Apr 22, 2009

Campbell on Fuller II


I. "THE Holy Spirit imparts to the mind a holy susceptibility and relish for the truth, in consequence of which we discern its glory and embrace it." (Fuller's statement - SG)

Hence it follows "that the human mind can have a holy relish for the truth before it has any perception of it." A greater absurdity we cannot easily conceive. Can a person have a relish or taste for any thing of which he has not a single perception?

"God does not cause the natural man to receive spiritual things; but he removes the obstructing film by imparting a spiritual relish for those things." p. 205, 206. What confusion of figure, indicative of still greater confusion of mind, appears in this assertion! Two senses are confounded--seeing and tasting. The eye is cured, or the film removed from the eye by correcting the taste or relish. What philosophy! To cure the eye by improving or correcting the palate, is certainly a new discovery, and worthy of a spiritual optician.

His theological motto is, in fact, the following: "Spiritual things are spiritually discerned by a taste or spiritual relish for we know not what."

The kernel of Fullerism is found in the following words, page 206: "Though holiness is frequently ascribed in the Scriptures to a spiritual perception of the truth; yet that spiritual perception itself, in the first instance, is ascribed to the influence of the Holy Spirit upon THE HEART."

By "the heart," Mr. Fuller means the metaphorical use of the word in our own times--viz. the will and the affections as contradistinguished from the understanding. This is not the biblical use of the term as we shall show: therefore, to apply to the heart, as thus defined, all that the Scriptures say about it, is delusive and sophistical in the highest degree. The great Dr. Owen says, "The heart, in Scripture, is variously used: sometimes for the mind, and understanding: sometimes for the will; sometimes for the affections; sometimes for the conscience; sometimes for the whole soul." But let the reader [454] examine the following Scriptures, and a hundred others referred to in marginal references, and judge for himself: Dent. iv. 39. Psalms xlv. 1. Prov, x. 8. xv. 28. xvi. 9. xix. 21. Eccles. viii. Jer. xxiv. 7. Matth. xiii. 15. Mark ii. 6. 8. Luke x. 19. 35. In these, and many others, the heart is said to be wise, to reason, to consider, to doubt, to meditate, to study, to ponder, to discern, to understand," &c. &c. Judge, then, how great the sophism must be, which applies to the will and affections all that is said in the Scriptures concerning the heart!! The Spirit of God first operates upon the heart, upon the will and the affections, and then upon the understanding, according to Mr. Fuller. The metaphysical regeneration, for which the English and American Fullerites contend, is this: The Spirit of God first operates upon the heart, i. e. as defined by Fuller, upon the will and affections, and then upon the understanding. In other words, he makes the soul to love and relish the truth, and then to perceive it!"

"To open Lydia's heart was, according to him, to open Lydia's affections, "Then opened he their understanding that they night understand the Scriptures?" This was to open their will and affections!! But not according to this philosophy spake the disciples of Jesus: "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us, and opened to us the Scriptures." To open the Scriptures or the understanding, is the same thing in the Scripture style; but to open the will or the affections belongs to no style save that of Andrew Fuller."

"According to Mr. Fuller, "A CHANGE OF HEART MUST OF NECESSITY PRECEDE SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION AND FAITH." This is the darling mystery of metaphysical regeneration. Yes, God reveals the truth to us, by changing our hearts before we perceive and believe it. The film before spoken of, is the perversity of the affections, or obstinacy of the will, which blind the eye of the soul or the understanding of man. To take off the film is to destroy the perversity and obstinacy of the heart, and this is done by imparting physically a relish or taste for spiritual things; which impartation of a relish is the regeneration of the Fullerites."

"While, then, Messrs. Brantly and a few others are endeavoring, from their high standing for orthodoxy, to infuse into public opinion a peculiar contempt for the apostolic regeneration...we shall attempt to make the public understand their metaphysical regeneration, as taught by their master, Fuller.

I venture to predict that Messrs. Brantly, Clopton, & Co. will be as little disposed, after a few essays shall have appeared on their metaphysical regeneration, to defend it, either from Scripture or reason..."

"The reader will perceive from the extracts given, and from many passages of a similar stamp in Mr. Fuller's writings, that, with him, regeneration is the infusion into the mind of a spiritual relish, for the [455] truth of which the person is supposed to be at the time totally ignorant. If I do injustice to Mr. Fuller, (for which I have not a single wish or design,) some of his warm advocates will, we hope, appear in his defence. Before my second essay on this subject appears, it would be well for the reader to ascertain, if he can, from any source, whether a person can be said to be regenerated, or born again, by the infusion or impartation of a relish or taste for any thing; or whether the receiving of such a relish could, with any regard to human language or analogy, be called regeneration."

"A word to the thoughtful before we close our remarks upon this denunciation:--You must perceive that, according to the metaphysically regenerated, (the votaries of Fullerism,) if a man be not regenerated in their way, his faith, and the obedience of faith, and every thing else called Christian, leaves him an heir of "eternal blackness, trembling, and convulsion." And that as no man can, on their theory, superinduce this supernatural aid, many will be eternally damned because of the want of supernatural aid, which they could not possibly obtain, because the Spirit did not operate physically upon their hearts as it did upon the heart of Ebenezer Rogers of Missouri! And yet that the Spirit of God has mediately or immediately operated upon the heart of Ebenezer Rogers any more than upon his brethren Lawrence Greatrake and John Winter, with me, at least, is not so absolutely certain as to exclude all doubt. THE ANATHEMA OF EBENEZER ROGERS OF MISSOURI."

See here

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