Images de page

yield all the trophies you may win in maintaining the opposite notion. Your readers will now understand that Baptists in former periods, as at present, held that "saints are effectually called by his word and Spirit," from a state of sin "to the grace of salvation by Jesus Chris!.”

Should you reply to this, I hope and expect you will define now your own belief on this subject. Your own adroitness in keeping back your peculiar notions, artfully evading the point in question, and strive ing to place your opponents in a false position, does credit to your tactics as a controvertist, but lessens your claims to Christian candor and love for the truth. With much respect, I am your friend,

J. M. PECK. Louisville, December 18, 1841. P.S.-The Agency of the Baptist Publication Society, in which I have engaged since our correspondence commenced, will prevent early and regular replies at present. During the winter I shall be engaged in the Southwestern Siates, but will avail myself of such opportunisies as offer to see and respond to the Harbinger on this subject.

J. M. P.



My kind Sir-You commend my ingenuity to the great detriment of your ingenuousness. An ingenuous man is much more amiable than an ingenious one. I have noi, as you well know, sir, changed my prce position one single.condition. I have neither added to it nor subtracted from it one word. Nay, sir, do I not, in the very last words of the letter to which you would seem to respond, distincily say, “I have nothing more to stipulate~my proposition contains every thing." Am I to regard you, then, as meeting me on that proposition? Say it at once, and candidly advance into the subject, or reçede from the ground which you have assumed.

Your playing off so gallantly on the phrase "end of the controversy a phrase, in iis proper contextual acceptation, no one less cunning than

you could possibly pervert-is a striking demonstration how admirably calculated you are for religious maneuvring—an art at this day of as much utility as the art of rhetoric once was among the ancients. “The end of the controversy” between me and the Baptists on the subject of Divine Influence, is a very different proposition from a perpetual end to controversy either among themselves or with any one else, now or hereafter, on this or any other subject! Surely, Mr. Peck, you, in common with others, understand this to be my meaning. Why, then, spend time so idly in descanting upon what never entered my head, nor any one's else, except your own; and that only as far as the teeth.

You say I am mistaken as to the refusal of your co-editors, &c. I am glad of it. They speak very ambiguously, then. Will you please quote and comment on their words? You have no excuse on their part, and I hope you will promptly proceed.

You next enter upon the dogma that the Spiril, withOUT THE WORD, regenerates the soul of the sinner. My controversy with the Baptists began on this dogma. You admit it was the dogma of some of them; but you say they were of an antinomian cast: yet you only except Andrew Fuller. Well, if the old Baptists were all or chiefly antinomians—and especially all those with whom I was associated; and if the new Baptists since Fuller's time have discarded this antinomianism, is it not time that, at least on this point, there should be an end of the controversy between the good Fullerite Baptists and us?

But have you read the discussion of the previous holy principle, or regeneration before faith, between Andrew Fuller and Archibald Mac Lean of Edinburgh? If not, you ought to read it before you endorse so freely for the “great and good” Mr. Fuller. But if you have read it, I wonder how you could write as you have done touching his views. You say, I “will never find such a sentiment announced in the writing of Andiew Fuller.” I perceive, sir, you have never read the works of Andrew Fuller; or, having read them, you certainly have forgotten them. Do you recollect to have read the "Appendix to the Gospel worthy of all acceptation,” in which he animadverts on Archibald MacLean's Treatise on the Commission? In this he certainly teaches "regeneration before faith”-regeneration without belief; and certainly that which is done without the word believed, is done without the word. The whole object and drift of the Appendix is to teach a change of heart before belief, or regeneration before faith and independent of it; that faith is an effect of regeneration. Mr. Fuller's views seem evidently to be formed after the model of Messrs. Hopkins and Bellamy, then of high esteem among some of Mr. Fuller's breth

Mr. Hopkins says in a sermon on John i. 13., that the Spirit of God is the only and the immediate agent of regeneration. “The change," says he, “is wrought by the Spirit immediately; that is, it is not effected by any medium or means whatever. I would," says he, "particularly observe here that light and truth, or the word of God, is not in any degree a mean by which this change is effected: it is not wrought by light. Men are first regenerated to introduce light into the mind; therefore, they are not regenerated by light or the truth of God's word.” Now hear Mr. Fuller:-"A spiritual perception of the glory of divine things appears to be the first sensation of which the mind is conscious; but it is not the first operation of God upon it.” p.212.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Again, in summing up his views on this subject, be says, "All that I contend for is, that it is not by means of a spiritual perception or belief of the gospel that the heart is for the first time effectually influenced towards God; for spiritual perception and belief are represented as the effects, and not the causes of such influence." p. 211. On this subject he is ample. He elsewhere says, “Every thing which proves spiritual perception and faithi to be holy exercises, proves that a change of heart must of necessity precede them.” p. 227. And on another page he says, “But if a spiritual perception of the glory of divine truth precede believing, this may be the same in effect as regeneration prece. ding it.” Mr. Fuller certainly teaches regeneration withont faith, and without the word, if language have any meaning. When you have fully disposed of these Fullerisms we may furnish you with a few more. Mr. Fuller, sir, great and good as he is esteemed, was very ably refuted and exposed by the Scotch Baptists of that day, at the head of whom deservedly stood Archibald MacLean of Edinburg. See his Reply to Fuller's Appendix above quoted.

If, then, as you allege, the "transcendant Mr. Hall” (a name which I highly esteem, as well as that of Fuller, on various accounts,) was of the same views with Fuller, they both taught that very dogma which I oppose as making the word of God of non-effect. Hall's works stand on my shelf, but I have not time to open them now. I will believe you that he and Fuller both concurred in teaching the same views of regeneration "strict and general;" for Fuller has a strict regeneration, or regeneration proper, as well as regeneration general; and you, confounding these, may have wholly misconceived him-if, indeed, you have ever read his works. Mr. Fuller, my dear sir, was too much captivated with the American Divines of that dayBellamy, Hopkins, and the great Edwards. He did not comprehend the whole tendency of their system as well as some of the American Baptists have since done.

You next introduce the Baptist Confession of Faith; but too confidently assert that it teaches not the doctrine that I assert it does.Because it asserts at one time views which cannot be reconciled with its other assertions, are we obliged to believe whichever of the contradictions our theory requires, and to deny the other! Yet after all, your candor overcomes your prejudices against me, and you admit that the Confession does teach regeneration without th: word; but fortunately limit it to elect infants and other elect persons, Indians, Pagans, &c. &c.- persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the word. Now, sir, you have conceded all that I have ever said of that good



little Confession of Baptist Faith. It teaches regeneration by the Spirit, without the word; and perhaps more than half the saved are of the class which it 60 specifies. Now if it admit that man is sometimes regenerated by the Spirit through the word, is not this a species or accident of regeneration? for if in any case it be without the word, it taight be so in all cases; inasmuch as the word is not essential to it. Matter, for example, is frequently in motion; but motion is not essential to matter, for matter can exist without it. Just so faith and the word may sometimes accompany regeneration; but as regeneration can be without either, they are mere accidents, and not essential to it. It is then proved, and that beyond all doubt, my friend himself being judge, that the Baptists do believe and teach regeneration by the Spirit without the word. If, as I believe, the Baptists are generally receding from this dogma, the causes of opposition to us on their part are certainly diminishing. For we believe with all our heart that the heart must be changed by the Spirit of God through the truth believed, before any one can enter into the kingdom of God. I sincerely thank Mr. Peck for this full concession of the dogma in dispute, as having been the faith of the Old Baptists, and, till very recently, of almost all the denominations. I will soon begin to look for better treatment from you, sir, and the more magnanimous and conscientious portion of your denomination. If you candidly give up the dogma in the Confession, you and I will have a more pleasant and agreeable discussion of the great question; and, perhaps, will very soon come to an amicable close: for so full am I of the conviction and belief of divine influence, the influence of God's Spirit on the heart, that I believe without its aid a Christian man can do nothing at all commendable before God. A religion without the Spirit of God is like a dead body, a patrid car. case; for as the body without the Spirit is dead, so a profession of faith without the Spirit of Christ, is dead also.Fraternally, and with the kindest regard, yours, &c.

A. CAMPBELL. P. S. You see I pay no attention to the little oblique thrust at the fifth rib, with which you take leave of me in the last sentence of your communication. That you have inherited from the old Adam. I hope the new Adam, the Lord from heaven, will cure that distemper in you after a little.

A. C.


AFFAIRS OF BETHANY COLLEGE. CONVINCED from years of experience and observation that Colleges are public nuisances unless under the control of religion and moralityunless the heart as well as the head of the inmates be subjected to the

supremacy of moral influence and training; persuaded also that both the families of the faithful and the churches of the saints call for schools and colleges of a new type for the education of their youthfor the fitting of the young men of the present day for the various ministries of social life we have undertaken the onerous and responsible task of founding and rearing an institution of learning and morality, with a special reference to the exigencies of the times, to the views and wishes of the more enlightened and moral castes of society.

For the accomplishment of this, as we conceive, humane and benevolent object, we sought three things of primary importance-a rural location; enlightened, energetic, and moral Professors; and youth as uncontaminated as the times would afford. The last object we regarded as the most difficult of the three; therefore required testimorials of the moral character of all who should be admitted over a certain age. When the students began to assemble at the organization of the institution, we discovered that a misconception of the nature and character of these testimonials had occurred in several instances; and that some parents had sent on their sons merely on their own recommendation; and, indeed, in two or three instances, a vague reference to some other source of information, constituted all the testimonials in their


To be placed in circumstances in which it becomes necessary to hesitate for a moment on the character or acceptability of parental recommendation, is, to a sensitive mind, a rather unenviable position. And yet, too often, alas! such is the blindness of parental affection, that no testimony is of more dubious construction than the commend. ations of a son or a daughter, depicted by the hand and colored by the imagination of an affectionate parent. They have sometimes formed a very pleasing fiction of all the excellencies of a good and dutiful son; and under the influence of vivid hopes and brightening indications, they imagine they discover the incipient dawnings of every perfection of character in their offspring; and in the anticipation of an early and full development, they hesitate not to-speak of the things that be not as though they were, no doubt in the full assurance that in

very little time all that they imagine and all that they desire, will suddenly burst into life, and verify their fond expectations. I hope no one will infer from these remarks that in no case the commendations of a son from the hand of a parent, is to be esteemed good testimony. Far from it. In many instances, it is quite satisfactory, especially when the character of the parent is already duly understood and appreciated by the party to whom the testimonial is offered. But in


« PrécédentContinuer »