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tongue, and has a meaning, and the uses of it are actual uses of the word as such in the language. It follows, therefore, that you are guilty of the very thing which you charge on me. You have passed upon me the censure of making the most deliberate and ungenerous attack on the moral integrity of an opponent that you recollect ever to have met in all the bistory of religious controversy. You have passed on me this censure, not only without proof, but without the possibility of proof. The facts are before you, and before the public. Until you can shew that I did not even attempt to allege examples of the use of the word baptismos in the sense of purification, you can offer no defence of Dr. Carson; and my censure, severe as it is, was deserved.
But why are you so peculiarly sensitive to the impeachment of the integrity of one man, although based on facts, — and not
sensitive to the impeachment of the integrity of all men who are not convinced by the arguments on your side of the question, although based on no facts ? Did I not present for your consideration, this sentence, published under the sanction of the American Baptist Publication Society : “ We frankly confess that the more we read on the baptismal controversy, the more our charity compels us to struggle against the conviction that forces itself on us, that on this subject it is not light that is most wanting, but religious honesty." That is, though they struggle against it, yet a conviction forces itself on them, that the opponents of the Baptists have not religious honesty. I will not say that this is the most deliberate and ungenerous attack upon the moral integrity of all who are not convinced by the arguments of the Baptists, that I recollect ever to have met with in the history of religious controversy. On that point, I shall leave all men to judge for themselves. But of one thing I am sure, that while you
have no words of censure for such a wholesale attack on the religious honesty of those who are not convinced by your arguments, an attack which it is utterly impossible to sustain by any proof whatever, it ill becomes you to censure me for reproving Dr. Carson for persisting in a gross and palpable misstatement of facts; and that, after it had been clearly presented to his notice, as a wrony that demanded redress. Nor do I believe that God is indifferent to such things, or that he will accept those professions of zeal for his glory which stand connected with such wrongs remaining unredressed. He has said : “ If thou bring thy gift to Shew me,
the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come, and offer thy gift.”
One other thing I would present for your attention, which you seem entirely to have forgotten. Dr. Carson was the assailant, and in all cases in which I have used severity, I have done it either in self-defence, or in defence of the moral soundness of the public mind, against his style of controversy. Even his own countrymen deem him guilty of abuse in dealing with his antagonist, and his friends expostulated with him for it. To this I add that my censures are logical, and not passionate and unfounded.
in any case, that I pass a censure which is not proved to be well founded, and I will cheerfully retract it.
The mere passing of censures is not of necessity wrong. You do not seem to have regarded it as wrong to censure me with great severity, because you supposed that you had good grounds for it. I have, it is true, shewn that you had none. Yet I admit your sincerity and conscientiousness, so long as you supposed that you had such grounds. In like manner have I conscientiously censured Dr. Carson, and shall not withdraw my censures till they are shewn to be unfounded.
I am happy to hear you say: “ We have no disposition to justify, much less to imitate, Dr. Carson's style of writing.” And yet I think that you have undertaken to defend one of the worst and most defenceless portions of his writings. Not only is it based on falsehood, but its whole tone and spirit is unworthy of a Christian controversalist. After defending this, you need not shrink from defending anything else.
But if I have succeeded at last in opening the eyes of my Baptist brethren to the fact which you seem to concede, that Dr. Carson's style of writing cannot be justified, and ought not to be imitated, I have not labored in vain. For years his works have been circulated here ; and this is the first concession that has been made, that it is not desirable to sympathize with them, and to imitate them as models. They have been praised immoderately ; but till I exposed and censured them, no voice of warning, at least in this country, was raised against them. Truly the progress is hopeful. Now you have no disposition to justify, much less to imitate, his style of writing. In this I perfectly agree with you.
I do not justify him. I have not imitated him. True I have used severity, but only such as was necessary to repel his abusive attacks. Never have I made an offensive war on him. And I do not hesitate to say, that, in my judgment, it is beyond your power to shew that
of my censures on him are unfounded. A proper analysis and exposure of the false reasoning contained in your piece, I defer to another occasion.
I am yours, affectionately,
OBSERVATIONS ON MEN, BOOKS, AND THINGS.
The Golden FLEECE. — The times of Jason and the Argonauts seem to be returning on a vastly enlarged scale. Not that we would intimate that the expeditions which are getting up and off for the Sacramento are all of a fleecing character; though we have heard rumors of two cargoes of brass filings which have been sent there to be shipped back again in the character of the real “precious dust,”
- and also of a “huge pile of consciences,” left at Panama by some of the adventurers on their way. Jason's famous fleece, considered in a matter-of-fact way, is presumed to have been only a common sheepskin, used to collect the gold dust in washing the auriferous sands of the Phasis. This river is regarded as the Pison, which watered the land of Havilah, or Colchis, “ where,” as the sacred historian saith, “ there is gold; and the gold of that land is good.” Yes, it was good; for it was created when God saw everything that he had made ; " and behold, it was very good.” It was in being when God planted the garden of Eden. It was made for man in his primeval innocence; and had be continued in that state, gold would have been a thousand times more useful to him, than it has been since the fall. And even now, perverted and idolized as it is, the precious metal is applied to many benevolent and sacred uses. to see how the best of Christians can get along without a portion of it, or of some of its representatives. Pious men, at home here, are expected to do something by which they can make money; and, when it is made, to consecrate it to God. Why may not such men go to California for gold to be devoted to the service of Christ and his cause? It is true that their piety may suffer, and they may lose their lives, if not their souls, while gone on their venturous quest. But where, in this world, is the child of God secure from temptation and death? To some young men, a life of idleness among the facilities for hurtful indulgence, may be fraught with quite as much of risk to morals and health, as an expedition to San Francisco. Whether it is expedient for any person to run the venture, can only be determined by the circumstances of each particular case. There are but two
It is not easy
sorts of persons whom we could find it in our hearts to encourage in such an undertaking. These are such as give no reason to hope that they wiil be any the better for staying here, and who cannot be made worse, let them go where they will; — and such as may be relied upon, so far as reliance can be placed on any one, to exert a salutary and Christian influence in any region wlither they may go. Character must be tested. As Thomas Fuller said: “Men have a touchstone whereby to try gold; but gold is the touch-stone whereby to try men.” Happy ihe Californian emigrant who shall abide the trial, and be sealed with the true stamp of God! Ile must have rare gifts of watchfulness and prayer. We would solemnly urge upon him the maxim of the excellent Dr. Payson : “ Look well to your motives!” Well would it be for the multitudes who will precipitate themselves on those westernmost shores to dig for hidden treasures, if there were a strong infusion of such men, who should do their utmost to guide the wanderers to yet another and incomparably richer country, of which it may emphatically be said : "the gold of that land is good.” It enriches the soul forever, with wealth which cannot be lost, stolen, or exhausted, and which gives full contentment to the heart. It is a land whose people are crowned with gold that never grows dim, and the golden harps ring with unceasing notes of richest harmony, and they walk in streets of gold, found no where but in the eternal city of God.
MEMOIR OF MATTHEW HENRY. — If this worthy had not been converted when quite young, his life would bave been too short for the preparation of his famous commentary, which yet he did not live to complete in full. He was converted at eleven years of age. In his diary, on his birth-day, when thirteen years of age, he writes : “ Lord Jesus, I bless thee for thy Word, for good parents, that I was taken into covenant betimes in baptism, that I have had a good education, that I am thine.” And in later years he said : “ If any good work hath been wrought in my soul, I desire thankfully to acknowledge the influence of my infant baptismi therein.” For obvious reasons these, and similar expressions from that great Bible Christian, will not be found in the very neat and instructive Memoir, prepared for the American Tract Society from the work of J. B. Williams, Esq., of England. Still it is a delightful record of saintly experience, and of the heaven-like life in a right old Puritan family, wbere even the girls studied the Hebrew Scriptures at seven years of age. It is certainly no small commendation of Henry's voluminous commentary, now a hundred and fifty years old, that it is still stereotyped and sold notwithstanding the boasted improvements of our age in the science of interpretation. Every minister who has found among his flock any member whose religious character was chiefly formed by the study of this work, must have admired that character for its intelligence, decision, and zeal. Cocceius laid it down as a fundamental rule of interpretation, that the language of Scripture is to be understood in every sense of which it is susceptible. Henry, on the contrary, seeks to exhaust the meaning of the text, without drawing from it anything more than the sincere milk of the Word. For as Thomas Fuller says : “ Such as in expounding of Scripture reap more than God did sow there, never eat what they reap thence, because such grainless husks, when seriously threshed out, vanish all into chaff.” One of Henry's chief excellences is the use he makes of Jewish history to illustrate Christian experience. This, we apprehend, is the great object for which God has preserved to the Church those remarkable records of his dealings with his ancient covenant people. “ The whole Jewish history," says Coleridge, "in all its details, is so admirably adapted to, and suggestive of, symbolical use, as to justify the belief that the spiritual application, the interior and permanent sense, was in the original intention of the inspiring Spirit, though it might not have been present, as an object of distinct consciousness, to the inspired writers.”
MEMOIR OF Rev. DR. MILNER. - The American Tract Society has done just honor to one of its oldest, firmest, and most active friends, in publishing a splendid memorial of his virtues, piety, and usefulness. Dr. Milner was great in goodness. His celebrity rests on this foundation, and not on any sectarian zeal, or pragmatical bustle in behalf of any party wrapped up in itself. Some who used to reproach him as a “ Presbyterian in an Episcopalian's robes,” now that he has departed in the odor of sanctity, seem disposed to complain that his Life should be issued under such auspices, as to prevent the fragrant incense of his good name from being confined to the temples of the sect which he loved with a most sincere, though not bigoted and exclusive, attachment. Let such remember, that the excellence of Dr. Milner will be a reproach to his denomination, if it shall stand alone therein, and not be imitated and multiplied in the communion which claims him. His Church can suffer no detriment from an account of one of its brightest ornaments, given by another of the best it has left. Rev. Dr. Stone, the writer of this Memoir, fully “ understands his man,” and has delineated a beautiful character, in a no less beautiful picture, which the American Tract Society has gratefully placed in a rich and appropriate frame.
BUNYAN's Pilgrim. — The same Society has issued a most elegant edition of this religious classic. Engravings, printing, binding, and gilding are all superb, — unless you take the worth of the matter into account, and then all that the artists can do, seems poor in comparison. We would like to see “ honest John,” looking at a copy of this exquisite edition of his lovely dream. He would think that he was dreaming still, faster than ever. This “love of a book,” so blessed to give and so blessed to take, will serve as a holiday present all the year round. It can be had for a hundred and fifty paltry bits of copper, though “its price is above rubies.” It is well known that the consummate critic, S. T. Coleridge, declared that he had thrice studied the Pilgrim's Progress; once as a poet, once as a theologian, and once as a practical Christian; and on each perusal, assigned it the highest rank among writings of either kind. We subjoin two more instructive comments, collected from different writings of the same competent judge. “The catalogue of the works written by the