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Brother Campbell,

IN this age of enthusiasm and superstition as well as of free in-
quiry, I think it would not be amiss for you to publish from Horne's
Introduction, vol. 1, pp. 141-2-3, his remarks on enthusiasm.
J. CREATH, Junr.


THE characteristics of enthusiasm or fanaticism are, a blind credulity, in consequence of which its subject is led to imagine himself always to be the favorite of Ileaven, and actuated by divine inspiration;-disorder and contradiction in the religious system proposed by the enthusiast; and obscurity and absurdity in his exposition of it, accompanied with dictatorial positiveness, requiring an implicit credence of his pretensions, or at least on grounds as vain and delusive as those which have satisfied himself;;-a morose, unsocial, and severe system of morality;-and contempt of all written revelation. But none of these characteristics is to be traced in the character or writings of the Apostles. They became the disciples of Jesus Christ upon rational conviction,-not upon internal persuasion alone, but on the irrefragable evidences of clear and stupendous miracles, proofs submitted to their senses, and approved by their reason, which enthusiasm could not have counterfeited, and never would have required; and at every step of their progress, as their faith was called to signalize itself by new exertions, or to sustain new trials, it was fortified by new proofs. The slowness and caution with which the Apostles received the fact of their Lord's resurrection from the dead, fully exempt them from all suspicion of being the dupes of delusion and credulity. Throughout their various writings, the utmost impartiality, sobriety, modesty, and humility prevail. In the most frank and artless manner they do that which enthusiasts never do; they record their own mistakes, follies, and faults, and those of very serious magnitude, acknowledged to be such by themselves, and severely censured by their master. No example of this nature can be found in the whole history of enthusiasm, and no other such example in the whole history of man. Enthusiasts also, in all their preaching and conversation on religious subjects, pour out with eagerness the dictates of passion and imagination; and never attempt to avail themselves of the facts or arguments on which reason delights to rest. Strong pictures, vehement effusions of passion, violent exclamations, loudly vociferated and imperiously enjoined as objects of implicit faith and obedience, constitute the sum and substance of their addresses to mankind. They themselves believe, because they believe, and know, because they know; their conviction, instead of being (as it ought to be) the result of evidence, is the result of feeling merely. If any one attempt to persuade them that they are in an error, by reasoning, facts, and proofs, they regard him with a mixture of pity and contempt, for weakly opposing his twilight probabilities to their noon-day certainty, and for preposterously laboring to illumine the sun with a taper. How contrary is all this to the conduct of the Apostles! When a

proof of their mission or doctrine was required of them, they appealed instantly and invariably to arguments, facts, and miracles. These convinced mankind then, and they produce the same conviction now. The lapse of more than seventeen centuries has detected them in no error, and in no degree enfeebled their strength. Their discourses were then, and are now, the most noble, rational, and satisfactory discourses on moral and religious subjects, ever witnessed by mankind. There is not one single instance in them all, in which belief is demanded on any other grounds than these; and on these grounds it is always rightfully demanded: but on these grounds it is never demanded by enthusiasts. There is not in the world a stronger contrast to the preaching of enthusiasts, than that of Christ and his Apostles.

Further, the style of fanatics is always obscure, arrogant, and violent. The style of the New Testament is the very reverse of this. The utmost harmony exists through every part of the system of reli gion inculcated by its authors. The historical books are plain, calm, and unexaggerated; detailing the facts that establish the unparallel ed perfection of their Divine Lord, with the particularity and consistency of truth. Some trifling discrepancies, it is true, are found in the collateral circumstances related by the historians of Jesus Christ, (and this is an evident proof that they did not copy one from another); but in all essential matters they entirely and perfectly agree: and though scarcely one among them had read, or could have read, the writings of the others, yet their histories and doctrines are perfectly accordant. And the Epistles-though written at different and distant times, on various occasions, from different places, and addressed to very different communities, and persons-never contradict each other. On the contrary, they are uniformly, in the highest degree natural, rational, and affectionate, admirably adapted to the occasions which produced them, and the relations which their several writers bore to the various churches and persons whom they addressed:-instructing their ignorance, and encouraging their virtues,-rebuking their offences without bitterness,-vindicating their own character from calumny, without betraying any excessive resentment,and maintaining their own authority, as religious instructers and guides, without any trace of spiritual pride, any arrogant claims to full perfection of virtue. So far are they from inculcating a gloomy devotion, or a morose, unsocial, or selfish system of morality, that, while they insist on the necessity of sincere, and heartfelt piety to God, without any affectation of rapturous ecstasy or extravagant fervor, a piety, in short, chastened and controlled by humility and discretion, they at the same time inculcate the strictest equity and justiee in our intercourse with our fellow men, together with the purest, most active, and most diffusive benevolence. While the just preeminence is allowed to internal sincerity, outward rites and observances have their due importance preserved; every grace, and every virtue, that can form a part of the Christian character, has its just order and value assigned to it in the Christian scheme; every civil,

relative, and social duty is taught in the clearest manner, and enforc ed by the strongest motives. So far are the authors of the New Testament from contemning all written revelation, that in their writings they uniformly evince the greatest reverence for the written revelation of the Old Testament, which they exhort their disciples to study diligently, and point out its friendly harmony with the Christian system. And though they insist on the necessity of receiving and believing that system, yet they equally condemn all spirit of persecution, and all religious indifference.


HAVING seen how the primitive apostolic churches became possessed of any other officers than the inspired Apostles, we shall progress a little farther, and then give our views of their proceedings. After Paul and Barnabas had "gathered the church together at Antioch, and rehearsed all God had done by them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, they continued a long time with the disciples."

Some men came down from Judea, teaching circumcision. Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them. They did not attempt to exclude them, or close the doors of the synagogue against them. As they were the ambassadors to the Gentiles, they agreed to refer the matter to the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem. "So Paul and Barnabas, and certain others, it was determined should go up to the Apostles and Elders about this question." What a noble example for us, to go to the Apostles and Elders-THEIR RECORDED ACTS-upon all disputed points. These were inspired men, and their decision was the mind of God. Never can there be such an association of infallible wisdom as was assembled at Jerusalem. Here were the APOSTLES and Elders, with the whole church at Jerusalem, under the Spirit of inspiration, concurring in the abrogation of circumcision with the Gentiles, "upon whom my name is called," saith the Lord; that is, all that have been by faith immersed. into the name of the Lord: "For as many (says Paul) as have been by faith immersed into Christ have put on Christ." This assemblage is not a precedent for any assemblage of uninspired men on earth. The Apostles sent with Paul and Barnabas, Judas, surnamed Barsa. bas, and Silas, to tell the church at Antioch the same things by mouth (being Prophets) as were written in their decrees. After this Paul proposes to Barnabas to go and see their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the Lord, to see how they were. They carried the decrees drawn up at Jerusalem for the churches, ordained by the APOSTLES and ELDERS. This proves that the Apostles did not assume the government of the churches, but gave laws to them, though the care of all the churches was a matter of great anxiety with them.

It appears from Acts xx. that Paul sent from Miletus to Ephesus, and called the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH. He reminded them how he had taught them, and that he had not shunned to declare to them all the counsel of God. He therefore warns them to "take heed to themselves, and to all the flock over which the HOLY SPIRIT had made them overseers; to feed the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood. For I know this (says the Apostle) that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock. Also, of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. What remedy does he provide to preserve the faithful disciples against these grievous wolves and intestine enemies? He "commends them to God and to the word of his favor, which is able to build them up and to give them an inheritance among all them that are sanctified:-that he had courted no man's gold or silver." Here we have an important prophecy that the church would be devoured and rended asunder by grievous wolves and ambitious teachers that would draw away disciples after them. We now experience the awful realities of the Apostle's warning.

Let us now attend to his advice, to commit ourselves into the hands of God, and take the word of his grace to build us up. We can see, on the one hand, grievous wolves; and on the other, the intestines enemies of the church's unity, peace, and purity. We are authorized to say by the Holy Spirit, that every church had its plurality of Elders. They were men filled with the mind of Christ and wisdom. They were chosen by the church from among themselves to be overseers over them. Their business was first to take heed to themselves; then to the church of God over which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. We understand by the Holy Spirit making them overseers, that it is ordained by the Holy Spirit that every church or congregation should, if they have men of wisdom, whose character came up to that Paul describes to Timothy, among themselves, to elect such to be rulers or overseers over them, and submit to the word of God which they were to teach them. Hence the exhortation to the churches: "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake." A Bishop, or overseer, is to be one that rules well;* that is, must be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord. Hence the Apostle teaches, "Let the ELDERS that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those that labor in word and doctrine." Again, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls as they that must give an account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you." Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.


I understand "to rule well" is to preserve order, and to enforce an observ. ance of the word of God in the church.

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JERUSALEM. In symbolic or figurative language, the church of Jesus Christ-the Christian Economy. "Jerusalem which is above is free; the mother of us all." "The holy city" is contrasted with "the great city," the true church of Christ with the apostate church. Ba bylon and Jerusalem-the former represents every professing christian society which submits not wholly and unconditionally to Jesus as sole lawgiver, prophet, priest and king; the latter the society which unreservedly submits to him in all his official power and glory. Jerusalem, New, contrasted with the earthly and literal city, capital of Judea.

ISLANDS, European States. Isles of the Sea, frequently in prophetic language, represent the western parts of the world, particularly Europe. Island sometimes signifies a prince, or the sovereign of any small state, as well as the lesser states themselves.

KILLING, act of, changing the condition from bad to worse; causing a person or state to cease to be what it was before: political death. The recovery of a people is also called their resurrection. The killing of the witnesses, denotes the depriving them of their former state and power.

KING-The supreme power, in whomsoever invested, and by whatever name designated. Seven Kings, seven sorts of supreme power. The four beasts are several sorts of beasts; so the "five senses" denote not five of the same sort, but five distinct species, or sorts.

KINGDOM, the body subject to any head or supreme power.

LAMB-Lamb of God, the well known symbol of the Messiah. A beast with the horns of a lamb, represents a state or person pretending to such power as the Messiah rightfully exercises; spiritual power.

LAMP-Symbol of government, civil or religious.

LEOPARD "An irreconcilable enemy:" emblem of cruelty.
LIGHT-The well known emblem of knowledge.

LIFE-Alive, having power and activity. To cast the beast and the false prophet alive into a lake of fire, denotes not only the destruction of the persons, but the succession, the existence of such persons. To cast a person alive into a lake of fire, represents, also, the fierce and terrible nature of the judgment.

LOCUSTS-Numerous armies of men pillaging and destroying a country. Joel i. 6. The Persians and Babylonians who laid waste Judea are compared to locusts. "If any king or potentate see locusts come upon a place, let him expect a powerful multitude of enemies there."-Achmetes.

MARK. See Character.

MEASURE. See Balance.

MERCHANTS. Merchants of the earth-Ecclesiastics, or spiritual persons, in reproach of their worldly character, and because they traffic in religious privileges, are called the merchants of the earth. MONTH. See Time.

MOON. See Sun and Stars.



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