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As the original article was admitted into the Repository, without any qualifying appendage, may I not cherish a strong confidence that justice and candor will lead to the admission of the proposed article; and that it will appear in your work unincumbered, and left to make its own impression?

Please favor me with an early reply, informing me whether you will thus admit the article into the October number, and at what time it must be placed in your hands.

With sincere respect and with earnest desires that you may be sustained and blessed in your valuable labors,

I am yours,


Theol. Sem. Andover, July 27, 1833.

REV. AND DEar Sir,

In reply to your note of the 24th inst. I would inform you that the manuscript for the October number of the Biblical Repository is already prepared. The printing was commenced a week since, and is expected to be completed by the beginning of September, excepting, perhaps, the indexes. An allusion to these facts you will see in a note subjoined to the table of contents in the July number just issued.

As to the general point of admitting articles, you would hardly, in any case, expect from me a decisive answer, either affirmatively or negatively, before the manuscript should have been submitted to my examination. In the present instance, I cannot doubt that the spirit and language of the essay would be such, as to render it a valuable acquisition to the Repository. Permit me, however, to observe, that the plan of the Repository does not include controversy. If it be asked, Why then was an article like that of Prof. Stuart admitted? the answer is easy. The Theological Seminary in this place, as well as that at Newton, with which you are connected, was established expressly to support certain principles, and to counteract certain others; and these are known to the world. The Biblical Repository, as published here by individuals connected with the Seminary-although itself in no sense the organ of that

Institution—would yet naturally be expected to maintain the same principles; indeed, there would be an incongruity, were it to adopt articles intended directly to impugn those principles. If, therefore, Prof. Stuart, or any other gentleman, in the course of his official duties, chooses to survey the field of one of the great ecclesiastical controversies, and give the results of his examination in the form of dispassionate and scientific discussion, there would seem to be nothing inappropriate in making the Repository the medium of communicating his views to the public. If in doing this, the writer has committed mistakes which require to be publicly corrected, it would of course be right and proper that these should be pointed out in the same work. But it does seem to me a matter of question, whether the most liberal candor, or love of justice, could require the admission of a formal examination and reply, which, from its very nature, must be in a measure polemic and personal. It is easy to test this question by a vice versa view of the case. Were a similar journal connected with your Seminary at Newton, the public would of right expect from it a calm and scientific support of the distinguishing principles of your church; but had such an article appeared in it, and the essay of Prof. Stuart been offered in reply, would candor or justice have required its admission?

Although, therefore, I cannot but express my hearty good will towards a full and free discussion, on your part, of the subject of Baptism; yet you will perceive that I have doubts on the general question as to the propriety of its appearing in the Repository. Still, if under the circumstances you see fit to favour me with the perusal of your manuscript, I will act in the case according to my best judgment, and as I shall feel to be most in accordance with the great interests which we both are labouring to promote.

I need hardly say how much gratification it would afford me, if you, and the other gentlemen at Newton would occasionally give me the aid of your labours in behalf of the Repository. There are very many topics of deep and common interest, where neither our views nor our feelings can be otherwise than

in unison. To me it would ever be matter of delight, to aid in making these prominent, both among ourselves and throughout our respective churches.

With great and sincere respect,

Rev. Prof. RIPLEY,

I am, dear sir, yours, &c.

Theol. Sem. Newton.

The hope of obtaining a place in the Repository was abandoned; and at my request, permission was afterwards given to make public the preceding correspondence, if I should deem it proper.

I then concluded to alter my plan, by adapting my little work to others besides learned readers, and by making it so far complete in itself, that it might be fully understood without recurring to the original article. This circumstance, together with the pressure of my official duties, will account for its not appearing so soon as it may have been expected.

I have felt the delicacy of my undertaking. My aversion to appear before the public as a writer, particularly on a controverted subject, was much increased by the relation which I formerly sustained to the author, whose work I was to examine. At the same time yielding to the call which was made for my services, I was encouraged by the thought that I should be less

exposed to the danger of cherishing unhallowed feeling, and of employing unkind language, than if the writer had no special claims upon my regard; while, on the other hand, a sense of my accountableness to our common Master, and a conviction of truth, would, I hoped, lead me to employ language not destitute of gravity and force. I trust, I have not erred in stating my convictions too strongly, nor in pointing out too forcibly what I deem the erroneous representations of Professor Stuart. I have endeavored to avoid all appearance of arrogant assumption, on the one hand; I have also labored, on the other, to avoid every feeling of unworthy submissiveness.

Should any of my readers think it impossible, that a man of Professor Stuart's erudition should have justly laid himself open to so many corrections, as the following pages exhibit, I have only to request, that they look not at any man's assertion of opinions, but at the arguments produced. And here, lest I should seem to undervalue the labors in general, of one who eminently deserves well of the Christian public, I would make a respectful and grateful mention of the helps for fundamental instruction with which he has favored theological students; of his several valuable essays; and of his Com

mentaries on the Epistles to the Hebrews and to the Romans. Works of such general excellence cannot fail to secure for their author the esteem of a discerning community. I have indeed, in the following pages, fully expressed my dissent from the views which he has advanced, in his Commentary, on Romans 6: 3,4. But his remarks on these verses do not exhibit his usual strength. That he should fall into errors when writing on baptism, is not surprising. It not unfrequently happens, that men of distinguished ability seem, when contending against the obviously scriptural view of this subject, to be shorn of their strength.

Many persons are unwilling to listen to a discussion concerning baptism. Besides other reasons, they profess to consider it a dispute about a mere mode or form. I do not regard it in this light. If I did, I should think my time and labor very poorly bestowed. The controversy respecting baptism, in all its parts, is more important than many imagine. The alterations which men have made in respect to this ordinance, have had a very unhappy influence on the cause of Christ. It is, therefore, a worthy service, to attempt the removal of these alterations and the restoring of its primitive simplicity to one of the institutes of our Lord. The

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