dust; and as he bestowed on his beloved Son Jesus, after he rose out of the water, his Holy Spirit, without meas ure; so on the formation of the first congregation, figuratively called the body of Christ, Jesus did breathe into it the Holy Spirit to ani mate and inhabit it till he come again. The only temple and habita tion of God on earth, since Jesus pronounced desolation on that in Jerusalem, is this body of Christ.

Now this first congregation of Christ, thus filled with the Spirit of God, had the power of raising other congregations of Christ; or, what is the same thing, of causing the body of Christ to grow and increase. Thus we see that other congregations were soon raised up in Judea and Samaria by the members of the Jerusalem body. Many were begotten to God by the Spirit of God, through the members of the first congregation. And since the Spirit himself ceased to operate in all those splendid displays of supernatural grandeur, by still keep ing the disciples of Christ always in remembrance of the things spoken by the holy Apostles, and by all the arguments derived from the antecedent blessings bestowed, working in them both to will and do according to the benevolence of God, he is still causing the body of Christ to grow and increase in stature, as well as in knowledge and the favor of God. Thus the church of Christ, inspired with his Spirit, and having the oracles and ordinances of the reign of heaven, is fully adequate to the conversion of the whole world if she prove not recreant to her Lord.

In the work of conversion, her Evangelists, or those whom she sends beyond the precincts of her weekly meetings, have, under the influence of the Spirit of God, simply to propose the constitution, or the glad tidings of the reign, to those without; and by all the argu ments which the oracles of God and the times and occasions suggest, to beseech and persuade men to be reconciled to God, to kiss the Son, to accept the constitution, to bow to him who is ordained a Prince and a Saviour to grant repentance and remission of sins to all who submit to his government. Thus they, and the congregation who sends them forth and sustains them in the work, beget children of God by the gospel, and enlarge the body of Christ.

With all these documents before us, may we not say, that, as Eve was the mother of all living, so "Jerusalem is the mother of us all"?


And thus, to use the language of Paul, "Men are l>egotten to God by the gospel" through the instrumentality of the congregations of Christ. Under the present administration of the kingdom of heaven a great apostacy has occurred, as foretold by the Apostles. As the church, compared to a city, is called "Mount Zion," the apostate church is called "Babylon the Great." Like Babylon the type, "Mys tery Babylon" the antitype is to be destroyed by a Cyrus that knows not God. She is to fall by the sword of infidels, supported by the fierce judgments of God. "The Holy City" is still trodden under foot and the sanctuary is filled with corruptions. It is, indeed, a den of thieves; but strong Is the Lord that judges the apostate city. Till that great and notable day of the Lord come, we can not. from the prophetic word, anticipate a universal return to the original gospel nor a general restoration of all the institutions of the kingdom of heaven in their primitive character; and. consequently, we can not promise to ourselves the universal subjugation of the nations to the sceptre of Jesus.

But were we to enter upon the consideration of the administration of the affairs of the kingdom after the fall and overthrow of the apos tate city and the conversion of the Jews, we should have to launch upon a wide and tempestuous ocean, for which our slender bark is not at this time sufficiently equipped. This may yet deserve the con struction of a large vessel in a more propitious season. Meanwhile, the original gospeJ is extensively proclaimed, and many thousands are preparing for the day of the Lord; and these are taught by the "Faithful and True Witness" that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, and that their happiness and safety alike consist in being prepared for his second advent.


Your rank and standing under the reign of the Prince of Peace have never been surpassed— indeed, have never been equalled by any portion of the human race. You have visions and revelations of God —his being and perfections— developments of the depths of his wis dom and knowledge, of the counsels of his grace, and the purposes of his love, which give you an intellectual and moral superiority above all your predecessors in the patriarchal and Jewish ages of the world. Secrets of God. which were hid from ages and generations, have been revealed to you by the Apostles of the Great Apostle and High Priest of your confession. What Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses. David. Isaiah. Daniel, and all the Prophets, down to John the Harbinger, rejoiced to anticipate, you have realized and enjoyed. The intellectual pleasures of the highest and most sublime conceptions of God and of


Christ vouchsafed to you, so far transcend the attainments of the ancient people of God, that you are comparatively exalted to heaven, and may enjoy the days of heaven upon earth. You have a book which contains not only the charter of your privileges, but which explains a thousand mysteries in the antecedent administrations of God over all the nations of the earth. In it you have such interpreta tions of God's past providences in the affairs of individuals, families, and nations, as open to you a thousand sources of rational and senti mental enjoyment from incidents and things which puzzled and per plexed the most intelligent and highly favored of past ages. Moun tains are, indeed, levelled; valleys are exalted; rough places are made plain, and crooked ways straight to your apprehension; and from these data you are able to form more just conceptions of the present, and more lofty anticipations of the future, than fell to the lot of the most highly favored subjects of preceding dispensations. And, indeed, so inexhaustible are the deep and rich mines of knowledge and understanding in the Christian Revelations, that the most com prehensive mind in the kingdom of heaven might labor in them dur ing the age of Methusaleh, constantly enriching itself with all knowl edge and spiritual understanding, and yet leave at last vast regions and tracts of thought wholly unexplored.

But this decided superiority over the most gifted saints of former ages you unquestionably enjoy. Among all the living excellencies with which they were acquainted, they wanted a perfect model of all human excellence. Bright as were the virtues and excellencies of an Abraham, a Joseph, a David, there were dark spots, or, at least, some blemishes in their moral character. They failed to place in living form before their contemporaries, or to leave as a legacy to posterity, every virtue, grace, and excellence that adorn human nature. But you have Jesus not only as "the image of the visible God," "an efful gence of his glory, and an exact representation of his character," but as a man holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin, exhibiting in the fullest perfection every excellence which gives amiability, dig nity, and glory to human character. You have motives to purity and holiness, a stimulus to all that is manly, good, and excellent, from what he said, and did, and suffered as the Son of Man, which would have added new charms and beauties to the most exemplary of all the saints of the olden times.

Means and opportunities of the highest intellectual and moral enjoyments are richly bestowed on you, for which they sighed in vain; God having provided some better things for Christians than for Jews and patriarchs. Shall we not, then, fellow-citizens, appreciate and use, as we ought, to our present purity and happiness, to our eternal honor and glory, the light which the Sun of Righteousness has shed


so richly and abundantly on us? Remember that we stand upon Apostles and Prophets, and are sustained by Jesus the light of the world, and the interpreter and vindicator of all God's ways to man, in creation, providence, and redemption. All suns are stars; and he that is now to us in this life "the tiun of Righteousness," in respect, of the future is "the bright and Morning Star." Till the day of eter nity dawn, and the day star of immortality arise in our hearts, let us always look to Jesus.

But it is not only the felicity of superior heavenly light, though that is most delectable to our rational nature, which distinguishes you the citizens of this kingdom; but that personal, real, and plenary remission of all sin, which you enjoy through the blood of the Lamb of God, bestowed on you through the ordinances of Christian immer sion and confession of sins.

The Jews, indeed, had sacrifices under the law, which could, and did take away ceremonial sins: and which so far absolved from the guilt of transgressing that law, as to give them a right to the con tinued enjoyment of the temporal and political promises of the national compact; but farther Jewish sacrifices and ablutions could not reach. This benefit every Jew had from them. But as respected the conscience, Paul, the great commentator on Jewish sacrifice, assures us they had no power. "With respect to the conscience, ' says he, "they could not make him who did the service perfect."

The entrance of the law gave the knowledge of sin. It gave names to particular sins, and "caused the offense to abound." The sacrifices appended to it had respect to that institution alone, and not to sin in the general, nor to sin in its true and proper nature. The promise made to the patriarchs and the sacrificial institution added to it. through faith in that promise, led the believing to anticipate a real sin-offering; but it appears the Jewish sacrifices had only respect to the Jewish institution, and excepting their typical character, gave no new light to those under that economy, on the subject of a true and proper remission of sins, through the real and bloody sacrifice of Christ.

The patriarch and the believing Jew, as respected a real remission of sins, stood upon the same ground; for, as has been observed, the episode institution, or, as Paul says, "the supervening of the law," made no change in the apprehensions of remission as respected the conscience. But a new age having come, (for "these ordinances for cleansing the flesh were imposed only till the time of reformation,") and Christ having, by a more perfect sacrifice, opened the way into the true holy plaros. has laid the foundation for perfecting the con science by a real and full remission of sins, which, by the virtue of his blood, terminates not upon the flesh, but upon the conscience of the sinner.


John, indeed, who lived at the dawn of the Reformation, preached reformation with an immersion for the remission of sins; saying that "they sliould believe in him that was to come after him." Those who believed John's ^gospel and reformed, and were immersed into John's reformation, had the remission of sins through faith in him that was to come: but you, fellow citizens, even in respect of the enjoyment of remission, are greatly advanced above the disciples of John. You have been immersed, not only by the authority of Jesus, as Lord of all, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, but into the death or sacrifice of Christ. This no disciple of Moses or of John knew anything about. This gives you an insight into sin, and a freedom from it, as respects the conscience — a peace and a joy unutterable and full of glory, to which both the disciples of Moses and of the Harbinger were strangers. So that the light of the risen day of heaven's eternal Sun greatly excels, not only the glimmerings of the stars in the patriarchal age, and the faint light of the moon in the Jewish age, but even the twilight of the morning.

Your new relation to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, into which you have been introduced by faith in the Messiah and immersion into his death, verifies, in respect of the sense and assur ance of remission, all that John and Jesus said concerning that supe riority of privilege vouchsafed under the Messiah in the kingdom of heaven. You can see your sins washed away in the blood that was shed on Mount Calvary. That which neither the highly favored John nor any disciple of the Messiah could understand, till Jeus said, "It is finished," you not only clearly perceive, but have cordially embraced. You can feel, and say with all assurance, that "the blood of Jesus Christ now cleanses you from all sin;" and that by faith you have access to the Mediator of the New Institution, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks glad tidings to the heart. You have an Advo cate with the Father, and when conscious of any impurity, coming to him by God, confessing your sins, and supplicating pardon through his blood, you have the promise of remission. You now know how God is just as well as merciful in forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.

But superior light and knowledge, and enlarged conceptions of God, with such an assurance of real and personal remission as pacifies the conscience and introduces the peace of God into the heart, are not the only distinguishing favors which you enjoy in the new relation to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, into which you are intro duced under the Reign of Heaven; but you are formally adopted into the family of God, and constituted the sons and daughters of the Father Almighty.


To be called "the friend of God" was the highest title bestowed oa Abraham; to be called the friends of Christ, was the peculiar honor of the disciples of Christ, to whom he confided the secrets of his reign; but to be called "the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, ' ia not only the common honor of all Christians, but the highest honor which could be vouchsafed to the inhabitants of this earth. Such honor have you, my fellow citizen, in being related to the only begotten Son of Cod: "For to as many as received him he gave the privilfge of becoming the sons of God." These, indeed, were not descended from families of noble blood, nor genealogies of high renown; neither are they the offspring of the instincts of the flesh, nor made the sons of God "by the will of man," who sometimes adopts the child of another as his own; but they are "born of God" tHrough the ordinances of his grace. "Behold how great love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God!" "The world, indeed, does not know us, because it did not know him. Beloved, now are we the chil dren of God. It does not yet appear what we shall be!"

"Because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." And if sons, it follows "you are heirs of God through Christ," the Heir of all things. Is this, fellow citizens, a romantic vision, or sober and solemn truth, that you are children of God, possessing the spirit of Christ, and constituted heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ of the eternal inheritance! What manner of persons, then, ought you to be! How pure, how holy, and heavenly in your temper; how just and righteous in all your ways; how humble and devoted to the Lord; how joyful and triumphant in your King!

Permit me, then, to ask, Wherein do you excel? — nay, rather, you will propose this question to yourselves. You will say. How shall vre still more successfully promote the interest, the honor, and the tri umphs of the gospel of the kingdom? Is there anything we can do by our behaviour, our morality, our piety, by our influence, by all' the earthly means with which God has furnished us? Is there anything we can do more to strengthen the army of the faith, to invigorate the champions of the kingdom, to make new conquests for our King? Can wo not increase the joy of the Lord in converting souls — can we not furnish occasions of rejoicing to the angels of God — can we not gladden the hearts of thousands who have never tasted the joys of the children of God?

In the present administration of the kingdom of God. during the absence of the King he has said to the citizens, "Put on the armor of light" — "Contend earnestly for the faith" — "Convert the world" — "Occupy till I come" — "Let your light shine before men, that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father in heaven" — "That


the Gentiles may, by your good works, which, they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." He has thus entrusted to the ctiizens the great work for which he died — the salvation of men. Let us, then, brethren, be found faithful to the Lord and to men, that he may address us at his coming with the most acceptable plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful servants; enter into the joy of your Lord!"

Great as the opposition is to truth and salvation, we have no reason to despond. Greater are our friends and allies, and infinitely mora powerful than all our enemies. God is on our side — Jesus Christ is our King — the Holy Spirit is at his disposal — angels are his minister ing servants — the prayers of all the prophets, apostles, saints, and martyrs are for our success — our brethren are numerous and strong — they have the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the artillery of truth — the arguments of God, the preparation of the gospel of peace — our Com mander and Captain is the most successful General that ever entered the field of war — he never lost a battle — he is wonderful in counsel excellent in working, valiant in fight — the Lord of hosts is his name. He can stultify all the machinations of our enemies, control all the powers of nature, and subdue all our foes, terrestrial and infernal. Under his conduct we are like Mount Zion that can never be moved. Indeed, under him we are come to Mount Zion, the stronghold and fortress of the kingdom, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jeru salem — to myriads of angels — the general assembly and congregation of the first born, enrolled in heaven — to God the judge of all — to the spirits of just men made perfect — to Jesus the Mediator of the New Constitution — and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks such peace, and joy, and courage to the heart. Ought we not, then, brethren, "to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might"? If in faith, and courage, and prayer, we put on the heavenly armor, and march under the King, sounding the gospel trumpet, the walls of Jericho will fall* to the ground, and the banners of the Cross will wave over the ruins of Paganism, Atheism, Skepticism, and Sectarianism —

Nil desperanchim, te diicc Christe. If a Roman could say, "Nothing is to be feared under the auspices of Cesar," may not the Christian say, There is no despair under the guardianship of Messiah the King?

But, fellow citizens, though clothed with the whole panoply of heaven, and headed by the Captain of Salvation, there is no success in this war to be expected without constant and incessant prayer. When the Apostles began to build up this kingdom, notwithstanding all the gifts they enjoyed, they found it necessary to devote themselves to prayer as well as to the ministry of the word. And when Paul describes all the armor of God, piece by piece, in putting it on, he says.


"Take the sword of the Spirit — with all supplication and deprecation, pray at all seasons in spirit, watch with all perseverance and suppli cation for all the saints."

This was most impressively and beautifully pictured out in tho wars of ancient Israel against their enemies. While Moses lifted up his holy hands to heaven, Israel prevailed; and when he did not, Amalok prevailed. So it is now. When the disciples of Christ, tho heaven-born citizens of tho kingdom, continue instant in prayer and watchfulness, the truth triumphs in their hearts and in the world. When they do not, they become cold, timid, and impotent as Samson shorn, and the enemy gains strength over them. Then the good cause of the Lord languishes.

It is not necessary that we should understand how prayer increases our zeal, our wisdom, our strength, our joy, or how it gives success to the cause, any more than that we should understand how our food is converted into flesh, and blood, and bones. It is only necessary that we eat; and it is only necessary that we should pray as we are taught and commanded. Experience proves that the outward man is renewed day by day by our daily bread; and experience proves that the inward man is renewed day by day by prayer and thanksgiving. The Lord has promised his Holy Spirit to them that ask him in truth; and is it not necessary to their success? If it be not necessary to give new revelations, it is necessary to keep in mind those already given, and to bring the word written seasonably to our remembrance. Besides, if the Spirit of the Lord was necessary to the success of Gideon and Barak, and Samson and David, and all the great warriors of Israel according to the flesh, who fought the battles of the Lord with the sword, the sling, and the bow; who can say that it is not necessary to those who draw the sword of the Spirit and fight the good fight of faith? In my judgment it is as necessary now as then: neces sary I mean to equal success — necessary to the success of those who labor in the word and teaching of Jesus Christ — and necessary to those who would acquit themselves like men in every department in the rank of the great army of the Lord of hosts.

Though the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. they are mighty, (only, however, through God, to the overturning of strongholds,) to the overturning of all reasonings against the truth, and every high thing raised up against the knowledge of God. and in leading captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. Let us, then, fellow citizens, whether as leaders or as private soldiers, abound in prayer and supplications to God night and day. If sincere, and ardent, and incessant prayers to God for everything that he has promised; for all things for which the Apostles prayed, were offered up by all the congregations, and by every disciple in his family and in his closet


for the triumphs of the truth, then would we see the army of the Lord successful in fight against atheism, infidelity, and sectarianism — then would we see disciples gi-owing in knowledge and in favor with God and man. And is not the conversion of the world, and our own eternal salvation, infinitely worthy of all the effort and enterprise in man. seeing God himself has done so much in the gift of his Son and Holy Spirit, and left for us so little to do^ — nothing, indeed, but what is in the compass of our power? And shall we withhold that little, espe cially as he has given us so many and so exceedingly great and precious promises to stimulate us to exertion? Has not Jesus said, "The con queror shall inherit all things"? — that he "will not blot his name out of the book of life"? — that he will confess it before his Father and his holy angels? — that he will place him "upon his throne, and give him the crown of life that shall never fade away"?

Rise up, then, in the strength of Judah's Lion! Be valiant for the truth! Adorn yourselves with all the graces of the Spirit of God! Put on the armor of light; and, with all the gentleness, and meekness, and mildness there is in Christ — with all the courage, and patience, and zeal, and effort worthy of a cause so salutary, so pure, so holy, and so divine, determine never to faint nor to falter till you enter the pearly gates — never to lay down your arms, till, with the triumphant millions, you stand before the throne, and exulting sing, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing!" — "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing, and honor, and glory, and strength forever and forever!" Amen.


Whether to regard you in the light of Proselytes of the Gate, who refused circumcision, but wished to live in the land of Israel, to be in the suburbs of the cities of Judah, and to keep some of the institu tions of the ancient kingdom of God, without becoming fellow citizens of that kingdom; or whether to regard you as the Samaritans of old, who built for themselves a temple of God upon Mount Gerizim, held fast a part of the ancient revelation of God, and rejected only such parts of it as did not suit their prejudices — worshipped the God of Israel in common with the idols of the nations from which they sprang — I say, whether to regard you in the light of the one or the other of those ancient professors of religion, might require more skill in casu istry than we possess — more leisure than we have at our disposal — and more labor than either of us have patience to endure. One thing, how ever, is obvious), that if under the Reign of Heaven it behooved so good a man as Cornelius ("a man of piety, and one that feared God with all his house, giving also much alms to the people, and praying to


God continually,") to "hear words by which he might be saved," and to put on Christ by immersion into his death, that he might enter the kingdom of heaven, and enjoy the remission of sins and the hope of an inheritance among all the sanctified — certainly it is both expedient and necessary that you also go and do likewise.

Every sectarian in the land, how honest and pious soever, ought to bury his sectarianism and all his other sins of omission and commis sion in "the bath of regeneration." It is a high crime and misde meanor in any man, professing to have received the Messiah in his proper person, character, and office, to refuse allegiance to him in anything; and to substitute human inventions and traditions in lieu of the ordinances and statutes of Prince Immanuel. Indeed, the keep ing up of any dogma, practice, or custom, which directly or indirectly supplants the constitution, laws, and usages of the kingdom over which Jesus presides, is directly opposed to his government, and would ulti mate in dethroning him in favor of a rival, and in placing upon his throne the author of that dogma, practice, or usage which supplants the institution of the Saviour of the world.

It is to you, then, who, in the name of the King, are changing his ordinances and substituting your own expedients for the wisdom and authority of the Judge of all, we now propose the following consider ations:

Every kingdom has one uniform law or institution for naturalizing aliens; and that institution, of whatever sort it be, is obligatory by the authority of the government upon every one who would become a citizen. We say it is obligatory upon him who desires to be a citizen to submit himself to that institution. But does not your practice and your dogma positively say, that it is not the duty of an alien to be born again, but that it is the duty of his father or guardian to have him naturalized? Now, although many things are in common the duty of brother, father, and child, yet those duties which belong specifically to a father can not belong to his child, either in religion, morality, or society. If it be the father's duty to "offer his child to the Lord." to speak in your own style, it is not the duty of the child to offer himself. It was not Isaac's duty to be circumcised, but Abraham's duty to cir cumcise him. If, then, it was your father's duty to have made you citizens of the kingdom of heaven, it is not your duty to become citi zens, unless you can produce a law, saying, that in all cases where the father fails to do his duty, then it shall be the duty of the child to do that which his father neglected.

Again — if all fathers, like yours, had upon their own responsibility, without any command from the Lord, baptized their children, there would not be one in a nation to whom it could be said. "Repent and be baptized" — much less could It be said to every penitent, "Be bap-


tized, every one of you, by the authority of the Lord, for the remission of sins." These remarks are only intended to show that your insti tutions do, in truth, go to the subversion of the government of Christ, and to the entire abolition of the institutions of his kingdom. On this account alone, if for no other reason, you ought to be constitutionally naturalized, and be legally and honorably inducted into the kingdom of heaven. It is a solemn duty you owe the King and his government and if you have a conscience formed by the Oracles of God, you can have no confidence in God, nor real peace of mind, so long as you give your support — your countenance, example, and entire infiuence to break down the institutions of Jesus Christ, to open his kingdom to all that is born of the flesh, and to prevent as far as you can every man from the pleasure of choosing whom he shall obey — of confessing him before men — of taking on his yoke — of dying, being buried, and raised with Christ in his gracious institution. If Jesus himself, for the sake of fulfilling all righteousness, or of honoring every divine institution, though he needed not the reformation nor the remission which John preached, was immersed by John — what have you to say for yourselves — you who would claim the honors and privileges of the kingdom of heaven, refusing to follow the example of Jesus, and who virtually subvert his authority by supporting a system which would, if carried out, not allow a voluntary agent in all the race of Adam to do that which all the first converts to Christ did by authority of the commis sion which Jesus gave to all his Apostles?

Again — whatever confidence you may now possess that you are good citizens of the kingdom of the Messiah, that confidence is not founded upon a "thus saith the Lord," but upon your own reasonings, which all men must acknowledge may be in this, as in many other things, fallacious. Jesus has said, "He that believes and is immersed shall be saved;" and Peter commanded every penitent to be immersed for the remission of his sins. Now he who hears the word, believes it, and is on his own confession immersed, has an assurance, a confidence, which it is impossible for you to have.

Let me add only another consideration, for we are not now arguina; the merits of your theory, or that of any party: it is your duty, as you desire the union of (what you call) the church, and the conversion of the world, forthwith to be immersed and be born constitutionally into the kingdom; because all Protestants, of every name, if sincere believers in Jesus as the Christ, irrespective of every opinion found in any human creed, could, if they would, honor and obey his insti tutions, come into one fold, and sit down together under the reign of the Messiah. If all would follow your example, this would necessarily follow; if they do not, you have done your duty. In being thus immersed, all the world, Catholic and Protestant, admit that you are


truly and Scripturally baptized; for all admit that an immersed peni tent is constitutionally baptized into Christ: but only a part of the professing world can admit that rite of infant affusion on which you rely, as introducing you, without previous knowledge, faith, or repent ance, into the family of God. Acquit, then, your conscience; follow the example of Jesus; honor and support his authority; promote the union and peace of the family of God; do what in you lies for the conversion of the world; enter into the full enjoyment of the blessings of the kingdom of heaven by confessing the ancient faith, and by being immersed in the name of Jesus, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins. Then you may say as Jesus said to the Samaritan woman. Although the Samari tans have a temple on Mount Gerizim, a priesthood, and the five books of Moses, "salvation is of the Jews." Although the sects have the Oracles of God, human creeds, many altars, priests, and religious usages, the enjoyment of salvation is among them who simply believe what the Apostles wrote concerning Jesus, and who, from the heart, obey that mould of doctrine which the Apostles delivered to us.

In so doing you will, moreover, most wisely consult your own safety and security from the signal calamities that are every day accumu lating, and soon to fall with overwhelming violence on a distracted, divided, alienated, and adulterous generation. If you are ''the people of God," as you profess, and as we would fain imagine, then you are commanded by a voice from heaven, "Come out of her, my people, that you partake not of the sins of mystic Babylon, and that you receive not a portion of her plagues."* If affliction, and shame, and poverty, and reproach were to be the inalienable lot of the most approved serv ants of God, it is better, infinitely better for you to suffer with them, than to enjoy for a season all that a corrupted and apostate society can bestow on you. Remember who it is that has said. "Happy are they who keep his commandments, for they shall have a right to the tree of life, and they shall enter in through the gates into the city!"


To him who, through the telescope of faith, surveys your camp, there appears not on the whole map of creation such a motley group. such a heterogeneous and wretched amalgamation of distracted spirits, as are found in actual insurrection and rebellion, in a mad and accursed alliance against the reigning Monarch of creation. In your lines are found every unclean and hateful spirit on this side the fath omless gulf, the dark and rayless receptacle of fallen and ruined intel ligences, who, in endless and fruitless wailings. lament their own fol lies, and through an incessant night of despair anathematize themselves

'Rev. xviii. 4, 5.


and their coadjutors in the perpetration of their eternal suicide. Yes, in your ranks are found all who wilfully reject the Son of God, and will not have him to reign over them; whether they are styled the decent moralist, the honest deist, skeptic, atheist, infidel, the specu lating Sadducee, the boasting Pharisee, the supercilious Jew, the resentful Samaritan, or the idolatrous Gentile. All ranks and degrees of men in political society — the king and the beggar — the sage phil osopher and the uneducated clown — the rich and the poor, who disdain the precepts of the Messiah, unite with you in this unholy alliance against the kingdom of heaven. You may boast of many a decent fel low soldier in the crusade against Immanuel; many who.when weighed in the balances of the political sanctuary, are not found wanting in all the decencies of this present life; but only look at the innumerable crowds of every sort of wretches, down to the filthiest, vilest matricide, who in yonr communion are fighting under your banners — stout hearted rebels! — leagued with you in your attempts to dethrone the I.i0rd's Anointed. If you boast of one Marcus Aurelius, you must frar ternize with many a Nero, Domitian, Caligula, and Heliogabulus. It you rejoice in the virtues of one Seneca, you must own the vices of ten thousand murderers, robbers, adulterers, drunkards, profane swearers, and lecherous debauchees, who have rejected the counsels of heaven, because the precepts of righteousness and life forbade their crimes.

If, then, my friends, (for I now address the most honorable of your community,) you boast that you belong to a very large and respectable synagogue, remember, I pray you, that to this same synagogue in which you have your brotherhood, belongs everything mean, and vile, and wretched, in every land where the name of Jesus has been announced. What a group! Have you so much of the reflex light of the gospel falling upon your vision as to flush your cheek with the glow of shame when you look along the line of your alliance, and survey the horrible faces, the ragged, and tattered, and squalid, and filthy wretches, your companions in arms — members toith you in the synagogue of Satan — and confederates against the Prince of Peace f If you can not blush at such a spectacle, you are not among them to whom I would tender the pearls of Jesus Christ.

What do you then say? "I am ashamed of such an alliance — of such a brotherhood; and therefore I have joined the Temperance Society — I belong to the Literary Club — and I carry my family regu larly to church on every Sunday." And do you think, O simpleton! that these human inventions, which only divide the kingdom of Satan into castes, and form within it various private communions, honorable and dishonorable associations, learned and unlearned fraternities, moral and immoral conventicles, change the state of a single son of


Adam as respects the Son of God I ! Then may Whig and Tory, Masonic and Antimasoni<r clubs and conclaves — then may every political cabal, for the sake of elevating some demagogue, change the political relations in the state, and make and unmake American citizens according to fancy, in despite of constitution, law, and established precedents. No, sir; should there be as many parties in the state as there are days in a month, membership in any one of these affects not in the least the standing of any man as a citizen in relation to the United States, or to any foreign power. And by parity of reason, as well as by all that is written in the New Testament, should you join all the benevolent socie ties on the chequered map of Christendom, and fraternize with every brotherhood born after the icill of man, this would neither change nor destroy your citizenship in the kingdom of Satan — still you would be an alien from the kingdom of the Messiah — a foreigner as respects all its covenanted blessings — and, in the unbiased judgment of the uni verse, you would stand enrolled amongst its enemies.

In character there are many degrees as respects any and every attribute which enters into its formation; but as respects state there are no degrees. In the nature of things it is impossible. Every man is either married or single, a brother, a master, a citizen, or he is not. Every man is either Christ's or Belial's; there is no middle power, and therefore no neutral state. Hence the King himself, when on the present theatre of war, told his companions to regard every man as his enemy who w^as not on his side. Amongst his professed friends they, who in works deny him, are even counted as enemies.

What a hopeless struggle is that in which you are engaged! Dis comfiture, soon or late, awaits you. Have you counsel and strength to oppose the Sovereign of the Universe? Do you think you can frus trate the counsels of Infinite Wisdom and overcome Omnipotence? Your master is already a prisoner — your chief is in chains. The fire of eternal vengeance is already kindled for Satan and all his subjects. Mad in his disappointed ambition, and implacable in his hatred of him against whom he rebelled, he only seeks to gratify his own malice by involving with himself in irremediable ruin the unhappy victims of his seduction. He only seeks to desolate the dominions of God, and to ruin forever his fellow creatures. WMU you, then, serve your worst enemy and war against your best friend?

But your rebellion can effect nothing against God. His arm is too strong for the whole creation. You can not defeat his counsels nor stay his almighty hand. The earth on which you stand trembles at his rebuke; the foundations of the hills and mountains are moved and shaken at his presence. You fight against yourselves. God's detes tation of your course arises not from any apprehension that you can injure him; but because you destroy yourselves. Every triumph which


your inordinate desires and passions gain over the remonstrances of. reason and conscience, only precipitates you into deeper and deeper misery, matures you for perdition, and makes it essential to the good order and happiness of the universe that you should suffer an "ever lasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power."

What, then, infatuates you, that you should choose death rather than life, and prefer destruction to salvation? "I am not sure that the gospel is true; I love my companions, and I can not see any criminality in gratifying those passions and appetites which my Creator has planted in my constitution."

You admit there is a God your Creator, but you doubt whether the gospel is true! What an abuse of reason and evidence! Can you infer from any premises in your possession, that He, whose creation man is, who has exhibited to the eye and ear of man so much wisdom, power, and goodness in all his grand designs already accomplished, and daily accomplishing, in the heavens and in the earth, teaching man to sustain the present life, to anticipate the future, and to provide for it, has never intelligibly addressed him on a subject of incom parably more importance — his own ultimate destiny! That God should have been at so much pains to elevate man in nature — to furnish him with such an organization — to bestow on him reason and speech, admirably qualifying him to acquire and communicate instruction on all things necessary to his present animal enjoyments; and at the same time to have never communicated to him any thing relative to his intellectual nature — never to have addressed him on the themes which, as a rational creature, he must necessarily most of all desiro to know; to have done everything for his body and for the present, and nothing for his mind, nor for the future, is, to say the least of it, the most improbable conceit that the most romantic fancy can enter tain.

That the Creator could not enlighten him on these topics is wholly inadmissable. That he could, and would not, is directly contrary to every analogy in creation — contradictory to every proof we have of his benevolence, an inexplicable exception to the whole order of his gov ernment: for he has provided objects for every sense — objects for every intellectual power — objects for every affection, honorable passion, appetite, and propensity in our constitution; but on your hypothesis he has only failed in that which is infinitely more dear to us, more consonant to our whole rational nature, and most essential to our hap piness!! 'Tis most contrary to reason..

But the folly of your skepticism is still more glaring when we open the book of the gospel of salvation. In the history of Jesus you have the fulfillment of a thousand predictions, expressed by numerous


prophets, for 1,500 years before he was born. These recorded prophe cies were in the possession of his and our most bitter enemies when he appeared, and are still extant in their hands. How can you dispose of these? All antiquity confirms the existence of Jesus of Nazareth i i the times of Augustus and Tiberius Cesar. No contemporary opponent denied his miracles: they explained them away, but questioned not the wonderful works which he wrought. His character was the only perfect and unexceptionable one the world ever saw, either in print or in real life; and yet you imagine him to have been the greatest liar and most infamous impostor that ever lived. You must admit him to have been the teacher of everything moral, and pure, and gocTTrke — to have lived the most exemplary life — to have employed his whole lifi in doing good — while, to countenance your skepticism, you must imagine him to have been the greatest deceiver and most blasphemous pretender the world ever saw! Truly, you are fond of paradox!

His Apostles, too, for the sake of being accounted the offscourings of the world and the filth of all society — for the sake of poverty, contumely, stripes, imprisonment, and martyrdom, you imagine trav eled over the earth teaching virtue and holiness — discountenancing every species of vice and immorality, while telling the most impudent lies, and that, too, about matters of palpable fact, about which no man having eyes and ears could be mistaken! How great your credulity! How weak your faith!

And to consummate the whole, you admit that in the most enlight ened age, and amongst the most disputatious and discriminating popu lation, both Jewish, Roman, and Grecian, in Jerusalem itself, the very theatre of the crucifixion of the Chief, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and in all the great towns and cities of the whole ancient Roman Empire, Eastern and Western, these rude and uncultivated Galileans did actually succeed in persuading hundreds of thousands of persons, of all ranks, sexes, ages, and intellects, to renounce their former opin icns and practices — to encounter proscription, confiscation of goods, banishment, and even death itself in numerous instances, through faith in their testimony, while everything was fresh, and when the detection of any fiction or fraud was most easy!

Now if it were possible to place your folly in an attitude still more Inexcusable, I would ask you to show what there is in the gospel that Is not infinitely worthy of God to bestow, and of man to receive' And where under the canopy of the skies, in any country, language, or age of time, is there anything that confers greater honor on man, or proposes to him anything more worthy of his acceptance than the gospel ?

Could there have been a more acceptable model proposed, after which to fashion man, than that after which he was originally created?

280 THm] millennial HARBINGER ABRIDGED.

When he was beguiled and apostatized from God, could there have been deputed a more honorable personage to effect his reconciliation to God, than his only begotten and well beloved Son? And could there even be imagined a more delectable destiny allotted to man than an immortality of bliss in the palace of this vast universe, in the presence of his Father and his God forever and forever? Now with all these premises, will you object to this religion that it requires a man to be pure and holy, in order to his enjoyment of this eternal salvation? Then lay your hand upon your face, and blush, and be ashamed forever!

But you say you love your companions! And who are they? Your fellow rebels, foolish and infatuated as yourselves. The drunkard, the thief, the murderer, love their companions, the partners of their crimes. Conspirators and partisans in any undertaking, kindred spirits in guilty and daring enterprise, confirm each other in their evil machin ations, and either from mutual interest or from some hateful affinity in evil dispositions, coalesce and league together in bands of malicious depredation. A Cataline, a Jugurtha, Robespierre, had their confeder ates. The rakes, the libertines, the freebooters of every color, form their own fraternities and have a liking of some sort for their com panions. But wherein does your attachment to your companions differ from theirs? A congeniality of disposition, a similarity of likings and dislikings, all springing from your love of the world and your dislike of the authority of the Messiah. And will not a change of circum stances convert your affection into hatred? Soon or late, if you do not repent and turn to God, you that are leagued in the friendships of the world, those friendships arising from the lusts of the flesh, tha lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, will not only become enemies, but mutual tormentors of one another. Your warmest friends in your opposition to the Son of God will become King's evidence against you, and exasperate the flame that will consume you forever and ever. Break off, then, every friendship, alliance, and covenant which you have formed with them that disdain the grace of God and contemn the Saviour of the world, and form an everlasting covenant with the people of God, which shall never be forgotten. Then, indeed, you may love your companions with all the affection of your hearts, and indulge to the utmost every sympathy and social feeling of your nature. Then may you embrace, in all the ardor of fraternal love, those kindred spirits that with you have vowed eternal allegiance to the gracious and rightful Sovereign of all the nations of the redeemed in heaven and on earth. Such companions are worth possessing, and their friendship worth cultivating and preserving through all the journey of life; for it will be renewed beyond the Jordan, and flourish with increasing delight through the countless ages of eternity.


But you have said that the gratification of all the impulses and propensities of your nature must l>e innocent, because they are the creation of God, and were sown in the embryo of your physical consti tution. If under the control of that light and reason under which Go<l commanded your affections and appetites to move, your reasoning would be sound and safe; but if they have usurped a tyranny over your judgment and captivated your reason, they are not to be gratified They are like successful rebels that have dethroned their sovereign, and, because by violence and fraud in possession of the throne, they plead a divine right to wield the sceptre over their dethroned Prince. Such is the meaning of the plea which you urge in favor of your re bellious affections. When man rebelled against his Creator, the beast? of the field, till then under his dominion, rebelled against him; and all his passions, affections, and propensities partook of the general dis order — of that wild and licentious anarchy which ensued upon man's disobedience. And have you not in your daily observation — nay. have you not in your own experience, irrefragable evidence that the uncon trolled indulgence of even the instinctive appetites, as well as the gratification of inordinate passions and affections, necessarily issue in the destruction of the physical constitution of man. Is not the control of reason, is not the exercise of discretion in the license of every animal indulgence essential to the health and life of man? Then why crave an exemption from the universal law of human existence, in favor of that demoralizing course of indulgence which you fain call innocent in morals, though in physics evidently destructive to animal organi zation?

When reconciled to God through the gospel, the peace of God which passes understanding reigning in the heart, all is order and harmony within. Then, under the control of enlightened and sanctified reason, all the passions, appetites, and instincts of our nature, like the planets round the sun, move in their respective orbits in the most perfect good order, preserving a perfect balance in all the principles and powers of human action. Pleasures without alloy are then felt and enjoyed from a thousand sources, from which, in the tumult and disorder of rebellion, every transgressor is debarred. It is then found that there is not a supernumerary passion, affection, nor appetite in man^not one that adds not something to his enjoyment — not one that may not be made an instrument of righteousness, a means of doing good to others, as well as of enjoying good yourselves. Why not, then, lay down the weapons of your rebellion, and be at peace with God, with your fellow creatures, and with yourselves?

"Admitting, then, that the gospel is true — that in my present state and standing 1 am an alien from the kingdom of heaven, and that I wished to become a citizen, where shall I find this kingdom of heaven.


and how shall I be constituted a citizen thereof?" Well, indeed, may you admit the gospel to be true, both on account of what it is in itself, and the evidence which sustains it. Only suppose it to be false — extinguish all the light which it sheds on the human race — make void all its promises — annul all its hopes — eradicate from the human breast all the motives which it imparts; and what remains to explain the universe, to develop the moral character of God, to dissipate the gloom which envelops in eternal night the destiny of man, to solace and cheer him during the incessant struggle of life, to soothe the bed of affliction and death, and to countervail that inward dread and horror of falling into nothing — of being forever lost in the promiscuous wreck of nature — of sinking down into the grave, the food of worms, the prey of an eternal death?

It is like annihilating the sun in the heavens. An eternal night ensues. There is no beauty, form, nor comeliness in creation. The universe is in ruins. The world without the Bible is a universe with out a sun. The Atheist is but an atom of matter in motion, belonging to no system, amenable to none, without a destiny, without an object to live or to die. He boasts there is none to punish him: but then there is none to help him — none to reward him. He has no Father, proprietor, or ruler — no filial affection, no sense of obligation, no gratitude, no comfort in reflection, no joy in anticipation. If he can not be blamed, he can not be praised — if he can not be praised, he can not be honored — and man without honor is more wretched than the beasts that perish. Unenviable mortal!

What an abortion is the system of nature, if man lives not again! 'Tis a creation for the sake of destruction. 'Tis an infinite series of designs, ending in nothing. 'Tis a universe of blanks, vdthout a single prize. It can not be. The Bible is necessary to the interpretation of nature. It is the only comment on nature — on proAadence — on man. Man without it, and without the hope of immortality, has nothing to rouse him into action. He is a savage, a Hottentot, a cannibal, a worm. You are compelled, then, to admit that the gospel is true, of Nature. unless you put out the eye of Reason, and refuse to hear the voice

But is it not a happy necessity which compels your belief in God, and in his Son the renovator of the Universe? It opens to you all the mysteries of creation, the arcana of the temple of nature, and inducts you to the fountain of being and of bliss. It inspires you with motives of high and lofty enterprise, stimulates you to manly action, and points out a prize worthy of the best efforts of body, soul, and spirit. Is it not, then, "a credible saying, and worthy of universal acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief"?


But you ask, "Where shall the kiugdom of heaven be found, and how may you be constituted a citizen of it?" The Prophets and the Apostles must be your guide in deciding these great questions. Mosea in the law, all the Prophets, and all the Apostles point you to the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world — the Apostle of the Father Almighty — the divinely constituted Chief of the kingdom of heaven. He has submitted his claims to your examination — he has invited you to test all his pretensions — and to the humble and docile he has tendered all necessary assistance in deciding upon his person and mission.

His character is so familiar, so condescending, so full of all grace and goodness, that all may approach him. The halt, the maimed, tho deaf, the dumb, the blind, find in him a friend and physician indeed. None importunes his aid in vain. His ears are always open to the tale of woe. His eye streams with sympathy on every object of dis tress. He invites all the wretched, and repulses none who implore relief. He chides only the proud, and kindly receives and blesses thd humble. He invites and beseeches the weary, the heavy laden, the broken hearted, the oppressed, and all the sons of want and misfortune to come to him, and tenders relief to all.

In his official dignity he presides over tlie universe. He is the High Priest of God and the Prophet and Messenger of Peace. He has the key of David; he opens and shuts the Paradise of God. He is thtj only Potentate, and has the power of granting remission of all sins to all who obey him.

To receive him in his personal glory and official dignity and supremacy, as the Messiah of God, the only begotten of the Father — to know him in his true and proper character, is the only prerequisite to the obedience of faith. He that thus accredits him is not far from the kingdom of heaven.

To assume him as your Prophet, your High Priest, and your King; to submit to him in these relations, being immersed into his death, will translate you into the kingdom of heaven. Why not, then, gladly and immediately yield him the admiration of your understanding and the homage of your heart? Why not now enter into the possession of all the riches, and fullness, and excellence of the kingdom? He com mands all men to repent — he beseeches every sinner whom he addresses in his word, to receive pardon and eternal life as a gracious gift.

Can you doubt his power to save, to instruct and to sanctify you for heaven? Can you doubt his condescending mercy and compa.sslon? Will not he that pitied the blind Bartimeus. that condole^l with the widow of Nain, that wept with Mary and Martha at the grave of Lazarus, that heard the plea of the Syrophenician woman, that


cleansed the supplicating leper, that compassionated the famishing mul titudes, and looked with pity (even in the agonies of the cross) upon an importuning thief, have pity upon you and every returning prodigal who sues for mercy at the gate of his kingdom?

Is there in the universe one whom you can believe with more assur ance than the Faithful and True Witness, who, in the presence of Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession at the hazard of his life? Is there any person in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, more worthy of your confidence than the sinner's friend — than he who always, and in all circumstances, bore testimony to the truth? When did he ever violate his word, or suffer his promise to fail? Who ever repented of his confidence in Jesus, or of relying implicitly upon his word? Who ever was put to shame because of confidence in him?

Who can offer such inducements to obedience to his authority as the Saviour of the world? Who has such power to bless? He has all authority in heaven and on earth. He has power to forgive sins, to raise the dead, to bestow immortality and eternal life, and to judge the living and the dead. And has he not tendered all his official authority to every one who submits to his government, and who by him is reconciled to God? If he have wisdom and power divine, has he not pledged these to the relief, guidance, and benefit of his people? Who can injure them under his protection — condemn whom he justifies — criminate whom he pardons — or snatch out of his hands those who betake themselves to his mercy?

Was there ever love like his love — compassion like his compassion — or condescension like his condescension? Who ever couid — who ever did humble himself like the Son of God? On whose cheek ever flowed tears of purer sympathy for human woe, than those he shed? Whose bowels ever moved with such compassion as that which dissolved his heart in tender mercies for the afflicted sons and daughters of men? Who ever for his friends endured such contradiction of sinners against himself; submitted to such indignities; sustained such accumulated sorrows and griefs; suffered such agonies of mind and body, as those which he endured in giving his life an offering for his enemies? For saken by his God, abandoned by all his friends, deserted of every stay, surrounded by the fiercest enemies, the most implacable foes, whose hearts were harder than adamant, insulting the very pangs which they Inflicted, he expired upon the accursed tree! The heavens blushed at the sight — the sun covered his face — the earth trembled — the rocks split — the veil of the cemple was rent from top to bottom — and graves opened. All nature stood horror-stricken when Roman soldiers, instigated by blood-thirsty priests, nailed him to the cross — when the chief priests, scribes, and elders in derision said, "He saved others; can


not he save himself?" The person wlio perceives not, who feels not the eloquence of his love consummated in hLs death — the tenderness cf bis entreaties and expostulations, is not to be reasoned with — is not to be moved by human power. Will you not, then, honor your reason by honoring the Son of God — by giving up your understanding, your wills, your affections to the teachings of the Good Spirit — to the g\iid ance of his love? Then, and only then, can you, will you feel yourselves safe, secure, and happy.

Need you to be reminded how much you are indebted to his long suffering patience already — to his benevolence in all the gifts and Iwun ties of his providence vouchsafed to you? How many days and nights has he guarded, sustained and succored you? Has he not saved you from ten thousand dangers — from the pestilence that walketh in dark ness secretly, and from destruction that wasteth at noon day? Who can tell but he has lengthened out your unprofitable existence to tliis very hour that you might now repent of all your sins, turn to God with your whole heart, be baptized for the remission of your past transgres sions, be adopted into the family of God, and yet receive an inheritance among all the sanctified? Arise, then, in the strength of Israel's God — accept salvation at his hands — enter into his kingdom, and be for ever blessed. You will not, you can not repent of such a step, of such a noble surrender of yourself while life endures, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment, nor during the endless succession of ages in eternity. To-day, then, hear his voice: to-morrow may be forever too

late! All things are ready Come! Saints on earth, and angels

in heaven — apostles, prophets, and martyrs will rejoice over you — and you will rejoice with them forever and forever. Amen!

BOOK yi.




The Harbinger of 1835, page 154, et seq., contained: RELIGION.

Preparatory to our new series on the reasons of our faith and hope in Cod, we present our readers a brief view of Mahometanism, Juda ism, and Christianity, as at present existing in the world.


Mahometanism, or Islamism, is the religion founded upon the Koran of Mahomet. It may be considered a mixture of Judaism and Christianity, with some fanciful embellishments. Mahometans are divided into two sects, those of Omar and Ali. The former prevails in Turkey and Arabia, the latter in Persia. There is a fixed hostility between these two divisions of Mahometan faith. Absurd, false, and sensual as is this religion, it yet exerts its influence over at least 100, 000,000 of people, among whom are the inhabitants of Turkey, Arabia, Persia, Tartary, and the northern and eastern parts of Africa. There is reason to believe, however, that the Mahometan religion, at the present time, i.s rapidly declining with the decline of power in those nations who have hitherto sustained it.

This vast company of religious professors take their name from Mahomet, who was born at Mecca, a city in Arabia Felix, in 571. The circumstances of Mahomet's early life were such as presented no flat tering prospects of grandeur, and no probable views of ambition to his future life. He was illiterate, obscure, and very poor, till he mar ried Cadigha, a widow of considerable property, for whom he had acted, for a number of years, as a mercantile agent, so much to her satisfaction, that she in return gave him the command of her property and person. This alliance, which took place in the 25th year of his age. raised him to an equality with the richest citizens in Mecca, and laid the foundation of his future fortune; and from this i)eriod. It is supposed, ho began to meditate those schemes which raised him to eminence and power.

Character of Mahomet. — This is differently represented by different writers. His followers of course consider him as the model of per fection, and as superior to all other men who ever lived upon the earth ; a.s the chosen and favored instrument of God for the greatest good to mankind. Some describe him as a man of the most consum-



mate policy, and possessing the most fertile genius foi* fixing on aux iliaries for the accomplishment of his ambitious designs. Others represent him as a wild enthusiast, whose claims to celestial visions were like those of many hair-brained pretenders whose schemes have fallen into oblivion, for the want of those favorable conjunctures which led on the Arabian Prophet to authority and fame. Mahomet was undoubtedly a man of penetration and sagacity, and was thor oughly versed in all the arts of insinuation and intrigue. He made a fine personal appearance, and was fond of being thought to look like Abraham; was liberal to the poor, courteous to his equals, and conde scending to his inferiors. He is said to have been a person of few words, of an equal, cheerful temper, and very pleasant and familiar to his friends. As to learning, he had none, but this he turned to a useful account, by insisting that the writings he produced as revelations from God, could not possibly be a forgery of his own. And his followers, also, instead of being ashamed of their master's ignorance of literature, gloried in it as an evident proof of his divine mission, and scrupled not to call him the illiterate Prophet.

His fondness for women, by his own confession, was beyond all bounds of moderation, and his many salvos in his Koran for his con cupiscence and concubinage, are disgusting to every virtuous mind. The multiplication of his wives, and his fond dalliance with female disciples, settled down, in his later years, into a sensual grossness, which, whatever may be said of the polygamy of the times, was alto gether incompatible with that sainted eminence and celestial unction of which he made such perpetual and ridiculous boasts.

Mahomet limited his followers to the number of four wives — with the liberty of keeping as many concubines as they could maintain; while he himself married fifteen, or, as others say, twenty-one wives, besides having concubines. Of these, five died before him, six he repudiated, and ten were alive at his death. But his having this num ber of women was in consequence of a divine indulgence with which a God of infinite purity and justice, according to his account, had favored him.

Origin and Character of the Koran. — It was not till Mahomet wa? forty years old, that he took upon him the title of the Apostle of God, and began to publish the revelations which, according to his account, were communicated to him from heaven by the angel Gabriel. These celestial communications Gabriel continued to make to him for thft space of twenty-three years, directly from the archives of heaven, where the originals were deposited. They were placed in the chest of his Apostleship; and from this mass of revelations the Koran was compiled after Mahomet's death, by Abubeker, one of his earliest and most illustrious disciples. This is the Mahometan account of the ori-


gin of the Koran; but others say. that instead of writing the chapters of this famous book by the dictation of Gabriel, he was assisted in their composition by a Persian Jew and a Christian Monk, by whose aid he acquired such an extensive knowledge of the Jewish and Chris tian religions.

The Koran is a mixture of seriousness and levity; of moral pre cepts and ceremonial details; of sublime descriptions of the character of God, and of the most grovelling and frivolous illustrations of the duty of man: in one passage we read of the exalted attributes of Jehovah, and of the terrors of the day of judgment; and in the next We meet with some ridiculous and offensive directions for Mussulmans to adjust collisions among their concubines and wives. Well might Gibbon say of the Mahometan Oracles, that "they sometimes crawl in the dust, and at other times are lost in the clouds."

The professed object of the Koran was to replant the true and ancient religion professed by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and ail the Prophets; to destroy the idolatry of the Pagan Arabs, and the superstitions of Jews and Christians. A mixture of all these religions are discoverable in this book. Much is said in it of the principal characters and events contained in the Scriptures; but both Jews and Christians are called idolators; the Patriarchs and Apostles, according to the Koran, were Mahometans; the angels worshipped Adam; and the fallen angels were driven from heaven for not doing so; Christ was neither God nor the Son of God, and assured Mahomet of this in a conference with the Almighty and himself; and it furthermore asserts that Christ was not crucified on Mount Calvary, when he appeared to suffer, but that another person was crucified in his stead, while God took him to himself.

Doctrines of the Koran. — The two grand principles of the Mahom etan religion are the unity of God, and the divine mission of Mahomet. There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his Prophet, are familiar sayings among his people; idolatry and image worship of every kind are offensive to them; they made awful havoc with the temples of the heathen gods, and all the trumpery of paganism wherever they car ried their victorious arms. The Catholics have ever found them subtle and difficult opponents on account of the show of image worship in their religious rites. The doctrine of the Trinity the Mahometans reject in terms of the greatest disdain, being forbidden in a number of places in the Koran to believe it. The doctrine of predestination they carry to a downright fatalism, and the merit of good works, oa the other hand, they magnify in the highest strains.

According to the Koran, Paradise is adorned with everything costly and magnificent — there the faithful shall enjoy the most beau tiful women who shall not cast an oyo on anv but themselves, with


whom they shall enjoy the continual pleasures of love to all eternity; they shall drink the most delicious liquors, and the most pleasant wines. There will not only be marriage, but servitude in the next world, and the very meanest in Paradise will have eighty thousand servants, and seventy-two wives of a celestial kind, besides the wives he had in this world: he will have a tent erected for him of pearls, hyacinths, and emeralds. And to crown the whole, if the faithful in Paradise are desirous of issue, it shall be conceived, bom, and grow up in the space of an hour. These are a few of the descriptions of the joys of that Paradise to which the millions of Mahometans look for ward with the utmost confidence and delight.

Spread of the Mahometan Religion. — This at first was effected by argument and persuasion; but after the Prophet arrived at power, these gentle methods were exchanged for those of conquest and war. And the terror of his arms, together with the fascinating allurements of the fancied Paradise of the Koran, conspired to give the most unex ampled rapidity to the spread of the new religion; so that in less than a century, Mahomet and his succeeding Generals had subdued a far greater extent of territory than the Romans conquered in eight hun dred years.

In addition to the agreeableness of his doctrines to the corrupt pro pensities of human nature, this warlike Prophet taught his followers that "a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, or a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting and prayer. Who soever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven at the day of judgment; his wounds shall be as resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk; and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by wings of angels and cherubim."

The first disciples of Mahomet were called Saracens, and among them were some of the most famous warriors in the world.

Mahometanism distributes itself into two general parts — faith and practice: the former contains six branches, viz.: belief in God; in his angels; in his Scriptures; in his Prophets; in the resurrection and final judgment, and the divine decrees. In the second part are included prayer with washing, alms, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, and circumcision. Among the negative precepts of this religion, are the prohibitions of wine, by which are meant all strong drinks, gaming, usury, the eating of blood and swine's flesh, and whatever dies of itself, etc., etc.

Friday is observed by the Mahometans as their Sabbath, because they believe it was on that day that Mahomet fled from Mecca ta Medina.

They defer the circumcision of their children till they can distinctly pronounce the two leading articles of their faith — "There is no God


but God. and Mahomet is his Prophet;" or till any convenient time between the age of 6 and IG.

The Mahometans have an established priesthood and a numerous body of clergymen; their spiritual head in Turkey, whose power is not inferior to the Roman Pontiff, is regarded as the oracle of sanctity and wisdom. Their houses of worship are denominated mosques, many of which are very magnificent, and very richly endowed.

The Mahometan priests who perform the rites of their public wor ship are called Imams; and they have a set of ministers called Shekhs. who preach every Friday, much in the manner of Christian, preachers. The Mahometans, like the Christians, are divided and subdivided into many sects and parties; but the two leading sects are the Sonnites and Schiites, who, notwithstanding they both believe in the Prophet and his religion, yet anathematize each other as abominable heretics, and as farther from the truth than either Christians or Jews. The Schiites are the followers of Ali, who reside chiefly in Persia; the Sonnites are the disciples of Abubeker, among whom are the Turks, Arabians, etc.

This religion obliges its disciples to pray five times a day. anl imposes upon them a burdensome ritual, which all devout Mussulmans scrupulously observe. They are obliged to fast the whole of the month Ramadan or Ramazan, from early in the morning until the evening twilight.


Judaism is the religion of the Jews, and is divided into two sects, the Karaites, who acknowledge as divine only the books of the Old Testament; and the Rabbinists, who attribute an authority almost divine to the collection known under the name of the Talmud. The Jews are scattered throughout Europe, and many parts of Asia. Africa, and America. Their whole number is supposed to be about 3.000.000.

As this persecuted race, who were formerly continually wasted and destroyed, have lived in a state of tranquility for a century past, some writers suppose their present number at six or seven millions.

This people constitute one of the most singular and interesting portions of mankind; for about three thousand years they have existed as a distinct nation, and what is remarkable, by far the greatest part of this time they have been in bondage and captivity.

The calling of Abraham, the father and founder of this nation; the legislation of Moses; the priesthood of Aaron; the Egyptian bondage; the conquest of Canaan; the history of the Jews to the coming of the Messiah; and their cruel and injurious treatment of this august and innocent personage, are facts which the Scriptures disclose, and with which it is presumed every reader is well acquainted.


The siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Roman Gen eral, was one of the most awful and distressing scenes that mortals ever witnessed, and the details, as given by Josephus, are enough to make humanity shudder. During the siege, which lasted nearly five months, upwards of eleven hundred thousand Jews perished; John and Simon, the two Generals of the Hebrews, who were accounted the ring leaders of the rebellious nation, with seven hundred of the most beau tiful and vigorous of the Jewish youth, were reserved to attend the victors' triumphal chariot. The number taken captive during this fatal contest, amounted to ninety-seven thousand; many of whom were sent into Syria and the other provinces to be exposed in public theatres to fight like gladiators, or to be devoured by wild beasts. The number of those destroyed in the whole war, of which the taking of the holy city was the bloody and tremendous consummation, is computed to have been one million four hundred and sixty thousand.

For about eighteen hundred years, this wonderful people have maintained their peculiarities of religion, language, and domestic habits, among Pagans, Mahometans, and Christians; and have suf fered a continued series of reproaches, privations, and miseries, which have excited the admiration and astonishment of all who have reflected on their condition.

False Messiahs. — The constant and fond expectations of the Jews of a coming Messiah, who shall deliver them from bondage and cap tivity, and lead them in triumph to the land of Canaan, their ancient favorite abode, has involved them in a succession of the grossest impo sitions, and most calamitous disappointments. An account of all the false Messiahs since the true one was cruelly and wickedly rejected, would fill a volume. The strange infatuation of this nation has led them in many cases to rally round the standards of the most impious and hair-brained pretenders to the high office of the Messiahship.

The history of this people certainly forms a striking evidence of the truth of divine revelation. They are a living and perpetual miracle continuing to subsist as a distinct and peculiar race for upwards of three thousand years, intermixed among almost all the nations of the world — flowing forward in a full and continued stream, like the waters of the Rhone, without mixing with the waves of the expansive lak<» through which the passage lies to the ocean of eternity.


Christianity is the religion of Jesus Christ, who appeared in the world more than 1,800 years ago, and by the most astonishing miracles gave evidence that his mission was divine.

Strictly speaking, none are Christians but those who are imbued with the spirit of Christ, agreeably to the declaration of Scripture,


"If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of liis" (Rom. viii. 'J). But there is another sense in which whole nations are denominated Christians, viz.: where Christianity is the received relig ion, in opposition to all other religions. In this sense we shall use the term in treating of the various religions of the earth in this department of our work.

Christianity is divided into three portions — the Greek church, which is established by law in Russia, prevails in Greece, Hungary, and part of Turkey, and embraces 70.000,000 people. The Roman Catholic, Latin, or Western church, maintains the supremacy of the Pope, pre vails in many parts of Europe, and has a considerable number of fol lowers in North America. In some of the West India islands, in Mexico, Guatemala, and South America, it is the established religion. The whole number of Catholics may be estimated at 116.000,000. The Protestants are those who protest against the Roman Catholic Church, and take the Bible as their guide. They may be comprised under eleven general heads, aa follows: — Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presby terians, Congregationalists, Moravians, Baptists, Methodists, Friends or Quakers, Universalists, Swedenborgians, and Shakers. These gen eral divisions are subdivided into forty or fifty smaller divisions. The Protestant religion in its various forms prevails in the United States, England, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Prus sia, etc.

The following table shows the estimates of Hassel and Malte-Brun of the various religions:


Pagans 561,829.300

Christians 252,565,700

Mahometans 1 20,105,000

Jews 3,930,000

Total. 938,421,000


Roman Catholics 134,732,000

Greek Church 56,011.000

Protestants 55,791.000

Monophysites 3.865.000

Armenians 1.799.000

Nestorians, etc 367.000

Total, 252.565,700 In 1837, page 87, we have the following:



Every object of contemplation may be viewed in various attitudes and relations, because no created thing exists only for its own sake. There are as many dependencies as creatures in the universe, and con sequently as many relations. The mighty whole is but the aggregate of innumerable parts; and of all these there is not one independent of the rest, or unrelated to them. This is not more true or more worthv of observation in the material than in the intellectual system.

Religion, therefore, of all subjects the most comprehensive and sub lime, is capable of being placed in many points of view before the mind, and of being regarded in reference to every human relation and circumstance. A clear and full perception of this great truth is one of the best antidotes against a narrow, illiberal, and dogmatic spirit.

"We occasionally read and speak of a theory of religion and of the practice. We have religion objectively and subjectively discussed. We have the substance and the form, the matter and the spirit, the attri butes and the accidents of religion. We have also the doctrines, the precepts, and the promises — the laws, the statutes, and the ordinances of religion. In other words, religion is capable not so much of divi sions and subdivisions of this sort, as of being contemplated and regarded in all these bearings upon the individual and society. We are at this time, however, only intent on viewing religion in reference to its power in forming character — to its influence upon the heart and upon the life of man. That distinction, therefore, expressed by the Apostle in his second letter to Timothy between "the form'" and "the power of godliness," is more apposite to our present design than any other.

We do not intend to regard the form and the power of godliness as antagonist, or in the slightest degree opposed, to each otlier. They are distinct, but not contradictory terms, or ideas, or conditions of the same thing. The form without the power is conceivable; but the power without the form is impossible. The power of an instrument to keep time, and the form of that instrument, are easily distinguished; but how often do we see the form of such instrument, clock or watch, without this power; but who ever saw this power without a form!

Ever since Satan seduced and polluted our first progenitors, and alienated their affections from the Lord their Creator, our heavenly Father, from a due regard to his own dignity and the other portions of his immense empire, hid his face from us, and is no longer visibly present in these his lower works. Yet in the deep and unfathomable mines of the unsearchable riches of his manifold wisdom and love, he has instituted on earth a system of remedies adapted to the whole nature and genius of man, and to the preternatural complexion of his


Circumstances. This is what the master spirits of Protestantism call "the religion of the Bible;" an institution which, as it is one of the most splendid conceptions of the Infinite Intelligence, bears deeply Imprinted upon its surface, and infused into its essence, the glorious attributes of its author. But in our intellectual and moral imbecilities we are apt to take both feeble and partial views of its divine excellency, and often to be wholly engrossed with one of its attributes or accidents,' to the disparagement, neglect, or forgetfulness of all the rest. Hence how often is the power, and purity, and holiness of the gospel forgotten or overlooked in the fierce and hosUle controversies about its forms, Its precepts, and its ordinances.

The form of godliness, as well as its power, just as "the form of truth" in the Decalogue, and the truth itself, is indeed celestial and divine. True religion, whether in mode or substance, in matter or spirit, in form or power, is a native of the skies. It is heaven-born, heaven-descended, and heaven-destined. It came from God, and it lea;ls to God. It is therefore the wisdom, the grace, and the power of God in every person who embraces it. Yet in all our zeal and contentions for the simplicity, appropriateness, and excellency of its forms, we should never forget the purity, the mildness, the gentleness, and the holiness of its spirit and its power.

Religion printed on paper, religion existing in the percepUons of the understanding, religion flowing from the lips and floating in the air, and religion dwelling in the heart, and living and breathing in every thought, and word, and action, are very different and distinct conceptions and predicaments. Religion printed upon paper is the work of human science and art, which can be performed as well by the mechanical skill of the atheist as by that of the Christian. Relig ion existing in the perceptions of the understanding is as natural and easy as the theory of astronomy or electricity, and can be obtained by the same talent and application which master any branch of mental or moral philosophy, and is ofien one of the literary and scientific accom plishments of the most grossly immoral and profane spirits of the age. Religion flowing from the lips, or falling upon the ear, differs in no respect from the enunciations of our vocal powers on other themes; and therefore preachers, orators, lawyers of good lungs and distinct articulation, may equally entertain, amuse, or terrify their audience, according to all the varieties of times, subjects, and circumstances.

But religion dwelling in the heart, rooted in the feelings and affec tions, is a living, active, and real existence. It purifies the fountain of moral life and health. It animates, inspires, controls, and gives a new impulse to our active powers. It imbues the soul with a divine life, and plants the incorruptible seeds of a glorious immortality In man. This is religion; all the rest is machinery or imagery. Language


and all its signs, oral and written; ordinances and all their forms, as types, and paper, and ink, are but the means or channel through, which the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit plants or waters the unde caying germ of an eternal life in the intellectual and moral nature of man.

Religion in the Bible, in the understanding, in the lips, and in th ? heart, may be pictured out to the child of nature by that life-giving light, which, while it emanates from the sun, is not in the sun, nor in the rays nor undulations from the sun, nor in the air through which it passes, nor in the eye which sees it; but which, while it paints the images of things upon the retina, by its control of other agencies sets in motion the animal machinery, imparts warmth and vigor, and strikes life into the man.

Such, in part, are the phenomena of that animal life which man in common with other animated beings receives from the laws of Nature, arranged and directed by the Supreme Intelligence. That vital spark which enlivens the animal creation, like that stricken from the flint by the touch of steel, is distinct equally from the hand that guides, from the steel in contact, and the flint that is stricken by it; yet without this economy and collision, that spark which now beams light and cheerfulness around the social hearth had never begun to be.

It is indeed impossible fully to depict in colors incapable of con fusion, that wonderful process by which either animal or spiritual life is infused into man. The microscope with all its powers can not detect the delicate touches of the hand of Nature in the inmost recesses of its sublime operations. No more can language explain, or faith appre hend, that agency of truth or of grace which quickens the soul, sets in motion its powers and gives them a bias to the skies. But that the thing is done, and that man is morally and spiritually a new creation is as clearly taught and as faithfully propounded to our acceptance as that Jesus Christ is the author of an eternal salvation to all that obey him.

Types we have, and beautiful figures innumerable; but our preju dices and other malign influences around us interpose and veto the use of Nature's own imagery and her analogies, from the persuasion that the more unapproachable and mysterious the wonders of creation, providence, and regeneration, the better for the interests of religion and morality. Although we can not, ex-anim^,\ subscribe to this dictuw. of the untaught and unteachable, still we can bear with that fastidi ousness which forbids the help of one of God's volumes to illustrato and explain the other; provided only, we may not be registered amongst the chief of heretics and schismatics; because, in imitation of the great Author of our religion, we sometimes throw our eyes over the volume of Nature for a simile or a comparison, by the help of which to set


forth more intelligibly and vividly our conceptions of the revealed secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven.

To return: Religion in the heart, or rooted in the moral nature of man, transfuses itself through the whole frame and identity of it-; happy and holy subject. It crystalizes everything in human nature that can be immortalized, and sheds a divine gracefulness over all the workings of the human soul. It distils the dews of heaven upon the heart — it breathes a delicious odor on society, and imbues with a heav enly sweetness the temper and conversation of the happy spirits who cherish its divine and holy influence by submitting to all its sacred ordinances and requisitions. Its active power never shines with more splendor than when most oppressed. Hindrances, difficulties, dangers, but increase its momentum and impart a peculiar lustre and heroism to all its efforts and enterprises. The more it is oppressed the more it aspires towards heaven whence it descended, and the more efficiently it struggles with every weight and entangling influence which would retard its flight to the supreme object on which cluster all its pure and holy affections.

There is no exaggeration here. In the prosecution of this subject it will more and more appear that Christian faith, hope, and love are a three-fold cord of more than earthly strength — a mainspritg incom parably superior to all the other springs of human action — the power of God stirring up the divinity that is within us, urging man to H conquest of more glory than ever adorned an earthly triumph It will appear that there is no hyperbole in saying with the Apostle John, that faith conquers the world, and that the Christian is the only hero that shall wear a crown of glory that fadeth not aw^ay.

If there be strength in the everlasting hills — if there be power in the laws that bind the earth together — if there be might in the hand that launched the universe, and that grasps its various powers; then, indeed, is there power in that moral system of redemption which almighty love contrived and infinite compassion vouchsafed for the recovery of a ruined world. It is moreover intended by the benevolent Author of this religion, that this new power, moral and divine, should, with the scheme which it originated and perfected, be translated into the human heart, and that there it should unfold and gloriously disi)lay its almightiness in disenthralling, renewing, re-creating, and saving not only the soul, but the man, from the overwhelming train of physical and moral evils consequent upon his apostacy from God.

Every truth in this divine system is animated and quickened by its intimate relation to the Spirit of the universe; and when written upon the heart, vitalizes the soul with a life forever new, forever fair, and forever blessed. This eternal life harmoniously pulsates with the supreme moral power, and uncreated fountain of all the life and all


the felicity known and enjoyed through all the ranks of existence, celestial and terrestrial. Religious truth, sometimes called "the word of life," not only enlightens, but it also enlivens the soul. The admis sion of it into the heart not only gives light, but it imparts life: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." There is, then, an enlightening, animating, sanctifying, vivifying power in religion, both objectively and subjec tively considered.

Take, for example, the truth which proclaims the omniscience, and consequent omnipresence of our God and Father; contemplate this truth as it stands related to us and to all other truths in the evan gelical economy. Man, with all the glory he assumes, and all the power and grandeur which he can appropriate from his admiring contempo raries, ever feels, and in all his lucid and sober intervals must confess, that he is an imbecile, frail and helpless creature. He shrinks within himself in the presence of ten thousand dangers, and feels that, as a moth, he may be crushed every moment by various antagonist forces over which he can have no control. He fears not only the falling moun tain, the fierce volcano, the earthquake, the mad tornado, the forked lightning, or the ravenous beasts of prey; but he fears the insensible malaria, the invisible miasmata, the pestilence that walketh in dark ness secretly, the asp, the spider, and the gnat, which may poison life at its fountain, or sting him to death in an instant, amid all his watch fulness and care. All this he perceives and fears.

Awakened from the sleep of death and roused into thought, perceiv ing the character of a revealed God and Saviour, he finds among tho attributes of his glory one that ineffably charms and strengthens him. It is the thought that this self-existent, omnipotent, omniscient One, whose countless excellencies and glories no angelic tongue, no cherubic; eloquence can unfold, is omnipresent. On this splendid discovery, he breaks forth into the enrapturing soliloquy — "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit! Whither shall I flee from thy presence! If I ascend into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hades, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the darkness shall be light about me; yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

This discovery disarms danger of all its terrors, dispels ten thou sand fears, and gives an impulse to the soul stronger than the fear of death — stronger than the love of mortal existence. But it is not the


isolated thought that God is omnipresent that so invigorates an-l delights the soul: for no truth is solitary, no single attribute of God is abstract and independent of himself, or of his other excellencies; but it is the thought, the transporting thought that this God is my God, my Father, my strength, my life, my bliss; that through the mediation of his Son, the Lord Jesus, all his adorable perfections are pledged and promised to my defense, deliverance, and rescue from all evil. Boasting In this, the saint exclaims —

" How arc tliy svrvunls blofts'd, O L<jril I How sure is tlioir (lefciico t Eternal Wisdom i.s their g-uide; Their help, (JiiiiiipuU'iici-! "

Feeble though I am, says the Christian, the Lord Jehovah is my strength; he is my shield and my defense. Weak is my arm, but strong is his right hand. Short and indistinct my clearest vision; but he dwells in light: his eye irradiates the universe, illumines eternity, and watches over all his saints. He slumbers not, nor sleeps. His angels encamp around the dwellings of the righteous, and minister to the heirs of salvation. At his command,

"An an>?el's arm can snatch me from the pravc."

And when my time of deliverance comes — when the time of redemption draweth near,

'• Lofjions of angels can't confine me there.'

Embraced by the everlasting arms, the feeblest lamb in David's flock

is strong as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Thus the Christian Is

forever safe in the Lord, and strong in the power of his might.

The power of this single conception of God to beautify the soul,

has never yet been adequately expressed. Time is "too short to utter

all its praise." But it is not only precious because of its soothing

and consoing power

—"To the stranger in distress, The widow and the fatherless,"

but its sanctifying and restraining efficacy Is equal to those preliba-

tions of future bliss to which it elevates those in whose hearts it has

a constant abiding. The thought that "thou God always seest me" —


" One glance,, of thine. Almighty Lord, Pierces all natui'o through; Nor heaven, nor earth itself, nor hell, Can shelter from thy view.

"The mighty whole, each smaller part, At once before thee lies; And ev'ry thought of ev'i-y lu'art Is open to thine eyes."

This thought. I say, is a sovereign gtiard against impiety and immo rality, as it is the oil of joy and the unction of peace to all the sons and


daughters of distress. Like the burning cherubim that guarded the tree of life, so this consciousness of the Omnipresent Father, when healthy and vigilant, bids Satan, and temptation, and evil passion to stand aloof. It sanctifies and animates every place, and sheds a cheer fulness and delight wherever we place our foot.

Amongst that class of licensed murderers, called heroes, but one is said to have conquered the world. That world, however, which he conquered, finally conquered him; for his conquest was but the momen tary triumph of one ambitious spirit over other ambitious spirits, equally daring, but less fortunate than himself. Like a splendid meteor, thundering as it shines, his noisy flight, though brilliant, was short and soon past; and to the midnight revel the victor becomes a victim and vanishes from the wonder, rather than the admiration of humankind. The Macedonian Chief, though often the derision of the sage and the grave moralist, is fortunately enshrined amongst the most instructive monuments of the weakness of earth's proudest conquerors in the appalling conflict between reason and passion; or rather, as in this case, between the love of glory and the love of wine.

In the proper sense of the term, the world, however, as indicative of all those artificial creations, the root and offspring of human passion and appetite; or, as defined by an inspired writer, the compound of "the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but of the world;" I say the world, in its Biblical import, never was vanquished by any person destitute of the faith of God's elect. On the contrary, all unbelieving men are overcome by it. In some of its ten thousand forms it lays in wait for them; and, adapted as it is, to all the corrupt and selfish workings of the human heart, it finds in every human being a sympathy with it, or a taste for it, in some of those respects in which it opposes God, and Christ, and heaven; and thus by its allurements and fascinations all are captivated who are not of the faith, or amongst the expectants of another and a better world, suited to beings of a more elevated character — of a purer and holier order.

All, indeed, are not subdued by the same arguments or adaptations. All are not the victims of ambition, the devotees of avarice, the sons and daughters of gaiety and pleasure. Nor are the immense groups that worship in any of these temples of one general or catholic com munion. Amongst the ambitious there are perhaps a thousand sects. There are those ambitious of ecclesiastic as well as political honors, and of ecclesiastic hoflors of every description; ambitious of the honors of a Churchman or a Dissenter; of a Calvinist or an Arminian; of a Baptist or a Pedobaptist — an Episcopalian or a Presbyterian — an Eras tian or an Independent


Of political honors there are as many castes as there are kinds of human government, and officers and grades in those governments. Here the proud autocrat disdains the limited monarch, and there the supercilious aristocrat is contemned by the more humble democrat The ambition of every aspirant after political, literary, or ecclesiastis honors is not placed on the same object, nor gratified with the same eminence. Here a Curate's charge, and there a Bishop's diocess; here a Cardinal's cap and there a Pope's mitre, fill the horizon of certain individuals, as fully as the magistracy of a county, or the presidency of a state, as the regalia of a nation, or the imperial honors of a con tinent sate the aspirations of the various incumbents of these particu lar stations.

Society seems to have cast itself into an endless variety of moulds for the sake of baiting the hook by which to gull the thoughtless mul titude of worshippers in the temple of Ambition. The names of places and of offices in the literary, political, and religious world — in the peace and war establishments — the sea and land armies — the occupa tions, callings, and pursuits honorable, more honorable, most honorable, would fill a dictionary larger than the Bible; and then of the three just mentioned — the ambitious, the avaricious, the voluptuous, but tho first would stand in full array before us.

I can not speak of the slaves of avarice, the sects of philosophy, nor of the mighty hosts whose god is their appetites — whose only end and aim are sensual gratifications of one or more of a thousand varieties. But all these, of each and every class, may be as fully sold to the world, and enslaved by it, as was Alexander, or Csesar, or Hannibal, or Napoleon. Every Mammonite becomes not a Croesus, a Girard, or a Rothschild; every rhymester becomes not a Pope, a Goldsmith, or a Byron; every orator becomes not a Demosthenes, a Cicero, or a Sheri dan; every student becomes not a Bacon, a Locke, or a Newton; nor every voluptuary a Boniface, or a Belshazzar: yet they may be as sincere, ardent, and devoted to this worship as the most successful laborers in their respective avocations; for success is not the fruit of sincerity, else amongst the worshippers of Mammon what multitudes would have been rich who are yet poorl !

But one thing is certain, that "his servants we are whom we obey," and that every one is conquered by that icMch controls 7iim; and, therefore, from the prince to the beggar all may be, and, in many nations and tribes, all are overcome by the world in some way or other — he only excepted who believes that Jesus is the Christ

And here the question arises, Hotv does faith conquer the world f or. What in the belief that Jesus is the Christ is more powerful than the world? To understand this we must first understand the phrase "course of the world." This apostolic phrase denotes that current of


earthly affection, lusts, passions, or cares, which carry the soul down wards from the knowledge, love, and admiration of God, which material nature and the daily providences of God would, in subordination to Revelation, but for that current, greatly promote. For I would emphatically say, that universal being, or, as some would express it, universal nature, were it not for this "course of the world," would furnish innumerable arguments and motives to admire, to adore, and delight in the Author of this stupendous and beautiful frame of nature, which seems to us to have no end but the existence and happiness of man.

Such, however, is the power of present objects over the human con stitution, for which we have both a natural and acquired taste and appetite, that reason, philosophy, and moral suasion assail it in vain. Under the idolatries and philosophy of the Pagan world, in its best forms, this power was supreme and irresistible. The brightest names of Grecian and Roman fame were subject to the supremacy of this influence; and, therefore, not one of them could stem the current or course of this world, or make a successful effort to overcome it. The secret, then, in pursuit of which we have instituted this inquiry, is. that all systems of human philosophy or wisdom furnished not suitable or competent motives to oppose this current, and to excite and enable men to wage war against so powerful an alliance as the world, the flesh, and Satan.

The strength of every moral system will always be found to con sist in the strength of the motives which it offers: for rational beings can not act without motives; and they must always act in accordance with the strength or force of the motives presented. If, then, there are two classes of motives offered, human nature will always be con trolled by the most powerful, according to its own apprehension of them. Men may not, indeed, always perceive the most valuable con sideration, and, therefore, they can not appreciate the weightier mo tive: for it is not enough that the object be a superior one, but that the mind perceive it to be such. In the science of motives the per ception of the value of an object is essential to its becoming an argu ment or motive to action: for every thing must act as it is when all circumstances are considered, and therefore if different objects stand before the mind, no matter which of them be intrinsically greatest or best, that which under all circumstances appears to be such, will become a motive to action, and control the percipient to the dispar agement of that which may be, in truth, the most valuable, though not so in his estimation.

Our conclusion, then, is, that human nature is so constituted that it must act in unison with that class of objects or motives which appear to be the best and most desirable under all circumstances of


the case. Now as the world, without the knowledge of the gospel, could offer no objects or motives beyond itself, but such as were a part of itself, or of its own nature, it followed that all mankind so placed must be ruled, or led by it, in some one or more of its ten thousand motives suited to the ten thousand varieties of human organ ization and circumstance. Hence all mankind, without the gospel, are inevitably the slaves of the world and are conquered by it.

But still, although, a new world is revealed and a future life dis covered by the gospel; if that gospel be not believed, that future world and all its excellencies and charms will be as though it were not; and hence the possibility of still being governed by the world and of being enslaved to it, although life and immortality are brought to light, so long as that gospel is not understood and believed. Hence the necessity of faith. It is in the philosophy of man and of his condition necessary, not as a quid pro quo, a valuable condition, but as a means, or rather as the only possible medium, of acquaintance with another class of objects, celestial and divine. And this is the true reason why faith conquers the world; because by it, as through a telescope, a person sees another world so incomparably superior, that, from the moment of its discovery, he lets go his hold on the present, and supremely devotes himself to the future. The new objects are so lovely, excel lent, and overwhelming as to control all the objects of time an*! sense, and to set the mind adrift from the moorings of temporal and perishing things. The Christian then, indeed, acts the philosopher, or, in other words, acts most rationally in "counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus the Messiah," and of "treating them as refuse that he may win Christ," and be found in his party in the day of rewards. This explains the conquests of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, I\Ioses, and all that class in every age who endured all pains and privations — "as seeing him n-ho is invisible" — "having respect to the recompense of the reward" — "look ing not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen" — "placing their affections on things above, and not on things on the earth" — "walking by faith, and not by sight" — "an.riously desiring the coming of the day of the Lord;" and "striving to be found in him without spot, unrebukable at his appearing and his glory."

We can now explain the whole mystery of these words, "Who is he that overcomes the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Messiah?" because he is the only person who has the distinct vision of another world, so transcendant and so glorious, as to eclipse all the pleasures, honors, and glories of earthly things — of "sceptres, monuments, and crowns;" and which so fully adapts itself to the vastness and grandeur of human aspirations, promising with infalli ble certainty the full enjoyment of all that human nature in Its


most cultivated and improved condition can either conceive or desire. The class of objects which the gospel presents to one "led hy the Spirit of God," affords motives so much stronger than all earthly objects, that the reason of this victory is as obvious as the reason of any of the effects, physical or moral, of which human science treats.

How great the power of religion, then, when faith alone — the sim ple belief of the gospel facts, as they are set before us by the demon strations of the Spirit of God and of almighty power, is more than a match for "all the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them"! Superadded to this faith, the love of God shed abroad in the heart, and the living hope of being raised incorruptible, and being forever with the Lord, render exceedingly efficacious the gospel in elevating and adorning human character, and in imparting zeal, courage, forti tude, and devotion to all who clearly understand and cordially embrace it. It is, indeed, "the power of God unto salvation" to all those that believe it.

Christian heroes are, then, the brightest and most illustrious victors in the annals of the world. Through faith in the promises of God, they have "smbdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the strength of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, became valiant in battle, overturned the camps of aliens — women have been tortured not accepting prof fered deliverance in the hope of a better resurrection; and others overcame the trials of mocking, scourging, bonds, and imprisonment — of being stoned, sawn asunder, slain by the sword — of going about in sheep-skins and goat-skins — being destitute, afflicted, tormented — wandering about in deserts and mountains, hiding themselves in caverns and caves of the earth."

As this picture is by no means an exaggeration, let us compare ourselves, and ask. What lack I yet? How few Christians, does any one ask, if such must always be the power of religion? We dare not place its power below what the ancient saints achieved in the faith of the better promises which we enjoy. Its power is certainly greater than all the powers of the present world; for if any one has realized "the powers of the world to come," he is certainly more than a match for all earthly powers that can be arrayed against him.

What then shall we say of those Christian ministers who have left off preaching the gospel for the sake of a more lucrative employ ment!! This is a question reserved for future and farther discus sion; and as the times require, we shall pay this class of victorious Captains of the Christian Army a more respectful attention.

But, nearly akin to it, is another question, which also demands, at the hand of impartial justice, an equally grave consideration. It is simply this: Under what head of the power of religion in over-


coming the world, shall we place those Christians, who, while amass ing for themselves treasures ou earth, are preaching to preachers the necessity of denying themselves, and of making, or of keeping themselves poor, for the kingdom of heaven's sake; that they may cut off occasion of mercenary imputations on the part of worldly Christians who would rejoice to see all the world converted by a miracle without costing them a penny. I will acknowledge before the world my want of logical discrimination, when any person proves to me that he would lay down his life for Christ or heaven, or that he possesses the faith which conquers the world, who can not, while he has it in his power, lay down some of the good things of time and sense, either for the sake of the orphan, the widow, or the preacher of the gospel whom the Lord has specially fore ordained to live by the gospel, temporally, as well as spiritually and eternally.

The man of sense and the man of faith derive their controlling and supreme principles of action from two different worlds. The man of sense has within his horizon only such objects as excite his appetites and passions, those strong Impellant forces of animal effort and enterprise; whereas the man of faith has within his mental vision objects of such superlative excellence and value as incomparably transcend all earth-born objects of pursuit, and throw into the shade, in forms the most diminutive, the largest and most splendid achieve ments of human genius, the richest and the noblest trophies of mortal ambition. Hence, as was shown in a former essay, the power of religion in overcoming the world.

But yet it is asked, Who is he among the Christian community that overcomes the world? Does not the present life, with all its pleasures and its pains, its cares and fears, its joys and sorrows, its honors and rewards, so far engage the hearts, and lips, and hands of professors, as to make the line that separates them from the mere man of sense so indistinct, that it is impossible to distinguish the Christian from the worldling in the common routine of earthly trans actions or of temporal affairs, unless we follow him to church on one day in the week or month, or attend with him some of the more solemn convocations of the people? Are the few religious services during the year, or the poor pittance of worldly property which flows into the Lord's treasury, (so reluctantly given too, if one might judg" from actions.) — I say, are these the irrefragable evidences of heavenly mindedness, the all-convincing proofs that the Christian overcomes the world, and is a man of faith, rather than a slave of sense — th^^ expectant of a l>etter world, rather than the contented and firmly attached tenant of the present? If there be other and superior argu ments in proof of this power of religion than those which we ordi-


narily see in the lives of our acquaintance, do let us see them — not on paper, or in verbal description; but let us see the Christian living, moving, acting on the great theatre of life, as one who plainly con fesses himself in pursuit of a "better and a more enduring substance. ' "I admit," continues the Christian sceptic, "that from the accounts given and read in the New Testament — from the lives, sufferings, and heroic achievements of the Christians of other times, there if no lack of evidence that the sons of faith could overcome — nay, did overcome the world. But on whom have their mantles fallen? or who inherit their spirit and walk in their bold and heavenward steps?

It ought to be candidly and feelingly acknowledged, that amongst the multitudes who profess the faith of things unseen and eternal, there are but comparatively few who appear to be so wholly or so supremely devoted to religion — so "diligent to make their calling and election sure," as to make it manifest to all men that they supremel'/ seek the heavenly inheritance. And that, out of the immense multi tudes who in all the great revivals are said to be converted, but few continue in the faith and "hold fast their begun confidence unshaken to the end," is a matter so notorious that it would be impossible to conceal it, did we most ardently desire it. That there are many erro neous views and theories of religion extant, is a very small matter, in our judgment, compared with the fact that there are numerous delinquencies, apostacies, and a very general carnality, selfishness, and covetousness manifest amongst the most Scriptural and intelli gent professors of the gospel. This is the most alarming character istic of the age.

A form of godliness without the power, is the most helpless and the most hopeless case which anj^ one can describe. While th:^ cholera subdued only the intemperate and the vicious, or the extremely feeble and aged members of community, the young, the vigorous, and the temperate had little to fear for themselves from the announce ment of its rapid progress in its peregrinations round the globe; but when it was ascertained that the young, the healthy, and the tem perate frequently became victims of this appalling scourge — that it seized in its fatal grasp all ages, classes and conditions of lifer then it was that its approach spread a deep and melancholy gloom over the whole visage of society, and struck a dismaying consternation into the hearts of all. Thus while lukewarmness and indifference, or a carnal, selfish, covetous, worldly temper followed in the wake of error in theory, or accompanied the promulgation of heretical and demoral izing tenets, those who were zealous for sound doctrine and devoted to the faith and sentiments of the golden age of Christianity, felt but little alarm; but when a similar temper and demeanor begin to


appear amongst those who build upon a better foundation, and place their acceptance upon the consecrated ground of apostolic principles and practice — then, indeed, have all professors not only reasons for self-examination and serious inquiry into the causes of this fatal delinquency, but of alarm for their own personal safety, lest in the epidemical character of this contagion they might inhale the pesti lential air and perish from the way of life.

An age of persecution for righteousness' sake, or of public calam ities, is always a prosperous time for Christians and the cause of spiritual and eternal things; but times of great worldly prosperity are always perilous. "When Christianity or the cause of religion is in high reputation, flattered and complimented by all; when those who are the most religious are most popular and sit in the highest places, then indeed it behooves Christians "with fear and trembling to work out their own salvation;" and to fear lest having a promise of the future and eternal rest, any of them should even appear to fall short of it.

This is, in our country and in our day, the present condition of the church; and such the circumstances by which the Christian pro fession is environed. May I not, then, affirm that in such a crisis the advantage in every conflict is a hundred fold more in favor of the world than of the church? That the Christian now enters the ranks having the most fearful odds against him, and that to overcome in such a struggle is the most glorious victory that can be achieved. To see a person voluntarily forsaking a throne, and esteeming the reproach for Christ greater treasures than all the riches of Egj'pt, is a more illustrious proof of the power of faith, than to see one in the humbler ranks of life, in times of persecution, giving himself up to the flames, or the dungeons of the Inquisition, for the sake of Christ and heaven. The times, then, at present, call for all the power of religion to sustain the church against the sweeping spring-tide of prosperity which now inundates this highly favored country. Those of weak faith can not possibly stem this tide. The current of worldly favor and prosperity will surely bear them down, and a hundred chances to one that their faith will fail, and they will sink, not like a stone, but like a saturated iceberg, in the mighty waters.

Still we feel a good degree of assurance that there are more than seventy times seven thousand persons who have not bowed themselves at the shrine of the gods of this world — that have not had their ears bored on the door-posts of the temple of Mammon, and that are sup plicating day and night af the footstool of Divine Mercy in behalf of the waste and desert places of God's professed Zion. In all this class faith triumphs, and the power of religion overcomes the power of the world.



Christianity, like man, has its object and its subject. God himself. in all his adorable excellencies, is its object. It attracts and allures the human soul to its own origin and fountain. And these are Jehovah himself.

The universe is his temple. He fills it all, he animates it all, he beautifies and adorns it all. There is absolute nothing above him, beneath him, beyond him. The visible heaven and the heaven of heavens are but his pavilion — the tent or tabernacle in which he mani fests his eternal majesty and godhead. "Ascend I heaven! Lo! Thou art there. There if amongst the dead I lie." "I can not go where universal love smiles not all around." Take I the wings of the morn ing, and on "the swift-winged arrows of light" flee to the utmost star I see, I there find myself yet but in the vestibule of the pavilion of the great King, for I see as many suns and systems before me as i left behind me. And could I continue my flight for ages of ages, I would, at the remotest orb, still see as many wonders of creative power, wisdom, and goodness, above me as under me. Hence, eternity is the only field of vision and of bliss that meets the wants and the wishes of an immortal mind. But who can distinguish between "the Eternities of Israel," and the absolute eternity of eternities?

Yet nothing short of absolute space, absolute being, absolute bless edness, and absolute duration, can fill the vacuum which God has himself created in man, in angel, and in spirit.

The mysteries of creation, providence, moral government and redemption, all launch out into the ocean of eternity — into an infinite past behind us, and an infinite future before us. The moral pulsations of our moral nature, expand or contract in harmony with our intellec tual and spiritual garniture, and with our conceptions of him whose most sublime position is comprehended in the oracle — I ah.

But who can comprehend the ineffable sublimity of the adorable I AM? And yet it is the only one self-existent impersonation that gives form to thought, or thought to form. Annihilate it, and yon have annihilated yourself. You are a mere idea, an impression, an imagination, without a local habitation or a name.

There is a pleasure in being bewildered in a paradise; in being lost in a rapture of glory; or, like Paul, in not knowing "whether in the body or out of the body;" whether in the first or in the seventh heaven, in the heaven of heavens, or beyond them all.

There is no relation between the finite and the infinite, and yet neither of these could be without the other. There are, therefore, but two ideas in the universe of the genus generalissimum — two distinct conceptions, and yet dependent on each other for a revelation of them selves. These are creature and creator.


Father and child aro equally dependent on each other for their being and manifestation. A lather without a child, or a child without a father, is not within the grasp of human reason or of angelic thought We may aa well, then, pause here as go any farther in this direction. For all the philosophers of earth, and all the philosophies of the universe, are stranded and silenced just here, because of the impotency of boasting, boastful reason.

We are, because God Is. And God is, because God was, and God will ever be, because he always was, the one only self-existent, und-i rived, unbegotten, uncreated One, indicated in the ineffably sublime utterance, I a.m. Thia is our Rock of Ages. And in speaking of the joys and pleasures of true religion, we must have a clear and clean arena for its full manifestation, in order to its full enjoyment

Religion (I use the term because of its consecration in the dialects of earth) being wholly of a remedial character, and to be appreciated and enjoyed as such, must be adapted to man as he now exists in this world. It must, therefore, have a body, a soul, and a spirit, to meet all the demands of his being and of his well being. Hence, Chris tianity must have a body, a soul, and a spirit, if it be at all adapted to the conditions of a lost, bewildered, and ruined world.

In heaven and in hell there is no religion. None in heaven, because all its inhabitants are reconciled to God; and none in hell, because its inmates are not under a remedial dispensation. The whole nee-l neither a physician nor his medicine. Neither do the dead. Religion, therefore, is for man in the flesh, or for man fallen and undone, but yet placed under a remedial system.

Angels or spirits in no realm of the universe, are the subjects or the objects of religion. Adoration and praise belong only to those in holy communion with God; and these in heaven constitute natures on earth, they are the fruit of religion, or reconciliation to God. Light is not love, neither is love light It is but the fruit of it. Before we admire or love beauty, we must see it. And before w-? can love God, we must know him as he is — absolute, supreme, essen tial beauty.

But in this lower world, and in all its mists and fogs of philosophy and religion, so called, there is a vocabulary as frail, and feeble, and erratic as man. The reason is clear — the stream can not rise above its fountain; and man can never, at one glance, see himse'f. There is, of his senses, not one that can recognize its own acts. The eye sees not itself, the ear hears not itself, and neither of these can take cognizance of any one of the other senses, nor any one of them take cognizance of either of them. The gustatory nervp, the olfactory nerve, nor any nerve of sensation, ran take any coernizance whatever of Itself or of the acts rf its fraternity. Hence, mind and spirit are


mysteries, on which myriads of philosophers have, in vain, racked their brains for thousands of years. But shall the eye of man nullify its own being because it never saw itself, or the ear, because it never heard itself! Talk not of mirrors. There are neither eyes nor ears in mirrors. They but adumbrate material orbs or structures. Senses have no shadows, no lights, no colors, no forms, no images of them selves or of one another. Organs are not senses. But if they were, not one of them could recognize another.

So of all the inner faculties of the mind. Indeed, the mind and the spirit require the sharp two-edged sword of the Spirit of God to separate them. None but a sword manufactured in heaven, can dis tinguish or separate these. That sword is the Word of God. Hence Paul, who saw all this by a spiritual intuition, eloquently declares that "The "Word of God is quick and powerful, [living and effectual,] sharper than any two-edged sword, and is a discerner [or a detector] of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hence the metaphysical or animal man never did, never can, discern himself.

No mere philosopher, unaided by revelation, in writing or in tra dition, ever knew himself — his origin, his relations to the universe, his ultimate destiny. So reason we, and so affirms Paul by a plenary inspiration. Now, then, after this excursion, let us return to our theme.

We have said that Christianity, like man, has its subject and its object. Man himself is the subject of it — man, in his whole being, constitution and character, is the subject of this Divine institution. He was in being before it was in fact. It was originated and con summated for him as a fallen, degraded, ruined being. It contem plates his entire regeneration in body, soul and spirit. This is, there fore, its object. This consummated, its design is perfected. This not consummated, he dies a wretch undone — lost, ruined, degraded forever. It is, therefore, the greatest subject, or theme, within the limits of human thought, of human aspiration. Compared with it, the physical universe is an atom unappreciable. Possessed of it, and of its full effect upon his Intellectual and moral constitution, his whole spiritual being is the most sublime spectacle we have ever seen, or can see, by the light of this world, whether we call it physical, Intellectual, or spiritual light.

But man being a miniature trinity — possessing a body, a soul, and a spirit — Christianity assumes a similar constituency, and, therefore, it has a body, a soul, and a spirit. Its body is the ordinances of the Christian faith. Here I would not call them the ordinances of relig ion, for religion is God's one grand ordinance, the centre of which is the propitiatory sacrifice and the propitiatory intercession — the latter based on, and emanating from, the former. The sun has been


turned into blood, in the Son of God having become a slain lamb. Blood is the envelope of life, the mystery of mysteries, in the organ i za'aons of this physical and moral universe. But that I.anib of God having been slain a siacrifice for us, there needs no more sacrifice for sin. Hence, this blood is embalmed, preserved, and shadowed forth in that which we have called the body of Christianity — its ordinances. And of these, there are three distinct embodiments. These are, bap tism, the Lord's supper, and the Lord's day. These are pregnant institutions, filled with the grace of God. Forms, without meaning, are nothing. Form is but a mode of l>eing. It is not being. In Christian baptism there is more than words and water, and the action of immersion. There is a grace, a special grace. Baptism is valid grace, and no more. There is, indeed, implied, and solemnly expressed in it, a death, a hurial, and a new life. There is, too, a solemn prepa ration for it. There is a spiritual illumination terminating in faith, a."? preparatory to it, or to the enjoyment of its spiritual provisions. This faith itself is not a physical impression on the senses or the soul of a man, in a state of death or torpidity, but an actual giving up of the heart, the conscience, the will, to the Redeemer, on the verity and fidelity of the Holy Spirit, who always testifies to the Divine and moral grandeur of the Son — the Incahxate Wokd of the Livixq Goo. This is baptismal faith, terminating in a literal immersion in water, into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence its inappreciability to insensible, unappreciating babes and sucklings.

There is then a resurrection out of the mystic grave, by the arm of the administrator — a second birth into a new world — the church or family of God. Born thus of the water and of the Spirit, a new and formal life begins. Communion with the Father, and with the Son. and with the Holy Spirit, here commences, in the spirit of adoption, by which those mystically regenerated in body, soul, and spirit, crp, Abba, Father!

There is. also, besides the quickening of the Word or Spirit of God. the resurrection to a new life, not only in the symbolic form of emersion, but in the spiritual, and holy, and joyful aspirations of th" soul to God, in the pure and holy spirit of personal consecration to the service and the honor of the Lord who redeemed us by his own blood, and constituted us kings and priests to God. This sublime confession of our faith in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascen sion of the Lord Jesus, is followed up by a sacred regard to the other constituents of the Christian gospel— the Lord's day and the Tx)rd'3 supper.

Christianity is pre eminently For^ial. Hence its social institutions. These are its social prayer meetiagc and congratulations, its social


praises, its social thanksgivings, its social communings, its social benedictions.

Its standing occasions and festivals are ordained for this purpose, for the cultivation and manifestation of a spiritual and holy union and communion, in joint participation of its prospective and retro spective ordinances and institutions.

Hence the necessity of a church state. A Christian can no more live out of a church state than can a physical man live out of a physical universe. He as much, needs the Spirit of God as he needs breath. He needs the bread and the water of life as much, as his body demands for the sustenance the literal bread and water of earth. Were this not so, the church and its institutions would be unmeaning and barren appendages, without reason, without object, without good. They are silly philosophers, who seek to live without physical ele ments; and quite as silly Christians, who dream of spiritual life, spiritual health, or spiritual comfort, without the ordinances which God has instituted for the life spiritual and divine. The communion of saints is the exquisite of human happiness. Without employment there is no enjoyment, and no enjoyment without employment. Heaven is not a mere state of repose. Its raptures and ecstacies of bliss are all activities of the soul, in wonder, love and praise expressed.

A philosophic speculative repose is a state of soulless apathy and inactivity. A human being can not live on ether, however pure, unearthy, and unelementary it may be alleged to be. There are ordi nances of worship even in the heavens. And there are worshipers there who unite and commune in the full radiation and fruition of the Divine presence. But they are not mere thinking Quakers, specula tive philosophers, or ranting enthusiasts, but admiring, worshiping, adoring saints. They tune their golden lyres to the song of Moses and the Lamb.

It is not only in the apocalyptic visions that we read of "harpers harping with their harps," in rapturous choirs above; but there, also, we hear of the "song of Moses" repeated; and, better still, that of the slain lamb echoing in choral symphonies through, all the vaults of heaven.

But in the earthly state of the church we now live, and move, and have our membership. Its social ordinances are, one and all, of Divine appointment. And they are severally and collectively designed to instruct and to comfort, to encourage and strengthen us for the work of faith, and labor of love, and the patience of hope.

A Christian living out of the Church of Christ — unless in exile on some Patmos, or in some prison, banished from the sanctuary of the Lord — is a conception so far out of my premises, that comprehend it I can not; nor do I envy that man who attempts to justify it, under


fjretense of liiRh spiritualism, or because of some canonize<T shibbo leth of factitious importance, made sacred only by some sectarian enactment or prescription.

The Church of Jesus Christ and its Divine ordinances are now the only Bethel — the only social antitype of the tabernacle of Israel, of the temple of Solomon, of the Mount Zion where stood the Ark of the Covenant, the citadel of the great King.

Tillfoundutioiis of Zion are on the holy mouiilaius.

Ji'hovah lovi'th the gates of Zion

More than any of the ilwcllings of Jacob.

Glorious things are spokt-u of thee, City of GodI


Yt-a, Concerning Zion it shall be said,

This and that man was born in her!

For the most high shall himself establish her.

la the records of peoples Jehovah shall relate,

This man was born there.

They shall sing as those leading the dance;

Each shall say, All my springs are in thee. [Psalm rxxxvii.

But in clearer vision, with Paul we say to the Christian Church, and to its holy brotherhood — "You are come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innu merable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the sons of Cod, who are enrolled in heaven, and to the Judge, who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect; to Jesu.^, the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

In such society as this

My weary soul would rest; The man that dwells where Jesus is

Must be forever blest.

What a contrast between a citizen of Zion and a mere citizen of any state or empire founded in blood, usurpation, tyranny, or on any of the forms of philosophy or theology, ancient or niodernl

A. c, 1854, page 121.

In 1832, in an extra, Mr. Campbell says of

THE CHRISTIAN: 73. Q. What constitutes a Christian?

A. Faith in Jesus as the Messiah the Son of God, and obedience to him.

76. Q. What is faith in Jesus?

A. An assurance, founded on the testimony of Apostles and Proph ets, that he is the Messia'i t'''' Pon of God.

77. Q. Does not thi.s assurr.ncp draw mankind to him. and cause them to repose confidence in him?

A. All who know his name and character will put their trust in him.


78. Q. What are the privileges of Christians as respects this life? A. They are all reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, adopted into

the family of God, saved, and constituted heirs of God through Christ.

79. Q. Are all these blessings, honors, and hopes, secured to ail in Christ?

A. Yes, by the promise and oath of God. God sware to Abraham that he would bless all the families of the earth in his So)i.

80. Q. What do the Scriptures mean by being reconciled to God?

A. Just what is implied in being reconciled to man. When a mis understanding, alienation, or enmity exists in both parties, they are said to be reconciled to each other, when the causes are removed, and when they are restored to mutual confidence, love, and affection. When alienation exists only in one of the parties, he is said to be reconciled to the other, when his alienation or the causes of it are removed.

81. Q. Whether do the Scriptures represent that God has recon ciled us, or that we have reconciled him?

A. "God has reconciled us to himself,'' is the language of the book.

82. Q. How did God reconcile us to himself?

A. By teaching us that he could not approve or delight in us as sinners, by making his Son a sin-offering for us; thereby making it every way honorable and gracious in himself to forgive us our sins through the blood of his well beloved Son, whom he sent forth from his own bosom in proof of his love to the world.

83. Q. What is meant by being justified?

A. It is to have the remission of all our sins, and to stand as righteous persons in the sight of God.

84. Q. Is it not, then, equivalent in effect to being pardoned?

A. It is so used by the Apostles: "By him all that believe are justified from all things from which no one could be justified by the law of Moses."

85. Q. What do the Scriptures mean by the word sanctified?

A. To be sanctified is to be separated to God as respects our rela tion to him, and to have a purification of heart conformed to that state. Thus Christians are said to be holy as respects both their state, dispositions, and behavior.

86. Q. What do the Scriptures mean by being adopted?

A. Adoption, or receiving into the relation of a son, is the same act, whether God or man be the adopter. On as many as receive Jesus in his character as God's Son, he bestows the honor of an induction into the relation of children — of sons and daughters to the Lord Almighty. And more; he communicates to them the spirit of children, so that they can, with feeling, say, "Abba, Father!"

87. Q. In what sense are Christians caved in this life?


A. From sin. "He shall save his people from their sins;" from the guilt, pollution, and dominion of sin in this life, and from its punishment in the next.

88. Q. In what consists the inheritance or heirship of Christians? A. "All things arc theirs." Angels, Apostles, and Prophets; the

world, life, death, and immortality; Christ himself, "the heir of all things," is theirs, and they are his. Their inheritance is in the heavens — "incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading."

89. Q. How many salvations are spoken of as belonging to Chris tians?

A. Three. The salvation of their persons from all the dangers of the kingdom of nature; the salvation of their souls from the guilt, pollution, and power of sin; the salvation of their bodies from the grave and from all the punishment of sin. God is the saviour of all men, especially believers, from physical dangers; he saves the souls of them that fear him from sin and Satan. And he has a salvation to be revealed at the last day, an eternal salvation of the whole person, of which all who are found faithful to death shall be partakers.

90. Q. What are the chief constituents of the present salvation? A. The remission of sins and the Holy Spirit. Pardon of all past

sin is necessary to peace of conscience, and is God's free and first gift through faith in his Son, and immersion into his death and resurrec tion. When the heart is sprinkled from an evil conscience, and the body washed with cleansing water, ours is the spirit of love, joy, peace; for the reign of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in th.? Holy Spirit. Thus in the order of nature the reception of the Holy Spirit is necessarily subsequent to the remission of our sins.

The chief promises to the Christian are:

"I. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and I will receive you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

"H. I will be their God and they shall be my people.

"HI. My Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him.

"IV. I will never leave you nor forsake you.

"V. Christ in us the hope of glory."

In 1844, page 481, the llarhingcr said:


The following synopsis of the grand outline, elements, and design Of Christianity, was written by Tiiom.vs C.xmi-mkli., in the 82d year of his age. He desires its publication as the result of all his thoughts on the great subject — as a very summary view* of its cardinal features, sustained by a very liberal collation of Scripture quotations. Its chief


object is to demonstrate that Christianity is a development of the infinite, eternal, and immutable love of God to man — of that love partially exhibited in the creation of man and in the providence for his w^ants; but perfectly and completely displayed in his eternal re demption from sin and death.

The apparent redundancy of quotations and proofs in all his essays is the effect of a seventy years' devout study of the book, until it has become part and parcel of the mind of the writer. Himself an old man, he is fond of the old style of expressing himself, as well as the ancient and commendable custom of dealing out liberal portions of the sacred documents in explanation as well as in confirmation of his views. ' A. c.


Christianity is emphatically, supereminently — yea, transcendently, the religion of love: that is, of affectionate attachment, benevolence, and beneficence; for its Divine Author, subject matter, and effects, are all love in the highest possible degree. For, first, God its author, is love. (I. John iv. 8.) So are all its grand fundamental facts, the effects of divine love. Namely, 1st. The divine assumption of our humanity in its present debased, degraded condition. 2. The personal gift of the Holy Spirit to inhabit our nature, thus assumed. 3. The deep humiliation, cruel maltreatment, tremendous sufferings, and ignominious death of this glorious personage, our Divine Emanuel.

4. His glorious resurrection and infinite exaltation above all heavens.

5. The mission and descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, to dwell in them, and to be with them for ever; and likewise in and with all them that should believe through their word.

Now, as those five fundamental gospel facts are all transcendent effects of divine love, so are all its gracious declarations, invitations, and promises, effects of the same divine principle; for they are not only completely adapted to our wretched, guilty, polluted, perishing condition — presenting us with seasonable redress for all our griev ances, and healing for our diseases; but also — with an everlasting portion of glory, honor, and immortality, in the possession of an inher itance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for them, who, through the belief and obedience of the gospel and law of Chris*, are kept by the power of God, to the enjoyment of the prom ised salvation, which is yet to be revealed in the last time. And lastly, the law of Christ, which, together with the gospel, constitutes the subject matter of Christianity, is also pure and perfect love.

Now, if it be Scripturally evident to demonstration, from the above mentioned facts and documents, (as we humbly presume it is.) that our holy religion, in its Divine Author, subject matter, and effects, is


pure and perfect love; what remains, then, but that we so avail our selves of it, as to get into the actual possession of this blissful attain ment? We say blissful attainment — for perfect love is perfect hap piness; provided, the beloved object be perfectly adapted to the lover's capacity for enjoyment; and such is really and perfectly the case in the subject before us.

We shall, therefore, proceed to a Scriptural investigation of this all-important subject; taking every item in the order of the above synopsia We have assumed that our holy religion is emphatically, supereminently — yea, transcendently, the religion of love. Our first argument is taken from the revealed character of its Divinn Author; all whose works are naturally and originally works of love: "For God is love." (I. John iv. 8.) Now, the history of the divine proceedings, from the very beginning, evinces this blissful truth: the first chapter of which is the work of creation, of which we have a particular record in the first chapter of Genesis. In this chapter the divine intention is emphatically marked by a seven-fold repetition of the word — good — applied successively to the various productions of almighty power, wisdom, and goodness., and expressive of the divine intention; namely, the happiness of all his sensitive and intelligent creatures. For the term — good — embraces the whole circle of enjoyment; as we call every thing good, that gives us pleasure. And here it is very remarkablo, that God, upon a review of the whole creation, pronounces it super eminently GOOD. See verse 31st. "And God saw everything that h^ had made; and, behold, it was very good." That is, perfectly adapted to the gratification and happiness of every creature capable of enjoy ment. And, last of all, in the chapter of creation, the divine benevo lence is most eminently manifested in man. For, "God said. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion," etc. "So God created man after his own image, in the image of God created he him: a male and a female created he them. And God blessed them," etc. Now is it possible for the Creator, in his creative process, to confer a greater privilege upon a creature, than to create it in his oicn image, after his own likeness, that it might not only thus be qualified for the enjoyment of personal intercourse with its Almighty Creator, but also with a conjoint participation with him in the possession and enjoyment of his terrestrial creations? Yea — of everything of which its nature was thus made capable? But the creative benevolence does not yet stop here. For. "the T^ord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is plea.^ant to the sight and good for food: the tree of life also in the midst o.f the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." It was well watered — and "atiounded in. gold and pearls;"


for "there was bdellium and the onyx stone." This collection and concentration of beauties and delicacies, both vegetable and mineral, might well be called "The Garden of Eden;" that is, of pleasure and delight. But to consummate the divine benevolence in those original gifts of the divine love, God was graciously pleased to favor and to furnish our first parent, in this garden of delights, with the blissful means of not only enjoying the unspeakable gratification of manifest ing, by his obedience, his love and gratitude to his most gracious and benevolent Creator; but also of securing to himself and his heirs the perpetual enjoyment of his present happy condition, secured to him and them by their unrestricted access to the tree of life.

Now, had man continued obedient, would not uninterrupted enjoy ment have been his continual employment? But he was unnaturally excited to transgress; and thus justly forfeited all his enjoyment. And how did the Lord God proceed towards his guilty creature? He pro ceeded in mercy and love. For he respited our guilty progenitors from the immediate full execution of the sentence, dismissed them from his presence and the blessed garden, under the sentence of death: but not without the hope of deliverance from the power of the deadly enemy, that had maliciously seduced them. Thus were they put, typically, (being covered with the spoils of death,) under the protection of a remedial dispensation, through sacrifice; to which they were to have continual recourse, as the divinely appointed means of access to God, and of acceptance with him. Hence we find animal sacrifice practiced in the family of Adam, of Noah, of Abraham, etc., etc., and so on till the death of Christ, the great antitypical sacrifice, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Now this brings us up to the great gospel facts specified in our synopsis: the first of which is, the divine assumption of our humanity, in its present degenerate, degraded condition. And, surely, if, in the first instance, it was a transcendent display of the love of God to man, to create him in his own image, after his own likeness; it was transcendently greater to assume our nature, degraded into a guilty, depraved, perishing condition, and thus to assimilate himself to us — that he might so identify himself with us, that our iniquity might be laid upon him — that by his stripes we might be healed. (Isa. liii. 5.) And thus put away our sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Heb. ix. 26.) If this does not demonstrate the blissful truth that "God is love" — what could do it?

The second great gospel fact is, the personal gift of the Holy Spirit to inhabit cur nature, thus assumed. (Matt iii. 16, 17.) "Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were open to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and, lo, a voice from heaven,


saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am pleased." "For Go.l giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." "For the Father lovetU the Son, and hath tiven all tilings into his hand." (John iii. 34, 35. j "And of his fullness have all we received, even gi-ace for grace." (John i. IG.) "For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily, ' (Col. 1. 19; ii. 9, 10.) "And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power." Glory to God! What has the Lord done for the salvation and exaltation of poor, debased, guilty, per ishing humanity, in the person of our glorious Emanuel, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the divinity substantially, both by the personal union of tlie Logos, and the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit! ! The third gospel fact in our synopsis, is the deep humiliation, cruel maltreatment, tremendous sufferings, and ignominious death of this glorious personage. It appears that his mother was a poor, dowerless virgin; his legal father, an humble, laborious mechanic. His birth place was a stable, his cradle a manger. Shortly after his birth, his parents had to flee from their country to save his life. Upon their return, they located in the infamous Nazareth (John i. 46), from whence our Saviour took his local name — "Jesus of Nazareth;" where it is probable he wrought with his father; for he is called the carpenter (Mark vi. 2). And during his ministerial labors he tells us, that "the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air h£id nests; but that he, the Son of Man, had not where to lay his head." But not only was he thus the subject of infantile persecution, local infamy, and humble laborious poverty; but also of blasphemous reproach; as being in league with Satan — a glutton, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners (Matt. xi. 19). Accordingly, when at last they were permittedtto appre hend him, they most insultingly abused him: for having led him away to the high priest's house, who condemned because he confessed, that he was the Son of God. For, upon answering the high priest, when first interrogated, one of the officers struck him: and when condemned by the high priest for his confession, "the men that held Jesus mocked him and smote him, and spit in his face; and when they had blind folded him, they struck him on the face, saying. Prophesy who it iS that smote thee. And many other things blasphemously spake they against him." (Luke xxii. 63-65.) And when they brought him to Pilate, they accused him with treasonable practices, claiming to be their king: who, upon hearing that he was a Galilean, sent him to Herod: who, with his men of war, set him at naught, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate (Luke xxiii. 6-11.) But when Pilate, upon finding nothing proved against him, proposed to release him; availing himself, for this purpose, of an established custom; which was to release to


them, at the feast of the Passover, a prisoner at the request of the people; they reject Jesus, and choose Barabbas, a seditious murderer. Jesua being thus rejected, and the murderer preferred, at the insti gation of the priests and rulers, Pilate orders Jesus to be scourged, and delivers him up to be crucified. (Matt, xxvii. 26-50.) "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gath ered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand : and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him oo the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, this is to say, A Place of a Skull, they gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall; and when he tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down, they watched him there: and set up over his head, his accusa tion written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OP THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he can not save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabbacthani? that is to say. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said. This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." What insulting cruel maltreatment! ! What tremendous suffering! ! Is it any cause of wonder, that the realizing anticipation of such c horrid


catastrophe should have produced that soul-rending agony and bloody sweat, which our gracious Lord experienced in the garden of Geth semane, just before its commencement? 0! for a true realizing appre hension of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that so we might be filled with all the fullness of God! (Eph. iii. 19.)

But we now proceed to the fourth item in our synopsis, namely, his trimphant resurrection from under the dominion of deaUi and the grave; and glorious exaltation far above all heavens: "For he that descended first into the lower parts of the earth, is the same who also ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." (Eph. iv. 9,. 10.) For, aa we have just before quoted, "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Now, this most gra^ clous intention was, doubtless, intended for the ultimate perfection of his people; for God does nothing in vain.

This all-important event, however, took place very early in the morning of the first day of the week, being the third day after his death and burial. We learn, from the sacred record, that some of his female disciples, who were present at their Lord's death and burial, had agreed to meet very early at the sepulchre, on the first day of the week, for the purpose of anointing his body, came accordingl:-, while it was yet dark, and found the sepulchre empty;— that about the time of their arrival there was a great earthquake; and that an angel had descended from heaven, and rolled back the stone and sai upon it— that his countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow;— and, that for fear of him, the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. Thus were heaven and earth actuated and affected at the resurrection of our glorious Emanuel:— a most eminent display this, of the approbation and love of his heavenly Father, which was afterwards consummated in his transcendent exaltation. (Ps. ex. 1, 2.) And which will yet be made most graciously apparent when he shall sit upon the throne of his glory, accompanied with all his holy angels, and all nations assembled before him, to receive their final destiny from his all decisive judgment. "For the Father judgeth no one, but hath committed all judgment to the Son; that all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." (John v. 22, 23; Matt. XXV. 31, 32.) Now can any possible manifestation of the divine love equal this, much less exceed it? And does it not terminate upon our humanity in the person of our glorious Emanuel, without which, he could not be, in the personal sense of that divine epithet, "God with us." How great is the love of God to man!!!— At first he made him but a little lower than the angels, crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of his hands in this lower world. But in his redeeming process, he has exalted our humanity above the whole creation, by a most gracious act of his own sovereign mercy and


benevolence; for we deserved nothing but the very contrary, as appears most evident in the condition of those, that receive the due reward of their iniquity. (See Rev. xx. 15.) Yet, however, in the meantime, the person of our glorious Emanuel, "God manifested in the flesh," "is exalted far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." (Eph. iv. 10.) "Angels, autharities, principalities, and powers being made subject to him." (I. Pet. iii. 22.) So that at his official name — Jesus — every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. ii. 10, 11.) Thus has God graciously exalted our nature in the person of his Son. "Well, therefore, may believers exclaim: "Behold, what manner of love, the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God! For when Christ, our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory. For we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him — that we shall see him as he is." (Col. iii. 4; I. John iii. 2.) How astonishing the love of God to man, first and last! ! ! It will neither admit of comprehension nor comparison.

But after all this vast, transcendent display of the divine love to our apostate, guilty, perishing nature, without the special agency and gift of the Holy Spirit to quicken, enlighten, convert, and sanctify us, we must, after all, ultimately perish: for all to whom the gospel comes, are really and evidently dead in trespasses and sins; being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, by reason of the blindness of their hearts. (Eph. iv. 18.) "For the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." So that they who are under its infiuence, can not please God. And this is the case with all that have not the Spirit of Christ. For if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his — And it is only those that are led by the Spirit of God, that are the sons of God. (Rom. viii. 7-14.) And no man can (truly and sincerely) say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit. (I. Cor. xii. 3.) Therefore, our Lord, when about to leave his disciples whom he had chosen to evangelize the world, promised them the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to render their labors successful. (John xvi. 7-11.) Wherefore, all true believers are said to be "born of the Spirit" — born from above — John iii. 4-6 — to be begotten by an act of the divine will with the word of truth, that they might be a kind of first fruits ot his creatures. (Jas. i. 18.) "Created anew in Christ Jesus to good works, which God before ordained, that they should walk in them" (Eph. ii. 10). Consequently, all Christian graces and virtues are ascribed to the Holy Spirit: For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temper-


ance. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit— (For the fiuit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth;) proving what is acceptable to the Lord. (Gal. v. 22, 23, 25; Eph. v. 9, 10.) These things being so, Christ would not suffer his coramiS' sioned disciples to commence their official labors, till they received the promise of the Holy Spirit — on the day of Pentecost — on which ever-memorable day, commenced the Gospel Dispensation; and the Holy Spirit took possession of the Christian church, never to leave it while sun and moon endure — never — till the whole redeemed family be ultimately presented in the divine presence, in the perfection of glory. Thus we have the transcendent love of the Father fillly mani fested in the gift of his beloved Son and Holy Spirit, to justify and sanctify depraved, guilty, perishing sinners, that they might be pre pared for the eternal enjoyment of the supreme felicity above described. All these things being really so, as the Scriptures most evidently declare; is it not demonstrably evident — that God is lovef But, whilst heaven and earth, rejoice in this blissful and glorious truth, it is equally evident to both, that God is as just as he is benevolent and gracious; for "he will by no means acquit" (Ex. xxxiv. 6, 7, with Nah. i. 3). He never has permitted, nor ever will, one single transgression to pass with, impunity. All the divine attributes are equally infinite. God is as good as he is great — as just as he is merci ful. Wherefore, that he might justify the ungodly, he laid on his beloved Son the punishment due to their iniquities. (See Isa. liii. 5, with Rom. iii. 25, 26, etc.) So that although the only begotten of the Father is the supreme object of his love, and although he takes infinite delight in the s