Stone Campbell Dialogue Union

The Stone Campbell Dialogue about union was held about 180 years ago: there was NO union then or now.

From the Christian Messenger. UNION.

THE question is going the round of society, and is often proposed to us, Why are not you and the Reformed Baptists one people? or, Why are you not united? We have uniformly answered; In spirit we are united, and that no reason existed on our side to prevent the union in form.

It is well known to those brethren, and to the world, that we have always, from the beginning, declared our willingness, and desire to be united with the whole family of God on earth, irrespective of the diversity of opinion among them.

The Reformed Baptists have received the doctrine taught by us many years ago. For nearly 30 years we have taught that Sectarianism was antichristian, and that all christians should be united in the one body of Christ--the same they teach. We then and ever since, have taught that authoritative creeds and confessions were the strong props of sectarianism, and should be given to the moles and the bats--they teach the same. We have from that time preached the gospel to every creature to whom we had access, and urged them to believe and obey it--that its own evidence was sufficient to produce faith in all that heard it,

that the unrenewed sinner must,
and could believe it unto justification and salvation--
and that through faith the Holy Spirit of promise,
and every other promise of the New Covenant, were given.

They proclaim the same doctrine. Many years ago some of us preached baptism as a means, in connexion with faith and repentance, for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit--they preach the same, and extend it farther than we have done. We rejected all names, but Christian--they acknowledge it most proper, but seem to prefer another. We acknowledge a difference of opinion from them on some points. We do not object to their opinions as terms of fellowship between us. But they seriously and honestly object to some of ours as reasons why they cannot unite. These we shall name, and let all duly consider their weight.

Objection 1st: That we have fellowship, and commune with unimmersed persons. They contend, (so we understand them) that according to the New Institution, none but the immersed have their sins remitted; and therefore they cannot commune with the unimmersed. 
        On this point we cannot agree with them, and the reason of our disagreement, is,
        that this sentiment, in our view, will exclude millions of the fairest characters,
        for many centuries back, from heaven.

For if the immersed only, receive the remission of sins, all those millions that have died, being unimmersed, have died in their sins, or unwashed from their sins. Jesus said, "If ye die in your sins, where God is, you can never come." Of course they are excluded from heaven. Hell, therefore, must be their portion; for Protestants do not believe in a purgatory. Why are they sent to hell? For disobedience to the one command of being immersed. Hear the poor creature's complaint, while suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.. On earth, says he, in obedience to the King, [385] whom I loved, whose laws I loved, whose family I loved, I denied myself took up my cross and followed him.
was taught that it was my duty to be baptized, and that baptism meant to be sprinkled with water; in the humble spirit of obedience submitted, not knowing but that this was the very way the King meant this command to be observed.
But now, alas! for my ignorance of the right way of performing one command, I must be forever banished from God into everlasting punishment. What should we think of an earthly king, if a province of loving subjects, being ignorant of the meaning of a certain law, and yet endeavoring to obey it according to their understanding of it, should by his order be cut off by an excruciating death? Surely, we should reprobate his conduct, and should see in his character that which is less amiable than otherwise. Is it possible to divest ourselves of the same thoughts and conclusion respecting the lovely King of saints? Should we not, by representing his character in this view, expose it to the contempt of a scoffing world?

I know our brethren say,
        We do not declare that they are excluded from heaven
        but only from the kingdom on earth.

We leave them in the hand of God. But does not the sentiment lead to that conclusion? We believe, and acknowledge, that Baptism is ordained by the King a means for the remission of sins to penitent believers; but we cannot say, that immersion is the sine qua non, without maintaining the awful consequence above, and without contradicting our own experience. We therefore teach the doctrine, believe, repent, and be immersed for the remission of sins; and we endeavor to convince our hearers of its truth; but we exercise patience and forbearance towards such pious persons as cannot be convinced.

2dly. Another cause or reason why we and they are not united as one people, is, that we have taken different names. They acknowledge the name Christian most appropriate; but because they think this name is disgraced by us who wear it, and that to it may be attached the idea of Unitarian or Trinitarian, they reject it, and have taken the cider name, Disciple. This they have done in order to be distinguished from us.

Hence it is concluded that they wish to be a party distinguished from us,
        and have therefore assumed this name as a party name.
        This at once bars us from union in the same body,
        and we cannot but believe it was assumed for this purpose, by some.

We should rejoice to believe the contrary. Until a satisfactory explanation be given on this subject, we must view ourselves equally excluded from union, with the congregation of the Disciples, as from any other sectarian establishment. We object not to the scriptural name, Disciple, but to the reasons why our brethren assumed it.

We are ready any moment to meet and unite with those brethren, or any others, who believe in, and obey the Saviour according to their best understanding of his will, on the Bible, but not on opinions of its truth. We cannot with our present views unite on the opinion that unimmersed persons cannot receive the remission of sins, and therefore should be excluded from our fellowship and communion on earth. We cannot conscientiously give up the name Christian, acknowledged by our brethren must appropriate, for any other (as Disciple) less appropriate, and received to avoid the disgrace of being suspected to be a Unitarian or Trinitarian. We cannot thus temporize with divine truth.

We have frequently, and for more than a quarter of a century, contended for the name Christian as that given by divine authority, and designed to supersede all other name's of the Lord's followers. We are sorry that the New translation, purporting to give us that of Dr. Doddridge on the Acts of the Apostles, has rejected his, and given us another of Acts xi. 26. Dr. Doddridge's translation is "And the disciples were by divine appointment first named Christians at Antioch." If this be a correct translation, then the matter is forever put to rest, that the will of God is, that the older name Disciple should cease, and the new name Christian should forever after take place of it. To reject the name Christian for any other is to act in opposition to the [386] will of God; so it appears to us. Doddridge in justification of his translation, observes in a note, "I think with Dr. Benson, that the use of the word Chrematisai (named) implies that it was done by a divine direction. As proof he refers us to Matt. ii. 12, 22. Luke ii. 26. Acts x. 22. Heb. viii. 5-11; vii, 12, 25, where the same word is used. Let us examine every passage in the New Testament where the word Chrematizo (was called) occurs; and, I think, that the translation, were named by divine appointment, will be found correct and true. In Matt. ii. 12, 22, the word is translated, "being warned of God"--or divinely warned. In Luke ii. 26, the word is translated, It was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost. In Acts x. 22, the word is translated, Cornelius "was warned of God by a holy angel to send for thee." In Heb. viii. 5, it is translated "Moses was admonished of God." Heb. xi. 7, it is rendered, "By faith Noah being warned of God." In Heb. xii. 25, "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth"--the word spake is translated from the same word Chrematizo, and should, according to the translations above, be rendered, refuse not him that divinely spake, admonishedor warned on earth. It is too plain to deny, that Moses spake by divine authority, and therefore his warnings and admonitions were divine oracles. The same word occurs Rom. viii. 3, "So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress;" that is, she shall be called by divine authority an adulteress. This is the natural meaning, from which none can dissent.

Dr. A. Clark, on the text, (Acts xi. 26) is of the same opinion with Dr. Doddridge with respect to the meaning of Chrematizo; he says, it signifies, in the New Testament, to appoint, warn, or nominate by divine direction. The learned Doctor adds, "A Christian, therefore, is the highest character which any human being can bear on earth; and to receive it from God, as those appear to have done, how glorious the title!"

To confirm this meaning of the word Chrematizo, I will add a few extracts from Josephus, a Classic Greek writer. They are cited by Dr. Parkhurst on the word. "Moses Echrematizeto, was instructed by God in what he desired." "Josephus calling an oracular dream of Jaddus the Highpriest's, to Chrematisthen, what was divinely communicated to him." I think I have referred to every passage of the New Testament where the word occurs, and it is now left with the public to determine whether Dr. Doddridge's translation be not correct, i. e. that the disciples were by divine appointment first named Christians at Antioch.

 This translation of Doddridge fully comports with the prophecy of Isaiah, lxii. 2. "And thou shalt he called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." Again, liv. 15. the Prophet speaking of the fall, rejection, and overthrow of the Lord's people, the Jews, says, "And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name." This new name the ancient fathers believed was Christian. Eusebius thus speaks of the first converts of christianity: "It is most certain, when as the coming of our Saviour Christ was now fresh in the minds of all men, that a new nation, neither small nor weak, neither such as was conversant and situate in corners of fountains and well-springs, but of all other most populous and most religious, secure as touching danger, and of invincible mind, aided continually by the divine power of God, at certain secret seasons, suddenly appeared; the same, I say, being beautified among all men by the title and name of Christ: the which one of the Prophets foreseeing to come to pass, with the single eye of the Divine Spirit being astonished, spake thus: Who hath heard such things! or who hath spoken after this manner! Hath the earth travailing brought forth in one day! Hath any nation sprung up suddenly and at one time! In another place he hath also signified the same to come to pass, where he saith, They that serve me shall me called after a new name, which shall be blessed on earth. Isaiah 66 and 62. Although presently we plainly appear to be upstarts, and this name of Christians of late to have been notified unto all nations," &c. Lib. 1. ch. 5. [387] In this same chapter Eusebius goes on to show that the saints of old, as Noah, Abraham, and others, were Christians in deed, though not in name, and quotes as proof the 105th psalm--"See that ye touch not my Christs, (that is, anointed,) neither deal perversely with my Prophets." This name Christian was the new name given by the Lord to his people, according to the early fathers, and by which they were called.

 It was the name by which the disciples of Christ were peculiarly distinguished after they were called so at Antioch. Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts xxvi. 28. Peter said, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not he ashamed." Peter iv. 15. The Lord commends the church in Pergamos, that "thou boldest fast my name," and the church in Philadelphia, "Thou hast not denied my name." Against the name Christian persecution raged, and thousands suffered martyrdom for it. Had they denied the name, their lives would not have been taken. It is an old argument, yet its antiquity does not make it weak, that as the woman takes the name of her husband--so the bride, the church, should properly be called by that of her husband, Christ. It is believed there are none who deny that Christian is the most appropriate name for the followers of Christ, though many prefer others for various reasons. It is the name which must and will supersede all other denominations, and be a means of uniting the scattered flock.

Our brethren, the Disciples, ask us, How can you grant the privileges of the kingdom to such as have not been immersed, when it is plain that by immersion only they are born or made members of the kingdom? How can you commune with such at the Lord's table? I answer, that there are many things done under the New Institution or Covenant which were divinely instituted before that Covenant was fully confirmed and declared; yet these things were designed to be perpetuated to the end of time. Thus prayer, praise, thanksgiving, teaching, preaching, and even the Lord's supper, were divinely instituted before Jesus died, was buried, and rose again; consequently, before the foundation of the New Institution was fully laid, and, of course, before any were built upon it. John's baptism brought none into the new kingdom. The disciples, and the rest of the 120 on Pentecost, were therefore not inducted into this new kingdom by immersion; yet they prayed, praised, and communed with those in it, and these divine acts were reciprocated. As well might we forbid unimmersed persons to pray, to praise, to teach, as to forbid them to commune. These privileges were enjoyed before the kingdom was established and before the New Institution took place, and we dare not say they are now taken from them! It was not done at Pentecost. It has not been divinely done at any period since. What authority have we for inviting or debarring any pious, holy believer from the Lord's table? Though it is done by many, we see no divine authority for it. The King's will is, that his friends do this in remembrance of him--and all that his law expressed on the subject, is, "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat and drink." If he eat and drink unworthily, he eats and drinks damnation to himself, [not to others,] not discerning the Lord's body. He has no where established a court of inquisition to fence his table, nor to prevent any from praying, praising, or worshipping him unless they have been immersed. We confess we cannot see why so much more importance should be attached to the Lord's supper, than to the other divine commands. We have long feared that the feast of love has been made by designing men an occasion of discord and division among the saints. We have seen many unimmersed possess the spirit of the kingdom; and we have seen many immersed destitute of it. To receive the latter, and to reject the former, we cannot view divine.

If we philosophize on religion, we may amuse the intelligent, but are unprofitable to all. Nothing but truth--truth felt, truth preached in the spirit, and truth copied in our lives, will arrest the attention, and gain and fix the heart of a drowsy, dying world. [388]

I have long thought, and seriously thought, whether a formal union on the Bible, without possessing the spirit of that book, would be a blessing or a curse to society--whether it would be better than faith without works, or than a body without the spirit--whether it would not rather be a stumbling block, a delusive snare to the world. O, my brethren! let us repent and do our first works--let us seek for more holiness, rather than trouble ourselves and others with schemes and plans of union. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us, will more effectually unite than all the wisdom of the world combined. Endeavor to walk in peace and love with all. Then shall we feel a reviving from the presence of the Lord, and see flowing to the Lord, weeping penitents, pleading for mercy, and praising aloud for mercy received through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


IN speaking or writing on this subject of Union more than on most others, we deceive ourselves and one another, without knowing or intending it. The want of precision in the meaning attached to our terms may be the cause of this. It might appear hypercritical, or perhaps something worse, to ask the worthy editor of the Christian Messenger what he means by "union in form?

Does he mean a formal confederation of all preachers and people called "Christians," with all those whom he calls Reformed Baptists? (rather reforming, than reformed;) or (as he represents them as prefering for a sectarian purpose the name) disciples. If so, what shall be the articles of confederation, and in what form shall they be ministered or adopted? Shall it be in one general convention of messengers from all the societies of "christians" and "disciples," or one general assembly of the whole aggregate of both people? Shall the articles of agreement be drawn up in writing like the articles of the "General Union" amongst the different sects of Baptists in Kentucky?

Has there been such an incident in ecclesiastical history of a whole people formally and in good faith uniting with another whole people without such a formal confederation? Or does he expect a "union in form" without any form of effecting it? If he do not, then it is out of order to complain of the want of a formal union until a proposition made to that effect shall have been submitted by the complainant, and rejected by the defendant. But such a proposition has not, as we have heard, been tendered; nor have we heard of any general meeting among the Christians to deliberate upon the terms and conditions. Or does he think that one or two individuals, of and from themselves, should propose and effect a formal union among the hundreds of congregations scattered over this continent, called christians or disciples, without calling upon the different congregations to express an opinion or a wish upon the subject?

It is, too, a question with some weak consciences, whether there can, in spirit and in truth, under Jesus Christ, in existing circumstances, be such a thing as some might denominate a wholesale union between two whole societies as such. Men, we know, grouped in whole states, can confederate for political purposes; but it is for [389] temporal and temporary objects, in which other principles are supreme, than those refined sensibilities springing from faith in Jesus and love to the saints, which constitute, if not the bond, the concentrating principle of union, among the faithful followers of Jesus Christ. These are questions which we only propose without a discussion or an answer. We solicit the most definitive view of brother Stone on these topics.

We discover, or think we discover, a squinting at some sort of precedency or priority in the claims of the writer of the above article, which are perhaps only in appearance, and not in reality;
        but if in appearance only, he will prevent us or any reader from concluding unfavorably
        by explaining himself more in detail than he has done.

He says, "The reformed Baptists have received the doctrine taught by us many years ago." "For nearly thirty years ago we taught," &c. &c. From what source or principle these sayings proceeded, we do not pronounce sentence; but if they are mere words of course, and he intended to plead nothing from them, we would suggest the propriety of qualifying them in such a way as to prevent mistake.

I am, as at present advised,
        far from thinking
that the present advocates of reformation are only pleading, or at all pleading,
        for what was plead in Kentucky thirty years ago,
        after the dissolution of the Springfield Presbytery.
        If such be the conceptions of brother Stone, I am greatly mistaken.
        That he, with others, did at that time oppose authoritative creeds,
        and some articles in them as terms of communion, and some other abuses, we are not uninformed;
        but so did some others who set out with him

And as he would not consider them as now pleading the cause which he now pleads, so we cannot think that the cause which we plead was plead either by him or any one else twenty years ago. Many persons both in Europe and America, have inveighed against sects, creeds, confessions, councils, and human dogmas, during the last two centuries, and some even before Luther's time; but what have these to do with the present proposed reformation? That is only the work of a pioneer: it is clearing the forests, girdling the trees, and burning the brush.

I am not ashamed to own that the greatest heretics in christendom have inveighed against creeds, councils, and human dogmas. And every man who has been persecuted rightfully or wrongfully, has denounced the creed and the council which decreed him to the stake. Our opponents tell us of all this; and if Satan, even Satan tell the truth, he ought to be believed. But this admitted neither makes their cause who oppose us the better, nor ours the worse.

Both friends and foes of the cause which we now plead, seem to be agreed that not the anti-creed, and anti-council, and anti-sectarian questions,
        but what may be denominated the questions of
        "the ancient gospel and ancient order of things,"
        distinguish it most easily from every other cause plead
        on this continent or in Europe since the great apostacy.

Not, indeed, because it has not some things in common with other causes; but because when all the common things are taken into the account, it presents what some of our opponents call a new [390] religion--an exhibit of christianity as different from the sectarian as Protestantism differs from Popery; and if I were to give my opinion, I would say, much more different.

I trust our brother Editor will not think that we are merely disputing his claims to priority, as it is not assumed by us that he has set up such a claim; but only that in appearance it squints that way:
        but that he will consider us as endeavoring to prevent the confounding
        of the ancient gospel and ancient order of things
        with the anti-creed, or anti-council, or anti-sectarian cause.
Sorry would I be to think that any
        would be so indiscriminating as to identify the principles of this reformation
        with the principles of any other reformation preached since Luther was born.

Catholics oppose sects as much as the Editors of the Messenger and Harbinger. Methodists oppose hypercalvinism as much as either of us; and all heretics oppose authoritative creeds which condemn their opinions. So far I am a Catholic, a Methodist, and a heretic. But many great and good men have opposed these evils as much as either Catholics, Methodists, or heretics.

Our eagle-eyed opponents plainly see the difference between the radical and differential attributes of this reformation, which they ignorantly call a deformation, and any other cause, however unpopular, plead in the land. 

"The Christians" in some places, nay, in many places, are quite respectable in the eyes of those who contemn "the disciples" as unfit for good society. And I think the amiable editor of the Christian Messenger himself told me last winter, that even he and some of his brethren were considered by the orthodox as degrading themselves because they associated with us most "unworthy disciples?' 

Indeed, it was no mean proof of his christian spirit to see him so condescending to persons of such low degree in the estimation of the noble christians of the land. His willingness to fraternize with us in despite of the odium theologicum attached to our ancient gospel, I must ever regard as an additional proof of his unfeigned regard to the authority of Jesus as Lord, and his love to all them who esteem the reproach of the Messiah greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.

For our part, we might be honored much by a union formal and public, with a society so large and so respectable as the Christian denomination;
        but if our union with them, though so advantageous to us,
        would merge "the ancient gospel and ancient order of things"
        in the long vexed question of simple anti-trinitarianism, anti-creedism, or anti-sectarianism,
        I should be ashamed of myself in the presence of him whose "well done, good and faithful servant,"
        is worth the universe to me.
                We all could have had honorable alliances with honorable sectaries,
                many years since, had this been our object.

These remarks have all grown out of the seeming identification of the cause we plead with that plead in Kentucky some 25 or 30 years ago. Had not these appeared in the preceding article, there would have been no occasion for saying a word on this subject.

Our good brother Stone has not been himself when he wrote the [391] above article, as we are not ourselves when we read it. He says, 

"We do not object to their opinions as terms of fellowship between us 
but they seriously and honestly object to some of ours.

This fails not in christian courtesy to our honesty and sincerity; but in argument it fails:
        for when he proceeds to state his opinions,
        which are supposed to be our reasons why we cannot unite in form with them,
        these reasons and opinions are comprehended in a unit,
        and that happens to be not an opinion, but a practice.
It is called "Objection 1st." (but I cannot find the 2d.) and reads in the following words:--"That we have fellowship and commune with unimmersed persons."

This is the only objection which is alleged in the whole article as lying in the way of our uniting with them. It is, then, the practice of setting aside a divine institution, not in the judgment of the person received, but in the judgment of those who receive him.

It was not through design, but I think through oversight,
        that our worthy brother then turns the attention of his reader
        from this practice to the meaning of baptism for remission of sins:
         for it is not because of our views of the meaning of immersion, (in which he seems to agree with us,)
        but because the "Christians" now make immersion of non-effect by receiving persons into the kingdom of Jesus,
        so called, irrespective of their being legitimately born; or, in brief, regardless of the command,
        "Be baptized every one of you."

Thus he loses sight of our objection altogether; and we find him lamenting the fate of some poor Paidobaptist, not in Hades, not in Purgatory; but, as he says, literally and truly in Hell, praying for himself because he had simply mistaken his road.

The words which our brother Stone has put into the mouth of this mistaken Paidobaptist, suffering the vengeance of an eternal fire, are not exactly in point. It was, indeed, kind to make this imaginary Paido tell as good a story of himself as possible: "In the humble spirit of obedience I submitted to be sprinkled." But I do not know how this Paidobaptist could, even in torment, so far forget himself as to say that "in the humble spirit of obedience he submitted to be sprinkled," when in fact he was, when a crying babe, sprinkled in his father's arms. And to be in point, such must have been the fact; for it is not fair to take any other than a common case to sustain a common practice.

But in this whole case there is an entire mistake of the whole question. It assumes a principle inadmissible, viz. That God's rule or principle of rewarding men hereafter, is to be, as near as we can guess at it, the rule of our conduct to them in receiving them into his kingdom on earth, and in treating them as members of it. 

I will undertake, without fee or reward, to plead the cause of every soul in torment, and guaranty his release, or prevent his condemnation to it, on the principles embraced in the prayer of this unfortunate Paidobaptist. 

Every sincere Mussulman, Pagan, Infidel, Jew, Deist, Atheist, under Heaven, may convert Hell into a Purgatory, if you will give validity and prevalence to this plea. And as for the insincere, we shall find for them a good plea of another sort. But the question [392] is.

Are we authorized to make the sincerity and honesty of a person's mind a rule of our conduct? 'Tis God alone who is judge of this, and surely he would not require us to act by a rule which we can never apply to the case. Neither, perhaps, is it a fair position to assume that any man's sincerity in opinion or belief will have any weight in the final judgment; but whether or not, it cannot be a rule of our proceeding in any case. 

We judge from actions--God judges the heart; and, therefore, we look for visible obedience; and when we are assured that the Lord has commanded every man to confess him, or to profess the faith and be immersed into his name, we can never justify ourselves before God or man in presuming in our "judgment of charity" to set aside his commandment, and in accepting for it a human substitute. 

We do not recollect that we have ever argued out the merits of this "free and open communion system." But one remark we must offer in passing, that we must regard it as one of the weakest and most vulnerable causes ever plead; and that the "great" Mr. Hall, as he is called, has, in his defence of the practice, made it appear worse than before. In attempting to make it reasonable, he has only proved how unreasonable and unscriptural it is.

But of the following sentence we complain:--

"We cannot, with our present views, unite on the opinion that unimmersed persons cannot receive the remission of sins." 

This is not the question at all. And long before a word was said about baptism for remission, our friend plead for dispensing with it, because, in his judgment, it ought to be no term of communion. But we shall dismiss this topic, and when our friend Stone shall think good to reconsider his remarks, we shall more in extenso exhibit the true merits of this objection.

An attempt is made by our friend to draw out of a remark on the appropriation of the name Christian, vol. 1, p. 373, a second objection urged by the friends of reform against union with the Christians.

But I must confess I never heard that any advocate of the ancient gospel asked any person to give up the name "Christian" and to substitute for it the name Disciple. Yet he says, ""We cannot conscientiously give up the name "Christian," acknowledged by our brethren most appropriate, for any other (as disciple) less appropriate, and received (assumed) to avoid the disgrace of being suspected to be a Unitarian or Trinitarian.

We cannot thus temporize with divine truth." Well, brother Stone, do not temporise with divine ordinances by substituting sincere sprinkling for sincere obedience, or for immersion. But, really, I confess ignorance on the whole subject of this requisition to abandon the name Christian. I only wish, for my part, that we were worthy of it. It is easy to assume a good name, but how hard to deserve it! I am not prepared, either, to say Amen to all the criticism offered to prove that we must, by divine authority, be called Christians, whether we deserve it or not.

The controversy about the name by which we shall be called, is, and must necessarily be, one of subordinate importance. We could not in good conscience substitute the opinion of Dr. Doddridge for the [393] literal import of the word (chrematizo.) We must always in interpreting distinguish between the opinion of a translator and the meaning of the word. Every body knows that there are no words in the Greek corresponding to "divine appointment." And if ever chrematizo signifies to name or call by divine authority, it is most certainly from accident or from circumstances, and not from the import of the term for it means no such thing. The root of the word is chrema, business; and because it was usual to designate or name persons from their business, as Smith, Taylor, Baker, Clark, &c. so the word chrematizo, formed from chrema, came actively to signify, to name, or to call, and passively to be named or called.

 When brother Stone was quoting the 4th meaning of the word from Parkhurst, it would have been well for him to have let his readers know the mind of this same Mr. Parkhurst. He says, "Wetstein on Rom. vii. 3. has abundantly proved that the verb frequently signified in the Greek writers to be named or called. But Doddridge thinks that chrematisai, Acts ii. 26. denotes to be named by divine appointment or direction. I cannot, however, find that the verb ever has this signification. The passages of scripture to which the Doctor refers in proof of his interpretation, do by no means come up to his point." With this opinion of Parkhurst I do most sincerely concur, and when it becomes necessary I will go into the details.

 Our worthy friend has been too precipitate also in quoting Adam Clarke on this passage. Adam Clarke begins the section from which he quotes with an if--"If, therefore, the name was given by divine appointment." He enters not decisively into the matter.

 That the word sometimes signifies to warn, admonish, or appoint, whether by God, angels, or men, is abundantly evident, and occurs sometimes in this acceptation in the New Testament. In this we agree with Adam Clarke. But with Dr. Campbell we agree that chrematizo does not necessarily imply from God more than the word warning does. This is evident from the reference which, both in sacred authors and in classical, it often has to inferior agents. He condemns Dr. Doddridge's version of Acts ii. 26. (See his note on Math. ii. 12.) I any bold to affirm, in the face of all criticism, that there is not the least authority, in the word here used, for concluding that the name Christian came from God, any more than from Antiochus Epiphanes! This may be too strong, for some who contend that the name Christian is of divine authority; but let them put me to the proof.

 That it was given neither by dream, oracle, angel, nor apostle, is, in my judgment, by far the more probable opinion. If it had been given by the authority of the Lord it would not have been delayed for ten years after the day of Pentecost, nor reserved for the city of Antioch to be the place of its origin.

'The disciples were first named Christians in Antioch, A. D. 43.' But some person may say that the disciples had not become Christians till 43, and that the conferring of the name at Antioch was because it was the first time the disciples deserved it.

It is true the term disciple is a much more humble name [394] than the name Christian, and that persons may be found worthy of the name disciple, who are not worthy of the name Christian.
        To be a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and a disciple is a learner, a scholar.

One who wishes to be a Christian may he called a disciple; but every disciple of Plato, Pythagoras, or Christ, is not worthy to be called a Platonist, a Pythagorean, nor a Christian. But there is a loose, as well as a strict use of words; and there is a national and sectarian, as well as a literal and philological usage of them. Hence every citizen of the United States is a Christian in Algiers, in India, or Japan. But not to lose sight of the subject before us; with us it is a strong argument, that had the disciples been first called Christians by divine appointment at Antioch, then the Apostles would, from that time forth, have addressed the disciples by this divinely appointed name. But this they did not so much as once in any public document which has come down to us. The Antiochians called the disciples first Christians; Agrippa used the term once in reference to himself; and Peter said, that if any man was endited as a Christian, or, "if any man suffered as a Christian, let him not be ashamed;" which argues that it was under this name their enemies persecuted and traduced them. But no document has come down to us authorising us to think that this name Christian was regarded by arty of the Apostles as of divine appointment.

 If Paul, in any of his letters--if Peter, James, or John, had only once said, "To the Christians in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Greece Asia, Judea," or any where else; then, indeed, there might have been some ground to think that they regarded it as of divine appointment! And recollect it was 50 years and more from the time they were first called Christians, before all the New Testament was written. They are called disciples, saints, believers, the called, sanctified, in the Acts and in the Epistles; but never once addressed under the name Christians.

 Now let it be remembered, that we have no objection to the name Christian if we only deserve it; nor predilection for the name disciple, except for its antiquity and modesty: but when it is plead for as of divine authority, and as the only or most fitting name which can be adopted, we must lift up our voice against the imposition, and contend for our liberty, where the Lord has left us free. Would to God that all professors could be addressed as saints, faithful brethren, disciples indeed, christians.

 Our brother of the Messenger has called for these remarks, which are offered in the same candor in which he appears always to write. We have very high respect for him and the brethren who are with him. Many of them with whom we are acquainted we love as brethren; and we can, in all good conscience, unite with them in spirit and form, in public or in private, in all acts of social worship.

  We do not conceive that we have adverted to every thing in the preceding article worthy of our attention. We have reserved some items for another occasion; but the chief points are noticed directly or indirectly in the preceding observations. We should like to have [395] a very free, familiar, and affectionate correspondence with brother Stone on these subjects which he has introduced through the medium of the press. As I have copied his communication into these pages, I doubt not but he will copy these remarks in reply into his. And indeed I think the question of union and co-operation is one which deserves the attention of all them who believe the ancient gospel and desire to see the ancient order of things restored. EDITOR. 


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