תמונות בעמוד

TIME, times, and half a time. Time is one annual revolution of the earth; times two such revolutions, and the dividing, or half a time, is half a year: time, times and half a time, denote three years and a half. This is established in Daniel's prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar was to associate with the beasts till seven times passed over him; i, e. seven years.

“Numbering by months or moons is appropriate to the works of darkness; because the moon is the governness of night: numbering by the course of the sun, is appropriate to the works of righteousness, and this is in correspondence with the use of these symbols in the Apocalypse. The continuance of the Beast, and the profaning of the holy city by the Gentiles, are reckoned by months; but the prophecy of the Witnesses by days: the abode of the woman in the wilderness by days, and by time, times, and half a time; three solar years and a half."

TREES. See Olive. | TRUMPET-Emblem of the proclamation of war or peace.

VINTAGE, and Wine Press-Symbol of great oppression, afflicition, and effusion of blood. See Joel iii. 12.

WATERS—Symbol of words, languages, and people,
WHEELS—Revolutions and dispensations of God's government.
WHITE CLOTHING-Innocence and purity.
WHORE—The apostate church.

WHOREDOM, Idolatry_Worship of man's inventions, renuncia. tion of allegiance to Jesus Christ as the sole Lord, prophet, priest and king.

WIND. See Sea-Symbol of commotion.
WINE Press. See Vintage.

WITNESSES: two witnesses, a few witnesses-- The scriptural plu. rality. That succession of pleaders for God which have stood forth for him during the time, times, and a dividing of time, in which the man of sin sits in the temple of God, and the woman is nourished in the wilderness, according to some.

some. The two witnesses, according to others, are the two distinct bodies of men in succession which plead for the political and religious rights of men, against the usurpations of priests and kings: resembling in their character Moses and Aaron; Zerubbabel and Joshua: or, Revelation and Nature, those witnesses for God's being and perfections; or the Old Testament and the New; the Apostles and the Prophets. Such are the various views taken of the two witnesses. We shall refer the reader to an essay on this subject, intended soon to appear.

WOMAN-A body politic, whether city, state, or church.
WORLD. See Heaven and Earth. The whole frame of things.
WORSHIP_Subjection, homage; political and religious.

ZION—The christian church in her impregnable and triumphant character.


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EPAPHRAS.NO, III. Dear Sir:-IN my last I presented you with two objections, one on the manner in which some preachers teach the ancient gospel,” and one on the manner in which persons are received to immersion. In looking over my pocket book of memoranda and strictures on sermons and preachers, I discover a few such specimens from other preachers beside that given in my last: but my attention is now called to your mode of inducting persons into the work of Evangelists. Permit me now to speak plainly on this delicate point, I have reason to call it a delicate point; for I think that you yourself have been the cause of the errors of which I am about to complain.

There are a set of men, now becoming pretty numerous, going all round the country in the capacity of Evangelists, (they call themselves by this name); some of them assuming to be planters of churches, others waterers; some of them teachers, critics upon the text, commentators, and, though not "text expositors,” they are chapter expounders. They speak of the clergy as a set of blockheads, dunces, (one of them I think, in my hearing, called them asses,) impostors, not sent by God, spiritual merchants, traffickers in souls, &c. &c.

One of them and myself fell in company a few months since at an inn: we lodged in the same room, and talked, rather than slept, all night. Not suspecting me to be a preacher of any sort, he felt no restraint in expressing his whole views and abhorrence of the priesthood, as he called all the preachers out of his own fraternity. In the course of a long debate, in which I sustained the clergy (occasionally, however, giving in to his censures) and he impugned them, I asked him, By what authority he preached? as I inferred that he was a preacher. He told me that he had the authority of the Apostle Peter, and received his commission from him. I wished him to explain. He proceeded by telling me that Peter said, "Let every one, according as he has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold favors of God. If any one speak, let him speak as the oracles of God require. If any one minister, let

him do it as from the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory, and the power, forever and ever: Amen." This, said he, is my commission.

But, said 1, have you been accredited and received as one of Peter's preachers by any society? I do not understand you, he responded. Has any community examined your credentials, and concurred in your commission? No; rejoined he, angrily: I am not sent by men. Well, you pretend not to be called and sent by God; and if neither God nor man has sent you out, I am at a loss to understand how you are to be received and regarded as one of Peter's preachers. After a long pause, he observed that the written word justified him in proceeding as he had done, and he wanted no higher authority.

After numerous objections to his application of the words of Peter, in which I attempted to show that this was a spiritual gift of which Peter spake, and that the brethren in the church were the objects of VOL. III.


the exercises enjoined by Peter, and therefore it authorized him not in going out to the world, he introduced some passages from the Acts in illustration of his commission; such as the whole congregation in Jerusalem turning preachers on their escape from persecution, and Philip's journey to Samaria and elsewhere, &c. And here I fell asleep; much, apparently, to the relief of my friend, who in the morning evinced no very strong desire to resume the subject.

Now, sir, this appears not so much as an excrescence upon your system, but as the natural fruit of some essays which I have read in the first volumes of the Christian Baptist. If I mistake not, you en. courage every one to speak or preach who feels a desire to engage in such exercises. And, indeed, I know not how, otherwise, so many should be engaged in the work, unless undertaken and assumed upon their own responsibility. But how this experiment is to eventuate, I think it requires no great prescience to foresee. It might have done in the age of prophecy and of spiritual gifts, for every one impelled by the Holy Spirit to go forth, either as a preacher or teacher of christianity. But when you and I agree that the age of such gifts is past, and that men are not now illuminated by immediate revelations, I am the more surprized to see you and others yield to such an economy.

Amongst various sects of Baptists, Methodists, Christians and Qua. kers, who believe in an immediate and supernatura: call to the work of the ministry, it may do very well for them to countenance such; for, indeed, I do not see how they dare resist the Spirit, or quench its workings in such called ones, agreeably to their acknowledged sentiments. But such an economy of things appears to me wholly irreconcilable with the position that no man can have any correct spi. ritual perceptions, or supernatural ideas, but from the recorded words of the Holy Spirit.

Our preachers, evangelists and pastors, must be created or raised up by the study and knowledge of the holy scriptures. And I pre.

you will concede that they who wish to be preachers and teachers of others, I mean those who are most eager for such offices, are not generally the best qualified for them. I contend, therefore, that reformation is not more needed in any system in christendom than in your own: for if ever there was a set of preachers and prophets of whom it might be said that they were wholly unsent, either by God or men,

it is that class, or at least a part of that class whom I have now in my eye. Let me add, that in some parts of my travels in the Valley of the Mississippi, your opponents have taken great advantage of this order of things; and on it they rely “for the blowing up of your system,” as they call it, more than upon their own exertions: and I should not acquit my conscience if I should not add, that many who think well of many prominent features of the Reformation, or Restoration as some call it, are so disgusted with this disorder as to stand aloof from it on this account alone.

You published some specimens of the called and sent textuaries; such as the Oysterman, and others, as indicative of the enthusiasm of


those spirits who, from between the handles of the plough, reclined their arms on the sacred desk in obedience to some voice, impulse, or call from heaven to go and preach: and if you would not call it retaliation, I could send you some specimens from my note book as a counterbalance, from the "holdings forth" of those who declaim against such calls from heaven, and eulogize common sense and call themselves Peter's preachers.

Now let me gravely ask you this momentous question--momentous, when the whole train of things consequent upon it is soberly, estimated—Whether is he the greater enthusiast who presumes to preach and teach the gospel because he imagined he was divinely called by an immediate impression from the Holy Spirit, or he who presumes to comment upon and expound the holy scriptures without any other preparation than that he believed and was baptized, and has for a year or two read with extraordinary attention the New Testament in the common way? He may have a more rational view of things, and be able to tell a plainer or a straighter story; but for the work of commenting on its meaning, and expounding its doctrine, 'is he better qualified than he who imagines he is immediately called and commissioned as was Saul of Tarsus !

But dismissing the qualifications of those who run upsent either by a voice from heaven or earth, save their own, let me request your attention to the question, How far you may have contributed to such a state of things by your former essays upon preaching, teaching, and administering ordinances!--and to another subject, emanating from such a state of things, and involving the very principle of the intercommunion of churches.

Every soeiety has some bond of union and communion, which holds its individual members together; and the communities in every kingdom, state or connexion, are held together in one general communion by some bond, consideration or agreement. Now, although I am no slave to human authority, nor pleader for a human creed or liturgy, yet I cannot imagine how any number of societies or churches can rationally and religiously enjoy any intercommunion unless upon some agreement; upon some principle, human or divine. I know you contend for the intercommunion of all the churches which have adopted the New Constitution and united upon the Apostles' doctrine. But how do you know these congregations? and how are they to be known to all of the same connexion? and, let me ask, what is the sign by which they are known? Is it because they adopt the New Testament alone-protest against creeds--hate the sects—baptize for the remission of sins--meet every Lord's day for breaking the loaf? Is it because of any one, two, or all of these peculiarities, that you have agreed to recognize all such as fractional parts of one communion, as societies amongst whom there is to be the most cordial christian communion?

You can now anticipate my difficulty: A B starts out on a mission of his own, peregrinates some new district of country, does the work of an Evangelist, sets up or plants some churches; how are

they to be found out and regarded by the connexion as sisters in the same family? Must we not know their parentage? or do we take them upon trust, and recognize them because he that congregated them went out from one of the churches? If so, why not formally recog. nize the agent before you recognize his work? or do you first examine the work, and then approve the agent?

I will not be further tiresome to you, at this time. The qualifica. tions and the call, as well as “the holdings forth" of some of the preachers of reform, are matters of primary concern. I will not disguise my conviction that there is some great defect in your economy of things as respects this subject, or that I have been peculiarly unfortunate in meeting with a number of preachers which are exceptions to your general system of operations. Have you any rule or system in such matters? In much esteem,


TO EPAPHRAS.--No. III. Dear SIR:-YOU would not throw away an apple because of its core, nor reprobate a good enterprize because some awkward and erroneous efforts were attendant on its execution. Who ever learned to swim walking in a meadow, or to walk without making some awkward movements! These irregularities and incongruities are the inseparable adjuncts of all attempts upon improvement. There never was a revolution in society, religious or political; there never was any valuable improvement in arts or sciences, which terminated in any good and practical results unaccompanied with experiments, and managements, and efforts, which evinced the folly as well as the wisdom, and demonstrated the weakness as well as the strength of the principal agents.

That some honest and well meaning advocates of reform amongst us have rendered themselves worthy of censure, and exposed themselves to the reprobation of some minds gifted with higher discrimination and more refined sensibility on the subject of propriety and decorum, may be admitted without the compromise of any one principle of this reformation, or without the fear of disparagement in comparison with any change made in religious society for a thousand preceding years.

Luther and Calvin, Knox and Wesley, did, without any discrepancy or disparagement, what would have undone many of their contemporaries and successors, because their opportunities and standing gave them a right, in public opinion, to speak and write of religious men and measures in a style which that same public opinion would not have allowed to many others.

To see young men, whether in years or in profession, novices in all ecclesiastic affairs, arise in a public assembly to denounce the clergy, that ancient, learned, and venerable body of men which have, in al Catholic and Protestant countries, controlled the fountains of all in

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