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of the Spiriting al como la fideliappens that by the many
yterian Campbellishow, it so delity in the masters. "omper
fidelity." Mill. Harbinger, Vol. 3, p. 100, misquoted from Extra No. 1.
- This is my first and fundamental error-the most fundamental of the “principles of Campbellism." We do indeed plead guilty to this charge. It is a true bill. Faith, in Gal. v. 22, as in Matth. xxiii. 23, and Titus ii. 10, ought to be translated “ fidelity.” The word is the same in these three passages, viz. muotis. “The weightier matters of the law are righteousness, temperance, fidelity.” Matth. xxii. 23, “The fruits of the Spirit are goodness, fidelity, meekness, temperance," and "showing all good fidelity to their masters.” Titus ii. 10. The king's version has fidelity in the last, and faith in the former two. Now it so happens that this radical error of “Campbellism” has been adopted by the good Presbyterian continuators of Matthew Henry's commentary. It is also the new version of Doctor McKnight. That faith frequently denotes fidelity, we have also the testimony of Parkhurst, Greenfield, Campbell, even the king's translators themselves, who so render it, Titus ii. 10. The American and English Episcopalians are, with many Presbyterian doctors, guilty of this fundamental sin of “ Campbellism ;" for with D’Oyley and Mants, they place fidelity or faith among the fruits of the Spirit, Gal. v. 22. Yes, and I fearlessly appeal to the Andover school itself, that I am right in translating niotis fidelity in Matth. xxii. 23, and in Gal. v. 22, according to all their canons of interpretation. This fundamental error of Campbellism is, indeed, the common error of ninety-nine hundredths of the most learned and intelligent Christians on earth. But might not common sense itself perceive, that when Jesus associates righteousness and temperance with faith, and calls them “the weightier matters of the law,” he means not a nere principle but a moral virtue ? And that when Paul associates faith, in the passage in debate, with “goodness, meekness, and temperance, against which there is no law,” he means not a mere favor bestowed, but a moral virtue, sister to meekness and temperance !
But to the 2d proof of “the fundamental error of Campbellism." It is in these words:– His fundamental position in relation to the faith which the gospel requires, or that belief which is to the saving of the soul, is, that it is “in its nature purely historical, consisting in the belief of a few simple facts, and not doctrines; that there neither was, nor could
“ history. Vid readiness yihe soul, and the
there possibly be any difference between that belief of the gospel which is requisite to the salvation of the soul, and that credence which we usually with readiness yield to any other well authenticated history.' Vide Debate, p.p. 32-33, and ut supra.”
The prejudices of my reviewer seem here to have effectually blinded his eyes, insomuch that he could not distinguish my words from those of a weak and prejudiced opponent. I answer this proof of my error and its illustration by simply affirming, that Mr. Landis has imposed upon his readers by putting into my mouth words which I never uttered, and which he can nowhere show in my writings.
But in the third place, he quotes the Christian Baptist, Vol. iii. No. 7, the substance of which he gives in the following words :-“ Mr. Campbell asserts, that to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, is to believe on him to the saving of the soul.” “ It is not possible,” says he, "to misunderstand this.” Very good. What does it mean? Let an apostle pronounce sentence on these words. John the apostle affirms, Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is born of God.” Surely then, he has true faith! But he does not say that every one who thinks he believes' nor every one that professes to believe, but “ every one that does believe that Jesus is the Messiah, is begotten of God."
Again in the same epistle, chap. v., John affirms that “this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith ;' and in the next verse defines this faith, saying, “Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?”
Mr. Landis has not, however, done me justice in saying that “ Mr. Campbell asserts that to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, is to believe on him to the saving of the soul.” He is too indiscriminating a reader of my works, to be depended on in his quotations or comments. Had he carefully examined my writings on this subject he would have found me making this distinction:-“ To believe a person and believe on him are not always identical expressions. The one is sometimes the cause, the other the effect. One must believe Jesus before he can believe on. him." The demons believed Jesus, but could not believe on him, because he did not profess to be their Saviour. Sin
ners, however, amongst us, who believe all that Jesus says to them, will, I rejoice to say, believe on him.
I reason upon faith, as I do upon every thing else. Faith is something. It is an effect and has a cause. But the cause of faith, as well as the effect of faith upon us, are very different from faith itself. What then is faith? Confidence in testimony, a persuasion that it is true. It is never more nor less than the assurance that testimony is true. But if that testimony concern a person who professes to save us from sin, it is impossible to believe that testimony, without confiding in him, to the full amount of the testimony concerning him. May we not then say, that as respects faith religion is a personal thing? Subject and object ! It is a person trusting in a person, loving a person, admiring, adoring, obeying a person. The special faith of the New Institution is-belief in the testimony of God concerning his Son ; -in the testimony of the Son concerning himself; and in the testimony of the Holy Spirit, in the apostle's speaking of the Father and the Son in reference to the complete and eternal salvation of man from sin and all its penal consequences.
Many, indeed, say they have faith in him, whom I cannot believe, because the world overcomes them; whereas he who believes on Jesus “overcomes the world.” Saving faith, or faith unfeigned, with me, is confidence, faith, or trust in Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the all-sufficient Saviour of sinners.
The next quotation from my writings (and on such an 'occasion I answer only for my views as I have expressed them) is the following: “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. Harb. Vol. vi. p. 82.”
To this I fully subscribe ; and the person that does not, has need to examine himself whether he be in the faith, or whether he believes on the Son of God; for surely if any one believes on him he will believe what he says, and what his apostles have said. And so explicit is Paul on this subject, that he simplifies still farther, and affirms that, “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
He next proceeds to my second fundamental error“ The doctrine of Campbell on regeneration." The doctrine he expresses as follows:
“ With one consent the Campbellites declare that regeneration, or being born again, is essential to salvation.”
“ Mr. Campbell and his friends declare that immersion in water is essential to regeneration."
“ Mr. Campbell and his friends teach that immersion in water is absolutely essential to forgiveness of sins."
“ The Campbellites declare that immersion in water and regeneration are two names for the same thing."
Under these allegations some words of mine and other persons, found in my volumes, frequently dislocated, and never taken in their connexion, are offered as proof. Three of the four propositions are truly and properly false and delusive. * The last, though not in forin false and perverted, is made so by its connexion with the others, and the main
* If the reader will recur to Mr. Landis' article, p. 99, seq. he will find the foregoing propositions fully illustrated and fastened upon Mr. Campbell by ample quotations from his writings and publications. This defence, therefore, strikes us as an evasion of the points at issue, and we think every intelligent reader will see that Mr. C. has much more reason to confess, than to complain of, the want of candor. And we cannot see that his following remarks on his definition of the words “ salvation,” etc., relieve him in any measure from the point of Mr. Landis' statements.-EDITOR.
drift of the meaning attached to one of the terms in it. Oh! for a little of that candor and charity so often commended, but so seldom exhibited from the pulpit and religious press of this backsliding age! Had Mr. Landis given my definition of the word “salvation, and of the word “regeneration," or of " washing of regeneration," it would have saved him and myself some trouble, and his readers much imposition and deception.
Salvation, with me, is either temporal, spiritual or eternal. I have, times without number, affirmed my conviction that many will be found in heaven who never believed, repented, or were baptized. Often have we spoken of the salvation of our persons from the physical evils of this life-of our souls from the guilt, the pollution, and the power of sin ; and of the salvation of our bodies from the grave-of our eternal redemption from every vestige of the consequences of moral evil. And having defined these three unequivocal acceptations of that term, I have been careful to a fault to show in which of these acceptations it is connected with baptism or regeneration.
All this is here passed over as though Mr. Landis knew nothing about it, and as if I used the word salvation in its popular meaning. A single passage from my writings would have made my meaning not only evident, but acceptable to all intelligent Protestants. It is a passage to be found under date of July 5, 1830, in my first Extra on remission of sins:
“ We enter the kingdom of nature by being born of the flesh; we enter the kingdom of heaven, or come under the reign of Jesus Christ, in this life, by being born of water and the Spirit ; we enter the kingdom of eternal glory by being born again from the earth, and neither by faith nor the first generation; neither by faith nor baptism, but by being counted worthy of the resurrection of the just.— I was hungry and you fed me'-not because you believed, or were born of water ; but because • I was hungry and you fed me,' etc.
“There are three births, three kingdoms, and three salvations. One from the womb of our first mother, one from the water, and one from the grave. We enter a new world on, and not before, each birth :-the present animal life, at the first birth; the spiritual, or the life of God in our souls,