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people—is one of the largest and the most splendidly worldly in appearance in the city-in all the elements of earthly grandeur and display. Yet Dr. Raffles is celebrated as one of the most talented, eloquent, and evangelical ministers in England, and has a congregation of some 1500 souls committed to his charge, as devout and attentive in appearance, as well as bearing all the indications of worldly consequence, wealth, and refinement, as any one which I saw in her Majesty's dominions, especially amongst Dissenters.
I was much pleased with Dr. Raffles' discourse. His pulpit, in the centre of a circular house, or, at least so far from being under the galleries, as to make easily visible and audible the preacherhis venerable silk gown, and still more saintly band, with a fine full-orbed face, and hoary wig or locks, a clear, distinct, and deliberate elocution, and a very chaste, though strong and forcible action, gave great emphasis and authority to all that he said. His text was a very sublime one, though I could not see its appositeness either to the Doctor himself or to his audience. It was, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which I am crucified to the world, and the world to me.” The sermon was, indeed, highly evangelical, well studied, and arranged handsomely, and gravely uttered and listened to with the most profound and devout attention by an auditory exhibiting much devotion and heart-felt interest in all that was said. Yet there was so much of the lusts of the eye and the pride of life, so much worldly grandeur and subserviency to the style and customs of this vain world in all that I saw, that no other text in the volume of inspiration could have struck me with more dissonance and revulsion than this one, to all that was visible and sensible in the pulpit and orator, in the habit and decoration of both the sacred desk itself and its wor. shipful incumbent.
I was all the while forming excuses for the preacher and for his congregation;—such as I presumed would have been his justification to himself and to any one offering an objection,-especially as I understood he had delivered the same discourse some twenty years ago on the occasion of his having married a very opulent, and, if I mistake not, a very beautiful wife. On his first appearance after this auspicious event, such a text was most apposite to correct public opinion, and to justify himself for having perpetrated a deed so apparently at war with the doctrine and practice of the Apostle Paul. This incident goes far to justify my reasonings in excuse for Dr. Raffles. Did not David say, “See now I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains"? The same incongruity, no doubt, stirred up the spirit of Dr. Raffles. Of what use is wealth if we dare not bring any of it to beautify the Lord's house and our persons when we worship there? Why should men seek after wealth with such insatiable avidity, compass sea and land for proselyting gold and silver, if, when they have converted them to their own use, they must not, they dare not, convert any of them to adorn and beautify the vestments of the priest, the house of the Lord, or the solemnities of Zion? Would it not be most incongruous and undevout for the rich Christian merchants in Liverpool to live in houses at the expense of twenty or thirty thousand pounds sterling, filled with all the luxuries of the four quarters of the world and of the age, if they dare not consecrate a few thousand pounds to the Lord in the form of painted windows, mahogany pulpits, crimson cushions, silver chalices, &c. &c. &c? They would then exclaim, Why should we dwell in marble palaces, under vermillion ceilings, recline on downy couches, and feast at tables covered with massive plate? Why should we clothe ourselves in Egyptian linen, in French or English silks and satins? Why adorn ourselves with the gems of Margaretta or the gold of Golconda, if we must worship in plain attire and meet in plain and unadorned houses on the Sabbath to worship Him that created all these rich and beautiful things!!
Do not our preachers call it “the house of the Lord,” and do they not quote the temple that Solomon built, and the rich presents of princes and kings consecrated in gold and silver offerings to the house of the Lord for his service in the sanctuary? And why, say they, arraign the decent and comely attire of God's ministers and priests, seeing that Aaron wore a golden mitre on his head; that his shoulders and breast were adorned with the richest gems that ever adorned a monarch's crown; and that his vestments were pictured in heaven, and cut and adorned after a pattern and fashion shown by God himself to Moses in the mount? The poor and the humble may meet in sordid hovels or worship within tents and squalid hovels, but we will follow a brighter and more divine model, and give our gold and our silver, our scarlet and our fine twined linen to the Lord.
Were we Jews, and not Christians, and did we believe in an age of shadows and adumbrations of spiritual and heavenly things, this logic might be heard with patience and considered with candor. We live in the kingdom of heaven age of the world, under a dispensation of the Spirit. It is not logic, but a false and deceitful rhetoric that allures to bewilder and fascinates to deceive-- which
would nullify every precept of the gospel, and transform the Messiah's kingdom, which is not of this world, into a Jewish commonwealth-into a worldly sanctuary, alike unworthy of him that chose to be born in a stable, cradled in a manger, and to die upon a cross; and of God who is spirit, and not matter, and who can be worshipped acceptably only when worshipped with the heart, in spirit, and in truth.
A Christian meeting-house ought to be plain and unadorned, save with simplicity and neatness. It ought to be amply spacious, well ventilated, illuminated, and heated, every way agreeable so far as convenience, health, and comfort are concerned. All beyond this is a reproach on the religion of Jesus Christ, a satire against its Founder rather than a eulogy upon his mission and character. If this be reason and truth, sanctioned by the Bible, equally obvious and certain it must be that all gowns, bands, and sacred vestments on the persons of men, officiating between God and man, or presuming to speak in his name, are just as much a relic of the dark ages, as much a figment of the Papacy as the salt, the oil, the spittle and the sign of the cross appended to infant affusion by the hierophants of Rome, the blind devotees of grimace and show.
But I must leave this splendid meeting-house, its tasteful pulpit, its accomplished and eloquent orator, its large, attentive, and fashionable congregation, and hie away to an upper room, even in Liverpool, where some fifty or sixty disciples, men and women, have met to commemorate the sacrifice of the Son of God, to celebrate his resurrection, and to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. We had a pleasant afternoon with this select band; and after several exhortations, we broke up and returned to Mollington to repose a day or two before the general meeting at Chester-of which I shall give you some information in my next.
As yet I have said little or nothing about the condition of society in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and but little on the peculiar appearance and state of these countries. These matters I reserve till the details of our personal labors and travels are ended; for which, I presume, another letter will suffice. Affectionately your father
A. CAMPBELL. Frankfort Springs, Pa.
August 11th, 1848.
ANECDOTES, INCIDENTS, AND FACTS. Connected with the origin and progress of the current reformation,
some of which have never been before published.-No. III. With the opening of 1818 commenced Buffaloe Seminary. For at least three objects I resolved to devote a few years to teaching the languages and sciences. One of these was to prepare some young men for future usefulness. Amidst considerable sectarian opposition and strife, I entered on this project, and succeeded greatly beyond all my expectations. But I itinerated less than before in my labors in the gospel, and confined my attention to three or four little communities constituted on the Bible-one in Ohio, one in Virginia, and two in Pennsylvania. Once or twice a year' I made an excursion amongst the Regular Baptists, but with little hope of being useful to the Redstone Association.
Elder John Burch, then of Ohio, while laboring amongst the Baptist churches got into a controversy with the Rev. John Walker, a Presbyterian minister of the Secession fraction of that community. It resulted in a challenge from Mr. Walker to debate publicly the merits of infant baptism. Mr. Burch wrote to me to assist him, or to undertake in his stead to meet Mr. Walker. This occurred in the latter part of 1819. I declined having any thing to do with it, in the opinion that it was not the proper method of proceeding in contending for “the faith once delivered to the saints.” It then seemed to me to be rather carnał than spiritual, and better calculated to excite had passions than to allay them, &c. For several months I declined having any thing to do with it. But on hearing from Elder Burch, again and again, on the subject, my objections were overcome; and accordingly, on the 9th of June, 1820, I appeared on the stage at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, in personal controversy with Mr. Walker, some two or three years older than myself.
The congregation in attendance being very large-a mixed multitude, abounding with the society called Friends or Quakers, a few Baptists, many Pedobaptists of all parties; I was desirous to bring into it as great a variety of matters and things as I could with any show of bearing on the maiti-questions, for the purpose of sowing broadcast the seeds of truth in the minds of the serious and inquisitive portion of the auditory. We succeeded in all our aims and wishes, as far as could have been expected in a two days combat.
The work had not long gone to the public, till many calls were tendered me from several quarters, requesting visits and discourses on the subjects introduced on that occasion, and in an appendix to
the volume which appeared in the fall of 1820. Amongst these I proceed to narrate one of considerable importance in the history of this reformation.
In the summer of 1821, while sitting in my portico after dĩnner; two gentlemen in the costume of clergymen, as then technically called, appeared in my yard advancing to the house. The elder of them, on approaching me, first introduced himself, saying, "My name, sir, is Adamson Bentley: this is Elder Sidney Rigdon, both of Warren, Ohio.” On entering my house and on being introduced to my family, after some refreshment, Elder Bentley said, “Having just read your Debate with Mr. John Walker, of our state of Ohio, with considerable interest, and having been deputed by the Mahoning Baptist Association last year to ordain some Elders and to set some churches in order, which brought us within little more than a day's ride of you, we concluded to make a special visit to inquire of you particularly on sundry matters of much interest to us, set forth in that Debate, and would be glad, when perfectly at your leisure, to have an opportunity to do so." I replied that as soon as the afternoon duties of my Seminary were discharged, I would take pleasure in hearing from them fully on such matters.
After tea, in the evening, we commenced and prolonged our discourse till the next morning. Beginning with the baptism that John preached, we went back to Adam, and forward to the final judgment. The dispensations, or covenants-Adamic, Abrahamic, Jewish and Christian, passed and repassed before us. Mount Sinai in Arabia, Mount Zion, Mount Calvary, Mount Tabor—the Red Sea, and the Jordan-the Passovers and the Pentecosts—the Law and the Gospel; but especially the ancient order of things and the modern, occasionally commanded and engaged our attention..
On parting the next day, Sidney Rigdon, with all apparent can. dor, said, if he had, within the last year, taught and promulgated from the pulpit one error, he had a thousand. At that time he was the great orator of the Mahoning Association-though, in authority with the people, second always to Adamson Bentley. I found it, expedient to caution them not to begin to pull down any thing they had builded until they had reviewed, again and again, what they had heard; nor even then rashly and without much consideration. Fearing that they might undo their influence with the people, I felt constrained to restrain, rather than to urge them forward, in the work of reformation.
With many an invitation to visit the Western Reserve, and with many an assurance of a full and candid hearing on the part of the