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bell has pronounced an able work, speaks on the same subject as follows: "The catholic church of Christ (not of Rome) is held and compacted together by the belief of this truth, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the living one, and that God raised him from the dead on the third day-their belief, if I may so term it, comprehends, in the words of Paul to the Ephesians, the one Lord, one faith, and one immersion,'hence they are all of one mind, one judgment, one spirit,—and not being required by their master to be of one opinion, every one concedes to his brother his own particular views."
In his Preface to his New Testament Mr. Campbell repeats this view: "When one question of fact is answered in the affirmative, the way of happiness is laid open, and all doubts on the nature of true piety and humanity are dissipated. The fact is a historic one, and this question is of the same nature. It is this-Was Jesus the Nazarene, the son and apostle of God? This question is capable of being converted into various forms, such as-Are the subsequent narratives true? Did Jesus actually and literally rise from the dead after being crucified and interred? Did he ascend into heaven in the presence of his disciples? Is he constituted the Judge of the living and the dead? Or, was he an impostor and a deceiver of men? It may be proposed in many a form; but it is still a unit, and amounts to this-Is Jesus the Nazarene, the Son of God, the Apostle of the Father, the Saviour of men? When this question is answered in the affirmative, our duty, our salvation, and our happiness are ascertained and determined." Mill. Har. Vol. VI. p. 82.
As this topic is closely connected with the succeeding one, we shall omit any further remarks upon it until we shall have pointed out
2. The Doctrines of Campbellism on Regeneration.
The following statements and extracts from the works of the leaders of this sect will exhibit fully their views on this topic. (1) They with one consent declare that regeneration, or being born again, is essential to salvation,
To prove this they constantly quote John 3: 5, and Tit. 3: 5, and several other passages of similar import. As their agreement on this point is perfectly unanimous, it is quite unnecessary to tax the patience of the reader with more than the following
passages. In Mill. Har. Extra, No. 1. p. 12. Mr. Campbell himself thus remarks: "Whatever this act of faith may be, it necessarily becomes the line of discrimination between the two states before described. On this side and on that, mankind are in quite different states. On the one side, they are pardoned, justified, reconciled, adopted and saved on the other, they are in a state of condemnation. This act [of faith] is sometimes called immersion, regeneration, conversion; and that this may appear obvious to all we shall be at some pains to confirm and illustrate it." The meaning of this passage it is impossible to misunderstand.
The following passages show this to be the settled opinion of the sect. "He who loves his God, loves and consults his word; nor does a lover of God's word find non-essentials upon its pages. Yet our teachers have found non-essentials among the Master's commands in God's word!!" Mill. Har. Vol. V. p. 146. Again: "No man of learning and candor cans in the face of this generation, say, that immersion is not commanded." Ib. p. 177. "Our Paedobaptist friends say that we make too much of the water. Be that as it may, I can assure them that I have felt more peace and comfort in six months since, than in ten years before I was immersed, as I am now able to rejoice in all things, giving glory to God for opening my eyes and enabling me to do his will," etc. lb. p. 188. And in Vol. VI. (for 1835) p. 59, 60, it is remarked again, "To say that any institution that Messiah has imposed upon us is a mere non-essential, is directly and emphatically offering violence to the whole system of morals laid down by him." Again: in Extra No. 1. p. 30, "One thing we know, that it is not a difficult matter for believers to be born of water, [which he explains to mean being immersed into it, and raised up out of it,] and if any of them wilfully neglect or disdain it, we cannot hope for their eternal salvation." And in Extra No. VI. p. 355: "All that is now promised in the gospel, can only be enjoyed by those who are born again, and placed in the kingdom of heaven under all its influences."
From these passages it is clear that, in the Campbellite view, regeneration, or being born again, is essential to salvation.
2. Mr. Campbell and his friends declare, that immersion in water is essential to regeneration.
They employ the terms "regeneration, conversion, and immersion," as synonymes. See Extra, No. 1. "The apostle Peter, when first publishing the gospel to the Jews, taught them
that they were not forgiven their sins by faith, but by an act of faith; by a believing immersion into the Lord Jesus.-Christian immersion, frequently called conversion, as that act is inseparably connected with the remission of sins," p. 16. "No man can, scripturally, be said to be converted to God, until he is immersed." "Conversion, regeneration, and immersion, are terms all descriptive of the same thing." "Remission of sins
cannot be enjoyed by any person before immersion," p. 34. "All the saints are said to be saved by immersion," p. 55. "The act of immersion is the act of conversion," p. 27. "Whatever this act of faith may be,-it is sometimes called immersion, regeneration, conversion," p. 12. "From the day of Pentecost, to the final Amen in the revelation of Jesus Christ, no person was said to be converted, or to turn to God, until he was buried in, and raised up out of the water," p. 35. mersion alone was that act of turning to God," p. 35. such was the import of the apostolic term [conversion] we have no doubt. No person was said to be converted, until he was immersed; and all persons, who were immersed, were said to be converted," p. 16. "All who, believing, are immersed for the remission of their sins, have the remission of their sins in and through immersion," p. 55. "Down into the water you were led. In its womb you were concealed.-There your consciences were released; for there your old sins were purged away," p. 55. "Peter taught all the saints in Pontus, etc. that the water of baptism saved them, as the water of the deluge saved Noah in the ark; and that in immersion a person was purged from all his former sins," p. 55. "Born of God he cannot be, until born of water," p. 30.
In Mr. Campbell's Christian Baptist, (published previously to the Millennial Harbinger,) Vol. VII. p. 164, he advances the same views. "Have you, my dear brother, ever adverted to the import of the participle in the commission, Matt. xxviii, 'Disciple the nations, immersing them?' I need not tell you that this is an exact translation. Let me ask you, then-Does not the active participle always, when connected with the imperative mood, express the manner in which the thing commanded is to be performed? cleanse the room, washing it; clean the floor, sweeping it; cultivate the field, ploughing it; sustain the hungry, feeding them; furnish the soldiers, arming them; convert the nations, baptizing them; are exactly the same forms of speech. No person, I presume, will controvert
this. If so, then no man could be called a disciple, or convert, no man could be said to be discipled, or converted, until he was immersed."
In his Extra, No. VI, p. 355, he thus speaks: "The subject of this great change (regeneration) before the new birth existed in one state; but after it, he existed in another. He stands in a new relation to God, angels, and men. He is now born of God, and has the privilege of being a son of God, and is consequently pardoned, justified, sanctified, adopted, saved. The state which he left was a state of condemnation, called by some 'the state of nature.' The state into which he enters is a state of favor, in which he enjoys all the heavenly blessings through Christ; therefore it is called the kingdom of heaven.' All this is signified in his death, burial, and resurrection with Christ; or in his being born of water. Hence the necessity of being buried with Christ in water; that he may be born of water; that he may enjoy the renewal of the Holy Spirit, and be placed under the reign of favor."
On p. 354, 355, "Our great Prophet, the Messiah — when speaking of being born again when explaining to Nicodemus the new birth, says, 'except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' May not we, supported by such authorities, call that water of which a person is born again, the water or bath of regeneration?"
These sentiments are in exact agreement with those of all the leading men of this sect. Mr. Ballantine, by far the most learned among them, thus remarks: "All that you say of your modern regeneration, except thereby you mean immersion, is mere chaff before the wind.-Here is the head and front of our offending: we make baptism regeneration. So does Jesus, so does Peter, and so does Paul." Strictures, p. 29, 30.
The author of the Mirror, before referred to, says, (p. 11,) "The institution of immersion reminds us of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; it shows us the necessity of our dying to this world, being buried with him in immersion, and rising again to newness of life; it shows us how we may become acceptable in the sight of God; it shows us how we may obtain access to his blood, shed for the remission of sins; it teaches us to look with an eye of faith, through the water, at the great anti-typical sacrifice for sin; it teaches us to leave the kingdom of Mammon on one side of the water, and to enter the kingdom of Christ on the other," etc.
Mr. Joseph Marsh says (Gospel Luminary, Vol. III. p. 270 -273, 1830), "I have said, and now contend, that repentance and baptism are inseparably connected." Remarking on Mark 16: 16. Acts 2: 38. 22: 16, he says, "These and other passages positively place baptism before salvation or forgiveness of sins." "The Samaritans, and the Eunuch, were not filled with joy until they were baptized." "Paul's sins were not forgiven, or washed away, until he was baptized."
It is justice, however, to remark, that Mr. Campbell and his friends do not say, (as has been charged upon them,) that immersion will itself save, without a belief of the "facts" of the Bible; but simply that no one can possibly be saved, who is not immersed. See ut supra, in connection with Mill. Har. Vol. VI. p. 83, 84.
(3) Mr. Campbell and his friends teach, that immersion in water is absolutely essential to forgiveness of sin.
This is apparent from some of the preceding extracts. But, that the system may be perfectly understood, we will give this position a more particular consideration.
In Mill. Har. Ex. No. 1. p. 31, Mr. Campbell says, "Those who are thus begotten and born of God, [i. e. by immersion] are children of God. It would be a monstrous supposition, that such persons are not freed from their sins. To be born of God, and born in sin, is inconceivable. Remission of sins is as certainly granted to the born of God, as life eternal and deliverance from corruption will be granted to the children of the resurrection, when born from the grave."
Again, p. 41: "Some ask, how can water, which penetrates not the skin, reach the conscience? But little do they think, that in so talking, they laugh at and mock the whole divine economy, under the Old and New Testament institutions."
Again: "Under the government of the Lord Jesus, there is an institution for the forgiveness of sins, like which there was no institution since the world began. The meaning of this institution has been buried under the rubbish of human traditions for hundreds of years. It was lost in the dark ages, and has never been, till now, disinterred," p. 2.
"Under the former economy, blood was necessary to forgiveness; and under the new economy, water is necessary." Christian Baptist, Vol. VII. p. 163.
"He (God) appointed baptism to be, to every one that believed the record he has given of his Son, a formal pledge on
BECOND SERIES, VOL. 1. NO. I.