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Edmondson and T. W. Snoddy aided us a part of the time. The meeting commenced on the 22d instant, and continued six days; during which time 25 persons confessed the name of Jesus, and were buried with their Lord in baptism.
The church at this place had for a long time been in a cold and divided state, and of course had been doing nothing for the King. Our first efforts, therefore, were directed to the reformation of the church. The Lord blessed our joint labors of love among the brethren; former difficulties were happily adjusted, the breihren flowed together in love, and the effect was glorious. At a former meeting in the same neighborhood we had immersed 11, making in all 36 addi. tions to this church, by baptism, in about a month; besides about 20 brethren and sisters, who had long been standing out of society on account of the division of the church, united themselves with the church. It was truly a time of rejoicing. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Our friends who had supposed that we denied the operation of the Spirit, who attended the meeting, were convinced that we did not; because, they said, that they saw that we enjoyed it,
J. M. MATHES. Springfield, Illinois, September 14, 1841. Ten Baptists joined us, five male members and their wives, who wore all taking the “Baptist Banner & Western Pioneer;" all members of first rare standing. I wrote to Mr. Peck that the articles or pieces written by J. L. Waller contained a great many questions and assertions which caused his brethren 10 think and reflect, which re. sulted in good; and recommended him to have the second edition of them stereotyped, and send them through the length and breadth of the land.
JAMES R. GRAY. BEDLINGTON. Permbemberland, England, Brother Campbell — Although I do not know what degree of information you possess respecting English affairs, political, moral, and religious; yet I think I can furnish you with information, both more minute and more authentic, than that general kind to which you have access in the organs of the public press.
Our history at present is the history of extreme antagonism. We are fighting each other from the verges of broad and unfathomable gulfs. I can scarcely refer you 10 an insiance of parties willing to combat on common recognized ground, or to abide the decision of any ultimate standard of appeal.
Our legally established church is fast rushing back into that dark and filthy sea of Popery, out of which it arose. In 1833 Dr. Pusey and a number of colleagnes organized themselves into a society, and proceeded to deluge the country with the Oxford tracts! It is evident from the tracis that the writers possess stores of erudition, strength of intellect, and beauty of style; but the seniments are abominable; the most abject and slavish prostration before the idols of antiquity, gorgeous ceremony, and tradition are displayed by the writers. Silence respecting the atonement, and the faith which works by love, is coupled with swelling terms respecting priestly authority and remission, the efficacy of tormenting and austere perances, when imposed by priests of the apostolic succession-in short, their manifest
design is to revive the horrible dogmas and senseless mummeries of the Romish church-to mend and paint afresh the tattered and faded drapery of the great Scarlet Whore!
Above ten thousand of the English clergy have been swallowed in this iniquity, and they are all characterized by bitter hatred against every species of freedom, civil and religious. Somewhat later by a few years, this spiritual beam has found its level in the origin of another sect who call themselves Brethren." but who are denomina. ted “Plymouth Brethren,” because their head-quarters are in that ancient town. They contend as earnestly for spiritual simplicity as the Oxford men do for sensual pomp. They will have no pulpit, and all their seats are plain, free, and similar. They denounce the one man system by insisting that all Christians are royal priests, with common privilege to minister in holy things. They meet every Lord's day to break bread. They are rational, well-grounded Millenarians, and the most of them have been baptized in the primitive way on a profession of their faith in the Son of God.
All this is glorious and reviving; yet there are two drawbacks the one is, that, not fully understanding the connexion between immersion and remission of sins, they tolerate open communion. The second is, they are still under the influence of that chilling theology of which John Calvin was the well-spring, and the conduit pipes all the sects and creeds.
Another principle which distinguishes them is, they will hold no office, exercise no power in connexion with government, nor hold com. munion with any worldly establishment, however laudable its object. I cannot affirm that there is no straining in this point; yet it serves to feed the flame of their spirituality, and preserves them from much contamination. Taken all together, they are a noble antagonist of the hody to which I have already alluded; and the tug of war is really, though not formally, between them.
Socialism has made considerable headway among the ignorant and profligate portion of society. Such as these always prick up their ears when they hear of well organized plans for gratifying the animal man, together with the absence of every thing like moral or religious restraints
Your discussion with Owen, reprinted here, has been extensively useful in confirming the faith of sincere inquirers, and showing the enormity and absurdity of that licentious system.
"HEADS AND HÔRNS OF METHODISM.” From an article in the Western Christian Advocate, of September 10th, we make the following brief extract to show that a house di. vided against itself will not stand," and that if the grand-daughter of the Scarlet Lady fall out with her household, she will eventually be thrown from the lofty seat she occupies.
"The Ohio Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church last week held its session in Springfield, Ohio: and, amongst other business, the name of a young man was announced as a candidate for the ministry. A brother rose and said that the candidate was worthy of reception; for he was a true Methodist!
“At this, Mr. Crall, the Secretary of the Conference, rose to inquire what was meant by a true Methodist; ófor,' said he, Methodism has now so many heads and horns that I despise its very name!!!"
Well done, Mr. Crall; you are right; despise and reject all the honored titles of the Scarlet Lady, and despise and reject her too, and "come out” of her precincts that "you be not partaker of her plagues,' which are soon to come upon her. But in so doing you will bring down her anathemas upon your devoted head, as you have done, from the Editors of the paper above referred to. But, say the Editors, “Methodism has been supported and defended by individuals of supesior talents, vast erudition, and commanding influence,-Wesley, Fletcher, Watson, Clark, Fisk," (the Apostie Paul and Peter?) “and many others; and yet a Methodist Protesiant despises its name!"
Thus we see great, erudite, talented, and influential men's testimony is taken before the testimony of the Holy Twelve; but this was the case in the days of the sojourning of the Lord himself here below. John vii. 48. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?"
R. O. WARRINER.
THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION.
No. 1. The experience of every day, added to the great principles propounded in both Testaments, especially in the New, and to the positive precepts and examples of the Lord and his Apostles, more and more impress all of us who feel our responsibilities, who have some influe ence in the church of Jesus Christ, and to whose hearts the pea purity, and happiness of Christ's kingdom are paramount, all-absorbing, and transcending concerns—that our organization and discipline are greatly defective, and essentially inadequate to the present condition and wants of society.
There are two principles and two systems of ecclesiastical organization, of elementary and essentially diverse attributes and tendencies.The one is the authority system; the other, the no authority system. The tendency of the former is to concentration, to tyranny; while that of the latter is to disruption, anarchy, and ruin. A spiritual despotism is the unobstructed tendency of the one; and an uncontrollable spiritual libertinism and licentiousness is the onward progress of the other. In the first agés of Christianity the authority system, from accumulated abuses and corruptions, issued in absolute Popery; while in latter times the no authority system has uniformly terminated in the dissolu. tion of society, and found its quietus in a pure Pharisaic individual. ism.
From my spiritual observatory, and by means of the telescope of faith in history sacred, ecclesiastic, and political; aided, too, by the accumulating lights of experience, observation, and biblical developements, I am so deeply penetrated with the necessity of a more inti. mate organization, union, and co-operation than at present existing among us, that I feel myself in duty bound again to invite the atten. tion of the brotherhood, especially of those who are in heart and life devoted to the honor, dignity, and influence of Christianity in the world, to a more thorough and profound consideration of the subject than they have ever yet given to it.
Christ's institution is a kingdom-not a mob, not a fierce lawless democracy, led by every aspirant and demagogue, who has some byends and selfish impulses urging him forward in the career of personal honor, fortune, or aggrandizement. Neither is it on one or two families, or a few little coteries of neighborhood association in a county, a state, a province, that fill up the idea of the church and kingdom of Jesus Christ. Nor do all the congregations in all the corners of this continent, either in their present dislocation, or in any new form which they might of their own free accord assume to themselves, constitute Christ's kingdom on earth. Christ's kingdom, were it to assume its true, divine, and ancient character, would throw its arms around every one in every place that calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus out of a pure heart, and it would hold and keep him responsible to the Head, and Monarch, and Theoerat of all.
There is no debate amongst us on many points—indeed, on any point of vital importance to the full developement of the ecclesiastic character of the Christian institution. We have all learned that we have but one King, Lord, and Lawgiver- Jesus. the Messiah. He is the Maker and the Monarch of all.' He alone shall reign over us.
But his government on earth is not in person nor by proxy. He is in heaven. There he is seen wearing a crown. From his radiant throne he looks with sovereign contempt upon that little pontifical mitre on Gregory's head, manufactured out of a superannualed old Cardinal's cap, a-lu-mode Latinus. Our sovereign Lord needs no Vicar; and if he did, he would have chosen a better one than ever sat upon the stool of the first of the Gregories. But he has no need of laws, and officers, and organization, through which he sends forth his sanctifying spirit and power into this world.
A book is not sufficient to govern the church. No booke ever governed any community-not even the Book of the Law, or the Book of the Gospel, else Moses would have resigned when he wrote the Law, and would never have laid his hand upon Joshua; else Jesus VOL V, N. S.
would never have sent out Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers of the New Testament, had been a King and Sovereign executive of his will. After the New Testament had been written out, Paul would not have commanded Timothy or Titus to reprove, to rebuke, or to commit to faithful and competent persons the office of instructing and building up the church. Nor would he have commanded the community to know them that were over them in the Lord, and who admonished them, and to esteem them very highly in love for the sake of their office; and to submit themselves, and to obey them as those who watched for their souls, &c. But on this point there is a growing intelligence in all the churches, so far as my personal observation extends.
There is, however, little or no general co-operation; no general organization; no mutual understanding; no coming together into one place in cases of emergency, and for the dissemination and support of the gospel, and mutual encouragement of one another in the work of the Lord; and that, forsooth, because some men have abused such meetings, converting them into legislative halls, into spiritual high courts of judicature and inquisitorial tribunes, for proscription and excision.
Instead of some mutual understanding, concert, and co-operation, every litile congregation of one or two scores of men, women, and children, feels itself authorized to send out whom they will as evangelists and public instructors, as regardless of what is fitting as they are incompetent to act advisedly in matters of such high and public concern and importance. And who does not know that frequently those who are most anxious for the conspicuity of public instructors are the least qualified for it? If there he multitudes of men who mistake the admiration of virtue for the practice of it, as doubtless there are, most evident it is that there are scores of preachers who misconstrue the desire for the office of a bishop or evangelist into a qualification for it. Had Paul thought the desire for the office of a bishop, or an evangelist, was the main qualification for the office, he would not have proceeded to enjoin that they be able, intelligent, and exemplary
Now that there are individual, domestic, and social duties, needs no demonstration. And that the family and the particular congregation have each their special and appropriate duties, obligation, and juris. diction, is equally evident; but that there is a community beyond the family, beyond the particular congregation, is equally evident and undeniable; and that it is competent only to that community to select and appoint its own public functionaries, as much as it is to the con.