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Now, I put it to you, is not this, or something very much akin to it, the real fact of the case?
If, now, you are desirous of knowing what it is on which I found my judgment of you as above expressed, I will here declare it. I plainly perceive that when the Scripture doctrine concerning the work of the Holy Spirit is laid before you, it meets your cordial concurrence and approbation. We are furnished with a notable instance in proof of this, in the fifth volume of the "Christian Baptist." A correspondent, under the signature of PAULINUS, had read your nine Essays on the Office of the Holy Spirit, to which I have above alluded, and it is obvious that he had perused them with similar impressions and feelings as myself. He was pleased with your discussion, as far as you carried it; but was compelled, like me, to regard it as defective, or falling short of a full and explicit statement of the doctrine. He, therefore, very properly handed you two additional Essays, to supply your deficiencies in this instance; and I honour you for your candour in laying them before your readers unhesitatingly. Nay, you have done more; you have given your unqualified approbation of them, in words which I rejoice to quote. "The readers of the Christian Baptist," say you, "are, and no doubt will feel themselves, indebted to Paulinus for the very forcible and elegant Essays he has furnished on this subject. He has unquestionably, thought very closely, examined the Scriptures very fully, and has arranged and exhibited the testimonies in so methodical and forcible a manner, as to give the greatest and best possible effect to his sentiments on this theme. Few of the intelligent readers of this work will dissent from his conclusion of the whole matter, viz. The substance of the leading sentiment maintained in these two Essays, is that we are dependent on the influence of the Holy Spirit to render the word effectual to our conversion and final salvation."" And to this you yield your entire concurrence; for you immediately add, "Let no man say that in explicitly opposing [the common notion of physical operations], we argue that men are converted without the Holy Spirit. By no means. The Spirit of God works upon the human mind, as well as dwells in it. It dwells in the record which God has given of his Son, as the spirit dwells in the body of a man; clothed with this record, it enlightens, convinces, and converts men. They are enabled to believe by the Holy Spirit, and without his aid no man ever could have believed in Jesus,
* These two valuable Essays shall be laid before my readers; the first of them, indeed, will be found in the present number, p. 130-5, and the other shall be given in the number for June. The writer, whoever he be, is a well instructed scribe, and I am happy to find a number of other pieces from the same pen in the "Christian Baptist."
as God's own Son:" which, in fact, is only saying with the apostle Paul, "No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit:" 1 Cor. xii. 3. I cannot help remarking, however, that you have no sooner done this, than you instantly turn round and commence a chase upon the popular doctrine concerning regeneration without the instrumentality of the word of truth, as though the clear exposition and steady maintaining of the necessity of the Spirit's teaching led persons to that mistaken sentiment-a very needless caution in my opinion. Here, then, I trust we are cordially agreed; divine influence is necessary to give the word of the truth of the Gospel its saving efficacy upon the mind of a sinner. No one understands the Father's testimony concerning his Son but as taught by the Holy Spirit, or believes it but by his persuasion, or obeys it but through his power and energy; and in every instance of conversion "the arm of the Lord is revealed." This, then, shall suffice for an answer to all the idle tales that are current about your denying the work of the Holy Spirit.
Now, my dear friend, I wish you to observe, that I have no quarrel with you about the unscriptural tendency of the commonly received notion of a physical operation of the Spirit working something that is called faith in the sinner's mind, without the word. I give up all the abettors of this doctrine into your hands defenceless; but I deeply regret that the scriptural doctrine concerning this important subject is kept so much out of sight in your writings. You cannot say that it forms that prominent station in them that it does in the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles. But why is this? If it be an article of revealed truth, why do you hesitate to bring it forwards, and insist upon it as the truth of God?
While glancing an eye over your pages of the "Christian Baptist," I was not a little surprised to find you classing your own countryman, R. S. the author of "Letters on Theron and Aspasio," among the advocates of a physical energy on the human mind in producing faith, regeneration, repentance, &c. Upon what grounds or authority you do this I am at a loss to conceive. I thought I had made myself acquainted with that writer's sentiments, forty or fifty years ago; and though I have seldom looked into his volumes during the intermediate space of time, the impression upon my mind was that you were in error; and to satisfy myself, I, last evening, took down from the shelf Vol. II. of his "Letters," and there read as follows:
"The popular doctrine supposes that unbelievers may be seriously engaged in praying for the Holy Spirit to help them to faith, and exhorts them accordingly; which is as absurd as to suppose that a man may be desirous of being influenced by the spirit of a truth, which at present he neither believes nor loves.
For I reckon it must be granted, that no man loves the gospel before he believes it; and likewise that the Spirit of God acts as the soul, sense, or meaning of the words wherein the gospel is delivered."-" The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth, as also the Spirit of Grace. He speaks and breathes only the grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ. There is no separating the agency of the Holy Spirit from the knowledge of the truth. To know the truth is eternal life; and this life is begun and supported by the Spirit of Christ. On the other hand, all who resist the truth, and do not admit its evidence, are expressly said to resist the Holy Ghost. We ought not, then, to imagine, with the popular preachers, that the Gospel can in any respect be considered a dead letter, or destitute of divine power. For, being the voice of God, it is unchangeably powerful to save all who believe it, and to destroy all who oppose it." Letter V.
Now, Sir, I appeal to you, wherein do these sentiments differ from your own? I could produce twenty pages from the same volume to the very same purport, were it necessary; but I shall content myself for the present with one extract more. I know not whether you will agree with it in all respects; but if you do, it may go far to dissipate the objection raised by one of my correspondents, in a former part of this letter, viz. that you "hold that the Spirit is given after, and in consequence of being baptized"-for this is certainly true in a certain sense, and I was surprised at the objection coming from the quarter it did.
"The Spirit of the Truth" says the author above quoted, "is first found of them that seek him not, when men, in the course of their alienation from God, are surprised and overcome by the evidence of the truth. The same Spirit, acting as the Comforter, is given only to those who are already the friends of Christ, obeying his commands, to assure them that they are his friends. To this purpose PAUL says, Gal. iv. 5. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father.'
"The Holy Spirit then acts a two fold part, as he breathes in the Gospel: He reconciles enemies, and he comforts friends. And in either case, he speaks not of himself, but he glorifies Christ. He never speaks one word or sentence to any particular person, beyond what is written in the Scripture ; nor does he ever apply to any person's case, any written sentence, unsuitably to the genuine scope of all the Scriptures. In reconciling enemies, he acts as the soul of that Truth which opens at once a door of reconciliation for the most wicked of mankind, and has no respect to any difference or distinction among them. In the latter case he acts as the soul of those consolatory sayings which Christ left behind him on the earth, before he ascended to Hea
ven, and by which he proposed to correspond with his friends, in his absence from them. And who can think it incredible that God should thus correspond with men? May not the Deity correspond with men by means of the words of a written book now, as well as he did by various other signs of old? Yea, nothing is more common, than for men to communicate their temper and spirit to each other by speech or writing."
I have already extended this letter to an inconvenient length; but, Deo favente, I shall resume the matter next month, and finish what I have further to say on this topic. It always distresses me when I find sentiments and opinions attributed to an author which he did not hold. The thing is of pernicious consequence, inasmuch as it tends to mislead inquirers after truth, and so far contributes to support and maintain the cause of error and darkness in the world, in which, I greatly mistake your character if it be the object of your labours to assist!
Believe me, with unfeigned regard,
Your faithful and affectionate friend,
TO SUBSCRIBERS, CORRESPONDENTS, & FRIENDS. The Editor of the Millennial Harbinger has many acknowledgments to make on the present occasion for kind services rendered him in the course of the past month, in promoting the interests of his publication. It was certainly very gratifying to him to receive the Brighton Herald (Newspaper) of the 18th of April, containing a copious extract from Mr. Campbell's Letter o the evils of Slavery, with a (much too handsome) compliment to the Editor of the M. H. He had little difficulty, indeed, in tracing out, from the signature and place of residence, the source to which he is indebted for this favour, and begs to return unfeigned thanks.--Nor was he less surprised and gratified at receiving the JERSEY HERALD, of the 24th of April, in which he found a column and a half extracted from Mr. Campbell's Essay on the "Origin of the Christian Clergy, Splendid Meeting Houses, and Fixed Salaries, &c." M. H. p. 55-60. Presuming that he is indebted for this act of kindness to his old friend J. R-n. he tenders equal thanks, wishing him and his family every good in their new abode.-To his kind friends at Nottingham, Basford, Beverley, &c. &c., he is at a loss for terms in which to express his feelings of gratitude.
London, 1st May, 1835.
My readers will find but little in the present number that proceeds from the pen of Mr. Campbell, and the reason is, that I wish to present them with a fair specimen of the talented writers by whom he is supported in conducting the Christian Baptist and Millennial Harbinger. With a view to this I have made my selections mostly from the communications of his correspondents and contributors. Of his own ability for the task or office of an editor, they may form their judgment from the three preceding numbers of my journal, and on that subject I have nothing to add. Though not fully agreed with him on every point, yet the more I examine his writings the less cause do I find for the clamour that has been raised against him, or the system which he so powerfully advocates. The opposition which he has had to encounter from what are termed "the Regular Baptists," is no way surprising, and I purpose, if spared, to give my readers an ample specimen of it, probably in the next Millennial Harbinger. They will be both amused and instructed by the exhibition which shall be produced of the unworthy artifices resorted to on one side, and by the spirit of kindness and candour, of meekness and conciliation, displayed on the other.
If the reader will revert back to my last number, page 128-9, he will find some hints incidentally given by Mr. A. Campbell, of the erection of a place of worship at Wellsburg, in 1823, and the formation of a Christian