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machinery now set in motion in the United States. But persons of cooler judgment, and more attentive to the Scriptures, will make their calculations after a different manner. They will recollect that it is somewhere said,
every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” The same, or nearly similar framework for conversion, has been in operation among the Wesleyan Methodists, the Ranters, and the Revivalists in our own country, for half a century past; but we believe that most of those who have been actively engaged in the work have lived long enough to be ashamed of the disgraceful scenes to which these anomalous proceedings gave rise, and such of them as have not attained this wisdom owe it to their own dulness. “ The kingdom of God cometh not with observation”! 6 God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” The whole system of operations is at variance with the doctrine of Scripture in reference to the promotion of Christ's kingdom in the world. When we hear any one telling us that the promotion of revivals is made a subject of study, and an object of systematic effort," while their friends - fully believe that they are to be uninterrupted in constant and uniform progression, without knowing decline,” we are constrained to demur, and to question whether those who hold such notions are very safe guides on the subject. According to Mr. Colton, “a faith in the doctrine, in the possibility, the importance, and the reality of the thing," is the starting point from which the friends of American revivals all set out; and, if so, may not this first principle give a colour to their testimony ? But more of this hereafter.
(To be continued.)
DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland commenced its annual meetings on Thursday, May 21st. On the following day, after some routine of business had been gone through, Dr. P. Macfarlane rose and said, he had received a letter from the Venerable Company of Pastors of the Reformed Church in Geneva, acquainting the General Assembly that they intended to celebrate, for the third time, the centenary of the Reformation, which was to take place on the 23d August next, on which occasion they invited the Church of Scotland to unite their prayers with them, and, if convenient, to send a deputation to join them in celebrating the festival. Dr. Macfarlane read a translation of the letter, after which he remarked, that on the receipt of the letter he had written to a friend in Geneva, requesting to be informed of the present state of the Church there, and of the doctrines taught ; and in consequence of the information he had received, he was sorry to say, that he could not propose to the General Assembly that they should express, in even the feeblest terms, their approbation of the principles of that Church which was now about to celebrate the blessings of the Reformation. Least of all could he propose that the General Assembly should send deputies on the occasion, and so sanction the principles which were avowed and maintained by that Church. The subscribers of the letter he had read, were editors of a journal called the Protestant, which openly avowed Socinian doctrines. The Professor of Dogmatical Theology, elected and continued by the Company of Pastors, is an abettor of the same doctrines. Dr. M. then read a series of instructions issued by the Company in 1817, in which they obliged every pastor to promise, that so long as he resided in Geneva, he would abstain from discussing the doctrines of the divinity of Christ, original sin, effectual calling, and predestination that they would not oppose any minister who should deny these doctrines, and that if called upon incidentally to mention them, they should adhere to the language of Scripture, without any attempt at explanation. There could be but one feeling in the Assembly, that they could not fraternise with men who avowed such sentiments. Still he thought it was the duty of the Assembly to answer the letter, certainly in all the mildness and gentleness of Christianity, but at the same time with the firmness of men who hold the principles of the Protestant Reformation, and who are anxious to present them to the pastors at Geneva, and to the world at large, as the principles in which they glory, and to which, as a Church, they are determined constantly to adhere. The Rev. Doctor concluded by proposing the appointment of a small committee to draw up an answer to the letter, which was agreed to, and the committee appointed. PATRONAGE.—
:-An overture, signed by fifty members of Assembly, was laid on the table, of the following tenor :-“ That the General Assembly do resolve, that patronage is a grievance which ought to be abolished ; and, therefore, that the General Assembly do remit to a committee of its number, to report to the present meeting of Assembly on the most advisable course of procedure for carrying the resolution into effect.”
JULY 1, 1835.
INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS BY THE
EDITOR. In a few “ preliminary remarks,” offered to the readers of this journal in the preceding number, (see p. 145,) I intimated an intention of submitting to their notice a specimen of the controversy that has been going forward in the United States among the Baptists, relative to what may be termed, a Restoration of the Ancient Order of things;" or, in other words, a return to the primitive apostolic gospel, church order, and discipline, which Mr. Campbell and his friends have been, and still are, zealously contending for; and I shall now, in some small degree, redeem my pledge. We, on this side the great Atlantic, may possibly gather some useful hints from a quiet review of what has been going on among our Christian brethren. Let us, as much as possible, divest our minds of prejudice, and avail ourselves of the poet's advice, viz., to
“ Seize upon truth where'er 'tis found,
On heathen or on Christian ground.” “ It is a pleasure,” says Lord Bacon, in his Essays, “ to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; but no pleasure is comparable to standing on the 'vantage ground of truth, (a hill not to be commanded or overlooked, and where the air is always clear and serene,) and to see the errors and wanderings, and mists and tempests in the vale below: so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly it is
heaven upon earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.”
That the reader may enter properly into the spirit and meaning of the letters which I am about to lay before him, I think it may not be amiss to apprise him that in the State of Virginia, in which my friend Campbell resides, there had been, for many years past, two Baptist ministers, upon the plan of the Baptists in England—men of excellent character, superior talents, great weight and influence in the denomination—and whom, for illustration sake, I might call the Fuller and Hall of America. The names of these honourable ministers are the one Robert Blower Semple—the other Andrew Broaddus.
Mr. Campbell appears to have cultivated a friendly intercourse with both of them; and the few lines with which he introduces the the first of the following letters from Mr. Semple to himself, as Editor of · The Christian Baptist,' shew us the respect which he had for him, notwithstanding the differences in their views on certain points, while Mr. Semple's letter, on the other hand, evinces an equal portion of courtesy and respect for Mr. C. It would further appear, from the introduction to the first of these letters, that Mr. Campbell had then recently been preaching for Mr. Semple ; which I mention merely to shew that the parties were no strangers to each. other, nor averse to acknowledge their mutual esteem and reciprocal regard. The correspondence will speak for itself, and the reader is left at liberty to form his own judgment of it.
“ The following letter," says Mr. Campbell, “is from the pen of one of the most intelligent, pious, and worthy bishops in Virginia, whose standing in the learned world obtained for him the honorary degree of D.D., and whose piety and intelligence refused the title as a badge of popery. Believing this letter to be of importance to myself, and to the religious community at large, I here lay it before the public, with my remarks in reply to the same:
King and Queen County, Vis inia, Dec. 1825. “ BROTHER CAMPBELL, “ Dear Sir— According to my promise to you (and I may say to God also), I commence a letter of correspondence with you. Your preaching among us reminded me of Apollos, who dis
played, as we moderns say, great talents—or, as the Scripture says, was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures.' Apollos, however, with all his eloquence and might in the Scriptures, submitted to be taught the way of God more perfectly, and that, too, by a mechanic and his wife. After this he helped those much who had believed through grace. May 1, though inferior to Aquila, &c., attempt a reformation in principle of one not only eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, but deeply learned in all the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans. So far as I can judge by your writings and preaching, you are, substantially, a Sandemanian or Haldanite. I know you differ from them in some points, but in substance you occupy their ground. Now I am not about to fall out with them as heretics of the black sort. I think they have many excellent things among them—things I would gladly see more prevalent among us ; but in some respects they are far from pure Christianity. Forbearance is certainly a Christian grace, strongly recommended, both by precept and example, in the word of God. It is an important branch of charity, without which knowledge is nothing, and the eloquence of angels nothing more than a tinkling cymbal. Without Christian forbearance no church fellowship can be maintained ; at least, so I think. The Haldanites, I am persuaded, are greatly deficient on this head. I do not say they are wholly without forbearance, but they limit its exercise to too narrow bounds. In all church decisions, say they, there must be an unanimity-all must think alike. However desirable this may be, it is impossible; men will differ in opinions honestly : hence, unless allowance be made for ignorance, for humours, and even for obstinacy, there will be little peace-or, however, peace cannot subsist long. The strong must bear the burdens of the weak, and not please themselves. I name this one case out of many in which they use too little forbearance. You will ask, • Are there no limits? Doubtless the same Apostle who in one place says, “ I please all men in all things,' in another says, ' Do I seek to please men?' The essence of the Gospel must be maintained at the expense of even life itself; and to do this more effectually, we must use forbearance in minor things. Gentleness of spirit becomes a servant of the Lord, and especially towards those who oppose truth, as being the most likely to bring them to repentance. But among the Haldanites (judging from their writings) a gentle spirit is rarely to be found. Harsh and bitter sarcasms are the weapons with which they fight their opponents. This, too, I am the more disposed to think applies to them as a sect, because I have known some of their party who have appeared, in private conversation, to be mild and gentle indeed, and every way