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(No. 3. ST. MARK'S DAY.)

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine."Ephes. iv. 14.

The Church in her Collect for this day, directs us how to pray for stability in sound doctrine, as a sign, and indispensable requisite, of something better than mere childhood in religion. She would not have Christians to content themselves with a consciousness of faith, however devout, or with a feeling of love, however fervent, but she wishes every man to prove his faith and love; i. e. to see to it, that he believe the genuine Gospel, and love and adore the true and only Saviour. Daily experience shows that it is very possible for men, and serious men too, forgetting this caution, to think all is right, if only certain pious impressions are produced, sufficient, apparently, to lead the mind upwards, and, at the same time, to enforce the relative duties of life. If that be done, say they, all is done. Why go on to perplex good people with questions of mere doctrinal accuracy? This is a very common way of speaking and thinking just at present: and it finds ready acceptance, especially among the many who dislike trouble. For in Christian doctrine, as in other things, it is some trouble to be accurate. Common, however, and acceptable as the notion is, that the temper of faith in the heart is every thing, and the substance of faith in the creed comparatively nothing; it is a notion at once proved unscriptural and wrong, were it only by this simple consideration; 82 that so much care has been taken in Scripture, and by God's Providence guiding His Church in all ages, to guard the doctrines once for all delivered to the Saints, and keep men steady and uniform in them. If this were not a principal object in the eye of Divine Wisdom, is it conceivable that the great Apostle should have introduced it as he has done when speaking to the Ephesians as one main result of the coming of the Holy Ghost, the very bond between heaven and earth? It is one of the passages, in which he writes like one soaring majestically upward, flight after flight beyond what he had at first intended: — "Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ;" i. e., according to that portion of special infused grace which God sees needful for our several callings in His Church. "Wherefore he saith. When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." What gifts? Surely, to those who think slightly of Apostolical order in the Church, the answer must appear very surprising. "He gave some, Apostles, and some, Prophets, and some, Evangelists, and some, Pastors and Teachers." I do not of course press this text as proving by itself the Apostolical authority of our three orders. But thus much, undoubtedly, it proves, that some kind of order was instituted in the beginning, of so important and beneficial tendency, as to deserve a very high place in the enumeration of those royal gifts, by which the Holy Comforter solemnized the inauguration of the Son of God. We may, or we may not, enjoy that order still. We may have irrecoverably lost it by God's Providence justly visiting human abuse of it: in which case it might not strike us as a practical topic of inquiry: but to suppose that it still exists, or may be recovered, and yet to speak of it as an idle dream, a worn out theory, or (still worse) a profane superstition — this is not what one should expect from those who reverence the Divine Inspirer of this and similar passages in St. Paul. But to proceed: the Apostle goes on to mention unity of doctrine, as one main final cause of the institution of this Apostolical system. The Apostles, Prophets, and the rest, were given to the Church by the Holy Ghost, "that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, by cunning craftiness, 83 according to the wily system of deceit: but speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ:" i. e. may daily go on unto perfection in serving and copying our adorable Saviour, and in nearer and nearer, communion with Him.

It is clear that if the Apostolical ministry does guard effectually the foundations of our faith, it so far gives room and opportunity for all to go on to perfection. It puts men on a vantage ground, disencumbers them of cares and anxieties about that which is behind, and enables them with undivided energy to press forward to that which is before. As a mere witness, the Apostolical system, supposing it really such, must have this effect: and we must not forget, that on the same supposition, especial helps from Divine Grace may be looked for as likely to be vouchsafed to those who humbly endeavour to go on by its aid.

Now, that the great Head of the Church has hitherto made use of the succession of Bishops as a singular mean for guarding the doctrine of His Incarnation in particular, was shown on a former occasion, by reference to the ancient Church: where it was proved, that both as indisputable witnesses, and as commissioned and responsible guardians, the Bishops of the three first centuries effectually maintained the truth for us. The same conclusion is now to be deduced from a more painful set of experiments, in which modern times, unfortunately, have too much abounded. We are to consider what has been the doctrinal result in those Churches which have been so bold as to dispense with primitive discipline and government. If we find them marked, in the great majority of cases, by great unsteadiness and vacillation of doctrinal views, even on those points which contain the very essence of our faith: will not this be an additional lesson to us, that by forsaking the Apostolical ministry we are but giving ourselves up to be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine?"

Now, first, although, as I said before, the heretics of the first ages dared not openly dispense with Apostolical succession, the times, as they well knew, not enduring it: yet they showed in some remarkable instances, how little they really cared for it. The following is the complaint of Tertullian in the second cen- 84 tury : — "It may be right here to add some account of the practical system of the heretics, how futile it is, how altogether earthly and human; destitute of weight, of authority, of discipline: as well agreeing with their system of doctrine. First, who among them is a Catechumen, who a complete Christian, is a thing uncertain: they come to Church: hear the sermon, join in the prayers, indiscriminately: even should heathens chance to come in, they will throw their holy things to the dogs, and their pearls (which, indeed, are but counterfeits,) before swine. They hold the overthrow of discipline to be [Christian] simplicity; and our reverence for the same, meretricious art. Every where, and with all kinds of persons, they affect to be on good terms. For it makes no difference to them how they disagree in their own expositions, provided they can but unite for the overthrow of one thing, viz. Truth. All are puffed up: all profess knowledge. Their Catechumens become complete Christians before they have quite learned their lessons. The very women among the heretics, how forward are they! daring to teach, to dispute, to exorcise, to make show of gifts of healing: perhaps, even to baptize. Their ordinations are off-hand, light, variable; sometimes mere novices are raised by them to Church office, sometimes men engaged in worldly business, sometimes deserters from our ranks; whom they hope to make sure of by the compliment, having no reality" [of spiritual power] "to offer. In fact, promotion is nowhere so easy as in the camp of rebels; since the very act of being there is rewardable service. Accordingly, one man shall be their Bishop to-day, another to-morrow: to-day a Deacon, to-morrow a reader: to-day a Presbyter, to-morrow a mere layman. For in laymen also they will vest the powers and functions of the Priesthood."

As an instance of what is thus generally stated by Tertullian, take the behaviour of Novatian, Presbyter in the Church of Rome, who, about the year 252, was the founder of a sect which professed especial strictness of moral discipline. The testimony concerning him, of his own Bishop, Cornelius, a prelate of the highest character in the Church, is as follows: — "Never in so short a time was so great a change seen, as we witnessed in Novatian. He was continually pledging himself by certain fear- 85 ful oaths, that the Bishoprick was no object to him: and now, on a sudden, as it were by some stage trick, he comes forward in public a Bishop! Reformer as he is of doctrine, and champion of pure Church principles, having entered on a scheme for making himself a Bishop, without Divine sanction, by underhand means, he selects two, as desperate as himself, and sends them into certain small and insignificant dioceses of Italy: where, lighting on three Bishops, (the requisite number for consecration,) "men rustic, and very simple, he persuades them to come with all speed to Rome, as though by their mediation some present dispute in that Church might be composed. Being there come, he surrounds them with men like himself, provided for the purpose; and at a late hour, after a full meal, when they were off their guard, compels them to make him Bishop, by I know not what imaginary and vain ordination."

Is it not plain that this person would have rejected the episcopal succession at once, if he could have compassed his ends without it? So far, therefore, he is an instance of the fact, that disrespect to that succession is a part of the heretical character. And although it is not exactly to the present purpose, I cannot refrain from adding also a circumstance which betrays his mind regarding the sacraments of Christ. Having set himself up as a schismatical rival to Cornelius, the true Bishop of Rome, this was his method of securing to himself partisans: in the act of solemnizing the holy Eucharist, "when he had made the offerings, and was distributing to each communicant his portion, and conveying it to him, he compels the unfortunate men, instead of giving thanks, to utter the following oath: he holding both their hands, and not letting them go until they repeated the words of asseveration after him: and these are his very words: — 'Swear to me by the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou wilt never forsake me and return to Cornelius.' Nor is the poor man allowed to taste, before he shall have thus pronounced an imprecation on himself. And when he receives that bread, instead of saying, Amen, he is made to say, I will never return to Cornelius."

It is frightful, but surely it is very instructive to see how one kind of profaneness thus draws on another. Contempt of Apos- 86 tolical authority was joined, we see, in this case, with contempt of the Sacraments of Christ. In the worse case which followed, that of Arius, the same evil temper led, as every one knows, to a direct assault on the holiest truths of Christianity. The immediate occasion of Arius' promulgating his blasphemy is said to have been his vexation at failing to succeed to the episcopal throne of Alexandria. This exasperated him so, that he laid in wait for an opportunity of disturbing the person preferred to him, Alexander, a man of true primitive energy. And betook occasion from certain expositions of Scripture, in which, as he, Arius, pretended to think, the Bishop had too much magnified the Son of God. The first spring, therefore, of his heresy was a rebellious and envious feeling towards his Bishop. And although for the same reason, probably, as Novatian, his followers never renounced the Apostolical succession; their proceedings were marked all along by a thorough disdain of Apostolical privileges. Witness their unscrupulous use of the civil power, or even of the fury of the populace, wherever it suited their purposes to carry an episcopal election, or control a synod, by such means: witness again the licence they encouraged of profane and libellous scoffing, both in prose and verse: by which, added to their improper appointments, they gradually depreciated the character of the most sacred office; so that it is quite melancholy to read the accounts given of what Bishops were at Constantinople in 381, as compared with what they had been at Nicaea, about sixty years before. All was no more than might be expected from a party, whose first overt proceeding are thus related by an eye-witness. "They could not endure any longer to remain in submission to the Church; but having builded for themselves dens of thieves, there they hold their meetings continually, by day and by night exercising themselves in calumnies against Christ and us. . . . They try to pervert those Scriptures which affirm our Lord's eternal Godhead and unspeakable glory with His Father. Thus encouraging the impious opinions of Jews and Heathens concerning Christ, they lay themselves out to the uttermost to be praised by them: making the most of those points, which the unbelievers are most apt to ridicule; and daily exciting tumults and factions against us. One of their methods 87 is, to get up actions at law against us, on the complaint of simple women, disorderly persons, whom they have perverted. Another, to expose the Christian profession to scorn, by permitting the younger persons among them to run irreverently about all the streets:" i.e., as it should seem, from one conventicle to another. ... "And while they thus set themselves against the Divinity of the Son of God, of course they shrink not from uttering unseemly rudenesses against us. Nay, they disdain to compare themselves even with any of the ancients, or to be put on a level with those, whom we from children have reverenced as our guides. As to their fellow-servants of this time, in whatever country or Church, they do not consider a single one to have attained any measure of true wisdom: calling themselves the only wise, the only disdainers of worldly wealth, the only discoverers of doctrinal truth; to themselves, they say, alone are revealed things which in their nature never could have come into the mind of any other under the sun."

Such were the original Arians, the first powerful impugners of the Divinity of Jesus Christ; such their conduct towards their Bishops, and their reverence for Apostolical authority. The list of examples might be greatly enlarged; but it is time to go on to more modern times, and see what the result has been, where that was done, (I do not say from motives like theirs,) which Novatian and Arius clearly would have done if they had dared.

The largest experiments yet made in the world on the doctrinal result of dispensing with episcopal succession, are the Lutheran Churches of North Germany, the Presbyterian or Reformed Churches of Switzerland, Holland and Scotland, with their offshoots in France, Germany, England and Ireland, and the Congregational or Independent Churches, in this island, and in America. I am not now going to dispute the necessity of what was done at the Reformation, (although it would be wrong to allow such necessity, without proof quite overwhelming) but simply to state, as matter of fact, what has ensued in each instance in regard of the great doctrine of our Lord's Incarnation,


First, in North Germany, whatever may be supposed the cause, it is notorious that a lamentable falling off from the simplicity of evangelical truth prevailed during a considerable part of the eighteenth century. Views prevailed, which are commonly called Rationalist: i. e. which pretend to give an account, on principles of mere human reason, of Christianity and every thing connected with it. Of course the Union of God and Man in the Person of Jesus Christ was an object of scorn to a nation so led away by "philosophy and vain deceit." But it is a point well worth remarking, that according to some who know much of German literature, the mischief was occasioned in good measure by the importation of Deistical books and opinions from England1: books and opinions which England herself had rejected. Why so great a difference in the reception of the same error by two kindred races of people, lying very much under the same temptations? Is it unreasonable to suppose that the Apostolical succession and safeguards arising out of it, which England enjoys, had something to do with her comparative exemption from that most alarming error?

The next which occurs is the case of the Church of Geneva: and it is, indeed, a most startling case. It appearing at the time morally impossible to get a sufficient number of episcopally ordained Pastors, Calvin was induced to neglect the Apostolical Commission in his plan for the reformation of Geneva; or rather to search holy Scripture for a new view of that commission, which might make him quite independent of Bishops. In so doing, he made out for himself the platform of Presbyterian Discipline. Having once established that as of exclusive divine right, he precluded himself from taking advantage of the avenue for returning to the true succession, which was soon after opened to him by his intercourse with the English Reformers. It should seem that he could not help feeling how irreconcileable this his new form of Church government was with the general witness of the Fathers: and hence, among other reasons, he contracted a kind of dislike of the ancient Church, and an impatience of being at all controlled by her decisions, which ultimately has proved of the worst 89 consequence to the Genevan Church in particular. For example, he feared not, in his prime work, the Institutes, to speak contemptuously of the Fathers of the Council of Nicaea, and to designate the capital article of their majestic creed as little better than "an affected and childish sing-song." Another time he uttered a wish that the word "Trinity" might be discontinued in the formularies of the Church. These and other symptoms of a desire to take liberties with antiquity were not unnoticed by a new sect, just then creeping out of the ground in Italy. Socinus and his partisans, one after another, betook themselves to Geneva, as the soil most congenial to them: and the later years of Calvin, and almost all those of his successor, Beza, were disturbed by that heresy and others akin to it, both at home and among their spiritual colonies abroad: especially those in Poland and Transylvania. It is well known how violently some of these false teachers were attacked by Calvin, even to the death: and his letters altogether betray a soreness and anxiety on the subject, as if he were aware that the system of his Church was incomplete, and did not feel quite sure that it was not his own fault. If such were Calvin's misgivings, the experience of later times has furnished a sad verification of them. After a gradual declension of many years, the Church of Geneva has now, it appears, sunk down to the very lowest standard of doctrine consistent with nominal Christianity. The Trinity, the Atonement, the Incarnation of the Son of God, are, or were lately, absolutely proscribed by authority as topics of preaching in the congregations there considered orthodox. Could such a downfal so easily have taken place, had not the authority of the Primitive Church, as a witness and interpreter of holy writ, been intentionally disparaged from the beginning, and private, that is to say, popular and fashionable judgment, set up instead, for strictly Presbyterian purposes? Episcopal sway, appealing as it must to antiquity, was surely just the thing needed to watch and check that evil leaven before it had spread so far.

A like effect, proceeding as it may be thought very much from the same cause, may be seen in Holland, in the rise and growth of that school of divinity, commonly called Liberal or Latitudi-



narian : which began with Episcopius and others in the seventeenth century, and which has greatly tended to encourage a habit of explaining away the mysteries of the faith in almost all Protestant countries. The fact seems to be, that the extremes of the Predestinarian doctrine, violently pressed as they were at the Synod of Dort, produced their natural result, a violent reaction *.. and the minds of men not being prepossessed with the salutary antidote of reverence for primitive tradition (which antidote had been systematically withholden, lest Presbyterianism should lose influence through it) were ready to give up any thing else, when they had once given up tlie creeds and definitions of their own Churches. When these divines were pressed with the testimonies of the Fathers, the spirit of their answers was such as the following : " Never shall any advice drive me into the fruitless toil of studying the Fathers ; which is more like grinding in a prison-house than any thing else. I envy no man the credit he may acquire in such a frivolous insignificant pursuit. Others, for me, may have all the glory of much reading and great memory, whoever they are, who can find pleasure in wandering and rocking about in that vast ocean of Fathers and Councils." And (let it be well observed) this founder of the liberal school goes on distinctly to avow, that " he takes no great pains," nor ever did, " to acquaint himself with the writings of the Fathers :" whom, indeed, he grudges to call " the Fathers," accounting it a name of too much reverence. On this, our learned Bishop Bull remarks, what is much to our present purpose, as showing how cheap thoughts of the Primitive Church might naturally lead some steps towards heresy. " Much, indeed, were it to be wished that Episcopius had excepted the Fathers and writers of the three first centuries, at least. Had he spent more time on them, it would never have been regretted either by himself or the Church. For it would have saved him from representing the Arian and Socinian doctrines, regarding the Person of our Saviour, as having been, in the judgment of the early Churches, erroneous indeed, but not so bad as heretical."

< Bull, Jud. EccL Catb. p. 3. «4- f^rab



Passing over to our own island, we are met, at once, by a fact, which appears at first, as far as it goes, to tell against the preceding conclusions. The Church of Scotland, ever since the Revolution,, has been altogether Presbyterian ; and yet, by God's blessing, her Ministers never have been accused of such a defection as took place at Geneva. Allowing the many good parts of her system (which, be it observed, are all in a primitive spirit) full credit for this, yet one may be permitted to observe that something naturally must be ascribed to the vicinity of our own Church diffusing a kind of wholesome contagion, the benefit of which has been acknowledged by some of the great lights of the Scottish establishment \ And it may be doubted whether many of the laity of that country, and especially whether the leading schools of education, have not been all along gradually verging towards something like Genevan profaneness. A little time will probably show — certainly there are symptoms in Scotland at this moment, which would make an orthodox Englishman more than ever unwilling to part with that outwork of Apostolic Faith, which England, under circumstances in many respects peculiarly untoward, has hitherto found in the Apostolical Commission of her Clergy.

In England itself, it is hardly necessary to do more than notice the acknowledged state of the Presbyterian Churches. Not being subjected to the control of so strict a discipline as those of their communion in Scotland, and being moreover thrown into more hostile contact with the principles of ancient episcopal order, they have subsided, one after one another, into a cold and proud Socinianism. Three years ago, it was stated on dissenting authority, that the whole number of Presbyterian chapels in England was 258, out of whom ^S5 were in reality Unitarian,

Among the Independent or Congregational Churches (in which denomination, when speaking of Church government, the Baptists are of course included) no such avowed defection prevails. But their systematical disparagement of the holy Sacraments, their howor (for it is more than disregard) of authority and antiquity,

' Dr. Chalmers on Establishments.



and the tendency of their instructions and devotions to make Faith a matter oi feeling rather than a strict relative duty towards the persons of the Holy Trinity : these and other causes are, I suspect, not very gradually preparing the way for lamentable results among them also. And it is most evident that all such causes act more strongly for the want of that check which a controling Episcopacy supplies ; such ap Episcopacy I mean as may confidently make a continual appeal to the very Apostolical age.

But we are not left quite to conjecture on the doctrinal ten^ dency of Congregational views of Church government. The experiment has been tried on a large scale in America ; and in one part of it (New England) with something of that advantage which endowments may be supposed to yield towards stabihty of Orthodox doctrine. The result may be given in the words of a Socinian writer. " In the United States, where there are no obstructions to the progress of knowledge and truth, the spread of liberal doctrines has exceeded our most sanguine expectations." An account which is confirmed by the testimony of all parties. Now, it is allowed, that in the same United States the Independents and Baptists put together greatly exceed all other denominations of Christians. The only country, therefore, of Christendom where congregational principles of government entirely prevail is likewise the only country which witnesses the rapid and unmitigated growth of Unitarian principles of doctrine. In other countries, generally speaking, the " God-denying apostacy" finds more or less acceptance, in proportion as less or more remains of primitive order and respect for the Apostolical commission.

" But," it will be said, " what then becomes of the opposite case of the Church of Rome ? She, too, has her grave doctrinal errors, deeply trenching on scriptural truth, awfully dangerous to the souls of men ; and yet she is generally considered as the great champion of the Apostolical commission." The answer to this lies in the fact, well-known, however little considered, that in the same degree as the Romish Church swerved as a church from Christian verity, she laboured also to induce her subject Bishops to part with their claim to a succession properly Apostolical.



Many and earnest were the debates on this point, at Trent, in the year 1562: the Papal Legates labouring, on the one hand, to enforce a declaration that Episcopal authority was not of divine right immediately, but mediately through the See of Rome, the Bishops of Spain more especially, insisting on the contrary tenet. The matter was quieted by a kind of compromise through the intervention of the French Bishops, and is accordingly left undecided in the decrees of that Council. The debates, however, remain on record, a remarkable proof that the spirit of Popery, as of all Anti-Christian corruptions, shrinks back, as it were instinctively, from the presence of Apostolical principles of order.

If any one ask, " Why should all this be so ? What has the Episcopal succession to do with doctrines, with the doctrine of our Lord's Incarnation more especially, the answer has been partly given in the course of this brief sketch, especially in what related to Geneva, But, in general, the following considerations would appear to suffice.

First, as matter of direct argument, when once men have learned to think slightly of the testimony borne by the ancients to the primitive discipline, they will naturally lose some part of their respect for the testimony borne by the same ancients to the primitive interpretation of Scripture. Now the questions between us and Unitarians are, in a great measure, questions of Scripture interpretation. Is it not clear, then, in how great additional jeopardy we place the irreverent and the wavering, when, from whatever cause, we shake their confidence in the express testimony of the early Fathers ?

Secondly, Looking at the whole subject as matter not of argument, but of feeling and temper : boldness^ and self-sufficiency in dealing with those who came next to the Apostles will prepare the mind to lay aside some portion of that deference with which we should approach the holy Apostles themselves. They and their writings will be treated more and more with a sort of hasty familiarity: inspiration will be less and less thought of; and then, should either heresy become fashionable, or the man be



naturally restless in discussion, and tormented with thoughts of his own ingenuity, the result is all but morally certain.

Thirdly : (the point must not be omitted, however, the majority may agree to scofF at it, and however gravely some may blame it as uncharitable) : if there be such a thing as a true Apostolical commission, truly connected with the efficacy of Christ's holy Sacraments ; then we must suppose, that where that commission is wanting, especially if the want be through men's presumption or neglect, then the gracious assistance of the Holy Ghost cannot be so certainly depended on, as for other sanctifying purposes, so for the guiding of the mind to doctrinal truth. Of course, then, the evil spirit and the tempting sophistry of the world will have the more power over men : so that if for no other reason, yet through the want or imperfection of the ordinary channels of grace, schism might be expected to lead to false doctrine and heresy.

Can it.be necessary to add the obvious remark, that if the Church system were needful heretofore, it is but rendered the more evidently necessary for every advance in intellectual light and liberty, which the present age, from day to day, prides itself on making ? Alas ! if the appetite for knowledge of good and evil be indeed the great snare of all, then all the supernatural means and aids which our Lord has provided in His Church, instead of having gone out of date, are more than ever necessary to us ; and those more heavily than ever responsible, who scorn any of those aids, or teach and encourage others to do so.

It is of God's great mercy, that to such a perversion of mind is generally annexed what makes it its own punishment here, and so far gives it a fairer chance of better and more humble thoughts in time for hereafter. We are plainly taught by St. Paul, that those who permit themselves to disparage the heavenly gifts, may conveyed to us by the Spirit of Christ through his Apostles, expect to be, if no worse, yet all their lives " children, tossed to and fro, and carried away by every wind of doctrine :" or, as he elsewhere expresses it, ** ever learning, and never able to




come to the knowledge of the truth." Let us remember these things, when we hear, as we too often have heard, and must more and more expect to hear, of ingenious men letting go their hold, first, of Christian order, and then of Christian faith : and let us fear and pray both for them and for ourselves. ^

Oxford, The Feast of the Annunciation,

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Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more ; but ye see Me.

John xiv. 19.

Moses endured his trials, according to St. Paul in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, " as seeing Him who is invisible." And this blessed privilege it is, according to the Apostle*s language throughout the same chapter, which has distinguished the true servants of God, in every age, from the unbelieving world around them. Even while pilgrims here on earth, " the pure in heart," in one sense at least, " see God." They trace, alike in the events which befal themselves, and in the varying scenes which succeed each other before their eyes on the great theatre of life, a Presence and an Agency of which mankind at large know nothing. Things visible and tangible they feel to be but the screen and vail of the things invisible and intangible behind them ; or, at most, to be the adjuncts and comparatively unimportant accompaniments of the great system in which their spirits really move. They view the things of earth as being, as in truth they are, necessarily connected with the things of heaven. They habitually look, not only "through nature up to nature's God," but through the wide expanse of the social and moral world around them, — through the habits, opinions, and institutions, of their time and country, — through the strife of politics, and the din of the unruly multitude, — to that eternal Being who reigns above them all ; whose will and




whose counsels are in truth interwoven with them all, — and who works out His own great designs as surely by the operation of these jarring and unruly elements, as by the more tranquil and steady processes of the world of inanimate nature.

And this view of God in all things — this habitual contemplation of the Almighty, His word, and will, in connection, not only with our daily actions, but even with the daily scene before us, it is, of course, the object of the great enemy of the Church to ob struct and to prevent. His most ardent wish is, to thicken the screen before us — to persuade us to regard the tangible things which surround us as the exclusive objects of our moral vision, — to induce in us a belief that the adjuncts to the great scene really open to our ken, are to be identified with that scene itself. And even with regard to things which from their nature, are the most essentially (so to say) connected with Heaven, he would have us forget the connection, and imagine that the things of earth with which, in this world, tliey are necessarily involved, are the hea venly things themselves. He would have the objects of our con templation, and by consequence our spirits themselves, of the earth, earthy ; he would darken the prospect before us by ex cluding, if possible, every gleam of celestial light which might burst through the vail ; every ray of spiritual brightness which might impart to us, amid the dimness and the haziness of our nearer prospect, a conception of the glories of a world unseen.

These great truths, for such they are, may be illustrated by examples varied as is the manner of Satan's warfare with the Church in each succeeding generation. But the most profitable illustration of them, as far as this generation is concerned, may be drawn from the mode in which he is especially labouring to de ceive ourselves and our contemporaries by obscuring, as far as in him lies, from our view, the real nature of the Holy Church itself, to which we belong. That Church, we may presume, as con templated by Christ's followers, by the light which His Holy Spirit sheds upon their minds, is seen to be His own Divine Institution ; to be an institution gifted and blessed by Himself in the first instance, and still presided over by Ministers deriving their authority from those Apostles on whom he deigned to breathe, and with whom, in their Apostolic capacity, He pledged



Himself to be even unto the end of the world. They recognize in it a kingdom " not made with hands, not of this world," yet sent into this world, an illustrious guest, to bring to this world Salvation. They behold in it the glorious link which connects together, through every age and in every clime, the blessed company of all faithful people, the school in which the multitude whom no man can number, learn the song which they are hereafter, standing on the sea of glass, to sing before the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne on high. They reverence in it, — but on these subjects I dare not further enlarge, — the body of the Redeemer Himself, and His mystic Bride below.

Such is, we may imagine, some faint outline of the view which would be taken of th« Church by its true and approved members. With what reverence, then, must that Church, whether considered collectively or with reference to any given national branches of it — while, at least, such branches continue in their first faith — be by them regarded ! And what a triumph must it be for the dark spirit of evil, when he succeeds in blotting from the mind of a baptized member of that Church every vestige of these exalting themes of contemplation ; when he induces one entitled to rejoice in the blessed fellowship of the sons of God, to turn his eyes from these glories of his inheritance, and to fix them, exclusively, on the earthly accompaniments by which the Church, while here militant below, maintains her connection with the external world.

But, alas ! is he not doing this on every side around us ? Is he not daily tempting ourselves to regard the Church, a true branch of the Church Catholic, established in these our islands, as a mere human institution ? to consider the revenues with which the piety of holy men of old endowed its Ministers, as a provision set apart by the state for the purposes of education, with a view to the temporal advantage of society ? and to imagine that those Ministers themselves are the servants of the government, appointed by its authority, primarily responsible to it for the discharge of their duties, and subject (like civil or military officers appointed by the executive), alike with respect to the extent and to the duration of their powers, to its general superintendence and control.

Such views are, in these days, notoriously too common ; and a A 2



clearer instance cannot well be imagined of that system of forgetting things invisible in things visible, which it must be the most strenuous wish of the Power of evil to maintain.

The Church, in itself, is a divine institution ; and as a visible community and body in the state, it is also, in one sense, a political institution. The worldly speculator — he who limits his views to the tangible objects of sense, — will, therefore, regard it as a political institution alone Its Ministers have spiritual powers, those, for instance, of administering the Sacraments ; as possessors of property and privileges, they also, in this country, possess temporal powers. The worldly eye will therefore regard their temporal powers alone. As Ministers of Christ, they prepare man for a happy immortality in the next world, and in so doing, incidentally make him a better member of society and improve his condition in this. — The latter effect of their teaching is all which strikes the worldly eye. As dispensers of religious knowledge, they incidentally promote the general education of mankind ; and this latter comes to be considered by the world as their principal business. And lastly, while they derive their primary commission from the Redeemer, and their secondary character — if I may so call it — from the constitution of the country, the eye of the world can see in them but the servants of the latter; forgetful that their true Master, that He to whom alone they are responsible for the discharge of the most important functions entrusted to them, the functions of their ministerial stewardship, is the Almighty Head of the Church who ever watches over it in Heaven.

To entertain views like these, thus habitually to forget the connection which in truth exists between the Almighty and His own Holy Institution, is, in the most emphatic sense, to live without God in the world. And the line of conduct to which such views, if consistently acted upon, necessarily lead, cannot be contemplated by the serious mind without feelings of the most awful apprehension. The Redeemer has told us that He is, in truth, ever about us ; that He, even while seated in glory, feels, as though He were Himself the object of them, alike each act of kindness done to, and each injury inflicted upon, the humblest of His disciples. And if this be so, if the interests of



individual members of His Church be in His view thus identified with His own, how intimately must He sympathize with the foirtunes of that Church itself, of that Church which He deigned Himself to found, and especially to commend to our reverential care. Surely if we, blind to His gracious presence, presume to insult, despoil, or irreverently treat as a merely human thing His hallowed institution, we shall one day hear the voice once heard by Saul, " Why persecutest thou Me ?" God grant that we may, like Saul, hear it while time yet lies before us; that we may hear it in the gentle accents of mercy, not in the trumpettone of judgment.

Let worldly politicians and legislators, then, do as they list. Let them, if they imagine it will further their ambitious views, fearfully insult the Church established in our islands. Christ's true servants, stedfastly refusing any countenance to their irreverent projects, will protest against them, if in no other way, by the quiet and consistent tenor of their lives. They will show the world by their actions that they behold the Redeemer, as He has taught them to behold Him, in His Church, And if that Church, having long been an honoured guest in our islands, is to be cast down from her high estate, and, whether in England or in Ireland, to be trampled under the foot of power, and made to give place to any one of the unauthorized sects which would usurp her place, they will continue to cling in her adversity to her who had been in her prosperity their nursing mother and their guide. Beholding her built upon the rock of apostolical authority, and convinced that she has not forfeited, by apostatizing from the faith, her original commission, they will reverence her Ministers as much when become the objects of the world's contempt, as they had reverenced them when that world bowed before them with pretended homage.

The rulers of that world may suppose that the Church is in their hands ; that they may deal with it according to their pleasure ; and that its very existence is at their disposal. Thus thought the rulers of a former day, when the Redeemer had given Himself into their hands, and when their agents exerted a last malice upon His lifeless remains. They knew it not that even then, in tliat dark hour, a limit was set to their presump



tion ; the word of Heaven had passed that a bone of Him should not be broken, and the whole power of Heaven, could it have been necessary, would have interfered to prevent the violation of the decree. And thus, to our comfort let us remember, it must be with Christ's body, the Church, even now. A limit has been set to its enemies which they cannot pass ; the utmost extent of their successful malice has been fore-ordained, fore-registered, in Heaven ; nor can they, even in its weakest hour, wreak one insult upon its apparently lifeless frame, beyond those of which God, in His goodness, sees fit to permit the infliction.

The existence of such a limit it is impossible that they should believe, or even understand. Their views of the Church's fortunes and condition are necessarily as imperfect as their notions of the Church itself. Seeing nothing but its tangible frarae^ conscious of its political existence alone, they naturally deem that the overthrow of these externals is the essential overthrow of the Church ; which will, as they suppose, cease to exist at all when they shall have deprived it of all those symptoms of existence, which their faculties can perceive. They know not — the Church's enemies, till taught by fatal experience, never did know — that all which the utmost exertion of their violence can effect, will be but to bruise its heel. Its true, its inherent vitality, as it is beyond their ken, is also beyond their power ; and in that vitality it may, if God so please, grow and flourish the most, at the very moment of their fancied triumph in the supposed annihilation of its powers.

Even to the Church's true members, its real glories here on earth are for the most part the objects of Faith. " The kingdom of God cometh not with observation;" — the workings of God's Spirit in the assembly of His chosen, — His constantly repeated triumphs in the overthrow of evil, and in the increase of spiritual life among the faithful, are noiseless and unperceived. Churchmen know not, in their generation, what is passing around them, or even in themselves. In silence and in mystery, God is working out, now and continually, the accomplisliment of those prophecies, the realization of those inspired pictures which describe the earthly glories of the Messiah's kingdom. But the full comparison of those prophecies with their fulfilment, of



those pictures with the original events from which, by Divine anticipation, they were drawn, will never, perhaps be vouchsafed to mortal eyes. In a future state of being, when the Almighty's ways shall be all at length made plain, it may be one of the happy employments of the Blessed to contemplate the Church as it was on earth ; to see how fully all that was predicted of it by the voice of inspiration was, throughout the period of its duration on earth, fulfilled, and how amply God redeemed the promises which He had made to His Holy Institution ; manifesting in it, from generation to generation. His Glory ; — not indeed to sinners in the flesh, — but to the countless myriads who surround His throne, — to perfected Saints and unspotted angels, — and, in a word, to all the sinless and glorified Creation.

In that retrospective view it will undoubtedly be seen, that the world, in systematically afflicting the Church, is but doing its appointed part. May the part assigned to ourselves be the happier one of witnesses for God's truth and defenders of His Holy Institution. May we, seeing God in all things, — habitually contemplating the Almighty as now revealed to the eye of faith alike in His Church and in His world, — prepare ourselves, through His Grace, for that fuller and more perfect contemplation of Him, which shall hereafter be the privilege of the redeemed in Heaven.

Oxford, The Feast of the Resurrection.

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We are very naturally jealous of the attempts that are making to disunite, as it is called. Church and State ; which in fact means neither more nor less, in the mouths of those who clamour for it, than a general confiscation of Church property, and a repeal of the few remaining laws which make the true Church the Church of England.

This is what Dissenters mean by disuniting Church and State ; and we are all naturally anxious to avert a step at once so unjust towards men and sacrilegious towards God.

Let us not imagine, however, that every one who apparently joins with us in this anxiety must necessarily have the welfare of the Church at heart. Many people seem to join us at this crisis, and protest loudly in favour of the Union of Church and State, who nevertheless mean by this, something very different from what Dissenters mean, and from what we mean when we are opposing Dissenters. The " Union of Church and State,'* which many persons so call, and are so anxious to preserve, is in some points almost as great an evil, as it is confessedly, in other points, a good : and there are almost as many persons who support it for its bad points, as there are who hate it for its good.

To make this plain I shall endeavour to explain what it is that the Union of Church and State consists in, as now enforced by the law of the land.

It consists in two things. State Protection and State In-^ TERFERENCE ; the former of which Dissenters wish to overthrow ; and the latter of which governments, of whatever kind, are very anxious to retain : while Churchmen have hitherto been contented to accept both conjointly, without perhaps very ex




actly calculating how little they gain on the one hand, and how much they sacrifice on the other. This subject is indeed one which, from the confidence hitherto placed by us in the integrity of government, has, perhaps, been much less investigated than any other of equal importance. But recent changes in the constitution have now so entirely altered the mutual relations of the Church and the Legislature, that what has in past times been a becoming, though perhaps misplaced reliance on authority, would at present be a disgraceful negligence about our most sacred interests. In the following pages, then, it will be my object to consider the gains and losses which we accept jointly, in the Union of Church and State, arranging them under the abovementioned heads : State Protection and State Interference.

I. The Protection which the Church receives from the State consists principally in four things.

  1. In securing to us by Law some small portion of those ample endowments which the piety of our forefathers set apart for the maintenance of true religion in this country. Of these endowments far more than half are at this day in the hands of laymen, who may be of any religion or none, and do not con* sider themselves obliged to spend one farthing of it in the cause of God. But there is still a certain remnant in the hands of the clergy, who are thereby enabled to spread truth over the land, in the poorest and most remote districts ; and to live in decency themselves, without being a burden to the poor people for whose good they are labouring. This remnant then the State has forborne to confiscate, as it has confiscated the rest ; and in this consists the first kind of State Protection.

  2. It further consists in enabling us to raise a tax on real property for the keeping our parish churches in tolerable and decent repair through the country, — which tax, as estimated by those who put it at the highest, amounts to about as many thousands a year as the other taxes amount to millions. This is the dnly existing law by which Englishmen, as such, are called on to assist in the maintenance of the Church of England.

  1. It consists, farther, in allowing Thirty Bishops to sit and vote in the House of Lords, to which House all Bishops, and many


Other Church Dignitaries belonged, as a matter of right, at the signing of Magna Charta ; and from which they never can be excluded without violating the very first article of Magna Charta, the basis of English liberty.

  1. In the law De excommunicato capiendo, by which the State engages, that on receiving due notice of the excommunication of any given person, he shall be arrested, and put in prison until he is absolved.

Such are the four principal heads of State Protection : on reading them over, it will occur to every one, that the first is nothing more than common justice, and no greater favour than every person in the country receives in being protected from thieves ; that, as to the second, the most that one can infer from it is, that in the eye of the State the importance of the Church is to the importance of civil government as a thousand to a million, or as one to a thousand ; that, to counterbalance the third, which admits some Bishops to the House of Lords, all clergymen whatever are excluded from the House of Commons ; and that the fourth is a bad useless law, which cannot be done away with too soon.

II. Such is State Protection : now, on the other hand, let us consider the existing set off against it, which is demanded of us. This is State Interference, which encumbers us in ways too numerous to be catalogued, but is especially grievous in regard to the two following particulars : — 1. Church Patronage. 2. Church Discipline.

  1. With regard to the first of these, it is obvious that the efficiency of the Church must ever mainly depend on the character of the Bisbops and Clergy ; and that any laws which facilitate the intrusion of unfit persons into such stations must be in the highest degree prejudicial. The appointment of our Bishops, and of those who are to undertake the cure of souls, is a trust on which so much depends, that it is difficult to be too cautious as to the hands in which it is placed, and as to the checks with which its due execution is guarded. The sole object which should be kept in view is the getting these offices well filled, and the fewer private interests which are allowed to inter

a 2



fere in filling them tlie better. Yet what are the Laws which are forced on the acceptance of the Church for regulating this important matter? What is the care that has been taken to vest the appointment in proper hands ? with what checks is its due execution guarded ? what attention has been paid to any one point except the very last that should have been thought of, the private interests of patrons ? We shall see.

The appointment of all our Bishops, and, in much the greater number of instances, of those who are to undertake the cure of souls, is vested in the hands of individuals irresponsible and unpledged to any opinions or any conduct ; laymen, good or bad, as it may happen, orthodox or heretic, faithful or infidel. The Bishops, every one of them, are, as a matter of fact, appointed by the Prime Minister for the time being, who, since the repeal of the Test Act, may be an avowed Socinian, or even Atheist. A very large proportion of other Church benefices, carrying with them cure of souls, are likewise in the hands of the Prime Minister, or of the Lord Chancellor and other Lay Patrons, who, like him, may be of any or no religion. So much for the hands in which these appointments are vested : the checks by which they are guarded must be considered separately in case of Bishopricks and of inferior benefices.

At former periods of our history, even in the most arbitrary and tyrannical times, various precautions were adopted to prevent the intrusion of improper persons into Bishopricks. To exclude the great officers of state from a share in the nomination was indeed impossible — perhaps not desirable — but to prevent their usurpim^ an undue and exclusive influence, their choice was subjected to the approbation of other bodies of men, with different interests, and sufficiently independent to make their approbation more than a form.

The Nomination of the King and his Ministers was to be followed by a real bond fide e\ect\on on the part of the Collegiate Body attached to the vacant See. In the Church of Canterbury this body consisted of 140 men, with small incomes, and connected, in many instances, with the peasantry of the country, whose feelings and opinions they iecm to have, in a great measure, represented. The courage and resolution with which



these men frequently resisted state persecution, will be appreciated on reading Gervase's History of Canterbury, between the years 1160 and 1200. Indeed, it would be no difficult matter to make a catalogue of the atrocities perpetrated at different times on these collegiate bodies by kings and nobles, in the hope of extorting consent to improper nominations ; such as would rival Fox's Book of Martyrs in number and cruelty. Here then was the first check on improper appointments.

Again, after Nomination and Election followed Confirmation, a process well calculated to elicit any sinister dealings which might have influenced the previous steps. On a day appointed by the Archbishop, all persons whatever that had any objection to urge against the Election or person elected, were cited to appear in the cathedral church of the vacant Diocese. The Archbishop was himself to be in attendance as judge, to confirm or annul what had passed, according to the evidence which should come before him. The publicity of this process, and the circumstance that it was conducted in a place of all others the most interested in the result, seemed calculated to preclude any very flagrant neglect of duty.

But, should no obstacle have interfered with the will of the State, either in Election or Confirmation, it still remained with the Archbishop to decide whether he was justified in consecrating : and in deciding this he was left to the dictates of his own conscience, exposed indeed to the vindictive tyranny of power, but uncontrolled by any law, and responsible to no earthly tribunal.

Thus it appears that in the most arbitrary and tyrannical times the constitution of England recognised three independent checks to the King's appointment, allowing a veto to be put upon it either at Election, Confirmation, or Consecration. These checks were, indeed, frequently overpowered by the capricious tyranny of the feudal system, or the still more capricious interference of the Bishop of Rome. Perhaps, also, though upon the whole well adapted to the times in which they were devised, they are unsuited to those in which we live. Yet it is evident, that whatever difference exists between those times and our own, it is a difference in our favour ; whatever checks to abuse of power could exist then, might exist, and more effectually, now ; nor



can any objection we may make against the particular checks adopted under the feudal system be an argument for abolishing them without finding a substitute.

The object of these remarks is not to raise impatience and complaint, or to suggest changes in present arrangements, which, except under certain contingencies, it might be wrong to contemplate, but merely to set before the Church its position. I have shown what it was in the middle ages, in order to assist our minds in the inquiry ; let us, with the same object, now advance to the consideration of its present condition.

It cannot be denied that at present it is treated far more arbitrarily, and is more completely at the mercy of the chance government of the day, than ever our forefathers were under the worst tyranny of the worst times. Election, Confirmation, Consecration, instead of being rendered more efficient checks than formerly, are now so arranged as to offer the least possible hindrance to the most exceptionable appointments of a godless ministry. As to Election ; the Dean and Chapter, with whom it still formally rests, have only twelve days given them to inquire into the character of the person nominated, who may be an entire stranger to every one of them, or known through report most unfavourably ; if they fail to elect in this time, election becomes unnecessary, and the Crown presents without it. And now the Dean and Chapter have eight days given them, and the Archbishop twenty for reflection ; if within these periods the former fails to go through the form of election, and the latter to consecrate, both parties subject themselves to the pains and penalties of a Praemunire, i. e. all their goods, ecclesiastical and personal, are liable to confiscation, and themselves to imprisonment till such time as they submit. Such is the legal urgency which has been substituted for the violence of former times : and thus, as the law now exists, we have actually no check on the appointments of a Socinian (if it so happen) or Infidel Minister, guided by the more violent influences of a legislative body, for which I feel too much respect as a political power, to express an opinion about certain portions of its members.

Again, with regard to the inferior patronage of the Church : a large proportion of our benefices are, as has been already noticed, in the bands of laymen, who may be oi any religion



under heaven ; and the laws of England (it must be confessed with sorrow) watch so jealously over the interests of these patrons, and so little over those of the Church, that they compel the Bishops, except in cases so outrageous that they can hardly ever occur, to accept at once of the person first presented to them, and to commit the cure of souls to him by the process of institution. It is worth observing what Judge Blackstone says upon this subject. " Upon the first delay," says he, " or refusal of the Bishop to admit the Clerk, the Patron usually brings his writ of Quare impedit against the Bishop for the temporal injury done to his property in disturbing him in his presentation. . . . The writ of Quare impedit commands the Bishop to permit the plaintiff to present ; and unless he does so, then that he appear in Court to show his reason." What sort of reason the Court will be satisfied with the Judge informs us in another place. " With regard to faith and morals," says he, " if the Bishop alleges only in generals that lie is schismaiicus inveteratus, or objects a fault that is malum prohibitum merely, as haunting taverns, playing at unlawful games, or the like, it is not good cause of refusal." The Judge proceeds, " if the cause be some particular heresy alleged, the fact, if denied, shall be determined by a jury." The sum of the whole is, then, that unless the Bishop can prove to the satisfaction of a jury in a Court of Common Law, that the person presented to him for institution has been guilty of some particular immoral act above the grade of malum prohibitum, or has maintained some opinion such as shall come under the strict definition of heresy, he loses his cause, and then, if he persist in his refusal, is liable to an action for damages, in which the Judge informs us " the patron may recover ample satisfaction."

Now, if any one were to search among his own acquaintances for those whom he considers least fit for clergymen, he would certainly find that his reason for thinking so was of a kind which he could not make good before a court of justice. Those who wish to see this matter in its true light should read over 1 Tim. iii. to verse JO., and then reflect whether St. Paul would have been very likely to approve of the law of England as it now stands.

These are among the effects of State Interference, as it



affects Church Patronage. As to Church Discipline, without entering into the reasons for restoring it, it may be sufficient to mention one fact, showing the practical effect of the law to suppress it.

Every Churchwarden in every parish in England is called on once a year to attend the visitation of his Archdeacon. At this time oaths are tendered to him respecting his different duties, and among other things he swears, that he will present to the Archdeacon the names of all such inhabitants of his parish as are leading notoriously immoral lives. This oath is regularly taken once a year by every Churchwarden in every parish in England ; yet I believe such a thing as any single presentation for notoriously immoral conduct has scarcely been heard of for a century. So that it would certainly seem that, if within this last century any notoriously immoral man has been residing in any parish in England, the Churchwardens of that parish have been perjured : and this is the effect of certain laws, which we should call persecuting, did they not exist in our own free country, which interfere with the due discharge of their solemn engagement.

These remarks are offered to my brethren without immediate practical object. Circumstances, however, may occur any day which would make them immediately practical ; and it is necessary to be prepared for these. Firmly as we may be resolved at present, from the dictates of a sober and contented spirit, not to commence changes ; yet when changes are commenced, and seem likely to extend still more widely, it may obviously be the duty of Churchmen, in mere self-defence, to expose and protest against their destitute and oppressed condition.

Oxford, Feast of St. Mark,

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" If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be AnathemUf MaranathaJ" — I Cor. xvi. 21.

The services appointed by the Church for this festival of St. Philip and St. James, turn our attention very particularly to the subject of personal love and devotion to our Lord. St. James was, in some sense. His brother. St. Philip seems, by what is related of him, to> have had, in some respects, a more simple and uneducated mind than the other Apostles : and, accordingly, to have sought our Saviour with a faith not unlike that with which a pious untaught countryman may be supposed to seek Him now. Thus, when our Saviour had first called him, and he in his turn would persuade Nathanael to come to Him, and Nathanael made the objection, so obvious to a Jew, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth 1 Philip did not pretend at all to argue the matter with him, but simply said, as a plain man might, " Come and see."

And again, it was of St. Philip that our Saviour, with a kind of cheerful condescension, made as if He would ask advice, when He was about to feed the five thousand with a few loaves and fishes, and so to prefigure that Divine Feast, which He meant in due time to ordain for the spiritual food of the whole world. *' Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat ?" The Apostle answered in a homely, straightforward way, as one having no suspicion that our Lord meant more than He said, " Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little." It would seem quite in unison with this sort of simple-mindedness, very sincere, but rather unreflecting, that St. Philip should take that part which the Gospel of the day records of him, in the farewell conversation between our Lord and His Apostles. When Christ had said, He was the way, the truth, and the life : when He had assured them, that if they had •known Him, they had kiiown the Father ; when He pointed out



to them, as the chief fruit of His^blessed Gospel made known to the world, that from henceforth they knew the Father, and had seen Him : St. Philip put up a request whicli shewed how possible it is, even for a thoroughly sincere person, to be very imperfect in his notions of Christian Truth : to be with Christ, and yet not to know Him. He said, " Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Bring us at once to the Beatific Vision — bring us into clear and evident communion with Him, whom, as yet, we know only by faith — and that indeed is enough for us. I'he answer of our Lord is a calm and grave rebuke, intimating, that even at that time, before the Holy Ghost had come, when the knowledge of the Apostles was necessarily obscure and imperfect, St. Philip's ignorance was hardly such as might be excused. " Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father : and how sayest thou then. Shew us the Father ?" Even before the Comforter came, the disciples of our Lord were to be blamed for their thoughtlessness, in not being aware of His divine nature and condescension, that He was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His Person, God of God, made manifest in the flesh. And if then, much more now : much more utterly without excuse are those who refuse to know Him as He is, now that the Comforter has been so long time with the Church : that Spirit of wisdom, a part of whose especial office was to make Christians rightly receive the three great Evangelical mysteries : the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Communion of Saints: according to the promise of cur Saviour, **At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you."

I say, the rebuke of our Saviour to St. Philip is a clear sign that when Scripture speaks so highly of personal love and devotion to our Lord as being " the one thing needful," it means love and devotion to Him, not such as we may rashly imagine Him to be without warrant of His holy Word, as interpreted by His Church, but such as He really is. There could be no question about St. Philip's attachment to Him, and yet we see he incurred rebuke, simply for being so imperfect in his notion of his Lord. How would he have fared if he had been really and positively erroneous ? if, while he trusted in the Holy Jesus, he had yet closed with rash speculations concerning Plim : had made up his mind to consider Him as no more than a great Prophet,



especially gifted with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost ? Or, again, if he had chosen to regard Hira as a created — though ever so glorious — angel? Doubtless, in that case, he would have been charged with something worse than mere thoughtless simphcity ; his fault would then have been nearer to Pharasaical presumption, intruding men's opinions and fancies into the place of God's Truth. And yet he might have been really attached to our Lord's Person, and might have depended on Him, and no other, for health and salvation.

Now this point, that Christ is to be loved and served, not such as men choose to imagine Him, but such as He really and truly is — this point requires, if I mistake not, to be very seriously recalled to men's remembrance, at the present moment, in the Christian Church. For the form which human presumption seems now inclined to take is nearly such as this following : (and, what is very remarkable, it is found among various classes of religionists, who think themselves, and are in many respects, diametrically opposed to each other. But this is, as it were, a point to which, at sundry distances, their errors appear to converge :) namely, That in the matter of acceptance with God, sentiment, feeling, assurance, attachment, towards Jesus Christ, i& all in all: that definite notions of His Person, Nature, and Office may very well be dispensed with, provided only the heart feel warm towards Him, and inclined to rely upon Him entirely for salvation : that the high mysteries of the orthodox Catholic Faith, the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Communion with our Lord through His Sacraments, are either unnecessary to be distinctly believed, or that such belief will come of itself, if only the above-mentioned feeling of dependence on Christ be sincere. Is not this the real tendency of a great deal that is said, thought, and written at the present moment, in what is called " the religious world ?" Is not such the plain facty whether for good or for evil? A few obvious remarks, then, on the tendency and probable result of. these things, may, by God's blessing, have their use, coming, as we have seen they do, in strict accord with the Church Services of the day.

Now, it may be at once allowed, that nothing can be said too high, nothing higher than Scripture has a thousand times said, concerning the saving virtue and acceptableness of true love and faith in Jesus Christ our Lord ; and that, consequently, those



who dwell on it exclusively, even in the wrong sense just mentioned, will always, of course, appear to have a great deal of Scripture to plead for themselves. But yet the same Scripture, with a very little humble attention, will show where the mistake lies. Take, for example, such a verse as this, the conclusion of St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians : " If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha :" let him be excluded from the communion of the Faithful, in the most awful form of any, by which the wilful sinner was pronounced accursed, when the Lord comes to judgment. What more easy than for a Commentator, so inclined, to fasten on such a verse as this, and assume that one only thing, by the laws of the Gospel, should exclude a man from Communion, and expose him to the highest of Church censures, viz. want of sincere zeal, want of love to our blessed Saviour ? How plausibly might it be contended, that where such zeal and love is, we are not nicely to inquire into a man's creed ; that we may kneel by his side, and worship with him, though our notions directly contradict his concerning the nature of the Christ, the Saviour whom we worship, if only both agree to own Christ as a Saviour. One might go on for ever applying the text, and others like it, in that way ; but, as if on purpose to bar for ever all such bold speculations, see how St. Paul has enabled us to check, as it were, this verse, by comparison of others, which show in what sense its terms are really to be understood.

First, as to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, the same phrase occurs again at the end of another Epistle, in a form of blessing, parallel, as it were, to the curse we are now considering. " Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." What is the " sincerity," the qualification here introduced ? In order to serve the purpose of that system which is now becoming so very prevalent, the word ought to mean, simply, " wellmeaning;" "freedom from all guile and hypocrisy ;" the same, in short, as " being in earnest." But the true import of the word is, in all probability, something very different from this. It occurs but once in the New Testament, at least at all in a kindred sense : viz. in Titus ii. 7. where St. Paul exhorts a newly ordained Bishop, first " to shew forth himself in all things a pattern of good works," and afterwards, " to shew forth in doctrine uncorruptness, gravityj sincerity/, and sound speech, that




cannot be condemned." The sincerity, therefore, or soundness, or enduring purity, of which St. Paul is speaking, would so far appear, in all probability, to be a quality of the doctrine, not of the believer's mind ; or rather, perhaps, of both together. " Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption ; with that sound, enduring love, which, being grounded on the truth of His Nature, will be able to withstand all things, as uncorrupt and glorified bodies will withstand the fires of the last day ; grace be with all those who love Jesus Christ as they will love Him in Heaven, i. e, as truly God of God, made Man for our salvation."

Next, observe that this anathema is not the only one pronounced by St. Paul in the New Testament. There is one passage more, in which he distinctly threatens the same penalty : and, in all reason, the two must be compared together. Let it be well considered, then, by such as imagine that sincerity of heart is every thing, and doctrine nothing, or very little, what they can make of the awful anathema at the beginning of the Epistle to the Galatians : *' Though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let hinr be accursed."

The two verses, compared with each other, lead inevitably to the following result, startling as it may sound to those imbued with the notions of the day : that part of the measure of a Christian teacher's sincerity in the love of Jesus Christ, is his agreement in the substance of his doctrine with the system first preached by the Apostles. It is not his amiable meaning towards those around him, no, nor yet what may seem his devout meaning towards God, which will shelter him from the Apostolic censure, if he swerve from the platform of Apostolical doctrine. And it is clear that the verse speaks of the whole Creed as a whole, which the Galatians had received of St. Paul. It does not leave them at liberty to choose out which articles they would consider as important according to their notion and experience of practical good, edifying effect, arising out of one more than another. But it supposes them to have received a certain " form of sound words," which no abstract reasoning or theory of their own — nay, more, no miracles or other marks of heavenly authority, would warrant their adding to, or diminishing.

Further, it is plain from the general tenor of the Epistle,




that one particular by which this anathema was at that time incurred by some, was affirming the necessity of the Jewish ceremonial law as part of the conditions of the Christian covenant. Now surely there is not a priori any shew of abstract impossibility in a person's holding that error, and yet seeming to himself and others to love our Lord Jesus Christ. Surely, all that in mistaken kindness is now said by way of extenuating false doctrine with regard to the Person of our Lord and Saviour, might have been advanced it fortiorif in bar of the anathema against the seducers of the Galatians, whose mistake at first sight only touched His office. It might have been saidj •' What hinders, but these or any men may be full of dutiful regard to our blessed Lord, although they be not fully aware of the repeal of those laws of His, which he promulgated from Mount Sinai to be a ritual for His chosen people : and although in consequence they are still for enforcing those laws on Gentile Christians as necessary to salvation ?" We see at once by St. Paul's peremptory sentence, how fallacious all such pleading would have been : how impossible to be tolerated within the true Church, and how dangerous to the souls of those who persisted in it after such authoritative warning. We see that the Preachers of Circumcision in those times, although they might feel and in many respects act, as if they loved our Lord Jesus Christ, were not to be accounted as " loving Him in sincerity" and uncorruptness. We se^i that sincerity, enduring purity of doctrine in certain great points, is a necessary test of that love for Christ which is required to secure human error from the anathema of the Church ; a necessary qualification for receiving an Apostolical blessing.

This view receives no slight illustration from certain cases in the history of heresy ; cases in which the false doctrine has recommended itself in the first instance to unguarded minds by ihe shew of extraordinary love and respect for our Divine Master, and has ended in direct treason and blasphemy against Him. A very remarkable one occurred in Asia Minor, in the earlier half of the third century. St. Paul himself had expressly warned the Pastors of that division of Christendom, that they might expect men to arise of , their ownselves who should speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Tiiis had begun to be accomplished in former generation? by the swarming



of Gnosticks and Ebionites in those quarters : heresies which appear at first glance shocking to all lovers of Christ. But at the time now referred to, a more plausible misinterpretation arose ; more plausible as a show of reverence to our Saviour's Person : the author of which was one Noetus, either of Smyrna or of Ephesus. We are told of him by St. HippolytUs, a writer almost contemporary with him^ that " he was mightily lifted up by his vanity, and seduced by a fancy prompted by an alien spirit, affirmed that the Christ Himself, was * personally' the Father, and that 'the Father Himself was born, and suffered, and died. These things came to the knowledge of the holy Presbyters of that time ; by whom he was summoned and interrogated before the Church. At first he disavowed his holding any such opinion : but afterwards he found some to luvk amongst, and having provided himself v»'ith associates in error, he tried to make his theory permanentj now reduced into a distinct form. Upon which the holy Presbyters again summoned and called him to account. But he withstood them, using these words : ' What evil then am I doing in that I give glory to Christ ? What harm have I done ? I glorify one God; I know one God, and no other beside Him ; and that He was begotten and born into the world ; that He suffered and died for us." Could any thing be more plausible, according to the notion that all is safe if only men are brought to put their trust in our Saviour's Person alone 1 Might it not as truly then have been urged, as any one now can urge it, that the distinction of Persons in the glorious Godhead is merely a mode of speech, a scholastic theory, and that all was right if men could agree to worship our Saviour ? The elders, however, of happy memory, before whom Noetus was answering, were aware of no such defence. According to the simplicity of the Gospel which they had learned, probably with allusion to the very words of their creed, they reply, — " We also have one only God, whom we know and acknowledge in truth ; we know Christ ; we know the Son, and acknowledge Him to have suffered as in truth He did suffer ; to have died as in truth He did die ; who rose again the third day, and is on the right hand of the Father, and is coming to judge quick and dead : and we affirm those things which we have been taught." **Then having convicted him, they cast him out of the Church." It really should seem as if, by especial Providence, this frag*



ment of early Church History had been preserved, in ord^r to shew Christians how to deal with those heretics, who make their appeal with perverse ingenuity to the good feelings of believers at the expence of their orthodox conviction. If there come any man to you talking affectionately of Jesds Christ as our Redeemer, but scornfully of the need of acknowledging Him as Very God OF Very God : if the words which have been put into our mouths by the Holy Fathers, Creeds, and Councils, are treated as the mere inventions of Platonists or Schoolmen : we have a clear precedent • for the kind of answer we should give : we have no need to canvass objections, or to draw subtle distinctions, we have only to repeat our.Creed with those blessed elders, and say, '*The things which we have learned, those we affirm." If they say, " What harm do we, giving Christ all the glory ?" we will tell them, " Christ has taught His Church by His Scriptures in what way He will be glorified ; and it is not for us to tolerate other ways, however they may challenge our admiration for their ingenuity, or our kindness by the seeming sincerity of their inventors."

But such a course is too harsh ; too peremptory in its censure of persons, to whom we dare not deny a certain share of wellmeaning. This is a natural feeling, as it is natural to shrink, in all cases, from inflicting pain. But if experience show that no apparent piety to our Saviour will secure persons from the deadliest errors, if they allow themselves to take liberties with the old standard of the Faith, — what shall we say ? will it not then appear, that the better we think of the motives of our erring brethren, the greater their apparent devoutness and sincerity, the more anxious must we be to speak out, and pull thenr back, if possible, as brands out of the burning ? Now, then, what says experience? Take one instance out of a thousand: one of the most important that could have been mentioned; an instance unquestionably and directly relevant, and probably most fatal in its effects on the Church.

Of all the heresies of the Lower Empire, there is none which, at first, appears more venial, more on the side of loyal Christian love, than ihat of the Monophysites, at least after they had renounced the error of their first founder, Eutyches, touching the reality of our Lord's crucified body. It would seem as if nothing but excessive reverence towards the glorified Son of Man, would lead men to deny the continuance of His human



Nature : as though of the two, very God and very Man, the weaker were now, as it were, lost and absorbed for ever in the more glorious. In such a sect, therefore, of all others, one would expect the most entire alienation from those who deny Christ's Godhead altogether. But what is the fact ? When, about the year 640, the Saracens first invaded Egypt, this very party, the Monophysites, were the most numerous in that country, their priesthood being especially strong. Most unfortunately, a violent political as well as religious feud prevailed between them and the orthodox, or Greek party, commonly called Melchites, or Royalists, from their loyalty to the Constantinopolitan emperor, — so that not even intermarriages were allowed. For various reasons they considered themselves greatly oppressed: but, after all allowance made for considerations of that kind, it must be owned a lamentable indication of the tendency of their doctrine, that they actually received the Mussulmans with open arms. Their Patriarch of Alexandria, a man whose name long stood very high among them for sanctity, came to a regular treaty with the Caliph's lieutenant ; in which it appears to have been stipulated that he, the Patriarch, should be restored to the episcopal throne of Alexandria, the whole sect for their part co-operating with the infidel invaders. An account has been preserved of the interchange of compliments between the Saracen leader and the Patriarch, on the return of the latter to the city, from which he had been long exiled. Amrou received him with the remark, that in all the countries which the Caliph had conquered, he had not met with any person of presence more august, and more worthy of a man of God. And he actually intreated, and, as it seems, obtained, his prayers for victory and safety in an expedition which he was just undertaking into West Africa and Pentapolis. The prayers of a Christian Archbishop, presiding over the sect which had separated from the Church on pretence of extraordinary reverence for Christ's Person, were asked, and granted, in behalf of the Mahometan Antichrist, just then on the point of wasting provinces which had been, from the beginning, the pride and glory of the Christian world.

There is, then, nothing extravagant in the supposition that heresy, even in its most attractive form of unusual loyalty to Christ, and jealousy of His honour, may prove but a step towards some God-denying apostasy. Whether or no any move



ment of the kind be at the moment perceptible among us, it surely will be well to bear such examples in memory. It is well that those who, from amiable confidence in the right feeling of themselves and others towards Him who is our common hope, are apt to make light of differences in doctrine concerning Him : it is well, I say, that they should be aware to what point, before now, men have been led by such presumptuous differences. May we not imagine, even at that time, the scruples of some more considerate Copt overcome by such arguments as are now not rarely alleged, when any Churchman is seen to shrink from symbolizing wdth the corrupters of the Faith, and despisers of the Church ? May we not, without any violent improbability, represent to ourselves the venerable patriarch Benjamin reasoning as follows with- such an unwilling disciple ? " Why should you be so very loth to act with these our Arabian brethren, whom you cannot deny to be our political deliverers ? True, they deny that our Saviour is the Son of God ; they do not even allow Him to be the greatest of Prophets : but remember what Holy Scripture says ; ' Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ :' . and surely it is possible for a Mussulman to love Jesus of Nazareth : nay, he cannot help doing so, if he be at all consistent : he must love one whom his own Scriptures acknowledge as one of the greatest and most beneficent of heavenly messengers. Be of good cheer then : we and these our new allies are in reality much more unanimous than we have been used to imagine, in what we fundamentally believe. In religion, properly so called, we do not really differ from them. We all acknowledge with one voice the great facts of the Bible. They add, indeed, those of the Koran : but that is not of so much consequence, it being still possible for us all, in one sense or other, to love Jesus Christ. Let us, then, leave off contending about scholastic subtleties, and let us rather unite all our energies against the one common enemy, the exclusive system of the old Church, that Church which so unphilosophically insists on our adoring the same Lord, confessing the same Faith, and holding by the same Baptism. In this way, we shall be left most sure to make our own high doctrines concerning our Lord and his sole uncompounded Nature thoroughly known to our people; and we shall do incalculably more good than we need fear doing harm by this our partial and apparent compromise with what





may be erroneous in Malipmetanisni." If reasoning like this ought to have availed in reconciling sincere Eutychians to the Mussulman connexion, then, and not else, it seems intelligible how those who profess to advocate a peculiarly pure and spiritual view of Christianity, should readily unite with the deniers of the Lord that bpught them ; and, in other respects, more or less directly compromise the system of orthodox belief, where they think there is, humanly speaking, a fair chance of doing more good in the end.

On the whole, there is evidently no security, no rest for the sole of one's foot, except in the form of sound words ; the one definite system of doctrine, sanctioned by the one Apostolical and primitive Church. People say, it is hard to bring men to agreement in this : but so is perfection hard in every part of duty. And besides, let the question be asked in all seriousness, is it not much harder to ascertain their agreement in right feeling towards our Saviour ? If the illustration were not too familiar, one might say, it is like trying the temperature of a room ; one man feels hot, and another cold ; but those who would be precise and accurate rather settle the point by a thermometer. In truth, it should seem perfectly impossible to know whether two men exactly concur in feeling ; the most that can be positively known is, that they agree in the same form of words to express their feeling. And why, then, should it be counted wrong or absurd for them to accept at the hands of God's Church the same form of words wherein to own her system of doctrine, which is one and the same definite thing, and quite independent, surely, of the individual receiving it ?

Again : it may be said that so strict a demand of orthodoxy is scarcely consistent with the encouragement given in Scripture to the mere implicit faith of persons probably quite ignorant of doctrinal statements : such, for example, as the woman with an issue of blood, who, when she touched the hem of our Lord's garment, was so far ignorant of His true Omniscient Nature, that she thought of being healed without His knowing any thing of it. May it not, however, be reasonably said, that her pious and affectionate faith was, in fact, the very type of that which saves men in the devout use of the means of grace which Christ bestows on us ? According to her knowledge, so she received Him : and must we not receive him in like manner according to



our knowledge, as God manifest in the flesh ? She came near and touched the hem of His garment, although she could not have explained how the touch should do her any good: and must we not in like manner approach Him in the devout use of His Sacraments, however impossible it must always be for us to understand how they should be means of grace ? She indeed was ignorant of some things : but involuntary ignorance is one thing, profane <;ontradiction, or conceited scepticism, another. She had, perhaps, what some might account low superstitious notions of the way to profit by our Saviour : and on the other hand, if they who so judge had stood by and seen St. Peter, when, in anger at the very thought of the crucifixion, he took our Lord and began to rebuke Him, and said, This shall not be unto thee ; and we may suppose they would have said, He may be mistaken, but any how his fault is on the right sid^ : he cannot endure any low notion of his Saviour ; depend upon it, he is the last to deny Him. We know how that proved on experiment; and perhaps, comparing the two together, we shall not be wrong if we conclude that the only safe way is to take God's will exactly as we find it declared in His word as interpreted by His Church, and not to perplex ourselves with fancies, philosophical or other. So may we hope by God's grace to obtain larger and completer views of our whole condition and duty, and build higher and higher as feeling that our foundation is sure. So may we hope to escape that curse, the terrible accompaniment generally of the Church's anathema, of continuing for ever wavering and unsteady in all the great rules and principles : " ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

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Illiberality of mind in religious matters, bigotry, intolerance, and the like, is the disposition to make unimportant points important, to make them terms of communion, watchwords of parties, and so on.

Now the Church Catholic acts on the principle of insisting on no points but such as are of importance, of judging of opinions variously according to their respective importance, of acknowledging no parties, and of protesting and witnessing against all party spirit and party dogmas.

One remarkable instance of this is to be found in the circumstance, true as a general rule, and capable of explanation in its apparent exceptions, that it knows no master but Christ, as He enjoined. It struck the attention of Christians as early as the age of Athanasius, what is witnessed at this day, that heresies bear the name of individual teachers, whereas the Catholic Faith has no especial human interpreter, but is transmitted on from Christ through His Apostles, in every place. Considering how the names of the champions of all opinions are circulated to and fro by all parties, it is a very surprising fact, that those only remain at this day inseparably connected with the respective doctrines of those who bore them, which belonged to heretics : e. g. in spite of all the efforts that have been made, to call the orthodox faith Athanasian, that word occurs, for the most part, only in a transitory page of history, being exchanged for Catholic by the upholders of the faith, Trinitarian even by its enemies, who, meanwhile, cannot help connecting themselves as Arians, Sabellians. Nestorians, &c. with human masters. In like man



ner, modern history opens upon us Lutherans, CalvinistSy Brorvnists, Wesley ans, &c., but would be perplexed what title to give to the English Church less respectful than Episcopalian. We have plainly no human master, such as, Melancthon, Bucer, or Cranmer, whatever influence these celebrated individuals might have in their day. We are a branch of the Church Catholic. Not that the absence of such human title is a criterion of Gospel truth ; for there were Gnostics of old, and Independents and Quakers now ; but that the Catholic doctrine is ever free from this badge of intolerable bondage.

This is shown in the case of the parties within the Church, as well as of the heresies and sects external to it ; e. g. the Augustinians, the Jansenists, or the Arminians among ourselves ; or in the various monastic orders, as Benedictine, Dominican, and the like. I mean, the tolerance and comprehensiveness of the Church is shown from the fact, that she can afford to receive within her pale varieties of opinion, imposing on its members, not agreement in minor matters, but a charitable forbearance and mutual sympathy. Hence she has been accustomed to distinguish between Catholic Verities and Theological Opinions, the essentials and non-essentials of Christian Faith.

In doing this, she has been guided by the text, spoken against the Pharisees, " Judge not, that ye be not judged ;" and while enforcing this command, she both exemplifies obedience to it in her own case, and also becomes herself a test, applied to the hearts of men, to ascertain whether they are bigotted and narrowminded or not. Contrast the text just quoted with 2 John 10, 11, " If any man come unto you, and bring not this doctrine," &c. and you see at once her gentleness and her severity.

Herein lies one eminent argument in favour of the divine origin of the Church, that, by the course it has actually taken, it gives us a clue to reconcile " not judging," with ** not bidding God-speed."

Again, the claim of authority with which it silences quarrels, affords, I say, a test, such as we antecedently might expect would be given us, for ascertaining that latent Pharisaical temper of party which our Lord rebukes.



Submission to Church authority is the test whether or not we prefer unity, and the edification of Christ's body, to private fancies.

Thus, e. g. when the man of strong feelings, in old time, merely founded a college or monastery for devotion and study, he satisfied the test. When, in modern times, he opens a conventicle, and forms a sect, he is condemned by it, as Pharisaical.

When the Baptists go so far as to separate, because they think children ought not to be baptized, they fail under the application of it, since the Church, though earnestly enjoining infant baptism, does not exclude from communion those who scruple at it ; therefore the Baptists are self-banished. When the Non-conformists separated on account of the surplice, the cross in baptism, &c. they too were detected and convicted of a rebellious spirit, by the same test.

The spirit of Schism, in addition to its other inherent characters of sin, implies the desire of establishing minor points as Catholic or essential points, or the spirit of exclusiveness.

The desire of novelty is restlessness ; the maintenance of our own novelty is selfishness.

Zeal is the effort to maintain all the Truth ; 'party spirit is a perverse maintenance of this or that tenet, even though true, yet to the suppression and exclusion of every thing else. ** Forte hinc appellata Catholica," says Augustine, " quod totum veraciter teneat, cujus veritatis nonnullae particulae etiam in diversis inveniuntur haeresibus."

While Dissenters are exclusive on the one hand. Papists are so on the other. The Council of Trent converted certain theological opinions into (what they maintained to be) Catholic Verities. This was wrong, whoever did it; but it is some comfort to find, that the body that thus became uncatholic, was not the Church Catholic itself. It had been wretched, indeed, had the Church, in its CEcumenic or Universal capacity, surrendered its own essential character, and added to the Catholic faith private judgments. But the Tridentine Council was a meeting of but a part of Christendom. Though the Latin communion is given at 80,000,000 souls, yet the Greek Churches are said to




comprehend as many as 50,000,000, and these were not there represented. Where too were the Bishops of the Reformed Churches? CathoHc doctrines are those to which the whole Catholic Church bears witness : the Council of Trent was col lected only from parts of the Church, such parts as differed from the views ultimately adopted there being excluded ; and, therefore, representing but a part, not the whole of the Univer sal Church, it assumed a privilege not belonging to it, for none but the Catholic Church can attest Catholic Truths. As to our Thirty-nine Articles, they were never imposed as essential, only as a basis of union in a particular Church.

It may be added, that, while the Catholic Church is a stay to the inquiring Christian, she is a check upon the forward. She recommends much to us, which she does not impose, like a true loving mother, " giving her judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." All that is neces sary for enjoying the privileges committed to her, is belief in the Apostles' Creed, and that teachable spirit that does not intro duce novelties upon it ; but in her Articles and Liturgy she aims at directing into the truth, in all its parts, such as wish " to follow on to know the Lord."

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(Continued. )

Heb. xiii. 4. " Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." You dare not say that this is not >true. What can you say to your own mind to make it easy ? Nothing but this can make you easy : — to take shame to yourself, to confess your sins, to fast, and to pray earnestly to God for pardon, &c., and to let others know " what an evil thing and bitter it is to forsake the Lord."

This visitation will either do you much good or much hurt ; you will from this time grow much better or much worse. — Since you did not blush to sin, do not blush to own your faults. Let it be matter of joy and thankfulness to you, that we are concerned for you so much. Grace indeed we cannot give ; — that is the gift of God ; — we can only pray for you, and do our duty in admonishing you, &c. — If you submit for fear only, and not for conscience sake, you will suffer both here and hereafter.

When men, and especially men in any authority, are not content to neglect their own salvation, but are industrious to ruin others, they may depend upon it, they are very near filling up the measure of their iniquities, and consequently their destruction is not far off.

Our charity to offenders ought to be like that of God, not in flattering them by a cruel indulgence, but in putting them, by a merciful severity, in the way of obtaining pardon.



In the primitive Church, no great offenders were restored to communion till they had, by their behaviour, given all possible demonstrations of the sincerity of their ** repentance, not to be repented of;" and this, by a long trial of mortification, &c. ; for a short repentance too seldom ends in amendment of life ; and he who fancies that his mind may effectually be changed in a short time, will deceive himself and the Church, unless he shows this change by fasting, almsdeeds, retirement, &c., and that for a considerable time.

Will any man say that he loves Christ and his Church, when he opposes the authority of her pastors ; when he opposes her discipline ; or when he weakens her unity ?

When we consider, that God is absolute master of men's hearts, we should not think any man incapable of salvation.

My God ! let me always fear for myself, when I am labouring to promote the salvation of others.

Remissness in Church discipline is owing, sometimes to indulgence and an easy temper, not caring to trouble others, or to be troubled ; sometimes by being satisfied to go on in the track trodden by their predecessors, not considering what duty obliges them to, but what was done before. Others, out of downright neglect, not caring how things go, give opportunity to the enemy to sow tares while they are thus asleep. Thus corruption gets head, and is like to do so, until God awakens the Governors, both in Church and State, and makes them see, that they are answerable for all the sins occasioned by their negligence ; and that they have more souls, besides their own, to account for ; which is one day to fall heavy upon them. Lord, awaken all that are in power, and me, thy unworthy servant, that we may all discharge our duty more faithfully.

There may be people bold enough to make a mock of sin, to submit to public penance with contempt of the authority that enjoins it, and not to be bettered by such Christian methods for the restoring sinners to the peace of Go» ; but it is to be hoped all are not so hardened, and that Christian discipline is, notwithstanding, a mighty check upon sin, and keeps many under a fear of committing such crimes as must oblige them to take shame to themselves before the face of men.



Convocaliotif 1536. — " That perfect penance which Christ requireth consists of contrition, confession, and amendment of former life, and an obedient reconciliation to the laws and will of God." — See also the Homilies.


Our Church ascribeth not the power of remission of sins to any but to God only. She holds that faith and repentance are the necessary conditions of receiving this blessing. And she asserts what is most true, that Christ's ministers have a special commission, which other behevers have not, authoritatively to declare this absolution for the comfort of true penitents ; and which absolution, if duly dispensed, will have a real effect from the promise of Christ. (John xx. 23,) — Pull. Moderat.

Authority of the Church is only sjnritual and ministerial (the Head and authority being in heaven). She does not, therefore, call her orders Laws, but Rules y Canons ; and her inflictions^ not punishments, but censures. She acknowledges that whatever power she has besides spiritual, is either from the favour or injunction of princes.

But (Article 37.) we give not our princes (and they have always disclaimed it) the power of administering God's Word, or the Sacraments. And although our spiritual power be from God, yet is this power subject to be inhibited, limited, regulated, in the outward exercises, by the laws and customs of the land. By this moderation both powers are preserved entire and distinct. We neither claim a power of jurisdiction over the prince, nor pretend to be exempt from his.

Antenuptial Fornication.

Those who enter into marriage only to conceal their shame, ought to give public satisfaction, as well as expiate their sin, by open penance.

The greatest care ought to be taken Concerning the i^iticerity of penitents ; till that be done, penance will only be a form, without a power or any real benefit.

In the primitive Church, every thing was done with advice, because their great aim was to have reason and the will of God

A 2



prevail. A despotic power was forbid by Christ himself: " It shall not be so among you." He that is humble and charitable will take the mildest and surest way, and will not be troubled, provided the end be obtained.


Sin is the disease of the soul. Diseases are not to be cured in a moment : it will take time to root out their causes, and to prevent their effects ; so will it require time to prove the sincerity of our resolutions. We solemnly profess that we repent, and we are not sure but that we lie to God.


As discipline slackened, men's manners grew more and more corrupt, even in the primitive times. There were never more infidels converted (saith Fleury) than when catechumens were most strictly examined, and baptized Christians put to open penance for their sins. They that are for making still more concessions to human frailty, will at last set aside the Christian religion, which is established upon maxims of eternal truth, and not on human policy ; and instead of gaining or securing the bad, they will lose the better sort. A flattering physician is for giving palliating medicines, to ease the pain, without taking away the cause, which will occasion relapses, until at last they destroy the patient. But a good man will prescribe what he believes necessary to remove the cause, though uneasy to his patient, and will have nothing to do with such as will not submit to the necessary methods of cure.

Penances, in the primitive Church, were never granted but unto such as desired them, and such as desired to be converted. None were forced, but such as would not submit were excommunicated.

Discipline impracticable.

This cannot be, when it was practised for so many years in the primitive Church. And what if it be one of those things which Christ has commanded His followers to observe so strictly, Matt, xxviii. 19,20. ; and which He had learned of the Father, John XV. 15. and xvi. 13. The commands of Christ cannot be



impracticable. That would be to tax Him with ignorance or weakness. When He promised to be with his Church to the end of the world, He engaged to give such graces as were necessary to raise us above our natural weaknesses.

Penances forced are seldom lasting.

The Priest, under the Law, could not accept the offering of a leper, nor allow him to partake of the sacrifice, till he had received convincing tokens of his cleanness ; no more ought the Christian Priest to treat sinners as cured, till he sees the proof. Qtiesn,

Matt. xvi. 19. "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Those ministers that know not what it is to bind and loose sinners, reject one half of their commission.

Excommunication is the last remedy reserved for the incorrigible in the case of enormous sins. They who despise it, know not what it is to be an heathen in God's sight, — to be without God for a Father, Christ for a Saviour, the Church for a Mother, and Christians for brethren.

A true penitent is always willing to bear the shame and confusion of his sin and folly before men, that he may escape the anger of God.

Heb. xii. 15. " Looking diligently, lest any more fail of the grace of God ; lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright;" that is, such as for a short pleasure forfeit their eternal inheritance.

Happy that sinner, whom God does not abandon to the hardness of his heart, but awakens him by his judgments, or the visitations of his grace.

Luke viii. 28. " I beseech thee torment me not." These were the words of the Devil to our Lord, and these are the suggestions in the hearts of all sinners, wherever he has got possession. When a minister of Christ, by his sermons, rebukes, &c., or the Church, by her disciplines, attempts to disturb the sinner,




they are looked upon as his mortal enemy ; and they treat both the Church and her Ministei-s worse than this legion did Jesus Christ. They despise their power, set at nought their persons, and threaten and persecute them for their good will. Vide Quesn.

There is not any greater or more dreadful sign of the wrath of God, than when he abandons a sinner to his lusts, and permits him to find means of satisfying them.

The public good is the sole end of Church discipline. The interest of the governors of the Church is no way concerned in it ; but only the advantage of their flock, that sinners may be converted ; that contagion may be hindered from spreading ; that every one may be kept to his duty, and in obedience to the laws of God ; that judgments may be averted from the public, and that God in all things may be glorified ; that differences among neighbours may be made up, and charity improved, &c.

Discipline (saith our Homily of the right use of the Church, Part II.) in the primitive Church was practised, not only upon mean persons, but upon the rich, the noble, and the mighty ; and such as St. Paul saith, were even given to Satan for a time.

Those that make a mockj a sporty a jest of sin, too plainly betray a love of wickedness in themselves.


A legal exemption cannot free a man from guilt, beyond the extent of that power which grants the exemption. If it be a human power, it can extend no farther than to exempt a man from human penalties, not from those that are purely spiritual.

Eccles. viii. 5. " Reproach not a man that turneth from sin."

They whom fear renders cowardly in the exercise of their ministry, forget that they act in the name and place of Christ, and are to account to him for the mischief the Church receives thereby.

Deut. i. 17. " Ye shall not be afraid of the face of men, for the judgment is God's."

O righteous judge of the world, give me and my substitutes grace, patiently to hear, and impartially to weigh, every cause that shall come before us in judgment.



Give us a spirit to discern, and courage to execute, true judgment, that all our sentences may be approved by thee, our Lord and Judge. Amen.

Deut. xxiv. 17. "Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless."

Isaiah i. 23. " Every one loveth gifts : they judge not the fatherless ; that is, they are poor, and cannot bribe them."

Exod. xxiii. 2, 3. " Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil ; neither shalt thou speak in a cause, to decline after many, to wrest judgment : neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause."

Deut. xix. 15. "Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty ; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour."

The judgment of the multitude is no rule of justice. "Then cried they all. Not this man, but Barabbas."

John xix. 12. " If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend ; — when Pilatp heard that saying," then he resolved to sacrifice his conscience, rather than lose his prince's favour.

Prov. xvii. 13. " He that justifieth the wicked, and he that eondemneth the just, even they both are an abomination unto the Lord."

John xix. 11. "Except it were given thee from above." Although the magistrate's authority is from God, yet he is answerable to God for the due execution of it.

Prov. xxi. 3. " To do justice and judgment is more acceptable unto the Lord than sacrifice."

Isaiah i. 11 . "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord : I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.'*

Hosea vi. 6. •' For I desired mercy and not sacrifice ; and the knowledge of God, more than burnt-oflTerings."

Micah vi. 7, 8. " Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my



first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

The Jews had a rule, that if a rich man and a poor man had a controversy, they must both of them stand or sit, to avoid partiality.

Virtue would hardly be distinguished from a kind of sensuality, if there were no labour — no opposition — no difficulty in doing our duty. Dulce est periculum sequi Deum.

The duty of a judge may oblige him to punish according to the law ; but it is the part of a Christian injured to forgive according to the charity of the Gospel.

A judge is not the master but the minister of the law — for the public good, not for his own interest, passion, or will.

A good judge will never desire to make himself feared by his power ; but will rather be afraid of abusing it.

The. civil magistrate is liable to be excluded from Church communion for such reasons as the spiritual governors shall judge necessary ; — they are to determine for him, and not he for them, in matters merely spiritual.

Give me, O Lord, the spirit of judgment, (Isaiah xxviii. 6.) that I may govern this Church with wisdom.

Eccles. iv. 9. " Be not faint-hearted when thou sittest in judgment."

A lover of the law will always have an eye to the intent of the law. Matt. xii. 3.

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All Liturgies now existing, except those in use in Protestant countries, profess to be derived from very remote antiquity. So likely is it, however, that in the lapse of ages, considering the extreme ignorance in which many parts of Christendom have been immersed, interpolations almost to any extent should have crept into the formulae of the different Churches, that little weight seems at first sight due to them as traditionary depositories of ancient doctrine. Judging from the opinions and character of those to whose custody they have been committed, one would be disposed to treat them rather as accumulations of every kind of superstition, than relics of ancient evangelical simplicity, to examine them rather as exhibitions of the gradual decay of Christianity, than as monuments of what it was.

Unlikely, however, as it might appear beforehand, learned men who have undertaken the laborious task of examining them, have been led to form a different estimate of their value. Certain, indeed, it is that they have been much interpolated, and in parts corrupted ; but it seems to be admitted at last, after long and patient research, that much likewise has been handed down from the first uninterpolated, and that means exist for ascertaining what parts are interpolated and what pure and genuine.




Among many remarkable facts which have been brought' to light respecting the antiquity of existing Liturgies, the following is among the most striking : —

There exists at the present day, scattered through Judaea, Mesopotamia, Syria, and the southern part of Asia Minor, which formerly made up the Patriarchate of Antioch, a sect of heretical Christians, called Jacobites or Monophysites, who were anathematized 1383 years since, at the council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. This ancient sect has from that time to this persisted in its separation from the orthodox Church, and no communion has subsisted between the two : each regarding the other as heretical. For a long time each preserved their separate establishments in the different Churches and dioceses, and each their own patriarch in the metropolitan city. By degrees, however, the Orthodox became the inferior party, and on the Mahometan invasion, finding themselves no longer able to maintain an independent existence, fell back on the support of the patriarch of Constantinople, whose dependents they acknowledge themselves at the present day. The Monophysites, on the contrary, were patronized by the invaders, and having been thus enabled to support their ancient establishment, remain in undisturbed possession of their sees, and represent the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. Now these Monophysites use at this day a Liturgy in the Syriac language, which they ascribe to tl.e Apostle St. James ; and the remarkable fact about this Liturgy is, that a great part of it coincides with a Greek Liturgy used once a year by the orthodox Church at Jerusalem, expression for expression. So that one must evidently be a translation of the other.

A coincidence of this kind between the most solemn religious rites of two Churches, which have for 1383 years avoided all communion with each other, of course proves the parts which coincide to be more than 1383 years old.

Another remarkable fact, not indeed so striking as this, but perhaps as essentially valuable, is exhibited to us in the Patriarchate of Alexandria. The history of the Monophysites and Orthodox in that country, is much the same as in the Patriarchate of Antioch ; except, indeed, that the depression of the Orthodox



has been still more complete. In this Patriarchate the Monophysites still profess to use the ancient Liturgy of the country, which they ascribe to St. Cyril, one of the early patriarchs. It is in the Coptic language, but appears to be a translation from Greek, and is sometimes spoken of as " the Liturgy of St. Mark which Cyril perfected." Now it cannot, indeed, be said in this instance, that any thing resembling this Liturgy is still in use among the Orthodox in Egypt ; however, we know, that as late as the twelfth century a Liturgy was in use among them which bore the title of St. Mark's : and very curious it is that in a remote convent of Calabria, inhabited by oriental monks of the order of St. Basil, a Greek manuscript has been found of the tenth or eleventh century, entitled the Liturgy of St. Mark, evidently intended for the use of Alexandria. It contains a prayer for the raising the waters of the Nile to their just level, and another for " the holy and blessed Pope," the ancient style of the Alexandrian patriarchs : and, on comparing it with the Coptic Liturgy of the Monophysites, it is at once recognised as the same rite, except, indeed, that in a few points it approximates to the Liturgy of Constantinople.

If then it should be thought that St. Mark's Liturgy, as given in this manuscript, is the same St. Mark's Liturgy which was once in use among the Orthodox of Alexandria, we can hardly doubt that so far as it coincides with that now in use among the Monophysites, both are anterior to the separation of the parties, f. e, more than 1383 years old.

Other Liturgies there likewise are, besides those of Antioch and Alexandria, to which we may safely assign very great antiquity. One of these, which bears the name of St. Basil's, and is now universally adopted by the Greek Church, " from the northern shore of Russia to the extremities of Abyssinia, and from the Adriatic and Baltic Seas to the farthest coast of Asia," is believed to have undergone very little alteration, from times still more remote than even the era of the Monophysite schism. A MS. of this Liturgy was found by Montfaucon in the Barbarini Library at Rome, which that profound antiquary pronounced to be above 1000 years old at the time he wrote, ?', e. 12'tyear&



since, and which, consequently, was written about the time of the Council of Trullo, A. D. 691. Now, at the time of this council, we know that not so much as a doubt existed of the genuineness of the text, as it was cited by 227 Eastern Bishops, as an undoubted record of St. Basil's opinions. Their decree opens thus : — Kat yap BaviXeiog 6 ttk Kaio-ape/wv iKKXrfffiag ^ApyitirlaKOTTog, ov TO kXeoq KaTO. iraaav rffv oiKovfxivqv Zu^pafxtv yiypd<f>(OQ Tijy jivariKfji' rjfxiv iepovpyiav TrapahiBatKEyf k. r. X. . . . If then we possess the text of St. Basil's Liturgy, such as it was when appealed to on a controverted question only 310 years after it was written, and that too by an assembly so likely to be wellinformed respecting its value, we may perhaps admit its genuineness without much hesitation.

Another Liturgy, which can be traced back with tolerable certainty to very remote times, is the Roman Missal. Mr. Palmer has shown that we have abundance of materials for ascertaining the text of this Liturgy, as it stood in the time of Gregory the Great, patriarch of Rome, A.D. 590, by whom it was revised and in some parts enlarged. There also seems to be good reason for believing that one of the MSS. which has been preserved, exhibits it to us in a still earlier stage, such as it was left by Pope Gelasius, its former reviser, about 100 years before the time of Gregory. This ancient MS. was found by Thomasius in the Queen of Sweden's library. It is divided into several books, as the Gelasian Sacramentary appears to have been, and in other respects differs from that of Gregory just where history informs us the Gelasian did. It appears to have been written during, or not long after, the time of Gregory the Great, but in some remote province to which the additions and alterations introduced by that prelate had not yet penetrated. Nay, farther, learned men appear to agree that there exists a MS. still more ancient than this, from which the canon of the mass may be ascertained as it stood before the revisal of Gelasius, even so long back as the time of Leo the Great, i. e. as early as the Monophysite schism. This MS. was found in the library of the Chapter of Verona, and its merits have been very minutely canvassed by the most learned antiquaries. It also deserves to be noticed, that at the time



when the Roman Liturgy was undergoing these successive revisals, a tradition all along prevailed attributing to one part of it an apostolic origin; and that this part does not appear to have undergone any change whatever. Vigilius, who was Pope between the times of Gelasius and Gregory, tells us that the " canonical prayers," or what are now called the " Canon of the Mass," had been " handed down as an apostolical tradition." And much earlier we hear the same from Pope Innocent, who adds that the Apostle from whom they derived it was St. Peter.

On the whole, then, it appears that of the existing Liturgies one, viz. that of St. Basil, can be traced with tolerable certainty to the fourth century, and three others to the middle of the fifth ; and that respecting these three a tradition prevailed ascribing one of them to the Apostle St. James, another to St. Mark, and the third to St. Peter.

But curious as these results are, those which follow from comparing the above Liturgies with others now existing, and with one another, are still more curious. The Liturgies of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, differ so materially as compositions, that neither can with any reason be supposed to have been taken from the other ; it is however true, with a singular exception, to be presently noticed, that no other Liturgy either exists now or ever appears to have existed, which is not a copy from one or other of them. The Liturgy of St. Basil, striking as are some of the features in which it differs from that of Antioch, is, nevertheless, evidently a superstructure raised on that basis : the composition of both is the same, i. e. the parts which they have in common follow in the same order. The same may be said of the Constantinopolitan Liturgy, commonly attributed to St. Chrysostom, of that of the Armenian Church, and of the florid and verbose compositions in use among the Nestorians of Mesopotamia. So that the Liturgy of Antioch, commonly attributed to St. James, appears to be the basis of all the oriental Liturgies. In the same manner a remarkable correspoadence subsists between the Liturgy of Ethiopia and the Alexandrian Liturgy attributed to St. Mark. And so likewise the ancient Liturgies of Milan, and of Roman Africa, which last indeed has not been preserved, and



can only be collected from the writings of the Fathers, are characterized by the marked peculiarities of the Roman Missal of St. Peter. The exception which I above noticed, is the ancient Gothic Liturgy of Gaul and Spain, which from the fragments that have been preserved of it, appears to have agreed in composition with neither of the three ; but to have been an independent rite ; and this Liturgy, Mr. Palmer, by a very curious argument, traces to the Apostle St. John. Here, then, we arrive at one remarkable result : it appears, from all we can learn, that throughout the whole world, there neither exist now, nor ever have existed, more than four independent forms of Liturgy ; a circumstance which, of itself, gives some credibility to the supposition otherwise suggested, that these four were of Apostolic origin.

The confirmation of this supposition, which results from comparing the four independent rites, is, if possible, still more remarkable. For while, on the one hand, the diversity of the compositions proves that their authors, whoever they were, did not feel bound to copy, either from the other, or from any common original ; so the identity of the matter proves that they were exactly agreed in sentiment, and intimately conversant with each other's habits of thought. Had these Liturgies resembled one another less, we might have attributed them to sources wholly independent, to the influence of any four great minds, which may have arisen at different times, and acquired ascendency in their own regions of Christendom. Had they differed less, it might have been supposable that some single Saint, though not an Apostle, some Ambrose or Athanasius, or Cyprian, might gradually have extended his religious influence still more universally. Though, even so, great difficulties would have attended either supposition. As it is, however, we have to look for four persons, each with predominating influence in distinct and distant portions of the world ; yet, all so united in thought as to make it certain they had been educated in the same school. Nothing less than this will account at once for the resemblances and differences of the four ancient Liturgies ; and this it would be vain to look for after the Apostolic age.




Such is the general character of the argument resulting from a comparison of these curious documents, each of which can independently be traced back to the middle of the fifth century, and which appear, at that time, to have commanded the same exclusive respect as at present.

To institute the comparison here in such a manner as to enable the reader to judge for himself, is, of course, out of the question, involving as it does very minute and extensive researches. The following particulars, however, may perhaps be not altogether uninteresting, ho,^ever incomplete.

I. It appears from Mr- Palmer's valuable work, that all the ancient Liturgies now existing, or which can be proved ever to have existed, resemble one another in the following points : —

(1.) All of them direct, that previous to communion, those who intend to communicate shall exchange " the kiss of .peace."

(2.) In all of them, the more particularly solemn part of the service commences with words exactly answering to the Enghsh, "Lift up your hearts," &c. as far as "Holy Father, almighty everlasting God."

(3.) All contain the Hymn, " Therefore with Angels and Archangels," &c. with very trifling varieties of expression.

(4.) Also, they all contain a Prayer, answering in substance to ours " for the whole state of Christ's Church militant :"

(5.) And likewise another Prayer (which has been excluded from the English Ritual) " for the rest and peace of all those who have departed this life in God's faith and fear," concluding with a Prayer for communion with them.

(6.) Also a commemoration of our Lord's words and actions in the institution of the Eucharist, which is the same, almost word for word, in every Liturgy, but is not taken from any of the four Scripture accounts.

(7.) A sacrificial oblation of the Eucharistic bread and wine,

(8.) A prayer of consecration, that God will "make the bread and wine the Body and Blood of Christ."




(9.) Directions to the Priest for breaking the consecrated bread.

(10.) The Lord's Prayer.

(11.) Communion.

II. These parts are always arranged in one of the four following orders ^

St. Peter's Liturgy. Roman, Milanese, African.

  1. Lift up your hearts, &c.

  2. Therefore with Angels, &c. S. Prayers for the Church on


  1. Consecration Prayer.

  2. Commemoration of our

Lord's words.

  1. The Oblation.

  2. Prayers for the dead.

  3. Breaking of bread.

  4. The Lord's Prayer.

  5. The kiss of peace.

  6. Communion.

St. James's Liturgy. Orient(d.

  1. The kiss of peace.

  2. Therefore with Angels.

  3. Commemoration of our

Lord's words.

  1. The Oblation.

  2. Consecration Prayer.

  3. Prayers for the Church on


  1. Prayers for the dead.
  2. The Lord's Prayer,
  1. Breaking of bread.

  2. Communion.

  • The English Reformers prefer an order different from any of these.

English Order.

  1. Prayers for the Churcli on


  1. Lift up your hearts, &c.

  2. Therefore with Angels, &c.

  3. Consecration.

  1. Commemoration of our Lord's words.
  2. Communion.
  3. The Lord's Prayer.
  4. Oblation.


St. Mark's Liturgy. Egyptian and Ethiopian.

  1. The kiss of peace.

  2. Prayers for the Church on


  1. Prayers for the dead.

  2. Therefore with Angels, &c.

  3. Commemoration of our

Lord's words.

  1. The Oblation.

  2. Consecration Prayer.

  3. Breaking of bread.

  4. The Lord's Prayer.

  5. Communion.

St. John's Liturgy. Gallican, Ephesian, and Mozarahic.

  1. Prayers for the Church on


  1. Prayers for the dead.

  2. The kiss of peace.

  3. Lift up your hearts, &c.

  4. Therefore with Angels, &c.

  5. Commemoration of our

Lord's words.

  1. The Oblation.

  2. Consecration Prayer.

  3. Breaking of bread.

  4. The Lord's Prayer.

  5. Communion.

Thus it appears that the four original forms from which all the Liturgies in the world have been taken, resemble one another too much to have grown up independently, and too litttle to have been copied from one another.

III. On a comparison of the different forms of Oblation and Consecration, it will be seen that in each of the four original Liturgies, the Eucharist is regarded as a mystery and as a sacrifice.

The Roman Form.

This is translated from the Missal now in use in the Church of Rome.

Therefore, O Lord, we beseech Thee graciously to accept this oblation of our bounden service, from us and from thy whole family. Dispose our days in thy peace, and command us to be delivered from eternal damnation, and to be numbered in the congregation of thine elect, through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Which oblation do thou, O God, we beseech Thee, vouchsafe to render, in all respects, blessed, approved, effectual, reasonable, and acceptable ; that it may be made unto us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who, the day before He suffered took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and lifting up His eyes to Heaven, to Thee, His God and Father Almighty ; giving thanks to Thee ; He blessed it, brake it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, Take and eat ye all of this : for this is my body. In like manner, after He had supped ; taking also this glorious cup into His holy and venerable hands, giving thanks likewise unto Thee, He blessed it, and gave it to His disciples, saying. Take and drink ye all of it : for this is the cup of my blood, of the new and eternal Testament, the Mystery of Faith ; which shall be shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

Wherefore, O Lord, we thy servants, and also thy holy people, having in remembrance both the blessed passion of the same thy Son Christ our Lord, and also His resurrection from the dead, and likewise His triumphant ascension into the heavens, offer unto thy glorious Majesty, of thine own gifts and presents, a pure Host, a holy Host, an immaculate Host, the holy bread of eternal life, and the cup of everlasting salvation.

Upon which vouchsafe to look with a propitious and serene countenance, and accept them as thou wert pleased graciously to accept the gifts of thy righteous servant Abel, the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and the holy sacrifice, the immaculate Host, which thy high-priest Melchizedek offered to Thee.

We humbly beseech Thee, O Almighty God, command these things to be carried by the hands of thy holy Angels unto thy High Altar, in the presence of thy divine Majesty, that as many of us as by the participation of this Ahar shall receive the most sacred body and blood of thy Son, may be replenished with all heavenly benediction and grace, through the same Christ our Lord.



The Oriental Form.

This is taken from Dr. Brett's translation of the Liturgy of St. James, used at the present day by the Monophysites throughout the Patriarchate of Antioch ; and by the Orthodox at Jerusalem on St. James's day.

In the same night that He was offered, or rather offered up Himself for the life and salvation of the world, taking bread into His holy, immaculate, pure, and immortal hands, looking up to Heaven, and presenting it to Thee, his God and Father, He gave thanks, sanctified and brake it, and gave it to His Disciples and Apostles, saying —

Deacon, — For the remission of sins and for everlasting life.

Priest continues. — Take eat : this is my body which is broken and given for you for the remission of sins. R, Amen.

Likewise, after supper He took the cup and mixed it with wine and water, and looking up to Heaven, and presenting it to Thee, His God and Father, He gave thanks, sanctified and blessed it, and filled it with the Holy Ghost, and gave it to his Disciples, saying. Drink ye all of this ; this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed and given for you and for many, for the remission of sins. R. Amen. . Do this in remembrance of Me. For as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth the death of the Son of Man, and confess his resurrection, until his coming again.

People, — O Lord, we show forth thy death and confess thy resurrection.

Priest continues. — Wherefore, having in remembrance, his lifegiving passion, salutary cross, death, burial, and resurrection on the third day from the dead ; his ascension into heaven, and sitting at the right hand of Thee, his God and Father ; and His second bright and terrible appearance, when He shall come with glory to judge the quick and dead, and shall render to every man according to his works : We sinners offer unto Thee, O Lord, this tremendous and unbloody sacrifice, beseeching Thee not to deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities :



but according to thy clemency and ineffable love to mankind, overlook and blot out the hand-writing that is against thy servants, and grant us thine heavenly and eternal rewards, such as eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive ; even such as Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee.

And reject not this people for me and my sins, O Lord. Then is repeated thrice.

Priest. — For this people and thy Church make their supplication before Thee.

People. — Have mercy upon us, O Lord God Almighty Father.

Priest continues. — Have mercy upon us, O God the Almighty, have mercy upon us, O God our Saviour. Have mercy upon us, O God, according to thy great mercy ; and send down upon these gifts which are here set before Thee, thy most Holy Spirit, even the Lord and giver of life, who with Thee, O God the Father, and with thine only-begotten Son, liveth and reigneth a consubstantial and coeternal Person : who spake by the Law, by the Prophets, and by the New Testament : descended in the form of a dove upon our Lord Jesus Christ in the river Jordan, and rested upon Him, and came down in the shape of fiery tongues upon thy Apostles, when they were assembled on the day of Pentecost, in an upper room of Holy and glorious Sion. Send down, O Lord, this thy most Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these holy gifts, here set before Thee. That by His holy good and glorious presence, he may sanctify and make this bread the body of thy Christ. R. Amen.

And this cup the precious blood of thy Christ. R. Amen. That all who are partakers thereof may obtain remission of their sins and eternal life.



The Egyptian Form.

This is taken from Dr. Brett's translation of the Liturgy of St. Mark, used by the Monophysites at this day throughout the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and by the Orthodox so late as the eleventh century.

In the same night wherein He delivered himself for our sins, and was about to suffer death for mankind, sitting down to supper with his Disciples ; He took bread in His holy, spotless, andundefiled hands, and looking up to Thee, His Father, but our God and the God of all, He gave thanks, He blessed, He sanctified, and brake it, and gave it to them saying. Take, eat.

Deacon. — Attend.

Priest continues. — For this is my body which is broken and given for the remission of sins.

People. — Amen.

Priest continues. — In like manner He took the cup after supper, and mixing it with wine and water, and looking up to Heaven, to Thee, His Father, but our God and the God of all, He gave thanks, He blessed. He filled it with the Holy Ghost, and gave it to his holy and blessed Disciples, saying, Drink ye all of this.

Deacon. — Attend again.

Priest continues. — For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed and given for you and for many, for the remission of sins.

People. — Amen.

Priest continues. — Do this in remembrance of me. For as often as ye shall eat this bread and drink this cup, ye show forth ray death, and confess my resurrection and ascension till my coming again. ^

Showing forth, therefore, O Lord Almighty, heavenly King, the death of thine only-begotten Son, our Lord, our God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and confessing His blessed resurrection from the dead on the third day, and his sitting at the right hand of Thee, His God and Father ; and also looking for his second terrible




appearance, when He shall come in righteousness to judge both the quick and dead, and to render to every man according to his works. We, O Lord, have set before Thee thine own, out of thine own gifts ; and we pray and beseech thee, O thou lover of mankind, to send down from thy holy heaven, the habitation of thy dwelling, from thine infinite bosom, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy One, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who spake in the Law, in the Prophets, and in the Apostles ; who is every where, and fills all things ; sanctifying whom He pleases, not ministerially, but according to His own will : simple in nature, but various in operation. The fountain of all divine graces, consubstantial with thee, proceeding from thee, and sitting with thee in the throne of thy kingdom, together with thy Son our Lord our God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Send down thine Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these loaves and these cups, that the Almighty God may sanctify and thoroughly consecrate them : making the bread the body.

People. — Amen.

And the cup, the blood of the New Testament of our Lord himself, our God and Saviour, and supreme King, Jesus Christ.

Deacon. — Descend ye Deacons.

Priest. — That they may be to us who partake of them, the means of faith, sobriety, health, temperance, sanctification, the renewing of our soul, our body, and spirit ; the communion of the blessedness of eternal life and immortality ; the glorifying of thy holy name ; and the remission of sins.

The Egyptian rite contains elsewhere the following words, resembling a part of the Roman oblation, which would otherwise seem to stand by itself

*' Receive, O Lord, unto thy holy Heaven, and intellectual Altar in the Heaven of Heavens, by the ministry of Archangels, the Eucharistical praises of those that offer sacrifices and oblations to Thee . . . Receive them as thou didst the gifts of thy righteous Abel, the sacrifice of our Father Abraham, the incense of Zacharias, the alms of Cornelius, and the widow's mite."



The Gallican Form.

The following fragment was translated by Dr. Brett, from Mabillon's edition of an ancient MS. in the Queen of Sweden's Library,

O Jesus, the good High Priest, come and be in the midst of us, as thou wast in the midst of thy disciples ; sanctify this oblation, that being sanctified, we may receive it by the hand of thy holy Angel, O Holy Lord and eternal Redeemer.

Our Lord Jesus Christ in that night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks. He blessed and brake it, and gave it to his Disciples, saying, Take and eat : this is my Body which shall be delivered for you. Do this as oft as ye eat it in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup, after he had supper, saying. This is the cup of the New Testament, in my blood, which shall be shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me.

As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shall show the Lord's death till He shall come in brightness from the Heavens. R. Amen.

We, O Lord, observing these thy gifts and precepts, lay upon thine Altar the sacrifices of bread and wine, beseeching the deep, goodness of thy mercy, that the holy and undivided Trinity may sanctify these Hosts, by the same Spirit through which uncorrupt virginity conceived Thee in the flesh : that when it has been received by us with fear and veneration, whatever dwells in us contrary to the good of the soul may die ; and whatever dies, may never rise again!

" We therefore observing these His commandments, offer unto Thee the holy gift of our salvation, beseeching Thee that thou wouldest vouchsafe to send Thy Holy Spirit upon these solemn mysteries, that they may become to us a true Eucharist, in the name of Thee and thy Son, and of the Holy Spirit, that they may confer eternal life and an everlasting kingdom on us who are going to eat and drink of them in the transformation of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, thine only-begotten Son."



Such is the view taken of the consecration and oblation of the Eucharist in the four independent Christian Liturgies. It is well worth the consideration of such Protestant bodies as have rejected the ancient forms.

Further information may be found respecting these remarkable documents in the valuable works, already quoted, of Dr. Brett, and Mr. Palmer. It is, however, much to be wished, that correct editions of the original documents were in the handsof every one. It may perhaps be said, without exaggeration, that next to the Holy Scriptures they possess the greatest claims on our veneration and study.

Oxford, The Feast of St, Philip and St, James,


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[To Timothy,] to this public person, to this great bishop of the Church, is this charge given by St. Paul in my text : " I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, 'and giving of thanks, be made for all men," &c. He was to take care that such prayers should be made in all churches and congregations under his inspection and jurisdiction. And how could he do this, but by providing by his authority that there should be set forms of prayer, framed according to this rule, given him by the Apostle, to be used in those churches? Sure I am, the primitive Catholic Church understood this to be the meaning of the Apostle. Hence, in all the churches of Christ over the world, however distant from each other, we find set forms of public prayers, suited and conforming to this direction of the Apostle.

And, indeed, if we consult all the ancient liturgies extant at this day, we shall find this observation to be most true ; they are all framed and composed according to this rule of the Apostle.

And it is observable, that however those ancient liturgies have been altered and corrupted in after times by many additions and interpolations, yet there are in all of them still remaining many excellent and divine forms of prayer and thanksgiving wherein they do all perfectly agree, and which, therefore, cannot reasonably be thought to have any other original than apos



tolical order and appointment, delivered to the several nations and people, together with the first preaching and planting of Christianity among them.

Such, for example, is the Sursuin corda in the Office of the Communion, the Priest saying, " Lift up your hearts ;" and the people answering, " We lift them up unto the Lord." There is no Liturgy in any church of Christ to this day but hath this form.

Such is the excellent form of Thanksgiving, in the same Office of the Communion, to be performed by the Priest and people ; the Priest saying, " Let us give thanks unto our Lord God ;" and the people answering, " it is meet and right so to do." This form also is to be found in all the most ancient Liturgies.

Such also is the Doxology, or glorification of the ever-blessed Trinity : " Glory be to the Father," &c.

I add to what hath been already observed, the consent of all the Christian churches in the world, however distant from each other, in the prayer of Oblation of the Christian Sacrifice in the Holy Eucharist, or Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ; which consent is indeed wonderful. All the ancient liturgies agree in this Form of Prayer, almost in the same words, but fully and exactly in the same sense, order, and method ; which whosoever attentively considers, must be convinced that this order of prayer was delivered to the several churches in the very first plantation and settlement of them. Nay, it is observable, that this Form of Prayer is still retained in the very Canon of the Mass, at this day used in the Church of Rome, though the Form doth manifestly contradict and overthrow some of the principal articles of their new faith. For from this very form of prayer, still extant in their Canon, a man may effectually refute those two main doctrines of their Church, the doctrine of Purgatory, and that of Transubstantiation. . . . Thus, by a singular providence of God, that ancient, primitive, and apostolic Form of Prayer still remains in the Liturgy of that Church, as a convincing testimony against her latter innovations and corruptions of the Christian doctrine. But this by the way.

The same harmony and consent of the ancient liturgies ^j. ^. services) is to be found in the office of Baptism, where the



person to be baptized is obliged first to " renounce the Devil and all his works, the pomp and vanity of the world," &c.j and then to profess his faith in the Holy Trinity, " God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." This Form is to be found in the liturgies of all the churches of Christ throughout the world, almost in the very same words, and is therefore doubtless of primitive

and apostolical origin

Other instances of the like nature I could give you, if the time would permit. But these I think are sufficient to show that there were set, pjescribed Offices and Forms of Prayer and praise, and professions of faith, delivered to all the Churches of Christ by the Apostles or their immediate successors ; many of those Forms (notwithstanding the manifold corruptions and depravations of the primitive Liturgies in after times) being still retained, and unanimously used in all the Churches of Christ to this day.

The following account of the Thanksgiving in the Holy Eucharist, mentioned by Bishop Bull in the above extract, is from Bingham, Antiq. xv. 3.

" As soon as the Common Prayers were ended, and they had saluted one another with a kiss, bread, and wine and water were brought to the President ; who receiving them, gave praise and glory to the Father of all things by the Son and Holy Spirit, and made a long thanksgiving for the blessings which he vouchsafed to bestow upon them. And when he had ended the prayers and thanksgiving, all the people that were present, answered with acclamation. Amen.'*

After the same manner Irenaeus, " We offer unto Him His own gifts, thereby declaring the communication and truth both of flesh and spirit. For as the bread, which is of the earth, after the invocation of God upon it, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two parts, the one earthly, the other heavenly : so all our bodies, receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, whilst they live in hopes of a resurrection. But we offer these things to Him, not as if He stood in need of them, but as giving Him thanks for His gifts, and sanctifying the creature."



So Origen says, " They eat the bread that was offered to the Creator, with prayer and thanksgiving for the gifts that he had bestowed on them. . . ."

Cyril of Jerusalem more particularly specifies the substance of this thanksgiving in his Mystical Catechisms, saying, " After this we make mention of the heaven, and earth, and sea, &c. . . ." This is much the same with the thanksgiving in St. James's Liturgy, which was used in the Church of Jerusalem, in this form : " It is very meet and right, becoming us and our duty, that we should praise Thee, and celebrate Thee with hymns, and give thanks unto Thee, the Maker of all creatures, visible and invisible, the Treasure of all good, the Fountain of life and immortality, the God and Lord of all things, whom the Heavens, and the Heaven of Heavens praise, and all the host of them ; the sun and moon and the whole company of stars ; the earth, the sea, and all that are in them ; the celestial congregation of Jerusalem ; the Church of the first born, who are written in heaven ; the spirits of just men and prophets, the souls of martyrs and apostles ; angels and archangels, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, the tremendous hosts, and cherubims with many eyes, and seraphims with six wings, with two whereof they cover their faces, and with two their feet, and with two they fly, crying out incessantly one to another, and singing with loud voices the triumphal song of the magnificence of Thy Glory, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of Thy Glory, Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest."

Oxford, The Feast of St, Barnabas.

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Question from the Office of Ordination. — Will you be faithful IN ordaining, sending, or laying hands upon others? Ans. I will so be, by the help of God.

Jer. iii. 15. ** O Lord, give us pastors according to thine own heart, which shall feed us with knowledge and understanding. ."

Acts xiii. 3. " And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." All Christians being concerned in this affair, all ought to fast and pray, in order to have faithful pastors. Quesn.

Apostolical usages ought to be kept up to, as proceeding from Jesus Christ Himself. . . .

Awaken and touch all our hearts most powerfully from above, that we may not forget our ordination vows. And, for Jesus Christ's sake, grant that I may not be answerable for the sins> and the dreadful mischiefs that may follow, if not hindered by Thy grace. Amen. The conversion of souls is Thine, O Lord, and not ours ; prosper Thou thine own works. It is not in us to save souls. Let us not sacrifice to our own net, but use the means, and ascribe all the glory to God ; we of ourselves have nothing whereof to glory. . . .

John xxi. 7. *' Jesus saith unto him the third time, lovest




thou Me ?" Though Jesus Christ knew Peter's heart, yet He asked him three times whether he loved Him ? to teach those to whom the power of ordaining belongs, to be very solicitous and careful, and not content themselves with a slight inquiry into the dispositions and qualifications of those who are to have the care of souls committed to them.

It being entirely at the Bishop's discretion, whether he will admit any one to the order of Priest or Deacon, and being not obliged to give any reason for his refusal, he will be more accountable to God, both for ordaining unfit persons, and for any prejudice against such as are worthy.

Ember Week.

All persons being concerned in the choice of pastors, every body ought to pray for good pastors. . .

N.B. — To give every person I ordain some short hints, in Tvritingy of the nature, dignity, several branches, hazard of not discharging them faithfully, &c. of the Ministry.

Matt, xxviii. 20. " Lo! I am with you." The chief care of a minister of Christ should be, not to render himself unworthy to have Christ present with him in the exercise of his Ministry.

John xvii. 16. " They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." The repetition of this truth ought to make us sensible how different our life ought to be from that of worldly people. . . .

N.B. — Remember,, that a Minister of Christ can save himself but only by labouring to save others. . . .



solemnly promised to read the Holy Scriptures daily ; he will therefore have daily before his eyes the precepts, the instructions, the example of Christ ; — the rewards and punishments of the life to come. He is obliged to catechize ; and the more careful he is to instruct others, the more effectually he will learn himself, how far we are fallen from God, and what pains we must take to be restored to the image and favour of God. He has promised to lead an holy and exemplary life. If he does not do this sincerely, he will be the scorn of men now, and of devils hereafter. It will be impossible to converse with poor and needy people, and to seek out for help for them, without partaking of the spirit and compassion of the blessed Jesus, who laid down His life for them. If he is careful to read divine service distinctly, with deliberation and gravity, it will beget devotion in himself, as well as those that hear him. If his sermons be plain and practical, they will affect his own heart, as well as those he preaches to. Every child he baptizes puts him in mind of the vows that are upon himself. And he cannot administer the other Sacrament as he ought to do, but it must needs fill his soul with a thousand holy ideas and devout thoughts, — with a holy fear, lest he should offer the prayers of the faithful with polluted lips, or distribute the bread of life with unclean hands, with an ardent love for Jesus Christ, whose love and death he commemorates, with a perfect charity for all the world for whom he died. And the oftener he administers this Sacrament, the more he will find his graces increased. In visiting sick and dying persons, he will be put in mind of his own mortality ; and in fitting them as he ought to do for the account they are going to give, he will be put in mind of the much greater he is himselL to give. When he exhorts, reproves, admonishes others, it will bring to his mind the words of the Apostle, " Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?" &c. When he calls to mind that he has promised all faithful diligence, &c. he will give himself wholly to these things, and will be ashamed to be found wholly taken up with business which no way relates to the salvation of souls. If he is diligent in prayer, which he promises to be, God will



certainly enlighten his mind with saving truth and grace. In short, if he has an ardent desire to save souls, and really strives to do it as effectually as he can, he w^ill be loved of God, assisted by His Spirit ; he will see the fruit of his labours ; he will secure his own peace and hope, and will give an account with joy when his Lord calls for him.

One of the most certain marks of a divine call is, when it is the full purpose of a man's heart to live for Jesus Christ, and His Church.

Oxford, The Feast of St. Peter.

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The following observations were occasioned by some questions, signed " Clericus," addressed to the Editor of the British Magazine, in April last ; as they related to my tract, I^elt called upon to answer them as far as I could ; and they are now re-printed, with some additions, in the hope that they may remove some difficulties, which stand in the way of returning to the wise Rules of our Church, with respect to the Christian duty of Fasting.

E. B. P.

Oxford. The Feast of St. James.

I. Wednesday Fast. I did not mean to imply that this was a fast of our church. In p. 6, I meant to speak of the example set us by the early church ; in p. 10, " the two-sevenths of the year, which the church has wished to be in some way separated by acts of self-denial and humiliation," include the forty days of Lent, not the Wednesday. Undoubtedly many pious Christians have an especial respect for the Wednesday, as the day on which our Saviour is supposed to have been betrayed, and also because their church has, in consequence, hallowed it by the use of the Litany. It would be natural for any Christian, who would add




occasional private fasts, to select the Wednesday : and this it were well to bear in mind, for the church prescribes what is generally necessary only ; those who strive at higher degrees of holiness, and are constantly stretching forward, will, when accustomed to therriy practise themselves in private acts of self-denial at other times.

II. Does a feast ordinarily supersede a fastj or how is the fast to be engrafted upon the feast ? Our church, in that she has made one exception, (viz. that her weekly Friday fast^ is to give way to the birth-day of her Lord,) and one only, seems to me to imply, that on all other occasions the fast is to be retained. Yet this does not supersede the feast ^ The glad remembrance on each such feast-day still remains, — whether that God then crowned with exceeding glory the labours and patience of His blessed servants, the Apostles, or whether it were some act of mercy conveyed to us directly in His Son. The act of fasting (when the habit is acquired) chastens, but diminishes not our joy ; nay, on the festivals of the blessed apostles, it carries on the lesson of the vigil, and teaches us how we must ** enter into His rest." This, then, seems to me to answer the third question. Are the vigils to be kept as fasts ^ in such cases, as well as the day itself? I should answer, yes ; because the vigil, or fast, of the preceding evening, is intended to prepare the soul, by previous abstinence and meditation, that it may rise disposed, and refreshed, and unencumbered, ready to receive God's holy influences on the morrow, and this ground is even increased by the additional solemnity of that morrow. There appears, however, to be this difference between the vigil and the Friday, or the Lent fast, — that in the vigil, not humiliation, but preparation for a solemn service, is the main object, the fasting is incidental only ; as indeed the very name leads one to think of the watching and previous meditation, not of the abstinence, except as far as it facilitates this end.

' Bingham mentions that the 51 st Canon of the Council of Laodicea forbad the celebration of the birth-days of martyrs, i. c. the days of their martyrdom (and so saints'-days) during lent: they were to be transferred to the Saturday or Sunday. This, however, has not been adopted by our church.



IV. Rogation days ; or^ the three days preceding our Lord's ascension. This, according to Bingham, is a Western fast, unknown in the East, where the whole period of Pentecost was one season of joy. This fast appears to have been a sort of extended vigil, preparatory to the day " when the Bridegroom was taken away," and teaching us that, laying aside our worldly appetites, we should " in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell." "Doubtless," says CaBsarius^ bishop of Aries, " he loves the wounds of his sins, who does not, during these three days, seek for himself spiritual medicines, by fasting, prayer, and psalmody." The council of Orleans, a. d. 511, ordained that they should be kept after the manner of Lent. There is something salutary both in the eastern and the western view ; in most periods, however, of church history, the earnestness and distrust of self implied by this preparation for the festival of the Ascension is more fitted and more salutary for us than the unbroken exulting joyousness of the eastern church.

V. Should the observance of the church's fasts be public ? and if so, how should it be regulated ? Undoubtedly we are not to fast, any more than to pray, or give alms, " to be seen of men :" but as no one has ever interpreted our Saviour's warning as forbidding public or Common Prayer, so neither can it apply to public or common fasting. If we do publicly only what the church requires, there is no more boastfulness in so doing than in going publicly to church. " In the season of the Passion," says Tertullian ^ " when the religious observance of fasting is universal and in a manner public, we scruple not to lay aside the kiss of charity, (this omission was the public ^avowal that a person was fasting,) not caring to conceal an observance which all are sharing with us." But further, since fasting is to be accompanied by retirement^ all that the world need know is, that we do fast ; the degree of self-denial need be, for the most part, known

^ Ap. Augustin. t. v. p. 299, App. ed. Bened, Senn. 174, alias de tempore 173, quoted by Bingham, book 13, c. i. sec. 10, as Augustine's.

A 2



only to God, or to those immediately in one's domestic circle, wlio, it may be hoped, will share our feelings and our practice, and with whom there is no parade. We are not to obtrude our practice on others, but neither (as Clericus well objects) dare we deny it, if discovered, any more than we should deny that we were walking to church, although it should be on some holy day which the world has disused. Nay, this very denial proceeds (in part, doubtless, from misinterpretation of our Saviour's precept, but in part also) from some sort of feeling that it is a great thing which we are doing. On the other hand, let a person familiarize his mind to the idea that fasting is but a " plain duty, (obedience to the church,)" and he will feel, that to try to mislead persons as to his performance of that duty must needs be wrong, because it is deceitful, but is also wrong, as countenancing evil, and the neglect of duty. It is, undoubtedly, often very painful to speak of, or to avow, any of one's own religious practices, especially when asked in an irreverent spirit, — it seems like profaning the sanctuary of one's own heart ; — yet there is in most minds that instinctive respect for a man's honest conviction, as well as for the simple straight-forwardness, which, when called upon, would cheerfully state the truth, that any unaffected avowal that we thought it our duty to fast, would instantly command respect — often perhaps lead to inquiry. Only, we must beware that we be not inconsistent or forward : a person who should voluntarily go into a mixed or large society, where the very object of meeting was relaxation or amusement, and yet purpose to fast there, would deservedly expose himself to the charge of inconsistency, because he has chosen for his fast a place manifestly unsuited to it, and he must bear tlie difficulties which he has brought upon himself. On the contrary, should it be convenient to his Diocesan, or Archdeacon, to hold a visitation on one of the church's fasts, (the case proposed by " Clericus,") there would be nothing in the intercourse of a visitation dinner inconsistent with the abstemiousness of a fast-day. Generally speaking, however, retirement and self-collection seem so essential a part of fasting, that, unless on some extraordinary •occasion, which might give a decidedly religious character to the



meeting, 1 should think it best for any one, who would observe the church's fasts, to abstain from all society, except that of his own circle. The Fellows of one of the most respected Colleges in this place have, for years, made it a rule neither to accept nor to give any dinner-invitations on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. This has been a good beginning ; and they have been the more respected for making this rule, even by those persons who have not thought it needful to follow their example. Some other persons, though probably but few, have extended their rule to all the fast-days of the church, except on some extraordinary occasions, such as those above hinted, or where respect to persons in authority seemed to supersede their private judgment ; on such occasions, they would practise a quiet unostentatious abstemiousness. Nor do I think that any charge of singularity (in any obnoxious sense) does or would attach in any case when a person acts simply and unostentatiously. If a clergyman, e. g., were, in declining the invitation of an elder minister, to assign as his ground, that he did not dine out on fast-days, there would be something unbecoming in this sort of tacit reproof to an older labourer in God's vineyard ; but though we must not disguise the truth, if asked for, we need not voluntarily put forward the grounds of our actions ; we might leave it to circumstances to lay them open, as far as might be necessary ; and if we make no parade of our practice, our Christian liberty will be respected. But, should it be otherwise, we are, of course, not to count that " some strange thing has happened unto us," though our good should be evil spoken of. After all our precautions against ostentatiousness, censure of others, and the like, our very practice, if accounted of any moment, will probably be regarded as implying blame of those who allow themselves in the things from which we think it our duty to abstain ; especially shall we have much difficulty in the first outset, but from within, more than from without. We all, probably, magnify our own importance, and think that our neighbours canvas us more than they do ; whereas some passing observation, that " we are good sort of people, but have exaggerated notions about the church's authority," or that "our state of health or spirits leads us to ex



cited notions about fasting," or that " we have new-fangled notions about Christian antiquity," or, perchance, that " we are half papists in this, though sound in other respects," and the like, and so we are dismissed. Meanwhile, with a little patience, and a few years, (if God allots them to us,) our new-fangled notions will have become old ; it will be seen, that in proportion as we love the old Catholic Christianity, we must hate the modern corruptions of it in popery ; and, if we do not influence those older than ourselves, (which we should not even expect to do, since it is not natural, and we, on the contrary, shall constantly have to learn something of almost all our elders,) we shall, in our turn, gradually become older, and shall be able to influence those whom God in His ordinary dealings intends that we should influence — our younger brethren ; and that, too, when we shall not only be convinced, on the authority of the church, and of older Christians, that regular prescribed fasting is good, but have known it for ourselves, and shown it forth, by God's grace, in our lives.

VI. In what is the abstinence of fasting to consist? On this question I can say no more than I have already said. Persons, constitutions, occupations, states of health, habits of mind, vary so indefinitely, that I do not see how a rule, which must take all these into account, can be general. I do not indeed think it a sufficient answer, which some urge, that fasting, e.g., sours their temper, &c. &c., for it remains to be proved, whether, if undertaken, not as an experiir.ent, but as a duty, not as an isolated act, but as a habit, it would have that effect. Undoubtedly the flesh will rebel at first, as it does against every attempt made to subdue it, but this does not prove that it would not be tranquil and weaned at last. Again, the habit of fasting would naturally be accompanied by some degree of corresponding change in our other habits, which might tend to make it lighter ; as of old, when men, e.g., on fast-days, abstained from all unnecessary exercise or fatigue, which might incapacitate the soul from performing its duties aright, unless the body had its usual refreshment. And some such arrangement, I should tliink, parochial ministers, even with extensive cures, might make, allotting to



the fast-day such portion of their weekly duty as was least exhausting. Yet, after all, one rule will not apply to all, young or old, in strong health or weakly, engaged in active or in sedentary duties, of full or spare habits ; as, again, some of the ends of fasting will vary according to the periods of life, habits, or temperaments ; and, with the ends, so will the modes also, or degree of fasting. " As fasting hath divers ends," says Bishop Taylor *, speaking of private fasting, " so has it divers laws." And for the temptation peculiar to youth, he remarks, " a sudden, sharp, and violent fast" will often only aggravate the evil. What is then needed is, " a state of fasting, a diet of fasting, a daily lessening our meat and drink, and a choosing such a course of diet as may make the least preparation for the lusts of the body." This, although belonging directly to private fasts, is so far to our purpose, as indicative of his judgment, that the rules of fasting must be adapted to our several cases ; and it was with this view, that, in the second edition of my tract, I alluded (p. 23) to the ^r]po(payiaf the less rigid fast of the ancient church, in hopes that those who, from ill health, were unequal to the harder fasts, might yet not think themselves excluded from the privilege of fasting. And if the fast serve no other purpose than to distinguish the day from ordinary days, by " eating no pleasant bread," yet even this degree of fasting, where no other is admissible, can be, and has been, blessed by God. The rules which I would recommend to one commencing the observance of the church's fasts would be : — 1. To abstain, as far as possible, from all mixed society at meals on those days, both as likely to be inconsistent with the frame of mind, which it is the object of the fast to cherish, and as tempting us (were it but to escape notice) to break our rule. 2. Not to tie himself down to any severe rule at first, as to ''the degree of fasting ; for a§ our bodies have been inured to ease, so must they gradually be inured to seasonable austerities. If we lay down too strict a rule, it may, in reality, be too much for us at first, and so we may be tempted



to lay aside the whole habit ; whereas, had we begun more modestly, we might in time have arrived, with comparative ease, at the higher measures of it. 3. To watch carefully the effects upon our own minds of any failures or inconsistencies in our practice ; for these failures, carefully observed, when we have once begun the practice of fasting, will show its real uses, more, perhaps, than the direct benefits of the practice itself. 4. Accompany the fast not only with increased prayer and meditation, but with other little outward acts of self-denial, for thus the whole day will be more in keeping, and the mind taken off from dwelling too much on the one act of fasting. Thus the brunt of our enemy's attack will not rest upon this one point, (as is likely to be the case if the fasting stand alone,) but, by being divided, will be weakened. " A man," says Bishop Taylor, " when he mourns in his fast, must not be merry in his sport ; weep at dinner, and laugh all day af\er ; have a silence in his kitchen, and music in his chamber ; judge the stomach, and feast the other senses." So again Bishop Taylor instances ** hard lodging, uneasy garments, laborious postures of prayer, journeys on foot, sufferance of cold, paring away the use of ordinary solaces, denying every pleasant appetite, rejecting the most pleasant morsels, as being in the rank of * bodily exercises,' which, though, as St. Paul says, of themselves they * profit little,' yet they accustom us to acts of self-denial in inferior instances, and are not useless to the designs of mortifying carnal and sensual lusts." A person would never have selected these instances without having tried them himself, and found their use ; and, on the other hand, most persons, probably, who have systematically tried fasting, have experienced the benefits of some of these accessories. Some of these also may be irksome at first, as others would be to many no self-denial at all ; but every one knovj^s what, however trifling, \ould be self-denial to him, and the frequent repetition of these acts is a constant, though gentle, self-discipline. It seems to me part of the foolish wisdom of the day, and its ignorance of our nature, to despise these * small things,' and to disguise its impatience of restraint under some such general maxim as, that *' God, has no pleasure in self-torture, or mortification," — ** God wills to



see his creatures happy," and the like : undoubtedly God wills not our death, but our life ; not our misery, but our peace ; but God often restores our bodily health by bitter herbs, the knife or cautery, and why not our spiritual ? Our forefathers knew better, and by disciplining themselves in these little things, attained to greater ; they knew that religion is concerned about little things, as well as great ; that if we look to great occasions or great instances only, we shall ibrm no habit i and therefore they shrunk not from mentioning all the little instances, if they were only (the case of an aged and pious relative of my own, long since with the Lord,) abstinence from snuff during Lent, or abridging self-indulgence as to morning sleep, which they had found useful to them. 5. Take especial care to practise self-denial as to food at other times also, lest the fast degenerate into a mere opus operatum, a thing good in and for itself, even if followed by acts of an opposite kind. In Bishop Taylor's words, " Let not intemperance (or self-indulgence) be the prologue or the epilogue to your fast. When the fast is done, eat temperately according to the proportion of other meals, lest gluttony keep either of the gates to abstinence." The importance of this caution will probably be felt by those who have tried to fast ; or it may be seen in the corruptions of the Romish Church. 6. Let young ministers, or those who hope to be ordained to the ministry, beware lest they be led, by the novelty of this duty, to overvalue it, or to undervalue those who have lived in times when it was not systematically practised. Obedience to a parent is a higher duty than fasting : " God will have mercy, and not sacrifice." If, therefore, a parent object to any particular mode of fasting, let it be laid aside for the time, and let the individual exercise himself in self-denial in this also, that he relinquishes what a parent objects to, while he looks out for himself other modes to which his parent would not object '. 7. Omit trying no act of self-denial in little things, which,

  • In like manner, let him not bind himself so to a particular rule as to preclude any real act of charity or kindness to others ; but rather let him choose some time for his own ends of retirement, &c., which may be less convenient to himself, i. e. let his rule be a restraint to himself, not a hindrance to benevolence or an occasion of churlishness. '


without your own thought, suggest themselves to you, merely because they are little ; such suggestions are generally proved by the result not to have come from ourselves, and, if followed, they lead onward. 8. If one mode of fasting do not suit your health, then, after a time, try another ; some persons who could not bear early abstinence, (the loss of a breakfast,) might well endure subsequent privation, such as eating a sparing meal early, as the last in the day, or they might at least decidedly abridge their principal meal, or, again, they might be able to strike off all luxury in their food. 9. Supposing all these attempts to fail, after having been fairly tried, yet a person might keep up the spirit of fasting, by such accessories as those instanced, (No. 4,) and might multiply these in proportion as he is obliged to abandon the other, that so he may be ready to avail himself of his ability to fast, whenever God shall restore it to him. A person of weak health is constantly tempted to self-indulgence in matters which do not concern his health, e. g. indolent postures, taking food at the first moment of craving, &c. &c. ; and thus he may exercise real self-discipline, even if physicians pronounce him incapable of fasting without impairing his ability to do his duty where God has placed him. Let any one consider what is the boast of our country — our comforts ; and he will see what a tendency these have tp make him forget his heavenly country, and that he is but a pilgrim, — to make him think it " good for him to be here." How much may he abridge, and yet, by his self-denial, only not be more disadvantageously situated than others. Or, to take another view, does not this show us how many occasions of selfdiscipline we are furnished with more than our neighbours, from our very national character and circumstances, and that a person need be at no loss for instances of self-government if he but look for them? 10. If a person acquire the habit, let him recollect how slowly he arrived at the conviction of its necessity, and not be surprised that others are as slow, or appear yet more so ; perhaps, without fasting, they are more self-denying than one's self with it. " Let it be done," says Bishop Taylor, "just as a man takes physic, of which no man hath reason to be proud, and no man thinks it necessary but because he is in sickness, or



in danger and disposition to it." 11. Especially let any one recollect how much, which is humiliating in his youth, (even if God saved him from open sin,) might have been prevented by the habit of fasting, if he had then practised it ; let him bear this in mind, when he fasts, and make his fast an act of humiliation for his own particular sins, as well as a discipline, so can he never be proud of his fasting.

I will only add, that fasting has by no means so many difficulties as Satan would persuade men, for fear they should try it. Even among the poorer, some act of self-denial as to the pleasures of sense might easily be practised, (1 Cor. vii. 5, might be hinted at;) and to instance one case only: — A poor woman mentioned, with much respect, her father's practice never to taste food before receiving the Lord's Supper ; (adhering unconsciously to the practice of the universal Church in its better days, and indeed of our own in Bishop Taylor's time ;) she added, " I never heard that his bodily health suffered from it." With regard to the rich, (who are obviously called upon to fast in greater degrees,) I have the authority of an eminent physician, whom I well know not to be wedded to any particular theory of medicine, that, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the degree of fasting recommended in my tract would not only not be injurious, but be beneficial. He added, " Fasting is like the Sabbath — healthy to the body as well as to the soul."

VII. Is there any difference between abstinence and fasting ? Not, I imagine, in our Church, although she retained the terms which were used to denote different degrees of abstinence in the Romish ; and this I infer from her nowhere saying which are days of fasting, and which of abstinence, whereas the Romish Church does distinguish them ; further, as Wheatley remarks, they are called in the second title (where they are enumerated), •• days of fasting or abstinence." As in other cases, our Church seems to have used both terms, in order to show that she therein comprehended, without distinction, all to which these several names had been given.

VIII. Vigils, There appears lo have been no difference between the regulations of these and other fasting-days. Whether



tlie old vigil was formally abolished is uncertain : (Card. Bona de Divina Psalmod. c 4. §. 3, contends that vigils were regulated only, and not abolished, except in a provincial Spanish synod ; they were prohibited also in the Council of Cognac, A. D. 1260.) Yet it fell into desuetude, and then the name was transferred to the fast of the preceding day ; which fast probably existed before the vigil was disused. " Since the saints," says Alcuin ', " arrived at their present happiness through temporal affliction, we, as we rejoice together with them in their eternal joy, so must we needs suffer with them, that following their steps throughout, we may arrive at the same joys. To mark this, on the days preceding those of their birth (into the other life), which days we call their vigils, eating more sparingly than usual, we devoutly preface those solemnities with the due observance of fasts, and with affliction of the flesh ; that, purified by the abstinence of the preceding day, we may the more worthily celebrate the joy of the following festival." Fasting, then, seems to have been a primary part of the solemnity, — to remind Christians, namely, in their days of ease, how " through much tribulation we must

  • De Divinis Officiis, §. 18. de Feria Sexta, quoted by Du Cange, Glossar. r. Vigilia. In like manner, the " dies jejunii," are said by Honorius Augustod. (de Antique Ritu Missae, 1. 3. c. 6. quoted ibid.) to have been consecrated instead of the vigils, and to have retained the name of vigils : Belethus (Divin. Offic. Explic. c. 137, referred to 1. c.) says " the fast of St. John has a vigil, i. e. the day preceding this festival is called a vigil, or in place thereof, a fast," where he gives the usual account of the abolition of the vigils, as does Durand (Rationale, 1. 6. c. 7- n. 8. ibid.) but without specifying the time of the fast substituted for it. The preceding day appears to have been a total fast, until after afternoon service, or three o'clock, when a moderate and dry meal was permitted (see some original authorities ap. Coteler. ad Patres Apostol. t. 1. pp. 326, 328.) In a canon of the Council of Salegunstadt, A.D. 1022, provision is made that the fast of the vigil of our Lord's nativity should not interfere with the ember fast, (lest so persons might lose the benefit of a fast) Harduin Concil. t. vi. p. 828. Hence it appears that the fast of the vigil extended over the day ; for if the fast of the vigil had belonged to the evening, it would not have interfered with that of the ember fast, the more rigid part of which terminated at three o'clock. See also the Capitula of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, ib. t. iii. p. 1774, and the Council of Mechlin, A. D. 1570, ib. t. X. p. 1188.


enter into the kingdom of God," and that the "good soldiers of Christ must endure hardness," — not merely as a preparation for the duties of the morrow. Each day had its peculiar subject of meditation and of resolve ; the vigil, — the hardships which the Apostles endured in their conflict; the festival — the Christian graces which through this their patient perseverance they realized, and the glory bestowed upon them. Yet even as a mere preparation, the Christian also might do well to remember (blessed are they who know it not) that corpus onustum — animam quoque praegravat una, atque affigit humi divince particulam aurce.

IX. " Clericus" asks, in connexion with this subject, what is to be done, where there is no daily service, as to the prayers appointed for the Ember-week to be used every day ? I own, the more I hear or think of this subject, or those connected with it, I am the more convinced that the clergy are wrong in withholding daily prayers, that they underrate the willingness or the wish of their people to go to Church, if invited. To mention two or three facts only : — In a small country village of less than 300, where a clergyman was assured that he would have a congregation on Saints'-days, there assembled in winter, (when there was not much work) to prayers only, above fifty persons. In another, where there was service on the Wednesday and Friday in the Ember-week, with a sermon, the congregation was like that of a Sunday, and the people deeply interested. In a manufacturing town, on the eves of Saints'-days, with a sermon, it averaged 1000. A poor person here told a friend of ray own incidentally, that her father, when he had no work, went round to see where there was any service. Surely we are neglecting to supply the cravings which either already exist, or might readily be awakened, when man has no earthly friend. And might not our poor, when destitute of employment, be led to the Church instead of to the ale-house? Consider, again, how different would the state of things be, if every Church in our country had but its ten, or eighteen, or fifty worshippers. Would not the holy angels rejoice at such a sight ? and might not the evils we dread, perchance, by God's mercy, be averted ? Again how would such simple prayer undermine the world's present maxim, which would




make human agency, and so preaching, every thing ! How would it, too, build up those who are real Christians, and so raise the standard of Christianity among us! or how would it support, and comfort, and purify, and initiate into the happiness of their coming life, many who are about to part from this ! To return to the Ember-days, besides the direct, incalculable blessing which would result from their observation, do not they furnish an opportunity of inculcating, what in these days is much needed, the claims, the importance, the sanctity of the office of the Christian ministry and of the Church, without the appearance of extolling one*s self or one's office because it is one's own ?

E. B. P.

P.S. Some space being left, it may not be amiss to say a few words on some of the prevailing prejudices against fasting.

There is no explicit command to fast in the New Testament. Persons are but little aware how far this argument will go. Any one will find, if he examine, still less proof that he should receive the Communion of his Lord's Body and Blood, still less direct proof that he shall go to Church on the Lord's day, that he may have his infant children ingrafted into Christ, that there is any especial object in morning and evening prayer, that he should read the Scriptures daily, and in fact for almost every practice, which every person who cares about his soul, knows to be needful for him. 1 omit others, because some might be glad of an excuse for abandoning them also. Now what is the direction about the Lord's Supper ? Our Saviour says, " This do, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me." And of fasting He says, " When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites :" in both cases, it is implied that the observance shall be followed, and in both, directions are given concerning how it is to be observed : in the one case, " not as the hypocrites," in the other " in remembrance of ME." I do not mean that there is not satisfactory proof, that Christ has given His body and blood to be our spiritual food and sustenance, or not full and condemning evidence, by way of inference, that whoso does not " eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood," in His Supper, " has no life in Him ;"



but the objection made against the necessity of fasting is drawn from the absence of any explicit direction to fast habitually ; let fnen observe then, that on the same ground they should doubt whether they should habitually receive the Lord's Supper. Nay, the direct evidence is perhaps the stronger in behalf of fasting : for in answer to the objection ' The disciples of John fast oft, but thine eat and drink :" our Saviour replies, " when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast in those days." (Luke V. 34, 35.) Does not this then imply that the only difference between John's disciples and our Saviour's in this respect, was, that the Apostles had their Saviour still in the body, present with them ; but that afterwards they should fast as John's disciples did ? and when we find that they did so fast, what farther commentary on our Saviour's words do we want ? and if we fast not, are we acting, as He said His disciples would ? or if we make a spiritual fast, why do we not adopt spiritual sacraments, t. e. none at all ? If, again, we have indications of frequent communions in the New Testament, so have we of " fastings often :' if we trace up the practice of the early Church in the sacraments to the inspired writings, and so obtain the sanction of God's word for the early practice, why not in the use of fasting which is equally clear ? why not, except that the one is an obvious privilege and costs us nothing, while fasting, though a privilege, is at first painful, and so we shut our eyes and refuse to see ?

" Fasting," we are told " is a legal observance, which may be useful at a certain stage of religious progress, for an infantine state in individuals or in the church ; but is unfit for an advanced state, such (it is implied) as we are in." It is remarkable that the same persons, who at one time objected to fasting, as not resting on a positive law, should next complain of it as legal. It might suffice to answer. Why then did our Saviour fast? or» rather, (for we dare not speculate on things too high for us,) since it was part of His Father's will that He should fast, must it not be needful for us ? and may not one object of His fasting have been to leave an example to us, (as nothing, which He did, can be without its meaning to us,) and just to shew us that fasting is a spiritual action, and belongs also to a high spiritual 13



State ? For His fasting was not required to fulfil the law, since fasting formed no part of the law, and was engrafted upon it by the prophets, or spiritual men among the Jews, as a part of selfdiscipline, and so was an evangelical portion of the old despensation. And, as matter of history, who, among Christians, have fasted most rigidly ? Uniformly, the most spiritual ; and they, increasingly, as they went on heavenwards.

And to what else can one attribute it, that so many eminent men in the French Church, amid all the disadvantages of a corrupt religion, attained a degree of spirituality rare among ourselves.

" Fasting is Popish.'' If this means, that it has been preserved amid the errors of Romanism, is not this true of most "of the truths of the Gospel ? Our charge against the Romanists, generally, is not that they have not preserved the truth, but that, like the Pharisees, " they have made it of none effect by their traditions ;" at least, in great measure, to so many of their members. And does not the objection imply that we have forgotten the peculiar character of our church, which is not a mere Protestant, but a Primitive Church ? And if we are to prevail in our approaching conflict with Romanism, or to be (as we seem marked out to be) a means of reclaiming that Church, must we not reconsider the character of our own Church, and take our stand in its principles, not in the protestantism of other churches, or of the day ?

Oxford, Passion- Week.

These Tracts are Published Monthly j and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet t or 7s. for 50 copies.


ST. Paul's church yard, and waterlog place.

  1. Gilbekt & RiviNOTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.



Nos. 67, 68, 69.







Since, Lord, to Thee, A narrow way and little gate [s all the passage ; on my infancy

Thou didst lay hold, and antedate My Faith in me.

O let me still Write Thee Great God, and me a child.

Herbert's Holy Baptism.










The following tracts having been written in some degree, as they were published, separately, it may, perhaps, contribute to clearness to state their object and their plan. Their immediate object was to aid in removing the perplexities of different individuals, who were harassed by the conflicting opinions, which in these last times, have existed on the subject of Holy Baptism. With one of these individuals my office had brought me into connection. My original purpose was rather to have given hints, which might aid others in thinking profitably upon the subject, than myself to have written at length. I wished to recall men, from their abstract way of looking upon the question as a subject of theological controversy, to their Saviour's feet, and to induce them to think (apart from modern systems) what His words, teachably considered, would lead to. For it is a fearful evil of theological controversy, that men accustom themselves to bandy about words of Holy Scripture, forgetting whose words they are.

When a text has been repeatedly and familiarly used in support of any doctrine, persons, on the one side or the other, involuntarily contract a habit of looking upon it in the abstract as a mere ^dictum prohans ;^ they consider what the words in themselves may, or (as they think) need not, mean, leaving out of sight what they must mean in His mouth, who spoke them. And hence is produced an irreverent mode either of alleging or arguing against

A 2



tliem ; and most consequently of their weiglit, — that arising, namely, from the subduing influence of God's words, as such, upon the human soul, is lost. Any one, who has been engaged in religious discussion, will, probably, if he have been led frequently to discuss the same subject, have found himself alleging an accustomed text without an adequate feeling of its import, and been checked perhaps and chided, in the midst, by the greatness of some of the words, which he has taken into his mouth. Something of the same kind is observable in the pulpit. It requires so constant an effort in any degree to realize things spiritual, that even earnest-minded persons may be sometimes observed to speak there of truths the most awful, in a tone, which, if their own words were echoed to them, would startle and pain themselves. This is in fact simply the old observation on the tendency of familiarity with a subject to diminish our sense of its greatness.

Other causes have operated to diminish the force of Scripture-teaching upon the subject of Holy Baptism. It was intended, doubtless, that truth should be preserved upon earth by being transmitted ; and this, with regard not only to the great sum of religion, and the main articles of the Faith, but the right understanding of Holy Scripture also. Hence, while all have been made capable of understanding truth, when proposed to them, few, comparatively, have been entrusted with the power of distinguishing for themselves between truth and error, otherwise than they have been taught. A spiritual mind, however limited, will see truth for itself, but it is only by having at the first faithfully followed guidance to that truth. This instinctive adherence, however, to an inherited system, although implanted in us for the maintenance of truth, may become almost equally subservient to the propagation of error. And God, in that mysterious dispensation whereby He makes the trials of the children to depend upon the character of the parents, and entrusts each



generation with an awful control over the spiritual privileges of the succeeding, has annexed subsequent perplexity as a punishment for the admission of each new error. This is seen in the history of His Church, as well as of individuals. It is very remarkable to trace from how early a date much interpretation of the Scripture is derived ; and that, where such interpretation has not been at all obvious, and so has probably been inherited : and, again, how, when any innovation has been introduced, it also acquires an authority from the personal character or talents of its author, and from authority, prescription ; so that, henceforth, (unless the error be speedily suppressed) two systems are perpetuated in the Church, equally traditionary, but the one of late origin, the other ancient, and, until of late, universal. Thus, with regard to the main texts relating to Baptism, until the unhaupy innovation of Zuingli, in the 16th century, the whole Church knew but of one sense belonging to them. The v hole Church of God, from India to Britain, as expressing itself by the Fathers or its Liturgies, for fifteen centuries, took in one sense the words of our Redeemer, " Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit." But when a man arose, to whom circumstances, and talents, and zeal against error, gave extensive influence, and with a new theory of the Sacraments, introduced a new exposition of our Redeemer's words, thenceforth, a new path was formed ; and this too having been tracked by men of great name, and trodden by others of deep piety, those who are ignorant of antiquity, or of the value of its universal agreement, are perplexed which to choose. They have now to decide between two beaten tracks, instead of following simply the footsteps of their fathers.

Under these circumstances, mere controversy, for the most part, does harm. Each party is persuaded of the truth of that system or exposition, which he has inherited, because he has inherited it, or because it has come to him from



those whom he respects, or his own spiritual proficiency or usefulness has, as he imagines, become connected with it. Few can see, or even induce themselves to weigh an exposition contrary to that which they have received ; and very few ought, or have been intended, so to do ; unless indeed they have the weight of higher authority against them, as in cases where the Church having decided one way, individual teachers have instructed them in another.

Still, those who, under more popular names, are following the teaching of Zuingli, and, with Zuingli, explain away the force of their Saviour's words, are very far from meaning to be guilty of this irreverence. It is not because I think that they love not their Saviour, but because they love Him, and because I think that that love is in danger of being injured by the slight which modern systems put upon His ordinances and His words, that I have especially urged, (p. 16 sqq.) them to reconsider His words (St. John iii. 4), and the rejection of an explanation of those words, which they have inherited, but which seems to me in itself inconsistent with reverence for Him. I wished namely that they would ponder the bearing of His words " Except a man be born of water and the Spirit," apart from any modern systems, any temporary circumstances, any regard to consequences, not as a text in a theological controversy, but as uttered by Him, before whose mind the future history of His Church was open, and who was providing for her necessities. And since His Church has, from the very first, rested the doctrine of the heavenly birth in Baptism upon these His words, and has regarded that His gift as unreserved as His words are unlimited, surely we must think that if He had intended her to understand His words more restrainedly. He would Himself have limited them. As it is, He has given no hint, either that the peculiar privileges and powers of tlie Christian new-birth are bestowed ordinarily, without the " water," or are not bestowed with it.



The argument briefly is ; He, by His Divine foreknowledge, must have known this, that His whole Church would so understand His words, and in His goodness. He could not mislead her. He must then have meant to teach as He allowed her to understand Him. The force of this argument is not weakened by the fact, that the modern Church of Rome, or other heretics, allege Scripture in support of their errors. For it can be shown, first, that, however Scripture may now be alleged in the support of these heresies, they did not originate in the misunderstanding of Scripture, but in human reason, worldly wisdom, or the like. Secondly, they are errors, not of the whole Church, but of later sects, who have forsaken the genuine tradition of the Holy Catholic Church. Thirdly, they are not founded on the obvious meaning of Scripture.

This argument weighed strongly in my own mind, so that I should have needed no other ; and it is, I think, calculated to have much weight, not with the disputer, but with those who wish simply to know their Lord's will. And therefore, (not with any idea of judging others,) I felt and said that " with one who loved His Saviour, I should be content to rest the question upon this one passage."

Since, however, it is difficult to recover habits of mind, which have been once abandoned, and the teachableness, which in better days followed out the hint of one single expression in Holy Scriptures, is, in our disputatious, demonstrating age, well nigh gone, and people look with an involuntary suspicion upon any doctrine rested upon a single passage, I thought it well to bring together the several passages of Holy Scripture wherein Baptism is mentioned, not with any notion of setting forth all their teaching, but simply of showing that it all led us one way, that it would all tend to far more exalted notions of Holy Baptism, than are in these days current among those who think that they appreciate it even highly. This



led me to enlarge my original plan ; and as this extension may have obscured the method of the Essay, it may not be amiss to exhibit a summary of it.

Introductory observations (Tract 6?. p. 1 — 12). I. Consideration of passages of Holy Scripture which speak of or imply the greatness of Baptism, (p. 12 — 48.) passages which speak of the forfeiture of those privileges, and how the heavenly birth may, in some degree, be restored (Tract 68. p. 49—82). II. Baptism, as a Sacrament (p. 82—9). III. History of the introduction of the new doctrine into the Church, (a) views of Zuingli its inventor (p. 89 — 104.); Agreement of Calvin (Tract 69. p. 105 — 14.); theory of his school, in detail, destructive of a Sacrament (p. 114 — 133.) ; confusion of terms, " regeneration," "sanctification," ensuing on that theory (p. 134 — 142). (/3) Doctrine ofindefectibility of grace. IV. Removal of objections, whether (a) h. priori, (p. 149 — 166.) or (/3) derived from Scripture (p. 166 — 170). Adult Baptism, as distinct from the preceding (p. 171 — 6). Extracts from the Fathers, in answer to the charge that " Baptismal Regeneration" is a deadening doctrine (p. 176 — 196). Contrast of the exposition above adopted, with that of the reformed and the Socinians (p. 196—201 ). Importance of the subject (p. 201— end).

I must, however, repeat that neither in pointing out the effects of the views inculcated, nor in quoting the warm healthy language of the Fathers, do I wish to recommend the doctrine on these grounds : I have done so on the defensive only, to clear away a difficulty for others, to remove a prejudice, which may hinder them from seeing the truth, not in support of the truth, or as a ground why they should receive it. For so long as men shall appeal to the effects of a line of teaching, or its popularity, or its fitness for its end, in proof of its truth in the sight of God, so long must error abound.

But, although my object has been to remove perplexity (if it might be) from the minds of young ministers, or candidates for the ministry, perplexity is the least evil : a far greater would be our settling down in low notions of the Sacraments of our Lord, and virtually supei-seding their necessity, or assigning them a " lower place."

It cannot be denied that there is much reason to dread



this. Our general habits of mind are rationalizing ; we live in the world of sense ; the knowledge which we acquire, is matter of sense; what we call " science" is the knowledge of things tangible to sense : a truly common-sense, or rather a common-place sense, is our rule in all things ; and of all this we make our boast. This is an unhealthy atmosphere for faith, which has to do entirely with things unseen, not of sense. Our daily habits, our philosophy, our morals, our politics, our theories of education, or national improvement, are founded upon a low and carnal basis, and are at direct variance with the principles of the faith : one must give way ; a more vivid faith must penetrate our social, domestic, intellectual system, or it must itself be stifled. Meanwhile, Rationalism is taking a subtle turn, or rather its author, the author of evil, has been subtly applying it : in the days of our Deists, it openly attacked Christianity, and was defeated ; now it appears as the ally and supporter of the faith, which it would undermine : it supports our Evidences ; reconciles our difficulties; smooths down the "hard sayings" of the Word of God, and steals away our treasure. The Blessed Sacraments are a peculiar obstacle to its inroads, for their effects come directly from God, and their mode of operation is as little cognizable to reason as their Author : they flow to us from an unseen world : what we see has as little power to heal or strengthen our souls, as the clay and the spittle to give sight to the blind man, or the waters of Jordan to cleanse the leper : those who use them in faith have life and strength ; yet is it not their faith alone which gives this life, any more than faith would have cleansed Naaman, but for Him who gave the Jordan power to make his " flesh as a little child." The Blessed Sacraments then are a daily testimony to our faith : we are strengthened, we hold onwards : hoio we obtain our strength we can give to reason no account : suffice that we know whence it cometh. This then has become a main point of attack.



The preaching of the Cross is now no stumbling-block to the mind of man ; it offers no difficulties to the rationalism of the day : nay, it is subjected to illustration, and the system of Redemption is made cognizable by us, and we understand it, and extol the wisdom of the scheme ! The Holy Eucharist it has rationalized, and in that degree, as a Sacrament, destroyed : the efficacy of Infant- Baptism it cannot rationalize, and therefore denies it !

The popular theology of America is partly derived from that very source which first brought in the low and rationalist notions of the Sacraments, the Swiss Reformation; partly, it has been tampering with modern apologetic notions *, and labouring to persuade the infidel that he has, after all, nothing on the score of mysteriousness to object to the Christian faith. And in the absence of any principles of our own, and forgetting those of our Church and its primitive character, and with a certain universalism, which cares not whether the details be sound, so that it finds certain portions of the faith, which it has arbitrarily selected, we borrow at second-hand a mixed farrago of criticism or history from Germany, unsifted and unadapted to ourselves ; and from America, a popular illustrative divinity ; and hope from the two to compound something which may meet the necessities of the day, and save us the labour of studying primitive Antiquity, wherein our great divines were formed.

It must not also be forgotten, that a popular portion of our religious teaching is ultimately drawn from the same source as that of America — the divines, who, with those of Geneva, fell away from the doctrines of the Ancient Church upon the Sacraments : that (whatever be its other merits or defects) it is founded on the supposition of the inefficacy

• See an offensive passage from Jacob Abbott's Corner Stone, on tbe Holy Eucharist, quoted in the British Magazine for 1835, vol.7. p- •»5 sqq. comp. Vol. 8. p. 312. 187 of the one Sacrament, and throws the other into the shade; leading men to appropriate its benefits, without reference to itself; to ascribe our whole spiritual life simply to the action of faith, not to God's gifts in His Sacraments, whereof faith is the mere channel only. And now, because this preaching is popular, and has claimed to itself the exclusive title to warmth and sincerity and undefiledness, men are falling into it, or rather are amalgamating it with the old system; not upon conviction, and often with a sort of suppressed surmise that there was much good in that former system, as exhibited in its genuine representatives; but because the tide is set too strongly, and they dare not withstand it.

This is said with all respect for those who are earnestly preaching what they believe to be the whole Gospel of Christ; and they will, I trust, think that nothing offensive is intended, if their system is blamed as defective, being derived from modern sources, and founded on a scheme which denies the Sacraments to be means of grace. Neither would I have spoken with a confidence unbeseeming an individual, in behalf of his own opinions, but that the views are not mine, but those of the whole Church previous to Zwingli. As the new system has now the ascendant, it is with deep sorrow that one must regard it as unfavourable to deep and continued repentance, or to the higher degrees of sanctification. May God avert these and all other evils from His Zion!

It is however of the utmost importance that persons should see the tendency of their opinions; and on this ground, I have quoted (p. 124) the statement of a writer of a very different class, who (however by some happy inconsistency he may rescue his own religious belief) yet attributes the reception of the views, retained by our Church on the Holy Sacraments, to "the prevalence of the belief in magic 188 in the early ages11   Dr. Hampden, Bampton Lectures. Lect. vii p. 315. sq.." He admits that these views are countenanced by our blessed Saviour's declaration, that "virtue had gone out of Him;" but His saying is regarded, not as matter of instruction to us, but as "a mode of speaking, characteristic of the prevalent idea concerning the operation of the Divine influence." St. Augustine's maxim "Accedit verbum ad elementum et fit Sacramentum," which expresses what has hitherto been the acknowledged teaching of the whole Church, is designated as "an adaptation of the popular belief respecting the power of incantations and charms to the subject of religion." The tendency of this whole lecture is to decry the Church's doctrine, that the Sacraments are instruments or channels of grace, and to transfer their whole efficacy to the simple operation of the mind of the believer. The faith of the believer is not only essential to his beneficial reception of it, but is "the true consecrating principle,--;that which brings down Christ to the heart of each individual22   Ibid. p. 323. sq.."

On one point, I fear that the doctrines of the ancient Church are so distinct from modern ultra-Protestant theology on the one hand, (as also) from the Romanist on the other, that the view, which I have exhibited, of the character of grievous sin after Baptism may cause perplexity. It cannot be otherwise; and I pray only that it may be healthful. For our modern system, founded, as it is, on the virtual rejection of Baptism as a Sacrament, confounds the distinction of grievous sin before and after Baptism, and applies to repentance, after falling from Baptismal grace, all the promises which, in Scripture, are pledged, not as the fruit of repentance simply, but as God's free gift in Baptism. Yet our reformers thought differently; for had their theology been like our's, there had been no occasion for an article 189 on "Sin after Baptism" (Art. 16.), or for denying that "every such sin is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable." It had been a matter of course. The possibility or efficacy of such repentance I have not denied; God forbid: but that such repentance is likely, especially after a relapse, or that men, who have fallen, can be as assured of the adequacy of their repentance, as they might have been of God's free grace in Baptism, daily experience, as well as the probable meaning of Scripture, forbid us to hope. Had repentance been so easy a thing, as men would persuade themselves, how is it that there are so very many hardened sinners, who never apparently repent; so many, of whose repentance one can hardly hope that it is real; so many half-penitents? Again, the pardon in Baptism is free, full, instantaneous, universal, without any service on our part: the pardon on repentance for those who have forfeited their Baptismal pardon, is slow, partial, gradual, as is the repentance itself, to be humbly waited for, and to be wrought out through that penitence: were the repentance at once perfect, so, doubtless, would the pardon be; but it is part of the disease, entailed by grievous sin, that men can but slowly repent; they have disabled themselves from applying completely their only cure: the anguish of repentance, in its early stages, is often the sharpest; it is generally long afterwards that it is in any real degree purified and deepened; and therefore the ancient Church diligently noted out of the Old Testament the means whereby repentance might be heightened and secured, as humiliation, voluntary affliction, prayer, self-denying bountifulness, and the like. Again, the penitent must regard himself, not merely as a novice, but as a very weak one: he has already cast away the armour wherewith he was clad; he is beginning an irksome, distasteful course, and having already failed, it becomes him not to be impatient of suspense, or too confident



in his new steadfastness, but to be content to wear " doubt's galling chain V' until God shall see it healthful for him gradually to be relieved. The fears, and anxiety, whereof he ignorantly complains, and would rid himself by the one or the other system of theology, is a most important, perhaps an essential condition of his cure, otherwise God would not have sent troubles, often so intolerable.

2 But where is then the stay of contrite hearts ?

Of old they leaned on Thy eternal word;

But with the sinner's fear their hope departs,

Fast linked, as Thy great name to Thee, O Lord.

Man desires to have, under any circumstances, certainty of salvation through Christ: to those who Iiave fallen, God holds out only " a light in a dark place," sufficient for them to see their path, but not bright or cheering as they would have it : and so, in different ways, man would forestall the sentence of his Judge ; the Romanist by the Sacrament of penance : a modern class of divines by the appropriation of the merits and righteousness of our Blessed Redeemer ; the Methodists by sensible experience : our own, with the ancient Church, preserves a reverent silence, not cutting off hope, and yet not nurturing an untimely confidence, or a presumptuous security.

A further question will, probably, occur to many ; what is that grievous sin after Baptism, which involves the falling from grace ? What the distinction between lesser and greater, venial and mortal sins ? or if mortal sins be " sins ao:ainst the decalogue," as St. Augustine says, are they only the highest degrees of those sins, or are they the lower also? This question, as it is a very distressing one, I would gladly answer

' Keblc's Christian year, 6th Sunday after Epiphany. 2 Ibid. 2d Sunday in Lent.



if I could, or dared. But as witli regard to the sin against the Holy Ghost, so here, also. Scripture is silent. " What that measure is," to apply St. Augustine's words, "and what are the sins, which prevent men's attaining to the kingdom of God, — it is most difficult to discover, and most dangerous to define. I certainly, much as I have laboured, have not yet been able to decide anything. Perhaps it is therefore concealed, lest men's anxiety to hold onward to the avoiding of all sin should wax cold. — But now, since the degree of venial iniquity, if persevered in, is unknown, the eagerness to make progress by more instant continuance in prayer is quickened, and the carefulness to make holy friends of the mammon of unrighteousness is not despised^." It is easier to ascertain what are those which are not venial; some, such as sins of the flesh, or idolatrous covetousness, St. Paul has named ; yet, even without these, there may be a state of heart, through the accumulation of lesser sins, equally destructive of the Baptismal life. " Despise them not," says the same St. Augustine % " because they are smaller ; but ^ q^ fear, because they are more numerous. Attend, my brethren. They are minute ; they are not great. It is not a wild beast, as a lion, which destroys life by one grasp, — but human nature is feeble, and may be destroyed by the smallest beasts. So, also, slight sins ; ye remark them, because they are small : beware, because they are many. What is smaller than grains of sand? Yet, if much of it be laden into a vessel, it sinks it, that it is lost. How small are drops of rain ! Do they not fill rivers, and overthrow houses ?"

Yet though it be difficult to determine in the abstract, it is not so much so for one who wishes earnestly to know himself, to ascertain whether he has been, or is in this state of alienation from God, or approximating to it ; how wilfully



he have sinned ; how long remained in sin, or against what present and ready help of God's Holy Spirit. And in proportion to his sin, must be his repentance. Only of this he may be sure, that man always undervalues his sin, and overvalues his repentance ; and on this account also, theories, wlricli smooth or shorten the path of repentance, are so peculiarly dangerous.

The differences, then, between these and the current ideas of repentance, relate to, 1st, The difference between grievous sin before and after Baptism ; 2dly, The difficulty of recovery ; 3dly, Its mode ; 4thly, Man's assuredness and knowledge of his pardon ; 5thly, The duration of repentance : but they do not relate either to the possibility of repentance, or God's readiness to forgive the penitent. Modern notions appear to me to confound together repentance for all sin, to level those who, after Baptism, have in the main served God, and those who serve Him not; and to represent repentance for grievous sin, too easy, too little painful, too little connected with the outward course of life, too little influenced by or influencing it, too much a matter of mere feeling, too readily secured and ascertained, too transitory, not — too certain to obtain pardon, if real.

On this whole subject of the actual sins of the baptized, and the repentance necessary, I would that men would study the work of Bishop Taylor — " The doctrine and practice of Repentance," not simply on account of his great learning as to Christian antiquity, but because it was written by one who says of himself S " having, by the sad experience of my own miseries and the calamities of others, to whose restitution I have been called to minister, been taught something of the secret of souls : I have reason to think that the words

' Preface to the Clergy of England, prefixed to the Doctrine and Practice of Repentance.



of our dearest Lord to St. Peter, were also spoken to me ; * 7u autem conversus, cojifii'tna fratres^ " Taught in this >chool, he " endeavoured to break in pieces almost all those propositions, upon the confidence of which men have been negligent of severe and strict living," and became eminently a preacher of repentance.

Lastly, I would beseech those, for whom these tracts are mainly intended, our younger labourers in our Lord's vineyard, for their own sakes, as well of those, of whose souls they must give account, neither here, nor in any other portion of these tracts, to be deferred by any vague fear of an approximation (as they may be led to think) to any doctrines or practices of the corrupt Church of Rome ; not to allow themselves to fall in with any of those charges, which ignorant men are wont to make, of " the early corruptions of Christianity," and which are the bulwark of Socinianism, and of every other heresy. Since the Swiss reformers set aside primitive antiquity, and took a new model of their own. Antiquity, if tried by the standard of Zuinglianism or Calvinism, must, of course, appear to approximate to the modern Church of Rome ; for that Church has retained, in a corrupted form, doctrines and rites, which the Swiss reformation rejected. Hence, the Lutheran (seep. 104), the Bohemian (p.23r3), and our own Church, have, by the admirers of that reformation, ever been looked upon as Papistical ; as they, in their turn, have, by the " extreme reformation of the Socinians" (p. 198-9), been held, and rightly, to have stopped short of the results of their own principles, and have been represented, though wrongly, as retainers of Alexandrian ^* corruptions of Christianity." Hooker's defence of our Church is but one instance of this wide difference between ours and the Zuinglian reformation. Our Church (blessed be God,) never took Luther, or Calvin, or any modern name for its teacher or its model, but primitive antiquity: and by the




Holy Scripture alone, uud the universal consent of Primitive Antiquity, as the depository of its doctrines, and the witness of its teaching, would she be judged*. In these principles of our dear mother the Church of England, have we been trained, and in these old ways we would humbly tread.

  • There are souje brief, but valuable notices of the peculiaritjf or the Chiirch of England in the late Bishop Jebb's I^asto'ral Insttiictibiis', antl soiiie striking quotations fi-om ancietit divines; domestic and foreign, who liave remarked it, as an excellence ; so also in Bp. Bull's Apologia pro Hannania, sect. 1. § 4. ed. Burton.

Christ Church, The Feast of the Circumcision ofChrisK

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Ps.ii.7.— p. 17, Note.

Matt. iii. U.— p. 16— 209, 10.

Maik i. 10— p. 46, Note.

vii. 20. — p. 166.

xvi. 16.— p. 20, Note.

John iii. 5. — pp. 12. 15 — 19. Acts viii. 13. — p. 172.

X.— pp. 138—142.

xxii. 16.— pp. 47, 48.

xxvi. 12. pp. 222, 223.

Rom.iv. 11.— p. 38, Note.

V. 12, sqq. — p. 87.

vi. 3— 7.— pp. 22—27. 211.

4.— p. 84, Note.

xiii. 14.— p. 27.

vii. 14.— pp. 161-163. 26-2-5.

xi. 31.— p. 61, Note.

xii. 13.— p. 43.

2Cor.i.22.— pp.34.38. 42. iii. 25. — p. 54.

2 Cor. vii. 11— p. 61, Note. Gal. iii. 27.— pp.27— 31. 84, Note.

iv. 4. sqq. — ^p. 43.

19 pp. 72, 73.

Eph. i. 13, 14.— pp. 34—38.

iv. 30 ^pp. 34. 38.

V. 22, sqq.— pp. 40, 41. 216—218.

Col.ii. 11.— pp.31— 34.

iii. 1.— p. 33, Note.

Tit. iii. 5.— pp. 19, 20,21. 152. 210, 11. Heb. vi, 1, sqq. — pp. 49 — 57.

X. 22— p. 43.

26,27.— p. 69.

38, 39.— p. 80.

iii. 21.— pp. 21 . 44, 45. 220—222.

ii. 20. 27.— pp. 41, 42. 218—220.

Rev. vii. 3.— p. 35, Note.


John iii. 5. — p. 15. Acts i. 5.— p. 100.

ii. 38.— pp. 282—284.

viii. 37 ^p. 284.

xxii. 16.— pp. 284,5.

Rom. vi. 3.— p. 270.

1 Cor. xii. 13.-pp.291,292.

Gal. iii. 27.— pp. 285—87.

Eph. v. 26.— pp. 41, Note, 293—295.

Col.ii. 11.— p. 295.

Tit. iii. 5.-pp. 287—289.

Heb. X. 22.— pp. 289, 290.


Page 2, line 20, for untried read restored.

12, Note /or 1 Cor. v. 15, read 1 Cor. iv. 15.

22, line 3, for these read tliere.

38, title, /or soul read seal.

39, line 9, /'or his read this.

43, line 3, for iv. 23. read x. 23.

■ line 4c^for pure read true.

'—— 44, line 5,/or Testament, read Testament —


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What sparkles in that lucid flood Is water, by gross mortals ey'd :

But seen by Faith, 'tis blood Out of a dear friend's side.

Christian Year. Holy Baptism.

Every pious and well instructed member of our Church will in the abstract acknowledge, that in examining whether any doctrine be a portion of revealed truth, the one subject of inquiry must be, whether it be contained in Holy Scripture ; and that in this investigation, he must on the one hand defer, in some degree, to the system of interpretation handed down to us through the early Church, on the other he must lay aside all reference to the supposed influence of such doctrine, the supposed religious character of those who held it at any given time, and the like.

Any right-minded person, I say, will readily acknowledge this in the abstract ; for to judge of doctrines by their supposed influence upon men's hearts, would imply that we know much more of our own nature, and what is necessary or conducive to its restoration, than we do : it would be like setting about to heal ourselves, instead of receiving with implicit faith and confidence whatever the Great Physician of our souls has provided for us. The real state of the case is indeed just the contrary of what this habit would imply. We can, in truth, know little or nothing of the efficacy of any doctrine but what we have ourselves believed and experienced. Even in matters of our own experience, we may easily deceive ourselves, and ascribe our spiritual pro




gress exclusively to the reception of the one or the other truth, whereas it has depended upon a number of combining causes, which God has ordered for our good, upon a great variety of means, by which God has been drawing us to Himself, whereof we have seized upon one or two of the principal only. In other cases we may be altogether mistaken. Thus, to take a published instance ; a person now living has said of himself that " he read himself into unbelief, and afterwards read himself back into belief." As if mere diligent study could restore any one who had fallen from the faith ! Whereas, without considering what circumstances, beside the reading of infidel books, led him to infidelity, or what commencing unsoundness led him to follow up the reading of infidel books, on which he was not competent to judge ; — the very fact of reading at one time infidel, at another Christian, writings, implies that the frame of mind was different at each time ; so that by his own account, other causes must have combined both to his fall, and his restoration. Again, he himself incidentally shows that, though a sceptic, he still continued to exercise considerable self-denial, for the welfare of others ; so that among the instruments of his untried faith, may have been one, which he omitted, that his benevolence, like that of Cornelius, went up as a memorial before Gob \ But if we can be mistaken, even as to the influence of what we have tried, much more assuredly must we, in spiritual matters, be in ignorance of what we have not tried. We may have some intimation with regard to such questions, whether of doctrine or of practice, from the experience of good men ; but so far from being judges about them, it will often happen that precisely what we are most inclined to disparage, will be that which is most needful for us. For, since all religious truth or practice is a correction or purification of our natural tendencies, we shall generally be in ignorance beforehand, what will so correct or purify them. Our own palate is disordered, our own eye dimmed : until God then has restored, by His means, our spiritual taste, or our spiritual

' Knox's Correspondence, t. ii. p. 580, 7- " It has often struck me that probably this good man was rewarded for his fraternal piety by his providential conversion to Christianity."



vision, we should select for ourselves very blindly or injudiciously. In matter of fact, the Christian creed has been repeatedly pared down, as every one knows, in consequence of men's expunging, beforehand, what they thought prejudicial to the effect of the other portions of Scripture truth : thus, early Heretics objected to the truth of the human nature of Christ : against the Reformers it was urged, that the doctrine of "justification by faith only" was opposed to sanctification and holiness : Luther, (although he afterwards repented,) excepted against God's teaching by St. James, and called his Epistle an " Epistle of straw :" fanatics of all ages have rejected the use of both sacraments : stated or premeditated prayer has been regarded as mere formality, and the like. And in these or similar cases, when at a distance, we can readily see how some wrong tendency of mind suggested all these objections, and how the very truth or practice objected to, would have furnished the antidote which the case needed. We can see e. g. how stated or fixed prayer would have disciplined the mind, how a form would have tended to make the subjects of prayer more complete: for we ourselves have felt, how, by the prayers which the Church has put into our mouths, we have been taught to pray for blessings, our need of which we might not have perceived, or which we might have thought it presumption to pray for. And this is a sort of witness placed in our hands, to testify to us, how in other cases also we ought with thankful deference to endeavour to incorporate into the frame of our own minds each portion of the system which God has ordained for us, not daring to call any thing of little moment, which He has allowed to enter into it ; much less presuming to " call that common, which God hath cleansed," or to imagine that, because we cannot see its effects, or should think it likely to be injurious, it may not be both healthful and essential.

The doctrine, then, of Baptismal Regeneration (rightly understood) may have a very important station in God's scheme of salvation, although many of us may not understand its relation to the rest, and those who do not believe it, cannot understand it. For this is the method of God's teaching throughout ; " first

A 2



believe and then you shall understand ^" And this may be said, in Christian warning, against those hard words, in which Christians sometimes allow themselves ; as, '• the deadening doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration ;" language which can only serve to darken the truth to those who use it, and which is by so much the more dangerous, since all Christians believe that Regeneration sometimes accompanies Baptism ; and since Baptismal Regeneration was the doctrine of the Universal Church of Christ in its holiest ages, and our own reformers (to whom, on other points, men are wont to appeal as having been highly gifted with God's Holy Spirit) retained this doctrine, a private Christian ought not to feel so confident in his own judgment as to denounce, in terms so unmeasured, what may after all be the teaching of God; " lest haply he be found to fight against God."

Others again, holding rightly the necessity of Regeneration for every one descended of Adam, would strongly set forth this necessity ; but whether God have ordinarily annexed this gift to Baptism, this they would have passed over as a difficult or curious question. They bid men to examine themselves whether they have the fruits of regeneration ; if not, to pray that they be regenerate. " This absolute necessity of regeneration," they say, " is the cardinal point ; this is what we practically want for rousing men to the sense of their danger, and for the saving of their souls : what privileges may have been bestowed upon them in Baptism, or, in a happier state of the Christian Church, might not only be then universally bestowed, but be realized in life, is of lesser moment : regeneration, and the necessity thereof, is the kernel ; these and other questions about outward ordinances, are but the husk only : regeneration and ' justification by faith only* are the key-stones of the whole fabric." I would, by the way, protest against such illustrations, whereby men, too commonly,

• " We are not therefore ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, because miscreants in scorn have upbraided us, that the highest point of our wisdom is, Believe. That which is true, and neither can be discerned by sense nor concluded by mere natural principles, must have principles of revealed truth whereupon to build itself, and an habit of Faith in us, wherewith principles of that kind are apprehended." — Hooker L. v. § 63.



embolden themselves to call any portion of God's institution for our salvation, " husk," or " shell," or the like : let it seem to us never so external, it can in no stage of the Christian course be dispensed with, which these similitudes would imply. Rather, if we use any image, might we better speak of the whole Gospel as an elixir of immortality, whereof some ingredients may be more powerful than the rest, but the efficacy of the whole depends upon the attemperament of the several portions ; and we, who formed neither our own souls, nor this cure for them, dare not speak slightingly of the necessity of any portion. Doubtless there are truths, which in one sense (comparatively speaking) may be called the great truths of Christianity, as embodying in them a larger portion of the counsel of God, and exhibiting more fully His attributes of hohness and love. Better perhaps, and more Scripturally might we speak of^ the truth, — the Gospel itself ; yet there is no evil in that other expression, if intended solely as the language of thankfulness for the great instances of His mercy therein conveyed. If used, on the other hand, — I will not say disparagingly, but — as in any way conveying an impression that other doctrines are not in their place essential, or that we can assign to each truth its class or place in the Divine economy, or weigh its value, or measure its importance, then are we again forgetting our own relation to God, and from the corner of His world in which we are placed, would fain judge of the order and correspondencies and harmonies of things, which can only be seen or judged of, from the centre, which is God Himself. We cannot, without great danger, speak of lesser, or less essential, truths, and doctrines, and ordinances, both because the passage from " less essential," to *' unessential," is unhappily but too easy, and because although these truths may appear to relate to subjects further removed from what rve think the centre of Christianity, the mode in which we hold them, or our neglect of them, may very vitally affect those which we consider more primary truths. We can readily see this in cases in which we are not immediately involved. Thus we can see how a person's whole views of Sanctification by the Holy Ghost will be affected by Hoadley's low notions of the Lord's Supper ;



or how the addition of the single practice of " soliciting the Saints to pray for men," has in the Romish. Church obscured the primary article of Justification : and yet no one could have anticipated beforehand, that this one wrong practice would have had effects so tremendous. If then wrong notions about the one Sacrament, among both Romanists and Pseudo-Protestants have had an influence so extensive, why should we think error, with regard to the other, of slight moment ? Rather, should we not more safely argue, that since Baptism is a Sacrament ordained by Christ Himself, a low, or inadequate, or vmworthy conception of His institution, must, of necessity almost, be very injurious to the whole of our belief and practice ? Does not our very reverence to our Saviour require that we should think any thing, which He deigned to institute, of very primary moment, — not (as some seem now to think) simply to be obeyed or complied with, but to be embraced with a glad and thankful recognition of its importance, because He instituted it ?

The other point, which was mentioned as important to be borne in mind, in the inquiry whether any doctrine be a Scriptural truth, was, that we should not allow ourselves to be influenced by the supposed religious character of those who in our times hold it, or the contrary. This we should again see to be a very delusive criterion, in a case where we have no temptation to apply it : we should at once admit that Pascal and Nicole were holy men, nay that whole bodies of men in the Church of Rome had arrived at a height of holiness, and devotion, and self-denial, and love of God, which in this our day is rarely to be seen in our Apostolic Church ; yet we should not for a moment doubt that our Church is the pure Church, although her sons seem of late but rarely to have grown up to that degree of Christian maturity, which might have been hoped from the nurture of such a mother : we should not think the comparative holiness of these men of God any test as to the truth of any one characteristic doctrine of the Church of Rome. We should rightly see that the holiness of these men was not owing to the distinctive doctrines of their Church ; but that God had quickened the seed of life which He had sown in their hearts, notwithstanding the



corrupt mixture with which our Enemy had hoped to choke it : we should rightly attribute the apparent comparative failure among ourselves in these times, not to our not possessing the truth, but to our slothful use of the abundant treasures which God has bestowed upon us. And so also, with regard to any doctrine in which persons either within or without our Church may depart from her ; no one can say with confidence, that the superior holiness of those who do not accept it, is attributable to their not accepting it, since it may be only that by their rejection of this one truth, they have not forfeited the blessing of God upon the other truths, which they yet hold : while others who do hold it, may be holding it in name only, and may never have examined the treasure committed to them. It may be, to speak plainly, that many who deny or doubt about Baptismal Regeneration, have been made holy and good men, and yet have sustained a loss in not holding this truth : and again, that others may nominally have held it, and yet never have thought of the greatness or significance of what they professed to hold. If again right practice were a test of doctrine, then could there be no such thing as *' holding the truth in unrighteousness," for which however the Apostle pronounces the condemnation of the Heathen. Further, if the comparison were any test at all, it must manifestly be made not at one period only, but throughout the time that such doctrine has been held by the Church ; one must compare not the men of our own day only, but those of all former times, Confessors, Saints, and Martyrs, which were impossible ! This is not said, as if we were competent judges even as to our own times, or as if any could be, but God alone, who searcheth the hearts ; for if the number of those, who being earnest-minded and zealous men, do not hold Baptismal Regeneration, were increased an hundred fold,, or, if those who imagining that they hold Baptismal Regeneration, do in fact use it as a skreen to hide from themselves the necessity of the complete actual change of mind and disposition necessary to <Aem, were many more than they are, still, who can tell to how many thousands, or tens of thousands, this same doctrine has been the blessed means of a continued, child-like growth in grace, who have been silently growing up,




supported by the inestimable privilege of having been made God's children, before they themselves knew good or evil ; who have on the whole been uniformly kept within Christ's fold, and are now thanking their heavenly Father for having placed them thus early in this state of salvation, into which, had it been left to their frail choice, they had never entered ; who rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, that they were placed in the Ark of Christ's Church, and not first called, of themselves to take refuge in it out of the ruins of a lost world \

All this, people will in the abstract readily acknowledge ; they will confess that Scripture is the only ultimate authority in matters of Faith, while still they will probably find on examination that some of these grounds have occasioned them to hold Baptismal Regeneration to be an unscriptural doctrine; and if they examined Scripture at all, yet still the supposed effects of this, and of a contrary doctrine, the supposed character of those who hold it, or the reverse, were in fact their rule for interpreting Scripture; or perhaps wearied with the controversy (which is and must be in itself an evil) they came to the conclusion that, if we but hold the necessity of Regeneration, it matters not when we suppose it to take place, — thus assumingy in fact, the unscripturalness of the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, since if God has connected Regeneration with Baptism, it must be of importance.

This is very natural ; for men must lean upon something. Our Reformers, in their interpretation of Scripture, besides the divine means of prayer, leant on the consent and agreement of the " old holy Catholic Doctors," who had received their doc

  • *• They with whom we contend are no enemies to the Baptism of infants ; it is not their desire that the Church should hazard so many souls by letting them run on till they come to ripeness of understanding, that so they may be converted and then baptized, as Infidels heretofore have been ; they bear not towards God so unthankful minds as not to acknowledge it even among the greatest of His endless mercies, that by making us His own possession so soon, many advantages which Satan otherwise might take are prevented, and (which should be esteemed a part of no small happiness) the first thing whereof we have occasion to take notice is, how much hath been done already to our good, though altogether without our knowledge." — Hooker, b. v. § 64, p. 287.


trine immediately, or but at a little interval, from the Apostles, when every link almost in the chain was a Saint and Martyr. The agreement of the Church was to them the evidence of God's speaking in the Church. But now that men have forgotten these maxims, and look upon deference to the Church almost as a relic of Papal errors, man, since he is not made to be independent, leans upon his fellows, and the supposed spiritual character of individuals is made the test of truth. Man cannot escape from authority : the question only, in religious truth as in civil society, or in private life, is, whose authority he will follow.

Our controversies with infidels, again, have led to some false maxims as to the tests of truth : for men, instead of setting forth, against these despisers, the efficacy of God's word, the power of the preaching of the Gospel, (which are facts,) have dwelt too much upon its intrinsic tendency to produce such or such effects, the efficacy of particular doctrines, or its contrast in such or such points with other religions ; thereby fostering the conviction that we are much more judges in these matters than we are. And we, by applying the test to the particular doctrines of Christianity, have made ourselves judges in matters yet more beyond our grasp. Undoubtedly faithful and sound preaching is likely, by God's blessing, to produce a harvest : the holy and earnest life of a religious pastor is a yet more powerful sermon : his performance of his weekly duties, his greater watchfulness over the right dispensation of the Sacraments, his more earnest prayers, are also means of promoting God's kingdom. Obviously then, the blessed effects of a whole ministry cannot be made a test of the truth of each doctrine preached : and yet more obviously perhaps on this ground, that there is not complete agreement in the doctrines the preaching of which is attended with these apparent effects ; add also, that even in this way, one must judge not by the preaching of those, who being already full of fervour preached these doctrines, but by that of their disciples. For since we do not think that incidental error will mar the benefit of a whole ministry, or that fallible man, though richly endowed by God's Spirit, is yet rendered infallible, we cannot infer that because his teaching is blessed, therefore every portion of it must be sound. Rather,



one might infer from the fact that the same doctrines when preached by a less gifted follower, have not the same efficacy, that the former efficacy was not to be referred to the truth of each doctrine, which was preached, but to the Spirit of God, with which each faithful minister is endowed. Lastly, we must look not to immediate only but to lasting effects, not only to the foundation but to the superstructure: and it may be in part owing to the absence of this doctrine of Baptismal regeneration, that while a foundation is so often laid, the edifice of Christian piety among us still bears such low and meagre proportions, and still further, that there is not more of early Christianity among us. As of course, if it is a Scriptural truth, the neglect of preaching it, must be a loss as well as a negligence.

These observations have been premised both because the habits of mind to which they refer, may have an evil effect, far beyond this one important subject, as also because the difficulties of the subject itself seem to lie entirely in these collateral questions, not in the Scripture evidence for its truth. They are made however, more in the hope of removing difficulties from the minds of such as have not yet forsaken the doctrines of the Church, than of convincing such as have : and to those only will the evidence proposed be addressed. But let not others think, that because the evidence does not persuade them, this is owing to its want of validity : for Scripture evidence is throughout proposed to those who believe, not to those who believe not ; it will be enough for those who " continue in the things which they have learned, and have been assured of, knowing of whom they have learned them" (^ Tim. iii. 14) ; but there is no promise that any, be they nations, sects, or individuals, who have failed to hold fast to them, should be enabled to see their truth. God has provided an institution, the Church, to " hold fast" and to convey " the faithful word as they had been taught." (Tit. ii. 2.) He ordered that the immediate successors of the Apostles should ' commit the things which they had heard of them to faithful men, who should be able to teach others also." (2 Tim ^. 2.) Whoever, then, neglects this ordinance of God, and so seeks truth in any other way than God has directed it to be sought, has no ground to



look to obtain it ; nay, it appears to be a penalty annexed to departure from this channel of truth, both in individuals and bodies, that they not only lose all insight into Scripture evidence, but gradually decline further from the truth, and but seldom, and not vt^ithout extraordinary effort, recover. The first misgivings, and restrictions, and limitations, are forgotten : what was originally an exception is made a rule and a principle ; and departures, which were at first timidly ventured upon, and excused upon the necessity of the case, (as that of Calvin from episcopal ordination, or the license with regard to the authority and extent of the Canon among several denominations of Christians,) are by their followers looked upon as matters of glory and of boast, and as distinctive marks of Protestantism. For, on the one hand, the dissatisfaction generated by a state of doubt leads us to prefer even wrong decision to suspense or misgiving ; we "force ourselves to do this" unbidden *' sacrifice :" on the other, our natural listlessness and dislike of exertion tempts us to make an arbitrary selection of such portions of the vast compass of Divine Truth as is most congenial to ourselves, (since to enter equally into all its parts costs much effort,) and this done, we acquire a positive distaste for such truth as we have not adopted into what is practically our religious creed : we dislike having our religious notions disturbed ; and since no truth can be without its influence upon the rest, the adoption of any forsaken truth involves not only the admission of a foreign and unaccustomed ingredient, but threatens to compel us to modify much at least of our actual system.

My object then in the following pages is partly to help, by God's blessing, to relieve the minds of such persons as being in the sacred ministry of the Church, or Candidates for the same, have difficulty in reconciling with their ideas of Scripture truth, what appears even to them to be the obvious meaning of our Baptismal and other^ Formularies, as to the privileges of Baptism ;

  • Persons often forget that Baptismal regeneration is taught in the Catechism as well and as undoubtingly as in the services of Baptism and Confirmation ; for when the child is taught to say that it was " in its Baptism made a


partly (and that more especially) to afford persons a test of their own views of their Saviour's ordinance, by comparing them with the language and feeling of Scripture. And this, because a due sense of the blessings which He has bestowed upon us, must tend to increase our love for Him ; as also, because I know not what ground of hope the Church has to look for a full blessing upon its ministry from its Head, so long as a main channel of His grace, be, in comparison, lightly esteemed.

First, then, 1 would remark on the fact, that whereas, confessedly. Regeneration is in Scripture connected with Baptism, it no wliere is disconnected from it. Baptism is spoken of as the source of our spiritual birth, as no other cause is, save Gou : we are not said, namely, to be regenerated by faith, or love, or prayer, or any grace which God worketh in us, but to be ' born of^ water and the Spirit" in contrast to our birth of^ the flesh ; to be saved by the washing of the regeneration, or the new-birth, in like manner as we are said to be born oj^ God, or q/" incorruptible seed. Other causes are indeed mentioned as connected with our new-birth, or rather that one comprehensive cause, the whole dispensation of mercy in the Gospel, as, " born of seed incorruptible through^ the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever''," " in Jesus Christ have I begotten you through the Gospel," " of His own will begat He us by' the word of truth ;" but no other instrument is spoken of as having the same relation

member of Clirist and a child of God," that " being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby (by Baptism) made the children of grace;" what is this but to say that they were born of God, i.e. re-generate ? and every child is taught to thank God for having called it into this state of salvation through Jesus Christ our Saviour, and to pray that it might continue in it.

' yivvtjOy iK vSarog Kal nvtvfxarog. John iii. 0.

,' ,fb yeytwrifdvov U Ttjg aagKOQ, v. 6.

  • ot ovK li aifidrutv — iXX' Ik Qtov iyivvtiOtivav. i. 13.

  • iid. \6yov ZwvToc Otov Kal fiivovroc ilg t6i> alutva.

  • ev XpitTTt^ '\t}<Tov hA Tov (iiayyiXiou iyu) vfxag iy'f.vvf]va. 1 (mi. . I.'>. ' /3oyX»|0t«c diriKuriaiv I'lfiag Xoyy dXrjOfiai. James j. 18.




to our heavenly birth as this of Water'. Had it even been otherwise, the mention of any other instrument in our regeneration, could not of course have excluded the operation of Baptism : as indeed in Baptism itself, two very different causes are combined, the one, God Himself, the other a creature which He has thought fit to hallow to this end. For then, as Christ's merits, and the workings of the Holy Spirit, and faith, and obedience, operate in very different ways to the final salvation of our souls, so the mention of faith, or of the preaching of the Gospel as means of our regeneration would not have excluded the necessity of Baptism thereto, although mentioned in but one passage of Holy Scripture. But now, as if to exclude all idea of human agency in this our spiritual creation, to shut out all human cooperation or boasting, as though we had in any way contributed to our own birth, and were not wholly the creatures of His hands, no loop-hole has been left us, no other instrument named ; our birth (when its direct means are spoken of) is attributed to the Baptism of Water and of the Spirit^ and to that only. Had our new birth in one passage only been connected with Baptism, and no intimation been given to show that it was to be detached from it, this had alone been a weighty argument with any one who was wishing for intimations of God's will ; but now, besides this, God has so ordered His word that it does speak of the connection of Baptism, and does not speak of any other cause, in the like close union with it.

This circumstance alone, thoughtfully weighed, would lead a teachable disposition readily to incline his faith, whither God seemed to point. For although the privileges annexed to Regeneration are elsewhere spoken of, and the character of mind thereto conformable, — our sonship and the mind which we should have as sons, our new creation, — ^yet these are spoken of, as already belonging to, or to be cultivated in, us, not as to be begun anew in any once received into the covenant of Christ. There

  • " Unless as the Spirit is a necessary inward cause, so water were a necessary outward mean to our regeneration, what construction should we give unto those words wherein we are said to be new born, and that i^ vdarog, even of water."— Hooker, B. v. c. 69.


are tests afforded whether we are acting up to our privilege of Regeneration, and cherishing the Spirit therein given us, but there is no hint that Regeneration can be obtained in any way, but by Baptism, or if totally lost, could be restored. We are warned that having been " saved by Baptism through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men but to the will of God," (1 Pet. iii. 21 — iv. 2.) that " having been born of incorruptible seed, we should put off all malice, and like new-born infants desire the sincere milk of the word," (1 Pet. i. 23. — ii. 1 — 3.) that " having been saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, we should be careful to maintain good works ;" (Tit. iii. 1 — 8.) and again, those who had fallen in any way are exhorted to repentance ; but men are not taught to seek for regeneration, to pray that they may be regenerate : it is no where implied that any Christian had not been regenerated, or could hereafter be so. The very error of the Novatians, that none who fell away after Baptism could be renewed to repentance, will approach nearer to the truth of the Gospel, than the supposition that persons could be admitted as dead members into Christ, and then afterwards^ for the first time, quickened. Our life is, throughout, represented as commencing, when we are by Baptism made members of Christ and children of God ; that life may through our negligence afterwards decay, or be choked, or smothered, or w^ell-nigh extinguished, and by God's mercy again be renewed and refreshed : but a commencement of spiritual life after Baptism, a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness, at any other period than that one first introduction into God's covenant, is as little consonant with the general representations of Holy Scripture, as a commencement of physical life long after our natural birth is with the order of His Providence.

The evidence, however, arising from a general consideration of God's declarations in Holy Scripture, obtains fresh str^gth from the examination of the passages themselves ; only we must not look upon them as a dead letter, susceptible of various meanings, and which may be made to bear the one or the other



indifferently, but as the living Word of God ; particularly should we regard, with especial reverence, any words which fell from our Saviour's lips, and see that we consider, not what they may mean, but what is their obvious untortured meaning. We would not therefore, as some have done, argue that it is improbable that " Christ, discoursing with a carnal Jew, would lay so much weight upon the outward sign ;" (for this teaching was not for Nicodemus only, but for His Church ; and of all our Saviour's teaching we can know this only, that it would be far different and far deeper than what we should have expected, and that it would baffle all our Tules and measures ;) nor again would we say with Calvin, and Grotius, and the Socinians \ that the " water" may be a mere metaphor, a mere emblem of the Spirit, and so that being " born again of water and the Spirit," means nothing more than "being born of the Spirit" without water ^. For Hooker'

  • " I do not think they are to be heard, who hold that under ' water' in this place, not water, but the Holy Spirit is to be understood ; as if the Lord meant to make mention of the Holy Spirit twice, and to say, • Whosoever is not born of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit,' or * whosoever is not born of water which is the Holy Spirit.' " — Bucer de vi et efficacia Baptismi. Script. Anglican, p. 596.

  • "When the letter of the Law hath two things plainly and expressly specified, water and the Spirit ; water as a duty required on our parts, the Spirit as a gift which God bestoweth ; there is danger in presuming so to interpret it, as if the clause which concerneth ourselves were more than needeth. We may by such rare expositions attain perhaps in the end to be thought witty, but with ill advice." — Hooker L. v. c. 59.

*' That we may be thus born of the Spirit we must be born also of water, which our Saviour here puts in the first place. Not as if there were any such virtue in water, whereby it could regenerate us ; but because this is the rite or ordinance appointed by Christ, wherein He regenerates us by His Holy Spirit: our regeneration is wholly the act of the Spirit of Christ. — Seeing this [Baptism] is instituted by Christ Himself, as we cannot be born^ of water without the Spirit, so neither can we in an ordinary way be bom of the Spirit without water, used or applied in obedience and conformity to His institution. Christ hath joined them together, and it is not in our power to part them ; he that would be born of the Spirit, must be born of water also." — Beveridge's Sermons, vol. i. p. 304.



well says, " I hold it for a most infallible rule in expositions of sacred Scripture, that where a literal construction will stand, the farthest from the letter is commonly the worst. There is nothing more dangerous than this licentious and deluding art, which changeth the meaning of words, as alchemy doth, or would do, the substance of metals, maketh of any thing what it listeth, and bringeth in the end all truth to nothing. Or however such voluntary exercise of wit might be borne with otherwise ; yet in places which usually serve, as this doth, concerning regeneration by water and the Holy Ghost, to be alleged for grounds and principles, less is permitted. To hide the general consent of antiquity, agreeing in the literal interpretation, they cunningly affirm, that certain have taken those words as meant of material water, when they know that of all the ancients there is not one * to be named that ever did otherwise either expound or allege the place, than as implying external Baptism."

Rather, as the prophecy which these same persons alleged, that Christ namely shall " baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire," received its literal fulfilment at the day of Pentecost and in this the later Baptism of the Apostles, we find, " as well a visible ^ descent of fire, as a secret miraculous infusion of the Spirit ; if on us He accomplish, likewise, the heavenly work of our new birth, not with the Spirit alone, but with water thereunto adjoined, sith the faithfullest expounders of His words are His own deeds, let that, which His hand hath manifestly wrought, declare what his speech did doubtfully utter."

But, combined with the consent of antiquity, our Saviour's meaning becomes so clear, that, with one who loves His Saviour, I would gladly rest the whole question of Baptismal regeneration on this single argument. It is confessed, that the Christian

» Vazquez, in 3 Part. Disp. 131. n. 22, refers to Justin Apol. 2. Tertull. de Baptismo, c. II. n. 89. Cyprian, L. 3. ad Quirin. c. 25. Ambros. L. 3. de Spiritu Sancto, c. 11. Jerome in c. 16. Ezek. Basil, Greg. Nyss. de Baptismo, Nazianzen Orat. 40 in S. Bapt. and he adds " all the commentators, whom he omits as superfluous." Among these are included Augustine and Cyril. These passages might be multiplied ad infinitum.

' Hooker, 1. c. See Note A at the end.



Church uniformly, for fourteen centuries, interpreted this text of Baptism ; that on the ground of this text alone, they urged the necessity of Baptism ; that upon it, mainly, they identified ^ regeneration with Baptism. If, then, this be an error, would our Saviour have used words which (since water was already used in the Jews' and John's baptism) must inevitably, and did lead His Church into error ? and which He, who knew all things, must, at the time, have known, would lead His Church into error ? and that, when, according to Calvin's interpretation, His meaning had been as fully expressed, had it stood, " born of the Spirit," only. Rather, if one may argue from the result, one should think, that our Saviour added the words, "of water," (upon which, in His immediate converse with Nicodemus, He does not dwell,) with the very view, that His Church should thence learn the truth, which she has transmitted, — that " regeneration" is the gift of God, bestowed by Him, ordinarily, in Baptism only. Indeed, the opposite exposition was so manifestly a mere weapon, by which to demolish a Papal argument for the absolute necessity of Baptism, that it had hardly been worth commenting upon, but that no error ever stops at its first stage ; mere repetition hardens, as well as emboldens ; what is first adopted as an expedient, is afterwards justified as being alone the truth — the mantle, which was assumed to cover shame, cleaves to us, like that in the fable, until it have sucked out the very life and marrow of our whole system. One text, misquoted in order to disprove the absolute necessity of Baptism, has ended in the scarcely disguised indifference or contempt of an ordinance of our Saviour.

  • I say, identified, because, so convinced were they of the connection of " regeneration" with Baptism, that they use it, unexplained, where the ordinary sense of " regeneration" were manifestly incorrect. Thus Jerome uses it of the Baptism of our Saviour (L. 1. c. Jovinian circa med. quoted by Wall, Infant Baptism, p. 19.) ; as also do others, where, if it have any sense but that of** being baptized," it can only mean, was ** declared to be the Son of God" (as Ps. ii. 7> is sometimes applied to His Baptism) ; but they never could have used *' re-natus" in this sense, had they not been accustomed to use it as identical with Baptism. In like manner, in our own Articles ** renatis," in the Latin copy (Art. 9), is Englished by ** baptized."




Not less peremptorily, however, do our Blessed Saviour's words refuse to be bound down to any mere outward change of state, or circumstances, or relation, however glorious the privileges of that new condition may be. For this were the very opposite error ; and whereas the former interpretation " dried ^ up" the water of Baptism, so does this quench the Spirit therein. One may, indeed, rightly infer, that, since the Jews regarded the baptized proselyte as a new-born child ^ our Saviour would not have connected the mention of water with the new birth, unless the new birth, which He bestowed, had been bestowed through Baptism : but who would so fetter down the fulness of our Saviour's promises, as that His words should mean nothing more than they would in the mouth of the dry and unspiritual Jewish legalists ? or, because they, proud of the covenant with Abraham, deemed tliat the passing of a proselyte into the outward covenant, was a new creation, who would infer that our Saviour spoke only of an outward change ? Even some among the Jews had higher notions, and figured ^ that a new soul descended from the region of spirits, upon the admitted proselyte. And if it were merely an outward change — a change of condition only, wherein were the solemnity of this declaration, " Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God?" for the " seeing" or " entering into" the kingdom of God, L e. the Church of Christ, first militant on earth, and then triumphant in heaven, was itself a change of state, so that the two sentences would have had nearly the same meaning. And who could endure the paraphrase, " unless a man be brought into a state outwardly different, he cannot enter into the kingdom ?" But our Saviour Himself has explained His own words. To be " born of the Spirit," stands opposed to the being " born of the flesh." As the one birth is real, so must the other be ; the agents, truly, are different, and so also the character of life produced by each : in the one case,

• Hooker, 1. c.

' See Lightfoot, ad loc. Archbishop Lawrence's Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, p. 28.

  • Archbishop Lawrence, 1. c. pp. 31, 2.


physical agents, and so physical life, desires, powers ; and, since from a corrupted author, powers weakened and corrupted : in the other, the Holy Spirit of God, and so spiritual life, strength, faculties, energies ; still, in either case, a real existence ; and, to the Christian, a new, real, though not physical beginning — an existence, real, though invisible — and, though worked by an unseen Agent, yet felt in its effects, like the energy of the viewless winds ^

Our Blessed Saviour's words declare the absolute necessity of regeneration, for the entrance into the kingdom of heaven, or our state of grace and glory, in which we live in His Church, and in which we hope to live with Him for ever ; and that this regeneration is the being " born of water and the Spirit," or by Gods Spirit again moving on the face of the waters, and sanctifying them for our cleansing, and cleansing us thereby. To this St. Paul was directed to add the irrespectiveness of our calling and election to this grace of Baptism, and privilege of sonship " But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we had done, but according to His mercy. He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and of the renewing of the Holy Ghost % which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." Thereby is excluded^ not merely " grace of congruity," but all such previous preparation as should make Baptism " a seal only of spiritual grace already given ;" for we are saved, it is said, not by regeneration which should be attested and confirmed by Baptism, but by " the washing of regeneration, and of the renewing of the Holy Ghost," i. e. a Baptizing, accompanied by, or conveying a re-production, a second birth, a restoration of our decayed natures, by the new and fresh life,

  • The two births, the natural and the baptismal, are eloquently contrasted by St. Augustine : — " One is of the earth, the other of heaven ; one of the flesh, the other of the Spirit ; one of mortality, the other of eternity ; one of man and woman, the other of God and the Church." — In Joann. Tract, xi. no. 6. See a similar passage, against the Pelagians, de peccat meritis et remiss. L. 3. c. 2.

» Tit. iii. 4—6. See Note (B), at the end.

K 9



imparted by the Holy Ghost. As before our Blessed Saviour had respect unto the contrary tendencies of our nature, the neglect, as well as the bare acquiescence in the outward ordinance ; so here, also, the Apostle has been directed both to limit the imparting of the inward grace by the mention of the outward washing, and to raise our conceptions of the greatness of this second birth, by the addition of the spiritual grace.

Such, then, are the only passages of the Holy Scriptures, in which the first origin of regeneration (so to speak) is marked out, and the circumstances under which it takes place are at all hinted at. And surely this ought, to any careful Christian, to be of great moment ; and, instead of longing, as the habit of some is, for more evidence, he will thank God, that the evidence is so clear, that all Christians of old times confidently relied upon it, and transmitted it to us.

But though these passages alone speak of the means of regeneration, they do not alone speak of the effects of Baptism. And here, again, if men read Holy Scripture as the living word of God, they would read it with more fruit. For how can one reconcile the way in which some now allow themselves to speak of Baptism, with the stress which our Blessed Saviour lays upon it ? " Go and teach all nations, baptizing them." " He that believeth, and is baptized^ shall be saved \" Does it consist with their reverence to their Saviour, to think or to speak dispa. ragingly of that, which He enjoined, wherever He should be

^ Persons have sometimes supposed that the omission of Baptism, in the following words, " he that believeth not shall be damned," implies a comparative disparagement of Baptism ; yet a little thought would have shown them, that, though our Saviour annexed the reception of the sacrament of regeneration to belief in Him, as a condition of salvation, there was no occasion to mention it in the case of unbelief: unbelievers would not be " baptized in Christ's name, for the remission of sins :" since they believed not, the " wrath of God abode upon them." (John iii. 36.) Baptism, without faith, undoubtedly would save none ; as faith, also, without charity, profiteth nothing (1 Cor. xiii.) : yet no one would think this was said in disparagement of faith ; much less, then, the omission of Baptism, in the other case, when our Saviour had just ordained it, without any limitation, as necessary for all who believe.



believed on? or, can one think that our age is herein likeminded with Him ] or, do they recollect, that this act alone, in the whole Christian life, was commanded by their ascending Saviour, to be done in the name of the ever-blessed Trinity : that, in St. Chrysostom's ' words, " the holy angels stand by, doing nothing, they only look on what is done ; but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, effect all. Let us, then, obey the declaration of God, for this is more credible than sight ; for sight is, yea and oftentimes, deceived ; but that can never fail, obey we then it."

A similar test may be afforded, by the way in which Baptism is elsewhere spoken of, in Holy Scripture. When, e. g. we are declared to be " saved by Baptism" (1 Pet. iii. 22), as before (Tit. iii.) by the " washing of regeneration," let men think, whether this does not sound foreign or (if they dared to think it) repulsive to them ; whether it finds any place in their system ; or, whether they do not dismiss such an expression from their thoughts, as one requiring explanation to give it a sound sense, instead of conveying, of necessity, doctrinal truth. And if this be so, have we not lost a portion of our inheritance ?

Contrast, herewith, St. Augustine's unhesitating faith. " Most excellently," saith he, writing against the Pelagians ^ *' do the Punic Christians entitle Baptism itself no other than salvation, and the Sacrament of the Body of Christ no other than life. Whence, except from an old, as I deem, and Apostolical tradition, by which they hold it inserted into the Church of Christ, that, without Baptism, and the participation of the Lord's Table, no man can arrive, either at the kingdom of God, or salvation and life eternal. This, as we have said, is what Scripture testifies. For what do they who entitle Baptism salvation, hold other than what is written, ' He hath saved us by the washing of regeneration ;' and what Peter saith, * The like figure whereunto Baptism doth now save you ?' "

In other cases, we seem not only to have lost the original meaning of Holy Scripture, but even all suspicion that we are in

> Horn. 25. al. 24. in Johan. § 2.



error; and, where our Forefathers found fervid and heart- uph'fting descriptions of our Baptismal privileges, of God's good gifts, which had been actually conferred upon us, these men now find only an emblematic statement of our duties. Take St. Paul's appeal to the Romans (vi. 3.), why they should not continue in sin. " Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death ? Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into death ; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also of His resurrection : knowing this, that our old man is crucified in us, that the body of sin might be destroyed.'* Now, probably, all that a large number of Christians, at the present day, will find in this passage, will be, that Baptism represents (as it does) to us our profession, that we, having been baptized, and having acknowledged Christ as our Lord, are bound to lead a new and godly life, and to be crucified to sin and the world, as He was crucified for our sin ; and, if so, that we shall rise with Him. This is very true, and is certainly in the passage ; but the question is, whether this be all ? whether St. Paul speaks only of duties entailed upon, and not also of strength imparted to us. The Fathers certainly of the Christian Church, educated in holy gratitude for their Baptismal privileges, saw herein, not the death only to sin, which we were to die, but that also which in Christ we had died, the actual weakening of our corrupt propensities, by being baptized and incorporated into Christ ; not the life only which we are to live, but the life which, by Baptism, was infused in us, and which as many of us as are now " walking in newness of life," are living in Christ, by virtue of that life. St. Paul, namely, is setting, side by side, our means of grace, and the holiness which we are thereby to strive to attain unto. ** We have been all baptized into Christ," i. e. into a participation of Christ, and His most precious death, and union with Him, we, i. e. our old man, our corrupted selves, have been buried with Him, by Baptism, into that death, that we may walk in newness of life. Again, we have been planted in the likeness of His death —



that we may be of His resurrection. Again, our old man has been crucified — that the whole body of sin may he destroyed. And so, throughout, there are two deaths, in one of which we were passive ^ only ; we were baptized, buried, planted, crucified ; the very language marks that this was all God's doing, in us, and for us : there remains the other death, which we must continually die. Sin has once been remitted, slain, crucified; we must, henceforth watch that it live not again in us, that we extirpate all the roots thereof, that we serve it not again, that we live through its death. " It is not here," says St. Chrysostom % " as in other Epistles, where St. Paul appropriates one part to doctrine, the other to moral instruction ; but he here, throughout, mingles the two. He mentions, then, here, two puttings to death, and two deaths ; one, which has taken place through Christ, in Baptism ; the other, which must take place through our subsequent diligence. For that our former sins were buried, was His gift ; but that we, after Baptism, should remain dead to sin, must be the work of our diligence ; for Baptism can not only efface our former offences, but strengthens us also against future. He saith not also, if we have been made partakers of the likeness of death, but if we have been planted; hinting, by the name plantings at the fruit derived to us therefrom. For, as His body, buried in the earth, bore for fruit the salvation of the world ; so ours, also, buried in Baptism, bore fruit, righteousness, sanctification, adoption, unnumbered bless

^ " In the very beginning of regeneration, the seal whereof is Baptism, man is merely passive ; whence, also, no outward act is required of a man who was to be circumcised or baptized, as there is in other Sacraments, but only passively to receive it. Infants, therefore, are equally capable of this Sacrament, in regard to its main use, as adults.'* Ames. Medull. Theol. L. i. c. 40. Thes. xiii. quoted by Surges, pp. 52, 3. and Bp. Taylor, Life of Christ Of Baptizing Infants, § 16. t. ii. p. 275. " If it be objected, that to the new birth are required dispositions of our own, which are to be wrought by and in them, that have the use of reason : besides that this is wholly against the analogy of a new birth, in which the person to be born is wholly a passive, and hath put into him the principle, that in time will produce its proper actions," &c.



ings, and hereafter shall bear that of the resurrection. Since, then, we were buried in water, He in the earth, and we in respect to sin, He in regard to the body : therefore he says not, * planted with Him in death,' but ' in the likeness of death.* For each was death, but not of the same object. Nor does he say merely (v. 6.) our old man was crucified, but was * crucified together,' bringing Baptism in close union with the cross. He saith this of every man (v. 7.), that he who is dead is freed from sinning, abiding dead ; so also he who ascendeth from Baptism ; for since he has then once died, he ought to remain throughout dead to sin. If then thou hast died in Baptism, remain dead." And so again ', *' We who have died to sin, how shall we live any longer in it ? What is this * we have died V is it, that as far as it is concerned, we have all thought right to renounce it ? or, rather, that having believed and been enlightened, (received the true light, — been baptized,) we have become dead to it ? which the context approves. But what is it to be dead to it ? to obey it no longer. For this Baptism has done for us once, it deadened us to it ; and for the rest, we must use our own earnest zeal to effect this constantly. So that, though it order us ten thousand times, we should obey it no longer, but remain motionless as the dead. Elsewhere, indeed, he says, that sin itself died ; and that, to show how easy goodness becometh ; but here, wishing to rouse the hearer, he transfers the death to him. As the death of Cheist in the flesh is real, so is our's to sin real ; but although it is real, we must for the future contribute our part. " What," saith St. Basil ^ " belongeth to him who hath been born of water ? That as Christ died to sin once, so he also should be dead and motionless towards all sin, as it is written, ' as many as have been baptized into Jesus Christ have been baptized into His death.'" And again ^ — "The dispensation of our God and Saviour in behalf of man, is a recalling from his state of fall, a return to a familiar intercourse with God from that state of alienation which took place through the disobedience. For this

3 De Spiritu. S. c. 15.



cause, was the presence of Christ in the flesh ; the patterns of evangelical life ; the Passion ; the Cross ; the Burial ; the Resurrection ; so that man, being saved by the imitation of Christ, receives again that ancient adoption of sons. To the perfection then of life, there is needed the imitation of Christ, not only of the gentleness, and humility, and long suffering, displayed in His Life, but of His Death also ; as St. Paul saith — he, the imitator of Christ — * being conformed to His death, if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead.' How then do we come to the likeness of His death ? By ' being buried with Him through Baptism ?' What then is the mode of burial, or what the benefit of the imitation ? First, it is necessary that the course of the former life should be broken through. But this is impossible, unless a man be born again, as the Lord said. For the re-generation, as the name also itself implies, is the beginning of a second life ; so that before we begin the second, an end must be put to the preceding. Wherefore our Lord, in dispensing life to us, gave us the covenant of Baptism, containing an image of death and life — the water fulfilling the image of death, and the Spirit giving the jparnest of life. This then is ' to be born again of water and the Spirit,' our death being effected in the water, and our life worked in us by the Spirit. So that whatever grace there is in the water is not from the nature of the water, but from the presence of the Spirit." And St. Augustine, against the Pelagians ^: — " After the Apostle had spoken of the punishment through one, and the free grace through One, as much as he thought sufficient for that part of his epistle, he then recommended the great mystery of Holy Baptism in the Cross of Christ in this way, that we should understand that Baptism in Christ is nothing else than a likeness of the death of Christ, and the death of Christ crucified nothing else than the likeness of the remission of sin ; and as His death is real, so is our remission of sins real, and as His resurrection is real, so is our justification real. — If then we are proved to be dead to sin, because we are baptized into the death

  • Encheirid. c. 52. t. vi. pp. 215, 216.


of Christ, then the little ones also, who are baptized into Christ, are baptized into His death. For it is said without exception, • so many of us as are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized into His death.* And this is said to prove that we are * dead to sin.' Yet to what sin do the little ones die, by being born again, but to that which they contracted by being born ? And thereby also pertains to them what follows (vv. 4 — 11.), * that their old man is crucified with Him— that they are dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' — He saith then to those baptized into the death of Christ, into which not the elder only, but the little ones also are baptized, ' Likewise do ye,' — i. e. as Christ, — * reckon yourselves dead unto sin.' "

In the union also with Christ, in whose death and life they were through Baptism engrafFed, the elder Christians saw with the Apostle the pledge of their resurrection. " Hast thou believed," says Chrysostom ^, " that Christ died and rose again, believe then thine own. For this is like to it, since the Cross and the Burial is thine also ; for if thou hast shared with Him in the Death and the Burial, much more shalt thou in the Resurrection and the Life. For since the greater, that is, sin, has been destroyed, we may not hesitate about that which is lesser, the destruction of death." And St. Basil *, in an exhortation to Baptism, — " What can be more akin to Baptism than this day of Easter ? for the day is the day of the resurrection, and Baptism is a power to resurrection. On the day then of the resurrection let us receive the grace of the resurrection. Dost thou worship Him who died for thee ? Allow thyself then to be buried with Him in Baptism. For if thou be not planted in the likeness of His death, how shalt thou be partaker of His resurrection?" Even Calvin*, forgetting

> Horn. 10. in Rom. § 4.

  • Ad loc. add Bucer, de vismi Bapt. (Script. Angl. p. 696.) " There are in this place attributed to Baptism, deatli and burial of sin, newness o( life, certain assurance of a future resurrection to a blessed life." And Zanch. de




for a while his dread, lest men should rest in their Baptism, says, " St. Paul proves what he had just said, namely, that ' Christ slays sin in those who are His,' from the effect of Baptism. Know we then that the Apostle does not here merely exhort us to imitate Christ, as if he said, that the death of Christ was a pattern which all Christians should imitate. Assuredly he goes deeper ; and brings forward a doctrine, on which afterwards to found exhortation ; and this is, that the death of Christ has power to extinguish and abohsh the corruption of our flesh, and His resurrection, to raise up in us the newness of a better life ; and that by Baptism we are brought into the participation of this grace." And again, on the word " planted," he observes, — " Great is the emphasis of this word, and it clearly shows, that the Apostle is not merely exhorting, but is rather teaching us of the goodness of Christ. For he is not requiring any thing of us, which may be done by our zeal or industry, but sets forth a graffing-in, effected by the hand of God. For graffing-in implies not merely a conformity of life, but a secret union, whereby we become one with Him ; so that quickening us by His Spirit, He transfuses His power into us. So then, as the graft shares life and death with the tree into which it is graffed, so are we partakers of the life no less than of the death of Christ."

To take another saying of the Apostle. St. Paul tells the Galatians, (iii. 27.) " For as many of you as have been baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ." Here again what most Christians would now learn from the passage would be the necessity of being conformed to Christ's life, of living consistently with our Christian profession. And this is elsewhere (Rom. xiii. 14) the meaning of the like words, and may be implied here, but as a secondary and derived truth only. The main, great truth refers again to our privileges. For St. Paul is proving that

Baptismo, (in Eph. v. p. 221,) " I understand the Apostle to be speaking not so much of example set to us, as of the benefit which we derive from the power of the resurrection, when we are engraffed into Him by Baptism, that we may walk in newness of life."



" we are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus;" for^ he says, as many of you as have been baptized, &c., t. e. whoever of us has been baptized, was thereby incorporated into Christ, and so being made a portion and member of the Son of God, partakes of that sonship, and is himself a child of God : so that henceforth the Father looks upon him, not as what he is in himself, but as in, and a part of. His Well-beloved Son, and loves him with a portion of that ineffable love with which He loves His Son. St. Paul speaks then not of duties, (though every privilege involves a duty corresponding,) but of privileges, inestimable, inconceivable, which no thought can reach unto, but which all thought should aim at embracing, — our union with God in Christ, wherein we were joined in the Holy Baptism. And so again we may see how the foolishness of God, in what men call carnal ordinances, is wiser than man ; and how a false spirituality, by disparaging the outward ordinance, loses sight of the immensity of the inward grace ; and holding lightly by God's appointment, as being " legal," does thereby fall back into mere legality. God gave adoption and union with Himself in Christ through the Spirit ; we, disregarding His ordinance, have found but a Law. Contrast with these cold views the comment of one who prized his Baptism as the source of his spiritual life in Christ, M. Luther. " ' To put on Christ ' is two-fold ; legal and evangehcal. Legal, (Rom. xiii.) * imitate the example and excellencies of Christ,' do and suffer what He has done and suffered : so, 1 Peter ii., * Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps.' But we see in Christ infinite patience, gentleness, and love, and a wonderful moderation in all things. This ornament of Christ we ought to put on, «. e., imitate these His excellencies. So also we may imitate other Saints. But to put on Christ evangelically is not a matter of imitation, but of birth and new creation ; when, namely, I am clothed with Christ Himself, '%. c. His innocence, justice, wisdom, power, salvation, life, spirit, &c. We are clothed with Adam, clothes of skins, mortal clothes, and a garment of sin. 'J'his raiment, i. e., this corrupt and sinful nature, we contracted by our descent from Adam, which St.



Paul calls the old man, and which is to be * put off with its deeds,' (Eph. iv. Coloss. iii.) that out of sons of Adam we may be made sons of God. This is not done by any change of vestment, not by any laws or works, but by the new birth and renewal which takes place at Baptism ; as St. Paul says, ' whoever of you are baptized have put on Christ ;' * according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration,' &c. For there is kindled in the baptized a new life and flame, there arise new and holy feelings, fear, trust in God, hope, &c. ; there ariseth a new will. This, then, is properly, truly, and Evangelically to * put on Christ.' Therefore in Baptism there is not given us a clothing of legal righteousness or our own works, but Christ is our raiment. But He is not law, nor legislator, nor work, but a Divine and unspeakable gift, which the Father gave us, to be our Justifier, Life-giver, and Redeemer. Wherefore Evangelically to put on Christ is not to put on a law or works, but an inestimable gift, viz. remission of sins, righteousness, peace, consolation, joy in the Holy Ghost, salvation, life, and Christ Himself. This place is to be carefully noted against Fanatic spirits, who depreciate the majesty of Baptism, and speak wickedly thereof. St. Paul on the contrary sets it forth with magnificent titles, calling it the * washing of regeneration and of the renewal by the Holy Ghost ;' and here he says, that all baptized persons have put on Christ ; speaking, as I said, of a " putting-on," which should be not by imitating, but by being born. He says not — Ye have received in Baptism a token, whereby ye are enrolled among Christians, as the sectaries dream, who make of Baptism a mere token, i. e. a trivial and empty sign ; but he says, ' As many as have been baptized, have put on Christ,' i. e. have been borne away out of the law into a new birth, which took place in baptism. Therefore ye are no longer under the law, but are clothed with a new garment, the righteousness of Christ. St. Paul then teaches that Baptism is not a sign, but the putting on of Christ — yea, that Christ himself is our clothing. Wherefore Baptism is a thing most powerful and efficacious. But when we are clothed with Christ, the clothing of our righteousness and salvation, then 13



also shall we be clothed with Christ, the clothing of imitating Him."

And SO Chrysostom ', " And now he shows that they are sons not of Abraham only, but of God also ; ' for ye are all sons of God through faith which is in Christ Jesus' — through faith, not through the law. And then, since this is a great and wonderful thing, he names also the mode of their adoption, ' for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.' And why saith he not, ^ for as many as have been baptized into Christ have been born of God V for so had he proved more directly that they were sons. He saith this in a way much more awefuUy great. For since Christ is the Son of God, and thou hast put Him on, having the Son in thyself, and being transformed into His likeness, thou hast been brought into one kindred and one species with Him."

I will add two passages only to show how the early Church found in this doctrine an incitement to holiness and virtue. " Let us not continue," says St. Chrysostom ' to the candidate for Baptism, " to gape after the things of this life, the luxury of the table, or the splendour of dress ; for thou hast a most glorious garment : thou hast a spiritual table ; thou hast the glory which is on high ; and Christ becometh every thing to thee, table, and garment, and dwelling-place, and head and root ; * for as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ ;' " and St. Gregory * of Nazianzum, in the midst of similar applications of Baptismal privileges, " Is there any sick and full of sores ? respect thy own health, and the wounds from which Christ has freed thee. Seest thou one naked ? clothe hira, reverencing thy own garment of immortality — and that is Christ, ' for as many as,' " &c.

It might have sufficed, perhaps, to have noticed one passage, in which, through our depreciation of our Blessed Saviour's ordinance, we have lost the support, the strength, the cheering hope, which He provided for us. For our mode of understand

» Ad loc. t. X. p. 704. ed Ben.

» Ad Illuminandos Catech. 2. t. ii. p. 237

» Orat. 40 in S. Bapt. § 29



ing any passage of Holy Scripture is not to be considered as something insulated: resulting, as it does, from our general frame of mind, our habits of thought and feeling, and the character of our religious belief. Our insight into Scripture, as it is an instrument in forming our minds, so is it in part the result of the mind formed within us : our character of mind is a condition of understanding God's Word : according to what we ourselves are become, does that Word appear to us : it is given to us according as we have : our present is in proportion to our past, profit. No misunderstanding then of any portion of Holy Scripture ; (I speak — not, of course, of words or expressions, but — of the general tenor of passages of Scripture ;) no shallowness of conception ; no false spiritualism, or sluggish resting in the letter of any place, can stand singly ; for, whatever be the defect which dims our sight in the one place, it will obscure our understanding of other passages also. This, as before said, we readily admit in gross and palpable cases ; we know, indeed, from authority, of the veil on the hearts of the Jews, and of the god of this world, who blindeth the understandings of the unbelieving : we readily admit that one who has, practically, vague notions of justification by faith will understand but little of St. Paul; but we fail often to apply the test to our own case, and thoroughly to examine what is wanting to our own mental character, and how that deficiency prevents our more fully understanding God's Word. What our dull eyes see in large and flagrant instances, exists, we may be sure, where they are too heavy to penetrate ; so that no one wrong habit of mind, or faulty principle can exist, in however slight a degree, without affecting our views of Scripture truth.

It may be useful, however, to see the effect of our modern principles, and our practical depreciation of Baptism in other passages of Holy Scripture. When people then, again, read (Col. ii* 11.) of our " being circumcised with the circumcision which is made without hands, — buried with Christ in Baptism, raised together with Him through faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead," they probably think of the circumcision of the heart which we onght to have, of the com




plete extinction of all sinful tendencies, at which we ought to aim, of the power of the faith which we ought to cherish. Yet this again is but a portion of the truth : it tells us of the end which we are to arrive at, but not of the means, whereby God gives us strength on our way thitherward : it speaks of the height of God's holy hill, but not of the power by which we are caught up thither. Not so St. Paul. He is persuading the Colossians to abide in the state in which they had been placed ; to rest upon the foundation on which they had been laid ; to root themselves in the soil in which they had been planted ; to be content with the fulness which they had received from Him by whom they had been filled, and in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ; to abide in Him whom they had received. For he feared lest they should be taught by the vain deceit of a false philosophy to take other stays than their Saviour, or to lean on the now abolished tradition of circumcision. To this end he reminds them that they needed nothing out of Christ ; for they had been filled with Him, who fiUeth all in all, the Head of all rule and all power ; therefore they needed no other power, but only His, — they had received the true circumcision, and so could require no other ; they had been disencumbered of the sinful mass, with which they were naturally encumbered, " the body of the sins of the flesh" by the circumcision which Christ bestowed : their old man had been buried with Him in Baptism ; they had been raised with Him, (as they ascended out of the water,) by a power as mighty as that which raised Him from the dead : all their old sins had been forgiven, and they themselves re- born from the dead, and been made partakers of the life of Christ, " quickened with Him ;" the powers of darkness had been spoiled of their authority over them, and exhibited as captives and dethroned. All these things had been bestowed upon them by Baptism ; the mercies of God had been there appropriated to them ; sins blotted out ; their sinful nature dead, buried in Christ's tomb : death changed into life ; and therefore, as they liad no need, so neither were they to make void these gifts by trusting in any other ordinances, or looking to any other Mediator. St Paul dreads that through false teach



ing and a false self abasement, they should not hold to the Head, (v. 18). But does he depreciate their baptismal privileges? or, because they were tempted to lean on circumcision, does he disparage outward ordinances ? or dread that the exaltation of the ordinance should lead to a depreciation of Christ? Rather, he shows them how every thing which they sought, or could need, was comprised, and already bestowed upon them in their Saviour's gift, in His ordinance : that this ordinance was no mere significant rite, but contained within itself the stripping off of the body of sin, death, resurrection, new life, forgiveness, annulment of the hand-writing against us, despoiling of the strong one, triumph over the powers of darkness. We also have been thus circumcised, have been buried, raised, quickened, pardoned, filled with Christ : all this God has done for us, and are we not to prize it ? not to thank God for it, ** stablished in the faith which we have been taught, and abounding therein with thanksgiving ?" (v. 7.) and are we, for fear men should rest in outward privileges, to make the Lord's Sacrament a mere outward gift, deny His bounty, and empty His fulness ? or rather ought we not, with the Apostle, to tell men of the greatness of what they have received, and repeat to them His bidding, " since then ye have been raised together with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God :" ye have died ^ ; slay then your earthly members : ye have laid aside the old man, and have put on the new, and that, in its Creator's image, again restored to you : " put ye on then, as having been chosen and loved of God," the ornaments befitting this new creation in you, mercy, gentleness, and the other graces ; ye have been forgiven, forgive. Thus does St. Paul obviate the resting in outward ordinances, by showing namely that the Christian ordinances are not outward ; that they are full of life and honor, and immortality, for that they are full of Christ. Is there not danger of our losing our treasures also by a " voluntary humility ?" Is

' " We therefore who in Baptism have died and been buried, as relates to the carnal sins of the old man, we who have risen with Christ by a newbirth from heaven, let us think and do the things of Christ." — St. Cyprian on Col. iii. 1. Epist. ad Fortunat. Praef. p. 260. ed St. Maur.




not our dread of the consequences of exalting Christ's ordinances, " after the rudiments of the world " (an earthly wisdom) •* and not after Christ ?"

In these passages, we have deprived ourselves of the strength which God purposed to impart through them to His Church ; and, yet more, have robbed oui selves and our flock of the knowledge of the greatness of the gift intended for them, by God, in Baptism. In another class, we have appropriated to ourselves the gift, independently of the cliannel through which it is conveyed. We are, namely, in different passages of Holy Scripture, said to have been " sealed by God," or " by the Holy Spirit of God," to " have received an anointing from the Holy One," to " have been anointed by God ;" and these passages, persons at once, without doubt or misgiving, interpret of the inward and daily graces of God's Holy Spirit (which are, also, undoubtedly involved in them) ; so that, if any one were to propose to explain these passages of Baptism, as containing the first pledge and earnest of the Spirit, I fear he would be looked upon as a cold and lifeless interpreter, perhaps as a mere formalist. It will, doubtless, startle such to know, that this was, in some passages at least, the interpretation of almost all Christian antiquity ^ ; and it may serve as an index of our altered state of religious belief, that most of us, perhaps, would at first regard as cold and formal, the interpretation, which to them spoke of the fulness of their Saviour's gift. This would, itself, be sufficient for our purpose ; for it is not so much abstract proof of the value and greatness of our Lord's Sacraments, that we need, as, rather, to be convinced that our feelings have undergone a change, that we fall very far short of the love and respect which the Fathers of the Christian Church bore to them. And then let us consider within ourselves, whether, since those holy men realized in their lives the ordinances which they loved, we must not confess, that our lessened esteem for our Saviour's gift, betokens a diminislied, or, at all events, a less humble affectionateness for the Giver. We aim at receiving every thing directly from God's hand, from

^ See Note (D), at the end.



His Spirit to ours, and so either disparage His sacraments, or else would make them means only, by which our faith might be kindled, to " ascend into heaven," and " bring down Christ from above," instead of being content diligently to cleanse our own hearts, and " keep His words," that so His gracious promise may be fulfilled — " My Father will love him, and we will come unto hhn^ and make our abode with him." (John xiv. 23.) This had been an important consideration, quite independent of the question, which were, in this instance, the right interpretation : for, as there could be no doubt which loved his Saviour most, the interpreter who found Him every where in the Old Testament prophecy, or he who found Him nowhere ; so, also, could there be little, probably, between the character of mind, which' looked joyously to the gift of the Holy Ghost, through his Saviour's ordinance, and that which regarded any reference to that ordinance, lifeless and cold. There could be no doubt, ,1 think, of this generally ; although, as was before said, individuals might either " hold the truth in unrighteousness," or, being in error, might still derive food for their piety, from other truth in God's rich storehouse. Since, however, no error in Scripture can be unimportant, it may be well to consider a few points, which tend to shew, that the " sealing ^ by Baptism" was here intended. First, then, it should be observed, that, in each case, St. Paul speaks of this " sealing " as a past action. " He who establishe^A us with you in Christ, and anointerf us, is God ; who, also, is He who sealed us (6 koX ffcppayiffd/ievoo), and gave the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor. i. 22) : " in whom ye also, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation — in whom ye, having believed also, were sealed (io-^pay/o-

^ In speaking of the application of this term to Baptism, I do not mean to exclude Confirmation, as it was originally, a part of Baptism ; the term may, however, perhaps from the first, have had reference to the mark of the cross upon the forehead (Rev. vii. 3.), which was afterwards certainly called the " Signaculum Dominicura," see Bingham, Christian Antiq. B. xi. c. 9. Add Cyprian Epist. 73, ad Jubaianum, p. 132. ed. St. Maur. Tertullian de Resurr. Carnis, c. 8, separates it from the anointing, as well as from the imposition of hands. " Caro ungitur, ut anima consecretur ; caro signatur, ut et anima rauniatur ; caro manus irapositione adumbratur, ut et anima Spiritu illuminetur."

c 2



drjre^ by the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession." (Eph. i. 13, 14.) " Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye were ' sealed {Effcppayitrdrjre) unto the day of redemption." (Eph. iv. 30.) 2. In one passage (Eph. i.) this sealing is mentioned, as immediately following upon the belief of the Gospel — " having believed, ye were sealed ;" in a second (Eph. iv.) it stands opposed to subsequent performance of duty — " ye mere sealed by the Holy Spirit, grieve Him not;" in the third (1 Cor.) it stands opposed' to God's subsequent establishing them in Christ, to their being maintained in this state into which they had been brought — " who established you, who also anointec? and sealed you." 3. The word " sealed" was already in use among the Jews ^, and is recognized by St. Paul, as designating the act by which men were brought into covenant with God, and received its privileges. Now it would, indeed, be a very perverted mode of arguing, to infer, either that the seal of the Christian covenant only attested the faith which already existed (as in the case of Abraham), or that the seal of the Jewish covenant conveyed the same privileges as the Christian ; for this would be to identify the earlier with the later dispensation ; and as one exposition unduly derogates from the Christian sacrament, so does the other exalt the seal of the Jewish covenant beyond what we have any certain warrant for, or even intimation-of, from Holy Scripture. Still, one should suppose, that St. Paul, when employing terms, already in use among the Jews, would apply

» E. V. " are sealed," in Eph. i. 13. " have been sealed." The context, as well as the word, is the same.

' There is the like contrast between the original gift, and the looked-for continuance of it, in 1 Cor. i. 6—8, quoted by Bode, as an use of the same metaphor, in the matter of faith and sanctification — " as the witness of Christ was confirmed (kfiifiatioOri) among you, so that ye came behind in no gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who also shall confirm (/3«/3aiw(Tti) you." But the gifts here spoken of were also bestowed at the commencement of the Christian life.

» Talm. Hieros. Berachoth. £ 13. 1. ap. Lightf. ad Mt. 28, 19. " Blessed be He who hath sanctified His beloved from the womb, and placed the sign in his flesh, and has sealed (onn) His offspring with the sign of the covenant."



them to the corresponding portion of the Christian system. Since, then, circumcision, by which the covenant was ratified to the Jew, was spoken of as a '* seal," and that by St. Paul also (Rom. iv. 11.), St. Paul, if he used the word " seal" with reference to the Christian, would obviously use it of that by which each person was brought within the Christian covenant — the Sacrament of Baptism. But it were the very error of the rationalists to suppose, that God's Holy Spirit, when He took the words used in Jewish Theology, and employed them to express Christian Truth, conveyed nothing more by them, than they would have meant in the mouth of any ordinary Jew ; and did not rather, when receiving them into the service of the sanctuary, stamp them anew, and impress upon them His own living image. Since, namely. Baptism is not a mere initiatory rite, but is an appointed means for conveying the Holy Spirit, the language must in some respect be conformed to our higher privileges ; and, instead of the covenant being said to be sealed to us, we are declared to be sealed by the Holy Spirit : since the Holy Spirit is then first pledged and imparted to us, and the earnest then given us is a pledge, that unless we wilfully break off the seal, we shall be carried on to eternal life, with larger instalments of our promised possession, until •* the possession, purchased" for us, by Christ's precious bloodshedding, shall be fully bestowed upon us, and God's pledge be altogether " redeemed." 4. The Christian fathers have, from Apostolic times, used the word " seal" as a title of Christian Baptism ; a relic whereof we have in the doctrine of our Church, that " the promises of forgiveness of sin, and our adoption to be the sons of God, by the Holy Ghost, are therein visibly signed and sealed:' Thus Hermas (about A.D. 65—81):—" Before * a person receive the seal of the Son of God, he is doomed to death ; but when he receives that seal, he is freed from death, and made over to life. But that seal is water, into which men go down bound over to death, but arise, being made over to life. That seal, then, was preached to them also, and they made use of it, to enter into the kingdom of God." The least which this

» L. 4. simil. 9. no. 16, quoted by Bingham Christian Antiq. B. xi. c. 1.



would shew, is that sucli was the received usage of the word *' seal" in the time of St. Paul ; but no one, admitting this, will readily suppose, that St. Paul would have used the term with regard to Christians, unless he had meant it to be understood of the Sacrament of Baptism. The Fathers, moreover, uniformly speak of Baptism as sealing, and so keeping, guarding us, as it were a seal placed upon us \ &c. ; moderns call it a seal, ratification, or outward mark, of God's covenant. The two metaphors are essentially distinct; our modern usage is borrowed from St. Paul's description of the older covenant, whereof circumcision was the seal, but was no sacrament ; that of the Fathers agrees with this reference to Baptism, which, being a Sacrament, seals, guards, preserves us ^, as well as guarantees the promises of God towards us.

It would appear then, that the interpretation which perhaps most among us would in the first instance have looked upon as cold and formal, is, I might say, certainly true : and if so, it may well be a warning how we hold any thing, which ties us down to Christ's sacraments, to be cold or formal ; for in this case it will be God's Holy Spirit which we have ignorantly suspected of teaching coldly and lifelessly. Not as though we supposed that the Apostle here speaks of a sealing, which having taken place once for all, it then remained, as it were on a lifeless mass of goods, or would keep us safe without any effort, self-denial, or prayer ; but rather, that as a living seal stamped upon our souls by the Spirit of life, and bearing with

' Bellarmine (de Sacra m. L. i. c. 170 remarking, that Scripture saith, Abraham " received the sign {(Ttifiilov) of circumcision, the seal ((r^payt^a) of the faith which he had," &c., infers that circumcision was a sign to the Jews, a seal to Abraham only : he remarks, also, that, often as St Paul speaks of circumcision, he does not, even when directly speaking of its benefits to the Jews (Rom. iii.), mention its being a seal of faith. J. Gerhard (de Sacram. 387* )> contends, in answer, that there is no difference between sign and seal. But the difference remains between Abraham's case and that of any Jew, that to Abraham circumcision was a seal of God's approval of his previous faith, €6 his descendants it was a sign only of their being taken into the covenant, in which a like faith was to be exerciiied.

' See Note (E), Ht the end. ■-'''■■



it the impress of the Divine Nature, it would renew continually in our souls the image of Him who created us, our Father, our Redeemer, our Sanctifier, make us more and more wholly His, more partakers of that Nature ; and that we, having that " seal of God upon our foreheads," (Rev. ix. 4.) and our hearts, the Angel of the bottomless pit should not have any power to hurt us, unless we allow it to be obliterated. The difference between the two interpretations, as before said, is this — the one would date his sealing from the time when any man ceases to oppose the workings of God's Holy Spirit (which might unobjectionably be called, though not by a scriptural phrase, the conversion of such an one) ; the other would look upon it as our Saviour's gift in His sacrament of Baptism, wherein all the gracious influences of God's Holy Spirit, as well those which any of us contumaciously reject, as those which we at last admit, are pledged to us. We may learn very much by all such instances, in which our own (as we suppose Christian) views differ from the teaching of God's Word ; and, were we to watch all the instances in which (with a but half-acknowledged repugnance or distaste) we glide over statements of doctrine, or practice, or history, which are not in accordance with our state of feeling, we should learn far more, and become far completer Christians, than we now are. For then we should be indeed God's scholars, which we can hardly call ourselves, as long as we make these self-willed selections of what we will learn. Thus one, who looks upon the Lord's Supper as little more than a commemorative sign of an absent thing, passes lightly over our Saviour's words, " This is my Body." Another glosses over the doctrine of justification by faith. In these days we seem almost to have lost sight of the truth, that we shall be judged according to our works. Other's omit passages bearing upon the " godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ," (Art. xvii.) ; others, the possibility of our falling away from God, and its great danger ; and so again, the injunctions as to unceasing prayer, self-denial, non-requital of injuries, vain ostentation, or the glorifying of our Heavenly Father, are dispensed with without remorse, and read



with what, if men examined it, they would find to be the very spirit o£ unbelief.

Of such instances, is St. Paul's comparison of the relation of the married state to that of Christ and his Church (Eph. v. 22. sqq.) A portion of " the world" has already begun to shrink from this ; and no wonder : for with what different feelings ought marriage to be thought of, encompassed, realized, lived in, if it is in any way to furnish a type of the relation of Christ to His Church ! It is not, however, so much to our purpose to dwell on this, as to look on the converse ; what different feelings, namely, the Apostle must have had, with regard to the Church as the whole, and to Holy Baptism ; — in that he not only speaks of the Church prominently, and then but subordinately of the individual members; but that he in this place speaks in two words only, of Christ's precious blood-shedding, or rather of His whole life and death for the Church, and then dwells on the value of the gift of Baptism, and of the sanctification of the Church thereby intended. *' Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it ; that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it (dyiatrr/, Kadapiaac) * with the washing of water by the word, (t. e, as the Ancients explained it, ' water rendered powerful and efficacious by the Divine word of consecration,') that he might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." And this is the more remarkable, inasmuch as the Apostle draws no inference whatever from this description which he gives of the purity of the Church, but simply concludes as he began, " so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies, — even as the Lord the Church." The only point of comparison which he iqsists on, is the fostering love of Christ, which the husband wa£, in his relation, to imitate : and therefore, since St. Paul thus singled out and dwelt upon the gift of Baptism, he must have had most exalted notions of that Sacrament, as a proof of

' **'"= "^ ' K ' -f' thr end.


BY EPH. V. 22. 41

the love of the Saviour of the Church, *' in nourishing and cherishing it." For a man doth not launch out into such a fervid description as this, without strong emotions of the value and excellency of what he so describes. Or, rather, one should say, the Holy Spirit, in filling the Apostle's mind with such high notions of the continual love and providence of Christ for His Church, as manifested in the efficacy which he gave to the water of Baptism, to sanctify and cleanse it, and in causing him thus to dwell on the purity thereby to be effected, must have intended to work a corresponding love in us, and to correct the cold and unloving sophisms of sense and reason about the power of Christ's institution. And yet I would confidently appeal to a large number of persons in the present day, whether, often as they have dwelt upon this animating description of the sanctification and spotlessness of Christ's Church, they have not (with a tacit feeling of not entering into -them) passed by, almost unnoticed, the words " with the washing of water," to which, however, the Apostle throughout refers in his subsequent picture of the Church's unblemishedness ? And if so, is it not time that we seek to correct this variance between the Apostle's feelings and our own ' ?

One might apply the same argument to the passages of St. John, (1 Epist. ii. 20, 27,) in which he speaks of the " anointing" which Christians had received from Christ. In each place he speaks of it as abiding in its effects ; but in the latter (c. ii. 27,) as having been received of Christ at some former time. Here again it might be natural to infer that a gift, whose operation continued, but which is spoken of as having been formerly received, was first communicated at some particular time, and

  • It is painful to see Calvin's continual anxiety lest too much should be attributed to the Sacrament, even while he rightly vindicates it. " It is as if he said that a pledge of that sanctification was given in Paptisra. Although we need a sound exposition here, lest men make themselves an idol out of the Sacrament (as often happens), through a perverse superstition," &c. and so on ; and yet even he had to speak against others, who " toiled (sudanl) in paring down and weakening this panegyric upon Baptism, lest too much should he assigned to the symbol, if it were called the bath of the soul.'* Ad loc. 12


that having been received from Christ, it was received through some institution of Christ. Again, the very term " anointing" would lead one to think of an act in part outward, and since it was employed under the Jewish law to consecrate things or persons to the service of God, it might the more obviously be used for the consecration of ' lay-priesthood ^ " as baptism is called ; and that the more, since our Blessed Saviour was actually consecrated and anointed (comp. Luke iii. 21, 22, iv. 1, 14, 16) by the descent and abiding of the Holy Ghost at His Baptism, and then became the Christ : since, moreover, the same " sevenfold gifts" of the Holy Spirit, which were bestowed upon the Christ at His baptism (Is. xi. 1, Ixi. 1, Luke iv. 18) are here spoken of by St. John, as having been in their measure imparted to Christians ; and ' anointing" (as we saw above) is by St. Paul (2 Cor. i.) united with the "sealing" of baptism. To this may be added the very use of the name '* the anointing" in Christian antiquity to designate baptism ; and the early and general use of Chrism or anointing, as a holy and significant act thereat, and since it was part of Baptism, a Sacramental act also^. But whether St. John (as seems to me most probable) referred to a specific act at Baptism, or to Baptism itself, as "making us kings and priests to God," thus far makes no difference. What I would now advert to is this, that Christian antiquity interpreted these passages of Holy Baptism, as being the source of our illumination, as of our sanctification ; while moderns find under the term " anointing" the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or grace, or wisdom, or the Blessed Spirit Himself, as anointing Christians either immediately, or mediately through the ministry of the word, — any thing in short rather than the institution of our Blessed Saviour. And I would wish persons to consider whether this do not imply a changed feeling, a less vivid recognition of the value of the " means of grace," and an independence of ordinances which is less humble than that of the early Christians. The same might be said of other passages ; and it may help

1 Jerome Adv. Lucif. c. 2. quoted by Bing^ham, B. xi. c. ^ See Note (G) at the end. .



to set before our eyes the extent of our practical departure from the system of early Christianity, if we touch briefly upon them. Thus, when St. Paul exhorts the Hebrews (iv. 22, 23) to draw near to Christ with a pure heart in full assurance of faith, inasmuch as their hearts had been purified by Christ's blood, and its merits applied by Holy Baptism, for so the Fathers understood the words " our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed by pure water," moderns have found mere allusions to legal ablutions, or else have supposed that " the washing of the body with pure water"' represented simply the purifying of the soul by the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, without any intervention of the consecrated element. Again, we might observe how in the Apostolic exhortation to unity (Eph. iv. 4^ sqq.) the oneness of baptism is set forth, together with all those things which we account most spiritual, " one body, one spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of ^1, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." As has been well said, ** all are things inward, belonging to the Church and to its several members." Our " one regeneration and engrafRng into Christ" may well occupy its place among our most glorious privileges, for it is the basis of all the rest ; the earnest of the Spirit, the ground of our hope, the gift or confirmation of our faith, the union with Christ, and thereby with His Father and our Father, how should it not be a thing most inward ? and how should we be ashamed, if we think only of the outward symbol under which it is made visible to us ? This also, we may note, is the fourth mention of baptism in this one short epistle to the Ephesians, — a Church, as it should seem, in the most spiritual state, of those to whom St. Paul wrote. The Sacrament of regeneration is again referred to by St. Paul (1 Cor. xii. 13) as a ground of Christian unity, together with that of the Communion with Christ, " By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body." *' Here, also, again," says Bucer^, ** there is ascribed to baptism an incorporation into Christ the Lord, and a con

» Dr vi Bapt. 0pp. Angl. i. p. 597



corporation in that Christ with all saints, and that by the same Spirit."

Again, let any one consider the emblems under which Baptism is pointed out in Scripture, as having been figured in the Old Testament, the flood, and the passage of the Red Sea. In modern times, neither has appeared a very obvious similitude : the symbol of the Ark, as an emblem of Christ's Church, has recommended itself to us ; not so the resemblance of Baptism to the flood, since the flood destroyed life, Baptism saves it. The Apostle, however, looks upon the flood as the entrance, and the only entrance into the Ark, and laying aside all other points of resemblance or of difference, he fixes our minds upon this one subject, — by what means we were brought in thither ' ; and since the flood was the occasion of Noah's entering the Ark, and the Ark was borne up by that water which destroyed those who entered not therein, he pronounces that ** the few, the eight souls were brought therein safe by water : the antitype whereof, Baptism, doth also now save us, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the inquiry into a good conscience towards God," i.e. Baptism, not as an outward rite, but accompanied with Faith, the baptized person answering with a good conscience to the inquiry made into his Faith ^. It was then an object with the Apostle to impress upon the minds of Christians the greatness of the Sacrament of Baptism, by comparing it with the most wonderful displays of Almighty power which this globe had ever witnessed : and the less obvious the resemblance, the more moment we must suppose there to have been in pointing out their connection : or rather we should admire God's mercy, who in the record of His dispensations so harmonized them together, that we should not be ** staggered through unbelief," at the meanness of the instruments which he uses'; but having seen that the Holy Spirit

  • " As that water which destroyed the rest of the world, preserved, as it were in death and by death, Noah and his family through a miracle of Divine benevolence : so Baptism engraffing us into the death of Christ, saves from eternal death, by the death of the old Adam and of sin." — Bucer de vi Baptismi Christi, Script. Anglic, p. 597

» See Note (H) at the end.

' " There is nothing," says Tertullian, " which so hardens the minds of



condescended to brood over the shapeless mass of waters, and thence to produce order and life — that water was the means appointed for saving Noah and his sons — that Moses and Israel descended into the water of the Red Sea as into a tomb, and thence arose again, and were delivered — that water cleansed Naaman from leprosy, and the children of Israel from pollution, — we might the more readily believe that water should be consecrated by God " for the mystical washing away of sin," and connect the admonitions of His previous dispensations with the greatness of our present privilege.

And whoever thinks lightly of Water-Baptism, if he compare his mind with that of St. Peter, will surely find himself reproved, in that the Apostle held the flood, which covered the face of the whole earth, and the tops of the highest mountains, and prevailed upwards, to be but a shadow and type ^ of the baptismal stream, which each of our little ones enters as a child of wrath, and arises " a child of God, a member of Christ, an heir of Heaven." And when men, guided perhaps by these scriptural types, or by tradition, saw in the blood and water which issued from their Saviour's side a pledge of the expiating and sanctifying character

men as that the Divine works appear in act so simple, while the effect promised is so magnificent ; so that here also, (in Baptism,) because with such simplicity, without pomp, or any new array, and lastly without cost, a man let down into the water and washed, while a few words are uttered, arises again not much, or not at all the cleaner, it appears incredible that he should thereby have obtained immortality. On the contrary the rites of the idols obtain trust and authority by apparatus and expense. Miserable unbelief, which denies to God His properties. Simplicity and Power — The first waters were ordered to bring forth living creatures, lest it should seem strange that in Baptism waters should give life." — De Bapt Init



of His Baptism, that it was a Baptism " not of water only, but of water and blood," of water purified, and purifying by the efficacy of that blood, one cannot deny that there was at least more of afFectionateness in their view ; and more of encouragement also, when in the heavens ^ opening at our Saviour's Baptism, they saw the emblem of the higher Heavens, opened by Him to all believers.

The same observation might be extended to the history of the first conversions to the faith. If, namely, we observe all the indications in the Acts, we shall find a stress laid upon baptism, which would surprise us, and thereby evince that there was something faulty in our previous notions. For baptism is not urged upon the converts, as we might suppose, as a proof of sincerity, or a test of faith, in embracing openly the worship of the Crucified, and so being prepared, literally as well as in spirit, to *' take up the cross and follow Him," but for its own benefits in and for itself. Let any one think what, according to his views of the Christian truth, would have been his answer to the multitude, who, " pricked in their hearts, asked Peter and the rest. Men and brethren, what shall we do ?" I doubt that their answer would not have been, " Repent and he baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I cannot but think that very many of us would have omitted all mention of baptism, and insisted prominently on some other portion of the Gospel message ; i. e, our notions of the relative value of Gospel truths and ordinances differ from those of the inspired Apostles. But to take a single instance, and that the most conspicuous, St. Paul. It is commonly said that he, having been miraculously converted, was regenerated, justified by faith, pardoned, had received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized. Not so, however, Holy Scripture, if we consider it attentively : before his baptism he appears neither to have been pardoned, regenerated,



justified, nor enlightened. He had been suddenly told his sin in persecuting Christ, and he asked, under this conviction, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" But Christ tells him not : He neither immediately pronounces his forgiveness nor teaches him how it may be obtained, but informs him solely that He has a work for him to perform, that he is now simply to obey, and what he is to do he shall know hereafter. Thus He sends him, his bodily blindness as an emblem of that of his mind, to tarry the Lord's leisure (Acts ix. 6. xxii. 10.) What took place during those three days and nights of bodily and mental darkness, during which, doubtless, in intense anxiety, (through which he " did neither eat nor drink"), with one only cheering look into the future ^, he reviewed the course of his past life, God's guidance, and his own wilfulness, we are not told ; nor how this probation of acute suffering was necessary for the framing of this " chosen vessel :" but it is at least implied, that, as yet, in answer to his prayers, there had been conveyed only a general intimation of God's good intentions toward him, of His purpose to remove the outward sign of His displeasure : •' Behold, he prayeth, and hath seen, in a vision, a man named Ananias, coming and putting his hand upon him, that he might receive his sight." But as yet neither were his sins forgiven, nor had he received the Holy Ghost; and consequently was not born again of the Spirit, before it was conveyed to him through his Saviour's Sacrament. " And now, why tarriest thou ?" says Ananias ; " arise, and be baptized, and wash'* away thy sins." (Acts xxii. 16.) " The

• Calvin, according to his view of sacraments, could not but paraphrase this — " That you may be assured, Paul, that your sins are remitted, be baptized. For the Lord promises remission of sins in baptism ; receive it, and be assured." And this is in answer to the objection, " Why did Ananias tell Paul to wash away his sins by baptism, if sins are not washed away by virtue of baptism?" Instit. iv. 15, de Baptismi, § 15. Such an answer will scarcely satisfy any one. Contrast with this Bucer's simple inference, " In these words, then, there is ascribed to baptism the effect of remitting or washing away of sins."

"^ See Note (I) at the end.



Lord Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way, as tliou comest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." And this was done ; for *' there fell from his eyes as it had been scales, and he received sight forthwith, arose, and was baptized." The account of the fulfilment is obviously commensurate with the promise. As then by the falling of the scales, his outward darkness was removed, and he received sight ; so by baptism was the inward, and he was filled with the Holy Ghost. But if even to St. Paul, for whose conversion our Saviour Himself vouchsafed again to become visible to human sight, regeneration and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit were not imparted without the appointed Sacrament of grace, why should this be expected or looked for by others ?

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when I view my sins, mine eyes remove

More backward still, and to that water fly.

Which is above the heavens, whose spring and vent

Is in my dear Redeemer's pierced side.

O blessed streams ! either ye do prevent

And stop our sins from growing thick and wide,

Or else give tears to drown them as they grow.

George Herbert. Holy Baptism.

Hitherto, we have dwelt on tlie greatness of the privileges of Baptism : there is yet another, and a very awful view given in Holy Scripture, the danger of losing them. Though " not every deadly sin, willingly committed after Baptism, is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable ; and therefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism," (Art. 16), still it appears that every deadly sin after Baptism is not only a step towards final impenitence, but weakens Baptismal grace, and tends to deprive the individual of the ordinary means of restoration. The solemn warning of St. Paul to the Hebrews, (who on account of their fiery trials were especially exposed to the danger of falling away) is by the universal voice of Christian antiquity applied to this case. ** It " is impossible," he says, (vi. 1. sqq.) as his ground for not " laying " again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of ** faith towards God, of the doctrine of Baptisms and of laying " on of hands;" '* it is impossible for those who have once been ' enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and been made ' partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of



" God, and the powers of the world to come, and yet liave fallen " away, to renew them again unto repentance." Some of this language is now become strange to us, and we might be perplexed to affix the precise meaning to the words " having been " enlightened," and " to renew again ;" and we should therefore attach the more value to the expositions of those who lived near the Apostle's time and spoke his language. These, however, ' all, without hesitation, explain ** the being enlightened,** of the light imparted to men's minds by the Holy Ghost through Baptism ; the " renewal" (as in Tit. iii. 5) of the renovation of our nature then bestowed. ^ Nor can any other ground be assigned, for the title " illumination" (^wrta/ioe) applied even in the second century^ to Christian Baptism, than that they even then understood St. Paul (here and x. 32) to speak of " baptized persons" as " illuminated" {^wTiaQivrao) : the Syriac rendering " baptized," attests the interpretation of the Eastern Church at the same period. In both passages indeed there is a manifest reference to the commencement of the Christian course ; here to the " elements of the doctrine of Christ," in c. x., to the resoluteness with which, in " the former days" they, " having been enlightened," (i. e. as soon as they were enlightened,) "sustained a great struggle of afflictions." The Fathers then, i. e. the whole which we know of the early Church, uno ore, explain this whole passage of the privileges of Christian Baptism, and of the impossibility of man's again conferring those privileges upon those who had once enjoyed them and had forfeited them : nay, they urge it as at once conclusive against the

  • See Suicer vv. avaKaivi^a), dvaKaivitTig, avuKaivifffiog, avaf^dTTTiffig, &va<TTavp6(jj, 0wrt<T/iog.

  • By Justin Martyr Apolog. 2. Clemens Alex, ap Euseb. see below note E, and again Paedag. L. i. c. 6. " Baptized we are enlightened, enlightened we are adopted as sons, adopted we are perfected, perfected we are immortalized." " And Baptism," he says, " is called enlightening, because thereby we are admitted to gaze upon that holy and saving light" So the very ancient •' Acta Theclae," (see Grabe Spicileg. t. i. p. 91, 2.) St. Chrysostom, when enumerating the Scriptural names of Baptism (ad lUuminand. Catech. i. § 2. t. ii. p. 228. ed. Boned.) quotes these two passages in proof that it is called " enlightening" (fwrifffia).



repetition of Baptism K They restrain not, nor limit the mercies of God, that " he may peradventure give them repentance, — and " tliat they may awake out of the snare of the devil, who have " been taken alive by him at his will;" (2 Tim. ii. 25, 26) but they say that the Apostle here peremptorily decides that man has no means to restore such ; for man it is impossible ^ " See," says St. Chrysostora' , " how awfully and forbiddingly he begins. " * Impossible !' i. e. look not for what is not possible. He saith ' not, it is not fitting, is not expedient, is not allowable, but — ' is " impossible ;' so that he at once casts them into desperation, if " they have but once been illuminated. — Is then repentance ex" eluded 11   " Almost all the antients," says G. I. Vossius, " prove from this passage that Baptism may not be repeated." Disp. 17. de Baptismo, § 9. Besides the Commentators, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Primasius, Sedulius, Haimo, Theophylact, CEcumenius, he quotes Ambrose de Pcenitentia L. 2. c. 2. Epipha-' nius Haeres. 59. Jerome c. Jovinian L. ii. Augustine Expos, inchoat. ad Rom. (t. iii. p. 2. p. 938), Cyrill. in Joann. L. v. c. 17- Damascenus de fide L. iv. c. 10. " Scripture," says St. Augustine (de fide et operibus § 17. t. vi. p. 174.) " abundantly and plainly testifies that all these things (those spoken of by the Apostle, Heb. vi. 1, 2.) belong to the very commencements of newmade Christians." Not repentance, God forbid ! but a renewal again by *' Baptism : for he saith not * impossible that they should be " renewed to repentance,' and there stops ; but adds * that they " should be renewed, i. e, become new, * by crucifying again :' " for to * make men new' belongs only to Baptism ; but the " office of Repentance is, when they have been made new, and " then become old through sins, to free them from this old* ** ness, and make them new ; hut it cannot bring them to that ^^ former brightness : for then (in Baptism) the whole was grace." He then, (as do all the other Fathers) explains the words " cru




" cifyiug the Son of God for themselves afresh" of a second Baptism, as the means of their restoration : it is impossible for them to renew themselves by repeating their Baptism, " since " this would be crucifying for themselves the Son of God afresh ^ :" (and this corresponds better with the original than our present version, " seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh," inasmuch as the Apostle changes the tense, " it is impossible " having fallen away (xapaTrccovrac) to renew them again, cruci^^ fying (i. e. by crucifying dvaaravpovyrag)." " For," Chrysostom proceeds, " Baptism is the cross : for * our old man was ** crucified with Him,' Rom. vi. 6., and again, ' we were con" formed to the likeness of His death,' (v. 5.), and again, * we ' have been buried with Him by Baptism into death' (v. 4.) " As then Christ cannot be crucified again, (for this w^ere to put ** Him to an open shame,) so cannot a person be baptized again. " He then who baptizeth himself a second time, crucifies Him " again — for as Christ died on the cross, so we in Baptism, not " in the body, but to sin — by Baptism our old man was buried, " and our new man arose, which was conformed to the likeness " of His death. If then we must be baptized again. He must die ** again. For Baptism is nothing else than the destroying of that " self that is buried, and raising that other. And he well says, *' * crucifying again for themselves,' for he who does this, for" getful of the former benefit, and living carelessly, acts through' out as if there were another Baptism. And what means ' having • tasted the heavenly gift' ? it is the * forgiveness of sins.' For " this grace belongeth to God only to impart ; and this grace is " once only grace — he shews that here (in Baptism) there are " many gifts : hear, that you may understand : God has vouch' safed to thee, he saith, so great a remission ; to thee who ** sattest in darkness, an enemy, oppnser, alienated, hater of " God, lost — thou, being such an one, wert suddenly enlightened ; '• the Spirit, the heavenly gift, adoption, the kingdom of Heaven, ** all other blessings, and mysteries unutterable, were vouch" safed to thee ; and if, after this, thou art not the better — and

  • Ambrose I. c " In Baptism wc crucify in us the Son of God."


"" that when thou deservedst perdition, but obtainedst salvation ** and honour, as if thou hadst done excellently, — how couldst ** thou be baptized again? In two ways then he shows the " thing to be impossible, and places the strongest last. First, " that one upon whom so great things had been bestowed, and ** who treacherously abandoned what had been given him, is ' unworthy of being again renewed : secondly, that it is not " possible that He should again be crucified : for this would be " to put Him to an open shame. There is then no second " Baptism, none. But if there is, there is a third also, and a " fourth ; and the former Baptism is annulled by each successive " one, and so on to infinity. And v^rhen he says, * and having " tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to " come,' he does not conceal this, (that there is no second Bap" tism) but almost expressly says it. For to live as Angels, — *' to stand in need of none of these earthly things, — to know " that our adoption guaranteeth to us the enjoyment of future " ages — to look to enter into that unapproachable sanctuary — " this we learn (then) from the Spirit. But what are * the powers " of the world to come ? Life eternal, or an existence like the " Angels : of these things we received the earnest through faith " from the Spirit. Tell me then, hadst thou been brought into " the royal palace, entrusted with all things therein, and then " betrayed all, wouldst thou again be entrusted with them ?"

" What then ?" he asks, " is there according to the Apostle, " no repentance ? There is repentance, but there is no second " Baptism." And he then describes the repentance whereby Christ might again be formed in us, a repentance, — far different from the easy notions of many in modern times, — through " condemnation of sin, confession, deep and abiding and abased " humility, intense prayer, many tears by night and day, much " almsgiving, abandonment of all anger, universal forgiveness, " bearing all things meekly" — so that, beyond the ordinary Christian graces, he seems to think that one who after falling from Baptismal grace, should ever be restored, should not look upon himself as in the rank of those who had kept the white robe of Baptism undefiled, but should live continually the life of



Penitents. And this is not Chrysostom's opinion only, but that of the ancient Church, that one who shall have fallen grievously after Baptism, though he may " by God's grace arise again and *' amend his life," (Art. 16.) cannot be in the same condition, as if he had never so fallen. So also in Scripture. Two great branches of our Blessed Saviour's office are set forth to us. His death and His intercession — His death, the merits of which are applied to us in Baptism, as containing the remission of all past sin, the death of the old man, the imparting of a new nature, the quickening and renewing our souls, the placing us in a state of salvation, as saith St. Paul — " God hath set forth Christ Jesus •' to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His " righteousness for the remission of the sins that are past," the former sins^ (rwv irpoyeyoyortop afxapTiifiaTioy) (Rom. iii. 25,) " the sins of the times of ignorance :" (Acts xvii. 30.) His intercession for sins into which through the infirmity of the flesh, though Christians, we may yet fall. " For these," St. John, who is manifestly speaking of the sins of true believers, saith, " we have an " Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He " is the propitiation for our sins :" but we have no account in Scripture of any second remission, obliteration, extinction of all sin, such as is bestowed upon us by " the one Baptism for the " remission of sins." And that such was the view of the antient Church, appears the mo^e from the very abuse which we find derived from it; that many, namely, delayed continually the

  • Comp. 2 Pet. i. 9, " having fallen into a forgetfulness of the purification of his old sins" (ruiv waXai avrov afiapriiov). (Ecumenius paraphrases, (comparing St, James i. 22.) " For such a man, having known that he was washed from a multitude of sins, in that he was cleansed by Holy Baptism, ought to have known, that having been cleansed he received holiness also, and so should watch always to preserve that ' holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.' But he forgat it." Justin Martyr, Apol. 1. § 61. p. 80. ed. St Maur. " That we may not remain subject to slavery of the will and ignorance, but may have free choice and knowledge, and may in the water obtain remission of the sins, which we have before committed, (a^iffeioc Tt afiapTidv iinip dfv TpoiJiiapTOfiev rvx<^/iev iv t<^ vSan) the name of God is named over him who wishes to be regenerated, and hath repented {utrav.oiiaavTi) for his misdeeds."


Sacrament of Baptism (much as persons now do the other Sacrament), because, after they should have received it, they should no more have such full remission. And this unholy frame of mind the Fathers endeavoured to correct, not by denying that they therein held truly, but by setting forth the uncertainty of life, (that so perchance persons who thus neglected Baptism might miss it altogether,) the unworthiness of such a frame of mind — which would desire merely to escape punishment, not to obtain reward or a Father's love, — the ungodliness of thus shrinking from labouring in God's vineyard ; but they do not deny, nay they urge as a ground of very careful and wary walking, that the Baptismal purity, if once soiled, cannot be altogether restored : " for that there is no second regeneration ^ " (i. e. no second Baptism,) " no re-formation, no restoration to our former " state, yea, though we seek this most earnestly, with many " groans and tears ; whence there with difficulty (as I at least "judge) comes over a certain healing process, which leaves a " scar. For this healing does come over (and would that we could " efface the scars also ! since I too need much mercy), yet is it " better to stand in need of no second purification, but to abide by ** the first, which is, I know, common to all and without toil — " (common as the breath of heaven, and diffusion of light, and *' changes of the seasons, and contemplation of God's works,) " and imparted with an equal portion of faith. For it is a fearful " thing to bring upon ourselves a laborious for an easy cure ; " and having cast aside God's pitying grace, to indebt ourselves " to chastisement, and set reformation against sin. For how " great tears shall we bring before God, that we may equal the " fountain of Baptism" ? This, I am aware, will appear to many in these days a novel doctrine ; to some it perhaps may even seem to trench upon the efficacy of our Saviour's Death : one should be much grieved to perplex any one on such a subject as this : yet better were some temporary perplexity, than that we

^ OwK ovaijg devrkpag avayf,vvr]anxXQ, ovdk dvaTrXdfTecjQ, ovde dg rb dpxalov dTTOKaTaOTcianog. St. Gregory of Nazianzum. Orat. 40, de S. Baptismo, t. i. p. 641. ed. Paris, add Caesarius Arelat. Horn. xKi. quoted by Bp. Taylor, Effect of Repentance. Sect. 5. § 58.



should go on, teaching people to lean on those merits, in a way unauthorised by God. Since then assuredly we have no Scriptural authority for such views, it may be useful, in order to remove some of th6 prejudice which lies against a forgotten doctrine, to adduce some passages of other Fathers, men who loved and reverenced tlieir Saviour, who were engaged in defending the truth of the Gospel, and the first of whom was one of the greatest instruments whom God ever raised up for its pure and holy transmission. St. Athanasius * then says on this same passage : '* The Apostle saith not ' it is impossible to repent ;' " but impossible on the ground of repentance to renew us. And " these are very different. For he who repenteth, ceaseth indeed " from sinning, but reiaineik the scars of his wounds : but he who " is baptized, puts off the old man, and is renewed, having been " born again by the grace of the Spirit." St. Cyril of Jerusalem has the same metaphor and the same doctrine. In opposition to the heretics, who spoke of the body as of a mere outward garment, whose defilements affect not ourselves, he says ^, " As a wound " which has made deep progress in the body, though it be healed, "yet the scar remains, so sin also wounds the soul and body, " and the marks of the scars remain in all : they are removed " wholly from those only who receive the * bath.' Former " wounds then of soul and body God heals through Baptism, but ** as to the future let us keep ourselves with all diligence ; that " having preserved this garment of the body pure, we may not, by " a little defilement and self-indulgence, or any other sin, forfeit " everlasting salvation." And in like manner Epiphanius^ even when writing against the error of the Novatians, still insists, ** In truth it is impossible to renew those who have been once " renewed and have fallen away. For neither can Christ be " born again that He may be crucified for us, nor may any one *' crucify again the Son of God, who is not again to be crucified, " nor can any one receive a second Baptism, for there is one " Baptism and one renewal. But immediately afterwards the



'* holy Apostle, healing the Church, and caring for its members, " subjoins the cure of these things, saying * I am persuaded better " things,' &c. (Heb. vi. 9.) You see how absolutely he declared '• that the renewal cannot take place a second time: but still "did not exclude from salvation those who yet repented ; but " declared that they were yet allied to it, and had God as the ** helper of their good deeds, when they repented most thoroughly " of their offences, and turned and forsook them." And not in the case of gross sin only, but of the infirmities of good Christians, they held that the scar still remained, even towards the end of life ; to be effaced only by continued repentance to the very last. " I think," says Basil ', " that those noble combatants of " God, who have during their whole life wrestled thoroughly " with the invisible enemies, after they have escaped all their " persecutions, and are come to the end of life, are examined by " the ruler of this world, that if they be found to have wounds " from their contests, or any stain or mark of sin, they may be " a while detained [in life] ; but if they be found un wounded " and unstained, as being invincible and free, they have their " rest given them by Christ."

The Fathers urge the difficulty of the cure of sin after Baptism, at the same time that they urge men to seek it : they set side by side the possibility and the pains of repentance ; they urge against the Novatian heretic, that there is still ** mercy with God, that " He may be feared :" they urge this truth against our own fears, and the insinuations of the evil one, who would suggest hard and desponding thoughts of God, in order to keep in his chain those more energetic spirits, who feel the greatness of their fall, and would undergo any pains whereby they might be restored : but the Antient Church consulted at the same time for that more relaxed and listless sort, (of whom the greater part of mankind consist) who would make the incurring of eternal damnation, the breaking of Covenant with God, the forfeiture of His Spirit, the profanation of His Temple (ourselves) a light thing and easy to be repaired. Therefore, while they set forth the greatness of



God's mercy, they concealed not the greatness of man's sin, in again defiling what God had anew hallowed : they concealed not that such a fall was worse than Adam's, since it was a fall from a higher state and in despite of greater aids : that though God's mercy was ever open, yet it required more enduring pains, more abiding self-discipline, more continued sorrow, again to become capable of that mercy. God is always ready to forgive : the sins can be forgiven ; and yet they are not ! why ? but because to rise again after falling from Baptismal grace, is far more difficult than the easiness with which men forgive their own sins, leads them to think ; the frame of mind which would really seek forgiveness, requires greater conflict, more earnest prayers, more complete self-abasement, and real renunciation of self, than men can bring themselves to think necessary, or comply with. Men will not confess to themselves how far astray they have gone : they cannot endure that all should be begun anew ; and so they keep their sins and perish ! But on that very account did the early Church the more earnestly warn them of the greatness of the effort needed. While she affectionately tendered the hopes of pardon held out in God's word, she faithfully warned men not to build those hopes on the sand. She called on men to return — not as if now they could at once lay down all their burthen at their Saviour's feet, but to wash His feet with their tears ; to turn — not with the mockery of woe, but with weeping, fasting, mourning, and rending of the heart. They separated not what God had joined. This the Romish Church has done in its way. They held in words, as well as we, that the Sacrament of Baptism could not be repeated, and that its efficacy alone would not wash away sins subsequently committed; but by devising the new Sacrament of Penance, they did contrive, without more cost, to restore men, however fallen, to the same state of undisturbed security in which God had by Baptism placed them ^ Penance



became a second Baptism. Man's longing to be once again secure, was complied with : his old sins were effaced, not to rise up again against him : again and again he began afresh : again and again he was told, " Thy sins are forgiven thee," and so the salutary anxiety about past sin, and its fruit *' a righteous, godly, " and sober life," were in ordinary minds choked and effaced. Perverting the earnest sayings of the Fathers, they turned the hard and toilsome way of Repentance into the easy and royal road of Penance. Let us beware lest by an opposite course we arrive at the same result. The blood of Christ is indeed allpowerful to wash away sin ; but it is not at our discretion, at once, on the first expression of what may be a passing sorrow, to apply It. On true repentance It will yet " cleanse men from all sin ;" but how much belongs to true repentance ! The fountain has been indeed opened to wash away sin and uncleanness, but we ^are not promise men a second time the same easy access to it, which they once had : that way is open but once : it were to abuse the power of the keys entrusted to us, again to pretend to admit them thus : now there remains only the " Baptism of tears," a Baptism obtained, as the same fathers said S with much fasting, and with many prayers. We are famihar with the striking saying of Tertullian = against despair. " God would not threaten the impenitent, unless He forgave the " penitent." Would that we equally laid to heart what he says in the same places, of the greatness of that penitence ! *' Thus " far, (namely of Baptismal repentance), thus far, O Christ the " Lord, may Thy servants hear and learn of the discipline of re" pentance, to hear which it needs not that [while Thy servants]

" admit a new Sacrament distinct from Baptism, whereby remission of sins •* may be given. Nor can the adversaries say that Paul only means that the *' action of Baptism ought not to be repeated, for Paul does not speak of the " rite, but of its effect, i. e. renewal. Wherefore, if we cannot have again " the effect of Baptism, we must look certainly for some other rite, some *' other Sacrament."

  • Clemens of Alexandria, ap. Euseb. H. E. 1. 3. c. 23. of the youth who having after Baptism become a robber was restored by St. John. 3 De Poenitentia, c. 8. ^ C. 7. sqq.


" they should have offended : henceforth let them know and re" quire nothing of [such] repentance. I am loath to subjoin " the mention of a second, yea of a last, hope ; lest treating again " of a yet remainir^ aid of penitence, I should seem to mark out " a space for sin. God forbid, that men should so interpret this, " as if a door was open to sin, because it is open to repentance ; " and the redundancy of divine benevolence should make human " rashness to wax wanton. Let no one become the worse, be** cause God is the more good : sinning again, because there is " again forgiveness : there will be an end of escaping, if there is " not of offending." After praising those then who shrunk from being *' again a burthen to the Divine mercy, and who dreaded " to seem to trample on what they had obtained," he thus at last, timidly, or rather reverently, advances to set forth God's last provision against the malice of Satan, repentance after Baptism. " God, providing against these his poisons, though the " door of full oblivion (ignoscentiae) is closed, and the bolt of ** Baptism fastened up, alloweth somewhat still to be open. He " hath placed in the vestibule (of the Church, where penitents " used to kneel) a second repentance, which might be open to " those who knock." But how does Tertullian describe this discipline ? " Full confession (exomologesis) is the discipline " of prostrating and humbling the whole man ; enjoining a con" versation which may excite pity ; it enacts as to the very dress " and sustenance — to lie on sackcloth and ashes : the body ** defiled, the mind cast down with grief: those things, in which " he sinned, changed by a mournful treatment : for food and " drink, bread only and water, for the sake of life not of the " belly : for the most part to nourish prayer by fasting : to groan ; " to weep ; to moan day and night before the Lord their God ; ** to embrace the knees of the Presbyters and of the friends of " God ; to enjoin all the brethren to pray for them. All this is ** contained in * full confession,' with the view to recommend " their repentance ; to honour the Lord by trembling at their " peril ; by pronouncing on the sinner, to discharge the office of " the indignation of God ; and by temporal affliction, — I say not " to baffle, but — to blot out eternal torment. When therefore it



** rolls them on the earth, it the rather raises them : when it ** defiles, it cleanses them : accusing, it excuses them : condemn" ing, it absolves them. In as far as thou sparest not thyself, *' in so far will God, be assured, spare thee \"

It is not of course the outward instances and expressions of grief, of which Tertullian speaks, which one would contrast with our modern practice ; although most sincere penitents will probably have found it a great hindrance to effectual repentance, that they were obliged to bear about the load of their grief in their own bosoms ; that they might not outwardly mourn ; that they must go through the daily routine of life without unburthening their souls by a public confession ; that they could not, without the evils of private confession, obtain the prayers of God's servants ^ ; that their outward, must needs be at variance with, thwarting, contradicting their inward, life : — but this is a distinct subject, although it may well make us pray, that God would fit our Church again to receive the godly discipline, whose absence she annually laments ', and yet cannot restore. And how are we not open to the indignant burst of Tertullian *, after speaking of the luxury of his day, ** Seek the

' This is a sentiment frequent among tbe Fathers, founded on 1 Cor. xi. 31. see e. g. St. Augustine Serm. 351, De Poenitentia c. 4. St. Ambrose de Lapsu Virginis § 36. It has nothing to do with the Romish doctrine of satisfaction : thus even Calvin, (Institt. 3, 3, 15) " The last character of repentance " is 'revenge' (2 Cor. vii. 11) for the severer we are upon ourselves, the " more rigidly we bring our sins to account, so much the more may we hope " to have God propitious and merciful. Yea, it cannot be, but that the ** mind struck down with horror at the Divine judgment, should anticipate " the office of revenge by enacting punishment on itself. Fear cannot be too " great which ends in humility, and does not abandon hope of pardon."

3 Commination Service. * L. c. §. 11.



" baths or the glad retreats of the sea-side ; add to thy expense ; " bring together large store of food ; choose thee wines well re" fined ; and when they ask thee, on whom bestowest thou this ? " say, — I have offended against God, I am in danger of perishing " eternally, and therefore I am now distracted, and wasted, and " agonized, if by any means I may reconcile God, whom, by my '* iniquities, I have offended."

But what one does mourn, is the loss of that inward sorrow, that overwhelming sense of God's displeasure, that fearfulness at having provoked His wrath, that reverent estimation of His great holiness, that participation of His utter hatred of sin, that loathing of self for having been so unlike to Christ, so alien from God ; it is that knowledge of the reality and hatefulness of sin, and of self, as a deserter of God ; that vivid perception of Heaven and hell, of the essential and eternal contrast between God and Satan, sin and holiness, and of the dreadful danger of having again fallen into the kingdom of darkness, after having been brought into that of light and of God's dear Son, — it is this that we have lost : it was this which expressed itself in what men would now call exaggerated actions, and which must appear exaggerated to us, who have so carnal and common-place a standard of a Christian's privileges, and a Christian's holiness. The absence of this feeling expresses itself in all our intercourse with the bad, our tolerance of evil, our apathy about remediable, and yet unremedied, depravity ; our national unconcernedness about men's souls ; our carelessness amid the spiritual starvation of hundreds of thousands of our own people. We are in a lethargy. Our very efforts to wake those who are deeper asleep, are numbed and powerless. Until we lay deeper the foundations of repentance, the very preaching of the Cross of Christ becomes hut a means of carnal security.

It is indeed a hard and toilsome path which these Fathers point out, unsuited to our degraded notions of Christianity, as an easy religion, wherein sin and repentance are continually to alternate, pardon and Heaven are again and again offered to all who can but persuade themselves that they are sorry for their sins, or who, from circumstances, from time of life, or any other outward




cause, have abandoned the grosser of them. But who empowered us to say that Christ's is an easy yoke to those who have again drawn back to the flesh ? Our God has indeed once rescued us : our God will still receive those " who, with hearty ' repentance and true faith, turn unto Him." But the God of the New Testament is not different from the God of the Old. *' Our God is a consuming fire." "Repentance," says St. Ambrose *, " must be not in words but in deed. And this will be, " if thou settest before thine eyes from what glory thou hast " fallen, and out of what book of life thy name has been blotted, " and if thou believest that thou art placed close by the outer " darkness, where shall be weeping of eyes and gnashing of " teeth, endlessly. When thou shalt have conceived this in thy " mind, as it is, with an undoubting faith, that the offending soul *' must needs be delivered to the infernal pains, and the fires of ' hell, and that after the one Baptism no other remedy is ap" pointed than the solace of repentance, be content to undergo " any affliction, any suffering, so thou mayest be freed from " eternal punishment." ** Such a life," he adds, in a case still miserably common, since the bodies of all Christians are the temples of the Holy Ghost, " such a life, such a performance " of repentance, if it be persevering, may venture to hope, if " not for glory, at least for freedom from punishment."

Hereby it is not meant to imply that the efficacy of Baptism for the remission of sin ceases altogether after it has once been bestowed, which is the error of the Romanists ; for we are by Baptism brought into covenant with God, and are made members of Christ, and are entitled to His all-prevailing intercession, when with hearty repentance we again turn to Him : but only that we are then washed, once for all, in His blood ; and that, if we again sin, there remaineth no more such complete ablution in this life. We must bear the scars of the sins, which we have contracted : we must be judged according to our deeds. The sense of Scripture in either case is clearly expressed by St.

  • De Lapsu Virginis Consecratse c. 8 ; or it may be St. Nicetas, Bp. of Dacia before A.D. 392, a man celebrated for piety, learning, and eloquence. See Tillemont Memm. t. x. pp. 128, 263, sqq.




Augustine. For, on the one hand, he saith ', " that, by the '* same washing of regeneration; and word of sanctifieation, all " the ills of regenerated man are wholly cleansed and healed ; " not only the sins, which are now in Baptism all forgiven, but " those also which are afterwards contracted by human ignorance " and infirmity. Not that Baptism is to be repeated as often as " sin is committed, but because thereby that it is once given, there ' is obtained for the faithful, pardon for all sins, not only for those " before, but even for those afterwards committed. For what ** would repentance benefit, either before Baptism, unless Bap" tism followed ; or afterwards, unless it preceded? In the " Lord's prayer itself, which is our daily cleansing, with what " fruit or effect would the words * forgive us our trespasses' be " used, unless by persons baptized ?" On the other hand, he says distinctly ^, " when an infant begins to have sins of its own " after Baptism, these are not removed by Regeneration, but are " healed by another cure." And so again he distinguishes at length between three sorts of penitence : one, necessary previous to Baptism, for all except infants, (who, since they cannot exercise freewill, may, through the interrogatories and answers of others, be cleansed from the stains of sins which they contracted through others, of whom they were born ;) secondly, the daily penitence, during the whole of our mortal hfe, for those blameworthy and unholy motions, which, day by day, through the infirmity of the flesh, creep over us ; thirdly, for those sins comprised under the Decalogue, if they should be committed. So

1 De Nuptiis, § 38.

2 Epist. 98. ad Bonifac.

' De Poenitentia, Serm. 351 (alias 50 inter 50), § 2 fin. The same triple division of repentance recurs in his de Symbolo, § 15. " In three ways are sins remitted in the Church, — in Baptism, in prayer, in the deeper humiliation of penitence ; yet God forgiveth not sin, except to the baptized. Those very sins, which He first remits, He remits only to the baptized ; when ? when they are baptized. The sins, which are afterwards forgiven to us on our praying, and to the penitent, whom He forgiveth, He forgiveth them, as being baptized. For how can they say * Our Father,' who are not yet born ? As long as they are CatechumeDs, (disciples but unbaptizcd), their sins are upon them."



that he distinctly and clearly sepaTates those sins which, by virtue of our Baptism, are directly remitted to us, and those for which tlie harder and abiding course of repentance is necessary; although it be our Baptism in the blood of Christ, which renders that repentance effectual. In like manner, St. Leo* speaks of " tlie manifold mercy of God, which so succours human ** failing, as that the hope of eternal life should not only be ' bestowed by the free grace of Baptism, but repaired also by " the medicine of peni-tence ; so that they who had violated the " gifts of regeneration, condemning themselves by their own " judgment, should yet attain to the remission of sins." And Theodoret ^ in like manner, vindicating the privilege and possibility of repentance after Baptism, still retains this solemn distinction in the character of sin, and the mode of its forgiveness : "When the Lord gave the disciples a form of prayer, " He bade them say, * Forgive us our trespasses.' This prayer " we do not teach the unconsecrated, but the consecrated (bap' tized.) For no unconsecrated person can dare to say * Onr " Father,' not having yet received the gift of adoption. But he " who has obtained the gift of Baptism, calls God ' Father,' as " being accounted among the sons by grace. These then were " enjoined to say, * forgive us our trespasses.' The wounds then " received after Baptism are curable ; but not as before, in that " then remission is given through faith alone, but now through " many tears, and mournings, and weepings, and fastings, and " prayer, and toil proportioned to the greatness of the sin com" mitted. For we have been taught neither to despair of those " thus circumstanced, nor yet readily to impart to them the ** Holy Rites. * Give not,' He saith, * that which is holy to *' dogs, nor cast the pearls before swine.' "

Nor are these the views of a later age. On the contrary, the higher we ascend, the more we find a reverential and alarmed apprehension of the great danger of grievous falls after Baptism. Easy remission of sin after Baptism, was a fruit of growing cor



ruption ; and this, occasioning, rather than occasioned by, the abuse of the power of the keys. The source of the fears of the early writers, is the more remarkable, as it is entirely independent ; they namely referring to the oral, as we to the written teaching of the Apostles. That independence obviously strengthens the belief in tlj^ accuracy of their tradition, and of the more awful and rigid interpretation of the Apostle's words ; and both combine in the more solemn warning to ourselves. St. Irenaeus \ then, expressly referring for his authority to a Presbyter, who had learnt from the disciples of the Apostles, alleges the great danger which we should incur by sin after Baptism, as a ground why we should be reserved in blaming the sins of the old Fathers. ** For ^ " their history was written for our warning : for, if the ancients, " who preceded us in gifts, for whom the Son of God had not yet " suffered, if they failed in any thing, and served the desires of *' the flesh, were visited with such disgrace, what shall they now " suffer, who have despised the coming of the Lord, and served " tlieir pleasures ? And for those the death of the Lord was a " cure and remission : but for those who now sin, Christ shall not " now die ; for death shall not now have dominion over Him ; but " the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from " His stewards and dispensers, with usury,, the money which He " lent them : and to whom He gave much, of them He shall ask " the more. We ought not, then, said that presbyter, to be proud, " nor to blalTie the ancients ; but ourselves to fear, lest after we " have acknowledged Christ, if we do anything displeasing to God, ** we may have no more remission of sins, but be excluded from %fiis kingdom." St. Hermas, ^ again, directly refers to older teachers. " * Now, also. Sir, I have heard from some teaclieis,

  • " AutUvi a'iJttdfldiA Presbytero, qaiauffieratiib life,' qui Apofehjlcs x^ldeMnbtCfab his >qiiLdi4iaa'aiit." the. next chapter jofbanious .i»ortJ^' Hie fol^y of.tljasCj^ivhoeKagger^at^iglbe merqy of Christ, and pmilting meiitjoii of

the Judgment, looking to the greater grace of the Now Testament, and forget, ting tlie greater perfection required of m — strive to make out another God,

(lilK-ront from the CBEAtoii." . u- .: M.^.i ,. ., ^ :r ,../.:,! i-i.'I ' ' ! . iv. c 27> ^> M^suct. olim c 45. I ,i. Mandat. 4. § li.



' that there is no other repentance than that, when we descend into " tlie water, and receive remission of sins : afterwards we must ** take heed not to sin, but to remain in that purity.' And he said to " me, ' Thou liast heard rightly. But since thou inquirest into all ** things diligently, I will shew thee this also, not giving occasion " (of offence) to those who have, or shall, believe in the Lord, " For these have (then) not repentance for sin, but remission. But ' to those who were called before those days, the Lord assigned *' repentance. Since God knew the thoughts of the heart, and the " weakness of man, and the manifold wickedness of the devil, " whereby he devises mischief against the servants of God — there" fore the merciful Lord had mercy on the work of His hands ; " and he assigned that repentance, and gave me power over that *' repentance. And, therefore, I say unto you, that, after that " great and holy calling (Baptism) if any be tempted by the devil ** and sin, he has one repentance. But if he sin again, and repent, *' it will not profit the man who doth such things, for hardly will " he live to God ^.' And I said, ' Sir, I revived, when I diligently ** heard these commandments. For I know, that if hereafter I add ** not to my sins, I shall be saved.' And he said, * Y^a, and all who ** shall do these commandments, shall be saved." This passage of St. Herraas is the more remarkable, since he lays down the principle, upon which more than one repentance after Baptism would probably be very rare, if not altogether hopeless, coinciding with the known teaching of the Apostles, and with subsequent experience, although limiting very awfully what their written teaching has left undefined. And these, and similar Apostohc sayings, were the foundation, doubtless, of that primitive Ecclesiastical rule^, which, in the case of any grievous offences,

  • See a very practical sermon, in the 1st vol. of Newman's Parochial Sermons, " On the religious use of excited feelings."

E 2



granted the Church's ministry of reconciliation once, nnd once onlyS after Baptism : so that this rule was probably formed, not, as was afterwards thought, for the greater security of the Church, and its greater purity, but because it was much to be feared, that they who had been brought, by repentance, to a second childhood, and, as it were, to a second Baptism (of tears), could not again be even thus restored. " Rightly are they blamed," says St. Ambrose ^, " who think that repentance is frequently to be re" enacted, for they wax wanton in Christ. For if they were truly " repenting, they would not think it often to be repeated ; for, as *' there is one Baptism, so also one repentance — one, I say, public " repentance — -for we ought to repent of our daily sins ; but this " repentance is for lighter offences, that for heavier. But I have ^^ found more readily persons^ who retained their innocence y than " such as repented, as were fitting. Will any one call that " repentance, where men seek for worldly dignity, drink wine to " the full, or use the enjoyments of marriage ? The world must " be renounced. Sleep itself must be less indulged than nature

confessed by all, that the public and solemn penitence of which we spenk, was not repeated in the Church during 1200 years. But there is a great difft^rence between the discipline from A. 7OO, to that time, and that of which we are now treating. For this (later discipline) related only to public crimes ; the earlier not to all oflfences, but to certain, whether public or concealed. The latter was not repeated, in so far as it was public, but was privately enacted, according to the directions of the Church, when the public sin was repeated after the public penitence, and this being done, the p^iitcnt was privately reconciled : But the earlier was not performed at all, either publicly or privately, by any direction from the Church, and consequently did not obtain any reconciliation from the Church ; whence there followed another distinction, namely, that of old there was only one penitence for crimes. Afterwards, however, it was so ordered, that it might take place once publicly, and repeatedly in private."

^ Tertull. de Pa?nitentia, c. 7- " Collocavit in v^stibulo pcenitentiam secundam, qua? pulsantibus patcfaciat (sc. post Baptismum), sed jam semel, quia jam secundo : sed amplius nunquam, quia proximo frustra." Add St. Augustine, Ep. 153. ed. Bencd. and the letter of Macedonius to him, Ep. 152; St. Ambrose, as just quoted; Origen, Hom. 15, in Lev. 26; several other passages are quoted by Morinus, de Puinitcatia, L. 3. c 1. sqq.


WHY NO MORE. ' '■ 09

** requires, must be interrupted with groans, must be sequestrated " for prayer. We must live so as to die to this life. Man must " deny himself, and be wholly changed." And if we could now see the contrast of penitence with impenitence, of the world and the flesh with God, as the early Christians did, when the fiery trials, to which tljey were subjected, left so little room for self-deceit, we should probably see, that their strict rules were founded on truth and reality. St. Clement of Alexandria, himself a diligent follower of Apostolic tradition \ quoting ^ and commenting on this passage of St, Hermas (whom he regards as having received inspiration second only to Scripture), assigns the same intrinsic ground for the improbability of frequent repentance. Having quoted Heb. x. 26, 27, as expressing the same doctrine, which St. Hermas also delivered, he adds : '* But the constant repent" ances alternating with the sins, differ in nothing from entire " infidelity, except only that these are aware that they are sinning ; ** and I know not which is worse, to sin wilfully, or, having " repented for past sin, again to offend." And again ^, in answer to Basilides, who contended that involuntary sins, and sins of ignorance, were alone forgiven, he says, that " those who fall into sin after Baptism, those were they who were chastised ; for that former sins were freely remitted, but subsequent ones were purged away (by suffering.)" The like earnest language we find in St. Clement of Rome ^ (if, as seems probable, the second epistle also is his, or at all events a very ancient author.) " If such

  • Ep. 2. §0-8.


" men as Noah, Daniel, and Job, cannot by their righteousnesses " save their children, with what confidence shall we approach to ** the Palace of God, if we keep not Baptism ptue and undefiled ? '* He who dealeth corruptly m the fight of incorruption, whal *' shall be done to him ? For of such a» hate not kept the seal, '^ He saith, * their worm dieth not.' Let us, then, while we are " on earth, repent,"

The same truth was expressed by the Fathers, in that oftmisinterpreted metaphar, thai they who had fallen into grievous sin after Baptism, should cling to repentance, as to a plank from a shipwreck : not (as Romanist writers ^ insist) as if the plank were different from the ship, and so designated a Sacrament of Repentance, a means of grace distinct from that of Baptism ; or, again, with some Protestant writers ^, as if the ship yet remained whole, and the plank were to bring them back to their former security in Baptism : the Fathers thought of no such refinements ; they would by this metaphor express only the great peril, in which such persons were placed, and would exhort them to clingj for their eternal life, to the only hope yet remaining to them in tlie shipwreck wherein their souls had well-nigh perished, — an earnest and persevering repentance* Thus St. Ambrose concludes^ the exhortation to the penitent, before quoted ; " If sinners " could see what judgment God will send forth, and man's imder** standing was not distracted by the vanity of the world, or " weighed down by unbelief, they would gladly bear any degree or " kind of torment for the present, yea, though life were longer " than it is, so they might escape the punishment of eternal ** fire. But thou unhappy one, who hast now entered upon the '* trial of repentance, hold on, abide fast, as to a plank in ship** wreck, hoping thereby to be freed from the depth of sin. Hold

» BcDarmine, de Controv. t. ii. pp. 1487> 8.

  • Lwther de captiv. Babylon, de Baptismo. Gerhard, Loci, de Poenit. § 13.

' De lapsu Virginis, c. 8. § 38. Tlie passage of TertuUian, de Poenit c. 4, does not belong here ; for he is there addressing Catechumcnfe, and the repentance there s)>ok.cu of is that which is neccs&uy previous to Baptism, and the shipwreck that which is common to tlie whole human race : nor docs he say • fracto navigio,' as St. Jerome always docs, referringr lo BaptisBfi.



" fast to repentance to the very end of life, nor anticipate that any " pardon should be given you from man's judgment ; he who '* would promise you this would deceive you. For what thou hast " sinned against the Lord, thou must expect the remedy from " Him alone, in the day of judgment."

The Fathers despaired of none. " We must despair of tlie " conversion of none," says St. Augustine, " either within or " without the Church, as long as the patience of God leadeth " them to repentance, and He * visits their oifences with a rod, and *' their sins with scourges.' For thus He does not utterly take " away His mercy from them, if they would but at length have ^' compassion on their own souls, pleasing God." But they constantly repeated the Prophet's warning, " Woe to them that *' are at ease in Zion ;" ** tremble, ye that are at ease, be trou** bled, ye careless ones ; strip you, and make you banre, and gird " sackcloth upon your loins ;" and would God, vve might once again hear their voice of warning sound through our land, that our sleepers might awake, and arise from the dead, and Chuist give them light, before they be awakened by the trump of the Archangel !

Moderns, by giving to this change after Baptism, w^hen it is needed, or occurs, the name of regeneration, or the new birth, so far coincide with the doctrine of the Fathers, and have expressed their conviction also, that this birth takes place once only. Nor were there any objection in itself to the term ; nor could any language be too strong to express the vehemence of that change, from the sleep of death to the life of holiness ; from the phrenzy and drunkenness of sin to a right mind and God's " reasonable service," from being " fast bound in misery and iron," to the *' glorious liberty of the sons of God ;" from darkness to light ; from Hell to Heaven ; from Satan to Christ. No term were too strong for this, if it confused not our apprehensions of other truths of the Gospel ; or, because God vouchsafed again to create His lost image in their souls, again to re-mould, re-form, re-fuse them, and bring them, re-created, through the iron fumade of repentance and bitter suffering, into a fresh life, and again " form Christ within them," they did not deny His former mercies, and



make His present bountifulness a ground of disbelieving His past loving-kindness. God had given them their former birth in Baptism, and clad them with Christ, and grafFed them into Christ, had buried them and raised them up with Chmst. This life they had wasted, and destroyed. God now has given them another, whereby " Christ may again be formed in them." Let them not, in conformity to any system of man> lose the benefits of their past experience ; but rather take tlie more earnest warning that they suffer not this life also to decay. They may know from God's word, that they were quickened with Christ in Baptism ; they know from their own experience, that they have been since dead. God has taught them to beware of a second death, ft may be the last.

There are, then, these limitations in Scripture, or derived from

it by the Fathers, to this second birth after Baptism. That it is

one of suffering, whereas the former birth, by Baptism, was one

of joy and ease ; that it is less complete than the former, and is

a slower and more toilsome process (the slowness is spoken of

by St. Paul, " my little children, of whom I travail in birth again,

until Christ be formed in you ;") that it is a second regeneration,

(" of whom I travail againy*) — not differing from the preceding,

as if the regeneration of Christ's ordinance were a change of

state, the regeneration of repentance a change of nature ; that,

outward in the flesh ; this, inward in the spirit : God forbid

that we should so speak of Christ's ordinances ! — but that it is a

sort of restoration of that life, given to those to whom it is given,

by virtue of that ordinance ; a restoration of a certain portion of

their Baptismal health. It is not " the new birth" simply ; that

is Baptism ; but it is a revival, in a measure, of that life ; to be

received gratefully, as a renewal of a portion of that former gift ;

to be exulted in, because it is life ; but to be received and

guarded with trembling, because it is tlie renewal of what had been

forfeited ; not to be boasted of, because it is but tlie fragment of

an inheritance, " wasted in riotous living." Lastly it is bestowed

through the ministry of the Church. " Little children, of whom

/ travail again."

With sucli limitations, and always presupposing that a former



real Spiritual birth had taken place in Baptism, and following the hint given in St. Paul's language, some of the Fathers do not shrink from calling the restoration through the Church, by a hearty and complete repentance, " a sort of second Regeneration," or the like, which might express the greatness of the gift, without trenching upon Baptismal grace. Thus St. Chrysostom *, paraphrasing the Apostle's words : " Seest thou his fatherly " tenderness ? seest thou a trouble worthy of an Apostle ? seest '* thou wTiat a bitter cry he uttereth, bitterer far than of a woman " in travail? Ye have corrupted, he saith, the image; ye have " lost your kindred character ; ye have perverted the form (im" printed on you). Ye have need of another regeneration, and " re-formation : and yet you, abortive and outcast fruit though " ye be, I call children. Yet he doth not say this, but in other " terms, for he spares them." And St. Jerome ^ : " This also " must be considered, that he who, through sin, h^d ceased after " a way to be a man, through repentance is conceived again by " his instructor, and it is promised that Christ may again be " formed in him. This," he adds, " against the Novatians, " who deny that they whom sin has once broken in pieces, " can be re-formed."

To the like effect is the glowing language of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons ^, with respect to those, who in the heat of persecution had denied Christ ; " through their (the mar" tyrs') endurance, the immeasurable mercy of Christ was " displayed. For, through the living the dead were made "alive; and the martyrs procured mercy for those who were " no martyrs. And there was much joy in the Virgin Mother " (the Ciiurch), receiving alive those whom she had cast out " as dead. For through these (the martyrs), most of those " who had denied were received again into the womb, and re" conceived, and re-quickened, and learned to confess ; and now " being alive and new braced, approached the judgment-seat :



" God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but dealeth gra** ciously towards repentance, pouring a healthful juice within f^ them." In like manner St. Clement of Alexandria i, relating the restoration of the robber-chief through the self-devotion and earnestness of the aged Apostle St. John, (already referred to,) describes him " as asking pardon, as he could, with groans, " and baptized a second time with tears :" St. John " solemnly ** declaring, that he had obtained pardon for him from the M Saviour, and kissing his right hand as having been cleansed ^/by repentance [it had been stained with blood], brought him '' back to the Church ; and interceding with abundant prayers, *' striving with and for him, by constant fastings, and charming ' his mind with various words [of Scripture], departed not until ' he had restored him to the Church : having given," says St. Clement, ' a mighty pattern of true repentance, a mighty proof f'of re-generation, a trophy of the hoped-for resurrection, when, ?^ at the end of the world, the angels shall receive the true *' penitent" 'ito everlasting habitations." And this history St. Clement relates, " in order that men may see, that a good hope " of salvation yet remains, on true repentance :" and this repentance he describes, in contrast with the complete gift at Baptism '. " God gives remission of the former sins : of subsequent, each " must obtain it for himself. And this is to repent, — to condemn " the past, to beg oblivion of them from the Father, who alone " is able to make things done undone, and by His mercy and the " dew of His Spirit, to efface former sins. He who hath lived " ill, having repented, may afterwards overpower the evil inter" course of a long season, by the season after repentance. But " much diligent care is needed, as careful diet and greater heed are " for bodies which have laboured under a long disease." And so again, when shewing, that the law which commanded the death of the adulteress was an image of the Gospel which slays the sin, he says ^, " the law agrees then with the Gospel ; for tlie adulteress " liveth to sin, but is dead to the commandments ; but she, who

' Quis dives s^tlvetur, win. tin. : uku ap. Eukcb. 11. E. L. lii. c. )1'S. 2 § iO. « Stcoju. L. ii. <iii.



" hath repented, having been, as it were, born again by the " change of her mode of life, hath a new birth of her Hfe ; the " former adulteress being dead, and she who has been born by " repentance coming again to life." Since he does not directly speak of Baptism, (which gives in deed a new life,) but of repentance only, he uses a qualifying and lower expression, corresponding to the lower degree of restoration, " being, as it " were, born again."

The very fewness of the passages S (for I am not aware that there are any more), in which the Fathers, even in this limited way, venture to speak of restoration upon repentance, as a sort of new birth, — the very diffidence with which they speak of it in itself, — the immensity of the mercy, which they view in it, — might well be an admonition to us to beware how we familiarize ourselves to consider it as the ordinary course of God's dealings ; the general rule, and a sort of ordeal, which every one or most must go through. There was more piety, more holiness, more gratitude, more reverence, more loyalty, in the view of our forefathers, who seized upon it as a plank, left in the shipwreck of men's souls, to save them that they perish not ; but still took shame, that the voyage, presumptuously entered upon, contrary to God's command, had been " with hurt, and much damage, not only of the ship and lading, but also of their lives."

Many perhaps will be ready to say. If this be so, do we not undergo a loss, in that Baptism is administered unto us, while we are Infants, before the commission of actual sin ? and had it not been better for us, that it had been delayed until we had come to ourselves, a?Jd resolved for ourselves to serve God ? so might we have obtained, at once, a complete remission of all our actual sins, without this careful and ever-to-be-renewed repentance ! If by this is meant, that it had been better, when iany one was living in heathenish sins, not living to God, but " living " in pleasure," and " dead while he lived," and " without God in " the world," that he had been in fact, as well as in life, a Heathen,

^ It is observable, that Suicer, who would be well inclined to find passages speaking of regeneration as distinct from Baptism, and even puts this as the primary meaning of naXiyytviaia, quotes this last instance only.



this is true : for he would have been sinning against less light, less powerful influences of God's Spirit ; lie would have done less despite to the Spirit of Grace, and not wilfully have broken his Covenant with God. But if by this complaint, a person means to throw the blame off himself upon his Parents who brought him to be baptized in Infancy, or the Church, which has commanded Infant-Baptism, then he knows neither himself nor the ordinance of God : — not himself; for what ground has he to think that if he had not been put thus early in possession of the privileges of Baptism, and so been entitled to God's Spirit struggling within him, checking him, goading him, recalling him to himself, setting before him a broken Covenant, and God's wrath, how does he know that he ever should have repented ? and not rather have gone on, (as many thousands of those who have at any time not been admitted into Christ's Church by Baptism as Infants,) still putting it off until " a more convenient season," still wishing to reserve this complete remission to cover the sins which they had not yet resolved to part with, until the Devil should have so tied and bound him with these habits of delay, that he could not extricate himself, but died at last in sin, unbaptized, and so without the Covenant of God or the seal of pardon ? Such was the case formerly, when timid and unbelieving and worldly parents did not bring their children to Baptism, and when half-converts admitted the truth of the Gospel, but would not undertake its obligations. " This delay," says St. Basil i, ' utters no other " language than this, * Let sin first reign in me, then, at some ' future time, the Lord also shall reign : I will yield my members ' instruments of unrighteousness unto iniquity, then will I yield *' them instruments of righteousness unto God! Just so did ' Cain also offer sacrifice unto God.' " " If," again says St. Gregory of Nazianzum ^ " constantly passing by * to-day,* you " reserve for yourself * to-morrow,' deceived into these petty "delays by the evil one, as is his wont : * Give me the present, *Vtp God the future : tp me youth, to God old age : to m^ l^ic " time of pleasures, to Him that of imbecility :' how great is

' ilomii. Exhort, in S. Baptismo § o - Oiai. 10 m b. Baptismo § 14.




*' llie danger around thoe, how many unexpected accidents " may destroy thee !" St. Gregory had then to exhort persons * " to trust their old age at least with this purifying (of Bap" tism). Why fearest thou the sins of youth, in advanced age *• and at thy last gasp ? or waitest thou to be washed as a corpse " (then not an object of pity, more than of disgust) ? or longest " thou after the relics of pleasure, thyself a relic of life ?" And do men, who have fallen into the devil's snares in the one way, think that they should have escaped them in the other ? that they, who have sinned against the means of grace, should, without those means of grace, have recovered from sin ? that they who have broken the Covenant, which God would have enabled them to keep, would, if they had not been brought into it, have willingly put themselves under its yoke ? They may see the result, either in these cases of the antient Church, or, in this very day, among that sect, which delays Baptism. How many among those who are educated in this sect, (for I speak not of those, who, having been baptized as infants, join it in mere ignorance,) how many still delay Baptism year by year, until they die, still strangers to the covenant of promise, and so, as they were " by " nature, children of wrath ^ !" St. Ambrose^ well and concisely speaks upon this point : " Repentance then is a blessing, and but *' for it, all would put off the grace of Baptismal washing to old " age, to whom it were a sufficient answer, that it is better to " have what I may repair than not to have wherewith I may be

' Orat. 40 in S. Baptismo, § 16.

^ De Poenitentia L, ii. c. 11.



" clothed. But as the robe onco put on may be renewed, so by " freqwent repairing it is destroyed." Wherein he strikingly expresses both the possibility of restoration after Baptism, and the danger increasing at each necessity of such restoration.

Further, any one who allows himself to think that it had been better for him not to have been made a " member of Christ " in infancy, knows nothing of the value of God's ordinance: as indeed none can experimentally know it, but those who have grown up in its privileges. Increasing strength was thereby guaranteed to us : strength, which should grow with our growth ; surmount every trial with which we should be exercised ; be a shield and buckler proportioned to our warfare, in child, in youth, in maturer age : " support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temp** tations :" and so, strengthened by our Confirmation, we should be delivered on to that other Sacrament, whereby we not only ^* put on Christ," but " Christ dwelleth in us and we in Him." This might have been ; yea, in many has been : but if we cast aside the armour wherewith God had girt us ; set at nought His counsels, and listened not to His reproofs ; went out naked to the battle, and listlessly neglected our defence ; gave way to our enemy daily in little sins, (such as we were then capable of,) and so gradually grew in sin instead of holiness : whom have we to blame, if when the harder trials of life came on, we were worsted? if, when we ought to have been men, we were, in strength but not in innocence, as children? if we reaped as we sowed ? sowed little and daily sins, and at last reaped, with increase, a grievous fall ? We cannot have both advantages : we cannot have the privilege without the resix)nsibility and the risk. We cannot have all the privileges of Christians, and then, when we have neglected or profaned them, be as if we had been altogether heathens, now, for the first time, to be admitted into the privileges of the Covenant, and so be placed in the same condition as if we had never been put in trust and found unfaithful. Ours is inestimably the higher privilege ; to have had ^jod's seal put upon us, God's Spirit within us, from our childhood up: but if we have broken that seal, and resisted that Spirit, we cannot be as if we had kept it safe and listened to His



warnings. It may be, it must be, that we knew not the value of that " seal ;" but we knew that we were put in trust: and such is uniformly God's dealing with us ; whatever gift He confides to us, healtii, strength, time, talents, reputation. He gives us knowledge enoucrh that we are not to abuse it, and checks us when we begin to do so; but if we persevere, His warnings diminish, and we learn not the value of the gift until we have irrecoverably lost it. So also in spiritual things ; all have had theii' warnings ; all knew in a general way, whither their road was leading ; all might have known more fully if they had believed ; and if the termination of their broad and easy path is more fearful than they anticipated, " Wisdom uttered her voice, but they would not hear." They must eat then of the fruit of their own ways. Away then with all idle speculations as to what we might have been, as we fancy, had our trials been different ! It may be well to think what we might have been, had we followed more faithfully God's guidance ; so shall we be more humble : but whatever excuse, or imagination, or theory, tends to lead us to throw the blame upon circumstances (whether of nature or of grace) and to withdraw it from ourselves, comes, we may be assured, from the evil one, and would lead us to him. If we have been unfaithful in few things, we should have been yet more so in greater. Rather let us be assured that, however we have failed, our trial was that which was most adapted to us ; was allotted us by mercy and wisdom : and let us bless God that, although that first and more joyous way of Baptismal faithfulness may no longer be open to any of us, another, though more rugged and toilsome and watered with bitter tears, is still left. Since we have no longer a whole burnt -offering to lay upon God's altar, let us the more diligently "gather^ up the fragments which " remain," and which, for His Son's sake, He wills *' not to be

^ Love too late can never glow,

The spattered fragments Love can glean, Hefine the dregs, and yield them clean To regions, where one thought serene Breathes sweeter than whole years of sacrifice below.

Christian Yeak, Snndatf before Advent,



" lost ;" content, wliatever tlie road may be, so it but end in Heaven; thankful if, although we cannot have the reward of those who have " followed the Lamb whithersoever He goeth," we may yet be accounted but as the least in the kingdom of Heaven, or as hired servants in our Father's house.

The doctrine, however, does not depend upon this one passage; although had this been so, it had sufficed, and it had been our wisdom to profit by its fearful warning, not to cavil at it, or lay it aside as cue of difficulty : for this were but to blind ourselves. But let any one consider, teachably, our Saviour's warnings, — " The last state of that man is worse than the first." (Luke xi. 26.) ** Sin no more, lest a worse thing happen unto thee." (John. v. 14.) " Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more." (viii. 11.) "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking "»back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke ix. 62.) Or again, " If we sin wilfully after that we have received the know** ledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, " but a certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indig-* " nation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Heb. x, 26, 7). " If he (the justified) draw back. My soul shall have no pleasure in " him ; but we are not of them who draw back unto perdition." (ib. 38, 9). " If, after they have escaped the pollutions of the '* world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus *' Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the ** latter end is worse with them than the beginning ; for it had " been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, *' than after they have known it, to turn from the holy command** ment delivered unto them." (2 Pet. ii. 20). " Others save with " fear, pulling them out of the fire." (Jude 23.) ; or again from the old Covenant, " Ye were now turned and had done right in " My sight — and ye had made a covenant before Me in the house " which is called by My Name ; but ye turned and polluted My " Name — therefore thus saith the Lord — I will give the men " that have transgressed My covenant, which have not performed " the words of the covenant which they had made before Me, — " I will give them into the hand of their enemies — and their '' di'.ul bodies shall be meat," SiC. (.ler. xxxiv. 15—20); or



again, " Rebellious Israel hath justified herself more than " treacherous Judah." (Jer. iii. 11). Let any one teachably consider these words, and not put himself off, or stifle his conscience by mere generalities of the greatness of God's mercy ; and he will, I trust, by that mercy, be brought to think that wilful sin, after Baptism, is no such light matter as the easiness of our present theology would make it. And so also will it aj)pear that repentance is not a work of a short time, or a transient sorrow, but of a whole life ; that, if any man say that he have repented of any great sin, (thereby meaning that his repentance is ended, or sufficient,) he has not yet repented, perhaps not yet begun to repent as he ought ^ : that, — I say not earnest-minded cheerfulness, but — what the world calls gaiety, is ill-suited to the character of a penitent : that his repentance, although its anxiety may by God be removed, ought to increase in depth and sharpness : that things which were allowable in those who are " heirs " of Heaven," ill become one who must now enter in, not through the way of plenary remission, but of repentance for a broken covenant. " Those holy and wise men," says Bishop Taylor^, ** who were our fathers in Christ, did well weigh the dangers " into which a sinning man had entered, and did dreadfully fear " the issues of Divine anger, and therefore, although they openly

^ " Let no man be too forward in saying his sin is pardoned, for our present " persuasions are too gay and confident ; and that which is not repentance " suflBcient for a lustful thought, or one single act of uncleanness, or intem" perance, we usually reckon to be the very porch of Heaven, and expiatory ** of the vilest and most habitual Crimes." — Bishop Taylor's Doctrine and Practice of Repentance, sec. 6. § 68. Works ix. 217- — " Whenever repentance ** begins, know that from thenceforward the sinner begins to live ; but then " never let that repentance die. Do not at any time say, ' I have repented " of such a sin, and am at peace for that;' for a man ought never to be at " peace with sin, nor think that any thing we can do is too much : our re♦' pentance for sin is never to be at an end till faith itself shall be no more ; •' for faith and repentance are but the same covenant. And he undervalues *' his sin, and overvalues his sorrow, who at any time fears he shall do too " much, or make his pardon too secure, — and therefore sits him down and " says, * Now I have repented.' " lb. p. 219. 3 L. c. sect. 3. end. p. 198.




" taught that God hath set open the gates of mercy to all worthy " penitents, yet concerning repentance they had other thoughts ** than we have ; and that, in the pardon of sinners, there are " many more things to be considered, besides the possibility of " having the sin pardoned."

Yet another and more concise test as to the agreement of our views with those of the whole Christian Church will be furnished to us by considering carefully within ourselves, in what way we consider Baptism to be a Sacrament. For we know how often mankind deceive themselves by words, and, because they retain " the form of sound words," imagine falsely that they hold the substance. And it is an additional blessing in this form of words, that, by comparing our own actual and practical belief therewith, we may often 4^tect in ourselves many lurking tendencies to error, and an unacknowledged abandonment of truth. We need not point out this in detail ; any one, whose creed is now sounder than it once was, will at once acknowledge how unmarked a substitution was once going on in his own mind ; how unawares to himself his silver was becoming dross. The same names of doctrines were retained, but their substance was gradually departing. Or one may observe it in the gradual declension of the German divines of the last century ; or, one can hardly look abroad into the world without observing how much Socinianism, Pelagianism, Anti-Catholicism, Anti-Christianism there is every where in persons who think themselves severally secure from these charges, and would look upon the imputation as a slander. So also with regard to Christ's Sacraments : we can easily see how, in Hoadley's time, many, in fact, held neither to be a Sacrament in the Church's meaning of the word, though they persuaded themselves that they held both. And have we no symptoms of the same defect in our days ? does not the very rareness of our Communions, even among earnestminded Christians, imply that men scarcely regard it as a necessary means of grace ? Where is our longing for *' our daily " bread ?" and does not again the very name by which we ordinarily speak of the Lord's Supper — the Sacrament, imply that we have virtually one Sacrament only ? for this is not the language



used by the Fathers of the Christian Church, or of our own ^ : it is not the language of our formularies, it is the growth of times in which Baptism has been looked upon as a mere initiatory rite. The very defence, which people would set up, that the Lord's Supper is the Sacrament of which we have most frequent occasion to speak, in itself convicts us : for of which Sacrament did the Apostles most speak ? and what does our seldom reference to the Sacrament of Baptism, — the sort of effort with which men recal to themselves that it also is a Sacrament, — the charge of precision which they are ready to bring against any who object to the Lord's Supper being called *' the Sacrament," — the very inadvertency with which we again fall back into this error, after having, perhaps, ourselves corrected it in others, — the utter absence of interest, which it is almost professed and recognized, that most congregations would feel about the office of Holy Baptism, — (for otherwise why are the regulations of the Church so often broken, and the Baptism of our infants smuggled through, as a service of which we are ashamed ? and our congregations leave us whenever they can, " as if (to use the language of an " old Calvinistic writer * who lived when the like low notions " prevailed) men were loath to be present, where the blessed " Trinity presenteth itself to such a gracious purpose as this is, " viz. to secure such benefits to one of that congregation ?") — what does all this imply, but that, though we in words acknowledge Baptism to be a Sacrament, we have forgotten its power ?

We admit, however, that Baptism is a Sacrament ; and if so, it must convey the grace annexed to it, whenever no obstacle is placed in its way by the unworthiness of the recipient. For this has been the notion of the whole Christian Church, that the Sacraments are not bare signs, but do convey that also which they signify. Since, then, infants are incapable of opposing any obstacle, we must believe that the grace of Baptism, " a death

^ Taylor Comm. on Ep. to Titus, p. 648.

F 2



" unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness," is hereby conferred upon all who are brought to be engrafFed into their Saviour by Baptism ^ For the'question is not, whether Infant Baptism be " most agreeable to the Institution of Christ," but (it being allowed so to be,) whether the full privileges of Baptism be thereby conveyed to all who are brought to Christ in it, or whether some receive the reality, others the empty sign only ? And since infants are all alike incapable of opposing the Divine benefits, and the wilfulness which they might hereafter show, has no place there, and God in His Word has given us no ground for making any distinction between them, we must conclude, as the whole Antient Church did, that the benefits of Holy Baptism are by virtue of the Sacrament itself, and of the Divine Institution, imparted to all infants. And herein is a great mercy of God, that this first primary grace, which is the pledge and condition of all the rest, and without which we have no title to them, but should remain " children of wrath and strangers to the " covenant of promise," is bestowed upon us at a time when we cannot by our own wilfulness or carelessness fall short of it. I.t appears also a great charity of our Church, that, whereas we know not when the seeds of evil first spring up in a child, she has ordered Baptism to be administered at the earliest period practicable, that so the spiritual antidote might be infused into its frame before the latent poison of inherited corruption should begin to work. The principle that children are regenerated by virtue of the Sacrament of the Baptism, because they ph.t no har^

' Calvin himself admits this principle, when he is writing as an expositor, not as a dogmatist. Thus, on Rom. vi. 4, he says, " In short, St Paul is teaching what is the reality of Baptism rightly received. Thus of the Galatians he attests, * Whosoever had been baptized into Christ had all put on Christ.' We must namely, thus speak when the Institution of the Lord and the faith of the pious meet together. For we never have naked and empty symbols ; except when our ingratitude and perverseness impede the working of theDivine benevolence." Since then infants cannot, " by ingratitude or perverseness, impede the operation of God" through His Sacrament, according to Calvin's own principles they must participate of its grace. This is expressed by the old writers (as by St. Augustine above) by the term " obicem ponere." It is retained by the Lutherans, as Gerhard (Loci, de S. Baptismo, § 126).



of an opposite will, is laid down in the broadest way by St. Augustine \ in answer to an African Bishop, who felt some difficulty how the sponsors could declare so positively that " the child brought to Baptism believed in God, and the rest, whereas it had no knowledge of God, and the sponsors or parent knew not whether it would hereafter believe and do these things.'* " The " little one then," St. Augustine says, " although he have not ** as yet that faith which consists in the will of the believer, is ** made a faithful one by the Sacrament of faith itself. For as ** he is answered for as believing, so also he is called faithful, not " by assenting to the substance thereof by his mind, but by re" ceiving the Sacrament of that substance of faith. But when " the man shall begin to understand, then he will not repeat that " Sacrament, but will understand it, and be conformed by the " harmony of his will to its truth. In the meantime the Sacra" ment will avail to protect him against the power of the enemy ; " so that if he should depart out of this life before he have the " use of reason, he shall (the love of the Church recommending " him through that very Sacrament) be freed, through this Christ** ian succour, from tliat condemnation which ' by one man " entered into the world.' This he who believes not and thinks " that it cannot be, is wanting in faith, though he have the Sacra" ment of faith ; and far to be preferred before such an one is ** that little one, who, though he have not as yet faith formed in " his conception, yet at least puis no bar of any thought opposed " to it ; whence he receives the Sacrament benef daily." St. Augustine's controversy with those who held Pelagian doctrines, makes us still further acquainted with the views of the Church on this subject. For it furnishes us — not with the opinion of St. Augustine as an individual, (although a pillar of the Church,) nor even as an indication (as an individual may be) of the tenets of his time, nor again with what people term an hyperbolical expression of gratitude for the institution which he loved, (as in peaceful times men speak less guardedly,) but—with a direct attestation of the doctrine of the whole Church, as stated against

i E]). 99. § 10.



heretical opponents. The doctrines, namely, of Infant Baptism and original sin are closely connected together. And the first deniers of original corruption seem to have been pressed by no argument so hardly as by this practice of the Ghurcli and the inference drawn from it : ** If there be no original sin, why then *' are infants baptized for the remission of sin ?" So allied are right church-practice and sound doctrine ; and such unexpected service does adherence to primitive traditional practice often yield to the true faith ^ ! St. Augustine then could appeal to the acknowledged and unquestioned duty of baptizing infants in proof of the Church's doctrine ; and thus we incidentally learn, that the whole Church supposed that Baptism bestowed upon all infants all the benefits, whereof it was the channel and instrument to the adult believer. This argument will be best seen detailed at full length. " Christ," he says^ " came in the flesh, " and having taken the form of a servant became obedient to the " death of the cross, for no other reason than by this most mer** ciful dispensation of grace to quicken, save, free, redeem, " enlighten those who were before in the death of sin, in weak" ness, slavery, captivity, darkness, under the power of the devil, " the prince of sin. This being made clear, it will follow that to " that dispensation of Christ which was established through *' His humiliation, they cannot belong who do not stand in need ** of life, salvation, freedom, redemption, enlightening. And since " Baptism, whereby persons are buried with Christ, in order " that His members, i. e. they who believe in Him, may be incor" porated into Him, belongeth thereto ; then neither is Bap** tism necessary to those who need not that benefit of remission

' It was reserved for us to see this connection illustrated in the opposite way, false doctrine springing from false practice. St. Augustine argued, " If it be not superfluous to baptize children, which they (the Pelagians) dare not say, they must confess that Christ benefits baptized infants." (Serm. 295 de Baptismo Parvulor. c. 17). The sect which has deserted the Church's practice, must, in order to escape the charge of cruelty to unbaptized infants, deny that Christ does benefit baptized infants, or has begun to do so, denying original sin. (See the statement in Newman's Parochial Sermons, vol. ii. p. 349).

' De Peccator. meritis et remiss. L. i. § 39. T. x. p. 22. ed. Bened.




" and reconciliation, which takes place through the Mediator. " Since then these persons allow that little ones must be bap" tized, inasmuch as they cannot contravene the authority of the " universal Church, (as unquestionably handed down from the *' Lord and the Apostles,) they must allow also that infants need " those other benefits of the Mediator ; so that, being washed " by the Sacrament and through the love of the faithful (who ** present them to Baptism), and thus being incorporated into " the body of Christ, which is the Church, they may be recon" ciled to God, and in Him be quickened, saved, freed, redeemed, *' enlightened — whence, but from death, sinfulness, guilt, servi" tude, darkness of sin V But since at that age they have not ** in their own life committed any, it remains that it must be *' original sin ^." And again, " Who knows not, that in infants to " believe is to be baptized, not to believe is not to be baptized — " since little ones do not begin to be of Christ's sheep but by *' Baptism, then those, who do not receive Baptism, will perish ; " for they will not have eternal life, which He giveth to His " sheep ^" Further, " The ecclesiastical rule, which reckons " baptized infants among the faithful, does not so judge (viz. that " they are in a middle state, neither believing nor unbelieving). *' If then they who are baptized, on account of the virtue and " celebration of so great a Sacrament, (although they do not, " with their own mouth and heart, any thing appertaining to belief " or confession,) are yet accounted among believers, they to *' whom this Sacrament is wanting, must be accounted among " such as do not believe the same." And again ^, " Let them say " then, ' what does Christ's righteousness avail to little ones V " Let them say what they will. For of a truth, if they recollect " that they themselves are Christians, they will not doubt that " it avails something. Whatever then its profit be, it cannot, as " they themselves assert, profit those who believe not. Whence " they are compelled to account little ones among believers, and " to agree with the authority of the Holy Church every where. " As, therefore, by the answer of those, through whom they

• lb. § 40. 3 § 28. 2 L. iii. § 2.



" are regenerated, the Spirit of righteousness transfuses into " them faith, which of their own will they could not yet have, so '* the sinful flesh of those by whom they are born, transfers into " them guilt, which by their own life they have not yet contracted. *' And as the Spirit of life in Christ regenerates them as be" lievers, so the body of sin in Adam had generated them as " sinners : for that is a carnal birth, this a spiritual : that forms ** sons of flesh, this, sons of the Spirit ; that, sons of the world, " this, of God ; that, children of wrath, this, of mercy ; and " thereby that sends them forth bound by original sin, this, freed " from every band of sin."

These are but a very few of the passages, in which St. Augustine employs the known Catholic doctrine of the cure universally bestowed upon children at Baptism, as a proof of their need of that cure, and so of their original corruption. They are the more remarkable, not only as being statements of Catholic doctrine, but as being found in him, who, if any of the fathers, might have been expected, on account of his theory of predestination, to have limited it. On the contrary, he adheres uniformly to the teaching of the Church, that all infants, since they could place no obstacle, derived the full benefits of Baptism, and were regenerated. He speaks, moreover, of the inscrutable decrees of God, in respect only, that^ He admits some children of evil parents to Baptism and to the new-birth, and so (they dying young) certainly to the kingdom of Heaven, while He excluded from Baptism, and so from its blessings, the children of some pious parents ; or again ^, that by early death He rescued some from future sin, and yet left others who, He knew, would sin ; but the regeneration of all baptized infants he assumes as a known truth.

The Council of Carthage (A.D. 418) held against Pelagius, in

' E. g. de corrept. et Grat. § 18. c. duas Epp. Pelag. L. ii. § 11. Serm. xxvi. (alias de verbis Apostoli 11) § 13. S. xxvii. (al. dc Verbis Ap. 20) §6. de dono Perseverantis c. II. £p. 194. ad Sextum, § 32. de Gen. ad lit. L, X. § 26. sqq.



which were assembled 214 Bishops, anathematizes ^ those who say that infants brought no original sin into the world, to be expiated by the washing of regeneration, and asserts as a consequence of the mode " in which the Catholic Church everywhere " diffused always understood the Apostolic saying, Rom. v. 12. " * By one man sin entered,* &c. that little ones, who could not as " yet themselves commit sin, are therefore truly baptized for the " remission of sins, that in them what they contracted by their ** birth might be cleansed by their re-birth."

The universality of the new-birth in infants is on the same principle asserted by our own Hooker ^. " When the signs and " Sacraments of His grace are not either through contempt unre" ceived, or received with contempt, we are not to doubt, but that ' they really give what they promise, and are what they signify^ " For we take not Baptism, nor the Eucharist, for bare resem" blances or memorials of things absent, neither for naked signs " and testimonies assuring us of grace received before, but (as " they are indeed and in verity) for means effectual, whereby " God, when we take the Sacraments, delivereth into our hands " that grace available unto eternal life, which grace the Sacra'• ments represent or signify." And again ^, " The fruit of " Baptism dependeth only upon the covenant which God hath " made ; God by covenant requireth in the elder sort. Faith and " Baptism ; in children, the Sacrament of Baptism alone, where" unto he hath also given them right by special privilege of birth " within the bosom of the Holy Church : infants, therefore, • which have received Baptism complete, as touching the mys" tical perfection thereof, are by virtue of his own covenant and " promise cleansed from all sin."

Such was, for fourteen centuries, the doctrine of the universal Church of God. At the time of the Reformation the English and the Lutheran branches retained the ancient doctrine : the English, upon its acknowledged principle of retaining the truths taught in the early Church ; the Lutheran, without perhaps the

' Ap. August. Opp. t. X. App. p. 106. 2 Eccl. Pol. B. 5. c. 57. ' Ibid. c. 62.



same defined views, yet with the solemn and instinctive reverence for the known word of God, and that reluctance to tamper with its apparent meaning, which in other cases also characterized its founder. Zuingli, on the contrary, the parent of the Swiss reformation, though possessed (in the common sense of the terms) of honesty and love of truth, perhaps rather hatred of falsehood, was of a character and frame of mind decidedly rationalistic : he was comparatively little of a theologian, and but ill acquainted in detail with the character and teaching of the early Church : he had not been educated as a theologian, nor was his mind well trained. As a member of a Republic, he was less impressed with the value of authority ; and that of the Church was to him that of the bishop of Rome only : his mind, clear, masculine, energetic, acute, original, but unsystematic, aud unrefined, and uncapacious, saw distinctly, yet saw but a little way ; embraced insulated facts, but saw not their bearing upon the whole system. His career also was one of uniform and easy success ; God, who forms His different instruments for His several purposes and according to their capacities, faithfulness, and quick acquiescence in His will, did not appoint to him the same discipline, by which he exercised, and strengthened, and purified the faith of our Reformers and of Luther: but chiefly Zuingli does not seem to have received divine truths so deeply : with a straightforwardness, which led him to embrace what he thought truth, lie yet in a common-place way laid down what he rejected, or took up the contrary, with the ease which is generally characteristic of shallowness. The belief, whatever it was, having no depth of root, gave way without up-tearing and laying bare the whole mind, as it does when it is more thoroughly fixed ; no shock was communicated to the rest of his moral system. In minds, which give way thus without a struggle, truth will be parted with, as well as, and probably in conjunction with, every error. Zuingli's, more than any other, might be called an intellectual reformation. At his new opinions on the Sacraments he arrived in the way of unbelief ; a way, to which God appears to have

' " We all," he says, speaking of the Romish Clergy, *' we all essayed " something ; and if nothing more, yet each of us this, to conquer and lull




annexed the penalty that it should never lead to entire or full truth. He abandoned the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation ; but having lost the link, which bound him to the old Catholic truth of direct spiritual influence, conveyed through the medium of the Sacraments, they became to him mere signs or symbols. He had in his mind constantly the two truths, that the Sacraments, could not in themselves convey grace, and that Christ alone was the author of all grace and spiritual influence, and he could not find the central point, wherein the old Catholic doctrine might yet hold good with both these truths ; namely, that Christ conveyed His grace through His Sacraments. Here his rationalistic tendency interfered. He could understand, how whatever strengthened faith, was a mean of greater grace : and also, how faith might be strengthened by these external symbols, as well as by preaching, — by the visible announcement, as well as by spoken word — and for this he could refer to experience ^ : but he could

" his own incredulity, that it might not presume to make its murmers heard ; " although the citadel of faith never in such degree yielded to us, that any one " could without hypocrisy believe that they in that bread ate any thing of that " sort which we dreamed of." (Subsidium de Eucharistia, 0pp. t. ii. f. 255.) And again at the beginning of the same work, quoted also by Hospinian, Hist. Sacram. P. ii. p. 46, " We have been of this opinion of the Eucharist for more ** years than it now suits to say." Hospinian would defend this by a parallel history of Luther: the history is this. — " M. A. Musa once heavily com" plained to Luther, and mourned, that he himself could not believe what he " taught others : to whom Luther said, * God be praised that what befell me ** did not befall me alone.' Musa forgot not this consolation his whole life " through." But the difference is immense between this earnest burst of feeling, wrung from Luther by the sight of similar suffering, and implying that he had hitherto thought himself therein a sinner more than other men, and the coarse and insulting statement of Zuingli of their common unbelief.

  • Thus, against the theory that the Sacraments were signs, which, while they took place, assured a man of that which takes place within, he says, " Yet in vain have they invented this : as if, while a man is dipped in water, " any thing took place in him, which he could not by any means know, unless " he were at the same time bathed with water. Let not any one be offended, " but they know not what faith is, or how it has its birth in man." De vera et falsa relig. 0pp. t, 2. f. 198.


not understand an actual, real, though not physical, imparting of Christ to the soul of the believer through the Sacraments : it was to him a miracle, of which he had no outward evidence, nor any tangible proofs : and having no sense for it, he rejected it as an unattested miracle, and preferred bending the words of Scripture, which pointed to it. Zuingli's system appears to have been, in this respect, negative : he held the two parts upon which the Calvinistic system of the Sacraments was subsequently built : the idea that the Sacraments were signs of grace before received, and the absolute irrespective election by God, not to the privileges of the Covenant, but of persons, whether within or without it, to life eternal. He does not seem, however, to have systematized these views, and though Scriptural authority is alleged, it does not appear to have been the basis of his theory. His notions of the meaning of a Sacrament, were derived originally, not from Scripture, but from classical usage. " Sacramentum,'' he says^, ** according to Varro is a pledge, which they " who had a suit, deposited by some altar. Again, Sacramen" turn is an oath, which use of the word still holds in the popular " language of Gaul and Italy ; and lastly, there is the military " Sacramenturriy whereby soldiers are bound to their leaders : for, " that it is used for a sacred and mysterious thing among the '* antients, appears not. Whence also we have given no place to ** this meaning. Neither does it express the word fivcrrripiov, for " which it is used in the Latin translation of the Old Testament. ** Whence we are led to think that a Sacrament is no other than " an initiation or pledging. For as litigants deposited a certain " sum of money, which the victor only might remove ; so those " who are initiated by the Sacraments, bind, pledge themselves, " and receive as it were a gage, that they should not retreat." This etymology he frequently repeats ; and from it he infers that " since the Sacrament is an initiation or public sealing, it has no

' De vera et falsa llelig. t. ii. f. 197. v. 1»8.



" power to set the conscience free." In like manner he argues elsewhere from its theological use, '* A Sacrament ^ is a sign of ' a sacred thing," ' but if ^ they are signs, then they cannot be " that whereof they are signs. For if they were the things, then " they could not be called the signs. For one and the same ** thing cannot be the thing, and the sign which signifies the *' thing." And with such shallow show of common-sense argumentation as this, the whole doctrine of the Sacraments is dispatched : and Zuingli concludes : " On which account Baptism " is a sign, which binds and initiates us into Jesus Christ. The *' Eucharist indicates (innuit) that Christ died for us, and was " put to a dreadful death. Of these most holy things Christ *' willed that these Sacraments should be the outward signs." As if the sign might not also be the instrument, whereby that which is signified is conveyed ; or as if this dry arguing from the definition of words, could lead to any truth in things spiritual ! Zuingli was so much engaged in arguing against those who extolled the outward signs unduly, or whom he held so to do, and was so intent thereon, that the general impression from his works would be that the Sacraments were simply " outward signs of a " Christian man's profession," and unconnected with any spiritual grace. His apologist, Hospinian ^, is compelled to admit that the opinion that the body of Christ was in some way locally included in the Eucharistic bread, being (through the different views of the Papists and of Luther) very deeply rooted in men's minds, Zuingli " applied the whole force of his mind to eradicate it : and this in such wise, that he seemed rather to hold thai the Lord was absent than present in the Holy Supper ; and that symbols, rather than the Body and Blood of Christ, were then imparted." This is o£ great moment ; for a man's belief is not what he abstractedly holds, or what he would, if questioned, ultimately fall back upon ; but his practical belief is just so much of his system as is habitually interwoven in his mind and

  • Opus Articulorum, Art 18. 0pp. t. i. f. 31. de Baptismo Opp. t. ii. f. 60. Fid. Christianse Expos, f. 551. v. ad Luth. Confess, f. 470*.

» Ibid. 3 Hist. Sacram. P. ii. p. 49.



thoughts ; other truths may have been or may again be made part of his behef ; but if habitually thrown into the shade by the greater prominence given to another view of the subject, tliey can hardly be called part of his actual belief; they are for the time in a state of abeyance and lifelessness, almost as if they were not held at all. Thus it comes to pass that very many men deceive themselves ; they have in a manner two systems of belief: one which they have been taught, and have not altogether unlearnt, and which, if thrown back upon themselves, they would still hold to be true and acknowledge as their own ; and another, (composed perhaps of some portions of the former, or it may be the same only superficialized,) which is the way in which religious truth habitually occurs to their mind. Yet because they have never formally parted with the former, and have it in their mind, locked up, as it were, in a chest, they will, under ordinary circumstances, think that they hold it safely ; whereas the governing principle of their affections, heart, and life, and the belief of which they are actually conscious, are all the while very different. But in whatever degree this variance between a man's abstract belief, and his habitual animating faith, may be palliated to the individual, or however the truths which he may be said really and influentially to hold, may maintain in some degree his spiritual existence, (and blessed is he, who has not known some degree of such discrepancy,) the influence which a man has upon his contemporaries, or upon posterity, depends entirely upon that, his prominent system of belief That which has seized possession of his own mind, is that whereby he influences the minds of others. The more retiring parts of his system, by which it may be to him occasionally modified and controlled, have but little influence on himself; how should they then have strength enough to reach others ? They die with him, unless revived through some other instrument. Hereby the gradual decline of religious belief is in some measure accounted for ; and herein we may see, how, though held extensively, the truths of the Gospel may fail of any general impression ; and that they must be held more vividly, more energetically, more



really, more uniformly, before they can break down the strong holds opposed to them. The spark, which smoulders in our bosom, can kindle no flame in those around.

Although, then, Zuingli used occasionally the language ** that 1 the sacramental body of Christ was given in the Sup>*' per," that^ " we have the body of Christ with us in the Supper ** in the most excellent and noblest way," this meant but little, and had therefore the less influence. It was an approximation of words, not of belief. Zuingli's idea of the presence of Christ was only, that He was present to the mind which contemplated Him. ** We have said long ago ^ that the body of Christ is " in the Supper, by the contemplation of faith ; now then, let *' the adversaries turn which way they will, they will find no *' help, whereby they may drag it into the Supper in any other " way." "We * have never denied that the Body of Christ was " sacramentally ^, and in a mystery, in the Supper, both on ** account of the contemplation of faith, and the whole action " of the symbol." " We believe ^ that Christ is really in the ** Supper : yea, we believe not that it is the Lord's Supper unless ** Christ be present," seem plain words, yet are they immediately explained away ; so that He is no further present, than in every other congregation of the faithful. " In proof of this," he proceeds, " ' When two or three are gathered together in my name, " there am I in the midst of them.' How much more, when the " whole Church is gathered to Him !" And in the strongest passage which his Apologist', expressly writing upon the doctrine of the Eucharist, could find, we have still nothing more than a

  • Epist. ad Principes German. Opp. t. ii. f. 548. v.

3 Ad Princ. Germ. f. 549.

  • Zuingli explains this (Fid. Christ. Expos, f. 556). " The bread has the ** name of the Body, yea, is the Body of Christ, but by title, and signifying " it, which moderns call * sacramentally,' " and p. 554. v. " To eat the Body " of Christ sacramentally, is, to speak properly, to eat the Body of Christ " in mind and spirit, the Sacrament being added (adjuncto Sacramento)."

« Ibid. f. 546. V.

« Fid. Chris. Expos, ib. f. 563. ' Hospinian, 1. c. p. 66.



sensible representation of Christ's death, and the contemplation of that death in the mind of the worshippers. Some of the words are strong, for he is persuading others, probably himself also, that his views did not derogate from the doctrine of the Sacraments. " When' then bread and wine, consecrated by the very words ** of the Lord, are distributed to the brethren at once, is not now " whole Christ, as it were, sensibly, (that if words are needed, I " may say even more than is wont) offered to the senses also ? " But how ? Is his very natural body offered to be handled ? By " no means ; that is offered to be contemplated by the mind, but " to the senses the sensible sacrament of the thing. For the " mind acts more freely and unencumbered, when it is diverted " as little as may be, by the senses. When, then, there is pre" sented to the senses what is very similar to that which the mind ' is engaged in, it is no slight aid to the senses. Add, (which is " not least to be accounted of,) that those signs were so instituted " by Christ Himself, that, by their analogy also, they may be of " much avail to lead to the thing, as present by faith and contem" plation. Whence, since Sacraments were instituted to this end, ** that they may teach, admonish, and delight sensibly, not less " than outward speech ^ it happens that, having acquired the ** name of those things, whereof they are the signs, and which " are themselves the real refreshment of the mind, they inflame " the mind more vehemently than if any one were to think over ' the Divine goodness, however religiously, without them." Zuingli's positive view of the Sacraments is completed by the other passage, part of which is quoted by his Apologist ; " Since ^, ** then, it is irrefragable that in Baptism and the Eucharist, that *' which is signified by the Sacraments is ours before we use the " Sacraments, what reason is there in attributing to the Sacra" ments what we had before ? since Sacraments make confession " of, attest, and exercise only what we had before, how long ** shall we ten)pt the Spirit of God in a matter so plain ? Are *' then the Sacraments in vain ? by no means, as was said. For " they preach the salvation which has been given by God, they

' Ad. P. G. f. 646. > Ibid. f. 647. v. 648.



" turn the senses thither, and then exercise faith, the promise of *' which they hold forth i, and draw to brotherly charity. And " while all this is done, one and the same Spirit operates ; who, " as He bloweth, draws at one time without, at another with, *' an instrument, whither, as much as, and whom. He wills." This is the strongest passage in Zuingli ; and one rejoices to find even this recognition of spiritual influence at, though not properly through, the Sacrament. This then is the sum of Zuingli's doctrine of the Sacraments, that they are symbols, that they exhibit Divine truths forcibly to the mind, so as to kindle it, and that thereat the Holy Spirit exercises an influence where, and upon whom He wills. But to judge of the effects of Zuingli's doctrine upon others, such an insulated passage will not suffice. We must take into account the illustrations which he continually employs, and which all tend to represent the Sacraments as mere outward symbols. They are *' testaments, not " the thing bequeathed^ ;" *' writings ;" *' the giving up of keys *' to another;" "signs of a covenant;" "the seal-ring^ given " by the father of a family to the absent wife, with his own image "impressed thereon ;" signs of a past gift, memorials, tokens, by the sight whereof our love may be cherished, but not means of grace. These popular illustrations convey far more than abstract statement. We must consider also the impression made by the positive contrary statements which Zuingli so often repeated and inculcated ; " The Sacraments are only badges of the Christ" ian society, and confer nothing towards salvation," and the like ; and that this was his general mode of teaching : but chiefly one must look upon him as bending his great energies to this one point, " to eradicate (in the words of his Apologist *) these notions " from the minds of men ;" for which end in treating the belief

^ " Quam et proximo poUicentur." I doubt about the meaning; for Zuingli says again and again that " Sacraments do not impart faith ;" and " that the only faith which they produce (faciunt) is an historical, (i. e. as " memorials that Christ has suffered,) and that, whether they be received or ** no ; but that he has died for us, that they signify only to the pious believer." (Fidei Christianae Expos, t. ii. f. 555).





even of Luther, he uses, occasionally at least, a coarseness and profaneness of language, which, upon such a subject, must work incalculable evil, but of which one naturally can give no instances. Some of this offensive language was perpetuated in his school. Besides tliis there is the fixed and universal tendency of negative principles in religion. They spread, and that downwards.

The two Sacraments are indissolubly connected. An indivi dual or an age may for a while be inconsistent, since of incon sistencies there is happily no end. This variance, however, be comes gradually effaced. Unless by some guidance of God, men are brought back to higher views of the one Sacrament, their estimation of the other will imperceptibly sink. An here ditary awe of that of their Saviour's Body and Blood will for a time continue to raise their reverence for it even above their own theory ; but the doctrines are in principle the same ; and so will men's veneration, thankfulness, honour, delight in both, at length be. Either they will see in both their Saviour, or in both (I speak of Churches, or Sects, not necessarily of the period of individual life, although very frequently in this also) they will see but an empty symbol.

In the above statement of Zuingli's views, the Lord's Supper is most frequently instanced as being the subject of the contro versy ; but the principles relate to Baptism also. As to this 2 Sacrament also, Zuingli fixed his theory after an interval of * doubt ; in this instance, as to the efficacy or propriety of Infant Baptism. " If ^ Sacraments were signs, and signs for the con " firmation of faith, how can they confirm the faith of infants, " since it is certain that as yet they have none ? Wherefore I " ako, (to own the truth ingenuously) some years ago, deceived ** by this error, thought it better that children should not be " baptized, until they had arrived at a mature age." This diffi culty, arising from the first error, that Sacraments were only signs, required a further modification of his views. Zuingli accordingly suras up thus his views on Baptism*. ** No element

' De Baptismo, t. Ii. f. 63. v.

• Ibid. f. 97- V. Again, at the beginning of tbe same work, f. 69. v. " If 1 '* in the Old Testament ceremonies were outward only and carnal things, and I



" of this world, yea no outward thing, can cleanse the soul of '* man. For the purifying of this is the work of Divine grace '* alone. Baptism then cannot wash away the defilements of ** sin. But since it was instituted by God, and yet does not " wash away sin, it is altogether certain that it is no other than a " Sacramental sign, whereby the people of God are bound and " united to one faith and religion." So that his view is just that mentioned by our Articles (Art. 27.) as inadequate. These maxims, — the inadequacy of outward things to wash away sin, and the assumption that Baptism is a sign only, the outward element of water alone, — and the purports of Baptism, which he deduces from these maxims, form the greater part of the statements of Zuingli ; and these he inculcates with the utmost earnestness and positiveness. " This ' conviction abides with " me, certain, unshaken, and infallible (which if the authority '' and power of the whole world would impugn, they will yet " effect nothing with me), that no element, outwardly adminis" tered, can avail any thing toward the purifying of the soul." And so, assuming as before, the incompatibility of the sign with the thing signified, he argues as if all were outward. ' John ^ " (whose Baptism he contends to have been the same ^ with that •' of Christ) taught amendment and true repentance ; and those •' who, influenced by his teaching, embraced repentance and '• amendment of life, he signed with the outward water of Bap' tism, yet they were not any way the better for it ; for what pre

" could not bring any purity or cleansing to the wretched and polluted con*' sciences of men, how much less in Christ, in whom the Spirit only " gives us life. Meanwhile, however, He has bequeathed to us, who are his " members, two ceremonies, i. e, certain symbols and outward signs, Baptism " namely, and the Eucharist, (or as others have termed it the commemoration " of His death), wherein He wished to consult our infirmity and accommodate " Himself to us. By one of these signs, which Christ has instituted for us, " Baptism, we are marked at the same time and consecrated to God. In the " other, the Eucharist, or commemoration of His death, we give thanks to " God, our heavenly Father, for that immense benefit of our redemption and " salvation granted." See also Responsio ad libell. D. Baltazaris, ib. f. 108. ' Ibid. f. 71. V. 3 Ib. f. G7. V. add f. 08. v.

^ Ib. § de prima Baptism! origine et Institutione f. 73. v. sqq.




" vented their repenting without being baptized ? Baptism then " was only a ceremony, whereby they attested publicly that they " were of the number of penitents." The ministers he regards J not as instruments in God's hand, but as independent agents, and " so performing a mere outward work. "Christ," he says', " manifestly distinguishes (Acts i. 5.) between that outward ** Baptism of water, and that whereby the faithful are baptized ** by the Holy Spirit. John is declared only to have baptized " with the water and the preaching of the outward word : and as " many as now baptize do no other. For what else should men " here do, than teach with the outward word, or sprinkle with " water, or dip the baptized into it ? Our controversy then about " infant Baptism is only about the outward Baptism of water, " and the teaching of the outward word." " So also Peter, Paul, " James, and others after them, only baptized with water and the " outward word or teaching ; but to baptize with the Spirit is ike *' office not of men but of God, who alone, according to tlie counsel " of His wisdom, hath been wont to baptize with the Holy Spirit " whomsoever and whensoever He wills." The words of conse cration again, appointed by Christ, since spoken through man's mouth, became to him outward also, man's words and not God's. Quoting the language of St. Augustine, " The word is joined to " the element, and it becomes a Sacrament," he answers ' — " The " authority and power of no outward word which proceeds " out of the mouth of man, can be greater than the autho " rity and power of the water itself. For no one, save God •• only, can take and wash away sin.** If then occasionally the strong language of Scripture escapes into the pages of Zuingli, so that one might think that some high spiritual benefit was imparted through Baptism, this is presently corrected. Thus, commenting on Rom. vi. he says *, " Who, examining these " things more diligently, would not perceive that Baptism is an " initial sign, which engraffs us into Christ, consecrates us " wholly to Him, to this end, that we should be made new men, *' and live a new life in Him;" and again, " Baptism is an

> Ibid f. 00. V. CI. 08. » Calvin borrows this language, Instit iv. 15. 8. » Ibid. f. 70. V. ♦ Ibid. f. 60. * Ibid. f. 6C. and v.



" initial (or initiating) sign, which engrafFs us into God (Deo " inserit) and shows that we are God's." Yet these cheering words ' engrafFed into Christ" are explained only to mean that we are ** made members of that outward society of Christians :" as indeed how should a mere " outward ceremony" unite us with our Saviour ? " It is established," he says ^ " that that " outward Baptism, which is by water, confers nothing towards ** the purifying of the soul ; wherefore this is only a ceremony, " an outward sign, whereby it is indicated that a man is brought *' to Jesus Christ our Lord, engrafFed and initiated into Him, so " that he now wishes not to live to himself but to Christ :" and thus we come back to the old statement, only invested or disguised in Scripture words, that " Baptism is a sign of a covenant " whereby we initiate ^^ or consecrate 33   Ibid. f. 59. V. 85. Op. de vera et fals. Relig. f. 198. v. * De Bapt. f. 64. v. & Ibid. f. 67- v. ad libell. Struthionis, f. 313. any one to God :" for indeed a ceremony, which had no power to purify, could not engrafF men into Christ. This initiation also he compares to the garb, wherewith novices in a monastery were invested, or to the oath * taken by soldiers, or " the white cross® worn by the Swiss, which " shows that they are and will remain Swiss."

The excellencies of Baptism are distinctly enumerated by Zuingli in a work, which, being written only five years before his death, of course must contain his mature views, and in which Bullinger says that he surpasses himself — his " Exposition of the Christian Faith to the Christian king^." They are these: — 1. The Sacraments were instituted by Christ : 2. attest His history : 3. set before us the things which they signify, whence they are called by their names : 4. signify great things : 5. have an analogy or aptness to represent the things signified : 6. aid faith (by withdrawing the senses, to contemplate divine things) : 7. are an oath binding Christians together ; — in all which there is no vestige of any spiritual influence. Infant Baptism can

1 Ibid. f. 71. V. 2 lb. f. 67.

6 De Bapt. f. 60.



then have none. Its benefits are also enumerated '. " It is the " same as Circumcision ; that dedicated men to God, but under ** the yoke and band of the law ; Baptism, to the same God, but " under Christ, who is grace itself." The rest are, 1 . " that we " all grow up in the same doctrine, the Christian. 2. Children " will be educated Christianly. 3. It removes sluggishness in " teaching." Nay, Zuingli often urges against the Anabaptists the unreasonableness of objecting to infant Baptism, " since it "is an outward and ceremonial thing '^j which, as well as other " outward things, the Church may use worthily and with pro" priety, or omit and remove it, as seems to her most to conduce " to the edification and well-being of the whole body."

It is remarkable, that in Zuingli again, with this depreciation of Baptism is united the denial of original sin, as sin, in all born of faithful parents^ — which is indeed essential to the whole theory that the Sacraments are signs only, or attest only grace imparted ; for if original sin is not remitted through Baptism, then, as these writers affirm, these children must have been holy by virtue of the covenant, i. e. had no original sin. Original corruption Zuingli admits, but its sinfulness he explicitly denies *.

In taking this view of Baptism, Zuingli was aware that he was setting up a new doctrine, unheard of in the Christian Church from the times of the Apostles to his own. We do not judge him ; but in this instance he stands forth as a solemn warning

' De Bapt. f. 95. v. sqq. * lb. f. 96. ad. libell. D. Baltazar. f. 105. v.

' See above, p. 86.

  • " I confess that our first father sinned a sin, which is a real sin, wicked" ness, crime, and wrong. But his descendants have not sinned in this way ; " quis enim nostrum in paradiso pomtim vetitum depopulatus est dentibus ? " Whether then we will or no, we are obliged to admit that original sin, as " it is in the sons of Adam, is not properly sin, as has been already shown; " for it is not an ofifence against the law. It is then properly a disease and a *' condition." Ad. Carolum Imp. Fidei ratio, f. 639 v. : and f. 540, having argued shallowly from Rom. v. 1 Cor. xv. 22, he terms it " impious and pre" sumptuous" to hold, that in Christian children " it deservcth God's wrath " and damnation,"(Art. 9) on account partlyof the reparation throughCHRisT, partly of God's free election, which does not follow faith, but faith follows it. Cp. de Peccato originali Declaratio, ib f. 1 15, v. sqq.


to US, showing how — not only general integrity, and straightforwardness and zeal against corruptions which derogate from the glory of God — but even the assiduous study of Holy Scripture with prayer *, will not preserve a man from falling into pernicious error, which may destroy the very good which he labours to promote, so long as there is one uncorrected sin remaining within his own bosom. Zuingli's writings discover an arrogant self-confidence, which thinks lightly of any belief opposed to his own, although it were that of the universal Church ; and he became the author of tenets which immediately well nigh effaced the Sacraments of his Lord. His rationalistic tone sowed the seeds of a dreadful harvest, which his country is now reaping.

" This I must ingenuously confess, at the beginning of the " book," — thus ^ he opens his work on Baptism, " that all pro" bably (^fiere omnes\ as many as, from the times of the very ** Apostles, have undertaken to write on Baptism, have in no ' few things missed the mark. It is a great thing that I say, " but I am compelled against my will to say it. For never would " I have allowed this to pass my lips (although I have always " delivered the true doctrine on this subject), unless I had been ** compelled through that contumacious obstinacy of most con" " tentious men. But that I have herein spoken no less truly than *' openly, is self-evident. For no one of their number can be " found, whohas not ascribed to the element of water, what neither " it has, nor have the Apostles taught that it had. And those " Ancients wrongly understood the saying of Christ to Nicode" mus, ' Except a man be born again of Water and the Spirit, " &c. Wherefore we also will see what Baptism is, after a *' manner far different from what a//, ancients or moderns, yea, or " the writers of our own times, have done. And all this we will " establish, not by dreams of our own, but by testimonies from " the Divine Word."

The opinions of Zuingli are of chief importance, because he was the parent of the Reformed, as Luther was of the Church

  • Melchior Adamus relates this of Zuingli, De Vit. Germ. Theol. p. 27. ' F. 59. V. Zuingli complains elsewhere of " those who had ' Patres, " Patres,' for ever on their mouth."




which bore his name. He furnished the model, the " form of words," and stamped the cliaracter and impress of the Reformed, as Luther did of the theology of the Lutheran Church. He used incredible zeal in propagating his opinions on the Sacraments '. Zurich, on account of the peace enjoyed there, was a place of refuge for the Reformed. His writings and opinions were diligently spread in France and Germany ; and in Italy appear to have been more known than Luther's. They are addressed to the understanding, and at once cut the knot of the controversy with Rome^ For those who had previously disbelieved the Romish doctrine, (and such, Zuingli says, was the case of most ecclesiastics,) ^ it seems, humanly speaking, impossible that they could come to any other result. The doctrine of the Sacraments, as instruments of grace, held by Luther, (I speak not of his peculiar theory of Consubstantiation), was termed " a going back to the flesh-pots of Egypt*."

  • Hospinian, p. 46.

' A saying of Luther's is well known, to this effect: — " With the reformed '^floctrines I could give such a bjioy^ffto.I^ome ! but I dare not; it stands " ivritten," {es steht geschrieben). ^ . ,.., ,

^ In the passage above cited (p. 90), Zuingli mentions that the Romanists of his day denied this as a calumny, but this he treats as mere hypocrisy.

  • E. g. Ad Lutheri Confess, f. 432. v. In the Exegesis Eucharistiae, f. 358, he calls Luther's doctrine " the restoration of the reign of Antichrist."

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Dig. i. tit. 3. lex 23, p. 78, Ed. Gothofr. 42, quoted by Hooker, B. v. c. 1. § 5, cd. Keble.

The character of the Reformation in the several countries of Europe turned mainly upon the doctrine of the Sacraments ; as indeed every one will find, that the way in which he embraces and practically holds them, will affect the whole character of his spiritual life. The two continental branches, who cast aside the errors of Rome, each erred in this respect ; and thus became new, rather than reformed, Churches. In either, one individual stood too prominently forward, and impressed upon his society the character of his own mind, rather than that of the Church Catholic. And we cannot sufficiently admire the loving-kindness of Almighty God, who allowed the seeds indeed of Reformation to be sown among us by Wickliffe, yet then, notwithstanding the powerful human aid which he had, and his great popularity, caused them to lie, as it were, in the earth, until those which were less sound should by length of time decay ; and again, that He placed so many impediments in the way of our final Reformation, (for what man does rapidly, he does rashly,) and held back our steps by the arbitrariness of Henry ; and, when we were again going down the stream of the times too readily, checked us at once by the unexpected death of Edward, and




proved us by the fire of tlie Marian persecution, and took away, by a martyr's death, tliose in whom we most trusted ; and then finally employed a number of labourers, in the restoration of His temple, of whom none should yet be so' conspicuous, that the edifice should seem to be his design, or that he should be tempted to restore the decayed parts according to any theory of his own, but rather that all things should be made " according to the pattern which He had shown us" in the Church Primitive. Had our reform taken place at first, we had been WickliflStes ; under Edward, we had been a branch of the Reformed i (the Zuinglian or Calvinist) Church : now we bear no human name ; we look to no human founder ; we have no one reformer, to set up as an idol ; we are neither of Paul nor of Apollos ; nor have we any human maxims or theories as the basis of our system ; but have been led back at once to the distant fountains, where the waters of life, fresh from their source, flowed most purely.

Both of the continental branches, as was said, erred in this respect ; and both have, through their error, suffered. Luther, although scripturally asserting the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, still retained from the Romish Church the idea of the necessity of explaining that presence. His theory of Consubstantiation was, not a development of Divine truth, but a human system, explaining the mode of the Divine operations. This first error entailed the necessity of other expositions, on points about

  • The " Reformed" is the received name for such Churches as agree with Calvin and Zuingli in the doctrine of the Sacraments, and as such was understood in old times not to include the English, which was always accounted as a Church per se. As, however, the Churches comprehended under this name did not ahogether agree among themselves, it came to be used for tliat portion of the Western Church which was neither Romanist nor Lutlieran. Hooker speaks of •* reformed," as opposed to corrupt Churches ; but he also uses the term of those, who considered themselves eminently " Reformed" Churches, as being most opposed to Rome, e. g. B. iv. c. 14. Init. '* To leave reformed Churches, therefore, and their actions, for Him to judge " of in whose sight they are, as they are ; and our desire is that tliey may, " even in His sight, be found such as we ought to endeavour, by all means, ' that our own may likewise be ; somewhat we are enforced to speak con• cerning the proceedings of the Church of England."




wliich we know nothing either way, and upon which, consequently, it was a great evil to have to decide or to speculate. Such are the ubiquity of our Saviour's glorified body, the communication of the properties of His Divine to His human nature, and the like. These, however, of necessity, occupied a prominent, because a distinctive, portion of the Lutheran system. Thereby, and through the abolition of Episcopacy, the Lutheran became a new Church, built, indeed, in great part, of the old materials, but still upon a new model, and with untempered mortar. Its connection with the primitive Church, and so its own stability also, was loosened. It was a particular Church, and erected on a narrower platform, than the Church Catholic.

The Reformed Church erred still more widely in that its first departure from the antient model in the doctrine of the Sacraments was opposed to the obvious sense of Scripture also : it was not merely a particular or human, opposed to the Catholic system : but it required a forced exposition of the Word of God. This Church suffered also in proportion more. Its theology limited the favours of Almighty God, when Scripture had declared them free ; it restrained the mercies of His Sacraments, where He had not restrained them ; and it became itself stiff, harsh, unconfiding, and restrained. We find in it, in comparison, but very little of the child-like, dependent, overflowing and humble joy of the Antient Church, which in part appeared in the older Lutheran writers, and especially in their hymns, and which is found in a portion of our own earlier theology.

The tenets of Zuingli were, as was said, well adapted to human reason ; they were suited to men's common-place understanding ; they recognized faith, and yet made the operations of faith cognizable by reason ; and so appeased at once both conscience, and those common cravings of intellect, which a more vigorous faith restrains. The theory then spread widely, as it was calculated to do. The tenets of Zuingli were shared by CEcolampadius, and had no opponent in the Swiss Church. Their disciples include, directly or indirectly, all the reformed Church, except that of Germany ; and even this, as our own, for a time, was indirectly and partially influenced through the medium of

H 2



tlieir writings. Among the disciples of Zuingli, either orally or in writing, might be named Peter Martyr, Pellican, BuUinger, and Farell, the reformer of Geneva. His most extensive influence, however, was indirectly, and by way of descent, through Calvin. Calvin, namely, as is well known, though he established the discipline of Geneva, was not one of the original reformers : its doctrines he found already established ; and especially with regard to the Sacraments \ he methodized only and arranged and here and there perhaps modified the doctrines, or, rather, per haps, the language of Zuingli. The doctrines, the arguments, the language, the turn of expression, the subsidiary statements, the very illustrations, which Calvin employs on the subject of the Sacraments, are all to be found scattered up and down in the writings of Zuingli ; only in Zuingli they are presented in a polemical form : Calvin has matured them into a doctrinal scheme. The definition of Baptism is the same : " a sign ^ of " initiation, whereby we are enrolled in the society of the Church, " that, being engrafted into Christ, we may be accounted among ' the sons of God." The mode of disposing of the old Church's definition, "a visible sign of a sacred thing," or *' a visible form of an invisible grace," is the same ' : there is the same illustra tion of the Sacraments by the outward sign * of the Old Testa ment : the same denial of grace * being imparted through the Sacraments : the assertion of the identity of the Apostles' and John's Baptism' (of which assertion Zuingli was the first

Mt is characteristic, that the allowing the Font to he placed within the Church was one of the points in which Calvin refused obedience to the Synod of Lausanne, and so subjected himself to banishment from Geneva, wherein he had recently undertaken the cure of souls.

2 Institt. 4. 15. 1.

  • Institt. 4. 14. 1«.

  • lb. 4. 14. 14 and 17. Zuingh, t. ii. t 63

  • lb. 4. 15. 6. sqq.



author) ^ : the like arguments, and the like solutions of the texts opposed' : the same statements that the value of Baptism consisted in its being a sign of a previous covenant ^, or promise *, or rather the transfer of its benefits to a previous election * : the reference to Abraham^ and to Rom. iv.' and to the promise, "and to thy seed," as the groundwork and substance of the Sacrament of Christ, and our rule for understanding it : the identifying of Baptism and Circumcision ^, (as of the Paschal ^° lamb with the Lord's Supper) : the same assertion, that regeneration" precedes Baptism ; that infants of Christian parents are holy ^' before Baptism ; that the word of consecration is an instrument of teaching " only ; the same comparison of the Sacraments with the written word " : the same language against tying or binding God's grace to the Sacraments ^, or inclosing it within them : the same dread of their value being exaggerated ^^ or any mystical virtue being contained in them '', or their washing away sin ^* : the same view of them, as only representing spiritual things

  • " Nor do these alone, but all the theologians also whom I remember ever ** to have read, most resolutely maintain this same opinion," (i. e. that thp Baptism of John was neither the same, nor agreed with that of Christ). Zuingli de Bapt 0pp. t. ii. f. 73, v. 74. Melancthon,, however, adopted the same view.

'» lb. 4. 16. 30. Zu. Subsid. de Eucharist, t ii. f. 250.

» lb. 4. 15. 20. Zu. t. iu f. 62.

" lb. 4. 15. 22. Zu. de Pecc. Orig. t ii. f. 120. v.

" lb. 4. 14. 4.

>* lb. 4. 14. 1 and 7, and 10, 1 1, and 14 and I7.

'5 lb. 4. 14. 9, &c cp. P. Mart 4. 7- 3. '« lb. 4. J 4. 9.

" lb. 4. 15. 2 and 15. Zu. f. 70, &c.

'8 lb. 4. 14. 16. Zu. Exeges. Eucharist, f. 358.



to the mind of man ^ These| and many other points will strike any one who, having familiarized himself with the language and manner of Zuingli, shall afterwards read Calvin's treatise, so that one seems to be reading Zuingli again, only in a different form. Nor is it, of course^ any disparagement to Calvin, that a system of doctrinal theology, written at the age of twentyseven, should have been worked up from materials furnished by others. Only, as others also have observed, Calvin as well as Zuingli is inconsistent ; and whether it be that the tenets of his early years in part break through a system later acquired ; or whether, as is probable, he shrunk from the consequences of his own scheme, yet certainly he occasionally uses stronger language than belongs to that system ^. Here and there he even criticizes language, which resembles that of Zuingli ; and (which alone appears to present any real difference in their systems) Zuingli explicitly denies ^ that Sacraments confirm faith ; Calvin asserts it*. Yet the difference is again in words ; for both assert that the conlemplation of God's mercy, as represented in the Sacraments, is a mean of confirming and strengthening our faith ; and both deny that the Sacraments conveyy or are vehicles of grace. Yet between these there is no third system. Indeed, all reformed writers, until of late date, have acknowledged Zuingli as authority for their opinions, equally with Calvin. He was as much, or more, looked up to in his day, by those of that school : nor had it been worth noticing, but that moderns have been inclined to set Zuingli aside, because he speaks out, and shews the effects and character of their theory more plainly than Calvin ; or have been misled to draw an unauthorized distinction between them.

If, however, there be any difference in the modes of statement



of Calvin and Zuingli, it is this : that, according to Zuingli, Sacraments are testimonies to the Church ; according to Calvin, to the Elect ; but the essential character of the Sacraments as signs only, not means of grace, remains the same in both. The benefits, accordingly, of which Calvin supposes ^ Baptism to be the instrument, are, 1st, that it is a sort of diploma to attest that all our sins are utterly done away ; 2dly, that it shows us (ostendit) our dying in Christ, and our new life in Him ; 3dly, that it testifies (testificatur) that we are so united to Christ, that we are partakers of all His benefits. Wherein the blessings indeed comprehend all which the ancient Church also attributed to Baptism : but Baptism itself is but the outward seal, to attest to the believer's soul, mercies already received. Wherever, namely, Calvin explains what he means by the grace of the Sacraments, it is " the sealing of the Covenant of God," an " assuring us of " His promises," or " a sort of appendix added to God's pro' mise to confirm and seal it, and to make it more attested, and *' after a sort established, as God foresees to be needful, first for " our ignorance and slowness, then for our weakness ^ : they " are props to our faith, mirrors, wherein we see the love of God ** more clearly ^." This confirmatory influence of the Sacraments is set forth in a variety of forms and language ; but all comes back to this. On the other hand, Calvin, (as strongly, although not so frequently, as Zuingli,) decries the efficacy of the Sacraments, " any hidden virtue of the Sacraments", as a pestilent error : the tenet of the " Schools of the Sophists that " the Sacraments of the new law {i. e. those of the Christian " Church) justify and confer grace, unless prevented by mortal ** sin," is condemned as " devilish." The sayings of the ancient Church, as to the Sacraments, are termed " immoderate enco" mia';" the language of St. Augustine, " that the Sacraments " of the old law only promised a Saviour, ours impart health " and salvation, (salus) and the like figures of speech" are designated as " hyperbolical."

» Instit. 4. 15. 1—6. 3 lb. 4. 14. 1—3.

' § 6. * § 14. 5 § 26.



The hard and dry character, indeed, of Calvin or Beza's mind was ill calculated for the restoration of the view of the Sacraments, which was now in the reformed Church destroyed : their mystical character was now effaced ; Baptism was a sign to man ; a mean of increasing the faith of the parents ; a seal of grace before given ; a sign of grace hereafter to be conveyed ; but in no other sense a sacrament, than was the bow in the cloud ', which was a sign of God's covenant, — an assurance to the infirmity of men's faith, but, in no sense, an instrument of grace.

This, as was said, belonged to the intellectual character of the theology of this school. The workings of faith, although incredible to the unbeliever, may still be made cognizable to the human intellect : the tendency of outward representations to embody to the mind things spiritual, to employ sense against sense, and to make things seen the means of lifting up the heart to things unseen, is also very obvious ; as is also the power of a visible attestation to increase our credence in the things so attested.

  • I find that Chamier actually refers to the like emblems as explaining his view of Sacraments. " It belongs to seals to give certainty, by signifying ** only, not by effecting. This is plain from the rainbow, Gen. ix. — the ** going back of the sun, Jos. xxxviii. — and is altogether the general doctrine " of all signs added to promises." Tom. iv. 1. 2. c. 5. § 42. and Calvin, Instit 4. 14. 18. " The name ' sacrament' comprehends generally all the signs, " which God ever ordained to man, to assure him of the truth of his pro" mises, whether natural or miraculous." Of the former sort he instances the tree of life and the rainbow. " Not that the tree gave them immortality, " which it could not give to itself, or that the bow had any efficacy in restrain' ing the waters (being only a refraction of the solar ray), but because they ** had a mark stamped on them by the word of God, so as to be documents ,' and seals of his testaments." Of the miraculous, he instances the smoking furnace (Gen. xv.), Gideon's fleece, the shadow of the sun-dial of Ahaz ; and the only difference which he makes between these and the Christian Sacraments is that ' the signs here given are ceremonies." Vorsiius (AntiBellarm. ad. tom. iii. conir. 1. Thes. 1,2, arg.2.) instancing the same "sacred *' signs, which are analogous to the Sacraments," says, " these have the power •' of sealing only, but not of conferring saving grace, through themselves ; " therefore we must hold the same of the real Sacraments." The same signs are instanced also in the Hungarian Confession, by P. Martyr, Loci 4. 7- 2. and so generally among the reformed writers.


But this is all plain matter of intellect : the Sacraments are then in no mysterious manner channels of grace : they are all outward: Baptism is only an outward introduction into a visible Church, entitling men to, or rather attesting that they have, privileges, but not itself imparting any : it is no more spiritual than the seal, diploma, safe-conduct, to which they compare it. It is an unspiritual attestation of spiritual privileges. The Eucharist, according to this view, does not convey to the soul of the believer the Bodyand Blood of Christ, but is an external emblem, by the sight and feeding upon which, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, the faith of the believer is excited to fix itself upon his Saviour \ The sacramental participation of Christ becomes the same, as out of the Sacrament. Its mysterious character is resolved into a mere picture. The Sacraments, doubtless, are all this : they ' are mystical representations to the soul : they are props of faith : they are visible seals of God's promises : they are images of things invisible : they are instruments to lift up our hearts to communion with God in Christ : but they are more ; and it is here precisely that this school stops short. They are channels


114 THE church's doctrine of the sacraments.

of Divine grace to the soul, which are closed up indeed by unfaithfulness, yet are efficacious, not simply by animating our faith ; but the one, by actually incorporating us into Christ, and creating in our souls a new principle of life, and making us *' partakers of the Divine nature ;" the other, imparting to us increased union with Christ, and (to use a term of the Fathers' ) a deifying influence, whereby God gives us that which man would have accepted from Satan — to *' be as Gods," being partakers of the Son of God. But how the Sacraments effect this we know not : we understand not the mysteries of our first, how should we then of our second, birth ? Of both rather we confess, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but how we were fashioned, we know not.

This school^ then, by taking as their one definition of the

' E. g. St. Gregory of Nazianzum, (when " peril of waters" seemed to threaten death, before he should be baptized) : —

Ka9ap<TUi)v yap oTg QeovfieG' vddrojv i^XkoTpovfijjv vdaffiv ^evoKTovoig.



Christian Sacrament of Baptism what St, Paul says of the Jewish sign of circumcision \ do in effect destroy the very essentials of a Sacrament. For, whatever general terms tliey may use of Baptism ^ when they begin to explain themselves, they always

' " I think scarcely any place can be found, where the nature of a Sacra" ment is so briefly and explicitly set forth, as in these words of Paul, wherein " circumcision is called a seal," P. Martyr ad Rom. iv. add Loci 4, 7- 7 — 11. Chamier (de Sacram. 2. 6. 16. ap. Gat. p. 97-) "The Sacraments justify " in their own way, L e., Sacramentally ; and what this means, Paul teaches " as to circumcision ; viz., that it is the seal of the righteousness of faith." (t. e. of previous justification.) Parens, Dub. 6. ad c. 4. Ep. ad Rom., makes this characteristic of the Calvinistic view of the Sacraments. The doubt proposed is, ** do our interpreters explain rightly that Abraham " received the sign of circumcision as a seal, &c. ; and hence infer that this " is the characteristic, which constitutes the Sacraments, and their principal " use, that they are seals, sealing to the faithful the righteousness of faith on " the part of God." This he affirms. Add Whitaker, de Sacram. q. 1. c, 2.



resolve its benefits into the sealing or attesting past promises, or the shadowing forth of subsequent regeneration, and this to be effected by the hearing of the word, not by the influence of Baptism ^ : they declare that by seals they do not

theologus,") approving of Burges' doctrine of "the regeneration of elect infants," criticizes it so far, that Burges (agreeing with his Church) " subjects " this regeneration to Baptism, and binds it thereto, as to a cause sine qua non, " or a moral instrument, which it follows." " This," he says, " is not proved " by his quotations from the Reformed Theologians. Their opinion of the " efficacy of Baptism is known, that it does not produce regeneration, hut seals it, ** which has been already produced." [Wits, prints this last sentence in capitals.] * Beza. (Coll. Momp. praef. partiv. resp. ad coll. p. 24. ap. Gerh. loci de S. Baptismo § 118). " I never said, simply, that Baptism was the sealing of " regeneration in children, but of the adoption according to the covenant, " * I will be thy God, &c.' nor did I say that all, or any children were " actually regenerated at the very moment of Baptism, but that the benefit " of regeneration, in its own time ordained by God, follows that act of Bap" tism in infants by the hearing of the word." Beza appears, however, (according to Witsius 1. c. § 30.) to have been nearly singular in regarding regeneration as subsequent to Baptism ; the general doctrine is that stated Note 2. p. 118. In one point only they all agree, in the anxiety not (as they speak) to bind it to Baptism ; whence some say that it is given either before, at, or after Baptism. (See Witsius, § 24. Taylor's Comm. on Titus and others). Very few of tins school (with the exception of those English Divines who engrafted part of the system of Calvin upon the doctrines of our Church and those more modern) appear to have thought regeneration generally to accompany Baptism. (Witsius names Le Blanc only.) See also below, p. 145. Note 1. Well might a Predestinarian writer of our own Church say, (though not borne out in claiming the agreement of Calvin,) " If yet they answere, that this follows not by their doctrine, viz. that Bap" tisme is a bare signe, because they grant it to be also a scale of after grace : " I rejoyne, this helps not (unless they grant, as Calvine freely doth, some " principle and seed of grace, bestowed ordinarily in Baptisme) ; be" cause, by their opinion, it is a scale of something absent that is to be ex" pected in reversion only. They deny all present exhibition and collation " of any grace in the moment of Baptisme, by virtue of Christ's institution, " and so they doe not make it a signe, signifying, but rather prognosticating, " only some future effect, which is a new kind of Divinity, that, so farre as I " am able to judge, destroys the nature of a Sacrament, by denying to it both " the chiefc part of it ; viz., the inward grace thereby signified, and, together '* with the signe exhibited and conferred on those that truly, and, indeed, be " within the covenant, as also the vigour and efficacy of the word of institution " which makes the union betweene the sign and the thing signified." — Burges' Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants, pp. 110, 11.



mean instruments * of conveying grace : they deny that Bap

' '• Signs and real instruments, properly speaking, are widely different. For " signs, such as are Sacraments,contribute nothing towards the effect, but they " only attest and seal that which the Holy Spirit effects and works in us ; " and that they do most truly and certainly." Daneeus adv. Bellarm. t. ii. contr. 2. 1. 2. c. 14 ; ad arg. 2; ap. Gat. 103; and, again, adv. Bellarm. de Bapt. c. 4. rat. 4, " He is deceived, who thinks that the application of Christ and " His benefits takes place through the sign of water, which is only the sealing " up of that application ;" and p. 324, " The water of baptism is not needed, " either as the efficient or the instrumental cause, but only as the seal sealing " up." Zuingli (ad Luther, confess, resp. fol. 477' ap. Gat. 96.) " There never " was any Sacrament which can realize to us that which was signified by it : but " this is the office of every Sacrament, to signify and attest that that which it " denotes is present." Whitaker de Bapt. q. 2. c. 3. arg. 3. (ap. Gat. p. 123.) " Bellarmine denies that Baptism is a seal of grace received, but says, it is an " instrument conferring grace, which we have above refuted." Voestius, AntiBellarm. ad t. iii. contr. 1. Thes. 6. § 1., assigns this argument to the first place against the belief that " Sacraments are effective instruments, or, so to " speak, vessels or vehicles of justifying grace." " Signs and seals have no ' other effects, for the most part, than that of , signifying, or declaring, or ** sealing, &c., as not being antecedent causes, or operative instruments of ' grace promised by God, but certain adjuncts consequent ; as also is known *' from philosophy, as to the general nature of signs." Peter Martyr, loci 4. 8. 17. approaches to a concession that grace may be given with the Sacraments, but is careful to guard against the idea that they are given through them. ♦' Yea, it is to be thought that God in His goodness, when His promises " and gifts are sealed, does of his own mere mercy render them fuller ; not, " indeed, by the work of the Sacrament, but of His own goodness and Spirit, " whereby He is wont, when we have the outward word of Divine Scripture, " to inflame our hearts, and recruit them to holiness." Again, he uses as an argument against the ancient custom of exorcising those about to receive Baptism, (i. e. adjuring the evil spirit, from whose kingdom they were about to be removed, to leave them,) " that thus we should have many Sacraments " for one, since they multiply signs, which they regard sacred ;" as if a holy and significant rite was in the same sense a Sacrament, as those instituted by our Lord, or as if Sacraments were only sacred signs. Beza (Letter to Grindall, in Adm. 5. ap. Hooker, b. v. p. 632. ed. Keble.) " They sinned " righte grievously, as often as they brought any Sacramentalles (that is to " say, any ceremonies) to import signification of spiritual things, into the " Church of God." Hooker (b. v. c. 2, § 4.) notices that at times these writers distinguished significant ceremonies, which were Sacraments, and others which were as Sacraments only. " Sacraments," he adds, " are those,




tism is the means of remitting original sin ', or of obtaining

" which are signs and tokens of some general promised grace, which always '* really descendeth from God unto the soul that duly receiveth them. Other " significant tokens are only as Sacraments, yet no Sacraments ; which is *' not our distinction, but their's." The distinction, however, between Sacraments, and "as it were Sacraments," (quasi Sacramentum), although abstractedly admitted, never occurs, where it is needed, in the statement of the Sacraments themselves. Zuingli attaches rightly much importance to this difference between "sacred signs" and Sacraments." Would," (he says, de vera et falsa relig.) " that the Germans had never had this word Sacra" ment, unless it had been well explained, viz. because it presented to their " mind a great and holy thing, which by its own power would free the con" science from sin." These last words are taken from Horantius (a Romanist), loci L. 7. c. 1. Chamier Sacram. 1. 2. 11.

^ Zuingli declar. de pec. orig. f. 121. — "Original sin is taken away only " by the blood of Christ, and cannot be taken away by the washing of bap" tism" (». e., not even as the mode of applying it) ; and de Baptismo, f. 70, " whence it is evident to all, that that outward sprinkling of water does not " wash away the stains of sins, as we have hitherto falsely believed. — Nay, it " has even come to be commonly believed, but falsely, that water-baptism " washes away the sin of an infant, which yet has none ;" and ad libelli D. Baltazar, f. 105, v. " Belie vest thou that water-baptism can avail the least to" wards remitting sins ? If there is so much virtue in Baptism, that it can wash " from sins, ' then is Christ dead in vain.' Gal. ii. — But, if sins cannot be " washed away by this outward Baptism of water, then it is a certain outward " rite and ceremony. P. Martyr, ad 1 Reg. c. 8. £ 72. v. The source of that " superstition (exorcising at Baptism,) is, that those men [the early Church] " thought that sins are first remitted through outward Baptism ; but they err " most grievously." And f. 73. v., he explains the order in which he supposes the remission of original sin to take place, and attempts to clear his view from involving a denial of it. " Yet it must be weighed, that it by no " means follows, that original sin is altogether done away with. For we con" fess that all are born children of wrath, and corrupted by original depravity " — then we add, that God, through Jesus Christ, cleanseth those whom He " has elected and predestinated, so that the defect, which, of its own nature, " would be mortal sin, is not imputed to them to death. Then he adorns them " with His Spirit, and renews them; after this, the sealing of outward Bap" tism is added. They have, therefore, first election or predestination. They " have the promise, and are born of the believing ; and when they are already •• adopted in the covenant with God, and justified, then are they rightly " dipped :" and Loci 4. 8. 9., he explains in the same way as Zuingli— that '' elect infants (to whom alone he holds Baptism to soal anything) have ori




justification ' ; tliey assert that those who are truly baptized

" ginal corruption, but not imputed to them, before Baptism." Add. 4. 8. 14, and 15. " The opponents attribute to the Sacraments more than they • ought ; for they suppose that sin is remitted by the force and efficacy of the " action of Baptism, and acknowledge not, that by the Sacraments, the remis" sion is rather sealed, which remission adults obtain by believing, and the " little ones of believers, who belong to the election, have grace already " through the Holy Spirit." Witsius (L. c. § 32) quotes from the Baptismal Liturgy of the Belgic Church the question addressed to the parents, and to be answered in the affirmative : ** Although our children are conceived ** and born in sin, and so are obnoxious to eternal condemnation, do you 7iot " acknowledge them to he sanctified (sanctificati) in Christ, atid that, therefore, " as being members of His Church, they are to be baptized (baptizandos" ) [In " capitals ap. Wits.] Calvin (Institt. 4. 16. 22.), " Little ones have remission " of sins given to them : therefore, they are not to be deprived of the sign of " it" (against the Anabaptists.) Whitaker (de Sacram. q. 6. c. 4. p. 193. ap. Gatak. p. 123.) " Nor is original sin remitted in Baptism in any other " way than in the Eucharist. For in each Sacrament, remission of sins is ** sealed to us." Gataker (1. c. p. 94.) " That any promise of remitting ori" ginal sin is annexed to Baptism, I nowhere read ; but, with me, the saying " holds here, * What I read not, I believe not.' " Hooper'' s Confession of Faith, " § 18. ** As for those that say Circumcision and Baptism be like, and yet " attribute the remission of original sin to Baptism, which was never given to " Circumcision, they not only destroy the similitude and equality which " should be between them, but also take from Christ remission of sin, and ' translate it unto the water and element of Baptism." T. C. confutation of Rhemish Test. " This holiness of childreh is, not to be sinners by nature " (the Apostle telleth you. Gal. ii. 15.), as those which are born of the hea*' then ; forasmuch as their sinnes, who are in the covenant, are, by Christ, " not reckoned unto them."

  • Zuingli (de Pec. orig. 0pp. t. ii. f. 122.) " Since Paul says, our fathers " were baptized to Moses in the cloud and the sea, it is manifest that Bap" tism is of no more avail to our justification, than the cloud and the sea to " their's." Peter Martyr, ad 1 Reg. f. 73. " Assuredly, adults must believe " before they are baptized ; and if they believe, they are already justified ; " and when they became members of Christ (?'. e., by justification before Bap*' tism), doubtless the devil departed from them;" and f. 74. v. "We deny " that persons are translated from the kingdom of darkness to that of light, " by receiving Baptism, since infants obtain this by predestination and the " promise of God, and by the right of an inherited covenant." Loci 4. 8. 3. '•In mind and spirit, as soon as we are justified, we are, in very deed, en" grafted into Christ and the Church; but since that is not clear to men, it


have the substance of Baptism ' before tliey are baptized, and have been regenerated ' : that the gift of Baptism tliey

** is afterwards known, when we arc inaugurated by the outward Sacrament" (which is again Zuingli's notion, that Sacraments are a testimony to men of what God has previously done for us.) Add. 4. 8. 12., and ad 2 Reg. 13. " f. 238 (ap. Gat) " Justification is not,:then, first bestowed, when believers ** are baptized, but before ; because Baptism is the sealing of a promise already " acquired, and the seal of a regeneration already obtained." fVhitaker de Sacr. q. 1. c. 3. part 2. (ap. Gat p. 108.) "We say, truly, that Sacraments " do not justify, either in the first or second place, in themselves, and pro" perly ; for when our faith in the preaching of the Gospel embraces Christ, *• then are we just The word then justifies ; the Sacraments seal this justi** fication ; so that, unless any one comes to the Sacraments justified and holy, " the Sacraments cannot justify him. The first, then, and second justification " are conferred through the preaching of the word ; but are nourished and " increased through the Sacraments. These cannot confer justification on " one who has it not, but can only increase and strengthen it in one who has <' it," and "Scripture teaches that faith justifies: he, then, who believes, is " justified : and we can believe without Sacraments." Jmes adv. Bellarm. (t iii, disp. 14. q. 3. thes. 3. Ap. Gat 121.) "Scripture teaches, that jus" tifying faith precedes Baptism." Chamier (Panstrat t iv. 1. 2. c. 6. §. 2.) uses the same words as Whitaker : " The Sacrament does not justify," &c.

' Peter Martyr, ad 1. Reg. 8. fol. 74 : — " Why then are infants baptized, if " they have the substance (rem) of Baptism beforehand? A. 1. We therein " obey God, who enjoined on us the work of Baptism. 2. We seal the pro" mise and gift which we have received. 3. Faith is confirmed by the Holy " Spirit through the word and outward symbols." Add Loci. 4. 8. 3. Dameus (adv. Bellar. t. ii. contr. c. 5. ad. Test. 1. ex Concil. Nicen. 1. ap. Gat. p. 123.) " The sign of water attests and seals the regeneration of the bap" tized ; but in no way effects, causes, or produces it" Hence also Witsius, 1. c. § 46. in the name of the reformed school, distinguishes between " the " real " and socraTwenf a/ justification and regeneration ; the real, which takes place in " the minds of the elect, and whereby they are renewed to spiritual life and " participation in the Divine favor ; sacramental, which is a solemn declaration, " sealing, and profession of that real regeneration, and which is at tlie use of " the Sacrament"



have already received ; have already been made members of Christ's Church ^ ; they deny that all are born in original guilt'; they regard it as a grievous error, to suppose that we are regenerated by the act of baptizing ' : Baptism, according

proof whereof he cites St. Augustine's saying, " Neither birth can be repeated, "^neither the natural nor the spiritual ; neither the birth from Adam nor from " Christ." And he speaks consistently, that regeneration never attends adult baptism, p. 95. " The faithful is not admitted to Baptism, as if, yet " needing remission of sins or regeneration, he might obtain them thereby, " as by a mean, but that he might have the remission and regeneration, " which he has already received, published as by a public sign, and sealed by a " common seal," (see Socinus, de Bapt. aquse, Note P. at the end.) " Every *' faithful adult comes to the holy font, having already obtained plenary "remission of alibis past sins, and internal regeneration; and so, not in " want of remission for past sins, nor of regeneration, which he has already *' obtained." And p. 100 — " Sacraments do not apply the merits of Christ " in adults, either to the increase of grace, or the sealing of the guilt re" mitted, unless they have been already renewed and regenerated."

^ Whitaker, de Sacr. q. 1. c. 3, et 4. (ap. Gat. p. 108.) " Baptism does not *' first and properly make us members of the Catholic Church and of Christ, " but by a figure of speech only (metonymice), because it confirms that we ** are such, and seals to us that rite." " They who believe, instantly " [thereby] become members of the Catholic Church." T. Cartwright, L. 3p. 134 (ap. Hooker, v. 60.) " He which is not a Christian before he come to ** receive Baptism, cannot be made a Christian by Baptism, which is only " the seal of the grace of God, before received." Wits. 1. c. § 21. " Conjmu-p " nion with Christ and His mystical body in elect infants seems to precede *' Baptism, at least in the judgment of charity."



to them, does not make persons children of God, but attests them to be so ^ : the Sacraments do not confer grace ^ : nay,

" to the signs that which is the work of the Holy Spirit only, but to com" mend the use and efficacy of the Sacraments, had so spoken of the signs, " as to seem to attribute to them as subordinate imtruments (as those people " please to call them) what belongs to the Divine power only." CoUoq. Mompelg. Dogm. 1, 2, de Bapt. p. 115. ap. Gat. p. 105.

  • " Baptismus filios Dei non facit, sed qui jam ante filii Dei sunt, filiorum " Dei testimonium signum vel tesseram recipiunt." Zuirigli, (ad. Luther. Confess, resp. fol. 477- ap. Gat. p. 96.) Ames (adv. Bellar. t. iii. d. 12. de Bapt q. 1. Thes. 5. ibid. p. 93.) " Men are properly baptized, because they " are accounted sons of God, not that they may begin to be sons ; otherwise " there were no reason why the children of infidels should not be baptized " as much as those of believers." Calvin, (Antidot. adv. Censur. Facult. Paris, art. 1.) " They do not become children of God by Baptism ; but " because, by the benefit of the promise, they are heirs of the adoption, " therefore the Church admits them to Baptism." Ap, Gat. p. 132. T. C. Confut. of Rhem. Test. " Nor yet that those, who are indeed holy, need " not the use of the Sacrament of Baptism (as a scale of their holinesse, but " not as the cause thereof.")

  • Tzegedinus, loci de Sacram. tab. 2. ap. Gat. 1. c. " The Sacraments do ** not confer grace, for the saints are justified and received into grace before ' they are initiated by the Sacraments." TVhitaker, de Sacr. q. 4. c. 1. arg. 6. (ibid.) " He who has faith has grace and righteousness ; how then are *' these bestowed upon him through Sacraments?" Zuingli, Confess. A. 30. art. 7' aP' Gerhard, de Bapt. § 66. *' Sacraments are given as a public tes' timony of that grace, which each has privately beforehand." " Baptism " does not confer grace, but attests to the Church that grace has been " bestowed upon him to whom it is given." " I believe, yea, I know of a " certainty, that all Sacraments, so far from conferring originally grace " (conferant), do not even bring any (adferant), nor dispense it." De Pecc. Orig. " The signs (Sacraments) efiect nothing, being outward things, whereby ** nothing is effected in the conscience." Chamiery torn. iv. 1. 2. c. 9. § 18. ap. Gat p. 102. " No seal works that which it seals ; but the Sacraments •' are seals of grace ; therefore none of them work grace." Calvin, Instit. 4. 14. 14. " A« the one party overthrows the use of the Sacranoents, so " there are others who imagine that the Sacraments have, I know not what, " hidden powers, which we read not of being placed in them." § 17. " We •' must beware lest what the Ancients have written somewhat too exalt** edly, to magnify the dignity of the Sacraments, should lead us into an error, " akin to this, as if there were any hidden power annexed and affixed to the " Sacraments, which by itself would confer the graces of the Holy Spirit,



tl»ey seem to regard the Sacraments as extolled, if they place their efficacy on a level with that of God's written word *,

' as wine is given in a vessel ; whereas the office appointed them by " God is to attest and ratify the good-will of God towards us. They are " from God, like good tidings from men, or earnests in making bargains; " inasmuch as in themselves they do not confer any grace, but inform us, and " show, what have been given us by the Divine bounty." Peter Martyr, ad. Rom. xi. ap. Gat. " We utterly deny that any Saci-aments confer grace. " They offer it, indeed ; but by signifying it only (sed in significatione) ; for " in Sacraments, in words, and visible signs, the promise of God made to " us through Christ is proposed to us ; which if we apprehend by faith, " we both obtain greater grace than that was which we before had, and seal " by the seal of the Sacraments the gift which we had embraced by faith." Loci, 4. 7- 16- " The schoolmen [rather St. Augustine] say that the * Sacra' ments of the Gospel confer grace ;' but this is nothing else than to attri" bute to creatures the cause of our salvation, and to bind ourselves to the " symbols and elements of this world 1" [Some of these writers, by " con" ferring grace," mean *' imparting the first good motions," and this they deny, because in adults there must have been faith and repentance to qualify them to receive Baptism. To this statement there could have been no objection, but that they proceed to infer, 1st, that Baptism is never the instrument of conferring this primary grace, and so not in infants. 2d. According to them faith and repentance contain in themselves justification, regeneration, adoption, insertion into Christ, whereof Baptism becomes but the seal.]

  • Calvin, ad Act. 22. 16. " As to the formal cause of the forgiveness of sins, " the Holy Spirit holds the first place ; but there is joined the inferior " organ, the preaching of the Gospel, and Baptism itself." Institt. 4. 14. 7" Let this be regarded as settled, that the Sacraments have no other office " than the Word of God." Whitaker, de Sacram. q. 4. c. 2. ap. Gat. p. 92. " The Word and the Sacraments operate in the same way." Rivetus, Disp. 43. de Bapt. Thes. 30. ap. Gat. p. 97. " The end of the Sacraments is to ' seal to the faithful the promise of the Gospel, and confirm faith; because " as the Word, so Sacraments are organs whereby God acts upon and moves " the hearts of the faithful." P. Martyr, loci, 2. 17- 45. " As the word " sounds, and is heard in the voice, so the Sacrament, in the visible and " apparent sign, speaks and admonishes us, which when we believe, we; ** obtain in fact that which it promises and signifies. And think not that " sins are remitted to us by receiving the Sacrament, — by the action of the ** Sacrament itself (opus operatum). For this we obtain by faith, when we " believe what it teaches us visibly, by the institution of Christ, so that " the Sacrament is of the same avail as the Word of God." And in nearly the same words as Calvin — ** This must abide fixed and certain, that nothing

I 2



(which has, doubtless, also a mystical power, as being God's word, and operates as such on the human soul, independently of, and above its containing Divine truth, yet is not a direct means of union with God in Christ) : the Sacraments are in no other way efficacious, contribute nothing in addition to the written word * : the words of consecration are of no other avail than by teaching ; by teaching alone does the dead element begin to be a Sacrament^.

" more is to be allowed to the Sacraments, as ministering to salvation, than " to the Word of God." Loci, 4. 7« 16- See also the passage quoted from him Note 1, p. 117- Whitaher. sup. Note 1. p. 119. " The word justifies ; the " Sacraments seal this justification." Beza, Summa Doctr. de re Sacram. Tract, t. i. p. 207; " The word is sometimes single, such as is the daily " preaching of the Word; sometimes has visible signs added, with certain *' ceremonies, which the Greeks call nvarripia, the Latirts, sacraments."

^ P. Martyr Loci, 1. c. " As the word of God in truth signifies and gives to " believers whatever it promises, so Baptism, received by faith, both sig" nifies and exhibits to the believer the remission of sins, which it pro" raises by visibly speaking. With regard to God, the absolution through " the word, and the Sacraments, is one and the same, and so also with regard ** to our sins; which remission, however, is confirmed and renewed in us, as " often as we believe the words, whereby it is signified to us. Whether " this take place through the spoken or the visible word (the Sacraments) " is the same thing. As often, then, as we either hear the word, or receive " the Sacraments by faith, the remission of sins is solemnly assured (sancitur) " to us. Nor ought it to seem strange to any one, that Sacraments have " been instituted by Christ, since by them, no otherwise than by the outward " word of Scripture, He wills that the efficacy of the Spirit should penetrate " in believers." —Add Loci, 4. 7- 5.




These are only so many several ways of saying the same thing, viz. that we derive every thing, — forgiveness of sins, regeneration, sanctification, adoption, strengthening and refreshing, — directly from God, not through the medium of the Sacraments, (for to the Sacraments themselves, except as so many channels from Christ, no one would attribute any efficacy,) that the Sacraments are only means of exhibiting to us God's promises, and disposing as to believe them. Infant Baptism, according to this theory, could manifestly convey nothing to the child ; and so Calvin * makes its main use to be, a solace to the parent, as assuring them that their child is within the Covenant (which yet one hardly sees how, since if not elect, it was not within the Covenant, nor did its election depend upon the faith of the parent) : of the child he says only that it derives " some little " benefit (nonnihil emolumenti) from its Baptism, in that being *' engrafted into the body of the Church it is somewhat more " recommended to the other members. Thus when it shall " grow up it is thereby excited greatly to the earnest desire of " worshipping God, by whom it had been received as a son, by " the solemn symbol of adoption, before it was old enough to " acknowledge Him as a Father." These outward motives then are all the spiritual benefits of Infant Baptism : just as persons are wont to speak of the exalted motives held forth by Christianity ; — true indeed, but a small portion of the truth ; as if the Sacraments or the whole Gospel were so many means of persuading man, impelling man, acting upon man's heart, instead of being " a power of God unto salvation."

Baptism, we are told by these writers, is a moral, not a physical instrument ; and if by this it had been meant, that it acts upon our moral powers, this would, of course, have been true, but

" of the Church !" Will this be a warning to men, whither the anti-mysterious theories of the day lead ?

^ Institt. 4. 16. 9. Darueus adv. Bellarm. (t. ii. contr. 2. c. 13. arg. 4. ap. Gat. p. 94.) " Baptism is not given to the infants of believers, that the faith " of infants may be confirmed (at least not for the present) ; but that the " belief of believing parents, who had begotten these infants, might be "strengthened." Gen. xvii. 7.



what no one would dispute : but it does mean more ; and while the old doctrine of the Sacraments is stigmatized under the term physical, (as if forsooth physical were corporeal,) a subtle rationalism is imperceptibly introduced. For thus the gift of Baptism, and with it, all spiritual influences, instead of being an actual imparting of Divine grace to the human soul, a real union with Christ, are explained away to be the mere exhibition of outward motives, high indeed and heavenly, but still outward to man's soul, whereby he is led to act as he thinks will please God. The participation of Christ in and out of the Sacraments (though not the same) will be conceived of in the same way ; and so the doctrine of the Sacraments again affects that other great doctrine of our sanctification by the Holy Ghost* For if men conceive of Sacraments'as external symbols, and acting through a moral operation, by representing to our souls the greatness of His love. His humiliation, His sufferings, and thus kindling our faith, and thereby uniting us with Him ; then, and much more, will all the operations of the Holy Spirit be resolved into the presenting to the mind outward motives ; and His sanctifying influence will become as merely external, any, far more so, than the ministration of what men call " the outward word." It is well to see the tendency of these doctrines, and how, under the semblance of removing what men call physical, they do in fact destroy all real, immediate, mysterious influence of God upon the human soul. " The Spirit," says one \ " sanctifies no other" wise than that He impresses upon our minds the objects, " which in the cross and resurrection of Christ, and in the other " parts of the Christian religion, are incitements to lay hold of •* Christian virtues, as also whatever is oflTered to us in the preach" ing of the Gospel ; and moreover, when fading from our mind " He recalls them to our recollection, and, lastly, so illumines " them v^ith His light, that they descend from the mind into the ' affections, and in them continually struggle against the vice im' planted by nature." And this impressing of objects, or their moral representation, is contrasted with the direct " action upon

' Amyraldus Disp. de Paedobaptismo. A p. Wit, I. c. §. 36.



** the soul, which approaches to the nature of physical causes :" wherein, in words only physical operation is excluded, in fact, all that is hyperphysical, in other words, all that is supernatural. It is essential (at the risk of prolixity and repetition) to have the character of these two views fully impressed upon our minds ; for upon them depends the whole manner in which we receive God's spiritual influences ; and in this age, which so loves what is clear, and definite, and rational, as readily to forfeit all that is deep, and mysterious, and indefinite, because infinite, and which is consequently already swept and garnished for the reception of rationalism, it is of vital importance to see into which of these two paths we are entering. For thereon the whole faith of our country may depend. It is not then the question, whether men call the Sacraments physical or moral causes, but what they mean by denying them to be physical, or asserting them to be moral causes ; for although this may formerly, in a different section of the Church \ have been denied or asserted, in a sense which did not alter men's notions of the Sacraments, it was not so in the Reformed Church, nor is it so now. The question then at issue between the Ancient, the English, and the Lutheran Church on the one side, and the School of Zuingli and Calvin, and so most of the Reformed Church on the other, was this : whether (to take the statement of the pious and learned John Gerhard as to his own Church) " the Sacraments were instru" ments, means, vehicles, whereby God offers, exhibits, and ap*' plies to believers the especial promises of the Gospel, remission " of sins, righteousness, and life eternal ^." What namely is

' By Estius in Lib. 4. Sentent. Dist. 1. n. 5. (quoted by Witsius, 1. c. § 82.) and Vazquez in 3 Part. Disp. 132. Some of the schoolmen, too, in asserting the physical, e. e. the actual, real operation of the Sacraments, appear to have spoken too corporeally, as was to be expected in the Romish Church, whence they are blamed by Hooker, App. to B. 5. n. 1. p. 702 sqq. ed. Keble, as has been shown me by the editor.



denied, under the name *' physical," is, that they are real instru' ments of conveying God's benefits to the soul : what is asserted by the title " moral" is, that they are signs only of past benefits, which they impress upon the memory, whereby (God's Holy Spirit acting, as He does, in every good thought, word, and work) faith is increased. This is the contrast which is constantly present to the minds of the reformed writers ; this is laid down as the fundamental principle of the whole school : " in the " sum of the matter," says Witsius', '' by the grace of God, all *' the orthodox agree. The Sacraments, in respect to Divine " gracej are destitute oi a\ physical efficacy, or efficacy praperly " so called, and only concur morally towards it :" and in explanation of this language he approves of the defender of the Remonstrants, who defines^ physical exhibiting or sealing to be, ** when a thing is brought, given, distributed, either at the same " time as, (simul) or, together with, (una) or with, or by, or " under, or in, or at, or about the signs (so to speak) physically ; " hyperphy steal or miraculous, when an unknown or doubtful *' thing is confirmed, established, or certified, and so is exhibited " to the mind, as it were, to be seen and felt : such are miracles, " and all powers exceeding the force of nature. Lastly, sacra" mental^ evangelical, whereby Divine grace, through certain *' signs, is — not represented from far or at a distance^ nor under " certain types, shadows or figures, are shown as through a tele-^ " scope, as what is to take place hereafter, but — placed before " the eyes, as now present, so clearly as if it were given to be " handled by the senses and hands, as eflticaciously as the mind ** can by any means be aftected by those signs, without destroy" ing the nature and property of signs and their significancy. " This last is the doctrine of the Remonstrants." " I know *' not," subjoins Witsius, " what the Orthodox can find wanting *' herein." Yet, here, all Divine grace conveyed together, or simultaneously with, or through the signs, all supernatural or miraculous working, is expressly denied, and that alone retained

" given us by them. Nor, thus far, do the reformed theologians complain of any •' calumny ; nay, they, for their part, attack the Lutherans on this very point." « L, c. § 80. 3 L. c. § 60.



which is consistent with the Sacraments remaining mere signs. And so to the notion of " those ^ who hold that God, by a sort " of covenant, operates on occasion of the Sacraments, (although " they ascribe all the efficacy to God, not to the Sacraments,") they oppose the reformed doctrine, that God is wont to give His grace before Sacraments are received, and that these are only signs and indications that such grace has been received; " and the notion of uniting God's grace with the Sacraments they " regard as little differing from a magical superstition of words and " signs ;" and when, on the other hand, a writer of this Church* would assert more efficacy than usual to the Sacraments, the statement which he denies is that of this school, that " Sacraments only " seal grace already received," and he asserts that they " are also " means of receiving grace, and signs of grace which is present, " and communicated and conferred together with them, — that ** in the right use of the Sacraments, a certain Divine power is " connected therewith, which, through the sure covenant and *' promise of God, confers a salutary grace on the receiver, and " acts in his soul."

Henceforth then there were these two opposite views of the Sacraments : that of the old Church that they were " efficacious " instruments or channels of grace to all not unworthy receivers," and the modern one, that " they were signs of grace, v. hich grace " was imparted then, or previously, or subsequently directed by " the action of fche Holy Spirit on the soul of the receiver, in con" sequence of and through faith, and not through the Sacrament."

Infant Baptism the Ancient Church accounted (as above explained) an efficacious channel of grace to all ; only they held that the grace so imparted might be subsequently withdrawn, if the individual permanently resisted its workings; otherwise, by virtue of that Sacrament, they held that the new nature then implanted would gradually overpower, weaken, destroy the old man ; the leaven then infused would, at the last, " leaven the whole lump." In adults, faith was required, but

» Burmann Synops. 1. 7- c. 4. § 28, ap. Wits. 1. c. § 73. ■ Le Blanc Disp. de usu ct efficacia Sacramni. N. T. § 45, 6, ap. Wits. 1. c. § 62.



only as removing an obstacle to the beneficial workings of God'« Spirit through the Sacraments. The modern school, in that they held the children of Christian parents to be *' holy in the root," to be " holy and faithful" before Baptism, regarded as the benefits of complying with this ordinance ; 1st, obedience to God's command : ^ndly, visible incorporation into the Church ; Sdly, increase of grace already received ; 4thly, strength and confirmation ; — whereby the peculiar graces of Baptism are presupposed as already given, then only to be enlarged and confirmed ^ ; so that Baptism hardly occupies the place which in the Ancient Church was assigned to confirmation. If, again, a parent, (not through mischance, for this was almost always allowed for in the early Church, but) through wilful neglect should fail to bring his child to baptism, and it died without Baptism, then the child was consistently held not to be in the state of a heathen child, (which, in fact, though born of Christian parents, it was,) but was assumed to have all the privileges of the Covenant ^ ; nay, it was used as an argument ^, why " regeneration should not be supposed ordi" narily to be imparted at the same time, as Baptism :" that, " so " the carefulness of such parents as brought their children be" times to Baptism, would accelerate their regeneration and the " benefits consequent thereon, their negligence would retard it ; " and so the influence of the Divine grace would ordinarily be ** determined by the carefulness or negligence of other human " beings." On this ground it ought, consistently, to follow that Infant Baptism had no benefits at all, since, whatever they are supposed to be, they are obtained through the carefulness and faithful obedience of others ; the Word of God ought to have no power upon the soul, since on the carefulness or negligence of parents evidently depends the time when our children become ac

  • Witsius, 1. c. § 57 sqq., states the same, in part involuntarily, in the very language of Calvin. P. Martyr's statement, Loci 4. 7-4. is yet lower.

' Witsius, I.e. § 76i and many others: c. g. Taylor on the Epistle to Titus, p. 645, "What an unequal thing were it, that if parents should neglect " to bring children seasonably unto baptism, the child, not offending, should, " for the parent's fault, be condemned !"



quainted, nay, in some measure, how they are impressed with it ; and so on, with regard to every means wherewith one person is entrusted to promote the soul's health of others. The blessed communion of our Lord's Body and Blood in like manner is made in some way dependant upon the ministry of the Church, since she is entrusted with the power of dispensing it more or less frequently ; and so upon her faithfulness depends, in some measure, the richness and fulness of the blessing which her members enjoy. But all this is again a priori and rationalistic arguing. For why should not the spiritual blessings of one man depend upon others ? and do they not most manifestly ? The Jewish child, if not circumcised on the eighth day, was to be cut off. Did not its inferior privileges depend upon the obedience of its parents ? Are not pious parents a high spiritual blessing ? and if so, why should not the simple obedience to God's ordinance be a means of obtaining the blessings of that ordinance for our children ?

The comparison with Circumcision, which is generally found united with this theory, occasionally served to extol that sign, whence it was asserted to convey regeneration * as well as the other privileges of the Christian covenant, (only as was sometimes said, in a lesser fulness than now) : for the most part Sts effect was to bring down Baptism from a Sacrament of Christ to the character of the signs of the older Dispensation *. Thus

• Ainsworth's Censure upon a Dialogue of the Anabaptists, p. 49. " They " to whom God giveth the signe and seale of righteousness by faith, and of '* regeneration, they have faith and regeneration ; for God giveth no lying " signe ; Hee sealeth no vaine or false Covenant. But God gave to infants " circumcision, which was the signe and seale of the righteousnesse of faith " and regeneration. Gen. xvii. 12 ; Rom. iv. 11, and ii. 28, 29 ; Col. ii. 11. " Therefore infants had (and, consequently, now have) faith and regeneration, " though not in the crop and harvest by declaration, yet in the bud and be" ginning of all Christian graces. They that deny this reason, must either '♦ make God the author of a lying signe and seale of the Covenant to Abra" ham and his infants, or they must hold, that infants had those graces then, " but not now ; both which are wicked and absurd to affirme. Or they must ** say, that circumcision was not the signe and seale of the righteousness of " faith, and then they openly contradict the Scripture. Rom. iv. 11." Comp. Calv. Institt. iv. 16. 4.

^ Sec note K, at the end.



men, in the fears of a papal magnifying of the Sacraments fell into the opposite extreme : for fear it should seem absolutely necessary they made it seem almost indifferent : and for fear God's grace should be " tied to the Sacrament," they virtually disjoined God's grace from His own ordinance.

The language, in which this theory of the Sacraments was expressed, was subjected to various modifications, partly in consequence of the anxiety of this school (which is visible in the vehemence of their protests ^ ) to make out to themselves that the Sacraments did not, on their theory, become *' empty signs :" partly to satisfy the Lutherans, whose chief ground of complaint against the reformed lay against this innovation. It is, consequently, difficult to ascertain, in the several confessions, how much of this theory ^ they retained, and in what degree they attempted to engraft upon it the language of the old and the Lutheran Church. There is, however, a remarkable correspondence

' We are not eager in throwing oflf imputations, to which we feel that our views do not expose us. There is a striking difference between the sedate manner In which the Lutherans and the English Church declare against the heretical tenet, that the " Sacraments are badges and tokens of Christian men's profession," and the energy with which the Reformed Church throw it off as an imputation.



in the decisiveness wherewith this theory is spoken out in the confessions of the several branches of the Reformed Church, and their Liturgies : only these are obviously surer tests of belief, since confessions are often modified for the sake of harmony ; prayer would express by its omissions as well as by its actual petitions. The comparison consequently of the old, and the Lutheran, and our own Liturgy on the one hand, with the Reformed Liturgies on the other, is very instructive as to the tenets of the several Churches ^

Into our own country this theory was introduced partly by Peter Martyr, partly by the intercourse with the Swiss reformers : one might instance Bishop Hooper, as one who inclined, in outward things, to the school of Geneva, and in whose statement of the Sacraments^ scarcely a vestige of any spiritual influence remains. It appears, also, very prominently in the early controversies with the Romanists. Upon this system it was idle to speak of the connection of Regeneration with Baptism, since Baptism conferred upon infants no spiritual grace. The new birth being separated from Christ's ordinance, it was natural to

  • See Note M at the end.

  • " Although Baptism be a Sacrament to be received, and honourably used " of all men, yet it sanctijteih no man. And such as attribute the remission " of sin* unto the external sign [i. e. unto the Sacrament as an instrument, " for none would ascribe it to the water only,] do offend. John preached " penitence in the desert, and remission of sin in Christ. Such as con" fessed their faults he marked and declared to be of Christ's Church. So " that external Baptism was but an inauguration or external consecration of " those that first believed, and were cleansed of their sin. Such as be bap" tized must remember that repentance and faith precede this external sign ; " and in Christ the purgation was inwardly obtained, before the external " sign was given. Thus be the infants examined concerning repentance and " faith, before they be baptized with water, at the contemplation of which " faith God purgeth the soul. Then is the exterior sign and deed not to " purge the heart, but to confirm, manifest, and open unto the world, that this ** child is God's [again Zuingli's notion]. And likewise Baptism, with the *' repetition of the words, is a very sacrament and sign that the child should " die unto sin all his life (Rom. vi.). Likewise, no man should condemn " nor neglect this exterior sign, for the commandmenf s sake ; though it have " no power to purge sin, yet it confirmeth the purgation of sin ; and the act " of itself pleaseth God, as an act of obedience." (Declaration of Christ.)



make it coincide with the first appearance of spiritual life : only, since our Saviour says, " Except a man be born again he can*' not see the kingdom of God," it was assumed that those infants who, being elected, died in infancy, were regenerated, although, apparently, not through, or at Baptism \ And so the term " regeneration" came to be used for the visible change, or almost for " sanctification ^," and its original sense, as denoting a privilege of the Christian Church, was wholly lost. Hencci also, it could not but follow that persons were (in this sense) regenerated, some before, some after Baptism ; for since regeneration was taken to mean, partly, the first actual commencement of conscious spiritual life, partly that life in its subsequent development; then, since faith and repentance are the commencements of spiritual life, it was held that any one to whom God had given these, was also regenerate ; and so also any pious Jew was regenerated, and if baptized, then regenerated before Baptism ^. But this is not the scriptural usage of the term, and

^ Thus even Witsius, though he notes the confusion made between regeneration and sanctification, argaes that the passages in H. Scr. which seem to attribute remission of sins in Baptism, are not to be understood in their obvious sense, " because in adults regeneration, repentance, faith, (from " which remission of sins cannot be separated for a moment,) are required *' before Baptism." So again he argues, ** because many catechumen.s were




came in with the false view of the Sacraments as signs and seals only. Undoubtedly the pious men under the old dispensation were sanctified ; and in these days of ordinary attainment, how must we look back with shame and dejection upon the worthies of the elder Covenant, upon " those three men, Noah, Daniel, •* and Job," or upon Abraham the " father of the faithful," and the " friend of God." Greatly were they sanctified : the Spirit of God dwelt in their hearts, and wrought therein the incorruption amid a corrupted world, the self-denial, the patience, the unhesitating, unwearied faith, for which we yet venerate them. The Spirit of God, which at last withdrew from every other human heart, hallowed, and, hke His emblem the dove, abode in the Ark ; He purified the breast of the " preacher of righteous*' ness," and kindled the filial piety of his two sons. Yet was not Noah therefore regenerate. " These all, having obtained a " good report through faith, received not the promise ; God " having provided some better thing for us, that they without ** us should not be made perfect." They were the faithful servants, but not as yet the sons, of God. Christ had not died : our nature was not yet placed at God's right hand : the everblessed Son of God had not yet become man, that we, whom ** He is not ashamed to call brethren," might be sons of God, as being in and of Him. One must speak tremblingly of such a mystery : but one dare not lower the greatness of our new creation, nor conceal the immensity of our Birthright, although our feeble brain may turn dizzy, and our faint hearts sink at the exceeding weight of such glory. We dare not shrink from avowing it, although we too may have turned " our glory into shame.' Sons of God ! brethren of Christ ! and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ ! when He shall appear, we shall be like Him ! We speak not of the heavenly blessedness of the holy Patriarchs, nor how they are to become, or have become parts of the mystical Body of our and their Redeemer, or how they shall be endued with that perfectness, which God, for

" of excellent virtue and piety, therefore they had received the Holy Spirit " before Baptism ; and so their sins were already forgiven them, and accord" ingly they were bofn together of the new birth." L c. § 44, 45.


1 36 CHRIST THE son of man, that man may be son of god.

a while, delayed until we should share it with them. Of the way and means of that blessed consummation we know nothing ; but we surely do know that they had not that fulness of privilege which we have, that they *' were not made perfect ;" that, when the serpent's head was crushed, and the virgin's womb not abhorred, and man delivered, the kingdom of Heaven opened, and the Son of man was also the Son of God, and our flesh sanctified by the Incarnation, and immortalized and glorified ; then a great change was wrought upon the earth, the old descent from Adam cut oflT, in as many as were engraffed into Him, and a new lineage begun for man, even sonship of God, and brotherhood with Christ, the Everlasting Son of the Father ! " How," says St. Augustine', " How do they become sons of God?" they were born—" ' not of blood,' such as is the first birth, a wretched ** birth, coming of wretchedness, but — of God. The first birth was " of man and woman, the second of God and the Church ; whence " was it then that being first born of man, they were born of Gop ? "The Word became flesh. Mighty change ! He made flesh, " they spirit ! What dignity ! my brethren. Lift up your mind " to hope and seek for better things. Shrink from devoting your" selves to worldly desires ! ye have been bought with a price : " for you the Word became flesh : for you He, who was the Son " of God, became the son of man, that ye, who were sons of men, " might be made sons of God. He was the Son of God ! What " became He ? Son of man ! Ye were sons of men ! what were " ye made? Sons of God! He shared our ills, to give us His " goodnesses." May God's Holy Spirit open all our hearts to see what of ourselves we cannot see, what our indolence would shrink from thinking on, since it involves such high responsibility, that so we may " know the love of Christ, which passeth " knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of " God !" Truly, though " none among them that are born of " woman be greater than John the Baptist, he that is least in " the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he." We dare, then, neither compare ourselves with the Holy Patriarchs, nor dare wq

  • Serni. xxi, in Kv. Joaim. 1. (al.de Diversis, 85.) on Joh. i. 13.


compare their privileges with ours : yea, though it he oppressive to every one of us, and force us to weep for the extremity of anguish and shame at our past unfaithfuhiess, yet we dare not add to our sin by denying the exceeding greatness of the treasures with which we were entrusted.

Regeneration then, or the new-birth whereby we are made sons of God, is a privilege of the Church of Christ ; and we dare not extend it where His word doth not warrant us. To the Church alone in this life, it belongs to be the mother of the sons of God. We dare not speculate further. Sanctification, on the contrary, as it includes various degrees, yea ! as the Son of God " sanctified" Himself, so also in their several degrees is there the holiness ol the blessed Angels, of Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Prophets, Patriarchs, Saints in all ages of the world : " one star differeth from another star." We limit too much the manifold operations of God by contracting them within the bounds of our systems. Doubtless, the history of that primeval influence of the Spirit of God upon the chaotic elements was recorded as a type of His universal agency through our whole moral nature ; and they, " who having not the law, did by nature " the things contained in the law," had that " law written in their " hearts" by the Holy Spirit of God. Here we are not left to conjecture. He strove against the deepening corruption of the descendants of Cain ; nor have we any reason to think that He withdrew His influences from the cleansed and new-baptized world. As then, inspiration includes every imparting " of wisdom "to the wise- hearted," (Ex. xxxi. 6.) from Bezaleel the son of Hur, who was " filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom and " understanding, and in knowledge, and all manner of workinan" ship" for the work of the tabernacle, up to the blessed Evangelist, who saw " Him that sat on the throne" and declared the mystery of the Incarnate Word, so does sanctification comprehend the imparting of all holiness, from the faintest spark that ever purified the heart of a benighted Heathen, to the holiest Angel who stands before the throne of God. And so we may recognize, with thankfulness and without misgiving, the virtues and wisdom which were granted to the Heathen world, as an




effluence from Him who filleth all in all, as so many scattered rays from the Father of lights, powerless almost, or vefy limited beyond the bosom into which they had descended, because so scattered, yet still derived from Him " who divideth to every man severally as He will," and faint emblems of that concentrated glory which was to be shed upon the world through the Sun of righteousness.

The case of Cornelius is very remarkable in this respect, as indeed one should expect the calling of the father of the Gentile Church to have something peculiar, as well as that of the father of the first people of God. Two different points in his history have accordingly been seized upon, and made the Scriptural basis of distinct theories : his previous holiness — of the school-notion of grace of congruity — the descent of the Holy Ghost previous to his Baptism — of the separation of the grace of the Sacrament from the ordinance \ Each rests upon the same false assumption, that the works done by Cornelius were done in his own strength, " before" and independently of " the inspiration of " God's Holy Spiuit," (Art. 13) ; since otherwise there were no question, on the part of the Schoolmen, of " grace of congruity;" for as the prayers, the almsgiving, the fasting of Cornelius were the fruit of faith in God, and of the guidance of His Spirit, the imparting of " grace after grace" has nothing to do with the question of human fitness. It is but God's ordinary method of dealing with us, to proportion His subsequent gifts to the use which we have made of those before bestowed. " Take from " him the pound and give it unto him who hath ten pounds. " And they said unto bim, Lord ! he hath ten pounds. For I " say unto you, that unto every one who hath shall be given."

  • P. Martyr ad Rom. vi. " Nor are regeneration and renovation ofTered to " us in Baptism, as though we had tliem not in any wise before. For it can" not be denied, that adult believers have justification also, before they are " baptized." In proof whereof, he instances Abraham (Rom. iv.) and Cornelius (as, indeed, the case of Cornelius is brought forward by every one of this school, who would make the Sacraments into outward ordinances) ; and he himself hence infers, that by Baptism we are visibly (and only visibly) engrafted into the Church.


(Luke xix. 24, 25). " Unto you who have there shall be added ; " for he who hath, to him shall be given/' (Mark iv. 24, 25). On the other hand, Cornelius was not then first sanctified, when " the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word," but when he beforetime " feared God with all his house, gave much " alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." For through Him alone could he have prayed acceptably. He alone putteth the spirit of holy fear into man's heart. He was, then, as a Heathen, sanctified ; but because the sanctification of a Heathen who feared God, fell far short of the holiness following upon the Christian birth, God, by a succession o? visions, prepared the Centurion to " hear all the things commanded of God," and the Apostle to preach them : and the first-fruits of the Heathen world was one, whom God had already, in a high measure, hallowed, that the pre-eminence of the kingdom of Heaven might be tlie more manifest, in that it was one universal kingdom, wherein all should receive remission of sins through the blood of Christ, wherein not " the publicans and harlots" only might be cleansed and purified, but also " those who feared God "and worked righteousness" might find their " acceptance." Cornelius was already, in a measure, sanctified ; and therefore God, who limits not His blessed workings, either to one nation, or to one kind of moral disposition, or of moral evil, but absorbs all the countless varieties of things in heaven and things in earth, animates them all, and fashioneth them " according to the work" ing, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself;" so He received into His universal kingdom all, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, wise or foolish, obedient or disobedient, whoever would now hear His voice and follow Him. And though His Gospel was, and is still, principally received in its fulness and its simplicity by *^' the foolish, and the weak, arid the " base things of the world, and things which are despised," yet has it shown its power in giving the true wisdom, and might, and nobleness to those who, in man's school, were already " wise, " and mighty, and noble ;" and as the first Jewish disciples of the Saviour of the world were those who already followed the austere and self-denying Baptist, the Virgin St. John, and St.

K 2



Andrew, so was the first convert from the Gentiles one, who, in prayer, in alms-giving, in subduing of the flesh, had already made some progress ; that so all might see, that neither the abyss of sin was too deep for God's arm to rescue thence the foulest sinner, nor any holiness, which even He had imparted, sufficed to admit to the glories of His kingdom, without the " birth of *' water and the Spirit." Cornelius was already, in a measure, sanctified ; and therefore He, who " giveth more grace," trans lated him into the kingdom of His dear Son, chose him first of the Gentile world to be a member of Christ, re-generated him and then sanctified him wholly ; that " all who glory might" henceforth " glory in the Lord." The miraculous imparting of the Holy Ghost, whereby they (not Cornelius only) " spake " with tongues, and magnified God," does not appear (one must speak reverentially, but still it does not appear) to have been imparted for the sake of Cornelius, but of the Church ; or rather for Cornelius' and all our sakes, that it might hence be testified that from that time there was neither Jew nor Greek, but that the " kingdom of Heaven was dpened to all believers." And so the Gentile Church, in the house of Cornelius, was inaugurated in the same solemn way wherein the Apostles them selves had received the " promise of the Father ;" and it was signified, that " to the Gentiles also was given repentance unto " life," that among the Gentiles, also, and through the Gentiles, in every speech, and nation, and language, men " should magnify ** God." And since the visible descent of the Holy Ghost, and the speaking with tongues, and magnifying God, had, for its im mediate _object, to convince St. Peter, and the rest of the Apos tles, that " no man should forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we ;" what are we, that we should venture to say, that Cornelius had received all the benefits of Baptism before he was baptized, when it was his very admittance to Baptism, which God chose in this way to eflfect * ? or how dare we lower the greatness of our pri

  • Calvin (Institt 4. 15. 15.) asserts, that " Cornelius was baptized, having " had remission of sins, and the visible gifts of the Holy Spirit, already, be "fore this, bestowed upon him : not looking for a fuller remission from liaptitm.


vilege, in being tnade the sons of God ? Cornelius had faith (for " without faith, it is impossible to please God") ; he had love ; he had self-denial ; he had had the power to pray given to him ; but he had not Christian faith, nor love, nor self-denial, nor prayer ; for as yet he knew not Christ : he could not call God Father, for, as yet, he knew not the Son. Faith and repentance, in adults, are necessary to the new birth, but they are not the new birth. That, God imparteth as it pleaseth Him, according to the depths of His wisdom : it dependeth not, as faith and repentance, in some measure, may, upon the will of man, but of God, who calleth into His Church whom He will.

St. Augustine simply and strikingly expresses this view : " we " ought not," he says ', " to disparage the righteousness of a " man, which began before he was joined to the Church, as the ** righteousness of Cornelius had begun before he was one of the " Christian people ; which, had it been disapproved of, the angel " had not said, * Thy alms are accepted,' &c. ; nor, if it had suf^'Jiced to obtain the kingdom of Heaven, had he been admonished " to send to Peter :" and in the very passage ^ generally alleged to disparaf^e what are called " outward ordinances," " Thus, " in Cornelius, there preceded a spiritual sanctification in the " gift of the Holy Spirit, and the Sacrament of regeneration " was added in the washing of Baptism." For St. Augustine does not look upon Baptism as an outward sign even to Cornelius, or to be received only as an act of obedience. For, having instanced the pardoned thief, as a case wherein Baptism had, from necessity, been dispensed with, he adds ^, " much more in Corne" lius and his friends might it seem superfluous, that they should

" but a more certain exercise of faith: yea, an increase of confidence from that "pledge." (So again, P. Martyr, Loci 4. 8. 17.) But where does Scripture say anything of this ? rather, since the Apostle argues from the miracle wrought to justify his admission to Baptism, " then hath God also to the Gentiles ** granted repentance unto life," one should infer, that to him also Baptism was given " for remission of sins." Calvin is here arguing, that Baptism is, in no case, ** for remission of sins," but for confirmation only. Yet he himself, when writing against the Anabaptists (lb. 4. 16. 22.) remarks, on this very case of Cornelius, how " wrongly a general rule is drawn from one " example."

» Dc Bapt. c. Donat. L. 4. § 28. 3 ij, § 31. 2 15, § 29;



*' be bedewed with water, in whom the gift of the Holy Spirit, " (which Holy Scripture testifies, that no others received, unless " baptized,) had appeared conspicuously by that sure token (in con" forniity with that period), viz., that they spake with tongues. Yet " they were baptized, and in this event we have apostolic sanction " for the like. So surely ought no oncy t7i whatever advanced " state of the inner man, (yea, if haply, before Baptism, he *' should have advanced through a pious heart to a spiritual *' understanding,) to despise the Sacrament which is adminis" tered in the body by the work of the ministers, but thereby " God spiritually operates the consecration of the man."

n. There was yet another school, which, not agreeing with Calvin in his theory of the Sacraments, but taking in their obvious sense the statement of our Articles (that " the Sacraments are effectual " signs"), were yet deterred from fully embracing the doctrine of Baptismal regeneration, by another doctrine of Calvin, — the indefectibility of grace. This school rested not their objections upon any Scriptural statement of the doctrine of Regeneration, nor upon any new interpretation of Holy Scripture, nor upon any supposed inconsistency between the old interpretation and the actual history of the human soul : that interpretation was virtually admitted to be the more obvious. Temporary wickedness, and utter abandonment to sin, was held (and could not but be held) to be no objection whatever to the truth that such had been regenerated ; a man, though, for the time, immersed in sin ^ if elect, and, consequently, destined finally to recover, was held to have been regenerated in Baptism. The objection originated on grounds altogether distinct from the subject itself — the indefectibihty of grace.

^ So, at some length, Burges' Answer to Objections, obj. vi. pp. 263 — 297So also Beza : — '* They whom God, by His eternal and secret counsel, has " ordained to grace and eternal life, to these He gives faith and the Holy " Spirit, which also they retain and never lose, although they sometimes ♦' sin, as happened to David. For such return to themselves, though " even after a long period, and do not finally fall from the grace of God. ♦* But they whom God has not so elected, yea, if they were baptized a " thousand times with the outward Baptism of water, faith and tlie Holy " SriKiT is never given to them ; but, left to the just judgment of God, they *• perish by their own fault." — CoUoq. Mompelg. p. 3(>6.



It will, I fear, to some good men seem invidious, to trace up the rejection of Baptismal regeneration to a peculiar tenet of Calvin, as it's primary source ; and at this, one should be much grieved. But it cannot be avoided : for the character of our opinions will be much affected by the source from which they were originally derived, even although we hold them as detached from that source. The waters will be affected by the character of their fountain, although that may be removed out of our sight. It does, indeed, frequently happen, that we adopt maxims or practices^ upon certain principles, which we afterwards forget ; and habit supplies the place of the principle. In generations of men, the maxim or practice will often be inherited, when the original principles, upon which they are founded, have not only been forgotten, but partially abandoned, and, perhaps, no further retained than is implied virtually by the practice itself. And then it will seem invidious, if w^e appear to connect with men's acknowledged tenets other principles, which they are scarcely aware of holding. But, in truth, it is not so. Few persons follow out consistently their own principles ; and, in these days especially, the different sets of religious tenets are, for the most part, put together out of shreds and patches of different systems, with no aim or thought of consistency or unity. But, though the individuals are not responsible for any tenet, except what they themselves hold, the tenet itself is much affected by its origin : it is part of a large system, which we, perhaps, cannot survey in all its details ; but still it is a representative, as it were, of that system, and helps to maintain it, or to repress the contrary. Hence, one's objection to many tenets held by persons, of whom, in many respects, one thinks well ; because the tenets are, in themselves, a part of Socianism or Rationalism (though, one would hope, not in these individuals) ; and, while it would be unfair to charge them in full with either heresy, it is charity to them, and a duty to our Church, to point out to what system these their tenets belong. So, again, it is useful (in the hope that we may come to truer and more consistent views), to show that, whereas the doctrine of the Baptismal regeneration of all infants belongs to the Catholic system, which supposes a free, full, and sufficient grace to be offered



unto all men, its rejection originated in that section of the Church, which supposed a portion of mankind, whether they died as infants or adults, elected to life, the rest left to the damnation which their inherited corruption in itself deserved. Therewith it is not said, nor meant to be understood, that those who now reject the doctrine of Baptismal regeneration, hold any such views.

This school, then, made the indefectibility of grace, the rule by which they measured the declarations of God, with respect to His mercies in Baptism. As many as held that none could fall finally from grace given, were obliged to hold, that none but those who should finally be saved, were regenerated in Baptism. Nor did tliey wish to conceal that this was their only ground. Being fully persuaded of the truth of their first principles, they held, unhesitatingly, that the general declar^-^tions of Holy Scripture (they added, also, of the Fathers ) must be limited by this known truth. As they expressed it, all " elect children" received the gifts of the Holy Spirit ; the rest were washed with water only^. These, in some respects, retained the honour of the

  • See Note N at the end.


Sacrament of Baptism; in another, began to derogate from it. They retained it, in that they held, that all who ever received regeneration ordinarily, received it through tlie Sacrament of Baptism (and this limitation " ordinarily" they annexed only, that they might not seem to tie down ^ as they thought unduly, the operations of the Almighty :) they imagined no other entrance into the Lord's house, than the door which He had' appointed. They derogated, on the other hand, from that Sacrament, in that they could no longer consistently hold, that the benefits imparted were by virtue of our Saviour's institution, or of His words of

" partakers of the grace ; for the sign is common to all, good and bad. But " the Spirit is given to the elect only. The sign, however, without the " Spirit, is of no efficacy." And (which is remarkable), Danaeus, in commenting upon St. Augustine's saying, that the words " we are baptized into Him •' by Baptism into death," pertains to infants also (Enchirid. c. 52.), defends him in it, if it be restrained only to the elect, and understood only of initial regeneration. Quoted by Burges, p. 102. Chamier, Panstrat. t. iii. 1. 13. c. 21. § 34. " We deny that sins are ever really remitted to those who do " not belong to the eternal election, as they were never remitted to Esau, " although he was circumcised ; and that, because he was hated by God " before he was born." Gisb. Voetius, Disp. t. ii. p. 410. (ap. Witsium, 1. c.) ** T!ie seventh opinion is that of the Reformed Doctors in common^ which ♦' ascribes regeneration to all and singular infants in the covenant, only be " they elect, whether tliey be baptized in infancy or be not ; whether they •' die in infancy, or from early age are educated in the faith and live conti" nually a life of faith, or before their death are brought back again, by " actual conversion to faith and repentance." Only, as before stated, (p. 116, Note), this regeneration is, according to these last, independent of, not conferred through. Baptism. So, in the Conventus, " We diligently teach that " God does not put forth His influence in all who receive the Sacrament, '* but in the elect only."

^ " Not that hereby we tie the majestic of God to any time or meanes, " whose Spirit bloweth when and where it listeth : on some, before Bap" tism, who are sanctified from the wombe; on some, after ; but because the " Lord delighteth to present Himself gracious in His own ordinances, we " may conceive that in the right use of this Sacrament, He ordinarily accom" panieth it with His grace. Here, according to His promise, we may expect " it, and here we may and ought to send out the prayer of faith for it." Taylor, 1. c. I observe that Witsius, 1. c. § 24, forms the same judgment as to the origin of this statement, viz. that tliey might not seem to limit the operations of God.



blessing (since, then, they would have been extended to all not unworthy partakers) ; but they were obliged to ascribe it to the secret ^ counsel of God, giving effect to the outward ordinance when and to whom He willed. Most of these, however, were still able to use our formularies, although not in their original sense, since our Baptismal formulary was immediately derived from the Lutheran Church ^ ; and this, with the Fathers, held the universal regeneration of baptized infants ^. Yet, since man could not tell who of these infants were elect, and who not, they held, that these words could be used by a sort of charity to each infant. And this excuse, Hooker seems to suggest to those who objected to the questions addressed to the god-parents at Baptism, on tlie ground, that none could have faith, except the elect ; and that, therefore, the god-parents could not, with certainty, affirm, that any child did believe. " Were St. Au" gustine now living, there are which would tell him for his " better instruction, that to say of a child, it is elect, and to say, *' it doth believe, are all one : for which cause, sith no man is " able precisely to affirm the one of any infant in particular, it

^ " It is not the Sacrament alone, but God's preordination of them unto " grace and glory, that makes the Sacrament effectuall upon them, and not ** upon others." Burges, p. 115. SeeBeza above, Note p. 142. Bp. Abbot adv. Thomson, c. 7. ap. Wits. § 6. " Sacraments, as they are sealyof faith and the ** divine promise, so they only put forth their virtue in those who are sons " of the promise and heirs of grace."

» B. V. § 60.



" followeth, that precisely and absolutely we ought not to say the " other. Which precise and absolute terms are needless in this " case. We speak of infants as the rule of piety alloweth both ** to speak and think. They that can take to themselves, in ordi*' nary talk, a charitable kind of liberty to name men of their own " sort God's dear children, (notwithstanding the large reign of " hypocrisy,) should not methinks be so strict and rigorous against " the Church for presuming as it doth of a Christian innocent. *• For when we know how Christ in general hath said that * of " such is the kingdom of Heaven,' which kingdom is the inherit" ance of God's elect ; and do withal behold, how His Providence *' hath called them unto the first beginnings of eternal life, and " presented them at the well-spring of new-birth, wherein original " sin is purged, besides which sin, there is no hindrance of their " salvation known to us, as themselves will grant ; hard it were, *' that having so many fair inducements whereupon to ground, we " should not be thought to utter, at the least a truth as probable *' and allowable in terming any such particular infant an elect " babe, as in presuming the like of others whose safety neverthe•' less we are not absolutely able to warrant."

This objection to Baptismal regeneration is remarkably illustrated by the theory of a class of Divines ', who conceived that there were two different kinds of regeneration, justification, adoption, one of which was imparted to all by Baptism, the other to those only who were finally saved. For the indefectibility of grace being thus secured, they had then no difficulty in admitting " that to all infants duly baptised the blood of Christ was applied *' to the remission of original sin, whence they were not only in *' a manner adopted and justified, but regenerated also and " sanctified. Thus then they were put into a state of salvation, ** according to the measure of children ; so that such as died, " before the use of reason, were by that their justification, rege" neration, and sanctification, indeed eternally saved. But what

' The following account of the theory is taken from Witsius, 1. c. § 9. sqq. who also mentions other modifications of it, and criticizes it. It was originally proposed by Bishop Davenant, in a letter to Dr. S. Ward, Divinity Professor at Cambridge.




*' suffices for little ones for salvation does not suffice for adults. " They therefore who perish in maturer age, not fulfilling the vow ** of Baptism, do not lose the state of salvation which they had " proportioned to them as infants, but lose the state of infancy, " which, being changed, that ceases to suffice for the state of an " adult, which by the Divine appointment was sufficient for the " salvation of the little one,"

By this theory, which intellectually was acutely framed, three advantages were gained ; 1st, the passages of Holy Scripture, which speak of the regeneration of all baptized persons, of the remission of sin to all, and the like, could be taken in their literal sense without interfering with the doctrine which was made the rule of the rest ; 2d, they avoided the invidiousness of implying that non-elect infants, who died as infants, although baptized, were damned ; which was frequently urged against this school. Sd, The formularies of our Church could be understood in their literal sense.

The distinction here introduced is manifestly without any authority from Scripture, and its sole object to obviate a difficulty, yet on that very ground it the more shows wherein the objection ' to admit the baptismal regeneration of all infants really lay.

Such were the two great lines of objection then taken to the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration of all infants : the one class generally holding that those who were regenerated were so before Baptism (Baptism sealing it only) the other allowing that all regeneration took place at Baptism, but confining it to the elect. The objections with which we are most familiar in modern times are not directly derived from either of these sources, although indirectly fostered by them, and retaining some of their principles, (as that of the indefectibility of grace,) but from those whomthese writers opposed — the Anabaptists.

III. They maybe divided into a priori, or which might be called

^ Thus a{Tain, one recently asked, " if regeneration be the grace of " Baptism, w/uit name is to be given to the romvicnceinent nf thai spiritual life, ** from which a person never falls ?'^ Gatakcr, p. 150. " Our /< ///y baptiz(;d " never perishes."



Rationalist objections, and those for vvliich Scripture authority is pleaded.

  1. Of the first, it was said that " we would not see that any " change took place in infants," that " the child remained appa" rently the same as before," that *' it was incapable of grace," and the like. This is so much rationalism ; a dull-hearted and profane unbelief, which even in the things of God would not *' any science understand, beyond the grasp of eye or hand :" it is making our reason a measure of God's doings, and denying His operations, because we are not cognisant of the effect. It would also obviously be an argument, not simply against the regeneration of baptized infants, but against baptizing them altogether : for if baptized infants are incapable of regenerating grace, or the full benefits of Baptism, whereas the new-birth is the grace conferred through Baptism, then, by baptizing infants, we should be robbing them of their birth-right, and be guilty of the blood of all the souls whom we thus mocked with the mere semblance of Baptism: and so the universal Church would have erred in interpreting their Saviour's command to " suffer little children ** to come to Him, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." This the more consistent Predestinarian writers well saw. ** If any " man shall so do," says ^ one of them in reply, " he must grant " that elect infants do receive but a piece of Baptism, the shell " without the kernel, the body without the soul. And if this be " true, to what end are they baptized ?" — " To say^ that "Baptism admits them to the outward means, is to say just " nothing to the purpose. May not an infant unbaptized come " to hear the word read or preached ? Anabaptists do not shut " their children out of the Church, when the word is preached, " but only exclude them from the Sacraments. If Anabaptists " might as freely show themselves here among us, as they do " in other countries, this doctrine of Baptismal grace would be " better entertained by such as now oppose it without considera" tion of this sequel."

The answer was variously worded ; but it was in substance this, that since God had, in His ordinary dealings, annexed this 1 Burges, p. 72. ad p. 9.^. ^ Ibid. p. 75.



grace to Baptism, no doubt that it was imparted to infants then, though we saw it not ; but that it remained in them, as people would acknowledge that their powers of thought or reasoning do, which no one could deny them to have, although they did not see the present exercise of them. Or again, they argued ^ (reversing St. Augustine's method, since the opposite truth was now that disputed) whereas it was admitted, that " infants " naturally are somewaise capable of Adam's sinne, and so of " unbeleefe, disobedience, transgression, &c. then Christian in" fants supernaturally and by grace, are somewaies capable to " Christ's righteousness, and so of faith, obedience, sanctifica" tion," &c. silencing rightly men's cavils " how can these things be," by reference to the corresponding case, wherein our ignorance was allowed.

This grace, they most usually called, by a sufficiently apt metaphor, (if not too closely pressed) a seminal ^, (or else an initial, or potential) regeneration ; or again an habitual * (as op

^ Ainsworth, 1. c. p. 48, add pp. 49, 50. " He made all things of nothing. «• He can make the dumb beast speak with man's voice (Numb. xxii. 28), He " can make the babe in the mother's womb to be affected and leap for joy at " the voyce of the words spoken to the mother, (Lukei. 44.) ; andean He not " also work grace, faith, holiness, in infants ? Hath Satan power by sinne to " infect and corrupt infants, and shall not God have power to cleanse from *' corruption and make them holy ? If we make doubt of the will of God " herein, behold we have His promises to restore our losses in Adam, by His " graces in Christ, as He sheweth in Rom. v. Wherefore they are but a *' faithless and crooked generation, that notwithstanding all that God hath " spoken and done in this kind, do deny this grace of Christ to the infants of " His people."

' Davenant (Bp.) Ep. ad Col. " With regard to infants, since they are " sinners not by their own act, but by an hereditary liabit, it suffices that



posed to an active) principle of grace ; i. e. they would express

that the incorruptible seed was then planted in the human heart,

which, if not choked, or if continued contumacy provoked not

God to withdraw it, would hereafter yield fruit unto life eternal.

And with this might agree, I would hope, the modern and colder

expression, that " Baptismal Regeneration is a change of state,"

a virtual, I suppose, as opposed to an actual change of heart — a

state of holiness and acceptableness towards God, as derived

from our incorporation into the Son of God, and the consequent

participation of His holiness, and yet in a manner contrasted

with the fuller and complete actual sanctification of the believer,

who has grown up in his Baptismal privileges. This view is

very clearly expressed by Hooker. " The grace which is given

" them with their Baptism, doth so far forth depend on the very

*' outward Sacrament, that God will have it embraced, not only

" as a sign or token what we receive, but also as an instrument or

" means whereby we receive grace, because Baptism is a Sacra

" ment which God hath instituted in His Church, to the end that

" they which receive the same might thereby be incorporated

*' into Christ ; and so through His most precious merit obtain

" as well that saving grace of imputation which taketh away all

" former guiltiness, as also that infused Divine virtue of the Holy

" Ghost, which giveth to the powers of the soul their first dispo

'* sition towards future newness of life. ^^

In which passage Hooker, while he expresses the same truth, happily avoids the danger arising from all illustration in Divine things, viz. that the metaphor must in some respects be inap

" they have mortification of sin and faith, not putting themselves forth by " any act of their own, but included in the habitual principle of Grace : but ** that the Spirit of Christ can, and is wont to form in them this habitual " principle of grace, no one of sound mind will deny." — Ainsworth, 1, c. " Christian infants have the graces they speak of, repentance, faith, regene" ration, &c. though not actually, or by way of declaration to others ; yet " they have through the worke of the Spirit, the seede and beginninge of faith, " virtually and by way of inclination ; so that they are not wholly destitute " of faith, regeneration, &c. though it be a thing hid and unknown unto us " after what meanes the Lord worketh these in them."



plicable ; and in this instance, that by this contrast of initial with actual regeneration, it might seem as if there were two regenerations, or rather that regeneration meant two things — 1st, the act of the new-birtli bestowed by God ; 2d, the spiritual life conformable thereto ; whereas in Scripture, and by the ancient Church, the latter is regarded as included in the former ; as (if one may compare earthly things,) the ripened corn in the seed, the future intellectual man in the babe.

And thus St. Augustine S while (according to Tit. 3.) he asserts both regeneration and renovation to be the fruits of Baptism, yet distinguishes alike in adults and infants, between that renewal which takes place at once in Baptism, by the abolition of the old man, and that entire transformation and complete conversion of the whole mind to God, effected by the finished formation of the " new man" within us, which '* having been put on" in Baptism, is day by day " renewed in knowledge after • the likeness of Him who created him." (Col. iii. 10.) " Of " a truth this renewal does not take place at the one mo' ment of his conversion, as doth in one moment that re" newal in Baptism by the remission of all sins ; since not even " one sin, however small, remains, which is not remitted. But "as it is one thing to be freed from fever, another to recover " from the sickness caused by fever : one thing to remove a " weapon fixed in a body, another by a second cure to heal the " wound which it has made ; so the fir^t cure is to remove the " cause of the weakness, and this is through the forgiveness of all " sin ; the second is to cure the weakness itself, and this is by " gradual progress in the renewal of this image — by daily acces" sion in the knowledge of God, and righteousness and holiness " of truth. He who from day to day is being renewed by his con" tinual progress, transfers his love from things temporal to eternal " — from visible to invisible — from carnal to spiritual, and dili" gently presses on to rein in and diminish his desire to these, and " to bind himself to those by love." Only we must beware that we relax not our notions of Christian holiness, by applying to

» De Trin. 1. 14. § 23.



the Christian, what St. Augustine here says of an adult convert : for in no one baptized ought sin ever to have grown to that height of feverishness, as to leave such dismal effects as St. Augustine speaketh of: our struggle ought to be against the remains of natural, not (or at least not in any great degree) against acquired corruption ; else, as the baptized person sins more grievously than he of whom St. Augustine speaketh, so neither has he the same means of restoration open to him. The case of the baptized infant is rather described in St. Augustine^s other words ^ " The Sacrament of regeneration in them doth " precede, and if they hold on in Christian piety the conversion " of the heart will follow, the mystery whereof preceded in the " body.*' For " mystery" in St. Augustine's language does not mean a mere outward type or emblem ; and the very mention of ** perseverance" in Christian piety, shows that by " conversion " of the heart," he intendeth not a new commencement of spiritual existence, but rather that entire renovation and conforming of the whole soul and spirit to the image of God, which, though pledged, and if it be cherished, actually commencing ^ from baptism, is gradually completed by the sanctification of a whole life.

  1. The next objection was akin in character to the former, viz. that " children could not have faith, and therefore could not be " re-born, since faith is essential to the new-birth." The answer to this branched into several subjects, which are of moment in this day also : as on whose faith children were accepted in Baptism, whether that of their parents, or their sponsors, or of the Church ; and again with regard to the faith of those who brought them, whether that degree of faith, which was implied by the very act of bringing the child to Holy Baptism, by itself was available to the child, or whether a living faith was required, involving personal holiness.

The judgment of the ancient Church was very clear, as evinced both by the statements of the Fathers and her actual practice ; viz. that it was through the Faith of the Church (as performing

  • De Bapt. c. Donat. 1. 5. c. 24.

' St. Aug. Enchirid. c. 67. " This great indulgence or remission, whence " begins the renewing of man."




that Holy Office whereto God had annexed the blessing), that the child obtained the benefits of Baptism ; Christ had received all children brought unto Him ; the promise was " to you and " to your children ;" (Acts ii. 39.) the command to Baptize unlimited : so the Christian Covenant belonged to all, born within the Christian Church, whatever the personal character of their immediate parents might be. As born of one included on God's part within the Covenant (whether he finally lose the benefits of that Covenant or no) the infant is a child of that Covenant, and entitled to its privileges. " Let not that disturb " thee," (says St. Augustine to Bishop Boniface ', in an extreme case) " that some bring their infants to Baptism, not " with the belief that they should be regenerated by spiritual " grace to life eternal, but because they think that by this ' remedy they may retain or recover the health of this life. For " they are not on that account not regenerated, because they are " not brought for that end by those persons. For the necessary ' offices are celebrated by their agency ; and so are the words of ** the Sacraments, without which the little one cannot be conse'* crated. But that Holy Spirit, who dwells in the Saints, (out " of whom that one dove, covered with silver, is molten together " by the flame of charity) worketh what He doth work, even by " the ministry of some who are not merely simply ignorant, but " even damnably unworthy. For infants are offered to receive " spiritual grace not so much by those in whose hands they ** are borne, (although by them also, if they also be good men " and believers) as by the whole society of the saints and be** lievers. For they are rightly understood to be offered by all, " who are glad that they should be offered, or by whose holy and " united charity they are helped forward to receive the commu" nication of the Holy Spirit. The universal mother, then, the " Church, which is of the Saints, doth this ; for the whole Church " beareth all, and beareth them severally."

" Let no one tell me," says St. Bernard '\ " that an infant has

' Ep. 98. § 5. Ed. Bened. olim Ep. 23.




" not faith, to whom the Church imparts her's. Great is the " faitli of the Church." The profession of faith made by the sponsors is the declaration of that faith of the Church, on tlie ground of which the little ones are admitted into Covenant : and accordingly St. Augustine almost uniformly speaks of this confession ^ of faith, when he alludes to the faith of the sponsors as being available for the child. The sponsors are pledges to the Church : the Church offers her faith to God. And so in our own Church, all the words of comfort and assurance that " God " will favourably receive our infants, and embrace them with the '* arms of His mercy," are addressed on each occasion, not to the sponsors, but to the whole congregation ^ : the sponsors are but subsequently called upon to promise, on the child's part, what is needed, that the benefits of Baptism may be hereafter retained and fully realized. With this view of the relation of the faith of the sponsors and of the Churdh, agree those cases, in which the children of aliens, whether excommunicate or heathen, were allowed the privileges of Christian Baptism. Of the excommunicate, St. Augustine says, that '* no offences of the parent, how" ever heinous, would make him presume to exclude the child " from the laver of regeneration in case of danger." With regard to the children of Heathen, it was always reckoned an act of charity to baptize them, " when, through the secret Providence

^ Tlius, de Baptismo parvulor. Serm. 294 (al. 14. de verb. Ap.) § 12. " He *' ishealedby the words of another, since he was wounded by the sin of another. *' It is asked, does he believe in Jesus Christ ? It is answered, He does ** believe. The answer is made for him, who speaks not, is silent and weeps, and ** by weeping begs in a manner for help. Does that serpent try to persuade men *' that it avails not ? Far be such a thought from the heart of any Christian !" Serm. 351 de Poenitentia (al. 50. inter. 50.) § 2. '♦ To whom (infants), for their " consecration and remission of original sin, the faith of those by whom they " are offered, avails, that whatever stains of sin they contracted through " others, of whom they were born, by the interrogatory and answers of these may be " done away." De Pec. Mentis, 1. I. § 25. " they are rightly called faithful, '' because after a manner they profess their faitli through the words of them " that bear them," 1. 3. § 2. "by tlie answers of those through whom they are " regenerated." Ep. 98. v. 10. " it is answered that he believes."

L 2



" of God, they by any means, (by purchase or captivity, or aban" doned by their Heathen parents) came into the hands of pious " persons i." For, (as has often been alleged), since not only the children born of *' faithful Abraham," were admitted into the covenant of circumcision, but they also who were " bought with " his money," or the slave, " born in his house," so also, and much more, might all those be admitted into our enlarged covenant in Christ, whom the Church could, with safety to herself, offer unto Him. It was necessary, namely, for the purity of the Church, that some guarantee should be given, that those admitted into her, the body of Christ, should be brought up as her true children ; but the Sacrament had its power not of man but of God : the faith of those who brought them was available in that they undertook the condition, which (for the well-being of the Church) was necessary for their reception, and brought them to their Saviour to take them into His arms and bless them : the faith of the Church was available in that she believed the promises of God, and administered the Sacrament committed to her, whereby those promises of God were realized and applied to the individual. ** Be it then," says Hooker ^, " that Baptism belong" eth to none but such as either believe presently, or else, being " infants, are the children of believing parents. In case the Church *' do bring children to the holy font, whose natural parents are " either unknown or known to be such as the Church accurseth, " but yet forgetteth not in that severity to take compassion upon " their offspring, (for it is the Church which dotli offer them to " Baptism by the ministry of presenters,) were it not against both " equity and duty to refuse the mother of believers herself, and " not to take her in this case for a faithful parent ? It is not the *' virtue of our fathers, nor the faith of any other, that can give " us the true holiness which we have by virtue of our new-birth. ** Yet even through the common faith and Spirit of God's " Church, (a thing which no quality of parents can prejudice) I " say, through the faith of the Church of God, undertaking the *• motherly care of our souls, so far forth we may be and are in

  • See Authorities ap. Bingham, Christian Antiquities, B. xi. c. 4. §. 16 — 18. ' B. V. c. 64. §. 5. p. 402. ed. Keble.

— god's favours not to be restrained* 157

" our infancy sanctified, as to be thereby made sufficiently capa" ble of Baptism, and to be interested in the rites of our new" birth for their pietys sake that offer us thereunto." Whence also. Hooker pronounces i, (and the decision, so grounded, might remove some perplexities which occur now also,) ' a wrong con" ceit, that none may receive the Sacrament of Baptism but they " whose parents, at the least one of them, are, by the soundness " of their religion and by their virtuous demeanour, known to " be men of God, hath caused some to repel children, whosoever ** bring them, if their parents be mispersuaded in religion, or " for other misdeserts excommunicated ; some, likewise, for that " cause, to withhold Baptism, unless the father (albeit, no such " exception can justly be taken against him) do, notwithstanding, " make profession of his faith, and avouch the child to be his " own. Thus, whereas, God has appointed them ministers of " holy things, they make themselves inquisitors of men's persons " a great deal farther than need is. They should consider, " that God hath ordained Baptism in favour of mankind. To' " restrain favours is an odious thing ; to enlarge them, accepta" ble both to God and man."

" It is not written," says St. Augustine 2, " Except one be " born again of the will of his parents or of the faith of those

» lb. p. 400.

' Ad Bonifac. Ep. 98. ed. Bened. To the same purpose is quoted in the new edition of Hooker (ed. Keble), an illustrative passage from Archbishop Whitgift's Answer to the Admonition, p. 157. ** I knowe not what youmeane, '* when you : aye, ' that in the absence of the parentes, some one of the cont* gregation, knowing the good behaviour and sound fayth of the parentes, " may both make a rehersall of their fayth, and, also, if their fayth be " soun de and agreeable to Holy Scriptures, desire in the same to be bap" tiifed.' What, if the parents be of evil bjehaviour ? — What, if it be the ** child of a drunkard, or of an harlot ? — What, if the parents be papistes ? " — What, if they be heretikes ? — What if they erre in some poynte or other " in matters of fayth ? Shall not their children be baptized ? Herein you " have a further meaning than I can understand ; and I feare, few do " perceive the poyson that lyeth hidde under these words. May not a " wicked father have a good childe? — May not a Papist or Heretike have a " believing sonne ? Will you seclude, for the parents' sake, (being himselfe •• baptized) his seede from baptisme ?" And Bishop Stillingfleet well ex



" who offer him, or who minister, but * except he be born again " of water and the Holy Ghost.' The water then exhibiting ** without, the Sacrament of Grace and the Spirit working within, " the benefit of grace, loosing the band of sin, restoring good to " nature, do, both together, regenerate in one Christ, man, who " was generated of one Adam." And Luther says ' well, " That ** Baptism may be assured in us, therefore God doth not found it " upon our faith, since that may be uncertain and false, but on " His word and institution."

Else, also, if the regeneration of the child depended upon the holiness of the parent, then, since, according to the views in question, those who are regenerated are finally saved, all the children of believing parents, and they only, would be regenerated and so saved : whereas, as one of their own writers says ^ " all children saved are not of believing parents : yea, we may *' in charitie presume of some, perhaps, without the Church, whom *• the Lord mercifully saveth out of most wicked progenitors for ** many generations." Not, manifestly, as if the faith and longing desires, and yearnings, and prayers of the parents for the child

plains the relations of the Sponsor to the Church, (Unreasonableness of Separation, p. 3. c. 36. §. 2. where also he well sets forth the difficulties of the supposition, which would make the benefits of Baptism depend upon the actual living faith of parents or any other.) " If the parents be supposed " to have no right, yet upon the sponsion of God-fathers, the Church may " have a right to administer Baptism to children. Not as though the spon" sion gave the right, but was only intended to make them parties to the •* covenant in the child's name, and sureties for the performance. The admi** iiistration of Baptism is one considerable part of the power of the keys, ^.f, which Christ first gave to the Apostles, and is continued ever since in the ^ officers of the Church. By virtue of this power, they have the authority to " give admission into the Church to capable subjects. The Church of Christ, •' as far as we can trace any records of antiquity, has always considered chil" dren capable subjects of admission into the Christian Church ; but, lest the ** Church should fail of its end, and these children not be well instructed in f their duty, it required sponsors for them, who were not only to take care « of them for the future, but to sianc) aa thi^i^ ^r^ti^s,^ to ratify their. {>art of " the covenant implied by Baptism."

' Sjermo De Baptismo. A. 1635. , » "^aylor, on Ep. to Titus, p. 643.



were of no benefit to it, or, again, that the prayers of the congregation, which the Church sohcits for each infant, availed nothing ; but, only, that no faith, or desires, or prayers, or any thing besides, were of such moment as to affect the virtue which Christ has annexed to His Sacrament of Baptism, or, as if the regeneration of our infants were to be ascribed in any way to our prayers instead of Christ's ordinance. Larger measures of grace He, doubtless, may bestow in answer to more fervent prayers ; and it would argue a sinful want of sympathy, were the Church not to pray, when God is about, by her means, to engraff a new member into the body of His Son ; and, therefore, we pray : but not as if God's mercy was so limited to our prayers, that He would not render Christ's ordinance effectual to one who opposed it not, although we sinned in our mode of administering it. One way in which the faith of the Church is of avail, is indeed plain and tangible. It is, namely, through the faith of true believers, that Christ perpetuates the use of His Sacraments in the Church. For those who first sought them for themselves or their children, out of habit or custom, or any other motive, not because they knew it to be our Lord's will, would, obviously, never have sought them at all, but for the example originally given by those more faithful few. And thus He bestows the benefits of Baptism even upon the children of those unfaithful parents who have neglected to cherish and cultivate its benefits in themselves, and yet are induced, by the faith of others, to believe that some good will result from the Baptism of their children, and so present them. For who could doubt, that if the faith of those, who in true faith offer their children to be made members of Christ by Baptism, had not in each successive age continued InfantBaptism as a rite and custom of the Church, those who now bring their children mainly out of custom, would disuse it ; and so their children lose it and its fruits? The faith of the faithful is the salt of the earth, preserving it from corruption. God's gracious promise to Abraham has full often, doubtless, been again realized, and the city or the Church preserved for and through the five righteous men who were in it. And so the faith of every missionary from the Apostles'



days to our own, or of the Church, which, by fasting and prayer, separated them for the work, (Acts xiii. 2, 3.) or of the founder of each lesser congregation within the bounds already occupied by the Church at large, each, in their several ways, CO operate to the extension and use and perpetuity of Christ's Sacraments; and in the use of these Sacraments their faith receives a blessing. And this is a way, wherein it may be made even tangible to sense, how the faith of the Church becomes available in some measure to those who have but a weak faith, or by reason of their age cannot actively exert it. The principle extends widely; in religious duties, in moral performance, in abstinence from sin, in all the ways in which custom (as it is called) or example induce men to enter upon, or to persevere in, any practice, or to abstain from any evil habit, or even from any deeper sin, it is the faith of the faithful members of the Church which is thus blessed. God employs their faithful exercise of duty, either in retaining or restoring the infirmer or the erring members; the very imitation of their right practice, implies a degree of faith, and though it be but as a smoking flax, God quencheth it not, but brings it to a greater brightness : and any one, who shall have observed how instrumental, what he calls circumstances or custom have been in the formation of his own religious character, or, again, how few they are who rise above and act healthfully upon, the rehgious character of their age, or, again, how mainly dependent children are upon the faith of others, will see how much we have to thank God for the faith of others, and how mighty an instrument true faith is in a faithless world. And when it pleased Christ, during His actual abode upon earth, to accept the faith of parents, or masters, or friends, for those who needed any " virtue, which ** should go forth from Him," (where themselves, from circumstances, could not exercise that faith,) and then to put forth the same gracious influences; it was not assuredly for their sake principally, but to attest His acceptance of, and to encourage the Church to oflTer, a vicarious faith, for those who are not as yet able to manifest it. But in instancing the above more tangible method, in which God lenders the faith of the church a beneht to it*s




weaker members, I would not by any means limit it to this ; for we know not how or why, or to what extent, the faith of the Church is acceptable in God's sight ; and how it may be a necessary condition for the continuance of the blessings of the Gospel ; what mighty ends it may serve in the moral government of the universe ; why He has connected such blessings with vicarious faith. All this we see and know in ])art only ; only we know that ail Infant-Baptism is a great exercise of faith, (if but on the very ground which carnal men allege, that we receive back the purified infant outwardly nothing changed, and for a time to manifest but little apparent change) and it may be, in part, on that very ground, that Infant-Baptism is acceptable to God, and may serve ends of which we know nothing, just as the commemorative representation of our Lord's sacrifice on the cross (which was to be done in remembrance of Him), may have, and was thought of old to have ends, entirely distinct from the influence which it may have upon our own minds, and independent also of our Sacramental union with Him. Only we should be assured, that this and every other institution of God, has far more and wider ends, than we in the flesh can yet see : nay, probably, what we do see can scarcely be looked upon even as the faintest type of what is behind the veil. And this should make us the more heedful, not to make our own notions, or any uses, which may be apparent to us, any measure of Divine things ; but in all things, (whether we seem to know less or more) to confess from the heart, that we ** know in part " only.

This title of the children of all who are within the covenant, to the blessings of the covenant, is implied in St. Paul's recommendation, that the converted parent should retain, or remain with, the yet unbelieving consort, for that they were sanctified by them : *' otherwise the children had been unclean, but now are they holy :" i. e. since the fruit of the marriage is holy, therefore the marriage itself must be approved by God. (1 Cor. vii. 14.) None, indeed, of the ancients thought that St. Paul hereby affirmed that any, even the children of believers, were holy by their natural birth ^ :

  • See Note O at the end.


for," as St. Augustine argues, " the fault of our carnal nature, " though without guilt in the regenerated parent, as having been •* remitted, still in the offspring it does bring guiltiness, until it be " remitted by the same grace ;" i. e. as our Blessed Saviour tells us, *' that which is born of tlie flesh is flesh." The child of the regenerated or Christian parent brings into the world with it nothing but the corruption of our fallen nature, and God's promise to restore it by Baptism : and it has been without authority, when persons have so insisted on the inherited holiness of the children of Christian parents, as to represent the Sacrament of regeneration to be but the confirmation or sealing of a gift rdready bestowed ^ The ancients understood, under the holiness here spoken of, the holiness conferred by God in Baptism, to whicli these children were brouglu by their one Christian parent, and to which they had a title in consequence of that birth. And this use of the word "holy," as signifying a holiness bestowed upon us by God, corresponds best with the title given universally to all Christians, "called, saints^;" and therewith also agrees St. Paul's other saying, that the Jewish people " the branches, were " holy," because " the root (the Patriarchs, for whose sake they " were beloved, v. 28.) was holy." (Rom. xi. 16.) Now this holiness belonged not to the children of the Jews, when yet uncircumcised, for the Jewish child who remained uncircumcised on the eighth day, was to be cut off (Gen. 17. 14.), but to such as were admitted into the covenant made with Abraham by cir

1 " Infants are not baptized, that they may become holy : but, because they " are holy, therefore they are baptized, i. e. receive the seal.'* Whitaker, q. 4. c. 6. ap. Gataker, 1. c. p. 105. See also further above,, p. 122, note 1.

  • And that the more, since the name alternates with riyiafffikvoi, (1 Cor. i. 2. Jude 1. 3.) " those who are made holy in Christ Jesus," and is explained by the title " all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus," (Acts ix. 13, 14 xxvi. 10, comp. ix. 21.) isunited with the whole" Church" at a place, (2 Cor. i. 1.) or itself is the title used indiscriminately, in narrative, for the members of the whole Church in any jjlace, and where, consequently, there u not the same object, as in the Apostolic salutations, to admonish persons by their very name, of the greatness of their i)rofession. (Actsix. 32. Rom. xv. 2G. 2 Cor. viii. 4. ix. 1. 12. (cp. Acts xL 29,) &c.


cutncision ; for then only they became branches of the vine which God had planted : much more then in the case of the child of Christians, by how much they are partakers of better promises, and our federal rite graffs us not merely into the body of a chosen people, but into that of the Son of God, not simply into the vine brought out of Egypt, but into Him who is " the True Vine." For in Christ there is no longer ceremonial holiness, nor covenant-holiness ; since He who is the substance being come, the shadows have passed away ; but real holiness cannot belong to any by their carnal birth, since thereby we are still " children of "wrath :" it remains, then, (as elsewhere in the New Testament,) that it be actual holiness — the holiness actually conferred upon us in Baptism, as members of the Holy Son of God, and clothed with Him. The promise then, implied in this saying of St. Paul, has no limitation : if but one parent were within the covenant, then the children also are comprehended within it, and have, by virtue thereof, a title to all the privileges of it. The rule is given universally ; " if any one have an unbelieving hus" band or wife — else were your children unclean, (aVdOapra) un" purified *, out of the covenant, but now are they (all of them) " holy." And so our Hooker ^ having said " that we are plainly " taught by God, that the seed of faithful parentage is holy " from the very birth," (which might seem as if he imagined that we brought with us into the world more than a title to be made holy by God's ordinance ;) explains that he so means this, " not " as if the children of believing parents were without sin, or grace " from baptized parents derived by propagation, or God by " covenant and promise tied to save any in mere regard of their " parents' belief: yet seeing, that to all professors of the name of " Christ, this pre-eminence above Infidels is freely given, that " the fruit of their bodies bringeth into the world with it a " present interest and right to those means, wherewith the ordi" nance of Christ is, that His Church shall be sanctified," &c.

  • Hammond (Practical Catechism), notices this use of dKadagrov, Acts x. 14. 28. xi. 8. on this very subject of Christian privileges. ^ B. 5. c. 60. §. 6. ed. Keble.


It is not, then, on account of any intrinsic holiness of the parents, or any faith inherent in them, but of " God's abundant mercy," that He hath called us ; having committed to His Church the power of administering His Sacraments, and annexing to her exercise of faith in so doing, the blessing of His Sacrament, where there is no opposing will, and accordingly to us, whom He called before we had done either good or evil.

But it was said, regeneration, or rather grace, generally, cannot be bestowed through Baptism ; because, if a child, for instance, having received Baptism, were stolen, and educated among Turks and Heathens, it would manifestly itself be in no respect different from other Turks or Heathens. And this, Calvin and others employ triumphantly, as an argument ex absurdOf as if no one of ordinary understanding could hold otherwise. It would, indeed, prove nothing, if true ; for why should it follow, in the spiritual, any more than in the natural world, that because a gift was rendered useless for want of cultivation, therefore it had never been given ? We see daily, that great intellectual powers are gradually destroyed by the abuse, or neglect, or trifling of their possessors ; or by being employed on petty or unworthy objects ; and, being made subservient to vanity or sense, are at last lost, so that a man could not employ them if he would ; ami this, doubtless (as is every thing in nature), was meant as an emblem of things unseen — a warning to us, to take heed to our spiritual faculties, " lest the light which is in us become darkness." But who ever gave us ground to say, that any outnard circumstances, in which it should please God to place one, whom He had elected to be, by Baptism, incorporated into the body of His Blessed Son, had the power to annihilate that Baptism, and to make it as if it had never been ? " Where wast " thou, when God laid the foundations of the earth ? declare, if " thou hast understanding." Job xxxviii. 4. " Add thou not to " His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Prov. XXX. 6.) Surely, men take too much upon them, in speaking tliuB positively o( the depths of the human heart, and of Divine grace, the workings whereof are as varied as they are unfathomable, unmeasurable, incomprehensible, because it is an



effluence from God.. Or, because God, ordinarily, to His first gift of regeneration, adds the gift of His word, of the teaching of the Church, of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ ; shall we dare to pronounce, that, if He please to exclude any one from that Communion, or from that outward teaching, therefore that former gift would have none effect ? that they, to whom God had by Baptism given the earnest of the Spirit in their hearts, would have that earnest withdrawn, unless retained by other outward means, or religious instruction ? that He could not, or would not, provide for those whom He admitted to be members of His Son ? " Is the Lord's arm shortened, that He " cannot save ?" And shall we say even of those, who through our neglect, are in the great towns of our Christian land educated worse than Turks and Heathens, trained to sin — shall we say, that even these, as many as have been baptized, have no strivings of the Spirit of God within them, to which they are entitled through Baptism ; that God admitted them into His Church, only, forthwith, utterly to cast them off; that they have not oftentimes been restrained from sin, by a Power which they scarcely knew, but which still withheld them, with a might stronger than sin and death and Satan — the might of the Spirit of God ? Or have we not often seen how God, as if to vindicate His own gift, has to many children of His Church, turned into gain what to our shallow judgments seemed destruction unavoidable ; has prospered their faithfulness " in few things, and so made " them rulers over many things ;" while others, who in outward spiritual advantages wiere first, by their own negligence became last? Surely, then, it were truer, as well as more humble, to abstain from thus narrowing the operations of God ! It were profaneness, indeed, and a wanton contempt of God's mercies, to trust in Baptism alone, when He has vouchsafed us means for cultivating the grace bestowed upon us in Baptism : but it argues no less a narrow-minded unbelief, to deny the power or the will of God to make Baptism alone available, when He, from the time of Baptism, has, not for any want of faithfulness in the child, withdrawn every other means. " And they were sore '* amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered : for they



" considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was " hardened J' (Mark vi. 51, 52.)

The further question, " whether God imparts faith presently " to the baptized infants," scarcely belongs to the present subject, and is perhaps hardly a profitable inquiry, if it be thereby meant to discriminate between the spiritual gifts imparted to children. Undoubtedly, in the new nature given them by their new birth, there is virtually imparted to them the first principle of every heavenly grace, faith, love, hope : they are united with Christ ; are cliildren of God, members of Christ, inheritors of heaven ; and if for this, faith be necessary in them, undoubtedly they have this also : only it seems best not to make curious deductions from Holy Scripture, where the Church has been silent, and content that God has graffed our children into His Son, to wait, assured that in due time " all things belonging to the Spirit will " live and grow in them," if we cultivate duly these " plants of " the Lord," water them, and pray for God's increase.

IV. It is urged, however, on authority of Holy Scripture, that the regenerated are free from sin, and that, therefore, so long as children are such as we see them frequently to grow up, subject to sin, and without any earnestness of mind, we must conclude, that they have not been regenerated \ We are reminded, that our Saviour has said, " every tree is known by its fruits ;" and that God has also said, '* whosoever is born of God doth not commit " sin, for His seed remaineth in him ; neither can he commit sin, " because he is born of God." (1 John iii. 9.) With regard to the first passage, it is obvious that our Saviour is speaking of what the tree is, not what has been done for it ; not how it has been digged about, watered, cultivated, but what returns it has made for this care ; not whether God has planted us in His vineyard, and given us His grace, but whether we are yielding fruit. It is

> " If every child receive grace, as a thing tied unto Baptisme, what be" Cometh of that gfrace, when children growing in years, growe also extremely " flagitious and wicked ? necessarily it must be lost and vanished, which is " both against the Scriptures, and against the doctrine of our Church. For if " the child be borne of God in baptisme, he sinneth not, because the seed of " God is in him." Taylor, on Ep. to Titus, p. C46.



a test of our holiness, not of God's goodness. The passage of St. John is more difficult ; nor do those who quote it seem to be aware of its difficulty. For taken thus loosely, it were in direct contradiction with that other truth, " If we say we have no sin, we ' deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us^ ;" and, therefore, we are of necessity forced to look more closely into it. Since, also, we know by sad experience, that all commit sin, then it would follow, that none were regenerate ; and, as an old Predestinarian writer well said ^ " if this objection were of force against infants, " it would be much more against persons of yeares actually " converted. For it would prove that they have not the Spirit *' constantly abiding in them, because it doth not in great falls ' evidently show itself at all." And not in great falls only, but in lesser cases ofhuman infirmity ; for St. John saith peremptorily and absolutely, " doth not commit sin ;" and to substitute for this, " is not guilty of deliberate and habitual sin," or " gross " sin," or any other qualifying expression, is clearly tampering with God's words, and lowering His teaching. Glosses, such as these, in plain statements of Holy Scripture, cannot be too dili

  • Burges pp. 284-5, and p. 262. " In elect infants, ordinarily, no such " worke appeares ; rather, on the contrary, many of them shew manifest oppo" sition to all grace and goodness for many years together, notwithstanding " their Baptism."


gently guarded against ; often have they brought down Divine to mere human truth ; the very essence of the truth, that which constitutes it Divine truth, is generally evaporated by these inaccurate substitutions. The true meaning will be cleared by attending as well to the context, as to St. John's method of teaching. St. John, namely, is warning Christians against seducing teachers (c. i. 26.), who separated truth from holiness, who said that they " knew God," and yet " kept not His commandments" (c. ii. 4.) ; said that they " abode in Him," and yet did not " walk ** as He walked" (v. 6.) ; denied that Jesus was the Christ, (v. 22.) Against these he warns his flock, to " abide'' in Christ, •as they had been taught (vv. 27. 8.); and then proceeds (c. iii.) to set forth the connection between Christian truth and holiness. Our present title, (he tells them,) of Sons of God (v. 1.); our future hopes of seeing Him as He is, and so being made like to Him (v. 2.) ; the very object of His coming, " to take away sin" (v. 5.) ; — shew us God's will, that we should " purify ourselves, " as He is pure :" all other doctrine is but deceit : " little children, " let no man deceive you :" God and the devil, children of God and children of the devil, sin and righteousness, are incompatible, and mutually opposed : there can be no union between Christ and Belial, or the servants and services of either ; there is no other way of " being righteous," than by " doing righteous" ness." (v. 7.) This, then, was St. John's great subject, the necessity of personal holiness and purity ; and this he expresses (as is his wont) in abstract, absolute propositions, not looking upon truth, as it is imperfectly realized in us, whether to good or to evil, but as it is in itself, and as it will be, in the final separation of the evil from the good, when each shall, without any remaining obstacle, whether of the hindrances of sin, or of the strivings of God's Spirit, become wholly, what they now are predominantly. ** He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth " from the beginning." ** Whosoever is born of God doth not " commit sin." " In this the children of God are manifest, and the " children of the devil." And so St. John returns to his first warning : " Whosoever doeth not righteousness, is not of God." It is manifest, then, that we are here to look, not for any abstract



doctrinal statement, but for impressive practical truth : namely, whatever be our feelings, persuasions, pretensions, theories or dreams of good, there is but one test, whether we are of God or the devil, with whom we hold, whose we are, and whose to all eternity we shall be, and that is, whose works we do, — sin or righteousness, — whom we serve. If we were entirely God's, then, as our Blessed Saviour did, we should do altogether the works of God : " whosoever is born of God, sinneth not" (as before he said, " whosoever abideth in Him (i. e. wholly, en*' tirely) sinneth not ; for His seed remaineth in him ; neither " can he sin, because he is born of God :" and in whatever degree we have cherished and cultivated that heavenly seed, sown in our hearts by Baptism, we cannot sin : as there is no sin so grievous, into which but for God's grace we should have fallen, so through His grace, we should each feel, that there are sins into whicli we cannot fall : noWj by that grace, we cannot sin, because thus far His seed remaineth in us. The Apostle's words declare to us then the height of the mark of our calling, the greatness of our end, the glory of our aim, that being *' partakers of the Divine nature," (2 Pet. i. 4.) we might be without sin : that in purifying ourselves, we should stop short of no other end than this : that we should not stifle the impulses to loftier attainments, which God hath placed within us, nor indulge our natural listlessness, as if there were no hope ; but should aim at being, what our Church has taught us twice at the commencement of each day to pray that we may be kept, without sin. But, applied to a particular case, it must manifestly be with the limitation, which our present imperfection requires, " as far," or " inasmuch as," we " are born of God, we cannot commit sin :" in whatever degree we are realizing the life, which was in Baptism conferred upon us, we cannot sin : our sins are a portion of our old man, our corruption, our death ; and so far. we are not living. St. John is not then speaking of the life which we have received of God, but of that which we are now living : and is giving us a test whether we be alive or dead, or to which state we are verging, that of complete life, or complete death. We cannot indeed tell who they be in this world who are " twice dead," and, already,




wholly the evil one's ; but if there be any in whom every spark of baptismal life has been extinguished, God has given us no hope that it shall be renewed. The words of St. John then are a solemn warning to us, to take heed that we cultivate that good thing, which has been planted in us ; that ** we quench not the Spirit ;" that " the light which is in us be not darkness ;" but they do not tell us that that good thing has never been implanted ; that Spirit never given ; that light never kindled : and as in the one case we should without doubt interpret the w^ords, " he who committeth sin is of the Devil," every such person, as far as he committeth sin, is of the Devil ; so in the other, " every " one as far as he is born, or the child of God, doth not commit '* sin^"

' I find exactly this sense expressed in St. Augustine, Cont. Mendacium ad Consentium, § 40. t. vi. col. 473. ed. Bened. " This birth (of God) if it " alone existed in us, no one would sin, and when it alone shall be, no one " will sin. But now we yet drag along with us our corrupt birth, although, ** according to our new birth, if we walk well, we are day by day renewed ' within. But when this corruption shall have put on incorruption, life will ** swallow up every thing, and no sting of death will remain. But the sting ** of death is sin," add.de peccat meritis et remiss. L. 1. § 9, 10. t.x. col. 44 — 6. ed. Bened. I insert a few words only, " For the whole of our old infirmity is " not destroyed from the very hour when each is baptized, but the renewal " is begun by the remission of all sins. — We have now, then, the first-fruits of " the Spirit, whence we are already in deed made the Sons of God : but for the " rest, as it is in hope that we are saved, and made completely new, so is it ** that we are sons of God : but in deed, because we are not yet saved, so also " not as yet fully renewed, not as yet also sons of God, but children of the " world. We make progress therefore towards complete renewal and perfect " life, through that whereby we are sons of God, and through this we alto' gether can commit no sin ; until into this (renewed nature) that also shall " be wholly changed, whereby we are yet children of the world : for by this " we can yet sin. Thus it is, that both * he that is born of God sinneth not,' " and if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves. That then shall " be consumed, wherein we are children of the flesh and of the world, and " that perfected whereby we are sons of God and renewed in Spirit," 8:c. add. de perfectione justitiae hominis, § 39. t x. col. 185. de gratia Christi, §. 22. col. 239. cont. Epist. Parmenian. L. 2. § 14. t. ix. col. 33.

So also St. Basil Moralia c. 22. *' What belongeth to bim who has been " born of the Spirit? To become, according to the measure given, the same " as that of which he was born, as is written Job. iii. 6." To the same



Such are the objections, as far as I know them, urged against Baptismal regeneration : in part, they would be objections against all infant Baptism, and as such would, I doubt not, be instantly dropped by those who now inadvertently use them, whom Burges ' calls the " unwitting Proctors of the Sacramentarians."

The question is needlessly embarrassed by any reference to adult Baptism,'since what we are now concerned with, is, whether our infants, who oppose no obstacle to God's grace, do, by virtue of His institution, receive that grace ; not, what would be the case of one who should receive Baptism from any worldly motive, and at the same time place an obstacle to its benefits by receiving it in unbelief. The questions are entirely distinct ; nor would any conclusion which we might come to, as to the unbelieving adult, affect the case of our infants, who cannot be unbelievers ; and this protest it is necessary to make before we enter upon that case, because a misapplication of the case of unbelieving adults, has furnished most of the arguments whereby men disparage the value of Infant Baptism. The unbelieving adult then could of course derive no present benefit from Baptism ; and it is an awful question, whether by receiving the Sacrament of Regeneration in unbelief, there being no other appointed means whereby the new-birth is bestowed, such an one had not precluded himself for ever from being born again ? It is a case of

purpose, probably, although not so clearly, paraphrases Jerome against Jovinian (who from this place maintained impeccability after baptism, and that those who were tempted, had, like Simon Magus, been baptized with water only). " I write unto you, little children, that ye may not sin, and " that ye may know, that ye so long abide in the generation of the Lord, as " ye do not sin. Yea, they who persevere in the generation of the Lord can'* not sin; for what fellowship has light with darkness? As day and night ** cannot be mingled ; so neither righteousness and iniquity ; sin and good ** works ; Christ and Antichrist. If we receive Christ in the abode of our " breast, we forthwith expel the devil. If we sin, and by the door of sin the " devil have entered, immediately Christ will depart. Whence David said, " * restore to me the joy of thy salvation,' which namely he had by sinning lost." (L. 2. § 2.) So also of moderns, the learned and pious John Gerhard, Loci de Bon. operib. § 144. " as far as any one is tindremains born again, so far he does " not give way to sins: — regeneration and mortal sins cannot abide together." ' L. c. p. 76.

M 2



such profane contempt of God's institution, it betrays such a servitude to the god of this world, that such a case has not been provided for in Scripture ; and one should almost dread to speak where God in His word has been silent. For Simon Magus is no such case ; since of him Scripture positively affirms that he believed ', however soon he fell away ; so that St. Peter's exhortation to him, to repent, holds out no encouragement to them who make a mock or a gain of God's institution. Where God gives repentance, we are safe in concluding that He is ready to pardon the offence, however in its own nature it may seem to put a person out of the covenant of Grace and repentance, and at the same time to preclude his entering again into it ; and to any person, who, having thus sinned, is concerned about his salvation, that very concern is a proof that God, in his case, has not withdrawn

' ** Then Simon himself believed also ; and when he was baptized, con" tinned constantly with Philip." Acts viii. 13. This surely cannot by any means be interpi'cted of a feigned belief: rather Calvin seems herein to have rightly yielded to the letter of Scripture, although opposed to his views. " In " that faith is ascribed to him, we do not understand with som"fe that he pre" tended a faith which he had not; but rather that overcome by the majesty " of the Gospel he believed it after a manner, and so acknowledged Christ to " be the author of life and salvation as gladly to subject himself to Him." (Institt. 3, 2, 10.) It is overlooked also that Simon Magus was converted by Pliilip, and continued for a while with him ; and that it was not until the arrival of St. Peter furnished the temptation especially adapted to him, of exercising again as a Christian, by corrupt means, the influence which lie had as a Pagan, that he fell. His history then is, alas I nothing so insulated in that of mankind : it is the simple, though fearful, occurrence of those who struck by some awful event around them, or in their own lives, or by some imposing act of God's Providence, for a while abandon their evil courses, and tlitn, in time of temptation, fall away. Exactly this view (though only hypothetically) is given by St. Augustine (de Bapt. c. Donatist. L. 4. § 17-) "Was that Simon Magus baptized with Christ's Baptism? They will " answer, yes ! for they are compelled by the authority of Holy Scripture. I ""ask, then, whether they confess that his sins were forgiven him? They " will confess it I ask again, why did Peter say to him that he had no part " in the lot of the saints ? Because, they say, he afterwards sinned, wishing " to purchase with money the gift of God, whereof he thought the Apostles *♦ were sellers." And, L. 6, § 19. " For that Simon Magus was born of water " and the Spirit, and yet did not enter into the kingdom of Heaven."



His Spirit. Or again, since those tempted to commit it, are either heathen, or members of a sect, which grieArously disparages the Sacrament of Baptism, one may hope that they in some measure have done it " ignorantly, in unbelief," through ignorance not altogether their own sin, but in part the sin of those who have taken upon themselves the care of their souls. Otherwise it seems sinning with so high a hand, and so to cut off the very means of pardon and pledge of grace, that one should be horribly afraid for any one who thought of, or had committed it. >! A yet more awful view of the case of adults, who receive Baptism wickedly, from worldly motives, and with contempt of God's ordinance, is opened by the analogy of the other Sacrament. As namely, they " who eat and drink unworthily, eat and drink " judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body," there seems much reason to fear that they who receive Baptism unworthily, receive it not merely without benefit, but to their hurt, discerning not the presence of the Holy Trinity, and despising what God hath sanctified. I speak not of particular cases, for God has in a wonderful manner, for His own glory, made Baptism effectual, when administered in mockery ^ by heathens on a heathen stage, to interest the curiosity of a profane audience, and a Pagan Emperor ; and God has put forth His power to vindicate His own ordinances, by making the poor buffoon a

^ The history and authorities are given at length by Tillemont Memm. Eccles. t. iv. p. 173. : and it bears the evidence of truth : the fact that the Christian Sacrament of Baptism at least was acted upon the heathen stage, is implied by St. Augustine, who incidentally inquires, whether Baptism administered without any serious intention or in a play (in mimo) is valid ? (de Bapt. c. Donat. L. 7- § 151.) He puts also the case, " if so be, one suddenly "kindled should receive it faithfully," which exactly corresponds with the facts of the history. And he proceeds to contrast "one who in the farce " believed," with " one, who in the Church mocked." The history is briefly this, that the player, when baptized, saw a vision, was converted, and when led (as the custom was, when the mock baptism was concluded,) before the Emperor, confessed himself converted, and to have become indeed a Christian, and sealed his newly-bestowed faith by immediate martyrdom. The previous profaneness is (it may be remarked) one instance of the necessity, under which the ancient Church was placed, of concealing the mysteries of her faith, which moderns, under the name of the *' disciplina arcani," have so ignorantly blamed.



convert, and enduing the convert of Baptism with strength for instant martyrdom. God can vindicate His ordinances, by making them all-powerful either to save or to destroy. But when there is no such signal end to be attained, one would fear that they would be pernicious to the profane recipient. St. Augustine * argues thus : " What ! although the Lord himself ** say of His body and blood, the only sacrifice for our salvation, " * unless a man eat My flesh and drink My blood, he hath no " life in him,' doth not the same Apostle teach that this also " becomes hurtful to those who abuse it, for he says, * Whoso" ever eateth the bread and drinketh the cup of the Lord ** unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.' " See then Divine and Holy things are pernicious to those who " abuse them ; why not then Baptism ?" And again ' : " The " Church bore Simon Magus by Baptism, to whom however it ** was said, that he had no part in the inheritance of Christ. Was " Baptism, was the Gospel, were the Sacraments, wanting to him? " But since love was wanting, he was born in vain, and perhaps it " had been better for him not to have been born :" and ' ' God " sanctifies His Sacrament, so that it may avail to a man who " should be truly converted to Him whether before Baptism, or *• while being baptized, or afterwards ; as unless he were con" verted it would avail to his destruction :" and again he appeals to the Donatists: "Ye yourselves have virtually pronounced " your judgment that Baptism depends not on their merits, by " whom, nor upon theirs, to whom, it is administered, but upon '* its own holiness and verity, for His sake by whom it was insti' ** tuted, to the destruction of those who use it amiss, to salvation to •' those who use it rightly."

One portion, however, of the ancient Church (the African) seems to have held decisively, not only that this sin of receiving Baptism unworthily would be forgiven upon repentance, but that it did not hinder repentance. St. Augustine namely uses this case* as an argument against the Donatists, why the Church did not re-baptize those who sought to be restored to her out of a

> C. Crescon. Donatist. L. 1. § 30, 31.

» De Baptibitio c. Donatist L. 1. § 14. ' Ibid. L. 6. § 47

  • If.id. !- 4. § 10. ' Jbid. L. 1. § 18.


schismatic communion, although she held the Baptism administered by that communion to be useless while men remained in it. " If they say that sins are not forgiven to one who comes hypo" critically^ to Baptism, I ask, if he afterwards confess his " hypocrisy with a contrite heart and true grief, is he to be " baptized again ? If it be most insane to affirm this, let them " confess that a man may be baptized with the Baptism of " Christ, and yet his heart, persevering in malice and sacrilege, " would not allow his sins to be done away : and thus let them " understand that in communions separated from the Church " men may be baptized, (when the baptism of Christ is given " and received, the Sacrament being administered in the same " way) ; which yet is then first of avail to the remission of sins, " when the person being reconciled to the unity of the Church, " is freed from the sacrilege of dissent, whereby his sins were " retained, and not allowed to be forgiven. For as he who had " come hypocritically, is not baptized again ; but what without ' baptism could not be cleansed, is cleansed by that pious cor" rection (of life) and true confession, so that what was before " given, then begins to avail to salvation, when that hypocrisy is " removed by a true confession ; so also the enemy of the love ' and peace of Christ," &c. St. Augustine frequently repeats this illustration, and speaks confidently as if it were a known fact ; as does also another writer^ of the African Church. It is a little remarkable that the Schoolmen and their commentators, although deeply read in the Fathers, or at least with a considerable traditional knowledge of them, when treating expressly on this subject^ produce only those two authors, and that out of this same Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, on the other hand, speaks of the loss as absolutely irreparable. " If thou feignest," he addresses the Catechumen*, " now do men baptize thee, but



** the Spirit will not baptize thee. Thou art come to a great ** examination, and enlisting, in this single hour; which if thou " losest, the evil is irreparable, but if thou art thought worthy of ** the grace, thy soul is enlightened ; thou receivest a power which " thou hadst not ; thou receivest weapons at which the demons " tremble; and if thou easiest not away thy armour, but " keepest the seal upon thy soul, the demon approacheth not ; '* for he is afraid : for by the Spirit of God are devils cast " out." It may be that St. Cyril may have meant, as is said also of all impairing of baptismal purity, that it cannot be wholly repaired, since there is no second Baptism, as he says, ^ " The ** bath cannot be received twice or thrice ; else might a man " say, ' though I fail once, I shall succeed a second time :' but if " thou failest the * once,' it cannot be repaired. For ' there is " one Lord, and one faitli, and one Baptism.'" The question is very awful, as, what is not, which concerns our souls? It may suffice to have said thus much upon it, if by any means persons might see that subjects of which they speak lightly, are indeed very fearful.

V. There is however one more general dread, independent of Scripture or Scriptural authority, that already adverted to in the outset ^ lest, namely, the effect of preaching the doctrine of " Baptismal regeneration" should be to produce a carnal security, deaden the souls of men, make them rely upon outward privileges, and lull the unquietness, which is still a sign and a hope of life in the drowsy conscience. Hence some members of our own Church have ventured to term this her doctrine cold and lifeless : and it has been thought by a Dissenter, (otherwise mild and gentle) sufficient lo excuse in our eyes the arrogant invasion of God's office in one who, setting himself in Christ's stead, has pronounced on this portion of His Church, that "she destroys more souls than she saves," as the mere exclamation of piety, honesty, and warm heartednessM

' Procatcches n. 7- * See above, p. I. sqq.

' ' Well might you excuse my pious, ami honest, and warm-hearted friend " Mr. Hinney, contemplating the tremendous extent of soul delusion from this ' eUxise (the early and sinful destination of some perwns to the ministry,) and




This is a faithless fear : our one concern is to know what God has taught : but to dread beforehand to find any thing to be His teaching, is to make ourselves wiser than God : as if, did He teach any thing, He would not also provide that His teaching should be efficacious ! Is it not the very objection of the Heathen and Socinian scoffer, that the doctrine of Vicarious Atonement, and free pardon, must be an immoral preaching, and produce laxity of conscience? And were it not the character of Abraham's faith to follow God's guidance, " not knowing wbi" ther we go," but assured that His guidance, if followed, would lead us into all truth ? But indeed, has the doctrine of late been preached ? for to prove, to state, to hold, Baptismal regeneration, is not to preach it ! and has not the very dread of the subject as thorny and debateable ground, in great measure produced the very effect, that it has lain uncultivated ? Is it not of the very character of Scripture-teaching to set forth to us the greatness of our privileges, the immensity of what God has done for us, the freeness of the pardon with which he has pardoned us, our adoption, our Sonship, our calling, our Redemption, our Sanctification, our promised inheritance, our imparted earnest of the Spirit, and every other mercy with which He has already crowned us, yea and our regeneration also, ** not of ** corruptible seed but of incorruptible" (1 Pet. i. 23.) as so many grounds for sincere and upright walking, and for the desire for future growth? and why then are we to dread, that to tell ourflocks, that they were all once placed in Christ's fold, would make them less careful to know whether they have wandered from it ? that to tell them that they have been washed, have been cleansed, would make them less careful lest they again " wallow " in the mire" ? that to warn them of the talent which they have received, would make them less anxious to return it with increase ? that to tell them that they have been born again will make them less anxious lest they be again dead ? They are not, cannot be. Heathen ! They may be worse ! Apostate Christians,

" her baptismal formularies, for exclaiming ' she destroys more souls than she *' saves !' Dr. I'. Smith's Letter to Prof. Lee, p. 79- We need no excuse made to us ; but such language can only blind the minds of those who use it.



" twice dead, plucked up by the roots" — but that they may not be such, surely it were our wisdom to speak to them not as to those who are without the Covenant, but to remind them of all which God has done for their souls, and to beseech them not to destroy that which Goo has done so much to save.

Our Church has so thought : for in that she wishes her Baptismal service (in which she declares, in the clearest terms which could be used, that every child baptised receives thereby Spiritual regeneration) to be always publicly celebrated, *' for that it " declares unto us our profession," she must have thought the setting forth of our privileges, and of the obligations thereby entailed, a powerful motive to increased diligence. Or, let us hear the words of the ancient Church, where Baptism was continually preached, and see whether in their lips its privileges were a cold and lifeless doctrine. Let us hear St. Gregory of Nazianzura commending Infant Baptism. " Hast thou an " infant ? Let not wickedness gain an opportunity against it ? " Let it be sanctified from a babe. Let it be hallowed by the " Spirit from its tenderest infancy. Fearest thou the seal of " faith, on account of the weakness of nature, as a faint-hearted ** mother and of little faith? But Hannah devoted Samuel to " God, yea before he was born, and when he was born, imme" diately she made him a priest, and brought him up in the " priestly attire, not fearing human nature, but trusting in God. " Thou hast no need of Amulets — impart to him the Trinity, " that great and excellent preservative." The thrill which those impressive words *' impart to him the Trinity" {Sug avrJ r»/v Tpidda) echoing to us after 1400 years, still awaken in us, may well make us admire the energy of the faith, which infused into words so simple, a force so amazing. The words are nothing : the fact is the ordinary privilege of Christians : but the faith in the power of God, as manifested in the Baptism of every infant brought to Him, the reahzing of those privileges, as implied in these words, overwhelms us, because our fiaith has not been equal to it. Or do we fear that the leaning on the outward ordinance would lead men away from Christ ? Yet who bade us look upon it as an outward ordinance, or apply to it, words which



St. Paul speaks of circumcision, which was a sign and seal only ? Or how should the ordinance of Christ lead men away from Christ ? When Baptism was preached faithfully, the memory of it was the memory of Christ and of His passion. " St. Paul

  • showeth," says St. Chrysostom ^, ** that the blood and the water

  • are one. For Christ's baptism is His passion also ;" or, as he says again ^ " What the cross and grave was to Christ, that

  • has Baptism been made to us." ** The sacrifice of our Lord's

  • passion every man then offers for himself, when he is dedicated

  • in the faith of His passion," says St. Augustine': and again, ' The sacrifice of the Lord is then in a manner offered for each, ' when by being baptized he is sealed in His name ;" and again*, ' No man may in any wise doubt, that each of the faithful then

  • becomes a partaker of the Body and Blood of the Lord, when

  • in Baptism he is made a member of Christ." " We ^ are ' washed in the passion of the Lord," says Tertullian." *' In ' Baptism," again says St. Chrysostome «, " we are incorporate ' into Christ, and made flesh of His flesh, and bone of His ' bone." The body of the regenerated (i. e, by Baptism) becomes

  • the flesh of the crucified," saith St. Leo''; and again ^ " Thou

  • art bedewed with the blood of Christ when thou art baptized ' into His death." " Let us be washed in his blood," saith St.

Bernard ^ " By these few it may appeare," says Bishop Jewel ^°,

  • that Christ is present at the Sacrament of Baptisme, even as He

  • is present at the Holy Supper : unless ye will say, we may bee ' made flesh of Christ's flesh, and bee washt in His blood, and

  • bee partakers of Him, and have Him * present,' without His ' pre' sence.' Therefore Chrysostome, when he had spoken vehemently

  • of the Sacrament of the Supper, hee concludeth thus. Even so is

  • Ep. ad Hebr. Horn. 16. quoted by Bp. Jewel, Replie to Harding, p. 285.

2 lb. p. 287.

  • Serm. ad Infant, ib. p. 21, 230, 292, 449.

  • De Baptismo, ib. p. 287. ^ In Ep. ad Ephes. ib. 292. 4 De passione Donmi. S. 4. ap. Jewel, Defence of Apologie, p. 221.

» In Serm. de 4ta feria. c. 1. ib. p. 20.

' Bern. Super Missus est Horn. 3. ibid. ^^ L. c.




" it also in Baptisme." And shall \vc then dread that they who so realized the spiritual presence of Christ, should forget Christ? Or dread we again that the magnifying of the sign should make them forget the thing signified ? Yet the sign was to them so glorious, only because it was identified with that inward grace. " Forasmuch," says Bishop Jewel ^ again, " as these two Sacra" ments being both of force alike, these men (the Romanists) " to advance their fantasies in the one, by comparison so much ' abase the other, I think it good, briefly and by the way, some' what to touch what the old Catholike Fathers have written of " God's invisible workings in the Sacrament of Baptism. The " Fathers in the council of Nice say thus : * Baptisme must be '* considered, not with our bodily eies, but with the eies of our " minde. Thou seest the water : Thinke thou of the power of " God, that in the water is hidden. Thinke thou that the water " is full of heavenly fire, and of the sanctification of the Holy " Ghost.' Chrysostome speaking likewise of Baptisme, saith ' thus : * The things that I see, I judge not by sight, but by the " eies of my minde. The Heathen, when he heareth the water "of Baptisme, taketh it only for plaine water: but I see not *' simply, or barely, that I see : 1 see the cleansing of the soule " by the Spirit of God. So likewise saith Nazianzenus : * The " mystery of Baptisme is greater than it appeareth to the eie.* So " S. Ambrose : ' In Baptisme there is one thing done visibly to " the eie : another thing is wrought invisibly to the minde.' " Again he saith : ' Beleeve not onely the bodily eies (in this " Sacrament of Baptisme :) the thing that is not scene, is better " scene : the thing that thou seest, is corruptible : the thing " that thou seest not, is for ever.' To be short, in consideration " of these invisible effects, Tertullian saith : * The Holy Ghost " commeth downe and halloweth the water.* S. Basil saith : " ' The Kingdome of Heaven is there set open.* Chrysostome •• saith : ' God Himselfe in Baptisme, by His invisible power " holdeth thy head.' S. Ambrose saith : * The water hath the ** grace of Christ : in it is the presence of the Trinitie.' S.

' Reply to Harding, p. 249, 250.


ON god's invisible workings in holy baptism. 181

" Bernard saitb : ' Let us be washed in His blood.' By the " authorities of thus many Ancient Fathers it is plaine, that in *' the Sacrament of Baptisme, by the sensible signe of water the ** invisible grace of God is given unto us." And again, in his treatise on the Sacraments ^ : *' Wee are not washed from our " sinnes by the water, wee are not fed to eternall life by the " bread and wine, but by the precious bloud of our Saviour " Christ, that lieth hid in these Sacraments. Chrysostome *' saiih : ' Piaine or bare water worketh not in us, but when it " hath received the grace of the Holy Ghost, it washeth away " all our sinnes.' So saith Ambrose also : ' The Holie Ghost *' cometh downe, and halloweth the water.' And, ' There is the " presence of the Trinity.' So saith Cyril : ' As water thorowly " heat with fire, burneth as well as the fire : so the waters which ** wash the body of him that is baptized, are changed into Divine " power, by the working of the Holy Ghost.' So said Leo, *' sometime a Bishop of Rome : ' Christ hath given like pre" eminence to the water of Baptisme, as Hee gave to his mother. " For that power of the Highest, and that overshadowing of " the Holy Ghost which brought to passe, that Mary should " bring forth the Saviour of the world, hath also brought to *' passe, that the water should beare anew, or regenerate him *' tliat believeth.' Such opinion had the ancient learned Fathers, " and such reverend words they used when they intreated of " the Sacraments. For, it is not man, but God which worketh ** by them."

Or, again let us consider the high and glowing titles which they give to this Sacrament, and see whether they furnish inducements to rest therein, or not rather exhortations to hold onward in the streng.th so imparted. " This illumination (Baptism) " then," says St. Gregory of Nazianzum% " is the brightness of

1 P. 2C3.



" souls, the transformation of life, the interrogatory of con" science towards God : it is the help of our weakness, putting " off of the flesh, following of the Spirit, participation of the '* Word, restoration of our nature, the flood which drownetli sin, " communication of light, dissipation of darkness. The *illumi" nation' is a chariot up to God, an absence with Christ, a staff " of faith, a perfecting of the mind, a key of the kingdom of " heaven, the exchange of life, the destruction of bondage, the " loosing of chains. This * illumination', — why need I recount "more? — is the best and noblest of the gifts of God; as " things are called holy of holies, (and song of songs, as being " most eminent and surpassing,) so also this, as being more *' holy than all others. But as Christ, the Giver thereof, is *' called by many and different names, so also the gift; whether " on account of our exceeding joyousness, (as we are wont to *' take pleasure in the names of things which we love exceed" ingly,) or whether because the variety of its benefits has occa" sioned a diversity of names, we call it gift, grace, baptism, " anointing, enlightening, garment of immortality, washing of " regeneration, seal, and every other name of honour — gift, as " being given to us who had nothing to offer — grace, as being " debtors — dipping, in that sin was buried with us in the water " — anointing, as being sacred and royal, for such are men wont ** to anoint — enlightening, as being brightness itself — garment, " as a covering of shame — washing, as a cleansing — seal, as " keeping us, and an emblem of dominion. In this do the heavens " rejoice, this do the angels magnify, for its kindred brightness : " this is an image of the blessedness yonder ; this we would " gladly praise in hymns, but carnot as we would."

Works, ii. 255). The very fact that these titles are occasionally the same, shows the more, that they express the feelings not of individuals only, but of the Church : thus when Cyril says,(Procateches. § IG.) " Great is the Baptism " set before you, a ransom to captives, forgiveness of transgressions, death " of sin, new-birth of the soul, garment of light, holy indissoluble seal, chariot " to heaven, delight of paradise, pledge of the kingdom, gift of adoption ;" the very recurrence of the peculiar phrase, " cliariot (ox»?fta) to heaven," (though doubtless taken in part from the history of Elijah,) implies that it was already in use in the Church.



These are indeed fervid words and tbouglits that burn ; yet are they also words of truth and soberness; words, which, because they are glowing, approach the nearer to the truth ; and are sober, because expressive of reality. It is not the language of declamation, but of a soul, which having now been " carried to " hoar hairs \" would fain express the greatness of God's benefits, but " cannot, as it would." In like manner, S. Chrysostome^ (though indirectly,) ' Why, you will ask, did not John *' Baptist mention the signs and wonders which were to follow " upon this * the Baptising with the Holy Ghost and with fire V " Because this was greater than all, and for this did all those things " take place. For having named the sum, he comprehended *' therein all the rest, — loosing of death, destruction of sins, abo' lition of the curse, freedom from the old man, entrance into " paradise, ascent into heaven, life with the Angels, participation " of future blessing, and those good things which eye hath not " seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man. " For all these things were^given through that gift, (Baptism)." Or, let any one read S. Cyprian's relation ' of the greatness of the change, to him incredible beforehand, which Baptism wrought in him. It may suffice, in contrast, to say that moderns have thought it necessary to apologize for, or to defend it. Or, let them look at the manner in which St. Augustine* speaks of the workings of Baptism administered to the half senseless friend of his thoughtless and sceptical youth — how he speaks of it, who once mocked at it. Or, let them hear St. Chrysostome's * exhortation to those hangers-on of Christianity, who professed to believe, and yet shrunk from becoming Christians, and taking on them Christ's cross by Baptism. *' The Apostle saith, " * through you is my name blasphemed among the nations.' ** Let us cause the contrary to be said, by * living worthy of Him

» L, c. vers. fin. § 50. p. 670. ad Morell. » In Ml Horn. xi. § G. T. vii. p. 157. ed Bened.

  • Confess, t. i. p. 99. ed. Bened.


" who calleth us, and drawing near to the Baptism of the adop" tion of sons. For of a truth great is the power of Baptism : ' it maketh those who partake of this gift wholly other men : it *' alloweth not men to be men ! Make the Greek (Heathen) be" lieve that great is the power of the Spirit, that He trans** formeth, that He re-harmonizeth. Why tarriest thou for the ' last breath like a fugitive, a recreant, as if thou oughtcst not to " live to God ? Think, moreover, how many, after the enlighten" ing, (Baptism,) have become angels instead of men!"

It is not, namely, simply as the turning-point of life, but as a new-birth that they rejoice in it, as the spring of all their subsequent life, the source of all their strength, in that it united them with Christ, and through Him with the Father, and the Father and the Son with them through the Spirit. " Let us be buried," says St. Gregory again, " with Christ by Baptism, that we may " rise with Him : let us descend with Him (into the water) that " we may be exalted with Him : let us come up with Him, that " we may be glorified with Him. If the persecutor of the light " and the tempter attack thee after Baptism, — and he will attack " thee, (since misled by that which appeared he attacked the " hidden Light, the Word and my God,) thou hast whereby to " prevail. Fear not the conflict : oppose to him the water, " oppose the Spirit, wherein all the fiery darts of the evil one " will be quenched. It is Spirit, but one which removeth moun" tains : it is water, but a quencher of fire. If he place want " before thee (for he dared to do so to Him) and thou desirest " that the stones should become bread, oppose to him that " bread of life which is sent down from heaven giving life to the " world. If he assail thee with Scripture words, * for it is written, *' He shall give His Angels charge concerning thee,' (Ps. cxi. " 12.) — sophist of wickedness, why bast ihou paused here? for ** well I wot, (although thou say it not,) that (v. 13.) I 'shall *' ' tread on thee, the asp and the basilisk, and trample on ser" * pents and scorpions,' fenced round by the trinity. If he " attack thee with covelousness, * showing thee all the kingdoms " of the world in a moment of time,' as belonging to him, and dt" niand worship of thee, despise him as having nothing : tell him,



'* emboldened by your seal, (of Baptism,) ' 1 also am the image " of God, of the Glory on high ; not as yet have I been cast ' down, like thee, for pride; I am clothed with Christ, I am *' changed by Baptism into Christ, * worship thou me.' Well I " know, he will depart defeated and ashamed, as from Christ, *' the First Light, so also from those who have been enlightened *' by Christ. Let us be baptized then that we may prevail." Again \ " Whilst thou art a catechumen, thou art in the vestibule ' of holiness ; thou must enter, pass the court, gaze on the Holy " things, look into the Holy of Holies, be united with the '* trinity. — Great are the things by which thou art besieged, " great is the defence thou needest : he fears thee fighting " armed : therefore he would strip thee of this grace that he may " master thee the easier, unarmed, and unguarded."

The above is from a sermon on Baptism, a sermon, indeed, full of practical instruction. It may be yet more striking to observe the manner in which the blessings of Baptism are adverted to, when the writers are upon other subjects. Although such cases cannot furnish the same detail, yet, since " out of the " abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh," they testify the more how full the heart was of its Baptismal blessing, I will instance one case only. We are accustomed to refer to the form of baptism appointed by our Lord (Matt, xxviii. 19.), as a proof of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity : so also the ancients ; yet not in our dry and abstract way, but as recalling to themselves the benefits thereby conferred on them. " The Lord," says St. Basil ^, arguing against the irapugners of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, *' the Lord, when dehvering the saving faith to ** those who were instructed in the word, joins the Holy Spirit " with the Father and the Son. The power of the Spirit then " having been included with the Father and the Son, in that " life-creating power, whereby our nature is removed from mor" tal life to immortality," &c. And again ^ — " Whence are we ** Christians ? ' through the faith,' will every one say. And ** how are we saved ? By having been regenerated by the




" grace in Baptism. Shall we then, having known this salvation, ' assured to us by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, " abandon the form of doctrine which we have received ? The " loss is equal, to depart without receiving Baptism, or to receive " it, omitting any part af that tradition. And he who keepeth " not, throughout, that confession which we made when we, being "rescued from idols, were first brought in to approach the *' living God, and holdeth it not through his whole life as a sure *' preservative, maketh himself an alien to the promises of God, and '' impugneth his own covenant, which he made at his confession " of faith. For since Baptism is to me the beginning of life, " and the first of days was that day of regeneration, it is mani' fest that those words uttered at the grace of adoption are of " all the most exalted. Shall I then betray that tradition which " brought me to the light, — which gave me the knowledge of " God, whereby I, an enemy through sin, was made a child of ** God ? Rather, do I pray for myself, that I may depart for " the Lord with this confession ; and I exhort them to keep the " faith inviolate to the day of Christ; and to hold the Spirit ' undivided from the Father and the Son, preserving the doc' trine of their Baptism in the confession of their faith, and in '* the fulfilment of glory." This is the language, not of a sermon, but of what would now be called controversial divinity ; and such is the way in which the fathers, when speaking of the Everblessed Trinity, incorporated the memory of their Baptismal blessings with their warnings not to forsake the Catholic doctrine. In hke manner says St. Cyril of Jerusalem \ " Let no " one separate the old Covenant from the new. Let no one say *' there was one Spirit there, another here ; since he would ** oftend against the Holy Spirit Himself, who is honoured with " the Father and the Son, and who, at the time of the Holy " Baptism, was comprehended with them in the Holy Trinity. " For the only-l)egotten Son of God said clearly to the Apostles, « « Go — baptizing them in th^ name of,' &c. Our hope then "is in the 'Father, and the Son, and the Holy Swrjt." And

> Cuteches. Hi de Spiritu S. § '1. p. 344.



again ^ — " Believe also in the Holy Spirit, and think of Him, " as thou hast received concerning the Father and the Son. ' Learn that this Holy Spirit is one, indivisible, with various " powers; working manifold gifts, but Himself not divided, — " who operated through the law and the prophets, — who now ** also sealeth thy soul at the time of Baptism, — of whose holi' ness all reasonable nature hath received." Or, again, St. Athanasius, (although it is almost doing injustice to these Fathers, to give such brief extracts in a foreign tongue ; and be it remembered, that they are produced for one object only, — to show that they, when arguing from the baptismal words, did it not in our cold and disputatious way, but as men, who were thereby reminded of the blessings which they had received in holy Baptism), St. Athanasius, then, thus argues'^: — " The sum of our ** faith He made to point to this, for He bade that We should be ' baptized not into the name of One not-made, and one made, *' of One Uncreate, and of a creature, but into the name of the " Father, and Son, and the Holy Ghost. For thus, being *^ perfected, we also are made truly sons; and when we pro" nounce the name of the Father, we learn also from that name ' the Word also, who is in the Father." And again ^-^" For " God, not as if He wanted any thing, but as the FATitlEU, "founded the earth by His own Wisdom, and made all things " by the Word, who is from Himself, and establisheth the holy " washing in the Son. For where the Father is, there is the " Son also ; as w^here the light is, there also is the radiance : " and as what the Father doeth. He doeth by the Son, as the " Lord Himself saith (John v. 19.) ; so when Baptism is given, " whom the Father baptizeth, him the Son baptizeth ; arid '* whom the Son baptizeth, he by the Holy Ghost is perfected." And yet again * : — " Moreover, holy Baptism, wherein the whole " constitution of our faith centres, is not given in the name of " the Word, but of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

^ Cat. 4. de decern dogmatibus, § 16.

N 2



Or again, let any minister imagine iiow lie should write to a person, recently baptized. The freedom of his pardon, the necessity of perseverance, the greatness of the profession which he had made, the necessity of adhering to the vows which he had made, and many like topics, would doubtless be dwelt upon by many of us : few, I think, would have ventured upon the cheering and simple, but solemn words of St. Basil, wlio thus writes ^ — " We greatly long to see thee, especially since we heard *' that thou hast been honoured with that high honour, the robe " of immortality, which, enveloping our human nature, hath " abolished death in the flesh, and our mortal has been swallowed " up in the garment of immortality. Since then the Lord has " made thee His own by that grace, and hath estranged thee " from all sin, and opened the kingdom of heaven, and pointed " out the paths which lead to its blessedness, we exhort thee, " as being one so far excelling in wisdom, to receive that grace " with all thoughtfulness, and be a faithful steward of that " treasure, keeping watch over that royal deposit with all care" fulness, that having preserved the seal uninjured, you may " present it to the Lord, yourself shining forth with the *' brightness of the saints, having cast no spot or blemish " on the pure garment of immortality, but carefully preserving " holiness in all your members, as having put on Christ. — " For ' as many,' He saith, ' as have been baptized into Christ, " have put on Christ.' Be then all the members holy, as befit** ting those which are covered with that pure and shining gar" ment." Or, again, not only when one might calculate upon the first strong feeling produced by the remission of all sin, and the recent incorporation into Christ, but in the subsequent difficulties ^nd trials of Christian warfare, this same topic is still urged. St. Ambrose * had to encourage and to cheer some clergy, who

' » ISfp. 29^, (ai. 386.) t. iii. p* 431. ed. ienpi. The above extract is the whole of the letter, except a few lines m ihie commencement expressive of interest in his friend's Christian consort.



Iiad begun to wax weary of their profession, as a toilsome, unprofitable, insulted occupation ; and, having put their hand to the plough, to look backward to the world. We, under the like circumstances, sliould, doubtless, recal to them their ordination vows, that they were no longer free, that they had bound themselves ; or we might set forth the high dignity of their profession in the sight of God, to be employed in tending Christ's sheep. This would also be doubtless true : but St. Ambrose goes deeper ; he claims these weary soldiers by an earlier, higher, more comprehensive title, — not what they had promised to God, but what God had done for them : — *' they had died with Christ "in Baptism; now, therefore, we share His life (convivimus) ; " they had received the light of life with Christ, had been " warmed by Christ, had received the breath of life, and of the " resurrection." And who would not feel, under the like temptation, how poor the reminiscence of any vows would be, compared with the thought, that the life we had was Christ's life, the breath we lived by, Christ's Spirit, the breath of the resurrection. Yet, I would not compare the efficacy of different motives ; for this is descending to low ground, as if we were judges of divine truth. I would only instance it, as a specimen how, in other days, and with other notions of Christ's Sacraments, the memory of them, and their benefits, was ever present to the soul. Once more : people still dread, lest, by telling our flocks, that they have all been born again, all once died to sin, and been born again unto righteousness, we should relax their diligence : yet St. Augustine, they will allow, knew well the heart of his fellowmen, and its corruptions and deceit, and was a faithful preacher of the cross of Christ, as well as of "righteousness, temperance, " and judgment to come." Let us hear, then, how he addresses even adults recently baptized, and in them, as he says, the rest of his flock ^ — " To-day, let us address those who were bap" tized and re-born in Christ Jesus, and you (the people gene" rally) in them, and them in you. Behold, ye were made *' members of Christ. If ye think what ye were made, 'all

J Serin. 224 in die Paschae 1. (al. de Temp. 164) §§ 1 and 4.



** your bones will say, Lord, who is like unto Thee V For that " great desert of God cannot be thought of as it deserves, and all " human speech and understanding fails, that free mercy, without ** any preceding merits, should have come to you. Therefore " is it called grace, because it is given gratis. What grace? to " be members of Christ, sons of God, brethren of the Only" Begotten. If He be the only-begotten, whence are you bre" thren ; but, because He was alone by nature, ye made brethren " by grace ? Because, then, ye have been made members of " Christ, I warn you. I fear for you, not so much from Pa" gans, from Jews, from heretics, as from bad Catholics. Choose ** you, among the people of God, whom ye will follow. For if " ye will follow the multitude, ye will not be among the few, who " walk in the narrow way. Abstain from fornication, from ra-* pine, from frauds, from perjuries, from things forbidden, from " strifes : be drunkenness far from you ; fear adultery as death ; •' — not death which parts soul from body, but wherein the soul " will for ever burn with the body." And after having, with all plainness of speech, expostulated with those, who, in those days also, veiled deadly sins under soft names, or avoided public scandal only, " May I not do in my own house what I will ? 1 tell you, " No. They who do these things go to hell, and will burn in " everlasting fire;" and, having warned "against that raven-like " repetition, Cras ! Cras !" procrastination of repentance, " that ' raven, whose voice thou imitatest, departed out of the ark, and " returned not ; but thou, my brother, return to the Church '' which that ark signified," he thus concludes, to the baptized, " But do ye hear me, ye baptized ! hear me, ye who have been " re-born by the Blood of Christ, 1 beseech you, by that Name "which has been pronounced over you, by that altar to which )V.you approached, by the Sacraments which you have received, <<:jby the future judgment of quick and dead ; — I beseech you, I '^bind you by the name of Christ, that ye imitate not those whom ••'-you know to be such, but let His Sacraments remain in you, *' who would not come down from the tree, but who would rise " again from the grave."

It may be said, perhaps, that ^oiuc <»f these are speakin;^, in



part, from their own experience, and so, in part, of adult Baptism. Some of them are, undoubtedly ; and if this objection is meant to imply, that we, who were not so consciously " translated ** from the power of Satan unto God," cannot be expected to look back to our Baptism with tlie same vividness, and clearness of perception, as the source of our spiritual existence, this may be, in part, true ; for we are, comparatively, in this respect, walking by faith, not by sight. We, as many of us as " are " Jed by the Spirit of God," have the effect of Baptism in ourselves : we know also, from God's word, that this, our " new " birth," commenced then ; but the connection between the '* healing waters" and our " cure" is not so visible ; especially has it been obscured in many of us, by our own wilful opening again of the wounds which God then closed ; as, on the other hand, the grateful remembrance of their Baptism is most observable in those who have most uniformly profited by it. It is not, however, the feelings of the early times, whose absence I deplore, but their faith ; not the vivid terms in which they express themselves, but their strong conviction ; not simply the liveliness of their gratitude, but their love for their Saviour's ordinance. And we, too, might have the same faith, and conviction, and love, because it is His ordinance ; and, until we have it, I see no hope for the prosperity of the Church, none of a more general early piety, none of the extension of Christ's kingdom by our means, none of its fuller realization among ourselves. For, if the entrance into God's temple be thought of thus lightly, is not this the way to make it " a den of thieves," rather than of " spiritual " worshippers ?" If the " earnest of the Spirit" is thus disparaged, dare we hope that God will bestow upon us His fulness ? Rather, I would hope, that the sayings of these holy men might be witnesses, not against us, but to us. Their witness is obviously the more valid in this respect, because they knew the fruits of Baptism from experience. We dare nor speak (as some of old have done,) of hyperboles ; for we know it to be language of experience and truth. They testify to us that which they have known, seen, handled, of the Word of Life, in His ordinance ; and we dare not set aside their testimony. Observe we, then, 1st, That they



confine its benefits to no age ; but such of them as had received it themselves as adults, recommend that it should be imparted to infants. 2d, That they speak of it, not only as conveying remission of past sins, but, and that mainly, as a preservative in future temptation. 3dly, That they recommend it for infants, not only as an Apostolic ordinance, but as a known and exceeding safeguard. 4thly, That in proportion to their value for their Lord's ordinance, so much the more jealous were they, lest its force should be subsequently weakened, or the purity conferred by Him be defiled. The more they honoured Baptism, and the more they relied upon it as God's gift, so much the more careful were they of their subsequent walk with God.

These statements of the Fathers will incidentally remove an objection which has been in former times ' and may be again made, viz. that we thereby bring back the opus operatum of the Schoolmen. For since it is known that the Fathers did not hold this in its objectionable sense, it plainly does not follow from this doctrine. In this, as in many other cases, we must distinguish between the practical corruptions of the Church of Rome and her theoretical errors. For it often happens that she leads her members into error, and countenances corruption in them, where her statements in themselves are not very unsound : teaching us how much evil, what seems a little departure from the truth, may create. The term to confer grace, ex opere operato, as explained by her writers ' is " to confer grace '!? by the force of the sacramental action itself, being instituted ** by God to this end, not through the merit of the (human) *' agent, or of the receiver," for which purpose they quote the words of St. Augustine^: " The Sacrament of itself is of much " avail." Such appears to have been also the meaning of some,

  • Rivetus (Disputt. Leidens. Disp. 43. ap Witsium, 1. c. § 61.) blames those " who, deriving their name from Luther, rather than from Christ, so speak ' of the Word and Sacraments, as to ascribe to tliem the imparting of grace and ' sanctification ; and rejecting the opus operatum in words, do not ascribe " less efficacy to the outward action, than tliey who maku the Sacraments " the proper causes of grace."

' Bellarin.'Controv. L. ii. (. 1. ;!( anifiitonun.

' De Raptismo L. iv. c. 24.



at least, of the Schoolmen : and perhaps all, favourably interpreted, mean this ; that however a good disposition, i. e. faith and repentance, is required in the adult candidate for baptism, and in the worthy communicant a thankful remembrance also of Christ's death, and charity towards all, yet neither did faith, any more than repentance, or thankfulness, or charity, constitute the Sacrament, but that it had its efficacy from God only. Without faith the human soul was hke a closed vessel, so that the influences to be poured therein through the Sacrament could not enter; but by faith, only the obstacle was removed, the grace came fully and entirely (ex opere operato,) from the work wrought by God, not in any way (ex opere operantis,) from the quality or merit of the receiver. In this sense, which Bellarmine asserts to be the true one, the doctrine of " conferring ** grace ex opere operato" contains nothing which our Church, as well as the Lutheran ', does not equally hold, whereas the school of Zuingli and Calvin cannot ; and against these and the like sacramentarian errors, (produced by the unbelief generated through the opposite errors of the Church of Rome,) the canons of the Council of Trent were, in this instance, probably directed.

At least we ought never to forget, that in the great commotion of the Reformation, there were brought to the surface not only treasures which had long lain hid, but froth and scum also : would one might say, froth and scum only ! Every thing, which before had lain concealed under the thick veil of outward conformity, was laid bare : the Gospel was again eminently a savor of life and a savor of death, — to those who embraced it with an honest and true heart, life ; others profited by the security given, only to manifest the unbelief or heresy which lurked within. To others, death and life were mingled in the cup. " Protestantism" then, as now, was often as negative as its very name ; Protestant was often another name only for *' infidel." The deadly, stupifying heresy (if it may even be called such) of Socinus was, we must recollect, one produce of

^ Chemnitz Examen Cone. Trid. P. 2. Can, 7, 8, and Gerhard Loci de Sacram. § 86. fully admit this sense, although they do not think it the general sense of the Schoolmen.



the Reformation. In justice, then, to ourselves, as well as to the Romanists, we must bear in mind that the unhappy and fatal Canons of the Council of Trent, were directed, in part, against actual error, such as had mixed itself with the then, as well as with former, attempts at reformation. And we should do well to recollect that, though bound to thank God for all those, through whom the light of the Gospel shone more clearly, we always were regarded by them as a distinct and peculiar Church, and are not to identify ourselves with them. The Calvinist writer \ so often quoted, says, very appositely to these times, (in answer to the charge of Popery, for holding Baptismal regeneration, even of Elect Infants,) " I like not that vain conceit that we should " in all points goe as far from Papists and other Heretics as " possibly we can. This is that which never did good : ever did " and ever will do hurt : when men will take that to be truth " only, which standeth in most direct opposition to that which is " knowne and confessed to be a grosse error." In the present instance, our Church, which, under the influence of Reformed Divines, in the Articles of Edw. 6., declared^ against the doctrine of the opus operatum, has omitted this censure of it in our




present Articles ; and, by thus retracting, has virtually admitted that it may have a good sense. In the case of Infant Baptism, since infants, as such, manifestly have neither faith nor repentance, though the faith of others is so far accepted for them, that they should be admitted to Holy Baptism, its benefits are conveyed to them through the Sacrament, not through their faith. For if, as has been recently argued, on the anti-mystical notion of a Sacrament, " the faith of the receiver is the true conse" crating principle — that which really brings down Christ to " the heart of each individual," and the doctrine that the faitli of others is accepted for the individual is regarded as " scholastic," (i. e, a mere human speculation) ; Baptism can manifestly to infants be no Sacrament at all, since the " true conse" crating principle" is wanting. The Romish Church has led men into ^practical error by insisting so exclusively on the opxis operatum, i. e. the intrinsic efficacy of the Sacraments, and omitting to insist upon (although it holds) the necessity of faith and repentance on the part of the adult receiver, not indeed as constituting the Sacrament, but as necessary conditions of its efficacy to us : but this error must not be met by the doctrinal error of the Zuinglians, that faith is not only the means, whereby we are fitted to receive the grace of the Sacrament, but that faith, in fact, constitutes the Sacrament. The words of St. Augustine, above alleged, " The Sacrament of itself is of much " avail," and his frequent maxim, (wherein he is speaking of. Infant Baptism,) " Children are faithful because they have the " Sacrament of faith," (Baptism) express the efficacy of Baptism upon infants, by virtue of God's ordinance. And this is all which the opus opcralum could express with regard to children ; since no one would hold that Baptism would be of any ultimate avail, unless its graces were subsequently cherished and cultivated.

I instanced the above- cited fathers, in proof that the views of Baptism, which they derived from the Apostles and from Scripture, — we from Scripture and from them, — so far from being, in themselves, cold or lifeless, or productive of carelessness, were tamest and afiectionale,and a source of vigilance : not, of course,



as if anything could, in itself, give weight to what we know to be Scripture truth, but because the agreement of the early Church is of important use in ascertaining what is truth. In the fathers, also, persons may see the character of Baptismal regeneration, and its relation to other truths of the Gospel, apart from the difficulties with which they cannot but approach any subject of modern controversy, — apart, namely, from the views, characters, or opinions, with which it may, in some cases, be, or be thought to be, combined.

Scripture truth, thus seen in its Catholic character, as universally held in the antient Church, detaches itself from the modes of thought, inadequate apprehensions, peculiarities, or errors, with which, in individual cases, it may be blended : it retains tlie character of Divine authority, in that He taught it to His whole Church ; while the exercise of our faith is rendered more easy by the vividness with which we see His truth, when thus realized in action. Yet the ultimate authority and source of proof is, of course. Scripture ; and, although we might often be at a loss to interpret Scripture, without the aid of the fathers, still this does not diminish our sense of its supremacy.

It is, then, to the Scriptural views of Baptism, that our more earnest attention is mainly called : it is a more thoughtful and teachable pondering of those truths, that I would urge — not endeavouring to square them to our preconceived theories, but obediently following them. Their Author, the place which they hold at the entrance of the Christian life, their greatness, all demand this at our hands. As deduced, then, above from Holy Scripture, they are these. By Baptism, our Blessed Saviour tells us, we are born again : Baptism is, God tells us by His Apostle, the washing of regeneration, and of the renewal by the Holy Ghost : through it, we are incorporated into Christ, made members of His body, engrafFed into Him, made partakers of His death, burial, and resurrection : by it, through His merits, the original taint of our nature was forgiven, and our old man crucified. We ourselves have put on Christ, and so become partakers of the Sonship of the Ever-blessed Son of God. " By '* it wc are saved :" i. e., for the time actually saved (as one may




know in the case of baptized infants), and, subsequently, in a state of actual salvation (not merely of capacity of salvation), unless we fall from it : through it we are anointed by God's Holy Spirit, sealed by Him, and have the first earnest of our future inheritance given to us. God does not set forth Baptism, merely as the introduction into the Christian covenant, and so entithng the baptized person hereafter to Christian privileges ; but as putting him already in possession of them in part, as a pledge of their fuller enjoyment of those which are capable of increase ; i, e., those which the recipient afterwards becomes capable of receiving in fuller abundance. It was but to be expected, that these privileges being thus great, the loss of them should be, in proportion, dreadful ; and that there being, as St. Chrysostom says, no second, third, or fourth Baptism, the loss should be, as a whole, irreparable. Such is the view which all Christian antiquity took of the warnings of St. Paul ; nor does any other meaning appear so probable, as neither have we now such good means of deciding the question, as those who yet spoke St. Paul's language, and lived nearer to his times.

In setting forth this teaching of Holy Scripture, we have, it is well to observe, adhered strictly to the letter of God's word : we have not gone about to set forth any other doctrine than is contained in its plain words : we have only not glossed over, or distorted its language, but have taken God's promises and declarations simply as we found them. And it is useful to contrast with this mode of exposition that adopted by such as fear, unduly to exalt the Sacraments, and do, in fact, abase them to signs only ; and then to ask ourselves, which seems the most faithful exposition of God's word ? Some of these expositions have been already set side by side with that which seemed the more obvious ; and, surely, where God is declaring plain doctrinal truth, this is decisive. For it is not here, as in a prophecy or parable, where God shadows out to us His way in futurity, and His wisdom but half unlifts the veil which it has spread, and docility in accepting doubtful intimations and in pondering them in our hearts, and following them as a light in a



dark place, is the temper of mind which He would form in us ; yea, where a part of God's object is, that they who acknowledge, that of themselves they see not, should see, and they who think they see should be made blind. As in parts of Scripture, the trial of our faith is, whether we will adhere to the letter and omit what under the letter is conveyed ; so, in plain statements, such as these, it is, whether we will accept His truth or His commands to the very letter. There is a letter, we know, which killeth ; but there is a neglect of the letter, which also killeth, (as in Socinian exposition, or neglect of duty) for it causes men to exclude themselves from the covenant of God.

When then the plain letter of Scripture says, " we are saved by '* Baptism," and men say, " we are not saved by Baptism," our Lord says, " a man must be born of water and the Spirit," man, that " he need not, cannot be born of water ;" Scripture, that " we are saved by the washing of regeneration," man, " that we " are not, but by regeneration which is as a washing:" Scripture, that we are " baptized for the remission of sins," man, that we " are not, but to attest that remission ;" Scripture, that "whoso' ever hath been baptized into Christ, hath put on Christ," man, that he hath not ; Scripture, " that they have been buried " with Him by Baptism into death," man, that they have not ; Scripture, that " Christ cleansed the Church by the washing of " water by the word," man, that He did not, for bare elements couldhave no such virtue ; Scripture, that " we were baptized into ' 07ie body," men that we were 7iot, but that we were in that body before ; surely they have entered into a most perilous path, which, unless they are checked in pursuing it, must end in the rejection of all Scripture truth, which does not square with their own previous opinions. It did once so end ; and it is a wholesome, but awful, warning, for those who will be warned, that it was out of the school of Calvin, from familiar intercourse with him, and the so-called " Reformed " Church, — that it was out of and through the Reformed Doctrine, that Socinianism took its rise; that " the chief corrupters of the Polish and Transylvanian " Churches passed through Calvinism or Zuinglianism to their



** heresy ' ;" that in Hooker's words S " the blasphemies of '* Avians, Samosatenians, Tritlieites, Eutychians, and Macedo'* nians, were renewed by them, who, to hatch their heresy, have " chosen those churches as fittest nests, where Athanasius' Creed "is not heard: by them, I say, renewed, who, following the " course of extreme reformation, were wont, in the pride of " their own proceedings, to glory, that, whereas Luther did but "blow away the roof, awd. Zuinglius^ hditter but the walls of " popish superstition, the last and hardest work of all, remained ; ".which was, to raze up the very ground and foundation of " popery, that doctrine concerning the deity of Christ, which " Satanasius (for so it pleased those impious forsaken miscreants '* to speak) hath in this memorable creed explained." This is an awful warning : and any, who has been condemned to examine the original Socinian writers, (the Polish brethren) cannoi fail of being struck with the use which they have made of, and tlie similarity of their language to, the Expositions of the " Re" formed " Church. This, at least, struck me very forcibly, before I was made aware of the historical connection of the two schools. It is a warning also, which these times much need ; and therefore, and to show the danger of such systems of interpretation, I have instituted a parallel between them * ; not as if there could be entire agreement in doctrine, between those, who trusted

^ Keble, note on Hooker, B. 5. §. 42. §. 13. pp. 239-41. It was upon my mentioning the remarkable coincidence of exposition between the " Reformed " and the Socinians, with regard to Baptism, that he kindly pointed oiit to me the historical connection which he had traced, and which Hooker hints at.

2 L. c.

;3j,Ip tlie epitaph of Socinus, (quoted ibid.,) the name of Calvin stands for tl^at of Zuingli, so entirely were they identified :

" Tota jacet Babylon : destruxit tecta Lutherus, Calvinus mtiros, sed fundamenta Socinus." The boast was a very favourite one, and repeated in different forms ; but the place which Calvin or Zuingli occupy in relation to Luther, is very rieraarkable; corresponding indeed to the accusation of Luther bjr-thfe ** Re" formed" that he was "bringing back Anti-Christ."

  • See Note P, at the end.


in tlieir Saviour, and tl^ose who rejected him, but only that' thus far — in the rejection of the plain teaching of Scripture on the doctrine of the Sacraments, and the mode and method and principles of that rejection, — they did even verbally coincide. I do it solely because I am convinced that it is of much moment to the Church of Christ in this land, that we should look more heedfully whither we are going. No comparison is intended between the two schools, beyond the point for which they are compared. In the very context, wherein the passages are found, the writers will frequently part asunder as widely as possible : the Reformed School, speaking warmly of the blessings of the death of Christ, and of our unutterable union with Him ; the Socinian, — as their school is wont. Yet on this very account the comparison is the more important ; for if the deadly heresy of Socinus had sprung out of a dead and lifeless school, this had been the less to be wondered at, and had had far less solemnity of warning : but now to see it, starting out of the Reformed School, almost at its very birth, and amid its first freshness and life ; this is indeed awful, and speaks most truly as to the delicacy, as well as the preciousness, of the treasure committed to our keeping by God; how rigorously he "requires of our hands" any tampering with it; that amazing as this His gift is, yet He is not careful to retain it in our knowledge or our use, when man in any way neglects or abuses it : that He is more jealous of His own honour in vindicating presently all misemployment or defilement of this inestimable gift, than in preventing it from being, as seems to us, altogether lost. Why God has made His revealed truth so frail and so tender, so easy to be lost, so difficult to be regained, we can of course but in a very little measure guess ; and if we involuntarily guess, must needs confess that we assuredly guess much amiss ; but it is so diflferent from what human speculation would have supposed beforehand, yea, so different from what our own pride and self-importance, would persuade us yet that it is ; we again and again so build our hopes on the supposed importance of our Church or nation in God's designs, or the zeal displayed upon certain enterprises to His honour ; and this, in despite of the history of His dealings in His whole Church, that



it is of the more importance to us to note all such instances of God's rigor. Alexandria, the bulwark of the faith in the Holj- Trinity, and North Africa, of the unmeritedness of God's free grace, a desolation! Rome, once characterized for steady practical adherence to sound doctrine, a seat of Anti-Christ! Geneva, once proposed as the model for all reformed Churches, and of influence well-nigh unbounded, and yet immediately the parent of Socinianism, and now a prey to the heresy which came forth, but was for the time ejected, also from its bosom ! Let us " not be high-minded, but fear." Especially let us beware of that straining of the letter of Holy Scripture in conformity with preconceived notions, and the requisitions of human reason, wherein the school of Calvin most fatally set the example to that of Socinus.

Neither the above, nor any other views of Christian truth, ought, of course, to be hastily adopted ; nor need it be concealed that they would make a great change in much of our more earnest preaching, in the early education of our children, and so of the children of our country, and in our calls to the unconverted, or, (as they were better called,) backsliding or apostate Christians. There will, namely, when we are duly impressed with the value of this Holy Sacrament, be far more earnest care to preserve this seal of faith unbroken : men cannot go on with this apparent recklessness, which is intolerable, when they think that childhood has only been dedicated to God, not hallowed by Him, but which becomes an hundredfold more intolerable, when we look on them as actually "children of God, members of Christ, inheritors of ' Heaven," and when we acknowledge that if we allow them again to become ' children of the devil," we have no covenanted means of restoring the bond broken through our negligence, no mode of wholly renewing them again. How must the Bishop, to whom St. John committed a young man, and who, after Baptism, had neglected him, have shrunk when he understood the words, *' Restore the deposit, which I and the Saviour " have committed to you, whereof the Church, over which *' thou presidest, was witness!" — how must he have trembled to say, " He is dead, dead to God I" But now it will not be




St. John, but our Judge from whom we must hear the words, ** An excellent keeper truly have I left thee of thy brother's soul !" We shall see how precarious a thing it is to look for ' conversion " in riper years, (a thing which God has not promised,) if we neglect His appointed means of training up in their youth, *' the members of His Son, the heirs of His king' dom." Our ministerial care must be, I will not say exclusively, but still very mainly directed to these ' little ones :" and while we neglect not to build up older Christians, and take every opportunity of recalling a wanderer to Christ's fold, " if, per• adventure God may yet give him repentance," our chief duty, delegated to us by the Great Shepherd, is His twice-repeated commission to "feed His lambs." Our own Church has very carefully directed our attention to them : our sermons, she supposes,* shall be such as shall interest and instruct them, long before their confirmation : their elementary instruction, she supposes ^ will be interesting and edifying to the adult portion of the congregation, when assembled for worship on the Lord's day : for it is out of their mouths, and such as them, that " God hath perfected praise ;" and so, assuredly, it would be ; and our sermons, if addressed in part to these " babes in Christ," might most healthfully recall us to the memory of our own childhood; the remembrance of childhood's comparative innocence in the recentness of its Baptismal purity, augments, probably, the repentance of most of us, that we have not " led all the rest of our " lives according to that beginning;" it is a tie, which God has often still wound round the heart of the apparently obdurate ^, whereby He has drawn him back to Himself, when every other band was burst, and more direct appeals have only hardened. This, however, is not the question : it is, whether from false views of Baptism, and, consequently, a faithless doubt as to

  • " And that he may know these things the better, ye shall call upon him " to hear sermons." — Baptismal Service.

' See " Directions after the Catechism."

' It is certainly true to human nature, that in a popular tale, the aged sinner, after many years of crime, is represented as first softened into penitential tears, at the unwonted sight of childhood's prayer.



the capacities of very little children, and God's power and will to sanctify them, we have not kept them from Christ's " green pastures," and His " waters of comfort :" whether we have not left them to the wilfulness of their old nature, as if it were this which were " natural " to them, and have neglected to cultivate the new man in them, " which, after God, is created in " righteousness and true holiness ;" whether we have not left them to stray from Christ's fold, as if this were inevitahle, and then complained of their unwillingness to be confined within it. The whole education, indeed, of children, is an act of faith and humility : faith, to believe that the seed we see not is already sown by God ; that amid all their very childishness, the principle of immortal life is implanted in them ; that, before they can express themselves in words, or can understand ours, or we can tell them of God, every little act of submission, and so every little conquest of self, is a fruit of God's Holy Spirit, who sealed them in Baptism ; that the seed so sown requires but our diligent watering, and God will even now give the increase and the promise of the future harvest ; that they are already, in deed as well as in name, Christians : — it requires humility as well as faith to believe that the doctrines which we receive, but of which we understand so little, can be, and are received as readily, and in its measure as efficaciously, in the heart of a child; that their evil tempers yield as, yea, or more readily, through prayer, and they become as or more easily victorious in their little trials than we ; that there is not the wide difference between us, which our pride of intellect would imagine ; that we are in different stages only of the same course — that they are already carrying on the same warfare with the same enemies, and (not having been so often foiled, not having as yet slighted the voice of God's Holy Spirit, and their Baptismal grace still fresh,) in their degree, more successfully than we : that they have need of, andean use, all the same means of Grace (save one), and look with a simpler, more vivid faith, to the same hope of Glory. This, and much more, which those who have tried to educate children Christianly, now know by sight, was at first to them an act of faith : it remains after a time, still, in a degree, an act of

o 2



faith, for our pride would still make unreal distinctions ; and when we have in some measure realized it, we then begin to see how much more is true, of God's grace in these little ones, than we had imagined.

" The whole of the bringing up of children," says Bishop Jewel \ " standeth in the knowledge and in the feare of God : that ** they may know God, and walke before Him in reverence and " in feare, and serve Him in holinesse, all the daies of their life. " The Jewes are a miserable people, that live in error ; they die " in their own blood : yet have they so much understanding, that " they bring up their children in the knowledge of God, and that " knowledge they teach out of the word of God. They remem" ber what charge God gave them : ' Thou shalt teach them thy " ' sons, and thy sons' sons.' Therefore, a father must teach his " child what God is. That He is our Father, that He hath made " us, and doth feed us, and giveth us all things needfuU, both ' for body and soule. That He is our Lord, and therefore we " must serve Him, and obey Him, and do nothing whereby He " may be displeased. That He is our Judge, and shall come *' to judge the quick and the dead ; and that all men shall come " before Him, to receive according as they have done in the " flesh. He must put his child in mind of his BaptismCt and " teach him that it is a covenant of God's mercy to usy of our ** duly to God: that it is a mystery of our salvatioUf tJiat our ' soule is so rvashed with the blood of Christ, as the water of " Baptisme washeth our body. Let us looke upon our children '* as upon the great blessings of God. They are the Lord's " vessels, ordained to honour ; let us keepe them cleane. They " are Christ's lambs, and sheepe of his flock ; let us lead them " forth into wholesome pasture. They are the seed-plot of *' heaven ; let us water them, that God may give the increase. " Their angels behold the face of God; let us not ofiend them. " They are the temples and tabernacles of the Holy Ghost ; let ** us not sufler the foule Spirit to possesse them, and dwell within " them. God saith, * your children are my children.' They are

I Treatit»e on the Sacraments, p. 281, 282.





" the sons of God. They are borne anew, and are well shapen " in beautifull proportion ; make them not monsters. He is a " monster, whosoever knoweth not God. By you they are ** borne into the world ; bee carefull also that by your meanes " they may bee begotten unto God. You are carefull to traine " them in nurture, and comely behaviour of the body ; seeke also " to fashion their mind unto godlinesse. You have brought them " to the fountaine of Baptisme, to receive the marke of Christ ; '* bring them up in knowledge, and watch over them, that they " be not lost. So shall they be confirmed, and will keepe the pro" mise they have made, and will grow unto perfect age in Christ.'' When children shall thus be brought up, not with occasional reference to religion (as it is called), or with occasional religious instruction, but "setting God always before them;" judging of all their actions with reference to God's law ; looking at them as little ones, indeed, but still as members of Christ, and so imparting to them the privileges of His members ; disciplining their wills in the same way, according to their proportion, as we should discipline our own ; placing before them no motives but those upon which, as Christians, we would act ourselves ; taking no standard of little or great, right or wrong, — (not custom, nor nature, nor affection, nor ease,) — but only God's law ; regarding them, in fact, as miniatures, or rather as the first outline of the full-grown Christian, which, by God's blessing, shall acquire, day by day, fresh depth and breadth and consistency : then may we, indeed, hope that " our sons may be as plants, grown " up in their youth ; our daughters as corner-stones, polished like " a temple :" then may our country be once more *' the glory of " lands," a chosen instrument of extending our Redeemer's kingdom in others, because it will have come " with power" in our own : then may we take the blessing of the Psalmist, " Happy " is that people that is in such a case, yea, blessed is the people " that hath the Lord for their God." Such also, we may see, has been the method of God, for the most part, in extending His Church hitherto, since its first planting. He has used, namely, the instrumentality of Christian nations, even more than that of individual Christians, however eminent. It is



by nourishing up and multiplying sons and daughters of our common mother, far more than by the adoption of children not her own into the family of Christ, that His kingdom has been enlarged ; and secondarily, by the contact of Christian nations, the leaven working in them has spread beyond their bounds. The means are evidently prepared for rendering colonization a far more effective means than ever before of extending in either way Christ's kingdom : but before we think of so extending it, the leaven must have worked thoroughly through our own mass ; and for this, and that we may not rather be the source of a moral infection, we must train up our children in their baptismal privileges, in the full confidence that the " pro" mise, which God has made. He for His part will most surely " keep and perform." Much of the responsibility rests with us, the clergy. It is ours to press upon the parents in our several congregations to educate their children as Christians. It is ours to tell them what Christian education is; to remind them of the promise of Him who cannot lie, and the might of His arm, which is not shortened. It is ours to tell them, in detail, the errors of prevailing practice, and what on our authority they will believe, the early capacity of every child to understand its faults to be sins, to repent of them, to pray for God's might to conquer them, to conquer them in that might, and to be thankful. It is ours, more especially, to habituate ourselves to look upon every child, — not only as what it may be, weak, ignorant, foolish, but also as what it is in privilege and in anticipation, — a co-heir with Christ, as a member of Him. So will that " great reverence," which even a heathen saw to be due to a child, be, oh ! how increased ! and by uniformly treating the lambs of our flock as already Christians, bestowing proportionate labour and pains upon them, never treating them but as the temples of the Holy Ghost, we shall inspire into their parents a portion of the awe, which we feel for those whose " angels " behold our Father's face." So shall our daily prayer be at the last accomplished — " Thy kingdom come !" The Christian minister would then have less occasion to address apostatizing Chribtians, and his office uiight nearly be confined to ex



hortations to watchfulness and growth. Yet even now, our addresses to these unhappy persons would, I doubt not, be more affectionate, more solemn, and more effective, because more true, if we spoke to them as they are, erring, or, it may be, even deserting Christians, but still with Christ's mark upon them, still as sheep of His fold, not now for the first time to enter in, or to " come to Christ," but to return, — with much sorrow, labour, trouble, and distress of mind, — but still to return to Him into Whose fold they had been brought, Whose sheep they are, — to return to Him the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls ; to return to Him, before Whom they must come, as their Judge. And if they should most lamentably refuse our warning, still our own increased earnestness in warning them of the difficulty of the way which they have now to tread, may, by God's grace, deter others, and show them the fearfulness as well as the shame of " returning," after they have been washed, " to their wallow" ing in the mire."

But, as before said, the effect of our preaching, as it does not depend upon ourselves, so neither may it be our test of its soundness ; and that, simply, because we can at the best know but a very small portion of its real effects or defects. Our concern is, whether it be according to God's word. And it behoves us much to ascertain, by patient, teachable study of that word with prayer, whether it be right to make the way of repentance so easy to those who, after Baptism, have turned away from God ; whether we have any right at once to appropriate to them the gracious words with which our Saviour invited those who had never known Him, and so had never forsaken Him, and with which, through His Church, He still invites His true disciples to the participation of His own most blessed Body and Blood — " Come unto Me, ye that labour and " are heavy-laden ;" whether, having no fresh " Baptism for the " remission of sins" to offer, no means of *' renewing them to " repentance," we have any right to apply to them the words which the Apostles used in inviting men for the first time into the ark of Christ ; whether we are not thereby making broad the narrow way of life, and preaching " Peace, Peace," where, in



this way at least, " there is no Peace ;" while those of us, who dwell on the necessity of universal conversion, and imply, by their preaching, a disbelief in the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, are many times " making the heart of the righteous sad, whom " God hath not made sad."

These and the like questions are the more difficult to answer dispassionately, because they are opposed to much of our modern systems. May God enable us so to see, and preach, and realize the truth, as may save ourselves and those who hear us ! I will add but the closing words of Melancthon, who also held the old doctrine of Baptism : — " Let us all consider these statements of " Baptism piously and diligently, that we also, who are older, " may console ourselves with that covenant, as I have said. But " chiefly, let youth beware, lest they squander the gifts of Bap" tism, and lose' that great glory, which Christ sets forth of ' infants in the Church. ' It is not the will of the Father that one " of these little ones should perish.' What greater glory can be " thought of, than what he affirms, that these certainly please ** God, and are cared for by Him. And let parents, in this " faith as to Baptism, call upon God for infants, and recommend " them to God ; and as soon as ever they can be taught, accustom " them themselves to call upon God and His Son, and gradually " impart to them the sum of the Gospel. Lastly, since children " are a great part of the Church, let parents and teachers know *' that no slight treasure is committed to them. Wherefore, let ' them use faithfulness and diligence in teaching and guiding " youth."

Oxford, the end.

Feast of St. Luke.

(additional notes in the next no.)

'/s{Bhese Tracts are published Monthly, android at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or Is. for 50 copies. i



. , 1836. •

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ON TRACTS 67, 68, 69

Note (A), on page 16.

Hooker does not, probably, mean to say that the " Baptizing with the ** Holy Ghost and with fire '* was hmited to this one act, in which the fire was visibly displayed ; but to show that even here, where it would appear that a mere metaphor was intended, there was also a real fact: much more then in the words ** born of water and of the Spirit." Add to this, (as Vazquez remarks, in Part HI. t. 2. Disp. 131. c. 3.) there is a difference in the very construction of the words, " water and ** the Spirit," " Holy Ghost and fire ;" for it might be said, (as in the application of the words of the Baptist to later times,) that the word ** fire" was added to denote the energy of the Spirit in consuming our corruption in Baptism : whereas, in the words " water and the ** Spirit," their very position shows that the word ** water " was not added to explain ' the Spirit," the mention whereof follows it. But neither can it be said, that the mention of the "Spirit" so explains what is meant by ** water" that it should be altogether superfluous; otherwise there had been no occasion why it should be mentioned at all. Rather it limits it indeed, so as to show that no mere " outward washing " is here intended;- that any ** washing " without the power of the Spirit was nothing; but does not so supersede it, as to hold out any hope that we should be born again of the Spirit without the water. Add to this, that in the Baptist's words, there is an evident contrast between the material element, the water, wherewith he himself baptized, and the fire, as the more vehement, to describe the more powerful baptism of our Lord ; whereas, in our Lord's own words, there is nothing illustrated or explained by the word " water," unless it mean the water of Baptism ; so that the very language would imply a certain metaphorical application in the one case, and the absence of it in the other. Again, it cannot be said, that the words " Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire," exclude altogether a water-baptism ; for, although baptizing may be used in the sense of consecration only, when there is no reference to any holy rite, (as in the words ' are ye able to be baptized with the *' Baptism with which I am baptized?") it does not hence follow that such a sense is admissible, when (as in these words of St. John the Bapti!-;t) such a rite is directly referred to. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, just as Hooker, looks to the visible miracle (Acts ii. 2.) as the first




fulfilment of the Baptist's words (Catech. iii. 9. xvii. 8.), but also to the invisible miracle of Baptismal regeneration, (rbv /3a7rri^oi/ra, who now also baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.) So also St. Augustine, Serra. 71. De Verbis Evan. Mat. 12. § 19. Add St. Chrysostome, (ad loc. Homil. XI. t. 7- p. 154. ed. Bened.) "When the Baptist sends " men to Christ, he speaks not of the wrath to come, but of ** forgiveness of sins, removal of punishment, and righteousness, and ** sanctification, and redemption, and adoption, and brotherhood, ** and participation of the heritage and abundant ministration of ** the Holy Spirit, for all these things he implied when he said "'He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire;' •• by the very metaphor showing the abundance of the gift, for he *' does not say * He shall give you the Holy Ghost,' but ' He shall *• baptize you with the Holy Ghost'; and by the addition of * fire' " he points out the vehemence and efficacy of the grace."

Note (B), on page 19. Our version, *' by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the " Holy Ghost," admits of two constructions, according as one sup plies " of the renewing" or "by the renewing;" since, however, the article is omitted before "renewing," it is probable that our translators considered the "renewing" also, as well as the "regeneration," as an effect of Baptism, (as paraphrased in the Tract) ; and such is the most natural construction of the words 6id \ovTpov iroKiyyt.viaiaQ koI avaKaivilxjuaq UvtvuaTog ayiov. It is recognized by St. Gregory of Nyssa, who says, de Bapt. Christi init. " Baptism, then, is the puri ** fication of sins, remission of offences, the cause of regeneration and «« renewal;" and by St. Chrysostom, Horn IX. in Hebr. (quoted by Suicer, see above, p. 50, 51.) It is implied also in the use of the words avaKaiviliti, avaKaivimg, avaKaiviafiog, used of Baptism, which are taken from this passage. The union of renovation with regene ration, in Baptism, is implied also in the following passage of St. Basil, de Spiritu S. c. 12, in which the original words are preserv^ed : **The Apostle appears sometimes to make mention of the Spirit ** alone in Baptism (1 Cor. xii. 13.) ; yet one would not, therefore, " call that a perfect Baptism wherein the name of the Spirit " alone were pronounced. For the tradition which was delivered ** at the time of the life-giving grace, must be constantly preserved " unbroken; for He, who redeemed our life from corruption, gave ** us a power of renewal, whose cause was ineffable and contained " in a mystery, but bringing great salvation to the soul." And in St. Ambrose, de Spiritu S. 1. 6. "They do not observe, that '* we are buried in that element of the water and rise renewed " through the Spirit, for in the water is the image of death, in the *• Spirit is the pledge of life ; so that through water the body of sin " may die, the water enclosing the t>ody as in a tomb, and by the



" power of the Spirit we may be renewed from the death of sin, being ** re-horn in God." As also in the following paraphrase of Theodoret, (ad. loc.) " The Lord having used gentleness towards man, freed us " from our former evils through the Only-Begotten, having freely " given us remission of sins by saving Baptism, and having new^ " created and new-formed us, and having bestowed upon us the gifts " of the Spirit, and shown us the way of righteousness." So also St. Augustine, ad Ps. 139, §• 9, Cyprian de habit, virg. p. 102. Origen in Joann. t. vi. § 17. " the bath of regeneration, which taketh place ** together with the renewal of the Spirit." And of moderns, J. Gerhard Loc. t. 4. p. 265, and most ap. Poole's Synopsis ad loc, and even the Reformed divines, as Galvin Institt.4. 15. 5. and 16. 20 ; P. Martyr, ad Rom. 6; Witsius de Bapt. Infant. §. 19- Of the ancients, Jerome seems to have stood alone in the ordinary interpretation, ap. Waterland's Works, T. 8. p. 343, who prefers the above. Bucer de vi Bapt. Christi. (0pp. Anglic, p. 597-) ' He calls it the " washing of regeneration and of renewal by the Holy Ghost. Sal** vation, therefore, which consists in our regeneration and in that ** renewal, which the Holy Spirit effected in us, and so the Holy " Spirit Himself, and our only regeneration and renovation, are " bestowed on us by Baptism." Burges' Regeneration of Elect Infants, p. 87. " In which words, it is clear, as the sunne at noone-day, • that Baptisme is not the laver of regeneration alone, but of the re' newing of the Holy Ghost ; so as he that is partaker only of the " former, is but halfe baptized,', e., he is partaker but of the body " of the Sacrament, without that which gives life, forme, and being, ' unto that ordinance. And to make the Baptisme of the elect to be *' no more ordinarily, than a participation of the carcase of Christ's " institution, would, I think, be a harsh doctrine even in their own " eares, that deny the Spirit to elect infants.'

Note (C), on page 23. St. Augustine frequently cites this passage (Rom. vi. 3.) against the Pelagians, in proof that *' infants are cleansed from original sin *' by regeneration ;" (aboriginali peccato parvulos regeneratione mundari,) and that, because St. Paul asserts, that all, without exception, who have been baptized in Christ, have been baptized in His death, i. e. have died an actual death to sin : all infants, therefore, must have died to sin ; otherwise Christ had not died for them, which no one would say. — See c. Juhan. Pelag. L. vi. § 7- sqq. L. i. § 28. Op. Imp. c. Jul. L. ii. § 135. and § 222. sq. Enchirid. c. 52. Wall (Infant Baptism, art. Augustine) enumerates also the following places (wherein that father, from the acknowledged benefits of Baptism to infants, infers the truth of original sin : — ** Ad Valerium de nuptiis " et concupiscentia. Ad Bonifaciura contra duas Epistolas Pelagia** norum. De Gratia et Libero arbitrio. De corruptione et gratia

p 2



' De praedestinatione Sanctorum. De done Perseverantiae. De Ges " tis Palaestinis. De octo Dulcitii quaestionibus. Comment, in Psalm. *• li. * I was shapen in iniquity,' &c. Sermo x. xiv. De verbis *• Apostoli. it. in Sancti Johannis nativitatem. Letters to Paulinus, ** to Optatus, to Sixtus, to Celestinus, to Vitalis, to Valentinus, and ** several others." And in the De Peccat. Merit. L. ii. § 23. he ener getically says : — " If infants be ill of no sickness of original sin, why ** are they, by the pious fear of their hasting friends, carried to Christ *' the physician, i. e. to receive the Sacrament of eternal salvation ? ' and why are they not told in the church, 'Take these innocents ** * hence ; they that be whole need not a physician, but they that te ** * sick ; Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners !' Such " a fiction never was pronounced, nowhere is pronounced, never " anywhere \vill be pronounced, in the Church of Christ."

Note (D), on page 34.

" Almost all say, that in 2 Cor. i. St. Paul speaks of that spiritual ** sealing which is received in Baptism, by which we are made the ' flock of Christ, as Chrj's. and Theod. have expressly said." — Saurez in 3 Part. D. Thomae qu. 63. art. 3. See also Ambrose (Note E. p. 214). In Calvin, and most who have followed him, there seems not to have been even a surmise, that Baptism could have been here intended ; nor is this exposition named in the collections of Marlo ratus or Pole. Bucer, however, says, on Eph. i. " ' After ye have " believed.' The Apostle is speaking of true faith, not that our 8al-| " vation is tied to faith ; for we shall hereafter be blessed without " faith ; and infants have it not as yet, and still are saved :" and aftei a description of true faith : " For they are at Baptism purified,i " adopted, and sealed by the Spirit, whereby they are daily ]irepare(3 ** for faith, and hearing of the word, when they shall grow up. And onEph.iv. "God has marked His own, whom He has purchase( " with the blood of His Son, with that seal, which He doubtless wi " acknowledge in the day of the perfected redemption. That Spiiif " of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father, is the mark of ChrisI " in us, and the day of Baptism is the day of the promised redemj " tion ; but the day of our resurrection will be the day of the " redemjjtion fully realized." From him, as appears, Hieron.Zan chius says the like, on Eph. i. " I doubt not that the Apostle alludes " to Baptism, whereby the Ephesians, after they believed and made " the confession of their faith, were sealed for Christ." And on c. iv. " When does God seal us? In our Baptism, when He bap " tizesus, not so much with water as with the Spirit." And in the Diss, on Baptism, on Eph. v. " This right (to eternal life) is sealed ** in us by the seal of Baptism, which is the meaning of Eph. i. ' Ye " have been sealed, &c. and John iii. ' Except a man be bom of *• water and the Spirit," &c.



Note (E), on page 38.

Bingham (Christian Antiq. b. xi. c. 1.) quotes several passages, wherein is expressed this doctrine of our being sealed, and so guarded and protected by Baptism ; as the Acta TheclcBy " Give me the seal " of Baptism, and temptation shall not touch me." Clemens of Alewandria, ap. Euseb. H. E. L. iii. c. 23. of the Presbyter to whom St. John had committed a young man, " The presbyter having taken " him home, brought him up, kept him by him, cherished him, at " last enlightened (baptized) him. After this he remitted further " care and watchfulness over him, as having set upon him that per" feet preservative, the seal of the Lord (i. e. Baptism.") ISee other instances in Suicer, v. atppayig.) St. Basil insists on the safety thereby procured to us, in that we are thereby marked as God's (cp. the Rev.) " How shall the Angel rescue thee from the enemies (see Jude 9.) ** unless he see the mark ? How canst thou say ' I am God's,' unless " thou bearest his tokens ? Knowest thou not that the destroyer " passed by the houses which were sealed (marked), and in the " unsealed slew the first-born ? An unsealed treasure is open to " robbers ; an unmarked sheep is easily entrapped ^' (De S. Baptismo, Hom. 13. § 4. p. 117. ed. Bened.) Again, he calls it " a seal, which " no force (without us) can injure," ib. § 5. as does St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Procatech. § 16.) St. Gregory of Nazianzum uses in part the same references to Scripture history, and the same images. He especially calls Baptism " a seal to those beginning life, to the more " advanced a grace also, and a restoration of the lost image." (De S. Baptismo, § 7. p. 640.) He exhorts the young to receive Baptism : " if thou provide thyself with the seal, and guard the future with " the best and firmest of supports, and being marked, soul and body, " with the anointing and with the Spirit, as Israel of old with that " blood and anointing, which by night guarded the fiist-born, what " shall happen to thee ?" § 14. As, on the other hand, he alludes to the danger of those who have not this seal : " Fearest thou lest thou " shouldest corrupt this grace, and so delayest thy purification, as " having no second to look to ? What then ? Fearest thou not, lest in a " time of persecution thou be in danger of being deprived of thy great" est treasure, Christ?" Ib. § 15. And again, "This purifying must " not be glossed over, but must be stamped upon them." § 30. And hence TertuUian frequently calls Baptism the seaUng-up of faith, as an impress on the part of God, whereby He secures and maintains it. " That bath is the sealing up (obsignatio) of faith, which faith begins, " and is recommended by the faith of repentance." De Poenitentia, c. 6. Again, de Spectaculis, c. 4. he calls Baptism ''our sealing." And against Marcion, who distinguished the God of the New Testament from the God of the Old, and disbelieved the teaching of the



Old Scriptures — " He seals, then, man, who in His sight never was " unsealed ! He washes man, who in His sight never was defiled ! '* And He dips the flesh, which is excluded from salvation, in this ** whole Sacrament of salvation V* L. i. c. 28. And de Praescript. Haeretic. c. 36, " It unites the law and the prophets with the gospels ** and the apostolic writings, and thence imbibeth faith. This it ** sealeth with water, clotheth \vith the Holy Spirit, feedeth with ** the Eucharist, by martyrdom persuadeth ; and against this institu ** tion admitteth no one." Cornelius also, ap. Euseb. Hist. L. vi. c. 33, speaks of "being sealed by the sign of the seal in the Lord.' Ambrose de Spiritu S. L. i. c. 6. " Do we live through the water as ** through the Spirit ? Are we sealed through the water as through ' the Spirit ? for in Him we Hve, and He is the earnest of our ** inheritance ; as the Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, saith, * in " ' whom believing, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,* ** &c. We were sealed then by the Holy Spirit, not in a natural ** way, but by God, because it is written, * God, who anointed us, " * and sealed us, and gave the Spirit, as an earnest in our hearts.' ** We were sealed then with the Spirit by God ; for as we die in ' Christ, that we may be born again, so we are sealed also with the ' Spirit, that we may retain His splendour, and image, and grace ; ** and this then is a spiritual seal ; for although we are outwardly •* sealed in the body, yet in reality we are sealed in the heart, so that ** the Holy Spirit forms in us the representation of the heavenly '* image." St. Cyril of Jerusalem, addressing those about to be baptized, says, " receive through faith the pledge of the Holy Spirit, ' that ye may be able to be received into the eternal habitations. " Approach to the mysterious seal, that ye may be recognised by your ** Master. Where He seeth a good conscience, there He giveth that ** saving, that wondrous seal, of which the devils stand in awe, and " which angels acknowledge." (Catech. 1. c 2.) And again — " Thou " descendest into the water, bearing thy sins ; but the words of grace *' pronounced over thee, having sealed thy soul, no longer permit thee ** io be devoured by the fearful dragon. Having descended dead in ** sins, thou arisest quickened in righteousness. For if thou wert " planted in the likeness of the death of the Saviour, thou shaltalso • be accounted worthy of the resurrection." lb. 3. 12. And in like manner, Cyril frequently speaks of " the Holy Spirit, which sealeth " the souls in Baptism." Catech. 3, 3. 4, 4, 16. 16, 24. 17, 35. And Epiphanius (which is the more to be noticed) lays down thus the dis tinction between circumcision and Baptism : — " for there (among the ** Jews) there was a carnal circumcision, which served for a time, until ** the great circumcision (i. e. Baj)ti8m), which circumciseth us from " sins, and sealeth us in the name of God." Haeres. 8. med. (cp. Hares. 30. fin. quoted by Vazquez, I. c. disp. 134 c. 1.) And



Ambrosiaster, on Eph. i. 14. " It is to the praise of the glory of " God, when many are gained to the faith. Therefore it belongeth ** to God's glory that He called the Gentiles, that they might obtain " the healing of their salvation, having the seal of redemption and' future inheritance, the Holy Spirit given upon Baptism. For ** the redeemed are marked out as heirs, if they continue in regene" ration, so that the first faith obtaineth pardon, but a holy conver" sation, enduring with faith, a crown." Rufimis inv. in S. Hieron, § 3. " Having been regenerated by the grace of Baptism, I obtained " the seal of faith." We are the more directly reminded of the language of the Revelations, by the title ** the sealed,^ which St. Basil gives to the baptized, de Spiritu S. c. 16. p. 34. And again, directly explaining Eph. iv. 30. " They then who have been sealed by the '* Holy Spirit to the day of redemption, and have kept that first" fi-uit of the Spirit undefiled and undiminished, these are they who " shall hear the words * Well done ! good and faithful,' &c. ; and ** likewise they who have grieved the Holy Spirit by the wickedness " of their doings, and did not obtain increase for that which was given. " them, shall be deprived of that which they received, the grace being " transferred to others ; and the * cutting in twain,' (Mat. xxiv. 51.) " means the entire alienation of the Spirit from the soul. For now, " although He be not mingled with the unworthy, yet He seems to " be present with those who have been once sealed, awaiting their " salvation through their conversion ; but then He shall be severed ' altogether from those who defiled His grace;" (in which words, it may be observed, that St. Basil explains the benefits of Baptism to those who neglect the gift therein bestowed, in the same way as St. Augustine, sup. p. 175 ; that is, as ready to be of avail to them, if they at length, really from the heart, obey God's call to turn and fear Him ; while the final loss of that seal of Baptism is spoken of as equivalent to the utter alienation from God, which is the misery of the damned.) TheodotuSy in Epit. Orient. Doctrinae (ap. Gerhard Loci de S. Bapt. §111.) "He who hath come to God, and hath received power to ** tread on scorpions and serpents, and all the evil powers, hav' ing been sealed through the Father, the Son, and the Holy ** Spirit, is inaccessible to any power." And in this sense are comprehended all those several modifications which Bellarmine and Vazquez attribute to the use of this metaphor among the fathers, viz. that the Sacraments are marks whereby the faithful are noted ; that they contain within themselves, and preserve, a sacred thing, i. e, grace ; that Baptism is, in TertulUan's usage, a public approval and attestation of faith. All these may be reduced into the one head, that the Sacrament of Baptism, where rightly received, impresses upon the soul the image of God ; secures and perpetuates all previous good emotions worked in adults by God; aiid parries on to life



eternal those who live " the rest of their lives according to tliat " beginning \" The statement of these writers, as an historical fact, is valuable, that " no one of the fathers calls the Sacraments seals, • as being symbols of God's good-will towards us, to excite our faith, ** whereby we may certainly believe that our sins are forgiven us, " according to the notions of Calvin/ Vazquez, 1. c. disp. 131. c 6. The consent of the early Church, in explaining this text of Baptism, may also be inferred from its being used as a lesson in connection with the baptismal service. ** Recall," says St. Ambrose, de iis qui mysteriis initiantur, c 7- '* that thou hast received a spiritual seal, the " spirit (Is. xi. 2.) of holy fear, and keep what thou hast received. " God the Father hath sealed, Christ the Lord hath confirmed ** thee, and given the earnest of the Spirit in your hearts, as thou " hast learnt from the lesson out of the Apostles."

Note (F), on page 40.

The Greek Fathers uniformly explain, ** washing of water by the " word,' (Eph. v. 26.) of our Saviour''s word of consecration ; so St. Chrysostome ad loc. ** By what word ? In the name of the ' Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." The consent, indeed, of the Greek Fathers is admitted. ** Chrysostom," says Estius, " and the other Greeks, and the later Latins, refer this to the ** mystical words of Baptism." St. Cyril of Jerusalem again, ha^'ing already spoken of the catechetical instruction or teaching of the word before Baptism, as distinct from this, reminds the catechumens how they had been purified from sin by the Lord " by the washing of •* water by the word." Catech. 18. § 33. and so also Theodoret, Tlieophylact, O^cumenius. The exposition of the Greeks is of the more importance, since the question depends, in part, upon the use of the word prjfia. 'P»y/irt, namely, is used in the New Testament, of the '* command" of God. Matt. iv. 4. Heb. i. 3. xi. 3. Rom. x. 8. (from the 6) Eph. vi. 17., or of His *' promise," Heb. vi. 5. 1 Pet. i. 25., or of a specific revelation, *' the word of the Lord came to," &c. iii. 2. but not in the general sense of revelation written or unwritten. For this there is used the plural prtfiara, Joh. v. 47. vi. 63, C8. viii. 20, 47, &c., or \6yoQ.

Of the Latin Fathers, St. Augustine, who is alleged by Estius and Calvin for the contrary, exphcitly interprets the passage of the Sacra mental words, (De nuptiis T. x. p. 298. ed. Bened.). " For so says the *' Apostle, Eph. V. 25., which is so to be understood ; that, by the same " washing of regeneration and wordof sanctification, all the ills of men, *' who have been regenerated, are cleansed and healed, not only the simj " which are all remitted now at baptism, but those also which may be *' hereafter contracted by human ignorance or infirmity;" as also in the very passage alleged for the contrary, (Tract. 80 in Johan. T. iii. j).




703.) '* Why does Christ say, not * ye are clean on account of the ** * Baptism wherewith ye are washed,' but ' on account of the word " * which I have spoken unto you,' except that the word cleanseth also ** in the water ? Take away the word, and what is water but water ? ** The word is added to the element, and it becomes a Sacrament ; ** itself, as it were, a visible word." St. Augustine indeed, like the other Fathers, considers the words of Baptism as not confined to that single act, but to be influential through life. " In the word itself," he says, '* the passing sound is one thing, the abiding power another :" but he expressly adds, ** the cleansing, therefore, would not be ' ascribed to the unstable and fluid element, unless there were added • * by the word.' This word of faith is of so much avail in the Church •* of God, that through her, believing, offering, blessing, baptizing, it ** cleanseth the merest infant, although not as yet able to believe with ** the heart unto righteousness, and to confess with the mouth unto ** salvation." The passage of St. Augustine is fully considered by Vazquez in Part. 3. Disp. 129- n. 52 — 64. Indeed it would have created no difficulty, but for the altered frame of mind, which no longer felt the same reverence for the words, through which water was sanctified to be ** the bath of regeneration." (See citations from Basil. &c. p. 185, sqq ) St. Augustine, elsewhere, incidentally defines ♦* the Baptism of Christ" to be *' Baptism consecrated with the *' words of the Gospel ;" (de Bapt. c. Donat. L. vi. § 47.) and again ibid. ** God is present with His own Gospel words, without which " the Baptism of Christ cannot be consecrated, and Himself hallows ** His own Sacrament." See also c. Crescon. iv. 15.

St. Augustine, then, makes no exception to what is admitted to be the opinion of '* all the later Latins," as well as of all the Greek Fathers. St. Ambrose is quoted to the same purpose by Tirinus. In like manner St. Jerome (ad loc. quoted by Estius) is manifestly not explaining the literal meaning, but applying the whole in a secondary sense : wherein the husband represents the soul, the wife the body, which is to be cleansed from sin by the word. Such consent of antiquity one can hardly doubt to have originated in a genuine tradition. Of moderns, Bucer says, ' In what way could the Holy Spirit have ** expressed more plainly, that Baptism administered by the word and ' at the command of Christ, was an instrument of purifying His elect ** from sin?" (De vi Bapt. p. 597.) And Zanchius, who is again quoted for the reverse, says, on the passage, that "the three parts of ** Baptism, the element of water, the word of consecration, and the «' blood of Christ, are mentioned in this passage," p. 209. col. 2. add p. 222. § 24. BuUinger, " For the element cannot purify by itself, ** unless the word of God be added, i. e. the sanctifying Divine power " and certain promise, which is obtained by faith. Whence Augustine " learnedly and piously saith. The word is added to the element and



" it becomes a Sacrament ;" and Ridley, Comm. on the Ephes. (Fathers of the English Church, vol. 2. p. 135.) One regrets that Calvin, taking a superficial view of the passage of St. Augustine, should have represented those who believe in the efficacy of the words of consecration as maintaining that " the word whispered over the element " without sense or faith, by a mere noise, had the power of consecra" ting the element as by a magical incantation." Instit. L, 4. c. 14. § 4. It was a part of Calvin's rationalism to suppose that the word of consecration had its efficacy simply by teaching the people, not through any virtue given by God to the invocation of the Blessed Trinity enjoined by Christ Himself, or to those words which Himself used at the Last Supper. Luther, on the contrary, adhering to the Ancient Church, says, ** Baptism is not simply water, but water fenced by " the command of God and united with God's word." And again in Art. Schmalc. c. 5. (quoted by Gerhard Loci, de S. Bapt. § 80) " Baptism is nothing else than the word of God with the immersion *' into water, according to His institution and command, or as St. Paul *• saith, * washing of water with the word.' "

Note (G), on page 42.

The Chrism or Anointing is mentioned by Tertullian (de Baptismo Ci 7)» not only as the universal custom in his day (A. D. 200), but as having been derived from the antient dispensation. It seems, therefore, most probable that it was, from the very first, received into Christianity. " Having come out of the bath," he says, " we are anointed ' with the blessed unction taken from the antient dispensation, in ** which they used to be anointed to the priesthood with oil out of the " horn. Whence Aaron was anointed by Moses; whence Christ is " so called from chrism, i. e. anointing, which, being made spiritual, " gave the name to the Lord, because He was anointed with the ** Spirit of God the Father, as it is in the Acts, ' against thy Holy ♦' ' Son, whom thou anointedst.' Tims in us also the anointing runs •' ^corporeally, but profits us spiritually ; in like manner as the bodily ** act of Baptism itself, that we are dipped in the waters, being made **, spiritual, in that we are delivered from our oflfences." " The flesh," ^le says again, (de resurr. carnis. c. 8.) ** is anointed, tliat the soul ** may be consecrated." Origen again, in a different portion of the Church, speaks of it in terms as universal, (hom. 8. in Lev. v. fin.) ** When men are thus turned from sin, they are cleansed by the ** means above named : but the gift of the grace of the Holy Spirit • is marked by the emblem of oil ; so that he who is turned from sin, " may obtain not cleansing only, but be filled with the Holy Ghost." And [^80] it seems probable that Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, includes



the material ointment, when he says, (Lib. i. ad Autolyc.) '* We are " called Christians, because we are anointed with the oil of God;" for, that it is a spiritual unction also, an unction of light and of the Spirit of God, is but what is affirmed by all the like writers, and belonged to it, as a part of Baptism. And thus we come so near to the time, when St. John wrote his Epistle, that it seems far the most probable, on this ground alone, that in the words (1 Ep. ii. 20. 27.) he alluded to this rite. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in discoursing on this portion of Baptism, preaches on this passage of St. John, as being the Lectionary or Lesson appointed by the Church. It were needless to mention later authors, but for the uniformity of the distinction, whereby regeneration is attributed to the washing of the water, the gifts of the Spirit, (as in this passage of St. John,) to the anointing, as a part of Baptism ; — an agreement, which, in so many different churches, implies a common source of tradition : although it need not be said that in other places they speak of the Holy Spirit as God's gift in Baptism as a whole. Thus Cyprian, Ep. 70. or rather the thirty-one African Bishops, (on the baptizing of heretics,) ** It is necessary that he who is baptized " should also be anointed, that having received the chrism, i. e. the ** anointing, he may be the anointed of God, and have in him the ' grace of Christ." And Ambrose de Sacram. L. iii. c. 1. ** Yes" terday we spoke of the fountain, whose form is a sort of sepulchre, " into which, believing in the Father, the Son, and the Holy ** Spirit, we are received, and buried, and rise, i. e. are raised again. ** But thou receivest the fivpov, i. e. the ointment upon the head, and ** why ? because the wisdom of the wise is in his head, as Solomon " saith ; for wisdom without grace is but a lifeless thing; but when ** it hath received grace, then its work beginneth to be perfected. " This is called regeneration." And S. Cyril, in his discourse on the Chrism, (Catech. Mystag. iii. init.) begins thus : ** Having been bap• tized into Christ, and having put on Christ, ye have been con" formed to the Son of God ; for God, having predestinated us to " the adoption of sons, conformed us to the body of the glory of " Christ. Having then been partakers of Christ, ye are rightly ** called Christs (anointed) ; and of you has God said, ' touch not " my Christs.' But ye became Christs, having received the •' representation of the Holy Spirit, and all things have, as in an ' image, taken place in you, since ye are images of Christ. For as " when He ascended from the water, the essential descent of the " Holy Spirit upon Him took place, the Like resting upon the Like, " so when ye ascended from the pool of the holy streams, the chrism ' was given you, the emblem of that wherewith Christ was anointed, ** and this is the Holy Spirit. He was anointed with the spiritual " oil of gladness, (i. e. with the Holy Spirit, so called because He ** is the author of spiritual gladness,) and ye were anointed with oint



'* ment, having become partakers and communicants of Christ. " And the body indeed is anointed with visible oil, but the soul sanc" tified with the Holy and hfe-giving Spirit. Having had this holy •' chrism vouchsafed to you, ye are called Christians, verifying the '* name by your new-birth. For, before this, ye deserved not this " title, but were on your way towards becoming Christians." The language of St. Gregory of Nazianzum has been already noticed. Theodoret, in Cant. c. 1., says in like manner, ** They who are '* received into Baptism after the renunciation of Satan and the con** fession of faith, being anointed with the Chrism of the spiritual '* ointment, as with a royal mark, under this visible form of ointment ' receive the invisible grace of the most Holy Spirit." And Johannes Damascenus de fide L iv. c. 10. " Oil is added to Baptism, sig' nifying anointing and making us Christs, and announcing to us *• the mercy of God through the Holy Spirit." More to this purpose may be seen ap. Bingham Christian Antiq. B. x. c. 9. B. xii. c. 1 and 3. and Bellarmine de controvv. t. ii. p. 411. sqq. (from whom several of the above quotations are taken, but whose quotations, like those of all Romanist writers, require sifting,) and Suicer art. Ba7rrt(T/ia, p. 633. 'EXator, p. 1077- and Xpiafia. I have put these together only to show how universal the practice of anointing, as a part of Baptism, was in the early Church, and consequently how probable it is that St. John alluded to some actual rite of Baptism. Besides the Lectionary prefixed to Cyril's homily, the text is directly a})plied to Baptism by a Scholiast ap. Matthaei N. T. ad loc. p. 220.

Note (H), on page 44.

This reference to the rite of interrogating candidates for Baptism, as to their faith and their purjjose in coming to Holy Baptism, appeal's to have been recognized by the Fathers generally, as St. Peter's meaning (1 Ep. iii. 21), as also to be the only exposition which gives an adequate sense to IrrfpibTtjua ; for had St. Peter meant simply to insist on the necessity of having a good conscience, it had seemed sufficient had KoKi) ^vveidj)<TiQ alone stood, whereas, the addition of tirtpurrifiaf ** questioning," appears to imply some more formal interrogatory as to the faith of the individual, such as that implied in Philip's words, ** If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest." (Acts viii. 37.) The words of XertuUian, de resur. Carnis, c. 48, "The soul is sancti*' fied, not by the washing, but by the answering" (Anima non lavatione sed respoiisione sancitur), are not only a comment on St. Peter's words, (as Beza says, ad loc), but almost an authoritative one. 'J'he Syriac Version, " confessing God with a pure conscience," gives us the tradition of the Eastern Church at an early period ; at least, it again




leads us to think of a public profession of faith, such as that made at Baptism. And so also the Latin Church, in the 2d cent. " Conscientise ' bona interrogation Vulg. S. Gregory of Nazianzum, among the titles given to Baptism, mentions it thus, ** enlightening, brightness of souls, ** change of life, interrogation as to the conscience towards God," omitting the word " good," and thereby laying the stress more upon the "interrogatory" (Orat, 40, de Baptismo. init.) : so St. Augustine (ap. Jewel's Defence of Apologie, p. 2170 quotes the passage in proof that ** Baptism does not consist so much in the washing of the body, " as in the faith of the heart ;" whence "the enquiry into a good con" science" must be " enquiry into faith :" and, in the passage above cited (note F), Hom. 80, in Joann., St. Augustine quotes it, in proof of the efficacy of the " word of faith" — i. e., the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, then professed and believed, and to be guarded and kept, by God's help, through life. Again (c. Crescon. Donat. L. 4. § 16.), St. Augustine refers this enquiry expressly to the period of Baptism. " But if there be not the interrogatory of a good ** conscience in the recipient, and faith itself, either in part or alto** gether, be tottering, you will not say that the Sacraments are to be ** annulled." So also c. Don. iv. § 3, 4. So also of moderns : Hooker, (B. v. § 63, end) paraphrases " an interrogative trial of a good con" science towards God :" Jewel's Defence of Apologie, p. 218, "the ** examining of a good conscience before God :" Bucer de vi et efficacia Baptisrai Christi (Scripta Anglic, p. 597), ' the Apostle by a " figure places the * interrogation' for the whole Sacrament, wherein " the persons to be baptized are interrogated, and answer as to their " faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord ; which, if they do " with a good conscience, they receive salvation through Baptism. ** For Baptism does not save adults, unless they be believers. Salva" tion, indeed, is oftered unto all in Baptism ; but adults do not " receive it, except by faiith : infants by the secret operation of the " Holy Spirit, whereby they are sanctified to eternal life :" add Cave's Primitive Christianity, L. 1. c. ii. p. 306. Bingham, B. ii. c. 7§ 3. Lyranus, Gagnaeus, Joannes a Lovanio (quoted by Bellarmine, de Controv. T. iii. p. 65.), Grotius, Hesselius, Estius, Tirinus, ad loc, Parkhurst Lex. s. v. (ed. Rose), and others quoted by them. Other renderings of iTrspujrijfia, are very unsatisfactory, except as far as they come round to this : thus G^^cumenius, interpreting " a pledge and *• earnest," speaks of persons " who longed for a holy life, enquiring ** after Baptism, as the means of purification, and so it was a pledge of " sincerity." This comes to the same result, that " Baptism received " in sincerity («. e., its holy efficacy not thwarted by our hypocrisy, or " unbelief), saves us." J. Gerhard obtains the sense, that Baptism saves us, by assuring us of God's mercy: thus, ** Baptism is an in' terrogatory between God and the sinner who is baptized, which




" turns upon a good conscience towards God, on account of Christ ; ** i. €., how God is disposed towards the baptized, and what the con" science of the baptized may promise itself, as to the grace of God/' (Loci Theol. de Sacram. § 88. cit. D. Chemnitz, c. 17. Harmon, p. 16.) Only one sees not then the force of the addition ** a good con" science," which implies something on the part of man, not merely, as in this explanation, " a conscience tranquillized by God's mercy towards " it." So Bullinger ap. Marlorat. These, however, still regard the interrogatory, stipulation, or however they explain s7repwr»//ia, as contemporary with Baptism. Others, principally of the school of Calvin, explain it of the conscience boldly interrogating God, whether His favour be not obtained to them through the death of Christ. So Piscator. Parens, ** most are outwardly washed only ; few so, that they " can dare to call upon and address God with a good conscience." Calv., "Peter requires a confidence, which may endure the sight of " God, and stand at His tribunal." These, also, (as so many other of Calvin's expositions,) do not bear to be brought in contact with the text; for who could endure the paraphrase, " Baptism saves us ; not that " which is outward in the flesh, but the confident appeal of a tranquil" lized conscience ?" for the confident appeal to God can save no one. Rather, Baptism saves us, as the means appointed by God for remitting sin, and imparting new life ; whereof, a " tranquillized conscience" is an effect only. Hemmingius ad loc. thinks, that the Church adopted the interrogatories in Baptism from this passage ; which is an incidental admission, how obviously the interpretation above given connects itself with it. The interrogatories at Baptism are alluded to, in Justin Martyr's 2nd Apology, §61 ; and the remarkable verbal coinQidence between the Eastern and Western Church, at an early period, proves a common, and, I doubt not, an Apostohc origin of this rite. (See the extracts, ap. Bingham, B. 11. c. 7, although any extract loses much of the effect which the same passage has, when one hghts upon a custom, hallowed to us by the use of our own Church, adduced by an antient Father incidentally, to establish some doctrine, or rebuke some unholy practice.) "Neither do I think it," says Hooker, 1. c, "a " matter easy for any man to prove, that ever Baptism did use to be "administered without interrogatories of these two kinds. Whereunto, " St. Peter (as it may be thought), alluding, hath said. That the Bap" tism which saveth us is not (as legal purifications were) a cleansing *♦ of the flesh from outward impurity, but ^Trtptiri/fia, an interrogative ** trial of a good conscience towards God.**

Note (I), on p. 47. [The references in p. 47 must be transposed.]

In the third place, in which the account of St. Paul's conversion is given in the Acts (c. xxvi. 12. sqq.), itisrehited more compendiously; and the times at which each portion of our Saviour's teaching was



imparted to him, are not distinguished. This is obviously occasioned by its being addressed to king Agrippa. Before him, St. Paul sets forth the broad outlines of his own history, and its more striking facts, passing by the details vi^hich vi^ould to the king be less interesting, and dwelling the more upon the high spiritual purpose of his mission, ' to open men's eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, from the " power of Satan unto God.' To the Jews (c. 22), before whom he was accused as a transgressor of the law, it was of the more moment to dwell upon the mission of Ananias to kirn, " a devout man according *' to the law, having a good report of all the Jews." Yet, because St. Paul, in one place, gives the account thus compendiously, no one should infer, that all which he there declares himself to have heard from Christ, was delivered to him at that first appearance of Christ ; for, on the two other occasions, circumstances here omitted are filled up. Yet it seems in some such way, that persons have overlooked one of the great features in God's conversion of St. Paul. I find the view taken above (p. 47), in St. Chrysostom (Hom. i. in Actt. § 6. T. 9. p. 10. ed. Bened.) " We cannot, cannot, obtain grace without vigilance. " Not even upon Paul did grace come immediately ; but three days *' intervened, in which he was blind, being purified, and prepared for ** its reception, by fear. For as the purple- dyers first prepare, by ** other means, that which is to receive the dye, that its richness " may not fade : thus, here also, God first prepares the soul, by filling " it with trouble, and then pours forth His grace ;" and again (Hom. 19. on Acts ix. 9. p. 157.), "Why did he neither eat nor drink ? he ** was condemning himself for what he had done ; he was confessing "all; he was praying; he was calling upon God;" and (Hom. 20. init.), " Ananias taught him nothing, but only baptized him. But, as ** soon as he was baptized, he drew down on himself a great grace from "the Spirit, through his zeal and great earnestness." — "And why " did not God blind his eyes themselves ? this was much more won" derful. They were open, but he saw not : which also had happened *' unto him, as to the law, until the name of Jesus was put upon him *' (i. e., until he was baptized.) ' And having taken meat, he was *' * strengthened :' he had been exhausted, then, by the journey, his " terror, hunger, and despondency. God then wishing to increase his ** despondency, allowed him to remain blind till Ananias came."

Note (K), on page 131.

Calvin, when treating expressly of the similarity and dissimilarity between Circumcision and Baptism, affirms that they agreed in every thing except the outward rite. And this he proves thus : — " When ** God was about to institute circumcision. He promised to Abraham " that ' He would be the God of him and his seed :' herein is con" eluded the promise of eternal life, since ' God is not the God of



" ' the dead but of the living:' but the first entrance to eternal life is

•* remission of sins : therefore this promise corresponds to that of

" Baptism, our being cleansed from sin; ^d, God requires of Abra

" ham to walk before him in sinceiity and innocence of heart, which

*' relates to mortification or regeneration. Moses also shows (Deut.

" XXX. 6.) that the real meaning of circumcision is that of the heart,

" and that this is God's doing. We have then the spiritual promise

*' given to the Fathers in circumcision, such as is given to us in

*' Baptism, since '\t figured to them remission of sins and mortification

" of the flesh. Besides, as we showed Christ to be the foundation of

" Baptism, so was He of circumcision. For He is promised to

*' Abraham, and in Him all nations shall be blessed. To seal which

** mercy the seal of circumcision is added. Now then it is plain,

** what is alike in these two seals, and what different. The promise

** (and in this I explained that the validity of the signs consisted) is

** the same in both : it is, namely, of God's fatherly goodness, of the

** remission of sins, of life eternal. Moreover the thing figured is

** one and the same in both, viz. regeneration. The foundation, on

** which the fulfilment of those things rests, is the same in both.

** Wherefore there is no difference in the inward mystery, from which

" the whole power and property of the Sacraments is to be estimated.

" The difference which remains, lies in the outward ceremony, which

** is the least portion, the greater part depending upon the promise

** and the thing sealed. Whence it may be inferred that whatever

** belongs to circumcision, belongs also to Baptism, except the dif

** ference of the visible ceremony. And indeed the truth herein is

" palpable. For as circumcision, because it was a sort of badge to

** the Jews, whereby they were assured of their being adopted into the

** people and family of God, was their first entrance into the Church,

** now also we are dedicated by Baptism to God, being enrolled among

** His people, and vowing, in our turn, obedience to His name."

Institt. 4, 16, 3. 4. To this place Calvin elsewhere refers (4, 14, 21.)

for a full explanation of the comparative value of circumcision and

Baptism ; it presents then his deliberate views : and yet in reality it

leaves not a vestige of the character of a Sacrament : " Circumcision,"

Calvin says, " is the same as Baptism," because it was the seal of the

covenant, wherein God promised to be Abraham's God, because it

figured mortification which God would afterwards effect, and because

in that same covenant Christ was promised. It could hardly be said

more plainly that neither Baptism nor circumcision conferred any

grace, but that they sealed the covenant, wherein God promised to

confer grace. And with this agrees Calvin's view of regeneration,

which is, according to him, not a new birth, but a new state of being, —

not an act, like our natural birth, single in itself, though followed by

a life corresponding to it, if the individual doos not again die through



sin,— bnt a habit, continually receiving accessions of growth throughout life. (Institt. 3, 3, 9. 4, 16, 31.) So other writers of his school consider actual (as opposed to initial) regeneration to extend over the whole of hfe. (See above, p. 1 5 1 ). Regeneration is thus confounded with sanctification, nor can any peculiar property be pointed out, which is in this system left to regeneration as distinct from sanctification. And so Calvin's theory, that under both dispensations regeneration was imparted, (and that by means of the covenant, which was sealed by Baptism, or circumcision,) becomes correct, since sanctification was so imparted : but thereby also all the mysterious character of Baptism is effaced, and its working brought down to a matter of experiment and human reasoning.

Calvin, as was said, repeats elsewhere this equality of Circumcision and Baptism, and that in the strongest terms. " We may not ascriiie " to our Baptism more than the Apostle ascribes to circumcision, ** when he calls it ' the seal of the righteousness of faith.' What' ever then is set forth to us now in the Sacraments, that the Jews "also received in theirs, — Christ, namely, with His spiritual riches. *' Whatever power ours have, that they felt in theirs, namely, that " they were seals of the Divine good-will towards them, to the hope " of eternal salvation.' (Institt. 4. 14. 23) He admits (' concedimus') indeed, that they so far differ, that " whereas both attest that the Fa" therly good-will of God in Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spj kit ** are offered to us, ours do so more plainly and fully. In both Christ " is set forth ; but in these more largely and fully, according to the •' general difference of the Old and New Testament." (lb. § ult.) What language this for a Christian, to concede that his Saviour's Sacraments set Him forth more clearly than the rites of the Old Testament !

Note (L), page 132.

The several indications of the Reformed theory of the Sacraments are, 1st. The comparison of them, and assertion of their equality, with the signs of the Old Testament. 2d. — with the written word, as being a means of grace of the like kind. 3d. The mention of contemplation, our faith being kindled by the sight of them, and the like. 4th. Their being memorials, whereby God retains and renews the memory of His benefits shown to man. 5th. Their being the means of consecrating, setting apart, a peculiar people, and showing what He required of them. 6th. That God operates in, not bi/, or through His ordinance. 7th. The mention of the elect, as alone partaking of them. 8th. Denial of the value of the words of consecration. 9th. Rejection of the idea of the Sacraments being bound, enclosed, &c. in (the signs. 10th. Participation of Christ in and out of the Sacraments ialtogether the same. 11th. (Ground of Baptism of Infants, that they are



ill the covenant, not because Christ commanded it. r2th. Sacra ments not ** efficacious" signs. 13th. The Body of Christ not said to be given in the Lord's Supper. 14th. Sacraments signify ; or, 15th. attest grace only.

These are so many indications of the theory of Zuingh, or portions of the statements wherewith he opposed the doctrine of the Church, It is not to be supposed that they would all occur in each confession of faith, since some of the Reformed Confessions touch very briefly upon the subject ; whereas some of this language belongs to the con troversial, not to the positive statements of this school. In some con fessions also expressions are purposely generahzed.

  1. They occur most fully in what is called the first Helvetic Confes sion, A.D. 1566, published in the name of all the Helvetic Churches, except Basle and Neufchatel (Augusti Diss. Hist, de lib. Eccl. Reform. Symbol, p. 622.) The whole language of this is Zuinghan; and in it all the above " Notes of a Reformed Confession" occur, except the 12th ; and yet, remarkably enough, in employing the word "efficacia" of the Sacraments, it stands alone of all the Confessions of this school ; a sin gular instance of, what any one who carefully examines the language of the *' Reformed" writers must observe, that they will use the words of the Church's theory, although not in the meaning of the Church. In this instance, it sounds well that they " do not approve of the doctrine " of those, who speak of Sacraments as common, and not hallowed ** or efficacious signs." But *' hallowed" (sanctificata), with which " efficacious" is joined as equivalent, and as opposed to common signs, is explained in the same chapter (c. xix.) to mean only " separated ** from common, and set apart to sacred uses." And it is well known, that none of the authors of this Confession believed the Sacraments to be, in the Church's sense, " efficacious signs," i. e. instruments of imparting the grace which they signified (see above, p. 117). So again, a little above, it is said, " water, bread, and wine, are not common " (vulgaria), but sacred signs;" thereby showing, that all which they meant to assert, by denying that they were common, was, that they were consecrated signs or symbols.

  2. In the 2d Helvetic Confession (1536), which was compiled for the express purpose of conciliating the Lutherans, and afterwards with drawn, as ineffectual for this end (Augusti. 1. c. pp. 622. 626.), it is said weU, in general terms, that ** the Sacraments, or symbols of hidden ** things, do not consist of bare signs, but of the signs and things toge ** ther. For in Baptism, water is the sign, but the thing, regeneration *' and adoption into the people of God. In the Eucharist, the bread] " and wine are the signs; but the thing is the communication of the] " body of Christ, salvation, which had been obtained, and remissior " of sins ; which are received by faith, as the signs are by the body." " And the whole fruit of the Sacrament," it is added, " is in the thing.



This last expression already prepares us to find an unwarranted separation of the sign from the thing signified ; and so when we come to the explanation of the connexion between them, which is the point wherein the doctrines of the '* Reformed" and the Church part, we find only (§ 21.) that 'the washing of regeneration is exhibited or set • forth by God to His elect, by the visible sign, through the ministry " of the Church ;" and the participation of the Body and Blood of Christ is placed entirely in the contemplation of Him through faith. ** For this cause," they say, (§ 22,) ' we often use this sacred food, " because, through its suggestion (monitu) gazing on the death and ** blood of the Crucified by the eyes of faith, and meditating on our ** salvation, not without a taste of heavenly hfe, and a true sense of ** life eternal, we are refreshed by this spiritual, life-giving, and most " inward (intimo) food, with ineffable sweetness ; and we exult with ** unutterable joy for having found life, and we are poured out alto" gether, and with our whole strength, in giving thanks for this so " wonderful benefit of Christ towards us." " Wherefore," they subjoin, " it is very contrary to our deserts that some think that we " ascribe too Httle to the sacred symbols. For they are holy and " venerable things, as being instituted by Christ, the great High " Priest ; and, received in their proper way, as we have said, they set *' forth the things signified, give testimony of what has been done, ' represent things so lofty, and by a certain wonderful analogy of the '* things signified, throw a most clear light upon those mysteries. More'* over they give hold and aid to faith itself, and like an oath bind the ** person initiated. Soholily do we esteem the sacred symbols ! But " the power and virtue of the Vivifier and Sanctifier we ascribe con** tinually to Him who is the Life, to whom be praise for ever and ** ever. Amen." In which words, if they had referred to our union with Christ, out of the Sacraments, they had indeed been so far insuflScient, in that they omit the original source, through which that union is bestowed, but the union itself they describe most fervently (perhaps too exclusively dwelhng upon feeling) ; but as describing the value of the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, they are utterly inadequate, since they express nothing but the emotions of the human soul, as acted upon by the external sight and suggestion of the sacred elements. Here also much of the language is Zuinglian (see above, p. 101), as indeed the authors were friends or disciples of Zuingli. One can then but look upon it as an attempt, by high and glowing terms, to conceal from themselves, or from others, the loss of the Catholic doctrine.

  1. The same must be said of the Scotch Confession ; for although it speaks in the strongest terms of our " eating the body and drinking •* the blood of Jesus Christ, in the right use of the Lord's Supper ;" yet it also declares, of ** all the benefits of that Supper, that they are

a 2



'* not girm to us then only ;" so that not only do we, by virtue of the Sacraments, remain united with Christ (which is of course true), but also have the same gifts, and in the same degree, imparted to us, out of the use of the Sacraments as in them. And this agrees with the way wherein the union with Christ in the Sacraments is explained in this Confession (see above, p. 113, note j, viz. through contempla tion of Christ in heaven by faith. To the same result tends what they say (Art. xxii.) of the right administration of the Sacraments; for they affirm, not only that the Papists have mingled much that is corrupt with the Sacraments (which is miserably true), but they deny that the Sacraments themselves in that church are the " right Sacra " ments of Jesus Christ ;" and assert, that " on that account they " avoid fellowship with it in the participation of their Sacraments." And that, not only on account of the human additions, (which in Baptism relate to things altogether indifferent, as the use of salt, or oil, or the like,) but also because the ends of the Sacraments are not rightly set forth. Whence also they require, in order to constitute a legitimate minister (and this they regard as essential to the Sacra ments), that they should be such as " are lawfully elected in any *' church, and appointed to the preaching of the word, and in whose " mouth God hath put some word of exhortation." Which is conform able indeed to the doctrine of Beza, that " the explanation of the " Sacraments is the main part of them," (see Note M,) but not with that of the Ancient Church. Of Baptism again, the Scotch Confes sion says, that " thereby we are engraffed into Christ Jesus, and are " made partakers of His righteousness, whereby all our sins an " covered and remitted;" and such an expression, " thereby," occurs only in the Gallican Confession besides, of all the Reformed Churches. Yet the natural force of this expression is neutraUzed by the definition of a Sacrament, to which this statement is appended viz. *' that the " Sacraments both of the Old and New Testaments were not only to ** distinguish His people from those without the covenant, but also to " exercise the faith of His sons; and that the participation of the *' same Sacraments sealed in their hearts the certainty of His promise, ** and of that most blessed conjunction, union, and society, which the " elect have with their head, Jesus Christ." Wlierein the " sealing" must, in accordance with the known theory of this school, and with the mention of the elect, (see above, p. Ill, sqq.) refer to the outward attestation of God's promises, as opposed to the conveying (as instru ments) inward grace.

And [^80] again, when they say that " Christ alone renders the Sacra '* ments efficacious to us;" this is opposed to their being " efficacious *' signs of grace;" i. e. they mean that the Sacraments do not, as Chr st's institution, convey grace to us, but that Christ employs them as outward means to kindle our faith, whereby we become united with Him.



  1. The third Helvetic Confession, written at Basle, and promulgated A.D. 1532, at Mulhaiisen, the iirst place in the Helvetic confederacy which embraced the Reformation (Augusti. 1. c. p. 627), was originally composed by Oswald Myconius. He, although living in tlje midst of the reformed school, and for 20 years chief pastor at Basle, is said to have adhered to the ancient doctrine of the Sacraments, and on account of these tenets to have received no degree from the university of Basle, and at last to have resigned his office (Melchior Adamus, p. 220). His Confession however, does not express the ancient view clearly or unambiguously. He says, indeed, that " in the Lord's " Supper, together with the bread and wine of the Lord, the true " body and true blood of Christ, are set forth (prsefiguratur), and " exhibited * to us through the minister of the Church;" yet he speculates needlessly in denying that " the natural, true, and sub" stantial (substantiale) body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, " which suffered for us, and ascended into heaven, is inclosed in the " bread and cup of the Lord." In setting forth also our participation of Christ, he leaves it undecided whether this be bestowed through the Sacraments. "We firmly believe that Christ Himself " is the food of believing souls to eternal life, and that our souls, ** through true faith in Christ crucified, receive, as meat and drink, •' fcibari et potari) the flesh and blood of Christ, so that we, as the " members of His body, as our only Head, live in Him, and He in " us :" wherein the language, compared with that of the reformed school, would rather lead one to think, that the instrumentality of the Sacraments, as effectual signs, is excluded ; at least there is no one word in the whole Confession which implies it; and the turn of expression seems rather contrived to set forth the benefits of true faith in Christ, tacitly dropping the agency of the Sacraments. Further, the language of his friends OEcolampadius and Zuingli appears in his first description of the Sacraments. " In this same " Church are employed Sacraments, namely. Baptism in the entrance " into the Church ; and the Lord's Supper, at its due time in after** life, to testify faith and brotherly love, as was promised in Baptism." And afterwards — " We confess that the Lord Jesus instituted His " Holy Supper to commemorate His Holy Passion with thanksgiving, " to show the Lord's death, and to testify Christian charity and " unity with true faith." Yet his confession was still thought too little "reformed;" and in the glosses added (A.D. 1581, after the


death of Myconius), it is asserted, that *♦ Christ is indeed present " in His holy supper to all true believers, but sacramentally , and hy " the commemoration of faith, which lifts up the mind of man to the " heavens, and does not draw down Christ, according to His human *' nature, from the right hand of God." By this addition a Zuinglian sense is given to all the ambiguous language of the Confession, and the presence of Christ is confined to the mere operation of the human mind. It is also very illustrative of the meaning of the term ** sacramentally" in the ** reformed" writers, and throws light upon the Scotch Confession. With regard to Myconius himself (as far as one may judge from his single work,) he appears to have suffered from his intercourse with Zuingli and (Ecolampadius ; and while he contended for a more literal acceptation of the words " This is my Body,'' still to have had no, or scarcely any, higher notions of the benefits of the Sacraments, than the rest of the reformed school : — a warning, first, against familiar intercourse with those who hold low notions on any point of Christian truth, as hkely imperceptibly to influence us, even while we think ourselves opposed to them ; and, secondly, to take heed, not only that we hold the truth, but how we hold it, lest we deceive ourselves, and some subtle theory rob us of all but the name.

5, 6. The Gallic and Belgic confessions again state, ' that through • these outward signs God operates by the virtue of His Holy ** Spirit," and the Gallic says that " that bread and that wine, which " is given to us in the supper, really becomes our spiritual food," (than which nothing could seem a plainer declaration ; but this is done away with, immediately, by the addition) ** inasmuch, namely, *' as they set, as it were before our eyes, that the flesh of Christ is our " food and His blood our drink." In like manner, although we are said ** to be engraffed in the body of Chris-^ by Baptism," yet Bap tism is said to be " given us to attest our adoption," (t. e. not to effect or convey it,) as is the Lord's Supper to ''attest our union with ** Christ." The Belgic, similarly, declares that the Sacraments were added to the word of the Gospel, in order the more efficaciously to exhibit to our outward senses, as well what He declares to us out wardly in His word, eis what He operates inwardly in our hearts, ** and thus renders so much the more assured the salvation which He ** communicates to us." Whereby the Sacraments become a mere picture.

  1. Even the Hungarian confession, (which is altogether pure Zuin gUanism, and in the highest degree offensive for its rationalist tone and the coarse language in which it inveighs against the Lutheran doctrine,) even this '* rejects their phrensy, who teach that the Lord's •* Supper is an empty sign, or that the memory only of absent Christ •• is cherished by these signs. For as Christ is ' Amen, faithful 5


** witness, true, truth and life,' so the Lord's supper is the memory ** (memoria) of the jjresent and infinite and eternal Son of God, the ** Only Begotten of the Father, who offers and exhibits to the elect, " who apprehend the Gospel of Christ with true faith. Himself and " His good things, His flesh and His blood, i. e. living bread and ** heavenly food, through (ope) the Holy Spirit, by the word of the " promise of grace." Yet of the elements it says, that the ** bread '* and wine are, in regard to their object, the memory of the death " Christ, i. e. signs admonishing of the death of Christ:" and the •' presence of Christ in His sacramental institution, or in the pouring ** out of the Holy Spirit upon the elect," is paralleled as a presence of the like kind, with that " by the union with the \6yog, or, in His " promise by the word and faith, or in His dispensatorial office or in" tercession for the elect." Through this whole confession there runs a strange, uncouth, barbarous strain of theology, a compound of Sabellianism. Mysticism, Rationalism, such as no where else perhaps occurs in any other document, of any body of men, professing Christianity. Yet they too keep the received protest, that " the Sacraments are not empty signs," &c. (Of it Augusti says, 1. c. p. 635, '* the Czin" gerians [whose confession it is] are among all Calvinists the most " vehement, and in the article of the Lord's Supper they utter so ** many harsh and odious things, that they can be approved of by " neither party, Zuinglians or Lutherans," which is a mild sentence).

  1. The Genevan Catechism expresses so precisely the doctrine and language of Calvin, that to dwell upon its statements would only be to repeat what has been already said (p. 108 sqq.) : the Catechumen is told, not only that he ' must not cling to the visible signs, to obtain *' health from them, nor imagine any power of conferring grace attached *' or inclosed in them, but that the sign is to be accounted as a sort of *' prop, whereby we may be directed straight to Christ, to seek *' health and solid happiness from Him." He is told that *' infants *' have the efficacy and substance of Baptism (so to speak) (before ' they are baptized), so that a manifest injustice would be done them, ** if the sign (Baptism), which is inferior to the reality, were denied ** them." It is remarkable again that in this catechism, the Sacraments are incidentally called " secondary instruments," which is a sort of approach to the ancient language of the Church, although Calvin strongly denied their being *' instruments " or " channels " in the Church's sense,

  2. In the confessions of the German " reformed" Church, or rather Churches, there is a great difference. The Heidelberg Catechism (as would be certain from its chief author, Z. Ursinus, with whom was united Caspar Olivianus, Augusti p. 649.) expresses (as far as it goes,) the Calvinistor Zuinglian doctrine: the use of the Sacraments is confined to teaching. ** Whereby," it is asked with respect to



each, ** art thou admonished and coujirmecl in Baptism [or the Lord's " Supper] that thou art a partaker of that one only sacrifice of " Christ?" The answer, in each case, amounts to this, that they are " pledges to assure us of those benefits ;" but, that •' they are '* means whereby we receive the same," there is no indication, but the contrary.

  1. In the Confessio Tetrapolitana (that presented to Charles V. at the Diet of Augsburgh, 1 530, by the cities of Strasburgh, Constance, Memmingen, Linden, and composed by Bucer), there is, on the con trary, scarcely a trace of the" reformed" language. It is said that" by " Baptism we are buried into the death of Christ, put on Christ; ** that it is the washing of regeneration ; washes away sins, saves ' us ;" and of the Lord's Supper, that " as often as this supper is " renewed, as He instituted it. He vouchsafes to give through the ' Sacraments His true body and true blood, truly to be eaten and •* drunk, for the meat and drink of our souls, whereby they may be " nourished to eternal life, so that henceforth He may live and remain *' in them, and they in Him, to be raised up at the last day by Him " to a new and eternal life, according to those His words of eternal " truth ; * Take and eat, this my body,' &c." This positive statement is qualified by no subsequent explanation : it is essentially opposed to the "reformed" theory, in that it states that " Christ gives His true *' body to be eaten and drunk through His Sacraments," a statement which recurs in our own articles and catechism, but in no part of the Zuinglian or Calvinistic school. They may hold that the Holy Spirit by kindling our faith makes us to partake of that Body and Blood ; but no where, that Christ gives it to us. The participation is, according to them, through our faith, not by Christ's direct gift. It is added indeed in the confession, " that the Clergy with all diligence recalled " the minds of their people from all contention and curious disquisition, ** to that which alone profits, and was alone regarded by Christ our " Saviour, viz. that being fed by Him, we may live in Him and by " Him, a life well-pleasing unto God, holy, and therefore everlasting " also and blessed ; and be all among ourselves one bread, one body, " who partake of that one bread in the Holy Supper;" and again that " they teach and exhort, that laying aside all comments and false " glosses of men, each should with simple faith embrace these words '• of the Lord ; and casting away all doubt and vacillation should give •' up his mind to this meaning, and lastly receive the Sacraments " themselves, to the life-giving nourishment of their souls, and the " thankful commemoration of so great a benefit." This seems piously and wisely said ; for this " embracing with simple faith the words of *• the Lord, and rejecting the false comments of men," is not here ntended (as is so often meant by language not dissimilar) to A'eil real and essential difterence of opinion ; but rather, having fully embraced


the doctrine of tl^.e Ciiiuch Catholic, the author would dissuade from ruiprofitahle «[)eculatioiis, as to the mode in which that doctrine was to be reconciled to human intellect. This reconcilement was the original object of Transubstantiation, which, to those who could once accept it, left no further difficulty as to the manner in which we partake of Christ*s Body and Blood ; this has been, in their opposite way, the error of the Lutherans and of the Zuinglians or Calvinists : the old Church, on the contrary, and with her, our own, and Bucer, in this place, assert simply the fact, that ** Christ doth really and indeed ** give His true Body to the faithful in His Supper," and thereA\'ith closes up the question, without asking " How can these things be?"

  1. The Bohemian Confession remarkably coincides with Bucer's, both in its firm adherence to Scriptural truth, and in the absence of speculation : " They believe," it is said, " that the Sacrament of the Eucharist, is an administration instituted by Christ, and set forth first ' ' to the Apostles, and through them, by His grace and goodness, to ' the whole Church, for the common use and health of all. Also, '' that it is to be believed with the heart and confessed with the mouth, " that the Bread of the Lord's Supper is the true Body of Christ, " which was given for us, and the cup His true Blood, which was shed " for us for the remission of sins, as Christ the Lord plainly saith, " this is my body, this is my blood : also, that these words of " Christ, whereby Himself pronounces the bread to be His Body, " and the wine, specifically to be His Blood, no one should add, " mingle, or take away from them ; but believe in simplicity these '* words of Christ, neither declining to the right hand nor to the " left." Accordingly the Bohemians receive the words of Christ with a simple faith, which none of the Zuinghans or Calvinists do ; as, indeed, this, their language, would not be adopted by those schools. In consequence, we find, that, besides the attacks of the Papists, they had, as they state in their confession, to endure those of others, who " entitled this confession of faith on the Lord's Supper " the dregs of popery, and themselves marked with the character of ** the beast, idolaters, Anti-Christs, or that whore of which John ' prophesies in the Apocalypse," — language, which, obviously, never would have been applied to any Zuinglian or Calvinistic school. Accordingly, it is also said, that at the time of the Communion, ** the " ministers repeating the words of the Lord's Supper, exhort the ' people itself to this faith, to believe, namely, the presence of the Body " of Christ." Of the Sacraments generally, also, they state, (Art. IJ.) that "they are (generally) necessary to salvation, and that, by them ^ " the faithful are made partakers of the merits of Christ." Baptism, again, (Art, 12.) is said to be a " salutary ministration, instituted ' by Christ, and added to the Gospel, whereby {i. e., by Baptism) "He purifies, cleanses, and sanctifies His Church, in His own death


'• and blood, as Paul says," Eph. v. 27- Here, again, the declarations of Scripture are simply received, without any of the glosses of the school of Zuingli j as, also, the Baptism of infants is founded upon Matt, xxviii. 19, whereas, all the ** reformed " school found it on a deduction from Gen. xvii. 10. Again, the Bohemians take literally the Apostle's saying, that " whoever were baptized, had been buried " thereby with Christ into His death, that he may walk hence" forth in newness of life.'* ** But if," (they add) ** from the ' preachmg of the Gospel, they neither obtain a full confidence in ** God, nor love towards all those, who, by the washing of regenera" tion, are engrafFed into Christ, nor walk worthy of their calling, *' watching diligently to please God, nor place their hope of eternal ** life in Him only; they show that they have received in vain, the ** grace of Baptism, and the name of the Holy Trinity, which was " invoked over them. Which Scripture threatens that God will one " day terribly avenge." In place of this salutar)' terror, the Reformed school would have denied that such an one had ever received that grace.

The Three Confessions of the Reformed Church in Brandenburg and PrussiUy the Confessio Marchica, Colloquium Lipsiacum, and the Declaratio Thoruniensis, speak less explicitly and simply, and they all labour under the disadvantage of having been written to express, not merely the views of their authors, but — the first, to justify them out of the writings of Luther ; the second, to approximate, as much as may be, to Luther's views ; and the third is yet further embarrassed by an attempt to conciliate the Roman Catholics, which necessarily gives them a constrained and artificial appearance. They seem, however, to express a belief in an actual communication of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper, and so also of regeneration in Baptism, and thus to be opposed to the Zuingli-Calvinist doctrines of mere attestation or sealing.

  1. The Confessio Marchica interprets Tit. iii. 5, and Joh. iii. 5, in their plain and obvious sense ; and of the Lord's Supper it is said, that " therein, the outward signs, bread and wine, and the true Body of ** Christ, which was given to death for us, and His Holy Blood, which ** was shed for us at the foot of the Holy Cross, are both present to'* gether, on account of the Sacramental union, in this holy action, and " are together given (ausgespendet) and taken j'' " as (they add, how' ever,) the spiritual manna or heavenly food of the word is spiritu' ally received, and in Christ's kingdom (which is not of this ** world) all is spiritual. Thus, also, we believe, that the Holy Sup*' per is also a spiritual food of souls, whereby they are refreshed, *' strengthened, and, (together with the body, whereunto they are " joined,) are fed and preserved to immortality. We abide, therefore, *• (without adding aught,) by the holy words of consecration, that the


" bread is the true Body of Christ, and the wine His Holy Blood, ' sacramentally, in the way wherein God has consecrated and or** dained the Holy Sacraments of the Old and New Testaments, to be ** visible and true signs of invisible grace; and the Lord Christ ** Himself shows, that the Holy Supper is a sign [ ? ] of the new " covenant, [" My blood of the New Covenant," so the Evangelists] " yet not an empty and void sign, instituted for the remembrance of " Christ, or, as the Apostle Paul explains," (1 Cor. xi. 26) ** for a ** constant remembrance and announcement of His death, that it may ** be a memorial, uniting consolation, thanks, and love.'

  1. In the Leipzig Colloquy, both Lutherans and Reformed agreed on " the necessity of Baptism, as a means ordained for our salvation ; " and though the grace of God work not salvation through Baptism, " ex opere operato, nor yet merely through the outward washing or •' sprinkhng, yet, that it takes place by virtue of the word of conse** cration and promise, by the medium of Baptism." With regard to the Lord's Supper, they agreed also, that, ** besides the outward •' elements of bread and wine, there was present not only the virtue •* and the efficacy or the bare signs of the Body and Bloody but " that the true essential Body which was given for us, and the true • essential Blood of Jesus Christ Himself, which was shed for •' us, are truly and presentially given distributed and received, by " ^^rtue of the sacramental union, which consists not in the bare sig' nifying, nor yet in the bare seahng, but in the entire, unseparated *' distribution of the earthly element, and the true Body and Blood of ** Jesus Christ : yet, that this Sacramental union does not take " place distinct from the action commanded by Christ, [the actual " reception] but only in the same. Further, that, also, in the spiri" tual feeding, not only the virtue, benefit, and efficacy, but the " essence and substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ ** Himself, in the use of the Holy Supper, which takes place here ** upon earth, is fed upon, that is, is spiritually through true faith ** eaten and drunk, and that this spiritual feeding is in the highest *' degree necessary for the blessed use of the venerable supper. Fur** ther, that in the Sacramental partaking, the earthly elements and *' the Body and Blood of Christ, are partaken of at the same time, " together and unitedly (mit-einander)." The Reformed confessed also, *' that, through the medium of the consecrated bread and wine, " the true Body and Blood of Christ, was presentially received, yet " not with the mouth, but only through faith, whereby the Body and •' Blood of the Lord is spiritually united with those who worthily re" ceive the Lord's Supper; but to the unworthy, the Body and the " Blood is only offered, b