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borders of Zion, waiting for some direct revelation that his sins are pas. doned, without which be dares not presume that he is a true believer.

Such is a statement of my view of faith-with whosesover views it may or may not accord.




My dear Sir-I, PRESUME, notwithstanding all you have said and written, you may yet include me in your recent address in the Religious Herald, December 16, 1841. As you now address your obrethren and friends," I trust I may be accounted worthy of inclusion in the second, if not in the first class. On this presumption, then, may I be permitted to address a few lines in the way of friendly sugo gestions on what you have written? Your position to us disciples of Christ you seem anxious to define for the sake of preserving your reputation for sound doctrine immaculate and pure. In this commend. able intention I'wish you all success; and I do hope you will be able to preserve your reputation for orthodoxy untarnished, without finding it necessary to fix upon us the mark of doctrinal reprobation as a foil to set off the beautiful proportions of your faith, repentance, and bap. tism.

Your position is one indeed of so peculiar a character, that I do not wonder that your desire to define it is so much embarrassed with the difficulties which must always occur on every retrospection of your

The sanction of your fair name and sound doctrinal judgment stands enrolled on the pages of your church records against myself and other brethren as heretics and errorists, unfit for the kingdom of God. It is also registered in the book of God's remembrance, a fair copy of which you and I must hear in the day of final settlement of all controversies. Your better acquaintance with us has since doubtless convinced you of the injustice done us in those deerees, and yet you have not courage to incur the resentment of some ignorant and bigotted brethren in making even an attempt to release us from the condemnation therein expressed. In defining your position you are somewhat embarrassed in making out even an apparent discrepancy. For example, you mention certain reproaches circulated against our

+ Christmas Evans, the famous Welsh preacher, says in one of his sermons, "Permit nie to caution you by observing that this assurance of faith is not a mere imagination of the brain, but is based on a firni foundation. It is not founded on the notion that you are of the elect, or that you have heard a voice from heaven bidding you be of good cheer, because your sins are forgiven: but it must be founded on the testimony of divine reve. lation: for instance, hy searching the word of truth we find that the sins of those that will repent and be converted, shall be blolled out." Acts jii. 19.


vlews of repentance; and, after all, your sense of justice constrains you to say you "acquit us of the charge.” On repentance, then, we are safe, yourself being judge.

On faith your method is pretty similar. You refer to the reproaches we have endured, but generously acquit us of the charge. On this point you make us more orthodox than even your own brethren, and tender them a very necessary and salutary admonition at the close of this part of your address.

Now, my dear sir, you and I do not differ in a single idea of any moral tendency on these two most fundamental points. You say, indeed, that "some of his (my) sayings might be construed to favor such an idea; and that he has not, as to this matter, been so full and explicit as might be wished." No doubt this may be said of me, as both Calvinists and Arminians have said it a thousand times of some of Paul's expressions. Mr. Wesley has in effect said so of Paul, and 80 has John Calvin:-"Some of his sayings might be construed to favor such an idea, and he has not been so full and so esplicit on such a point as we could have wished.”

Repentance, with me, is a change of heart, true and genuine, issuing in an entire reformation of life--an unfeigned sorrow for the past, a firm resolve for the future, and a practical amendment of life both in thought and deed. It is the fruit of a firm beliet of the divine testimony, and must always follow, never precede the faith concerning God and Christ as revealed in the gospel.

Faith, with is also as you have in the main defined it. “It is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is in its salutary effects trust in the Lord. No one can believe the things affirmed concerning God and Christ and the gospel, in their proper scriptural connexions, and not trust in the truth and faithfulness of God, and confide in him as revealed in the gospel. Any thing that terminates short of this is mere speculation, opinion, or probability.It is not faith. Faith, as a principle of action, is active, operative, and powerful. It is working and efficient. It works by love and it works by fear. It purifies the heart. It overcomes the world. By it we obtain a good character, as did the ancients.

Your remarks on baptism and the Holy Spirit are laid over till our next number. In a recent letter addressed to you by Elder Thomas Henley, sent me for publication, on the presumption that I did not intend noticing your address, that good old brother, whom you so well know, addresses you as follows:

“Will you, my dear sir, live and die onder your decrees against us for maintaining the teaching of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and force me to stand as a witness at the bar of God against you and your


church, for the discord and division they have produced in Eastern Virginia, because some one teaches so and so? I have always believed whenever the public mind was enlightened to see the gross injustice done us, that an attempt would be made by some to shift 'the original ground of this controversy in order to save the great body of the Baptists' from the unrighteous conduct that would appear in their sanctioning the decrees of King & Queen and the Dover Associations. But I never suspected you and two or three others (though I did

suspect the mouth-piece of the Baptists, with some of his prompters, to nissepresentus,) would ever seek to evade an honest confession of their errors, and make the necessary atonement for the injury done to us. But, alas! your late address will force me to believe justice is not to be expected at your hands, nor those under your influence. However, I refer all who wish to know the cause of the original controversy, to the 2d volume, first series, of the Millennial Harbinger, page 534 to 538. And as to my views of the influence of the Spirit, I refer them to the 6th volume of the Christian Baptist, page 222, last paragraph, signature, "A Lover of the whole of Divine Truth." Also, 2d volume of the Harbinger, pages 324 and 551; and to the Chrisțian Publisher, December, 1811. This will prove beyond all controversy, from the beginning up to the day after your defining your position,' we have been misrepresented before the Baptist sect of holding sentimients we never believed, nor ever taught to any one. You, my dear sir, are the most discerning, intelligent, polite, and masterly writer that has as yet appeared in the United States in maintaining sectarianism; consequently, opposed to the teaching and authosity of the Apostles. Do not startle at my saying opposed to the Apostles. No man can defend sectarianism witheut first setting aside the Apostles. Your example must, according to your influence, be productive of much weal or much woe. But I must here say, that you have raised, hy your decrees, founded upon gross error; "the wall of partition between us,” which Jesus died to remove,

in order to restore peace, unity, and purity among his real friends. This, my dear sir, is your position' before all impartial


The remarks of brother Henley are respectfully submitted to your calm reflection. Your years, like my own, are posting to a close. Our influence and example will survive us. You have acted a conspicuous part in the scenes of the current reformation in Virginia. Several of your communications for our periodicals have been reprinted and circulated in the British Isles. Reformation, you admit, is needed among the Baptists; and that, too, in some very important items. This reformation must one day be accomplished, unless the Lord personally return in a year or two, as some of our Baptist brethren are teaching. The part you have acted, or may act, must have its proper influ..

It will afford neither of us pleasure now or hereafter to have that part condemned on earth or in heaven by the wise and the good. You do not think that we have been treated as either our principles or or our practice merited at the hands of the Virginia Baptists.


Will you, then, improve the opportunity and influence which Divino Providence has given you, to have your brethren enlightened and corrected in these matters? It is for their sakes we desire it--not our own. The day is past in which they could have crushed our efforts in Virginia. Will you, then, make an effort to disabuse them, to annul those unrighteous decrees, and to treat us according to our works? Sincerely and benevolently yours, &c.



E, to. R.

Tasco, October 8th.
I have stated that certain feelings and actions will always follow
the belief or perception of certain truths or facts. The question to be
considered now is, how it comes to pass, if this be true, that oot of a
large assembly of persons who unanimously profess to believe the
gospel and acknowledge its importance, some two, three, or four only
will feel its power and yield to its claims? In orher words, why are
not all equally affected by the same facts, seeing these are presented by
the same testimony and that all the hearers confessedly stand in the
same relation to them, the gospel being a proclamation of deliverance

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to all?


The fact upon which this objection is based, is one that is familiar and undeniable; and the objection itself would seem, at first view, Insuperable. I do not wonder that in considering it, the advocates of special influence have been disposed to attribute the conversion of the few, to a peculiar spiritual influence, operating upon their minds, and giving an efficiency to the word, which in other cases it did not pos

The theory of metaphysical regeneration, indeed, would seem to have been framed with an express reference to the fact under consideration; and it certainly affords, to say the least, a very easy solution of the difficulty. The doctrine of the divine sovereignty too, which so generally obtained after the Protestant reformation, has no doubt con, tributed its aid in support of this view of the matter, inasmuch as oonversion must be, in conformity therewith, a direct effect of the sovereign will and pleasure of God-of “sovereign grace,” in every instance, nothing whatever being left contingent upon secondary agencies or liberty of choice. At least the exercise of absolate sovereignsy, is necessa:ily involved in the theory of conversion above stated, VOL VI-XS


because it supposes a special interference and a peculiar manifestation of divine power in every case, which are entirely independent of every thing appertaining to the preaching of the gospel, and dependent upon nothing but the divine pleasure. On this account, I have often been surprised that they who have, in opposition to sovereign grace," in. scribed "free grace" upon their banners, should nevertheless concur in a theory of conversion, which is so entirely at variance with their own system, involving, as it does, before the eyes of all men, the exercise of a sovereign election and reprobation, in the "effectual call. ing," and "evangelical conversion," of the few, to the rejection of the many, who equally need, and who appear equally to seek, the divine favor.

Let me not, however, be understood to admit the theory referred to. On the contrary, in proceeding to consider it, I have to remark that I have three serious objections to it, viz.— 1st. That it is useless: 2d. That it is injurious: and 3d. That it is untrue. It is useless

1st, Because it does not really supply, as intended, any explanation of the fact. The proposers of it admit that it is a mysterious doctrine; something indescribable and inexplicable-much more so indeed than the fact for which it is designed to account. Now since to explain, is to make the matter plain, we cannot surely regard that as an explanation of a fact which only makes it more mysterious, and involves the subject in greater difficulties than attended it at first.

2d. Because it is a pure hypothesis contrived to account for the fact, and by an apparent easy method to escape from a difficulty. It supposes the direct interposition of divine power, an influence which must of necessity be regarded as miraculous. Now we can escape from any difficulty by a miracle. "If we are at liberty to bring up miracles to our aid whenever we choose, we can claim but little credit for our escape from any dilemma. A miracle may account for the fact, but what can account for the miracle? It is not lawful to imagine miracles, or to invent an hypothesis to suit the case, and then act upon it as though it were an immutable law established by induction.

3d. It is useless, because the belief of it does no good and the disbelief of it no harm, as it respects the work of salvation. That is, the belief of it will not promote the conversion of the one who credits it; gor the rejection of it hinder or even retard the conversion of any one who may so reject it. As a clear proof of this, I have only to refer you to the well known fact, that many who sincerely believe the doctrine, are so far from being converted on that account, that they often continue for years in a state of unhappiness-seeking," as they say, “religion,', and attending all the "revivals” within reach, without attaining their

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