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saw some societies whose form I approved, but found them shut up from the fellowship of all christians except such as
jumped with them in every minutia.'. In this paragraph Mr. Campbell points out a perplexity which has been and still is experienced by many reflecting men, and which deserves more serious regard at the hands of dissenters than it has hitherto received. We perceive the radical unsoundness of a state church, but are far from presenting to the view of many pious episcopalians such a conformity to the spirit of Scripture exhortations as they desiderate. Sensible of the numerous deficiencies of their own church, they yet remain within her pale, in utter despair of finding a more perfect way. This may be erroneous and criminal ; it may be the result of prejudice, shortsightedness, or ignorance, but it becomes us to inquire, and that most seriously, whether there is not in some of our modes of procedure much that is adapted to occasion and foster such a feeling. A devout and searching inquiry directed to this point might possibly bring out a result which, however mortifying to our pride, would highly conduce to the extension of a voluntary christianity. The catholicity of the church is as essential to its prosperity as its purity, and Mr. Campbell was therefore right in refusing to join himself with those whose views were so sectarian as he describes. The fellowship of the saints is a right claimable by every believer, not a privilege to be conferred or withheld at the option of individuals or of a society.
His alienation from the Established Church was further promoted by some decisions of the General Assembly, which he thought to be indicative of an utter disregard to the spiritual interests of his countrymen. The truth is, that he belonged by natural disposition to the movement party. He came into public life just when evangelical religion was beginning to raise its head in Scotland, and sympathized heartily with its spirit and hallowed purpose. He was too active and zealous, too intent on doing good, and too skilful in devising new modes of accomplishing it, to confine himself within the prescribed limits of ecclesiastical rule. There was no affinity between the elements of his character and the cold, heartless formalism of a state church. Hence arose his estrangement, which, proceeding slowly and, in its earlier stages, unconsciously to himself, ultimately conducted him to those great principles of self-government and voluntary support which form the basis of our church polity
Mr. Philip has furnished some interesting information respecting the apostolic labors of the Messrs. Haldane, Aikman, and Ewing, in most of which Mr. Campbell took an active part. These gentlemen, particularly the former, were prominent actors
in those religious movements which gave a new character to Scottish piety, by rendering it more evangelical and active than it had previously been. In Scotland, as in England, the state church, while preserving the forms of religion, had suffered its spirit wholly to evaporate. A spiritual lethargy prevailed throughout the land, the very nature of christianity was misapprehended; and formalism and ungodliness were substituted for the humbling and sanctifying faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In such circumstances, the Messrs. Haldane nobly consecrated their property and talents to the spiritual benefit of their countrymen. The rectitude of their intention is beyond all question, and that a large amount of good may be traced directly or indirectly to their exertions, is equally unquestionable. Yet truth compels the admission, that they were far from being thoroughly furnished for the work which they undertook. The history of their labors is full of warnings as well as of encouragement, and may be advantageously studied by all who are situated similarly to themselves. It is not our present province to enter into the particulars of their history. Let those dwell upon their errors who can find pleasure in such employ; we prefer rather pointing to the good of which they have been the honored instruments. The following is Mr. Campbell's account of one of the most important of the many measures which these gentlemen adopted for the spiritual benefit of their countrymen. The African scheme referred to was a proposal to bring over some negro children from the colony of Sierra Leone, to be educated in this country, with a view to their returning to Africa as instructors of others.
* About a year and a half after this, I was invited by Mr. Haldane to meet a few excellent christians, who were to sup at his house. At one time there was a short pause in the conversation, when, I
suppose, every one was thinking what topic he could start. A Mr. Alexander Pitcairn, who sat opposite to me, said, “Mr. C., what is become of your African scheme? I have not heard any thing of it for a long time.' Not one present could possibly have imagined that the conversion and everlasting salvation of thousands was connected with Mr. P. asking that question. To which I replied, ' It is put off to the peace !' which created a general smile, as few expected peace till Buonaparte had got the world under his feet. Mr. Haldane asked, from the head of the table, what African scheme I had, never having heard of it? This I answered as briefly as I could, but added, “I had another scheme in my head, as important as the African one.' • What is that?' • To have a Tabernacle built in Edinburgh.' "What is that?' asked Mr. Haldane. The Tabernacle in London is a large place of worship, supplied by popular ministers, of different denominations, coming up from the country, and preaching for a month. The crowds that it attracts, and the good that has been done, are very great.' All agreed
that such a thing was desirable. · Who could be got to supply it?' I mentioned Rowland Hill and other English ministers. Could a large place be obtained for a year on trial, before proceeding to build. ing?" "Yes, the use of the Circus may be got for sabbaths; as the Relief
congregation, who have had it while their new place was build. ing, are on the eve of leaving it. When I first proposed the Circus, Mr. Haldane turned to a certain lawyer who was present, saying, 'Mr. D., will you inquire about it to-morrow, and if it be to let, take it for a year?'
It was secured the next day ; Rowland Hill was invited; he con. sented to come ; and did come in the month of May or June.—The place was crowded even at seven o'clock in the morning,—and in the evenings, if the weather was good, no place could have contained the crowds that came to hear; they mounted to near the summit of the Calton-hill, where there was a spot resembling an amphitheatre, as if excavated to hold a congregation of 10,000, which number I believe sometimes attended him. On one occasion he made a collection for the City Charity Workhouse. It amounted to about £30, almost entirely composed of halfpence and pennypieces. I think it was taken away in a wheelbarrow. During his stay many were converted, some of whom had been most grossly immoral characters. It made much noise in the neighborhood ;—even some soldiers attended a prayermeeting. A woman, at her own door, was overheard to say to her neighbor, ' O Sir, what will become of us now, when the very soldiers are beginning to pray?"-pp. 164, 165.
It was a singular fact, that not one of the persons present on this occasion was a dissenter. The movement was obviously of a dissenting character. It wore the complexion and breathed the spirit of a voluntary and energetic faith, yet it was taken by men who avowed their churchmanship, and never suspected that they were in a course of secession from the communion and authority of the kirk. The tendency of their measures was from the first seen by many, and could not long be concealed from themselves. Several Independent ministers were invited from England to supply the new place of worship, some of whom preached on the nature and constitution of the church of Christ, and thus diffused, among the persons meeting at the Circus, congregational views of church government, which led by a natural process to the formation of an Independent church, and the choice of Mr. James Haldane as pastor thereof. A large building, capable of containing upwards of 3000 hearers, was subsequently erected at the sole expense of Mr. Robert Haldane, who provided similar places at Glasgow, Dundee, and other large towns. The example thus set has been nobly followed in England by the treasurer of Highbury College, than whom there is not probably a man living who can point to larger and more useful results of the appropriation of his property. To Mr. Wilson belongs the distinguished
honor of having originated many churches which are now sanctifying their several localities, and contributing largely to the religious institutions which adorn and ennoble our times.
Mr. Campbell was at this time engaged in business as an ironmonger, yet his attention was incessantly given to the various schemes, both benevolent and religious, which were then soliciting public support. He was instant in season and out of season, and taxed his strength to a degree which alarmed many of his friends. His labors as a Sabbath-school teacher and itinerant preacher, were in themselves sufficient to occupy the whole time of an ordinary man, while the correspondence which he carried on with different persons eminent for piety and station, in various parts of the kingdom, must have required an economical arrangement of his time of which few men are capable. He accompanied Mr. James Haldane on several preaching excursions, which awakened the wrath of many clerical officials, and were regarded with great apprehension by a large portion of his countrymen. One stickler for holy orders was so scandalized at his presumption as to refer daily in family devotion to his preaching, in such a manner as caused an apprentice to laugh. The lad was expelled from his master's house on this account; and being reproved by his parents for the irreverence of which he had been guilty, replied, * Hoo could I .but laugh, when master prayed every sabbath mornin', that a ' red hot poker might be stuck into Johnnie Campbell's throat * that day, if he presumed to minister in word or doctrine ? On one of his preaching excursions, both he and Mr. Haldane were arrested; but were speedily released,—the impotency of their opponents being only equalled by their malice.
Many of our readers are probably aware that Mr. Campbell was a voluminous writer for the young. He took the lead in this class of publications, and probably contributed more than any other man to the abundant supply with which the market is now stocked. The manner in which he was led to publish his first book for children was strikingly illustrative of the character of his mind; it grew out of the circumstances in which he was placed, and was designed to supply a want which he could not otherwise suitably meet. The facts of the case these; he had a young cousin, Mary Campbell, committed to his care, whom he was desirous of directing to the profitable consideration of divine truth. For this purpose he put into her hands Janeway's Token for Children, the perusal of which rather alarmed than benefited her, by associating death, in her mind, with early piety. Having afterwards met with a pious address to children, he determined to ascertain, by a fair experiment on his young cousin, whether its length did not render it
unsuitable for the object which he contemplated. Mr. Campbell's own account of this matter is given in these words :
One day, after dinner, I laid down my desk upon the table to write a letter, and desired her to sit forward to the table, and I should give her a nice book, published entirely for the sake of young people like herself. She took it into her hand with great pleasure, and began to read it with avidity. When she had turned over the second leaf, I saw she was surprised that there was not the end of a chapter in sight, She then turned the third leaf, evidently to see if there was an end there. On observing this, I said, "Go on, Mary, it's very good.' After a little I saw her slyly turn over the fourth leaf, and seeing no end of a chapter, she raised up her arms above her head, saying, * Am I obliged to read all this at one sitting ?' I said, “ No, Mary, you may go to play.' She ran like a prisoner set free from bondage I was satisfied that long addresses would be of no use to children, for God has evidently studied the taste of his creature in the Revelation he has given to them ; for almost the whole of it is given in the form of narrative, here a little instruction of one kind, and there a little of another, mixed up with the narrative. I therefore resolved to en. deavor to convey to her young mind gospel truths, by mixing them up with short narrative.'-pp. 186, 187.
'On Mary going out to play, I commenced writing the first life in • Worlds Displayed,' without the most distant idea of its ever appear, ing in print, and finished it that evening. Next day after dinner! desired Mary to stop, for I had something for her to read; on which I put this life into her hand, and commenced writing at my desk, but, unknown to her, watching her conduct. She read to the end without once looking off the paper, and when done asked me if I had any more? No,' said 1, that is enough for one reading; but if you behave well, you shall have such another to-morrow after dinner.' She asked for it next day, when I had the second life ready. We went on this way for some time, till at length I felt like a cask that once had been full, but now emptied of all its contents; when I told her she must begin now and read them all over again. What gave rise to the publishing them I cannot now recollect ; perhaps it was her showing them to some of her acquaintance. However that was, an edition of 1500 was printed as a little volume, which, in boards, was sold at eightpence; and so hungry were parents and others for some. thing of a religious cast to present unto their children, that the whole edition went off in a very short time. I suppose such publications were equally scarce in America, for in about a year after · Worlds Displayed' was published in Edinburgh, the venerable Dr. John Erskine, minister of Old Greyfriars parish, called and read me a letter that he had received from an old minister in Massachusetts, stating that my • Worlds Displayed' had come out there, and a large edition had been published, and requesting Dr. Erskine to inform the author for his encouragement. Also a very short time after its publication in Edinburgh, I received a letter from a bookseller in London