« ZurückWeiter »
hours; and where they had closed their doors against us, I have known the Baptists here to cheerfully open their meeting-house to the same intolerant sprinkler. Men who hold the most antagonistic doctrines, and who formerly could not unite in any way, now, Pilale and Herod like, are made friends, and unite against us. But, "Blessed are the peace makers," &c None of these things, however, disturb us seriously. The people see the madness of the preachers, and some are leaving their ranks almost every month; and in proportion to the effort made, or persons in the character of preachers to make an effort, our increase here exceeds theirs at least four-fold.
One thing with me, I fear, will always be a matter of burning regret, and that is, that I was so foolish, when young, as to be ensnared by Universalism, and that I have spent seven years of the prime of my life in preaching a doctrine which never had any effect but to turn men away from God, from morality, and religion. I will here relate an incident which actually occurred in Bourbon county, Ky.
An old man, whose hoary head, and pale and wan countenance tells too plainly that he is standing on the verge of the grave, and who had been'near a quarter of a century a pious member of a Baptist church, became the victim of that baneful heresy; joined the church; and in a few weeks after, was known to be engaged in swapping horses on the Lord's day; and what was worse of all, he spoke of it to me (who was then their preacher) as a trivial matter. Never did any thing sting my very soul more keenly. It was such wounds as that, which I received in rapid succession, which slew me as a Universalist preacher, and caused me to examine the system closely, and which resulted in my abandoning it.
Often has my very heart been wrung with anguish, during the present fall, when I have been inviting the people to obey the Lord, and one after another came forward, when the thought would rush upon my mind, that seven years of my life had been spent in advocating that demoralizing heresy. But I will atone for it as well as I can, and humbly pray that God and all christians will forgive me. I have no excuse to offer, only that I did it ignorantly, in unbelief.
Bro. Campbell, I feel under great obligations to you. I know not what I should have been, but for your works. I have yet many things to tell you, if we should ever meet, and hope that day is not far distant. May God' long preserve your life, that you may be the instrument in turning others from the error of their ways! Yours in the best bonds,
C. B. THARP. D Total number reported since last month, 875.
CONNELLSVILLE, Pa., November 16, 1850. Brother Campbell: Our beloved sister, MARGARET NORTON, (daughter of Sister L. Norton, of Connellsville,) is no more! She calmly and triumphantly fell asleep in Jesus, on the evening of the 28th of October, aged 25 years. She had been a member of the Church of Christ for about six years, and, by the spotless purity of her life and character, she exhibited the highest evidence that she had learned of him who is meek and lowly in heart In fervent piety and entire consecration to God, she had few equals. She lived for heaven. Christ was her example; his word her study; his people her associates; his house her resort; and his worship her delight. She has exehanged faith for sight; hope for fruition; sorrow for joy; time
for eternity; earth for heaven; the church below for the general assembly and church of the first born. She is present with the Lord. Yours, in the bonds of peace,
Marion, O., November 2, 1850. Our much beloved brother, Dr. JAMES WISEMAN, has closed his earthly pilgrimage. He died at his residence Kenton, Hardin county, on the 10th of September, in the 31st year of his age. He obeyed that gospel which afforded him rejoicing in life, and support in death, in the morning of life, and was justly esteemed as a man and a christian, and was an eminently useful physician. What a breach has death made in removing this excellent husband and father from the family, and a worthy elder from the church! Precious, in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints.
BREWERTON, N. Y., November 28, 1850. Died, at Brewerton, N. Y., on the evening of the 18th of November, of Consumption, Sister JULIETT A. EASTWOOD, aged 20 years The deceased was a person of great promise. Gifted with mental and moral powers of a high order, combined with superior beauty and gracefulness of person, she was truly an ornament of the society in which she moved. She was a most worthy christian, and died under the influence of those triumphant hopes which the Christian Religion is so eminently calculated to inspire. Our trust is, that we shall meet her in that world where disease is never known, and death has no power to harm! J. M. SHEPARD.
Departed this life, on the 27th of November, in the hope of eternal life, Bro. WM. GILCREST, of Green county, Ohio, formerly of Washington county, Penn.'a. Bro. Gilcrest was a prominent member of the first church iu Pennsylvania constituted on the New Testament alone, as now taught amongst us. He was an exemplary christian from that time till his death. I have known him more than thirty-five years. He died an old man, full of faith and good works, and has entered into rest.
NOTICE TO EVANGELISTS.
CHENEYVILLE, Parish of Rapids, La., Nov. 5, 1850. 'Brother Campbell: It is known to you that there has existed a church of Christ at this place for five or six years. There have been but few additions to its numbers during the last year or two; but I believe, that if an Evangelist would come amongst us, the church might be revived, and members added to it. There is now $350 subscribed for the compensation of a minister, either in the capacity of an Evangelist or Bishop, as may be agreed upon after his arrival. And by the time that fund is exhausted, as much more can be obtained. I have thought, by giving this publicity, some proclaiming brother might be induced to come amongst us, or address me for further particulars. Yours, in the love of the gospel, W. P. FORD.
D THE DISCIPLES IN WASHINGTON CITY, now worship every Lord's Day in the Medical College, corner of F and Twelfth streets. Please notice this fact in the Harbinger, for the information of visiting brethren.
R. G. CAMPBELL:
CHRISTIANITY is not a mere science. It is, indeed, scientific. It is the classified knowledge of Christ, as Mediator between Jehovah and fallen man. It is not, however, a mere speculative view of God, of man, and of a Mediator, however correct and Biblical that specui lative view may be. It is neither orthodoxy nor heterodoxy. Satan and his confederate fallen angels, are more orthodox than the Pope of Rome or the Prelate of England; more learned in Biblical lore, more profound antiquarians, than any Christian philosopher or sage. They could say, and they did say, “ Jesus, we know thee whom thou art-the Holy One of God.” Demons believe the gospel, and they tremble, too. Do not many professed Christians believe the gospel and tremble? Both believe the same facts, precepts, and promises. But neither of them do appropriate them. The demons cannot, and many professors do not.
Christianity has its theory and practice. But it has, also, that which is far better : It has its enjoyments. And this is, indeed, by far much better; for both its theory and its practice are for its enjoyment. These three, however, comprehend it all. The first two are means, the last its end. It must first be understood before it can be received, and it must be obeyed before it can be enjoyed. These are as inseparably associated in every real Christian man, as body, soul and spirit, in every real man.
Men live by eating, but not by eating alone. However good the food eaten, must be assimilated and appropriated by the system, SERIES IV.-VOL. I.
This process we
CHRISTIANITY EXPERIENCED AND ENJOYED. before it can give either health or life. Millions, indeed, die by eating that which they ought not to have eaten; and, no doubt, mil. lions perish forever, by believing that which they ought not to have believed. Still, it is only he that eats that can live. The Messiah carried this figure very far when he said, “He that eateth me, even he shall live by me." Many, no doubt, will still ask: How can this be? “ Will this man give us his flesh to eat?" We will respond as he did : “Verily I say to you, the words that I speak to you are spirit and life.” They have a spiritual meaning, and require a spiritual discernment. But the imagery is both correct and beautiful. Faith is to the inner man what the hand is to the outer man. hends, receives, and appropriates the spirit's food, and conveys it to the soul, as the hand receives and conveys to the mouth the bread of this life. Hence, we may say with a venerable saint of sacred story, "I found thy word and I did eat it.” usually call “ appropriation.” And I hesitate not to say, that evangelical saith is neither more nor less than an appropriation of the gospel promises, which have been understood and believed to be true.
But a question will arise in some minds, and has already risen in many minds. It is this: 6 Why do not all that believe the gospel to be true, appropriate its promises to themselves?" Aye, this is a question that needs a very profound consideration. It might, indeed, be argued, that all that do really believe the gospel to be true, do really appropriate its promises to themselves. But the facts, it is alledged by many, do not fully warrant the conclusion.
To assent to the gospel on what is sometimes called “mere probable evidence,” is, perhaps, not easily contradistingnished from real faith. Some incline to be on the safer side, and, on the whole, conclude, that it is more prudent to be in the church than out of it. They are not fully assured that the gospel is unquestionably true, but, thinking it most probably true, prefer to make a public profession of it and join the church. They reason thus: Men invest large funds in stocks, on mere probable evidence, and why may I not, on the same amount of faith, profess Christianity, and make the sacri. fice; not, indeed, a very great one, which it requires. "If,” as said one of our contemporaries, “I have taken ten thousand dollars of stock in banks, and an equal amount in railroad shares, may I not risk a thousand or two dollars in church rates, and my Sundays to meeting, on the more than equal probability that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to escape?" In some such way as this and upon the same peradventure, that it may all be true and right, it is to be
CHRISTIANITY EXPERIENCED AND ENJOYED. 63 feared many make the Christian profession. Such professors cannot enjoy the Christian hope, or have the joyful anticipations and prelibations of everlasting blessedness. So true it is, “ that he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We must have a full and unwavering assurance that the gospel is true-not that we are of the elect, but of the invited to partake of the salvation of God. Then, indeed, coming to Christ fully persuaded that he is all that apostles and prophets affirmed of him; that we are personally invited, in the proclamation of mercy and eternal life, to come to him; and, placing ourselves under his auspices and authority, we shall realize the truth as it is in Jesus, enjoy the pleasures of hope, and the smiles of the Lord.
This is, then, in our view of the premises, to enjoy Christianity or the gospel. This is to rejoice in the Lord, and in hope of eternal glory. Christianity, then, has its theory, its practice, and its enjoyments. It has its earnest here, and its full-orbed glory and blessedness hereafter. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom we have had introduction, also by faith, into this favor in which we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; and not only so, but we rejoice even in afflictions; knowing that affliction produces patience, and patience approbation, and approbation hope; and this hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is diffused in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that is given us.
God is infinitely happy, because he is infinitely holy. Angels are, each one in his own capacity, perfectly happy, because perfectly pure. Man, as God made him, was also, in his capacity, perfectly and completely happy, because absolutely perfect in his whole constitution-body, soul, and spirit. Ransomed and redeemed man under the Second Adam, will hereafter, to the full extent of all his powers and capacities, be perfectly, completely, and immutably happy, because absolutely holy. As thus we advance in Christian knowledge, faith, hope, love, joy, and peace-celestial fruits of the Holy Ghost dwelling in us—we rise in beauty, holiness, and happi. ness. The path of life is, then, the path of peace, holiness, and kappiness. In this path may the Spirit of God guide us, the hand of Jehovah lead us from glory to glory, now, henceforth, and forever! Amen.