against men as depraved, and not as renewed: for though there be much vanity in the thoughts of the best of men, yet it is not mainly so. There are thoughts, which, though we are not sufficient of ourselves to obtain them, yet being imparted to us by Him in whom is all our sufficiency, are not vanity. If we think of God with approbation, of sin with contrition, of ourselves as nothing, of Christ as all, of earth as the house of our pilgrimage, and of heaven as our home; this is thinking justly, as we ought to think. Such thoughts also are an earnest of that state, where themes of unutterable glory shall for ever present themselves; and where all our powers, being corrected and sanctified, shall ever be employed in exploring the wonders of grace.


A letter to Dr. Stuart of Edinburgh, May 1797.

I THINK I can perceive, that Mr. M'Lean's great object is to cut up self-righteousness, and hence it is that he disapproves of Mr. Simeon's statement.* Faith, according to Mr. M'Lean, must not only have no moral efficacy towards our acceptance with God, but there must be no fitness between faith and salvation, or in God's bestowing salvation upon believers rather than unbelievers. Yea, lest we should at last be justified by our own moral

* The Rev. Mr. Simeon of Cambridge delivered a sermon at Edinburgh, which was afterwards printed. Mr. M'Lean published some strictures upon it, in a pamphlet entitled "David and Jonathan,” which was transmitted by Dr. Stuart to Mr. Fuller, accompanied with his own reflections. The above reply to this letter, produced an elaborate epistle from Mr. M‘Lean, the answer to which has already appeared in Morris's MEMOIRS of Mr. Fuller, pp. 317, 318, second edition. ED.

always being, and that of awvios to be everlasting. Is it not to be lamented then, that he should undermine the argument against the Universalists from this ground, and endeavour to rest the doctrine of endless punishment, on the term alwvios being so “ obviously used in the new testament to denote what is strictly everlasting, that he is not aware of any instance in which the connection requires a different sense to be admitted." Were I a universalist, I would not wish for a fuller concession, by which to overturn his principle. To give up, as he does in effect, the original use of the term antecedently to its being adopted by the apostles, and to rest his faith upon its being always applied by them to unlimited duration, is in my opinion, whatever be his design, to betray the truth. A universalist might reply as follows-You are mistaken, sir. It is obvious that awr, though sometimes used in the endless sense, which we never deny, yet in other places is applied to the temporary existence of the present world, and to the ages and times of limited duration.* It is also obvious, that awvios, though it sometimes means eternal, yet in other places is applied, like awwv, to limited duration; namely, to the ages or times, since the beginning of the world. What proof therefore is there of the endless duration of future punishment from the use of these terms, which are generic, including all degrees of duration, unlimited and limited?

To this reasoning I should reply, by granting that the obvious design of these terms, in certain connections, is to express the idea of an age or ages; but that this is not their primary, literal, or proper meaning; and therefore ought not to be applied to the duration of future punishment, unless there were something in that subject, as there is in the others, which rendered the literal meaning inad

*Matt. xiii. 39. xxviii. 20. John ix. 32.
Ephes. iii. 9. Col. i. 26.

+ Rom. xvi. 25. 2 Tim. i. 9.
1 Pet. i. 20.

Acts iii, 21. 1 Cor. ii. 7.
Heb. i, 2.

Titus i. 2. comp. with Ephes. i. 4.
See Parkhurst.

missible. But how my opponent could answer the objection upon his principles, it remains for him to show. To me it appears that, by his method of reasoning, we should always be at sea, and without a compass; unable to prove scarcely any divine truth from the words by which it is expressed, inasmuch as almost all words are used in more senses than one. I wish he would carefully and candidly read "Scrutator's" seventh and eleventh Letters on this subject.*

Mr. Greatheed, as if to depreciate the primary sense of the term aivios, speaks of its being "invented by the heathens," and thinks that I cannot believe it to have been "created or revealed." I question whether any language, dead or living, can be proved to have had its origin in human invention. The account of the origin of all languages, appears to be given in the eleventh chapter of Genesis; and all that men have done, seems to have been to modify, compound, and change them into different forms. But whatever was the origin of this and other terms, they were adopted by the Holy Spirit as the medium of conveying divine truth; and if the sacred writers meant to be understood, they must, one would think, have used them in the ordinary acceptation in which they were used by those who spake and wrote in the greek language. That they applied them to new objects, is true; but it does not follow that they changed their meaning. In the writings of Aristotle, awwv properly means always being, no less than in the epistles of Paul.+

"Upon the same ground, says Mr. Greatheed, "I have formed my judgment of the terms, βαπτιζω and βαπτισμος. In whatever sense the heathens, who invented these terms, may have used them, it appears to me that the writers of the new testament apply them so constantly to the signification of a sacred cleansing, that I am not aware of an instance in which the connection requires a different

*Letters to a Universalist: by Rev. Charles Jerram.

+ Fuller's Letters to Vidler, pp. 53, 54, Note.

sense to be admitted. I therefore consider this the obvious meaning of those words at the time, and in the circumstances in which the authors wrote.' On this passage I would offer the following remarks

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1. My worthy opponent is sufficiently aware, that ẞaTTiw βαπτιζω was used originally by the greek writers to express immersion. But they were "heathens!"* And will he affirm that the word was so applied by heathens only? Did not the Septuagint translators of the old testament, and Josephus, so apply it? If proofs of this be called for, they will be produced.

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2. The word ẞаTτw, from whence ẞaTTicw is derived, it will not be denied, is used in the new testament for immersion. Thus in John xiii. 26. He it is to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it.' Luke xvi. 24. "Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water.' Rev. xix. 13. 'He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.' In these sentences there is no idea of cleansing" of any kind; and in the last, the reverse of it.

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3. Dr. Williams, to whose work Mr. Greatheed refers us, allows, and says, "It is universally agreed among the learned, that both Barrw and Barrigw, etymologically, and according to their radical, primary, and proper meaning, are justly rendered by the words tingo and mergo, to tinge or plunge." But every one knows, that to tinge is the opposite of, to cleanse. One would think that this acknowledgment were sufficient to settle the meaning of the word. And, as Dr. Williams elsewhere says, it is "neither fair, nor agreeable to the just rules of criticism, to interpret the words of an author allusively, improperly,

* Mr. Fuller afterwards added in a MS. Note, that Mr. G. in alleging, "that according to his statement the scriptures were not sufficient to determine the meaning of words, without going among the heathen," might as well have said, That the grace of God is sufficient to make a christian, without being indebted to nature in first making him a man.

+ Antipædobaptism Examined, vol. ii. p. 30.

or metaphorically, except when plain necessity urges," it must lie on him and his brethren, before they plead for any thing short of immersion being christian baptism, to prove that the primitive sense of the term in this instance involves an absurdity, and therefore that a secondary one requires to be admitted.

4. The term baptism, as applied to the sufferings of Christ, conveys a full idea of immersion, but none of "cleansing."

5. That water baptism, which is the christian ordinance, generally includes the idea of "cleansing," may be allowed; but it is only in a secondary or consequential sense, as he that is immersed in water is thereby cleansed. Cleansing, in water baptism, is that which its opposite staining, is in a vesture being dipped in blood: it is not the thing itself, but its necessary effect. Such is the idea conveyed in Acts xxii. 16. 'Be baptised, and wash away thy sins.' To render the first of these terms cleansed, would make the sacred writer utter a mere tautology.

"If the apostles used the term Barrioμuos merely for immersion, then, it is said, every person who has been immersed, whether for health, diversion, or punishment, is a baptised person." True, he is so, though not with christian baptism.

"But if something more than simple immersion is meant, when the apostles speak of the baptism of their converts, and yet the primary and proper meaning is nothing but immersion, then the apostles used that term in a secondary or figurative sense, when they applied it to the initiatory ordinance of the christian dispensation." If there be "no flaw" in this argument, Mr. Greatheed thinks his point is gained. I think there is a flaw in it, and that it lies in confounding the act with the end, or the design to be answered by it. An act, say that of eating, may be one and the same, whatever be the end of it; whether refreshment, or a showing forth of the Lord's death. Nor is the term designed to express any thing more than the act: the design is to be learned from other

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