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privilege to have been personally acquainted-several of them were my correspondents for years--all of them honoured me with their friendship and affection while living-and God forbid I should be found ungrateful to their memory now that they are no longer among us to speak for themselves !

You will, no doubt, wonder what can have called forth these observations and extorted this eulogium from me ; and are ready to reply that you had no intention, by anything you have said or written, to undervalue these men, or depreciate their labours ; and I shall concede that point to you. But while I cheerfully do this, I cannot help expressing my fears that there rests upon your mind some small portion of either jealousy or prejudice which you may have insensibly imbibed respecting my friends here, and that this has led you to view their characters and services through a distorted medium, and, as a consequence, to think and speak of them with less respect than that to which I think them entitled. Now, I hope you will bear with me, while I briefly lay before you my reasons for entertaining this opinion.

It has fallen to my lot to be connected with the Scotch Baptist Churches in this country during the long period of almost half a century ; and, therefore, I think I am as intimately acquainted with their history as most people now living. In a pamphlet which I lately sent you, entitled a “ Vindication of the distinguishing tenets of the Scotch Baptist Churches,” you will find some account of their origin, and of the fundamental principles on which they set out. These Churches took their rise in 1767, when that in Edinburgh was formed, consisting of not more than ten or a dozen members. They have now existed about seventy years, in which time probably not fewer than one hundred societies have been gathered in Great Britain and Ireland, maintaining the same views of the Gospel, and of the nature of Christ's kingdom, its laws, institutions, &c., and holding no fellowship with what are designated English Baptist Churches.” That their multiplication and increase in numbers have been greatly promoted, under God, by the writings of Mr. “ M‘Lean and his coadjutors,” can admit of no dispute. By means of these publications the attention of thousands has been drawn to the New Testament as the only authorised rule of the religion of Jesus Christ-their consciences have got disentangled from the traditions of men, and they have been led to yield allegiance to Christ as the alone King in Zion. It is no doubt very true that differences of minor import have arisen among these Societies, chiefly relating to the instituted order of the Lord's house, which have marred their unity, and prevented, in some instances, their visible fellowship, yet they have still retained all the fundamental principles of the profession, such as weekly


1: communion, the


and exhortations of private brethren, a plurality of elders or pastors, &c. in every Church, and these not of the order of the Clergy, with the general characteristics of the denomination, so as to form a distinct section or body. I can well remember the time when there was not a single Scotch Baptist Church in all England or Ireland ; and can pretty accurately trace in my recollection the rise of those that have since sprung up in all the chief towns and cities where they now exist -London, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Beverley, Huli, Newcastle, Berwick, Whitehaven, Chester, Bath, &c.; and I could also furnish proofs of the obligations that all those Societies are under to the Edinburgh Church and its elders. I could explain the first introduction of the principles of the Scotch Baptists into Ireland, were it necessary, and show the Societies in that part of the empire that they are much more beholden to the Churches in Scotland and England than many of them are willing to allow. May I hope for pardon from you, Sir, if I add that even the “ Reformation” in the United States owes something in the way of gratitude to our Scotch Churches. Hundreds, perhaps I may safely say thousands, of the members of our Churches, with their families and friends, have, since the commencement of this century, crossed the Atlantic, carrying their principles along with them, and, like the dispersed of the Church at Jerusalem (Acts viii.), helping to sow the seeds of “ Reformation.” At what period of life my dear friend and brother Campbell first took up his residence in America I know not; but from some intimation which I have met with in the “ Christian Baptist,” or “ Harbinger," where I find he is spoken of as finishing his education under Dr. Staughton, of Philadelphia, and his family being Presbyterians, I conclude it was at too early a stage of life to allow him to have enjoyed the means of an intimate acquaintance with the history of the Churches in our denomination, the doctrinal sentiments held and propagated among them, and the obligations which the friends of primitive Christianity, both in Great Britain and America owe to our “good father M'Lean and his coadjutors ;” and this must plead my excuse for going so much as I have done in this place into the subject.

My dear friend, I have long wished for an opportunity of disburthening my mind of some things relating to this topic, and I am glad that your letter has afforded it to me without going out of my way. It never occasioned me much surprise when I have met with flaming professors among the English Baptists, both of the clergy and laity, honestly avowing that “they hated the name of M'Lean,” and that if at any time it, or an extract from his writings, came before them, they hastily passed it over! All this was in character and keeping; they knew enough of the man and his sentiments to be aware that the tendency and design of both was to undermine their system ; but I cannot so easily account for the unworthy treatment they have met with from many others, whose obligations to them are indisputable. Instances of this fact in the conduct of individuals now living I conld produce in abundance ; but it would be thought invidious, and I spare them. I will, however, specify an instance or two of a different kind. Take, then, the case of the persons who drew up the pamphlet at New York, fifteen years ago, under the the title of “ The First Part of an Epistolary Correspondence between Christian Churches in America and Europe.” Though it is well known that those individuals had gone out from this country and carried their principles with them, is there the smallest reference, in all their narrative, to the source whence they derived them ? Excepting that at Glengary, in Upper Canada, any indifferent person who took up the pamphlet and examined its statements for the first time, would be naturally led to the conclusion that all the other societies there mentioned had sprung up independent of the slightest connexion with, or even a knowledge of the existence, the principles, or the writings which have emanated from the Churches in this country, and that of Edinburgh in particular! I may confidently appeal to you, my brother, how far the supposition would be well founded ! and similar remarks will apply to the numerous societies in Ireland, gathered by the same doctrine, and constituted after the same model, as those in Scotland and England. Were the present a fit time and place for such an undertaking, “ I could a tale unfold” respecting the first introduction of the writings of our school into Ireland, where they exploded like a thunderclap, and drew off the late Mr. John Walker from Trinity College, Dublin, whose example was followed by many others, exciting a spirit of inquiry throughout the whole island, and drawing the attention of numbers to the Holy Scriptures-the “ Law and the Testimony." Yet poor Walker chose to set up for himself-studied to find out excuses for not connecting himself with the Scotch Baptists---and laboured through life to impress upon his Irish friends and associates, the notion that he was indebted to his own researches alone for the principles he advocated, and that all who had gone before him in the same pursuit “ added nothing to him!” In all this there was a childish vanity, which a man of his understanding ought to have been ashamed of. Alas, how little is it that we any of us know of the truth as it is in Jesus,” in comparison of what remains to be known, and how foolish to value ourselves upon our attainments. Surrounded as we are with Antichristian darkness, and labouring inder the native ig


norance, prejudices of education, and erroneous preconceptions of our own minds, we should hail with gratitude every glimmering of light which the Lord of Glory may graciously bestow upon us, and follow its leadings in the way to the celestial city. I have ever pitied those individuals who, through the pride and envy of their hearts, have scorned to acknowledge their obligations to the servants of God, whose labours have been so useful to them. Such tempers and dispositions ought to be mortified and subdued, not indulged, as they have been, to the multiplying of sects and parties. How many besides the Roman poet might with propriety adopt his words, “ Sic vos, non vobis.

Before I take my leave of this part of the subject, will you permit me to draw your attention for a moment to a paragraph which appears in “ 'The Apostolic Advocate”--the extra number published December, 1834, and edited by John Thomas, M.D., Richmond, Virginia. Dr. T. has there presented his readers with a “ Synopsis of the Apostacy, by which is lineally deduced the descent of all the chief modern Orthodox Churches, from the Apostles' days.” In the English branch of the Apostacy, p. 14, he classes “the National Episcopal Church of England, the Puritans, the Brownists, the English Independents, the American Congregationalists, and the Wesleyan Methodists,” as constituting " the English branch of the mystery of iniquity;" p. 20. He then proceeds to what he calls “ the Genevese branch of the apostacy,” comprising “ the Church of Geneva, the National Church of Scotland, the Glasites or Sandemanians, the New Independents or Haldanites !” an unfortunate blunder for the Dale-ites, or societies in connection with the late Mr. David Dale, of Glasgow. But not to dwell on that which is only one out of a number of mistakes into which Dr. Thomas has been betrayed, you will find, p. 24, the following remarkable words, “ All the sects that arose between 1685 and 1790 can have no pretensions to the character of Christian Churches, for during that period, the bodies of the witnesses laid (lay] dead and unburied in the street (Platea) of the city, which runs through the nations of different languages.”

Now, my brother, I beseech you to look again at that paragraph, and weigh well its import. The Scotch Baptist Churches, out of which yours in America took their origin, as I think you will not deny, are all placed under the ban, for the most of them arose during that period! I do not know whether Dr. Thomas ever heard of the existence of the Scotch Baptist Churches in this country, but if he did, and thought them unworthy of his notice, you must place his conduct in connexion with the instances above specified---if he did not, he was very incompetent to the task he has undertaken, which, indeed, is but too manifest from all that he has written. However, he is young, and if he be teachable he may learn better in time.

And now, my valued friend, I have a few words to say to you on the subject of the complaints you make in your letters of the opinions and conduct of the Churches with which I am associated. I am persuaded that, as regards both these points, you are labouring under mistake and misapprehension.

1. As to what respects the doctrine of the Gospel, I am at a loss to perceive wherein your views of this important subject differ from what is universally maintained among ourselves. We hold that the Gospel is the testimony of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ, in whom alone there is salvation for guilty, helpless sinners, and that this salvation is, from first to last, of sovereign, rich, and free grace, not of him that willeth or runneth. That Jesus Christ is the gift of God to a perishing world-an effect of God's amazing love-that he is the Son of God, the Christ, or anointed Prophet, Priest, and King of his Churchthat by his obedience and sufferings, his death and resurrection, he obtained eternal redemption for his people, from the guilt, power, and consequences of sin, and procured for them everlasting life with himself from the dead--that the ungodly are justified freely by divine grace, not working but believing the testimony of God concerning the perfection of the Saviour's righteousness—the infinite value of his blood, and the Father's good pleasure in his finished work, which good pleasure or complacency is demonstrated by raising his beloved Son from the dead, and rewarding him with glory and honour at his own right hand in Heaven-that faith is not of ourselves, but the gift of God, and comes through divine illumination. We hold that all who really believe the Gospel receive the blessing of justification, have peace with God, and rejoice in the hope of eternal life-that all true faith worketh by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world. We contend that the first duty to which a believer is called, is to be immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, on a personal profession of his faith, by which act of obedience to the divine command he“ puts on Christ,” becomes an object of brotherly love, and is entitled to a name and a place in the household of faith, to enjoy the privileges of adoption, and partake of divine ordinances, which are the means of edification and of growth in the divine life.

I have thus given you, in few words, a summary of our views of the Gospel, and I leave it to you, my friend, to point out in what respects it differs from your own, except in the terms which you have chosen for setting it forth. But you tell me that your Evangelists, “ after proving that Jesus is the Messiah, &c.,

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