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few months ago, the reforming Baptists, (known invidiously by the name of Campbellites,) and the Christians in Georgetown and the neighborhood, agreed to meet and worship together. We soon found that we were indeed in the same spirit, and on the same foundation, the New Testament, and wore the same name, Christian.
We saw no reason why we should not be one family."
• To increase and consolidate this Union, and to convince all of our sincerity, we, the elders and brethren, have separated two elders, John Smith, and John Rogers. The first, known formerly by the name of Reformer (Campbellite), the latter by the name of Christian. These brethren are to ride together through all the churches, and to be equally supported by the united contributions of the churches of both descriptions.'
In the same No. of the Harbinger, Mr. Campbell expresses bis gratification at the receipt of this intelligence. He says: “ From numerous letters received from Kentucky, we are pleased to learn that BRETHREN Smith, Stone and Rogers, and others -now go
for the Apostolic Institutions." The Christyans and Campbellites are here declared by both parties to stand upon the same foundation, and to be one people. Ministers are sent out by the societies conjointly, to visit the churches in common, and to preach to them; to be supported by contributions from each. And this was of course to promulgate the same doctrines.
Now as Mr. Campbell and his immediate followers have been so very reserved in communicating their views of those doctrines which are regarded by evangelical Christians as fundamental; and as the Christyans have been more communicative on the subject, it will, of course, not be wronging the Campbellites (as they are “one family'), to take for granted that, to ascertain the sentiments of one sect, will be to ascertain the sentiments of both.
I have before me a number of the standard authors of this last nained sect. To quote from all would swell these remarks to an unreasonable length. We will, therefore, confine our quotations principally to one. Kinkade's Bible Doctrine, is a textbook of the Christyans. That it may be evident that I do them no injustice by this assertion, I will establish its correctness.
1. Kinkade's Bible Doctrine is sold by the ministers of this sect to their people, as containing the views which they entertain of the religion of Christ. Wherever I bave travelled
amongst them, I have found this to be the fact. The same fact has been likewise repeatedly stated in their periodicals. Among others I instance the “Gospel Luminary” of New York.
2. Mr. William Lane, one of the most popular preachers of this sect, declared during his debate with Mr. M'Calla, that it contained the views of the society to which he belonged ; and that it contained his views.
3. In the summer of 1831, I wrote to Mr. Frederick Plummer of Philadelphia, a very popular preacher of this society, requesting him to furnish me with a book, or books, containing a full and accurate expression of the peculiar and distinctive views of the society to which he belonged. He sent me Kinkade's Bible Doctrine, together with a few tracts, one of which he himself had written.
This book, therefore, manifestly contains an acknowledged and approved expression of the views of this society. Let us then see what views they really entertain respecting some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.
I. The Trinity. “The arguments that are advanced at the present day against the Trinity will appear to future generations as the arguments of the prophets against the heathen gods do to us now; that is, efforts to disprove self-evident falsehoods.” “ It will appear strange to future generations that professors of religion in the nineteenth century should need long arguments to convince them that three distinct persons are not one being,”
“ Trinitarianism runs me into a dilemma between tritheism and Atheism,"
40. II. The plenary Deity of Christ. On p. 41 are the following horrible expressions. If Christ is the self-existent God,
“ and at the same time the son of the same God, then he must be the son of biniself. If he is the self-existent God, and if that very self-existent God is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then he must be the father of himself. And if he is the father of that being whose son he is, then he must be his own grandfather."
Again : “ The testiinony which affirms that the individual person of Jesus Christ, is the uncreated, infinite, independent God; and at the same time a created, finite, dependent man,
l only proves itself unworthy of belief,” p. 72. On p. 75 be thus ridicules this sacred subject : “ If Christ had been equal with God, in the fullest sense of the word, he would not have denied it; because it is not likely that the Supreme Being
SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. NO. II. 40
would deny bis own power and dignity for fear the Jews would throw, stones at him." Will the reader believe it, when I solemnly assure him that the foregoing is far-very far from being the most revolting of his language in relation to this subject ? Yet persons who advocate such sentiments, Mr. Campbell denominates “ brethren," and extends to them the right hand of fellowship; while with the same breath he denounces all evangelical denominations.
III. The Holy Spirit. The following is the caption of Chap. I. Part III. of Kinkade's book : “ To prove that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct person from God.” On p. 71, he
“God's Spirit bears the same relation to God, that the spirit of man does to man. “ There is not one example in the Scriptures, of prayer, praise, or thanks being offered up to the Holy Spirit ; therefore those that worship it, as a distinct person from the Father, do it without any Scripture authority,” p. 186.
IV. The person of God. The object of “ brethren” of Mr. Campbell, in advancing the following sentiments, is evidently to explode the doctrine of the Trinity. After Socinus, Kinkade says: “Many have thought, and more have believed that his [God's] person fills all immensity:-In my view this very niuch resembles the doctrine of the ancient heathen, who held that matter is self-existent and that God is the soul of matter.” “If this doctrine be true, God must be the origin and container of all the evil in the universe. Hell and the devil, all natural corruption, and moral turpitude, must be incorporated in his person,” p. 156.
156. "If his essence fills all immensity, he cannot be an active Being, because there would be no room for him to act in, etc. He cannot even turn round, etc. He cannot bave the power of locomotion,” etc. p. 157. "It is only from the Bible that we learn the existence of God, and that book ascribes to him nearly all the members of the human body, and represents him to be in the shape of a man.--Ears, hands, and eyes, are parts of an intelligent ruler, and if God has none of these he cannot hear, handle, or see us,” etc. p. 160. Mr. Lane, in his debate with Mr. M'Calla, declared expressly, that he adopted these views of the person of God; and he attempted to support them by reasoning.
V. No doctrine of the Gospel is more precious to the sincere Christian than that “ Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” But how do these “ brethren” of the Campbellites treat
this delightful and soul cheering truth ? Let us hear. “Many professors of religion say that Christ bore the wrath of God that was due to sinners, fulfilled the law of God and suffered its penalty in their stead, and so reconciled him to mankind. But this doctrine is not in the Bible. There is no text in that book which
says, he made satisfaction to justice for sinners, or that he bore the wrath of God that was due to sinners; or, that he fulfilled the law, or suffered its penalty instead of sinners," p. 191. “ You see it is impossible that Christ could have suffered the penalty of the law instead of sinners,” p. 198.
• There is not one text in the Bible that says Christ fulfilled the law for us,” p. 202. And in attempting to prove that mankind should not ask blessings and mercies for Christ's sake, he says: “There is no account in the Scripture of any of the prophets or apostles asking any blessings for Christ's sake,” p. 217. On p. 214, he advances the position that man obtains“ salvation by innocence and good works.” A thousand such extracts might be made from the writings of this sect, but the above will suffice. See also Clough's Discourses, passim.
I am aware that Mr. Campbell and his followers will attempt to repel the charge of Unitarianism by producing passages from their writings in which Christ is spoken of as divine, as God, etc. They equivocate exceedingly on these words. But evidence derived from such general statements proves nothing; for the most avowed Unitarians do not hesitate to speak of Christ in precisely the same manner. Take the following instances. Thompson, in his Gospel History, p. 14, says: “ John used the word God, when characteristic of the Logos in a subordinate and relative sense.” Dobson, in bis Thoughts on Faith, p.70 (though an avowed Unitarian), thus speaks : “ All the Gods are commanded to worship him, to whoin the title God belongs in a degree immeasurably higher than any or all of them.” But not to multiply instances, we shall conclude with Kinkade; the author of Bible Doctrine. Though he denies so expressly the doctrine of the Trinity, the personality of the Spirit, the self-existence and atonement of Christ, and the immensity of God, yet hear him: “God is the highest title given to Christ in the Scriptures," p. 99, and 101 also. On p. 116, he says : Acts 20: 28 only proves that Christ is called God, and that the church belongs to bim, neither of which is denied by any christian preacher.” Again : “ I conscientiously call him my Lord and my God, and yet I firmly believe that
he is a crcated being,” p. 118. “As I have already proved that the title God is frequently given to creatures, it is evident that he could be the mighty God, and yet a subordinate being, p. 119. “It is very possible for him to be equal with God in some things, and at the same time inferior to him in some other things,” p. 107.
These passages may serve to put the unwary on their guard, and prevent their being entrapped by the equivocal phraseology of a disguised Unitarian. We bave collected a long catalogue
a of positive and direct proofs of the Unitarianism of the Campbellites, but as our Essay has already exceeded its prescribed limits, and as we must devote a few pages to a review of their translation of the New Testament, we omit them.
$ IV. The translation of the New Testament adopted by the
Campbellites. It was not without reason that our great English moralist observed : “I do not know any crime so great, that a man could contrive to commit, as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.' It is a crime, the extent of whose turpitude, can only be imagined, amid the realities of eternity; and no instrument, employed by Satan for the destruction of souls, is so ruinous in its effects.
Ten years ago Mr. Alexander Campbell issued a version of the New Testament with the following imposing title: “ The Sacred writings of the apostles and evangelists of Jesus Christ, commonly styled the New
Testament ; translated from the original Greek, by George Campbell, James Macknight, and Philip Doddridge, Doctors of the church of Scotland." It has passed through several editions since that time. The one referred to in the following review, is“ stereotyped from the third Edition revised. Bethany, Brooke Co. Va. Printed and published by A. Campbell. 1833.” Copy right secured.
We shall not attempt to influence the minds of our readers by declaring the sentiments which this production has led us to entertain of the character of its author ; but shall merely give a brief statement of facts in relation to it, that every one who feels an interest in the subject may judye for himself. It was not until Mr. Campbell had published several large See Boswell's History of Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides, p. 70.