Campbell & Hyperism II
I also showed that Campbell felt a need to correct the Hyper Calvinism rampant in certain areas, the view that taught that regeneration was unconnected with faith, that is was by the "Spirit Alone" apart from the word, a view he recognized as a growing "extreme," and thus he thought he could better combat this error by emphasing the instrumentality of the word, to the neglect of those essential "spiritual influences." As I said, he went to an extreme himself in fighting an extreme. But, to Campbell's credit, he did not go as far in that extreme as his later followers.
From the citations to follow, one will see how three great Baptist leaders conversed with Campbell on this subject. All three of these Baptists rejected the "regeneration before faith" view, and so they were in agreement with Campbell in his efforts against the Hardshells. Andrew Broadus, R. B. Semple, and J. M. Peck were strong opposers of Hardshellism, and they became equally opposed to those in the "Restoration Movement," but in the beginning, none saw Campbell as that far off base, regarding regeneration and "spiritual influences."
I will stop at points in these citations to make some observations. I have included some citations just for their historical benefit to us as Baptists but do not necessarily directly address the issue in dispute between the Baptists, represented by the three men mentioned, and the new "Restorationist Baptists," over the issue of whether regeneration were by the "word alone" or by the "Spirit AND the Word." Both rejected the Hardshell view of "Spirit Alone," so the discussion was over just how far was Campbell going to go in his denial of "spiritual influences" as integral to the "word."
"I am not to be understood," said he, speaking of converting influences (C. B. for April, 1825), "as asserting that there is no divine influence exercised over the minds and bodies of men. This would be to assert in contradiction to a thousand facts and declarations in the volume of revelation; this would be to destroy the idea of any divine revelation; this would be to destroy the idea of any divine government exercised over the human race; this would be to make prayer a useless and irrational exercise; this would be to deprive Christians of all the consolations derived from a sense of the superintending care, guidance and protection of the Most High. But to resolve everything into a 'divine influence' is the other extreme. This divests man of every attribute that renders him accountable to his Maker, and assimilates all his actions to the bending of the trees or the tumults of the ocean occasioned by the tempest."
"There are many things which are evident, yet altogether inexplicable...Until we know more of God than can be revealed or known in this mortal state, we must be content to say of a thousand things, a thousand times, we cannot understand how, or why, or wherefore they are so. But he would be a foolish husbandman who, going forth with precious seed to cast upon his field, would cease to scatter it because a philosopher had asked him some questions about its germination and the influences requisite to its vegetation which he  could not explain. As foolish would a hungry man be who would refuse to eat bread because he could not explain the process of digestion, nor tell how it conduces to the preservation of life. And just as foolish he who refuses to meditate upon the revelation of God, and to practice its injunctions, because there are some whys or wherefores for which he cannot give a reason."
"He thus sought to confine the attention to that which was immediately necessary to faith, and to avoid unprofitable discussions respecting remote or accessory causes."
"In the summer, he made a short visit to Eastern Virginia, where he was kindly received, and where he formed an acquaintance with Robert B. Semple, Andrew Broaddus and other eminent Baptist ministers. The few  discourses he delivered during his visit made quite a strong impression. The leaders of the Baptists in Eastern Virginia, however, though struck with Mr. Campbell's great abilities, were by no means prepared to receive his reformatory views. They earnestly desired, on the other hand, to win him over to their own sentiments and usages, in order that his influence might enure to the benefit of the Baptist cause.
After his return home, he received a kind letter from Bishop Semple, objecting to the spirit in which the "Christian Baptist" seemed to be conducted, and to some of the sentiments attributed to Mr. Campbell, intimating that he seemed to be a Sandemanian or a Haldanean both in his views and spirit."
"Among the Haldaneans," said he "(judging from writings), a gentle spirit is rarely to be found. Harsh and bitter sarcasms are the weapons with which they fight their opponents. This, too, I am the more disposed to think applies to them as a sect, because I have known some of their party, who have appeared in private conversation to be mild and gentle indeed and every way pleasant, but when brought out in writing or public speaking, seemed to have another kind of temper. If you will bear with me, it seems to me that this is the case with the editor of the 'Christian Baptist.' As a man, in private circles, mild, pleasant and affectionate--as a writer, rigid and satirical beyond all the bounds of Scripture allowance."
"Among those Baptist ministers who approved the new version, and who especially commended the "Hints to Readers," was Andrew Broaddus, one of the most talented and eloquent preachers of Eastern Virginia. He was a man of highly-cultivated intellect and of liberal spirit, though of a somewhat fastidious and timid temperament. Some months after the appearance of the letter from Bishop Semple, who, notwithstanding the courtesy of Mr. Campbell's reply, seemed disposed to decline further correspondence, Mr. Broaddus had sent a communication for the "Christian Baptist," in which he expressed his approval of Mr. Campbell's views of the Christian religion as a dispensation, and his general agreement with the sentiments in the "Sermon on the Law" as to the Mosaic institution. In regard to the "Christian Baptist," he said:
"I find in it much to approve, something to doubt, and something, too, from which I must dissent. Possibly, however, my dissension may be owing (in part at least) to the want of a full and correct understanding of your sentiments. I said, much to approve; I might use a stronger term and say,  much to admire. With several of your essays I have been not only pleased but delighted. Many of your remarks, too, in opposition to the errors and follies too prevalent in the religious world, meet my own views and receive my warm and hearty commendation. In a word, I am greatly pleased with what appears to be your drift and aim--viz., to clear the religion of Jesus of all the adventitious lumber with which it has been encumbered, and bring back the Christian Church to its primitive simplicity and beauty."
"Concurring with Mr. Campbell as to Christianity considered as a dispensation, he goes on to say:
"I do hope that, upon a more explicit declaration of your sentiments, I may find no cause to disagree with you as to what more nearly concerns the nature of that religion--the agency, I will say, which produces it in us. I do not wish you to consider me, at this time, as really differing from you on this point: I only desire to be better satisfied. Let me explain myself.
"There are some among us possessed of strong apprehensions that you are disposed to deny the existence of the regenerating and sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit on the spirit or the heart of man, and that you would ascribe all the religious effects produced in us solely to the influence of the written Word or the external revelation of God. And these apprehensions, permit me to add, are not, in all cases, the effect of any prejudice against you. For myself, I have said to others, as I now say to you, that I cannot think this of you. I have seen, indeed, many things in your writings which appear inconsistent with such a sentiment--a sentiment which obviously goes to the annihilation of all hope for gracious aid in the Christian warfare, and, of course, to the annihilation of prayer for any such aid. A sentiment which would thus cut off communion with God, and let out, as I may say, the very life's blood of religion, I cannot think you would maintain. Still, however, I would rather see you more explicit upon this point: it appears to be due to  yourself as well as to others: and to a compliance with this wish I should suppose you can have no objection."
"That the word of God is the instrument of our regeneration and sanctification, I have no doubt; nor would I think of saying it is his usual method (whatever he may in some cases choose to do) to operate on the soul independent of the Word. But that there is a living, divine agent, giving life and energy to the Word, and actually operating on the soul, is, in my view, a truth which forms one of the glorious peculiarities of the religion of Jesus: and thus I would say, in the language of the apostle, we are 'born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.'"
"This communication, elegantly written and marked by the utmost Christian courtesy and candor, was received by Mr. Campbell with great pleasure, and he remarked that there had not appeared in the "Christian Baptist" a letter from any correspondent "more evangelical in its scope; more clear and luminous in its object; more unexceptionable in its style; more perfect in its soul, body and spirit."
"I am not conscious," said he, in reply, "that there is one point of controversy between us in all the items of practical truth embraced in your letter. Whatever diversity of opinion might possibly exist between us in carrying out some principles to their legitimate issue, I am conscious of none in the premises." . . . Speaking of the "agency" which produces the Christian religion in men, he remarks: "Were it not for the pernicious influence of the theories afloat on this subject, I would assert my concurrence in opinion with you. This may appear a strange saying, but it is in accordance with the spirit of this work. I have taken a stand which I am determined, by the grace of God, not to abandon. I will lay down no new theories in religion, contend for no old theories, nor aid any theory now in existence. For why? Because no theory is the gospel of Jesus the Messias. Nor can the  preaching or teaching of any theory be the preaching or teaching of the gospel. And--please mark it well--NO MAN CAN BE SAVED BY THE BELIEF OF ANY THEORY, TRUE OR FALSE: NO MAN WILL BE DAMNED FOR THE DISBELIEF OF ANY THEORY. This position I hold worthy to be printed in majestic capitals...Whatever the Scriptures say, I say. The only question with me is to understand each sentence in the light of its own context...To make new theories is the way to make new divisions. To contend for the old is to keep up the old divisions, either of which would be in direct opposition to all my efforts, and, what is still worse, in direct opposition to the decisions of the Holy Spirit."
This is clear testimony that basically has Campbell willing to admit that the new birth was accomplished by the Spirit and the Word, but that he preferred to keep silent about the "Spirit" part and solely emphasize the "Word" part, believing that Hardshellism was a greater evil and could only be succesfully rebutted by an emphasis upon the "Word alone."
"We have here a clear statement of the principle which governed Mr. Campbell throughout his entire life as to his utterances on the subject of spiritual influence. Knowing how the minds of the people were engrossed with theories of regeneration to the neglect of Scripture teaching, and how much such speculations contributed to maintain religious dissensions, he had resolved to discountenance every thing of this nature, and to confine attention to the plain declarations of the word of God. He could not be induced, therefore, to go beyond its simple statements into any inquiries respecting the unrevealed links in the chain of causation. By no means denying that influences were exerted in answer to prayer in regard to the conversion and sanctification of men, he presumed not to define their nature, and would neither propose a new theory on the subject, nor give his assent to any of those already in vogue. Mr. Broaddus had made a very near approach to Mr. Campbell's position when he said, as above quoted, "that the word of God is the instrument of our regeneration and sanctification," and that he would not say it was God's "usual method to operate on the soul independent  of the Word." But when he added, "there is a living divine agent giving life and energy to the Word, and actually operating on the soul," he passed quite out of Mr. Campbell's field of view, the Bible alone, and entered the domain of theological speculation."
This is not a fair commentary by Dr. Richardson on Campbell, I don't think. From previous citations (above) Campbell admitted that the scriptures had a thousand instances to prove such a spiritual influence apart from the word of God. I think Campbell had moved more towards Broadus, not vice versa, as Richardson intimates.
"Mr. Campbell could see no practical utility in this theory, as the reception of it did not in any wise tend to induce the supposed agency, and therefore availed nothing. On the other hand, its adoption at once changed the relations of those who embraced it to the word of God. Men could no longer esteem this "worthy of all acceptation," "greater" than the "testimony of men," "able to make 'them' wise unto salvation," or "quick and powerful;" for the theory declared it to be deficient in energy and to be actually "dead," requiring some undefined agency to give it "life." This Mr. Campbell could never for a moment admit, and it was in opposition to this very theological dogma that, adopting the language of the proto-martyr, and in harmony with the saying of Christ, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life," he entitled his later editions of the New Testament, "THE LIVING ORACLES." His love for that sacred volume rendered him jealous of every philosophy which would in the slightest degree derogate from its power and its sufficiency when brought into contact with the human mind. Such were his conceptions of the "glorious gospel of the blessed God," that he regarded it as embodying in itself "the power of God for salvation to every one who believed it," and as presenting, in the demonstrations of the Spirit and of power which attended its introduction, all the evidences necessary to the production of faith. He by no means doubted or denied the impartation and aids of the Holy Spirit, but as the promise of the Spirit was to believers  only, he could not admit that it was given to unbelievers in order to produce faith, as the theory in question required. He, therefore, thus expressed himself in his reply to Mr. Broaddus:
"If any man accustomed to speculate on religion as a mere science should infer from anything I have said on these theories that I contend for a religion in which the Holy Spirit has nothing to do; in which there is no need of prayer for the Holy Spirit; in which there is no communion of the Holy Spirit; in which there is no peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,--he does me the greatest injustice...All whom I baptize, I baptize into the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I pray for the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the communion of the Holy Spirit to remain with all the saints. A religion of which the Holy Spirit is not the author, the subject-matter and the perfecter is sheer Deism. To a man who teaches otherwise I would say: 'Art thou a teacher in Israel, and knowest not these things?' ...The uncontrovertible fact is, men must he born from above, and for this purpose the glad tidings are announced. Let us simply promulgate them in all their simplicity and force, unmixed with theory, uncorrupted with philosophy, uncomplicated with speculation and unfettered by system, and mark the issue."
"However clear the view Mr. Campbell thus gave of his position, and however proper, and, in a practical point of view, sufficient the course he so earnestly advocated in the interests of Christian peace and union, it must be confessed that the point of real difficulty remained still untouched, and that, for want of a full explanation of this, his views continued to be misapprehended and misrepresented. For it was undeniable that "influences" independent of the gospel were exerted in regard to unbelievers in order to the production of faith. Admitting that the "power" was in the gospel  or word of God, the question which demanded elucidation still recurred--Why do not all who hear the gospel believe and obey it? Why, out of a large audience who hear the gospel announced, will perhaps only one or two individuals receive it and act upon their convictions? Where all have alike the opportunity of hearing, why is the gospel brought into contact with the heart and mind of some and not of others or of all? Most assuredly there is a special influence here to be accounted for--an influence admitted by Mr. Campbell himself equally with his opponents, since with them he felt it his duty to offer up prayers for the conversion of sinners, which necessarily supposed a special divine intervention in their behalf, It was the conviction that such aid was to be expected, coupled with the natural and just longing of the human heart for some tangible, personal and sensible evidence of acceptance with God, that first gave rise to the mystical theory of regeneration, which, engrafted by Jacob Bœhler upon the more simple faith of Wesley, had at length pervaded almost the entire religious community. As this difficulty, therefore, still remained to be elucidated in the further progress of the Reformation, Mr. Campbell's reply at this period failed to prove entirely satisfactory to Mr. Broaddus.
Hence, in his next letter, he said:
"While many things in your answer, and many incidental remarks in reference to this very point, met my admiring approbation, I felt some degree of disappointment at the manner in which you considered it proper to shape your reply in this particular case. Your reasons are no doubt satisfactory to yourself; perhaps they ought to be so to me and to all. I have heard much said about your answer to Paulinus, for it has excited among us a high degree of attention. Some of  your readers are satisfied; some are not. And though, upon a candid, careful reperusal of your letter, I think it justly due to you to say that you are an avowed friend to the Spirit's operations in the production of genuine religion, I must own that I could still wish you had found in your heart to dispense with what I consider an over-degree of scrupulosity, and to answer in a more direct manner...I must think you carry your scruples on the subject of theories and systems to some excess."
"After expressing his own disapprobation of mere theorizing, he adds the following just remarks:
"It is to be lamented, indeed, that systems seem to please some professors of religion more than the good news of salvation by Christ, and that they manifest more solicitude for the preservation of their beloved plans than for the maintenance of vital and practical godliness. Touch every chord in the lyre of salvation, they still remain listless, unmoved, till the darling notes be sounded to which their spirits are in unison. Oh for the time when divine truth--the whole of divine truth--shall be relished as coming from God!--when the souls of professed Christians, tuned by grace, shall respond to every declaration of the will of God; now with holy fear, now with lively hope, now with 'joy unspeakable and full of glory,' and always with obedient 'faith that works by love.' This will not be till the Bible is taken in good earnest as the standard of faith and practice. Oh, sir, may God speed your efforts to call the people to this only standard! May he assist us to plant this standard, this milk-white banner, on the heights of Zion, no more to he insulted by the parti-colored flags of creeds and confessions of faith waving over it!"
"While Mr. Broaddus was quite agreed with Mr. Campbell in his opposition to creeds as standards of faith, and in regard to the need of reformation among the Baptists, and, in some measure, even to the restoration of the "ancient order of things," he still clung tenaciously to his theory of spiritual operations in conversion, to which he seemed earnestly desirous of  winning over his highly-esteemed friend, the editor of the "Christian Baptist." In reference to the wish he had expressed that Mr. Campbell had given a more direct reply to his assertion that there was a spiritual agency, "giving life and energy to the Word and actually operating on the soul," the latter replied:
"There may be questions proposed on subjects of which the Bible speaks which the Bible will not answer. For example, How does the Spirit influence the minds of men? is a question I cannot answer from the Bible. But if I be asked, Does the Spirit regenerate the human heart? Does it influence the minds of men? I answer, the Bible teaches it does. But I have a great scrupulosity of mind in going beyond what is written on this subject in particular. The reason is, some speculative theory of spiritual operation is the very essence, the very soul, of every system of religion in Christendom...If any man ask me how the influence and aid of the Spirit is obtained, I answer, By prayer and the word of God. Thus I will give direct answers so far as I think the Oracles authorize."
"But I am governed more in speaking upon this subject by the following than by all other considerations: THE APOSTLES PREACHED CHRIST, AND NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT; or, rather, they preached the Holy Spirit when they preached Christ. So the Saviour instructed and commanded them. They preach the Spirit with most success who say nothing about his work in conversion. So did the apostles. In all the sermons pronounced by the apostles to unregenerated persons, of which we have so many samples in the Acts of the Apostles, they never once spoke of the work of the Spirit in conversion. Not one example in all the volume--not one model of the discourses we every day hear about the work of the Spirit. The apostles remembered that the Spirit was not to speak of himself, his own office and work, but of Christ. Their good news, therefore, was about Christ crucified." 
"His earnest pleading, however, for the simple teachings of the word of God availed but little with the leading Baptist preachers in Virginia, so long as he refused to commit himself to their favorite theory of spiritual operations. Some speculative view of this subject had indeed become, as Mr. Campbell well remarked, "the very essence, the very soul," of modem systems of religion; and because he would not go beyond the actual statements of the Bible in reference to the work of human salvation, it was natural that those opposed to him should avail themselves of the popularity of the theory of "spiritual operations" in order to create prejudice against him, and that even good and pious men, accustomed to rely on what they called their "Christian experience," should stand in doubt of his religious position. As he continued, in perfect consistency with the principles with which he set out, to maintain the ground he had taken, this subject became a very prominent theme of discussion throughout his entire ministry, recurring again and again in various forms. In order to avoid a too frequent reference to it, it may be here stated that in the following year (1827) Bishop Semple wrote a letter to Silas M. Noel, D. D., of Kentucky, which was published in the "Baptist Recorder," in which he remarked in relation to the letters of Mr. Broaddus, above quoted: "He [Paulinus] wrote something last year in which he certainly went too far. He is now convinced (I am persuaded), and is guarded against our friend Campbell's chimeras."
This is interesting. Broadus was criticized for trying to, perhaps, meet Campbell "half way," and so he was pressured to back step a little in his attempts to find "common ground" with Campbell. But, as we will see, the great Baptist leader, and Hardshell slayer, J. M. Peck, would later take the lead in discussions with Campbell on behalf of the Baptists.
"A writer, signing himself "Querens," in the "Christian Baptist," then publicly called upon Bishop Semple to point out the "chimeras" which he attributed to Mr. Campbell. This Bishop Semple declined, saying that Sandeman, Glas and the Haldanes had been master  spirits upon the same system many years ago, and had been effectually answered by Fuller and others. He added:
"If I am called upon, then, to establish my assertions as to Mr. Campbell's views, I refer 'Querens' and all such to Fuller's work against Sandeman," etc. He says he is indisposed to controversy, but adds: "If, however, I should be disposed to become a controversialist, I believe I should as soon enter the lists with my friend Campbell as any other, for three reasons. One is, on the points on which we differ I am persuaded he is palpably on the wrong side, and it would not be a hard task to make it manifest. A second is, he is so much of a champion that to be beaten by him would not be so discreditable as it might be with some other antagonists. A third is, I think him a generous combatant with one who wishes nothing but fair play."
"To this letter, which Mr. Campbell transferred from the "Recorder" to the "Christian Baptist," he made a very kind and respectful reply, showing that the bishop's plan of disposing of the matter was wholly unsatisfactory to the public.
"The reflecting part of the community," he observed, "will say, Why not show that Campbell is wrong by the use of reason and Scripture, rather than by defaming him?" He concludes his answer thus: "As you have more than once commended many excellent things in the 'Christian Baptist,' and as you are now bought out or dragged out to oppose me, it behooves you to discriminate the things which you disapprove from those you approve in the 'Christian Baptist.' And now, Brother Semple, I call upon you as a man, as a scholar, as a Christian and as a Christian bishop, to come forward and make good your assertions against your 'friend Campbell.' My pages are open for you. You shall have line for line, period for period, page for page with me. I pledge myself to address you and treat you as a gentleman and a Christian ought to do. You will not find an  insinuation nor a personality in all I may say of you. I wish to give you a fair specimen of that sort of discussion which I approve, and to show what reason, demonstration and Scripture declaration can achieve with an able and an honorable opponent. There is no man in America I would rather have for an opponent, if I must have an opponent, than thee. Come forward then, Brother Semple--choose the topics, one at a time; numerically arrange your arguments and proofs; make everything plain and firm, and in good temper, spirit and affection show me where I have erred; and if I cannot present reason, Scripture and good sense to support me, I will yield to your superior discernment, age and experience, one by one, the points in which we differ. And as this work is generally bound in volumes, your essays, the antidote or the remedy, will descend with the poison to its future readers."
"As Bishop Semple paid no attention to this earnest appeal, Mr. Campbell, after waiting some months, thought it due to the cause he advocated to analyze the bishop's two letters to Dr. Noel, in which he had spoken disparagingly of his views, and advocated creeds, etc. This analysis, though kind in manner, was searching in its range, and the result of the whole affair was decidedly unfavorable to Bishop Semple's reputation for ability and wisdom, while his character as a pious and devoted Christian remained unquestioned. During this period Mr. Broaddus thought it due to himself to state that Bishop Semple was mistaken in supposing that he had at all changed his views in reference to the questions he had treated in his essays in the "Christian Baptist." He also took occasion to renew his effort in behalf of the theory of "spiritual operations," and forwarded for the "Christian Baptist" two very elegantly and carefully written articles on the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of men, in which he considered the reality of a divine influence, its principal effects  and its practical importance. He did not advocate "irresistible operations," or any of the particular systems of the day, nor did he contend for a divine influence of a mere physical nature detached from revealed truth, but admitted that there dwelt in the word of truth "a living principle which, when that word is received, has a never-failing tendency to bring forth the fruits of holiness in heart and life." The leading sentiment of the essays, however, was, in substance, "that we are dependent on the influence of the Holy Spirit to render the word of truth effectual to our conversion and final salvation."
This is what sound Baptists have always believed. The Spirit and the Word, as the confessions state, are the causes of the new birth, one the efficient cause, and the other the instrumental cause.
"Thus the matter ended as before. Both equally believed that salvation was due to the work of the Holy Spirit. Mr. Campbell thought that in conversion the power was in the word of God. Mr. Broaddus supposed that the direct aid of the Holy Spirit was necessary to render that Word effectual. Both equally admitted the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit in believers, and as Mr. Campbell thought it right to pray for the conversion of men, he necessarily admitted that some influence additional to that of the gospel was exerted also in the case of unbelievers. The only point, then, of real difference was simply the nature of this influence, Mr. Broaddus regarding it as a direct work of the Spirit upon the heart, and Mr. Campbell pleading the Scripture declarations that the Holy Spirit could be received only by believers. As to the nature of the influences or aids which the latter virtually admitted in conversion, he at this period offered no opinion, and Mr. Broaddus had brought no Scripture evidence to show that the Holy Spirit could be received by an unbeliever, or that any such theory of spiritual operations had ever been propounded in primitive times."
"About this time Mr. Campbell held a brief correspondence with Elder J. M. Peck on the subject of spiritual influence. At the close of the discussion of this subject with S. W. Lynd, he had expressed his willingness to discuss the question with any Baptist doctor, and publish the controversy in a volume of one hundred and fifty or two hundred pages for general circulation, as an end of the matter. This proposition was accepted by J. M. Peck of the "Baptist Banner," but after a few communications the disputants seemed to come unexpectedly to so close an agreement that the discussion was closed. Mr. Campbell had said:
"The truth is the instrument, the means, and the Spirit of God is the cause or agent of regeneration. Such are my views on this great subject. And, my dear sir, if you always make the word the instrument of regeneration, you may always expect me to concur with you in saying that it is but the instrument, and not the first cause of a great spiritual change."
"Mr. Peck expressed his high gratification with these distinct statements, regretting that Mr. Campbell had been so long misunderstood on this topic for want of such a declaration. Mr. Campbell then called his  attention to the fact that the proposition which he had from the very beginning labored to sustain was precisely what he had now expressed--viz.: that "in conversion the Holy Spirit operated through the truth, and not without it," as the Baptists had taught. As Elder Peck declined to affirm this dogma of the Baptists, and endeavored to show that Mr. Campbell had misunderstood them on this subject, there appeared to be no longer any question in dispute, and Mr. Campbell thus closed his last letter:
"With regard to the operation of the Spirit through the Word on sinners and on saints, while we strongly affirm the fact of his sanctifying, reviving, cheering and saving efficacy through the word of prophets and apostles, we ought to teach no new terms, phrases or dogmata--preach good news to sinners and teach holiness to the converted--teach the Christians to pray for the Spirit in all its holy influences, and to lift up their voices to the Lord for all his promised aids. Thus the love of God will be poured out into their souls by  his Holy Spirit that dwelleth in them, and they will learn to love his children and to rejoice in hope of the coming glory. To learn that such are your views, designs and practices will greatly add to the esteem I entertain for you, and will greatly encourage me in pleading for the sincere and perfect union of our Father's dear children in order to the conversion of the world."
"In regard to this vexed subject of "spiritual influence" there had really never been any just cause of controversy. The dogmatic popular affirmation that the Holy Spirit was "poured out" upon unbelievers to work in them regeneration and faith, which in Mr. Campbell's view rendered the word of God of no effect, had led him to assert the claims of the latter as God's power to salvation. He did not deny that "influences" of various kinds might accompany that word, but on these he declined to enlarge, and was careful to distinguish them from converting power, which he conceived to reside exclusively in the word or gospel itself, just as the vegetative power or life resides in the seed sown in the earth, and not in any of the circumstances, such as the sowing, the heat or the moisture, which attend its development. As the healing power of the physician is in his medicine, so Mr. Campbell regarded God's healing power as contained in the gospel, and forbore to confound with it those influences by which sinners are induced to receive it, just as he distinguished the healing power of the physician from any of the influences which might induce the patient to take the medicine he prescribed."
"It was shown by Dr. Richardson about this time, in a series of essays upon "Converting Influence," signed by some one of the letters of the word Luke, that while the agencies which induced men to receive the gospel added no power to it absolutely, they certainly did so in a relative point of view, so that practically the same effect was produced. He argued that there were many different obstacles which prevented the gospel from reaching the heart of the sinner, such as ignorance, love of the world, etc., and that the instrumentality in each case must be adapted to the nature of the obstacle to be removed...It was also evident that he acted wisely and in harmony with the reformatory principles in declining to discuss the nature of the influences which might accompany the word, as this evidently belonged to the class of untaught questions."
"But the misfortune is, that Mr. Fuller sometimes contradicts himself. After, in page 7, agreeing with Mr. Sandeman in those positions which I have quoted from him, in page 28, he contradicts himself--
"If," says he, "it be meant to deny that any deed or thought on the part of man is necessary in the established order of things, or that sinners are presented spotless before God without a deed or a thought on the subject, it is very false, and goes to deny the necessity of faith to salvation; for surely no man can be said to believe in Christ without thinking of him."
But to return to metaphysical regeneration. With Mr. Fuller there is a twofold regeneration--a "strict" and a "general". "Like every other term," says he, in the appendix, page 210, "it  (regeneration) is sometimes used in a more strict and sometimes in a more general sense." We have before shown the term is used but twice in all the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
In his Strictures on Sandemanianism, written some years afterwards, he says, page 135:--"Though in a general sense it be true that we are regenerated by believing the gospel, yet in a more particular sense it is equally true that we are regenerated in order to it." Mr. Fuller has a general regeneration to offer to his opponents when he is pressed by their arguments, and a particular regeneration for himself."
This latter statement in regards to Fuller's views on the relationship of regeneration to faith is very important, especially in view of the fact that so many in the "Reformed" camp claim that the historic Baptist position is to say that "regeneration precedes faith." Did Fuller believe that regeneration preceded faith? No. But, like many theologians, he spoke in theological jargon, about regeneration in its "technical sense," but we can cite numerous writings of Fuller where he, like Boyce and others, did not believe that this theological or technical definition was in line with scripture.
But, more on this in the future.