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In neither case is immer
who have afterwards been reclaimed. sion repeated. (See Mill. Har. Vol. V. p. 187.) Hence we come to the very edifying conclusions that men may be "scripturally regenerated" before they are "converted," and also before they even believe a single word of the Bible.—That a man, no matter how vile he may afterwards become, never can lose the grace of this regeneration; it "sticks by him" to that degree, that it never can be lost, and needs not be re-bestowed.
We should here close our remarks upon this ludicrous compound of impiety and folly, were it not that its abettors object to this mode of argumentation. "No matter what the consequences deducible from it may be," say they, "if the Scriptures do not condemn it, we are satisfied to retain it." Let us then "to the word and to the testimony," for a moment or two.
6. Nothing can be a more direct contradiction to the principle under discussion than 1 Pet. 1: 2, which, to prevent cavil and needless objection, we present in Mr. Campbell's own ver"Having been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of the living God, which remains forever." Comment here is needless. See also Jas. 1: 18. John 17: 17, and 2 Cor. 7: 10.
7. Immersion, agreeably to the word of God, is not in all cases necessary to the remission of sin; for Mary, and the sick of the palsy, and the dying malefactor, had their sins remitted without it. The last of these cases also proves that immersion is not essential to regeneration; for the person then spoken of was regenerated, and saved without it; and none can be saved, agreeably to the Campbellites themselves, without being regenerated. Luke 7: 37-48. Matt. 9: 2. Luke 23: 39-43.
Should they, however, in order to evade this argument, assert that as these instances occurred under the Jewish dispensation, they of course prove nothing with regard to the Christian; I reply, that they lose as much as they gain by this evasion. For if these occurrences transpired under the Jewish dispensation, it was also under that dispensation that the blessed Redeemer used the words contained in John 3: 5. And therefore, according to this evasion, that passage has no reference whatever to the christian dispensation.
8. We read of Cornelius" a devout man and one that feared God with all his house," who "prayed always," and "whose prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before God." See Acts x. So truly eminent was his character for devotion
and piety, that an angel was commissioned from heaven who acquainted him with the fact that his prayers were heard, and his alms-deeds approved in the sight of God. Yet he was not baptized. And of course he was, agreeably to Campbellism, " unpardoned, unsanctified, unadopted, unconverted, unregenerate," etc. etc. Now what can a serious reader of the New Testament think of this?
9. The Lord" opened Lydia's heart" (Acts 16: 14) before her baptism; and of course, after her heart was thus opened, by the Lord, she was his "unregenerate enemy." Nathaniel, (John 1: 43-49) who was "an Israelite indeed," which must of course mean something more than one rationally, and "in whom there was no guile," was also an "unconverted enemy" to God, agreeably to this system; because as he had not yet found the Messiah, he had not believed on him intelligently, which is resquisite in adult christian baptism.
10. Simon Magus (Acts 8: 13) is made by this system a convert, a child of grace, and a truly regenerate follower of Christ. "Simon himself believed also, and was baptised." Nothing more is resquisite, besides this, say Mr. Campbell and his followers, to constitute a person a true child of God. And yet so miserably depraved was he still, that he thought to purchase the power of bestowing the Spirit, with money, (v. 18, 19). And this "true convert" on the principles of Campbellism, is thus appropriately addressed by Peter; "thy money perish with thee-thy heart is not right in the sight of God ;I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity," (v. 20-23). Here is a man then, who, though Campbellism makes him a good disciple of Christ, had yet never understood any more of the principles of true religion, than to suppose that the gift of the Spirit could be purchased with money.
11. Zaccheus (Luke 19: 1–10), at the command of Christ, made haste," and came down (from the tree) and received him joyfully." The evidences which he gave of being truly converted to God, were so perfectly satisfactory, that the Saviour said "this day is salvation come to this house." Yet, as he was not baptized, he was, agreeably to Campbellisın, still “unpardoned, unconverted, unregenerate," etc.
12. The case of Paul, (Acts 9: 1-18, and 22:16). As we have already remarked upon this passage, we shall merely refer the reader to it, with the single observation, that this system makes Paul an unconverted man after the Lord had said
of him, “Behold he prayeth." We might refer likewise to the case of the eunuch (Acts 8: 26-39), whom though "he believed with all his heart," Campbellism pronounces an "unconverted, unregenerated, unpardoned" man. It would be trifling with the reader's patience to enlarge upon these cases. We will ask attention, however, to a case or two of another kind.
13. Paul declares in 1 Cor. 1: 14-16, "I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius;-I baptized also the household of Stephanus : besides, I know not whether I baptized any other." Most persons, taking these verses in connection with the following one, understand Paul to declare that he never himself baptized more persons than he here speaks of. The Campbellites, for obvious reasons, understand him to refer to the Corinthian church alone. And for the sake of the
argument we shall grant the assumption.
That Paul was the founder of the Corinthian church all will admit. See Acts 18: 1-17. After his speech at the Athenian Areopagus, he departed thence and came to Corinth, where he remained a year and six months, teaching the word of God; (see v. 11); and during this time the church was organized and established. Now Mr. Campbell and his followers declare, that "no one can be either a disciple, or convert,-no one could be either discipled or converted, until he be immersed." But Paul, the founder of the Corinthian church, did not baptize more than six or eight of that church. Therefore, as no one can be a convert until baptized," Paul did not make more than six or eight converts, during eighteen months' constant preaching, and teaching the Gospel :-that is, Paul, who was "more abundant in labors than all" the other apostles, succeeded in making six or eight converts to the gospel during one year and a half, of unintermitted labor and exertion. If Campbellism be true, this is the sum total of the results of his labors. If it be admitted that he made more than this number, the admission destroys Campbellism at once; for he must have made them by some other means than baptizing them, which is the only way, according to this system, in which converts can be made.
14. This passage is also subversive of Campbellism in another way. Nothing is more evident than the fact that Paul ardently desired the salvation of mankind; and he certainly knew that regeneration was essential to salvation. But, say the Campbellites, no one can be discipled, converted, regenerated-until immersed." If this be a truth, Paul, of course, knew it and believed
it. Yet we find him thanking God that he did not baptize the Corinthians! That is, he thanked God that he did not make them converts!
But again, why did Paul thank God that he baptized none, (save a very few) of the Corinthians? Simply because he feared that some persons might say he baptized in his own name. See ver. 15. Now if one of the sons of Mr. Campbell, (who, we are informed, has several in the ministry,) were on such grounds, to refuse the administration of baptism to applicants, would his father with his present views, consider the excuse a good one? Would Mr. Campbell himself cease to baptize for such a reason, entertaining the views he does? No, never! What then is the inference? Not that Mr. Campbell is more zealous than was the apostle Paul; but that Paul's views on this subject were the very reverse of Mr. Campbell's. Had Paul regarded baptism as essential to pardon and regeneration, he would have considered all the reports and accusations of baptizing in his own name, as unworthy of the least regard. What were such things to him, when brought into competition with the salvation of immortal souls? See 1 Cor. 9: 19–22.
15. We think it needless to trouble the reader with more than the following additional argument. In 1 Cor. 1: 17, Paul says: "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." Could he have hazarded so unaccountable a declaration if he believed that no one could be "either discipled or converted" to Christ, without being baptized? For if this be true, preaching without baptism could do nothing towards saving the soul. The very object of preaching is nullified, if those who believe it do not receive baptism. Because just so long as they are unbaptized, they are in the very nature of the case, verted, undiscipled, unpardoned, and unregenerated." But in Acts 26: 17, 18, Paul himself says that "Christ sent him to the Gentiles, (Corinthians, as well as others,) to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." In other words, to accomplish their salvation; for this is unquestionably the meaning of the passage. But "Paul was not sent to baptize :"—that is, according to Mr. Campbell and his followers, he was not sent to "disciple, or make con- . verts" of the Gentiles; or to procure their "pardon," or "regeneration;" but to accomplish their salvation without anything of the kind. This astounding absurdity is true, or the fundamental principles of Cambellism are false.
I am aware that Mr. Campbell pretends to appeal to the testimony of the primitive fathers of the christian church in support of his views on this subject. He claims "all the apostolical fathers, all the pupils of the apostles, and all the ecclesiastical writers of note, of the first four centuries." See Extra I. Prop. 11. p. 42. And it might be expected, that, in a professed examination of his system, we should pay some attention at least, to this appeal. The expectation is reasonable; and we proceed to answer it by an authority that we have already found of considerable use in this essay; and which Mr. Campbell and his followers will respect. We refer to Mr. Campbell himself, and to a work written by him antecedent to the full development of his system. When the Campbellites refute the answer to the above objection, which is obviously deducible from the following extracts, we shall hold ourselves in readiness to meet it upon other grounds. "That the ancients sometimes (says Mr. C.) used the word regenerate for baptize, I admit; but this was far from being common or general." "Many of those fathers of whom you have heard, are produced by the Catholics in proof of the doctrine of purgatory, and as evidences of the antiquity of praying to saints and angels-they were all full of whimsies. Irenaeus, Justin, Tertullian, Origen, Jerome, Augustine, held and taught wild and extravagant opinions. Some of them taught auricular confession, and the fundamental dogmas of popery." See Campbell's Debate with M'Calla, pp. 365— 368. Of course we need add nothing to so high authority.
III. Unitarianism of the Campbellites.
I employ the term Unitarian, to include both Arian and Socinian; and as contradistinguishing both from Trinitarian. When I charge this sect with Unitarianism, I do not mean to be understood that every individual is either an avowed Arian or Socinian; but that the majority are such. Many of them do not appear to know what the sentiments of their leaders are, on this subject, while others "unhesitatingly avow their conviction that not one single truth or fact as taught by Mr. Campbell can be disproved." See e. g. Mill. Har. V. p. 173.
Ever since the commencement of his publishing the Christian Baptist, Mr. Campbell has been remarkably reserved in the expression of his views respecting the tri-personality in the Godhead; the distinct personality and deity of the Spirit; and