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be it from me. He grappled successfully with the usurper of the powers and dignilies which belong alone 10 the head of the church. Had he been more or less religious than he was-more or less acquainted with the scriptures, he could not have done what Marlin Luther did! There were many of the humble followers of the Lamb living at the same time, to whom, in comparison Luther was a babe as to a knowledge of the true nature of the kingdom of Christ, and a general knowledge of the scriptures. (See Jones history of the Waldenses.)
The Church of England too essayed at reformation; but the first attempt, under Henry VIII., was only the effort of a voluptuous king 10 make his will supreme; and under Elizabeth it was rather England against Rome than Protestant principle against Popish corruptions! Henry had his eye rather upon the beautilul Anne Bullein, than upon The heavenly simplicity and purity of the primitive church! And under Elizabeth it is well known how much of national policy swayed her rabinet in watching Spain, whose rival she had just begun to be; and Italy, which was eager to avenge the wrongs inflicted on its pride and glory by that growing star which was rising 10 eminence in the constellation of Europe. England opposed pride against pride, sword against sword, policy against poli«y; and therefore did for reformation what no other means could have effecied at the time. The lowly followers of Jesus could not hare rendered evil for evil, and return insult for insult, and menace for menace, all of which entered largely into the means and agencies which have rendered Popery imbecile and impotent for evil!
The Dissenters from the English Church turned the arguments of the clergy against the doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome against themselves, inasmuch as the principles were as strong against unscriprural doctrines and practices of the English as against the Romish church! Departures from the scrip'urts are not allowable in any, neither is there liberty granted to deviate from the sacred standard in the slightest degree, because the principle is the same which allows the least as well as the greatest encroachment on Heaven's wisdom. The efforts of men to fashion societies after the ancient scriptural model, have originated the several denominations called Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, &c. &c. The origin and history of the several sects will show that each has too much of the times stamped upon iis exterior, and too much of the passions, the feelings, and the polemical elements of its founder or founders in its fabric to be received as the restored simplicity and heavenly purity of the virgin church!
Mr. Wesley's long and ardent life was spent in trying to revive that martyr.like spirit, and heart.felt ardency and zeal which had been lost to the church. But Mr. Wesley was a reformer too soon, and a seetarian too late, to do that which was essential to a real and radical reformation. That he was a reformer too soon, may be learned by looking at his early history; for it is evident that he looked no farther than a reformation of the English Episcopal Church. In his maturer days he found himself at the head of a sect, which he fashioned arcording to his own views of scripture and expediency; and his latter days were spent in defending his views and practices against all assailants. So that instead of producing a radical reformation-sueh as was absolutely needed, he established a sect with all the attributes, weakness, and unscriptural practices of the others which existod before it.
As we remarked of Luther, we may of Mr. Wesley, that perhaps he did that which no ohter could have done. He found ihe world deeply dyed in sin, and the English hierarchy rolling in pride and luxury. Religion was a heartless round of ceremonies, in both priest and people; and Mr. Wesley found the New Testament insisting upon a religion which had its seat in the heart, which required deep contri. tion of soul, and an individual consecration of heari and life to God. He therefore listed up his voice like a trumpet, and charged their sins upon them: the bishops he said were dumb dogs that would not bark; and every where, with a zeal rarely ever surpassed, he proclaimed the necessity of turning to God. He did much, but noi all, that was necessary to be done. We should be willing to acknowledge that reformation is a gradual work, and that since man is limited in his operations both of mind and body, too much ought not to be expected from any single effort.
The old spirit of proscriptive exclusiveness is too apt to be encouraged by all reformers; and in every case, as yet exhibited, it has been too much manifested. We have in this age abundant materials, the work of other ages, of other minds, by which we may advance many strides towards perfection. The difficulty is this: As soon as we aim at carrying on the work a little farıher ihan our fathers brought it, the old cry of heresy is raised, and the humanisms which others added, now ohirude themselves to impede our progress! The march of reformation is onward, and the work will not be done as long as there is a human dogma in the faith, or a relic of tradition in ihe practice of Chris:ians. Reformation, then, in these times is nothing more than a return to the scriptures, taking them entire, adding nothing to them, subtracting nothing from them.
Before we vive the cases referred to in the Old Testament, we shall show from the New Testament that such is a legitimate use of the facts and incidenis of the Old Scriptures. The Apostle Paul in the Episile to the Romans says, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. xv. 4.) Speaking of the Israelites, and of the dealings of God with them in the wilderness, Paul -says, "Now all these things happened unto them for example:: and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. x. 11 ) Again, the Apostle declares that all scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, för reproot, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnisned unto all good works.” (2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.)
From the above passages it appears that we are to be warned, reproveil, corrected, and instructed in righteousness, by the facts, truths, events, precepts, promises, rewards, and punishments, recorded n the Old Testament. How inuch better would it be this day with the cause of Christianity, if each disciple of Christ had made such a use of it; and especially if each reformer had seen the importance of going by divine light, instead of measuring every thing by the rule of utility. We may here remark, that it is a singular circumstance that a people who should make such use of the ancient oracles should be charged with denying the divinity of the Old Testament! And yet the people with whom I stand connected are slandered with holding this doctrine, for no other reason that I can see, but because we teach that the old economy as an operating system is abolished in favor of a more perfect system.
INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT-No. V. To ELDER A. CAMPBELL:
Dear Sir-I see no call for remarks on a large part of your last Reply. A “war of words” has no charms for me. All you have therein said about the views of the Welch, English, and American Baptists”_"the Regular Baptist Church in Europe and America"“Fuller's regeneration before faith"_elect infants"_"833 millions" of Pagans, &c. have been fully disposed of in my former numbers, either as irrelevant, or as charges fully disproved.
To my inquiry, “Do the scriptures teach the gracious agency of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of sinners in every age?"—you affirm your belief,-"So do I.”
I certainly feel no small gratification in the success of humble endeavors to bring you out openly and distinctly on this momentous subject. So valuable to the cause of truth is your admission, that I must be allowed to repeat it, with a little emphasis, by clothing it in Italics.
“The truth is the instrument, the means; and the Spirit of God is the cause or agent of regeneration. Such are my (your) views on this great subject. And, my dear sir, if you always make the Word the instrument of regeneration, you may always expect me to concur with you in saying that it is but the instrument, and not the first cause of a great spiritual change.”
And, now, allow me to say, if you will always teach that the Spirit of God is the cause or agent of regeneration, I will most cheerfully co operate in enforcing, as I always have done, and as all well-informed Baptists do, the importance of the gospel as the instrument, or means of the conversion of sinners,
But, my dear sir, it is lamentable to think that on this very important subject, you have been so long misunderstood, when a single paragraph, like the foregoing, from your pen would have, prevented immense evil. The wise man says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.' I hope we shall all take heed that we do not "darken counsel by words without knowledge.” You are aware, probably, that hundreds preach a gospel that does not exhibit in any distinct and prominent form this doctrine of the influchce of the Spirit that it is controverted, misrepresented, perverted, and even ridiculed. Doubtless illiterate preachers, with a few vague and confused notions, have mystified this fundamental doctrine of salvation, "darkened counsel by words without knowledge," and conveged the impression to others that the influence of the Spirit in conversion consisted in something like a revelation of thoughts, ideas, and words, analogous to the inspiration of the scriptures, and without the means of gospel truth. Human nature is prone to extremes, and many teachers, more recently, have substantially denied the influence of the Spirit I contend for and you admit as indispensable to salvation. The impression has been produced extensively in the Western and Souihwestern States that this spiritual influence in regeneration is the “morstrous abortion of a purblind theology." It is of immeasurable importance these mistakes should be rectified, and that all who bear the office of religious instructors should have correct views of the whole subject.
Occupying the position you do, employing a press and wielding an influence over thousands of readers, many of which are certainly indebted to the fecundity of your pen for much they preach, I do hope you will now make this branch of gospel truth quite prominent. I repeat the sentiment of my last namber on the influence of the Spirit of God in regeneration,- It is a momentous question, on the right solu, tion of which depends the right action of the gospel ministry, and of the. whole church in the conversion of sinners. If the Spirit of God is the cause or agent in regeneration, then the church and its ministry should feel their dependence and act accordingly. Then prayer to God, habitually, in private and in public, alone and in concert with our brethren, for the regeneration and salvation of sinners, is a duty and a privilege of unspeakable importance. "Men, while by conversation and by public addresses, in the family circle, the Sunday Sohool, the Bible Class,—by circulating tracts and books,-and, above all, the Holy SCRIPTURES, with the voice of the ministry in proclaiming the gospel, the minds of sinners are enlightened and their consciences impressed with divine truth; the influence of the Holy Spirit must be sought by prayer. Ministers and private Christians have no right to expect success without humble reliance on divine influence, and fervent, kumble, importunate, persevering prayer for this gracious agency of the Spirit. I hope, my dear sir, you will not fail to urge upon all the Disciples," VOL. VI N. S.
the precious doetrine of the gracious agency of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of sinners, to which you have so recently responded in the affirmative. They certainly need much teaching on this subject, and no other person can do it with the same success as yourself. You have their ear and eye, and can teach them successfully. Very respectfully, yours, &c.
J. M. PECK. New York, July 20. P.S. Your “Reply," No. III., was published in the Banner and Pioneer of March 10th; but on account of my absence in Mississippi and Louisiana, was not responded to till April 21st. J. M. P.
MR. CAMPBELL TO MR. PECK-No. V.
Elder J. M. Peck:
My dear Sir-My attempt to obtain from you a proposition on which to form an issue, has eventuated a little more happily than I anticipated. True, I expected from your manner a longer struggle, and not quite so much candor. But I am, for once, most happily disappointed. The conclusion of the whole matter is, You and I affirm the same proposition--viz. that the scriptures teach the gracious agency of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of sinners in every age.” You affirm this proposition, and so do I. I have, indeed, to regret two points in your letter. The first, that you did not quote the whole issue proposed in my last. You leave out of your notice and reply the all-essential eur. You omit the following:—"But I say, through the truth; and you say, for the most part without it.” Your omission of this is a summary abandonment of the only issue that could possibly, as I conceive, ever oecur between a "Regular Baptisı" and a "Disciple of Christ."Your joy is therefore incomplete, if, by passing over the only true issue, you do not cordially abandon the Regular Baptist ground. I presume, however, you have done so, as the above omission, charitably interpreted, would indicate; and therefore I sincerely congratulate you on the conclusion of the whole matter.
The second point of regret is the ambiguity which you have suffered to adhere to your first paragraph. One might imagine, from reading it, that you had, in some formal argumentative way, disposed of my citation of the Welsh, English, and American Baptists, the Regular Baptist Confession of Faith, Fuller's regeneration before faith, the Baptist elect and non-elect infants, 833 millions of Pagans, a portion of whom are assumed to be regenerated without the word, &c. &c.I say, one might imagine from your allusions to these documents as