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hear the voice of the Son of God.” | the gospel is the “ power of God unto He preaches deliverance to the cap- salvation,” I will only say that he tives, and says to the prisoners “ go must be aware that this is admitted forth,” evidently implying his power in the pamphlet ; but if it is the in translating men from the kingdom power of God, He must make it powof darkness. Again, Acts ii. 40, does erful : and the Apostle declares this not imply, as J. D. says, that blood- again where he says, “ It is mighty guilty ones were able to save them through God.” I will only add, in selves by fleeing to Christ, for it was reference to the passages quoted to addressed to those who had already prove the gift of the Spirit alone to been convinced by the Spirit, and was believers, that on the supposition that not a salvation from the guilt of sin, they set aside the operations of the but referred evidently to a separation Spirit in conversion, it would equally from the world as the children of God. set aside the gift of the Spirit to Old J. D. tells us, that it is revolting to Testament believers, since it is exhear that the “ unoffending babe is pressly declared that the “ Holy as depraved as the villain who has Ghost was not yet given, because robbed the house,” &c. I might ask Jesus was not glorified.” It is clear him, in his own style, where he finds these passages simply refer to a more such an expression as “the unoffend- plenary gift of the Spirit, and do not, ing babe ?” But it should be remem- and cannot, set aside the necessity of bered, that the question is not about being born of the Spirit. mere open immorality, but whether In reference to J. D.'s objection to man's nature is not wholly sinful, the limitation of the atonement to a leading him, without a variety of re- part of mankind, on the ground that straining causes, to the worst of it is a reflection on the goodness and crimes. The Jews who murdered | integrity of God, I would only say, the Redeemer were once “unoffend that the Divine Being loves all maning babes.” Are 'we better than | kind, the Scriptures no where affirm. they? The Apostle answers “no, in | Under the Old Dispensation he con
fined the knowledge of the atonement My limits remind me I must bring to a single nation, for whom alone these remarks to a close ; before doing the High-priest officiated to offer saso, however, I will just glance at the crifices ; and the Saviour, in his meremaining errors pointed out by J.D. diatorial prayer, expressly refers to One is the “ error” “ that there is an the church alone as being given to influence or agency of the Spirit along him by the Father, and elsewhere with the word.” The passages ad- says, “I lay down my life for the duced in support of this doctrine in sheep." True, the whole includes a the pamphlet, are passed by as “ egg part ; but, on the other hand, a part shells,” or “ showy ciphers which do does not include the whole : and the not amount to a unit of proof.” This fair legitimate meaning of Christ's being an assertion, must pass for as words evidently is, that he laid down much as it is worth. However, I his life for the sheep alone. J. D. will quote another passage in addition asks the question, who doubts that he to those already quoted by the writers laid down his life for the sheep, or of the pamphlet. 1 Thess. i. 5, “Our that his people are redeemed to God gospel came not unto you in word by his blood ? My answer is, all only, but in power, and in the Holy who say Christ's death did not secure Ghost, and in much assurance.” I the salvation of his church, and that suppose, however, this will be set man must do his minutely little part, down as a 6 cipher” along with the in order to benefit by Christ's death : rest. As for J. D.'s quotation, that'—that the writer of the Strictures, in
his zeal for the universality of the ing to A. Campbell, to secure our peratonement, appears to forget that the sonal salvation. object of the proclamation of the gos- Again, in reference to A. Camppel was, not that all universally should bell teaching that Christ died for no be saved, but to take out from among man, they simply give the fair infethe Gentiles, a people for the divine rence from his own words, which are, name. Thus the Apostles were di- “ the atonement of Christ has no exvinely directed to visit certain places, tent”-contemplating sin as a unit in and places to which they would have the divine government. If the atonegone to preach the gospel, they were ment of Christ, then, has no extent, not suffered to visit. In reference to must it not be improper to say Christ the passages quoted by J. D. it is died either for all mankind, or only a plain that their application must, part of mankind. The connection, from their connection and bearing, be “ embracing as it does all mankind," limited. 2 Cor. v. 18 and 20, refers is a supplement of J. D.'s, and would, evidently to believing Jews and Gen- | if it had appeared in the “ Christian tiles reconciled to God through Christ, System,” have been a flat denial of for whom he was made sin; and they, the sentiment previously advanced. not unbelievers, are exhorted to be Yours respectfully, G. D. R. reconciled to God : for it is the Corinthians the Apostle is evidently ad- |
INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT dressing. 1 Tim. 2-6, in the same
IN THE CONVERSION OF MEN. way, refers to Christ's ransom as embracing men of every class and con Since the wide diffusion of our dition, and is to be testified in due views in relation to the intrinsic time, not surely by their being lost. power of the gospel, in the conversion Finally, 1 Jno. ii. evidently teaches of man, it has become quite fashionthat Christ's propitiation was to ex able with certain orthodox writers tend to both Gentiles and Jews-1 and preachers, to say that “ the inwhereas before it was limited, at least fluence of the spirit is exerted through in its ceremonial character, alone to the truth,” meaning thereby, that the Jew, for whom the High-priest conversion is effected by an indepenentered the most holy place on the dent and instantaneous, a direct and great day of atonement; but now supernatural influence of the spirit the mercy seat is accessible to all upon the soul, and that the conductor believers, both Jew and Gentile, or the conduit of this influence is the and Christ is for them a propi-truth. In employing this improved tiation.
phraseology, they affect to repudiate Before closing these remarks on J. this old fashioned notion of converD.'s strictures, I may just notice one sion by an operation of the Spirit, or two charges of mis-stating A.Camp with or without the Word. They bell's meaning. The first is in refe-would make the impression, that they rence to the alteration of the empha attach to the truth a power and an sis from the word “ do ” to “ must.” importance, denied to it by the old Now it appears to me that it would theory ; and we doubt not that this indeed take an “ eagle eye” to dis is their belief. Perceiving the abcover the misrepresentation ; for what surdity of representing the Word of difference is there between saying God to be a deadletter, and its glorious “ we do baptism for ourselves, or motives devoid of all intrinsic power " we must do it for ourselves ?” In to affect the heart, they have sought either case it is plain that the benefit to modify their theory, so as to avoid resulting from it is appropriated to these irrational and unphilosophical, ourselves, being a work done, accord- I as well as unscriptural conclusions.
But we cannot see that these modern through which one professes to have divines have improved upon the old received the influence which convertheory, in the slightest degree that ted him, has any power in itself, in there is any essential difference be- its facts, its arguments, or motives, to tween the old and the new theology convert the soul. in this particular. The old theory We are sorry to be unable to disteaches that the Word of God pos- cover that this new thory of conversesses in itself no power to convert sion is any nearer the plain and the soul ; that the direct influence of rational doctrine of the Bible on the the spirit alone can do this ; and that subject, than the old ; and we much this can be and is exerted apart fear, that it only “ darkens counsel from, and without the word. The by words without knowledge.” new theory, equally with the old, We habitually ascribe conversion denies the intrinsic power and efficacy to the agency of the Holy Spirit ; of the word ; and equally attributes but we believe that the means emconversion to the special, direct and ployed in the agency, are the facts, supernatural influence of the spirit of the arguments and motives found in God upon the spirit of Man ; the the word of God—that is the intellionly point, in which it differs, is in gence of God operating upon the making the truth, in some unex- intelligence of Man, in harmony with plained and mysterious sense, the its established laws—not in his physimedium by which that influence is cal and irresistible power revolutiontransmitted, except in the cases of izing the soul by an instantaneous infants, idiots, and pagans. Wherein shock. The question between us and then do these systems differ, as regards those with whom we differ, on this the power employed in conversion.— subject, is not, whether the spirit is They pronounce the word of God a the agent in conversion ; but whether dead letter, until rendered quick and the means employed are physical or powerful by a superadded influence, moral ? Where this is a mere specusupernatural in its nature, and irre- lative question, not affecting practisistible in its power ; and both as- cally the spiritual welfare of men, it cribe the conversion of man to a might be deemed unprofitable and miracle.
vain to discuss it ; but, inasmuch as One individal receives an electric the popular theory on this subject is shock by a spark communicated not held as a speculative opinion, but through a chain, from an electrical | is believed in and practised upon, as machine another receives a similar the very essence of religion, inducing shock by a flash of lightning, shot thousands to delay their submission directly through space from clouds to the requirements of the Gospel, above him. Both have been affected until they shall exeperience that by the same fluid, the same power- mysterious operation which they by electricity, and they concur in the have been taught to expect, it is belief that the chain, through which proper and necessary, that however one has received it, is only cold, dead sacred it may be regarded, it be freely iron. So one individual professes to discussed ; and that its truth be have received the influence, which rigidly subjected to the test of the converted him, directly from heaven, Holy Oracles. If true, all should apart from the word : another, that reverently embrace it—if erroneous he has received the same influence the spiritual interests of Society dethrough the medium of the truth. mand that it be exploded.—ProtestBoth ascribe their conversion to the ant Union. same supernatural power ; and they unite in denying, that the word,
STRICTURES ON A BAPTIST
Perv. 15. Phil. i. 294“ For unto
you it is given in the behalf of Christ, PAMPHLET (CONCLUDED.)
not only to believe on him, but also to DEAR SIR—The want of discrimi- suffer for his sake.” Here the innation displayed by Messrs. W. and quirer after truth naturally asks, what D. in using texts of all kinds, as wea- is given ? These gentlemen decide pons offensive, in attempting the re- “ faith is.” If so, the passage should ligious life of A. Campbell, leads to read thus :-Unto you faith or belief the conclusion that this must be their is given—to believe, and belief is first appearance in print. Juvenile given-to suffer ! Will any who warriors must not, however, be allow- reverence the divine word, charge the ed to handle the “ two-edged sword” | Holy Spirit in Paul with such unso incautiously, lest they injure others meaning tautology ? What, then, is as well as themselves.
given? Let the candid Calvinist, On page 12 they say, “ We shall Macknight say, (Eph. ii. 8, note 2) simply quote one or two more passa-“ an opportunity” is given. This ges which, in so many words, ascribe makes good sense, and agrees with faith to God's power as well as being the facts. The “ opportunity" to behis gift.” By examining these passa- lieve was graciously given when the ges it will be seen that this is spoken gospel of Christ was proclaimed at “simply" enough, yet not quite so Philippi, (Acts xvi.) and the oppormuch so as the next sentence, “Faith tunity to suffer was also graciously then, is said to be wrought in the be- given when terrifying adversaries liever by the mighty power of God.” | arose to persecute and afflict them Thus self-confidently do these good, (Phil. i. 28.) easy young men write : neither trou- Perv. 16. Col. ii. 12. “ Ye are bling themselves with premises in risen with him through the faith of order to conclusions-nor heeding the operation of God." This is the whether their phrase, “ faith is said third and last of the texts that the to be wrought in the believer,” is writers tell us, “ in so many words,” sense or not. But to the passages. ascribe faith to God's power as well
Perversion 14. “ The exceeding as being his gift.” One feels inclined greatness of his power to usward who to ask what dark nook of the religious believe, according to the working of world have these young men occuhis mighty power,” Eph. i. 19. Gen- pied, not to be aware that “the ablest tlemen, this text does not speak of Greek scholars are decided that the faith at all, either“ in so many words” | idiom of the language will not admit or otherwise. Surely, Sirs, when you of this construction.” Truth should did decide to put A. Campbell to be dearer to us than party, and the death, you should have found some truth here is-Paul reminds the Cosolid ground to fix his cross in ! The lossian believers that not only had intelligent will be aware, that the pas- they been buried with Christ in their sage is a part of Paul's prayer for the immersion, but had in the same imEphesian disciples-not that God would mersion been raised with him through work faith in them, for they were al- their belief in the (energias) strong ready distinguished by “ faith in the working of God who raised Christ; Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints” or, according to our common version,
—but that they might KNOW THE as corrected by Boothroyd, Penn, and ALL-ACCOMPLISHING POWER of the Fa- others— " risen with him through ther to raise them from death, and to ex- faith in the mighty power of God, alt them to his throne in heaven-the who raised him from the dead." Thovery mighty power that was exercised mas Scott, in the first edition of his by Him in raising and exalting his Son. I commentary, made the passage talk
as these writers do ; but in his se- as unscriptural and injurious for reacond he confesses that a careful ex- sons before given. If there must be amination had convinced him his so supplemental words, let them be supdoing was rather imposing a sense plied from the Lord's lips. Luke xxiv. upon the Apostle's words, than in- 47—(it being Luke's manner to give quiring after their true meaning. That elliptically, what he had previously true meaning, he says, is “a believing written in full)--and the passages reliance on that effectual saving power will stand thus: “Exalted to give the of God, as displayed in the resurrec- preaching or gospel of repentance and tion of Christ.” Would that all who remission of sins to Israel ;" and have been guilty of imposing a sense “ then hath God also to the Gentiles upon divine words, would follow | granted the proclamation, or good Scott's noble example !
| tidings of repentance unto life.” This Here one naturally asks, are there reading harmonizes with the Scripthen no proofs, not even one, of that tures and with the facts, and the pasmost popular doctrine, " faith is the sages are dealt with just as we are gift of God ?” and echo truly answers obliged to deal with the Lord's own “ not even one." It cannot be divine words, John vii. 22, “ Moses, theretruth that cannot be found in the fore, gave unto you circumcision”divine word.
| which the facts of the case compel us Perv. 17. The writers, waxing to read, “Moses, therefore, gave unto bolder, say “ Repentance is the gift of you God's teaching or commands reGod, in opposition to the doctrine of specting circumcision.” the Christian System, that we do it Perv. 18 - Making them a willing for ourselves," and they refer to Acts people in the day of his power.” To v. 21, “ Him hath God exalted with these words the writers gravely athis right hand, to be a Prince and a tach " Ps. cx. 3 !” This odd notion Saviour, to give repentance to Israel of making willing, makes one smile, and the remission of sins :" also to whether willing or not, by reminding Acts xi. 28,“ Then hath God also to on one hand of birch-rod, thumbthe Gentiles granted repentance unto screw, or rack-made willingness ; and life.” I do not stop to inquire whe-l on the other of the good husband's ther there is good sense, or indeed any boast-how easy to make his wife do sense, in saying we do not repent for just as she pleased. But, to be serious, ourselves, nor to ask whom we repent is this a correct quotation ? Let each for, or who repents for us; but I ask turn to Ps. cx. 3, and be convinced these gentlemen, do you take these that nothing so absurd is there! It passages literally, or as under ellip- is, in fact, an old attempt to amend sis? If literally, because the words Jehovah's words, for a party purpose, “ give repentance” and “ granted re- which calls for strong reprobation. pentance” occur, then you are contra- The passage itself (Ps.cx. 3) is as sidicted by facts. Neither “ Israel” lent about making as about repentance, nor “the Gentiles” (in the Apostle's and the writers have quoted it wrongunlimited sense) have had repentance ly and recklessly, for which they --it being still too true that “ Israel should pray to be forgiven. Three hath not obtained it," and that the grand things are prophecied of in Gentiles, for the most part, 6 are verses 2 and 3 :-Ist. The day of without hope and without God.” If Jesus' power, i.e. the period of his you say the passages require supple- reign over all creation, in contrast mental words, and that their meaning with the day of his weakness on earth) is-repentance is given to some of Is- all authority in heaven and earth rael, and granted to some of the Gen- being given to him.--2nd. The rod tiles, then I refuse your supplements of Jesus' strength-the gospel of his