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A. Say, Rufus, “After Paul laid his hands on them.'
R. Well, was it not after this baptism that Paul laid his hands on them?
A. Certainly; but if the miraculous gifts had followed their immersion, then your difficulty would have been much greater; for then it might be argued that the promise of the Holy Spirit after baptism had ceased when miraculous gifts had ceased. But it seems the gifts communicated at this time of a miraculous character came not from baptism; and this saves your views while it removes the objections to my proposition,
R. I will then press it no farther lest I weaken my own citadet rather than impair your castle. But tell me, what do you mean by baptism in its full sense?
A. What do you mean by being born, in its full sense; married, in its full sense; buried, in its full sense? is not a person when borny placed in a new state; under a system of new influences, which is as full in reference to one as it is to all persons in that state? Can any one be born in a less than a full sense into this state? Is not every married female placed in the same state as respects her husband ? The law makes no difference-reason, religion make no difference. Two persons may be once niarried in its full sense; but the same two persons cannot a second time enter into that state. If they are mar. ried at all, it is in the full sense--name, family, friends, property, all go together. A woman cannot be married to a husband the second time for sake of the property, nor for sake of the name, or family, or any one thing by itself. Buried, a person cannot be, unless in its full sense--cut off from this present world in all its influences, connexions, pursuits, &c. We speak not of the mode, form, or ceremony, by which these actions are performed; but of the meaning of them, Every one who receives Jesus as the Saviour sent from God, and who is immersed into his name once, in like inanner cannot a second time be immersed for any special benefit. If immersed again, it must be in the full sense; that is, for all the purposes for which the institution exists. He must come to it as a heathen, a Jew, or an infidel approached it in the days of the Apostles. All who go down into the water, as all those who go down into the grave, descend into it alike dead to their former state, character, and pursuits. If a man lived twenty-six years a Jew, an infidel, a pagan, or a sectarian professor of christianity, a proselyte of Luther, of Calvin, of Wesley, when he is buried in this grave he enters it as a dead man, and leaves in it his former profession, i
: R. Did I, in my second immersion, renounce all my former prayers, professions, and religious works, just as Paul did his anathemas and persecutions against the christians?
A. Most certainly you did, Yes, you too, Rufus, buried your christian works and your sins in the same grave! If christian works you had, you could not be buried half dead and half alive.
R. This, indeed, makes it appear a graver matter than I was at all aware.
M. The bell chimes. I promised to hear Mr. S. preach. Will you accompany me to his church. A. Yes, we shall go and hear him. lle is sometimes interesting
Extract from the Baptist Weekly Journal, of March 20, 1832, printed
in Cincinnati, Ohio. ,
PROGRESS OF TRUTH. A LETTER to the Editor of the Christian Index gives an account of the recent bap'ism of William Hooper, one of the professors in the University of North Carolina, &c. . . .
A letter from Elder B. Allen, of Morgan county, Ohio, dated 12 miles from Pittsburg, December 20th, 1831, contains a passage, which we insert in connexion with the above. After being received it was mislaid for some weeks. Elder Allen says-"Since I left home on my mission for the Convention, I have travelled about 350 miles, and principally in those sections of country where the sentiments of A. Campbell were once increasing and seemed to swallow up all others; but now I believe those errors are rapidly decreasing. Many who have been bewildered by the doctrine of (mere) historic faith and water regeneration, are coming out of modern Babylon, and appearing glad to receive (what is truly) the ancient order of things.
“In several places the Lord is evidently working by the influences of the Holy Spirit The sentiments of the Regular Baptists are gaining ground very rapidly. A few weeks since I baptized an Elder of the Presbyterian church, who is in the 64th year of his age. On that day a large concourse of people had assembled, many of whom had seldom seen the administration of baptism,” &c.
Being but a young disciple, and not well skilled in mysteries, will you be good enough to tell me (if you know what Elder Allen means by the terms “mere historic faith? Does he mean the belief of facts spoken of by historians relative to the climate, soil, productions, governments, manners, and customs of the different nations of whom they write? Or does he allude to the facts of which Moses, the Prophets, the Evangelists, and the Apostles give us information in their writings? If the former be his meaning I am not surprised that he speaks disrespectfully of that kind of faith (as relating to religion.) But if the latter be his meaning, I understand him to say that the Regular Baptists hold the belief of those facts on such testimony to be erroneous. If so, the Apostle John must have been a zealous propagator of error; for he expressly declares that he wrote for the purpose of producing belief in the readers of his writings, that they might have life, &c.
Elder Allen also speaks of water regeneration as being erroneous; but says, that, but a few weeks before, he had used water in the regeneration of a Presbyterian Elder, and that many who witnessed it had seldom seen the adıninistration of baptism, (in water, I suppose.) This circumstance, I imagine, did not take place in that part of the country where the erroneous sentiment of water regeneration had been propagated.
Perhaps, brother Campbell, you can tell what Elder Allen meant. If so, I should like to hear from you on the subject; and, perhaps, many of the readers of that publication may be as ignorant as I am, and you might benefit them as well as me, by publishing his meaning in the Harbinger. Yours, in the search of truth,
PHILADELPHIA PREACHERS AND CHURCHES.
PHILADELPHIA, 3d March, 1832. Dear brother Campbell,
I HAVE taken up my pen two or three times to fulfil mv promise of writing you from this city. I now think I will try and get through with it; not that you may infer from this that I have regarded it as a task; but the fact was, I found'in sketching the things which have passed under my notice, I had, or thought I had, given too strong a coloring to the picture, and therefore threw aside my half finished letter, to allow a little longer time for the scenery to become more familiarized to my mind; as it is always my desire to “set down nothing in malice, or aught extenuate," but to hold the picture (if not to nature) at least to the reality. A person would naturally suppose, upon visiting a city so celebrated as this is for literature, science, and religion, that here he would find all matters connected with these subjects unfolded in a manner clear and comprehensive to the most common capacity. How far this has been the case with me, a short detail of what has passed under my notice on one of these subjects (religion will best unfold. On the subject of religion one would readily suppose that an inquirer after the way of eternal life could be easily satisfied as to what he must do in order to be saved, if he would once attend "church" in this city; or there can be no use in paying men expressly for instruction upon that all-important topic, from one to two or three thousand dollars annually-at least I think one of our “hill country” folks would think it was money but poorly spent if one of their preachers could not tell in one or two discourses how folks were saved in the days of primitive christianity. Supposing myself ignorant of what the Scriptures taught, judge you from the following how that ignorance would be removed after hearing some of their "great Divines." On the first Lord's day after my arrival I attended with, and at the request of a friend, Mr. “Skinner's Church," as they call it here. In my readings of the Bible, I never read of Paul's Church, Peter's, John's, nor even of my church;" but I always read the church of God," "church of Christ;" but here they have "the Rev. Mn. Skinner's church, the Rev. Doctor Finnare's church," sthe Rev. Mr. Brantly's church," &c. &c.---but in this great city
never once have I heard of the “church of God," or church of Christ." Well, there is, perhaps, none such. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the church of God” were to be without money and without price. Not so the gospel and blessings of the Rev. Doctor Skinner's church” and the other Reverends of this city; for independent of the large salaries they get, the very first thing that was presented me in the "Rev. Mr. Skinner's church” was the money box, to pay for the sermon before it was delivered. As I did not know the value of the Rev. gentleman's sermon, I was at a loss how much to pay in advance, having always understood that in fair trade the article should be exhibited first, that the purchaser might see it and judge of its value before he should be called upon to make an advance. "Tis true I have heard and know of merchants and auctioneers making advances upon the exhibit of an invoice of articles; and far he it from me to say that Mr Skinner had not furnished such catalogue to his merchants upon this occasion. How that may be I know not; but as I remarked that I was at a loss to know what advance to make upon the forthcoming commodity, my first object was to see if I could ascertain what was advanced by his standing customers. I looked and looked, and what was my surprise to see old customers advancing only a penny a-piece. Well, I thought they knew the value of what was coming better than I did; but, as I had no copper, I had to take a larger investment, not without (you might suppose) some little degree of pride being excited, that I should be considered the largest stockholder of all the assemblage in the forthcoming sermon. Well, the money being all paid and the boxes safely laid away, a psalm was read for singing, and whilst I was listening to hear sweet voices tuning, a great wooden instrument began at my back to "cry out." I had read that on a certain occasion it was said that if certain "held their peace the stones would cry out." Well, wood is softer than stones, and it the religion of Dr. Skinner's church could not make the stones cry out, who could object to their making wood? Not I. It should, perhaps, be remarked here, that the audience was very respectful in this, for not one of them, that I heard, made the least noise to disturb the wooden cries and those sitting round about it, but one gentlemen, in the same pew with myself. He being somewhat old-fashioned, as I suppose, attempted to sing, but even in this his good breeding was manifest, for I could hardly hear him, although I sat next to him. This being over, the reverend gentleman rises and reads two small portions of scripture of the Old Testament-one from Exodus and one from Deuteronomy respecting the law," and one passage from the New Testament in Hebrews. Some might suspect that I had made “a fine spec," and that the stock would advance greatly above par from this beginning. Six minutes to 11 o'clock, expectations high. He commences, lays his premises, and undertakes to prove that the ten commandments were not delivered by God to Moses, and by him to the Jews; but that they were given immediately by the Creator to Jesus himself, and that they were not for the Jews only (as all the other laws given them by Moses were) but for the whole world; that Adam fell under them; that Jesus Christ was put to death to give honor to them-nay, that tiey were eternal; angels in heaven, men on earth and devils in heil were all under them; that it was against these the angels that fell sioned; and finally, that when this scene of things should be wound up, it would still be the rule of action for saints in heaven, devils and the damned in hell. In 30 minutes stock fell 200 per cent. And lastly, that God had set apart no particular day for his worship in these ten commandments, but required one-seventh part of their time only, and therefore it mattered not whether it was the first, second, fifth, or seventh day that was observed as a day of rest; and therefore the Sabbath was of eternal duration, and he who now offended against the day that christians regarded as the Sabbath, done it at the peril of the same punishment inflicted upon the Jewsunder Moses. Stock entirely dead on my hands. That a person, in order to be saved, must be led up to the "fiery law of Sinai," and there be cut down by it, and then he was ready to believe Jesus Christ and come to him to be saved. The smell of brimstone certified me that the stock was gone-gone; the whole investment sunk. Alas for Peter! He knew nothing-absolutely nothing at all about Mr. Skinner's way of saving a soul from endless destruction. Well, this job being over, I concluded never to "buy a pig in a poke” again-never to make an advance upon the credit of a Philadelphia Divine's commodity. Thus determining, I left the "church” and hied away to my boarding.
The next Lord's day, as the Book calls it-Sabbath, as they call it here, I went to hear Mr. Dagg. [Ie was upon Pani's speech before Felix. In this he only attempted to show that Paul defended himself with great ability and logical acumen, and was much superior to Tertullus. On the whole, he is the only one that I have heard, who undertakes to make the scriptures any way useful.
In the evening I went to hear the Unitarians” at “Dr. Finnare's Church.” Here the subject was, “The letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive." And what do you suppose the gospel of Doctor Finnare's Church" made out of this? When I tell you that the speaker (I beg his pardon—the reader) (it was not Dr. F. himself, but a gentleman from Boston) admonished the audience of the necessity of noticing what the Apostle was writing about, and who to, and what their circumstances, when he wrote, which called forth this epistle. When I tell you these were his introductory remarks, you could never guess in 40 years what he made it out to be. Well, I will tell you: He said Paul was a man of science, and that he was laboring to prove and show the Corinthians that they must not take many pas: sages according to the letter-such as Moses' account of the creation, for science, he said, had shown that the earth could never have been created before the sun, and moon, and other planets; for it was now known that the earth was suspended in its station by the principle of gravitation; and if there had been no sun, &c. the principle of gravitation would have been wanting, and the Almighty would have had nothing to hang the earth upon, and he could not have got it off his