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Title: A Book of Gems - Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin
Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Language: English
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                               JUST OUT!

                    BOOK OF GEMS, Cloth,     $2.00.
                                  Library,    2.50.
                                  Morocco,    4.00.

                   LIFE AND TIMES OF BENJ. FRANKLIN.
                           Cloth,      $2.00.
                           Library,     2.50.
                           Morocco,     4.00.

                    “SYMPOSIUM ON THE HOLY SPIRIT,”
                            CLOTH, 75 Cents.

                          “UNION WITH CHRIST,”
                            BY G. W. LONGAN.

                      WILL BE READY DECEMBER 25th.
                   A HAND-BOOK OF CHRISTIAN EVIDENCE.
                         BY LAURENCE W. SCOTT.
                       A BOOK OF ABOUT 300 PAGES.

                       IN COURSE OF PREPARATION,
                         TESTIMONIES TO TRUTH,
                                 — OR —
                      MASTERPIECES OF MANY MINDS.
                            By J. W. MONSER.

                              JOHN BURNS,
                 717 Olive Street,       ST. LOUIS, MO.



                            A BOOK OF GEMS,

                                 — OR —

                           CHOICE SELECTIONS
                          FROM THE WRITINGS OF
                           BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

                              ARRANGED BY
                           J. A. HEADINGTON,
                                — AND —
                            JOSEPH FRANKLIN.

                               ST. LOUIS:
                         JOHN BURNS, Publisher.
                                 1879.

                             [Illustration]

                           _Copyrighted by
                              JOHN BURNS,
                               1879._

                             [Illustration]


                 Stereotyped by ST. LOUIS TYPE FOUNDRY.



                           INDEX TO SUBJECTS.


                                                   PAGE.
    A. Campbell’s Successors and Critics            241
    A Choir                                         230
    A Happy Meeting                                 260
    A Hard Question for Preachers                   458
    A Higher Morality Required                       24
    A Mighty Good Foundation                        457
    A Mother’s Grave                                140
    A Phalanx of Young Men                          393
    A Suggestion                                     99
    A Working Ministry                              130
    Activity in the Ministry                        453
    Adhering to the Bible                           207
    Affirmative Gospel                              428
    All Things Common                                94
    Annihilation—Future Punishment                  100
    Anointing with Oil                              396
    Apology for Creeds                              120
    Authority of a Single Congregation              243

    Baptism of the Holy Spirit                      407
    Be firm in the Right                             65
    Belief in the Bible is Infallibly Safe          371
    Believers only to be Baptized                   350
    Bible Names                                     368
    Bodies Resurrected, not Spirits                 395
    Born of Water and the Spirit                     21
    Boundary Line of Repentance                     166
    Branches of the Church                          292

    Cain’s Wife                                     105
    Call no Man Reverend                             30
    Can not a Man know that he is a Christian       381
    Christianity                                    159
    Christian Zeal                                  196
    Christmas                                       227
    Christ the Center                               186
    Christ will come                                234
    Church Decisions                                262
    Church Membership                               349
    Church Organization                              42
    Classification of Missionary Men                244
    Clerical Young Pastors                          277
    Come out of Babylon                             471
    Communion                                       217
    Conclusion of the Year                          498
    Converting the Cities                           259
    Controversy                                     354
    Controversy about the Spirit                    355
    Courtesy in Fellowship                          231

    Dancing is a Healthful Exercise                 363
    Dedication of Church Edifices                   221
    Delay in Turning to the Lord                    282
    Deluded                                          95
    Design of Miracles                              103
    Developing the Talents of the Young             475
    Dialogue about the Preacher                     489
    Disturbing Element                              191

    Eating the Lord’s Flesh and Drinking His Blood   40
    Earnestly Contending for the Faith              374
    Enduring Hardness as Good Soldiers              280
    Evangelists and Evangelizing                    126
    Evangelists—Pastors                            320
    Everlasting and Eternal                         279
    Exalted Position of Jesus                       383
    Exchanging Pulpits                              209
    Excuse for Creeds                               146
    Extent of One Man’s Influence                   420

    Faith Comes by Hearing                          316
    Faith, Repentance and Baptism do not Pardon     308
    Feet Washing                                    253
    Fine Clothes                                     90
    Future Success of the Lord’s Army               252

    Giving up Principles                            397
    Glorying in the Cross of Christ                 439

    Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart                        15
    Hear ye Him                                     123
    How a Preacher may Stand Fair                   281
    How the Cause of Reformation was Advanced       391
    How the World Regards Dancers                   297
    Household Baptisms                              433

    Imperfect Medium for a Perfect Revelation       482
    Individuality after Death                       369
    Infant Sin—Infant Salvation                    108
    Influence of the Dance                          245
    Innovations in the Church of Christ             413
    In Season and out of Season                      38
    Is it Possible to Arouse the People             138

    Jesus Revealed as the Savior                    379
    Judgment the Ground of Repentance               202

    Keep Politics out of the Church                 160
    Kind of Preachers and Preaching Needed          211
    Knowing and not Doing                           435

    Laying the Corner Stone of a Catholic Cathedral 271
    Lifted Above Sects and Parties                   69
    Light Within                                     61
    Little Matters                                   53
    Lord’s Day Meetings                             270
    Lotteries                                        11

    Maintain a Pure Faith and Worship               289
    Making the Bible Support Human Systems           71
    Man’s Accountability                            462
    Mark Those Who Cause Divisions                  335
    Men can and do Believe                          345
    Methodist Clerical Pretensions                  265
    Ministering Angels                               58
    Miracles                                        426
    Moody and Sankey                                267
    My Church                                       403
    My Kingdom is not of this World                 466

    No Campbellites                                 258
    No Departure from the Jerusalem Church           20
    No Division can come                             48
    No Modification of the Divine Plan              246
    No Preachers on Dancing                          12
    No Side Structure                                59
    Not of One Class                                295
    Not Receiving the Reformation, but Christ        68
    Not to Keep Company                             419

    Observing the Sabbath                           333
    One Baptism                                     190
    One Idea Ism                                     56
    One Immersion                                   410
    One Religion                                    235
    One Way to God                                  248
    Our Authoritative Religion                      111
    Our Census                                       17
    Our Plea                                        256
    Outward Appearance                               51
    Over and Through the Mountains                  148
    Overlooking Humble but Good Men                 484

    Paul and James on Justification by Faith        352
    Paying Preachers a Stipulated Sum               326
    Preach “First Principles”                       474
    Personality of the Devil                        276
    Pioneers, Support, etc.                          73
    Poimeen—Shepherd—Evangelist—Overseer          25
    Policy in Preaching                             467
    Popular Amusements                              451
    Popular Union Meetings                          249
    Praise God by Singing                           232
    Prayer                                          364
    Prayer Books                                    341
    Preachers Belonging to no Church                229
    Preach Christ, not Ourselves                    329
    Preacher did not Suit                            30
    Present Punishment will not Save                133
    Progressing Backward                             46
    Protracted Meetings, Excitements, etc.          309
    Public Opinion—Infant Damnation                384
    Pulpits                                         422

    Reason, Providence, and the Spirit of God,
            Teach us to Obey God                    150
    Receiving Sinners without Baptism               175
    Reckless Twaddle                                 78
    Recognition of, by Sects                        301
    Reflections for Dancers                         112
    Reformation a Success                            96
    Reign of a Thousand Years                       263
    Religion and Politics                           336
    Resurrection—Adamic Sin                        325
    Resurrection of Lazarus                          89
    Revelation of the Mystery                       372
    Riches of Faith                                 188

    Saved without Baptism                           299
    Scene in a Hotel                                314
    Sectarianism                                    357
    Self-laudation                                  328
    Shorter Catechism of Universalians              446
    Small Improprieties and Annoyances              409
    Speak Pleasantly                                179
    Spirit of Indifference                          118
    Some Things can not be Settled                   50
    Sound Men                                       225
    Subtleties about Immersion                       92
    Suggestions to a Young Sceptic                  487
    Success to Good Men                             255
    Summary of Arguments on the Action of Baptism   455
    Support Workers                                  77

    Tediousness in Public Devotions                 323
    Tendency of Universalism                        142
    The Action of Baptism                           443
    The Bible Will Save the World                    66
    The Bible Infallibly Safe                       145
    The Bible and Bible Men                         405
    The Bible Ground                                414
    The Bible vs. Human Creeds                      438
    The Cause of Christ is Above Partisan Politics  469
    The Christian Ministry                           44
    The Church in the Wilderness                    223
    The Church of Christ a Proselyting Institution  331
    The Converting Power                            480
    The Fall of Beecher                             176
    The Genealogy of Christ                         206
    The Grand Work Before Us                          3
    The Ground of Union                              36
    The Kind of Preaching Required                   82
    The Knowledge Necessary Before Baptism          351
    The Love of Christ Constrains                   496
    The Mission of Infidels                         134
    The Old and New Testaments                       31
    The Pardoning Power is Only in God              440
    The Secret of Success in Preaching              322
    The Shortness of Human Life                       1
    The Warning                                     390
    The Work of Creation                              8
    The Work of the Disciples                       417
    Theory and Practice                             479
    Things Not Forbidden                            290
    Thirty Years Ago                                376
    Too Late for the Cars                           269
    True Missionaries                                18
    The New and the Old                             464

    Universalism                                     75
    Universalism Unbelief                           274
    Unprofitable Servants                           165
    Upward Tendency—Reformation not a Failure
            —Missionary Work                        343

    Value of Learning                               143
    Various Kinds of Scepticism                     180

    Wandering Pilgrims                              219
    Wealth of Alexander Campbell                    303
    We are a Missionary People                       88
    We are No Sect                                  286
    We have a Perfect Gospel to Preach              366
    What a Preacher Must Be                         477
    What We Are For                                  97
    What is Essential                               106
    What We Know is Right                           107
    What is Campbellism?                            156
    What must I do to be Saved                      317
    Where is the Army of the Lord                   251
    Where is the Power                              213
    Who Crucified the Savior                        195
    Whom the Lord Receives                          294
    Why Infidels Oppose the Bible                   423
    Wielding the Sword of the Spirit                284
    Will You also Go Away                            35
    Women in the Church                             194

    Young Preachers Must Be Practical               157



PREFACE.


The writings of no man among the Christian Brotherhood have been so
universally popular as those of Benjamin Franklin, save the extended
writings of Alexander Campbell. Franklin’s volumes of Sermons, Debates
and Tracts, together with his miscellaneous writings, have for many
years been in general demand, and have met with ready sale.

No excuse is offered for this volume, save that of public demand. The
public demanded the volume, and it is, therefore, submitted.

None but the most choice selections, gathered from numerous valuable
writings, have been allowed space in this volume. The book is what
it purports to be, a collection of Gems that sparkle in the light of
Heaven’s Truth as diamonds in the sky.

The reader, by referring to the Index, can easily turn and get the
views of the Author on very many momentous subjects.

The volume will prove, as we trust, a monument to the memory of a great
and good man, and a treasure to every Christian household.

The volume is sent forth with the prayer that the truth it contains may
sanctify and make glad many, many hearts.

                                           J. A. H.



THE SHORTNESS OF HUMAN LIFE.


Nation after nation rises, enters and occupies a place among the
nations of the earth, falls, and is only known in the faithful records
of history. Generation after generation comes forth, enters upon the
great theatre of life, throngs the world for a little while, falls
in death and passes into eternity. Upon an average, about once in
thirty-three years, the whole of the inhabitants of the earth, or
as many as are upon it at any one time, over one billion souls, are
carried beyond the reach of all missionary effort—beyond the reach of
all repentance—all gospel invitations, and so many as are not saved,
beyond all possibility of salvation. During the same short period,
the preachers, missionaries, writers and professors of religion of
one generation are all born where no mistakes can be corrected, and
no amendment for wrongs done, or time trifled away, can ever be made.
Taking off from this time, eighteen years for childhood, only leaves
about fifteen years for the vast work of personal preparation, for
a state of boundless duration in the pure and holy society of just
men made perfect, the angels of God, Jesus the mediator of the New
Covenant, and God, the Judge of all. It also leaves about the same
length of time for the good and virtuous, those with the love of God in
their hearts, and lovers of mankind to make an effort to save our race.
In this view of the subject—and no other can be justly taken—it will
readily be perceived that what we do _must be done quickly_. Those who
do anything for mankind, must engage in the work immediately and with
energy. All who intend laying up a good foundation against the time
to come—laying up treasure in heaven to which they can go, and upon
which they can rely when their temporal supports shall all fail, must
commence the work immediately, persevere in it, and abound during the
short space afforded them. There must be no delay, for there is simply
time enough to do what must be done immediately, if done at all. Those
who have never prepared to meet God, have still greater reason to enter
at once upon the examination of the subject. With them, everything
to secure their eternal happiness, so far as their own action is
concerned, is yet to be done.

How short the time, in view of the amount to be done; and how carefully
every moment should be employed by every person who has not been
reconciled to God. What vast multitudes, throng our streets, lanes and
highways, who have never seriously thought upon, much less taken the
elementary steps, to come to God, and who will remain in their present
condition, unless arrested in their thoughtless career, by those who
have already tested the good word of God, and felt the power of the
world to come. What an everlasting reason we find here for a most
energetic, persevering, and godly effort to rescue them and bring them
to God.



THE GRAND WORK BEFORE US.


The people God has raised up in the nineteenth century and founded upon
the apostles and prophets, Jesus the Christ, the chief corner-stone,
have not been raised up in vain. Only a small part of their work is
in history yet. What has been done is only a drop to the bucket of
the stupendous work to be accomplished. It is only a foretaste, an
earnest of what is yet to come. It is only the incipient movement,
the inauguration of the work, the entering wedge. The great body of
the work lies in the future. Let no man become disheartened if a few
faint-hearted do turn back and hanker after the flesh-pots of Egypt.
In all great movements some of these have been found. They were in the
camps of Moses and among the first followers of Jesus. They have been
the timid, faithless time-servers, afraid of the people and lovers of
the world. But these are only spots in the feast, mere blemishes, and
no more to the great body than the spots in the sun compared with that
wonderful body. These poor little souls that desire to be _like the
clergy_, or to be actual _clergymen themselves_; that want titles, and
the people to call them _Dr._, _Rev._; that get on the white cravat,
the priestly coat buttoned up to the chin; that drop on their knees and
make a _public private_ prayer, as they enter the “sacred desk,” and
that teach the disciples to drop the head and offer a _secret private
public prayer before an assembly_, are not the men whom God sends. They
are the men who think the _largest offer in money is the loudest call
from God_, and the call which they obey most implicitly. They can be
bought and sold like sheep and oxen. God never calls such men as these.
They are a burlesque on the religion of Jesus Christ; the plainness,
simplicity and humility of our Lord. The idea has never entered into
their heads to be _servants_ of Jesus Christ. Their idea is to be
_masters_. They are not thinking of obeying, unless to obey the men
with the largest purses; but their idea is to be obeyed. They are not
thinking of adoring, but of being adored. The third epistle of Peter is
the one in which they find their likeness, and they are following the
directions in that epistle. Some of these may be reformed, and others
will go to their own place. They are not the men that _run the world_;
the world _runs them_.

But there is another class, that do not worship at the same altar
with these, nor are they of the same stripe. They do not draw their
divinity from clerical titles or clerical attire, nor from _public
private prayers_, from imitating Jewish rabbis, or sectarian rabbis,
from imitating ancient or modern Pharisees or Sadducees, but from the
living oracles of the living God. They are not under the thumbs of
rich men, nor under the influence of high salaries; nor ancient nor
modern priests. They cannot be bought and sold. They are the Lord’s
_free men_. They have cut loose from the bondage of the world of
sin, of sectarianism and the clergy. They belong to Christ. They get
their gospel from him. They are his servants. They adore and worship
him. They are men of faith and of prayer, too, but when they pray in
_secret_, it is _in secret_, where none but Him who sees in secret
sees them. They know their Bible and they are devoted to it. There
is a grand army of these, we believe, as time as the needle to the
pole. We cannot say that there are seven thousand in the field, public
preachers, but we are astonished wherever we go to find such numbers of
them, and to find their firmness and determination in the faith; and
to learn, too, of the sacrifices they are making and the additional
sacrifices they are determined and willing to make. They are many of
them living almost as economically as we did thirty years ago, in our
incipient work of opening the way.

When the British general found General Marion living _on roots_, and
his men _fighting without pay_, he admitted that the prospect of
overcoming such men was gloomy. So, when our opposers see the glorious
army of which we speak, of faithful young men struggling with only a
half support, and, in some instances, not that, and behold the love
for the gospel, the Lord Jesus and their fellow-men that impels them
on; and when they witness their determination, zeal and energy; that
they cannot be discouraged, disheartened and turned back, they give
up all idea of ever conquering them or withstanding them. Let not one
word we are saying be construed into an excuse for any Christian who
has the ability not sustaining these precious men whom God has raised
and put into the field. Nor need any one wait for a “plan,” nor an
“organization,” or “system.” Plans, organizations and systems give no
money. Men and women must give the money, if it is given at all. No man
who has the means, and refuses to do his part, according to the ability
God has given, to aid in this glorious work, need flatter himself that
he will be a partaker in the final reward. According as a man sows
shall he also reap. We know that there are hard-hearted and sordid men
in the church, that do nothing of consequence, and men of this sort
that will never be any better. They have but one idea ingrained and
imprinted on their entire being, and that is to hang on with a grasp
like death itself to the goods of this world. But the good and the
true, the men of faith, and love, and zeal; the men who have their eye
on a kingdom not of this world, and who are devoted to saving men and
women from ruin, will not stop for these, nor brood over them, but turn
away from them as they do from other abandoned characters who are past
feeling, and go on with their glorious work. God will be with them,
and, though poor in this world, they will be rich in faith, and the
Lord will hold them up.

But what has this great army of young preachers to do? Where is their
work? There is work enough for them to do. The only fear we have is,
that when they look and see the vastness of the work, they will think,
like one of old, “There be more against us than for us.” We have a
vast amount of worldliness and carnality to drive out of the Church;
conformity to the world; love of pleasure more than love of God; the
love of Christ to restore; the gospel and the true worship. Where the
cause has gone back, it must be recovered; where the gospel has been
lost and superseded by something else, it must be restored, and where
the worship has been corrupted, it must be purified, and the right way
of the Lord established. Men who do not love the gospel, the worship
and the things of God, will slough off when everything is driven out
that did not come from God; when the only things they loved are taken
away. In a few instances entire congregations may be carried away with
worldly policies and appliances; but the whole number thus lost will
amount to but little, compared with the grand throng that will stand
together for the faith once delivered to the saints, and that will
go on. What remains for good men to do is, to go on; stand fast; be
strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; put on the whole
armor of God and fight the good fight of faith, and stand to the Bible
and nothing else, and thus make the Bible a grand power in the earth.
We have started with our Bible, and let us go on with it and carry it
through the world. We have a book that nobody denies, except out and
out skeptics, and one of supreme authority. Let us assert and maintain
its authority, and carry it through the world. All the other books that
in any way rival it, or are in anywise in the way of it, must be set
aside and rendered a _dead letter_. There is not one particle of divine
authority in anything that did not come out of the Bible. We must push
all other books aside.

All the names not applied to the people and Church of God in the
Scriptures must be repudiated and discarded, and we must determine to
speak of the people and Church of God in the language of Scripture.
This we can do; to this, no child of God can reasonably object. There
will be no difficulty in this, when we shall have no other kind of
people or Church but the people and Church of God. While we have other
kinds of people and churches, we shall need other names for them. But
we shall have no trouble about this, for they will select and give
themselves other names, such as they think fitting and appropriate.
All we have to do in the matter is to call them by the names they
give themselves. If they will not permit the Lord to name them, but
will call themselves by some name not given to the Lord’s people in
the Bible, it is their own doing, not ours. There is no reason why
the Lord’s people should follow their example, and not accept the
designations found in Scripture, and use them exclusively. If we are
the Lord’s people, we can be spoken of in the language of Scripture; if
we are not, then we might have some other name.



THE WORK OF CREATION.


After Moses states the wonderful fact that “In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth,” without stating when it was, only
that it was “in the beginning,” he proceeds to give a brief account
of the state of things after this _first fact_, and before the work
of the six days. He says: “The earth was without form, and void, and
darkness was upon the face of the deep.” This state of things was
preceded by the creation of the heaven and the earth. The next thing in
the successive acts was to operate on material created, brought into
existence; to form or fashion it. What was the first thing? “The Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the waters.” This was not bringing into
existence, but operating on that which was in existence. “And God said,
Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it
was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called
the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and
the morning were the first day.” Here we have the work of the first
day. What was done on that day was not the same, no matter how we
describe it, as the first act. It was forming, shaping, operating on
material previously brought into existence.

Moses proceeds, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of
the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made
the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament
from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And he
called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the
second day.” Here we have the work of the second day, like that of
the first day, forming, fashioning and bringing order out of chaos.
This “firmament,” that God made, and “called Heaven,” is not the same
as mentioned in the first verse, but is included in the words: “The
heavens and the earth.” This is the work of arrangement, ordering, etc.

Then follow the gathering together the waters into one place, and the
bringing to view the dry land, the naming of the dry land, Earth, and
the gathering together of the waters of the seas; the ordering of the
grass, the herb, the fruit-tree upon the earth. This was the work of
the third day. Then comes the ordering the heavenly bodies, the great
lights for day and night, the dividing the light from the darkness,
etc., the work of the fourth day. All this is fashioning, forming,
arranging, ordering, and not creating from nothing. Then follows the
ordering of the waters, to bring forth the fishes, the fowl, and all
the inhabitants of the seas on the fifth day. This is followed by the
ordering the earth to bring forth the cattle, the creeping thing, and
all the lower orders of the inhabitants of the earth, and concludes the
work of the sixth day by the creation of man, or _forming_ him in the
image of God.

We have both the words “made,” and “created,” used and applied to
this work of the six days, where it is manifestly used in the sense
of shaping, forming, fashioning, ordering, arranging, and not in the
sense of the word “created” in the first sentence in the Bible, where
it manifestly means _creating from nothing or bringing into existence_.
This wonderful act of the Infinite One, of bringing into existence the
heaven and the earth—this stupendous universe—may have been performed
an indefinite period of time before the commencement of the work of
the six days described by Moses. In this view there is no danger. It
makes the work of the Creator none the less wonderful, glorious and
overwhelming. It matters not how long before the work of the six days
it was that “God created the heaven and the earth,” or brought the
universe into existence. Nor need we be startled at this. The work of
the six days, as described by Moses, is wonderful beyond all human
imagination. We can comprehend but little of it. We may well exclaim,
as Paul did, in view of a different matter: “O the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his
judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind
of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? For of him, and through
him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.”



LOTTERIES.


The entire lottery scheme is gambling. The desire and intention in
lotteries is to get money by a base method, or, in other words,
dishonestly. The desire and intention is to get money without rendering
an equivalent, or to get something for nothing. The man or company that
conducts a lottery knows the precise per cent. that is made in selling
out the tickets. If everything is conducted fairly; that is, what they
call _fairly_; that is, to conduct according to their proposed rule,
some few would draw prizes of much value and some larger number will
draw small prizes, while the great body of them will draw nothing. They
simply give their money to make up the prizes that others draw, and
make a fine purse to run the establishment. Think of the following:

1. We do not profess to know, but probably if the _green ones_ that buy
lottery tickets would pay $100,000 for tickets, all the prizes they
would all draw would not amount to more than $66,000, thus leaving
$34,000 in the concern. This is swindle No. 1, to the tune of $34,000!

2. There can be but very few who can draw prizes of any considerable
value, for there are but few of that kind in the concern. The
purchasers of lottery tickets would be astonished to know how few could
possibly draw a prize to the amount of $1,000, if enough would draw
tickets to pay in $100,000.

3. They would be still more astonished to know how few can draw even
small prizes, and most of all astonished to know how few can draw
anything.

4. The concern proceeds on a principle of dishonesty on both sides—the
principle of getting something for nothing. The man that studies how
to do this, and tries to accomplish it, studies dishonesty and how
to practice it. In its very nature it is corrupting, and must end in
degrading a man. Young men ought to shun it as they would a viper.



NO PREACHERS ON DANCING, ETC.


No man goes through the country delivering able and finely-prepared
discourses advocating _dancing_, going to theatres, playing innocent
games for amusement, etc., etc. These things, like the weeds in the
garden, need no advocates, but come themselves, and that, too, in
opposition to all moral feeling, restraints and entreaties. They are
not cultivated fruit, but the spontaneous growth that must be removed
before we can have the precious fruits of the Spirit. They are the
fruits of the flesh, of the carnal mind. The man who builds up
churches, maintains the spiritual devotions, order, purity, discipline,
elevates and ennobles humanity, must work; war against the flesh and
all the works of the flesh; cultivate, be faithful and watchful. He has
something to do more than to inquire, what harm is it?

The Romish Church has reached the climax in the _easy_ system.
She makes her members chiefly of infants before they can make any
successful resistance, and then never excludes except for heresy. In
this way she has grown up to the enormous number of about _two hundred
million_, or one-sixth of the inhabitants of the world. Dancing,
drunkenness, or any other works of the flesh except _heresy_ forfeit no
membership in that carnal body. We do not want to go _back_ toward that
body.

There are more than _seven thousand_ or _seven times seven thousand_,
remaining, who have not consented to any departure, who are to-day as
determined for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,
as A. Campbell was in the best days of the _Christian Baptist_, and
the man who talks to them about any new departure under the name of
_progression_, or any other name, is not only idling away his time and
talent, but letting _himself down_ in their estimation from the faith
to sectarianism. They estimate a man, not by his learning, his talent
or money, but by his love to the Lord Jesus the Christ. They judge of
this love by his integrity to the Lord, as seen in a strict adherence
to the gospel, the teaching of the Lord and his apostles; his example;
his appointed worship; all he said and did; his devotion to the Lord in
all respects; a settled and determined adherence to him in all things.

Men may turn away from him, and some will, as some did under the eyes
of the apostles. Whole churches will turn away and go to nothing, and
the names of some men will stand ingloriously connected with these
ruins. The first churches the Lord established have long since been
buried in ruins, but the men who spread the desolation will not be
overlooked in the eternal judgment. They will there receive their last
notoriety. The Lord has not raised the building now standing on the
rock, in vain, but to stand the pillar and support of the truth. The
main body understand that they have entered into covenant with God, and
that they are bound by all the honor that is in them to maintain every
inch of ground they have gained. There is, we believe, salt enough in
this body to preserve it. It has the power and Spirit of God in it; and
God will hold it up and perpetuate it when men who have it not will
be forgotten. By the grace of God it will stand till the Lord comes.
Let us labor to “present it to him a glorious church, without spot or
wrinkle, or any such thing.”



HARDENING PHARAOH’S HEART.


There are two senses in which things are ascribed to God. 1. When
he _does things_ directly, as in the work of creation. 2. When he
_permits_ things to be done. In this latter sense God _raised up_ and
hardened Pharaoh. It is simply in the sense of _permission_—permitted
him to _rise up_ and _be hardened_. The hardening is also ascribed
to Pharaoh. He _hardened himself_. This was the direct act. He did
it. When the holy writer is looking at the providence of God, in
permitting him to rise up into power, and assigning a reason for it,
the explanation is made, that it was done to make known his power in
all the earth. This is the sense in which God raises up kings and other
rulers, that are bad, and uses them as vessels fitted for destruction.
He permits them to rule and rule badly, do wickedly; oppress the
people, as vessels of dishonor and wrath, making them examples to all
the earth, in their overthrow and utter ruin, to teach other rulers and
the people that they are all in the hands of the Lord.

The judgments of God have two different results on men, either, on the
one hand, to subdue the heart and lead to repentance, or to harden the
heart and lead to greater deeds of cruelty and oppression. When the
holy writer speaks of it, in view of the case where men are hardened
and become worse by it, he says, God hardened them. In the other case,
where they are subdued and led to repentance by it, he says, God makes
them “vessels of mercy,” leads them to repentance and saves them. The
dealings of God are precisely alike in both cases, but the result is
different. In one case it is a savor of life, in the other of death.
The difference is not in the divine treatment, but in the patients.
The one becomes a vessel of wrath, and the other a vessel of mercy.
God is said to save the one and harden the other, because we have the
two results from the same treatment. In that sense it is from God and
ascribed to him, in both the hardening and saving. See the following:

“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a
kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that
nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will
repent of the evil I thought to them.” See Jer. xviii. 7, 8. This
assures us, that where a nation or a kingdom repent, the Lord turns
away the threatened calamity. The Lord then states the case for a
nation that shall turn away from the Lord:

“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a
kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it
obey not my voice, then will I repent of the good, wherewith I said
I would benefit them.” See Jer. xviii. 9, 10. This sets forth the
foundation of making vessels of honor and of wrath. God can make either
the one, or the other. The ground of his doing this is their doing good
and doing evil.

When God sent a judgment on Pharaoh, to subdue him and lead him to
repentance, he promised to repent and let the children of Israel go;
but then hardened his heart, broke his promise and refused to let them
go. This was repeated ten times on him, and every time he broke his
promise and he became still more hardened, and God permitted him thus
to go on till his overthrow, thus making the power of God known in all
the earth, and making the hardened monarch of Egypt an example to all
the nations to follow. No doubt God hardens men now in the same sense
as he did Pharaoh, subdues and leads others to repentance as he did the
Ninevites, who repented at the preaching of Jonah.



OUR CENSUS.


In an age when people compare themselves with their neighbors, look
at the comparative size of their hymn books, the size, splendor and
elegance of the temples in which they meet, the amount of money they
raise, their church organs, festivals, choirs, popular preachers and
numerical strength, the census is looked to with great concern; but
where people are greatly devoted to the Lord, diligently striving to
please him and be accepted of him in the great day, they are led to
think of the piety of the people, their purity, their culture; their
faith, and hope and love; their efforts to save men and build up the
kingdom of God, and not to be troubled seriously about how they shall
appear in the _census_. We are vastly more concerned about maintaining
the purity of the gospel, the faithfulness of the preaching, the
discipline and order of the church, the pure worship as prescribed in
the law of God, than we are about the _census_. We are more concerned
about how we appear before the Lord than we are how we appear before
man.

We are perfectly contented and satisfied with the things of God as set
forth in Scripture. We are contented and satisfied with the very words
and forms of speech in which God speaks to man. We love the lowliness,
simplicity and humility of Jesus. It is the manifestation of infinite
wisdom and goodness. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise that they are vain.” He takes
the wise in their own craftiness.



TRUE MISSIONARIES.


The early members in our great movement in this country were _nearly
all preachers_. They read the Scriptures to and talked with their
neighbors, explained matters to them, and, in many instances, when the
preacher came they were already convinced and ready for baptism; or, if
they had been baptized ready for uniting on the Bible. This accounts
for our having such large success by preaching a few discourses. Much
of the preaching was done before the preacher came, by private members
and in private circles. These were _missionary people_ in the true
sense. They were in the work all the time. They did not need games of
amusement for pastime. They had no time to spare. They were all busy,
and all alive and at work. The love and spirit of God were in them, and
the divine influence was shed all round. They did not have a little
missionary spasm, pray a week for the spread of the gospel, give a few
dollars and do no more for three months or a year, but they prayed for
the spread of the gospel all the time; kept at the work of spreading
it all the time. They had no trouble about _plans_, but kept at the
_work_, and spread the gospel. It can be spread in the same way again,
and is being thus spread largely now wherever it is spread at all. If
we honestly desire to spread the gospel of the grace of God, to turn
sinners to the Lord, free them from the manacles of sin and death, and
save them, let us go to work and do it. There is nothing to hinder us,
if we have the faith and love and zeal, from carrying it forward to
any extent. The people are weary of sectarianism, and ready to hear
something intelligible on the way of salvation.



NO DEPARTURE FROM THE JERUSALEM CHURCH.


If we are to depart from the Jerusalem Church because it was in its
infancy, and not reproduce the primitive church, we should like to
know how far we are to depart from it, and in what. If the faith and
practice, the precept and example of the primitive church may not be
adopted now and followed; if in all things we should not now have the
same faith and practice, precept and example they had, we should be
pleased for some expounder of the new doctrine to explain to us in what
the departure shall consist, and what rule we are to adopt now. If we
let go of the rule that governed the first church, what rule shall we
adopt? If we cut loose from the divine, shall we adopt a human rule? If
so, what human rule? Some one of these already made? or shall we have
the presumption and folly to think we can make a better one than these
human rules already in use?

We are not ready to cut loose from the Jerusalem Church, its rule of
faith and practice, its precept and example. We have more confidence
in the old ground than ever, and have no idea of departing from the
Jerusalem Church, its faith and practice, precepts and example. The
men that will not stand on apostolic ground, the faith and practice of
the first church, will not stand on anything long. We want something
reliable, permanent, sure and steadfast—a kingdom that cannot be
moved. In the old Bible, the old gospel and the old church, we find it.
Here is something to lean upon living and dying, for this world and
the world to come. If we leave this, all is uncertainty, darkness and
night. Let us “hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” and not he
of those who “depart from the faith,” giving heed to seducing spirits,
and not listen to “unstable souls,” or those “ever learning and never
able to the knowledge of the truth.”



BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT.


There is but _one birth_ mentioned or alluded to in the conversation
with Nicodemus.

There is but _one kingdom_ mentioned or alluded to in the conversation.

The conversation is about _one birth_ and entering into _one kingdom_.
The whole is in the phrase, “You must be born again,” or the previous
phrase, “Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God.”
This figurative expression “born again,” is precisely the same, or
includes the same as conversion. A man born again is a man converted.
In being born again precisely the same _agencies_ are employed, and
the same thing is accomplished as when a man is converted. This is
literally a man turned from darkness to light, from the world to God.
This is not done by the agency of water without the agency of the
Spirit. There is no such thing as a birth of water without the Spirit.
A man is “born again,” not by water without the Spirit, nor by the
Spirit without the water, but “born of water and of the Spirit,” no
matter how many fine theories are spoiled. Nothing leads to more
useless theories and speculations than attempts to build a theory on a
figurative expression. The literal must always explain the figurative.
The clear and unfigurative language of the commission has precisely the
same in it as the phrase, “born of water and of the Spirit.” “He who
believes and is immersed shall be saved.” Believes, in this passage, is
literal. Born of the Spirit, or, which is the same, “begotten of the
Spirit,” is figurative. The meaning is the same as, “I have begotten
you by the gospel,” or made you believers by the gospel. Begotten of
God is _made a believer of God_. Begotten of the Spirit is _made a
believer by the Spirit_. It is in some instances ascribed to God in
view of his being the Author of it. It is ascribed to Christ in view of
it being through his mediation. It is ascribed to the Spirit in view
of his inspiring the apostles or speaking in them, and thus making
believers, and those thus made believers are said to be begotten of
the Spirit, and, when immersed, said to be “born of water and of the
Spirit.” This is precisely all there is in it.

There is nothing about the resurrection in it, the first resurrection
or any other resurrection, unless it be a resurrection to a new life.
Nor is anything in the resurrection ever called “a birth of the
Spirit.” We are perfectly aware that the dead will be quickened by the
Spirit, and that the Spirit of Christ will quicken their mortal bodies;
that Christ was the “first-born from the dead,” the “first-born among
many brethren,” and that the dead will be raised at the sound of the
trumpet, but there is not one word about all this or an allusion to
it in the conversation with Nicodemus. Nor is there one word about or
allusion to the everlasting kingdom in that conversation. We must not
make something out of that conversation that is not in it.

Nicodemus was standing on his birth-right, “born in thy house,” as
expressed Gen. xvii. 13, for membership. The Lord sweeps this away in
one sentence: “Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of
God.” His being born in the house or family of Abraham availed nothing.
“Flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God.” No matter in
whose family he was born nor whose blood coursed in his veins, a man
must be born again, born from above, born of water and of the Spirit,
or he cannot enjoy the kingdom of God. As the Spirit is the agent
through whom the gospel is preached, and the gospel the instrument
by which the Spirit makes believers, the agent is mentioned for the
effect, which is belief—made believers by the Spirit and baptized into
Christ, into one body. It is of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of the
apostles and by the word.

There is no such thing as the new birth without the Spirit, nor any
such thing as entering into the kingdom of God or the body of Christ.
The faith, the work of the Spirit in preaching the gospel, through
the apostles, and baptism, or, figuratively, “born of water,” must be
present. The man who believes the gospel with all his heart and is
immersed into Christ is “born of water and of the Spirit” in the sense
intended by the Savior.



A HIGHER MORALITY REQUIRED.


We need a higher morality, a more pure and unadulterated piety and
greater simplicity of benevolence. We do not want money extracted
from the pockets of the people by the Church offering them sensual
gratification, amusements and entertainments, to say nothing of the
ball, the lottery and other gambling. Let us in the name of the Lord
and of religion, in a manly way, come directly to the people for means
to _support religion_ and ask them to _give from love to Christ_,
and no matter if we do not obtain one-fourth the amount it will do
ten times as much good. The Lord needs no money made by lotteries,
gambling, fairs, festivals, or any such appeals to the lust of the
flesh, the human appetite, the love of fine companies, etc. He needs
no money only that _given to him through love and devotion to his
cause_. Those who appeal to entertainments, amusements, fine companies
of men and women, the dance, lotteries, festivals, fairs, etc., etc.,
thus publish to the world their impression that there is more potency
in these worldly and secular appliances than there is in the grace
of God and the love of Christ, and we doubt not they find it to be
so, in _raising money in their assemblies_. They have tried it and
demonstrated it to be so. We care not if it be so; we care not if
it has been demonstrated that the people will give more money for a
monkey show than for the kingdom of God; we will not resort to the
monkey show; nor do we care if they will give more money for revelling
than for the holy cause for which Jesus died; we will not resort to the
revelling. There are other matters aside from the question, how much
money can we raise, that must be kept in view.

We must maintain our piety, devotion to the Lord, purity, and must
not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of
our mind. We have never consented to this modern element that will
appeal to anything and everything that will _raise money_. It is not
Godliness, nor the love of God, but sensual; it is devilish. Come
directly to the children of God in the name of the Lord and appeal to
them for his sake to give, to give freely and of a willing mind; that
“it is more blessed to give than to receive,” and appreciate what is
given in his name.



POIMEEN—SHEPHERD—EVANGELIST—OVERSEER.


We will not go back to the Old Testament to find any office or officer
in the kingdom of Christ. What currency, then, has the word “pastor”
in the New Testament? The word is in the New Testament, in some
translations, in _one place_. That is its entire currency in the new
and everlasting covenant. But then the word “Easter” is found in _one
place_ in the common version. Is that authority for _Easter_? If it is
in the New Testament in one place, rightfully, it is authority as
much as if it were in fifty places. But how does it happen to be
there in _one place_? If the translators had, in that _one place_,
given us _passover_, as they have done in every other instance to
represent the same original, we should have had no Easter in the New
Testament. In the same way, if the translators had given us the word
_shepherds_, Eph. iv. 11, as they have done in every other case to
represent the same original word, we should have had no _pastor_ in
the New Testament. On this one variation from the rule, to translate
_poimeen_, shepherd, hangs the “pastorate,” so called, the _office_ for
the pastor, and we might add, all the “installations,” etc. Probably it
is Dr. Watts that exclaims, with other matters before him: “Great God!
on what a brittle thread hangs eternal things!” On what a slender prop
hangs the _pastorate_! Still, on this platform the pastors stand.

In _one place_ and only _one_, in some translations, the original
word for shepherd, and so translated in every other place in the New
Testament, is translated _pastors_. When the common version appeared,
King James issued a proclamation commanding the _translation_ to be
read as the _word of God_. If we obey this command we must read the
Latin word _pastor_ as the word of God, though the same translators
give us _shepherd_ as the English representative of the original word
_poimeen_ in every other occurrence of it in the New Testament. In this
way we get divine authority in the word of God, and human authority
from King James, not only for the unscriptural pastorate in the Church
of England, but the equally unscriptural _pastorate_ now trying to grow
up among us, first under one plausible pretext and then under another.

Why translate _poimeen_, shepherd, in every other place, and cover up
the word shepherd with the Latin word pastor in one place? Whatever
idea the Lord and the apostles intended to convey in this matter,
they deemed the _one word_ sufficient. What reason can any man give
for representing the original word _poimeen_ by the word shepherd in
every instance but one, and there using the Latin word _pastor_? Rome
loves Latin. It is not the _vulgar tongue_. What reason is there for
departing from the otherwise invariable rule and giving us _pastor_,
Eph. iv. 11? Why not give us “Chief-Pastor,” or “Arch-Pastor,” and not
“Chief-Shepherd?” Why not style the Lord “the Pastor of the sheep,”
and not “Shepherd of the sheep?” _Pastor_ would not read well as the
correlative of _sheep_. We hear sermons on the offices of our Lord, as
King, Priest, Prophet. Why not have a sermon on his office as _Pastor_?
Then we might have a sermon on the office of the church as a _flock_,
or the office of the members as _sheep_. Could we not say _flock’s_
office, _sheep’s_ office? The Lord has no such office as _shepherd_,
or, in Latin, _pastor_. There is no such office as _pastorate_, nor
officer as _pastor_. There is not one word in the New Covenant about
the qualifications of a pastor, the election of one, the calling
of one, or the installation of one. As the correlative of the word
_flock_, when the church is figuratively called _flock_, the Lord who
cares for the flock and has the oversight of it is figuratively called
_Shepherd_, or, when the followers of the Lord are figuratively called
_sheep_, the Lord is figuratively called “the Shepherd of the sheep.”
When the Lord is called “the Chief-Shepherd,” or “Arch-Shepherd,”
the church is in view as the flock of which he is Shepherd, and the
_overseers_ in the church are _under_ shepherds, but there is no
_shepherd’s_ office, nor _flock’s_ office. The bishops or overseers
are as certainly _bishops_ or _overseers_, when figuratively called
_shepherds_, as if literally called _overseers_. No other office or
work is meant.

Coming now to the practical matter, we desire Bible things and Bible
names for them. We desire to preserve the church and everything in
it as the Lord gave it. We desire, in the matter in hand, to prevent
the creation of any _new office_ in the church. There is nothing
new or unscriptural in the idea of an overseer who devotes himself
wholly to the word and teaching. There may be other overseers who do
not give themselves wholly to the word and teaching. Then there is
nothing unscriptural in an evangelist remaining with a church one,
two or more years, to set in order things that are wanting, assist in
qualifying the church to take care of itself, and preach the gospel
to the community. In this capacity he is not a church officer at all,
but doing the work of an evangelist. He is not with the church to
“perform divine service” for it, to lord it over it, or as a ruler, nor
_permanently_, but assisting the church in her infancy and enabling her
to take care of herself.

Every preacher connected with any church is laboring in one of these
two senses: as an overseer who labors in the word and teaching, or as
an evangelist. In the former capacity he may be there permanently. In
the latter capacity he is not there permanently, but setting in order
the things wanting, with a view to qualifying themselves to every
good word and work; to instruct and edify one another in love, but
intending to go on to another place as soon as he has finished his
work where he is. But the overseer who labors in the word and teaching
is not to assume any airs of authority, or any _great chair_ with his
_subordinates_ on more humble seats by his side. We abominate all these
great chairs, pulpits and preferences for public men. If they are good
men they do not want them, and if they are bad men they certainly
should not be honored with them. Really great and good men are plain
men—want no great chair nor great titles. They need no priestly robes,
clerical coats nor titles. They make a record that tells the story for
them. _They do the work._ Let us do the work, seek the simplicity of
Jesus and the humility of children. While we sing, “Nearer, my God, to
thee,” let us strive to live nearer to God and do our utmost to excel
in understanding and practicing precisely what the Lord has laid before
us in the Scriptures.



CALL NO MAN REVEREND.


We will call no man _Reverend_. We make this a matter of conscience.
There is no more reason or gospel for addressing a preacher differently
from other men than there is for a preacher to be attired differently.
If a man is not preacher enough to be known as a _preacher_, without
the white necktie or the priestly coat, let him pass without being
known. We like to treat a preacher, or even a Roman priest, with common
civility, but we do all that when we treat him as any other gentleman.
We want no preacher’s garb nor titles, and will recognize none of them.
Many have those who have never been “born again;” who are not in the
kingdom of God—not Christians.



PREACHER DID NOT SUIT.


We must say a few things in the way of _generals_ before we come to
_particulars_. We visited a church some years since, and there was
quite a general impression among the members that their preacher did
not suit them—that he was not “the right man in the right place,” etc.
Many fine things were said, as to the kind of a man they needed, etc.,
and the idea prevailed that they had better turn their preacher off and
get another. We suggested to them in a circle one day that possibly
they had not at all discovered the real malady; that possibly the main
difficulty was not at all in reference to the kind of a preacher they
needed, but to the kind of a church they needed; that possibly the
change they needed could be effected by _turning off the church_ and
getting _another_ and a _better one_.



THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.


We need a vast amount of instruction in regard to both the Old
Testament and the New, not only in the sunday-school, but in the
church, the family, and to individuals. We need some thorough work in
this matter. Much of what is now passing for _teaching_ both the Old
Testament and New is in no proper sense teaching either the Old or New
Testament. The general idea is, that the Old Testament embraces all the
sacred writings or the books of the Bible, beginning with Genesis and
ending with Malachi, and that the New Testament embraces all the sacred
writings or books of the Bible, beginning with Matthew and ending with
Revelation. Such is the sense in which these terms are now used. When
it is said, the Old Testament is abolished, the idea generally received
is that all the sacred writings, or the books of the Bible, from the
beginning of Genesis to the end of Malachi, are set aside, of no use,
and not to be studied. This is a very superficial view, and one that in
no sense comprehends the matter.

The word “testament” means _covenant_, and the Old Testament is simply
in the Bible sense the Old Covenant. This was made with the seed of
Abraham, or fleshly Israel, and includes what Paul calls “the law.”
This is what he calls “our _pedagogue_ to bring us to Christ.” It is
not “school-master” as the common version has it, but _pedagogue_.
His office was different from that of school-teacher. It was to take
charge of the children from the time they started from their homes
till they reached the school-room and put under the teacher. This
was the office of the law of Moses, to take charge of the seed of
Abraham, Israel according to the flesh, and bring them to Christ the
School-teacher. Paul does not say, as some quote him, “The law _is_
our school-master to bring us to Christ,” but being a Jew, and speaking
as such, he says, “The law _was_ our pedagogue to bring us to Christ,”
the School-teacher. This law, containing a full development of all
that was in the covenant with the seed of Abraham, or fleshly Israel,
is what was abolished, had waxed old, and was ready to vanish away in
Paul’s day. This most certainly did not include the history in the five
books of Moses, or any other history in the Old Book, commonly called
the “Old Testament,” the book of Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, or the
Prophecies. None of these are abolished, but are all of as much value
to those under Christ, and as legitimate books for study, as they ever
were to any people in any age of the world. They are not included in the
law, or the covenant, or in what was abolished, but have a relation to
the gospel, to those in the kingdom of Christ, and are of immense value.

By making ourselves well acquainted with the sacred writings, the
dealings of God with man, and the portions of revelation given in
various manners and at sundry times, we can see as we can in nature now
that we have revelation through which to read it, that there was one
Divine Mind before the beginning of time that looked down through the
ages, and by the agency of men that did not understand him, carried
out his wise and gracious counsels according to his eternal purpose.
Going back to the early sacred writings found in the Old Book we look
down through these writings to Christ, the kingdom of God, the gospel,
as one looking through a telescope at objects in the distance; but,
standing at the other end of revelation, we look up through the New
Book containing the revelations given at later periods to the persons
and events of the Old Book, as one who turns the telescope the other
end foremost, and bring Moses and the prophets down near to us.

Christ is the soul of the Bible, _the theme_ of the revelation from God
to man. Turn the portions of revelation given at early periods, next
to the eye and look down through the Bible, and through the ages to
Christ, and then turn the last part of revelation to the eye, and look
up through it to Christ, and we thus find that it all centers in Him
“who is Head over all things to the church.”

It is not right in the church, family, or anywhere, to teach the Old
Scriptures _exclusively_, or the New, but _teach both_, in their
relation to each other. The New can not be thoroughly and successfully
studied without the Old, nor the Old without the New.

The popular custom of memorizing and repeating verses in view of prizes
to the most successful, or the study and answer of such questions, as
who was the first man, who was the oldest man, who was the meekest
man, etc., gives us no understanding of the Scriptures. Much of this
is a mere exercise of the memory, and there is nothing in it to make
a pious impression, or give any comprehension of the mind of God. It
appears at times wonderful how many things can be taught, and correctly
enough too, _about_ the Bible, and at the same time keep out of view
entirely the _divine purpose_, the very _import_ and _intention_ of the
wonderful book professedly taught. The eternal purpose of God, running
through the Bible from side to side, as it does through the works of
nature, should be taught and kept in view, not to find any definite
number that will certainly be saved or lost, but to find the Lord’s
Anointed, his gospel and kingdom; a revelation of the mystery, an
unfolding of the secret hid in God from before the beginning of time,
but now made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according
to the commandment of the everlasting God made known to all nations for
the obedience of faith.



WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY.


No matter how many go the wrong way, nor how popular they are, nor how
much money they have, the Lord is able to bring them to judgment, and
he will most certainly do it. When the people went away from the temple
and abandoned him, and only a few disciples remained with him, and he
inquired of them: “Will you also go away?” the prospect looked dim, but
the Lord did not change his course. When he expired on the cross the
enemies exulted and triumphed; but their triumph did not last long. “He
was quickened by the Spirit.” God raised him up. “He was justified by
the Spirit.” The armies in heaven were with him. The upper world was in
motion. God vindicated him, as he did all who will listen to him. When
they burned Tyndale at the stake they thought they had put him down;
but, while the names of his persecutors have, with few exceptions, gone
into oblivion, the name of Tyndale is held in esteem by all good men.
The name of Luther will live to the end of time, while the time-servers
who opposed him are rapidly sinking into forgetfulness. The man
that leads the people to God, to the Lord Jesus, by the gospel, and
maintains the will of God, will abide forever; while the man that tries
to catch the giddy throng with a little show of some human devices,
and who may attract their attention for a time, will pass away and be
forgotten forever.

We are for _progress_ in the true sense in every department, but not
for the _progress backward_. We are for the _progress_ in the church
that goes forward and converts sinners, and builds up churches; that
infuses piety, devotion to God and to the right way of the Lord; but
not for the progress that is _nearly all money_, and _almost no work_.
We are for the progress that goes _forward_ and not _backward_.



THE GROUND OF UNION.


“In what are Christians to be united?”

They are to be united _on Christ_—on _being Christians_. This embraces
the entire revelation from God to man, all the truth uttered, the
commandments given and the promises made by our heavenly Father. The
truth must all be believed, the commandments obeyed, and the promises
must be hoped for. This includes the entire faith, obedience and hope
of the gospel. _In this_ we must be united.

II. “What are the essentials of Christianity which can not be
compromised?”

_Christianity itself_, as a whole and in all its parts, is essential.
All that is in it is essential, and all that is not in it is not
essential. We are for christianity itself, not in part, but the whole
of it, as it came from the infallible Spirit of all wisdom and all
revelation. It is all essential. Nothing may be added to it or taken
from it. The “doctrines and commandments of men,” the doctrines of
“expediency,” of “deductions” and “inferences,” from _principles_,
are not essential; but these are not christianity, nor any part of
it. Nothing in christianity can be compromised except at our peril.
The wisdom of God gives us no non-essentials. If the wisdom of man
pronounces anything given by the wisdom of God, or, which is the same,
any part of christianity, non-essential, such wisdom of man must be set
aside as presumptuous.

What an idea for men to sit on the _grave_ question of _essentials_
and _non-essentials_, in the divine institution given by our Lord and
confirmed by the most indubitable signs and wonders! What part of that
which has been given by the wisdom of God is essential, and what part
is not essential? It is all essential, or the wisdom of God would not
have given it, and the authority of God would not have required it. The
very circumstance that the infinite wisdom devised it and the infinite
authority required it makes the whole of christianity binding. There is
not a non-essential in it.

III. “How far is diversity to be tolerated?”

We are all required to “speak the same thing,” to “teach no other
doctrine,” to “preach the word,” to preach no “other gospel,” to teach
the things that become “sound doctrine,” and if we “speak not according
to his word it is because there is no light in us.” In one word, we are
not to have “all sorts of doctrine from all sorts of teachers,” but to
“earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

IV. “How shall we reconcile the right of private judgment with the
right of the Church to maintain the faith in its purity, and still
preserve the unity of the faith which the word of God enjoins?”

The way we have done it for fifty years past. We have had the light of
private judgment, and, at the same time, maintained the faith in its
purity and preserved the unity of the faith as enjoined in Scripture.
Demonstration is better than theory. We have brought the people from
all parties, united them in the one faith, made them one in the unity
of the Spirit, with the exception of a few erratic spirits, but we
have not had more of these than they had in the time of the apostles.
They and their mission were predicted in Scripture, and they have come
and fulfilled the predictions of the Lord and the apostles without
intending or knowing it, and thus furnished an additional evidence that
the Scriptures are divinely inspired.



IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON.


There are times when general apathy prevails; when it appears
impossible to rouse the people to anything like an appreciation of
the things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ; when
the hearts of the people appear to be closed against all that can be
said or done to save them. They frequently hear at such times, act as
orderly as ever, and show as much respect to the gospel; but they do
not have the heart and soul in it, and can not be _moved to action_.
Their emotional nature appears to be utterly inaccessible. There are
again times when the hearts of the people are open. They not only hear
the truth, pay a decent respect to it and admire its beauties, but,
with joy, they receive it into good and honest hearts, believe it to be
the salvation of their souls. It melts them down, fills their hearts
to overflowing and moves them to obedience. This much we know to be
_fact_. We have tried to see the cause of this fact, but do not claim
that we can see the cause, nor do we see any particular importance in
seeing the cause, but we ought to turn the _fact to account_. How can
this be done?

Paul has a period, or state of things, that he styles “in season,” and
another that he styles “out of season.” There is a time to sow and a
time to reap, a time to dress the vineyard and a time to gather the
fruit. These periods, when the hearts of the people are open, are the
harvest times—the time for gathering in the ripe grain ready for the
harvest—for turning sinners to the Lord. No matter about the cause
of it; there is the _opportunity_; and we should be ready and go into
the harvest and gather precious souls into the fold of Christ. A door
is now open and let no man waste his time about the _cause of this
opening_, but while the way is open go up and possess the land. Never
mind explaining _how_ the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she
attended to the words spoken by Paul, nor _how_ the Lord now is opening
the hearts of the people; it is enough for the man of God to find that
the hearts of the people _are open_, and that they will attend to the
word of the Lord when it is spoken. Go on and speak to them the word of
the Lord—the words of everlasting life—turn them to God and save them.



EATING THE LORD’S FLESH AND DRINKING HIS BLOOD.


John vi. 48, we find the words of the Lord, “I am the bread of life.”
The Lord adds the remark to the Jews, “Your fathers did eat manna in
the wilderness, and are dead.” It had no power to perpetuate life
only for a short time; but he continues, verse 50, “This is the bread
which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die.”
It will be noticed that _his flesh_ did not come down from heaven,
and that bread which came down from heaven is that of which if a man
shall eat he shall not die. Then he follows with the remark, “I am the
living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread”
(which came down from heaven) “he shall live forever; and the bread
that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the
world.” Here he uses the _flesh_, as that which they saw and dealt with
in crucifying him metonymically, or a part for the whole. The Jews,
however, understood him to mean his flesh literally, and so does the
Romish church, and the Jews inquired, “How can this man give us his
flesh to eat?” The Lord did not explain the matter to them, but added,
verse 56, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his
blood, you have no life in you.”

They were looking at it in the literal sense, and did not see how they
could eat his flesh, or how the eating of it could give life. The
doctrine of transubstantiation had not yet been born, and the idea of
the bread and wine being changed, in the ceremony of consecration,
into the _real flesh_ and _blood_, so that they could eat the flesh
and drink his blood in the communion, had not yet entered into the
minds of men. Nor did our Lord mean any such thing, but _he himself_,
who came down from heaven, is that bread of life which if a man shall
eat he shall never die. But the _eating_ is not literal, any more than
the _bread_ is literal or the flesh. We partake of that bread, or of
him who came down from heaven by hearing of him, believing on him, and
being united with him. In becoming his disciples, learning of him and
following him in all things, we eat or partake of that bread, or of him
who is the way, and the truth and the life.

He proceeds, “He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal
life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” See verse 54. He who
believes on him, receives him, follows him, loves him and obeys him,
in the sense he intended, eats his flesh and drinks his blood; but not
in the communion any more than in the other parts of his teaching, or
other appointments. In coming to Christ, and becoming his disciples, we
are made partakers of him, of “the divine nature,” and our salvation
is in him. “My flesh is food indeed,” says he, “and my blood is drink
indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I
in him.” Following him a little further on, verse 57, he says, “As the
living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats
_me_, even he shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from
heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he who eats
this bread shall live forever.” See verse 58. The eating is partaking
of Christ, the bread that came down from heaven; this is done by faith,
in receiving, following and obeying him; doing his commandments, that
we may enter by the gates into the city, and have a right to the tree
of life.



CHURCH ORGANIZATION.


Men may talk of the power of those large combinations, governed by a
few leading spirits or _one_ leading spirit as the case may be, where
_office_ and not _character_ or _ability_ gives power; but while such
an arrangement may create in its adherents a desire for office, to
give them influence and authority, they will neglect the purity and
excellence of good _character_ and _ability_, which are the only things
which should give any one respect and influence among the people of
God. But, in the absence of such character and ability as will give a
man influence and power among the followers of Jesus Christ, some may
become enraged because we do not form some kind of an organization that
will give the desired power by virtue of an _office_. Such a power as
this we hope never to see established in the church of God. If men wish
power and influence let them act in such a manner as will be worthy of,
and command them; and then they will know how to _use_, and not _abuse_
them.

Our present organization, little as some men seem to think of it, has
maintained a general state of union, and has made a concentrated effort
for the conversion of the world, unequalled by any body of people about
us. While other religious bodies have been divided and distracted by
the frivolous worldly questions of our times, we, as a people, stand
firm and unshaken, under the guidance of Him who gave us both a natural
and a religious being.

Some one will inquire, what do you plead for? or what do you vindicate?
It will be said; it is of no use to be exciting fearful apprehensions,
and at the same time setting forth nothing tangible. We will,
therefore, make an effort to set out something definite and tangible.

1st. We do not want any general combination, in the form of an
Association, Conference, Synod or Council, to govern the churches.

2d. We do not want any such body of men to decide who shall be our
ministers, or how they shall be supported.

3d. We do not want any such body of men to decide who shall be our
publishers.

4th. Every congregation properly organized, has the right to govern
its own members, either in itself, or by calling to its assistance
neighboring churches and evangelists.

5th. All letters of commendation, or sentences of condemnation, depend
wholly for their authority and influence with those to whom they may
be presented, upon the intelligence and moral worth of the body whence
they emanated. Hence a minister “whose praise is in all the churches,”
and who may be “chosen of the churches,” to perform any certain
mission, must have more weight and influence among the people where he
goes, than he who is destitute of such commendation.

6th. We want voluntary organizations for missionary purposes, the
distribution of bibles, tracts, books, etc., etc., all of which we have
a right to form in any way which we may conceive most conducive to the
interests of the Redeemer’s cause.



THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.


The Church of Christ was not made for the preachers, but the preachers
of Christ were made for the world and the church. The Church of
Christ does not belong to the preachers of Christ—it is not _their_
property—but they belong to the church—are _its_ property. The
church is not the servant of the preachers, but preachers of Christ
are servants of the churches. The Church of Christ is not called and
sent by preachers, but preachers are called and sent by the church.
Preachers in the kingdom of Christ are no more dignitaries, kings,
and priests, than any other members. They are the Lord’s instruments,
put forth through the church to do his work, and mighty instruments
too, while the Lord is with them, but the poorest, most useless and
miserable creatures on this earth when forsaken of God. Or, in other
words, when they are doing _the Lord’s work_, with an eye single to his
glory, there are no such instruments for good among men; but when they
become selfish, engage simply in their _own work_, or that which they
can turn to their own personal aggrandizement, their usefulness ceases,
and they are dead weights upon the cause. Our Lord’s own life is the
model of all perfection in human character, both public and private.
No community need look for any permanent good from any preacher who
does not imitate the character of his Lord and Master. He may be much
of a gentleman, very fine, pleasant and interesting to worldly-minded
persons, and not do any thing or say any thing that would remind
any one of the Savior of the world. But to come under the name of a
preacher of Christ, a disciple of Christ, and not be like him, not make
men think of him, love him, and desire to come to him, is a deception
upon the church and the world.



PROGRESSING BACKWARD.


If some of the movements now on foot are to be tolerated, there
is no reason for our existence as a body. If we want organs,
gorgeous temples, Catharine wheels, clerical orders, superior
courts, organizations and numerous societies, aside from the local
congregations of the Lord, the Pope can supply any demand for any or
all of these. If there are “means of grace,” he is rich in means. He
can furnish them an outlet for their overwhelming benevolence in the
innumerable channels he has opened. If the great problem is how to
reach the pockets of the people and build expensive temples, put up
tall spires and chimes of bells, he has solved it. He has swarms of
men, and women, too, doing his bidding and under fine pay, living on
the fat of the land. He has a _system_, a _plan_, an _organization_, a
grand one; the broadest one ever made by man. Here is the opening for
men who long for something of that sort. There is no use in mincing
the matter, nor in half-way measures. Why not at one bound go right
up to the grand culmination of all this kind of progress? There is no
use in trudging along behind the Pope, when a man can go to him and be
received into his embrace at once.

What a farce for men to be talking of _progress, going on to
perfection, keeping up with the age_, etc., etc., when they are giving
up and retrograding from the grandest progress possible to men—the
progress up to the ground consecrated by the feet of the apostles and
first Christians. Talk of progress when going back to the feeble and
exploded schemes of sectarians and patronizing their shallow devices!
Progress, indeed, to turn away from the holy gospel, the power of
God to salvation, and scheme to catch people and draw them in by the
blandishments of fine houses, theatrical, musical shows and clerical
pretentions! No, brethren, all this is empty and powerless for good,
and yielding up to the influences of hardness of heart, and aiding
on that overwhelming avalanche of unbelief now coming upon us. We
must stand by our Lord and the simplicity of the gospel, its faith
and practice, worship and discipline. We can defend and maintain the
gracious system of mercy and grace given by our Lord, in its own native
purity, but we can maintain nothing else. There must be no wedge of
gold in the camp, no Achan. We must offer no strange fires on God’s
altar. The Lord directs our minds and hearts and keep us in the love of
Christ. We long to see those who trouble us cease to give pain to the
hearts of the friends of the Lord; to learn to be happy themselves and
make others happy.



NO DIVISION CAN COME.


No _general division_ can come. The main ground we occupy precludes
the idea of any _general division_. A vain man, or a bad man, may
occasionally scatter a flock, tear up a church and ruin it. But, then,
such a man will soon find his level and come to nothing, or become
surrounded by influences strong enough to control him. There is no
machinery of which he can get hold to produce a general division, nor
is there any place where an entering-wedge can be introduced to rive us
asunder.

No man can depart from the doctrine sufficiently to produce a division,
without losing his influence, so that he will have no power to do
anything more than lead off an insignificant faction, such as will
die out in a short time. Take any one of the elements now annoying
us, and tell us how a general division can grow out of it. You will
see that it can not be done. Take, for instance, the question about
evangelizing and the different methods insisted on, and inquire how we
can divide on it. One man is for this plan or that, and goes for it.
Another man is not for this plan or that, and goes against it. The one
for it, works for it, and the other does not. After a little space the
difference will wear out, and they will fall into the same channel and
work together. Different schemes will be tried, found inefficient and
useless, and be abandoned. After the brethren have time to mature the
matter they will come round to the right ground and go on in harmony.
Unscriptural things will be discarded, impracticable things will prove
failures, and shallow things will be treated with contempt. Men that
are unlovely, of bad spirit, spiteful and revengeful, will soon develop
themselves to the satisfaction of all. True men—men of faith and love
and zeal—will go on and work where the Lord shall open the way for
them; not for man, nor to please man, but for the Lord, and to please
the Lord, and the work will go on. Men that will not work, that have
no work in them, but want large pay, will seek fat places, and get
them, if they can, and if they can not, croak about our lack of system,
disorder, want of organization and the like, pine away and vanish out
of sight.

But may we not have a general division about the organ? Not at all.
We have none among us that will exclude us if we will not _fellowship
the organ_. This is all the difficulty there is. Some of us will not
_worship with the organ_ nor _fellowship it_. Will not that divide us?
Not at all. Those who would rather have their organ in their worship,
than those who will not, and can not worship with it, _will have it_,
and let those who can not worship with it, _stay away_. Those who can
not worship with it will seek some place where they can worship without
it, and worship as they know to be according to Scripture. They know
this to be safe.



SOME THINGS CAN NOT BE SETTLED.


We once acted on a committee with several others, heard testimony and
arguments for a week, and had the parties bound in writing to abide
the decision of the committee. When the decision was made the parties
acquiesced in it, shook hands over it, and we prayed over them and were
all happy. But in a short time, we do not remember whether a week or a
month, the whole matter was thrown aside and the parties stood as they
did before. Our prayerful and patient work all went for nothing.

When brethren become alienated they frequently do not want to settle
their difficulties, but to get an advantage over an opposing party. No
court of appeal nor anything we can say will reconcile them. If we,
in any part of the affair, agree with them, they _there_ agree with
us; but if we in any part of it differ from them they _there_ differ
from us. There the matter ends. Still, we will try and give a little
attention to the matters in hand.

There are cases where nothing can be done. In other words, there are
cases that can not be settled. Church members become like the man’s
rails that had been in a _crooked fence_ so long that they would not
make a _straight fence_. Church-members sometimes have been _crooked_
so long that they will not become _straight_. They continue in their
alienation so long that it becomes a kind of habit with them and food
for them. They can not do well without it.

If a church is about equally divided by a difficulty and can not
settle the matter among themselves, and will not refer the matter
to a committee, it simply _can not be settled_. A case that can not
be settled must remain _unsettled_. We answer, that in _that case_
nothing can be done. Some cases of difficulty will never be settled
in this world, and will have to be referred to the last judgment for
adjudication. It would be well, though, in such a case as stated, for
the disaffected party to consider the matter well, and see to it that
they have acted wisely and in the Spirit of the Lord in the whole
matter. On the other hand, the church party should review the whole
ground carefully, and see to it that _all they can do_ to open the
way for the disaffected party to become reconciled and brought into
the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace _be done_. Let no stone
remain unturned, no effort untried and nothing remain undone that might
bring peace.



OUTWARD APPEARANCE.


We have made a standing arrangement for paper this year, of which the
present pamphlet is a sample, and we shall do our utmost to have the
whole volume printed in a neat and legible manner. As to _fine_ paper,
covers, etc., they are like fine clothes only necessary to encase the
bodies and souls which will not pass without them. You have, no doubt,
seen the preacher wrapped in the finest broadcloth, and a golden
chain for a watch-guard, who, after a labored effort for an hour
would only prove that he was a human frame, finely clad, but _no
preacher_. In clothing our thoughts in pamphlets, as in clothing our
persons, the proper rule should be, to have the apparel just such as
not to be noticed at all, and then the thoughts in the pamphlet or
the man himself may be seen. Let the attire be neat enough not to be
observed for its shabbiness, and plain enough not to be noticed for its
fineness, that the person in the attire may be seen. It is true, it
is desirable to have a paper printed plain and neat, but all this and
fine paper into the bargain will never make it go, if there be not some
life, spirit and power in the articles themselves.

Some men seem astonished that their publications do not circulate,
seeing that they contain such a display of the most elegant literary
taste, not seeming to be aware of the fact, that not one common reader
out of fifty ever perceives the mighty effort at all. Yet there can be
no objection to fine style. The difficulty in that class to which we
refer, is not that they write in fine style, but that there is _nothing
but the style_—neither soul, body, nor spirit.



LITTLE MATTERS.


It may seem strange that a human body, weighing one hundred and fifty
pounds, would be disturbed by a little thorn in it, not an eighth of an
inch long! But, strange as it may appear, _it is a fact_. And you can
not accustom the body to it by piercing the thorn in deeper and deeper,
till the body will become easy and comfortable; but you can in that way
produce irritation, then inflammation, then mortification, and then
death. Death has been produced in this way many times. He is no friend
to the body who continues to push the thorn in deeper and deeper, nor
is he who would excuse him in so doing, or encourage him in it. There
is but one remedy, and that is to _remove the thorn_. Even if you have
to make the wound much larger than it is, the thorn _must be removed_,
or the end will be death.

There are cases in which a thorn might be pierced into the flesh an
inch, and produce no pain or irritation; but they are cases where there
is no _life_ in the flesh. A thorn pierced into a _dead body_ will
produce no pain or irritation. A dead body has no power to resist it,
and will make no effort. This is the reason precisely that a thorn
produces no irritation or pain when pierced into certain bodies. They
are _dead bodies_. It is no indication that the body is not alive and
in healthy condition, to find it resisting foreign matter, and making
an effort to remove obstructions; but when it can not do this, the body
must die. It can not live and the obstruction remain, at least, only
for a short time. But who will permit even a _little thorn_ to remain
in his flesh? We care not how little it may be; it is foreign, it is
irritating, and, unless removed, will produce death.

It was a little thing for Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. Thomas
Paine inquired, “What harm was there in eating an apple?” This is the
watchword with all the unlawful things that people desire to do. “What
harm is it?” When we worship according to Scripture we never inquire,
“What harm is it?” It is not in doubt, and calls out no such inquiry.
It is not under any suspicion. To worship according to Scripture
is manifestly right. Why should we lag in anything in doubt, under
suspicion, and repulsive to any portion of the body, when we have a
divinely-prescribed worship held in no doubt?

It was a little thing for Achan to take a Babylonish garment, some
silver, and a wedge of gold, and secrete them in his tent; but when he
came to confess, it was not a little matter.

He said: “I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel.” On account
of this _little matter_, three thousand men were defeated, and Israel
disgraced. “Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall
trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and
burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Here
is a fine sample of little matters, and of troubling the people of God
with little matters. See Joshua vii. 19-26.

It was a little matter for Uzza to “put forth his hand to hold the
ark;” but he fell dead on account of it. See 1 Chron. xiii. 9. He
appeared to have been friendly to the ark, sincere, etc., but his
touching the ark brought death. What harm was there in touching the
ark? It did not injure it. It may be that he saved it from falling. But
he violated the law of God. He incurred the anger of God.

What became of them who offered strange fire on God’s altar? See Lev.
x.: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his
censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered
strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there
went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before
the Lord.” That was a little matter; only slightly tampering with the
worship; simply introducing a new element, which the Lord commanded
them not, or did not command them. It is a fearful thing to tamper with
the worship.

In one word: “If _every transgression_ and disobedience received a
just recompense of reward,” in God’s dealings with men in former ages,
how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? If God allowed
no departures in the typical worship, why should we assume that he
will permit it in the worship typified? If everything had to be done
according to the patterns given to Moses in the typical dispensation,
how can any man infer that we may depart from the substance? We had
better take heed now. We may not add any thing, nor take any away from
what the Lord gave. We may not preach any other gospel, or even pervert
the gospel of Christ.

It was a little matter to charge that Jesus had “an unclean spirit,”
but those who did it sinned against the Holy Spirit, and are in danger
of “eternal damnation.”

It was a little matter for Ananias and Sapphira to lie about the price
of their possessions, but it was soon followed by a judgment from the
Lord.

It was a little matter for the Corinthians to get up a feast when they
met to worship, but on account of it many were sickly, weakly, and some
had died.

Some of the little matters now among us will be found sufficient to
stop the ark of God, and cause more than three thousand to be defeated.
If Moses were to address some of our men, he would say to them, as
he did to Aaron, “What hath this people done to thee that thou hast
brought so great a sin upon them?” or as Joshua said to Achan: “Why
hast thou troubled us? The Lord shall trouble thee this day.” Let us
hear and live.



ONE IDEA ISM.


We are asked to define what we mean by one-idea ism, and explain to
us how the universe is made up of atoms. With this request we will
cheerfully comply. It is to be carried away with one idea. The idea may
be a good one, or it may not; but one-ideaism, is giving an idea undue
importance. A man addicted to one-ideaism, can no more cover it than a
leopard can change his spots. If he attempts to pray, he will commence
with something else as a stepping stone, regularly paving the way and
unmistakably making his way to his favorite idea. When it is put
forth and he is delivered of it he is relieved for the time being,
especially, if he finds that it annoys some one. If you call on him for
an exhortation, a sermon, or if he writes, he may wind round and round,
trace back and forward, but it will, in spite of himself, in all his
efforts to conceal it, be manifest to all, that he takes no interest in
all he is saying, only as it subserves his purpose, in paving the way
to the one idea, the center around which the whole man revolves, and
to which his entire existence is subservient. If that one idea is not
dragged in, the man is not relieved, his burden is still upon his soul,
and he is in travail waiting to be relieved.

You will see this class of men at meetings, and conventions, both
political and religious, without the most distant idea of promoting
the objects of the meeting, convention, etc., as the case may be, but
with no higher aim than introducing their idea to notice, making the
meeting an engine, and men, met under other obligations, and with the
ostensible object of the meeting before them, instruments to carry
the _pet idea_ on the high road to fame. Sometimes this class of men,
because other men have other objects in view, are actually engaged in
some good and great work, have not time, will not be annoyed nor turned
aside to hear them nor dispute with them; or, if they do, give them but
a passing notice—think all the world afraid of them. But they need
have no fears on this score. An idea that has not force enough to burst
its way forth in the world in defiance of all fogies and conservatives,
would die a natural death, if the parent of it could get some one to
bring it forth.



MINISTERING ANGELS.


We have much in the present day on the spiritual care which the divine
Father exercises over his creatures in this world. We consider it clear
that God has angels who guard, protect, and take care of that portion
of the human family which put their trust in him. That the first
Christians believed that a good man had an angel, is clear, from Acts
xii. 15. When the Apostle Peter was delivered from prison by a miracle,
and his voice was heard at the gate, where several disciples were
collected, they could not believe it was him, but said, “_It is his
angel_.”

Speaking of his disciples, the Lord said, “In heaven _their angels_ do
always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Mat. xviii.
10. This shows clearly that the disciples of Christ have angels.
Paul says, “But to which of the angel said he at any time, sit on my
right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? _Are they not
all ministering spirits_, sent forth to minister for them who shall
be heirs of salvation?” The heirs of salvation then have ministering
angels, who wait upon them continually, and at the same time behold the
face of God in heaven.

Some men seem perplexed to see the use of prayer, unless God operates
upon the hearts of christians by an abstract spirit; but if the ever
blessed Father keeps ministering angels about them as a mighty wall, and
thus guards, protects and preserves them, it would seem to involve the
same necessity for prayer, that would be involved if he should do it
any other way. Why should it not? With us, we consider ourselves under
the same obligations, should God be pleased to preserve us in one way,
that we would be, should he do it in another. Not only so, but the man
of God ought to have confidence enough in God to believe he will answer
any petition asked, according to his will, whether he has _told us or
not_.



NO SIDE STRUCTURE.


We can not recognize the _side institution_, nor the officers in it,
as neither the one nor the other is known to the oracles of God, or to
history for ages after the sacred canon was complete. What is the use
to talk of a church of which there is not a trace in the volume of God,
nor in anything written for hundreds of years after the apostles? There
is not a trace of Romanism, of a pope, cardinal or archbishop in the
Bible, except in the prophecies that foretell the apostasy, nor in any
other writing of the first three centuries. Nor is there any account of
any of the others we have mentioned for a much greater length of time.

We find “the body of Christ,” “the kingdom of God,” and “the Church
of God,” spoken of in Scripture. The Lord says, “On this rock I will
build my church.” Here is something clear and definite. We can bring
this “body” before us, this “kingdom,” or “church,” be members of it,
confine our minds and hearts to it; keep it and all its grand interest
in view, and not some _side structure, imitation or something like it_.

The apostles and first evangelists, the overseers and deacons in the
first church, were all ministers or servants in the grand work of the
“one body,” or “the kingdom,” and not of any _side structure_. All who
are really ministers or servants of Jesus now, are in this “one body,”
“kingdom” or “church,” and devoted to its interests and growth, and not
to the building up, extending or perpetuation of any _side structure_,
under the pretext that it is like the original or any other, but for
the original itself.

All these side structures, names and laws are usurpation, and the true
ministers or servants of the kingdom, can but regard them as such, and
labor to melt them all away and put all the good material there is in
them into “God’s building,” “the temple of God,” and thus make this
material useful and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

As to clerical airs, the peculiar cut of the coat, the white necktie,
and all other such “outward signs of inward grace,” they are the
offspring of shallowness, weakness and folly, and wholly incompatible
with the plainness, meekness and humility of Jesus and of good taste
and sense.



LIGHT WITHIN.


All the perversions, innovations and corruptions of the pure and holy
religion of Jesus Christ that have found way into it and disgraced it,
have been introduced under some pretext of doing good—some plea of a
supposed benevolent nature. In some form or other they have all claimed
to have the good of the cause in view, and in some way have put up some
kind of claim to divine authority. Some of them were introduced by good
men, with good intentions, who saw not the evil that would follow,
while others, no doubt, were introduced by “designing men.” George
Fox was probably a good man, or a man of good intentions, and, when
he talked of the “light within,” and tried to sustain his position by
Scripture, he had no idea of the evil that would follow—much less did
he design it. Though he quoted Scripture, it was not as a rule of faith
and practice; not as a system of religion, nor as supreme authority,
but merely to give currency to the theory he was laboring to introduce
and support it in the minds of the people. The leading idea in the new
theory was that the _light within_ was the guide—the unerring rule;
that it was from God, and that he who followed it was following the
will of God, the influence of the Spirit. He certainly did not intend
to turn the hearts of the people away from God and lead them to follow
the imaginations of their own hearts. He clearly designed no such
wickedness as this; but what has followed? Where has the “light within”
led his followers? It has led some of them to neglect and forsake
the word of God; to regard the Bible simply as a good book, a true
history and guide to the people of its time, but not as an authority,
a rule of faith and practice for us. It has led some of them into
Spiritualism, others into Universalism, and some, more recently, into
exciting revival, mourners’ bench-meetings, in which old members have
been trying to “get religion,” as seekers do in Methodist and other
revivals. Many of them have been led into out-and-out infidelity.
This is where the “light within” has led them. Original Quakerism has
virtually run out.

Numerous other bewildered people are seeking an evidence of pardon
and acceptance with God directly from heaven. They are trying to find
this evidence in their feelings, impressions, emotions, impulses,
sensations, dreams, some sound or voice, and not in the promise of God.
This direct or immediate evidence, in their view of it, is from the
Spirit of God and perfectly reliable. The promise of God, with them, is
the _mere word_, the _bare word_, the _mere letter_ of Scripture. They
are thus completely turned aside from the testimony of the Spirit of
God, as confirmed by the most grand and awful displays of supernatural
power, to their own imaginations, their own spirits, and as completely
perverted as if they never had received any revelation from God.

There is no teaching of the Spirit of God among men only that found
upon the pages of the Bible. Those led by the teaching of the Spirit of
God spread on the pages of the Bible are led by the Spirit of God, but
those not led by that teaching are not led by the Spirit of God at all.
They may be led by their own spirits, desires, feelings, emotions,
impressions, sensations; by men, or even the adversary, “captive at
his will;” but they are not led by the Spirit nor under his influence
at all. When they turn away from the teaching of the Spirit of God
recorded in the Bible, it matters not much to what they turn, whether
they profess to be led by the “light of nature,” so called, “the light
of reason,” “the light of conscience,” the “light within,” impressions,
feelings, emotions, sensations, by men, or the adversary, they turn
away from God, from Christ and from the Holy Spirit. They are perfectly
deluded, and, if they thus continue, they must come to ruin. God will
eventually overthrow all who turn away from him, no matter to what they
turn.

Men may claim to have the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, talk about
the Spirit, pray about the Spirit, sing about the Spirit, and at the
same time despise the things of the Spirit, the things commanded by the
Spirit, and do despite to the work of the Spirit. Such men manifestly
have not the Spirit. All their claim to having the Spirit is an empty
and idle pretense. They are not led by the Spirit at all, but are led
in opposition to all the Spirit ever taught. Those led by the Spirit
receive what the Spirit teaches, as _found in Scripture_, believe it
and delight to follow it. It is idle for those who will not do this to
be talking about the Spirit, or the influence of the Spirit.

If any man gets an immediate evidence of pardon, it is an evidence
that comes not through the Mediator, for what comes through him is not
_immediate_, but through him as a _Medium_, or Mediator. It is a direct
revelation, not through Christ at all, and it is a _new_ revelation.
Are men receiving any _new_ revelations now? The Mormons and
Spiritualists think they are. Do others think so? We do not believe
any _new_ revelations are now being made from God. On this ground we
reject all Mormon pretensions, as well as Romish pretensions and those
of Spiritualists. Since the apostles died, and those on whom they laid
their hands died, not a miracle has been done or a revelation from God
been made. Every pretense to miracle or revelation from then till now
is an empty and idle pretense—an imposition. Since John, the Apostle,
closed the book of Revelation, with the declaration that, if any man
shall add to it, the plagues of that book shall be added to him, there
is an end of all revelation till time shall be no more.

Through Christ, God made a _final_ revelation, to which nothing is to
be added, and from which nothing is to be taken. The will of God is
in that concerning man, and if we desire to know the mind of God we
must consult that revelation. The restlessness of man is wonderful. He
is not willing to be limited even to the revelation God has made, the
testimony God has given concerning his Son, and the unfailing promise
of God for assurance of acceptance with him. But this is the highest
and the only assurance we have or can have, in this world. When God
made the promise, that we might have strong consolation, he confirmed
it by an oath. We come to God by _faith_ and not by _sight_; we walk by
_faith_ and not by _sight_; enjoy God, and Christ and the Holy Spirit
by _faith_ and not by _sight_. So we enjoy the remission of sins and
acceptance with God by _faith_ and not by _sight_. “He that believeth
and is baptized _shall be saved_,” said the Lord, among the last words
he uttered before he ascended to heaven. Men who will not rely on that
promise—on the words _shall be saved_, or _shall be pardoned_—would
not believe though one would rise from the dead. It is not baptism such
need; it is _faith_. They are not fit subjects for baptism. They must
remember the condition, “He that _believeth_.” They can not come to God
without _faith_. “Without faith it is impossible to please him.”



BE FIRM IN THE RIGHT.


If it is wiser to obey God than man, if an infallible law is better
than a fallible, if a perfect law is better than an imperfect one, if
a divine law is better than a human, if the authority of God is better
than the authority of man, if the word of the Living God is better than
a human creed, if the infallible teachings of inspiration are better
than uninspired human creeds, if the teachings of the Holy Spirit of
God are a safer guide to heaven than the teachings of erring men, if
God should govern in preference to man, we are right, and our opposers
wrong, on this transcendent point, and it is our duty to God and our
fellow-creatures, that we maintain with manly zeal and fortitude that
which is so manifestly and self-evidently the will of God. We never can
falter. We have no ground to doubt or fear; but if we shrink or
hesitate, it must be manifest indifference. While we hope, then, for
the blessing of God upon us, and call upon God for his mercy, let us
remember our fealty to him, and maintain our integrity to the day of
his coming.



THE BIBLE WILL SAVE THE WORLD.


The Bible contains the true religion, or there is none. There is light
in the Bible to save the world, or the world is lost. Our only choice
is between the Bible and nothing. Judaism is abolished. Mohammedanism
has no claims in internal merit or external evidence. The fruits of all
Paganism show that it is evil, and only evil, continually. Infidelity
has nothing for the world. While it would take Christianity from us, it
has nothing to propose. It is no system—no doctrine—teaches nothing
and defends nothing. Its only province is to stand and deny. It finds
fault with everything, starts doubts, destroys confidence, fills the
world with fears, and spreads an eternal gloom over the prospects and
hopes of all nations. Reason and the light of nature have been tried
longer and more effectually than any system in the world. At least four
thousand years have the pagan nations been trying what they could do
for our race without a revelation from God. In all the experiments yet
made, with no guide but reason and the light of nature, the tendency
has been downward. Deterioration has been the universal result, without
the light of the Bible. We then, cling to the Bible, and the religion
it reveals, as the only hope of the world. If it fails, all must fail,
and all must be lost. But it is folly of the most stupid order to speak
of the Bible failing. Its Author is emphatically _the friend of man_.
Its holy lessons are all for our good. All who have been led by it, are
thankful they ever knew it. It has never deceived one or misled one. No
one has ever lamented being led by it. The more solemn and affecting
the circumstances around us, and the greater the trials in which we are
placed, the more comforting and precious are its holy consolations to
the soul. It encourages all that is good; discourages and condemns all
that is evil. It is our guide and comfort through the journey of life;
nor does it fail when we are sinking in death. No one who believed
it before, in a dying hour denies and repudiates the Bible. But many
determined infidels have recanted and repudiated their infidelity when
sinking into the eternal state. That which they talked in health, that
which dwelt upon their tongues in their mad career through life, they
themselves condemned, in the most awful and solemn moments of life,
and with their dying lips repudiated. How shameful and preposterous,
that a man should live such a life of folly and inconsistency as to
be compelled in his dying moments to condemn all his past life, with
all the sentiments he had cherished and inculcated, and warn all men
against them!



NOT RECEIVING THE REFORMATION, BUT CHRIST.


The question is not whether men will receive us, our doctrines, our
views, our church, or “the Reformation,” or “Reformation doctrines”
but whether they will receive him whom the Father hath sent, love him,
follow him, place themselves under him, obey him, and trust in him
forever. He is the center of all union, all love, and all piety. Upon
him, all who love him, have received him and desire to follow him,
being led by his voice, may unite. Having received him, been identified
with him, as a matter of course, we receive all who have been received
by him, are united with and love them, as members of the same family.
When we speak of union, the question is not about receiving men, nor
their views, but whether we can agree upon a leader, head, lawgiver
or king. Jesus is the true Light that enlightens every man that comes
into the world. He is the only divinely authorized head, lawgiver and
leader. The question we have to urge upon men, is whether they will
come under him. If they will, they should proceed, like young Saul,
to ascertain of him, what he requires of them, before they can be
received, pardoned and saved by him. When they learn this of him, and
come to him, in the way he has appointed, or by doing what he requires,
they are received by him, united with him and with all that belong to
him, and, as long as they continue to love and obey him, no adverse
power can separate them from him. He is our rock, the rock of our
salvation—the foundation which God has laid—for union in “one _new_
man,” or one new church, one “building of God,” one “house of God,” in
which dwells the “one spirit,” given by the “one Lord.”

Here upon the one rock—one foundation, which is Christ—in the one
building or temple, in Christ, where all spiritual blessings are found,
all the good, the pure and holy, may strike hands, unite, live in holy
fellowship, while they continue in this world of sorrow and affliction,
and after, be received up into glory, to dwell with their Lord and
the holy society of the redeemed forever. Brethren, look at the vast
numbers we have gathered into the one fold, and take fresh courage, and
let us enter upon the work with spirit and might for another year.



LIFTED ABOVE SECTS AND PARTIES.


The men who are meditating on union are now on trial, being put to
the test, and will be compelled to show where they stand. Those who
love union among christians more than denominationalism will sacrifice
the denomination for union, but those who love denominationalism
more than union will sacrifice union for the denomination. The union
of the people of God is from heaven; the denomination is from man.
The denomination is the party, sect, faction. The body of Christ, or
kingdom of God, is no sect, party or denomination. It is as broad
as the dominion of King Jesus. It is above all sects, parties and
denominations. The man that rises so as to grasp the kingdom of God in
his mind, ascends far above all sects, parties and denominations; up
to the throne and Him who sits on the throne; to the Supreme Majesty
of heaven and earth. He loves the King above all kings and potentates,
and loves the kingdom of God above all the kingdoms and empires of the
world, and supremely above all parties, sects or denominations. We love
no denomination, nor denominationalism, but love the people involved
in the denomination; and while we desire to see the denomination
literally abolished, wiped out, we desire to save the kingdom of God,
the union of the people of God, and the people themselves. This can be
done if the people will have it so. But if they love the sect, party or
denomination more than the Church of God, or the body of Christ, they
will keep an eye to the sect, party or denomination; to their little
side institutions of human device; every one of which originated with
_men_, and without one scrap of _divine authority_; instead of rising
to the grand and glorious institution ordained of God, with the Lord
for its head, and the law of God for the rule of its faith and practice.



MAKING THE BIBLE SUPPORT HUMAN SYSTEMS.


There can be no apology for a man who knows what the truth is, what the
doctrine of Christ is, what christianity is, who will use it merely
as a proof to sustain, prove, and impose something else upon himself
and others, for he might just as easily have received the truth, the
doctrine of Christ, christianity itself, enjoyed it, and been saved
by it, as to have trifled with it, in trying to prove something else
by it. But if a man does not know what the truth is, the doctrine
of Christ, christianity is, and adopts something else, he is simply
guessing at it, and is not to be relied upon. He has no foundation.

We are as well convinced, as we are that there is a glorious heaven
for the righteous, and a hell for the wicked, that no man now living,
who knows what the Lord’s truth is, what the gospel of Christ is, what
christianity is, and what the Bible is, and has appealed to it to
sustain something else, and now continues so to appeal to it, could, if
his life were at stake, give a good reason why he did not receive the
truth itself, the gospel, christianity, the Bible itself, rely upon it
as his only hope for life, his only guide, as the only divine system,
the only divine institution, in the place of perverting its glorious
influence and power to sustain and prop up something else. And we are
equally certain, that no man can answer to God, when the actions of all
men shall be spread out in the last judgment, for such a course. If
christianity is a system, if it is a divine institution, if it is the
religion of Jesus Christ, if it is from God, and now binding upon the
human family, as almost all the religious parties of these times admit,
and as can not be denied, the sin of departing from it is great enough;
but to have the assurance to try to make it sanction any other system,
to testify in support of any other, to try to divert its influence,
power, and authority from its own work, to sustain and prop up some
human system not mentioned in it, when it has expressly, under the
most fearful and awful penalty, forbidden any perversion, addition, or
subtraction, is a species of daring and aggression upon the institution
of heaven and government of God, such as one would suppose no believer
in the Bible would risk. Still it is done—almost daily done, in the
pulpits all over the land; and those who will not do it, who condemn
it, who receive the Bible, christianity, the gospel, the religion
of Jesus Christ, all that God has revealed to man—all that has the
name of God upon it, keep it distinct from every thing else, and will
have nothing more, are opposed everywhere, sneered at and branded as
_heretics_. Be it so. We look not to man for reward. We look not to
sectarian parties to honor God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible,
christianity, or the gospel. We do not expect them, as parties, to come
to the Bible, unless to draw support for their own schemes. But we
regard not this; we know we are right; and it is not the great number
that will stand, but those who are right. “Truth is mighty above all
things, and will prevail.” Brethren, push on the war, on this great
question. The Bible will prevail in the end. Its enemies will all fail.



PIONEERS, SUPPORT, ETC.


The pioneer men in this country felled the trees, cleared away the
forests, built their houses and barns, and made a living. Many of their
sons can not make a living with the farm and all the balance fitted
to their hand. In the same way, the first preachers went out at their
own expense, turned the people to God and built up churches, and now
the preachers, with their fine salaries, houses in which to meet,
and everything prepared to hand, are not accomplishing as much, in
proportion to their number and ability. Why is this? Is it because they
_can not_? Not at all. It is because they are not as _devoted_. They
are not as _enterprising_. They are not as _industrious_. They are not
as _self-sacrificing_.

Those old preachers needed no “innocent amusements,” “innocent games,”
“healthful exercises,” “pastime,” “social dance,” “croquet,” etc.,
etc. They knew nothing of _torpid liver_, _indigestion_, _nervous
prostration_, etc., etc. Those afflictions were left for a later class.
They obtained plenty of healthful exercise in clearing off, breaking
and cultivating their new land, in their long rides on horseback, or
trips on foot, and faithfully preaching, and the Lord blessed them. The
results of their labor and sacrifices are seen all over this country.
They looked after the children of God and _cared for them_; not with
this new kind of _care for money_; not only the money of the _living_,
but arranging to get the money of the _dead_; but they cared for _men_;
watched for _their souls_, as those who shall give an account.

We do not want to say one word in this connection, nor any other, that
shall be the means of cutting off one penny of support received by any
good preacher who is faithfully doing the work of an evangelist, but
would add to the support of many such men whose support is inadequate;
and as to mercenary and avaricious men in the ministry, and we trust
there are but few of them, we have learned better than to waste our ink
on them. We are writing for the good of the cause, and we rejoice to
believe that we have the men, an extended body of them, able ministers
of the gospel, who are devoted to the work, and willing to do anything
in their power to advance the cause. These are reading, studying, and
ready to listen to anything that will advance the cause. To these men
we must look, and on them, as the agents under God, we must depend;
we must encourage their hearts, strengthen their hands and give them
support. To these men we appeal and entreat them, in view of all that
is dear to humanity; in view of the suffering Savior, and lost man; in
view of their own children and the children of others, as well as the
good of the world at large, to go into the field with a determination
to preach the gospel of the grace of God; go everywhere, in the name of
the Lord, where the people will listen to a discourse concerning Jesus
and the resurrection, and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ;
make all men see and turn them to God. Do not wait for a _call_, but
_go_; do not wait for some certain promise of support, but trust to the
promises of God; go in faith; trust in God; sow the good seed of the
kingdom, the word of God, that it may fall into good and honest hearts
and bring forth much fruit. Put in every sermon possible; preach to
every one who will hear; preach because you love God and man, and
desire to save man from ruin, and because you love to preach; because
the Lord commands it, and the God of peace will be with you, care and
provide for you.



UNIVERSALISM.


We heard of a man who had heard Universalists occasionally, and gave
them something when they were making contributions for their preachers.
A preacher, who made one of his finest efforts to prove that all will
be saved, inquired of him how he liked his argument. The man replied,
“I did not like it at all.” The preacher, disappointed, said: “You
believe our doctrine?” The man replied: “I do; but you tried to prove
it by the Bible, and all intelligent people know that the Bible is
against us from one side to the other. The way I prove it is this: _I
deny the Bible, and then prove it by reason_.” This is certainly the
more rational way. We care not who he is, nor where he comes from,
nor what his attainments may be; but the man who attempts to prove
Universalism _by the Bible_ opposes the common sense of mankind and the
clearest language ever written. The man who rejects the Bible out and
out, and is wandering in the darkness of unbelief, in the vagaries
of those who reject the wisdom of God, might, in his philosophical
speculations, try to show that all men would be saved, with at
least some show of plausibility possibly; but there is not only no
plausibility in anything that can be adduced from the Bible to show
that all men will be saved, but clear statements of the Bible can not
be true and all men be saved. It cannot be true that those “who believe
not the Son shall _not see life_,” and that all men shall be saved.
It can not be true, as stated in Scripture, that “these” (the wicked)
“shall go away into everlasting punishment,” and _all men be saved_.

The man who affirms that those _who die in their sins_ shall be wholly
and happy in heaven contradicts the clearest utterances of Scripture.
When time shall end and God shall exclaim, “He that is filthy, let him
be filthy still,” there will be no more repentance; yet some will be
_filthy_—_unsound_.

Universalism had its day in this country; has run its course and is
going by. There is not one-tenth as much of it in this country as
there was thirty years ago. There is no argument of consequence about
it any more. The only thing wanting to show what it is, will appear
anywhere when they undertake to form churches, keep up Sunday-schools,
keep up prayer-meetings, meet regularly on the first day of the week
and worship. Let them undertake to enforce the clear requirements of
Scripture on their people, and they will soon get a lesson. They will
soon explain that _all will be saved_, and they will find that they
will have no use for baptism, the Lord’s Supper, prayer-meetings, nor
any regular worship.

It will not do to read, “He who believes not _shall be saved_;” “He
who believes not the Son _shall see life_;” “The wrath of God _shall
not abide on him_;” “If you believe not that I am he, you _shall
not die in your sins_;” “Where I am _you shall come_;” “These” (the
wicked) “_shall not_ go away into everlasting punishment;” “The beast
and the false prophets _shall not_ be tormented day and night forever
and ever;” “He who shall sin against the Holy Spirit shall not be in
danger of eternal damnation,” etc., etc. The man who denies his Bible
first, and then starts out to prove that all will be saved from some
other source, is a much more sensible man than the man that undertakes
to prove it from the Bible. Whatever the Bible may mean besides, it
does not mean Universalism. The man who holds and undertakes to prove
Universalism has no use for a Bible, unless it be to show his skill in
getting round the clearest things ever written.



SUPPORT WORKERS.


The brethren know that men cannot devote their lives to the work of
evangelizing without support, and they will give the support, and do
it much more freely where they can see the work done, than where they
can _see no work done_. The preachers in the field doing the work are
receiving the main support given, and ought to receive it. The men not
in the field, and that will not go into the field, ought not to receive
the support. The brethren are not in the way of sending it to them.

We hope the preachers generally will see what is being done by those
in the work, go out and participate in the heavenly work, that they,
too, when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, may have a crown of glory
that fades not away. How can men with the love of God in them see their
fellow-creatures perishing, and not be inspired with a zeal to go forth
and gather them into the kingdom of God? Look at the tremendous cloud
of darkness over the minds of the people, and then inquire can a man
who has the light be excusable unless he uses the means the Lord has
put in his power for the enlightenment of the world. No, we can not be
excusable; the love of Christ constrains us; the value of the souls of
men urges, and the example of all the ancient worthies impels us to go
into the great harvest and help to reap it down.



RECKLESS TWADDLE.


The following purports to be taken from one of Moody’s sermons, and is
reported in the _Baptist Union_:

If I thought that baptism was God’s way of saving men, I’d give up
preaching, borrow a pail and go round the streets baptizing every one
I met, and if they wouldn’t let me do it, I’d catch them asleep and
baptize any way. He says, “Ye must be born again.”

It is a wonderful humiliation to be compelled to admit that this
undignified, irreverent and reckless language is from the lips of a man
probably at this time attracting as much attention as any man in the
world, as a preacher, or it may be more. It is mortifying in a high
degree to be convinced that the state of the public mind is such that a
man like this is caressed, lauded and admired by the multitude.

It is no small work to enlighten the people of the world. We have
gained the right of private judgment, private interpretation of the
Scriptures, the liberty of speech and of the press; and we have the
Bible, translated into our own language, in almost every house; and
we have our system of free schools and universal education. But still
there is a premium for ignorance.

Moody with his commonplace talks, and Sankey with his songs, call
out greater crowds and have more admirers than the most profound
Bible instructor in the world. What reverence has he for the Lord,
who ordained baptism and submitted to it himself, “was baptized of
John in Jordan,” after saying, “Thus it becomes us to fulfill all
righteousness,” and over whom the heavens parted as he rose from his
baptism, and on whom the Spirit descended, and to whom the Almighty
Father said, “Thou art my Son, the beloved in whom I am well pleased?”
What appreciation has he, or what respect for our Lord’s commission,
in which he has the preaching of the gospel, the belief of it, the
repentance, the baptism and salvation all connected together, when he
talks of giving up preaching and borrowing a pail and going round the
streets baptizing every one he met? What does he know or care about
what baptism is? He may find the untaught multitudes who will gaze
at him and admire such irreverent manifestations of ignorance, want
of piety and dignity, mingled with such low slang as we find in the
language quoted above, and he may find plenty of thoughtless people who
will be pleased with such unworthy flings at things which he does not
understand, and which he perverts and misapplies. But there are many
people in this country who can not be gulled in any such style. Low
slang is not preaching Jesus nor his gospel, nor is misrepresentation
or perverting Scripture preaching Jesus.

If he has our Lord’s commission, and ever reads it, he knows or ought
to know, that the same commission has in it the preaching of the
gospel, the believing, repenting, baptism and salvation. The preaching,
believing, repentance, baptism and salvation all go together; and if
he has intelligence enough to preach at all acceptably to the Lord, he
knows that no people in this country think that baptizing is of any
value, without being preceded by the preaching of the gospel and the
faith, unless among those who profess to baptize infants. They did not
understand him to make this fling at them, or they would soon have
depleted his audience.

Moody and Sankey have the clear Scriptures before them, giving an
account of inquiring persons coming to the apostles inquiring the way
of salvation, and the plain answers giving the apostolic way, and
they ignore these instructions—keep them out of sight. They have the
answers of the apostles showing them the way, and they have refused to
even read these Scriptures, or to let the people know what the way was,
as set forth by the apostles. For this they will give an account. They
ignored it, evaded it, and avoided it. They neither enter the kingdom
themselves nor will they permit those who would enter.

Before we lay down our pen, we must refer Moody and Sankey, with some
others, to a lesson Paul once taught a man, in view of a transaction no
worse than the uttering the words quoted from Moody, at the beginning
of this article. The man with whom Paul dealt, was simply trying to
turn the deputy away from the faith. The deputy was by name, Sergius
Paulus. When he did this, Saul (who is called Paul) filled with the
Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him, and said, “O full of all subtlety and
all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness,
will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not
seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist
and a darkness; and he went about seeking some one to lead him by the
hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being
astonished at the doctrine of the Lord”. Acts xiii. 9-12.

It is a most fearful thing to pervert the right ways of the Lord—to
try to turn any one away from the faith, or to put asunder that which
God has joined together, and which he forbids man to put asunder.

In the last commission, the only authority for all gospel preaching,
the Lord has joined together, preaching the gospel, believing the
gospel, repentance, baptism and salvation, or pardon of sins, and no
man can part these asunder, except at the peril of his soul. Is it
possible that any man can fail to see that no man can be, in the true
sense, a preacher of Jesus and ignore any part of this commission, or
any part of the way of salvation, as set forth by the apostles under
this commission?



THE KIND OF PREACHING REQUIRED.


In the same way, insipid preaching about sweet birds and sweet flowers,
plants and stars, etc., etc., appears to have streaks of light in it,
but after it is over, the darkness appears greater than before. No
gospel light is shed forth, no truth of weight and importance in the
salvation of man brought forth or enforced; no obedience is enjoined
and no hope is inspired. No Felix trembles. Nothing is said about the
preaching, unless it be that “it was splendid,” and “I do love to hear
him so much;” “It was very fine,” etc. But, put the question, What
did you learn? and silence would reign. This kind of thing may please
people who do not intend to hear the gospel, or who, in the language
of Scripture, “Turn away their ears from the truth;” but we must have
something different from this, something more tangible, intelligible
and impressive to save men. We must have something more than mere
vaporing.

We must have “first principles,” as they are now styling _the gospel_,
and have them in profusion. We must have them for the instruction of
the vast numbers who have been brought in without understanding them,
and who must understand them before they can be intelligent christians,
and we must have them for the multitudes who have never been brought to
God. Somehow, from some source, we have a few among us who are styling
the gospel “first principles,” and then insist that we must leave the
first principles. Those who are in the world must be converted, brought
to God, and to this end they must have the gospel, no matter if men
and the adversary do call it “first principles.” The right way for
those who have never begun, is to begin, and there is no right way to
begin only to begin _at the beginning_, no matter if sectarian faces do
scowl, or some worldly member of the church grumble. We must walk into
the gospel, not as if we were afraid some one would hit us in the face,
but “in full assurance of faith,” under a sense of the truth of the
gospel, and the conviction that it is good enough for anybody, and that
no excuse need be made for preaching it; the certainty that men must
hear the gospel and learn the way to God before they start at all. We
must show the people that the Bible contains a revelation from God, the
only revelation from God; that it is _complete_, _perfect_ and _final_,
so far as relates to time; that Jesus is divine; that he is all that
he is represented to be in the Bible; that he is sustained by all the
testimony necessary to convince candid people; that no man comes to the
Father but by him; that no man comes by Moses now or any other; that
the Lord Jesus is the way, the truth and the life; that the way set
forth by him is the only way to the Father.

We must not preach _about_ faith, or repentance, or baptism; but preach
_the truth_ concerning the Lord Jesus, the Christ, which, when heard,
and received into good and honest hearts, _produces_ faith that leads
to repentance, and immersion. Preaching _faith_ never made a believer,
and preaching repentance, never leads to repentance, _of itself_. In
the same way, preaching on baptism, of itself never led any man to
baptism. The great truth of all truth, that “Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of the living God,” lies at the bottom and puts all the balance in
motion. Jesus, the Anointed, full of grace and truth, is the supreme
authority. The first thing, first in order and first in importance, is
the work of bringing the Lord before men and preparing them to regard
him; to recognize his authority and become willing to follow him—be
led by him. Till this is done, it is useless to tell men what he says,
or what he commands. Men must be convinced that he has authority to
command, and that they are bound to submit to him or be rejected by him
forever.

In presenting the claims of the Lord Messiah, we must clear the way of
all rubbish, all written and unwritten traditions of men, all doctrines
and commandments of men, all rule and authority lording it over the
heritage of God; all creeds and councils of men, all religious bodies
and establishments having no divine authority; all usurpations and
encroachments on the prerogatives of the Lord Jesus; all religious
names and titles, forms and ceremonies, having no precept or example in
Scripture; all sects and sectarianism—all these must be swept away;
and the supreme and absolute authority of the Lord restored. The law of
God itself, as found on the pages of the inspired Scriptures, must be
restored to the people of God. There must be no compromise of truth
with error, the kingdom of God with any thing else, the law of God
with any other law. The law of God must be maintained as _the law_,
the supreme and absolute law, and all other religious law must be set
aside as law and repudiated. The union of the people of God must be
maintained, defended and continually advocated, as right in itself and
divinely required.

As a religious body, the work we have undertaken has not changed, but
is the same now as it was forty years ago, as manifestly right as ever.
We have undertaken to restore the gospel to the people; the ancient
order of things; the religion of Christ itself, as it came from the
Lord. We have gone up to primitive ground, apostolic ground, where the
first followers of the Lord stood, and aim to practice in all things,
as they did; have all things as they did; have all things as they
had—the faith, the practice, and the worship, without anything added
or taken away. The Lord has blessed the undertaking with most wonderful
success. From five to six hundred thousand have heard, believed and
been called together, and united on apostolic ground—made unspeakably
happy in the Lord. We have been made free, in the highest sense, from
all the trammels and fetters of men, from sins, from all error and
superstition, and are servants of the Lord.

We have now a plain work—simply the work of the Lord and no other. We
have nothing to preach but the gospel, nothing to believe but the truth
of God, nothing to do but the will of God, and nothing to hope for only
what is promised in the word of God. Our work is not new and untried,
but old, well tried, and nothing can stand before us. We have truth and
righteousness to maintain—sin and the world to oppose. We can make no
change only at our peril—no departure without losing all. We started
simply to be the people of God, and to give ourselves unreservedly
to the Lord. We can not turn away from God, from Christ, from the
gospel, from the law of God, from the Church of God and the people of
God, without utter ruin. We can not turn away from the religion of
Christ itself and not be lost. We have nothing else. Shall we, then,
hold on to our God, to our Lord Jesus the Christ, to our Bible, the
gospel and the law of God for the saints? Shall we hold on to the
entire revelation from God to man in all its parts and as a whole? Most
unequivocally the great masses among us intend, by the grace of God, to
do this.

We need not stop to count members, to see whether it will be popular or
unpopular, whether a majority are going on, or going back. Every true
man is going on, and is intending to stand with every other true man
and fight the good fight of faith. We stop not to see how many or how
few are going ahead, nor how many are turning back. We would rather
have been saved with the _few_ in the ark than lost with the _many_
who were drowned in the flood; to have been with the _few_ who crossed
Jordan than with the _many_ who fell in the wilderness, and would
rather be with the _few_ that shall find the narrow way and pass the
straight gate to the enjoyment of life, than to be with the _many_ who
tread the broad way that leads to destruction. We are now making the
record on which these great matters will turn. Let us enter the
field this year in the faith, with more determination than ever,
and push the cause at every point; stand up all along the lines of
the King’s army, every man in his place, presenting an unbroken
front to the enemy, and unitedly move forward on the opposing ranks
before us with a persistence, decision and determination that will
command respect. Encourage the true and valiant, strengthen the weak
and feeble-minded, stand by the faint-hearted and comfort them. Let
there be no sympathizers with the enemy, none scheming mutiny, none
demoralizing the forces, no deserters and no cowards. All stand firm
and true, and move on in faith, “the full assurance of faith,” with
power and courage, and the Lord of hosts will be our Lord—the King of
saints will be our King. Let all men see that we have a right cause,
and that we know _it is right_, and that we never intend to give it up,
but that we intend to fill the world with the doctrine of the cross,
make the Bible the power in this country. It is the book, the one book,
the only book, setting forth the one religion for all peoples on all
the face of the earth, and for all time. We can admit no rival to that
book, nor any other that subverts or sets it aside, but are the settled
and determined enemies to all others as _divine authority_. It is the
_supreme_ and the _absolute authority_. Rally to the book, men of God,
and stand by it. You have the book that all admit to be right. Be true
to it and show yourselves worthy of it, and the God of peace will be
with you.



WE ARE A MISSIONARY PEOPLE.


It will not do to conclude that we are not a “missionary people.” It is
useless to reason against facts. That we have risen, and, in opposition
to the established bodies of people in the different parties in this
country, successfully planted the cause in the best parts of the
country and among the most effective and intelligent people, and, in
less than two-thirds of a century, made it one of the most formidable
and powerful bodies in the land, and swelled the numbers above that of
any Protestant parties in the United States, excepting the Baptists and
Methodists, is now a _matter of fact_. This has been done and is now in
history. A people “not a missionary people,” and not an _evangelizing
people_, have never done the like of this. We are to-day going ahead
and spreading more rapidly than any people in this country that depend
on turning people to the Lord to augment their numbers. We say nothing
about a people that count their infants as members of the church, and
exclude nobody for disorder.



RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS.


The resurrection of Lazarus was like the healing of the sick, giving
sight to the blind, and other miraculous benefits, only _temporary_.
They were only restored to health in their mortal state, and liable to
be afflicted again. The resurrection of Lazarus was only his recovery
from death for the time being, and he was liable to die again. No doubt
he did die again. But Jesus rose to die no more. Death has no more
dominion over him. Those thus raised up _temporarily_, or simply raised
up to what they were before they died, were not counted where Christ
is spoken of as “the first-fruits of them that slept,” “the first-born
from the dead,” etc. They were raised to immortality and died no more.
The body was sown a mortal body, but raised immortal, or raised to die
no more.

This, we presume, is the solution of the matter, though but little
can be said, with any point, for or against it. It is, however, the
ground on which we satisfy our own mind. It is one of the matters left
a little obscure, and but one on which nothing of importance depends.
The view we take of it obviates any apparent discrepancy between the
passages above referred to. The word “begotten,” in “the first-begotten
from the dead,” should have been _born_, as the same original word is
elsewhere. A bare resurrection only raised a man to what he was before
he died, and left him as liable to death as he was before he died; but
the resurrection of Christ and those who rose after he rose was more
than this. The body was sown a mortal body, but raised immortal, or to
die no more. It was a complete and final deliverance from the grave and
from death—the final triumph over death and him who has the power of
death.



FINE CLOTHES.


A preacher pays a poor compliment to his brain when he tries to attract
public attention, as a _preacher_, with fine clothes. A dancing master
can vie with him in that line, whether the fine clothes are paid for
or not. In the same way the preacher that must have a gorgeous temple,
like Romanists and pagans, to attract the people and draw them out,
and his choir of singers and organ, to discourse music for the saints,
pays a poor compliment to his brain and his ability as a preacher,
and a poorer compliment to the worshippers who have to be thus _drawn
out_. It is virtually a surrender to the world, and an acknowledgement
on the part of the preacher, that he has no confidence in the gospel,
or his ability to preach to attract the attention of the people, draw
them out, or turn them to God when they are drawn out. The church
that resorts to such artifices to draw the people out, virtually
acknowledges that she has no influence to _draw_ the people out; that
the preacher has no influence to _draw_ them out; that _their_ gospel
and worship have no power to _draw_ them out; but they have found out
what will _draw_ them out. A fine temple of show, extravagance and
folly; a popular choir, an organ, ice cream, strawberry festivals,
musical concerts, church fairs, etc., etc. These will draw. Certainly
they will. But what becomes of the preacher, the gospel, the worship
and the church? What becomes of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and
all that is divine?

Christ had not “where to lay his head.” What does that prove? Not
that his followers should not have where to lay their heads, or that
preachers should not; but, if following him and serving him should
reduce them to such destitution that they would not have where to lay
their heads, they should bear it patiently and not murmur, remembering
that their Lord and Master had not where to lay his head.

“Christ traveled on foot and preached.” What does that prove—that
preachers must _always_ travel on foot? Not at all. The Lord did not
always travel on foot. What then? That a preacher should travel on
foot if need be. We have traveled on foot to preach and would do it
again before we would give up preaching. We, therefore, take the cars,
steamboat, stage, private conveyance, any means most convenient.



SUBTLETIES ABOUT IMMERSION.


But, now, why this constant higgling over _immersion_? Why this
continual getting up some kind of smoke about it, mist or confusion? It
is the right thing—the precise thing the Lord commanded. Why, then,
try to get up confusion about where it was obtained? Why not condemn
faith because we did not obtain it from the right people? It is the
_right thing_, but then a man obtained it in a _sectarian church_.
Ought he not to throw it aside, and obtain faith from the right source?
Then, where did a man get the gospel? Did he get it in a sectarian
church? Must he therefore throw it aside? Where did he get his Bible?
Must he throw it away because he got it from sectarians. There is but
one safe rule in all this, and that is to hold on to that which came
from the Lord, the right things, no matter where we found them.

We have not set out merely to see how radical we can be; to see how
far we can differ from all men, but to separate the human from the
divine—that which did not come from God from that which did; and when
we find a man with the right book—the Bible—we accept it without
inquiring where he obtained it. When we find a man with the gospel of
Christ, we accept it, no matter where he obtained it. If he has the
right repentance we accept it without any regard to where he obtained
it. In the same way in regard to the immersion and everything else. Has
he the right things—the things of God?

Why start these subtleties about immersion, and confuse the public mind
in regard to it? Why not get up difficulties about the prayers, the
communion, the repentance, the faith, or something else? We are not
trying how many difficulties we can find, but trying to clear the way,
and show all men that there is a safe and practical way to union, to
oneness and happiness, both here and hereafter. We desire to emerge out
of the darkness, confusion and misunderstandings of our times, and walk
in the clear light of heaven. Whatever is right we accept, and whatever
is not right we aim to set it right. That which has gone before our
time is beyond our reach, and we leave that to the Judge of all the
earth, who will do right. We desire to open the way for the living
and those yet to come. Let us study the things that are practical and
that work for peace, and the Lord will open our way to the highest
usefulness and happiness in this life, and to all he has for the
redeemed in the life to come.



ALL THINGS COMMON.


The community of goods or common stock was a _voluntary thing_ and
not _required_, as is clear from the language of Peter to Ananias and
Sapphira. Alluding to the possession he sold and the proceeds of the
sale he said: “While it remained was it not thine own? and after it was
sold was it not in thine own power?” Acts v. 4. There was no compulsion
to do what he pretended he was doing—that is, _giving the whole_—no
law requiring it. This case appears to have ended the whole affair. We
find no more account of it, but clear allusions to liberality, to the
rich and poor, etc., showing that it was not continued. There is no
question but that some of the first Christians received the impression
that the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead and the
end of the world were at hand; and the unbounded love of the gospel
inspired in their hearts for God and man led them to regard their
possessions as nothing. They did not believe they would need them, nor
did they see the state of things that would result from their course.

Not only so, but there may have been a providence in it, as their city
was soon to be destroyed and they “led away captive among all nations.”
The main thing we need is the fact that it is not required of us. It
ended at once and was not enjoined nor continued.



DELUDED.


We can not conceive how people could be more completely deluded, than
to be so turned away from the promise of God, than when the Lord says,
“He who believes and is immersed _shall be saved_,” he can not rely on
the words, “_shall be saved_,” but can rely on an uncertain class of
feelings reached in an exciting meeting without a promise of the Lord.
The apostle commands inquirers, “Repent, and be baptized every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and _you
shall receive_ the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Here is a sure promise
from God: “_You shall receive_ the gift of the Holy Spirit.” These
people can not or _will not_ rely on _this promise_, but will rely on
a peculiar state of feelings without one shadow of evidence that the
feelings are from the Lord, or intended to assure any of pardon.

Members of the church should read their Bibles in their families and
to their children, and worship with them, and teach them what worship
means, and if they do not do it they will be held responsible in the
great day. We must never stop but cry aloud and spare not, till this
ignorance is out of the land. We exhort brethren, no matter where they
may be scattered, to read the Bible, explain it to your neighbor, and
be not poor, helpless creatures waiting for somebody to send you a
preacher, but go at it and read the Scriptures, and show your neighbor
how to read them, and where to read, to learn the way of salvation.
Circulate other reading calculated to show them the good and right way.
Be alive and awake to the work—read about it, pray over it, and do all
in your power to counteract ignorance and superstition.



REFORMATION A SUCCESS.


It is true, also, that “God’s word, as the only rule of faith and
practice, is as much set at naught by the religious world to-day as it
was fifty years ago,” and more too; and there is nothing so unpopular
with the masses of the people, and some _called brethren_, as precisely
the apostolic way; and the Reformation is not a failure either. Our
reformatory movement was right, and is still right. It needs no
modification, but needs to be faithfully and honestly carried out. No
reformatory movement can ever get in ahead of it. It went back to the
divine fountain to find the truth, and not something _like it_, that
could be _proved by it_. It went back to the Bible itself, and not
to something _like it_, or something that can be _proved by it_. It
went back to the religion of Christ itself, and not to something _like
it_, or something that can be _proved by it_. This was no failure. The
attempt was to go back to the Lord himself; to his own Book, his own
religion; and those who attempted this, and _did it_, made no failure.
They found the Lord, his Book, and his religion, and found the
salvation of the Lord. There was no failure in all this. This movement
has been in the world about sixty years, or about half as long as
Noah’s mission lasted. Noah found the salvation of the Lord for himself
and family. There was no failure in his case.



WHAT WE ARE FOR.


We are for the kingdom of God, and for all that pertains to it, but not
for the _kingdom of the clergy_, either as manifested in the Papacy
or among Protestants; nor are we enlisted to get up a _new kingdom of
clergy_. We will never give our influence to establish any new kingdom
of clergy, or recognize any old one. The people of God are _free_. They
do not belong to the clergy. The congregations of the Lord are free,
and not to be manacled down into human confederations and their great
work ended in an insignificant sect. The day we agree to be banded
together into some kind of general confederation of congregations,
under a conference, convention, or we care not what you call it, we
become an insignificant sect, a denomination, a christian sect, and
will be nothing more forever. _Ichabod_ will be written on us. But that
day _will never come_. Mark that. We hope that none among us will ever
make the experiment, but if they do, they will simply land in faction,
to dwindle away and die.

But, we have come to a crisis, and, it is predicted, we will soon come
to nothing if we do not do something. We intend to _do something_ and
are _doing something_, but not forming ecclesiastical confederations
to bind burdens on the necks of the people, nor scheming to get
_clerical power_. We have come to no crisis. The few scheming men that
have so fully demonstrated their aim, have come to a _crisis_ and to
a _complete defeat_. But that will not produce any perceptible jar in
the movements of the hosts of Israel. That is a mere circumstance. The
Lord’s hosts are in motion and the work is going on. Why stand with a
human figment in view, when we have stupendous matters of fact before
our eyes? Look into the columns of our publications and see the reports
that come up every week from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, and
from the North of the Dominion of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and
tell us what of the crisis? The men in the field at work have come to
no crisis and to no panic. The Lord of hosts is with them, and they are
not to be turned aside from their work.

Read the accounts of churches established every week, the houses for
worship built, the preachers coming over from the ranks of Babylon, as
well as private members, and the vast acquisition to their numbers from
the world, and then tell us what of the crisis! Go into the field and
_go to work_, every man, in faith and hope and love, and win souls to
Christ, and the Lord of hosts will be with you, and good brethren will
come up to the help of the Lord and support you. But if we continue
the schemes that are now confessedly _failures_, or devise new ones,
we will dry up the fountains of liberality till we can do nothing. The
children of God will give money to convert and _save sinners_, but they
will not give money to _build up a hierarchy_.



A SUGGESTION.


We are not inattentive to the suggestion that we are wearing ourselves
out in holding protracted meetings, and that we should devote ourself
wholly to the management of the _Review_. We have thought of this
matter much, both before and since we saw the suggestion, and find it
not so easy to determine what ought to be done. The tendency is to find
pleasant positions, occupy them, and go on easily and smoothly; to
settle down and preach for churches, get professorships in colleges or
high-schools, edit papers and evangelize the world by _proxy_. In other
words, the popular idea is not to _go_ but to _send_ some one to preach
the gospel. If we were to sit down in our editorial chair, at home, and
write the most stirring articles about the great work of evangelizing
the world and urge men to go, we fear they would inquire, “Why do _you
not go_?” We aim to be an example—to go ourself, as we urge others to
do. We see no other way to give force to the appeal to others to _go_.

The demand for preaching is such that we can see no possible way to
excuse any man that can go. We have, therefore, rather concluded to _go
while we can_.

When we shall go hence, we desire that any who may refer to us may see
that while we said _go_ we also _went_.

We are perfectly aware that we could, in some respects, make the paper
better to devote our entire attention to it; but, that we could, in
every sense, give it the _spirit_ and _power_ that we can when we are
in the field and among the people continually, we still hold in doubt.
We desire to do all we possibly can for the cause, while it is to-day.



ANNIHILATION—FUTURE PUNISHMENT.


There is nothing about “the final annihilation of the wicked,” in the
Bible, nor “the final annihilation” of anything. The talk about the
“annihilation of the wicked,” no matter whether “final” or not, is mere
outside talk, as nothing of the kind is found in Scripture. We can see
why a man should want information about a country or a place where he
intends or expects to go, but why any man should always be talking
about a country or place to which he does not intend or expect to go,
we never could see. There is one thing clear, and that is, that any
term used in Scripture to describe or express the destiny of the wicked
beyond the judgment, is such as to deter any man from desiring it, no
matter whether figurative or literal. It is equally certain that no man
will ever be saved by explaining to him all about the meaning of the
terms applied to the destiny of the wicked, nor will a constant study
of these terms, and talking about them, qualify any man for heaven.

Some of these terms are figurative and some of them are literal. In
some instances it may be difficult to determine whether a term is
literal or figurative, but in some it is not difficult. It is clear,
however, that whatever terms are used, they all apply to the same
things. Such a phrase as “beaten with many stripes,” we doubt not,
is figurative, and so is “gnashing of teeth.” But “punishment” is
literal, no matter in what it consists. No matter what term is applied
to it, nor whether literal or figurative, the idea of “punishment” is
always in it, always present. No matter _how_ they will be punished,
what the means of punishment, or of what the punishment will consist,
there is still the reality—the punishment. This is what the Lord
calls “everlasting,”—“everlasting punishment.” See Matthew xxv. 46.
“These shall go away into everlasting punishment and the righteous into
life eternal.” In the original we have the same word (_aionion_) for
“eternal” and “everlasting.” In the same sentence the Lord uses the
same word to express the duration of the punishment and the duration
of the life of the righteous, and there is as much reason, and no
more, for concluding that the “eternal life” shall terminate, as that
the “everlasting punishment” of the wicked shall cease. At the same
time that the righteous enter into life, the wicked “go away into
everlasting punishment,” and the same word, in the same sentence, in the
lips of our Lord, expresses the duration of both; and we have just as
much respect for an expositor of Scripture that undertakes to prove
that the state of glory shall cease to exist as for the expositor that
undertakes to prove that the punishment shall cease to exist, no matter
whether he be called Restorationist, Universalist, Soul-sleeper or what.

The man that thinks of “eternal life” merely as eternal _conscious
existence_, has no adequate conception of the meaning of the term. It
is used to express the entire state of glory, with all that pertains
to it. In the same sense the phrase “second death” is used to express
the state of perdition, including all that is in it. The terms “saved”
and “lost” are used in the same sense. “Saved” includes the entire
inheritance of the saints; all they shall have and enjoy. “Lost”
includes all that shall be inflicted on the condemned; the entire state
and all that is in it.

Mortality is never applied to the soul of man in Scripture, nor is
immortality. We never read of a mortal or an immortal soul, nor of
a soul being made mortal or immortal. Mortality and immortality are
applied to the body and not to the soul. The body is mortal, but in the
resurrection will be made immortal.

It is infinitely wiser to teach men how to _keep out_ of hell, while
they are out, than to teach them how to _get out_, after they are in
hell, or to prove that they will cease to exist. We do not think much
of men that study how to _pick locks_ and escape from prisons; but we
esteem the men who teach how to _keep out_ of prisons by avoiding the
crimes on account of which men are imprisoned. There is no benevolence
in tampering with the divine penalties in any way, either in out-and-out
denying the existence of any punishment after death, or modifying it.
The Bible contains its clear discrimination between the righteous and
the wicked, and unequivocally declares that it shall not be with him
that does not serve God as with him that serves him. It is not in vain
to serve God. It would have been better for Judas if he had not been
born, as clearly stated by our Lord. There is a sorer punishment than
death without mercy. There is an “everlasting punishment,” and no sound
learning can make this mean everlasting _non-existence_. Non-existence
is not punishment, else we were always in punishment till we were
brought into existence. There is a punishment where the worm dies not,
and the fire is not quenched. There is no more evidence that this will
ever cease to exist than that the state of glory itself shall cease to
exist.



DESIGN OF MIRACLES.


Miracles are necessary to give a new institution and confirm it to
the world, but when it is given and confirmed, no miracle is needed
to perpetuate it. It required miracles to confirm the mission of the
apostles and prove to the world that they were from God. So would it
require miracles now to confirm the missions of any other man or set of
men claiming to be specially called and sent as the apostles were, and
in default of any miracles, we do not believe any men are now called
and sent, as they were. The divine attestations that established
the apostolic mission, among the people of their time, against
their established religion, all their prejudices and every worldly
consideration, was committed to record, and will establish it to all
the generations to come. The same testimony that proved a man guilty of
murder one hundred years ago, will prove him guilty forever. It does
not require that witnesses continue to be sworn and testify to prove
it to other people. In the same way, the testimony that proved the
divinity of Christ, at the beginning of his reign, has been committed
to the record and will prove it forever. There is no new testimony, and
none is needed. Those who lived in the time when the Lord was on earth,
saw him, or saw those who did see him, or, at least, many of them
did; they saw many of his wonderful works, or many who did see them;
they heard the prophecies uttered by him, or saw those who did hear
them, but did not live to see the fulfillment. We did not see him, nor
witness his miracles, nor hear him utter the prophecies alluded to, but
we now have the faithful records of history in which we find accounts
of the fulfillment of his wonderful predictions extending down through
the ages, for more than eighteen centuries. We do not, therefore, need
a repetition of the miracles, or the prophecies, or their fulfillment.
They stand there, firm as the everlasting hills, serving God’s eternal
purpose; confirming the divine mission of his Son, and the New
Covenant, of which he is the Mediator.

When did these miracles cease? They ceased when the apostles died, and
all on whom they laid their hands. Every pretense of a miracle from
then till now, has been nothing but a _lying pretense_. Not a genuine
miracle has been done.

We have in the Bible the clear statement that the spiritual gifts—the
supernatural gifts—would be superseded by “a more excellent way;”
that tongues should cease, prophecies should fail, and knowledge—the
supernatural gift of knowledge—should be done away. In accordance
with these statements, these gifts have ceased, and thus fulfilled
Paul’s statement, and proved that the Spirit of God was in him. The
eternal Spirit saw, and, through him, foretold that these gifts should
cease, as he did in the Apostle John, at the close of Revelation, the
conclusion of the sacred canon, that nothing more was to be added, and
nothing taken away. This ended the revelations from God. We have had
not one word since, and will not have till the end of time.



CAIN’S WIFE.


We do not know “who was Cain’s wife,” only that she was _Mrs. Cain_.
We do not know that it is of any more importance to us who Cain’s wife
was than who the wife of any other man was or is. We must not fall out
with the Bible because it does not gratify our curiosity in giving us
information on many little particulars of no consequence to us. We do
not know who President Grant’s wife was. We, no doubt, could easily
have found out, but it was of no importance to us to know, and we have
never tried to learn. Yet it is of as much importance to us, and as
much in reference to our salvation, as to know who Cain’s wife was. We
can not give information that is not in the Bible. The Bible does not
tell who Cain’s wife was.



WHAT IS ESSENTIAL.


We single not out baptism and make it essential, nor conversion—as
a whole—and make it essential; but we single out what the _Lord
requires_, not only in regard to conversion, or making Disciples, but
in regard to the life or the practice required of those in Christ,
in which they are to continue after they have turned to the Lord;
everything in the law of God, and maintain that it is _all essential_.
The will of God is essential, and that which is not in the will of God
is not essential. The will of God, or what is required in the law of
God, must be done. That which is not in the will of God, or is no part
of the law of God, is not to be done at all, or not to be introduced
as religion, or any part of it, nor is the peace of the church to
be interrupted with it. The only way to avoid the trouble about the
_unessentials_ is simply to leave them out—to have nothing to do with
them. What regard can a man have for the welfare of the Church, the
peace of the people of God, and the triumphs of the faith, who will
not only have himself what is not required, not essential, and what he
admits is not required, but force it upon others?



WHAT WE KNOW IS RIGHT.


We _know_ it is right to “Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly;
and with all wisdom _teach_ and _admonish_ each other by _psalms_ and
_hymns_ and _spiritual songs_; _singing_ with gratitude in our hearts
to the Lord”—to “be filled with the Spirit; _speaking_ to one another
in _psalms_ and _hymns_ and _spiritual songs_; _singing_ and making
melody in our hearts to the Lord.” This _can_ be done, and _we know_ it
is right; but that a man can make melody in his heart to the Lord “with
an organ,” a fiddle, banjo, clarionet, lute, fife or jew’s-harp, we
do not know, nor do we believe it. We want to do what is written, and
enjoin it on others, to do it. What is not written we do not want to
do. When the Lord so minutely describes _how_ we are to do anything, we
want to do it in that _way_. The _way_ he prescribes will do the thing
commanded; some other _way_ might not do what is commanded at all.



INFANT SIN—INFANT SALVATION.


In our generation, a vast amount of ink and breath is wasted in writing
and preaching about infant sin, infant salvation, idiots, etc. There is
one thing certain about it, and that is, that our writing and preaching
about infant sin, infant salvation, Christ dying for infants and
idiots, never saved an infant, an idiot, or anybody else. We do not, by
our writing and preaching about them, make them sinful or righteous. It
is simply writing and preaching _about_ them, and not _to them_, and
certainly can do them no good. It is purely curious and speculative,
pleasant for men and women to talk about, who will not love and obey
the Savior themselves.

There are some things so clear in themselves that all can see them
on the mere mention of them. Infants and idiots can not understand,
believe, receive, reject, or obey the gospel. They can not repent,
pray, praise God or rejoice. The gospel is simply not addressed to
them. Infants and idiots are plainly and simply not _gospel subjects_.
How are they then to be saved? What salvation do you mean? Salvation
from _sin_, do you say? What sin? They never _sinned_, and have no
_actual_ sin, as the schoolmen style it. They are under no guilt. They
never transgressed any law, human or divine. They never rejected Christ
nor the gospel. They have no _personal_ sin or guilt; no personal
condemnation, and need no personal justification. The justification
we receive in believing and obeying the gospel, is from our _own
sins_, actual sins, sins we have committed ourselves. Infants have
no sins of this kind and need not this justification. The remission
of sins received, in turning to God, is for _sinners_; those who, in
their own persons have committed sins, and not for infants, who have
never sinned—who have no sins of this kind. They have no guilt, no
condemnation, and need no salvation from “old sins,” as Peter has it,
or past sins. They have no sins of this kind.

But, then, this is only a partial view of the matter. We all need
something more than this. We need another salvation beyond pardon, or
salvation from actual sins; we need to be ransomed from the grave,
raised from the dead; our bodies changed, glorified, immortalized.
The infant and idiot need this. This salvation is future. “As in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” “By one man,
sin entered into the world.” “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” But we
are not under the guilt of Adam’s sin; only under the consequences.
These consequences came on us without our will, volition or consent;
without our action. We had no power to avert the calamity. It came
on us unconditionally. The first Adam, without our volition or
action, involved us in it. The second Adam, the Lord from heaven,
unconditionally removes it from us. Without our volition or action, he
takes it away. The first Adam involved us in death. Our turning to God,
becoming christians and obtaining remission of sins, does not save us
from death. We all die the same as those not Christians. After we die,
the best of saints, we need the same ransom from the grave, as infants
do. To be made alive; to be changed, immortalized and glorified. This
is the salvation from Adam’s sin, or the consequences of it, and this
is needed for the saints and infants alike.

“If one died for all, then we are all dead.” I. Cor. v. 14. This
includes infants and idiots. Christ then died for all. “As in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The same “all” that
die in Adam shall be made alive in or by Christ. Christ, then, died for
all,—all that die in Adam,—and will make the same “all” alive, or
raise them from the dead. He, then, in dying for all, died for infants
and idiots, and secured for them resurrection from the dead, and they
need to prepare them for the world to come.

They can receive no gospel, and need none; they can not repent, and
need no repentance; they can not pray or commune, and need no prayer
or communion; they need no religion, and are simply not subjects of
religion. They need no church. The gospel, repentance and remission of
sins, the church and all that is in it, is for pardoned persons—those
washed from their sins—the redeemed by the blood of Christ, and not
for those who never sinned, had no guilt, and needed no pardon—those
who have no faith and know not the Savior.



OUR AUTHORITATIVE RELIGION.


We have not time to elaborate it now, but we can state, that there is
one religion that is the _supreme and absolute authority_—that is
simply the religion of Christ. There is nothing but human authority
in any other. That religion presents a heaven and a hell, the one
as certain as the other. It is not to be tampered with, nor trifled
with. It offers life and threatens death. It has justification and
condemnation, its rewards and punishments. It has God in it, Christ and
the Holy Spirit, prophets, apostles and martyrs. Men submit when they
come to it, and yield to it, in doing which they submit and yield to
its Divine Author. The secrets of men will be judged by Jesus Christ
according to the gospel. If we expect to enter the everlasting city, we
must listen to the Bible.



REFLECTIONS FOR DANCERS.


While we were in Carlisle, Kentucky, in May, we learned that Bro.
Reynolds, who was engaged in an interesting meeting a few miles off,
had announced that he would preach on _dancing_ on a morning. As we
had no appointment for preaching that morning, Bro. Jones proposed to
take us to the place to hear Bro. Reynolds. On arriving we found a good
audience in attendance, and Bro. Reynolds prepared for his work. He
pressed us to address the people, but we declined on the ground that he
had announced his subject, the people had come to hear him, and that we
were interested in the matter and desired to hear him. He then entered
upon his work.

Bro. Reynolds is a _self-made_ man, and not a man not _made at all_,
but made in the genuine sense, an effective and telling man. He is a
cool, deliberate and pointed speaker; speaks with perfect ease, and
interests an audience from first to last. He is simply _himself_, and
imitates no one. We decided before he was near through his discourse to
write out an epitome of it, but one thing after another has hindered
us till weeks have passed, and we took not a note, and we fear now
that our article will be but little more than _an article about the
discourse_.

                                 MOTTO.
           “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
                                                     I. Thess. v. 21.

This means to _test_ or _try_ all things, consider their claim, and
determine which are good. Hold that fast.

Exod. xv. 20, we find an account of dancing: “And Miriam the
prophetess, and the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and
all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.”
Several things are to be noticed in this dancing. 1. It was in
daylight. 2. The women alone danced. 3. It was a religious exercise, in
rejoicing over their wonderful deliverance from Egyptian bondage and
the pursuit of their enemies, and to the praise and honor of God. They
were religious people, praising and honoring God.

Exod. xxxii. 19, we have an account of dancing: “And it came to pass as
soon as he” (Moses) “came nigh to the camp, that he saw the calf, and
the dancing, and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of
his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” We are not informed who
danced in this instance, but the whole procedure was idolatrous. The
shouting and dancing were in devotion to the molten calf.

Judges xi. 34: “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and,
behold, his daughter came to meet him, with timbrels and with dances,
and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor
daughter.” 1. This dancing was in daylight. 2. One female danced alone.
3. She simply danced in joy to meet her father, and her dance was soon
followed with a terrible calamity.

Judges xxi. 19-21: “Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the
Lord in Shiloh, yearly, in a place which is on the north side of
Beth-el, on the east side of the highway, that goeth up from Beth-el
to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. Therefore they commanded the
children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;
and see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in
dances, then come you out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his
wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.” This
dancing was in daylight. The females alone danced. We are not told what
the object of the dancing was.

I. Sam. xviii. 6: “And it came to pass, as they came, when David was
returning from the slaughter of the Philistines, that the women came
out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King
Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.” 1. This
dancing was in daylight. 2. The women alone danced. 3. It was rejoicing
in view of a special favor of God.

I. Sam. xxx. 16: “And when he had brought him down, behold, they were
spread abroad upon all the earth, eating, and drinking, and dancing,
because of all the great spoil they had taken out of the land of the
Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from
the twilight even unto the evening of the next day; and there escaped
not a man of them, save four hundred young men, who rode upon camels,
and fled.” In this case the dancing was with eating and drinking, and
for amusement. It was revelling. They were not religious people, but
the wicked, and the calamity soon came upon them.

II. Sam. vi. 12-14: “And it was told King David, saying, The Lord hath
blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him,
because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of
God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.
And it was so, that when they that bear the ark of the Lord, had gone
six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before
the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen epod.”
This dancing was in daylight. David alone danced. It was a religious
exercise, in devotion to the Lord.

I. Chron. xv. 29: “And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of
the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal, the daughter of Saul,
looking out at a window, saw King David dancing and playing, and she
despised him in her heart.” This dancing was in daylight. David alone
danced. He danced as a religious exercise. It was not dancing for
amusement.

Psalms cl. 4: “Praise him with a timbrel and dance; praise him with
stringed instruments and organs.” Also, Psalms cxlix. 3: “Let them
praise his name in the dance.” This also is a religious exercise.

Eccl. iii. 4: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,
and a time to dance.” We do not remember the point made on this. We
have seen from the Scriptures already cited, that in the former ages,
when they danced as a religious exercise, it was always in daylight,
and in no case promiscuous dancing of men and women together, and the
_time_ for it was when the Lord had wrought some great deliverance or
brought some signal, given some great victory.

Job xxi. 11-18: “They send forth their little ones like a flock, and
the children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the
sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment
go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for
we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that
we should serve him? and what profit should we have if we pray unto
him?, Lo, their good is not in their hand; the counsel of the wicked
is far from me. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how
oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his
anger. They are as stubble before the wind, as chaff that the storm
carrieth away.” Here we have a terrible description of the dancers for
pleasure, amusement; of their godless character and utter ruin.

Mark vi. 22: “And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and
danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said to
the damsel, Ask of me whatever you will, and I will give it to you.
And he swore to her, Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give to you,
to the half of my kingdom. And she went forth and said to her mother,
What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she
came in straightway with haste to the king, and asked, saying, I will
that you give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.”
Here we have a fine sample of the taste, the spirit and refinement of
the dancer and her mother. What had John the Baptist done that his head
should come off to gratify the mother of a dancing damsel? John had
said, “It is not lawful for you” (Herod) “to have your brother’s wife.”
This insulted Mrs. Herod, and she sought and obtained revenge through
her dancing daughter and a rash vow of the king. What a reward this for
dancing and pleasing the king—the head of the best man in his kingdom,
a prophet from God! This was dancing for pleasure, for amusement. This
dancing for amusement, pleasure, is revelling, and excludes from the
kingdom.

Gal. v. 21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like;
of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past,
that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Bro. Reynolds gave a definition of the word “revelling,” and the
original Greek word _komos_, which it represents, which we have not at
hand and do not recollect; only that dancing for pleasure, amusement,
with eating and drinking, is revelling, and they who do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God. He also made a happy hit on the
clause, “such like”—that is, “revellings and _such like_”; that it
included the plays of folly, the innocent games for amusement, etc.

We are sorry that we have forgotten so much of the comment and so many
of the good points in the discourse. It was in grand contrast with much
that we have. He is not trying to determine _how much folly and sin_
we can practice and still be saved, but _how fully men and women can
be saved from all folly and sin_. The Lord strengthen his hands and
the hands of every other man walking nobly in resistance against the
demoralizing influences now upon us.



SPIRIT OF INDIFFERENCE.


The worst difficulty there is to encounter is the general state of
indifference. There is a general state of don’t-careitiveness. The
Galio feeling abounds. Of all the opponents the preacher of Christ has
to contend with, there is none that we so much dread, as the man who
cares for nothing—who is wholly indifferent—who scarcely has vitality
enough to sit up in his pew, unless he can sleep sitting. There are men
in these times, who by custom, mere habit, indifferently float along
with the current to the place of worship, and sit, lean down, lie down,
or lounge in an audience before a preacher, who seem to say, by every
motion, every cuticle of the face, expression of the countenance and
move of the eye, in thunder tones, to the discerning preacher, _I do
not care what you say—whether your doctrine is true or false_. This
discomfits the preacher. What can be done for a man who does not care?
What can a preacher do for a man whose spirit is so calloused and
numbed as to be incapable of giving attention to a single discourse?
What can be done for men who have so lost the love of the truth, all
interest in it, and so unfeeling to all its appeals, as to sit before
him who pleads its holy claims with earnestness, wholly inattentive? To
such men the whole appears idle tales, a kind of dream or kind of dim
vision. Many in this description, in church and out of it, cannot be
aroused from their stupor, awakened from their slumbers and brought out
from the almost impenetrable spell of thick darkness that envelopes
them, by the efforts of any preacher. The thunders of Sinai would not
do it. The melting strains of gospel love will not do it. Heaven’s
beneficence to man is all nothing to them. Many, in this generation,
will never be awakened from this deep and awful slumber, and the thick
darkness that surrounds them, till the voice of the archangel from
heaven and the trumpet of God shall summon them to the judgment of the
great day.

An effort is demanded, such as we, as a people, have never made; such
as man has rarely made; in any age, an equal to anything in the power
of man to make, to awaken our cotemporaries from this terrible and
fearful state of death. None but men who are in earnest can do anything
in this work. Men who have no concern themselves, or who are nearly
in the same predicament, may deliver their little, dry and lifeless
harangues, but they make no impression. Men must be fully alive, have
the benevolence of God at heart, enter the work with the whole soul,
and labor mightily for the Lord. We must feel the need of a great
effort, to save man, maintain righteousness and restrain the world
from sin, and our efforts must make men feel the necessity of such an
effort. It is not necessary that the imagination should be wrought up,
but merely that the people be made conscious of the reality, to move
those in the reach of reason and argument. But, we defer approaching
any other point, for a month.



APOLOGY FOR CREEDS.


Apology _First_. “It is not necessary to make such an incessant war
upon our creed; it is just like the Bible; it is all scriptural.” In
this case admitting, for the sake of argument, what is not true of
any human creed, that it is “just like the Bible,” we reply, that is
useless, and will do no better than the Bible itself. If it is just
like the Bible it will accomplish nothing more than the Bible, and
be just as deficient. Nothing can be gained by it; nothing can be
accomplished by it which the Bible itself could not accomplish, so that
it must be utterly useless. In that case there can be no excuse for
having it—not only so, but the person holding on to and contending for
such a creed, is inexcusable on another account. To give up a creed
just like the Bible, and take the Bible itself as a rule of faith and
practice, a man would lose nothing, for he would find all his creed
in the Bible. We insist, therefore, that one of the most inexcusable,
unreasonable and unjustifiable positions a man can occupy, is to hold
on to, contend for and insist that he can not do without a creed which
he insists is just like the Bible, though he can have the Bible itself!
The Bible will certainly accomplish all that any creed just like it can.

_Apology Second._ “It is useless to be contending against our creed. It
contains nothing that is not in the Bible. It is simply an abstract,
epitome or abridgment of Bible doctrine, so arranged as to be convenient
and show at a glance what we hold.” This is quite a specious apology,
and has succeeded in deluding and deceiving many persons, and silencing
their consciences, and is, therefore, more especially deserving of
attention. This apology is dangerous because it acknowledges that the
creed contains and sets forth what the party believes—its faith.
Now, we assert, without hesitation, that any man who believes no more
than is set forth in any human creed on earth, and will do no more
than any human creed requires, has neither faith nor obedience enough
to be acceptable with God. There is not a human creed on earth, that
contains the _whole Christian faith_. Their faith is too narrow. We
have no confidence in epitomes, abstracts, or abridgments of the
faith. Nothing less than the faith, the whole faith of Christ, is
sufficient to meet the divine approbation. No man’s faith not as broad
as the Bible is broad enough for us. His faith must contain Moses
and Jesus, the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the
New. There must be no abstracting, no epitomizing, no abridging. The
man not willing to receive Christ, and the whole Christian faith, as
God has set him and the faith forth, in the Holy Scriptures, is not a
christian, and had better make no pretence to christianity. We do not
wish a man to come describing how he _views every point of doctrine_.
We do not desire him to come declaring that he receives Christ as a
Trinitarian or Unitarian, a Calvinist or an Arminian, but to come with
a contrite spirit, avowing it as the desire of the heart, and his
full determination, to receive Christ with all his heart, as God has
revealed him in the prophecies of the Old Testament and the apostolic
preaching of the New.

The advocate of a human creed says, he wants his creed to “show at a
glance what we hold!” Look over your creed, then, right carefully, and
see _what you hold_, and look over the New Testament with the same
care, and see what an amount it contains that _you do not hold_, or
that is not in your creed, and you will see that your creed is not a
respectable skeleton—that it not only lacks the flesh, blood, muscles,
arteries, veins, etc., of the body, but it lacks many of the bones
and, what is vastly more, it lacks the life, the soul, the spirit.
If it contains _what you hold_, much as precious as any part of the
Christian faith, and as binding as any thing God has revealed, clearly
and as explicitly laid down in the New Testament, is not contained in
what you hold at all. Much of as precious truth as is contained in
the Bible, a vast amount as clear to the children of God as anything
contained in the Christian faith, an immense deal as consoling to the
dying saint as any thing in the word of God, as any man who has ever
looked must admit, is not found in any human creed. We say again, and
can prove at almost any length, that there is not a human creed in the
world that is a respectable skeleton, that is even a perceptible shadow
of the Christian faith. Indeed, no creed appears to have been intended
simply to set forth the _Christian faith_. It does not appear to be
the object of any human creed to set forth the simple faith of Christ
or Christianity. None of the creeds claim to be the _Christian faith_,
_the Christian confession_, _Christian discipline or Christian system_,
but one is “The Philadelphia Confession,” another “The Westminster
Confession,” and a third “The Methodist Discipline.” The object of
these books, and all of the same kind, appears to be more to set forth
the views their authors had of certain points of doctrine, or their
notions of these points, than to set forth the whole Christian faith
itself. Their object is much more to show how the parties adopting them
held certain points of doctrine, and to distinguish their views from
some others, than to set forth the Christian faith. The creeds, then,
are but little more than epitomes of men’s views of certain points of
Christian doctrine, their abridged understanding of these points. Now,
the belief and reception of _men’s views_ of the Christian faith will
not save any man, much less the belief and reception of _their views
of a few points_ of doctrine; but to be saved, a man must believe and
receive the Christian faith—_the whole Christian faith itself_.



HEAR YE HIM.


“But we want something binding.” Look then, at the command accompanying
this oracle, or confession, or immediately following it, if you desire
something binding, or authoritative. We allude to the authoritative
utterance, “Hear Him.” God, who made the worlds—God, who rules
among the armies of heaven—who hurled angels down to hell for
disobedience—whose voice shook the earth. God, who holds the destinies
of all the nations in his hand, who “weighs the hills in a balance, and
handles the isles as a very little thing,” in connection with the
revelation of his Son, to all the nations of the earth, with all the
majesty of his authority, says, “HEAR HIM;” give him audience;
regard him; bow to him; follow him; be guided by him; honor and obey
him forever. How utterly futile and insignificant the attempt of puny
and erring mortals to add anything to the great oracle, or confession,
in which is concentrated the whole christian institution, and with
which is connected the authoritative words of the ineffable Jehovah,
“HEAR HIM.” If a man receives the revelation God makes of
his Son, or, rather, if he receives his Son, from the revelation he
has made of him, and bows in submission to him, in accordance with
the command to “Hear Him,” confesses with the mouth before men, what
he believes in the heart, that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” and
submits to the Divine test of loyalty, in the requirement to be buried
with his Lord in baptism, while that great formula is uttered over him,
“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit,” he gives the highest assurance in his power to give, that
he is changed in heart, that he loves God and will serve him, and is
bound by the strongest pledge, the highest and most solemn obligation
that ever did or ever can bind a human being, to love and serve God. To
add a thousand human ceremonies to this, would give no higher assurance
of the preparation of the heart, the designs and resolutions being
genuine, and bind the individual no more solemnly to be faithful to the
end. The confession that God requires, is the greatest confession that
man can make, and the making of it is the best evidence a man can give
that his heart is right. The first test of loyalty God has required
of the penitent confessor, is the strongest, highest, and most solemn
to which man can submit, and the submission to it, is the strongest
evidence of loyalty the person can give. The authority that requires
this submission, is the highest and most binding that can rest upon
a human being; and, if it does not govern, control and restrain the
person, no authority can.

If such a confession as this—one that takes in God and man, heaven
and earth, the Savior and his words, the whole revelation from God,
the sublime confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, made in a
proper manner, will not show that the heart is right. You need not add
any such catechisms or experiences as are common in these times. They
are all perfect nothingness compared with this great confession, which,
like the spider’s web, may catch flies and gnats, while the dangerous
wasp and hornet will pass through with ease. The safe ground, and the
only safe ground, is to follow the simple and infallible leadings of
the Spirit of God. Appeal to the sacred record, and examine his divine
and unerring procedure the day he came down from heaven and guided the
apostles into all truth. What did he require of men on that day, before
receiving them into the church? Follow him as he guided the apostles in
all the cases of conversion mentioned in the sacred record. What did he
require in all these cases? The same must be required now, and no more.
We must be led by the Spirit of God, in converting sinners, and not by
human creeds; we must be guided by the wisdom of God and not by the
wisdom of man; we must have confidence in the ways of God and show no
hankering after the ways of man. God will depart from all who turn away
from the simplicity of the apostolic practice, under the immediate
guidance of the Holy Spirit. No man is led by, or has the spirit, who
has not full confidence in requiring precisely the same of all who
enter the church required by the apostles, as by the Holy Spirit, who
guided them. He simply required the _confession with the mouth, of the
faith of the heart_.



EVANGELISTS AND EVANGELIZING.


We have had a continuous series of writing and preaching about properly
qualified Evangelists, and numerous schemes have been set on foot and
advocated, for raising up and qualifying men for this great work.
Still, the Evangelical field is not at all supplied. No scheme set on
foot is supplying, or likely to supply, the field. Some few preachers
are being manufactured, but where do they go? and what do they do?
How many of them go out into the field and preach the gospel, convert
sinners, plant and build up churches? Where is one doing anything of
this kind? In many parts of the country, they have made people believe
that the old preachers who have planted the churches and made the
principal part of all the converts that have been made, are behind the
times, and incapable of preaching, discouraged and driven many of
them from the field, and the work is not progressing. We need, and
_must have_, if we ever progress, evangelists, or missionaries, who
will travel throughout the length and breadth of the country, visit
the churches, “see how they do,” “set in order the things that are
wanting,” recruit their numbers, and maintain the faith once delivered
to the saints. We need, and must have, men who will visit weak
churches, enter new communities, where there are no churches,—bold
adventurers, pioneers to open the immense forests, and make the rude
desert blossom like the rose. This work must be done, and we _must
have_ the men that _can_ and _will_ do it.

Where are we to obtain this class of men? Can we never learn anything
from the history of the past, from all experience? Where did the men
come from, who have done pretty much of all this kind of work that has
ever been done? Is a miracle to be expected? Will men for this work,
come from a source whence such men never came? No! never while man is
man, and human nature is human nature. Men brought up in school houses,
fed and clothed from their father’s pockets, without ever knowing what
it was to earn a dollar, or a coat for their backs, without knowing
anything about the hardships and buffetings of the world, no matter if
they become scholars, and learn how to say a few fine things, _never
will_ and _never can_ do the work we are speaking of. They have not
the constitution, the physical energies to do it. They have not the
knowledge of the world, the ways and manners of the people to do it.
They know nothing of the toils, hardships, and burdens, of the masses
of mankind; are incompetent to sympathize with them, mingle with them,
become a fellow creature with them, and preach the Gospel of Salvation
to them, in an acceptable and successful manner and save them. They not
only are wholly incompetent, incapable, and could not, if they would;
but it is not their atmosphere, not their congenial sphere, and they
_never will_ do the work in the Lord’s great Evangelical field. They
never have done the work, and never will.

We must turn our eye in another direction. We must look to men who
have come up in our midst, among the people, who are of the people, in
active life, habits of industry, who have known what it was to earn a
living—men who have found out what a dollar is worth by earning it;
learned the people by mingling with them; developed their physical man
by active and industrious life; know the ways of the world by being
in it. We must look to men of this description whose hearts have been
overcome by the love of Christ, whose energies have been enlisted in
the churches, and who are brought forth by the churches, and should be
reared up and encouraged by the churches. Here is where we must look
for Evangelists. The church must open the way for her young men, set
them forth, and bring out all the talent she has within; and every
man that has the natural endowment, the energy, the love for man, the
anxiety for man’s salvation, necessary for one who would go out into
the world to save men, will make his way into the Evangelical field,
and make his mark in the world. If he lacks learning or information,
and has the proper zeal, desire for his work, and natural endowment, he
will acquire the learning and knowledge. We must open the way for
such, in all the churches; show our young men that we are looking for
them to come forth and enter upon this great work. We must give them
opportunities and encourage them to speak, to read the Scriptures and
pray in public, and we shall soon find that the Lord has plenty of
material of the first quality, for this great work.

Here is the source whence our laboring men have come—our active
effective men who are doing, and have always done the work. It is
useless for us to be deluded by the vain hope that the men we need,
will ever come from any other source. We must turn our attention to the
Evangelical work, concentrate our energies upon it, and do all in our
power to promote it. Every man that can preach at all; every man that
can turn a sinner to the Lord, should be engaged in the work, with all
zeal and power. We must preach the word both publicly and privately,
with the tongue, and pen through newspaper, pamphlet, magazine, tract
and book; in every possible way, and by all means, we must preach the
word of God from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and make all men
see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which, from the beginning
of the world, hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus
Christ. “Go,” brethren, the Lord says, “Go into all the world, and
preach the Gospel to every creature;” “Go,” says he, “therefore,
and teach all nations.” Let every man go, who can call a few people
together, and preach the word of the Lord to them. Yes, go if you can
preach at all, turn sinners to God and save them;—go and preach. Go
under a sense of the mighty work, remembering the language of that
great preacher and apostle to the Gentiles, “Wo is me if I preach not
the Gospel.” God requires those who have the gospel and the ability, to
preach it now, and this same _wo_ will rest upon them if they do not do
it.

What a crying sin against the Lord, who gave us the gospel, and man
to whom he commands it to be preached, for those with the ability, to
refuse to preach the gospel of the grace of God? Who but these shall
answer to God, if the people perish for the word of God? The first
disciples, when dispersed from their homes, deprived of all their
earthly good, “went everywhere preaching the word.”



A WORKING MINISTRY.


Men do not get a support, or do much good, in any calling, without
work, and there is no calling on earth where the distinction is
wider, between the industrious and indolent, than in the christian
ministry. We can not be supported in the ministry without work, and
it is not right that we should be. The Lord puts us upon the same
footing as other men. We must rise early, be at our books, off to our
appointments, through winds, rains, and snows, cold and heat, with zeal
and earnestness; preach with spirit and power, whether the audience is
great or small, rich or poor, both early and late. We must come to the
people with something cheering, strengthening, inspiring, awakening,
stirring, and thrilling the hearts of men with the theme of Calvary.
There must be no murmuring, complaining, and repining about the amount
we have to do; we must do it cheerfully, and show that we delight
in our Lord’s work. It is a most sacred honor to us—a mercy from
God—that we are permitted to work for him, in his most glorious cause
at all; and the work must be performed cheerfully, freely, and with
all the heart, or it will not be acceptable to him, whether we are
supported or not.

The Lord has said that “the laborer is worthy of his hire,” and if
the preacher of Christ imparts spiritual things, he is to receive in
return, temporal things; but a “laborer” is a _working_ man, and the
Divine rule is, “if we sow sparingly, we shall reap sparingly.” The
man who preaches the gospel is by all reasonable men expected to do as
much labor as his strength will permit. It is reasonable that he should
be expected to apply his energies as men of other pursuits. The field
is wide open before him, and he should be a zealous, enterprising, and
persevering man, making full work in his calling. A man who does not
work any save a little on one or two days in a week, does not receive
much reward in any business, unless obtained by fraud. The physician
who makes a good support, works early and late, both good weather
and bad. The lawyer who makes a good support, is one of industry
and energy. The farmer who prospers, rises early, toils hard, and
perseveres late. In all departments, industry, perseverance and energy
characterize men who prosper. This is as true of the ministry as any
class of men on earth; they can never prosper without the most untiring
industry and perseverance. It is utterly useless for a man of idle
habits, addicted to loafing, wasting his precious time in useless
gossip to speak of his wants, his lack of support, or to try to induce
persons of industrious habits to feel that he is in need. They will
throw the whole matter off by saying, “Let him make an effort and
apply his energies, as I have to do, and he will have plenty.” But
let a preacher apply himself to his calling; persevere in it, making
every effort in his power; thus showing to all who know him, that his
labors are actually arduous and incessant, and he will receive full
credit from not only his brethren, but the community generally, for his
industry and faithfulness, and his temporal wants will as certainly
receive attention, as that _his work is of God_.

The Lord has men yet in this world, good and true, who will reward
labors of the faithful and persevering preacher of the gospel and
support him. Indeed, there is a kind of fixed principle among men, as
well as in the Divine administration, that industry shall be _rewarded_
and indolence _punished_, and it is not more certainly a settled
principle in reference to any class of men than preachers. We can not
expect to be wrapped in cloths, silks, and satins, with fine salaries,
for preaching one or two short discourses on Lord’s day, and then lying
in the shade all the week; much less can we expect christianity to
prosper, or the approbation of heaven rest upon us, in such an order of
things. We must penetrate the whole land in every nook and corner, and
preach the Word of the Living God to every creature.

We have not written this for any preacher older than ourself, but for
the sake of young men, whom we desire to see useful, influential, and
well sustained ministers of the Word of God. All such we entreat, to
study and labor to do the Lord’s work, and he will supply their wants
out of his inexhaustible storehouse.



PRESENT PUNISHMENT WILL NOT SAVE.


The mere circumstance of a man being punished for his sins in this
life, has nothing in it to purify his soul, purge his conscience, or
prepare him for the enjoyment of God. The Egyptians, the Antediluvians,
the Sodomites, and the Jews, had a just recompense of reward sent upon
them in this world, but this only sent them down to _tartareous_, to
be reserved, with the angels that sinned, to the judgment of the great
day, where, we are assured, Sodom and Gomorrah shall appear. Some men
appear to think, that if men are punished, to use their own style,
as much as their sins deserve, they must necessarily be happy then.
But men can not be happy—can not enjoy God, without justification,
purification of heart and conscience; and, unless thus prepared for the
enjoyment of God, they can not enjoy the world to come. This is a work
that punishment can not do. The hurling of angels, that sinned, down to
hell, the drowning of antediluvians and Egyptians, the burning of
Sodomites, and slaying of Jews, did not purify one of them. If men
live in unbelief, commit some capital offence, and are executed for
it, though this may be a just recompense of reward, it will not purify
their souls and prepare them to enjoy God. When men pass the boundary
line of life, they pass all the means, in the economy of God, for
preparing them for heaven, and no punishment will ever do what the
grace of God could not do.



THE MISSION OF INFIDELS.


The mission of infidels is not to build up anything but to pull down
churches, civil laws, governments, morals, the characters of men and
women, peace, happiness, protection of home, property and life. They
come with a mission of denials of the truths contained in the Bible—a
mission of war upon the Bible, religion, and the friends of purity
and mercy. They come not with a mission of peace and good will to
man, but a mission of hatred towards the Bible and all it enjoins—a
mission to pull down and destroy—to spread desolation among other
men’s labors and lay their work in ruins, leaving nothing but wrecks
and devastation. They come to neutralize, paralize and dishearten
all efforts for the amelioration of man’s condition—to discourage,
enfeeble and ignore all efforts to rise. They come not into our midst
with a warm, kind and affectionate appeal to the attentive, thinking
and reflective portion,—the more spiritually minded; but appeal to the
lukewarm, back-sliding, or the apostate, who is beginning to stand at a
distance, who already is descending upon the retrograde plane—not to
rescue him, or to prevent his retrograde movement, but to accelerate
it. The appeal to him is not to give him confidence, but to destroy his
confidence in his Bible, his religion, his brethren, and fill him with
doubts and distrusts. It is not to embolden him, but to intimidate him
and fill him with fears, and discourage him from all good forever.

The mission of infidels is not to enlighten, civilize and ennoble
the nations. They have never enlightened, civilized or elevated a
nation or a people since the world was made. They have never organized
society, established peace and order in any place on this earth. They
have established no civil institutions, no system of morals, no code
of laws, no system of education, and no institutions of learning
that deserve the name. Even the literature of the country has almost
entirely been left to the believers in the Bible. It is an easy work
to pull down civil government, subvert the foundation of organization,
condemn the means of enlightenment, and object to them. It is an easy
matter to deny everything and prove nothing; to doubt, vacillate and
fear. It is an easy matter to distrust, fill others with distrust,
destroy confidence, throw everything into confusion and uncertainty.
Some men have fallen so fully into this state, that they hardly will
venture to say they believe anything, have confidence in anything, or
know anything. One man, under the blinding, benumbing and stupifying
influence of unbelief, when asked whether he knew that he existed,
hesitated to say he did.

What ability, knowledge or learning does it require, to deny
everything? The most ignorant, illiterate and stupid, can deny as
stoutly, as the most learned, enlightened, and talented. It requires
no strength of mind to stand and deny—to declare in the most
pertinacious manner, disbelief, want of confidence, doubts, distrusts
and uncertainties in everything. A man who never read the Bible once
through in his life, nor ten other books, who has the most corrupt
character, can talk of inconsistencies, incongruities, contradictions
and absurdities, in the Bible, as stoutly as anybody. Any blockhead
could leap over the Falls of Niagara, or from the Suspension Bridge
below. In the same way, any man with or without much mind, learning or
talent, can leap into the dark abyss of unbelief, rejecting, contemning
and despising all evidence; but, would it not be the part of prudence,
of wisdom and discretion in such, to look before they leap? It is a
fearful experiment they are making. If the step is a mistaken one, it
can never be retraced beyond this life. He who makes the experiment,
obtains nothing now, only the unbridled privilege of declaring the
Bible false—religion priest-craft—that man will never be called to
account, hence all men can do as they list.

The mission of infidels is to risk, and induce all men to risk the loss
of everything, without the possibility of gaining anything in this
world, or the world to come. They have no worthy object—they can have
no worthy object in opposing the Bible. They have no reason for
opposing it, for they do not propose to make the world any better. They
have no proposition to make the world more true, kind, affectionate
or happy. Indeed, the very fact of their malignity towards the Bible,
shows that it is no fable. The land abounds with acknowledged fables;
why are they not enraged at these? They are read by the million;
but, sceptics are no more enraged at them than other men. If they
are satisfied the Bible is all fiction, false or human, why trouble
us about it? Why not let it pass? We hear thousands contending about
the “signs in the moon,” but we care nothing about them, and do not
even trouble those who believe in them; the reason is, we are well
and fully satisfied, that there is nothing in them. Why do they not
let the believers in the Bible pass in the same way? The reason is
obvious; they are in doubt, not fully satisfied, and feel that there is
uncertainty in their position. They see and are constantly impressed
with the fact, that if the Christian could be mistaken that his mistake
amounts to nothing—that he is as happy now, and has as high assurance
in regard to all beyond this life, to say the least of it, as they;
and that if the sceptic should prove mistaken, his mistake will be an
irreparable one. They see that a mistake on the part of a Christian
involves no danger, no serious consequences in this world or the world
to come; while a mistake on their part involves eternal consequences.
They are not constantly impressed, too, with the fact, that they are
relying upon that which amounts to anything like certainty; for a
large proportion who have occupied their position, before death have
repudiated and renounced it,—many of them in the immediate expectation
of death,—and warned all their friends against it. They find on the
other hand, that all who believed the Bible when in health, also
believed it when approaching death, and that no man who has contended
for its truth till he was in the immediate expectation of death, has
then denied it. They must, then, see that their mission is simply to
fill the world with doubts and distrusts, involving all in darkness and
uncertainty.



IS IT POSSIBLE TO AROUSE THE PEOPLE?


Is it not possible to rescue the people from the pernicious and
blinding influences of speculative theories and theorists, and induce
them to receive the simple faith of Christ, become his disciples, love
him and serve him? Have the leaders of the people, in these times, as
they did in the days of the Lord’s pilgrimage on earth, stolen away
the key of knowledge, and fastened them down with such an impenetrable
spell of thick darkness that they are unwilling to be rescued from
this servile slavery to human speculation to the rejection of the sun
of righteousness? Or is the world so lost, the mind of the people so
bewitched, the delusions around us so enchanting, that it is impossible
to attract the attention of the people, arrest their affections or
impress their hearts, by the love of God to man, by the sufferings of
Christ, by all the divine sanctions of the blood of the everlasting
covenant, by the glories of heaven, or the terrors of hell, to turn to
the Lord and follow him who loved us and gave himself for us? Is the
public mind so distracted, and are the people so confused and lost to
all that God has said and done, that they can not be induced to love
Christ better than all human theories, regard him and feel the force of
all his love to our lost and ruined world? Are the people so set upon
gnawing the bone of contention, keeping up sectarian feuds; disputing
upon the lifeless, soulless and profitless controversies thrust upon
them, that they will neither hear the Lord nor be interested in the
word of his grace? Must the public mind be wholly occupied with the
useless distinctions between the views of men, the useless comparisons
of doctrines and commandments of men, the comparative merits of
different human systems, and an eternal train of customs unknown to
the primitive church, thus bewildering the people and blinding their
minds that they may neither see the Lord nor regard his authority? Is
it impossible to bring the authority of the Almighty again to bear upon
the world, to lift up the Lord before the people, that he may draw
all men unto him, convert them to the Lord and place them under him?
Is it impossible to rescue the people from the blinding influences of
these times—from being merely followers of men, and believing human
theories, which have no power to save, in the place of believing
the great truth, that Christ died for our sins, according to the
Scriptures—that he was buried, and that he rose from the dead? Is it
impossible to interest the public mind with the things of God—with the
revelation from God to man, with the religion of Christ itself? Is the
love of God gone from the world? Has the Holy Spirit of God abandoned
the church? Is the human race mad, insane and ruined, so that all
pleadings and entreaties to turn to God must fail? Must the holy
religion of Christ be set aside for the silly disputes of these times?
Shall that holy religion that saved such vast multitudes in the days
of the apostles, fired the hearts of the missionaries of the cross and
supported the holy martyrs in passing through all the cruel scourgings,
tortures and privations for the name of the Lord, be contemned,
despised and rejected by the people of our day? O, that God would
enable us to _arouse_ the people of this generation from the awful
stupor and deep slumbers of carnal security to prepare to meet God!



A MOTHER’S GRAVE.


Earth has some sacred spots where we feel like looseing the shoes from
our feet, and treading with holy reverence; where common words of
social converse seem rude, and the smile of pleasure unfitting; places
where friendship’s hands have lingered in each other’s; where vows have
been plighted, prayers offered, and tears of parting shed. Oh, how the
thoughts hover around such places, and travel back through unmeasured
space to visit them. But, of all the spots on this green earth, none is
so sacred as that where rest, waiting the resurrection, those we once
cherished and loved—our brothers, our sisters, or our children. Hence,
in all ages, the better part of mankind have chosen and loved spots for
the burial of their dead; and on these spots they have loved to wander
at eventide, to meditate and weep. But, of all places, even among the
charnel-houses of the dead, none is so sacred as a mother’s grave.

There sleeps the nurse of our infancy—the guide of our youth—the
counselor of our riper years—our friend, when others deserted
us—she, whose heart was a stranger to every other feeling but love,
and who could always find excuses for us when we could find none for
ourselves. There she sleeps, and we love the very earth for her sake.
With sentiments like these, I turned aside from the gayeties of life,
to the narrow habitations of the dead. I wandered among those who had
commenced life with me in hope. Here distinctions were forgotten; at
least, by the quiet slumberers around me. I saw the rich and the great,
who scorned the poor, and shunned them as infected with the plague,
quietly sleeping by their side.



TENDENCY OF UNIVERSALISM.


That the obvious tendency of Universalism is irreligious; that it is
opposed to holiness, to reformation of life; that it is in eternal
hostility to all efforts to make the world better; that it paralyzes
and neutralizes the efforts of men to serve God—is one of the most
manifest impressions upon the mind, both from the theory itself, and
from the history of its practical workings among men. No pretended
system in our time has been characterized by such daring and unblushing
effrontery. It comes forward under a pretense of faith, but ridicules
the most awful and fearful things which that faith reveals. It discards
the eternal discriminations which the faith of the Lord Jesus maintains
between the righteous and the wicked—between those who serve God
and those who serve him not—between the vice and virtue—except the
reward of one and the punishment of the other, received in this life.
It proposes to believe the Bible, and would have men believe that it
teaches that he who was an atheist, a deist, and a scoffer at all that
God has said, and a blasphemer of the name of God till he breathed the
last breath, shall be received up into glory, and seated down with the
holy martyrs of Jesus, and enjoy God forever! No other system has so
far imposed upon the credulity of mankind, as to face the world, as
well as the heavens, and declare that the lake of fire prepared for the
devil and his angels, where the beast and the false prophet shall be
tormented day and night, forever and ever—the _gehena_ of fire, where
the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched—is in this world, and
that the wicked we see are actually enduring its punishments!

No infidel desires any better opposition to religion than this. No
man who hates the Bible, and wishes its influence upon the world
counteracted, desires any more effectual method of doing it than this,
so far as men will receive it. Those who fall under its influence will
neither worship God nor keep his commandments. Atheism itself has all
the incentives to a righteous life found in this system, and may be
trusted just as far. Its influence is to harden the heart, and fill the
world with impenitence and indifference.



VALUE OF LEARNING.


If a man’s learning is combined with piety, devotion, and consecration
to Jesus Christ, and he is possessed with the humility and meekness
inculcated in Christianity, and his learning enables him to unfold
the unsearchable riches of Christ, with the simplicity, sincerity and
devotion necessary to commend it to the hearts and consciences of men,
it is of great value. If the Lord dwells in a man, if the great matters
of the kingdom of God fill his soul, and if his learning is used in
presenting the simple gospel of Christ in meekness, it may be of great
service to him; but, it requires much care to keep the Lord in front
of it, so that the hearers will see nothing but him. The more gifted
the man, the more learned and powerful, the better, if all his powers
are engaged in setting forth and honoring the Lord, sanctifying _Him_
in the eyes of the people. At the same time, he should rely upon not
learning only, or talent, or power that he possesses, but upon the
Lord, upon his gospel—the power of God unto salvation, to every
one who believes. He must look to heaven for the means to move men
to repent; he must appeal to God, keep God and his works before his
audience, and in this way show that his confidence is in Christianity
itself, and the author of it, and not in himself, not in man. Whether
men have what the world calls learning or not, they must know God, and
have the love of God in their hearts, if they would induce others to
love him and turn to him.



THE BIBLE INFALLIBLY SAFE.


Can men lead the people astray by insisting upon their adhering
strictly to the law of God, uniting upon it, living in peace and love?
Let the Lord reign. Let his law be the supreme authority. The Bible
is right if anything is right. All led by it are led rightly; all
under its influence are under proper influence; all opposed to it are
wrong—all the way wrong.

There is not one ray of light from heaven that has ever reached the
abodes of men in any creed, any book, or any man that is not in the
Bible.

If the man who honestly reads the Bible to know his duty or the will
of God, and does it to the best of his ability, praying daily for the
divine aid, both in understanding and doing, is not safe, infallibly
safe and right; no man in this world is safe.



EXCUSE FOR CREEDS.


One of the most common excuses offered for human creeds is, that “We
want something to keep us together—something to bind us in union.”
This apology is based virtually upon the same two preposterous
assumptions we have before mentioned. It assumes, with great apparent
innocence, that the Bible can not keep us together, that it cannot bind
us in union. Then it assumes, with much modesty, that a human creed
_can_ keep us together—bind us in union—_can do_ what the Bible _can
not do_. This, it appears to us, should startle any good man at once.
These assumptions are arrogant in the extreme, and not only arrogant,
but made without any regard to facts. Do human creeds keep churches
together? We assert, fearless of successful contradiction, that the
whole history of human creeds proves that they do not keep churches
together. Let us take one look at three of the most popular creeds in
this country, and see what they have done in keeping churches together.
How has the Baptist creed succeeded? Has it kept the Baptists together?
By no means. From the one original Baptist stock we have now not less
than nine or ten parties of Baptists. How has the Presbyterian creed
succeeded in keeping its adherents together? It is thought to be a very
wise and powerful document. Has it kept Presbyterians together? It has
succeeded no better than the Baptist creed. With all its adhesive
power, Presbyterians, within the last century have sundered into
some eight parties. This needs no commentary. How has the Methodist
Discipline succeeded? It is itself nothing but an offshoot of the
Episcopalian creed, which did not prevent the Methodists from stranding
off from the established church. The Discipline has not been in
operation more than one hundred and twenty years. How has it succeeded
in keeping Methodists together during that period? During that time
Methodism has stranded into some eight or ten fragments. What comment
this furnishes upon the efficacy of human creeds to cement together.
Other creeds have done no better; and yet, in the face of all this, men
want human creeds to _keep them together_!

All history shows, beyond all dispute, that wherever human creeds have
prevailed, divisions have abounded, partyism has increased, and unity
has been diminished. But where the people had confidence in the Bible,
the law of God, the “perfect law of liberty,” union has more widely
extended, and peace has more generally prevailed. Why then, in the name
of reason, hold on to human creeds to keep churches together, when
they have so universally failed, and refuse the Bible, which has never
failed?

Faith in a creed can not convert persons, or bring them to God. If they
are Christians at all, faith in God, the Redeemer and Savior of men,
in the Word of God, in the Gospel of Christ, has made them such, and
to God and the word of his grace they should commit themselves, their
everlasting trust, and not allow themselves to be divided by human
creeds.



OVER AND THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS.


This day was presented us some of the grandest objects of admiration,
both of nature and art, we ever beheld. We saw some of the grandest,
most stupendous and wonderful achievements of human enlightenment,
combined with industry, we had ever seen. At one moment we found
ourselves hundreds of feet above the tall pine trees, away in the
valley below, where, if we had been thrown off the track, we must have
been precipitated hundreds of feet down among the craggy rocks. In
another moment, we passed from the skirts of tree-tops, plunging into
the dark and dreary tunnel, cut through solid rock, hundreds of feet
under ground, where we could no more see than if we had never had eyes.
Truly is this a mighty and wonderful achievement for mortals—poor,
weak and dying mortals? It is overwhelming that _men_ should ever have
projected, prosecuted, and completed such a conveyance as this, such a
vast distance through this expanded and rugged region of country!

But, vast as this achievement may appear, when we are looking at it
as a _work of man_, it diminishes, dwindles and sinks into utter
insignificance and nothingness, when we lift our eyes above it, to “the
everlasting hills,” the workmanship of Him who “weighs the hills in a
balance, and handles the isles as a very little thing.” Also, how our
hearts are filled with reverence and our spirits impressed with awe,
when we lift our eyes above the hills, to the vast mountains, and
think of the thousands of miles over which this mighty range extends,
as well as others on our great _universe_! We are, at the same time,
filled with awe and gratitude, that we have the blessed assurance that
we are not overlooked, forgotten, and lost in the immensity of the
innumerable works of the Creator! But, blessed be his glorious name,
vast and innumerable as are his marvellous works, he has the time, the
goodness and compassion to provide for the fowls of heaven, and the
fish of the sea, as well as the beasts of the forests. Among all the
variegated multitudes of the feathered tribes, not even a sparrow falls
to the ground unobserved by Him; and, by the same Omniscient One, we
are assured, by our adorable Redeemer, the hairs of our heads are all
numbered. To the same amount, and for the same purpose, he says, “If an
earthly parent knows how to give good things to children, how much more
shall the Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
How comforting to think that he has promised, saying, “I will never
leave you nor forsake you, but will grant you grace and glory, and no
good thing will I withhold from you?” How secure, too, we can feel,
and how strengthening to reflect, when dashing through these fearful
mountains, conscious that though in one moment an accident might occur
by which our earthly career might be terminated, the everlasting arms
are underneath; and though the earthly building may be destroyed, we
have an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. To his
Almighty hand we commit our all; in Him is our everlasting trust. To
him be praises forever and ever.



REASON, PROVIDENCE, AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD, TEACH US TO OBEY GOD.


Some men are guided by _reason_, others by _providences_, and others
by spiritual _influences_, separate from, or without the word of God.
In regard to all this, it is not necessary to make much war upon them,
provided _their_ reason, providences, or influences, lead them to obey
the gospel, which we know was preached with the Holy Spirit sent down
from heaven. But, it is a sad comment on _their_ reason, providences,
or spiritual influences, when it leads them to disobey the teachings
of the Spirit of God in the Bible. Right reason, true providences, or
real spiritual influences, could not lead any in our day to disregard
what the Spirit of God taught in the establishment of Christianity. In
one short sentence: “The Spirit of God would not lead men to disobey
what he has clearly required in the Bible.” No reason, providences, or
spiritual influences, therefore, can be of the Spirit of God to lead
men to disobey what the Spirit of God taught in the Bible, or required
at the beginning. The Spirit of God required precisely the same of all
persons, who sought the way into the Kingdom of God, in the days of the
Apostles, that he does of all who seek the way now. The Holy Spirit has
not changed. It is, then, a most arrogant and unfounded pretence, for
any man who now attempts to set forth the way for sinners to come to
God, to claim that he is led by the Holy Spirit, while he evades and
refuses to set forth the plain and unequivocal requirements of the Holy
Spirit, as set forth in the New Testament, or attempts to improve upon
them. Nothing can be taken from those requirements, or added to them,
without incurring the curse of Heaven. The Spirit of God, if he did
lead men independent of his word, could not lead them to incur this
awful curse; he, therefore, manifestly, does not lead any man who will
add any thing to, or take anything from, what he required when he spake
through the apostles, of all whom he showed the way into the Kingdom
of God. That which he required in one case, he required in all cases.
If he required one man to believe, in order to become a disciple, he
required all to believe. If he required one man to confess Christ,
he required all to confess him. If he required one man to repent, he
required all to repent. If he required one man to “be baptized in the
name of Christ, for the remission of sins,” he required all to do the
same. If he promised one man pardon and the importation of his Holy
Spirit, upon his compliance with his requirements, he promised all who
complied with the same, whether all the items mentioned in one case,
are found in all, or not. No matter if faith is not mentioned in the
case of the three thousand on Pentecost; it is not left out; they all
believed; for, without faith, it is impossible to please God. They that
come to God must believe. No matter if repentance is not mentioned in
Saul’s conversion. Acts xxii. 16, he repented, for God requires all
men, everywhere, to repent. The same is true of all the items.

We, therefore, are the only people now known, who proceed upon the
infallibly certain method of collecting, and arranging in proper
order, all the items required by the Holy Spirit in the conversion of
sinners; we mean the inductive mode of reasoning. We have no preference
for any particular part of Scripture; it is all precious to us. We
have no particular class of Scriptures, as Calvinists, Universalists,
Unitarians, etc., but we take the whole Scripture; not to prove our
doctrine, but as the perfect and complete system of doctrine itself.
When we wish to examine any point of doctrine, we proceed upon the
inductive plan, and take all the Bible contains as the mind of God
upon that point. When we would ascertain what the Holy Spirit of God
requires of sinners, in their conversion and admission into the Kingdom
of God, we proceed through all the conversions of the New Testament,
collect all the items, and ascertain their order, and insist that the
Holy Spirit requires the same now; nothing more, nothing less. Let
us, then, take a brief look through the New Testament, at all the
conversions, and ascertain precisely what is required and what is
promised.

We open at the following words of the Philippian Jailor: “Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?” Here is a Pagan whose attention is for the
first time called to the subject. What reply does the apostle make to
him? The answer is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt
be saved, and thy house,”—Acts xvi. 30-31. Here is an important item
in the form of requirement, and one, too, that can not be dispensed
with, for the Holy Spirit says: “He that cometh to God _must_ believe.”
It is not only a requirement that he should, but a positive and
unequivocal demand is that he _must_ believe, and this indispensable
demand of him that “cometh to God.” See Heb. xi. 6. But now for the
order of this item. Is it a first, second, third, or fourth item? Is it
the first item, for the apostle says, in the context, “Without faith
it is impossible to please God.” It is in vain, then, to try to do any
thing else to please him, so long as a man does not believe. It is the
first item, because the apostle required it first of a man who had
complied with no other item, in such a way as to lead him to believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ the first thing he did. It is the first item,
because “whatever is not of faith is sin.”—Rom. xiv. 23. It must,
therefore, be the first item, because everything else proceeds from it
and is done by it. The first item in the commission is Faith, and he
that sets aside that item will be condemned, let him think and act as
he may in regard to all other items. “He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be dammed,” says the
Lord. The first requirement, then, is to “believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ,” and without complying with this requirement, or taking this
step no person can ever take another. There is no reaching the second
step without taking the first. Unless the first step is taken, it will
eternally stand between any man and the second. This indispensable step
was required of, and taken by all who came to God under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit who spoke through the apostles to the people to
lead them to God. Never did one, from the days of the apostles to the
present time, get round, or by, this great requirement, and come to
God. It is true, that when the Pentecostians and Saul inquired what
they should do, they were not commanded to _believe_; but it was
not that faith was dispensed with in their cases, or that the Lord had
a different method of conversion for them, but for the good reason that
they _already believed_, and their faith caused them to inquire what
they should do.

Acts iii. 19, we find the following requirement laid down: “Repent ye,
therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” This
requirement was uttered to an assembly that had just witnessed one
of the most manifest miracles of the apostles—one which the enemies
mentioned shortly after, admitting that it was known to all who dwelt
in Jerusalem and that they could not deny it, and at the close of a
discourse which they had heard, and which had convinced them that the
work was of God. The Holy Spirit, on this occasion, demanded of them
to repent, reform, or amend their lives. This demand too, is as wide
as the actual sinners among men. In the times of ignorance before the
gospel, God did not hold men to a strict account for their sins, “but
now he commands all men, everywhere, to _repent_, because he hath
appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness,”
Acts xvii. 30-31. Repentance, too, is indispensable. “Except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke xiii. 3. What does the Lord mean by
this word, “except”? John iii. 3, he says, “except a man be born again,
he can not see the kingdom of God.” Two verses after this, he says,
“except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into
the kingdom of God.” Here we have the same word, “except,” again. What
does he mean by it? At verse seven, he explains as follows: “Marvel not
that I said unto thee, _Ye must be born again_.” _You must repent_ or
_perish_, then, is the meaning of the words, “except ye repent, ye
shall perish.” Repentance is then required of “all men, everywhere,”
and is indispensable—_must be_.

But what evidence have you that repentance is the second item? It is
the second item, because we have shown that faith is the first, which
shows that repentance can not be the first; and because Peter—Acts ii.
3, and iii. 19,—addressing people who believed, but had not repented
or done anything else, commanded them to repent. He makes it the second
item. It is the second item, because a man can not repent till he
believes in the Lord, before whom he must repent, and who convinces him
of sin, for, “by the law is the knowledge of sin,” which shows that it
must follow after faith; and because there is no other item in all the
records of conversions required, that he can acceptably comply with,
till he does repent. An impenitent person can not pray, confess, be
baptized, or do anything acceptable to God. The person, therefore, who
is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, can not get over repentance, or
do any thing else acceptable to God till he repents. His faith will do
no good so long as he continues in impenitence. For his impenitence,
if he persists in it, he must perish. In the order of God, it is the
second step, and unless taken, will eternally stand between him and the
third step. No advance can ever be made till he repents. “Except ye
repent, ye shall perish.” It is true, that Ananias did not command Saul
to repent; but it was not because it was omitted in his case, for no
man ever entered the Kingdom of God without repentance; but he was not
commanded to repent, for the good reason he had repented before Ananias
came to him. We are not to expect any historian, in giving records of
conversions, and so many instances, to mention all the items in each
case.



WHAT IS CAMPBELLISM?


This has been a puzzling question. It is hard to find out precisely
what it is. Not a man yet, of all who have been engaged in fighting
this monster, has defined it, explained it, or told what it is. It
has been called a dangerous _heresy_, and so many hideous warnings
have been given against it, that the hair would almost stand upon
a man’s head to hear about it, and yet no one has told what it is.
The reason no one has defined _Campbellism_, is, simply, that _there
is no such thing in existence_, except in the imaginations of some
misguided doctors. As near as any man can now come, at what they mean
by Campbellism, it is _Christianity itself_, unmixed, unadulterated,
and without any other name. This is evident, for, when they hear a man
preach, who preaches nothing but Christianity, nothing but Christ,
simply aiming to convert men to him, and induce them to receive him
as their only Leader, they call it _Campbellism_. It is nothing but a
nick-name they have given the gospel, to keep men from hearing it. In
the same way, they call the preacher a _Campbellite_, who will preach
nothing but the gospel, nothing but Christianity, to raise prejudice
against him and prevent people from hearing him. In precisely the same
spirit, here comes Rev. N. L. Rice, of heresy-hunting memory, in a
tract of forty pages against Campbellism, which the reader may think as
he pleases about, but which is as much against the religion of Christ,
and those trying to receive it, practice it, and maintain it, and it
_alone_, as was in the power of Dr. Rice to make it, without, in so
many words, saying so. No man in this country, at this time, can preach
simply the gospel of Christ in the name of the Lord, under any other
name, and maintain the law of God, as the only rule of faith, without
being called a Campbellite, and branded with preaching Campbellism.



YOUNG PREACHERS MUST BE PRACTICAL.


The young man who would become a preacher, while he is receiving
knowledge, or obtaining the theory, must ply himself to the work,
making a practical use of what he learns. A man may study for years and
acquire an immense amount of knowledge, but having no practical use of
it, he is as helpless as an infant. In precisely this predicament are
thousands who have gone through the manufacturing process of making
preachers, without any practical use of all they have learned. Indeed,
many of them have learned nothing of consequence, of one of the most
important chapters in a real preacher’s learning, viz: “The ways of the
world.” The knowledge of the Bible—general “book-learning,” is all
right. It is indispensable. But to _know man_, is equally important.
Man must be studied to be known. We must converse with him face to
face. We must know the world by actual contact with it. We must know
the church by actual observation. We must know the obstructions in the
way of truth and righteousness by actual contact with them, with actual
and personal efforts to remove them.

Not only so, but the people must know the preacher—see him, hear
him, and have personal interviews with him. His work can not be done
by proxy. He must go _himself_ and put his own hands to the work. He
must be with them and give them a personal example of deportment and
religious conversation, read the Bible to them, pray with them in
their families, give thanks at their tables, go with them to the place
of worship, preach to them and persuade sinners to repent. A man who
does not do this, is really no preacher of Christ, and will accomplish
nothing for his name.



CHRISTIANITY.


Christianity literally subverts everything else, sets aside all
isms, doctrines and commandments of men of every grade, as the most
insignificant childish play. It comes to men, claiming the right to
have the attention of all as though all beside were undeserving of
any note or any regard whatever. Not only so, but it gives no chance
to assail, expose and refute, for it maintains nothing but the Bible,
but Christianity, but what God has given by inspiration and proved by
supernatural signs and wonders, accompanied with gifts of the Holy
Spirit, which all its assailants have to admit true! Can we expect to
present the only true religion; the religion of Jesus Christ itself;
the only true system; Christianity itself; the only revelation from
God; that contained in the Bible; the only authority of God; the
authority of the Word of God; the only true doctrine; the Gospel
of Christ itself; and declare everything else unauthorized—null
and void; hindrances to the progress of truth and righteousness; to
the edification of saints and the conversion of the world, and meet
no opposition? Not rationally. The watchmen on the old party walls
of their little Zions will see the tendency of all this. They will
see—they can not help seeing—that precisely in proportion as we
succeed in fixing the attention of the people upon God, his authority,
his Son, our gracious Redeemer and Savior, his word, his law, his
religion, as a distinct, complete and perfect system, with all the
power, grace, wisdom, mercy, benevolence, and authority of the Almighty
in it, calling the attention of man to it as the only medium of
salvation, all their systems must necessarily lose their attraction,
their command and influence, and hasten to ruin. Many of these watchmen
are pledged for life, too bigoted to look if they may be mistaken, too
obstinate, and self-willed to yield, and will oppose to the last.



KEEP POLITICS OUT OF THE CHURCH.


If a man has a leading object in view, no matter whether religious or
worldly, let him come out in his proper color, declare his object, and
drive directly at it. If a man has a favorite political scheme let him
declare it, publish a paper advocating it, or maintain it in public
addresses; but not under the name of _Christian_; not in the name of
the Lord, nor under a pretence of preaching Christ; for this would be
a manifest imposition, no matter how good the political doctrine. But
every attempt to make the religion of Christ auxiliary to political
ends, is a perversion, and in direct opposition to the whole spirit
and entire bearing of the Lord’s own reply, when charged with being
a political aspirant. When arraigned before Pilate, and charged with
claiming to be a king, he explained the matter, and obviated the charge,
or set it aside, by saying, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my
kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should
not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
John xviii. 36. While he frankly admitted that he was a king, and that
he came into the world to bear witness to the truth, he set aside all
ground of suspicion against him, as an aspirant to the throne, or any
other part in the civil government, or one who would in any way meddle
in the civil institutions of his country, by declaring that his kingdom
is not of this world. This declaration was no evasion, but a clear,
important and divine truth, and must be shown in the lives of the
disciples of Christ, by following his example, or the cause will suffer
immeasurably.

Our Lord was so careful to keep his kingdom and his mission distinct
from civil affairs, that when he was appealed to, to arbitrate a
dispute touching an inheritance, he inquired, who made him an arbiter
in such matters, or where was there any authority for him to step aside
from his mission, or, rather, pervert his mission and his office from
their high, spiritual and divine object, to a worldly, temporal and
business object. He was so careful to keep his mission distinct from
the world, and worldly relations, that when engaged in the work of his
mission, he refused to recognize a fleshly relation—his own mother,
brother and sister. In his kingdom he recognized no fleshly relation,
as a basis for any application to him, or a reason for his institution
conferring any benefit on any human being, not excepting his own
mother, according to the flesh. Those who _do the will of God_,
regardless of all fleshly ties, political conditions, or worldly
circumstances, whether male or female, bond or free, are mother, sister
or brother, to the Redeemer and Savior of man. So perfectly distinct
did our Lord and the apostles keep their mission from politics that
there is not the remotest hint that they ever participated in civil
affairs, in a single instance, in the whole of the sacred record. They
either never participated in politics in any way, or else looked upon
the whole matter as so distinct from their mission and work, as not to
be once mentioned in the whole Christian revelation. So distinct is
the New Testament from political institutions, that it contains not
one word of instruction to civil officers, in regard to their duties,
not one hint what kind of men we should vote for, or what form of
government we should favor. It simply enjoins that Christians “obey
every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake:” “submit to the powers
that be; for the powers that be are ordained of God,” and declares that
“rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”; that “the
ruler is the minister of God, and bears not the sword in vain.”

The Christian law enjoins that we “follow _peace_ with all men and
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” It is not enjoined
that we follow peace with a political party, but “peace with _all_
men,” and holiness. The Lord said, “Blessed are the _peace-makers_, for
they shall be called the children of God.” The angels of God shouted
when Jesus was born, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth _peace_
and good will toward man.” Shall that religion enjoining its adherents
to “follow _peace_ with all men,” promising a blessing upon the
peace-makers, whose divine Author was introduced into the world, with
an angelic shout of “_peace_ on earth,” be made an instrument in the
hands of a misguided and worldly priesthood, in the political strifes
of the world? If it shall, we betide him who does it. It will kill
every preacher and every church that ever had the Spirit of God in
them, to do it. Indeed, all of this description are now dead. Not a
man nor a church among them, throughout the length and breadth of
the country, is doing anything for the cause of God. Not a sinner
is converted by them, nor a saint comforted. Many of them, old men,
that formerly had the spirit of the Lord, preached Christ with great
power, with their souls full of the love of God, converted sinners,
edified and comforted the children of God, now sit in the company of
worldlings, read and discuss politics on the Lord’s day, while the
house of God is forsaken.

Our mission is to preach Christ, Christianity, and to disentangle it
from all connection with these side-artifices, devised to draw men away
from the Lord. We have only alluded to slavery, and the excitement
about it, so far as to discover the proper course for a christian, but
not to discuss its merits, as a system, at all. In doing this, we have
simply applied to it the rule that we do to all questions of the kind,
viz: To inquire for the _course pursued by the Lord, the apostles, and
the first Christians, and follow it as infallibly safe and right_. In
doing this, we have certainly shown that those warring upon us in this
matter, have no commission from heaven, from Christ, or his apostles,
or, in anything in all their lives and practice. We shall, therefore,
as far as God shall enable us, preach the pure gospel of the grace of
God, both North and South, East and West, to all, both great and small,
high and low, rich and poor, bond and free; and thus labor to bring
them into the kingdom that is not of this world—a kingdom that can
not be moved—where the pure in heart can enjoy God, his Holy Spirit,
and his people, though the wicked rule and the civil governments
are corrupt, with the blessed assurance that they shall one day be
delivered from all the perplexities of an imperfect and sinful state.
Here we must all turn our attention at last.

Civil governments can never be perfected. They will always be working
wrongs and cruelties some place. The wisdom and power of man can
not avoid this. The wickedness and selfishness of men, also, are in
the way, so that the civil institutions of the country can never be
perfected; and he has studied Christianity to but little purpose, who
thinks its aim to be the perfection of the human contrivances of the
world. It looks above this, to the purification and perfection of
_individuals_, in their regeneration and personal sanctification, and
preparation for a better state. It does not, like some fleshly systems,
look upon this world as _man’s all_; but, as momentary, a pilgrim
state, not our home, not our continued city, but merely the preparatory
state to a better world. How soon this world will all be nothing to
all these political wranglers, who have suffered themselves to be made
tools for political parties, to the neglect of the church of God,
without one soul ever being able to see that all their noise, ever did
any good in any way. How silly it is, as well as unchristian, for old
friends, neighbors and _brethren_ to disagree and fall out about the
intricate and deceptive schemes of political wire-workers. Such men are
doing no good for their church or country. The very circumstance of
their falling out with their best friends, shows that they are insane
upon the very subject upon which they propose to enlighten the world,
and, of all men in the world, the most unsafe, to guide either church
or state.



UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS.


Looking at the eternal benefits Christianity has conferred upon us, and
the rich inheritance it proposes to confer in the world to come, the
little a poor mortal can do in a short lifetime sinks into nothingness,
and deserves not to be mentioned. When we think of him who became poor,
that we through his poverty might be rich—that he became a little lower
than the angels, that he, by the grace of God, should taste of death
for every man—that he had not where to lay his head—that he died for
us—think of the holy apostles and martyrs of Jesus, with all their
labors and sufferings—all we do, or can do, dwindles into perfect
insignificance. To God, over all, blessed for ever and ever, through
Jesus Christ, we owe eternal gratitude, praises and thanksgiving that
he has ever received us and permitted us to labor in his gracious cause
at all. To his name be honor and power everlasting.



BOUNDARY LINE OF REPENTANCE.


The boundary line of repentance. Life is the boundary line of
repentance. What the Scriptures call “time,” contains the whole period
during which man can turn to God. “To-day if you will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts, as in the bitter provocation, in the day of
temptation in the wilderness.” If we are ever molded into the image of
Christ, made conformable to his death, and prepared for the society
of the blessed, it must be while we are in time. To show that we are
inside of the clear revelations of God, we shall make two or three
references to the New Testament. One man, more curious to know the fate
of the masses, than his own duty to God and man, in our Lord’s lifetime
asked him: “Lord are there few that be saved?” To this the Lord
responded: “Strive to enter in at the straight gate; for many, I say
unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke xiii. 23,
24. He then proceeds to the time when this shall be, as follows: “When
once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door,
and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord,
Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you
not whence you are.” In reply, they make an appeal to the fact that the
Lord had been accustomed to eat and drink in their streets. He replies,
“I know you not whence you are; depart from me all ye workers of
iniquity.” This must be after death, for He refers to the future, “When
ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in
the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out,” or thrust away. It
is after death, because the Master of the house has never risen up and
shut to the door of the kingdom, in this life. As we sing sometimes,
“The doors of gospel grace stand open night and day.” None, in this
life, stand and knock at the door, crying, Lord, Lord, open to us, whom
the Master refuses to receive. His language now is, “Whoever will, let
him come and take of the water of life freely.” “He who cometh to me, I
will in no wise cast out.” “He who seeks shall find; to him who knocks,
it shall be opened,” and “whoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved.”
But the time will come, when the Lord shall have arisen and shut the
door, and men shall stand without, knocking and crying, Lord, open to
us; but He refuses them admittance and thrusts them away, declaring
that He never approved them.—Nothing like this can be found in this
life. It refers to the time when the fear of the wicked cometh as a
whirlwind; when distress and anguish shall overtake them; then shall
they call upon the Lord, but He will not answer them. See Prov. i. 26,
27.

Another passage to which we refer, to show that death is the boundary
line of repentance, is the case of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvi.
19, 31. This rich man died, “and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being
in torments.” Here we find a man in torments after death. Lazarus has
also died, and been carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. Dives, once
the _rich man_, but now a beggar, looks up and seeth Abraham afar off,
and Lazarus in his bosom, and cries to him, “Father Abraham, have
mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger
in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” Now,
the question of repentance, or obtaining relief from punishment after
death, is fairly before us. In a case stated by our Lord himself, an
application is made for the mitigation of torment after death. But what
is the response of Abraham, who speaks in the place of the Almighty,
here? It is, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good
things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and
thou art tormented.” Here are two men after death, one _comforted_
and the other _tormented_. Can any change be made in their condition?
Let us hear Abraham. He then proceeds: “Besides all this, between
us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass
from hence to you can not; neither can they pass to us that would
come from thence.” This is an end of all change of condition. In that
world there is no turning to God nor falling from grace. The rich man,
then despairing of any mitigation of his torments, or change of his
condition, makes one more appeal to Abraham. “I pray thee, therefore,”
said he, “that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house; for I have
five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into
this place of torment.” Having fallen into torments, on account of
his unbelief, and having five brethren also unbelievers, he desired
testimony presented to them from the dead, lest they also come to
this place of torment. But Abraham answers, “They have Moses and the
prophets, let them hear them.” The rich man persists: “If one went
unto them from the dead, they will repent.” This is the only New
Testament account of a request for a departed spirit to be sent to our
world to lead sinners to repentance; but this request, coming from one
already in the torments of a wicked man after death, was refused in the
following words: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will
they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” This shows that God
will allow no means employed to save sinners save only those of his own
appointment, and writes the seal of condemnation upon all visitations
of the spirits of dead people to save sinners.

The next and only passage more to which we shall refer, to show the
boundary line of repentance, is Rev. xxii. 11, “He that is unjust, let
him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he
who is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let
him be holy still.” This is an end of all repentance, of all turning to
God, and also an end to all departing from him. The holy shall remain
holy, and the wicked remain wicked, from this time forward. Jesus made
his personal efforts to save man in this world. When he left the world,
he committed to the apostles the ministry and word of reconciliation,
and they made their efforts in this world. All the means ever employed
to save man, have been employed in this life. All the cases of
acceptable repentance that we have ever known anything about, were in
this life. If, therefore, men ever turn to God, it must be in time.

We proceed in the third place, to consider the state of man between
death and resurrection. There were, in the days of our Lord’s
pilgrimage, a class of materialists, who not only denied the
resurrection of the dead, but that there was an angel or spirit. Many
were the debates which they had with the Pharisees who differed with
them upon these three points. Knowing that our Lord had sanctioned
the doctrine of the Pharisees, that there were angels and spirits,
and would be a resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees approached
the Lord with the puzzle, touching the resurrection of the woman and
seven husbands. As if they had said, “Now, Master, you agree with the
Pharisees, and teach that there will be a resurrection of the dead; but
this doctrine involves a difficulty; for a certain woman, in the course
of her life, had seven husbands, and we should be pleased to know which
one shall have her in the resurrection?” Our Lord soon explains this
matter. He says, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given
in marriage, but are as the angels of God.” He proceeds, “Now that the
dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the
Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto
him.” While those departed from this life, are dead to us, they are
alive to God—“_for all live unto Him_.” “The inner man,” as Paul calls
him, or “the hidden man of the heart,” as Peter styles him which is
eternal, “not corruptible,” but immortal, which Jesus says, man is not
able to kill, though separated from us, or dead to us, is _alive to
God_, “for all live unto Him.” See Luke xx. 27-38.

The Transfiguration of Christ presents us the three states, the
fleshly, the intermediate, and the resurrection, or eternal state, all
at once. The Lord is changed into the glorified state, is seated upon
the throne, as we would see him to-day, if we were before him in heaven.
Hence Peter says, “We were eye witnesses of His majesty, for he
received from God the Father, honor, and glory, when there came such
a voice from the excellent glory. ‘This is my Son, in whom I am well
pleased.’” On this august occasion, Peter, James and John represented
the fleshly state. They were present in the flesh. Moses was here,
not in the flesh, for he had died some fifteen centuries before this.
He was not in the resurrection state, for Christ was the first-born
from the dead of every creature, that in all things he might have
the pre-eminence. But he was in the intermediate state, or the man
Moses was there separate from the body; alive, conscious, and held a
conversation with the Lord, in regard to his great sufferings to be
accomplished at Jerusalem. Though Moses had been dead to the world
fifteen hundred years, and his body mingled and lost in the dust, he
was alive to God all this time, and so are all the dead. He had not
lost his identity, nor his name, but is known and mentioned as the
_man Moses_, in a conscious state, seeing, hearing and talking. Our
friend, so much loved, lamented, but now dead to us, is alive to God,
and as conscious, and maintaining his identity as much as when here
in the body. Another dignitary present at the transfiguration, was
Elijah, who was taken to heaven without seeing death. He was in the
glorified state, in the body, glorified, spiritual, as all the bodies
of the blessed are. Probably the Lord took him to heaven without seeing
death, in view of this very occasion. What a grand scene is now before
us. The Lord of the universe is before us upon the throne; the old
prophet Elijah, stands before him who was the great prophet of all the
authority, before the witnesses of Christ. Here stands Moses, the
Law-giver of ancient Israel, and recognizes the Lord Jesus Christ,
and surrenders up all authority to him. Just at this wonderful and
interesting moment, the Almighty from the upper world, called out,
“This is my Son, the beloved in whom I am well pleased: _hear him_.”

Let us hear Paul once, on this subject. “Therefore we are always
confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are
absent from the Lord.” In a few words, he says, “Wherefore we labor,
that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.” 2 Cor.
v. 9. How could we be “present with the Lord,” and “accepted of Him,”
when absent from the body, if there be not an inner spiritual man,
who will exist separate, or absent from the body? No man living can
ever reconcile this passage with the preposterous theory, that when
a man dies, he has no conscious existence. To this we add only one
more scripture. When John, in the Island of Patmos, was in awful and
sublime vision, and saw the whole panorama of the future ages passing
in review, he says, “I saw under the altar, the souls of them who were
beheaded for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ,
and they cried and said, how long, O Lord God Almighty, holy, just and
true, dost thou not avenge us of our blood on them who dwell on the
earth.” Here were souls, alive, looking back to what had been done on
earth, and looking forward to what would be done in future. They had
not lost their identity nor memory, forgotten the past nor distrusted
the future, but were alive. The intermediate state is, therefore, a
conscious state, the righteous are comforted, and at rest with the
Lord, in Abraham’s bosom, or Paradise; the wicked are in _Tartareous_,
in prison, tormented, reserved unto the judgment of the great day, with
the angels that sinned.

In the fourth, and last place, let us take one look forward to
the eternal, or resurrection state. Looking to the close of the
intermediate state, John says, “I saw a great white throne, and him
that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away,
and there was found no more place for them. And I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another
book was opened which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out
of these things which were written in the books, according to their
works.” Rev. xx. 10-12. After thus presenting the dead in judgment,
he proceeds to tell us where they came from, as follows: “And the sea
gave up the dead that were in it; and death and hell delivered up the
dead which were in them and they were judged every man according to
their works.” The Greek _hades_, here translated hell, simply means the
invisible, or unseen state. In this invisible state, the book of God
reveals two distinct, or separate apartments. One is _Paradise_, the
other is _Tartareous_. In this same book of Revelations, John, speaking
in the person of Christ, says, “I am he who _was dead_ and _am alive
forevermore_; I have the keys of hell and of death; I can open and no
man can shut, and shut and no man can open.” The amount of this is,
that I have the keys or power, to open the grave, and raise the bodies
both from land and sea, and I have the power to open the invisible
state, both _Paradise_ and _Tartareous_, and bring forth the spirits of
the dead, both righteous and wicked, re-uniting soul and body, to stand
in judgment. When the last righteous sentence is passed upon man, in
the last judgment, the final separation follows. Whoever was not found
written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This is the
second death. Here is the last account of the wicked, the incorrigible,
and we must leave them where God leaves them without any attempt to
dwell upon their deplorable and irremediable condition.

Let us now turn our attention to the righteous—the good and virtuous
of all ages—those who feared God and worked righteousness in every
nation. John says, “I saw them coming from every nation, kindred,
tongue, tribe and people, who had washed their robes and made them
white in the blood of the Lamb, and they shouted, blessing and glory,
and honor, and might, and dominion unto him who sits upon the throne
and to the Lamb, for ever and ever!” And again they shouted, Hallelujah
to the Lamb! The Lord God Omnipotent reigns! John looks again, and
says, “I John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God
out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard
a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is
with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people,
and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe
all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow, nor crying, for the former things are passed away.” Shall we
who are bathed in tears, here to-day, reach the holy city, where we
shall be called to pass through the deep waters of affliction no more;
where we shall hear the groans of the sick and dying no more; where
there will be no visiting of the sick, nor funeral occasions; where
we shall no more be called to give up fathers and mothers in death,
husbands or wives, or precious children; but where the wounded heart
shall be made whole, the weary spirit shall be at rest, and the mourner
comforted. How ineffable the bliss! How unutterable the joys! of a
state where we shall not only be free from all the afflictions that
encompass us here, but see the Lord and dwell with him forevermore!
How invaluable the rich boon proposed to man, through the Lord Jesus
Christ! What everlasting obligations we are under to love God and serve
him! Let us put our everlasting trust in the Lord, our strength and our
Redeemer.



RECEIVING SINNERS WITHOUT BAPTISM.


It is an unfavorable step toward “educating a man up to the importance
of being buried with his Lord and Master in baptism,” to set the law
of God requiring it aside, and receive him without it. This would
only lead him to doubt whether we saw or cared for the importance of
it ourselves. It never can have a good influence on any sensible man
to see religious people so anxious to get him into their party as to
set aside their own established principles, and what they hold to be
clearly the _law of God_, for a man not willing to submit to the law of
induction into the heavenly family. This is not _liberality_, but
_disloyalty_ all around. It is not a question about what _we_ will do,
but what the _Lord_ will do.

Mere refinement and respectability have nothing to do in the matter. It
is a matter of faith and respect to the supreme and absolute authority.
Has a man the faith, the humility and the obedient spirit that will
learn of Jesus and yield to what he requires? We are not vying with any
people in this country in efforts to be liberal and easy in our views
and practice, but we desire to see who can live nearest to the Lord
and follow him most closely. He laid down the law of induction, or the
law for receiving members, and we have no discretionary power in the
matter. We do not make the terms, but simply exhort men to comply with
them, as found in the Book of God.



THE FALL OF BEECHER.


The American people are so familiar with the name and character of
Henry Ward Beecher, that no explanation of what follows, is needed
by the present generation. Beecher is the most gifted and noted
_liberalist_ and progressionist in America. He is out at sea, without
chart or compass. The movements of the wind, and the motion of the
current, determine his course. He cares not whither he sails or where
he lands, or whether he lands at all or not, so that the breeze is
pleasant and the waves smooth. His great mind, glib tongue, and
tireless pen, have enabled him to unsettle and pervert the faith of
thousands of honest and unsuspecting people. Even some preachers
among the disciples, who are noted for their adherence to the fixed
principles of revealed religion, have been seduced by Beecher. The good
providence of God, in time, revealed the true character of the man
of no faith, and men now see it blackened and tarnished by crime and
immorality. Let the liberalists and progressionists among the disciples
of Christ, take warning from the downfall of the far famed Beecher.

Scandal has come; disgrace and shame that would make any conscience,
not seared with a hot iron, tingle; or any face, not past feeling,
blush. But the Bible is no way responsible for it, not even in
appearance. Beecher was no Bible man. Bible men were not his admirers,
nor the men that gathered around him, that liked him only the more for
his broad views, his liberality, when he pronounced that beautiful
benediction on the Pope, “God bless his old soul,” and said he could
commune with the Pope, or worship at a pagan altar; declared that there
is not a particle of divine authority, in any church in the world;
that he was inspired as much as the apostles; and would baptize a man
every month if he desired it; that there is no authority for infant
baptism; but he was for it now stronger than ever, because it was a
good thing—it had been tried! This man identified with the Bible? Not
a word of it. The Bible is responsible for none of the scandal and
disgrace that hang upon him and must hang there forever. No, not a word
of it, you unbelieving man; we turn all over to you; we have here a
specimen of _your work_; _unbelief_; what it can do in a short time;
how it can drag a man down, and the ruin to which it can bring him.
Here is the fruit of unbelief; he can eat of it, and all unbelievers
can view it, and see what comes of a man that contemns the Bible and
puts its authority at defiance.

Gentlemen, unbelievers, if you like to view the results of unbelief,
and the ruin that follows in its train, come up here and see what
it has done in the case of an illustrious man; a man whose fame has
extended throughout the civilized world; a man of wonderful versatility
of thought, and immense gifts as a speaker and writer, with such an
opening as no other man on the continent had. This man had reached
mature years, and his influence had become so great, that many good
people would not hear a word against him, nor believe that his terrible
skeptical talk meant any harm. It was only _independence_. But, in the
midst of such a career of popularity, and that not of an ephemeral
character either, as no other man in this nation ever had, up springs
trouble in the midst of his most intimate friends, and those he knew
better, and had associated with more intimately than any others.
It comes not from persecutors without, nor from enemies or envious
preachers within, but his most intimate friends, who know him better
than all others.

But, why do not infidels make an ado about infidels falling? They never
fall! They have never attained to anything from which they can fall.
They are at the bottom and there is nothing below them to which they can
fall. We know of a case where an infidel has recently covered himself
all over with slime, but nothing of consequence is said about it. Why
not? If he had been a preacher of the gospel his case would have been
published half round the world before now. But he is _an infidel_, and
the idea of purity is not associated with infidelity, in the public
mind. There is no noise about it. His brethren, infidels, bring him
to no trial, call him to no account, appoint no committee, and have
no examination of the case! Why not? He _professed nothing_, and they
_profess nothing_. Such things do not disgrace them, or bring scandal
on them.



SPEAK PLEASANTLY.


The opponents of the truth will catch every unkind or unpleasant word;
every unlovely expression or harsh sentence, and comment on it, in the
absence of argument, and even divert attention from the main matter. We
should, then, simply study how to present the truth, in the clearest,
most agreeable and acceptable manner; how to show people the truth,
convince them and enlist their souls in it. This is the great matter to
study, and not how to avoid differences and not discuss them at all. We
are studying how to practice this, and we desire all the friends of the
Lord to study it and give the adversary no advantage.



VARIOUS KINDS OF SCEPTICISM.


Sceptics float in thin ether, if not some times in pure vacuum,
in vast, unknown and unknowable regions of pure fancy and idle
imagination. They roam in everlasting inquisitiveness in the immense
realms of intangibles and invisibles. They are variously styled in
New Testament terminology, “clouds without water,” “wandering stars,”
“filthy dreamers,” etc., etc. They spend their time, confuse themselves
and shatter their brains, in explaining “degrees in glory,” “degrees
in punishment,” “different spheres,” “the possibility of holding
converse with departed friends,” “the origin of sin,” “how God will
overrule evil for the good of man and his own glory,” “the origin of
the devil, if there be any,” or, “who made the devil,” or, “whether
he is a real being, or only a personification of evil,” “whether God
did not know, when he created man, that he would sin,” “why he created
man, knowing that he would sin,” “whether he did not know, when he made
man, who would be saved and who would be lost,” and, if he did, “why he
created those he knew would be lost,” “whether angels are a distinct
order of beings from men,” “whether we shall know each other in the
eternal state,” “with what body the dead will be raised,” “whether the
righteous and wicked will rise at the same time,” “where the spirit is
between death and the resurrection,” “whether it is conscious, or can
exist separate from the body,” “when the end of the world will be,”
etc., etc.

We have now an immense swarm of these idle dreamers; some of these
have already reasoned themselves into the hallucination that they are
in the New Jerusalem state, and that the christian dispensation, or
the mediatorial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ has passed away! These
idle away their time in discussing the ascension, through the different
grades of spheres, which they imagine they shall eternally be attaining
and passing through, with other kindred topics. Another class reason
themselves into absolute fatalism. With them, all the actions of men,
and the very thoughts that lead to them, are of _necessity_, and cannot
be anything else! There is no praise of one class, or condemnation of
another, for all do just what they do from an eternal necessity! Off,
at another angle, another party is found, theorizing upon the whimsical
notion of human pre-existence, in which state, they think a consistent
origin for sin may be found! Yet another class perceive, that deep
down in the Bible, where, till recently, none had ever penetrated, the
doctrine is found, that, at judgment, the wicked will be stricken out
of existence, thus ridding them of the idea of endless punishment,
which had previously given them much distress! Still another class
of these, have rid themselves of the same distressing and annoying
doctrine, by making the astonishing discovery, that there is no devil,
no hell, nor punishment of any kind, beyond the present state, and,
therefore, no danger of any endless punishment! Still another class
became perplexed with these metaphysical reasonings, subtleties and
theorizings, in things that they cannot help feeling conscious can have
no possible beneficial effects upon mankind, and rid themselves of the
entire concern, by making the discovery that all things come by chance,
that there is no God, Savior, angel or spirit, and death is an eternal
sleep! But we sicken at the effort of trying to describe the vain and
idle speculations of all these “wandering stars,” and shall proceed to
something more tangible.

Scepticism has no foundation, no basis, no reality upon which to
rest. It has nothing to build upon; no rock; no pillars of any kind.
Nor has it any materials or builders. Nothing can be built without a
foundation, materials and builders. Sceptics are not builders. Their
work is merely _pulling down_ old buildings. This is the reason they
make so much show; their work is easy, requires but little skill and
no goodness. Anybody can tear down, but it takes a workman to build.
Scepticism is a mere negative, consisting wholly of denials. It affirms
nothing, establishes nothing, and builds up nothing. It is a natural
impossibility to build upon a mere negative. A system cannot, in the
very nature of things, be built upon a mere denial—a mere negative.
If a man would deny, repudiate, and condemn all the foundations of
all the houses in his city, or if he would go and tear his neighbor’s
foundations all down, it would give him no foundation for a house,
but would simply put them in the same condition with himself—that
is, _without any foundation_. In the same way, if infidels could
successfully deny, disprove and overthrow the foundation of every
system of religion in the world, it would lay no foundation for them,
but would simply put the rest of us upon a level with them—that is,
_without any foundation_. The work of all sceptics has been, simply to
tear up the foundation of Christians, and not to lay any foundation for
themselves. Not a man in all the ranks of unbelief has ever presented
any foundation, or has any. Their entire clamor is against the Bible,
but if they could expunge the Bible from the universe, they are no
better off—they have nothing to stand upon.

Scepticism has no center of attraction, no gravitation, no great
central pervading idea, drawing everything to one common center. A
system must have a common center of attraction, holding it, in its
revolutions, from flying into atoms. But, scepticism has no pervading
idea, doctrine or constitution, in which everything centers, around
which everything revolves, with power to attract and bind. It consists,
simply in denials of what others believe. If the things which they
deny were untrue, and should be denied, the denial of them is no
foundation or center of attraction. Their denial amounts to nothing in
their favor, but is simply unfavorable to others—destructive of the
attraction binding others together. A million of the most unequivocal
denials of the most absurd and preposterous doctrines the world ever
contained, forms no center of attraction, doctrine or constitution, in
which is embodied and concentrated any principal of attraction that
can bind in a system. Denying simply frees men and cuts them loose,
in their own estimation, from that which they deny, or what others
believe, but binds them to nothing.

Scepticism has no law, gives no advice, and has nothing in it about
the characters of men. It does not say that a man shall, or shall
not, have a good character; that he shall or shall not have a bad
character. It contains no such words and has no such idea, or keeps
up no such distinctions as good and bad. It says nothing about love
and hatred, revenge and pity, covetousness and benevolence, vice and
virtue, happiness and misery. It contains not one sentence touching
all the relations in life, providing nothing for individuals, families
or nations. It consists of one negative principle, viz: _The denial of
the truth of the Christian religion_. Any man can see that there is no
law in this. If they could succeed in this denial, and show beyond all
contradiction that christianity is not true, it amounts to nothing.
It is no law, and accomplishes nothing in any way, only to bring
christians upon a level with them—with _precisely nothing_.

Scepticism has no rewards for the good. It promises nothing in
this world nor that which is to come. It holds out no rewards, no
inducements of any kind for the good, in time or eternity!

Scepticism has no punishments for the bad, here nor hereafter. It
contains no punishments for evil doers—the profligate, dissipated, and
corrupt; thieves, robbers and murderers. It knows nothing of crimes or
punishments for crimes, of any grade or atrocity.

Scepticism has no reformatory power. A denial, or a train of denials,
even denials of error, can never restrain sinners nor reform men. The
influence is simply negative. In the very nature of things, it cannot
act positively. Denials or negatives require nothing, give nothing,
and, as a matter of course, can produce no reformation. It is a
negative system, if we may be allowed to call it a _system_ at all,
and in the very nature of things, its influence must be negative. It
is like cold, which is simply the absence of heat; for the suffering,
in the absence of heat, is from want of heat. Scepticism is simply the
absence of the heat of christianity. Darkness is merely the absence of
light, or it is the negative of light, else it and light could exist at
the same time, in the same place. In precisely the same way, scepticism
is the absence of gospel light, or faith. The soul without faith is
empty, cold, dark, and hungry, suffering and perishing, for light,
heat and food. Scepticism is no system, not a reality, substance or
entity of any kind, but the absence of all these. To speak in general
terms of faith, both christian faith and all other faith, the absence
of it, would be the absence by far of the greater part of all we know,
or that may be known by man. There is nothing more certain than that a
man who knows much, must believe much. Scepticism is not the possession
of reformatory principles, but simply the absence of them. There is
nothing that a man can be more conscious of, than that scepticism never
did, and never can, make a man better. Inherently, there is nothing
in it. It is the absence of something. The mere absence of faith, of
religion, doctrine and principles, most indisputably can do a man no
good, and can have no power to save him in any sense. To speak of
saving a man from starving by the absence of food, saving him from
thirst by the absence of water, or from darkness by the absence of
light, or from sickness by the absence of the only medicine that could
save him, is not more absurd, than to speak of unbelief reforming man.
Scepticism is not heat, but the absence of it; not light, but the
absence of it; not faith, but the absence of it; not knowledge, but the
absence of it; not medicine, but the absence of it; not nourishment,
but the absence of it. The sceptic is a man perishing with cold,
while he is graciously offered the warmth of christianity; groping in
darkness while the light of heaven is as free for him as the rays of
the sun; starving, with an invitation to eat of the bread that comes
down from heaven; dying with thirst, while God is holding out to him
the water of life; a sick man refusing to take an infallible remedy
from the physician, simply exercising the power to reject all that
could do him any good, resting, refusing, denying and dying.



CHRIST THE CENTER.


In the kingdom of God the Lord is the center. He said, “I, if I be
lifted up, will draw all men to me.” “As Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever
believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The
great apostle to the Gentiles, after giving a brief summary of side
considerations, and many of them weighty, in his situation, says of
them all, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss
of all things, and do count them but refuse that I may win Christ.”
Phil. iii. 8. Again, said this man of God, “I determined to know
nothing but Christ and him crucified.” He would not be drawn aside
from the center of attraction in the kingdom of God. In the close of
his elaborate letter to the Corinthians, among whom many distracting
annoyances were operating, and in reference to those who disturbed the
peace and love of the church, he declares that “If any man love not the
Lord Jesus Christ, he will be accursed when the Lord comes.” I. Cor.
xvi. 22. “Whoever hateth his brother, is a murderer; and ye know that
no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” John iii. 15. Again,
says the holy apostle, “These be they who separate themselves sensual,
having not the spirit.” James xix. The Lord says, “By this shall all
men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”

From him who thus teaches, we are not to be drawn aside, whether we
precisely agree upon every side question, or the manner of procedure in
reference to it or not. By him we must stand forever more. To him we
must pay supreme homage. This can only be done by standing firmly upon
his precise teachings, as far as poor, imperfect creatures possibly
can, and putting our everlasting trust in him. The cause is now
progressing, its prospects brightening, and its way opening beautifully
in almost all directions. The good, the reliable, the faithful and
working men, are gathering up afresh, combining and accumulating
strength, which will be expended upon the armies of the enemy around,
with tremendous effect. Let every man who can lift a Bible speak a
word, or give an expression of countenance, for the Lord, and for his
work, do it; do it with earnestness, spirit and power; do it with
strong faith and determination, and it will tell upon the world for
good, in ages to come. Let us make an effort, united, energetic and
mighty, in the Lord’s name, for his cause; and let the effort continue
while the Lord shall give us life, and exhort the brethren to push
it onward with our dying breath. To his name, be honor and power,
everlasting.



RICHES OF FAITH.


God has created man with credulity, or the ability to believe; he has
graciously given us the truth, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the
Living God, to belief; with the divine testimony that incontestably
proves the truth. But he does not compel any man to read the testimony,
to hear it read, to examine it, try to understand and appreciate it.
He lays it before the world, and demands of the nations to hear it.
It is like all the other blessings God has afforded man; it must be
sought, inquired after and received, or do men no good. Men may be none
the better of its ever entering into the world. It may be that God has
created a rich mine of gold in some part of the earth. One man seeks
all the information he can obtain, in reference to it, becomes
satisfied of its richness and accessibility; he makes a proper effort
and obtains a fortune. Another man, with equally as good endowments,
treats the whole question with indifference to it. Without examining
the testimony, he pronounces all delusion, humbuggery, a chimera, and
ridicules it, and the man that seeks information, or inquires into it.
What good will the gold mine do him? None whatever. So far as he is
concerned, it might as well never have been created.

But, it fares infinitely worse than this with him who treats with
indifference the pearls of Jesus Christ. He who prefers the darkness
of this world to the light of the Son of God, turns away his ears from
the holy and lovely lessons of the benevolent Redeemer, refuses to
inform himself in reference to Him, to whom God requires all nations
to be attentive, incurs a responsibility for which he will certainly
answer at the most solemn tribunal. He who turns his back upon the Lord
of heaven and earth, when we would call attention to him, not only
loses or forfeits the benefits proposed through him, but incurs censure
for indifference, ingratitude and disrespect, if not contempt of his
Creator and merciful Benefactor. God has created him with a heart to
believe, given the truth, and furnished the testimony to convey it to
the understanding, and holds him responsible for the exercise of his
abilities. Come, then, dear reader, and let us fix our minds upon Jesus
of Nazareth, and carefully consider his claims upon our attention. The
whole question is about him. What do you think of him whom we claim as
the Savior of the world? Do you love him and those like him? Or, are
you opposed to him?



ONE BAPTISM.


We take it as Wesley did, that “by one Spirit,” is by the _direction_
of one Spirit, we are all immersed into one body. It is clear that
the baptism alluded to is the initiatory rite, for there is no other
baptism _into one body_. The immersion in the Spirit is not _into one_
body, or _into_ anything. At the house of Cornelius they were immersed
into Christ after they had been immersed in the Holy Spirit. The
immersion in the Spirit was to convince Peter and his Jewish brethren
that God intended to receive the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Hence,
when Peter, in his rehearsal of the matter to his Jewish brethren, when
he came to this, exclaims, “What was I that I should withstand God?”

The “one baptism” of Paul is the initiatory rite—the baptism of the
Commission, connected with the faith and repentance for the remission
of sins, and will remain as long as there is one to believe, repent or
seek remission of sins. The faith, repentance, confession, immersion
and remission of sins stand connected in the gospel of the grace of
God, and we see not how any man can be so perverted as to try to evade
any one of these items.



DISTURBING ELEMENT.


The Bible is not the disturbing element, or property that prevents
fusion, for all the sects have the Bible, speak well of it and commend
it. They all bold the Bible in common. It is well received among all
denominations. The Bible is not, then, the divisive element, or the
repellent property among them that renders fusion impossible.

The Lord is not the repellent element, or property that prevents
fusion, for they all speak well of him. Indeed, they all claim to have
him with them and to love him.

The Holy Spirit is not the disturbing element, or property, for they
all speak well of him, and claim to love him and to have him dwelling
in them.

What, then, is the repellent property among them that prevents fusion,
or union? It is this very pet, dear and precious creature that they
all press to their hearts, guard so sacredly, and love so dearly, and
hold on to as to life itself—_denominationalism_. This is the element,
the corroding element, the foreign property, that will not fuse. It
is constitutionally a rebel against union. It is antagonistic and
repellent. What is it that makes the denomination? It is that which is
peculiar to it. It is not the Bible that makes a Methodist, nor the
love of the Bible, nor anything in it, for the Presbyterian has the
Bible, loves it, and all that is in it, as well as the Methodist. It
does not make him a Methodist. It is not the Lord, for the Presbyterian
receives the Lord as fully as the Methodist, and the Lord does not
make him a Methodist. It is not the Holy Spirit, for all the first
Christians received the Holy Spirit, and they were not Methodists;
there never was a Methodist before John Wesley.

What, then, is it that makes the Methodist? It is simply that which
is peculiar to Methodists, and that which is not received by a
Presbyterian. What is it that makes a Presbyterian? That which is
peculiar to Presbyterians, and not received by Methodists. Why, then,
can not Methodists and Presbyterians fuse into one mass, or unite?
Because the Methodists will not give up Methodism, that which is
peculiar to Methodists; and the Presbyterian will not give up the
Presbyterianism, or that which is peculiar to Presbyterians. That which
is peculiar, makes the denomination; it is the disturbing element in
the way of fusion, or union, and that must be given up, or union can
never take place.

The Lord prayed that those who believe may be one, that the _world
may believe_. This denominationalism is the very element in the way
of union, or the cause of division, and division is in the way of the
world believing, or a main cause of the world not being converted. The
way is now opened for carrying the Bible into all the world and turning
the world to God. Shall that ever be done, or shall our power be
expended in sending denominations into the countries now open for the
one pure and holy religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Or, can
we not now, under the influence of the love of Christ, receive the
one religion of the New Testament and nothing else; unite on it, and
carry it to Italy, and every other country now in Divine Providence,
opened up for the reception of King Jesus? What need we care for
denominations? The body of Christ, the church of the Living God, the
kingdom of God, is denomination enough for a man who loves the Savior;
and the Book of God, containing the law of God and the gospel too, is
creed enough for all who sincerely love our Lord Jesus, the Christ.
What a grand and glorious work could be performed, if, all in good
earnest in the work would unite under God, put their hearts into the
work and determine to push the cause of Christ, the gospel of the grace
of God, the kingdom of God, through the world. We have one book, a book
no where in doubt—the volume of God, the Bible, and, can all with one
heart, and one soul, push it through the world, enforce it on men to
read it, teach it to others, and make it the great power in the earth,
to break down and wipe out Romanism; to sweep away all pagan gods,
temples, and altars, and all sectarian denominations, and unite all
the friends of the Lord under Prince Messiah; let him go before them,
lead and guide them forever and ever. What is a mere denomination,
separated from others by some peculiarities not mentioned in the Bible,
nor received by any other party on earth, compared with what the Lord
styles, “my church,” Matt. xvi. 18; the body of Christ; the kingdom
of God, containing all the people of God? This is what we have in our
view; we will go for nothing less than the body of Christ, the kingdom
of God. It is of God, the denomination is of man.



WOMEN IN THE CHURCH.


Read the Bible carefully, and note the part the women took, the
greatest and best of them, as well as all classes, in the Patriarchal,
Jewish and Christian institutions, and follow what you find there. It
is safe to follow that, and for the good of all, both men and women.
No improvement can be made upon that. As we depart from that we injure
all. We desire to see women curtailed in no privilege or blessing;
nothing that can make them happy, useful, wise or good. But the less
they have to do in the business meetings, the ruling or discipline
of the church, the better for them and all concerned. They have a
natural and scriptural work to do, and men cannot do that work for
them, and men do not lose any of their rights, when not appointed to
do the natural and scriptural work of women. In the same way women
lose no rights, are excluded from no privilege, nor are they in any
way degraded in being limited to their legitimate sphere of operation.
The Bible gives women the highest honor they can have, and lays down
the road to the highest happiness. It has elevated women from the
abject slavery in which Paganism had bound them down, and given them
the strong arm of the man to protect and support them. The nearer they
follow the Bible, the Lord, and the apostolic teaching the better. This
is the road to greatness, happiness and goodness.



WHO CRUCIFIED THE SAVIOR.


Peter charges the crucifixion on the Jews. But the Jews only instigated
it; the Romans, who were Gentiles, executed him. The Jews were the
more responsible party, as they persisted in clamoring for his
crucifixion, when Pilate, the Roman judge wanted to let him go. The
Jews premeditated, designed and instigated the crucifixion; the Romans
performed the deed, or were tools in the hands of the Jews and executed
the will of the Jews.

But when the matter is more fully comprehended the whole world were
represented in the transaction. The entire nation of Israel was
represented in the Sandhedrim, and the nations, apart from the Jews,
the Gentiles, were represented in the Roman court, and thus all the
world was represented and implicated in the awful act of crucifying the
Lord of glory.

The Jews were, as we have said, the _instigators_ of the crucifixion,
but did not, therefore, have the sole responsibility, as the Gentiles,
or the Roman court, had the power to release him and desired to do so,
but voluntarily yielded to the wishes of the Jews in giving him up to
be crucified, and with their own hands executed him. The Jews had no
power to inflict capital punishment without the assent of the Roman
court. The Jews were the _instigators_ and the Romans the _willing
tools to execute their will_.



CHRISTIAN ZEAL.


The leading method employed anciently to impede the progress of
christianity was to persecute its adherents. This scheme of opposition
was well tried during the first three centuries of the christian
era, but, although it, to some extent, gratified the malice of the
persecutors, it was never very successful. There is a very plain
reason for this. The tendency of persecution is invariably to lead the
disciples of our Lord, to examine the ground of their faith and the
value of their profession with great care; and when this is done, there
is but little danger of “departing from the holy commandment delivered
to us.” Nothing has ever caused men to scrutinize their profession and
the whole premises thereof, in such a candid and solemn manner as the
severe persecutions imposed upon the early followers of our Lord; and
yet it is an important truth, that, during these severe persecutions,
apostasies were comparatively few. This is not all. Persecution has
always led the true followers of Christ to plead for the claims of the
cause with greater power. Men, when speaking in a cause and their lives
at stake, speak from the very bottom of their hearts, and exert every
power with which they are possessed to make an impression. At such
times there is no dull formality, but all is life and interest. Every
one feels what he saying and doing. There is no sermonizing, no
preaching by the day, but every man carries the cause in his bosom,
and labors as for eternity. All this is calculated to defeat the
ostensible intention of all persecution, and in the place of impeding
the progress of the cause must tend to spread it. Not only so, but
persecution has a tendency to diminish worldly-mindedness, and cause
the entire affairs of this life to appear transient and fleeting. Its
constant bearing, like all sufferings in this life, is to direct the
christian mind to another world, where the bondage of corruption shall
be put off, and where he shall enjoy pleasures for evermore. Under such
circumstances, how the mind is filled with piety, and how the spirit
adorns the redeeming love which, through Jesus Christ, has brought the
tidings of deliverance! Finding no abatement of persecutions here, no
mitigation of suffering, the afflicted pilgrim looks to another world
for a home—for a city upon the immovable rock, the maker and builder
of which is God, where he anticipates he will enter the eternal rest.
In all this, the effect is precisely the opposite of what is intended
by persecutors. They intend to cause people to abandon christianity by
persecuting them, whereas it only causes them to esteem it more sacred
and press it more closely to their hearts.

How perfectly had all worldly considerations dwindled into nothingness
when the apostle counted all things but loss, that he might win Christ,
and when he estimated the intolerable affliction imposed upon him,
_light_, compared with the eternal _weight of glory_ in prospect! Such
heavenly mindedness is the direct tendency of persecution, and only
calculated to make the glories of christianity shine with greater
luster, and, consequently, serves not the designs of those by whom
it is inflicted. It, nevertheless, has been tried in thousands of
instances, since the first three centuries, in various parts of the
world, even down to quite a modern date, but has never been able to
extinguish the light emanating from the lofty fountain of all light
and all knowledge. From modern developments, it would seem, that it is
now being ascertained by the great opposer of all good, that methods
more effectual may be employed, to impede the progress of the gospel,
of which we can not now speak in detail. _Indifference_, however, or
a general lack of _conscientiousness_, is now the order of the day.
Anciently, when a doctrine was preached which the people did not
believe, they were greatly excited by it. On the other hand, when they
did believe it, they moved forward most warmly and energetically. It
was the character of the Jewish people to follow their impressions with
great tenacity.

To the people of our times, it would seem strange that the preaching
of the apostles should have so excited the people. This generation can
listen to doctrine entirely adverse to their views, with comparatively
little excitement. They will frequently seem scarcely to have heard
it. This is because they do not hold themselves responsible for what
is taught, nor feel any very deep concern and interest in forming the
public mind. They are indifferent to what is taught. This is one of
the most dangerous features of our times. It grows to a considerable
extent out of reading light trash, of a novel and imaginary character,
which throws away every thing sentimental, with all concern about the
impression it may make upon the human heart. It destroys concern for
one of the most important items in the world, and seems to suppose that
our children may, with perfect safety, hear whatever may chance to fall
in their path.

When a man becomes indifferent, or falls into such a state as not
to care what is taught, he is measurably beyond the reach of all
instruction, for he places no value upon instruction. When the gospel
of our Lord was first spoken, it moved the souls of those who heard
it, and caused them to act most energetically either for or against
it. This was because they cared for public sentiment, and were deeply
concerned about what was taught. They were really conscientious and
felt highly responsible for all their actions. But how different where
this feeling of responsibility is lost? The most awful consequences may
be referred to, the most terrible appeals may be made, and the most
powerful inducements may be placed before them, but Galio like, they
are all unheeded and unappreciated. In this case, conscientiousness,
if not even consciousness itself, if not entirely lost, is so greatly
diminished as entirely to cease to perform its office.

This state of indifference is not confined to the world alone, but has
long since entered the precincts of the church. It is in the way of
every meeting, of every ordinance, of every discourse, and of every
good work. Those under its influence are ever ready to drawl out, “It
is of no use”—“it can’t be done”—or, “I do not care anything about
it.” Sometimes it is evaded, by objections or some fault being found.
How perfectly disheartening all this is to those who desire to do good,
and carry forward the conquest of a great and glorious cause.

How few there are who can properly press the claims of christianity,
knowing that such an irresponsible and indifferent state of feeling
prevails. It is hard to manifest a becoming zeal in the midst of such a
state of apathy. Yet he who rightly reasons upon the cause of our Lord,
and keeps the subject ever present in his mind, must be moved forward.
He can not be discouraged, cowed down, nor deterred. He is invincible
in his course. The spirit that burns in his breast is unconquerable.
The more he has to contend with, the more grace and ardor of soul he
seems to possess. He looks to Jesus, who for the joy set before him,
endured the contradiction of sinners, even unto the death of the cross,
and yet overcame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne
of God. He asks the question: Why did our Lord make the good confession
before Pontius Pilate? Why did he yield to the ignominious death of
the cross? Why did the holy apostles suffer as they did? Why did the
first christians wade through floods and flames? Why were they bathed
in tears and blood? Why all their zeal and perseverance under all this?
Because they endured, by faith seeing him who is invisible. They looked
forward to the recompense of reward. They held daily and spiritual
communion with God. Their hearts were in heaven, whence, also, they
looked for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who that has the grand theme of good tidings and great joy to all
people, first announced by angels at the birth of our Lord and Savior,
dwelling richly in his heart, can fail to have a burning and a constant
zeal to spread the same grand and glorious theme to the ends of the
earth, and thus contribute in causing it to bless the nations?

If the winds of heaven and the waves of the sea, if the diseases of
the sick and the terrors of death, if the graves of the dead and the
gates of hades, were obedient to the mandate of Jesus Christ, and, if
the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the rocks were sundered, the
earth trembled and the sun was veiled in darkness when the Lord of
glory died—should not the human heart always be filled, when his name
is mentioned? If the mighty angels fall prostrate at the feet of Jesus,
and hasten to perform the most august message at his command, should it
not be the delight of those redeemed by his blood, to do his will, that
they enter by the gates into the city, and have a right to the tree of
life?

Who can, who dare slumber in his presence? Who dare be indifferent to
the theme that dwelt upon his gracious lips? When he speaks it is the
voice of a king—more, it is the voice of the King of kings and Lord of
lords; it is the voice of him who is to bear all rule, all authority
and power, until all his enemies are subdued. Heaven is his throne
and the earth his footstool. Shall we not adore his name, that he has
graciously promised to confess us before his Father and before his
angels? To his name be honor and dominion forever and ever.



JUDGMENT, THE GROUND OF REPENTANCE.


When Paul stood in the midst of Mar’s hill, he boldly declared the
ignorance and superstition of the Athenians, before the gospel, and
stated to them, that “in the times of this ignorance, God winked at,”
or that he did not hold them to a strict account. He concedes, here,
the principle expressed by the Savior, that where there is but little
given there is but little required; and on this ground, admits that
God would not deal with them strictly according to their works. But
he approaches a different state of things. A change was about to take
place in the dealings of God with that people. How is it to be now?
The apostle responds, “But now he commandeth all men everywhere to
repent.” In the times of the ignorance before the gospel, this command
to all men every where, to repent, did not exist. But, now that the
gospel is preached to every creature, he commands all men everywhere to
repent. But he does not stop here, but proceeds to give us the reason
why God commands men to repent. That reason is not, that there is no
day of judgment to come, which might serve as a reason why men need not
repent. Why, then, does God now command all men everywhere to repent?
The apostle answers, “Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will
judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” It
is not strange, with this passage before us, that preaching Universalism
never causes anybody to repent. The preachers of that doctrine deny
the cause of repentance; and while the Lord calls upon men to repent,
because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in
righteousness, they spend their time in preaching that there will be
no judgment to come. In this they set aside the grand reason why men
should repent. While the preaching of the true gospel leads men to
sorrow that they have sinned, in view of a righteous judgment to come,
the preaching of that disgraceful doctrine—which we are sorry to have
necessity to mention upon our pages—leads wicked men to laugh and
trifle, both in view of their sins, and all that the Bible says of the
great judgment day.

The apostle, however, does not merely state that God has appointed a
day in which he will judge the world, but he alleges that he has given
assurance of the fact. His words are, “Whereof he hath given assurance
unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Here he
arrives at the foundation of all—the resurrection of Christ from the
dead. His logic runs thus: Christ rose from the dead. What assurance
does that give? It is the assurance that God has given that he has
appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by
that man whom he hath ordained. And what if that is the case? Why,
then, he commands all men everywhere to repent. As certain as Christ
rose from the dead, there will be righteous judgment; and because there
will be a righteous judgment, men are commanded to reform and become
righteous.

Jesus Christ was judged by the highest ecclesiastical court on earth,
and in the highest civil court—but in both cases condemned unjustly.
He could not have righteous judgment in this world; but, when the
unrighteous sentences were passed upon him, and he had yielded to the
penalty, and his body was consigned to the prison-house of death,
while his spirit was in the unseen world, he appealed the case,
and had it referred to the high, the holy and inflexible court of
heaven, where the case was tried righteously. When this was done, the
former decisions were condemned, as partial and unjust, and Jesus was
“justified by the Spirit,” or, as Peter expresses it, “he was quickened
by the Spirit.” The decision in the case was not only reversed, but the
penalty, which had been executed, and was beyond the power of those who
inflicted it to reverse it, was reversed by the great and righteous
tribunal to which Jesus had appealed. He was justified from the guilt
of their decision, when the Spirit of God condemned their sentence as
unjust, and justified from the penalty when he was “quickened by the
Spirit,” or raised from the dead.

When justified, he breaks forth in most triumphant language: “I am
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which
is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty; I am he that
liveth, and was dead; and, behold! I am alive forevermore, Amen; and
have the keys of hell and death.” He had been condemned unjustly, but
had gone to a righteous judgment, where the decision was changed, and
he was justified; the penalty of death was removed, and he was made
alive forevermore; hence, “he ever liveth to make intercession for us.”
He had obtained justice. In this case, we have an assurance of a day
being appointed in which God will judge the world in righteousness
by that man whom he hath ordained. If God, after the death of Jesus,
judged in the case of the great leader of all christians, and changed
the unrighteous sentence previously passed upon him, and justified him,
why may we not expect him to judge all the world after death; and,
where the righteous have been condemned, as has frequently been, and
as will be, the case in this world, reverse the decision, and justify
them; and, on the other hand, where the guilty have been justified, the
decision changed, and they condemned.

There is not a more consoling sentiment on earth, to a righteous
man, than that there is a day appointed when impartial justice will
take place. The Lord Jesus will judge among the nations, and mete
out to them according to their works. The thought, that justice will
never take place, may be pleasing to rogues, and such a view might be
contended for with great zeal, on the part of those who know that a
righteous judgment must condemn them, and such as care not how deep
a stab they inflict upon the morals of the world; but to the man who
maintains a conscience void of offense toward God and man, and who
intends, to the best of his ability, to deport himself righteously,
nothing can be a higher satisfaction, than the doctrine, that all false
decisions will be reversed, and that a just and equitable sentence will
be passed upon all. Such a judgment we anticipate, and such judgment,
we are assured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, will
take place.



THE GENEALOGY OF CHRIST.


One thing that has caused an apparent difficulty touching the genealogy
of Christ, is, that inquirers are not aware of the fact, that Matthew
traces the genealogy of Joseph, from Abraham down, and that Luke
traces the genealogy of Mary up to Adam. Matt. i.; Luke iii. This
will account, in some degree, for the disagreement in names. They are
evidently two distinct lines of genealogy, and the best authorities we
can appeal to at present, give Matthew’s to Joseph and the other to
Mary, and it is clear to any one, that one descends and that the other
ascends.

The best evidence we can command, sustains the idea that Matthew wrote
at an earlier date than Luke, and that he took his genealogy from the
Jewish records, from Abraham to Joseph, as the Jews would be willing
to believe their own records; and, that when Luke wrote, Joseph
had been adopted into the family of Heli, (Eli, the same) Joseph’s
father-in-law, some years, and, consequently, Luke copied the genealogy
of Joseph through Heli, which was properly Mary’s genealogy, up to Adam.

There are, however, difficulties in these genealogies, which, we
presume, no one can reconcile; but Matthew and Luke are not accountable
for them, as they simply give these as the commonly received
genealogies, which those in the day when they had the records to appeal
to, never disputed. Had the Jews been able to involve the Apostle and
Luke in a contradiction, they, no doubt, would willingly have done it,
but this they could not do, without disputing their own records.



ADHERING TO THE BIBLE.


No man should go to the Bible, or the God of the Bible, to teach him
what _man is_, or what he should be; but he should go to the Bible
to learn what _he is_, what _he ought to be_, and what he ultimately
_shall be_. He should not go to the Bible to show what it should teach,
but to learn what it does teach, for to this we shall all come in
the end, whether it is congenial with our desires or not. We intend,
therefore, to maintain it as it is, whether the number in favor of it
is small or great. We intend to maintain the old distinction between
_saint_ and _sinner_, vice and virtue, good and bad, with the same
meaning attached to them, regardless of all consequences. We shall
speak of men being saved and lost, happy and miserable, justified and
condemned, with the same ideas attached to the terms as heretofore,
and sustained by all sound rules of interpretation, whether it shall
be considered sense or foolishness. We shall continue to use the Bible
terms, rewards and punishments, life and death, heaven and hell, in the
same sense as we have been wont to do, knowing, as we do, that we are
supported by the whole canon of sound criticism, and we most solemnly
admonish all who fear God, against the glosses of that sickening and
supercilious affectation, that induces any man, for one moment, to
hesitate to declare to his fellow man, in the most faithful manner, the
terrible threatenings of the Almighty against the impenitent.

Let no preacher shrink, in this age of sinfulness and pride; let no
man of God be deterred by the ridicule of Universalists, by low wit of
sceptics, or the vulgar mocking of atheists, from declaring the terrors
of the Lord, for he says, “The Lord shall judge his people.” “It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” “With lies you
have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad,
and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return
from his wicked way, _by promising him life_.” “It is better to enter
into life having one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
into the fire that shall never be quenched.” “The rich man died, and in
hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” Such is but a tithe of
what abounds of this description throughout the New Testament. Is he a
friend to his God or his fellow man, who knows such language to abound
in the word of God, and shuns to declare it to those who hear him?



EXCHANGING PULPITS.


What confidence would we have in the preacher who would exchange
pulpits with a priest of the Papacy, not only a member of the Romish
Church, but made such before he knew there was a God, or a Savior, an
idolater, or an unregenerated man? The book of God forbids the saints
from keeping company with such a man, or eating with him, or to bid
him God-speed. We can meet a Romish priest and treat him as a citizen,
if he is one, a neighbor, or gentleman, but we do not know him as a
preacher of Jesus, or as a teacher of saints, or as a Christian. He
bears no such relations as these to us, and we recognize him in none of
these relations. In the same way, any man made a member of the church
without any faith, or before he knew there was a church, or even a God,
or who has had water sprinkled on him for baptism, is not in the body
of Christ, and we feel kindly toward him as a fellow-creature, as a
citizen, neighbor or gentleman, if he is one, but we do not know him as
a preacher of Jesus, nor a teacher in the kingdom at all. We can extend
to him all the amenities and courtesies of life as a fellow-creature,
citizen, neighbor, gentleman, etc., but we simply know him, not as a
preacher of Jesus, or a teacher of the children of the kingdom. He is
not in the kingdom, and is not the man to perform any service there.

The first thing for him to do, is to submit to the divinely ordained
process by which to enter the kingdom and become a citizen, according
to the law of the Great King, and then he is ready to do any service
for which he is qualified in the kingdom. But he can not work in the
kingdom till he is in it, and it is a sham, a pretense and hypocrisy
to act toward him as if he were in the kingdom, an insincerity before
the people that leads to a false impression with some, and destroys the
confidence with others.

Such procedure is intended as a show of liberality, broad and liberal
views. But is it sincere? Is it candid? Is it honest? What is meant by
it? If these men with whom you exchange pulpits are not in Christ, what
do you mean when you place them before the people as preachers of the
gospel and teachers of the saints? Do you mean that in your expanded
liberality you would act toward a man as if he were a brother and a
preacher, when you know he is not in the kingdom at all, but if he
wanted to become a member of the church, you would not receive him, or
give the right hand of fellowship till he was immersed? This will do
for people with no religious convictions, no settled principles and no
law of God on which to act. They can act in this way or that as they
think will be popular, or suit the caprice of the people. But among
men with religious convictions, settled principles, and the law of God
before them, it is only a want of principle, consistency, and regard
for the law of God. It is simply a manifest disrespect to the Majesty
of heaven and earth, a bold, open showing that the law of God is
ignored, overlooked and disregarded, in courtesy to a man not in the
kingdom at all, in deference to a man that was never initiated into
the body of Christ! This is openly trampling down the law of God and
showing contempt for it, in an empty show of liberality to those to
whom the grace of God is as free as any others, but who have never come
in the Lord’s appointments into the kingdom of God. We are as desirous
to be courteous and liberal as anybody, but religious convictions,
sacred principles, and last, though not least, the law of God must
not be ignored, overlooked, or treated with contempt. No good man
will respect any man for setting aside his religious convictions,
principles, or the law of God.



KIND OF PREACHERS AND PREACHING NEEDED.


We want no mere excitement about _a man_, nor _after a man_, who, as
Simon the Sorcerer, induces the people to think that he is some _great
one_. We want the clear, solid and telling preaching of the gospel,
enlightening the people in reference to our Lord, the way to him, and
how to serve him. We do not expect, as a general rule, to see much move
among the people for the first ten days, but a gradual increase in the
audience, the interest in the preaching and conversations about it; an
account of the people hunting up their Bibles, inquiring whether these
things are so, and occasional argument in reference to the matter. But
after due time and deliberation, persons begin to step forward and
confess Christ. While a good song is sung, everything in the assembly
is solemn, and the impression deepens. While a few remarks are made
of a solemn and impressive nature, and the confessions are taken, the
audience sits in profound silence, in the deepest and most serious
meditation, and tears are seen to flow freely from many faces. The
audience disperses, and quietly retires, as if from a funeral. This is
what we mean by _gospel work_.

We want nothing sensational, no tricks, no comic performance; no
private maneuvering to induce any one to promise, “If you will join,
I will;” no artifice to get round the people, come on them suddenly
and surprise them. Come directly to the people from the start, and
let them know what you mean, and work directly to the one point—the
enlightenment and salvation of men. The man that can tell the story of
the cross, and of a Savior’s love, in the most artless and unaffected
manner, lose sight of and forget himself in his theme most completely,
will accomplish the most in the Savior’s name. May we learn and tell
the story of infinite compassion and love in all its fullness and
completeness more successfully, with more faith and power than ever,
and may we be enabled to bring souls to Christ more abundantly than
ever.



WHERE IS THE POWER?


The genuine power—the power that will enable us to stand against all
opposition and triumph at last—is not in this man or that, money or
learning, talent or popularity, but in the _true position_. Learning is
profitable, if used wisely, as a help in finding and determining the
true position; but the power is not in the learning nor talent. A man
of very ordinary learning and talent may find the true position, stand
on and defend it. No matter what a man’s learning, talent or popularity
may be, if he forsakes the truth, the right ground, if he undertakes
to advocate false theories, it will become perfect weakness, and will
be swept away like chaff. If men desire to stand, let them not think
of their own power, learning, popularity, or personal influence, and
talent, but of the _true ground_, “the right way of the Lord,” and
depend on truth and the God of truth; never deviate from the truth,
but be faithful to it, maintain their integrity to it, and the God of
all truth and righteousness will hold them up. They will realize that
the strength of the everlasting hills is underneath, and they cannot
be moved. If men who once knew the truth, begin to higgle, tamper and
trifle; if they, little by little, begin to show a want of integrity, a
lack of moral honesty; a disposition to compromise with sectarianism;
to ignore the distinctions between truth and error, the body of Christ
and sectarian bodies; the way of the Lord and other ways, and finally
begin to abandon leading principles and leading points of teaching,
they will find their power gone and will soon amount to nothing. Many
men have, in this way, literally thrown themselves away, and others are
now going the same road.

If men desire to stand, they should seek the true ground, try to
ascertain and determine what the truth is; find, with certainty, the
_true position_, and place themselves squarely in it; maintain and
defend it, not depending on _their own_ strength, learning, talent,
influence or popularity, but on the truth; the _true position_; the
_right way_. But some one is ready to inquire: “How can we find truth
in the midst of so much error; the right way in the midst of so many
ways?” This may be a little difficult to some. There is, however, one
thing indispensable to it, and that is that a man receive “_the love of
the truth_.” This lies at the foundation of the whole matter. Men will
never be successful in finding, advocating, maintaining or defending
the truth, who have never “received the love of the truth;” nor will
they succeed in abiding in the truth. This is the very ground-work
of the whole matter. All a man’s pretences of seeking the truth, are
nothing but an empty sham, if he has not in him the love of the truth.
He must have in him “a good and an _honest heart_,” to constitute him
the “good ground” in which the seed of the kingdom, the word of God,
will grow. But the man that loves the truth, desires it, longs for
it, and has in him a good and honest heart, will make most diligent,
careful and critical search for it. He sets out, not to prove this
or that; not to maintain this theory or that, but to find the _true
ground_—the _truth itself_, “as it is in Jesus”—and rarely fails to
find the desired object, the highly prized jewel, the most precious
gem. The love of the truth has an influence on a man, in different
ways, in favor of his finding it, as follows:

_First._ It leads him to make diligent search for it. A man will
certainly strive to find an object that he loves, and if he loves the
truth, he will make most diligent search for it.

_Second._ It leads him to exercise the utmost discrimination, to
distinguish between truth and error, that he may not be imposed on and
deceived, and induced to think something is the truth that is not, and
thus have a spurious article imposed on him.

_Third._ The love of the truth has wonderful power over a man to cause
him to _retain it_. If he loves it he will not give it up.

If a man receives not the love of the truth, it affects him badly in
the following respect:

_First._ He will exercise no diligence, to find it. He will not search
for it.

_Second._ He will not be honest when it is presented to him, but will
evade, cavil, quibble and mystify it if possible; kick up a dust to
blind his own eyes, and thus keep him from understanding and receiving
the truth. The Lord will abandon such men to “believe a lie, _because
they received not the love_ of the truth that they might be saved.”
There are many men now who receive not the love of the truth that
they might be saved. They will never be enlightened or brought to the
knowledge of the truth. The truth condemns them and they do not want
it. They hate it and those who love it.

Truth has one grand quality about it; the more you know about it,
the more clearly you see that it is the truth. It is like an honest
man; the more you know about him, the more clearly you see that he is
an honest man. The more you know about error, the more clearly you
perceive it to be error. In the same way, the more you know about
dishonest and heartless men the more clearly you see that they are
dishonest.

Be careful and occupy the right ground, the true position, and no man
can ever overthrow it, or prove it to be anything else but the true
ground. It is a great thing in favor of an army to take a _strong
position_.

We have taken the strongest position that can be taken, and if we fall
back from that, no matter what we fall back to, we shall find it a
weaker position. We have gone back to our Lord and looked up to him,
and committed ourselves to him. He has given us a position and placed
us on it. It is not _our_ position but _his_ position. We know it is
right, because it came from him and is his. We have simply received
him, with all he said and did—his holy and inspired apostles, with
all they said and did. We have nothing of _our own_, but have received
Christ and his gospel, the apostles of Christ, and the gospel of the
grace of God, which they preached; the teaching of Christ and his
apostles; all things as they came from this divine source, without
anything added or taken away, anything more or less. None can find a
position above this. It is the highest ground that can be taken. The
gospel which the apostles preached is right. The apostles’ teaching for
the churches is right. This nobody denies. We have no position of _our
own_, or doctrine of _our own_, but have taken precisely the position
of the first Christians, and the teachings under which they were
placed, and no other. We, therefore, have nothing but our Lord, his
gospel and teachings, as they emanated from himself and his inspired
apostles, and no position only the one on which they have placed us to
defend.

We are weak and can do but little. Let us not rely on _our own_
position, but the one the Lord has appointed; _our own_ views or
theories, but the clear teachings of our Lord and his apostles. Here is
the strength, and those who stand here will find the Lord of hosts with
them. We must plead for the Lord, the gospel, the teachings of Christ
and the apostles, the ground on which they stood, maintain that and
nothing else. Here is the power, and it is nowhere else.



COMMUNION.


The Lord gave the commemoration of his sufferings and death to _his
disciples_, and Paul, in Corinth, gave it to the congregation of the
saints, and not to any others. Those who are his disciples, who are in
Christ, in the body, are communicants, and those not in Christ, are not
communicants. We “neither invite nor exclude,” but show to whom the
Lord has given the communion, and that no others have any right to it,
only those in good standing in the body, and _give it to no others_.

But for any preacher or church to arrange _purposely_ for communion
with persons whom they know are not in Christ, not in the kingdom, and
try to blur over the clear violation of the law of the kingdom, as thus
deliberately arranged for, by defining the position of his church to be
that they “neither invite nor exclude,” is certainly a weak and shallow
device. It is an attempt to ignore the very act by which we enter into
union with the Father and with the Son, as, also, the “whole family
in heaven and on earth,”—immersion into Christ, into the name of the
Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, under the sham pretext
of a _union_ meeting, a _union_ communion. There is no _Christian
union_ in any meeting that intends to ignore the clear law of induction
into the kingdom of God. It is only a _union in disloyalty_ to the
Great King—_ignoring his law_.



WANDERING PILGRIMS.


We know of two or three wandering pilgrims that are now old men, of
good enough talent to have made a permanent record long ago, and yet
received in doubt wherever they go, held in distrust, and, to say the
least, they have nothing that could be called a standing. To be safe,
all the overseers in the church need do is simply to receive no man
till he produces clear evidence of good standing. Look back over the
record and see where the men have gone to who have tried the _gospel
of soul sleeping_. Where are Elias Shortridge, Wm. P. Shockey, Wm.
S. Speer, J. K. Speer, Snooks, and others of the same ilk? and where
are their works? A streak of desolation has followed in their train
all the way. They have divided churches, set the people of God at
variance, and sown the seeds of discord. This is the kind of fruit that
has been gathered from their work. Look back over the ground and see
what has followed every man that has stranded among us. Nothing but
ruin has followed. Men that stood fair, had line talent and valuable
attainments, by some kind of departure or other, have gone, little by
little, blaming those that loved them, and would, had it been in their
power, have done anything to make them happy, till all is lost and
they feel averse to almost everything. This is what it brings to get
restless and dissatisfied with the plain truth of the Scriptures.

The race of some men is short, and the mischief they do is certain.
The ruin they bring to the churches is inevitable. Nothing is more
important than that the churches should guard against false teachers.
In the place of being flattered that all is well, and that they mean
all right, we should be on the lookout; watch all unscriptural words
and phrases; every false move and pretence; every doubtful man and
measure, and encourage that which is safe, sound and good. Make every
public man sensible that it is of importance to him, and to the cause,
to be known to be sound in teaching; to hold fast the form of sound
speech that can not be condemned; to be entirely safe and reliable;
to have a good record during his past history as a preacher. Make all
our young men specially sensible of the importance to them to become
permanent men, firm, decided and determined in their course. We want
no milk-and-water men, a little this way and a little that, but men of
settled principles, religious convictions and reliable purposes. Be
careful who you “indorse” as preachers of the gospel. Men who want good
indorsers should be good men.



DEDICATION OF CHURCH EDIFICES.


Nothing is more common than reading of the dedication of the Temple
by Solomon as appropriate on dedication occasions. Only a few short
years ago, a young brother of fine talent read of the dedication
of the temple, and appropriated it to the occasion of dedicating a
new meeting-house. But this is a perversion of a very inexcusable
character. It loses sight of the significance of one of the most
important types of the Old Testament. The temple was no type of
a meeting-house, nor was the dedication of the temple a type of
dedicating a meeting-house. The Lord did not give us the minute
description of the building of the temple and the dedication to show us
how to build _fine houses_ and _dedicate them_.

The temple was the type of the _spiritual building_; the _congregation
of the saints, lively stones_, built together for an habitation of
God through the Spirit. This is the temple that God dwells in—the
house of God. The dedication of that ancient temple was typical of
the dedication, or the consecration of men and women to the service
of God. The work of the Pope is to lose sight of the dedication, or
the consecration of men and women to the service of God, symbolized
by the dedication of the temple, and turn the eyes of the people to
great gatherings of people, to the flummery and parade of laying
corner-stones, dedicating houses, immense piles of stone, brick, wood
and mortar, baptizing bells and furniture, etc., etc.; but this is no
work for the followers of Jesus, nor is there anything in it to put one
in mind of our Lord.

We have no objection to holding a good meeting in a new house, setting
the congregation of the Lord in order, if it needs it in it, and
preaching the gospel to the people of the world. But we see no use then
in making a great ado about it, or thinking any more of it than a good
meeting in an old house. We do not like _extra occasions_. We like the
regular worship appointed by the Lord, with every item from him, and
not an item not from him. We love the things of God, but nothing not of
him. We want no dedication occasions, nor any others not authorized in
Scripture. When a new house is built, go into it and use it precisely
as you would if it had been there fifty years. What the Lord has
appointed will occupy our whole minds and hearts and hands.



THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS.


There was certainly an assembly or congregation in the wilderness,
as mentioned by Stephen. Acts vii. 38; but this congregation or
assembly in the wilderness was the nation, or the national assembly
of Israel—fleshly Israel. It consisted of the fleshly descendants of
Abraham, as described in the language of God to Abraham, “Those born
in thy house,” or the Jews. This congregation or assembly, the nation
of Israel, or the Jews, was not the church, or body of Christ, but,
as a body, it rejected Christ, persecuted him and instigated putting
him to death, persecuted his followers and the church he established.
Those of whom the church on Pentecost was composed came out of that
old persecuting church, abandoned it and “were added to them”—to the
apostles and the one hundred and twenty brethren—the new church—the
one the Lord said (Matt. xvi. 18), “I will build.” “On this rock I
will build my church”—the “one new man” (Eph. ii. 15), “to make in
himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” “Man” here is used
figuratively, and stands for _church_, and one _new_ man is one
_new_ church. It is not the perpetuation of an _old_ church, Adamic,
Abrahamic, Mosaic or any other, but to build _one new church_ was what
the Lord intended and accomplished.

The matter now is, not to be a descendant of Abel, nor of Abraham, nor
Jacob, or Israel; nor to be of any particular line of flesh and blood,
but to be born again—born from above, born of God. “That which is born
of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
This new church has a new basis of membership, not in the flesh but
in the Spirit, not in being born in the family of Abraham, but in the
family of God, not in the first birth, but the second birth, not in a
birth of the flesh, but a birth of the Spirit, not founded in natural
generation, but in regeneration, not children of God by blood, but “all
the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

This church in which we are “all the children of God by faith in
Christ”—by virtue of a new creation, a birth of water and of the
Spirit, is not the one in the wilderness, nor any other church,
congregation or assembly found before Pentecost, but it is the one the
Lord said, “I will build,” but which was not built when the Lord said
this; the one _new_ man, or _new_ church which the Lord made of the
twain, or the _two_, the Jews and the Gentiles. This is the “one body”
into which all were immersed in the time of the apostles—the body
of Christ—the “temple of God,” in which God and Christ and the Holy
Spirit dwell. To be “in Christ” is to be in this _one body_, to be “in
the kingdom of God,” “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit,” to be in union with the Father and with the Son, with
the whole family in heaven and on earth. To be in this one body brings
us to all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This
is the body or the church that Jesus loved, and for which he gave
himself, that “he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of
water by the word”—“the church of the living God, the pillar and
support of the truth.” It is “the building of God,” established
“according to his eternal purpose” to “the intent” that “to the
principalities and powers in heavenly places may be made known by the
church the manifold wisdom of God.” See Eph. iii. 10.



SOUND MEN.


Why do men regret to hear us say of a man, “He is a gospel man;” “He
is a sound man;” “He is a New Testament man.” It implies that there
are some that are not “gospel men,” not “sound,” not “New Testament
men.” What if it does? Why need any man be troubled about that? Certain
men will be suspected of being unsound! Indeed! Must we shut our eyes
and think contrary to what we know to be matter of fact, that all are
sound? But, you imply that some are not sound! Certainly, and you imply
that some are not honest, when you put a lock on your stable, crib or
smoke-house, lock and bolt your doors at night, and when you will not
trust all men alike. When you say, “I will trust him, his word is as
good as his note,” you imply that some other man is not good—that his
word is not as good as his note.

But we tell you of A, B, C, D and E, that we have trusted, and they
have all paid, and we believe all are alike honest, and will pay.
If you are a business man, you will reply, “Yes, and I have trusted
many more than that, all of whom paid, but I have trusted a long list
that did not pay, and you need not preach to me that all will pay.”
So referring to a few men who, on a few occasions preached the gospel
faithfully, does not prove that _all do this_, or even that _these few_
always do it.

That we have the men now who are making it a constant and prayerful
effort to reproduce the gospel and all its fruits; to reproduce
the Church and all its blessings to man; to maintain all things as
delivered to us by Christ and his apostles, we rejoice to know. That
we have another class of men, who have no heart in this, and have even
repudiated the idea, we entertain not a doubt. Those determined to
reproduce the gospel of Christ and all its fruits, the Church, and all
its blessings to man, introduce no innovations; nothing new and foreign
to destroy the peace of the children of God, and are the cause of no
dissensions and no divisions. Those standing off are not from among
them. They will stand with God, with Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with
the things of God as set forth in Scripture. We stop not to count the
number, whether great or small, nor to consider whether they shall be
popular or unpopular, rich or poor. The only question is, are they of
God? Does God require that the gospel of his grace, as given by his Son
and the apostles, shall be reproduced? Does he require that the church
shall be reproduced? We maintain that he requires that the gospel, in
all its entirety and completeness, shall be reproduced, and we shall be
satisfied with nothing short of it. He requires that the Church, in
its entirety and completeness, shall be reproduced. These are matters
settled with us. The man whose heart is not in this work, and who aims
not at it, is not one with us, nor in sympathy with us.



CHRISTMAS.


We do not believe that the 25th of December is the birthday of our
Lord. We have seen abundant reasons for this, and could adduce them, if
the importance of the matter required it, though we have not the works
at hand now to refer to, as we think, settling the matter.

There is not an intimation of the first Christians making anything
of the birthday of our Lord, observing it religiously in any way, or
regarding it as a holiday, or a _holy day_ at all. This accounts for
the uncertainty about the day. If the first Christians had observed it,
or in any particular way celebrated it, as the Jews did the Passover,
there never could have been any doubt about the day. Anti-christ is
great on _holy days_, specially if, of his own appointment, or if some
paganism is mixed in them. This was one source of corruption in the
primitive church—the continual tendency to mix up pagan ceremonies
and superstitions with the simple, pure and holy religion of our Lord.
Worldly and carnal-minded men in the early ages conceived the idea of
popularizing the religion of Christ and commending it to the world by
mixing pagan ceremonies, customs and superstitions with it; adorning it
with philosophy and the pagan ideas of refinement. But all this only
corrupted and degraded it.

The Romish apostasy now has some forty _holy days_ in a year, and
as many human laws about observing them, while those involved in
it gormandize, drink, revel and gamble on the _Lord’s day_, and
thus encroach upon the laws of a civilized and enlightened people.
Protestants are patronizing them in this, and recognizing their
_holy days_, and at the same time making nothing of celebrating the
sufferings of our Lord, on the first day of every week, as all history
assures us was the practice of the first church! Instead of recognizing
the glorious resurrection of our Lord, in the assembling on the first
day of the week, they talk of the _Sabbath_, and instead of “the
communion of the blood and body of the Lord”—the commemoration of
his great sufferings for us, they listen to a pitiful ditty called “a
sermon,” and then put on long faces and keep Christmas, Good Friday,
Easter, etc., not named in the law of God at all, but derived from
paganism. If we had no other objection to sectarianism but this,
we would stand clear. People who see nothing in “the first day of
the week”—“the Lord’s day”—but _Sabbath_, or _rest_, and see not
the importance of celebrating the Lord’s death, commemorating his
sufferings, in obedience to some of his last instructions, such as the
injunction, “Do this till I come”—“Do this in memory of me”—need to
be enlightened before they can be regarded as worshipers in any true
sense, under Christ. This is the very life, the heart, the soul, and if
it be left out, all is a sham, an empty pretence—nothing. The question
is not about Christmas, Good Friday, nor Easter, of Romish and pagan
authority, but of “the Lord’s day,” and “the communion of the blood and
body of the Lord,” having the supreme and absolute authority of the
Great King.



PREACHERS BELONGING TO NO CHURCH.


We think it is quite proper for men who belong to no church to make it
known, and then if people want to uphold such anarchy, disorderly men,
as preachers of the gospel, they can do so with a clear understanding.
If preachers can live out of any church and do the will of God, other
people can do the same. This is not all nor the worst of it. These men
claim not only that they can live out of any church and do the will
of God, but they claim that they can do more good out of any church
than in one. This only needs to be run out to its legitimate result to
see the absurdity of it. Outside of _any church_ is not only outside
of churches of human device, but outside of the church of the living
God, the pillar and support of the truth. The Lord has established one
church, one body, one kingdom. He gave himself for that church. He
built it on the rock. He sanctified and cleansed it with the washing of
the water by the word. He made one new man, so making peace, or _one
new church_. It is the Lord’s _one flock_ of which he is the one
Shepherd; the temple of God, in which God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
dwell; the kingdom which we have received that _can not be moved_.
Outside of _any church_ is outside of _this church_. Outside of this
church is the world, and inside of it is the kingdom of God—all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.



A CHOIR.


We find some brethren call a few members of the church who sit
together and lead the singing a choir. This is no choir in the popular
sense, nor is it at all objectionable, specially if the singing is so
conducted that the members generally sing. But this is not the meaning
of choir. The choir in a church is composed of artistic performers,
who _sing for the church_; sing difficult pieces that the masses can
not sing, _for music_ and _musical display_, to attract, entertain and
gratify the people—to charm them with _music_. These are _professional
singers_, chosen without any regard to their piety, and frequently
without any regard to their moral character. They sing to show how they
can sing, amuse and entertain.



COURTESY IN FELLOWSHIP.


Any man who is a christian, or is in Christ, can be received into the
fellowship of the church. If a man is not a christian, not in Christ,
he can not, in any consistency, be received into the church or into
the pulpit. We would not give much for any man’s principles, who can
set them aside for a little act of _courtesy_, or a little pretence
of _liberality_. It is nothing but a sham, an empty pretence and
hypocrisy, to receive a man into the pulpit, and recognize him before
the people, to whom you would not give the right hand of fellowship.

It is liberality to allow every man the same liberty you enjoy, but
a sham, a pretence and hypocrisy to recognize him as a preacher of
Jesus, when you do not believe he is in Christ, and would not give
him the right hand of fellowship and take him into the church. Nor is
it _courtesy_ to receive such a man into the stand as a preacher, but
_hypocrisy_. A man who is in Christ is a brother, and, if a preacher of
Christ, may be received as such, in good faith. Such an one has a right
to all the privileges of the body of Christ, by virtue of being in it.
But the man who ignores the law of the King, and recognizes persons who
are not in Christ as brethren, christians and preachers, instead of
displaying a broad liberality, an extended charity, shows that he has
no settled principles—that he disregards principles and law.

Who ever thought a Mason or an Odd Fellow was discourteous for not
recognizing a man as a Mason who did not belong to the order? Certainly
no man of intelligence. They have their initiation, and without it you
are not in the order, and they do not recognize you, charitably or
uncharitably.



PRAISE GOD BY SINGING.


We never heard Dr. Knox announce a song to be sung in public, while we
were with him in Prince Edward Island, when he did not say, distinctly
and very audibly, “We will praise God by singing,” etc. This opens out
with the right idea. How grand and sublime to _praise God_ in song! We
ought to sing in worship, not for music, or even fine singing, but to
_praise God_, to _worship_ the Lord our God as an act of _devotion_
to God. We ought not to enter into it with the heart set on _music_,
either instrumental or any other sort, but on God and our gracious and
merciful Lord Jesus the Christ. The words ought to be read frequently
and a few words of comment on them, calling attention to the _sense_,
the praises, thanksgiving and supplications. Then people who know not
God will see, as many christians appear to fail to see, the propriety
of the word in one of our hymns: “Let those refuse to sing who never
knew our God.” It is a contradiction of all common sense of the very
meaning of the worship in song, for those who never knew God, or who
never even professed to be christians or tried to turn to God, to say
nothing of vile characters, to attempt to enter in the worship in song.

We care not how well people sing if they praise God, give thanks and
pour out their souls to him. Enter into the song with heart and soul,
and sing out with full voices, enraptured with the _theme_ of the song,
Him whose praises they sing, the salvation he graciously gives and the
immortality he proposes to bestow. The theme of the song is the great
matter. To sing with the spirit and the understanding is commanded,
and to teach and admonish in singing is also commanded. The main body
of the singing now done is not with the spirit nor the understanding,
nor is anything _taught_ or any one _admonished_. This is _no worship_.
Singing merely to make music is no more worship than performing on a
piano or violin.



CHRIST WILL COME.


But that Christ will come—“that same Jesus”—as literally as he was
seen go up into heaven from Mount Olivet, we entertain not one doubt.
That the dead will be raised and pass the final judgment, after which
the wicked will go away into everlasting punishment—into the fire of
_gehena_, where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched, at the
same time that the righteous enter into life eternal—we entertain not
one doubt. These are clear and awful matters of divine revelation, and
the main matters to set forth and enforce on men, and not theories
_about_ these great matters. Is it true that a man may “lose his
own soul?” that a man may be “cast into hell?” that “both soul and
body” may be “destroyed in hell?” that wicked men “shall go away into
everlasting punishment?” that they may be “tormented day and night,
forever and ever?” Is it true that God “has appointed a day in which
he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he has
ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has
raised him from the dead?” Beyond all question, it is true. In raising
Jesus from the dead, God has given assurance to all men that he will
judge the world in righteousness. The assurance that God will judge the
world in righteousness is the reason for repentance. He commands all
men, everywhere, to repent, because he has appointed a day in which he
will judge the world in righteousness.



ONE RELIGION.


Is there one true and divine religion in the world? The answer of the
people in this country generally is, that there is. Touching this
answer we entertain not a doubt. There is in this world one religion
from God, and of supreme and absolute authority. It covers the whole
ground, and leaves not the least room for any other. All others are
departures from it, corruptions of it, or amalgamations with something
else. That one religion was given by Christ and his apostles. Christ
is the Author of it. He is the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and
the Ending. “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to him.”
His religion, and no other, has the divine, the supreme, and the
absolute authority in it. There is not one particle of divine authority
in any other. All others are usurpations, existing in antagonism and
rebellion, and will be overthrown.

The Papal religion is a compound, or an amalgamation of Judaism,
Christianity and Paganism, the latter, by far, preponderating. Its
great love for, and attachment to the Latin, is in deference to
Paganism. While it contains some truth, and some parts of the religion
of Christ, it can not be said, in truth, to be _that religion_.
It is another, a departure, an apostasy; beyond recovery, and the
divine command to the people of God involved in it, is to “Come out
of her, that you be not partaker of her sins, and that you receive
not of her plagues.” Rev. xviii. 4. God says, “Her sins” (the sins
of Mystery Babylon) “have reached to heaven, and God has remembered
her iniquities.” This iniquitous system, as a distinct religion, was
not in the world for ages after the true religion was established. We
need inform no one a little acquainted with the New Testament, that
no such being as the Pope was in the church, nor in the world, in the
time of the apostles; nor does he appear in the early history of the
church at all. We might as well look into the Bible or early history
for an account of Mohammed, or the Mormon prophet, as for the Pope.
Neither the Pope nor Mohammed appear at all in history, for hundreds
of years after the establishment of the only true religion. Nor was
there a Cardinal or an Archbishop, during the same period. These
dignitaries were not _developed_ till long after the founding of the
New Institution. The entire priesthood of the Papacy, as now found, as
also the Nuns and Sisters of Charity, are wanting in all the history,
and, we may safely say, in everything written in the early centuries.
There is not a trace of them in the Bible, except in prophecy, nor in
any writing, for hundreds of years after the apostles. This any man
knows who has read and reflected at all.

The idea of the Papacy existing, except in embryo, insidiously coming
up, without a Pope, a Cardinal, an Arch-bishop, a Bishop, a Priest, a
Nun, or Sister of Charity, for centuries after Christ, is one of the
most preposterous things ever imposed on the credulity of mankind. Yet
the very mention of these dignitaries is lacking in all the writings of
several of the early centuries, either in the Bible or out of it. There
is not a trace of them in any writing of the period of which we speak,
Jewish, Christian, Infidel or Pagan. There is nothing clearer than that
the Papal religion came up too late to have the least claim to be the
true religion. The same is true of the Mohammedan religion. The true
religion was in the world long centuries before Mohammedanism had an
existence. It was born too late to be the true religion.

The true religion was born in Jerusalem. The Papacy was born in
Rome. Rome has been its seat—its Eternal City. It did not begin in
Jerusalem, but in Rome. Mohammedanism was not born in Jerusalem, but in
Mecca. It did not originate with Jesus but with Mohammed. A religion
not known till hundreds of years after Christ and his apostles, most
unequivocally is not the true religion. We need not trouble the reader
with the mention of any religion, born at a later date, in another
place, or originating with another person. Such a religion certainly
has no claim to be the true one. The true religion originated with
Jesus, in Jerusalem, and in the time of Christ and the apostles. Any
religion that did not originate with Jesus, in Jerusalem, and in the
time of Christ and the apostles, and that does not appear in the
accounts found on the pages of the New Testament, nor any writings of
the first three centuries, is out of the question. If the very name of
any religion, the person with whom it originated, and other important
matters connected with it, are not found in the Bible, nor a trace of
it in history for hundreds of years after Christ, it is out of the
question.

Is there any way to determine what the true religion is? Is it anywhere
distinctly set forth, revealed and embodied in writing, so that we can
find it separate from everything else? It is distinctly set forth by
Christ and his apostles, separate from everything else. They revealed
it as complete religion in itself, containing all things necessary to
life and godliness—the final the last will of God to man. It is the
culmination, the embodiment and consummation of infinite wisdom and
goodness in one religion, for all nations of men that dwell on all
the face of the earth. Can we find it? Can we tell what it is? Can we
practice and enjoy it? We claim that we can find it, practice it and
enjoy it. Can we determine what it requires us to believe, what it
requires us to do, and what it promises us? If we have to say no to
all this, we are in a deplorable condition truly. But we claim that we
can find the true religion, determine what it is, practice and enjoy
it; that we can determine what it requires us to believe, what it
requires us to do, and what it promises us. This being so, there is
not an excuse for any man being irreligious, taking up with a wrong
religion, thinking that something is the true religion that is not,
believing something that it does not require, doing something it does
not command, or hoping for something it does not promise.

There is one book in which the religion of Christ is set forth. That
one book is the Bible. In that book the one religion, the only true
religion, is set forth; set forth correctly by the unerring Spirit of
all revelation and all divine wisdom. Not another religion is found in
that book, now in force. No man goes to that book to find an account
of the Pope, a Cardinal, or an Archbishop of the Papal type. No man of
intelligence goes there to find an account of Mohammed, or the Koran.
No man of intelligence goes to the Bible to find an account of the
Church of England, its origin, rise, or any part of its history. No
man goes to the Bible to find an account of Lutheranism, its origin,
rise, or any part of its history. There never was a Lutheran before
Martin Luther lived, in the sixteenth century. No man goes to the Bible
to find an account of the origin of Presbyterianism. There never was
a Presbyterian before John Calvin. No man goes to the Bible to find
the origin, rise, or any part of the history of Methodism. There never
was a Methodist before John Wesley. We do not go to the Bible to find
an account of George Fox, Ann Lee, Joe Smith, etc.; nor of Quakerism,
Shakerism, or Mormonism. These persons are not Bible characters, and
these religions are not Bible religions. They came not into existence
till long ages after the last words of the Bible were written. The true
religion had been in the world ages before these were born. This ends
all controversy about their claims to be the true religion. The true
religion was a finality. In its closing words it forbids any addition.

There is not an item in any religion in the world that is right that
did not come from the Bible. All parties admit that all that comes
from the Bible is right, and all that does not come from the Bible is
without authority. Their differences are about what is not in the Bible
and not about what is in the Bible. They all believe the Bible, but
they do not believe what each other have in their other books that
is not in the Bible. It is not the Bible that makes the Baptists,
for there is nothing in the Bible about the Baptists, and then the
Episcopalians have the Bible and believe it as much as the Baptists
do, and it does not make them Baptists. It is not the Bible that makes
Episcopalians, for the Presbyterians have the Bible and believe it as
much as the Episcopalians do, and it does not make them Episcopalians.
It is not the Bible that makes Presbyterians, for there is nothing in
the Bible about Presbyterians, and then the Methodists have the Bible
and believe it as much as the Presbyterians do, and it does not make
them Presbyterians.

The movement about the beginning of this century was not to establish
a new church, or a new religion, but to return to the Lord, find the
old religion and the old church; receive, believe and practice what the
old religion, as set forth in Scripture, requires, and nothing else.
No movement can go back of this, nor rise above it, if it does what it
claims. What remains for us, is to stand to it, maintain it and carry
it out practically and faithfully.



A. CAMPBELL’S SUCCESSORS AND CRITICS.


Some fifteen years ago a few of our more advanced men gradually
commenced opening up to our benighted minds, the fact, that A. Campbell
was not the great man we had thought he was; that he was not the
scholar we had thought; that some of his chief ideas were erroneous,
and that we should have much trouble in _undoing_ what he had _done
wrong_. We were growing up many young men, and being illiterate and
unlearned, we knew not but we had over estimated A. Campbell, and
that some mighty men were rising among us, that would throw him in
the shade. But we had one comfort all the time, and that was that we
were not alone in the opinion that A. Campbell was a man of superior
learning and parts. We noticed that he attracted the fire of the great
guns of the infidels, the Universalists, the Roman Catholics, the
Methodists, the Presbyterians, and sectarians in general. He attracted
the attention of the great men of Christendom, distinguished the hills
of Bethany, and gave them a name that will extend down to the end of
the ages. No man on this continent called forth anything like the same
amount of attention he did, for the space of forty years. It was not a
mere fortuity that gave him notoriety, but sound learning, correct and
abundant information, persistent and determined work, with a fixed and
settled purpose, to which he addressed the energies of his life. He was
a mighty man in the highest sense, and to this the impression he made
on the people of this great country, will testify till the Lord shall
come.

We have been amused with two classes of men among us. Those of one
class were adjusting themselves for the mantle of A. Campbell to fall
on them when he would depart. Had that mantle fallen on one of them,
he would have appeared like a boy with his father’s great coat on—it
would have fit nowhere. The other class are finding his errors and
going beyond him. But it is remarkable, that in almost every instance,
these _advanced_ men prove to be wrong themselves. Instead of their
discovering some _new truth_, they resurrect some _old error_. We do
not think it is advancing very far ahead of A. Campbell to resuscitate
the Romish and Restorationist idea of an obscure Scripture. We
frequently think of the man’s invention, that claimed that he could
grow sheep _without wool_—it is more curious than profitable.

It is not _inventive_ genius we need in the Church, nor _explorers_ to
_invent_ something new, or to _make discoveries_; but we need humble
and honest men, who know and love the truth, and will press it on the
world. We know humble men, of but limited talent and information, who
are building up churches, reforming men and women, and bringing them to
God. We know also men of considerable learning and talent, who do not
turn a bare dozen to the Lord in a year, and who build up no churches
nor anything else, but who are starting subtleties, speculations and
questions to no profit, but only tend to subvert the hearer. Why can
men not be content with the plain truth, the precious truth that makes
men wise to salvation, through faith in Christ? It is easily learned,
easily preached and readily believed and obeyed to the salvation of
the soul. It is for the people, the whole people, and adapted to them.
The kind of greatness we need, is that which manifests itself in
preaching great truth in plain and easy terms, and bringing it to the
comprehension of the people. The command is, and will be till the Lord
comes, “Preach the word.”



AUTHORITY OF A SINGLE CONGREGATION.


A single congregation of the Lord in any community can administer
and execute the work of the Lord in all its parts. This is true
of every congregation. When assembled it is a divinely-authorized
body to act in the matters of the kingdom of God. There is no other
divinely-authorized body on earth to act in the matters of the kingdom
of God. This body is under the old commission from the Lord: “Observe
all things whatever _I have commanded you_.”



CLASSIFICATION OF MISSIONARY MEN.


We have been trying to classify our missionary men, so that we can
think of them with intelligence. We put them down as follows:

_First._ Men who go ahead and preach, and continue on preaching. These
are missionary men in the true sense.

_Second._ Men that contribute liberally of their substance to support
those who are devoted to preaching, and see that their money goes to
the men that do the work. These are missionary men also in the true
sense.

_Third._ Men who _devise plans_, inaugurate missions, and call on other
people to give the money, stand ready where the money comes out, or at
the missionary box, to catch it, and propose, when they get $10,000,
to send _somebody to preach_! These may be great on _devising_,
_planning_ and _inaugurating_; but we can not work ourself into the
belief that they are _missionary men in the true sense_. We want to
see some proposition for _them to go_; and we want to know that they
are _going_. This hanging on to rich churches and fine salaries, and
proposing to receive the _money of the people_, and send somebody to
preach, is not “the Lord’s plan,” nor any other that will stand in the
day of judgment.

The people of God can find plenty of good preachers whom they know to
be worthy, who are devoted to preaching the gospel, and not ruining or
corrupting it, to whom they can apply all they can give, and not have a
dollar consumed by secretary, or any “middle man,” but all will go to
the laborer who is worthy of his hire—to the man that does the work.
The means thus given will do four times as much work as if sent through
so many hands, and all go as intended by the donor. The work is not a
_local work_, and needs no concentration of funds, but is at the door
of every man, and the way is open for every man that has it in him to
do anything, to do according to the ability that the Lord gives.



INFLUENCE OF THE DANCE.


One dancing-master in a community, with some concessions of a preacher
who has an easy conscience on the follies of the age, a little in his
favor, with one saw of his bow across the strings of an old fiddle,
will inveigle a whole community of wild and thoughtless young people
into the dance and hold them there half a night, and not one of them
will complain of the _long meeting_. Restraining these influences is
not so easy. It requires a combined effort of all the godly. We have
done all we could to restrain those terrible demoralizing influences,
and a noble band of as true men and women as live have stood by us and
encouraged us by extending their patronage and words of comfort. Truly
are we thankful to these and to the Lord who has put it into their
hearts to do what they have to aid us. We have this consciousness, that
to the best of our ability we have done our part. We have tried all
the time to exercise the best wisdom we could, and have continually
implored the Lord for wisdom and strength to perform the difficult part
of the work, in the providence of God committed to our hand.



NO MODIFICATION OF THE DIVINE PLAN.


No modification of principle has ever made any impression on our
mind, only the impression that he who proposes it, is ready for
_back-sliding_. There are some principles that are self-evidently
right. They _can not be modified_. We may depart from them, but can
not modify them. The law of God is supreme in its authority. It is
absolute. Those of us who have taken it can stand by and maintain it,
on the one hand, or depart from it on the other. We can not change it
or modify it. There are but two things for men to do, who are not under
the law of God. One is to come under the law. The other is to reject
it. There are also but two things for those who have come under it. One
is to observe it. The other is to abandon it.

We are thankful to be assured that the great body of those who have
come under the law of the Great King, are well pleased with him and
his law. They regard it as holy, just and good, and regard every man
who departs from it _untrue_. The _true_ stand by it, and the _untrue_
depart from it.

But, we have a few claims to put in for the law of King Jesus, and we
want the attention of our _liberal_ men to these claims:

We claim for the law of King Jesus that it is most magnanimous and
_liberal_. It excels in its _liberality_ all laws ever published. It
offers citizenship to all who will come and be naturalized, with full,
free and equal rights. It offers to all, the privilege of becoming
children in the heavenly family by _adoption_, and makes them all heirs
of God and joint heirs with Christ, on the _same terms_. It offers the
same pardon and on the same terms to all the world. It offers the same
divine designations to all, the same gospel, and the same spirit of
life; the same Bible, and the same law for all. The same grace of God
has appeared to all men. God is no respecter of persons, but he who
fears and works righteousness is accepted with him. It has the same
liberal terms of union and communion for all who come to God.



ONE WAY TO GOD.


We will, for the sake of the inexperienced, state the argument. When
we set forth _the way_, as laid down in Scripture, we are in the
affirmative—must show it to be _the way_, maintain and defend it. When
_some other way_ is affirmed, we affirm nothing and have nothing to
prove, but simply deny. It is no part of our work to prove that there
is no other way. We simply have nothing to prove. Let him who affirms
that there is some other way prove it. Call on him for his proof, and
in default of any proof he loses the case. He trusts his soul, and
tries to induce others to trust their souls, on another way, for which
he can bring no proof. This is the “vantage ground.” _The way_ is in
the Bible, and can be easily pointed out. _Another way_ is not in it,
and can not be pointed out. Let him try it who pleases—it simply _can
not be done_. Charitable or uncharitable, narrow or broad, liberal or
illiberal, _another way_ can not be pointed out in the book of God.

Let there be no cavil. We are speaking of gospel subjects, and the way
set forth for them to come to God.



POPULAR UNION MEETINGS.


Suppose a modern popular revivalist such as Mr. Moody, in one of his
great meetings should tell his audience that he would read the great
commission of our Lord to his apostles, and proceed to read as follows:

“Go you, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to
observe all things whatever I have commanded you.”

“Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not
shall be damned?”

Then, suppose he should follow this up with the words of Peter, in
reply to the three thousand on Pentecost, when they inquired, “What
shall we do?” when he said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” or that he should also
quote the instructions of Ananias to Saul: “Why do you tarry? Arise,
and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the
Lord;” what think you would become of the great union meeting and the
wonderful co-operation of so many parties? They would disperse almost
as rapidly as the Jews did from our Lord when he overthrew the tables
of the money changers and drove them out of the temple. They would hear
him no more.

These great union meetings, in which many of different parties unite
and co-operate, put a part of the word of God—the language of the
Spirit of God—on the same level with their partisan peculiarities and
opinions, and ignore all together, the human and the divine! They make
no difference between the human and divine, in ignoring, but simply
ignore the matters in which they do not agree, no matter whether human
or divine. We make this difference; _we ignore all that is human_, and
_recognize all that is divine_. The true union ground is _the divine_.
We are not to unite simply on what we agree about. We may agree in
the wrong—the erroneous—the false. The true ground is to ignore
everything that did not come from God, and recognize everything that
did come from God. The entire revelation from God to man is that on
which to unite. All included in that is of supreme authority, and all
not included in that is of no authority at all.

Men may join in union meetings, co-operate in them or unite permanently
in them, but so long as they are alliances, leagues or confederations,
in an understood, settled and persistent ignoring of clear instructions
from the Lord in reference to the way of salvation, the approbation of
the Lord will not be there. It matters nothing about the number that
unite in these meetings, nor the variety of different parties, nor how
many conversions may be claimed, the approbation of the Lord is not
there so long as his authority is ignored in deference to people that
do not receive it.

These meetings, the different parties pushing into them, and the
various preachers participating in them, are simply demonstrations of
the confused state of the public mind. Neither the preachers nor the
people are settled. They are out at sea and ready for anything new, or
anything better, but know not where to find it. They have become so
bewildered that they can trust in almost anything, except the clear
revelation of God. Whatever a man thinks is right, that is right to
him, unless he thinks _the law of God is right_. They can not admit
that that is right if a man _does think it is right_! But _it is
right_, whether they think it is right or not, and will be right for
ever and ever.



WHERE IS THE ARMY OF THE LORD?


Where, then, is the army of the Lord? It is not in an aggregated body,
some vast assembly headed by great clergymen, making display and show,
of imposing ceremonies and vast assemblies. Like the ancient disciples,
they are “scattered abroad,” and are going “everywhere preaching
the word.” In their humble homes, their neighborhoods, among plain
and sincere people, they are sowing the good seed of the kingdom of
God, training their children in the way of the Lord, and, by their
godly lives, personal influence and pious instructions, spreading the
knowledge of God, and building up congregations. These are scattered
in all these States, and in all the principal Territories in our
countries. Some of them are found in all the British Provinces, except
Newfoundland, in America, in England, Ireland and Scotland, in Wales and
Australia, as also in Jamaica. If we could enumerate these, we should
find a larger army of them than many think. All of these, true to
their principles, and at work where the work is in their reach, and
most convenient to them, and so far as they, in any respect, promote
the work, advance the cause, and build up the kingdom of God, they are
co-operating in the same great work of _saving man_, and are “_laborers
together_ with God.” Their work is “associated effort” in spreading
the knowledge of God, and filling the world with his glory. They are
_standing together_ as one man, and “striving for the hope of the
gospel.”



FUTURE SUCCESS OF THE LORD’S ARMY.


We believe that the heart of the great body is true as ever, and
that the army is stronger than ever, and there never was a greater
determination to maintain every word that proceeds out of the mouth
of the Lord, than at the present time. A vast army of young men are
rising, true as ever lived, determined to maintain their ground, and
will maintain it till the last. The pens of many are already employed,
and many more are ready for the conflict. Thousands of preachers are in
the field fighting the battle, and more are coming, and the ground will
be maintained every inch. The Almighty Arm is underneath and will carry
the work on.



FEET WASHING.


There is no evidence in Scripture, or in any early writing, of any such
practice as _washing feet_, in time of worship, or associated with
worship, either public or private, as a religious rite, an ordinance,
an act of devotion, or in any other way. There is no intimation that
the washing of the saints’ feet alluded to, I. Tim. v. 10, was a
religious rite, or an ordinance connected with worship, any more than
lodging strangers. It is put down in the list of “good works,” and not
religious rites or devotions.

In like manner, the feet washing mentioned, John xiii. 1-10, was not
in time of worship, nor at the time of the Passover, but “before the
feast of the Passover,” and after supper, or “supper being ended,” he
“rose from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and
girded himself.” This was not in _public_ at all, but in the _private
circle_. It was not in a meeting, nor in time of worship at all, but
after a common meal. The washing of feet was not a new thing with them,
nor were any surprised at _feet washing_, for it was common, and a
_necessity_. That which was new about it, was for the Lord and Master
to wash the servants’ feet. Had the order been for the servant to wash
the Master’s feet, there would have been nothing new to them in it. But
they were abashed at the idea of their Lord and Master washing their
feet. With this view, Peter said, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?”
The Lord responded, “What I do you know not now; but you shall know
hereafter.” Peter persisted, not against _feet washing_, but against
_the Lord_ washing _his feet_. “Thou shalt never wash my feet.”

If washing the saints’ feet had been a religious rite connected with
the communion, how could Paul have omitted it, when giving that which
he received of the Lord? See I. Cor. xi. 20-34. He says, “I received
of the Lord that which I delivered to you.” He then proceeds to tell
us what it was. See I. Cor. xi. 23-25. This was instituted on “the
same night in which the Lord was betrayed.” The occasion of the feet
washing (John xiii. 1-10) was not on “the same night in which the Lord
was betrayed,” but “before the feast of the Passover.” The feast of the
Passover was over before the communion was instituted. We think the
following is true in regard to the matter: That the feet washing was
_before_ the Passover, and the institution of the communion was _after
it_; that two days intervened, and that the two things done were also
at _two places_, the one at _one place_ and the other at _another_. The
washing of feet did not occur at the same time nor in the same place of
the institution of the communion, nor is there the least evidence that
it ever was practiced in connection with the communion in the primitive
church, nor is there the least authority for it.

We have never witnessed anything of the kind, but we have been informed
repeatedly that where they practice this ceremony now, they only wash
_one foot_ of each person. We would like to know where they get this.
It is not in John xiii. 1-10.



SUCCESS TO GOOD MEN.


We desire to see every man succeed who is for the “right way of the
Lord,” and hope the Lord and his people will hold up the hands of every
such man. We know the Lord will hold up the hands of every such man;
never leave him nor forsake him; but will grant him grace and glory,
and withhold from him no good thing; and we know, too, his people, when
they have time to reflect and the means of knowing before them, will
stand by the good and true, the sincere and faithful. They will let
religious adventurers pass, and turn their backs on them. They want
no charlatans under the garb of religious teachers. Be good and true,
faithful and honest, sincere and sound, in the true sense, and there is
no danger of the people getting to think you are _unsound_.



OUR PLEA.


Our straightforward and direct appeal to the people to turn their
backs on all that is human and accept all that is divine; on all
that is of earth, and receive all that is from heaven; to open the
Scriptures and receive all that came from the Lord, as set forth in
his own revelation; receive the religion of Christ itself, as he has
laid it before the world, in his own word, and nothing else, is so
manifestly correct, indisputably safe and right, that it can not fail
to strike the mind favorably. It is simply a plea to turn away from
all human religions, and except the only divine religion. This is the
sum and substance of the whole matter. We have thrown overboard all
that is human, and simply maintain what is divine. If the Bible can
be maintained over all human books; if the religion of Christ can be
maintained over all human religions; if the doctrine of the Lord, and
the commandments of God, can be maintained over the doctrines and
commandments of men; if “the right way of the Lord,” can be maintained
over the wrong ways of men, then the plea we have been making can be
maintained.

But we should not expect to revolutionize the public mind at once. Such
a thing is impossible in the nature of things, and is not desirable. We
could not maintain the position if gained in that way. We desire a
healthy and a reliable state of things. Sudden revolutions always
leave things in an unsettled state. A gradual change is transcendently
better. It is, then, not of impulse, sensation or emotion, but of
faith. When the testimony comes to the mind gradually, and the faith
becomes stronger and stronger, it finally rises to “the full assurance
of faith;” a settled conviction, and the soul is established. But the
leaven is working in the meal, much faster than many are aware of, and
the mind of the people is changing, and the way is opening more and
more. We have never seen a reason for a doubt about the righteousness
of the cause, and the possibility of maintaining it, since the day we
entered it. We are now as firm in the conviction that it is the only
true ground, and the only ground that can be maintained, and the only
ground on which all the true Israel of God can unite and stand, as we
are that the Bible is a divine book. In all this the past year has
furnished additional assurances.



NO CAMPBELLITES.


There is no such thing in this country as Campbellism, nor is there
any such body of people as Campbellites. There is a people in this
country that have gone back to our Lord to learn what he gave to the
apostles and authorized them to preach, and to the apostles and learned
what they preached to the world, and what they taught the church; who
receive what the apostles preached and taught, and believe it in full;
no more, no less. In this they claim to receive the religion of Christ
itself, as he and his authorized ambassadors set it forth. They receive
and believe it on the authority of its divine founder, the Lord, from
heaven, and enforce it on all who hear them, as the only complete,
perfect and divine system in the world; the only true religion; the
religion of Christ itself. They claim to be Christians, followers of
Christ, children of God. The body to which they belong is simply the
body of Christ, the kingdom of God, the church. Christ is their head;
their infallibility. They believe on him. They obey him. They hope for
all he has promised, and fear all he has threatened. To be in him is
to be in his body, in the kingdom, in the church, to be a Christian, a
follower of Christ. They receive him and all he has said, but reject
all that did not come from him. This is no Campbellism, nor Methodism;
but the religion of Christ itself. That is what we are for, and we are
for it because it is from God, and has the authority of God in it.



CONVERTING THE CITIES.


They must be brought to know that they must be revolutionized, created
anew, conformed to Christ, and then taught to worship according to the
Scriptures. The work is not to be done by wholesale, nor by the device
of man. Nor need we think we can take the great cities by getting a
few rich or popular men. We must preach the gospel to _the people_,
the _whole people_, and turn _them_. The gospel invariably commences
with the humbler classes, and works up through them till it reaches
all grades. It did not commence by converting emperors, kings, or
governors; nor did it reach these for a long time. It did not commence
by converting rich men, but mainly with the poor; but in time reached
the rich. It did not commence with converting priests, but after a time
we read that a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.

In the main, this has been the case in our time. We commenced with the
humbler people in the cities and have reached through to every class.
We gained the attention of vast numbers of people in the country, and
turned them to the Lord, when they were poor. They have been prospered,
and gained wealth; gone to the cities, and thus augmented the churches
there; but, in many instances, they are not the good people they were,
nor loving and maintaining the truth as they once did.



A HAPPY MEETING.


At Lower Blue Lick, in Robertson County, Kentucky, in the month of
September, 1875, Elder Franklin met his beloved father in the gospel
and veteran in the cause of reformation, Eld. Samuel Rogers. He thus
describes the happy meeting, and expresses his high regard for a true
man of God:

One morning when we were in the stand, waiting a few minutes for
the audience to assemble and become composed, we saw once more the
venerable form of Samuel Rogers, making his way up the aisle. We could
scarcely restrain our emotions when we saw the old saint, bringing
before our mind in visible form what has been our lifetime idea of one
of the old prophets. We met him in the aisle, when he spoke out with
the tears tracing down his noble face: “Bro. Ben, I am in the land of
the _dead_ and _dying_, but shall soon be in the land of the _living_.”
We could give utterance to no words. Peter said, in the mountain of
transfiguration: “It is good for us to be here.” So it was to us on
this occasion. More than forty years had elapsed since we first saw
him, and he appeared to us _old_ then. He is now in his eighty-sixth
year. He sees to read without glasses by holding the print close to
his eyes, and hears better than when we saw him last. He converses
with readiness and ease, and his voice is remarkably good. His plain
and striking comparisons are as ready as ever. He styles a dry and
prosing exhortation, after a good sermon, “snow in August.” He tells a
preacher, trying to be learned and profound in his preaching, that he
“puts the fodder too _high up_ in the rack—the sheep can’t reach it.”
The main trouble is that there is no “fodder” there. He says: “We used
to have _men_ and _women_, but now we have _ladies_ and _gentlemen_.”
He says he still _eats his dinner_ and _supper_ and lets the rest of
them _dine_ and _take tea_.

When at home he spends many hours alone, and some of the friends
inquired whether he did not get lonesome. “No,” said he, “I never get
lonesome. I talk to the Lord and he talks to me. I talk to him in
my prayers, and he talks to me in the Bible.” This is keeping good
company, and a glorious way to keep from getting lonesome. He reads
up and keeps fully posted in all that is transpiring among us, and is
fully alive to all the dangers now threatening the cause—the insidious
steps now tending to undermine and overthrow all we have done. Still,
like Paul, none of these things move him. He is firm as the everlasting
hills. He has settled convictions and purposes, and can not be
turned away from them. He can see, as Solomon says, that “one sinner
destroyeth much good,” but adheres to another saying of much importance
from the same source: “Fret not thyself because of evil-doers.” The
Lord is with him and he is as happy as he can be, full of love and
good-will to God and man. Thanks be to God for the faith of Christ that
has the power to bear up the spirit, to console and comfort him in
extreme old age, and opens to his view, now that he is about to let go
this world, “a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens;” and
now that he is about to surrender up this life, that opens to his view
a life that never ends. Blessed be the Lord who is pleased thus to deal
tenderly and kindly with him in his near approach to another world.



CHURCH DECISIONS.


But may not public opinion, or even the Church, decide wrong? It may,
and, no doubt, does sometimes. So may any court, man can establish;
and it may turn out that the world may become so bad, or the church
may become so perverted or corrupted, that a man can not get a fair
decision. Still, it is the best that can be done, for us all to be free
alike, before the court of public opinion, and the church, and if we
should get a wrong decision here, the last or final appeal is to the
court of heaven, to the judgment of the Great Day. But in a country
like this, where a man has been among a people all his life; been an
upright and true man; conducted himself with consistency and propriety;
there must be something very singular in his course, and peculiar
indeed, if he can not get a fair hearing and decision from public
opinion, or from the church. There must be something very peculiar in
his course to unsettle their confidence; to start doubts in their minds
in reference to his soundness; to fill the public mind with distrust.
There must be something not _straightforward_.



REIGN OF A THOUSAND YEARS.


We know of no proof that the righteous will be raised a thousand years
before the wicked. The Lord says, “The hour is coming when all that are
in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have
done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to
the resurrection of damnation.” We see no _thousand years_ between the
resurrection of those that have done good and those that have done evil
here.

The quotation from John v. 28-29, above, connects the coming of Christ
and the resurrection, and the following connects the coming of Christ
and the judgment: “I charge you, therefore, before God and the Lord
Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at _his appearing_
(his coming) and kingdom.” II. Tim. iv. 1. Other Scriptures show the
same. At the close of Matt. xxv. it will be seen, as it is from other
Scriptures, that all will be judged at the same time, and at the same
time that the righteous “enter into life eternal” the wicked “go away
into everlasting punishment.” This connects the coming of Christ, the
resurrection, the judgment, the separation of the righteous and the
wicked, and the entrance into life on the one hand, and the going away
into everlasting punishment on the other hand.

We listened to the Millerites in 1843, read pretty much all they wrote
about a thousand years’ reign of Christ, between the resurrection of
those who are Christ’s and those who are not his, and whatever the
thousand years may mean in words, “the rest of the dead lived not again
till the thousand years were ended,” we find no clear evidence of its
coming between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. Sundry
Scriptures show that the judgment of all, will be at the same time.

Christ sitting on the throne of David does not make him a king, in
the temporal sense, as David was, but only that he is in the royal
family, and, in the sense of that Scripture, he is now in that reign,
and not to be in the Millennium. In the end he will deliver up the
kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall put down all rule, and
all authority and power. For he must reign till he has put all enemies
under his feet. See I. Cor. xv. 24, 25. “When all things shall be
subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him, who
put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” I. Cor. xv. 28.
The Lord has come to receive a kingdom, and is now reigning over that
kingdom—a kingdom not of this world—and on David’s throne, in the
only sense he ever will be.



METHODIST CLERICAL PRETENSIONS.


Who duly appointed the ministry in the Methodist body? A body that is
not, and admits that it is not, the body of Christ! Where did this body
get authority to appoint a ministry? It has no authority to appoint
any thing in the kingdom of God. Who “divinely called” the ministry
in the Methodist body? Not the Lord, for he has no Methodist body. He
never called a man to minister in a body that he never authorized. The
men called in that body were not called of God at all, nor divinely
called. They either _called themselves_, or were called by a body that
has no divine authority in it, and therefore are not divinely called.
Nor are they divinely qualified. The apostles were divinely qualified.
They had the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. They never
preached any Methodism, nor built up any Methodist churches. They never
authorized a Methodist steward, class-leader, circuit-rider, presiding
elder, or bishop, any more than they authorized that unmeaning _bread
and water love-feast_, the band-society, the class-meeting, circuit or
conference, either quarterly, annual or general. The Methodist church
has not a duly-appointed ministry, a divinely-called and sent, or
divinely-qualified ministry in it. Its worship, ordinances and
discipline are not duly nor scripturally administered. Indeed, it has
but little in it that hears any similitude to the original church. To
talk of its having a divinely-qualified ministry will strike any one
a little acquainted with the Scriptures with peculiar force. A more
absurd idea could hardly be uttered.

The apostles were divinely called, sent and _qualified_, and should
one of them appear in a Methodist revival, where persons are “seeking
religion,” crying, “What shall we do?” as they did on Pentecost, and
answer as Peter did on that occasion, “Repent, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,”
in the place of the loud response, “Amen,” dismay would run all
along the line, and the _divinely-qualified_ ministry would want the
divinely-qualified apostle out of the meeting. His voice would be a
_strange_ voice in their meeting. If he were to tell the seekers, as
Ananias did Saul, “Why do you tarry? Arise, and be baptized, and wash
away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord,” they would soon want
him out of their meeting.



MOODY AND SANKEY.


The above named men referred to in the following, were popular
evangelists among the sects, and, though not educated for the ministry,
or ordained to that holy calling, performed all the functions of those
divines who claim to be called and sent of God. The recognition they
received in the great cities of the land, by clergymen of all sects,
Bro. Franklin regarded as a surrender of their clerical pretensions and
as equivalent to an acknowledgment of the fact that any christian man,
possessed of good christian character, and a knowledge of the word of
God, may preach the word.

                                                           J. A. H.

In the operations of Moody and Sankey, as also others that have
conceived virtually the same idea, and their surroundings, we have some
lessons of much importance. To some of these we now invite attention:

In all the principal parties there are some clerical pretensions.
They nearly all have some kind of clerical standard, that a man must
pass, to enter into holy orders at all. They have some kind of regular
process through which a man must pass, to be an authorized minister,
or to be permitted to minister in holy things at all, or to make
ordinances valid administered by his hands, or to give him official
grace and functions. But here come Moody and Sankey, Whittle and Bliss,
or Hammond, without ever having been tried by the _clerical standard_,
or ever having passed through the regular process to holy orders, and
never made clergymen at all, preaching and exercising ministerial
functions. All sorts of clergymen are rallying to them, recognizing and
indorsing their work! What becomes of clerical pretensions in all this?
Clergymen of all sorts recognizing and indorsing _laymen preaching_,
and laymen exercising all the functions of the ministry, who have never
been measured by the ministerial standard, and never have been made
clergymen. In this they are conceding that their clerical pretensions
and claims are empty—that there is nothing in them, that men that
have never been measured by the standard, nor made clergymen at all,
have as good a right to preach and minister in holy things as they.
In this they concede that the clerical cloak is nothing, and that men
can and may rightfully preach the word of God, without having it on.
The people ought to lay hold of this concession, read the Scriptures,
learn them and teach others, and thus go on till they fill the earth
with the knowledge of God. No man need wait to have clerical hands laid
on him to authorize to preach Jesus, or teach the saints in the way of
righteousness. To know the gospel and the teaching of Christ, and be
able to preach Christ and teach saints the way to heaven, prepares any
man to preach and teach. To appear in a proper manner and exercise a
good influence in preaching and teaching, a man must be a christian,
and have a good life as such, a life of piety and devotion,
corresponding to the preaching and teaching. But a man is in no shape
to appear before the world as a preacher of Christ, and a teacher in
the kingdom of God, who has no standing in the church of God, where his
home is, and a good recommendation to satisfy those abroad that his
standing is good at home.



TOO LATE FOR THE CARS.


On going to the depot we found our information about car time was
wrong, and we got to the depot just in time to see the train go out
and leave us. This has two lessons in it: 1. That it is not true “that
what a man thinks is right, is right to him.” The time we _thought was
right_ proved _not to be right_. 2. That we ought to be cautious about
saying, “There is time enough yet.”



LORD’S DAY MEETINGS.


Churches should not be compelled to hear preaching every Lord’s day,
and that the dullest and dryest kind, from the same man, the same
thing, over and over again; but instead of this, have a variety of
good songs; sundry readings of interesting Scriptures, from different
persons, each occupying from five to ten minutes, with two or three
prayers at suitable intervals, and words of exhortation. The overseer
who can so conduct these matters as to interest the whole congregation,
develop and bring out the most talent, and make the whole the most
conducive to the edification of all, is the most efficient and
successful overseer, whether he can preach or not himself. No man,
overseer or not, ought to appear before the people publicly more than
is acceptable to them. Many men kill themselves off by talking too much
and being too officious.



LAYING THE CORNER STONE OF A CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL.


But what was to be done? What was all this about? We are ashamed, for
humanity’s sake, to tell. It was to see a bishop _pow-wow_ over a
corner stone, _bless it_ and _lay it_ for a Romish meeting house! That
was what all this was about! What was there in that? No more than any
other pagan ceremony. No more than to see any other Irishman laying
any other stone or brick in any other building, aside from tradition
and superstition. This is the procedure of the Anti-christ, the Man of
Sin, the power gone out to deceive the whole world with sorceries; a
compound of Judaism, Paganism and Christianity, but described in the
book of God as the Apostasy. It has corrupted the four quarters of the
earth with its abominations and idolatries. It has two hundred millions
of the human race under its domination. It has caused the blood of
fifty millions of martyrs to flow. But the tide is receding. The wheel
is turning back. His secular power has departed. He does not have
Victor Emmanuel to bow down and kiss his great toe, nor to come and
crave favors of him. But he goes to Victor Emmanuel to know what favors
he can have. This puts the shoe on the other foot. Prince Bismarck
banishing the Jesuits from Germany, is another turn in the same
direction. The revolution in Mexico is in the same direction. The
Pope gets no favors in all these moves. He is strengthening his hands
in the United States a little just now, but this is only temporary,
and, we trust, will only serve to open the eyes of the people in this
country. Our people need a few demonstrations to rouse them from their
slumbers. They need to be made sensible who they are that want their
drinking saloons, and want them open on Sundays, that intend to parade
our streets with bands of music and long processions on the Lord’s day,
who they are that are trying to undermine our common schools and ruin
them, who they are that publish in our faces that our marriages are
all null and void—that we are all living in adultery because we were
not married by priests! We need a little more of this impudence in our
faces to rouse us up and cause us to see the viper we have taken into
our bosoms, and see what claim this Mystery of Iniquity has on our
charities.

It refuses to allow its adherents to become members of the Masonic
order, because it is a _secret Order_. The trouble is that it is a
_secret Order_ itself, with its _sworn members_ and _bound priests_,
its prowling Jesuits, nuns and friars, the most dangerous and complete
and perfect—the consummation of all secret Orders, from the hired
girl in the kitchen, and the hired man on the farm, up through every
position held, every situation in life, and every office held by a
Papist, to communicate intelligence to a set of men bound up in this
_Order of secrecy_, who are not even citizens in our Government, that
they may report to the Holy See in Rome! It is a secret, Pagan and
Jewish mixture with Christianity; an intriguing, insidious and stealthy
scheme, prying into the secrets of every nook and corner of every land,
and every move of every civil government on earth, and a friend to no
civil government on the face of the earth, only so far as it can be
made subservient to the purposes of the Pope.

The new Cardinal in this country is a minion of the Pope, and, without
being a citizen of the United States, when he pleases to do so, will
control the vote of some six millions of our population; and this all
done by the _secret workings_ of the Papacy, without any man seeing
the secret wires that are pulled to do it. These priests, bound all
over by religious _vows or oaths_, in a _secret conclave_, plan
schools to be taught by nuns, all in the _secret Order_, and gather
up vagrant children, while many of their own children are beggars, to
make Romanists of them, and shut them out from the light of the common
schools and colleges of this country.

Then how do these priests propose to gain power? Do they propose to
come out in open day; publicly teach the people and enlighten them?
Not a word of it. Do they propose to discuss their claims? Not a bit
of it. How then are they doing this work? _Insidiously._ It is all in
the dark, except an occasional demonstration like that we had here
on the first Lord’s day in July. What were the people taught on that
day? Did any one hear any instruction? Thousands of dollars were
expended. Thousands of people were weary and exhausted, but no one
was enlightened. No one was taught even Romanism, except those, who
from the word of God have learned the power of the grand delusion, the
mystery of iniquity that now works. They can understand the power of
the sorceries practiced to deceive and allure unwary souls.



UNIVERSALISM UNBELIEF.


The mission of unbelief, in this direction, is—

_First._ To force the Bible to agree with the Atheist, in theory, that
a man’s conduct in this life, no matter what it may be, can not destroy
his happiness in another life.

_Second._ That there shall be no reward in another world, for virtue,
righteousness and obedience rendered to God in this life.

_Third._ That there shall be no punishments in the world to come, for
disobedience, corruption, and crime, committed in this life.

_Fourth._ That the death of Christ amounts to nothing, as the
consequences of sin all follow now, and fall upon man just as they did
before he died.

_Fifth._ That repentance amounts to nothing, as the punishment of sin
is simply the natural result of a violation of a natural law, and must
follow its violation whether you repent or not.

_Sixth._ That there is no pardon of sin—that as you put your hand
in the fire, the burn must follow—as you spend your money, you must
become poor—as you dissipate, your physical energies must be impaired;
so, as you sin, in all cases the penalty must follow.

_Seventh._ All this being conceded, the grace of God is at an end.
There is no such an attribute as mercy in the government of Jehovah.

_Eighth._ No love of God is manifested either in the life or death of
Jesus, nor has his death produced any change in the world.

No wonder that infidels hail this theory with joyfulness, flock around
the Universalian preacher, and call him “brother.” His operations are
fatal to the Bible, to the mission and divine authority of the Lord
Jesus, and better calculated to turn the whole subject of religion into
ridicule, than any open infidelity ever advocated in the world. By this
kind of circumlocution, the Bible is now sought to be subverted, and
its influence upon the world destroyed. But all men of discernment can
see, that this is only a scheme to pull down and destroy—that it has
no efficacy to save, to make good, or improve mankind—that it can do
no good, in any event, to one soul of our race, either in this world or
the world to come. It is only an instrument, one of the most effectual
instruments of unbelief, in destroying all good, all virtue, and all
piety.



PERSONALITY OF THE DEVIL.


Denying the personality of the Devil. Here we have more _negative
preaching_—more _denying_. What a world of gospel there is in this!
Who is to be saved by denying the personality of the Devil? Who is
comforted and built up with this sort of stuff? The infidel laughs. The
Universalist nods assent; but who repents? The scoffer is delighted.
That is the man for him! But does he quit scoffing? We have recently
heard of a man who had stripped his feet bare after a rain of a warm
summer’s day, and, walking up through the mud to an old preacher,
denied the personality of the Devil; when the preacher, pointing behind
the man, replied: “He must be _alive_ and _personal_, for _there is his
track fresh in the mud_!” Another preacher allowed that when the Devil
has a man so completely blinded that he does not believe there is any
Devil, or that he is a personal being, he never expects to have any
more trouble with him. He will never listen to the truth any more.



CLERICAL YOUNG PASTORS.


That there should be occasionally a young man, with the views that
have been fostered and encouraged by some among us, of a “pastorate,”
who would assume authority to cast persons out of the church, and give
letters of commendation, is not strange. There were some even in the
time of the apostles, when no such views of a “pastorate” existed, who
assumed such prerogatives and “prated against us” (the apostles.) In
III. John 9, 10, we have a reference to one of them. “I wrote to the
church,” says John, “but Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence
among them, receives us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his
deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not
content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and
forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church.” We have
fallen on the track of a few young men, and some old ones, of this
stripe; but their race is short. The brethren, whatever else is true of
them, are not prepared for clerical assumptions. They will not have the
manacles put on them. Such men will not trouble us long. Some of them
will go over to sectarianism at once, thinking that the shortest road
to a “pastorate.” Others will go to law, medicine, or to nothing. But
the main body of our young men are true and noble in the highest sense,
as humble and faithful as can be found anywhere. They are studying to
know and do the will of God. We are not sure that, as a class, they are
not generally sounder than their instructors in the gospel.

We regret to see anything like collision or rivalry between old and
young preachers. Young men get a little _fast_ sometimes, and old men
become a little _cross_; but these matters will all work their way out.
As a humorous writer said some years ago, after writing a long piece
about nothing, as a burlesque on certain persons, “We are all poor
_critters_.” We need a great deal of mercy and grace.

It is a little trying for old men, after toiling a lifetime in the
cause, and when they are struggling under the infirmities of age, to be
shoved aside, as we know some of them are, and treated with contempt by
the young men who ought to be a comfort and consolation to them. The
cause is the Lord’s, and we are his, and we shall all give account to
him. Let us keep pure ourselves, and keep the church pure; let us make
a record of which we shall not be ashamed when the Lord shall come. We
must study to bear our burdens, and to do so without murmuring. What we
can not cure, we must endure.



EVERLASTING AND ETERNAL.


Everlasting and eternal are from the same in the original. “Everlasting
punishment,” and not everlasting annihilation, nor everlasting
extinction of being, nor everlasting non-existence, is what the Lord
threatens. Matt. xxv. 46. At the same time the righteous enter into
“life eternal,” the wicked “go away into everlasting punishment.” The
original word _aionion_ here is translated, in the common version,
“eternal” in one place, and “everlasting” in the other. There is no
reason for not translating this word the same way in both places. It
means precisely the same in both places. At the same time we repeat,
that the righteous enter into “life eternal,” the wicked “go away
into eternal punishment.” The same word used by the Lord, in the same
sentence to express the duration of the life of the saints, is used to
express the duration of the punishment of the wicked. It is as likely
that the life of the saints shall terminate, as that the punishment
of the wicked shall cease. There is no word in any language that more
certainly expresses unlimited duration than this word _aionion_. It is
used to express the duration of the life of the saints, the praises of
God, and even the existence of God. A word may be used with less than
its full import, but _never with more_.



ENDURING HARDNESS AS GOOD SOLDIERS.


It matters not from what cause we suffer, whether inability on the
part of brethren, or parsimoniousness, we must bear hardness as good
soldiers of Jesus Christ, suffer and toil on, for we shall reap if we
faint not. We must not raise up a money-loving and worldly people;
and in order to this end we must not be _money-loving preachers_, nor
_worldly_ men ourselves. This is our security against the evil of
covetousness.

We do not believe the Lord will accept meeting in two or three
conventions in a year, and making three or four contributions and a few
speeches for missionary work. We must have more telling evangelizing
than this. This kind of work is demoralizing the brethren and drying up
all the veins of generosity in them. We shall have more and more _dying
churches_ till we change our course and go out into the field as we did
thirty-five and forty years ago, and hunt up these churches and wake
them up. We must not live with the idea of _sending_ some one to them,
but we must _go to_ them; and they must not be _helpless creatures_,
and think to support those who go to their relief by _relating their
stories about their being few and poor_, but do according to their
ability, and not let the preacher who visits them sacrifice more than
a dozen of them, and they only do their little _occasionally_, and he
making his sacrifices _every meeting_. This will not stand in the day
of judgment.



HOW A PREACHER MAY STAND FAIR.


All we have to do to stand right before the people, is to _be sound_
in heart, in the faith, in the life; true to the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ; honest and faithful in the whole matter; maintaining,
defending, advocating it, as the only divine and gracious system
for the salvation of a lost world; enforcing it on men for its own
sake, and for the sake of humanity. Our safety is not in a tribunal
of learned men, who are _censors_ for us, but in the _judgment of an
intelligent and enlightened brotherhood_. They render no hasty judgment
and make no uncertain decisions. They do not anathematize nor hate
any man. They do not pronounce on a man for a single utterance or an
inadvertence. But when a man becomes perverse, his general course and
bearing evincing alienation, and a disposition to be in the wrong—an
aversion to the good, the true and the faithful—they begin to lose
their interest in him. Every step he takes in the wrong direction
lessens the affection for him in the hearts of the people of God, till
he finds himself cut off, if not literally by the action of a church,
that which is equally as fatal, the general turning away from him, and
utter failure in any sense to support him.

May we all maintain soundness in the faith, in the gospel, integrity to
it, faithfulness to it in all things, soundness in character, purity
and holiness. May we strive to live nearer and still nearer to God.



DELAY IN TURNING TO THE LORD.


If a person has delayed turning to the Lord, till some hindrance comes,
so that he can not take the steps, or do what the Lord has commanded,
to become a christian, he has simply delayed till he can not become a
christian. If he defers on any account, he simply defers becoming a
christian. At some point, a man passes the possibility of becoming a
christian. That point, or period, is generally thought to be at death.
Some still sing, “While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner
may return,” but this is not true. It is true that after death none can
turn to God, but it is not true that before death all can turn to God.
The apostle speaks of some men who were living in the literal sense,
but whom he compares to “trees twice dead and plucked up by the roots.
Such a tree as that never grows again.” He speaks of other men “past
feeling,” and others, still living, for whom nothing remains “but a
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall
devour the adversaries,” and still others for whom nothing remains but
“the blackness of darkness forever.” Some are given over to believe the
lie and be condemned.

Our opinions are worth nothing in reference to those who can not do
what the Lord commands. We do not know a thing about the salvation of
any person only as the Lord has promised. He has promised that “He who
believes and is immersed, _shall be saved_,” and commanded, “Repent,
and be immersed every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the
remission of sins.” He who obeys the command has the promise. Outside
of this we know nothing about it. Not only so, but if we give some
_charitable opinions_ for those who can not obey, or in reference to
deferring, on account of hindrances, these cases will become more
frequent, and these opinions will be applied not simply to cases where
persons _can not_ obey, but where they can not _conveniently_, and in
a short time we have a system of salvation for those who _never obey_,
and the gospel is set aside by our _opinions_.

There are but few sick persons that can not be immersed. We have
immersed some half-dozen in the most critical situations, and some
of them in less than two days of their death, without any physical
injury, and with great relief to the mind. But we only allude to this
to show that there are not many cases where it is not possible to obey
the gospel, and not because this is the _time to obey_. It is not the
proper time to be baptized, or to make a profession. The proper time is
when persons first hear and believe the gospel; when their health, and
strength, and reason, are unimpaired, and they can voluntarily _yield
themselves_ to the service of God. When we come to die, one promise of
God is worth more than all the opinions of uninspired men put together.



WIELDING THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.


“The sword of the Spirit” is defined by the Spirit himself, through
Paul. It is the word of God. “Why is it called the sword _of the
Spirit_? Because the Spirit _gave it_, and not because he _uses_ or
_wields it_.” The Spirit gave it to men that they might use or wield
it. There is not a more unsupported theory in this apostate age than
the one that teaches that the Spirit wields the sword. He did not do
this even in the age of miracles. Jesus said to his Father “The words
that thou gavest me I have given them.” Given to whom? To the apostles.
What did he tell them to do with these words, or, which is the same,
the gospel? He commanded them, “Go into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature.” Preaching the gospel is preaching the word,
or wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. After
Jesus died and rose and ascended into heaven, he sent the Spirit
to guide the apostles into all truth; to bring all things to their
remembrance. On Pentecost the Spirit came, and they spake as the Spirit
gave them utterance. The history says, “When they heard this”—the word
spoken—“they were pierced in their heart.” The Spirit brought the word
to their remembrance, and the apostles preached it—spake as the Spirit
gave them utterance. In Solomon’s porch, Peter preached, or wielded the
sword—the word of God. Philip wielded the sword in Samaria. Peter
wielded the sword at the house of Cornelius. Paul commanded Timothy to
“Preach the word.” This was wielding the sword of the Spirit, the word
of God.

This whole theory about the word being a dead letter, whether so
intended or not, is the very thing to neutralize the gospel, and cause
honest people who believe the gospel, to wait for some immediate power
to do something more for them before they come to God. This very
theory, in the place of being Scriptural, is directly opposed to the
very spirit and intention of the Scriptures, and is, we doubt not,
chargeable with hindering more souls from turning to the Lord and
receiving the salvation of God than all the out-and-out infidelity
in the country. They hear the word of God—the gospel of their
salvation—the power of God to salvation to every one that believe
it, and honestly believe it. They hear the preaching of the cross of
Christ, the wisdom of God and the power of God, and believe it with
their whole hearts; but the preacher says you must wait till the Spirit
makes it effectual, and till the Spirit quickens you and prepares you
to receive it, about which there is not one word in the book of God.



WE ARE NO SECT.


We belong to no _sect_ or _heresy_, no “denomination,” and recognize
none in any sense, only as existing in opposition to the will of
God—in a rebellion against the government of God. We know sects
only as antagonistic powers to the law and kingdom of God. They are
heretical and schismatical, in alienation to each other and to the
kingdom of God. We find them in no complete union on anything of
importance, except in opposing the gospel of Christ. In this they are a
unit. Never did loving brethren more completely unite than they one and
all do in this. One voice sounding out the gospel precisely as preached
by the apostles, and propounding the terms of pardon as they came from
the ambassador of Jesus, to whom he gave the keys of the kingdom of
God, will silence all their jars among themselves, their differences
and disputes, and bring them all around side by side, facing the common
foe. It will call out their confusion of tongues, and the cry, “Lo!
here, and lo there,” will be heard on all hands. The cry is raised.
“To your tents, O Israel! to your tents! Danger! danger! dangerous
doctrine! Do not hear him! Keep away! keep away! He will unsettle your
views!”

Why are they all opposed to this? There is a very good reason for it.
It is opposed to all of them. In its very nature it proposes to sweep
them all away. It leaves not an inch of ground for one of them to stand
on. We came not with a new doctrine, but with the gospel of Christ, a
distinct entity in itself, not only having no fellowship with any other
gospel, but pronouncing a curse on man or angel who shall preach any
other, no matter whether near like it or not near like it—a perversion
of it or mutilation. The gospel of Christ itself is the thing to be
preached, and nothing else; the power of God to salvation to every
one that believes; the preaching of the cross, the wisdom of God, and
the power of God. To this nothing is to be added, and from it nothing
is to be taken away. In this gospel, Christ, the “one Shepherd,” is
presented, and the one kingdom of God, or one body of Christ. All the
followers of Christ are members of this one body, or citizens of this
one kingdom. There are no “denominations” of them. They are all members
of his body, citizens of his kingdom by faith, the children of Abraham,
heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, saints, holy brethren. They
know no other king but the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Their
King, in his times, will “show who is the only Potentate.” Their King
has no negotiations with any other spiritual kings. He puts them down
_against him_. He has no communications nor negotiations with Pope
Pius, or any other Pope. He has no _fraternal greetings_ for any of
them, but his Father has sworn with an oath that he shall reign till he
shall put down all rule and all authority and power—till he has put
all his enemies under his feet.

The kingdom of Christ recognizes no other kingdom. It is an absolute
monarchy. Christ is the Monarch. He has no Parliament, no Senate or
Congress, no legislative body in his kingdom. As the rightful Sovereign
and the absolute Monarch, he is the Law-giver. His will is the law,
as spread on the pages of Scripture—the absolute authority—and his
subjects have simply to consult the law, ascertain what it requires,
and _obey it_. They are not responsible for the law. They need not
trouble themselves about results or consequences. Do as the Supreme
Authority commands, and leave the consequences with him. He is so wise,
good and great, that he will bring all out right, for all those that
put their trust in him. His subjects stop not to counsel with those
who have other laws, to compare them with the law of the Lord Messiah,
to see how near they are to his, or how far from it. They have no
authority to make any other laws, no matter how near like his law, or
how far from it. Their business is to throw aside all other laws, and
accept him as their Monarch, and _his law_, and _obey it_. This is
simply all there is of it. He who is not for him is against him.

The citizens of his kingdom have no authority from him for negotiating
with any sectarian party, about union with his people, comparing their
views and determining how nearly they agree. He has left them no
discretionary power to compromise with anybody, or to stipulate terms
of union and fellowship. He has stipulated the terms for us all. If we
comply with these terms he receives us, and we are bound to receive
each other, and certainly will desire to do so. If we comply not with
these terms he will not receive us, and no saint has any right to
receive us. No man has a right to prescribe terms on which to receive
any man. The terms are already prescribed in the law of the great King.
We must not go to man, but to the King, to know who shall be received.
It is not a question whether _man_ will receive us, but whether the
_Lord_ will receive us.



MAINTAIN A PURE FAITH AND WORSHIP.


Who, in the midst of all this demoralization, will stand for God, for
the anointed and for the eternal Spirit; for the only supreme and
absolute, the final authority, the revelation from God to man, as
set forth in the Bible? We must maintain this or we shall be ruined
forever. We must resist all broad-guagism, liberalism, this terrible
demoralization, and maintain the purity of the religion of Christ
itself. We have taken our stand on the highest ground and must maintain
the highest purity and order, the greatest perfection and refinement
of which we are capable. We must maintain pure morality, pure faith
and worship, utter abstinence from follies and all doubtful practices,
all things held in suspicion among good people. It is a time for
general humiliation and supplication—one mighty and united appeal of
all the true and holy to heaven to save us from the general avalanche
of iniquity that threatens the ruin of the country, and specially of
religion. Jews may look on with a sneer, infidels may mock and scoff,
and hell may appear to exult; but the Lord God the Omnipotent reigns,
and the wicked will be overthrown. It matters not how popular they may
be, how great their talent, how much money they may have, nor how great
their number, the strong arm of the Almighty can reach them and bring
them down. Their doom is certain.



THINGS NOT FORBIDDEN.


Where has God forbidden infant baptism? Where has he forbidden
sprinkling for baptism? Where has he forbidden the offering of incense,
the counting of beads, in worship? What harm is there in all this?
This is sophistry, deception, delusion, and that, too, of a very low
and unworthy order at that. Where is the divine authority for doing
this or that? If there is no divine authority for doing this or that,
in religion, or worship, that very circumstance is _divine authority
against it_. “Who hath required this at your hand?” is the inquiry
of the word of God, to all such as introduce things into religion
or worship, not authorized in Scripture. We may add nothing to the
religion of Christ, the faith or practice, the precept or example, the
worship, the rewards or punishments.

Those who consider themselves free to do anything _not forbidden in
Scripture_, are out at sea, pretty much cut loose from the Bible. They
have in their horizon a broad range. They are not in search of divine
authority, not engaged in that for which there _is divine authority_,
but things for which there _is no divine authority_—things _not
forbidden_. They are not studying how to do the commandments, but
whether men can not be saved without doing the commandments; how to
obey the gospel, but how men can be saved without obeying the gospel;
not how to build up the church of God, set it in order and keep it in
order; how to worship according to the Scriptures; but how to make
the church attractive, entertaining and popular. Their theme is not
the gospel, nor is their mission turning the world from darkness to
light, and from the power of Satan to God; but to so model and fashion
the church as to please the world as it is, in its unconverted state,
without the work of turning it to God. Let them have their way, and
the church, in a short time, will be so let down that men will need no
conversion to come into it. There will be no cross nor self denial in
it. Be careful and not fall “into the trap,” as Luther did. If there is
no divine authority for a thing, that is enough. We need no Scripture
forbidding it.

We can unite on the things required in Scripture—the things
commanded—but we never can unite on the things not forbidden. There
are too many of this latter class; they are too various, contradictory
and inconsistent. Let us stick to the things that are written. These
are divinely authorized. The things not written are not divinely
authorized. Let us stand to the prescribed terms of pardon, the
prescribed life of the saints, and the prescribed worship. Those who
depart from this _are going back_.



BRANCHES OF THE CHURCH.


When we say the body, we do not mean any sort of body, or any kind
of body, but _the body of Christ_; _the one body_ into which all
were immersed in the time of the apostles. This is the same as in
“the Church of God,” “the kingdom of God.” The body of Christ has no
_branches_ except the individual members. There are no _branch bodies_.
The kingdom of God has no branches. Every citizen is in the kingdom,
and those not in the kingdom are not citizens at all.

The Church of God, the body of Christ, or the kingdom, is a divine
institution. The Lord built his church on the rock, and no man who
understands the matter, “loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all his soul”
while he says, “I care not to what church a man identifies himself.”
The man who identifies himself with the Church of God, or the body of
Christ, identifies himself with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit—with
the entire heavenly family. This is what we _care for_. But identifying
a man with those bodies styled _branches_ is another matter. We can not
love the Lord Jesus Christ with all the soul and _care not_ whether we
are identified with his body, or, which is the same, with him or some
other body or person.

But let us inquire about these branches. Are they branches of the
Church of God? The Church of God has never _branched any_ that we
know of. The body of Christ has no branches except the individual
members and they all belong to _the body_, and not to a branch of the
body. A man is simply in the body, or not in it. The kingdom of God
has no branches. A man is simply _a citizen_, or _he is not_. If our
correspondent desires to know whether he is in a branch of the Church
of God let him trace the _branch_ with which he is identified back to
where it _branched off_, and see what it branched off from; whether it
branched off from another branch, or from the main body. If it branched
off from another branch, then he might trace that other branch and see
what it branched off from. Before he gets back to the _body_ he may
find some _branches_ that are no credit to anybody.

The departures from the body and from the law of God are not honored as
_branches of the body_. They are styled in Scripture a “falling away,”
the _apostasy_. They are departures from God, from Christ and from the
Holy Spirit. The great apostasy is styled the Man of Sin, the Son of
Perdition. That is the first branch. We do not want to be identified
with it, or any branch of it, or any _branch of a branch_ of it. We
have gone back to the body of Christ from which it departed, and become
identified with that body itself, and will recognize no departure from
it, no matter how many pretty names may be given to it, nor how many
good people belong to it, but will still hold it to be an apostasy, or
a departure from God. There can be no union in _branches_ only _branch
union_; there can be union in the _one body_, in the one faith, under
the one Lord, and nowhere else, such as the Lord will approve.



WHOM THE LORD RECEIVES.


There is no half-way fellowship to which we can receive persons,
and allow them all the privileges we enjoy, and they not in full
fellowship. It is not a question about _our_ receiving a person, but
the Lord receiving the person. The very _act_ in which the penitent
sinner comes and is received by the Lord is baptism. When he comes in
_full assurance of faith and penitence_, and is immersed into Christ,
the Lord receives him. All we do in the matter is to execute the law of
Christ. The entire matter of inquiry is about _how the Lord receives
persons_. This is all we inquire about.

When we turn aside from the way the Lord receives persons, and receive
them in some other way, it is no difference what that other way is. It
may be styled more _liberal_ than the way in which the Lord receives
persons, but the Lord does not propose to present something more
liberal than men; but he is a Law-giver, and lays down the law on which
he will receive men, and if men desire him to receive them, they must
come in the way laid down in _his law_. But if we only desire to be
received by men, we can consult them and learn the terms on which they
will receive us; but when we act thus we must not deceive ourselves,
and think we are becoming servants of the Lord in so doing. We are
simply becoming servants of men.



NOT OF ONE CLASS.


In what sense except an extremely _general one_ are the Romish,
Episcopalian, Methodist and Presbyterian clergy of one class? Not that
there is much fraternity, fellowship or agreement among them; nor even
that there is any general sympathy, harmony or co-operation; nor that
they are engaged in _one work_. They belong to separate kingdoms. In
their official acts they never act together. If they act together at
all, it is not officially, nor in any sense, only on certain occasions,
to be friendly, courteous and polite toward each other, but with the
distinct understanding that it is _not official_. Their actions are
as distinct as those of a United States Congressman and a member of
the British Parliament. They are both _officers of State_, and so far
on _common ground_, and, as such, treat each other with respect and
courtesy; but, in their official acts, they have no fellowship, and are
not under the same government. In the same way the clergy of the
different parties we have mentioned, in their official acts never act
together, and have no fraternity. They are not acting under the same
government, nor are they officers in the same kingdom. The official
acts of one of them are not regarded by another at all.

In what sense, then, are they _classed together_, or what is it that is
_common_ among them? Simply that they are _ministers of religion_, or
men whose lives are devoted to religious instruction, and matters of
church. But not of the same order, nor of the same church; not of the
same religion; not of the same faith, nor of the same practice. They
do not speak the “same thing,” nor are they of the “same mind and the
same judgment,” or “perfectly joined together.” They are not of the
“one fold and one shepherd.” They are not “one as we” (the Father and
the Son) “are one;” nor were they “all baptized into one body,” nor are
they in “one body,” with “one Spirit” and “one hope,” under “one Lord,”
and with “one faith,” and “one baptism,” and “one God and Father of
all, who is above all, and in you all.”

We have not a railing accusation to bring against these men as a
class, nor do we hate or denounce them; nor have we an unkind feeling
toward them. We can recognize every good trait they have; all the
moral influence, the learning and intelligence, as well as their
devotion to their several causes. We can make all reasonable allowance
for early training, association and education, and admit all their
good intentions. We can treat them with all the common courtesies and
civilities of an enlightened and a refined age, as gentlemen, and moral
and orderly men. All this and much more we can do. What we can not do
is not from any unkind feeling toward them, nor because they have
treated us with a special indignity, or given us any personal offence,
or anything of the kind. But it is because we can not, without
setting aside principle that we are as certain is correct as we are
that the Bible contains a revelation from God, recognize their airs,
pretensions and claims. We can not without ignoring, overriding and
utterly disregarding matters of the most vital, fundamental and central
importance. It is not the class of men that we denounce, or that we
speak against, but the _positions they assume_, the work they are doing
and the obstruction they are in the way of the work of Christ.



HOW THE WORLD REGARDS DANCERS.


The people of the world look upon a member of the church, that enters
the dance, as let down, degraded, and his profession trailed in the
dust. “Look there,” he exclaims, “that lady is a member of the church.
I saw her immersed, and have seen her commune; she is no better than I
am, and I know I am no Christian.” If the dancing professors could hear
the numerous remarks thus made, in regard to their letting themselves
down, degrading their profession and putting themselves on a level with
the world, or below that level, their faces would burn, if they were
not too much hardened to exercise a lively conscience.

We are only deceiving ourselves, and that too, most woefully, if we
think that the dancers, theater-goers, horse-racers, gamblers and
drunkards, claiming to be members of a church, are on their way to
heaven. Their baptism is all nothing. Their communion is mockery, an
insult to the Majesty of heaven and earth. Their sitting in choirs
and taking into their polluted lips the pure words of praises,
supplications and thanksgiving, in the midst of the pure worship of
saints, is a desecration of the appointments of God.

When we think of saving men, we must not think merely of getting them
into immersion, or into the church, but, in the true sense, we must
turn them to God—turn them from their sins. The love of sin must be
destroyed in them, and the love of God established. They must, in the
full import of the term, be made “new creatures,” conformed to the
image of Christ. We must see in them not simply a desire to see how
near they can be like the world, and not be excluded from the church;
how deep they can dip into the follies of the world, and not be lost;
how near the verge of perdition they can run and not fall in. But they
must “love not the world, nor the things of the world,” make it a
matter of prayer, and study how to live and walk with God; how to have
the continual care and gracious providence of God over them. No man is
a profitable member of the church, that simply escapes being turned
out, any more than he is a good citizen who barely escapes fines,
imprisonment and the gallows, or who does everything and any thing that
the law does not expressly _forbid_. A man may be a bad and worthless
fellow and not be fined nor imprisoned. So a member of the church may
be bad, and not only worthless but injurious to the church, and not be
turned out. There may not be enough spiritual life, moral standing and
respect for the law of God, in the church, to enforce the law of Christ.

May we awake to the state of things, cry aloud and spare not, and never
cease our supplications to heaven till we see an improvement. We are
only deceived in dancers to allow them to remain in the church, and
thus permit them to enjoy the idea that they are Christians.



SAVED WITHOUT BAPTISM.


Jesus don’t say, “He that is not baptized shall be damned.” Suppose he
does not. Baptism is a commandment. To do a commandment is an act of
obedience. To refuse to do a commandment is to refuse to do an act of
obedience. The Lord will take vengeance on them who know not God, and
_obey not_ the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But our friend says,
“I believe if a man willfully and stubbornly refuses to receive the
ordinance of baptism, that man will be lost.” What, then, of all those
people who have the Bible in their houses, printed plainly in their
mother tongue, and know that baptism is commanded, or may know it, as
certainly as they know their names, and will not be baptized? And what
of the preachers who encourage them in it? The Lord’s will is that they
should obey—be baptized. They refuse to do this. They _know_ his will
and _do it not_. Will they be saved?

But there are cases in which baptism is impossible. There are cases
where the gospel can not be administered. Where the gospel can not be
administered, we can not have the promise of the gospel. But will they
not be saved by the _atonement_? The atonement is the reconciliation,
and reconciliation is by the Mediator, or by the belief and obedience
of the gospel. But what of those who can not hear the gospel? They are
not gospel subjects. The gospel can not be administered to them. What
will you do with them? Nothing. Where the gospel can be made known
preach it to the people. Where they can believe and obey it, urge
them to do it, that they may be saved. Gospel salvation is the only
salvation we have anything to do with. It is freely and graciously
offered to men who believe and obey the gospel. The work of the
preacher is to preach the gospel to all and exhort all to obey it,
showing that “God commands _all men everywhere_ to repent,” and that
this repentance is in view of the judgment.

But what of infants? Gospel salvation, or the salvation of the
commission, is salvation from sin, or remission of sins. Infants have
never sinned, and need no remission of sins. They need nothing only
precisely what a saint needs—to be raised from the dead, changed,
immortalized and glorified.



RECOGNITION OF, BY SECTS.


What do we want recognition of any sects for? What do we want to come
on a level with them for? Not one of them has a creed that is indorsed
by any party but his own. There is not a party in Christendom that
receives or believes the Methodist creed except the Methodist party.
The same is true of every other party. Their creeds are not even
popular, only as they agree in the _human-creed_ idea _that they must
have a human creed_. What a coming down, for a man that has a creed
that they all believe—the Bible—to come down on a level with a man,
standing on a little _side platform_, discarded by every religious
party, in the world, except his own. We do not want his recognition and
do not intend to recognize him till he abandons his _side platform_.
The Evangelical Alliance have been trying, twenty-five years or more,
to make a platform and are as far from making one that these parties
can stand on as they were at the beginning. What use have we for
tampering in this way? We have a creed that every party in Christendom
admits to be right. The Bible is that creed. We have a doctrine that
they all admit to be right—“all Scripture given by inspiration of
God,” as Paul says, “is profitable for _doctrine_.” There is no doubt
about it. We have “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”—the
belief “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” and not a
party among all the contending parties doubt or denies this faith. The
doubts are not about what we hold, but about what these others hold.
We hold and practice no doubtful baptism. The burial of a penitent
believer in baptism is valid baptism with all the parties of any note.

We can take down the books from their own libraries and show from
their standard works that all we hold, teach and practice, is found
in their main works, indorsed and sanctioned in numerous ways. We are
not standing upon any doubtful ground. We know we are right, and what
remains for us to do is to make every possible effort to attain to a
more perfect practice of what we know to be right, and not be trying
to get recognition from any of these modern parties. They will never
indorse us till we abandon our ground, and this, many among us will
never do.



WEALTH OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.


First. This matter of gaining wealth does not depend _altogether_ nor
_chiefly_ on loving money. If it depended altogether or chiefly on
loving money, many more would gain wealth than do, for no doubt more
love money as ardently as those that obtain it. Men who love money
devote themselves to schemes of money-making, or what they consider
such, and, in some instances, break at it, and come out bankrupt. A.
Campbell never did devote himself to making money. But he was right
in two respects: 1. He was a good manager in temporal things. 2. He
was an economist. He knew the use of money and never wasted it. He
built no fine houses, rode in no fine carriages and drove no fine
horses. He was a plain man. He had everything necessary for comfort
and nothing for show. We think he lived in the same house in which he
was married, adding considerable, but plain buildings to it, affording
accommodations for his numerous guests, but nothing costly or fine,
in any part of it. In this he was a noble example. On the one hand
not an indication of parsimoniousness, and on the other, not an item
of extravagance. The same was true of the entire outfit, furniture,
table and all. There was an abundance for all, and nothing wasteful or
extravagant.

_Second._ This thing of gaining wealth is not fully to be explained.
It is not to be ascribed entirely to the _art_ of man, to his great
business capacity, his industry or energy, for we find plenty of men
that have these qualities, but accumulate but little. Wealth gathers
round some men as naturally as it departs from others, when no man can
see the reason. Some call it fortune, others luck, and, in other cases
we say, they know how to make it. True, there must be the industry, the
energy, the management and economy; there must be the good judgment,
sagacity, etc. These are main articles in running the world, but wealth
bears no just proportion to these. We speak not of a fortuity, which
brings an estate at once, but of the growing up of an estate. There is
something lying back of all industry, economy, management, foreseeing
sagacity, etc., call it fate, luck, fortune or providence, or what we
may, that no philosophy or reason can fully explain. Men accumulate
a vast estate without struggling for it, aiming at it, or seeming to
think about it. Alex. Campbell was of this class. We can see that he
managed well, that he wasted nothing, that he saw that business was in
shape, etc., but this does not account for the amount that accumulated
around him. Much of it came in a way that he knew not, and certainly
never _planned_.

_Third._ Alex. Campbell did not _raise himself up_. God raised him, not
for _himself_, nor for us to _glory in him_, but for _his own glorious
purpose_, and he did not leave him without the _means_ to accomplish
that great purpose. He always provides a way for a man to do the work
for which he has raised him up. Alex. Campbell could not have gone, as
he did, at his _own charges_, traveling thousands of miles, and for many
long months at a time, and through immense districts of country, where
he had no kind brethren to entertain him and support him, if the
means had not been provided. Nor could he have started, maintained
and sent forth a publication, coming in collision with all the
religious publications in the world without the means to sustain him.
God provided him the means, so that he never lacked. No man ever had
the power to stop his mouth by cutting off his support. He stood
independent, except upon God, who was with and prospered him. How could
he have founded a seminary first and then a magnificent college and
prosecuted his great work without means? How could he have supplied
his extension table, always extended in his long dining hall, along
which the vast numbers that visited him at all seasons, but specially
on commencement occasions, sat, were fed and satisfied, and went away
admiring their noble host, of whose munificence they had partaken,
had not the Lord prospered him? God enabled him to give examples in
generosity, hospitality, and to push on his great work. It was of the
highest importance that he should be free from all pecuniary pressure
and embarrassment, and the Lord kept him in that condition all the
time—made “all grace abound” to him. Growing _rich_ and _money making_
from the _love_ of money, or _money’s sake_, were ideas that occupied
no place in his great mind or heart. He made and used money, as God
intended it, as a _means_ for doing the work of God, and _means_ that
the work could not have been done without.

_Fourth._ But how did so large an estate accumulate if he did not love
money, or love “filthy lucre?” We answer that a large amount of his
estate came to him as he explained to us, when we visited him, in the
only conversation we ever had with him about his temporal affairs, and
that a very brief one. We can not remember the particulars, but we do
remember distinctly all that is of any interest here. Several large
items—items that would have changed the amount _largely_—came to
him without the most distant idea of ever making money. This occurred
in his listening to the importunities of friends to loan them money,
and securing it by mortgaging lands then cheap, and these lands thus
finally falling into his hands, by the failure of his friends, to whom
he had loaned the money, to pay. These lands remained in his hands
many years, and he was not necessitated to sell them. As the country
improved and railroads were constructed, these lands proved to be
in important places, where in many years they grew up in into heavy
amounts in value. In this there was no _far seeing_ nor _reaching_ for
“filthy lucre,” nor any thought of obtaining it. He simply listened to
the requests of his friends to _help them_, and in many long years it
turned out to yield him a heavy amount.

_Fifth._ His talents put forth in Bethany, the works he issued from
there and the establishment of the college, made employment for
many persons, called a number of these as educators and students,
established the church there, and resulted in building up quite a
village. This enhanced the value of the fine tract of land owned by him
there, and certainly without his foreseeing and working to that end,
made a considerable item in the estate he left behind him.

_Sixth._ The sale of his various works toward the latter part of his
life brought a considerable income. This could not have been foreseen
and planned to make money. In the early part of his life, and the time
he put forth his most vigorous efforts, he had no assurance that such
works as he issued would ever be a source of profit. Men who start out
to make money do not start out _against_ the main current of mankind.
We have some now whose business is _making money_, but they do not
start out nor travel the road trod by Alex. Campbell. They do not make
a square issue with the religious world, nor war upon the men in power.
They do not generally think that is the way to the gold mines. Had he
been starting with money in his eye, his keen perception would have
seen something of more promise than a square fight with the popular
clergy of the world; the creeds, councils, conferences, assemblies,
etc. It, however, turned out that his productions found a sale that
resulted in an income. There was no close management or calculating on
his part, nor careful looking after the matter.

But the pen of Alex. Campbell was a terror to men who did not love “the
right way of the Lord,” and his words were burning; but the idea that
he was morose and unamiable is entirely an erroneous one. His very
nature was amiable and lovely; and, in his devotions, he was as humble
as a child. We never heard any man who could pray like he could. His
terms, in addressing our heavenly Father, were characterized with a
sense of the absolute dependence, profound awe and reverence of us, the
creatures of mercy, and the simplicity of a child. All was easy and
utterly without affectation.

The reader may think we have occupied too much space with this matter.
We think not. There are great lessons in these matters.



FAITH, REPENTANCE, AND BAPTISM, DO NOT PARDON.


Faith changes, purifies or christianizes the heart, or converts the
subject in heart. Repentance changes, purifies or christianizes
the man in character, or converts him in character. But this is
all simply a change _in_ the man, but no change in his relation or
state. It is simply preparing the man to enter into a justified
state, or a state of pardon. There is no forgiveness of sin in all
this. There is no salvation of the soul from sin here. The salvation
of the soul from sin, pardon or forgiveness of sins, is as distinct
from all the preparation of heart and life, or all the change in the
subject, as heaven or earth, as the work of God and the work of man.
_Man_ believes, repents, feels and confesses, but _God_ pardons. No
believing, repenting, feeling or confessing, saves the soul or pardons.
It is God that pardons. Nor does baptism save the soul. It, too, is but
the act of the creature; but it is the initiatory rite, consummating
or transition act, where pardon is promised in the divine process. The
candidate is baptized “_into_ the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.” All the prophets bear witness of him, that
through his name, whoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of
sin. His is the only name given under heaven and among men whereby man
can be saved. When we come into his name, there is salvation, or
forgiveness of sins. As many as have been “baptized into Christ, have
been baptized _into_ his death.” In his death, his blood flowed to wash
away sin. When man comes into his death, he comes to his blood that
cleanses from all sin. When he enters the body of Christ, he comes to
the life, to all spiritual blessings in Christ, to the salvation of our
God.



PROTRACTED MEETINGS, EXCITEMENTS. ETC.


It has been a question of serious doubt with some of the most excellent
on earth, whether the protracted meeting is compatible with the genius
of the Christian Institution, and whether more evil does not attend it
than good. But from the day we engaged in the service of our Redeemer,
to this hour, we have had no doubt of the propriety of protracted
efforts for the conversion of men. It is true, these efforts may be
made in such a _manner_; such policies and appliances may be employed
and a resort may be made to such means of excitement, as would be
wholly unjustifiable. But this may be done on any other occasion,
as well as at the protracted meeting, and the fault is not in the
protracted effort, but in the _means_ employed.

All efforts made to excite men without enlightening them; to rouse the
feelings without informing the judgment; to produce action without the
knowledge how to act, are wholly unscriptural, and equally at war with
the best interests of mankind. To hold a protracted meeting, while
talented orators shall picture to men, in the most startling manner,
the sinfulness of sin, the lost condition of man, the awfulness of
death, the ineffable bliss of heaven, and the unutterable horrors
of hell, without giving any adequate instructions how to obtain
deliverance from sin, or the dangers of punishment, and an ultimate
admission into the felicities of the eternal state of the blessed,
we all admit to be as irrational as unscriptural. Indeed, we can not
conceive anything more incompatible with all enlightenment and all
revelation, than to awaken the human soul to a sense of its danger,
without affording a knowledge of the means of escape. That such,
however, is the case in thousands of the revival movements of our
times, no intelligent person can deny. Who has not seen the penitent,
when the invitation has been extended, come, inquiring, “What must
I do to be saved?” and not a man on the ground who could answer the
question. Who has not heard the preacher invite, persuade and entreat
the sinner to come to the Lord, assuring him that he who seeks shall
find—he who comes shall in no wise be cast out—that if any man knocks
at the door, the Lord will open to him, and, when persons, induced
through such invitation, come seeking the way, not a man present could
point it out? We have all witnessed occasions of this kind. Nay, more,
we have known such seekers to come, time after time, seeking, honestly
and devoutly seeking, but still not finding! Yes, this is not the
worst. We have heard the preacher advise them to join the church, that
probably the Lord would bless them, that persons had been known to “get
religion” after joining the church, etc., etc., and we have known them
to take this advice, join the church, and remain for years, _seeking_
all the time, and still failing to find! Every community can testify
the same.

Now it is not strange that men should become sceptics, under the
influence of such a system as this. It is a failure. It makes false
promises, and men try them and find them to be false. Such a system
promises, that they who seek shall find, and hundreds, even thousands,
have sought—have done, and have done _honestly_, all the preachers
pointed out for them to do, and have failed to find. They know
positively that the system is a _failure_, for they have tried it, and
found it to be such. It is precisely what we might expect, that persons
trying such a system, seeking and striving honestly for years and not
finding, should be brought to doubt that there is any truth or reality
in the whole concern; and we have no doubt, that such unenlightened
excitement will be chargeable with a large amount of the unbelief, so
rapidly increasing in our times.

But if the preachers on all such occasions, were enlightened, so that
when any sinner is awakened, becomes penitent, and desirous to know
what he should do to be saved, and he _could_ and _would_ tell him
forthwith what God required him to do, in the unequivocal language
of the New Testament, who can fail to see that the results would be
entirely different? This, we affirm, may and should be the case in
every instance, and we hesitate not to say, in the most unequivocal
language, that such _is the case_ under the preaching of enlightened
men. We go even further, and declare with all possible emphasis, that
God never authorized any man to preach who could not, on any occasion,
point out to the believing, inquiring penitent, what he should do to
be saved, or what he should do to enter into the kingdom of God. We
have it recorded from the Lord’s own lips, and from the lips of his
inspired apostles, what they directed inquirers or seekers to do, to
obtain pardon and admission into Christ’s kingdom, and any preacher who
can not or can, but has not the honor to do it, give their holy and
infallible directions to the dying sinner, _seeking_ his way to God,
was never called, sent nor authorized by God to preach the gospel, and
should not be regarded as such.

It is also of the highest importance that we employ gospel means for
the awakening sinners and arousing them from their slumbers. Some
preachers have contracted the habit of making an immense variety of
appeals to affecting occurrences—describing sympathetic scenes, simply
for the purpose of producing feeling in the audience. Great injury may
be done in this way, by arousing human sympathy, moving the soul and
causing men to act, who do not love the Lord and have not had the first
serious thought of consecrating their lives to his holy service. We say
not this, because we fear too much excitement, too much feeling, or too
much interest, but because the excitement is not of the right kind. The
work is of no value unless it be the Lord’s work.—It is not his work
unless done by his acknowledged and approved instrumentalities. The
gospel is his power for salvation. The excitement produced in a
community by preaching Christ—the work produced in the heart by
preaching the gospel, is the Lord’s work. It is a divine cause,
producing a divine effect. But if the cause be merely human, the effect
can be no more than human.

We want the protracted meeting then, to deliver an unbroken series of
gospel discourses to the people—that we may be enabled to call off
their attention from the ordinary cares of life, and more especially
from their sins, and place our glorious Lord and Redeemer before their
minds—induce them to consider him, in all his gracious condescension,
his life filled up with acts of kindness, goodness and humanity, his
prayers, agonies and tears, his wonderful death, his descent to the
grave, his victorious conquest over death and his triumphant and
glorious ascension into heaven and coronation, as the King of kings and
Lord of lords—that he is now exalted to the heavens—to the throne of
the universe, to grant repentance and remission of sins, and that there
is no other name given under heaven, nor among men whereby ye can be
saved.

When a full exhibition of Christ—of the gospel, is made to men, in a
series of discourses, and their hearts are moved, their souls filled
with love and gratitude to him whom they discover to be their only
Benefactor, their Lord, their Savior and only Redeemer, then we meet
them with his own infallible directions, as they fell from his own lips
and the lips of his holy apostles, and we never find it fail to give
peace to the soul, and if carried out to give the utmost assurance in
after life and death of acceptance with God and an eternal reward. Go
on, then, brethren, with the protracted meetings, and preach the word
of the everlasting God to sinners as long as a man can be found who
will bear it, and then be careful to take care of the young converts
and keep them in the work of the Lord.



SCENE IN A HOTEL.


October 7th, we started for Lebanon, where we had an appointment at
night. The rains not having extended east, the road was fine and we
glided along beautifully and reached Germantown about twelve o’clock.
Not being acquainted with any person in the place, we drove up to
the only public house we saw, and called for dinner and horse fed.
On entering the bar room, the landlord skipped around the counter,
and running his keen eye over the immense assortment of intoxicating
liquors which lined one end of the room, politely inquired what we
would drink. We answered, “a cup of cold water sir, if you please, when
dinner is ready.” His countenance fell, but he recovered himself and
invited us to take a seat. Presently in came a dirty, rough looking
fellow, with his greasy pants patched from top to bottom, and placed
himself at the counter, with his feet about as far apart upon the floor
as his legs were long, and rolled up his red eyes as he looked out from
his bloated face, while the landlord called out, “What will you have
sir?” He answered, “Hand down old Rough and Ready,” when a huge bottle
of the fiery stuff was instantly set down. He poured a common sized
glass tumbler two-thirds full, swallowed it, smacked his lips and took
his seat. During this time he uttered some dozen or two of the most
horrid oaths he could think of. One after another came in till some
twenty had entered the room in a similar style, among whom there was
not one, not excepting the landlord, who was not a profane swearer. Now
the dinner bell rang, and in a perfect rush we gathered round the table
well spread with the bounties of life. The stream of oaths continued
from almost every mouth. Presently my right hand man commenced
entertaining the company by giving an account of his travels among the
_Hoosiers_, how ignorant they were, and that he had some notion of
turning out preacher among them, as he was certain he could have made
lots of money in that way! Poor silly creature thought we; you must get
sense enough to eat your dinner in a civil manner, when you are in the
company of a stranger, before you can even be an impostor.

Should we call at such a house to stay over night, we should surely
leave, after finding what kind of company we had fallen into. To be
annoyed by the awful stench of tobacco smoke, spit and snuff, with the
wretched scent of a company of men who are never sober, is what we will
not endure if there is any other chance.



“FAITH COMES BY HEARING.”


How remarkable the difference between the apostles’ method of producing
faith, and that pursued by some modern preachers. The latter class
frequently theorize on faith, and the method through which it comes,
but the former, understanding his mission more perfectly, first, set
forth the things to be believed, and secondly, the witnesses by which
God intended to prove them to the world. An august phalanx they are
too! consisting of all the prophets and apostles. “They all bear
witness of him.” Suppose we could see them standing in a long rank,
and among the most distinguished we could see Enoch, Elijah and the
venerable Abraham. We could place our eyes upon the great commander of
the hosts of the Israel of God, and the mighty law-giver, who feared
and trembled, in the midst of thunderings and smoke at Mount Sinai,
viz. Moses.—We look again and behold Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel and
Ezekiel. Passing the lesser prophets, we behold the commanding face and
hear the voice of John the Baptist. Still gazing we behold Peter, James
and Paul and last of all the eye rests upon the venerable John. We then
pause, and reflect upon the tears, the poverty, nakedness, hunger,
thirst, stripes, imprisonments and deaths through which these men
passed and inquire what was all this suffering for? The fact re-echoes
back upon us in the awful and sublime sentence: “For the word of God
and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Did they thus suffer on this
account? They did. Could they have been anything else but faithful men?
Surely not. They must have been the most sincere and solemn men the
world ever produced: Well could they have been mistaken. Impossible.
The things concerning which they bore witness they SAW and HEARD. “We
were with him in Jerusalem, in the land of the Jews, and _saw him_
after he rose from the dead.” We say then emphatically that they could
not have been insincere nor mistaken, and what they said must have been
infallibly true.



WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?


Awakened sinners feel that they must do something, but they see, or
think they see, some “lion in the street”—some difficulty in the path
which they have marked out to Christ, which prevents them from finding
the Savior in the pardon of their sins. The chief reason, perhaps, why
every inquirer does not rejoice in a felt sense of God’s pardoning
love, is, that they seek in their own way. They endeavor to arise and
“go to Jesus,” in their own strength. No sinner ever did find Christ,
seeking thus. He must first arrive at the point where he can feel his
own helplessness, before Christ will help him. When he does realize
this helplessness, then God will meet him and give him the new heart.

Would you know, then, what you must do to be saved? The essence of the
whole matter, we think, is this:

1. You must resolve that you will put off the interest of your soul no
longer, but that you will go earnestly about the matter, and seek and
persist in seeking, until your sins are pardoned. 2. You must see your
own helplessness and feel it. 3. Having arrived at this point, humbly
submit to Christ. With the prodigal, let the feelings of the heart be,
“I will arise and go to my Father”—He can help me—I can not help
myself—if he save, well—if not, “I can but perish if I go.”

And, did ever a sinner perish with such feelings? No, thanks to Christ,
not one! Try it, dear sinner, try it.

We clip the above from the _Presbyterian Advocate_, as a specimen of
“the blind leading the blind.” Why is it that when men attempt to
answer Scripture questions, they can not give Scripture answers? When
the Philippian Jailer propounded substantially the above question, the
holy apostle answered him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the
Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour
of the night and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all
his, straightway.” Acts xvi. 30-32. When this pagan officer asked what
he should do, he was not blindly told that he _could do nothing_—that
the first lesson to learn in salvation was that he _could not do
anything_, but he was told what to do, and forthwith did it and was
saved.

When Saul asked the important question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me
to do?” he was by no means told that he could not do anything. But he
was told to “Arise, and go to Damascus, and there it shall be told
thee, all things that are appointed _for thee to do_.” Acts xxii. 9-10;
see verse 16. Would God appoint things for men to do, and say, “Why
tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling
on the name of the Lord,” if he knew they could not do anything?

When three thousand cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
there was no blind guide to say, “You can do nothing,” but there were
present apostles, under the influence of the infallible Spirit of all
wisdom, who said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.” Acts ii. 38.



EVANGELISTS—PASTORS.


The evangelist is not an officer in a church, or for a church, but his
work is at large, to build up the churches, strengthen them and turn
sinners to the Lord. He should introduce the gospel into new places,
establish churches, and in due time set them in order. He is not an
ecclesiastic, an official dignitary, who has much to say about his
_office_ and _authority_, but a _gospel man_, a man of influence, and
can command respect and do a good work.

A shepherd, or, which is the same, _pastor_, is not an officer at all,
but a figurative term applied to him who takes care of the flock. The
flock means the church, and the shepherd is the correlative of flock,
and is applied to an overseer, or one who oversees or looks over the
flock as a shepherd. “Pastoral work” is, then, the work of a shepherd,
or overseer, who can not be a novice or a young convert.

The work of the evangelist is now needed as much as ever, and the
evangelist is by no means done away. So the shepherds to take care
of the flock are now needed as much as ever, and the teachers are in
demand as much as ever. These are not now raised up and qualified by
miracle, but by ordinary means; nor is the work gone that they are
severally to do. The evangelizing is now needed as much as ever; so is
taking care of the churches and teaching the disciples all things that
Jesus commanded. True, as our brother has said, there is no office in
the church except overseer and deacon. The office of an evangelist is
not a church office.

We have a glorious army of young men now called into the field, capable
of one of the noblest works ever done by men. They have it in their
hearts to do that work; but if they are perverted they will be ruined
and will never accomplish the work to which they have given themselves.
They must not, on the one hand, be discouraged and disheartened, but
encouraged and their way opened; and, on the other hand, they must not
be arrogant, conceited and vain, but humble, gentle, and kind; examples
of piety, purity and moral excellence. They must not think to leap into
authority by virtue of being preachers, but, by faithful labor and
noble deeds, win their way and gain an influence among the people of
God. If, now and then, one of them is puffed up, filled with conceit
and arrogance, the same is true of other classes of men, and it is no
argument against them as a class, but against the individual.



THE SECRET OF SUCCESS IN PREACHING.


Nothing short of the highest morality and the most perfect
subordination can ever secure complete success. Most indispensable is
high reputation in all its public functionaries. A religious body whose
public organs do not sustain purity of morals, chastity of address,
and dignity of character, with most elevated natural and acquired
attainments, can never do much towards the purification and elevation
of the debased and degraded children of men. So important is this that
some rule seems to be necessary to enable us to distinguish those who
labor to show themselves off to a good advantage, from those who seek
the honor of the blessed Master. It is one thing to preach in such a
way as to make the people think of and confess their sins, but it is
quite another thing for the mere actor to show himself off, in such a
way as to induce the hearers to say, _he is the greatest man we ever
heard_! A fine speaker may present such a beautiful theory on faith,
as to delight a popular audience, without producing faith in a single
soul, while the most immethodical speaker, whose heart is greatly
impressed with the facts to be believed, will throw out the great
realities of revelation with such earnestness and zeal as to make
believers wherever he goes. Just so fine theories on repentance may be
delivered in the shape of sermons, and listened to with applause,
without inducing any one to think of repenting, while some old-fashioned
preacher reasoning upon righteousness and a judgment to come, in the
most immethodical manner, will cause sinners to tremble all around. The
reason of this is not that one class has method while the other has
not, but one class presents the mighty truth of God, while the other
simply presents a fine theory concerning the truth. The result is that
in one case the truth itself is believed and admired, while in the
other case the fine theory is the only thing seen, and the preacher who
delivered it the only object adored.



TEDIOUSNESS IN PUBLIC DEVOTIONS.


We wish to allude to some errors into which some elders have fallen,
for their advantage. We have an opportunity of being better acquainted
with some difficulties in churches than the elders themselves can.
When we visit some congregations, the elders complain that they will
not turn out to meeting. The brethren say the reason more will not
turn out is, that the elders are in the habit of preaching long and
uninteresting sermons, which they have heard over and over again, until
they know every comma and semi-colon. And now the congregation has
dwindled down to insignificance, and the few who are faithful enough to
attend are annoyed with a lengthy harangue on the subject of the
non-attendance of the members. There is certainly a great impropriety
in this course. But few men are able to interest an audience with a
lengthy discourse on every first day of the week. Those men who have
been most successful in holding large audiences, where they preach
very frequently in the same place, are usually very brief in their
addresses, and very fearful of wearying the patience of their hearers.
Some men of very fine talent have lost their audiences, on no account
but their tediousness; and if it thus fares with men of talent, what
may we expect from men of slender abilities? It is very wearisome to
those, who can hardly be induced to attend the place of meeting at any
time, to hear a brother of limited information, and a poor speaker, for
the space of an hour or an hour and a half. Time seems doubly long to
them.

The uneasiness seen in this class, causes all the rest to be uneasy,
and every one wishes the sermon to close. Some begin to leave, others
begin to button up their coats, get their hats and whips ready, look
at their watches, and appear almost on the rise, while some through
respect try to appear contented. Let the fault lie where it may in
such cases, it is as certain as any thing can be, that the preaching
is doing no good. If the same brethren would make their addresses
very short, and be as interesting as possible, they would not have
to complain half so often about the delinquency of their brethren in
attending meeting, and secure the reputation of much better preachers.

There is another kind of tediousness, almost as insufferable as long
sermons. The selecting and singing of long hymns, in a cold and formal
manner, after a tedious sermon, can have no good effect. Lengthy
ceremonies in administering the communion, are always in opposition
to its good influence, and very wearisome to the restless. But last,
though by no means least, it is not to be endured for elders to detain
the audience, while they may consult together five or ten minutes,
about appointments and other matters of this kind, and then be very
tedious in announcing them. All matters of this kind ought to be
despatched with readiness.



RESURRECTION—ADAMIC SIN.


We doubt not that precisely what was lost in Adam will be restored in
Christ, or, that whatever the injury that resulted from the agency
of Adam was, it will be removed by Christ. Whatever was included in
the word “die” will be counteracted by what was included in the words
“made alive.” The penalty inflicted on account of the Adamic sin will
all be removed from the whole race, in Christ, the second Adam, or the
Lord from heaven. No man will be lost in the world to come on account
of the Adamic sin. There is not an intimation in the Bible of any man
being punished in the world to come on account of _original sin_. The
punishment in the world to come is threatened in view of _our own_, or
what schoolmen call “_actual_ sin.” The penalty sentenced on account
of Adam’s sin has fallen, as a _consequence_, on the whole race. By
Christ, in the resurrection, this _consequence_ will be removed, and
pardon, through the blood of Christ, will release _all who come to the
Savior_, from _their own_ sins, or their _actual_ sins, and thus save
them from punishment in the world to come.



PAYING PREACHERS A STIPULATED SUM.


If a man, or a certain body of men, wish to control the labors of a
farmer or mechanic, and apply them as they may see proper, it is but
the voice of reason and Scripture that they give him a reasonable
compensation to support him while performing his labor. In precisely
the same way, if any man, church or co-operation, wish to control
and appropriate the labors of the preacher of the Word, they should
give him a reasonable compensation. But when the question is under
advisement, of employing a man at a certain point, and for a certain
amount, the question is not whether he _will preach_, but whether he
will preach _at that point_ and for _that amount_. He is bound in his
covenant with the Lord _to preach_, but the Lord has left him to select
his own field of labor. He selects his field, performs his labor, and
looks to the Lord for his support. But all this does not say, that his
brethren should not promise him a certain amount, and with the utmost
punctuality fulfill their promise.

“I do not think it is right to promise a certain amount,” says one,
“we can not tell what we shall be able to give.” Did you hire that man
to work on your farm without promising him a “certain amount?” Did you
buy that farm that you are in debt for without promising _a certain
amount_? We judge not, and not a small amount at that. Why, then,
should men, constantly in the habit of promising _certain amounts_
for everything else, be so cautious about promising the poor preacher
of the word of God—the man to whom society is more indebted than any
other man, for all that is pure and good, a _certain amount_ to subsist
upon while he sojourns in this life?

“I thought you said the preacher should trust to the Lord for his
support,” says one? Certainly he should, just as you trust to the Lord
for his preaching. You trust to the Lord to enable him to perform his
preaching according to arrangements, and he trusts in the Lord that
you will be enabled to support him as promised, the same as your hired
man trusts in the Lord for what you promised him, or as you trust in
the Lord for the products of your farm. Yet the preacher knows not the
ability the Lord may give him, nor what amount of money he may need. It
may be more or less, but it is not his reward for his labor, but merely
his support—or, if you prefer it, his _board_ while he labors for the
Lord. But he does not intend to spend the whole reward of his labor in
this life, but is laying up a good foundation against the time to come.
They are prodigals who run through all their earnings as fast as
earned. The Lord does not intend his servants to do this. He gives them
a subsistence as they pass along, or money for their expenses, but the
main bulk of their wages is laid up in heaven, and can not be estimated
by dollars and cents. May God put it into the hearts of the children
of God to look to the temporal wants of the young men who have entered
this great work.



SELF-LAUDATION.


To see the mere worldling, whether the politician, the lawyer,
physician, or whatsoever, an egotist—full of self-laudation—giving
himself the glory for everything good, and acquitting himself from
everything evil, is contemptible enough in all conscience. Nothing can
sink a man faster in the estimation of sensible men. But in the kingdom
of Christ, where all is purely of the grace of God—where none has
anything that he did not receive, and where all are held responsible in
proportion to the ability that God gives, and where each one has to get
down upon his knees, before his holy and perfect Master, and confess
his weakness, imperfection, shortcomings, and nothingness in the sight
of God, how transcendently ridiculous to see egotism, self-laudation
and an effort to glorify the creature in the place of the Creator! And
how perfectly incompatible, too, such a spirit with the meek and lowly
spirit of Christ and the apostles!



PREACH CHRIST, NOT OURSELVES.


Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of
Christ.” Again, he says, “I determined to make known nothing among
you, but Christ and him crucified.” I come not to you with excellency
of speech, and the wisdom of men’s words, but with the demonstration
of the Holy Spirit and of power. He further asserts that the gospel
which he preached, he did not receive from man, but by the revelation
of Jesus Christ. Many such expressions are found in the writings of the
holy apostles going to show the precaution constantly used by them,
lest the glory of Christ should be attributed to them. The very first
sentence that escaped the lips of Peter in Solomon’s portico, was to
the same effect. “Why look ye so steadfastly upon _us_, as if by _our
own_ power or holiness, this man had been made whole?” He proceeds:
“The _name of Jesus Christ_, through faith in _his name_, hath given
him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all?”

The good Cornelius tried Peter, at the same point, on his first
approach into his presence. He fell down before the apostle and was
about to worship him. Peter told him to stand up—that he himself
was also _a man_, and demanded of him why he had sent for him. After
hearing the account given by Cornelius, of his prayer, his having seen
an angel, and what the angel said to him, the apostle began upon the
great burthen that he carried upon his soul. In a few words he declared
that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.
This was the great subject the apostles carried upon their hearts.
Respecting themselves, they knew not what would befall them, save the
testimony of the Holy Spirit, that bonds and imprisonment awaited them;
nor did they count their lives dear unto themselves, but they counted
all things but loss, if they could but win Christ.



THE CHURCH OF CHRIST A PROSELYTING INSTITUTION.


One of the most striking differences between the Mosaic and Christian
institutions is, that the latter is a proselyting institution, while
the former was not. Errorists among the Jews, contrary to the spirit of
their institution, ran into great proselyting efforts; while errorists
in the kingdom of Christ, contrary to the spirit of their institution,
leave the spirit of proselyting. Those Jews who had such a desire for
proselyting, should have been Christians, and the Christians who have
no zeal for proselyting should have been Jews. It would have suited
their capacity, views and feelings better, to have been born into a
church as they were born into the world; and a sign in the flesh, such
as circumcision, as a mark of distinction between them and the rest of
mankind, put upon them when eight days old; and when the numbers of the
church were replenished by natural generation and birth, and not in an
institution where men can not enter except by being born again—where
they are begotten, not of corruptible, but of incorruptible seed, by
the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever—where men can not
enter by natural generation, but must enter by _regeneration_ or not
enter at all.

If men who have no zeal to proselyte, had been born in an institution
where every child born of church members is also a church member, they
would have suited well to them the lessons from the law of Moses on
the Sabbath day, and perform the dull and spiritless ceremonies of
the synagogue. No doubt they could have gone through the performances
with as much formality and as little grace as a Jewish rabbi. Many
of these, if they had the priestly robe, Aaron’s rod, the pot with
manna, the shew bread, etc., would figure much more decorously back
among the types and shadows, than they do here among the good things
to come. They are better adapted for the letter than for the spirit,
for they almost convert the house of God—the spiritual building, where
the spirit of God dwells, and where we are required to worship in
spirit and in truth—into the dry and irksome ceremonies of the Jewish
synagogue.



OBSERVING THE SABBATH.


What is there in teaching that Christians must keep the seventh, or
Sabbath day, to impart or perpetuate spiritual life? The very seed
of ruin is in such teaching. There is no Christ in it. It did not
originate with Christ, but is anti-christian. The Lord never taught
his disciples to keep the seventh or Sabbath day, nor did his apostles
ever teach this. The first Christians did not meet on the seventh
day “to break bread,” but on the _first day_. When they met on the
first day they did not observe it as the Sabbath. It was a different
day from the Sabbath, took its rise from a different event, and had
a different object and entirely different associations. The Sabbath
originated in God’s _resting_ on the seventh day. It pointed to this
rest and originated in it. It had no Christ in it, did not originate
with Christ, nor point to him. It had nothing in it to bring him, or
anything he ever did to view, and nothing can be done more directly
calculated to draw the mind entirely off from Christ than to fill the
mind of the christian with the Sabbath, and get the first day of the
week and all its hallowed associations and memories out of his mind.
The first day of the week derives its entire religious significance
from the resurrection of our Lord, and the commemoration of the
Savior’s sufferings keeps his death continually before us, pointing
back to his death for our sins, and forward to his second coming.

Are Christians to be perverted and their minds and hearts carried away
from the death of Jesus, his resurrection and his coming, and all the
sublime associations and memories connected with the first day of the
week; turned back and put to the meditations of a Jew, commemorating
the rest of God on the seventh day, after he had completed the work of
creation? Nothing can be more anti-christian than this. This is Judaism
in the most deadly type. It is literally turning away from Christ to
Judaism; from the day that brings the great event to view, that lies
at the foundation of the faith and the entire kingdom of God; the
resurrection of our Lord from the dead, and the death of Jesus for our
sins. If purposely designed to lead us away from the Savior and ruin
us, nothing could be more completely suited to the purpose than this
Judaizing, Sadducean, no-spirit, no-angel and no-resurrection theory.
The theory, on its face, carries its own condemnation; but, in the
numerous cases of ruin wrought by it, we have the demonstration of its
destructive character.



MARK THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS.


We have no confidence in men and theories that have no power except to
scatter, tear down and destroy. The time has come when the brethren
should put their mark upon all this description of men we care not
what their idol may be, who are simply prating, whining, complaining,
and murmuring among loving disciples gathered by the labors and
sacrifices of other men, but who never built up a church, healed a
difficulty, or promoted peace any place in their lives. Nothing is so
ridiculous as for such men to go grumbling round the country, finding
fault with everything, pulling down other men’s labor, and building up
nothing, all the while prating about _progression_ and _reformation_.
Tremendous progress, that miserable prating, whining, and grumbling
that never builds up anything but always pulls down, catches the
sheep and scatters them! Mighty _reformers_ they, who never reformed
anybody since God made them, who never built up a church or gave any
prosperity to the cause, any place, or did anything more than scatter
and devastate! Atheism has done this much, and will do it again. If men
have found any new light worth anything, and are themselves men of any
force, improvement will appear; fruits will follow their labors. But
nothing can be more manifest than that God did not send those men who
only spread desolation, who only pull down, scatter, and kill, we care
not what fine theories they propagate, nor how prettily they may talk.
We want men who will preach the Lord Jesus Christ, who will regard him,
adore him, and obey him, and not a set of self-willed men, who idolize
their own notions, and are determined to have them and propagate them,
if the Lord’s name is forgotten, and the fold scattered asunder. Mercy
and peace upon the Israel of God. Mark them who cause divisions and
contentions.



RELIGION AND POLITICS.


Are we, as disciples of Christ, citizens of a kingdom not of this
world, a religious community, to be distracted, disconcerted, and
thrown into confusion? or, are we drawn to a common center, by an
attraction so heavenly, commanding, and binding, that no side-influence
can divert us from our course? The Lord is about to test us, prove us,
and show whether we are true, sincere, and men of integrity to the
great principles which we profess, and have been inculcating, or will
turn traitor to them, despise them, and trample them under our feet. We
have been preaching union upon the Bible, and the Bible alone, to our
neighbors; but, the time has come to test us practically, and compel us
to apply our philosophy in an instance of the greatest moment, and best
calculated, of all others, to show its power—its moral and spiritual
efficacy among ourselves.

What course shall we take, then, during the coming campaign? Shall
preachers of the gospel of Christ enter the pulpit, with exciting
political news in their heads and hearts, and make Kansas-Nebraska, and
anti-Kansas-Nebraska, Slavery and anti-Slavery speeches? Shall their
themes be the Constitution, Liberty, Popular Sovereignty, North, South,
Fillmore, Buchanan, Fremont, American, Democratic and Republican. Shall
these be the themes that consecrate the house of God during the coming
months, while thousands are perishing for the word of God, and dying in
their sins? We say, and would if we had a voice louder than the seven
thunders of the Apocalypse, and more immutable than the oath of the
angel of God, standing with one foot upon the land, and the other upon
the sea, say, _no_, by NO MEANS, for the following reasons:

_First._ Jesus and his apostles, in all their official acts, never
attempted to correct the political institutions of the country, no
matter how corrupt they were, but left them, and those who made them,
to take care of their own responsibilities. We must follow their
precedent, or we are not the disciples of Christ.

_Second._ Our Lord and his apostles, in all their official procedure,
never made a decision, or gave even an opinion, upon the merits or
demerits of any form of civil government, republican, monarchical,
either limited or absolute. They left all these matters to take their
course, and lifted their thoughts above them to a spiritual kingdom,
that shall endure when time shall be no more. We must do as they did,
or forfeit our claim to be one with them.

_Third._ The Lord and his apostles never made a decision, or gave an
opinion, on any system of slavery, though slavery existed, in some form
or other, in every country where they preached and wrote, in all their
official career. We must humble ourselves to the same limits.

_Fourth._ We have the infallible directions of the Spirit of God, to
believers, connected with slavery, both masters and servants, and these
directions we must give, when we speak on the subject at all, or depart
from the faith, because we are opposed to it. Every man who does not
do this, manifestly repudiates the practice and teachings of the holy
apostles.

_Fifth._ Jesus and his apostles did not found slavery of any kind, and
neither our Lord nor his religion can be responsible for any system of
slavery or its results, no matter how good or how bad. Slavery is an
institution of the world, as all other political institutions are, and
neither the kingdom of God nor its subjects are responsible for its
results.

_Sixth._ Our Lord and his apostles never formed an issue between the
kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. How utterly preposterous
and absurd it is, to the mind of one who has noticed, that our Lord
never made an issue between his kingdom, or his religion, and any civil
government or kingdom of the world, to see some misguided creature
trying to form a direct issue between the kingdom of God and whatever
political institution he may chance to fall out with and trying to set
the citizens in the kingdom of Christ in battle array with the citizens
of the civil government! Such a man has no use for a church only as a
kind of battering-ram to beat down some sinful institution that he
has just perceived is to ruin the nation. He would have the kingdom
of God a convenient engine, properly adjusted and poised, himself
commander-in-chief, so that he can now bring it to bear upon Masons,
then upon Odd Fellows, anon upon Sons of Temperance, then upon Slavery,
or any other monster that may rise. But the man who stands upon an
eminence lofty enough to discern the kingdom of God, beholds an
institution with an aim transcendently higher than deciding upon the
rights and wrongs of the political governments of the world, amending,
correcting, and perfecting them; the superlatively noble, grand, and
beneficent object of translating _individuals_, whether high or low,
rich or poor, bond or free, whether their political institutions are
good or bad, out of darkness into light, and out of the kingdom of
Satan into the kingdom of God, and in their few remaining days here,
no matter what their earthly condition, prepare them for guests of the
redeemed hosts who have washed their robes and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb, in the house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens.

_Seventh._ Christianity is _the thing_ to be promoted, and not to be
used as a mere _instrumentality_, by men who care nothing about _it_,
and who are doing but little to advance _it_, to promote some object of
their _own worldly ambition_. We must promote Christianity _itself_,
and not employ it as a mere means to promote something else.

“Well, sir, what would you have a christian do in regard to rulers and
civil governments?” says one. When acting as a citizen in the kingdom
of God, or in the house of God, “Pray for kings and all that are in
authority, that we may lead a peaceable and quiet life, in all
godliness and honesty.” “Be subject to the powers that be,” remembering
that “we have no continuing city here,” and that “this world is not our
home.” When acting as a citizen of the civil government, be candid,
quiet, peaceable, and kind, and do just what _you think right_,
allowing every man the same privilege, as Christ has left us all free
here, and leave the event with God.

There are spiritual-minded persons in almost all the parties around
us; and if we determine to know nothing but Christ, nothing but pure
Christianity, and confine ourselves strictly to the clear revelations
of heaven—preach the pure gospel of the grace of God—preach Christ,
and determine to know nothing else, while a mere carnal and worldly
priesthood harangue their assemblies on politics, mix up church
and State, law and gospel, turning their religious organizations
into mere political engines, the very thing we have condemned the
Romish priesthood for, thus wounding the feelings of all the more
spiritual-minded members and splitting their parties asunder, thousands
of them will seek a church where the name of Jesus has charms, where
the Lord is loved and worshipped, and where the true worshippers
worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Let us keep the way clear
for such, receive them to the fold of Christ, and show them how they
can serve God and get to heaven, whether they can ever understand the
slavery question or not.

Many of us have labored long and hard and sacrificed the main energies
of our lives in gathering the many thousands to the fold of Christ that
now throng places of public worship, and we can not remain silent and
see them scattered by the indiscreet and imprudent course of brethren,
in thrusting upon them, and seeming to think that their souls’
salvation is suspended upon their rightly understanding the question of
American slavery. We admonish the brethren to have nothing to do with
any such question in the church. The Lord has not required the church,
the preachers, or religious editors to make any decision, or to hold
any particular class of opinions on the subject, nor can any man be
blameless and push any such question into the kingdom of God. _We will
stand square upon the Bible, by the Lord, the apostles, and every man
who will stand by them._ The Lord direct us!



PRAYER BOOKS.


The Church of England has abounded toward her people in all wisdom and
prudence. In doing so she has supplied them with the “Prayer-Book,” not
only for weak members, who can not pray, but for her strong members,
specially the clergy, giving the very words they must pray on all
occasions. In this exuberance of her benevolence she has supplied a
deficiency in the will of God, an omission in the law of God, an item
that Paul overlooked when he “shunned not to declare the whole counsel
of God;” an item not in the “all things that pertain to life and
godliness,” mentioned by Peter, nor in “all Scripture given by
inspiration,” mentioned by Paul, to “perfect the man of God and
thoroughly furnish him for all good works.” There are many among
them that can _read_ prayers, as they have them in print in the
“Prayer-Book,” and do _read them_, but we are not aware that they have
any more that can _pray_ than those who have no such “Prayer-Book.”

If we can not learn from the Lord and the apostles how to pray; from
the Scriptures, so that _we can pray_ we would not learn from all
the prayer-books ever printed. Read the prayers of the Lord and holy
men, recorded in Scripture, and the instructions of the Lord and the
inspired writings; take the “Concordance” and run through the Bible,
read and study all you find about it, and practice it daily, and you
find not only that you can learn _how_, but to _love_ to pray, and to
be impressed continually with the _importance of it_. Let the desire be
in the heart in the words, “Lord, teach us how to pray,” and you will
soon learn to ask for any thing you need.



UPWARD TENDENCY—REFORMATION NOT A FAILURE—MISSIONARY WORK.


The effort we have made, and are now making, at reformation, can
never prove a failure upon any ground, unless it be that we have not
moral courage enough, as the disciples of Christ—have not sufficient
integrity to the great principles of the gospel, to which we have
pledged ourselves, to maintain them against the mighty torrent of
opposition from the various ranks of bigotry, prejudice, and partyism,
together with the combined influence of unbelief and sin. The position
we occupy can never fail. While the holy prophets live and speak in
their writing; while the preaching of the apostles, their lives,
miracles and martyrdoms, live in the memory of men; while Jesus lives,
and the throne of the Almighty, upon which he sits, stands unmoved,
the position we occupy can not fail. The gospel will live and he who
believes it shall never die. The men who believe the gospel, who love
it, and hold on to it—keep the faith, press it to their hearts, love
and reverence him who gave it, will live co-existent with the years
of God. They will never fail; their lives, in this mortal state, will
fail; but they, at the same moment, will triumph. They are not in any
doubt and uncertainty, in calling upon their fellow man to return to
the faith as it was at the beginning. They have no fears that they are
wrong, or that they can possibly be mistaken in making the best effort
in their power to determine precisely what the ancient faith was,
separating it from everything else, and maintaining it before the
world. They know they are right in this. In one word, they believe the
gospel, maintain and defend it, and nothing else. It is the system they
believe, maintain and defend and nothing else. They may not understand
everything contained in it, as others who have other systems, do
not understand everything in their system; but the system itself we
know to be right, infallibly right and that we are infallibly right
in maintaining it; not because we understand everything contained
in it; but because we know the author of it, and know him to be
divine—infallible. We know him, love him and regard him; therefore we
know that what proceeds from him is infallible, and love it and regard
it.



MEN CAN BELIEVE AND DO BELIEVE.


Why does the speculator offer one dollar more to-day, than he did
yesterday, per barrel for flour? Because he believes the news he has
received, of an advance in some other market. Why does that pork dealer
advance the price one dollar per barrel? Because he believes the news
of an advance in some other market. Why does that trader refuse that
bank bill? Because he believes the statement in the detector, that it
is under par. Look through the various departments in life, business
transactions and all, and see what a vast amount of it is done by
faith. All business men are daily and hourly acting in matters where
thousands of dollars are involved upon faith, and acting with great
confidence, too. Look at that man at the post office, opening a letter
and reading! In a few minutes you see him stopping quickly and closing
an engagement, involving thousands of dollars! What is he acting upon?
Faith in the letter just received and read. Look at that other man,
waiting for a dispatch. Presently he receives and reads it. In a few
minutes he is waiting the arrival of the cars. As the cars approach,
you notice him eyeing the passengers as they come out of the train.
Presently he rests his eye upon a man. In the next moment the man is
arrested! What is he acting upon? Faith in the telegraphic dispatch
he had just received. Thus we perceive men are constantly acting upon
_faith_ in all the affairs of this life.

Is it possible that men who are thus constantly, and without
hesitation, acting upon faith, will have the assurance to apologize
for their unbelief in matters of religion, by saying they cannot
believe? It will also be observed that the men thus acting are not
merely a few credulous and thoughtless persons, but business men of all
classes—men of the first order of mind, thus showing that they _can_
believe and _do_ believe, in matters of great importance, and thus
demonstrating that they can believe in matters of religion, as well
as others, if they will but give a candid attention to the evidence.
The same faculties of the mind exercised in believing the news of the
day, political, commercial, or of sickness, health, or accidents, etc.,
are exercised in believing the divine testimonies. The same mind that
believes the testimony of men, is exercised in believing the testimony
of God. The difference in the effect produced upon the human soul,
by divine testimony, or divine faith, from that produced by human
testimony, or what is purely human faith, is not that the same mind,
or the same faculties of the mind are not exercised in both cases, nor
is it owing to the difference between divine and human testimony; but
the difference is in the things believed—the difference between divine
and human things believed. Heavenly things believed would, beyond all
dispute, make a different impression from that produced by the belief
of earthly things, however true they might be. A mere earthly truth,
even if proved by divine testimony, could produce no more than an
earthly impression; but a heavenly truth, if proved by earthly
testimony, would produce a heavenly impression. The same mind that
understands and believes that there is an advance in the flour market,
believes that the Lord rose from the dead, but the effect produced
by the faith in one instance, is very different from that produced
in the other instance; not because different powers are exercised in
believing; nor because the testimony differs; but because the things
believed differ.

The relation a thing believed sustains to the believer, is the main
cause of its effect upon him. Robert Owen, who professed to have
read, and traveled forty years, without being able to find any
evidence of the truth of christianity, has lately become a believer in
Spiritualism. How is it, that he is so slow to believe in one case,
but so ready to believe in the other? The reason is to be found in
the relation these two things to be believed, sustain to him. The
belief in modern Spiritualism involves nothing, requires nothing and
promises nothing. It is merely a speculative subject, for vain and
idle curiosity; placing no man under any new obligations who believes
it. It is a very suitable thing to catch a man of a perverted mind and
heart; one who has rejected Jesus; resisted the testimonies of the Holy
Spirit, and despised the Bible during an earthly pilgrimage of many
years, which God has mercifully and graciously granted him. But the
fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God—that he is divine—that
he is alive and lives forever and ever, is a fact sustaining a
different relation to time. It is not a speculative fact for idle
curiosity; not a mere theme for empty, cold and unfeeling hearts; for
idle, confused and wandering brains; but a fact, intimately connected
with all mankind; a fact, in which the destinies of all men are
involved; one, too, bearing upon the lives and conduct of all men. Here
is the reason that many are so slow to believe this, the greatest and
most important of all the facts presented for the belief of mankind:
it _requires a holy life_. A strange feature truly is it, in men, that
they should prefer to believe that which requires nothing, proposes
nothing and promises nothing, to that requiring the purest life, most
exalted character, and ennobled feelings, promising the approbation of
the Almighty now, and eternal joy in the world to come!

What reason can any man give for such opposition? No man believes that
the Lord Jesus Christ ever made any human being worse. No man sincerely
believes that the Bible makes any person worse; or that the Christian
religion does any harm to any one of our sinful race. No human being
solemnly believes that any harm could result from the universal
prevalence of pure christianity, as set forth upon the pages of the
New Testament, throughout the world. All men, upon cool and deliberate
reflection, must be satisfied, that if all the peoples, nations, tribes
and tongues of the earth, were fully under the power and influence of
the Bible, mankind would be infinitely blessed by it. Not a sceptic in
the world can give a reason for his opposition to the Lord Jesus and
the Bible. O, that men knew Jesus! O, that they possessed his spirit
and temper! O, that they would love him and be blessed by him!



CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.


The act of uniting with a church is not with the idea of being
_changed_ or _made better_, in ourselves, but to be placed in the right
relation. The man who is a christian ought to be united with other
christians in a congregation where he can worship according to the
Scriptures. It is one thing to become a christian, and another thing to
find and unite with a congregation of christians where the ordinances
are kept and the authority of Christ is maintained.

It is one thing to become a member of the body of Christ, or, which
is the same, enter into the kingdom of God, and another thing for
a person to unite with a local congregation. The Ethiopian officer
became a christian, or entered into the kingdom of God, or the body
of Christ, in obeying the gospel; but this did not make him a member
of any particular local congregation, where he would meet with other
christians and worship. This required an additional step. By faith,
repentance and baptism he entered into Christ, or in the body of
Christ, or became a christian. But if he has thus come into the general
body, or thus become a christian, and then united with the Baptist
church, or any other church, where he can not worship according to the
Scriptures; where they do not commemorate the sufferings and death of
Jesus regularly on the first day of the week, as the first christians
did; where they have an unauthorized name, a human creed and other
things contrary to Scripture; he has a right, and more, he ought to
seek a gospel church where he can worship according to Scripture.



BELIEVERS ONLY TO BE BAPTIZED.


Baptism, the initiatory rite, or the act of entering the church, is a
command. All commands must be preceded by faith. The divine authority,
requiring baptism, must be recognized, before the command can be
obeyed; and the divine authority can only be recognized by faith.
How, then, can a command be obeyed by one without faith, without a
consciousness of divine authority, or even the knowledge that the
command exists? Such a practice subverts the command of God in every
case where it obtains, and if it should become universal, would set
aside and annihilate all obedience to the command to be baptized. In
every case, where an infant is baptized, and prevailed upon, in after
life, to be content with its baptism and infant membership, one person
is effectually prevailed upon never to obey the command to be baptized,
and never, personally, to bow to the authority of Jesus in voluntarily
entering into covenant with him. The person is deceived, and made to
think, when come to the years of accountability, that two things have
been done that never have been done, viz: 1. That the command to be
baptized has been obeyed. 2. That the requirement to enter into the
church has been complied with. Neither the one nor the other has been
complied with at all.



THE KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY BEFORE BAPTISM.


Some person,—name not known—writing from Ripley, Ohio, inquires
whether persons baptized when very young, under excitement, having but
little understanding of the import of baptism; and, after coming to
mature years, become dissatisfied and desire to be baptized over again,
should he then be baptized again? This question is entirely outside of
the New Testament, and purely a question of opinion. Among the many
thousands baptized by the apostles, there were many, evidently, who
had but an imperfect understanding of the whole matter, not only of
very young persons, but many very illiterate persons. Yet there is
no account of any, on coming to a fuller understanding, who desired
to be baptized in the name of the Lord. It matters not how little
understanding persons have, if they believe in the Lord, repent of
their sins, confess and obey the Savior. Nor is the circumstance that a
person afterward understands the matter more fully, a reason why such
an one should be baptized again; but simply an evidence of a proper
growth in knowledge. There has been much said about the measure of
understanding that must be had before baptism, that would cut off one
half of the apostolic converts. Conversion is simply _turning to God_,
and there are but few who aim not to do this.



PAUL AND JAMES, ON JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.


The difficulty in this case is not to be solved in dreams about
_different kinds of faith_. Writers may speculate upon different
kinds of faith till doomsday, and neither extricate themselves from
the difficulty, nor their readers. James and Paul were speaking of
precisely the same kind of faith; but Paul’s “deeds of the law” are
not the same as James’ “works;” or no man can avoid a contradiction.
Paul and James are both speaking of the faith that justifies man,
but neither of them are speaking of faith _alone_. Paul and James
were speaking of the faith of Christ, by which the heart is purified,
“without the deeds of the law” of Moses, and both would have agreed any
time, that by the deeds of the law of Moses, no man could be justified
in the sight of God. But the deeds of the law of Moses and the deeds of
the gospel—the “good works which God has ordained that we should walk
in them”—as mentioned by Paul—Eph. ii. 10—and the works of James,
are not the same by any means. Paul was arguing against opposing Jews,
who contended that men could be justified by the works or deeds of the
law of Moses, and maintained in opposition to them, that, by the deeds
of their law, no man could be justified in the sight of God; but man is
now; justified by the faith of Christ, that works by love and purifies
the heart—through the deeds of the gospel—the good works of the
gospel—not the deeds of law, but the works of faith, like the works of
Abraham, of which James speaks.

Neither Paul nor James believed that justification was by faith alone.
Neither of them believed, or taught, that justification was by the
deeds of the law of Moses. Neither of them believed that a man could
be justified by faith, without the works of the gospel. Justification
is by faith, not in the law of Moses, but in Christ; not alone, but,
as Paul has it, in the “good works (of the gospel) which God hath
ordained that we should walk in them;” or, as James has it, in the
case of Abraham, his faith, wrought with his works, and through the
divine appointment of both his faith and his works, the Lord justifies
those who come to him. It is neither faith nor works, either of law or
gospel, that justifies the sinner. It is God that justifies; but he
only justifies those who come in a proper spirit, to his appointments.



CONTROVERSY.


Let no man infer from this, however, that we favor, or in any way
encourage, a _love for controversy_. This is another thing entirely.
By no means do we love controversy. It is deplored always, or at
least the occasion of it. But shall a man, because he deplores
controversy—because he is sorry to come in collision with men—because
he knows unpleasantness will arise, and the smooth surface will
be ruffled, evade the issues between light and darkness—between
christianity and everything else? We did not make these issues and are
not responsible for them. They exist whether we say anything about them
or not, or whether we see them at all. The simple question is, whether
we will stand by christianity and maintain it—whether we will face the
issue, in a kind, a manly and noble manner, or shrink, depart from it
and allow it to be crushed down. Our motto is, _Meet the issue fairly
and squarely, in every instance of opposition to the gospel, in that
way that shall prove most effectual_. Let there be no evasion, but
stand firm and present an unbroken front.



CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE SPIRIT.[A]


Many brethren are inquiring of us about the Spirit, “correct views
of the Spirit,” and of “the influence of the Spirit,” and insisting
that we should respond to some things that are published, etc.; but,
for the present, to all this we must simply say, that the Lord knows
our hearts. He knows who have the Spirit, who are led by the Spirit,
walk in the Spirit, mind the things of the Spirit and endeavor to keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He knows them who are
his, who love him and keep his commandments. Blessed be his name; he
is able to keep them from falling, make all grace abound to them and
preserve them to his heavenly appearing and kingdom. With them, his
great work is a reality, a real work, the greatest and best of all the
works in which human beings have ever engaged; and they believe he is
with them, will be with them while they shall struggle for his cause in
this world, and will be with them in the day when God shall judge the
secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to the gospel. In him they
have put their everlasting trust;to him they have committed their
cause, and to him they look for their final reward. They fear not what
man can do to them, nor what he can say of them, but they fear him
who is able to save and able to destroy, who is able to kill and able
to make alive. We have nothing at stake only the cause of truth, of
righteousness and humanity. We have no theory of our own to maintain,
no philosophy to defend, nor pride of opinion to guard, but are willing
to learn of the most humble disciple in the whole kingdom of God. If
any brother really has more of the spirit of the Lord than we have, we
envy him not because _he has more than we_, but we are only sorry that
_we have less than he_.

       *       *       *       *       *

By the way, as we now appear agreed that the Spirit of God should be
actually received and enjoyed by the saints, whether that agreement
be enforced by the terms of Scripture merely, or from the heart,
God knows. There remains but a single point of importance in our
mind. That is not, and has not been, whether the Spirit of God is
actually received and enjoyed by the children of God; but whether any
_teachings_ are communicated to man, or revelations made, either before
or after conversion, to saint or sinner, except _through the senses_.
Are not the revelations of God inscribed upon the sacred pages of the
Bible, the only teachings from heaven, for both the church and the
world, and are not these imparted to man through the senses? We do not
believe that there are any revelations from God, or teachings, binding
upon man, for saint or sinner, only those in the Bible, and these are
imparted to man through the senses. If this is sensuous philosophy,
then we are in for it.

[A] A discussion of the subject of Spiritual Influence was carried on
among the Disciples during the Decade, beginning in the year 1856.
Benjamin Franklin’s position, and indeed the gist of the controversy,
is presented in the opening and closing paragraphs of an editorial in
the _A. C. Review_.



SECTARIANISM.


Much as has been said upon the evils of sectarianism, within the last
forty or fifty years, it is still true, that no one has given the
subject too high a coloring. Its evils are equal to the most brilliant
description we have had. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive how any
one could speak, in too strong terms, of this one evil; yet, the sin of
partyism, like many other sins of these times, is so fashionable and
popular, that it is scarcely seen to be a sin at all. It is true, all
seem to look upon it as a sin, for a man to create partyism and strife
in the party to which he belongs, or any other party. But, to keep up
the parties now in existence, and defend the peculiarities upon which
they are predicated, and from which they receive their very existence,
is considered _serving God_. Now, if it can be considered service to
the Lord, to build up and keep up that old mother and mistress of all
heresy, the Roman Catholic Church, then, why was not the very mystery
of iniquity, already working in John’s day, doing service to God, in
originating that grand establishment of sin and iniquity? Surely, it is
giving as much glory to God to set on foot a great or a small religious
scheme, as to keep it in motion after it is once started.

If it is doing the will of God to build up and sustain the Episcopalian
Church now; surely, he was doing the will of God who originated
it. This, no one will doubt. The same is true of the Lutheran, the
Presbyterian, the Methodist Episcopal and all the indescribable parties
which have descended from them. If it is service to the Lord now, to
build them up, it was equally as great service to him to originate
them. It is a fact, too, that all these parties honor their originators
as the greatest and best men the world has had.

Now, how much should the opinions of these parties be considered worth?
or, how much are the most earnest and solemn decisions they ever made,
to be regarded? They would consider us highly uncharitable, if we did
not regard these decisions as most solemnly true. Well, if the Roman
Catholic Church ever made an earnest, an authoritative decision, in the
world, it was when she declared Martin Luther a heretic. And what man,
since his day, has broken off from an old party and established a new
one, without most earnestly and solemnly being declared a heretic? No
such man can be mentioned. The old party always decides that a new one,
that breaks off from it, is a heresy. In this way, all the parties now
in existence, have been decided _heresies_, and the leaders in them
_heretics_. Yet, these _heresies_, as they have styled them, headed
by those who have been decided _heretics_, have grown up, and are now
called “_evangelical churches_.” How is all this? If the Lord never
authorized them to be started, did he authorize their perpetuation?
And if he did authorize them to be started, were not the old parties
awfully wicked in condemning them, when they were doing the will of the
Lord?

It, then, presents a fearful picture—turn the matter which way you
may. If the parties, passing sentences, were wicked, and opposing the
will of God, then are almost all wicked and sinful—for all the older
and more popular, have passed such sentences. But if those upon whom
sentence has been passed, are sinful, and under condemnation, then
there are but few good, for such sentences have been passed upon nearly
all. Such is the dilemma, in which partyism has involved the religious
world.

If ever the adversary of man discovered an effectual stratagem, by
means of which to defeat all piety, and do execution in opposing the
faith of God’s elect, it was when he succeeded in sowing the seeds of
dissension in the church of God. Our Lord’s words show that he had this
before his mind, when he uttered the solemn prayer, John xvii. 20; “I
pray not for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me
through their word; that they may all be one, as thou, Father, art in
me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that _the world may
believe that thou hast sent me_.” Here it is clearly implied, that if
those who believe, through the word, were _one_, the tendency would be
to induce the world to believe. Nor is this any more clearly implied
than the opposite, viz: that the lack of union among believers, leads
to unbelief. How vain and imaginative the thought, that the existing
parties of our times, will ever be instrumental in the hand of God, in
converting the world, when the structure of their own organization, in
itself, has a continual tendency to infidelity. Are we told that such
is an ungenerous charge? Well, who can avoid it? The language of the
Lord, just quoted, clearly implies that the faith of the world depends
on the unity of believers; and we all admit, that the world cannot be
converted without faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please
God; for they that would come to him must believe that he is, and
that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.” The matter is
too clear to be misunderstood. The Lord saw that the world would not
believe, till his people were _one_; hence, he prayed that they might
be one, _that the world might believe_.

Need we pray for the conversion of the world? need we send missionaries
to convince the pagan nations? need we print and circulate bibles? need
we build churches, and preach with the zeal of apostles, in all the
length and breadth of the land? I say, need we do all this, thinking
to convert the world, while we maintain our own unhallowed divisions
among believers? And, if we do, what evidence have we that the object
we have in view will ever be attained? Not the least in the world; for
so long as the Lord prays that we may _be one_—that the _world may
believe_—we need not expect the world to believe, while we are _not
one_.

It is true, we may convince, convert and save some, under the most
disadvantageous circumstances; but what is this, compared with the
_world believing_ or being converted? It is only a drop to the ocean.
Why not, then, come back to this great obstacle, and remove it, that
the conquests of righteousness and grace may extend over the earth?

It is confessed by all, in our time, that the Lord’s people are a
spiritual people, and if any have not the Spirit of Christ, they are
none of his. All are aware, too, that carnality is the opposite of
spirituality. What, then, is an evidence of carnality? I. Cor. iii. 3,
Paul asserts: “For ye are carnal.” What reason does he give for this
assertion? “For,” says he, “whereas there is among you _envying_, and
_strife_, and _divisions_; are ye not _carnal_, and walk as men?” He
here alludes to their divisions, as an evidence of their carnality, or
want of spirituality. But he argues the case further, as follows: “For
while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not
carnal?” He here continues the charge, that their following different
leaders is an evidence of their carnality. It should be kept in mind,
too, that the divisions among the Corinthians were of the mildest form.
If they could not be justified by the apostle, none since his time
could be, for none less offensive have ever existed. If the Corinthian
church, then, deserved the charge of carnality, as they certainly did,
how will the parties of our times escape the same charge?

Now, let reason ask—let righteousness ask—let every thing great and
good ask: Can the believers now on earth, sincerely, devoutly and
fervently, pray and labor for the conversion of the world, to the Lord
Jesus, in this state of carnality? It is alleged that _carnality_, or
the absence of the Spirit of God in the hearts of believers, is not the
cause of division? Then who are they that _separate themselves_? Let
the Scripture answer: “These be they who separate themselves, _sensual,
having not the Spirit_.” There is no higher nor surer evidence of
sensuality, carnality, and the absence of the Spirit of the Lord, than
division among the professed followers of Christ.

While this evil exists among the believers, can we pray in faith for
the conversion of the world? Can carnal professors, in the absence of
the Spirit of the Lord, without a sufficiency of the love of Christ,
to fellowship but a small portion of those for whom Christ died,
and who profess to love and serve him, hope that God will make them
instrumental in converting the world? No, we need not flatter ourselves
with the fond conceit, that anything like general saving influence will
ever be felt by the world, until those for whom Jesus prayed are _one_.
The meek and lowly Spirit of the Lord is displaced by the proud and
fierce spirit of the partisan. The lovely and inviting character of the
first church has disappeared and in its stead we have the inducements
of gorgeous worldly and fleshly establishments. In the place of even
being truly turned from sin to righteousness—from the power of Satan
to God—we have conversions that merely consist in opposing all creeds
and parties but the one into which the converts happen to fall, while
they frequently love the Lord no better than before their conversion.
In the place of that universal philanthropy exhibited by our Lord’s
death, for the whole world, such converts are merely filled with party
bigotry, which _dislikes_—yes, even _hates_—every body not of the
“same faith and order.” Under the influence of such religion, people
live near each other, see each other every day—yet associate not, nor
allow their children to associate, nor even worship the Lord their God
in the same house. And why this careful separation? They differ in
faith! What difference? Well, they cannot tell exactly, but the learned
_doctor_ who sermonizes for them, knows the difference. Go to him, and
he will explain it to you. This is no extreme case. Nine-tenths of the
members of churches cannot tell the difference between their own church
and another. Yet, it is so great, that they cannot fellowship the other.



DANCING IS A HEALTHFUL EXERCISE.


To make serious reply to this deceitful, deceptive and empty pretence,
is a little hard to do. To see a person who can not go three squares
to the house of God on foot, especially if it should be a little
unpleasant, who can dance till midnight, “for amusement,” speaking of
its being _healthful_, is ridiculous in the extreme. It may be, for
anything we know, that for any person who has become so useless as
to sit, day after day, and not move enough to circulate their blood,
dancing would prove healthful. But there are a thousand things better
for them. A visit to the sick, to the poor and the distressed, with
something for their necessities, would be vastly better for both soul
and body. Almost any kind of useful labor would be more healthful, and
leave vastly less remorse of conscience. But if a person has such an
aversion to labor to visiting the sick, the poor and needy, or doing
anything useful, they deserve no health, and the world will only be the
better off when they are out of it. More health, permanent happiness
and real enjoyment are found in an industrious and useful life than all
the seekers of pleasure ever knew. The man of useful life has no time
for pleasure and amusement. His time is taken up, wholly taken up,
and he is so happy in it, that it appears short, in constant acts of
usefulness. But pleasure-seekers are constantly devising how to while
away time, to pass it off or murder it. Time appears the greatest
burthen they have, through their whole life, and, at death, the trouble
is, that they have not more time. The good man appears pressed through
life to do the good he desires to do, but when death comes, his work
is done, well done, and he dies in hope of hearing the Lord say, “Well
done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.”



PRAYER.


There is nothing in Scripture called “family worship,” and yet what
we mean by that expression, is the oldest worship in the world. Holy
men in every age worshipped God in the family. But the time and manner
of conducting it, is left to the sense of propriety, and discretion
of the head of the family. Paul says: “I will therefore, that men
pray everywhere.” 1 Tim. ii. 8. He also speaks of remembering the
brethren in his prayers, _night_ and _day_. He could not do this,
without praying “night and day.” The Lord went out into a mountain and
continued in prayer all night. Luke vi. 12. The first disciples
“continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” Acts i. 14.
Cornelius said, “at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house.” Acts
x. 30. This, we presume he got from pious Jews, as it was before
his conversion to the christian faith. “When they prayed the place
was shaken where they were.” Acts iv. 31. These are but meager
specimens of what the Scriptures say about prayer. The history of
the first Christians is full of prayer. If you wish to know where
they prayed you only need find where they were, for they were
“instant in prayer”—“prayed night and day”—“prayed always”—“prayed
everywhere”—“prayed without ceasing.” They prayed “on the house-tops,”
“in the house,” by the “sea-shore,” “in the prison,” and “in the
assembly.” They prayed wherever they were. We should do the same.

They spent much more time upon their knees, than the professors of
religion in our day. The sin that we fear is not that brethren do not
pray in their families, but that they do not _pray any place_ half as
much as they should. Now if the first Christians prayed wherever they
were, even when confined in a prison, why should any man who wishes to
do the will of God hesitate to pray in his family? Can any man show
a better place, ordinarily, for reading the Scriptures and prayer?
Can there be any objection to this place? Are not christians required
to pray everywhere? Will not God hear a christian in his family? No
one doubts that it is as suitable and appropriate as any place on
earth. “Why then, is it not commanded?” Because there are thousands of
christians who have neither houses or families, and the Lord has left
the way open so that they can worship God just as acceptably in
whatever place they may be, as the man who has an orderly family and
home. The Lord has left the head of the family free to determine the
appropriate place to worship. But woe to that christian who objects
to the family circle, as a suitable place, and then does not worship
any place. But we never saw a good reason and do not believe there is
any, against the orderly custom of reading a portion of Scripture and
praying in the family, and we believe that those fathers and mothers
whose children never heard them pray, will most solemnly lament it when
they see the Lord Jesus at his coming. “Pray without ceasing, rejoice
evermore, and in everything give thanks.”



WE HAVE A PERFECT GOSPEL TO PREACH.


We claim that the religion of Jesus Christ is a complete, perfect and
divine system, in itself; distinct from, superior to, and as high above
every thing else as heaven is above this earth; and that all who desire
to do so, can determine what it is, practice it and be christians. We
claim that the gospel is complete, perfect and divine; distinct from,
and independent of, everything else, and that he who desires it, may
know precisely what it is, believe it with all the heart, obey it and
be saved by it; otherwise the Lord could not be just and good in
condemning the man who does not believe it, or does not obey it. The
matter, therefore, with us now is not to determine what the truth is,
or the gospel; this we have long since settled. We, as a people, know
the truth, the saving truth, the only saving truth, as a whole, or in
its embodiment, or concentrated form, though many may not understand
it in detail, and the great matter now is to practice it, enjoy it and
advocate it. God intends or purposes it for all mankind, as much as
he did for us. It is now our duty to make it known among all mankind;
or, as Paul expresses it, “to make all men see what is the fellowship
of the mystery, which, from the beginning of the world, hath been hid
in God, who hath created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent
that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might
be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God, according to his
eternal purpose.”



BIBLE NAMES.


But there is one course infallibly safe for us, and that is to follow
the New Testament phraseology. We ought not only to use New Testament
names, but should pay some regard to the frequency of the use of those
names. When a man uses the name _christian_ more in one half hour
than it is used in the whole New Testament, it is a clear evidence
that there is something wrong with him. The same is true of the name
Disciple, or any other designation found in the Scriptures. The man who
is truly under Jesus, not only uses New Testament designations for the
people of God, but uses them in the same manner as found in Scripture.
We never find “Christian church” in Scripture. We find no “Disciple
church,” or “Disciples’ church,” in the New Testament. Such names are
incongruous. Yet they are current in some sections of country. In
some parts of Kentucky and Indiana you hear of the “Christian church”
very frequently. In the Western Reserve, Ohio, you will hear both
“Disciple church” and “Disciples’ church” very frequently. In the New
Testament “the church of Christ” is found; but “the church of God”
much more frequently. The members are called Christians, Disciples,
and frequently only designated “people of God,” “children of God,”
“brethren,” etc. By giving a little attention, we can converse in the
same way. In nine cases out of ten, we can express ourselves in the
simple words, “the brethren,” “the church,” etc., and be as perfectly
understood as if we would adopt the most sectarian designation.

The adoption of all names unknown to the New Testament, is wholly
unwarrantable. There is no matter of more importance than this. Let us
learn to use the precise language of the New Testament, and use it in
the same sense as used there; and, above all, see to it, that we not
only call ourselves Christians and Disciples, but that we be indeed
_Christians, Disciples_.



INDIVIDUALITY AFTER DEATH.


Will the dead maintain their _identity_ and _individuality_? Is there
any clear light on this? We will not discuss it, but refer to a few
evidences. Fifteen hundred years after Moses died, and before any had
risen from the dead, he held a conversation with Jesus in the mountain
of transfiguration. He had not lost his identity nor his individuality.
He did not lose his consciousness. See Matt. xvii. 1-4; Mark ix.
2-4; Luke ix. 28-30. The rich man died, and in _hades_ he lifted up
his eyes in torment. See Luke xvi. 23. He did not lose his identity,
individuality or consciousness. Nor is there any account of his
existence being such as he had before he was born. Nor did Lazarus
lose his identity, individuality or consciousness. These men were both
identified, conscious, and retained their individuality. They were not
in the same place or state, though both were in _hades_. There was a
great gulf between them—the one in Abraham’s bosom, and the other in
_tartaros_.

We are not to assume that, because we find _soul_ and _spirit_ used
interchangeably in some instances, they always mean the same, much less
that they always mean life. When Paul prays that the “whole spirit and
soul and body be preserved blameless,” he does not use the words soul
and spirit in the same sense, any more than he uses the words soul and
the body in the same sense. He does not use the spirit, soul and body,
in the same sense, or as meaning the _same thing_, but each having its
own meaning. The word soul is used with more latitude than the word
spirit. The word _soul_ is frequently used in the sense of _person_, as
“the soul that sinneth shall die;” “eight souls were saved in the ark,”
and other cases. The word soul is used in the sense of _life_, in some
instances. But it is used synonymously with spirit, in the following:
“Are not able to kill the soul.” Matt. x. 28. Man can kill the body and
the natural life, but the soul or spirit, man can not kill. The living
being that dwells in the body, or the “inner man,” does not die when
the body dies. This “inner man” may be “at home in the body, or absent
from the body and present with the Lord.” This “inner man” may be
caught away to paradise, in the body or out of the body. But we cannot
go into the discussion of these matters, now.

We do not receive the idea of men losing their identity, individuality
or consciousness; the transmigration of the soul, or the pre-existence
of the soul; nor the atheistic idea that “death is an eternal sleep.”
We can find better, and certainly more profitable themes than these, on
which to dwell, both in our meditations, preaching and writing. Let us
be careful and not get out where the water is too deep—we might find
it over our heads.



BELIEF IN THE BIBLE IS INFALLIBLY SAFE.


It is infallibly safe, because no man has ever been able to show any
evil consequences that could possibly follow the believer, upon any
hypothesis. No man of any reason has ever doubted the safety of relying
upon the Bible, if it be true. But we go beyond this, and declare,
without hesitation, that if it were possible for it to prove untrue, it
is infallibly safe to believe and rely upon it. Its moral precepts, to
say the least, are good as any on earth. Its requirements in all our
present relations are competent to make us as good and happy as we are
capable of being in this life. And, certainly, if it could possibly
prove untrue, the belief of it could not endanger our happiness in the
life to come. Beyond all controversy, he who believes and practices the
Bible, attains to the highest perfection and happiness of which
his being is capable in this life, and stands as good a chance for
happiness in the life to come as he who rejects it. And if, in the end,
the whole could be shown to be a mistake, no man living can show that
the believer in the Bible can possibly be in danger, in this world or
in the world to come. No evil consequences can possibly follow the
believer, in any event. It is strange, if that which is infallibly
safe, should not prove true.



REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY.


God is unchangeable; the same yesterday, to-day and forever. Jesus,
the manifestation of God in the flesh, and the exact representation of
his person, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily;
the concentration and embodiment of all divine benevolence, goodness
and perfection, is unvaryingly the same—the constant, the ever
blessed and merciful philanthropist. Christianity, as set forth upon
the sacred pages of the New Testament, is but the revelation of the
mystery from the beginning of the world, hid in God who created all
things by Jesus Christ, but the development of the eternal purpose of
God, the unfolding of the infinite benevolence, mercy and goodness, in
a gracious system of pardon, restoration and final redemption, for all
them who obey him, through the proclamation of the glorious gospel of
the blessed God. It was the infinite goodness that prompted it, the
infinite will that resolved it, the infinite wisdom that devised it,
and infinite power that executed it. God first purposed the gracious
scheme of benevolence. He then promised it to Abraham, saying, “In
thee, and in thy seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”
He succeeded this promise by many clear predictions of the prophets,
and divine testimonies from their hallowed lips. Yet these things were
not understood by mortal man. Great and good men believed the promise
and the testimonies of the prophets, rested in hope and died in faith,
without understanding; fully appreciating or comprehending the full
import of the good things to come. Eye had not then seen, ear had not
heard, nor had it entered into the heart of man to conceive the good
things God had prepared for them that love him. The things now revealed
in the gospel, had been hid for ages, and not made known to the sons of
men. Christianity is now a mystery explained, a secret revealed—that
which was hid in God, made known—the purpose of God developed—a
promise fulfilled according to the Scriptures of the prophets, and the
commandment of the everlasting God, made known among all nations for
the obedience of faith.



EARNESTLY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH.


An apostle has thought it needful to enjoin upon us, “Earnestly contend
for the faith formerly delivered to the saints.” An old soldier of the
cross, when about to put off his armor, rejoiced that he had fought a
good fight, kept the faith and finished his course. In the course of
his warfare, we are informed that he disputed “two whole years” in a
certain school, or contended for the faith. This warfare, disputing or
contending, is an advocacy, a defence and maintenance of the faith once
delivered to the saints. The first thing, in order to this advocacy,
is to ascertain what the “faith once delivered to the saints” is, and
the next thing is to advocate it, maintain and defend it with every
power. The faith exists in two forms: 1. In its concentrated, embodied,
or constitutional form, as it is presented for the confession of the
new convert, in a single proposition, that it may be received or
rejected by either an affirmative or a negative answer. 2. In its fully
developed or detailed form, as we find it spread upon the pages of the
christian Scriptures. This is the creed of the church by which she is
governed and guided in all her journey through this world.

The whole of the detailed or fully developed creed, so far as its
truth or authority is concerned, is in the concentrated, embodied or
constitutional creed. Indeed the whole system of christianity was in
the purpose of God, which he purposed in Christ before the world, in
the promise to Abraham, in the good news borne by the angels to the
shepherds of Bethlehem, in the last commission, in the same sense
that it was in Christ. But it was not put in due form for mankind to
confess, receive and place themselves under it. The same that was in
the “eternal purpose” of God, in the promise, in the good news of
great joy and in the commission, was in the announcement, “This is my
Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased,” in the confession of
Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the same that
John testified that we might believe, when he said, “These things are
written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God,” or that God uttered in the mountain when he gave him honor and
glory, or the same is contained in any one of these that is contained
in “the gospel.” Any one of these expressions, and many others that
could be maintained, contain christianity in its concentrated, embodied
or constitutional form. These all embrace Christ. All christianity
centers in him, comes from him and is authorized by him. Through the
holy witnesses of Jesus, men are made acquainted with Christ, convinced
that he is a divine person, the Son of God and the Savior of the
world; and, in the confession, receive him as their only Leader. This
is simply receiving christianity in its constitutional form, without
having examined its details or knowing what they are. We do not,
therefore, read christianity through, sitting in judgment, as we do, a
merely human composition, noticing every expression to see whether it
is good or true. When we become acquainted with the Author, find him
sent from God, declared his Son in his resurrection from the dead,
divine and infallible, we place ourselves under him, and receive his
holy instructions implicitly, only wishing to know that they are from
him.

Christianity, therefore, in its embodied, or constitutional form,
embraces christianity in its details. “The faith once delivered to
the saints,” is simply christianity, the complete system as the Lord
gave it. All who have confessed Christ intelligently, have received
christianity, committed themselves to it. This is “the faith,” that
which is to be advocated, maintained and defended. The man who has
received it with the whole heart, practices it, and enjoys it, is a
christian. The requirement of heaven resting upon him is, to earnestly
contend for the faith, advocate, maintain and defend it.



THIRTY YEARS AGO.


We showed from the pulpit, fully thirty years ago, that the answer
of Peter to the three thousand on Pentecost, was not the same as the
answer of Ananias, to Saul, of Tarsus, and the answer to Saul was not
the same as the answer of Paul, to the Philippian jailer, and gave the
reason for the difference. But that was not a difference between _then_
and _now_, but difference in view of the difference in the conditions
of persons at the _same time_. The same difference is observed now,
by all intelligent preachers, where they find the difference in the
conditions of persons. If a man is a believer, they do not command him
to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” If he has repented, they do not
command him to repent. Or, if he has been immersed, they do not command
him to be immersed; but to go on and unite with others who have been
immersed into Christ, and observe all things, whatever the Lord has
commanded. But attention to this is no difference between _then_ and
_now_, nor did the preacher, thirty years ago, fail to observe this
difference, any more than now. On the contrary, the preachers then
generally understood this better than the preachers do now.

We noticed the articles in question, carefully, to see the difference
in the condition of things _now_, demanding the different treatment,
but in vain; we did not see it. The plain state of the case is, that
there is no _general difference_, and we now need the _same gospel_,
presented in the _same manner_, as they needed then. Preaching always
did take better effect, when presented in a pleasant manner, than when
presented in an abrupt and repulsive manner. This we knew thirty years
ago, as well as we know it now. All that can be truthfully said about
this, opens the way for no change—no _new departure_. Whatever was
then true in this respect, is true now. A good and acceptable _manner_
in presenting the gospel was appreciated then as much as it is now, and
was of precisely the same value. It was understood then as well as it is
now, that every improvement in manner had its value, and more attention
was given to the _matter_ then, than now. There was then more sound
preaching and teaching, than there is now, and less that was unsound.

We need solid and sound men now, faithful and true, not to preach
something different, but _the same_, not in a different _manner_ from
what we had thirty years ago, but in the _same manner_; not to _undo_
what has been done by the labors of the holy men of the past fifty
years, many of whom have fallen asleep in Jesus, but a few remain to
this present; but to maintain, defend, perpetuate, and transmit it
down through the ages, to the end of time. We want men that will not
demoralize the people, specially our young preachers, by opening the
way for something _new_ and _different_; but maintain the same things,
and be of the same mind, and of the same judgment; not preparing the
way for something _new_, but maintaining and defending the _old_,
_tried_ and _unquestionable_; not getting ready for _change_—_new
departure_—but “preach the word”—“continue in the things they have
learned, and been assured of,” and not demoralize our young preachers
with the idea of being on the wing; on a flight from one thing to
another, in some wonderful career of progress; but exhorting them
to be “rooted and grounded in the truth;” yes, more, in the “_love_
of the truth;” not only to maintain “sound speech that can not be
condemned”—“sound words,” but the very “_form_ of sound words.”



JESUS REVEALED AS THE SAVIOR.


We turn our eyes to the infant in a manger in Bethlehem, and place
them upon the child of promise, born according to the divine purpose,
to whom God had been pointing from the beginning of time, who is to
be the rise and fall of many nations, and the hope of the world, and
find that all the divine prophets, and holy Seers of olden times, have
been looking to him; that the attention of all heaven is directed to
him, and, that the object now is, to engage the attention, enlist the
hearts, and center the affections of the whole family of man in him
who is called Jesus. Accordingly, wonders surround him of a stupendous
character, when he is born. Angels of heaven appear, exclaiming, “We
bring you good news of great joy, which shall be to all people. Unto
you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior is born, which is Christ
the Lord.” After a few incidents connected with his birth, and up till
he is two years of age, he passes pretty much without observation,
through the period of his minority, and the time comes for the Lord
to make him known to Israel. We look and see him approach John the
Baptist, demanding baptism at his hands. The good man knew him not as
the Messiah, though he knew him as a kinsman, and, in humility says,
“I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me.” The Lord
replied, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all
righteousness.” With this righteous explanation, the Baptist walked by
the side of his Lord, not knowing him to be his Savior, for he says, “I
knew him not, but he who sent me to baptize, said, ‘On whomsoever you
see the Holy Spirit descending and remaining, that is he.’” Down they
enter, hand in hand, into the water. The immerser takes his Redeemer in
his hands, and lowers him till his person is buried in the waters of
Jordan, and then gently raises him up. As they ascend from the water,
they lift their eyes and behold the opening heavens, and the descending
Spirit as it forms a visible appearance, and rests upon him whom God
would have revealed to Israel. At this moment, the Almighty Father
spoke from heaven, in the audience of the people, announcing: “This is
my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.”



CAN NOT A MAN KNOW THAT HE IS A CHRISTIAN?


The grand question to be solved, in this generation, is, whether men
can follow the Lord, the only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of
lords, as their only Leader, receive his truth as their only guide, his
faith as their only faith, his religion as their only religion, and be
simply his disciples and no more. Is there such a thing in this world
as christianity? All the conflicting parties around us admit that there
is. Can we determine what it is? If we can not, no man knows whether
he is a christian or not. If we can determine what christianity is,
then, why not adopt it, and nothing else? Can we determine what the
gospel is? If we can not, then, no man knows whether he is a believer
or not, and knows not whether he will be saved or lost. If we can
determine what the gospel is then, why in the name of reason not preach
the gospel and nothing else? If we can not determine what the church
of Christ is, then no man can determine whether he is in the church of
Christ or not. If we can determine what the church of Christ is, there
can be no excuse for forming any other church, or belonging to any
other.

If we can not determine what christianity is, we can not determine who
is near to it, or far from it. If we can not determine what the gospel
is, we can not decide who comes near to it, or swerves far from it. If
the right way can not be known, no man can tell who is near the truth
and who is far from it. If we can not tell which the way to heaven is,
we can not tell who is near and who is far from it. The world is lost.
We are enveloped in impenetrable darkness. The light of heaven is blown
out. Hell has triumphed. All is thrown into chaos. An eternal confusion
spreads a universal reign. Doubt, uncertainty and gloom extend over
the whole habitable earth. The purpose of God has failed, and the
malignant purpose of hell has triumphed. The hope of all nations is
lost. Our world is ruined!—Black, fearful and awful despair prevail
everywhere among men. Is this the condition of our world? Tell us,
all you who think that the man is a bigot, a simpleton and pretender,
who says he can know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has
sent—that he can know the truth that makes man free—that he can know
the gospel—that he can know christianity—that he can know that he is
a christian—that he can know the true church; tell us, all you who
despise this man for claiming that he can know all this, if you say
you cannot know these things, how do you know whether you are right or
wrong, in the way to heaven or hell? How can you tell, if you know not
these things, whether you are near right, or far from it? How can you
tell anything about it?



EXALTED POSITION OF JESUS.


This glorious person is the soul of the Bible, the center of the whole
spiritual system, the attraction for all nations, the ruler, not only
among the saints on earth, but also the armies of heaven. God gave
him honor and glory, the apostle says, when he proclaimed him his
Son in the holy mountain. He walks at the head of the army of God,
the true Israel, and among the inhabitants of the earth, proclaiming
with all authority, both in heaven and on earth, “I am the way, the
truth and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.” “I am the
resurrection and the life”—“I am he who was dead and am alive, and
behold I live forever and ever”—“I have the keys of hell and of death;
I can open, and no man can shut; I can shut, and no man can open”—“I
am the bright and the morning star, the root and the offspring of
David”—“I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me.” “If any man
would be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me.” Such
are a few of the many expressions setting forth the exalted position of
the Christian’s King and the Christian’s Lord. When he was coronated
in heaven, crowned Lord of all, the Almighty Father swore that he
should reign till all his enemies should be put under his feet—that
to him every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess. Lift
up your hearts, all you saints, and behold your King! He is the head
of the church. Set your affections on him, follow him, and consecrate
yourselves to him forever more.



PUBLIC OPINION—INFANT DAMNATION.

                       ST. LOUIS, MO., May 18th, 1874.

   _To the Editor of the Globe_:

      I will give a reward of fifty dollars to any one who will
    give the name of a Presbyterian minister, who is a member
    of a Presbytery, under the jurisdiction of the General
    Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, of the United States
    of America, who has, at any time, preached the doctrine of
    infant damnation; and I will give fifty dollars additional
    reward, to any one who can point out any article in the
    Confession of Faith or Catechism of this Church, teaching
    this horrid doctrine. As infant damnation has been charged
    upon Presbyterians in an editorial, of recent date, in the
    _Globe_, the above reward is offered for the proof. That
    the elect are incapable of sin, is also stated in the same
    editorial, to be a doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. This
    also is untrue.

                                             W. H. AUGHEY.


We publish the above to show where the _pressure comes_, and not that
we expect any “fifty dollars reward,” for such men as the writer of
this, always have a loop-hole through which to escape, but we will see
whether the Presbyterian ministry believe “this horrid doctrine.” If
they do not believe the Confession of Faith, they are sailing under
_false colors_ and their profession is a sham. If they do believe
their Confession of Faith, we leave the reader to judge whether they
believe “this horrid doctrine.” Let us hear the Confession: “God from
all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will,
freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as
thereby neither is God the Author of sin, nor is violence offered to
the will of the creature, nor is the liberty of contingency of second
causes taken away, but rather established.” _Con., page 18, God’s
Eternal Decree, chap. iii._

The reader will see nothing about infant damnation in that. Very well;
let us see what is in it. This is in it—that God did foreordain
unchangeably whatever comes to pass. There is more than this in it—he
did this “from all eternity.” Now let us hear the Confession tell what
one of these decrees is: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation
of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting
life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.” _Con. page 18._
When was this done? “From all eternity.” What was it done for? “For
the manifestation of his glory.” What was done? “Some men and angels
are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained unto
everlasting death.” That makes a plain case of it.

Let us hear the Confession again: “These angels and men thus
predestinated and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably
designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it can not
be either increased or diminished.” _Con. page 19._ This decree of
predestination and foreordination is _particularly_ and _unchangeably
designed_, and the number thus particularly and unchangeably designed
can not be _increased_ or _diminished_. But it will be said that this
is not said of _infants_, but of “angels and men.” So it is. But _when_
was this decreed? “From all eternity.” These _men_ “foreordained to
everlasting death” were thus “particularly and definitely designed”
“from all eternity.” We may not be able to explain precisely the
meaning of the words “from all eternity,” but they evidently mean
before they were created. Before they were born, then, some men
were foreordained to everlasting death. When they were born they
were _infants_; yes, _infants_ “particularly and unchangeably
_designed_” to everlasting death. Those of these infants foreordained,
“particularly and unchangeably designed to everlasting death,” who die
in _infancy are lost_. Here, then, in the Confession of Faith, which
Presbyterian ministers profess to believe, is the doctrine of _infant
damnation_—yes, “the horrid doctrine,” whether they believe it or not.

But then infant damnation is no worse than the damnation of adults who
are foreordained to everlasting death, particularly and unchangeably
designed to everlasting death, the number so definite that it can be
neither increased nor diminished.

Let us hear the Confession again: “Those of mankind that are
predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was
laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose and the secret
counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ, unto
everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any
foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them,
or any other thing in the creature as conditions or causes moving him
thereto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.” _Con., page 21._

In view of this, where is the difference whether infants or adults? The
decree of God—his design—settled the matter before they were born,
and made it so definite, that the number can neither be increased nor
diminished, and that, too, without any foresight of faith or good works
in the creature. The immutable _decree_ and _design_ of God has settled
the matter, and that, too, before time began. The elect can never be
lost, and the non-elect can never be saved, no matter whether infants
or adults. To unchangeably foreordain an infant to everlasting death,
is no worse than to foreordain a man to everlasting death—_design_ him
to it before he was created. But we must, since the account is opened,
administer yet another item or two on this matter. “Calvin’s Institutes
of the Christian Religion,” is a standard work among Presbyterians,
and used as a text-book in their theological schools. Let us hear from
this work, Vol. I. page 166: “Hence appears the perverseness of their
disposition to murmur, because they intentionally suppress the cause of
condemnation, while they are constrained to acknowledge it themselves,
hoping to excuse themselves by charging it upon God. But, though I ever
so often admit God to be the Author of it, which is perfectly correct,
yet this does not abolish the guilt impressed upon their consciences.”

Calvin here says, to confess that God is the Author of sin, which is
the cause of condemnation, “is perfectly correct.” Let us hear him
again: “I confess, indeed, that all the descendants of Adam fell, by
the Divine will, into that miserable condition in which they are now
involved; and this is what I asserted from the beginning, that we must
always return at last to the sovereign determination of God’s will,
the cause of which is hidden in himself,” Inst., page 166. Here Calvin
says, “Adam fell by the Divine will.” Let us hear him once more: “If
God simply foresaw the fates of men, and did not also dispose and
fix them, by his determination, there would be room to agitate the
question, whether his providence or foresight rendered them at all
necessary. But since he foresaw future events only in consequence of
his decree that they should happen, it is useless to contend about
foreknowledge, while it is evident that all things come to pass rather
by ordination and decree.” Inst., page 171.

Here it is argued that God foreknows “only in consequence of his
decree.” But we must hear this great master in the Presbyterian Israel
again: “I inquire again how it came to pass that the fall of Adam,
independent of any remedy, should involve so many nations, with their
infant children, in eternal death, but because such was the will of
God?” Inst., page 170. Is there any infant damnation in this? But
he says, “independent of any remedy.” He does so say, but _for the
non-elect there is no remedy_. They and _their infant children_ are
involved in eternal death, and that “because such was the will of God.”
In these passages we have it clearly taught that God is the Author of
sin; that not only Adam, but many nations, _with their infant children,
are involved in eternal death_, and that, too, _according to the will
of God_, because he _willed, designed—decreed it_.

See one more item from the Confession, chap. v. sec. 4: “The almighty
power, unsearchable wisdom and infinite wisdom and goodness of God, so
far manifest themselves in his providence that it extendeth itself to
the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by
a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and
powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a
manifest dispensation to his own holy ends.” It is seen from this that
the Confession teaches that even the providence of God extends not
only to the first fall, but to _all other sins of angels of men_, and
that not _by a bare permission_, but such as has joined with it a most
wise and _powerful bounding_, and otherwise _ordering and governing of
them_, in a manifest dispensation to his own holy ends.

Let us hear the Larger Catechism, page 195: “They who have never heard
the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him, can not be
saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to
the light of nature or the laws of that religion which they possess;
neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is
the Savior only of his body, the church.” What becomes of all those
who die without remedy, with _their infant children_? If Presbyterian
ministers do not believe this horrible doctrine of infant damnation,
it is because they do not believe their own Confession of Faith, and
standard works. We can supply them with plenty more of the same sort,
if there is any demand for it.



THE WARNING.


The antediluvians would not be warned by the preaching of Noah, and
suspected nothing till the flood came, and swept them all away. The
Jews in like manner would not be warned by our Lord and his apostles,
and could not be aroused from their apathy and indifference till their
devoted city was invested with armies. So shall it be at the coming
of the Son of man. Great trials are upon those who intend to maintain
truth and righteousness. May we be able to stand the coming conflict.
The love of many is growing cold, and those weary of the restraints of
Christ are coming to the surface. Let us not slumber, but watch and
strengthen the things that remain and are ready to die. Let us hold
fast and be faithful, lest the trying hour come on us unexpected. Let
us sing, and sing with the spirit and the understanding: “Nearer, my
God, to thee.” May we find grace to stand in the evil day, and having
done all to stand.



HOW THE CAUSE OF REFORMATION WAS ADVANCED.


With preachers from the farms, shops, stores, law offices, doctors’
offices, with a little learning, and many almost without it, we carried
this cause forward, and in defiance of all opposition have triumphantly
planted it in all directions in this and in many other countries. The
power was not _in the men_ but in the truth of God; the clear and
unquestionable truth, that could be made plain and reliable to all men,
and that, too, with very little learning or talent. The ground taken
was invulnerable, manifestly right. The Bible is from God, divine, and
admitted by all to be right, and there is not a reason in the world for
not taking and going by it. We have struck down all human authorities,
human names, and humanism of every sort, and restored to the people
of this generation to a wonderful degree the divine, the supreme and
absolute authority of the Bible, and are now commanding respect in a
remarkable degree, not as a _new denomination_, but as the people of
God, called out from the world and from Babylon, and planted upon the
Rock of God.

The man that runs against this cause and opposes it is not simply
running against men and opposing them, but against God, and must come
to nothing. The cause is simply right, infallibly right, and nothing
opposed to it is right. In this view we started in it, and have never
had a doubt about its correctness and supreme authority over everything
else in the name of religion. In our incipient movements every member
was a _preacher_, if not _publicly_, _privately_, and every preacher
was at work, as opportunity opened the way, in private, the social
circle, the prayer-meeting, the established and regular meeting on the
Lord’s day for the commemoration of the suffering of Jesus, anywhere
and everywhere, as a sense of propriety dictated on all occasions.
There were additions at almost every meeting, whether for prayer, or on
the Lord’s day, and frequently when there were no meetings. All were
_missionaries_, and missionaries _all the time_. Great numbers were
almost daily added to the church, of both men and women. Indeed, many
of the sectarian priests became obedient to the faith.

We had _discipline_ in the church—order, and the members were looked
after; not only the popular and rich, but the afflicted and the poor.
All were enlisted in the work, and had time to give attention to it.
The evangelists were self-sacrificing men, seeking the salvation of the
people, and preached in private dwellings, school houses, in barns,
mills, groves, anywhere and everywhere that a few people could be
found, who would hear the word of the Lord. The people crowded out to
hear, and, hearing, believed to the salvation of their souls. They were
of one heart and of one soul. The Bible was their book. “Thus saith
the Lord” was their watchword, and a man that would sneer at it would
have been regarded as a skeptic. “It is written” would be heard in the
preaching and conversations. “The chapter and verse” were demanded. It
was not the _novelty_ of the cause that gave it the victory, but the
certainty that it was right—that it was from God and of supreme
authority—that carried it to the hearts of the people. It was not
unsupportable human schemes and devices that gave it power among the
people, but the invulnerable nature of the cause itself. It was not
the polish of classical and plausible men that carried it through the
country, but the manifest authority of God in it.

Jesuits can only excel in being Jesuits; schemers can only excel in
scheming; but “the excellency of the power” that pushed this cause
through this country was not of Jesuits nor schemers, but of God; the
preaching of the cross, the wisdom of God and the power of God. We knew
nothing but Christ and him crucified, and went ahead with our plain and
unvarnished story of Calvary. God was with us.



A PHALANX OF YOUNG MEN.


A grand phalanx of younger men, with fine education, abundant talent,
and as true hearts as ever beat, are rallying to the principles, coming
to the rescue, and have set their seal that “God is true,” and that
“the word of God is not bound.” Ten of these for every one of the old
men falling are making their appearance. They are rousing up all over
the country, and new pens are coming to the rescue. God is with these
young men, dwells in them and will hold them up. They are not mercenary
men, but men of God—men of faith. We could name scores of them. They
are found in all directions. They are reading, working, preaching
the gospel and bringing sinners to the Lord. These are for the old
ground—“The Bible and the Bible alone.” Many of them are now wielding
master pens, and are master speakers. They are becoming masters of
the situation. They will walk through the progressive elements, like
Sampson carrying away the gate-posts, or pulling down the pillars of
the house. While others will become “offended because of the word,”
these will love the word, and all the hallowed principles involved,
more and more, and stand true till the Lord comes. They will hear them
ringing out the old watchwords, “It is written,” “Thus saith the Lord,”
etc., etc. They will find a formidable array of these—a wall of them
that can never be broken down.

They will find that the great masses of the followers of Christ have
never been perverted, have never departed from their principles, and
have not the least idea of ever doing so, but intend to stand by them
till the last. These are the great stamina of the cause. A few city
people, who read but little, have studied but little, and are governed
by _sound_ and _show_, do not control in these matters, nor a few _rich
men_. The great body of the numbers who are scattered abroad, hear
good gospel preaching, take the papers, read them, and read the Bible,
_decide the course_, tell the story. These are not led away by a few
glittering words, by sound, nor by clerical pretensions. You need not
read to them your dreamy philosophy, metaphysical speculations,
distinctions where there are no differences, prosing through your long
articles of twenty to thirty pages; they will not read all this, nor
will they believe without reading. They are plain and practical people,
and must known what they are doing. These know the gospel and love it.
They know the right way of the Lord and will not walk in any other way.

We work in faith, rest in hope, with the strong and blessed assurance
that this cause will live and go on triumphantly when our part of it
shall be finished. What we are concerned with, is how to do our part,
that may still remain, to the best purpose.



BODIES RESURRECTED, NOT SPIRITS.


There is nothing in the Bible about the _resurrection of souls or
spirits_. The resurrection has to do with _bodies_, not _souls_ nor
_spirits_. It was the body of Jesus that rose from the dead. It was
bodies that came forth after Jesus rose and were seen of many. Mortal
bodies shall be quickened. The resurrection has nothing to do with the
spirit in the way of _raising_ it or making it _alive_. If man becomes
extinct at death there is nothing to raise from the dead. Other beings
might be created, but the words _resurrection_ and _creation_ are not
of the same meaning. The _creation_ of Adam was not the same as
_raising_ Lazarus from the dead. We use the two words, or find them
used in the Bible, _create_ and _resurrection_, to express two distinct
ideas. If man becomes extinct at death there remains no man to raise
from the dead. Other persons might be created, and there would be no
identity to lose, for they would not be _identical_, but _others_. We
need plain Bible truth; the matters of the Bible, and not theories
about the _pre-existence_ of spirits or the transmigration of _souls_.
The plain truth of the Bible will _save us_; idle speculations will
ruin us for this world and the world to come. Let us study and preach
the clear truth of divine revelation and enforce it on our race. It is
the only hope for all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples of the
earth.



ANOINTING WITH OIL.


Touching the “anointing with oil in the name of the Lord,” we think no
_literal_ “anointing with oil” is enjoined. The _praying for him_, in
the Christian dispensation, answers to the “anointing with oil,” in the
old institution. It is simply a figurative allusion to the anointing,
and not the actual use of oil. The praying for the sick, in the name of
the Lord, _is the anointing_.

The Lord raises sick people up, in numerous instances, without any
miracle. He may do this now, in answer to prayer, when consistent with
his will. It matters nothing that we can not tell _how_ he does it. He
_can do it_. This is enough.



GIVING UP PRINCIPLES.


There is nothing more important for individuals or bodies of people
than clearly defined and well settled principles. To stand the test,
and be of any importance to the world, the principles of an individual
or a body of people, must be correct, and of vital importance. They
should also be clearly defined, well understood, and constantly kept
in view. It is then not only safe, but of the highest importance to
adhere to them with the most determined pertinacity, fixed purpose
and inflexible firmness. When principles are of the character we have
described, it is dangerous to swerve, shrink or depart from them, in
the least degree. Adherence—the most strict, rigid and determined
adherence—to correct, clearly defined and settled principles, of
a vital character, is indispensable to permanence, stability and
happiness. If the principles thus defined are divine, departure from
them is _apostasy_.

We are not speaking of _subtle principles_, requiring the utmost
stretch of intelligence or learning to understand, or even to perceive
them, when clearly set forth. There may he principles of this kind,
correct ones, too, but we think, _never practical_. That which is
practical and vital, is never so subtle as to require the utmost
stretch of intelligence, either to set it forth or understand it. The
Bible has its deep things, profound and wonderful, requiring the utmost
stretch of human intelligence to set them forth, or understand them;
or, it may be, deeper than human intelligence can fully fathom, but
they are not the practical, and if vital in any sense, it is not vital
that we should understand them. If we could not be Christians, serve,
or please our heavenly Father, without understanding all such, it would
certainly put it out of the power of the masses, to be acceptable at
all. We know this is not so.

In precisely the same way, in nature, there are certain things that
we must know, or we can not enjoy the blessings God has in nature for
us. There are certain principles in nature that are _practical_ and
_vital_, and we must know them and act in continual reference to them,
or we will come to inevitable ruin. But they are not subtle, deep and
profound principles, requiring the utmost stretch of intelligence to
set them forth or understand them. These lie upon the surface, are the
first things we come to, and may be easily learned, and understood
sufficiently for all practical purposes. God has wisely arranged, in
both nature and grace, or in the temporal and spiritual kingdoms,
so that what we _must know_ may be easily learned, thus showing his
benevolence in both, and that both have marks of the same Authorship.
In these matters there is no excuse for being misled. In other words,
if any one is misled, he must be an _easy dupe_, a _willing victim_.

In religion, on the part of the man of faith, certain principles
are settled, and not to be opened anew, and investigated from the
foundation, every time any new phase may appear. Certain other matters
are so self-evident, that they need only to be well stated to satisfy
any ordinary mind. These are the matters that move the world, and
not the abstruse and subtle things. They are the matters that carry
conviction to the mind, settle the understanding, and leave it in a
state of satisfaction and rest. They call out the response, almost
involuntarily, _that is so_. It does not have to be proved again.

As an illustration:—In a union meeting in which we participated, many
years ago, and after the discussions had continued eight days and
nights, in which some ten parties participated, on the last evening of
the meeting, a gentleman rose and inquired if he might speak, at the
same time explaining that he was a sceptic. The chairman said that it
was no church meeting, and if he intended speaking to the point before
the meeting, he should be heard. Several expressed a desire to hear
him, and no one objected. He said he only intended to say a few words.
Pointing to those of us who contended for union on the Bible, he said:
“If the Bible is true, these men are right, for they insist on your
taking _the Bible and going by it_. If the Bible is not true, _I am
right_, and there is no show at all for the balance of you.” That is a
case that needs no argument.

Before we belonged to the church, we spent a few days in a worthy
family. The head of the family was a class leader in the M. E. Church,
a kind-hearted and good man. He was zealous, and desired to benefit
us religiously, and made sundry attempts to talk to us. We knew but
little about the matters of which he talked, and really did not desire
to say enough to discover to him how little we did know. But after
further acquaintance we inquired of him as follows: “If a man will take
the Scriptures, read them, believe them, and do what they require,
will he not be a Christian?” With somewhat of an air of surprise, he
replied: “No; he must have something more than that.” This “something
more than that” was the perplexing part. What more could there be than
the Scriptures require? _Then, if there is something more than the
Scriptures require, how did any man find it out?_ And, still further,
what is it? _If it is not required in Scripture, how does any man know
that it is required at all?_ Of course we mean on the human part, or
that which is required _of man_. When we inquire how a man is to obtain
a crop of corn, we do not mean how he is to _make soil_, how he is to
get atmosphere, sunshine, rain, etc., but how he is to perform _his
part_. If the soil has not in it the qualities to produce corn; if the
right state of atmosphere is not given, the sun does not shine, and
the rain does not come, he is not to blame. It is useless to preach
about the properties of the soil, the atmosphere, the warm sunshine,
the rain, etc., in showing a man how to grow corn. On all these matters
a man might preach philosophically, learnedly and correctly, but not
another grain of corn would grow, for all his fine talk. This is not
the _practical_ nor the _human part_. But the man must be instructed
how to put the ground in order, how to plant and cultivate, in showing
him _how_ to obtain a crop of corn, _with_ the divine blessing, but
certainly not _without it_.

_First._ We have long since settled the question about the authority of
the Bible. That is no more an open question, unless we please, for the
sake of argument, to look at it as an open question. We receive what
the Bible says _implicitly_, or because _the Bible says it_.

_Second._ Then it is _the rule_, and there is not a reason in this
world for not taking it and _going by it_. It is the rule, the final,
the absolute authority. It must be received in all things.

_Third._ Then the gospel preached by the apostles—precisely, no more,
no less, no other—must be preached by us. What they preached then or
in their time must be preached now or in our time.

_Fourth._ The gospel preached by the apostles was precisely what the
people were required to believe, in their time, and what they did
believe to the salvation of their souls. This same gospel precisely is
what the people in our time are required to believe, and what they must
believe to the salvation of their souls, or not be saved at all.

_Fifth._ The things commanded to be done in the preaching of the gospel
by the apostles were the things which they did that they might be
saved. The same things precisely which they were commanded to do, and
which they did to be saved, are the things now commanded to be done by
those who believe the gospel, that they may be saved. These things must
be done now for precisely the same purpose as they were then.

_Sixth._ If, with precisely the same faith, the same things are done,
for the same purpose, the same result will follow. No man can give a
reason against this conclusion.

_Seventh._ When persons are turned to the Lord now or have become
christians, the same instructions imparted to the first Christians
should be imparted to them, to show them how to serve God and be
finally saved. If this is not so, then no man can show how we are to be
guided to the everlasting city.

We give these as a few of the clear principles from which we can
not turn away without apostasy and utter ruin. These are vital and
fundamental matters, and no man can infringe on them or treat them with
indifference without being held in distrust. No man will turn round
and repudiate all of them at once, but those who turn away will depart
little by little, introducing a little _new_, leaving a little out, and
encroaching on these principles, first in this and then in that. Such
men will flounder and think themselves abused if we do not think they
are perfectly _sound_. But there are some things we _can not think_.
We can not think white is black, or that black is white. We can not
believe without evidence. If men desire us to think they are sound they
must give us the evidence to prove it and we will rejoice to believe
it. They can easily do this if they are sound.



MY CHURCH.


We never say _my church_. There is no being on earth who has a right
to say _my church_. The Lord says, Matt. xvi. 18: “On this rock will I
build my church.” He has a right to say “my church.” He gave himself
for the church. The church belongs to him. He sanctified and cleansed
it. This church, in Scripture, is frequently styled simply “the
church,” and in our conversation about it, in nine cases out of ten,
we can be understood sufficiently explicitly, if we say “the church.”
We read of “the church in Jerusalem,” “the church in Corinth,” “the
church in Rome,” “the church in Ephesus,” etc. We may say “the church
in Cincinnati,” “the church in Covington,” “the church in Louisville,”
“the church in Indianapolis,” etc. It is called in Scripture “the
body,” “the body of Christ,” “the church of God,” “the church of the
living God,” “the kingdom of God,” “the kingdom of heaven,” “the
kingdom of God’s dear Son,” etc. These latter designations refer to
“the whole family” in the aggregate. This body, or building, or temple,
is the one of which Solomon’s temple was only a type. According to
Scripture, _there is no other church but this_. The Spirit of God is
in this. The life of Christ is in it. God dwells in it. In it is life.
Out of it there is no life. It does not belong to the members, but
they _belong to it_. It does not _belong to the preachers_, but _the
preachers belong to it_.

We repeat, there is no other church but this according to Scripture.
This church originated in Jerusalem more than eighteen hundred years
ago. It was established in about one week after our Lord ascended into
heaven. The King was coronated and crowned Lord of all. The great High
Priest had entered the true holy place, not with the blood of slain
beasts, but with his own blood, to make one offering in the end of the
ages to purge us forever from our sins. The Spirit of God descended,
inspired the apostles, and the church was established. That is the
true church, according to Scripture, and there is no other church
that has one particle of divine authority in it. The Romish Church
was born hundreds of years too late. There is not a trace of a Pope
in Scripture, except in prophecy, referring to him as the man of sin
and son of perdition, nor in any other writing for centuries after
the founding of the true church. Nor is there a reference to a Roman
Catholic. There really was not one in the world, much less a Romish
Church. For the first three centuries there was no church but one, “the
church of the living God,” in existence. All others have come into
existence since then, and have not one spark of authority.

Does the reader say, “You are not in that church yourself?” We are not
discussing that question; but if we are not in it the loss will be as
great to us as to any one else not in it.

Speaking of this church, or building, Paul says: “I, as a wise
master-builder, have laid the foundation, and other foundation can no
man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” No man of any
intelligence thinks there is but one kingdom of God, or but one body of
Christ. If we are in that we are in Christ, in the Father and in the
Son. To be out of the one body, or one kingdom, is to be out of Christ,
out of the Father and of the Son. There is no union with the Father and
with the Son, only in the body or in the kingdom.

We have no time to pursue this matter at present, but can easily,
when we have time, amplify and explain to any extent, showing that
the principles now only briefly sketched, pervade the Scriptures
throughout. It means something to be in the kingdom of God, as it does
to be “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit,” “in Christ,” “in the Father and the Son.” It is to be in a
state of justification, or acceptance with God.



THE BIBLE AND BIBLE MEN.


We have identified our fortune—_our all_—for this world and that
which is to come, for time and eternity, with the Bible. It is the only
revelation from God, the only guide for a sinful world. Christ, who is
the only Light of the world, is seen and apprehended through the Bible,
and in no other way. All claims to revelation, separate from the Bible,
are mere empty pretences, idle and unfounded delusions and impostures,
deserving to be exposed and banished from the earth. They, as a general
thing, are wicked and malicious inventions, aimed to subvert and
thwart the merciful and benevolent purposes of the Bible. The Bible
is the only book from God; the only book that can be defended; the
only book upon which all the pure and holy can unite. Those who adhere
to the Bible, are happy while they live, and happy in death. It is
emphatically _the book_ for man. We are for it, now and forever, and
against all that is against it, or subversive of it, either directly or
indirectly. We are for no half way work, no compromise nor equivocal
ground. Let every man be for the Bible, or against it; on the Lord’s
side, or against him; for christianity, or nothing; for heaven, or
hell. We want no man who stands in doubt. If a man can not define his
position, so that all can tell which side he is on, we have no use for
him. We count no man whose position is doubtful. All men whose position
is doubtful, are really on the enemy’s side, and would surrender any
post we have, if the opportunity would offer. We are not to be gulled
by these, nor induced to depend on them. We would greatly prefer that
they would stand where they belong, so that all would know where to
find them.

We have identified ourself with Bible men. Their cause is our cause,
and their God is our God. Their work is our work. With them we are
enlisted in a mighty effort to circulate the Bible as far among the
nations of the earth as possible. We are proud to stand among the men
of the Bible, to be enrolled with them, and in the enjoyment of their
fellowship. The prospect before these is brighter now than ever before;
their work is going on more triumphantly, and success is more certain,
than at any former time.



BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.


Since this practice of praying for the baptism of the Spirit is
continued with such pertinacity, we have concluded to make a few
remarks upon it. For the sake of making our remarks the more easily
apprehended, we will arrange them numerically, as follows:

_First._ The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a miracle. It does not
exist in our day, for miracles are not done now, not designed to be,
nor of any use if done. Miracles can not be done but by the will of
God, nor can they be suspended, but by his will. He did them when they
were needed, and suspended them when they were not needed. No man
can allege that miracles ought to have been continued in the church,
without alleging that the all-wise God ought to have done what he has
not done. This is absurd.

_Second._ The baptism of the Spirit was _seen_. Nothing of the kind
occurs now that is _seen_. Therefore, there is now no baptism of the
Spirit.

_Third._ The baptism of the Spirit was _heard_. Nothing of this kind is
heard now. Therefore, there is no baptism of the Holy Spirit now.

_Fourth._ Cloven, or divided tongues, like as of fire, sat upon those
baptized with the Spirit. Nothing of this kind sat upon those claiming
to have been baptized with the Holy Spirit now. Therefore, none have
been baptized with the Holy Spirit in our day.

_Fifth._ Those baptized with the Holy Spirit, spoke with tongues. None
claiming to be baptized with the Holy Spirit now, speak with tongues.
Therefore, none now are baptized with the Holy Spirit.

_Sixth._ Those baptized with the Holy Spirit prophesied. None claiming
to be baptized with the Holy Spirit now prophesy. Therefore, none are
baptized with the Holy Spirit, now.

_Seventh._ It is wrong to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit,
because it is a gift that does not belong to us. Simon, the sorcerer,
asked for a gift that did not belong to him, on account of which
the Apostle said, “Thou art in the gall of bitterness and bond of
iniquity,” and instructed him to “pray God, if perhaps the thought of
his heart might be forgiven him.”

_Eighth._ It is wrong to claim to have the baptism of the Spirit,
because the claim is as false and delusive, as to claim to be an
Apostle. It is as shallow, empty and unfounded as the claims of Mormons.



SMALL IMPROPRIETIES AND ANNOYANCES.


To pour the wine, or divide it into several cups, before thanks, at the
Lord’s table. We thank the Lord for the _cup_, and not _cups_. Thanks
should invariably be given for the _one cup_, while the wine is in the
one cup.

For some one to start and push his way out through the assembly while
an invitation is pending. This is a most manifest impoliteness and
disorder.

For some one that has eat about three dinners at once, to doze and nod
in time of preaching, and in the midst of the exhortation, just when
the preacher is trying to make an impression, to stretch his limbs,
gape and crowd up to the pulpit, and get a drink to extinguish the
fires burning within him. This is ridiculous.

To see some great strapping saphead get up in the middle of a
discourse, and go stamping out, thus interrupting the whole audience.
If these could _see themselves as others see them_, they would be very
clear of showing themselves, as they frequently do.

To see a beautiful young lady sit in time of preaching, and then
stand in time of an invitation, with her mouth spread and a broad and
supercilious grin upon her face.

To see some fellow draw his watch and snap it at the preacher, as he
shuts down the case, as much as to say, “I consider it is time you
would stop.”

To see a lady sit and play with her infant, in time of preaching, laugh
at its little pranks, and try to induce others around her also to laugh
at them.

To see a lady get into a quarrel with her babe, in time of preaching;
slap it, jerk it, hold it, and thus keep it squalling for about half an
hour. If the preacher can keep the thread of his discourse, in a case
of that kind, he is a pretty good preacher.

To have some man standing near the preacher, in time of prayer, chewing
an enormous quid of tobacco, and about once in half a minute, hear a
large spoonful of the filthy spittle splash upon the floor.



ONE IMMERSION.


Certainly not, but one immersion “into the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” There is but one immersion commanded
in Scripture; that one is _in water_, and “into the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Peter said, “Can any man
forbid water that these should not be baptized, who have received
the Holy Spirit as well as we?” Here the _water_ is mentioned as the
element in which they were to be immersed, and they had already been
immersed in the Holy Spirit; and in the next verse we are informed
that “he _commanded them_ to be immersed in the name of the Lord.” The
immersion _in water_, then, is the one commanded, and the only one.

The immersion in Spirit is not commanded; and the command, if it
existed, to be immersed in Spirit could not _be obeyed_. Suppose the
Lord would command any one to be immersed in the Spirit, how would
he obey? No man ever was commanded to be immersed in the Spirit, nor
was any man ever commanded to immerse any one in the Spirit. Man can
not immerse in the Spirit. The immersion in water is commanded, and
is the immersion “into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit,” “into Christ,” “into one body,” the initiatory rite
into the New Institution. Immersion in the Holy Spirit never initiated
any one into any institution or anything. It was never commanded.
No man ever administered it. The Lord was the only administrator of
the baptism of the Spirit. It was a _promise_. It was a miracle. It
imparted miraculous power. It never occurred except on Pentecost, and
at the house of Cornelius. On Pentecost the subjects of it were in
Christ before it occurred, and at the house of Cornelius they were not
in Christ after it occurred till they were immersed in water. In both
instances they spake with tongues and prophesied.

When Paul wrote the letter to the church in Ephesus there remained
but “one immersion,” the one of the last commission, connected with
salvation, the remission of sin, or induction “into the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This is Paul’s “one
immersion.” It is not “one pouring,” “one sprinkling,” or “_three_
immersions,” but “one immersion.” _Three_ immersions has not one scrap
of authority in the commission or anywhere else. In the same sentence
where the apostle has “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one faith,” he
has “one immersion,” and it would be in no more direct violation of his
language to talk of _three_ bodies, _three_ Spirits, _three_ hopes,
_three_ faiths, than of “_three_ immersions.” There is no method by
which the language can be so tortured as to get _three_ immersions
out of the words, “immersing them into the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Such a thing was never thought of
till the dispute about the Trinity sprung up. This dispute originated
it. There is not a trace of trine immersion till more than a hundred
years after the apostles were gone; till the shallow nonsense of infant
sin, infant regeneration, infant immersion and infant damnation were
introduced. Here, and not in the Bible, the friends of trine immersion
go to find it, and here they find it among those who taught that
infants were _guilty_ of original sin and liable to eternal damnation;
that infants must be regenerated; that the stain of Adam’s sin must be
washed away; that this can not be done except in baptism, to prepare
them for heaven. They practiced no infant sprinkling, but infant
immersion, and, in time, trine immersion, or immersed them three times.
We think some of the Greeks do this to the present day.



INNOVATIONS IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.


In reading the history of the church, one is overwhelmed to see how
innovations have crept in and eat the vitals out of the church. At
every period of the church, when there was any vitality in it, any
spirituality or devotion to God, there has been a constant effort on
the part of the enemy, through some well-meaning, but worldly minded
professors of religion, to work things into the church, or to work
something out of it, in the nature of the case calculated to corrupt
and destroy it. We must be awake to these wily manœuverings and guard
against them, or they will ruin the great work so well begun and so
successfully carried on in our time. The insidious, wily and stealthy
machinations of the Grecian and Gnostic philosophers, did an immense
work in corrupting the primitive church. Many of these did this, too,
with the best intentions in the world. They thought it would be a
grand acquisition to the Christian religion, an accomplishment and
refinement, to append to it philosophy, and require every preacher
to be a philosopher. These were constantly edging into the pure
religion of Christ their fine philosophical notions, pagan customs and
ceremonies, and destroying the church whenever they did it. On the
other hand, learned Judaizers were foisting Judaism into the church at
every opportunity. Between Judaizers on the one hand, and Gnostic
philosophers on the other, they amalgamated Christianity, Judaism and
Paganism, and made Romanism. It was easy to obtain the idea of infant
membership from Judaism, the idea of image worship from Paganism, and
the idea of one true church from Christianity, and thus incorporate a
system with a membership based in the flesh, making all the infants
members, without any regeneration, under pagan idolatry, in worshipping
images, and at the same time, with the idea that they are the true
church.



THE BIBLE GROUND.


For fifty years, we, as christians, have stood on the Bible alone,
as a rule of faith and practice. Till recently, no difficulty was
experienced in reducing it to practice. For forty years after the
effort was first made in this country, to return to original ground,
to the apostolic faith and practice, and restore the ancient order
of things; submit to the law of the Lord in all things; we found no
difficulty of consequence. But on the other hand we realized our
vantage ground, answered all the cavils of creed-mongers, fought our
way through, built up churches on Christ, set them in order under the
law of God, and thus were happy in the Lord. No people in this country
have ever been as happy and prosperous. All worked well. We silenced
all opposition.

But more recently, subtle schemes are on foot to invent an excuse for
something like the traditions of the elders among the Jews, substituted
for the law of God, the unwritten traditions of Rome, that has assumed
the place of the law of God, or the doctrines and commandments of
men, in our time, embodied in human creeds. One man finds a “law of
conscience,” another “a law of love,” another thinks we are not under
law, but under grace, but does not notice that Paul’s law, that we are
not under, is the law of Moses, and, that Paul’s grace, that we are
under, embraces the “law of Christ;” the “perfect law of liberty,” the
“law of the Spirit of life.” Another man finds a law of expediences,
more extended than the Jewish Talmud, or the unwritten traditions
of Rome. He soon has more opinions than faith, more expedients than
commandments of God, more charity than law or gospel, more love
for the pious unimmersed than for immersed believers, more charity
than hope. His gospel consists largely of tuning-forks, note-books,
hymn-books, choirs, organs, concerts, festivals, church fairs. He is
great on themes not in the Bible; the unwritten word; the traditions
of the fathers. These are dead weights on the body. They are enemies
within, sensual, not having the Spirit. We must meet them with the same
arguments that cut our way through sectarianism forty years ago.

We must rouse the spirit of the glorious pioneer men who fought the
early battles, cleared away sectarian rubbish, built up churches all
over the land and set them in order, and never stop till there is an
end to all the subtleties and sophistries, and all the insidious devices
now subverting “the right way of the Lord” and spreading dissension
among the children of God. We must stop all the loopholes being
invented for the introduction of _humanisms_, and _innovations_ of all
sorts, put away from among us the corrupt, the enemies of the cause,
and the worldly, and inculcate the pure teaching of the New Testament
among all, and live nearer to it than ever.

We met all this twaddle about a printed hymn-book, a meeting-house,
etc., not provided for by divine legislation, before we were in the
Church one year, from sectarians, and answered and exploded it. Now we
have men among us that talk of _progress_, _learning_ and an _advanced
age_, who have _advanced back_, and are trying to build an excuse
of the same matters for human legislation. They want to supply the
deficiency in the law of God by human law. With them there is no church
government in the law of God, and, therefore, we must make one. After
we have governed the churches by the law of God, fifty years, they have
advanced to the discovery that there is no church government in the
law of God. What do they propose? To make a church government. There
is a shorter road than this to sectarianism, and one that will be much
less trouble, and that is, to go back at once to some sect that has
set aside the law of God, and made one of its own, and adopted it.
They have made as good human laws as we can make, and better, for they
are old and experienced hands, and we would be but new and bungling
beginners. The efforts we have seen are mere _abortions_.



THE WORK OF THE DISCIPLES.


Our heart is enlarged and our spirit is stirred within us, when we look
at the great opening before us. The Lord has not raised us up, put into
our hands such immense power, and made us such a great people, without
an object. He has a great work for the Reformers of the nineteenth
century. We, as a people, are set for the defence of the gospel. We
occupy the only ground upon which man can stand and successfully do
battle with unbelievers, with schismatics of every sort, and maintain
the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. We are the only people
who occupy the proper ground for the evangelization and salvation of
the world. We have cut ourselves loose from every thing but Christ.
We present him to the world and defend him, both in his divinity and
humanity, as the ineffably glorious person in whom dwells the fullness
of the Godhead bodily. We believe in him, in all he ever said or did,
in his religion, beginning, middle and ending, and nothing else. We
will defend him and all he ever said and did. We will defend his word,
his doctrine, the whole of it. Our work is not to defend our views, our
doctrines, or ourselves, but to defend our Master and his doctrine. Our
work is pre-eminently the following:

_First._ To convert the world to Christ, put men under him as their
Leader, Savior and everlasting trust, to follow him for evermore.

_Second._ To collect from Babylon—spiritual Babylon—the wandering,
bewildered and confused children of God, bring them back to their one
shepherd, one fold, and unite them in one body under Christ, their only
living head, that their name may be one, that they may be one, as he
and his Father are one.

_Third._ To defend the faith once delivered to the saints, maintain it
and spread it throughout the world.

_Fourth._ To inculcate piety, humanity, works of righteousness—in one
word, implicit submission to Jesus the Lord in all things.

This is our work, and this, the Lord being our helper, _we will do_.
We are pledged to Jesus, the Christ, to do this, for his glory and
our good, and, by the grace of God, we will do it. We are not our
own; we are the Lord’s. The work we are in is not our own; it is the
Lord’s. The Lord our Righteousness is our King. It is his will—his
bidding that we do this work. _He has commanded and the work must be
done._ Brethren, see to it that the armor is in order, that it is on,
properly adjusted, and every man at his post. Keep your eyes upon our
Commander-in-Chief. Whatever he requires do it. No matter where he
calls you to go, go at his bidding. He will bring us off conquerors,
and more than conquerors. Go not in your own strength, nor in your own
name, and rely not upon your own wisdom. Go in the strength, in the
name and wisdom of the Lord. “O, Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that
trusteth in thee!”



NOT TO KEEP COMPANY.

      “But now I have written unto you not to keep company,
    if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or
    covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an
    extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”—_I. Cor. v. 11._

      “Let every man examine himself and so let him eat.”
                                                —_I. Cor. xi. 28._


The passage evidently has reference to common associating—in visits,
ordinary, eating and the like. Such a man should not be in the church
at all, to say nothing about communing. Christians should not visit and
receive visits from such persons, or associate with them, but make them
feel keenly the smart of being thus low and corrupt.

The remark of the apostle, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him
eat,” is misapplied almost invariably every time it is quoted. It
certainly has no reference to examining to determine whether a man is
worthy to commune or not, for he says, “Let a man examine himself, and
_so let him eat_.” The examination was to _precede_ the eating, and not
to decide whether he should eat or not. The matter of trouble among
the Corinthians was not to determine _who_ shall eat, but _how to eat
worthily_. They were not to do this by coming together and eating a
pagan feast, not discerning the Lord’s death and blood, by partaking of
the loaf and wine, as the Lord appointed.

It is not the work of the administrator to tell who are communicants,
when administering, any more than he should tell who should sing, pray,
or give thanks. The communion was delivered to the church, and we are
communicants by virtue of being in the church. If any are walking
disorderly they should be dealt with, and not allowed to continue in
disorder, but forbidden to commune. The whole church should be kept in
order and all worship, not at the Lord’s table only, but in all parts
of the worship. The question is about _who are members of the church_,
and not about _who shall commune_. All the members should commune, all
_christians_, and there should be no others in the church.



EXTENT OF ONE MAN’S INFLUENCE.


Every preacher that becomes secularized, and ceases to employ his
energies in behalf of the poor, of mercy, of righteousness, of God, is
an immense loss to the world. There is no calculating or estimating
the difference in the condition of the world, in the day of judgment,
all growing out of the indolence or indifference of one man, though he
might see that he was effecting but little in his operations. Let any
man of reflection select a preacher of but humble abilities, who was
operating zealously in the great cause of truth only twenty years ago,
and trace the effects which a finite being can clearly see have grown
out of his labors, and he will be astonished to see how different the
present state of society would have been, had he relaxed his energies.
But, let his influence extend twenty years more, and where will be
its boundaries? Let it extend one hundred years and who could compute
it? But all this may be but a drop to the ocean of the vast train of
influences that would all have been lost by one man failing to act
his part. With this before us, is it strange that God should hold him
highly accountable?

But this is not the worst case. Let a man of talent, influence and
energy, fall from his station, and become an apostate and enemy, let
the cause be made to bleed and suffer from his want of reputation,
while he hurls back his javelins with all the malice and fury of the
Prince of the bottomless pit; and then, compute the change made in the
condition of the church and the world? No one, short of the Infinite
Being Himself, can compute the vast number that will be seriously
injured, in one century, by such a miserable being. Who, then, can tell
the difference his conduct can make in the condition of the world, at
the adjudication of all things? Let preachers, then, remember that they
are laborers together, and that no one can be lost without an injury to
all.



PULPITS.


We have, in our own mind, long since repudiated pulpits entirely, as a
useless, and worse than useless appendage. No work done, that we know
of, with the idea of usefulness, more completely misses its aim than
that of erecting pulpits in which for men to stand to preach the gospel
of Christ. We have, for a long time, utterly refused to go into many of
the castles we find around the country. In many houses the preacher is
hoisted high in a pulpit, from twenty to thirty feet from the nearest
person to him, and many of his hearers fifty and sixty feet off. This
is all as irrational as it can he. If there had been a special study
how to defeat the preacher, no better method than this could have been
invented.

In a large house, there should be a platform some fifteen feet square
and sixteen inches high, with a small table, the height of a common
table, for a Bible and hymn book, which the preacher could set in front
of him, if he desire it, or if not, set back against the wall. There
should also be a few chairs on or about the platform for speakers,
where there are several, or for persons hard of hearing. The speaker
can then advance forward near enough to the people to address them
effectively, and they can see him from head to foot. The floor of the
house should rise some twelve inches in twenty feet. If the house is
crowded, persons can then be seated all round the speaker, leaving
him simply room to stand. There should be two brilliant lights back
of him, near the wall, elevated a little above his head, and some ten
feet apart, so as to shine down each side of him into the book before
him. If the speaker desire to stand back near the wall, he can then
do so; or if he prefers, as we certainly do, to stand on the front of
the platform, he can have the privilege, and have room to walk about a
little, which is both a relief to the speaker and audience.

If the house is small, the platform should not be more than ten feet
square and eight inches high.



WHY INFIDELS OPPOSE THE BIBLE.


Neither Joseph Barker, nor any other man on the continent can give one
good reason for his hatred of the Bible, or desire to ridicule it.
Suppose it were all he says of it; superstition or what not; why is he
so enraged at it? What is it that exasperates him so? What is it that
puts such men to so much trouble? We suppose the stories of witches,
ghosts, etc., the signs of the zodiac, the moon, etc., etc., are
superstitions, but they do not trouble us, and we do not think it worth
while to war upon them. Why do not modern sceptics put the Scriptures
down on the same list with these, give them the go-by, and be at no
more trouble about them? Ah, why not? Simply because they can not.
They have within them spirits that can not rest. The Bible is a book
they can not let alone. It will not let them alone. It follows them by
day, and thunders in their ears at night. It is before them when they
rise up and when they lie down. It is before them in public and in
private. It alarms them with the terrible announcement that the dead
shall be raised, that the world shall be judged in righteousness, and
that the Lord shall render to every man according as his work shall
be. It annoys them with terrible threatenings, fearful punishments and
righteous retributions. It follows them with the only impartial history
the world ever had, spreading out alike the good and the bad, and
showing up the entire history of man.

Why do they not let the Bible alone? If it is only a fable, a legend,
or mere fiction, why trouble about it? “_Let it alone!_” says the
sceptic, “how can I let it alone, when it constantly tells me of every
sin I ever committed, describes even the thoughts of my heart, and
exposes every wicked desire I ever had? I can not let a book alone that
describes and publishes me to the world as a sinner.” What of all that,
if you do not believe it? There is the trouble. The apprehension that
_it may be true_, after all, hangs about men. They may rant, ridicule,
defy, scoff and laugh, but the fearful apprehension still rises,
thundering, “_It may be true, after all_.” There is no getting rid of
the fearful apprehensions, the wonderful forebodings, the consciousness
that all scepticism might be a mistake, after all. They know they have
nothing settled, nothing established, no fixed principles, no certain
knowledge. They know that they are acquiring no substantial knowledge.
Their work has not been to settle any thing, to fix any thing. They are
drifting about, floating in an uncertain current, not knowing whither
they are going. With them, all is in doubt, uncertainty, and obscurity.
They are completely unsettled, wandering in the dark, and without a
resting place. They are poor and miserable, blind and naked. They have
no encouragement, no support, and no promise, and nothing to promise
anybody else. Their pursuit is an empty chase, without any promise or
hope. There is not a more vain and empty bubble in this world, than
that pursued by these men. They are working without an object. They
know not what they are aiming at. Their work is not to prove any thing,
to settle any thing, or establish any thing; but to unsettle, confuse
and throw into doubt. What have they done for the world? What do they
propose to do for man? Nothing, only to pull down religion, do away
with the church, and put the Bible out of the world! They appear to
think that the principal thing now required to do, for the happiness of
the world, is to rid it of all religion. But where is the evidence that
they are doing any good? Where have they made the people happy? Where
have they done any good? What good are they now doing? None under the
shining sun.



MIRACLES.


What is a miracle? A miracle is not, as Hume defined it, “something
_contrary to the laws of nature_,” but something above the laws of
nature, or something that the laws of nature, in their legitimate and
ordinary operations, could not produce. For instance, the laws of
nature, in their legitimate and ordinary operations, from parents, can
produce offspring, and bring them to manhood and womanhood. But the
laws of nature, in their legitimate course of operation, never produced
a man and a woman, without parents, or never brought into existence
a man and a woman, at sufficient maturity to care for themselves and
live, without parents. No law of nature, in its legitimate and ordinary
course of operation, brought Adam and Eve into existence, at maturity,
and without parents. In other words, no law or laws of nature, in their
legitimate and ordinary operation, ever began the human race. In the
plainest terms, no law of nature ever produced a human being without
parents. In other words, it is not a miracle for children to come from
parents, but it was a miracle to create the first human pair. All who
admit that the human race ever had a beginning, must admit that it
began by miracle. It is not a miracle for an oak to produce an acorn,
nor for an acorn to produce an oak; but it is a miracle to produce an
oak without an acorn, and equally a miracle to produce an acorn
without an oak. The laws of nature, in the legitimate and ordinary
course of their operation, never produced an acorn without an oak,
or an oak without an acorn. The first acorn, or the first oak, was,
unquestionably, a miracle. The first man was a miracle. The second man,
the Lord from heaven, was a miracle. Isaac, the child of promise, and
the only son of Abraham, as Jesus was the child of promise, and the
only begotten of the Father, was a miracle. To sum all up, and express
it in one sentence, everything,—every species of animal, insect and
vegetable, began by miracle. The laws of nature create nothing, give us
no new species or kind, but simply propagate and perpetuate that which
was given by miracle at first. By the established laws of nature, the
human race have been propagated and perpetuated, but the human race had
its commencement in miracle.

The laws of nature never raised a man from the dead, instantaneously
gave hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, or sight to the blind. No
laws of nature can heal a leper in an instant, multiply “five loaves
and a few small fishes,” till the amount will be sufficient to feed
five thousand persons, leaving “twelve baskets full of fragments,”
or enable men to speak in some fifteen or seventeen languages, never
studied or learned in the ordinary way. A miracle may suspend laws of
nature for the time being, do something above them, or something that
they never perform; but to be a miracle at all, something must be
done above all human art, device or ability, and something which we
know the laws of nature, in their legitimate course, and ordinary
operation, never perform. When anything of this kind occurs, we
know that it could not have taken place without foreign and direct
interposition. This is a miracle; it is above and superior to all human
art or device; above and superior to any thing ever done by the laws of
nature, as well as different from anything they ever do.



“AFFIRMATIVE GOSPEL.”


We heard an illusion to the fanciful idea that some have conceived
of preaching an “affirmative gospel,” or, as some have expressed it,
“preaching the gospel _affirmatively_,” or, as we suppose, to come a
little nearer their idea, merely to preach, maintain and defend the
truth _affirmatively_, and let the _negative_ alone; or still, if
possible, to be more fully understood, to preach _truth_ and not preach
against what is _not truth_; to preach what _is to be done_ and not
what _is not to be done_. Look at the following Psalm I.:

    1. “Happy is the man that walks _not_ in the counsel
        of the ungodly.”
    2. “_Nor_ stands in the way of sinners.”
    3. “_Nor_ sits in the seat of the scornful.”


These three items are _negative_—things that the man whom the Lord
pronounces _happy, does not_. This is not leaving the negative part
out, but inserting it first, and pronounces the man happy that does not
these things.

In contrast, the Psalmist of Israel proceeds to give us the following,
which is affirmative:

    1. “His delight is in the law of the Lord.”
    2. “In his law he meditates day and night.”

The Lord gives the following guarantee to those who do not say the
negative part, but do the affirmative:

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings
forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and
whatever he does shall prosper.”

What an awful contrast with this is the ungodly:

“The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind drives
away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor
sinners in the congregations of the righteous.”

To this the Lord adds the following conclusion:

“The Lord knows the way of the righteous,” or _approves_ it, “but the
way of the ungodly shall perish.”

The negative is to be preached and taught in all that pertains to
preaching and teaching as zealously and faithfully as the affirmative,
and is to be regarded equally as much of divine authority. The first
commandment the Lord ever gave to a human being was negative. It was in
these words: “You may not eat of it.” This was negative—what must not
be done. The Bible abounds with this negative teaching, setting forth
what may not be done. Look at the following list, gathered from I. Cor.
xiii. 4-8, setting forth affirmatively and negatively, or what love
_will and will not_ do. First look at the affirmative side, or what
love will do:

    1. It suffers long.
    2. It is kind.
    3. It rejoices in the truth.
    4. It bears all things.
    5. It believes all things.
    6. It hopes all things.
    7. Endures all things.

This is the affirmative side, or what love _will do_; but the divine
authority does not stop at that, but tells us what love _will not do_.
See the following:

    1. It is not envious.
    2. Vaunts not itself.
    3. Is not puffed up.
    4. Does not behave itself unseemingly.
    5. Seeks not her own.
    6. Is not easily provoked.
    7. Thinks no evil.
    8. Rejoices not in iniquity.
    9. Never fails.

The negative is longer than the affirmative in this enumeration.

The man with his affirmative gospel is like the man with his two oars,
faith and works, to his skiff. He pulled one alone for a time, and run
round and round one way, and then pulled the other, and run round and
round the other way, and then seized both and pulled them at the same
time, when his skiff moved straight ahead beautifully. We must take the
whole of the divine teaching, the affirmative and negative; what we are
to believe, and what we are not to believe; what we are to do, and what
we are not to do. We are to show not only what is truth, but what is
not truth; what is of divine authority, but what is not of divine
authority.

Had some of our affirmative gospel men been in the place of Paul, when
he came to Athens, they would have made no attack on the altar with
the inscription: “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD,” but would have gone on
with their affirmative gospel. Paul was not of that type of preacher,
but brought their view of the unknown God into direct contrast with
the revelation of the true God—the Jehovah. He admits that theirs was
to them an “unknown God,”—“God who made the world, and all things
therein”—“Lord of heaven and earth,” and who “dwells not in temples
made with men’s hands,” and “is not worshipped with men’s hands, as
though he needs anything, seeing that he gives to all life, and breath,
and all things, and has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell
on all the face of the earth, and has determined before the times
appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek
the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he
be not far from every one of us.”

Not content with this attack on their altar, and the inscription on it,
he proceeds to quote and turn their own poets against them: “Certain
of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’” Hear
him as he proceeds, and see how he wades into their ignorance and
superstition, and, above all, how utterly exclusive he is: “For as much
then, as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the
Godhead is like gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s
device.”

Now for the charitable part of his discourse: “And the times of this
ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to
repent.” “The times of this ignorance” was before the gospel came, and
the “now,” brought in contrast with it, is since the gospel has come.
Seeing that the light has come, men are inexcusable to be in ignorance.

He proceeds to give a reason for the commandment, “to all men
everywhere to repent,” in the following words: “Because he has
appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
by that man whom he has ordained.” But he knew that some man might
call that in question, when he closed up with the following: “Whereof
he has given assurance to all men in that he has raised him from the
dead.” That is, he has given assurance to all men, by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, that he will judge the world in
righteousness, by that man whom he has ordained. The logic runs thus:
As he raised Christ from the dead, he will judge the world; and as he
will judge the world, all men, everywhere, are commanded to repent, in
view of the judgment.

The inscriptions to the unknown God must be set aside, with all the
doctrines and commandments of men; the traditions of Jewish rabbis
and Romish priests, with all the unauthorized lumber of Protestants,
and the devotees to each and all of them, must be shown that they are
unauthorized, and the man who shuns to do this, only does half work, or
rather, only half does his work, and will be responsible to the great
Shepherd and Bishop of souls.



HOUSEHOLD BAPTISMS.


It is claimed that whole households were baptized, and that these must
have included infants; as, for instance, the following:

1. Lydia and her house. All that is said of Lydia is found in two
verses, Acts xvi. 14, 15, and the passage contains not one word about
an infant, or a child of any sort. It is stated that “she was baptized
and her household.” But it is not stated that she was a married woman,
that she had any children, much less that she had any infants; and,
therefore, there is nothing here about any infant baptism.

2. The next household mentioned is that of the Jailor, Acts xvi. 33.
“And they—Paul and Silas—spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and
to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the
night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his
straightway. And when they had brought them into his house, he set meat
before them, and rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house.” Here
are two things stated of these that can not be said of infants. They
spoke unto him—the Jailor—the word of the Lord, and _to all that
were in his house_. The Jailor rejoiced, believing in God with all
his house. Here it is asserted of the household that they rejoiced,
believing in God. The word of the Lord was spoken to them, they
rejoiced and believed in God. This can not be said of infants.

3. The next case of a household, which we shall mention, is that of
Cornelius, Acts xi. 14. Here, however, is conclusive evidence that
there were no infants, for the angel said, “Send men to Joppa, and call
for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words whereby
thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Infants are not _told words
whereby they are saved_. Those who practice infant baptism do not tell
them words whereby they may be saved, and do not believe they are saved
in or by baptism.

4. There is but one other household mentioned in the New Testament,
in connection with baptism. That is “the household of Stephanas.” I.
Cor. i. 16. In the same letter we find one thing affirmed of this same
household that can not be affirmed of infants. “They have _addicted
themselves_ to the ministry of the saints.” I. Cor. xvi. 15. This is a
thing infants can not do.

There were, then, no infants in these households, and nothing
particularly strange about that. The writer has baptized many
households and never baptized an infant.



KNOWING AND NOT DOING.


“That servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
See Luke xii. 47. From this language there is no escape. If the men of
whom we speak, say, they are not servants, then they will be condemned
for refusing to be his servants. There can be no middle ground, no
neutral ground. “He who is not for us is against us,” says the Lord.
We are not simply to do some benevolent deeds favorable to the Lord,
or to his cause, but we must be on his side, belong to him, be his;
identified with him; one with him, so that his cause is our cause, and
his will is our will. But to the mystery again: How can it be, that a
man can love the Savior, his people and cause, so as to defend them,
give his money to aid them, have confidence in them, and be pleased
with their work; but decide to stand, in relation with their enemies,
in the same state with them, and not in relation with the Lord and with
his people; in the same state with them?

What a fearful thing it is to be _against the Lord_, and to encounter
his terrible sentence: “Shall be beaten with many stripes.” Why should
a man stand in such a condition a single day? We see not how a man
could rest for an hour with such a responsibility on his soul! Why
should any man not be willing? nay, more, why should he not _seek_ to
place himself under the guidance of Him who is so wise that he can not
err, and so good that he will do all things well? What a blessedness
for man, that he can have infallible wisdom to guide him, and almighty
power to save him! How can it be possible for any well disposed man
to stand aloof from the Lord and from his divine arrangement for our
happiness, and trust to his own wisdom and his own strength, when
he could have the wisdom and power of God pledged for his security?
Why not come to the Lord; let his kind hand lead, and his gracious
providence guide in the way of life everlasting.

There were old men, too old to be on the muster roll, and boys too
young, the history informs us, who fought in the battle of Bunker
Hill, in the American Revolution. These received much praise for their
good will to the cause and the service they rendered: but they did not
belong to the army and received _no pay_. In the same way, we fear,
many of these good friends that defend the cause and even pay their
money to support it, will lose their reward, because they have never
_enlisted_. _They do not belong to the army._

Many such men have noble wives striving to serve the Lord, to train
their children in the way of righteousness and bring them to God. These
are dearer to them than life. Can they stand out in the ranks of the
enemy, and see their companions who gave them their hearts and hands in
their better days, struggling to save their precious children, and not
stand by their side, aiding and encouraging them? What a responsibility
there is here! They know their Lord’s will, and _do it not_ and _will
be beaten with many stripes_!

The Lord suffered and died for these. He hung on the ignominious
cross for them, as well as for us all, and poured out his warm
heart’s-blood to cleanse them from sin. All this appeals to them. All
the exhortations of saints, their prayers, songs, tears and solicitudes
appeal to them, by all the tender mercies of God and the infinite
compassion, to come to the Savior and live. If they resist all this,
turn their ear away from it, and, in the midst of all these entreaties,
go down to ruin, what an everlasting source of regret it will be to
look back and see what was done for them, but all in vain! “Turn you,
turn you,” says the prophet, “and live.” “You would not come to me that
you might have life,” says the Lord. “He is not willing that any should
perish, but that all should come to repentance.” “The Spirit says,
Come, and the bride says, Come, and whoever will, let him take of the
water of life freely.”



THE BIBLE VS. HUMAN CREEDS.


It is admitted on all hands, by all Protestants, that we should receive
nothing more than is contained in the Holy Scriptures.

It is also admitted, that we should receive nothing less than is
contained in the Scriptures.

It is admitted, that the Holy Scriptures must not be altered, but must
be received precisely as God gave them to the world.

It is acknowledged that the Christian Scriptures constitute a “perfect
law of liberty.”

All acknowledge that this perfect law of liberty was given by the
infallible wisdom of God, and by his undeniable authority.

Now, the precise opposite of this is true of every human creed on
earth. For instance, it is admitted—

That we may receive more than is contained in any human creed in the
world.

It is admitted, that we may receive less, or that we are not bound to
receive everything in any one of them.

It is universally admitted that they may be altered and amended.

It is admitted, that no creed but the Bible, constitutes a “perfect law
of liberty,” hence, those who use other creeds are frequently altering
or amending them.

It is admitted, that no creed but the Bible, was given by the
infallible wisdom of God.

These are undeniable truths, admitted by all Protestants, as must be
seen by the most common observer. Now we ask any man in his right mind,
how it can be, that it is _safe_ to receive a creed, not containing
all that a christian is bound to receive, containing also some things
that may be rejected, one that may be altered, one admitted not to be
a “perfect law,” and one not given by the wisdom and authority of God;
and yet _unsafe_, to receive as our only creed that Book, containing
all that a Christian dare receive, no less than he must receive, one
that dare not be altered, that is “the perfect law of liberty,” and was
given by the wisdom and authority of God?



GLORYING IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST.


The Apostle Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the
cross of Christ.” Why glory in the cross?—or, why not glory in his
miracles, in his feeding five thousand, his calming the sea, raising
the dead, opening the eyes of the blind, or giving hearing to the
deaf?—or, why not glory in his own resurrection, his ascension,
coronation, and being crowned Lord of all? Because it was not at any of
these points Peter denied him; it was not here that he was condemned;
it was not here that he suffered—that he was put to shame—that he was
mocked, derided and despised. But Paul looks at him when he was on
trial, when Peter denied him, when he was condemned; when he was
delivered into the hands of enemies, despised and degraded; when he was
nailed to the cross, crowned with thorns, and buffeted; when all his
friends had forsaken him; when all the angels had withdrawn, and the
Almighty Father had turned his face away—had forsaken him—and he was
in his blood—in the agonies of death, with the sins of the world upon
him; we say, Paul looked upon him here, and gloried in him. It was not
the cross that he gloried in, literally. The expression is metonymical.
The cross stands for Him who hung upon the cross. “God forbid that I
should glory, save in him who hung upon the cross.” We are not to glory
in men; neither in Paul, Apollos, nor Cephas, but in Christ.



THE PARDONING POWER IS ONLY IN GOD.


In precisely the same way, the appointment in the case of Naaman, in
itself, had no virtue to cure leprosy. If another leper had gone to the
place the next day, and dipped himself, he would not have been healed.
Naaman did not go home praising the waters of Jordan, nor exulting in
his dipping, nor his faith, but he said: “Behold, now I know that there
is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” II. Kings v. 15. The Lord
purposely selected an appointment that had not in it, in itself, any
curative efficacy, that the man might know the cure came directly from
God, and might believe and put his trust in the God of Israel. The same
is true of the appointment for the Israelites, bitten of the fiery
serpent. The Lord wisely selected something that all men would know had
no efficacy, in itself, to heal the bite of the serpent, that the glory
might be given to God and not to the brazen serpent. It is no question
about whether the Lord _could_ have saved the Israelites in some other
way. No one doubts that he _could_. But the question, in this case, is
simply about what _he did_. The people did not heal themselves. Their
faith did not heal them. Their prayers did not heal them. Their looking
did not heal them. The brazen serpent did not heal them. _God healed
them._ When did he do it? When they obeyed him. Where did he do it? In
his own appointment.

The faith of the army of Joshua did not throw down the walls of
Jericho. There is nothing in faith, in itself, to do a work of this
kind. The marching round Jericho, did not throw down the walls, nor
have any tendency to throw them down, if they had continued to march
round till this time. The blowing of the trumpet did not throw down
the walls. Nor did the shout of the army. God broke down these massive
walls. When did he do it? When they obeyed him. Where did he do it?
In his appointment. The work was just as much of God, as divine and
miraculous, done in this appointment, as if it had been done without
any appointment at all. The appointment was precisely such an one, as
to direct the heart of the people to God, as the author of the victory.
But had they refused to march round the walls, shout and blow the
trumpet, though they might have prayed till now, the Lord would not
have answered them nor saved them. In all these cases, they might
have prayed for saving power till they breathed the last breath, and
no saving power would have come. The saving power was promised, but
promised in certain appointments—not because the Lord _could not_, but
because he _would not_ save in any other way, only as he had appointed.

The same is true of saving men in our time. We have no dispute about
what the Lord _can_ do. The only question we have is about what the
Lord _will_ do. The Lord will do precisely what he has promised, and
no man in the world can produce one particle of evidence that he will
do anything else, to save any man. If the Lord had said, “He that
believeth and prays, and is prayed for, shall be saved,” every one that
prays and is prayed for, would be saved. But such, it is admitted on
all hands, is not the fact. Many pray, and are prayed for, who, it is
admitted, are not saved or pardoned. The Lord’s appointment is, “He
that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Repent and be baptized
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of
sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Why tarriest
thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the
name of the Lord.” Here is the Lord’s appointment, and he who comes
here, has the promise of the Lord that he shall be saved, or pardoned.
This appointment is like those we have been looking at. It is evident
to all, there is no virtue or merit in faith, in itself, to save a man.
It is equally evident that there is no merit or virtue in repentance,
in itself, to save any one. It must be equally evident to all, that
there can be no virtue, merit, or efficacy in baptism, in itself, to
save or pardon. It is God that pardons. Who does he pardon? Those who
obey him. When does he pardon them? When they obey from the heart, that
form of doctrine delivered to them. “Being _then_ made free from sin,
they have their fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life.”
Where does he pardon them? In his appointments.



THE ACTION OF BAPTISM.


Referring to the position of the disciples on the action of baptism, a
correspondent says: “That, in regard to the sacrament of baptism, the
whole christian world have been in the dark, from the earliest history
of the church until within three hundred years, and much the greater
part are still behind!” He adds, “Not deceived, be it remembered, about
some things not essential to the ordinance, but _in regard to the very
nature of it_. And what is yet more singular, denominations possessing
much the greater share of learning are most in the dark!” He proceeds,
“Nay, even the christian fathers, who were, some of them, Greeks, and
men of learning, and who certainly should have known something about
their own language, were in serious error upon this very subject!”

All this is said, by our worthy friend, in reference to our position,
that nothing but immersion is baptism. It contains several items, and
to give them all possible conspicuity we notice them separately.

_First._ His first trouble is about the whole christian world being
in the dark, if our position is true. This expression, “the whole
christian world,” must be simmered down a little. We strike out of
it, then, all the christians of the first two centuries, as not in
the dark, for they held and practiced nothing but immersion for
baptism. This is sufficient, if we could say no more. But we add to
this all Baptists of modern times, who have not been in the dark on
this point. No fact is better authenticated than that for the first
thirteen centuries immersion was invariably practiced by all professed
christians, except, after the third century, in cases of extreme
weakness, where they thought immersion could not be endured, they
decided that affusion would do; but these could never hold office in
the church. Even the Episcopalian church, in the time of Mr. Wesley,
almost invariably immersed. Now sum up all these, and then decide how
large the number in the dark, and you will find that the sprinklers are
a mere drop in the bucket.

_Second._ The above shows that they have not possessed much the greater
share of learning, but much the smaller share of learning.

_Third._ The christian fathers, so called, are not to be entered in
that list. They were on the other side, and practiced immersion and
nothing else. The remark of the Cyprian shows that he is defending
something new and in doubt; hence his remark that “it is of equal
validity with the laver of salvation.” There was no doubt about what he
calls “the laver of salvation,” but there was doubt about sprinkling.
The one needed argument and the perversion of the passage in Ezekiel to
support it; the other was universally acknowledged.

We admit that the evidence is abundant “that pouring and sprinkling
were used” from the beginning of the fourth century not only to the
rise of the Anabaptists, but till now; but that pouring and sprinkling
were held in doubt, in general, and utterly repudiated by many,
is equally abundantly proved. The discovery that _baptizo_ means
_immerse_, and nothing else, could not have been made by any of the
fathers, for at that time no one denied that such was its meaning. In
the few instances where sprinkling or pouring was used, it was not on
the ground that _baptizo_ meant pour or sprinkle, but on the ground
that pouring or sprinkling would do in extreme cases of weakness where
they deemed the persons unable to endure immersion. No man can produce
one scrap of authority to show that any man at that early period, or
for many long centuries after, ever attempted to defend pouring or
sprinkling on the ground that _baptizo_ meant pour or sprinkle. Those
who practiced sprinkling or pouring generally in the early ages, did
not think they were doing what the Lord commanded, or what the apostles
practiced, but something else that _would do_. Luther, Calvin, Wesley
and Clarke, admitted that the ancient practice was immersion, but
they thought sprinkling or pouring _would do_. This was the ground of
argument for many long centuries. The idea of trying to prove that any
person was ever sprinkled or poured upon, for baptism, in the time of
the apostles, is a mere modern invention, and the idea that _baptizo_
means sprinkle or pour, is of equal modern date. These are new grounds
altogether, taken by modern men, who have been driven from the old
ground. It will not do in our time to admit—as all the ancients
did—that the apostles immersed—that immersion was the ancient
practice—that _baptizo_ means _immerse_, and nothing else, but that
“this rite has been _changed somewhat_,” and that _something else will
do as well_. This is too barefaced for our time, and the opposition
have changed their ground, and are now trying to make us believe that
their practice is sustained by the meaning of _baptizo_ and the ancient
practice.



SHORTER CATECHISM FOR UNIVERSALIANS.


During our discussion in Decatur, Ill., we presented the following,
substantially, as the “Shorter Catechism” for Universalians to test
their pretences to a belief in the Scriptures:

1. Phil. iii. 18, 19, Paul, speaking of the enemies of the cross of
Christ, says, “Whose end is destruction.” Can a man of sense believe
that the end of a man is destruction, and at the same time believe that
his salvation? The _end_ of a man will certainly be his last state, and
if that is destruction, his end can not be salvation.

2. Mark iii. 29, the Lord says, he who shall blaspheme against the Holy
Spirit, “hath never forgiveness.” Can a man of sense believe that a man
who “hath _never forgiveness_,” shall be saved? To save a man without
forgiveness, would be to save him _in his sins_.

3. John iii. 36, the Lord says, “He that believeth not the Son, shall
not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Can a man of sense
believe that those who believe not the Son, shall _not see life_, and
yet believe that they shall _see life_?

4. Rev. xxii. 19, the Scriptures say of certain persons, that “God
shall take away their part out of the book of life, and out of the holy
city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Can a man of
sense believe that a man whose “_part is taken out of the book of life,
and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this
book_,” can be saved?

5. Heb. xii. 15, the Scriptures speak of men “failing of the grace of
God.” Can a man of sense believe that men may “fail of the grace of
God,” and be saved? What! saved without the grace of God?

6. John viii. 21, the Lord said to certain persons, “Ye shall die in
your sins; whither I go ye can not come.” Can a sensible man believe
that men shall “die in their sins,” and that whither the Lord went they
could not come, and still believe that all will be saved? Do not refer
to what the Lord said to his disciples, for he said more than this to
them. He said to his disciples, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me
now; but thou shalt follow me afterward.” John xiii. 36. This he did
not say to the Jews. But he did say to the Jews, “Ye shalt die in
your sins: whither I go ye can not come.” Is that true? It is. Then
Universalism is not true.

7. Heb. x. 26, 27, Paul says, “If we sin wilfully after that we have
received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice
for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery
indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Can men of sense
believe that a man for whom “there remaineth no more sacrifice for
sins,” but for whom their remains “a certain fearful looking for of
judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries,”
will be saved?

8. John v. 29, the Lord declares that “they who have done evil
shall come forth to the resurrection of damnation.” Can a man of
sense believe that those who have done evil can “come forth to the
resurrection of damnation,” and yet all men be saved?

9. Rev. xx. 13-15, we find an account of the dead standing before
God and being “judged every man according to their works,” and the
declaration is made that “whosoever was not found written in the book
of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Can a man of sense believe
that the dead shall be raised and judged according to their works, and
the wicked, or those whose names are not written in the book of life,
shall be cast into the lake of fire, and yet all men be saved?

10. Gal. v. 2, Paul testifies to certain men, “Christ shall profit you
nothing.” Can a man of sense believe that those shall be saved whom
Christ shall profit nothing?

11. Heb. vi., Paul declares of certain persons, that it is impossible
to renew them again to repentance. Can a man of sense believe that
those can be saved whom it is impossible to renew again to repentance?

12. Heb. ix. 27, Paul says, “It is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment.” Can a man of sense believe that “it is
appointed unto men once to die, but _after this the judgment_,” and not
believe that God will judge men after death?

13. Luke xvi. 22, 23, we read of a “certain rich man,” that “the rich
man died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in
torments.” Can a man of sense believe that a man after he died and was
buried, was “in torments,” and believe that there are no torments after
death?

14. Matt. xxv., the Lord says of the wicked, “These shall go away
into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.” Be
it observed, these righteous are in the life of a christian already,
or before they go into _life eternal_, and the wicked are in all the
hell there is for them in this world already. But here at the time
the righteous enter _eternal life_, the wicked enter _everlasting
punishment_. The same Greek word _aionion_, in the same sentence,
expresses the duration of the _life of the righteous and the punishment
of the wicked_. Can a man of sense believe that the Lord used _aionion_
in a limited sense in one place and an unlimited sense in the other?

15. Luke xiii. 23, we are informed that a man inquired of our Lord,
“Are there few that be saved?” The Lord did not answer his silly
question, but said to him, “Strive to enter in at the straight gate;
for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able.”
Can a man of sense believe this statement, that they shall not be able
to enter, and still believe that all shall enter? Do not begin to think
of entering the church here now, for we know that all who seek to enter
the church are able.

16. Ez. xiii. 22, the Lord says, “With lies ye have made the heart
of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the
hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by
promising him life.” Can a man of sense believe that he strengthens
the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked
way, by promising him life, and still believe that he is doing good in
preaching that all men shall have life?

When our Universalist friends get so that they can answer these
questions and explain the difficulties involved clearly and
satisfactorily, the people may become satisfied that they _are not
sceptics_.



POPULAR AMUSEMENTS.

      Remarks upon a communication complaining of the increasing
    prevalence of _revelry_, under the plea of “innocent
    amusements.” Published in the _A. C. Review_, for July, 1860.


We have no doubt that many professors of religion are greatly sinning,
as well as disgracing and dishonoring their profession, in the manner
above described. But there is one trouble in writing or publishing
any thing for that class. They are beyond the reach of writers. They
subscribe for no religious publications, pay for none, and read none.
They read nothing, unless it be some silly love tale, book of fashion,
or mere novel. They can only be reached at all through older, wiser,
and better heads, and then only occasionally, and but slightly. In most
instances, the slightest reference to their inconsistent lives of folly
and vanity, is regarded as a mortal offence. We were threatened, not
long since, with being held _personally responsible_ for alluding to
the mischief done by dancing masters, in a public discourse. It turned
out that one was present, and, as if to publish himself as a live
dancing master, distinguish himself and render himself as notorious as
possible, immediately after the allusion to men of his calling, he cast
his eye around the house, and saw all eyes upon him, when he bounced
from his seat and went stamping out of the house, as if he intended
trying the strength of the floor, every time he set down his foot.
His _profession_ was too sacred to be alluded to without his being
insulted. Some of the people, we learned, called him _Professor_——!
Talk of preaching for such men! of writing to reform them! They would
not hear an angel from heaven, unless he would wink at their dancing.
They would not hear one who would rise from the dead, unless he would
wink at their sin. If they could, they would lead our fair daughters
to ruin, chuckle over the feat achieved, and dance on the graves of
heart-broken fathers and mothers. They are leeches upon society,
sucking the very life’s blood from the veins of better people, who
suffer themselves to be gulled by them, and, at the same time, grinning
like a weasel while cutting the throat of a chicken, and sucking its
blood.

The entire clan of amusement manufacturers, from the poor music
grinder on the street, up to Barnum, are pulling down, discouraging
and destroying the good built up by the hard toiling and struggles of
good people. It is useless to talk of their being gentlemen, polite,
or moral; their work is to pull down, to ruin, to destroy, and to
sink men and women in hell. Their work is against every prayer, every
exhortation and sermon; every Sunday school, church and gospel mission.
We may preach and pray, toil and struggle in tears, with our hearts
aching and bleeding, trying to save men, and so long as we countenance
worthless and silly amusements, we shall not be successful in saving
men. Not only so, but if we allow those who are determined to run their
length in all these amusements, to hang upon us, they will sink us all.



ACTIVITY IN THE MINISTRY.


The preacher’s life should be one of activity and industry, one of
enterprise and diligence. The preacher can not be a _gentleman of
leisure_. This is not his profession. He can not afford an hour or two
every morning in primping, turning himself first this way and then that
before a glass, smoothing down his hair, stroking his mustache and
fitting on his attire. He can not afford another half-hour sucking an
enormous cigar and filling a filthy spittoon, a thing that ought to be
tolerated in no parlor, or genteel society. He should be a man of no
idle habits, such as lounging upon cushions, loafing on the streets, at
the corners, in shops, stores or places of business, or idleness. He
should rise early, unless prevented from getting to rest sufficiently
early, by preaching at night, dress himself out and out for the day
in fifteen minutes, and spend at least five hours in his books. This
should be a regular work, an every day work. Five hours only brings him
to about ten o’clock in the morning, about the proper time to see sick
persons, the poor, or any whom it may be his duty to visit. Three hours
can now be devoted in this way. This brings him to one o’clock. Allow
him two hours to take refreshment and rest himself. Now it is three
o’clock, a good hour for him again to be among the people, where he may
frequently spend two hours profitably.

If the preacher is a man of enterprise, he can have an engagement for
a sermon, a lecture, a meeting for prayer, or something of the kind
almost every night, either in the church, or some place in a short
distance in the community, where he may be waking up some interest
among the people. It is the business of the preacher to seek an
opportunity for something of this kind, and have some work all the time
going on round him, arresting the attention of the people, rousing them
from their slumbers, setting them to thinking and working.

It is useless to stand and preach in one pulpit and wait for the people
to come there, thus depending upon that wholly for saving men. We must
go beyond that, find every nook and corner where a few people can be
collected and preach the word to them, exhort them, persuade them and
plead with them to turn to the Lord. The preacher must make it an every
day work to preach. We must get in the way of preaching from house
to house and from place to place, thus filling the whole land with
the doctrine of the cross. We must be men of activity, perseverance
and zeal, not waiting for “calls,” but penetrating the land from its
center to its circumference. We must go into the field and do the
work of the Lord, and the Lord will open the way and take care of us.
We are anxious to see an army of zealous, powerful and enterprising
young men, willing to go out into the world and convince the world of
their ability and usefulness, by saving men, building up churches and
extending the cause. In this way, they will soon make an opening for
themselves and secure a permanent field of operation. How much more
noble and manly this, than looking round for a rich church, raised up
to hand by the labors of other men, where a young man can sit down with
a fat salary and merely live upon the labors of those who have gone
before him.



SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS ON THE ACTION OF BAPTISM.


It is a fact that our Lord was baptized of John _in_ Jordan. Is it then
more probable that he was sprinkled of John _in_ Jordan, than that he
was immersed of John _in_ Jordan?

It is a fact that after the Lord was baptized “he went up straightway
_out of the water_.” Is it more probable that “he went up straightway
out of the water,” in going from sprinkling, than from immersion?

It is a fact that the people were baptized of John in the river of
Jordan. Is it more probable that they were sprinkled of John, in the
river of Jordan, than that they were immersed in the river of Jordan?

It is a fact that “John was baptizing in Enon, near Salim, because
there was much water there.” Is it more probable that he sprinkled in a
place, because there was _much water_ there, than that he immersed in a
place because there was _much water_ there?

It is a fact that Philip and the eunuch, both went down into the water,
and he baptized him. Is it more probable that they both went down into
the water to sprinkle, than that they both went down into the water to
immerse?

It is a fact, mentioned by Paul, as a result of baptizing, that the
_body is washed_. Is it more probable that the _body is washed_ in
sprinkling, than that the body is washed in immersing?

It is a fact, stated by Paul, that “we are _buried with him in
baptism_.” Is it more probable that we are buried with him in
sprinkling, than that we are buried with him in immersion?

It is a fact, stated by Paul, that we are _buried with him by baptism_.
Is it more probable that we are buried with him by sprinkling, than
that we are buried with him by immersion?

We have now presented eight questions on the probabilities of the case.
Now for the possibilities of the case:

It is a fact that the Lord was baptized in _Jordan_, and it is a fact
that he went up straightway out of the _water_. This shows that when he
was _in Jordan_, he _was in the water_, or he could not have gone “_out
of the water_.” As a question of fact and possibility, could the Lord
have been _sprinkled in the water_?

It is a fact, stated by Paul, that in baptizing, or, as a result of
it, the “body is washed.” As a question of possibility, can the body
be washed, or, as a question of fact, is the body washed at all, when
sprinkling is performed in the usual way?

It is a fact, stated by the Apostles, that “we are buried with him
in baptism.” As a question of fact, is this done in sprinkling? As a
question of possibility, _can persons be buried in sprinkling_?

It is a fact, stated in Scripture, that “we are buried with him by
baptism.” As a question of fact, are persons buried by sprinkling? As a
question of possibility, _can persons be buried by sprinkling_?



“A MIGHTY GOOD FOUNDATION.”


Some years ago, our Bro. Burnet resided some eight miles in the
country. We were in Mt. Healthy, a short distance from his residence,
and took an omnibus for the city. In a few minutes the omnibus stopped
in front of the residence of Bro. Burnet, with two respectable looking
gentlemen in it, one sitting facing the residence and the other with
his back towards it. The one facing the residence said, “Here is where
Mr. Burnet resides.” The other replied, “Who is he?” “A celebrated
Campbellite preacher,” was the answer. “What do the Campbellites
hold?” inquired the other. “That the Bible is their foundation—their
only creed,” was the reply. “They have a mighty good foundation—a
very good creed,” answered the other. “Yes,” was the reply; and here
the conversation ended. The same must be the response of every honest
believer in the Bible. It is certainly a good foundation—a good creed.
If there is any good doctrine, or _teaching_, as the word doctrine
means, in the world, it is in the Bible, and the man who takes the
Bible, finds it in his book. If there is any sure foundation for all
our hopes beyond this life, it is found in the Bible. If there is any
sure lamp to the path of weary and dying pilgrims in this world, it is
the Bible. All other books are nothing compared with the Bible. It is
_the book_ of all books, _the authority_ of all authorities, the only
sure and infallible guide from this world of sin to the land of rest.



A HARD QUESTION FOR PREACHERS.


The Lord said once to a preacher, “Simon, lovest thou me more than
these?” This question has been variously expounded. It has had at least
the following three interpretations given to it:

    1. “Lovest thou me more than these other disciples love me?”
    2. “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these other disciples?”
    3. “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these fisheries?”

1. The Archbishop of Cincinnati had the honor—if it be any—of giving
the people the first of these, in the debate with Mr. Campbell. He
thinks the Lord meant, “Simon, lovest thou me more than these other
disciples love me?” He thinks Peter did love his Lord more than
the other disciples did, and this is one of his mighty arguments
to prove that Peter was the first Pope. But how Peter could answer
such a question as that, unless, indeed, he was already the Pope,
and _infallible_, we can not conceive. Certainly the Lord did not
expect Peter to know whether he loved his Master better than the
other disciples loved him, unless he was infallible. The Lord himself
could have answered that question, but certainly no man could. Such a
question was not only, in the very nature of the case, one that no man
could answer, but one that could have no practical bearing nor use.
Not only so, but the answer of the Lord was inappropriate, if he had
intended Peter to be Pope. He commanded him, “Feed my sheep.” This was
the last thing he would have commanded him if he had intended him to be
Pope. In that case he would have commanded him, “_Fleece_ my sheep,”
and not “_feed_ my sheep.” The business of Popes has ever been to
_fleece_ the sheep, and not to _feed_ them.

2. The question, “Lovest thou me more than thou lovest these other
disciples?” though Peter might have been able to answer it, would
certainly have been one of but little importance. Not only so, but the
language is scarcely capable of this import, and, therefore, it is not
probable that such was the intention of it.

3. The sum of the question was, “Lovest thou me more than these
fisheries?” Or, to express it more fully and liberally, “Lovest thou me
more than thou lovest these fisheries?” The state of the case was, that
the Lord had _called them to be preachers_. They had from the beginning
been under a mistaken notion. Their idea was, that Jesus was to be a
king in an earthly kingdom. This, they supposed, would all take place
in his lifetime, on this earth. It never entered into their minds
that Jesus would die before his reign commenced. It specially never
entered into their minds that he would die by crucifixion. When he was
crucified and actually dead, they thought he was defeated, that his
enemies had triumphed, that all was lost and their mission at an end.
In this view, Simon Peter said, “I go a fishing.” Another disciple
replied, “I go along.” This was utterly giving all up for lost. Poor
men; like most preachers, who quit their proper work of preaching the
gospel, and turn aside to some secular avocation, they did not prosper.
“_They toiled all night and caught nothing._” What a caution to
preachers who turn aside from their work! The Lord appears to them and
inquires of them, “Children, have you any meat?” They reply, “We have
none.” He commands them, “Cast your net on the right side of the ship.”
They cast the net and take the most astonishing draught of fish they
ever saw. He caused their business to prosper beyond anything they had
ever experienced. Their prospects in this avocation were now brighter
than ever before. They are now in the midst of an excitement of
prosperity, intensely engaged with their nets and fish. Every thing is
purposely made as attractive and fascinating as it can be. While it is
all before their eyes, in its most exciting, fascinating and attractive
form, the Lord tries them, puts them to the test: “Lovest thou me more
than these?” probably at the same moment, pointing his finger to the
nets and fish. Peter replied, “Lord thou knowest that I love thee.” The
Lord commands, “Feed my sheep.” That is, “If you love me more than
these fisheries,” and are willing to forsake these and do my work,
“Feed my sheep.” This question, “Lovest thou me more than these?” is
one of so much importance that it is repeated three times over, and the
Lord says to them, “I will make you fishers of men.” This remark he had
made to them when he first called them from their fisheries. After this
last charge, “Feed my sheep,” “Feed my lambs,” we have no account of
their ever fishing any more.

We find that there are many preachers in our time to whom the Lord
puts the question, “Lovest thou me more than these?” Not, however
these _fisheries_, but these _lands_, cattle, horses, mules, bank
stocks, railroad stocks, houses, barns, mills, shops, stores, offices,
politics, wives, children, fathers or mothers. He is very exacting and
speaks very decidedly. “If you love these more than me, _you can not
be my disciples_.” This is most fearful language. What is the test?
The test is simply this, if we love the Lord more than these, we will
follow him and do his work. If we love the Lord less than these, we
will forsake the Lord’s work and follow these. This is a matter that
preaching brethren ought to put to their consciences. Can men who have
the ability to preach Christ, who have tried it and know they can
succeed, and whom the Lord has blessed in their efforts, turn from this
great work to the pursuits of the world, at will, with impunity? We
do not believe they can. It is a fearful thing for them to do so. We
know men of great ability—men who can shake up society from its center
to its circumference, if they will try, whose talents are measurably
buried, or what is the same thing, devoted to the world. These will
certainly give a most strict account.



MAN’S ACCOUNTABILITY.


Every sane man _can_ and _does believe_ and _decide_ that _he will do
this_, and that _he will not do that_, every day of his life. Hence our
Lord, when he wept over Jerusalem, cried, “O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! how
oft would I have gathered your children as a hen gathers her brood,
but _ye would not_.” In this view of the subject, the man of God could
say, “_Choose_ ye this day whom ye will serve.” In the same spirit, the
Lord says, “If any man _will_ come after me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross daily and follow me.” To the same amount, the apostle
Paul says, “To whomsoever _you yield yourselves_ servants to obey,
his servants ye are.” In the same Spirit, the New Testament closes,
saying, “Whoever _will_, let him come.” This justifies the Lord in
saying, “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance.” This all being so, the Lord, in referring to the
last judgment, refers to the wickedness of man, as the ground of their
condemnation. He says, _they who have done evil_, shall come forth to
the resurrection of damnation. They who _do his commandments_, shall
enter by the gates into the city, and have a right to the tree of life.
The Lord says, “Because I have called and ye refused; I have stretched
out my hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my
counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your
calamity, and mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as
desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress
and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will
not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; for
that they hated knowledge, and did not _choose_ the fear of the Lord.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled
with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay
them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be
quiet from fear of evil.” Prov. i. 24-33. This, my friends, is the
wisdom of God. It will stand when all human reasoning will go for
nothing.



THE NEW AND THE OLD.


We do not desire to prevent discussion and investigation, or to deprive
brethren of great inventive genius from exercising their extraordinary
powers, nor to deprive men of the pleasure of making discoveries; but
we are not favorable to allowing every man the privilege of taking
out a patent right for everything that may be new _to him_; because
it may not only be old with others, but _useless_, or even an old
and oft exploded error. What we need now is, not so much men to make
discoveries and invent something _new_, as men to push the _old_, the
well-tried, and that which is known to be valuable. We do not desire,
on the one hand, to be everlastingly hearing some new thing, nor, on
the other hand, prohibited from hearing any thing new. We do not desire
to be ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the
truth, nor to be never learning; but to have our eyes open to anything
profitable, that may be advanced, and continue in the faithful practice
of what we know. But the main work is to push the truth through the
world which we already have. Nothing is more sickening and disgusting,
than for some mere boys, who have hardly read a half-dozen volumes, to
start out under a pretence of discovering _new_ truth, “going on to
perfection,” explaining the inner and outer man, the inner light, inner
consciousness, conscience, the will, new modes of revelation, the
manner of the Spirit’s work, etc., etc. We have had a perfect surfeit
of all this kind of thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

We do not need proud and vain young men to invent something new and
glorify themselves, but humble and devoted young men, who will be
content to “preach the word,” “contend earnestly for the faith once
delivered to the saints,” and persevere in pushing the gospel through
the world. We have no faith in these young _sap heads_ who are trying
to render themselves famous by pointing out to the world the errors of
Alexander Campbell. It is true that it is not absolutely impossible
that even a very young man should discover some important new truth, or
an old one, that had, for a time, been neglected and covered up, but it
is not at all probable; and certain it is, that it is not the province
of young men to spend a large share of their time in trying to present
something new. We claim not to have comprehended all truth, so as to
render it impossible for any thing more to be discovered; but the main
work is to impress the truth we have upon the rising generation, and
bring as many as possible under its influence. We want humble, working,
and pious men, to spread the principles of the gospel through the world.



“MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.”


No people can or ought to prosper that will not respect the wisdom of
God as set forth in both the teaching and example of our Lord and his
apostles. We can not make ourselves, as a great, rapidly increasing and
prospering body, an exception to this rule. If we desire and intend
to prosper in the great and good work of uniting saints, building up
the church and saving men, we must confine ourselves strictly to the
gospel—to the things of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus
Christ—determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified—to
glory in nothing but the cross of Christ. Our mission, as a religious
body, as a christian ministry, and as christian writers, is not of this
world. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through
God, to the pulling down of strong holds. “We wrestle not against flesh
and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in the
heavenly regions.” Our King commanded one of his men, when he drew a
sword, and commencing battle with it, struck off the ear of the servant
Malchus, to _put up the sword_, adding that they who take the sword
_shall perish by the sword_. The apostle Paul fits out the christian
soldier and equips him for his work. The following are the habiliments
for the warfare: The loins are to be girt about with _truth_, the
breast-plate of _righteousness_ is to be put on, the feet are to be
shod with a _preparation of the gospel_. The shield of _faith_ is to be
taken, the helmet of _salvation_ and the sword of the _Spirit_, which
is the _word of God_. Here is the christian armor—our preparation
for war. There is nothing carnal about it—no preparation to war
against flesh and blood. We must hold fast to this armor—the heavenly
armor—and use it with skill, resorting to no other, and we shall see
the tall sons of men in thousands fall before us and join the army.



POLICY IN PREACHING.


Public men must be prudent, judicious and noble in their bearing,
presenting the truth in the love of it. Men must not miscalculate their
influence, their power, and time for presenting things. Preachers
must know _when_ and _where_ things are to be said and done. Many men
drive their audiences away, by their repulsive course, and think it
the opposition of the people to the truth, that drives them away. We
speak plainly on all the great issues between ourselves and the parties
around us, in the pulpit, and yet seldom give offense, and never fail
to have a good hearing from the parties around us, and seldom fail to
gain some of them to the truth. And, what is better, when they are
gained, _they are gained indeed_—not by persuading them that there
is but little difference between us, but by making them both _see and
feel_ the difference, _and convincing them of the truth_. Any thing
short of this is of no account.

Some men are for using a little Jesuitism. They would preach on
common ground matters till they draw their hearers on and gain their
attention. But we have nothing to do with any such policy. There is
a vast amount of the most important and plain truth in the gospel,
that the parties around us know comparatively nothing about, and
consequently have no objection to it. They will hear it and be pleased
with it. The main matter is to develop fully and largely, in the
simplest style possible, with heart and solicitude for the happiness
and salvation of the people, the whole scheme of redemption from the
beginning, as if the people knew nothing at all about it. This must
be done with power, and not in a prosing, indifferent and unfeeling
manner. It will find way to honest hearts, in almost any community in
this country.



THE CAUSE OF CHRIST IS ABOVE PARTISAN POLITICS.


We have done a noble work, and that work is not to be foiled, defeated
and destroyed by men who know not our Master and love not his cause.
We have been raised up by the Lord to be a mighty community. God has a
mission for us, a great mission, and we are not to be defeated in it.
That mission must be done. The Lord has put into our hands facilities
for doing this great work, and he requires it at our hands. That work
is simply to restore his own pure religion to the people of this
generation, and build up the church as it was at the beginning. We
have ascertained that the Lord laid but one foundation, reared but one
building upon it, had but one temple, one body, one family, but one
church. This one body had but one head, but one leader, and we are to
keep our eye on him, follow him, love him and serve him for ever. We
can not turn aside to the strifes of the world, from our legitimate
work. We have preached union among the children of God, struggled
for it and prayed for it long and ardently, and we now appreciate
its value more than ever, since we feel its power and influence in
time of trouble. An influence that can bind us _in one body_, in _one
fellowship_, in the midst of such commotions and excitements, is not of
this world. It is not an earthly influence, but above the earth. It is
from God. We know each other as the children of God, the disciples of
Christ, as christians, and not as political partisans. We know not a
man because he belongs to this political party, or that; not because he
lives on the one side of a geographical line, or the other; not because
he holds to this political creed or that; but we know him because he is
a child of God, an heir of the same inheritance, and redeemed by the
same blood of the Covenant. The bond that binds us together is not an
earthly bond, and it is not limited by time. It is the _love_ of God.
It is not limited to this world, but shall last co-existent with the
years of God. It shall live and be fresh and vigorous when all worldly
schemes and policies and their advocates, shall be forgotten. Those who
enjoy it shall also live beyond all the turmoil of political strife,
beyond all the struggles and trials that beset our faith in this life.
May we not live in vain, but do good in our day and generation. Mercy
and peace upon the Israel of God.



“COME OUT OF BABYLON.”


The Lord calls to his people wherever they may be scattered in Babylon,
saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.” We live emphatically
in the time for extending this cry, and we must extend it. The warning
to those in danger, is a most righteous and benevolent warning, and
those who hear it shall praise God forever, that it has reached their
hearts, and induced them to abandon the devoted city. There is no
escape for one soul, only by fleeing to the Lord, and that can only be
done by abandoning all human laws, and adhering to the law of the Lord.
“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who
refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we
turn away from him that speaketh from heaven; whose voice then shook
the earth; but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake
not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more,
signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things
that are made, that those things that can not be shaken, may remain.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which can not be moved, let us have
grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly
fear.” Thanks to Heaven, there is a kingdom that can not be moved.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but, _he that doeth the will_ of my Father who is
in heaven.” “He,” says the Lord, “who hears these sayings of mine, and
does them, I will liken him to a wise man.” “He who hears these sayings
of mine, and does them not, I will liken him to a foolish man.” Our
work is to try and call the attention of all nations to the sayings of
our Lord, and induce them to hear him. They must hear him, or be lost
for ever.

Come out of Babylon, O you saints of the Lord, wherever you are, and
commit yourselves to the hands of the Lord. “Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive
not of her plagues.” Hear the holy John describe her destruction: “A
mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into
the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city, Babylon, be
thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. Rejoice over her, thou
heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you
on her.” “After these things, I heard a great voice of much people in
heaven, saying, Alleluia: Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power,
unto the Lord, our God; for true and righteous are his judgments; for
he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her
fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
And again, they said, Alleluia, and her smoke rose up forever and ever.
And the four and twenty elders, and the four living creatures fell down
and worshipped him that sat upon the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia!
And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God all ye his
servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it
were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters,
and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord
God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor
to him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his wife hath made
herself ready.”

Wonderful things are before us, and let us be in readiness for their
approach. When Paul was leaving the disciples, expecting to meet them
no more in the flesh, he said, “I commend you to God and to the word of
his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance
among all them that are sanctified.” This same word, another Apostle
says, is able to save your souls, and the Lord says, “The words which
I speak to you shall judge you in the last day.” His word lives and
abides forever and ever. If we were making our dying request, and that
to the dearest friends we have on earth, we would request them to
abandon all human authorities and hold on to the word of the Lord for
ever.



PREACH “FIRST PRINCIPLES.”


There is no telling the evils that have arisen in some old
congregations, from preachers assuming that their audiences knew all
about what are usually called first principles, and not preaching
them. In this way, they never get their audiences to understand the
principles of the gospel at all. They preach to their half-sleeping
audiences, not _hearers_, some little, exhortatory sermon, of
twenty-five or thirty minutes, and not a syllable is recollected two
days. The people are thankful that the sermon was short, and the
preacher thankful that “service” is over. In this way the gospel has
literally been shut out of some churches, and year after year passes
without any thing like a clear development of the gospel, and neither
the church nor the regular hearers understand the gospel, or know the
difference between the gospel and something else. This also gives rise
to textuary preaching and preaching a sermon “to develop a single
thought.” We heard of one preacher who delivered a sermon on the
text, “And there shall be no night there.” The wording was soft as a
summer breeze and as harmless as a butterfly. Now, we must say that
we abominate this as mere trash. We want good, sound, solid and manly
preaching, containing principles and practical instruction, that will
make an audience _think_ and _feel_, and _that to some purpose_. Let us
advocate the cause, maintain and defend it, with zeal, earnestness and
power. Unfold the great principles of the faith, spread them out and
let the world see them, and see at the same time that we intend they
shall prevail. The principles are self-evidently right, and there is
no reason why any man should be ashamed of them, or afraid to advocate
them. They can be carried through the world, and we have the men and
ability, and, the Lord helping us, we shall spread them throughout the
land.



DEVELOPING THE TALENTS OF THE YOUNG.


We must make an effort to bring out our young people. If they are
brought into the church, and not employed any way, not induced to do
anything, nor in any way made useful, one half of them will be led off
into the world again. A bishop who understands this matter, will engage
not simply the attention of the young, but their ability, whatever it
may be, and bring it out. We fell in company with a bishop of this kind
a few evenings since, on the cars, who informed us, if our memory is
not at fault, that out of about forty male members in his congregation,
in Illinois, all but some three took some part in the public worship,
by way of reading, prayer, or exhortation. We have recently heard of
several churches of this sort. These can worship without a preacher,
can “draw out an audience,” and will, in a short time, send out
preachers. Bishops who thus bring forward their young men, are bishops
indeed. They do not imagine that their work is to sing, pray, preach,
break the loaf, rule, and do every thing, and that the duty of the
audience is simply to obey them. It is the work of a Christian bishop
to develop and bring out the talent in the congregation, and apply it
to the work of the Lord. Here is where our preachers are to come from.
The church must furnish the preachers of Christ. No other institution
will ever do it. We need not look to our colleges to make preachers.
They will never do it. We need the colleges as much as any of our
brethren have ever thought; but not to make preachers, but _to educate
our young men who want to preach or do anything else_.



WHAT A PREACHER MUST BE.


He must be earnest. Men who preach the gospel of Christ must be
earnest. They must not trifle with the gospel and the souls of men.
The theme is too vast, the responsibility too great and the issues
too momentous to be treated in a careless, indifferent and prosing
manner. The idea of a man speaking of questions of life and death,
eternal happiness and eternal misery, the glories to be revealed at
the appearing and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the terrible
destruction that shall be the destiny to all who obey not the gospel,
in a cold, dull and unfeeling manner, is preposterous. These are the
most awful, momentous and sublime themes that ever dwelt upon the lips
of men; and let him who speaks of them, remember that he is pleading in
a case of life and death. Let him speak with earnestness, spirit and
power.

He must be a man of perseverance. A man who can not preach a week
without any success, and not become discouraged, had better go home.
He is not the man. It is nothing strange to preach a dozen or fifteen
discourses without success. Let him preach again. If he still has
no success, let him humble himself before the Lord, in most fervent
prayer, and make another effort. If he shall still fail in one place,
go to another, and try again. Remember Noah, who preached one hundred
and twenty years, without an addition, and preach on and pray on. Trust
in the Lord, and work on.

He must be a man that can not be discouraged. He must be determined
that he will listen to no discouraging tales. When met by some
faint-hearted, sickly, and half-believing brother, who doles out his
story about the troubles among the brethren, the opposition to be
encountered, and how “hard a place it is,” where he is operating, he
must pay no attention to it, but rise above it, and bear it in mind
that there are good and honest-hearted souls in every community, who
will receive and obey the gospel, if it is faithfully presented. Keep
these in your mind, preaching brother, and try to save them, and you
will succeed in a vast majority of cases. Inspire your audience with
courage and confidence, especially the brethren. Allow no whining,
complaining, and saying, “We can’t do anything,” and believe nothing
of the kind. You _can do something_, and you must tell the people so,
and _keep on_ till you do it. You must not work in doubt, but in strong
confidence that you have the truth—that you are advocating the cause
of righteousness—that God is in it, will be with you, never leave you
nor forsake you—that you can, by the help of the Lord, make the cause
prosper, and will do it.



THEORY AND PRACTICE.


It is one thing for a man to _say_ he is for the Bible, the whole Bible
and nothing but the Bible, and it is quite another thing to _learn_
and _practice_ some of the first and clearest lessons of the Bible.
The only authority there is in the Bible for preaching the gospel at
all, requires that it be preached in all the world—to every creature.
Yet, strange to say, the first thing many seem to think of, and the
only thing, is the mere vicinity where they reside. They are frequently
few, weak and uninfluential; can get no preacher to their vicinity; or
if they do get one once in a great while, they entertain him with an
account of their weakness and inability to pay, make him sacrifice more
to preach for them than they all sacrifice to support him. In other
words, if they ought to give him thirty dollars, by a hard stretch they
raise fifteen dollars, and send him off fifteen dollars minus what he
ought to have had. After thus disheartening him, breaking him down and
starving him, or especially his wife and children, they comment upon
the old adage, “charity begins at home.”

Declaim against foreign missions, and prepare to give the State Board
twenty-five dollars if the Board will send them one hundred dollars
worth of preaching. After they treat a preacher in this way a few
times, he is compelled from absolute necessity to abandon them. Thus,
isolated, forsaken and helpless, they take no publications, know
nothing of what is going on, pine away and die. This shows the utter
fallacy of little, weak and helpless congregations keeping themselves
isolated. They should act with their brethren, report themselves, be
known in all their efforts, and send in their contributions, no matter
how small. The ground of complaint here is, however, more on the part
of preachers than any place else. In all our preaching, we should
inculcate a missionary spirit, the importance of acting in harmony,
unitedly and with energy in all our undertakings to evangelize the
world.



THE CONVERTING POWER.


Men are talking of justification by _faith alone_; but the main trouble
is, that they have no faith. They have no confidence in the gospel,
the power of God. They have no confidence in preaching the cross
of Christ, the power and wisdom of God. They have no confidence in
preaching Christ to save the world. They never preach Christ with any
animation—any spirit or power. They have deserted God’s ordained power
to save men, and are dealing out their insipid theories of spiritual
influence, their views and philosophies, which have nothing in them to
save, if they were all true. Preaching theories of the Word or of the
Spirit, of the mode of the Divine existence, or of anything else, has
no power to convert or save any one. All the preaching of Calvinism
or Arminianism, of Trinitarianism or Unitarianism, of Necessity or
Freedom, or all the other theories ever preached, whether true or
false, never saved one soul of our poor fallen race. But the preaching
of the gospel, preaching Christ, the cross of Christ, is the ordained
work for the Christian ministry. This is unequivocally the power God
has authorized them to exercise in saving sinners. We know it will save
sinners, from the following three reasons:

1. The Holy Spirit declares it to be “the power of God, to every one
that believes.”

2. The apostles and first ministers of Christ preached it to the
salvation of thousands in a single day, and millions in a few years.

3. We are preaching the gospel almost every day of our life, and find
it bringing sinners to Christ. We have all faith in the gospel, the
ancient gospel, preached in its purity and simplicity, as the only
means of saving man. It will save men. It is the power of God to save
men. We realize this more and more every year. The blessing of the
Lord is attending every man who has faith in Christ, in his word, and
preaches the gospel honestly.

But we know that those brethren who oppose us in this, are wrong, for
the following reasons:

1. The Lord never said that their theories upon any subject, were the
power of God unto salvation to anybody, either Jew or Greek.

2. The apostles never preached in their style.

3. They convert nobody when they do preach.

4. The church dies under their preaching in every instance.

Brethren, have all confidence in the gospel of your salvation; preach
it, advocate it, propagate it; perpetuate and hand it down to the
future generations. We have all confidence in it; expect to lean upon
it while living and when dying. “We commend you to God and to the
word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an
inheritance among all them who are sanctified,” said an old saint, when
leaving a church, and when assuring the disciples that they should see
his face no more. The gospel will live; and, those who have confidence
in it, love it, preach it, and practice it, will live co-existent with
the years of God.



IMPERFECT MEDIUM FOR A PERFECT REVELATION.


Human language, perfect or imperfect, is the only medium through which
a revelation to man ever was or ever can be made. We do not claim
for the _medium_ that it is perfect, but the _revelation itself_ is
perfect. The imperfection of language and instability form the occasion
for new translations and revisions. Revelation, when first given to
man, was perfect and the language employed to convey it to the mind
of man answered the purpose. In the providence of God, the original
languages through which revelation was made died, and consequently
ceased to change. But, in the very nature of things, a living language
is always changing. The circumstance, however, that language is
an imperfect vehicle through which to convey divine things, is no
objection to the divine things thus conveyed to us. It maybe a reason
why our knowledge of revelation will never be perfect in this life;
but certainly no reason why revelation itself shall be considered
imperfect. It may be alleged that revelation to man is more difficult
on account of the imperfection and instability of language; but the
same difficulty lies in the way of every kind of communications to men.

The true state of the case is, that the medium of language is
sufficiently perfect and entirely adequate for all the purposes of
a revelation to mankind. The communication from God to man found in
the Bible is sufficiently clear and intelligible for all the purposes
of its original design. The man who will make an honest effort, can
understand the will of God concerning him—can discriminate between
good and evil, right and wrong, the way to hell and the way to heaven.
But the man who will not make an honest effort, would not be a
Christian if one would rise from the dead before his eyes. If he had
seen the Lord in person he would have found occasion for caviling. The
seed of the kingdom must fall into a _good_ and _honest_ heart.

It is useless to fall out with the medium through which revelation has
come to man. The best medium in existence was employed, the very one
through which we communicate man with man, and the one with which man
is more familiar than any other—the medium of _language_.



OVERLOOKING HUMBLE BUT GOOD MEN.


We have lately been reflecting upon an opportunity for doing great
good perfectly within our reach, to which many are paying but little
attention. Who among our brethren are thinking how many humble,
unassuming and comparatively obscure men we have, who are actually
doing a great work, and not only doing it at their own charges, but
doing it without thanks or even credit from their brethren? While we
are paying much attention to a few men of popularity, influence and
fame, we are overlooking a large number of the best, truest, most
self-sacrificing men the Lord has given us. These, too, are the men who
are doing the main body of the work, and they are the main supports
of the cause. They are men of good sense, piety and devotion; men
of excellent character, an honor to the cause and a credit to the
brotherhood, who are penetrating the private neighborhoods, preaching
in private houses, school houses, barns, shops, and open groves,
and bringing thousands to the fold every year; and in the place of
the brethren making any arrangement to support them, or even saying
anything to encourage them, they are saying discouraging things of
them, such as that “they can’t preach”—“they are little preachers,”
etc., etc.

Now, we desire to hear of some old church, where wealth abounds,
instead of monopolizing money and talent in preaching in their midst,
where probably they can do but little good, making arrangements outside
to sustain some good man, such as we have described, to visit those
by-ways all through the land, where most numbers may be converted and
the work of the Lord greatly extended. We have the men to do this
work, good men, men in whom we have all confidence, who desire to
do this work, and are doing it measurably without charge. These men
do not desire large wages for their work. Indeed, they have shown,
in many instances, that they will work on, pay or no pay. But they
could do vastly more if they were supported. Now, the idea of our
fixing our eye upon a few talented men, paying them large salaries,
and wholly neglecting these, is manifestly wrong. It is sinful. We
saw six or eight preachers such as we allude to, together in Mexico,
Missouri,—and we find them in every community, and we vouch for the
fact, that more than one-half of all the accessions reported are from
men of this description.

We live in a time when humble men and good men are overlooked; when
working men are forgotten and neglected; and we desire to make a plea
in behalf of these. They are the men who are willing to go into all
the highways and by-places—to preach in the private house, the school
house, the barn, the shop or the grove. A large proportion of all the
work that has been done is the result of the sacrifices, labors and
toils of this class of men. They are the men that will now do the work,
do it well, and with less expense than any others. There are hundreds
of men of this description that have never received one hundred dollars
in a year for all their hard labor. We have in our mind several of
this class, who have brought into the fold large numbers every year,
and have received for their labor comparatively nothing. Will not the
brethren make arrangements to do something for these brethren? They are
willing to go among the poor, the destitute, and preach to them the
unsearchable riches of Christ.

If those who have means to expend for the cause, will look to this
class of men and to their work and aid them, they will do one hundred
per cent. more with their means than is generally the case. These will
go where another class of men will not go, and do a work that another
class of men will not do, and yet a work every way as important to
the conversion of the world. Send these men all through the land, and
convert the country, and then we can easily convert the city. We have
a large number of this class of men who can be employed for two, three
and four hundred dollars a year, to preach a great portion of their
time, and they are the only men who can and will penetrate all the
nooks and corners of the land. The Lord help us to appreciate these
good men, and see that they are aided in their labors of love and work
of faith.



SUGGESTIONS TO A YOUNG SCEPTIC.


      A young gentleman had called for the reconciliation of
    certain points in the New Testament narratives, which, to
    his mind, seemed incongruous. After noting each of the
    points separately, in the _A. C. Review_, for May, 1859, the
    editor added:


But, my dear sir, the reconciling what to you may be apparent
discrepancies, is no reason for your becoming a Christian; nor should
you think me unable to reconcile them, or should I really be unable to
reconcile them, or should all men be unable to reconcile them, that
would still be no reason why you or any man should reject Christ. The
inability to reconcile these matters may arise from our ignorance and
not from the fact that they are irreconcilable. It would not be a
reason for rejecting the gospel, if the statements of these witnesses
were really in themselves irreconcilable or inaccurate. The inaccuracy
might easily have found its way into their testimony, in translating,
transcribing, or interpolation, and Christ still be divine. The
whole matter rests _upon Christ_, and not upon the congruity or the
incongruity of the sacred narratives, unless their consistency can be
so impaired as to destroy their testimony concerning Christ. The matter
is not whether you can reconcile all the statements of Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John, whether you can show their consistency and understand
them throughout, but whether you believe in Christ or not, whether you
will receive him or not. Can you say, sir, that you are pondering in
your mind whether to regard Jesus as _divine_ or an _imposter_? This
is the question for you to fix your eye upon. You have not time now to
study the whole Bible and decide upon a sentence at a time, whether you
believe it or not. It would take you a long time to become a Christian
in that way. You should not go to the Bible for that purpose, but go
there to learn all about Christ, the purity of his life, his wonderful
teachings, his miracles, his perfect knowledge of what is in man, the
fulfillment of all the prophecies in him, with an eye simply upon
the question—is he the Christ, the Son of God? You can shape your
inquiries in different forms, though constantly bearing upon the same
question, by inquiring as follows: Was Jesus perfect in his life? If
he was, he was more than man, for no mere man ever was perfect. Were
his teachings perfect? If they were, they were not of man, for no mere
man ever gave the world perfect teachings. All merely human teachings,
in all the world, and in all ages, have been imperfect, and, it is a
miracle in itself, for a perfect being to appear among men, in human
form, or a perfect system of teaching to be presented by him to man. He
emphatically _spake as never man spake_.

Can it be possible that you, my dear sir, are vacillating in your mind
whether Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? Can you doubt whether
he was the friend of man? whether he loved man? whether you would be
infallibly safe under his guidance? Can you doubt whether he was good?
whether his teaching was good? whether it was safe? You must feel
conscious that he is the Christ, the Son of God—the friend of man—that
he loved man—that he went about doing good—that you are infallibly safe
in following him—that his teaching is good—that it is divine. You would
not now deny him for the world. Your eternal all is in him. If the
worst things infidels have ever said of him were true, it is better and
safer to follow him, than them; for they admit that he was better than
they, and his teaching better than their own. As you value your soul,
follow him.



DIALOGUE ABOUT THE PREACHER.


The following dialogue between Dr. Pietus and Dr. Fastidious, occurred
in a social company, in a parlor, and, thinking it might be profitable
to some brethren, and even churches, we have concluded to publish it
entire, without recommending or condemning it; therefore, we let it
speak for itself:

DR. FASTIDIOUS.—I have, for some time, desired an opportunity to say a
few words, though confidentially to you, Dr. Pietus, touching our
preacher. I think he is not a suitable man, for such a prominent place
as this. You know that we frequently have men of distinction here.
Besides, our city is one of prominence, and we ought to have a man of
distinction.

DR. PIETUS.—I think our preacher is a good man, Doctor, a sound man, and
a man of great moral worth. I thought he gave us one of the best
exhortations at the prayer-meeting, on last Wednesday night, I ever
heard. Did you not think so?

DR. F.—I was not there. He is so uninteresting that I but rarely go to
hear him. I know that he is a good man, and sound enough. But then, he
is a very _common_ man, and not sufficiently showy and eloquent for us.
We need a first-class preacher in a city like this; a man who can draw
out an audience.

DR. P.—I never think of such a thing as a preacher to _draw Christians
out to meeting_. The Lord draws me out to meeting. He has promised
to be there, and I have never found his promise to fail. I am never
disappointed, for I go to meeting believing that he will be there,
and I always find him. But those who only go because they love some
preacher, frequently get disappointed; for the preacher being a
fallible creature, often fails to attend. But I do think our preacher
is a good preacher. I do not know where we could get a better man.

DR. F.—We need a man of distinction and notoriety, who will attract
attention, and draw out an audience. I would then go out and try to do
something. But, I have no faith in doing anything, till we have a more
attractive preacher.

DR. P.—My dear sir, we will never get a preacher who can draw
out an audience, unless _we draw too_. As much depends upon a church
in drawing out an audience as the preacher. No preacher can draw out
an audience unless the church does its part. We must do our part as a
church, or no preacher in the world can do us any good. I still think
our present preacher has done about as much for us, as any man could
have done under the circumstances. It is not a different kind of
preacher we need, but a _different kind of a church_. We need members
that will attend the public worship, sing, pray, exhort, and stand
at their post. In one word, we need a church that will stand by the
preacher, encourage, sustain him, and hold up his hands.

DR. F.—I never saw such a man as you are. You can be satisfied with any
kind of preaching. I never saw you present when any man preached, when
you did not appear satisfied, no matter how bungling he was.

DR. P.—I think but little about preachers, have fewer favorites, and
more rarely speak in praise or complaint of preachers, than almost any
man you can find. I am not thinking of the _messenger_, but of the
_message_.

DR. F.—I can not bear a prosing, stammering and dry preacher. I have
not heard our preacher present anything _new_ in three months. I like
to _learn something_ when I go to hear preaching.

DR. P.—When were you at meeting last? I do not recollect seeing you for
some three months in the meeting house.

DR. F.—I have been pressed with—I have not been very well—the preaching
has not suited me, and there are many in the church that should have
been excluded long since.

DR. P.—No wonder you have heard nothing _new_ from our brother; for
you have not heard him at all. If his preaching had been the best in
the world, it would have done you no good, while you did not hear it.
I will tell you, my dear brother, how to make preaching better to us:
Read the Scriptures every day; pray night and morning; talk to every
one you meet _about religion_, and your heart will be full of the
theme. You will then like to hear any man who can preach at all. Attend
all the meetings, participate in the songs, prayers, exhortations and
all the other parts of public worship, and you will then be interested
in all that you hear from good men.

DR. F.—Your notions of preaching will not do. Our city is one of
intelligence. This community, you must recollect, is highly enlightened,
and we must have a man here that keeps pace with the age. We frequently
have statesmen, lawyers, physicians and men of the first rank in
attendance, and it is useless to think of interesting these with any
_common_ talents. We must have a man of taste, refinement, and highly
accomplished.

DR. P.—When did our Lord ever try to arrest the attention of the elite
of this world by _show_, by mere human _polish_ and _flourish_? Never,
never, Doctor, as you certainly know. Are you not aware, my dear sir,
that the wisdom of God is not in this vain and worldly thing that you
speak of? Sensible people, those truly enlightened and great, can
understand the gospel, appreciate and receive it, when it is simplified
and made appreciable to the masses of the people. Not only so, doctor,
but the class you aim to please, though enlightened in the things of
the world, and accomplished, they are more unenlightened in the things
of the kingdom of God, than many that you never think of pleasing. I
am for a preacher that will try to please the Lord, whether he pleases
your distinguished men or not.

DR. F.—We have had some of the best speakers in the world here, and the
truth is, the people here know what good talent is, and they will not
be satisfied with ordinary men. The people here have been well taught.
No man can attract attention here unless he is a superior man.

DR. P.—That the people here have heard some men of good preaching
talent, is true; but that they are well-read and well taught in
christianity, is far from true. That they understand Jesus or the
apostles well, is far from true. Many perfectly country places and
rural districts contain far more gospel light than may be found in
the bounds of our congregation. We presume that we are wise, while
many plain men from the country are astonished when they converse with
us, that we are so ignorant. To be plain with you, my dear brother,
I know of no place where there is, at this time, more need of plain,
old-fashioned, New Testament preaching than here. It is not worldly
show that we need; we have that now in abundance. We need the simple
teachings of Jesus, solemnly and affectionately impressed upon our
hearts, by some good man who loves us and will try to save us. In the
place of being inflated with the conceit that we are well taught, far
advanced and highly elevated in christian attainments, so that no man
except one of the most exalted accomplishments can teach us, we should
be sensible of what is the true state of the case, viz: That almost
any plain and good man who preaches among us, can teach us many useful
lessons that we do not know.

DR. F.—I can not agree with you. I have had my face burn more than once,
in listening to some ignorant brother, blundering and trying to preach,
who evidently did not understand his mother tongue, and that, too, in
the presence of some distinguished persons. I can never countenance
such a state of things.

DR. P.—Doctor, I had rather hear some good man, who can not speak his
mother tongue correctly, tell the plain story of the cross of Christ,
in the love of Jesus, and in the spirit and power of a holy man of God,
a thousand times, than to listen to one of your _showy men_, who can
preach a beautiful sermon without any Jesus, Holy Spirit, love of God,
or anything else, but _the man himself_ in it. I desire preaching that
will convert men to Jesus—to christianity and not to men. The converts
will then love Jesus, meet and worship him and do those things that are
pleasing in his sight. We do not want a man here to _worship him_, but
to preach Jesus to us and teach us to worship Him.

DR. F.—With your views of the subject, we shall never do any good. We
shall never draw out an audience, nor accomplish anything. I am in
favor of procuring a man at a salary of $2,000 or $2,500, that will
command the respect of our city. Then we shall do some good. I am
willing to give liberally when such an arrangement can be made, but
I do not think our preacher is doing any good, and shall not give
anything for his support.

DR. P.—I am sorry to hear you speak so. Nothing, in my estimation could
be more disastrous to us. This would consume about all we could
possibly raise, so that we could not raise a dollar for missions, for
colleges, the poor or anything only to pay a man to preach _to us_. At
this rate our large congregation would only just be able to support
itself and bear its own weight! Who is to convert the world at this
rate! If we can not do anything more than sustain ourselves who are to
support missions, build colleges and take care of the poor? If you had
such a preacher as you want, he would have to do everything himself,
or you would not be satisfied. Not a brother in the church would ever
pray, exhort, or do anything that would call forth a gift, or develop
any talents that might be among our numbers. Hence in all these city
churches where some great man is the center of attraction, they rarely
ever bring forward any young preachers, or develop any new talent. They
simply monopolize talent brought out and developed some place else. I
am in favor of preachers of ability, not only in our city churches, but
as far as possible, in all the churches. But the way must be opened
among us for the development of talent in the church. Our pride must
not despise incipient efforts—plain and humble men, nor human weakness.
It is in all men more or less, though not always developed in the same
form.

DR. F.—I think if we had such a preacher as I wish, we would draw out
an audience, convert many people and greatly extend the cause in one
year.

DR. P.—No, Doctor, that would not be the case. The preacher we have is
just as good as any man we can get. He is a man of unquestionable
talents and piety and if we stand by him, aid him and encourage him,
thus showing to the world that we respect him, those without will also
respect him and he will succeed. If we had the most gifted man on
the continent and the members of the church would treat him as they
have done our present preacher he would do nothing. By our absenting
ourselves, we virtually say, what you have in so many words said, that
_our preacher can do no good here_. When the members of the church thus
speak and act, neither a man nor an angel can do any thing; and, if I
were the preacher, I would not stay a moment with brethren who would
thus treat me. I would go where I could be appreciated. Doctor, come to
meeting and let us make one good effort and see if we can not bring our
church out. Let us produce a change in the church, and then probably
our preacher will do well enough. I think we need a change in the
church more than in the preacher, or preaching.



“THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONSTRAINS.”


The preachers who love Christ better than partyism, will preach Christ,
will call the people to Christ, and induce them to love him, and love
all that do love him. They will inquire _his_ will, and do it. They
will exchange the love of party for the love of Christ, and find it
so much higher, holier, purer and happier, that they will ignore all
party feuds, wrangling and strifes, and maintain simply “the faith once
delivered to the saints.” No doctrinal corrections, or corrections in
ordinances, or in organization and government, will ever amount to
anything, or save a people, who have not the _love of Christ_. We may
be told that we may be mistaken, that they do love Christ. We cannot
be mistaken in this, for the Lord says, “From the abundance of the
heart, the mouth speaks. A man full of the love of Christ, will speak
of Christ. The theme of his heart will dwell upon his tongue. Where
Christ has promised to be, they will be with him.” “Where two or three
are met together in my name, there,” says the Lord, “_I will be_.” How
many go to these places where Jesus has promised to be? How many go to
the Lord’s table, to remember his dying love? How many of the preachers
will sit down together, as loving disciples, and meditate upon his
dying love, his great suffering, as he bore our sins on the accursed
tree?

When we have lost friends, we go to the grave, and think of them, try
to bring them up in our memories. We talk with our friends about them,
and about seeing them and meeting them in another state. How often do
the professors of religion, in our times, think of the grave of Jesus,
his resurrection, his coronation? How often do they commemorate his
sufferings, and meditate upon his great love to us? His name is almost
set aside, his sufferings almost forgotten, his love, even his dying
love, scarcely mentioned! Yet the word of the Lord, when translated
into English, thunders in our ears!—“If any man love not the Lord
Jesus Christ, he will be accursed when the Lord comes.” We shall hear
these words, and be judged by them, in a day when we shall feel their
force. Jesus is the “one Lord,” the one object of love, the one head
and king. Shall we make an effort to rescue the people from party
influence, and win their hearts and affections from all the frivolous
objects upon which they are placed in partyism, and place them upon Him
who is the express image of the invisible God, the brightness of the
Father’s glory, and in whom all the fullness of the godhead dwells
bodily? Who, with the love of Christ in his own breast, can fail to see
that the work now for good men, is to call the attention of all men to
Christ, to his word, his cause, his church, his salvation, his way,
that they may love him supremely, and be his for evermore?



CONCLUSION OF THE YEAR.


Dear Reader, we are now about closing another year. This number
completes our weekly visits for another year. The time appears short
since we made the first visit this year, still, fifty-two weeks have
run their course. Another year has fled, and is now numbered with the
years before the flood. The good deeds of the righteous are entered on
the records of eternity, to come up to their everlasting honor in the
day when the righteous judge shall award to every man according to his
works. Not only so, but all the crimes, the transgressions, and acts of
disobedience of every variety, in a long catalogue, have gone up and
been registered in the book of remembrance before the Lord. What a list
must that be! What a spectacle must this world be, with all its dark
crimes and acts of rebellion against the Majesty of heaven and earth, to
the eye of the omniscient One! Every den of drunkenness, debauchery,
profanity, lying and gambling, lies spread open to the All-seeing
eye. Not an oath falls without his notice, not a fraud, a deception,
cheat, lie, or crime of any sort escapes Omniscience. All, all sins,
transgressions and misdemeanors of every sort are treasured up and kept
in store for the day of final account.

What adds to the solemnity of the matter is, that no amends can be
made in acts of the past. There they stand irrevocably, so far as we
are concerned. The Lord may wash away every stain in his own precious
blood, where persons come to him in a proper manner. But even this
does not amend for the past. It takes away our guilt, and is a means
of saving us. But the wrongs done remain wrong and will so remain for
ever. Repentance changes not the wrong done. In the same way, the
good neglected, during the year now closing, will so remain for ever.
We can do good, it is true, the coming year; but that we could have
done, and that it would have been our duty to have done, if we had
done good all last year. Opportunities for doing good never return.
Other opportunities may come, but they would have come if no previous
opportunities had been neglected. You had an opportunity this year to
have ministered to the wants of the poor widow, the orphan, the sick,
the afflicted and distressed, but these opportunities are now gone, and
gone forever. If neglected, there is no remedy; that neglect remains
forever. We may repent, obtain forgiveness and do good in time to come,
but all that good could have been done just as well had there been no
previous neglect, and would have been more liable to have been done,
for one delinquency opens the way for another and has a tendency to
induce it.

In closing the year, it is well enough for us to cast an eye back over
the ground, not to amend the year now closing, for that is impossible,
but to see where the delinquency has been, and determine that a similar
delinquency shall not be found in the work of the coming year. In
this way, we may profit by looking over the past. What, then has been
entered to our account on the records of eternity? What have we done as
a great religious body? What have we done as individual congregations,
or communities? What have we done as families? What have we done as
individuals? What have we done as teachers in the Sunday schools? What
have we done as preachers of the gospel? What have we done as religious
editors? Now is the time to review and see how the account stands
before the Lord. If the Lord should call on us for our annual report,
ARE WE READY?


                                 FINIS.



                              JOHN BURNS,
                        Publisher & Bookseller,

                           717 OLIVE STREET,
                             ST. LOUIS, MO.

           Invites the attention of authors and others to his
                       facilities for PUBLISHING

             _Books_, _Tracts_, _Pamphlets_, _Catalogues_,
                        _Sermons_, _Programmes_,

                      LETTER HEADS FOR PREACHERS,

                   AND ANYTHING IN THE PRINTING LINE.

        Your orders are respectfully solicited for anything that
                    may be wanted for your library.

                  Publications of the Christian Church

       Is my specialty, yet I supply Books in every department of
          literature and learning, by mail, at my expense, on
            receipt of publisher’s retail price; this brings
                      the book-store to your door.

           Church Records, with Printed Headings, only $1.00;
               Church Letters, very neat and Convenient,
                 One Hundred in Book, with Stub, $1.00;
                    50 in Book, 60c. Communion Sets,
               Photographs of Styles sent on Application;
                 Contribution Records, $1.00 and $1.50.

   _Collection Envelopes, Baptismal Suits, Sunday School Supplies,
        Superintendent’s Record Books, Class Books, Song Books,
          Scholars’ and Teachers’ Helps, Sunday School Papers,
                             Maps, etc._

                  A LARGE ASSORTMENT OF REWARD CARDS.

                   BANNERS FURNISHED ON APPLICATION.

       ANYTHING YOU MAY WANT FOR CHURCH OR SUNDAY SCHOOL WILL
                     RECEIVE PROMPT ATTENTION.

      Special Discounts to Preachers, Students, and Sunday Schools
                         Purchasing Libraries.

                        TERMS: CASH WITH ORDER.

        Correspondence Solicited and Prices Quoted when desired.



                              A SYMPOSIUM
                                 —ON—
                            THE HOLY SPIRIT.

                                 —BY—
                 A. B. JONES, G. W. LONGAN, T. MUNNELL,
                       J. Z. TAYLOR, A. CAMPBELL.

                       BOUND IN CLOTH, 75 CENTS.

        The Publisher presents this volume to the Public in the
      hope that much good may result. It contains the mature
      thought of some of our ablest writers on an important
      Bible theme. While Symposium may be a novel thing among
      us, the Publisher would fain hope that an appreciative
      public will commend this method of presenting a subject
      from different angles of vision. It is believed that the
      times are propitious for the Disciples to make themselves
      more widely felt by their contributions to the religious
      literature of the age. It is the ambition of the Publisher
      to make this volume the first of a uniform Series; each to
      be composed of Essays on the living issues in Christian
      thought. The subjects for the different volumes will be
      chosen so as to make the Series comprehend a wide range.
      Should the plan be successful, the whole Series when
      complete, will form a unique and valuable addition to the
      libraries of wide-awake religious people. The Publisher
      sincerely hopes that the reception of this book may
      demonstrate a general desire on the part of the public
      for books of like merit and method; and that he may be
      able in this convenient form to send broadcast over the
      land the richest thought of the ripest minds among us, and
      be of service to the Master’s cause, and to his day and
      generation.

                          WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT
                     SYMPOSIUM ON THE HOLY SPIRIT.

        This is an elegantly bound little book. The style is of
      the highest order, all of the authors being first-class
      writers. The subject is profound, and so is the treatment.
      It has been handled in a masterly manner. The authors are
      not agreed, but it is a book of investigation and not of
      controversy. While the reader may not agree with some
      of the writers, he will feel that everything is said in
      a fair and manly way. The subject is viewed from every
      stand-point, which makes the treatise valuable to those
      searching for the truth. As the name indicates, this
      little book truly presents a feast.—_C. M. Wilmeth._

        Brethren A. B. Jones, G. W. Longan, J. Z. Taylor and
      Thomas Munnell. These are among our most thoughtful
      writers. They have done their work well, and we commend
      the book to all who feel an interest (and all ought to) in
      having and holding correct views on the subjects of the
      influence of the Holy Spirit as our indwelling comforter.
      The book concludes with a selection—The influence of the
      Holy Spirit in Conversion and Sanctification—from the
      writings of A. Campbell.—_Dr. W. H. Hopson._

        A neat little volume, executed in faultless style. It
      consists of several essays, original and reprint, from
      leading thinkers of the Christian Church. It opens with
      an article by Elder A. B. Jones, upon “Consciousness
      and the Holy Spirit,” and this is followed by one by G.
      W. Longan. There are essays by Thomas Munnell and other
      writers, upon the same subject, taking a different view of
      the same subject. But the most important in the volume is
      an old essay of A. Campbell, on the Holy Spirit. To those
      desiring the views of able men upon this question we would
      commend the book.—_B. W. Johnson._

              Address all orders to JOHN BURNS, Publisher,
                    717 Olive Street, St. Louis, Mo.



                          WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT

                           THE LIFE AND TIMES
                                 —OF—
                           BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

        Taken altogether, this book is deserving of hearty
      approval as a valuable contribution of material towards
      the proper understanding of the work of a past generation,
      and of the life of one who, whatever may have been his
      errors, developed in his life many of the characteristics
      of true greatness—an indomitable worker, a ready writer;
      a powerful preacher, whose strong practical sense,
      boundless energy, and earnest devotion to his work would
      have made him a man of mark in any department of life;
      and which in his chosen department, lifted him out of
      poverty and obscurity to a position of great influence and
      successful leadership, and won for him the admiration and
      affection of multitudes.

        The publisher has done his work in creditable style. The
      book ought to have a large sale.—_Isaac Errett._

        LIFE AND TIMES OF ELDER BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.—We have just
      received a copy of the above work, from the office of the
      publisher, John Burns, St. Louis, Mo. It is a very handsome
      volume of 508 pages, good, plain type, on nice, white paper,
      and neatly bound in cloth.

        We were very anxious to see the book, and rejoice that
      it has been published. We regard it as a valuable addition
      to our Christian literature, and think a copy of it should
      be put into every Christian library, by the side of the
      lives of Stone, Smith, Johnson, the two Campbells, Walter
      Scott, and others. These biographies of our great and good
      men should be read and studied by all, and especially our
      young preachers.—_J. M. Mathes._

        The work comprises a biography of Elder Franklin from
      his childhood—embracing his early life and surroundings,
      his conversion, consecration to the work of preaching;
      his early efforts, trials, sufferings and encouragements.
      There are in this portion of his life some touching
      and pathetic incidents concerning his wife’s struggles
      with poverty. His labor and growth as a preacher are
      recorded, his mistakes and faults are presented with
      fairness. His career as a writer is given, his connection
      with the various questions that presented themselves as
      matter of controversy with the denominations and among
      the disciples, his positions, changes and arguments are
      presented with fairness. Short sketches are given of many
      of the associates of Elder Franklin.

        The style is plain, direct and very attractive. We found
      it difficult to lay the book aside when we had once looked
      into it until we finished it. Our readers will find it an
      interesting and instructive volume. We hope all of them
      will get it and read it.—_D. Lipscomb._

        The publisher has done his work well. There is nothing
      flashing nor fanciful in its make up. The man whose deeds
      it records was a plain, practical man. On pages 68 and 71
      is a very just tribute to the humble, patient woman, the
      wife of Benjamin Franklin, who waits a little longer until
      the summons comes to call her home. The paragraph is a
      just and beautiful tribute from an affectionate son to a
      pious and devoted mother. Read it.

        I hope that the book will have a very wide circulation.
      Let every one who can do so buy and read the Life and
      Times of Benjamin Franklin.—_B. B. Tyler._

        We are much pleased with a cursory glance at its
      contents. The tribute of love and affection which
      Joseph Franklin pays to his mother, when reciting her
      trials and tribulations as the wife of a poor and
      struggling preacher, and when recalling her devotion and
      self-sacrifice in the darkest days of a pioneer’s life,
      starts tears unbidden from our eyes, and causes us to
      thank God that he has given to the Church such peerless
      and faultless mothers.—_John F. Rowe._

        We have received from the publisher, John Burns, “The
      Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin.” It is a very neat
      and attractive volume of 508 pages. The publisher deserves
      much praise for the mechanical execution of the work.
      It is printed on good paper, and in large type, and old
      persons can read it with pleasure. We will speak of it
      again when we shall have read it.—_Dr. W. H. Hopson._

        Benjamin Franklin was a great man. He was one of
      nature’s noblemen. He was not a favorite of fortune. The
      golden gods never wove a chaplet around his brow, nor
      emptied their treasures in his lap. He was one of the
      hardy sons of toil. His greatness was not the greatness
      of accident. He made himself great by the nobility of his
      life. He loved God and the truth. He never trimmed his
      sails to popular breezes. He was always on one side or
      the other of every important question, and generally on
      the right side. Though you might not always agree with
      him, you always knew where he stood. He gave no uncertain
      sound. He was a man for the people. His simplicity, his
      faith, and his devotion to the truth were simply sublime.
      In this lay his power.—_Frank G. Allen._

        There is a real charm in biography, especially when the
      deeds and struggles of a valuable life are recorded. Few
      studies are so fascinating to a thoughtful man as that of
      the growth of a human soul, the upbuilding of a noteworthy
      human life. We cannot think of a man who has made his mark
      in the world, without wishing to know the processes of his
      development; to mark the conflict of forces within, and
      limitations without, under the moulding power of whose
      interactions he became, at last, what we know him to have
      been. In this case it is the world-old story of struggle
      and conflict of a strong, earnest nature, grappling
      bravely with adverse surroundings, and pressing forward
      with indomitable energy to final victory. The world is
      full of instances, doubtless, which illustrate the power
      of man over outward circumstances; but there are few such
      which are more satisfactory, I think, than that of the
      life traced in the volume before us. From the materials
      now accumulating, the historian of another generation will
      be able to do the chief actors of the last twenty-five
      years the justice of impartial judgment. Since each shall
      be present in the grand assizes of heaven, he can the more
      willingly commit his reputation on earth to the care of
      impartial posterity.

        The enterprising publisher, John Burns, deserves much
      credit for the handsome shape in which the book is brought
      out.—_G. W. Longan._

        It might be thought, by some who read the work, that
      there is too much of the “Times” and not enough of the
      “Life” of Benjamin Franklin; but as the author justly
      claims, it could not have been done otherwise and be
      faithful. I regard the book as a faithful portraiture,
      which, indeed, should be allowed by all, especially since
      in the statement of propositions and differences, the
      author gives both sides.

        A good part of the life of Bro. Franklin was the life of
      an editor, and my pen is uneasy to say something about the
      manner in which he conducted religious periodicals, but I
      must restrain it. Editors and preachers now-a-days think
      theirs is a toilsome, weary lot. Dear me! Well, let them
      read the Life of Benjamin Franklin and become ashamed of
      themselves.—_L. B. Wilkes. O. A. Carr._

              Address all orders to JOHN BURNS, Publisher,
                    717 Olive Street, St. Louis, Mo.





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