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" If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the 
battle ?" 





ST. 70HM's square. 


In completing the second volume of a publication, to 
which the circumstances of the day have given rise, it may 
be right to allude to a change which has taken place in 
them since the date of its commencement. At that time, 
in consequence of long security, the attention of members 
of our Church had been but partially engaged in ascertain- 
ing the grounds of their adherence to it ; but the imminent 
peril to which all that is dear to them has since been exposed, 
has naturally turned their thoughts that way, and obliged 
them to defend it on one or other of the principles which 
are usually put forward in its behalf. Discussions have 
thus been renewed in various quarters, on points which had 
long remained undisturbed ; and, though numbers continue 
undecided in opinion, or take up a temporary position in 
some one of the hundred middle points which may be assumed 
between the two main theories in which the question issues, 
and others, again, have deliberately entrenched themselves 
in the modern or ultra-protestant alternative, yet, on the 
whole, there has been much hearty and intelligent adop- 
tion, and much respectful study, of those more primitive 
views maintained by our great Divines, As the altered 
state of public information and opinion has a necessary 
bearing on the efforts of those who desire to excite atten- 
tion to the subject, (in which number the writers of these 
Tracts are to be included,) it will not be inappropriate 
briefly to state in this place, what it is conceived is the pre- 
sent position of the great body of Churchmen with refer- 
ence to it. 

While we have cause to be thankful for the sounder and 
A 2 


more accurate language which is now very generally 
adopted among well-judging men on ecclesiastical subjects, 
we must beware of over-estimating what has been done, 
and so becoming sanguine in our hopes of success, or 
slackening our exertions to secure it. Many more persons, 
doubtless, have taken up a profession of the main doctrine 
in question, that, namely, of the One Catholic and Apos- 
tolic Church, than fully enter into it. This is to be ex- 
pected, it being the peculiarity of all religious teaching, 
that words are imparted before ideas. A child learns his 
Creed or Catechism before he understands it; and in 
beginning any deep subject we are all but children to the 
end of our lives. The instinctive perception of a rightly 
instructed mind, the prima facie force of the argument, or 
the authority of our celebrated writers, have all had their 
due and extensive influence in furthering the reception of the 
doctrine, when once it was openly maintained ; to which must 
be added the prospect of the loss of state protection, which 
made it necessary to look out for other reasons for adhe- 
rence to the Church besides that of obedience to the civil 
magistrate. Nothing, which has spread quickly, has been 
received thoroughly. Doubtless there are a number of 
seriously-minded persons, who think they admit the doc- 
trine in question much more fully than they do, and who 
would be startled at seeing that realized in particulars, 
which they confess in an abstract form. Many there are 
who do not at all feel that it is capable of a practical appli- 
cation ; and, while they bring it forward on special occa- 
sions, in formal expositions of faith, or in answer to a 
direct interrogatory, let it slip from their minds ahnost 
entirely in their daily conduct or their religious teaching, 
from the long and inveterate habit of thinking and acting 
without it. We must not then at all be surprised at 
finding, that to modify the principles and motives on which 
men act is not the work of a day ; nor at undergoing disap- 
pointments, at witnessing relapses, misconceptions, sudden 
disgusts, and, on the other hand, abuses and perversions of 
the true doctrine, in the case of those vviio have taken it up 
with greater warmth than discernment. 


And in the next place, it will be found, that much more 
has been done in awakening Churchmen to the truth of the 
Apostolical Commission as a fact, and to the admission of 
it as a duty, than to the enjoyment of it as a privilege. If 
asked what is the use of adhering to the Church, they will 
commonly answer, that it is commanded, that all acts of 
obedience meet with their reward from Almighty God, and 
this in the number ; but the notion of the Church as the 
storehouse and direct channel of grace, as a Divine Ordi- 
nance, not merely to be maintained for order's sake, or 
because schism is a sin, but to be approached joyfully and 
expectantly as a definite instrument, or rather the appointed 
means, of spiritual blessings, — as an Ordinance which con- 
veys secret strength and life to every one who shares in 
it, unless there be some actual moral impediment in his 
own mind, — this is a doctrine which as yet is but faintly 
understood among us. Nay, our subtle Enemy has so 
contrived, that by affixing to this blessed truth the stigma 
of Popery, numbers among us are effectually deterred from 
profiting by a gracious provision, intended for the comfort 
of our faith, but in their case wasted. 

The particular deficiency here alluded to may also be 
described by referring to another form under which it shows 
itself, viz. the a priori reluctance in those who believe 
the ApostoHcal Commission, to appropriate to it the power 
of consecrating the Lord's Supper ; as if there were some 
antecedent improbability in God's gifts being lodged in 
particular observances, and distributed in a particular way ; 
and as if the strong wish, or moral worth, of the individual 
could create in the outward ceremony a virtue which it had 
not received from above. Rationalistic, or (as they may be 
more properly called) carnal notions concerning the Sacra- 
ments, and, on the other hand, a superstitious apprehension 
of resting in them, and a slowness to believe the possibility 
of God's having literally blessed ordinances with invisible 
power, have, alas! infected a large mass of men in our 
communion. There are those whose " word will eat as doth a 
canker ;" and it is to be feared, that we have been over-near 
certain celebrated Protestant teachers, Puritan or Latitudi- 


narian, and have suffered in consequence. Hence we have 
ahnost embraced the doctrine, that God conveys grace only 
through the instrumentality of the mental energies, that is, 
through faith, prayer, active spiritual contemplations, or 
(what is called) communion with God, in contradiction to the 
primitive view, according to which the Church and her Sacra- 
ments are the ordained and direct visible means of convey- 
ing to the soul what is in itself supernatural and unseen. 
For example, would not most men maintain, on the first 
view of the subject, that to administer the Lord's Supper 
to infants, or to the dying and insensible, however consis- 
tently pious 'and believing in their past lives, was a super- 
stition? and yet both practices have the sanction of primitive 
usage. And does not this account for the prevailing indis- 
position to admit that Baptism conveys regeneration ? In- 
deed, this may even be set down as the essence of Sectarian 
Doctrine, (however its mischief may be restrained or compen- 
sated, in the case of individuals,) to consider faith, and not 
the Sacraments, as the instrument of justification and other 
gospel gifts ; instead of holding, that the grace of Christ 
comes to us altogether from without, (as from Him, so 
through externals of His ordaining,) faith being but the sine 
qua non, the necessary condition on our parts for duly 
receiving it. 

It has been with the view of meeting this cardinal defi- 
ciency (as it may be termed) in the religion of the day, that 
the Tract on Baptism, contained in the latter half of this 
volume, has been inserted ; which is to be regarded, not as 
an inquiry into one single or isolated doctrine, but as a 
delineation, and serious examination of a modern system 
of theology, of extensive popularity and great spcciousness, 
in its elementary and characteristic principles. 


The Feast of All Saints, I,s35. 



47. The Visible Church. Letter IV. 

48. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 4. — 

49. The Kingdom of Heaven. 

50. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 4. — 
Wednesday (concluded). 

51. On Dissent without Reason in 


52. Sermon for St. Matthias' Day. 

No. 1. 

53. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 5. — 

54. Sermon for the Annunciation. 

No. 2. 

55. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 5. — 
Thursday (continued). 

56. Holydays observed in the Eng- 

lish Church. 

57. Sermon for St, Mark's Day. 

No. 3. 

58. On the Church, as viewed by 

Faith and by the World. 


59. The Position of the Church of 

Christ in England relatively to 
the State and the Nation. 

60. Sermon for St. Philip and St. 

Jude. No. 4. 

61. The Catholic Church a Witness 

against Illiberality. 

62. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 5. — 
Thursday (concluded). 

63. The Antiquity of the existing 


64. Bishop Bull on the ancient Li- 


65. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 6.— 

66. Thoughts on the Benefit of Fast- 

ing. Supplement to Tract 18. 

67. Scriptural Views of Holy Bap- 


68. The same continued. 

69. The same concluded, with Notes. 

70. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 7. — 


XIX. St. Cyprian on the Unity of 

the Church. 

XX. The same continued. 

XXI. The same concluded. 

XXII. Tertullian on Baptism. 

XXIII. The Martyrdom of St. Felix 

and of St. Laurence. 

XXIV. St. Vincent of Lerins on the 

Tests of Heresy. 
XXV. The same concluded. 





No. I No. 

63. Antiquity of the existing Litur- | 64. Bishop Bull on the Ancient 
gies. Liturgies. 





56. Holydays observed in the Eng- 
lish Church. 
66. Tlioughts on the Benefit of Fast- 



67. Scriptural Views of Holy Bap- 


68. The same continued. 

69. The same concluded, with Notes. 


60. Bishop Wilson's Meditations.- 

52. Sermons for Saints' Days. No. 1. 
64. Ditto. No. 2. 
67. Ditto. No. 3. 
60. Ditto. No. 4. 
48. Bishop Wilson's Meditations. — 
No. 4. — Wednesday. 


47. The Visible Church. No. 4. | 51. On Dissent without Reason in 


4 (concluded). 



No. 5.— Thursday. 



No. 5 (continued). 



No. 6 (concluded). 



No. 6.— Friday. 



No. 7.— Saturday. 

49. The Kingdom of Heaven. 



58. On the Church, as viewed by 

Faith and by the World. 

59. The Position of the Church of 

Christ in England relatively to 
the State and the Nation. 


The Catholic Church a Witness 
against lUiberality. 


XIX. St. Cyprian on the Unity of 

the Church. 

XX. The same continued. 

XXI. The same concluded. 

XXII. Tertullian on Baptism. 

XXIII. The Martyrdom of St Felix 

and of St. Lawrence. 

XXIV. St. Vincent of Lerins on 

the Tests of Heresy. 
XXV. The same concluded. 


Ill .Mll.llll^, lilt Notes on the Tract on Baptism, to which no nuiubtri 
attached, must be put next to No. 69. 


No, 47.J (Ad Clerum,) [Price Id, 



My Dear 

I AM sorry my delay has been so considerable in answering your 
remarks on my Letters on the Church. Indeed it has been 
ungrateful in me, for you have given me an attention unusual 
with the multitude of religious persons ; who, instead of receiving 
the arguments of others in simplicity and candour, seem to have 
a certain number of types, or measures of professing Christians, 
set up in their minds, to one or other of which they consider 
every one they meet with belongs, and who, accordingly, directly 
they hear an opinion advanced, begin to consider whether the 
speaker be a No. 1, 2, or 3, and having rapidly determined this, 
treat his views with consideration or disregard, as it may be. I 
am far from saying our knowledge of a person's character and 
principles should not influence our judgment of his arguments ; 
certainly it should have great weight. I consider the cry " mea- 
sures not men," to be one of the many mistakes of the day. At 
the same time there is surely a contrary extreme, the fault of 
fancying we can easily look through men, and understand what 
each individual is ; an arbitrary classing of the whole Christian 
family under but two or three countenances ^ and mistaking one 
man's doctrine for another's. You at least have not called me an 
Arminian, or a high Churchman, or a Borderer, or one of this 
or that school, and so dismissed me. 

To pass from this subject. You tell me that in my zeal in 
advocating the doctrine of the Church Catholic and Apostolic, I 


** use expressions and make assumptions which imply that the 
Dissenters are without the pale of salvation." So let me explain 
myself on these points. 

You say that my doctrine of the one Catholic Church in effect 
excludes Dissenters, nay, Presbyterians, from salvation. Far 
from it. Do not think of me as of one who makes theories for 
himself in his closet, who governs himself by book-maxims, and 
who, as being secluded from the world, has no temptation to let 
his sympathies for individuals rise against his abstract positions, 
and can afford to be hard-hearted, and to condemn by wholesale 
the multitudes in various sects and parties whom he never saw. I 
have known those among Presbyterians whose piety, resignation, 
cheerfulness, and affection, under trying circumstances, have been 
such, as to make me say to myself, on the thoughts of my own 
higher privileges, " Woe unto thee Chorazin, woe unto thee 
Bethsaida !" Where little is given, little will be required ; and 
that return, though little, has its own peculiar loveliness, as 
an acceptable sacrifice to Him who singled out for praise the 
widow's two mites. Was not Israel apostate from the days of 
Jeroboam ; yet were there not even in the reign of Ahab, seven 
thousand souls who were " reserved," an elect remnant? Does 
any Churchman wish to place the Presbyterians, where, as in 
Scotland, their form of Christianity is in occupation, in a worse 
condition under the Gospel than Ephraim held under the Law ? 
Had not the ten tribes the schools of the Prophets, and has not 
Scotland at least the word of God ? Yet what would be thought 
of the Jew who had maintained that Jeroboam and his kingdom 
were in no guilt ? and shall we from a false charity, from a fear 
of condemning the elect seven thousand, scruple to say that Pres- 
byterianism has severed itself from our temple privileges, and 
undervalue the line of Levi and the house of Aaron ? Consider 
our Saviour's discourse with the woman of Samaria. While by 
conversing with her he tacitly condemned the Jews' conduct in 
refusing to hold intercourse with the Samaritans, yet He plainly 
declared that '* salvation was of the Jews." •• Ye worship ye 
know not what ;" He says, " we know what we worship." Can 
we conceive His makinf^ light of the differences between Jew and 


Further, if to whom much is given, of him much will be 
required, how is it safe for us to make light of our privileges, if 
we have them ? is not this to reject the birth-right ? to hide our 
talent under a napkin ? When we say that God has done more 
for us than for the Presbyterians, this indeed may be connected 
with feelings of spiritual pride ; but it need not. We may, by so 
saying, provoke ourselves to jealousy; for we dare not deny that, 
in spite of our peculiar privileges of communion with Christ, yet 
even higher saints may lie hid (to our great shame) among those 
who have not themselves the certainty of our especial approaches to 
His glorious majesty. Was not Elijah sent to a widow of Sarepta ? 
did not Elisha cure Naaman? and are not these instances set for- 
ward by our Lord Himself as warnings to us " not to be high- 
minded but to fear;" and, again, as a gracious consolation when 
we think of our less favoured brethren ? Where is the narrowness 
of view and feeling which you impute to me ? Why may I not 
speak out, in order at once to admonish myself, and to attempt 
to reclaim to a more excellent way those who are at present 
severed from the true Church ? 

And what has here been said of an established Presbyterianism, 
is true (in its degree) of dissent; when it has become hereditary, 
and embodied in institutions. 

Further, it is surely parallel with the order of Divine Provi- 
dence that there should be a variety, a sort of graduated scale, in 
His method of dispensing His favour in Christ. So far from its 
being a strange thing that Protestant sects are not " in Christ," 
in the same fulness that we are, it is more accordant to the scheme 
of the world that they should lie between us and heathenism. It 
would be strange if there were but two states, one absolutely of 
favour, one of disfavour. Take the world at large, one form of 
paganism is better than another. The North American Indians 
are theists, and as such more privileged than polytheists, Maho- 
metanism is a better religion than Hindooism. Judaism is better 
than Mahometanism. One may believe that long established 
dissent affords to such as are born and bred in it a sort of pretext, 
and is attended with a portion of blessing, (where there is no 
means of knowing better,) which does not attach to those who 
cause divisions, found sects, or wantonly wander from the Church 


to the Meeting House ; — that what is called an orthodox sect has 
a share of Divine favour, which is utterly withheld from heresy. 
I am not speaking of the next world, where we shall all find our- 
selves as individuals, and where there will be but two states, but 
of existing bodies or societies. On the other hand, why should 
the corruptions of Rome lead us to deny her Divine privileges, 
when even the idolatry of Judah did not forfeit hers, annul her 
temple-sacrifice, or level her to Israel ? 

I say all this, merely for the purpose of suggesting to those 
who are '* weak" some idea of possible modes in which Eternal 
Wisdom may reconcile the exuberance of His mercy in Christ to 
the whole race of man, with the placing of it in its fulness in a 
certain ordained society and ministry. For myself I prefer to 
rely upon the simple word of truth, of which Scripture is the 
depository, and since Christ has told me to preach the whole 
counsel of God, to do so fearlessly and without doubting ; not 
being careful to find ways of smoothing strange appearances in 
His counsels, and of obviating difiiculties, being aware on the 
one hand that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor our ways 
His ways, and on the other, that He is ever justified in His 
sayings, and overcomes when He is judged. 

Ever yours, &c. 

Tlie Feast of All Saints. 

These Tracts are published Monthly ^ and sold at the price of 
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Question from the Office of Consecration. — Will you deny all 


1 Cor. ix. 27. " I keep under my body, and bring it into 
subjection, lest, by any means, when I have preached to others, I 
myself should be a castaway." And if Paul, what shall be said 
of us? 

Gal. V. 24. " They, that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh 
with the affections and lusts." Nature is content with a little, 
grace with less. 

Tit. ii. 15. " Let no man despise thee;" that is, demean thy- 
self agreeable to the authority which thou hast received from Jesus 
Christ, not making thy office contemptible by any mean action ; 
but act with the dignity of one who stands in the place of God. 

Lev. iv. 3. " If the priest that is anointed do sin according 
to the sin of the people, then let him bring a sin-offering." 
N.B. That the same sin, in a single priest, is to have as great a 
sacrifice as a sin of the whole people of Israel. The flesh never 
thrives but at the cost of the soul. Let us ever remember, that 
mortification must go further than the body. Self-love, pride, 
envy, jealousy, hatred, malice, avarice, ambition, must all be 
mortified, by avoiding and ceasing from the occasions of them. 



The sobriety of the soul consists in humility, and in being con- 
tent with necessaries. 

Matt. vii. 14. " Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that 
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." But, if the diffi- 
culties of an holy life affright us, let us consider, " who can dwell 
with everlasting burnings ?" All mankind being under the sen- 
tence of death, certain to be executed, and at an hour we know 
not of, a state of penance and self-denial, of being dead and cru- 
cified to the world, is certainly the most suitable, the most becom- 
ing temper that we can be found in, when that sentence comes to 
be executed, that is, when we come to die. 

The more we deny ourselves, the freer we shall be from sin, 
and the more dear to God. God appoints us to sufferings, that 
we may keep close to Him, and that we may value the sufferings 
of His Son, which we should have but a low notion of, did not 
our own experience teach us what it is to suflfer. Had there been 
any better, any easier way to heaven, Jesus Christ would have 
chosen it for Himself and for His followers. 

Take uj) the Cross, 

This is designed as a peculiar favor to Christians, as indeed 
are all Christ's commands. Miseries are the unavoidable portion 
of fallen man. All the difference is. Christians suifering in obe- 
dience to the will of God, it makes them easy ; unbelievers suffer 

the same things, but with an uneasy will and mind Self-denial 

is absolutely necessary to prepare us to receive the grace of God ; 
it was therefore necessary that John the Baptist should prepare 
the way, by preaching repentance and self-denial. Men need 
not be at pains to go to hell ; if they will not deny themselves, if 
they make no resistance, they will go there of course. One does 
not begin to fall, when the fall becomes sensible. " They that 
are Chriat'a, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts." 

This is the only true test of being truly Christians Every 

day deny yourself some satisfaction ; your eye*, objects of mere 
curiosity ; your tongue^ every thing that may feed vanity, or vent 
enmity ; the palate, dainties ; the ears, flattery, and whatever 
corrupts the heart ; the body, ease and luxury ; bearing all the 
inconveniences of life, (for the love of God,) cold, hunger, restlesg 


nights, ill health, unwelcome news, the faults of servants, con- 
tempt, ingratitude of friends, malice of enemies, calumnies, our 
own failings, lowness of spirits, the struggle in overcoming our 
corruptions ; bearing all these with patience and resignation to 
the will of God. Do all this as unto God, with the greatest pri- 
vacy It being much more easy to prevent than to mortify a 

lust, a prudent Christian will set a guard upon his senses. One 
unguarded look betrayed David. Job made a covenant with his 
eyes. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Sensuality 
unfits us for the joys *of heaven. If that concupiscence which 
opposes virtue be lessened, a less degree of grace will secure 


Self-love would wish to be made perfect at once ; but self-love 
is what God would destroy by a course of wholesome trials. 
Our disorder is an excessive love for ourselves, and for this 
world. God orders or permits a train of events to cure us of this 
self-love. The cure is painful, but it is necessary. We suffer 
from His love. He is a Father, and cannot take pleasure in our 

misery All ways are indifferent to one who has heaven in his 

eye. He that does not practise the duty of self-denial, does not 
put himself into the way to receive the grace of God. .... 

Virtues of a Holy Life, 

Fervency in devotion ; frequency in prayer ; aspiring after the 
love of God continually ; striving to get above the world and the 
body ; loving silence and solitude, as far as one's condition will 
permit ; humble and affable to all ; patient in suffering affronts 
and contradictions ; glad of occasions of doing good even to ene- 
mies ; doing the will of God, and promoting His honor to the 
utmost of one's power ; resolving never to offend Him willingly, 
for any temporal pleasure, profit, or loss. These are virtues 
highly pleasing to God. There is no pleasure comparable to the 

not being captivated to any external thing whatever Always 

suspect yourself, when your inclinations are strong and impor- 
tunate. It is necessary that we deny ourselves in little and 
indifferent things, when reason and conscience, which is the voice 
of God, suggests it to us, as ever we hope to get the rule over 
our own will. Say not, it is a trifle, and not fit to make a sacri- 


fice of to God. He that will not sacrifice a little affection, will 
hardly offer a greater. It is not the thing, but the reason and 
manner of doing it, viz. for God's sake, and that I may accustom 
myself to obey His voice, that God regards, and rewards with 
greater degrees of grace. (^Life of Mr, Bonnell, p. 122.) 

Rom. XV. 3. " Even Jesus Christ pleased not Himself;" as 
appears in the meanness of His birth, relations, form of a servant, 

the company He kept. His life, death, &c They who imagine 

that self-denial intrenches upon our liberty, do not know that it 
is this only that can make us free indeed, •> giving us the victory 
over ourselves, setting us free from the bondage of our corruption, 
enabling us to bear afflictions, (which will come one time or other), 
to foresee them without amazement, enlightening the mind, sanc- 
tifying the will, and making us to slight those baubles, which 
others so eagerly contend for. 

Mortification consists in such a sparing use of the creatures, as 
may deaden our love for them, and make us even indifferent in 
the enjoyment of them. This lessens the weight of concupiscence, 
which carries us to evil, and so makes the grace of God more 
effectual to turn the balance of the will. (Norris's Christian 
Prudence, p. 300.) 

fTo be continued.) 

The Feast of St, Andrew, 

These Tracts are published Monthly, and sold at the price of 
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No, 49 J] (Ad Clerum.): [Price '2d, 



In referring to Scripture for the proof of points relating to the 
doctrine of the Church, we sometimes find the force of our 
arguments evaded by the objection that, although the texts and 
passages we refer to seem to prove the points for which they are 
cited, we still appear to be giving them an undue prominence in 
our system. It is admitted, for instance, that the Epistles to 
Timothy and Titus prove an Episcopal form of Church govern- 
ment: that certain passages in the First Epistle to the Corin- 
thians indicate the existence of a certain order of Church service, 
&c. ; but then these passages are thought to occupy a subordinate 
place in the records of the New Testament, while our doctrine of 
the Church would put them prominently forward. This is, 
doubtless, a point to be well considered; for the apostolic rules 
of Scripture teaching and interpretation, must be faithfully ob- 
served : '* If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God," 
or " prophesy," let him prophesy " according to the proportion 
(or analogy) of faith." 

Now, to meet this difficulty, let it be considered that the resto- 
ration of a doctrine so evidently important in its bearings as that 
of the Church, must necessarily produce a great change upon a 
system out of which it has been lost. We have been accustomed 
to a Ptolemaic theory of our spiritual system ; we have made our 
own little world the centre, and have ranged the doctrines of 
Scripture around it, according to the relation they seem severally 
to bear to our own individual profit. We find ourselves called 
upon to adopt an opposite theory ; to take for the centre of our 



system a body which we had been used to regard as a mere 
satellite attending upon our own orb. No wonder if we feel our 
notions deranged ; if every thing seems put into a new place ; 
that which before was primary, now made subordinate ; and vice 
versd. This is no more than we might naturally expect : the 
only question for us to settle is this ; does the theory which is 
proposed for our acceptance bring facts to support it? The main- 
tainer of the Copemican theory, perhaps, directs our attention 
principally, or even exclusively, to objects which we had else 
comparatively neglected, or entirely overlooked. But this is no 
fatal objection to his views. The satellites of Jupiter might 
seem to hold a subordinate place in the solar system, and their 
eclipses to be comparatively uninteresting phenomena : and yet 
the examination of them led, we know, to great and important 
discoveries. Just so, some apparently insignificant text, lying in 
the depth of Scripture, far removed, as we think, from the centre 
light of Christian doctrine, may be the means of suggesting to 
us most important considerations, — of impressing upon us the 
conviction that we have been going upon a false theory, and 
leading us to a truer notion of the system in which we are placed. 
We do well, indeed, to weigh carefully the meaning of the texts 
which are brought before us, and to examine the deductions 
which are founded upon them, whether they follow naturally 
from the premises. But we do not well if we allow ourselves to 
be prejudiced against the evidence which is brought from Scrip- 
ture, merely because it is contrary to our pre-conceived notions ; 
because it seems to put us in a strange country, exalting the 
valleys, and making low the mountains and hills, turning Lebanon 
into a fruitful field, and causing the fruitful field to be counted, 
in comparison, as a forest. This is not to inquire after truth in 
the spirit of true philosophers, or, which is the same thing, of 
little children. And for such only is knowledge in store ; ** of 
such" only " is the kingdom of heaven.** 

For illustration of these remarks I would refer to the passages 
in St. Matthew's Gospel, which are first pressed upon our notice, 
when our attention is turned to the evidence of Scripture respect- 
ing the nature and office of the Christian Church. First and 
foremost, of course, is the well known promise to St. Peter, 


(chap. xvi. 18.) "Upon this rock will I build my Church." It 
is argued by the Churchman, that the obvious sense of the word 
'EKKX-qaria (Assembly J, as it would strike an unprejudiced reader, 
is that of a visible body ; and that this sense is confirmed by the 
use of the term in chap, xviii. 17. Again, we are referred to the 
remarkable passage, (chap. xxiv. 45 — 51.) "Who then is that 
faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall make ruler over 
his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season. 
Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall 
find so doing," &c. It is asked, whether we do not find traces 
here of a line of ministry to continue in Christ's " Church" and 
** household" until His coming again. And we are bidden to 
compare with this passage that final promise of our Lord to his 
Apostles, with which the Gospel concludes, (chap, xxviii. 20.) 
" Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," as 
confirming the proof of an uninterrupted succession of the Apos- 
tolical ministry. From these passages, then, put together, we 
seem to derive some idea of the Church as a Visible Spiritual 
Society, formed by Christ himself; a household over which He 
has appointed his servants to be stewards and rulers to the end. 
But then this view is drawn from what might seem a few insulated 
passages, occurring in a Gospel which we have been accustomed 
to look to for what we think more practical truths. And how do 
they affect us ? We do not like to have our minds called off to 
such external relations. The interpretation offered us of these 
passages, seems, indeed, correct, and the argument grounded on 
them legitimate : but after all they are but a few scattered pas- 
sages, referring to points which we consider of inferior importance, 
and not entitled to have so much stress laid upon them, or to be 
made foundations of a system. 

But now, discarding prejudice and theory, let us calmly and 
teachably take up the Gospel of St. Matthew, in the hope, by 
diligently comparing of spiritual things with spiritual, to obtain 
an insight into its true meaning. Let us take the passage first 
referred to. The promise is made to St. Peter : it may be well, 
therefore to look through the Gospel, and collect the scattered 
notices of this Apostle. We shall thus ascertain whether the 
promise would seem to have been made to St. Peter individually, 

A 2 

TKACTs roK Tin: ti.mi:s. 

as the Romanist would argue, or whether, as Churchmen in 
England would say, it was made to him as the representative of 
the Apostolic body, and so the type of the Christian ministry. 
Or, on the other hand, we shall see whether the mention of St. 
Peter in this passage, and the prominent place which seems in 
it to be given him, stand so completely alone that it cannot be 
wrought into any thing like a regular system. 

Now if we look carefully into St. Matthew's Gospel, we seem 
to find, throughout, a peculiar place occupied by St. Peter. In 
chap. xiv. we have the narrative of the strength and weakness of 
his faith, in walking on the water to go to Jesus ; a circumstance 
not related by any other of the Evangelists. In the next chapter 
we find Peter asking for an explanation of our Saviour's " parable" 
respecting the things which defile a man, and the " blind leaders 
of the blind," who had been offended at the saying (xv. 15.). 
In chap. xvi. is the promise under our consideration, and the 
offence which so soon followed, and called down upon him his 
Master's displeasure. In chap. xvii. we have the* story of the 
tribute money, and that discourse of our Lord with St. Peter 
which seems to have given rise to the disciples' question, " Who 
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Again, in chap, 
xviii. when our Lord has been explaining to his disciples how the 
offending brother is to be dealt with by '* the Church," (ver. 17.) 
and has confirmed to them the solemn declaration before made to 
St. Peter, (which shows in what sense it was made in the first 
instance to St. Peter,) " Verily, I say unto you. Whatsoever ye 
shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," &c., we read, 
*' Then came Peter to him, and said. Lord, how often shall my 
brother sin against me» and I forgive him?" In chap. xix. we 
find him anxiously inquiring of his Lord, what reward should be 
given to himself and his fellow-apostles, who had forsaken all and 
followed Him. The answer is the remarkable and solemn promise 
to the Twelve, which this Evangelist alone records in this place : 
" Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the 
regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his 
glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve 
tribes of Israel." Throughout St. Matthew's Gospel, St. Peter 
seems to be put forward in a very peculiar manner, of whicli. 


however, v/e are scarcely aware, until we compare the other 
Evangelists, and observe the difference between them in their 
seh'ction and arrangement of the events they record. This is, 
however, too extensive a subject to enter upon at present. Our 
only object is to suggest the inquiry, whether there is not some- 
thing more than casual in the prominent place which St. Peter 
occupies in St. Matthew's Gospel, and whether this peculiarity does 
4iot imply the existence of some deeper meaning than we should 
at first sight attach to several apparently insulated passages, in 
the centre of which stands the noble confession in the sixteenth 
chapter, and the gracious and glorious promise which was founded 
upon it. 

In that promise, made by our Lord to St. Peter, it is said, " I 
will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Here 
we find an expression which is of very common occurrence in St. 
Matthew, and peculiar to his Gospel : no other Evangelist em- 
ploys the phrase, ** the kingdom of iieaven." Here again we 
shall do well to collect together tbe various passages in which 
•the expression is used ; and then we shall see that the doctrine 
of the Church and its Ministers, unfolded in the promise to St. 
Peter, is no insulated and subordinate point in St. Matthew's 
Gospel. In the beginning of the Gospel we find the Baptist 
preaching and saying, *' Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is 
at hand ;" and the ministry of our blessed Lord, taking up the 
Baptist's message, opens with the same announcement. " From 
that time (the time that John was cast into prison) Jesus began 
to preach and to say. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at 
hand." (iv. 17.) We read of his going about all the synagogues 
of Galilee, " preaching the Gospel of the kingdom" (iv. 23.) ; 
and in His Sermon on the Mount we hear Him declaring who 
they are to whom that kingdom belongs, (v. 3, &c.) " The 
kingdom of heaven*' was to be the fulfilment of the earlier dis- 
pensation, the law and the prophets ;" whosoever therefore shall 
break one of these least commandments," says our blessed Lord, 
** and shall teach men so, the same shall be called the least in the 
kingdom of heaven ; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the 
same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto 
you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteous 


ness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." (v. 17 — 19.) This, with other parallel 
passages, seems to give us a clue to the view of the Gospel dis- 
pensation as unfolded by St. Matthew. Our Lord appears in 
the character of a prophet, like Moses, raised up to be the Giver of 
a new law, and the founder of a new Kingdom or Polity. The 
Scribes and Pharisees were corrupt expounders of the Divine law, 
they were unfaithful stewards of the mysteries of the kingdom : 
other servants were therefore to be chosen into their place, who 
should be the true " light of the world ;" faithful rulers over 
God's household, giving to every one their portion of meat in 
due season. The Scribes and Pharisees were to be deposed from 
Moses' seat ; St. Peter and his fellow apostles were to be exalted 
in their room. They had " the keys of knowledge" committed 
to them, to open the kingdom of heaven unto men ; but they had 
abused their trust, and they were to be deprived of their sacred 
office. Thus does our Lord pass sentence upon them : " Woe 
unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites : for ye shut up the 
kingdom of heaven against men : for ye neither go in yourselves, 
neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." And thus, in 
terms strictly corresponding, as it would appear, is their bishopric 
given for another to take : " Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona ; 
and I say unto thee, that thou art Peter ; and I will give unto 
thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou 
shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever 
thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." The king- 
dom of heaven, of which the keys were thus taken away from the 
Scribes and Pharisees, and given to St. Peter and his brethren, 
was that everlasting kingdom prepared from the foundation of 
the world, which had been committed to the Son by the Almighty 
Father. To Him of proper right it belongs ; of Him alone it is 
properly said, that " He openeth, and no man shutteth ; and 
shutteth, and no man openeth." " The law and the prophets 
were until John," He himself declares ; since that time the 
kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 
" From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of 
heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." 
(Luke xvi. 16. Matt. xi. 12.) For the baptism of repentance for 


the remission of sins was then first preached to sinners. The 
Son of Man had power upon earth to forgive sins (ix. 6.) ; and 
He had also power to retain them : He was empowered to gather 
the wheat into his garner, and to hurn up the chaiF with unquench- 
able fire (iii. 12.). But when, as the Messenger of the Covenant, 
He came, in fulfilment of prophecy, to visit His temple, and to 
punish the priests who had corrupted the covenant, and been par- 
tial in the law. He came, at the same time, to " purify the sons 
of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver," that they might 
*' offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Let us bear 
this prophecy in mind when we turn to St. Matthew's Gospel, and 
let us see whether the long vista of God's dispensations in refer- 
ence to his elder " church" and household, the covenant made 
with its ministers, the promises given to them, their unfaithfulness 
and corruption, will not throw a new light upon many passages 
of the Gospel, which seemed before dark and uninteresting. We 
might, for instance, put side by side the discourses of our blessed 
Lord with the Pharisees, and those which He held with His own 
disciples ; we might see the one cavilling against the truth, and 
laying snares for Him who came to try and prove them, until at 
length He gave them over to their blindness, and denounced a 
fearful catalogue of woes upon their heads : we might watch the 
other, gradually weaned from prejudice and carnal-mindedness, 
instructed in " the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," as they 
were able to learn them, until they were fit to be left alone in the 
world, with the Spirit of their departed Master to be with them to 
the end of their ministry, while they made disciples of all nations, 
and taught them to observe the things which He had commanded 
them. We should then trace, with no careless feeling, in the 
sixteenth chapter, the lines of the Christian Church. When we 
see the faithless Pharisees, leagued with their bitterest enemies, to 
tempt the Great Prophet of the Church ; when we hear Him 
affectionately reproving His own disciples for their want of faith, 
and warning them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and 
Sadducees ; when we then hear the solemn question put to the 
twelve, and the bold and undoubting answer of St. Peter, we shall 
see a depth and fulness of meaning in our Saviour's blessing, which 
perhaps we never saw before, and feel that " blessed" indeed are 


we too, unto whom, through the covenant made with Simon, the 
son of Jonah, the blessed Chieftain of a blessed company, it has 
been revealed of the Father which is in heaven, that Jesus is 
♦' the Christ, the Son of the living God." 

Or, let us turn to the passage in the eighteenth chapter, in which 
the name of '* the Church" occurs again, and the promise made to 
St. Peter is incidentally confirmed to the whole Apostolic body. 
Our blessed Lord is there teaching His disciples how we are to 
deal with our brethren when they offend us, and how oft to for- 
give them. " If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and 
tell him his fault between thee and him alone ; if he shall hear 
thee, thou hast gained thy brother ; but if he will not hear thee, 
then take with thee two or three more, that in the mouth of two 
or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he 
shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he 
neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen 
man and as a publican. Verily, 1 say unto you. Whatsoever ye 
shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever 
ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." In this pas- 
sage, taken by itself, we must understand by the term eKKXrjaia, 
as has been observed, a visible body : but let us look at it again 
in its connexion with the series of passages in which we have 
seemed to trace the idea of " the kingdom of heaven" as the ful- 
filment of that elder visible church, which was established by the 
ministry of Moses. The repetition of the promise before made to 
St. Peter connects this passage closely with that in chap. xvi. : 
there the power of the keys was promised by our Lord ; here tlie 
principles and rules are given for its exercise. For these our 
blessed Lord refers to the spirit of the Mosaic law. The first 
step to be taken towards an offending brother breathes the general 
spirit of the Mosaic law, and closely agrees with the injunction 
specially given, " Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart ; 
thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy brother, and not suffer sin upon 
him" (Lev. xix. 17.)« The next step is in exact fulfilment of 
the command in Deut. xvii, 0. ** At the mouth of two witnesses 
or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to 
death ; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to 
death." And the final rejection of the brother that *' will not 


hear the church," is in no less strict accordance with the spirit of 
the Mosaic denunciation : *' And the man that will do presump- 
tuously, and will not hearken unto the priest (that standeth to 
minister there before the Lord thy God), or unto the judge, even 
that man shall die: and thou shaltput away the evil from Israel" 
(Deut. xvii. 12.). The Christian " Church" seems thus to come 
into the place of the congregation of Israel ; the Apostles, into 
the office of the Levitical priest and judge ; and since their Mas- 
ter came to fulfil the law, they were to "do and teach" that law 
in his spiritual meaning. Now " the end of the commandment 
is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of 
faith unfeigned ; from which some having swerved," says the 
Apostle, " have turned aside unto vain jangling ; desiring to be 
teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor 
whereof they affirm." (1 Tim. i. 5 — 7.) This description of false 
apostles, the rivals of the true apostles of Christ, is equally appli- 
cable to those whom they were appointed to supersede. If we 
look to our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, we find how the Scribes 
" swerved" from the commandment in its true " end" and object; 
their explanations of the sixth and seventh commandments show 
how little they understood the spirit of the law of love. In that 
Sermon Christ's disciples are instructed how they are to fulfil 
the commandments : they are now directed how, as faithful 
ministers of God's word, they are to " do and teach" them, viz. 
by governing the Church of God according to the spirit of true 
brotherly love. Why had Levi been so grievously rebuked by 
the ministry of the last of the prophets ? (Mai. ii. 1 — 9.) Why 
was not " the offering of Judah and Jerusalem pleasant unto the 
Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years ?" (Mai. iii. 4. 
comp. ii. 13.) They had forgotten the brotherly covenant which 
bound Israel together as children of one earthly parent, and one 
Father in heaven, who had a care for his " little ones," and would 
not that one of them should perish. " Have we not all one Fa- 
ther ? hath not one God created us ? why do we deal treacherously 
every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our 
fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, covering the altar of 
God with tears, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth 
not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good- will at your 


hand" (Mai. ii. 10 — 13.). But when the sons of Levi had been 
duly purified, that they might offer unto the Lord an offering in 
righteousness — the true righteousness of the law, perfect brotherly 
love — then would the Lord again return to his temple, renew 
with Levi this " covenant of life and peace," and bless the sacred 
service of his holy congregation. " Verily, I say unto you, what- 
soever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," &c. 
Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree as touching 
any thing that they shall ask on earth, it shall be done for them 
of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are 
gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." 
Can we doubt of the meaning of this solemn promise ? and is it 
not full of comfort to faithful members of Christ's holy catholic 
and apostolic church ? Does it not teach us, that upon us truly 
** the ends of the world are come :" that we are the children of a 
long line of spiritual ancestry, the heirs, highly blessed and 
favoured indeed, of a rich and glorious inheritance ? 

It would be easy to follow out, to an almost indefinite extent, 
the line of illustration, of which a few points have been traced. 
Other similar lines might also be drawn, throwing much light 
upon separate passages of the same Gospel ; as, for instance, the 
comparison of " the kingdom of heaven" to a householder, which 
might be traced through many parables, &c. throwing light upon 
the remarkable passage already referred to in the twenty-fourth 
chapter. Or again, in illustration of the fearful outline, which is 
there set before us, of the misconduct and punishment of the " wicked 
servant,** we might draw out the intimations, which our Lord's 
words, on several occasions, give us, of unfaithful ministers and 
stewards, who were in after days to abuse the power committed 
to them, to lord it over their fellow servants, to eat and drink and 
to be drunken : or, still further, we might borrow from the con- 
demnation of the Scribes and Pharisees a fearful light on the cha- 
racter of the " hypocrites," with whom his portion is assigned. 

But enough, perhaps, has been said for our present purpose, 
which has been, not to urge for exclusive adoption a particular 
interpretation of certain passages, nor even to recommend any 
particular idea as supplying the only clue to their meaning ; but 
shnply to meet an objection, which, it is believed, indisposes the 


minds of many thoughtful readers of Holy Scripture to receiving 
the evidence which is drawn from its records, in support of the doc- 
trine of " the Church." To such persons it is here suggested, that 
their difficulty arises from prejudice in favour of a particular theory. 
Scripture may be viewed from other points than that which they 
have chosen: and the theory which a different view suggests 
may perhaps be found to explain more phenomena, and unfold 
deeper mysteries, than theirs. The expression, or incident, or 
argument, which they overlook, and cast aside, may, to another, 
serve as a clue to a mysterious volume, and give ** thoughts 
which do often lie too deep for tears." Only let not persons be 
startled and offended at finding truths of Scripture which they 
had entirely overlooked, or thought practically unimportant, 
assuming a prominent place in the system which is recommended 
to their consideration. This must be the case at first. If the 
interpretation given of a passage of Scripture seems agreeable to 
the natural sense of the words, to the context, or to other parts of 
Scripture ; if it seem to give more meaning to passages or por- 
tions, than they had in our eyes before ; let this be enough for us 
for the present ; let us thankfully admit it, not lightly or hastily 
starting objections, or caring for its effect upon our pre-conceived 
opinions. " Every word of God is pure" (Prov. xxx. 5.) ; and 
if we are bidden not to " add to His words," lest He reprove us, 
and we be found liars (v. 6.) ; we are also warned, in the most 
mysterious, and, to many readers, apparently unpractical, book 
of the New Testament, " If any man shall take away from the 
words of the prophecy of this book, God shall take away his part 
out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this 
book" (Rev. xxii. 19.). Surely we may incur the risk of thus 
taking away from the words of prophecy, without literally man- 
gling its sacred page. We may settle with ourselves, that it is 
an external matter, and not important to our individual interests. 
Rather let us humbly receive the very crumbs which fall from the 
Master's table, " laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypo- 
crisies and envies, and all evil speakings, if so be we have tasted 
that the Lord is gracious." (1 Pet. ii. 1. 3,) The scattered limbs 
of sacred truth, which are presented to our view, may seem to us 
at first sight like the dry bones, which the prophet saw in the 


valley of vision : but the word of prophecy may yet bring them 
together, may cover them with sinew, and flesh, and skin, and 
fill them with a living spirit ; the breath from the four winds may 
breathe upon the slain, and they may " stand up" upon their feet, 
before our eyes, " an exceeding great army." " And when this 
cometh to pass, then shall they know that there hath been a prophet 
among them :" " for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of 
Israel, saith the Lord God." Wherefore, " now be strong, O Zerub- 
babel, saith the Lord : and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech the 
high priest, and be strong all ye people of the land, and work, for I 
am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts. According to the word that 
I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my Spirit 
remaineth among you : fear ye not." (Haggai ii. 4, 5.) " Go ye 
therefore, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to ob- 
serve all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am; 
with you always, even unto the end of the world." 

The Feast of the Nativity, 

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No. 4.— WEDNESDAY— (^conimwerf.; 

Luke xvi. 19. " There was a certain rich man, which was 
clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every 
day." For a man, then, to be rich, to be clothed magnificently, 
and to take no care of the poor, is sufficient to send him to hell, 
because he cannot lead a Christian life. Repentance, mortifica- 
tion, and the cross, are utterly inconsistent with a soft, sensual, 
voluptuous life ; the desire of happiness, with the love of this 
present life. It is, therefore, a most miserable state, for a man 
to have every thing according to his desire, and quietly to enjoy 
the pleasures of life. There needs no more to expose him to 
eternal misery. 

Fas ting i 

Necessary, to bring our hearts to a penitent, holy, and devout 
temper. Our Church requires this, and appoints days and times, 
&c. ; and it has been the honour of this Church, that she hath 
kept up to her rules, where others have shamefully neglected 
them. Fasting necessary, to perform the vows that are upon us 
all. By fasting, by alms, and by prayers, we dedicate our bodies, 
goods, and souls to God in a particular manner. 

Meditations proper for a Clergyman during Lent. 

The primitive Bishops had places of retirement near their cities, 
that they might separate themselves from the world, lest teaching 


others they should forget themselves ; lest they should lose the 
spirit of piety themselves, vrhile they were endeavouring to fix it 
in others. 

Prosper, O God, the good thoughts, the good purposes, which 
Thou Thyself shalt inspire. I acknowledge Thy goodness, which 
has raised me above my brethren, and appointed me a Successor 
to Thy Apostles. O may I ever act agreeably to this character. 
May I never profane a character so holy and so divine, lest God 
should pour down his vengeance upon my ungrateful heart. 
Pardon me whereinsoever I have been wanting in the several 
duties of my calling ; and give me grace to be more careful for 
the time to come. Amen. 

How am I bound to adore Thy goodness, my great Master ! 
Thou hast set me in office amongst the chief of Thy servants ; 
but I will, for Thy sake, make myself the servant of the meanest 
of Thy servants. By me Thou communicatest Thy grace in the 
Sacrament; by me Thou teachest Thy people the truth; by my 
bands Thou adoptest them Thy children in baptism, feedest them 
with Thy body, comfortest them in affliction, armest them against 
the fear of death, and fittest them for a blessed eternity 

Give me such holy dispositions of soul, whenever I approach 
Thine altar, as may in some measure be proportionable to the 
holiness of the work I am about, of presenting the prayers of the 
faithful, of offering a spiritual sacrifice to God, in order to convey 
the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the true bread of life to all 
His members. Give me, when 1 commemorate the same sacrifice 
that Jesus Christ once offered, give me the same intentions that 
He had, to satisfy the justice of God, to acknowledge His mercies, 
and to pay all that debt which a creature owes to his Creator. 
None can do this effectually but Jesus Christ ; Him, therefore, 
we present to God, in this Holy Sacrament 

I am a sinner, and yet I am appointed to offer up prayers for 
others. It is to the great God to whom I offer these prayers. 
To me the Church, the spouse of Christ, intrusts her desires, her 
interests, her necessities, and her thanks. What a trust is this ! 
O may I never betray it ! may I never obstruct Thy mercies to 
Thy Church by a formal service. Let me ever speak to God, 



and from God, with attention, with love, with respect, with fear, 
with purity of heart, and with unpolluted lips. Amen ...... 

Reflect seriously what a dreadful account you have to give, if 
you say, " Peace, peace, when there is no peace ;" or if you give 
the children's bread to dogs, that is, admit to the Lord's Table 
those that are unworthy of such a favour 

Endeavour to leave some impression of piety upon the minds 
of those with whom you converse. Jesus Christ did so always. 
Make no distinction betwixt the rich and poor, as to converse 
with one, and not with the other 

As to the disposal of the Church's revenues, the suggestions of 
avarice, of vanity, of pleasure, and of the world, ought not to 
govern me. I am only a steward, not a proprietor, and should 
be as criminal as those laymen that invade them, if I convert 
them to lay and secular uses ; which side of sacrilege, very pro- 
bably, took its rise from others observing the Church's revenues 
put to secular uses 

He, and especially that Minister, " that hath not the spirit 
of Christ, is none of His." He ought to perform all his 
duties in Christ's name, by His authority and power ; and offer 
all to God through Him. Adore Jesus Christ as preaching, 
praying, absolving, and comforting, by you His Minister 

" The Priest's lips should keep knowledge." Whence this 
knowledge, but from the Holy Scriptures, which alone makes us 

sound in doctrine, and able to convince gainsayers Men 

read the Gospel rather as judges than as disciples, which is the 
rise of all errors both in life and doctrine 

Purity of soul and body is a most necessary qualification in a 
Minister of Jesus Christ. To offer the prayers of the faithful to 
God with polluted lips, to break the bread of life with unclean 
hands, to receive that bread into a soul defiled with unchaste 
thoughts, how dreadfully provoking must it needs be. 

A blindness of spirit, an alienation from divine things, an 
incapacity to receive them, are the necessary effects of impu- 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

A Priest, who, in the exercise of his function, has an eye to 
the grandeur, repute, esteem of great men, presumptuous autho- 


rity over the consciences of others, worldly advantages, &c. per- 
verts the design of the Ministry. 

Grant, O Lord, that I may regard nothing but Thy glory, that 
I may act and live for Thee alone, that my zeal for Thy glory, 
and the good of souls, may be the chief motive of all my actions. 

The Feast of St, Stephen. 

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" As one mass doth contain the good ore and base alloy ; as one floor the 
corn and the chaff; as one field the wheat and the tares ; as one net the 
choice fish and the refuse ; as one fold the sheep and the goats ; as one tree 
the living and dry branches ; so doth the Visible Church enfold the true 
universal Church, called the Church mystical and invisible. And for this 
reason, and because presumptively every member of the Visible Church doth 
pass for a member of the invisible, (the time of distinction and separation 
being not yet come,) because this Visible Church, in its profession of truth, 
in its sacrifices of devotion, in its practice of service and duty of God, doth 
communicate with the invisible, therefore commonly the titles and attributes 
of one are imparted to the other." — Altered fram Barrow on the Unity of the 
Church, vol. vii. p. 631. 

It is often asked, " Why should not a man attend both the Church 
and Meeting, if he derives benefit from both ?" And again, 
" Why should not a man be a Dissenter, though he have nothing 
particular to object against the Church, if he is not violent in his 
opposition to the Church ?" The following remarks, in answer 
to these questions, were written by a clergyman for the use of his 

Many of you have made remarks to me on the subject of Dissent, 
when I have been visiting you in your cottages ; and the sub- 
stance of these remarks has apparently been, that it was of very 
little importance, whether a man belonged to the Church or dis- 
sented from it, because the difference is after all but small between 
Churchmen and Dissenters. You have thus spoken (as it would 
seem) sometimes with a view of drawing out my opinions, some- 
times as a sort of defence or apology for your own, sometimes in 


order to invite an argument. I have purposely in my answers 
abstained from entering into the question, and confined myself to 
saying simply that I did not think as you did upon the matter. 
It would by no means have fallen in with the purpose for which 
I visited you on first coming to the parish, to have entered 
into any lengthened reasonings. My object in calling was to 
express my good-will towards you, and therefore to seek our 
points of agreement, and not our points of difference. 

At the same time you are not to suppose that 1 at all wish to 
conceal my sentiments, and it is because some of you may perhaps 
have an erroneous impression of what my opinion is on this sub- 
ject, that I now write this. My observations will be as short as 
I can well make them. I shall avoid as much as possible any 
thing like controversy, or any expressions of opinion as to the 
relative merits of this or that form of dissent, or any discussion 
of the particular Articles of Faith (so far as there may be said to 
be such at all) among the several persuasions around us. — Bear 
in mind my object is to show you that Dissent is a sin. 

But before I proceed further I must make two observations, 
which I wish you to keep in mind, while you read these remarks, 
because they will remove some difficulty, which you might other- 
wise feel in what follows. 

1 . I allow there may be conscientious Dissenters, nay, I hope 
in charity, there are many ; — but by a conscientious Dissenter I 
mean a man who separates himself from the Church, because he 
thinks he finds something in her doctrines or discipline so far 
contrary to scriptural truth, and the precepts of the Gospel, that 
by adhering to her, he would be putting an obstacle in the way 
of his own salvation. Other persons may think themselves 
conscientious Dissenters who do not go nearly so far in their 
condemnation of the doctrines or practice of the Church : nay, 
so far from it, that they would defend their Dissent upon the 
ground that there is no material difference between the system and 
teaching in the one, and the system and teaching in the other. But 
such men I do not call conscientious Dissenters, but careless or 
weak-minded persons, who cannot have thought much or seriously 
upon the subject, and who can hardly have read with attention 
\\l.;it IS to be found in the New Testament respecting the sin of 



schism, or on the authority of the Church, and the duty of obe- 
dience to it. Indeed, a man ought to consider very seriously 
what account he can give of his faith, who is so far both Church- 
man and Dissenter, and so far disposed towards both as to attend 
indiscriminately one or other place of worship, who also could 
give very little better explanation of the difference between one 
and the other, than a statement of the difference in the public 
services of each, and other particular matters of form, and of 
external observance. Such a person can be neither a true 
Churchman nor a conscientious Dissenter. He cannot be a true 
Churchman, for if he was he would not attend a Dissenting place 
of w^orship. For Dissent from the Church must imply a con- 
demnation of something or other, be it of more or less importance, 
in the doctrines or discipline of the Established Church. And 
whoever attends service in a Meeting-house, when he has the 
opportunity of going to the Parish Church, does by so doing give 
his silent approbation to the principle of Dissent, and shows that 
at least he does not disapprove the opinions of the particular 
body, to whose Meeting he goes. He cannot be, on the other 
hand, a conscientious Dissenter, or he would not frequent the 
Church, i. e. a place of worship, which is supported by a system, 
which he considers one of injustice, and which excludes and con- 
demns * that to which he himself belongs ; to say nothing about 
the probability of his hearing something, which though not 
directly levelled against Dissent, still is in spirit a reproof and 
protest against it. 

2. When I say that Dissent is a sm, I by no means thereby 
imply, that for that reason every Dissenter is at once and neces- 
sarily a sinner. To say that a particular thing is a sin, is a very 
different thing from saying that every one who does it is a sinner. 
It will be as well to make this quite clear to you, and therefore 
I will give you some cases, in which you would, without hesitation, 
make the same remark that I have done. — To kill a fellow- 
creature is undoubtedly a crime ; but you would not say that the 
person who killed another by accident, or in defence of his 

^ E. g. by the sentences in the Litany against " false doctrine, heresy, and 
schism," and that God may " bring into the way of truth all such as have 
erred and are deceived," and by the prayers for the unity of the Church. 

A 2 


country, or of his own life, or by command of lawful authorities, 
was a criminal. There are, indeed, few deeds which are in a 
general way sins, which may not be committed under such 
circumstances as to rescue the person who did them from being 
on that account a sinner. There was once a nation which did 
not think thieving wrong : there is a nation which does not con- 
sider a parent's destroying a child, when too poor to maintain it, 
as a sin : and there is a class or sect in another nation who hold 
the same opinion as to the lives of their parents, when too old to 
be serviceable to themselves. You see from these illustrations 
that the degree of criminality attaching to a person for his actions, 
depends very much on the extent of knowledge he has of the 
nature of the act, his education, and various other circumstances. 
It is very difficult to weigh these exactly in estimating how far 
any particular person himself does wrong while he is committing 
a wrong act ; God alone can see the heart ; and, therefore, it is 
better to speak without immediate reference to persons, and only 
as to the character of the opinion or action under consideration. 

With these explanations, first, on the score of conscience 
causing it ; next, of circumstances varying the degree of crimi- 
nality in different persons, I repeat Dissent is a *m, which I now 
go on to prove to you. 

Persons dissent from the Church on account of some difference 
or other, this is plain ; and, from what I have already said, it is 
also plain that I do not intend to say any thing in what follows 
concerning the greater differences which cause Dissent, i. e. 
differences which are founded upon a different interpretation of 
Scripture. For when a man thinks the Church unscriptural, he 
has a good reason for leaving it, and is (what I have called above) 
a conscientious Dissenter ; though at the same time I am bound 
to say, I think his conscience a very erroneous one, which leads 
him to consider the Church unscriptural ; and while I allow him 
to be conscientious in one sense of the word, yet I also think him 
heretical, — just as those men who (as our Lord foretold) thought, 
when they persecuted the Apostles, " they did God service,** 
were wrong, not in that they obeyed their conscience, but because 
they had not a more enlightened conscience. " The light that 
18 in*' a merely conscientious Dissenter is (what Christ has called) 


*' darkness." I say this before passing on to consider (as I mean 
to do) the other kind of Dissenters, those, viz. who dissent for 
some lesser difference, merely lest you should suppose that I con- 
sider a person absolved from all guilt, on the ground of his being 
conscientious ; for as a good conscience is a great treasvire, so a 
dark conscience is like the blind leading the blind. Now then 
let me address myself to that larger number of persons who have 
no material objection against the Church as to its doctrines or 
discipline, and who do not think that a Dissenter will be saved a 
bit more than a Churchman ; who, indeed, are so far from con- 
demning the Church, that they always feel rather disposed, when 
acknowledging their Dissent, to make a sort of apology or ex- 
planation for their leaving the Church, as, e. g. that " it was 
so far to go to Church," or that " their health was weak," or 
" no good sittings were to be had," or that " they had an objec- 
tion to the clergyman of the parish," or that " they were more 
edified by the service at Meeting, as more spiritual," or such 
reasons. 1 shall begin by placing before you some arguments, 
which indirectly support my assertion concerning the sinfulness 
of Dissent. 

(1.) Christians are required to unite in serving God in mutual 
diarity and hearty concord. Hence such directions as these 
from the Apostles to different Churches, viz. that they should 
endeavour to keep " the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," 
that they should be " like-minded, having the same love," being 
" of one accord, of one mind, standing fast in one Spirit with one 
mind," that they should " walk by the same rule and mind the 
same thing," that *' with one mind and one mouth they should 
glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," that they 
should " all speak the same thing," that there should be " no 
divisions among them," but that they be " perfectly joined 
together in the same mind and in the same judgment*." 

As to the construction which some persons put on such 
passages, viz. by making them to refer to an unity in the spiritual 
sense, to a mystical union of the faithful all over the world, in 

' Phil. ii. 2. ; i. 27- ; iii. 16. 1 Pet. iii. 8. Eph. iv. 3. Ilom. xv. 5, 6. 
xii. 10, 2 Cor. xiii, 11. 1 Cor. i. 10. 


the invisible Church of Christ, it is clearly inadmissible. For 
as a matter of reason, what can be the use of such strong and 
repeated exhortations to an union, whose only external sign is a 
profession of charitable indifference to all diversities of religious 
opinion, and whose principal bond of union, is a secret internal 
feeling, as to which no one can exactly judge his neighbour. 
And yet in the New Testament, directions are given concerning 
such divisions, as respecting a thing, of which every Christian can 
judge. And further, as a matter off act, the Church or body, in 
which unity is preserved, is spoken of as a visible body. Fid, 
Matth. xvi. 18; xviii. 17. 1 Tim. iii. 15. 1 Cor. xii. Eph. iv. 

(2.) Obedience to superiors is enjoined. This command seems 
to me, to give a double sanction to the legitimately appointed 
authorities of the Church. First, An authority indirectly, in as 
much as duty to the State requires of us obedience to all those 
who have the sanction of its authority for their dignities, pro- 
vided always, obedience to them does not involve some sacrifice 
of principle, so as to be against our consciences ^ Hence, since 
the time that Chtirch and State have been united, it becomes the 
duty of a good subject to pay reverence and obedience to the 
appointed ministers of religion, upon civil as well as upon religious 
grounds. Secondly, An authority directly, because obedience to 
spiritual superiors is separately enjoined. E. g. " Likewise ye 
younger, submit yourselves to the elder," 1 Pet. v. 5. : — (you will 
see from the first and second verses, that the elders mean 
spiritual superiors, who are set over you.) And again, " Submit 
yourselves unto such, and to every one, that helpeth with us, 
and laboureth." 1 Cor. xvi. 16. ** Obey them that have 
the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for 
your souls, as they that must give account." (Heb. xiii. 17.) 

* E. g. U the State religion became Roman Catholic, it could not be our 
duty to conform to that, because we should thereby compromise some of the 
faiidamental articles of out faith, and admit others to be fundamental, some of 
which are not so — and others, which not only are not so, but are moreover in 
themselves false. On the other hand, if the State ordered the observance of 
Saints' days, or a day of national humiliation, it is the duty of a good subject 
to observe them. 



Again, " We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour 
among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, 
and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake." 
(1 Thess. V. 12, 13.) 

(iS.) It is also a command to Christians, not to give a brother 
cause of sorrow and offence. Now any separation must do that. 
The question therefore is, whether the grounds for it are stich 
as to compel us, from regard to our own souls, and even out of 
Christian charity to him, to separate from communion with the 
body to which he belongs, that we may thereby make him 
acquainted with the danger there is to his eternal salvation in 
remaining in a body, from which we feel obliged, for conscience 
sake, to come out. If we do not think we endanger our salvation 
by continuing in the Church, we are not justified for mere matters 
of opinion, and things, which we do not hold to be essentials of 
religion, to cast a reproach upon the body, from which we remove 
as from a thing unclean ^ and to give pain, doubts, and cause of 
dissensions, by thus withdrawing, 

I proceed next to some direct arguments in support of the 
assertion, that separation, as such, and when not on account of 
some fundamental doctrine, is a sin, 

1st. Hear what Scripture tells us should be our conduct towards 
those who cause divisions, and then consider, whether such 
persons are brought before us as exercising a proper liberty of 

*' We command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother, that walketh 
disorderly and not after the tradition which ye have received of 
us." (2 Thess. iii. 6.) 

" If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, 

* " Nevertheless, I do not hesitate to express a persuasion, that our own case 
happily is such, in the Established Church of England, that we may rightly, 
and are bound to, receive the faith of our forefathers, as delivered to us in 
its authorized form, by the same measure of acceptance, in kind as we receive 
Scripture itself: not hastily taking part against it (as so many do), on 
account of incidental or subordinate objections; but accepting it in Christian 
duty, as it is, and abiding by it, until, after experiment of holy living, it shall 
be proved perilous, or at least inadequate, to the soul's welfare, according to 
the very terms of Scripture." — Miller's Bamp. Lee. p. 15. note. 


receive him not into your house, nor bid him God speed.'' 
(2 John X.) 

" These are they who separate themselves, sensual \ having 
not the Spirit." (Jude 19.) 

" I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and 
offences ^ contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and 
avoid them." (Rom. xvi. 17.) 

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome 
words, even to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the 
doctrine which is according to godliness : he is proud, knowing 
nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof 
Cometh envy, strife, railing, evil-surmisings, perverse disputings 
of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing 
that gain is godliness, from such withdraw thyself." (1 Tim. 
vi. 5—5.) 

2ndly. Consider the manner they are represented in, who cause 
disunion in the Church. The terms are, indeed, so harsh to 
modern (so called) liberal notions, that one feels sure of incurring 
the reproach of being a bigot for venturing thus to apply what we 
read in Scripture ; and the general view respecting these passages 
probably is, that the time of their application is quite gone by, and 
that they have long since become a dead letter. And yet, reflect 
these terms are not used of persons, who were infidels, or heathens, 
or of those who corrupted the main doctrines of Christianity. 
St. Paul blames the Corinthians, because they expressed a pre- 
ference for one teacher above another, and though they all taught 
the same tiling, still he says of such a difference, " that there 
are contentions among you," and speaks of it as an evidence of 
their " carnal mind." (1 Cor. iii. 3.) 

Srdly. There are many passages in the Epistles, in which the 

* Sentual .—The Greek word, which is so translated, does not at all imply 
a pergon who lives a vicious and voluptuous life, given up to the lusts of the 
flesh, but a person who rules himself, and walks according to the visible 
course of things in the world around him, trusting entirely to human reason- 
ings in religion, and to what is called, ** fleshly wisdom," and having no part 
in that wisdom, which is from above. 

' " Which cause pflcnces," i. e. causes of perplexity or pain to others, 
stumbling-blocks, obstacles, snares, &c. 


ways, dispositions, and practices of false teachers are described, 
concerning which the learned differ much, and determine differ- 
ently the sort of opinions condemned in them. Allowing, however, 
what weight is fair to this circumstance, yet after all look at 
them attentively with a view of finding whether they will give 
you any light for the guidance of your conduct in this matter ; 
and, while you consider them, bear the following remarks in 
mind : — 

1. That which is condemned in these persons is either their 
professing false doctrine, or their making disorder, disturbance, 
and disunion in the Church. If you think any of them apply to 
the second, then such passages apply to ray argument here, 
because they go to prove, that making a separation and disputes 
in the Church is wrong. 

2. You will learn from some of them that a person may tliink 
himself quite sincere in leaving the Church, and, yet his own 
heart may have deceived him, though it cannot deceive God, 
who will call him to account hereafter. 2 Tim. iii. 13. 2 Thess. 
ii. 11. 

3. You will see that heresy and schism are placed along with 
bad passions, and bad actions, and vicious dispositions, as if 
in some way connected with them, and as if we may therefore be 
called to give account for these opinions, just as much as for 
those actions, and passions, and dispositions of mind. 1 Tinr, 
vi. 3. 20. ; i. 3, 4. 2 Tim. iv. 3. ; iii. 13. Gal. i. 9. 2 Pet. ii. 
18. 10.; iii. 16. Tit. i. 10.; iii. 10, 11. 2 Cor. xi. 13. 15. 
Acts XX. 29. Matt. vii. 15. 2 Thess. iii. 6. 11. 2 John ix. 
Eph. iv. 14. Jude xvi. Phil. i. 15, 16. 

4thly. Consider the case of Korah in the Old Testament. He 
was a priest of the second order, and, with other Levites, withdrew 
his obedience from the High Priest. There was no matter of 
doctrine or worship in dispute between them and Aaron, nor 
any other dispute than that of Church government. And yet 
how terrible was his punishment. In his case we cannot evade 
the application to the Gospel times, because St. Jude makes it 
for us, speaking of those who " perish in the gainsaying of Core. 
Jude 11. 


5thly. When the Jews fell into wickedness and idolatry, priests 
as well as people, and God sent prophets to reprove them, yet 
none of tlese holy prophets did separate from communion with 
the wicked priests, and set up another priesthood in opposition 
to them. They did not think it lawful, how holy soever they 
were, to intrude themselves into the priesthood, as they had not 
been lawfully called and appointed. 

These two cases go very strongly to prove that there is a 
duty to submit ourselves, for conscience sake, to the established 
order and manner in the Church, so long as the Church enjoins 
nothing which plainly contradicts the revealed will of God, and 
to perform which would therefore do violence to our sense of 

6thly. Consider, further, the ground upon which our Saviour 
ordered the authority of the Scribes and Pharisees to be respected, 
viz. because they sat in Moses' seat, (Matt, xxiii. 2. ;) t. e. 
because they were the lawfully appointed and regularly ordained 
ministers of the established religion. Moreover, throughout the 
Acts of the Apostles, where we are to look for the use and 
gradual formation of a system of Church government, in pro- 
portion as the converts become more numerous, and more widely 
scattered in different countries, we may trace a principle of union 
and of subordination throughout the various Churches and Assem- 
blies of believers. Care too was taken for the continuance of 
this union and this subordination, both in the manner of appoint- 
ing teachers then^ and in providing for their similar appointment 
for the lime to come : and this manner of providing a due supply 
of fit persons for the ministry has been observed not only during 
the age of the Apostles, and their immediate successors, but it 
may be said through the first fifteen centuries after the establish- 
ment of Christianity. 

7thly. Turn to the solemn prayers of our Saviour in the 17th 
chapter of St. John. ** Holy Father, keep through thine own 
name, those whom thou hast given to me, that they may be one ' 

* These words of our Saviour I take as more than an indirect argument 
They speak so clearly of all future believers in the Gospel, for whose unity 
He prays j the closeness of which proper unity, he illustrates by comparing it 


as we are ; and, again, in the same prayer, " neither pray I for 
these alone, but for them also, which shall believe on Me through 
their word, that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in Me 
and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us." .... Would 
it not be in direct opposition to the spirit and letter of this 
prayer to justify every individual Christian in claiming the right 
of withdrawing himself from communion with the Church upon 
every slight difference of opinion ? As if Christianity required of 
us no surrender whatever of the private judgment, and as if it were 
never right for a Christian silently to acquiesce in existing usages, 
or new ordinances, in things indifferent, when commanded by 
lawful authority, unless he was convinced of the benefit and pro- 
priety of them, which would, in fact, be to make every individual 
Christian a law unto himself in all things ; or, to adapt our lan- 
guage to the day, as if it were never required to assent in religious 
matters in the same way as in civil matters, i. e. without being 
convinced of the advisablcness or benefit of the thing enjoined, 
but merely because, on the one hand, lawful authority orders it, 
and, on the other, we see no danger to our souls in obeying it. 

8thly. Christ hath given an authority to the Church, and there- 
fore there is but one thing which can justify us in going against its 
authority, and that is, a firm conviction, that by doing what the 
Church orders, we should transgress some still more evident ard 
higher command of God; as, e. g» whence the Church of Rome 
pronounced it lawful to take away the lives of excommunicated 
princes. And is not separating from the Church transgressing 
its authority ? 

If any one ask, where is this authority spoken of in Scripture, 
let him consider the following texts. 

" He that heareth you, heareth me ; and he that despiseth 
you, despiseth me, and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that 
sent me." (Luke x. 16.) 

" If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an 
heathen man and a publican." (Matt, xviii. 17.) 

with the union between His Father and Himself, i. e. between the two first 
Persons of the blessed Trinity, in which Three are One, Can there be said 
to be such an union in the Christian Church if every one " hath a psalm, hath 
a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation ?" 


" Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ; 
and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in hea- 
ven." (Matt, xviii. 18.) 

" Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; and 
whosesoever sins ye retain, tliey are retained." (John xx. 23.) 

" Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." 
(Matt, xxviii. 20.) 

Dthly. Christ hath appointed the Church as the only way unto 
eternal life. We read at the first, that the Lord added daily to 
the Church such as should be saved ; and what was then done 
daily, hath been done since continually. Christ never appointed 
two ways to heaven ; nor did he build a Church to save some, 
and make another institution for other men's salvation. " There 
is no other name under heaven given unto men, whereby we m^st 
be saved, but the name of Jesus," and that is no otherwise given 
under heaven, than in the Church *. 

Here, then, I finish my series of arguments. Not that there 
are not many others, which might be brought forward, to show 
that Dissent is wrong ; but I prefer confining my remarks at those 
which have something in common with one another. The prin- 
ciples upon which all the reasonings here given are in some sort 
founded, are. 1. the Christian duty of obedience; 2. of preserv- 
ing unity ; 3. of avoiding, in all cases where we can with a safe 
conscience, any giving occasion of offence, or pain, or perplexity, 
to our Christian brethren : — in other words, the duty of having 
an eye always to Christian charity, i. c. brotherly love, in our 
way of performing our duties, especially those about the limits 
of which we are not quite sure. 

• How is it we speak of the external unity of the visible Church, when 
there are many different Churches in different nations? All the Church of 
God are united into one by the unity of discipline and government, by virtue 
whereof the same Christ ruleth in them all. For they have all the sarae 
pastoral guides, appointed, authorized, sanctified, and set apart by the 
ap[>uintmeut of God, by the direction of the Spirit, to direct and lead the 
people of God in the same way of eternal salvation : as therefore there is no 
Church, where there is no order, no ministry ; so, where the same order and 
ministry is, there is the same Church." — Vcanon. 


The sum of the matter as here set before you is this. If a 
man's separation from the Church be upon grounds which he 
really believes to be of vital importance, I have nothing to do 
with him. He acts from conscientious motives, and cannot 
remain in communion with a Church, which teaches what he 
holds to be false doctrines. ** To his own master he standeth or 
falleth ;" and it is not for me to judge how he has come to this 
conclusion. I can, however, fully understand, that so long as he 
holds such an opinion about our Church, he cannot have any thing 
to do with it, but must come out from it. But if I see a man 
attending the Church occasionally, as if he thought there was no 
positive harm in what is taught there, then I say, that man has 
not done rightly in becoming a Dissenter, because I gather from 
Scripture that it is a duty to submit to established authorities in 
religious matters, just as in political and civil matters, so long as 
there is no vital and essential difference between his own articles 
of faith, and those which the established Church maintains. He 
ought to submit in all things indifferent for conscience' sake. 
And his only sound and sufficient defence for separating from 
the Church, is a belief, that he cannot be saved in it on account 
of its holding false doctrine. If he cannot say this, he has no 
sufficient reason for thus •' rending Christ's body," by removing 
himself out of the Church, and for giving an example to others 
to set up some new sect for themselves upon any trifling ground 
of difference. 

I will add only one more remark in conclusion, which is this. 
You read in the New Testament of great and important promises 
made to the Church, whatever that Church be : you read also of 
many very strong and sharp rebukes given to those, who caused 
dissensions and disputes in the Church, during the time of the 
Apostles ; you read also of the heavy condemnation, which will 
come upon those who have been partakers in these sins ; and 
also you know the warnings of our Saviour and of the apostles, 
that in the latter days, the danger and subtilty of these errors 
and heresies would increase, so as to deceive (if it were possible) 
even the elect ; and, lastly, you know, that even though persons 
think they are conscientiously obliged to make a schism, still 
they may be condemned for this very false conviction of their 


deceitful hearts. Now, since all this is the case, would it not 
be prudent for a simple man, who thinks of becoming a Dissenter, 
to consider seriously where he is most likely to come within the 
terms of these promises, and where he is least likely to be liable 
to the threats and denunciations above alluded to ? Would it 
not be well to reason with himself somewhat on this wise : 
" The Church may not mean the Church, as some people under- 
stand it, who suppose that Dissenters are left out of it ; but still 
as I never heard any one say, that the Dissenters were the only 
true Church, and that the established Church was shut out of 
the promises, because she was no part of the true Church, surely 
I am more safe, more likely to come in for a share of these 
blessings, if, while in other things I strive to do my duty without 
troubling myself to decide things, which in truth are too hard 
forme, I continue a member of the established Church. By so 
doing, I follow the example of my forefathers, of my country, of 
holy martyrs before me, and rest my faith on the authority of 
those, who are, by virtue of their office, successors of the Apo- 
stles ; whereas, in the other case, I must, on my own judgment, 
set aside all this weight of authority, and do that, which is as 
much as to say, that till within the last three hundred years the 
whole world has been in darkness, and that I can see clearer than 
all those great, and good, and pious, and learned persons, who 
have lived and died before me in this faith." Surely it is the 
safer course to remain stedfastly in the Church, without halting 
between two opinions ; there is more chance of your being right 


P. S. In order that you may know whom you ought to look 
upon as your proper spiritual guides and governors, I lay before 
you the description given of them by the famous Dr. Isaac 
Barrow. " Those, I say, then, who constantly do profess and 
teach that sound and wholesome doctrine, which was delivered 
by our Lord and his apostles in word and writing, was received 
by their disciples in tlie primitive Churches, was transmitted and 


confirmed by general tradition, was sealed by the blood of the 
blessed martyrs, and propagated by the labours of the holy 
fathers ; the which also manifestly recommendeth and promoteth 
true reverence and piety towards God, justice and charity 
towards men, order and quiet in human societies, purity and 
sobriety in each man's private conversation. 

" Those who celebrate the true worship of God, and administer 
the holy mysteries of our religion, in a serious, grave, and decent 
manner, purely and without any notorious corruption, either by 
hurtful error, or superstitious foppery, or irreverent rudeness, 
to the advancement of God's honour, and edification of the par- 
ticipants in virtue and piety. 

" Those who derive their authority by a continued succession 
from the apostles, who are called unto and constituted in their 
office in a regular and peaceable way, agreeable to the institution 
of God, and the constant practice of his Church, according to 
rules approved in the best and purest ages ; who are prepared 
to the exercise of their functions by the best education, that 
ordinarily can be provided under sober discipline, in the schools 
of the prophets ; who thence, by competent endowments of mind 
and useful furniture of good learning, acquired by painful study, 
become qualified to guide and instruct the people ; who, after 
previous examination of their abilities, and probable testimonies 
concerning their manners (with regard to the qualifications of 
incorrupt doctrine and sober conversation, prescribed by the 
apostles), are adjudged fit for the office ; who, also, in a pious, 
grave, solemn manner, with invocation of God's blessing, by lay- 
ing on of the hands of the presbytery, are admitted thereunto. 

" Those whose practice in guiding and governing the people of 
God, is not managed by arbitrary, uncertain, fickle, private 
fancies or humours, but regulated by standing laws ; framed 
(according to general directions extant in holy Scripture) by 
pious and wise persons, with mature advice, in accommodation 
to the seasons and circumstances of things, for common edifica- 
tion, order, and peace. 

" Those, who, by virtue of their good principles, in their dis- 
positions and demeanour appear sober, orderly, peaceable, yielding 
meek submission to government, tendering the Church's peace. 


upholding the communion of the saints, abstaining from all 
schismatical, turbulent, and factious practices. 

" Those, also, who are acknowledged by the laws of our country, 
an obligation to obey whom is part of that human constitution 
unto which we are in all things (not evidently repugnant to God's 
law) indispensably bound to submit ; whom our Sovereign, God's 
vicegerent, and the nursing father of his Church among us, (unto 
whom in all things high respect, in all lawful things entire obe- 
dience, is due) doth command and encourage us to obey. 

" Those, I say, to whom this character plainly doth agree, we 
may reasonably be assured, that they are our true guides and 
governors whom we are obliged to follow and obey ; for what 
better assurance can we in reason desire? what more proper 
marks can be assigned to discern them by ? what methods of 
constituting such needful officers can be settled more answerable 
to their design and use ? how can it be evil or unsafe to follow 
guides authorized by such warrants, conformed to such patterns, 
endowed with such dispositions, acting by such principles and 
rules ? Can we mistake or miscarry, by complying with the great 
body of God's Church through all ages, and particularly with 
those great lights of the primitive Church, who, by the excellency 
of their knowledge, and the integrity of their virtue, have so 
illustrated our holy religion ?" 

{Barrow, Serm. LVI. p. 284—287. vol. iii.) 

The Feast of the Epiphany. 

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(No. 1. ST. MATTHIAS.) 

Ye have not chosen me, hut I have chosen you, and ordained 
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your 
fruit should remain.^* — St. John xv. 16. 

The service of this day invites us to consider the nature and 
commission of that ministry, by which Christians all over the 
world are made partakers of heavenly and spiritual blessings. 

On this point, as on most others, it is obvious that the New 
Testament does no where furnish a regular and orderly course 
of instruction, such as on many great subjects we find in our 
Creeds, Articles, and CateeJiism. But the mind and will of our 
Divine Master may be gathered plainly enough, at least by those 
who are willing to show a reasonable respect to the witness of 
the early Church. 

St. Luke, in the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, informs 
us, that our Lord was not taken up, until " after that He, through 
the Holy Ghost, had given commandments unto the Apostles 
whom He had chosen ; — being seen of them" at various times 
during as much as " forty days," and *' speaking of the things 
pertaining to the kingdom of God." Then, doubtless. He gave 
them instruction in what method and order to proceed, what kind 
of ministry to settle in His Church. Who would not wish to 
know what was the tenor of those conversations? But the 
Holy Ghost, in His unsearchable wisdom, has not seen fit directly 
to put them on record : an omission which appears very signifi- 
cant, when compared with the minute register which the Gospels 
supply of many former discourses. So it is, that on the occasion, 
which would seem to promise most information concerning the 
nature of Christ's kingdom, instead of finding any report oi what 
our blessed Saviour said, we find a report of what His Apostles 
did. Their Acts and Letters take place of the desired memorial 


of His parting instructions. Is not this a hint to us all, on autho- 
rity which cannot safely be despised, that we must look to the 
actual conduct and system of the early Church for a true notion 
of the things pertaining to " the kingdom of God," of which our 
Lord then spake to His Apostles. However early, on minute 
points, partial errors may haVe crept in, is it not evident to com- 
mon sense, that the system which we trace back in the Church 
to the very generation next following the Apostles, must be in all 
great points the very system enjoined by our Lord, and partially 
disclosed in the subsequent history of His servants ? 

It follows, that in order to make out our Saviour's will on any 
point relating to the discipline and proceedings of His Church, 
the first portion of Scripture to which our attention is directed is 
the Acts of the holy Apostles. 

Now, the very first Act of the Apostles, after Christ was gone 
out of their sight, was that commemorated* his day ; — the ordina- 
tion of Matthias in the room of the traitor Judas. That ordination 
is related very minutely. Every particular of it is full of instruc- 
tion ; but at present I wish to draw attention to one circumstance 
more especially : namely, the time when it occurred. It was 
contrived (if one may say so) exactly to fall within the very short 
interval which elapsed between the departure of our Lord and 
the arrival of the Comforter in His place : on that " little while," 
during which the Church was comparatively left alone in the 
world. Then it was that St. Peter rose and declared with autho- 
rity that the time was come for supplying the vacancy which 
Judas had made. " One," said he, " must be ordained ;" and 
without delay they proceeded to the ordination. Of course, 
St. Peter must have had from our Lord express authority for this 
step." Otherwise it would seem most natural to defer a transac- 
tion so important until the unerring Guide, the Holy Ghost, 
should have come among them, as they knew he would in a few 
days. On the other hand, since the Apostles were eminently 
Apostles of our Incarnate Lord, since their very being, as ApostleSf 
depended entirely on their personal mission from Him (which 
is the reason why catalogues are given of them, with such scru- 
pulous care, in so many of the holy books) : — in that regard one 
should naturally have expected that He Himself before His de- 
parture would have supplied the vacancy by personal designation. 


But we see it was not His pleasure to do so. As tlie Apostles 
afterwards brought on the ordination sooner, so He had deferred 
it longer than might have been expected. Both ways it should 
seem as if there were a purpose of bi^inging the event within those 
ten days, during which, as I said, the Church was left to herself; 
left to exercise her faith and hope, much as Christians are left 
now, without any miraculous aid or extraordinary illumination 
fiom above. Then, at that moment of the New Testament 
history, in which the circumstances of believers corresponded 
most nearly to what they have been since miracles and inspiration 
ceased — ^just at that time it pleased our Lord that a fresh Apostle 
should be consecrated, with authority and commission as ample 
as the former enjoyed. In a word, it was His will that the eleven 
Disciples alone, not Himself personally, should name the successor 
of Judas ; and that they chose the right person. He gave testimony 
very soon after, by sending His Holy Spirit on St. Matthias, as 
richly as on St. John, St- James, or St. Peter. 

Thus the simple consideration of the time when Matthias was 
ordained, confirms two points of no small importance to the well- 
being of Christ's kingdom on earth. First, it shews that who- 
ever are regularly commissioned by the Apostles, our Lord will 
consider those persons as commissioned and ordained by Himself. 
Secondly, it proves that such power to ordain is independent of 
those apostolical functions, which may be properly called extra- 
ordinary and miraculous. It existed before those functions 
began ; why then may it not still continue, however entirely they 
have passed away ? 

We must not pretend to be wise above what is written ; but 
there is, I trust, nothing presumptuous or unscriptural in sup- 
posing that Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our 
souls, purposely abstained from nominating St. Matthias in His 
life-time, in order that Christians in all times might understand 
that the ordained successors of the Apostles are as truly Bishops 
under Him, as ever the Apostles were themselves. 

For this is the constant doctrine of the ancient Church, de- 
livered in express terms by our Lord in the text, " Ye have not 
chosen me, but / have chosen yoUy and ordained you, that you 
should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should 


It may seem strange that our Lord should deem it necessary to 
guard His Disciples against such a notion as that they had chosen 
Him, rather than He them : called as they had been, when they 
least expected it, from their daily employments of fishermen, 
publicans, and the like. But " for our sakes, no doubt, this is 
written ;" to check an error which Christ foresaw would too 
generally prevail in His Church, especially in these latter days, 
which pride themselves so much on light and liberty. The error 
I mean is, that of imagining that Church communion is a volun- 
tary thing, which people may adopt or no, (I will not say at their 
own pleasure^ though too many go as far as that, but) as they 
seem to find it for the time most edifying. Anotlier kindred 
notion is, that the Christian ministry is also a voluntary thing ; 
that there is no real difference between clergy and laity, any 
more than is enacted by the law of the land for mere decency 
and order's sake ; but that otherwise a man who can and will do 
good as a clergyman is to all intents and purposes clergyman 

These are not very uncommon notions. But take them at their 
best, and are they in effect any better than as if St. Paul and the 
other Apostles had considered themselves as choosing Christ in- 
stead of being chosen by Christ ? He who reasons so, is he 
not chargeable with setting up his own calculation against the 
declared will and system of our Lord ? 

Hear now on the other hand the very doctrine of the Church 
Apostolical. Jesus Christ, the chief Shepherd and Bishop, com- 
mits the pastoral office to whom He pleases ; in the first place, 
to His Apostles, and after them, to all whom they, by the help of 
His ordinary grace, shall appoint ; which latter proposition you 
have justheard clearly madeout from the ordination of St. Matthias. 
Therefore, although there be many Bishops, yet the Episcopal 
office is but one. The lines of the true Catholic Church are 
drawn out, as the Psalmist says, to the ends of the world, over 
all lands ; but trace them back, and they all meet in the same 
centre, Jesus Christ. Therefore it is all one Churchy and not a 
thousand independent churches, as they would make it, who 
boast of choosing Christ, instead of humbly and thankfully ac- 
knowledging the choice which He has made of them, in tiiat He 
has CEbt their lot within reach of His ministers and sacraments. 


This view, so clearly deducible from tlie promise of our Lord, 
and the conduct of His Apostles, is most unanswerably confirmed 
by the whole history of the Primitive Church. Every where the 
Bishops were the chief pastors, and the government and order of 
the Church was vested in them. To separate from them, except 
they were proved grossly heretical, was accounted schism. Why ? 
Because it was universally understood, that the Bishops were 
the connecting chain which bound the successive generations of 
Christians to the first generation, the holy Apostles ; nay, and 
to our Lord Jesus Christ himself. For the believers of those 
days were too well instructed not to know that our Saviour's 
promises were made to the Church through the Apostles: so that 
if they broke off their connection with the Apostles, they broke 
off their connection with Christ. 

Would you hear some of the very words of those holy men of 
old ? Take the following, which are part of a letter written by 
St, Ignatius, the friend of the chiefest Apostles, when he was on 
the verge of martyrdom. They are some of his last words, 
written to warn the friends for whom he was most anxious, 
against the heresies which were springing up in the Church. 

" By submitting yourself to your Bishop as to Jesus Christ, 
you convince me that you guide your lives by no rule of man's 
invention, but by the rule of Jesus Christ, who died for us, that 
ye, believing in His death, might escape altogether from death. 
It follows, of course, that in no part of your conduct ye sepa- 
rate yourselves from your Bishop : which thing also ye now 

No test could be shorter or more simple. " You are in com- 
munion with your Bishop, humbly receiving from him, or those by 
him deputed, the genuine word and Sacraments of Jesus Christ : 
therefore, I make no question but you are also in communion 
with our Lord Jesus Christ himself; at least, as far as Church 
Privileges go ; as far as I or man can judge." 

Surely the holy martyr, St. Ignatius, was as good a judge of 
what Christian communion depends on, as any person can be 
supposed in our days. And we see that he judges of it, not by 
those tests which we now hear most insisted on ; not by con- 
victions, and emotions, and highly-wrougiit feelings ; but by the 
simple fact of adherence to that system, which our Lord himself 



bad established for our salvation. Now, we know from every page 
of St. Ignatius, wbat bis view of that system was. It was the 
system of Christian Ordinances, administered by Bishops, with 
Priests and Deacons under them. That, in the mind of St. 
Ignatius, was the sure mark of the Church of God. 

Nor was this a mere private opinion of his : it was rather the 
constant tradition of the Church Universal. What is very remark- 
able, it was the tradition not only of the sound part of the Cliurch, 
but of the heretics also. In those early days, even those who 
corrupted the doctrine of the Church seldom or never dared to 
breathe any thing against the Apostolical Succession of her 
Bishops. To do so, if they possibly could, would have been 
greatly to their purpose ; because one very plain argument by 
which their misrepresentations of doctrine used to be confuted^ 
was by appealing to the traditional account of the same doctrines, 
preserved in many of the most famous Churches, by means of 
the regular succession of the Bishops. Some of the Fathers thus 
reckon up the Bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, for 
more than three hundred years, from the time of the Apostles, 
and are thereby enabled to trace back as far the true inter- 
pretation of certain hard places of Scripture, relating to the great 
truths of the Gospel. The heretics who disputed those truths, 
no doubt, would have been too happy, could they have proved 
that the chain of tradition wanted a link ; that the succession from 
the Apostles was not clearly made out, or that being made out, 
it signified nothing. But the ground they used to take was 
quite different. They never dreamed of denying tlie past suc- 
cession : it was too certainly known to be denied ; but they 
took very great care to secure ^future succession for themselves. 
They hardly ever broke off from the Church, until they had got 
some Bishop to patronize their heresy : through whom they might 
continue the Apostolical commission in a line of pastors of their own. 

Thus as well the enemies of the Church as her friends bore 
witness in those early days to a truth which too many of both 
seem now agreed on forgetting : That Episcopal Authority is the 
very bond which unites Christians to each other and to Christ: 
so that it was apparently a kind of proverb with them, Without 
the Bishop do nothing in the Church. 

What is more, the teaching of the Primitive Church brought 


this matter home to every man's own soul, not only on the 
general ground of submission to all our Lord's ordinances, but 
because the bread and wine in the Eucharist was not accounted 
the true Sacrament of Christ, without Christ's warrant given to 
the person administering : which warrant, the Fathers well knew, 
could only be had through His Apostles and their successors. 

Hear again the same St. Ignatius. " Let that Lord's Supper 
be counted a Lord's Supper indeed, which is ministered by the 
Bishop, or by one having his commission." Observe, Ignatius, the 
friend of the Apostles, reckons the Sacrament no Sacrament, if 
the consecrating minister want the Bishop's commission. Could 
St. Ignatius possibly mistake the mind of the Apostles on that 
point, he who had conversed familiarly with them at the time 
when the Church was used to *' continue daily in breaking of 

And with him agreed the whole Church of God for the first 
fifteen hundred years: knowing that when our Lord said, *' Do 
this in remembrance of Me," His Apostles only were present ; 
therefore none but they and their deputies could be said to have 
His warrant for blessing that bread and cup. And this is a 
matter pertaining to each man's salvation. For that bread and 
cup are the appointed mean, whereby the faithful are to partake 
of Christ's Body and Blood offered for their sins. 

Can any devout man, considering this, reckon it a matter of 
small moment, whether the minister with whom he communicates 
be a minister by apostolical succession or no 1 In the judgment 
of the Church it makes no less difference than this : Whether 
the bread and cup which he partakes of shall be to him Christ's 
Body and Blood or no. I repeat it : in the judgment of the 
Church, the Eucharist administered without apostolical commis- 
sion, may to pious minds be a very edifying ceremony, but it is 
not that blessed thing which our Saviour graciously meant it to 
be : it is not *' verily and in deed taking and receiving" the Body 
and Blood of Him, our Incarnate Lord. 

Even as St. Paul seems to intimate, when he so pointedly asks 
the Corinthians, " The cup of blessing rvhich we bless, is it not 
the Communion of the Blood of Christ ? The bread rvhich we 
break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ ?" Why 
such a stress on the words, " which we bless" " which we break ;" 


except because the Corinthians knew (and they could only know 
by Apostolical teaching), that the agency of the Apostles in blessing 
and breaking was needful to assure us that the holy signs really 
convey the thing signified. 

Thus you see every thing concurs ; the ordination of St. 
Matthias, the promise of our Lord, the hints found elsewhere in 
holy Scripture, the express laws of the Universal Church, the 
constant doctrine of the friends of the Apostles ; — all agree to 
show that Communion with God incarnate, such Communion as 
He offers in His holy Supper, cannot be depended on without an 
Apostolical Ministry. 

To think otherwise is the error of those, who, mixing up 
human inventions with the everlasting Gospel, take upon them to 
*' choose Christ," instead of humbly owning themselves " chosen 
by Him," and labouring to bear fruit accordingly. 

But still more fatal will be our error, if having this high 
privilege, we cause it to be reproached by our abuse or negligent 
using. We, by God's blessing, are among those, who through an 
Apostolical Ministry, have constant access to the Body and Blood 
of our Redeemer. What if we be found no more exemplary, no 
humbler, no more consistent in our piety, than those whose pos- 
session of the means of grace is so much more questionable than 
ours ? There is a prophetic warning against such : " You only have 
I known of all the families of the earth : therefore I will punish you 
for all your iniquities." There is also a yet more awful warning 
from Him who will come to be our Judge : ** Thou, Capernaum, 
which art exalted unto Heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; for 
if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done 
in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto 
you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the 
day of judgment, than for thee." 

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No. v.— THURSDAY. 


Question from the Office of Consecration. — Will you maintain 


O God of peace and love, make me, thy minister, a messenger 
and instrument of peace to this people to whom I am sent ; that 
by thy gracious assistance I may root out all strife and variance, 
iiatred and malice, and that this Church and Nation may enjoy a 
blessed tranquillity. Bless the discipline of this Church in my 
hands, and make it effectual for the conviction of wicked men 
and gainsayers. Assist me, by thy good Spirit, that I may 
apply a proper cure to every disorder ; that I may reprove with 
mildness, censure with equity, and punish with compassion. 

O merciful God, who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but 
that he should be converted and live, bring into the right way all 
such as are gone astray from thy commandments. Vouchsafe 
unto all penitents, (and especially unto all such as are now under 
the censures of the Church,) a true sense of their crimes, true 

* This can never be looked upon as any Hmitation of the power received 
from Christ, but only as directing the exercise thereof, as to the manner, 
form, and circumstance. — Bp. Wilson. 


repentance for them, and thy gracious pardon, that their souls 
may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Amen. 

Church Discipline. 

However the Church be in some respects incorporated with 
the commonwealth in a Christian state, yet its fundamental rights 
remain distinct from it; of which this is one of the chief — to 
receive into, and to exclude out of the Church, such persons 
which, according to the laws of the Christian society, are fit to be 
taken in, or shut out. 

And when temporal laws interpose, it is temporal punishment 
only, which they design to inflict or set aside. Bishop Stilling' 

Ezek. ii. ^. " And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, 
neither be afraid of their words ; thou shalt speak my words unto 
them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear." 

2 Cor. xiii. 10. " Lest I should use sharpness, according to 
the power,'" (namely, of binding and loosing^) " which God hath 
given me to edification, and not to destruction." 

1 Tim. i. 20. " Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they 
may not blaspheme." O admirable use and command of Satan ! 
He is God's enemy, and yet does Him service ; and an adver- 
sary to man, and yet helps to save him. He is the author of 
blasphemy, and yet teacheth not to blaspheme. That is, One 
that is stronger than he directs his malice to ends which he did 
not intend. Satan is set on work to take him down by terror 
and despair whom before he had tempted to sin. But while 
Satan thinks to drive him to destruction by despair, God stops 
his course, when the sinner is sufficiently humbled ; and then, as 
it was with Christ, Satan is dismissed, and Angels come and 
minister unto him. — Rouse. 

What great man shall we now find, who will not take it ill to 
be reproved ? and yet David, a prince and favourite of God, 
when he was reproved, even by a subject, did not turn away in 
a rage, but confessed his fault, and repented truly of his sin. — 
St. Amhros. ap. David, 

The very office of Consecration, so often confirmed by Acts of 
Parliament, does warrant every Bishop, in the clearest and most 


express terms, to claim authority, by the Word of God, to exer- 
cise all manner of spiritual discipline within his own diocese. — 
Codex Jur. Eccl. Angl. p. 18. 

Men should be persuaded, not forced, to forsake their sins ; 
because God rewards not those who, through necessity, forsake 
their sins ; but such as do so voluntarily. — Chrysost, 

Be steady and fearless in the discharge of your duty, without 
failing in that respect which is due to higher powers. 

Grant, O God, that I may have an eye to duty only, that I 
may fear no temporal evil, and be concerned only lest I should 
not in all respects please Thee my God. 

Deut. i. 17. " The judgment is God's." As this should 
oblige all people to be afraid of a judgment or censure passed 
by men commissioned by God, so it should make us very careful 
that our judgment be such as is worthy of God, and agreeable to 
His will and Word. 

1 Cor. xvi. 22. " If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, 
let him be Anathema Maranatha." Here is a positive direction 
to the Church to excommunicate all such as plainly discover that 
they have no love for Jesus Christ, — who are scandalous or 

Since we are to give an account of the souls committed to our 
charge, we cannot be debarred of making use of all the means 
enjoined us by the Gospel to reduce sinners. 

We ought to be thankful for the favours which we have 
received from religious princes ; but if our benefactors require 
of us what is inconsistent with our trust, we then know whom 
we are to obey. 

2 John 10, 11. " If there come any unto you and bring not 
this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him 
GoD speed, — for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of 
his evil deeds," Not to show our abhorrence of sin, is to con- 
sent to it. Men do not sufficiently consider the guilt of this, when 
they converse with notorious offenders without scruple. They 
partake with them in their sins ; they harden the sinner ; they 
forget the fidelity they owe to God and to his laws, and greatly 
hazard their own salvation. 

Excommunication was never pronounced except where the case 


was desperate, by the obstinacy of the party, in refusing admoni- 
tion, and to submit to discipline. — Penit. Disc. p. 41, 42, 75, 120. 

Luke XV. 22. " The Scribes and the Pharisees murmured, 
saying. This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." On 
some occasions, we ought to avoid sinners, for fear of being cor- 
rupted, — or to put them to shame, in order to their conver- 
sion. But to converse with them, as our Lord did, in order to 
teach them their duty, to encourage them in the way of piety, &c. 
this is Godlike. 

Mark viii. 33. " Get thee behind me, Satan. — Thou savourest 
not the things that be of God, but the things that be of man." 
How dangerous is tenderness in matters of salvation ! To spare 
a penitent, is to ruin him by a fatal kindness. 

How perilous is the government of the Church, wherein a 
man becomes guilty of those things which he does not hinder. 
Rev. ii. 20. ** I have a few things against thee, because thou 
gufFeredst that woman Jezebel to teach and to seduce my servants 
to commit fornication," &c. 2 Cor. x. 4. " For the weapons of 
our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the 
pulling down of strongholds." We surely mistake the spirit of 
the Gospel, when we would establish and defend the Church by 
human policy, and carnal means, by friendship of great men, 
credit, reputation, splendour, riches, &c. God will have us to 
use other sort of arms, namely, — patience, humility, meekness, 
prayers, suffering, and spiritual censures, to which God will join 
His own Almighty power. 

All mankind are agreed that human legislatures can only dis- 
pense and make laws in cases purely human. 

(To be continued.) 

The Feast of St. Matthias. 

— — ■ ^ ~ ' ■ V .^ 1 i . . ! 

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(No. 2. THE ANNUNCIATION 6¥' "tHEfe'L^S^'fiB 

" Though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel 
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let Mm he 
accursed'' — Galatians i. 8. v 


This day, though named from the Blessed Virgin, is one of the 
greatest festivals of our Saviour. And, therefore, in former times 
the Church of England reckoned it the beginning of her year ; 
thereby especially giving intimation, that she would have the whole 
year dedicated to Jesus Christ. For this day, with which she 
began it, marks the time of His gracious incarnation ; upon which 
all that we have or hope, both in Heaven and in earth, entirely 
depends. For, as St. Paul argues concerning another link in 
the chain of God's mysterious mercy. If Christ were not truly 
made man, then He did not truly die for our , sins : if He did 
not, then was He not raised again : and " i^ Christ be not raised, 
your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins." Such was the ador- 
able will of God Almighty, in His counsels for redeeming lost 
mankind. There was to be no communion between God and 
man, except through the everlasting Son, Himself both God and 
man. This is the foundation laid from the beginning, besides 
which no man can lay any other. Men may think little of it, 
but the evil spirits know it well ; and accordingly, they have 
busied tlieraselves from the beginning in nothing so much as in 
perplexing the minds of the unwary with regard to the incarna- 
tion of our Lord and Saviour, and our communion with God 
througli him. Church history is little else than a record on the 


one hand, of their unceasing endeavours to corrupt the Faith on 
these two points ; on the other, of His watchful Providence, 
meeting and baffling them, in every age, by ways of His own, 
prepared also from the beginning, for their confusion, and our 

One of the very chiefest of these precautions was His ap- 
pointing persons in His Church to watch the treasure of Divine 
Truth, to try and assay, by comparison with it, whatever doc- 
trines from time to time became current, and to give notice, 
with all authority, wherever they found God's mark wanting. 
To mention no other places ; our Lord himself, in the text which 
I considered on St. Matthias' day, expresses himself in this man- 
ner. ** I ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, 
and that your fruit should remain.'* The Apostles were to take 
precautions, not only that their ministry might be fruitful for 
the time, but also that it might flourish and abound for ever. 
Those who work duly under their commission, may in virtue of 
this promise expect more abiding results from, their labours, than 
any, however zealous, who may venture to take this honour to 
themselves. Not to forfeit this privilege, the holy Apostles in- 
stituted a regular custom, according to which, in all future times 
the faithful might be warned against heretical doctrines. When 
any new point arose, regarding which the judgment of the 
Church was doubtful, reference was made to the chief pastors 
or Bishops, solemnly assembled to consider the subject; and 
they having thoroughly examined it, proclaimed an anathema, 
i. e. a sentence of excommunication, against the teachers and 
maintainers of dangerous error. For example ; the very first 
controversy which arose in the Church related to the question 
whether the whole law of Moses ought to be observed as a con- 
dition of the Christian covenant. It was settled by the Apostles* 
meeting at Jerusalem, as you read in the fifteenth chapter of the 
Acts. And, being settled, whoever contradicted it, whoever 
added either Moses' law or any thing else to the terms of sal- 
vation by Christ, and thereby began to preach a new Gospel, 
other than that received at first, you hear in the text what St. 
Paul says of him. " Though we or an angel from Heaven 
preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have 
preached unto you, let him be accursed ;" let him be anathema, 
cut off' from the communion of Christian people ; not allowed to 


pray, or receive the sacrament, in the assemblies of Christian 
men. Let him be, to those who obey Christ, as a heathen man 
and a Publican." Thus speaks the Apostle of those who should 
be so presumptuous as to teach the Jewish fable of the necessity 
of circumcision, after the decision of the Holy Spirit by Apos- 
tolical Church had been published. For it was published, with 
the utmost care, by letters and messengers sent to all the 
Churches ; and being so, could not be disobeyed without wilful 
arrogancy and irreverence. Thus St. Paul and the rest of the 
Apostles made known to the Church in all ages their right, and 
the right of the Bishops, their successors, to mark out such 
heretics as might arise from time to time, and put the faithful on 
their guard against them. And thus quite down from the time 
of our Lord, the Apostolical succession of pastors has continued, 
as a divinely-appointed guard, meant to secure the integrity of 
Apostolical doctrine. 

Let us, as on this day we are bound, consider more especially 
what we owe to that holy succession, in respect of that on which, 
as Christians, our all, as we cannot but know, depends : I mean 
the true doctrine of the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour. It 
may be positively said, that under Providence we owe our in- 
heritance of this saving doctrine to the chain of rightly-ordained 
Bishops, connecting our times with the time of its lirst promul- 
gation. This will be more clearly seen, if the two following 
statements are considered ; neither of which can be reasonably 
doubted by any one who has looked much into Church history. 

1. In ancient times the system of Apostolical, i. e. of episcopal 
anathemas, was the Church's main safeguard against the misin- 
terpretations of Scripture, which from time to time threatened 
to deprive her children of their faith in God the Son, made man 
for our salvation. 

2. Wheresoever in modern times the Apostolical succession 
has been given up, there the true doctrine of our Lord's incar- 
nation has been often corrupted, always in jeopardy. 

These propositions are of course too large to be fully made 
out in the narrow limits of a sermon. But a few instances of 
each will show what is meant, and will serve to draw serious 
minds to reverential thought on the whole subject. 

I. Even during the Apostolic age, there were many, who 
under pretence of purer doctrine, refused to confess " Jesus 

A 2 


Christ come in tl>e fleslu" This we know from the later books 
of the New Testament ; especially from the writings of St. John. 
And by the records of the two next generations we learn that 
the corruptions were of two kinds, apparently opposite. Some, 
out of pretended reverence for our Lord's Divine nature, refused 
to own Him, made very man for us. They would have it, that 
His blessed body was no more than a dream or vision, and all 
that He did here, a scene as it were enacted by the will of the 
Almighty to make an impression on our minds. Others, on 
the contrary, denied His divine being, pretending, no doubt, 
extraordinary reverence towards God the Father Almighty, they 
would not hear the Gospel doctrine that He who is One with 
the Father, had vouchsafed to become one of us. They would 
have it that the crucified Jesus was either a mere human saint, 
or at best a sort of good angel. Against both these blasphemous 
errors St. John himself had given warning, pronouncing as it 
w^ere the Church's anathema beforehand. " There are many 
deceivers entered into the world, who confess not Jesus Christ 
come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ. . . . 
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of 
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of 
Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come 
any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into 
your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth 
him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." However, in the 
next generation after St. John, this evil leaven was still found 
working in the Church, and the false teachers of both sorts still 
had the boldness to plead Scripture, which somehow they con- 
trived to wrest and pervert in their own way. How were they 
(to be answered ? How was it to be made manifest that their 
interpretation of Scripture was w rong ? It was done by appeal- 
ing to that interpretation, which had the warrant of the Apostles 
themselves. How was that interpretation known ? By its pre- 
servation in the several Churches which had been founded by 
the Apostles, — Rome, Corinth, Jerusalem, and the rest. How 
had the right interpretation of Scripture been preserved in each 
<a£»tbose places ? By the succession of Bishops, each in turn 
handing over to the Bishop that followed him what he had him- 
self learned of his predecessors. The defenders of Evangelical 
truth reasoned as follows; — 


" The tradition of the Apostles, made known in all the world, 
may be clearly discerned in every Church, by thostj who are will- 
ing to behold things as they are; nay, and we are able to enu- 
merate those whom the Apostles ordained to be Bishops in the 
several Churches, along with their successors, even down to our 
time, none of whom ever taught or imagined any such doctrine 
as the heretics, in their frenzy, maintain. If such interpretations 
had been known to the Apostles, in the manner of hidden mys- 
teries, reserved to be taught apart to the most perfect, surely, of 
all others, they to whom the Churches themselves were com- 
mitted would have had these mysteries committed to them also. 
For it was the Apostles' wish to have their successors, and those 
entrusted to bear sway in their stead, complete and unblameable 
in every thing ; whose correct demeanour was sure to be the 
Church's blessing ; their fall, her extreme calamity, ft were too 
long, however, at present to enumerate the chains of Bishops in 
all the Churches. Look at one of the greatest and ancientest, 
well known to all, the Church founded and established at Rome, 
by two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul. What tradition 
she received from the Apostles, and what faith, to be preached 
to all men, we are able to ascertain ; the same having come down 
to us by the unbroken series and succession of her Bishops. And 
thus we confound all those who in any way draw wrong conclu- 
sions, through self-complacency, or vain glory, or blindness of 
heart and evil prejudice. For to this Church of Rome, because 
of the eminent dignity" (of that city), " it cannot be but that 
other Churches resort, I mean believers, from every quarter; 
and in the same Church, among those so resorting, the tradition 
of the Apostles has been preserved entire." Thus speaks the 
holy Bishop and martyr Irenseus, who lived within twenty years of 
St. John himself; and, to make good his words, he proceeds to 
reckon up the Bishops of Rome, from the first, appointed by the 
two great Apostles, to the time of his writings — twelve in number* 
" By this order and succession," says Irenaeus, " the tradition in- 
herited by the Church from the Apostles, and the substance of 
their preaching, has come down safe to our times." 

Thus Wrote Irenaeus, living in Gaul. And in like manner, 
not long after him, TertuUian, writing against the same heretics 
in Africa, and defending that doctrine of our Lord's true Incar- 


nation, which is the very life of the world : — " The heretics," 
says he, " themselves plead Scripture. How are we to know 
whether their's is the true sense or our's ? The natural way is 
to look and see whether either of the two can be traced back to 
the time of the Apostles. What Christ revealed to them they 
preached ; what they preached, must be known by the testimony 
of those Churches which they themselves founded. If there be 
any heresies claiming Apostolical antiquity, let them give ac- 
count of the first beginning of their Churches ; let them unfold 
the roll of their Bishops, so continued by succession from the 
beginning, as that their first Bishop shall have received ordina- 
tion from some Apostle or disciple of the Apostles; such a dis- 
ciple, I mean, as went out from them. For thus do the Churches 
which are truly Apostolical make out, as it were, their genea- 
logical tables : the Church of Smyrna vouching as her first Pre- 
late Polycarp, there established by St. John : the Church of 
Rome, Clement, in like manner, ordained by St. Peter ; and the 
other Churches no less have each some person to name, fixed by 
the Apostles, as Bishops, in each respectively ; through whom 
e^ich derives the seed of Apostolical communion." Now, as Ter- 
tullian goes on to argue, " this unbroken connexion with the 
Apostles was a strong pledge of their inheriting sound Ajx)s- 
tolical doctrine too, except it could be proved that their doctrine 
had varied at any time. For, as the Apostles must have agreed 
with each other in their teaching, so neither could Apostolical 
men have put forth doctrines contrary to the Apostles ; except 
they were such as had revolted from the Apostles, and might be 
detected by the diversity of their doctrine." And this would hold 
in each following age, till some actual variation took place. 
And if it held in respect of any one Church, how mucli more in 
respect of the combined evidence of the independent Churches 
in all parts of the world, each producing their several lines of 
succession, terminating in several Apostles or Apostolical men, 
and each agreeing (for all material points) in the same tra- 
ditionary doctrine and interpretation of the Scriptures ! For 
instance, when on some occasion, as the same Tertullian relates, 
the Churches of Rome and Africa " interchanged the watch- 
word," or, as we might say, " compared notes ;" what an encou- 
ragement and confirmation must it not have proved to both, to 


find themselves niutually agreed, without previous concert, in 
their views of Scripture truth, and of the system established by 
the Apostles. 

By such arguments in the first age were the enemies of Christ's 
Incarnation put to silence. It is plain, so far, how well the Epis- 
copal succession answered the jnirpose assigned to it by our 
Lord, of providing that the fruit of Apostolical teaching should 
remain ; and how vigorously the Church's anathema, first pro- 
nounced by St. John, was followed up, to the confusion of those 
who " abode not in the doctrine of Christ." 

Still more remarkable to the same purpose are the ex- 
amples of the following age. There, too, we find the Apos- 
tolical succession the main out-work of Apostolical doctrine ; 
the truth of Christ's Incarnation defended, not as in the former 
age by single writers appealing to the long lines of Bishops who 
had taught it, but by the Bishops of the Church themselves, 
synodically met to pass sentence on the questionable teaching of 
some of their colleagues. Being so met, they represented not 
simply the judgment of the contemporary Churches, but also 
that of each former generation of Christians, on the great mys- 
tery in dispute. Each Bishop taking part in a synodical deci- 
sion on those cardinal points of the faith, was understood as 
avouching, besides his own opinion, the traditionary interpreta- 
tion likewise which his Church had inherited from her first 
founder. A very little thought will show how greatly this adds 
to the support furnished by such meetings to orthodox and 
saving truth. A convention of learned theologians agreeing in 
their views of Scripture, would, no doubt, carry great authority. 
A council of Bishops, in the third century, was such a conven- 
tion, and a great deal more : it was a collection of harmonious 
independent testimonies to the way in which the writers of Scrip- 
ture had originally intended their writings to be understood. 

The advantage of so meeting and comparing their respective 
traditions, was particularly evident in those cases in which any 
member of their own sacred order had countenanced, or seemed 
to countenance, heretical opinions. For instances of the kind 
occur in the age now under consideration ; the one displaying 
in a peculiar way the scrupulous watchfulness of the early 
Church : the other, her uncompromising -firmness ; — both in vin- 
dication of the pure Gospel of God manifest in the flesh. 


The first is the case of Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, one 
of the most famous Prelates of his time. The heresy of SabelUus 
had sprung up in his province, which, under pretence of magni- 
fying our blessed Lord, confounded His Person with that of the 
Almighty Father, and so in fact denied the whole economy of 
Salvation : maintaining that the Father himself was incarnate ; 
that He appeared on earth as the Son, and suffered on the cross 
for us. Refuting these, the holy Bishop had argued from those 
expressions of Scripture which represent our Lord in his human 
nature, as the work or creature of God the Father. " The Incar- 
nate Son," said he, "is not the same with the Father, as the tree 
is not the same with the husbandman, nor the ship with the 
builder." Expressions surely justifiable enough, since what they 
affirm is found almost word for word in our Lord's own dis-» 
courses. ** I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Huslxind- 
man." However, the expressions were misunderstood, although 
from St. Dionysius' own report it should seem that he had care- 
fully guarded them by the context ; it was generally reported 
that he had used language derogatory to the Divine honour of 
our Lord. A synod met at Rome to examine the matter, on 
behalf of which the then Bishop of Rome, also named Dionysius^ 
wrote to the Bishop of Alexandria, requesting an explanation ; 
which he gave to the full satisfaction of the whole Church ; sum- 
ming up his doctrine in these remarkable words : " Of the names 
used by me to express the Divine Persons, there is none which 
can be separated or divided from the other to which it is re- 
lated. Thus, suppose I speak of the Father ; before I add the 
term ' Son,' I have implied His existence, by using the term 
* Father.' I add the term Son ; though I had not mentioned the 
Father, assuredly the idea of Him would have been comprised in 
that of the Son : I join to these the * Holy Ghost,' but at the 
same time I annex the thought of the fountain from whom and 
the channel by whom He proceeds ;" calling him, as it seems, 
the Spirit of the Father and the Son. *• Thus, on the one hand, 
we do as it were expand the Unity, without division, into a 
Trinity of Persons ; on the other hand, we gather the Trinity, 
without diminution, into an Unity of substance." This noble 
confession of a perfect faith we owe to the friendly remonstrance 
of the assembled Bishops ; and surely the advantage is great, of 
such a standing guard, in enabling the Church nut only to recog- 


nise and repel her enemies, hut also to know for certain those 
friends about whom otherwise she might stand in doubt. If, when 
the excellent Bishop Taylor published his ' Liberty of Prophe- 
sying,' there had been a council of primitive Bishops at hand, 
to warn him authoritatively of the evil consequences which here- 
tics would afterwards draw from some of his positions, the Church 
would, in all probability, have been a gainer in two ways : first, 
what he had there put incautiously would have been corrected, 
and the sting taken out : and next, we might so much the more 
unreservedly use his authority on other points. 

But to proceed with the third century : — Very soon after this 
friendly debate with Dionysius, both he, and the Bishops who had 
remonstrated with him, and indeed the great body of the Ortho- 
dox Prelacy, were called on to maintain the truth of our Lord's 
incarnation in another case, in which all remonstrance had failed. 
This was the case of Paul of Samosata, himself also Bisliop and 
Pastor of one of the most renowned sees, Antioch ; the only 
Church which at that time could compare in dignity with Rome 
and Alexandria. To expose the errors of so high a functionary, to 
call him to account, and finally, he continuing obstinate, to depose 
him, was the work of no mean authority ; especially as he had the 
support of a strong political party, and used many arts which in 
all times have been found popular and effective. It appears by 
the report of the synod of Bishops assembled to inquire into his 
cause, that he 'delighted to resemble men of much secular busi- 
ness ; to have people pressing on him ; to be reading letters and 
dictating answers as he went along the public street. Ao-ain, 
in his preaching, he constantly aimed at making a show of inge- 
nuity, and producing a splendid effect for the time. His action 
was violent and showy, and he encouraged in the very Church, 
the rude expressions of applause, shaking of handkerchiefs, and 
the like, which were practised in the theatres. The fathers, and 
their interpretations of Scripture, he took all opportunities of 
disparaging, praising himself at their expense, more like one 
lecturing, or telling fortunes for hire, than like a genuine Chris- 
tian Bishop. It is clear at once, what view such a person would 
be likely to take of the high and mysterious doctrines of our reli- 
gion. It is no matter of surprise to find him maintaining, in 
opposition to our Lord's own words, that Christ was from 
beneath, and not from above ; that he was merely a human Pro- 



phet, not the Son of God come down from Heaven ; that the 
wisdom of the Almighty dwelt in Him as it had dwelt in former 
Prophets, only in more abundant measure. In short, he held the 
same doctrine as those who now call themselves Unitarians. And 
there is good reason to think, that he was favoured and protected 
by the ruling power in the state. Zenobia, who at that time 
exercised imperial sway in Syria with the title of Queen of the 
East, was strongly addicted to a kind of deistical Judaism, the 
same in substance with his Unitarian opinions. These few par^ 
ticulars may give some idea of the peril in which the orthodox 
faith and the true Church lay then at Antioch. But even under 
the most untoward circumstances, the Bishops of the neighbouring 
sees assembled ; and their interference, by the blessing of God, 
was effectual in preserving their charge from apostasy. It is 
worth observing how well their proceedings answer to the line 
marked out in such cases by our Lord himself, in His charter of 
Church censures. First, they send Paul a brotherly expostulation, 
telling him his fault between them and him alone. The first sen- 
tence of this letter is much to be noticed, not only for its calm 
and gentle tone, but also, for its very distinct reference to the 
succession of doctrine from the Apostles as a test of truth. 
*' Health in Christ: — We have just now, by discourse with each 
other, satisfied ourselves of our umtual faith. Now that every one's 
mind may be clearly disclosed, and all disputed questions more 
completely set at rest, we have thought good hereby to set forth in 
writing the faith which we have received from the beginning, and 
hold fast, handed down as it is and safely guarded in the Catholic 
and holy Church, preached even to this day, through succession 
by the blessed Apostles, those who were even eye-witnesses and 
ministers of the word ; this faith we have decreed to set forth out 
of the Law and the Prophets, and the New Testament." 1'hen 
having gone through a large body of Scripture evidence for the 
most High Godhead of our Lord and Saviour, they conclude : — 
" These things, a few out of very many, we have set down, de-^ 
siring to know whether you think and teach as we do, and re- 
questing you to signify to us your approbation or disapprobation 
of what we have written." This epistle was followed up by 
various conferences : but Paul yet refusing to be reclaimed, the 
Bishops of Syria went on to act upon the remaining part of our 
Saviour's enactment in such cases : they assembled, to the num- 


ber of seventy or eighty, and called on him to " hear the Church :" 
which, when he refused, they formally deposed him, and separated 
him from the body of Christian people, pronouncing on him the 
following sentence : — " Him, thus setting himself against God, 
and refusing to give way, we have been compelled to excommu- 
nicate, and in his room to set another as Bishop over this Catholic 
Church ; by the providence of God, as we believe." This they 
made known to the Bishops of Rome and Alexandria, and all the 
world over, that they, acquiescing in the sentence pronounced, 
might lose no time in writing to the new Bishop of Antioch 
letters of communion and acknowledgment, as the manner of 
the churches then was ; directing their letter, " To the Bishops 
of Rome and Alexandria, and all our fellow servants throughout 
the world, whether Bishops, Priests, or Deacons, and to the whole 
Catholic Church under Heaven." By the co-operation of those 
distant Bishops, the sentence was finally and effectually con- 
firmed : the Church of Antioch delivered from her unfaithful 
shepherd, and the verity of our Lord's Divine Nature passed on, 
as a precious deposit, to other councils and other times. 

These few brief examples, — not, it will be observed, standing 
apart, but taken as what they truly are, specimens of a great and 
general system, continually in action throughout the Christian 
world ; — these few examples may serve to show how close a con- 
nexion naturally subsists between sound doctrine and apostolical 
succession in the ministry. We have seen that the one, in those 
primitive ages, was constantly appealed to as no slight guarantee 
for the other. It coidd not well be otherwise, as long as the suc- 
cessors of the Apostles did their duty, originally in ordaining 
none but orthodox men, and afterwards in watching and censur- 
ing (if need were) the most exalted even of their own colleagues, 
on sufficient proof of defection on their part. 

Two facts are quite indisputable : the firsts that in those ages 
the Bishops and Pastors were considered as the chosen aposto- 
lical guardians of the true faith ; the other ^ that they really acted 
as such. Does not the conclusion irresistibly follow, that such 
Providence intended them to be ? And can any one, knowing 
these circumstances, read the peculiarly significant promises at 
sundry times addressed by our Lord to His Apostles, and not 
perceive in the Episcopal succession the appropriate fulfilment of 
those promises? For instance, "I have chosen you, and ordained 
you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that vour fruit. 


should remain." " I am with you always, even unto the end of 
the workl." " Upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 

We have then from Scripture, the consolation of believing, 
that as long as we reverence and uphold the Apostolical ministry^ 
we are in our line and measure '* labouring together" with God 
himself. We are so far doing our humble part in that systeni 
which the all-wise Redeemer has ordained to be the humaa^ 
visible, secondary instrument of guarding and propagating those 
truths, on which our communion with Him depends. 

This will be seen yet more clearly, on proceeding to examine 
the doctrinal results, such as they appear on the whole in those 
Churches, which from error or necessity have parted with the 
Apostolical succession. This must be attempted on some future 

For the present, reverting to that ineffable mystery, from 
which on this day especially all our devout thoughts should 
begin, and in which they should end, I would only ask one ques- 
tion. What will be the feelings of a Christian^ particularly of a 
Christian pastor, should he find hereafter that in slighting or dis- 
couraging /Apostolical claims and views, (be the temptation what 
it may) he has really been helping the evil spirit to unsettle men's 
faith in the Incarnation or the Son of God.?. 
■■:'.{-;.■ ■ ■ ' ■■ . • ^ 

The Feast of ihe Purification. 

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No. v.— THURSDAY. 



There is a public absolution, which is no more than a relaxa- 
tion of a censure. There is no relation betwixt that and the 
absolution of sins. 

God ratifies in heaven the judgments of His ministers on 
earth, when they judge by the rules prescribed by His Word. 

Whenever Church discipline meets with discountenance, 
impieties of all kinds are sure to get head and abound. And 
impieties, unpunished, do always draw down judgments. 

The same Jesus Christ who appointed baptism, for the 
receiving men into His Church and family, has appointed excom- 
munication to shut such out as are judged unworthy to continue 
in it. 

Matt, xviii. 15, &c. " If thy brother shall trespass against 
thee, go tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he 
shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will 
not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the 
mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church ; 
but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an 
heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatso- 
ever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ; and what- 
soever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." So 



that if baptism be a blessing, excommunication is a real punish- 
ment : there being the same authority for excommunication as 
for baptism. And if men ridicule it, they do it at the peril of 
their souls. 

In short, this authority is necessary, if it is necessary to pre- 
serve the honour of religion. It is appointed by Jesus Christ. 
The ends proposed by it are, to reform wicked men, and to 
remove scandals. If the sentence is duly executed, the offender 
is really deprived of the ordinary means of salvation. It is in- 
deed a sentence passed by men, but by men commissioned by 
God Himself; that is, by the Holy Ghost. 

The authority of Christ is to be respected in the meanest of 
His ministers. 

Excommunication, the most dreadful punishment which a 
Christian can suffer, becomes less feared than it ought to be, 
through the countenance which excommunicated persons meet 
with, contrary to the express command of God, " With such a 
one, no not to eat." 

A true penitent will be willing to bear the shame of his sins 
(where he has given offence) before men, that he may escape the 
confusion of them hereafter. But then he ought to know, that 
to submit to the outward part of penance, is not to submit to 
God, unless it proceed from the fear and love of God. 

A man may see his sin, confess it, abhor it, and yet be a false 
penitent. Judas did all this. What he wanted was the grace of 
God, to see the mercy of God as well as His justice. 

Those who are the first to lead men into sinful courses, seldom 
trouble themselves to recover them out of them. The ministers 
of Christ must do it, or they must die in their sin. 

Mark v. 4. " And they laughed him to scorn." O, my Lord 
and Master ! let me not be driven from my duty, by the infi- 
delity and scoffs of the world. 

How desperate soever the condition of a sinner may appear, 
we must neither insult over it, nor despair of his conversion. 

A person who has offended and scandalized others by his sins, 
ought, before he be admitted to the peace of the Church, and to 
receive the Sacrament, to give some good ground of .assurance, 
by a sober life, that he i* a true penitent. 



Mark vi. 1 . " Shake off the dust under your feet, for a testi- 
mony against them." Jesus Christ permits not His Apostles 
to avenge themselves by their Apostolical power, nor even to 
desire that He should do it ; but to leave their cause to God, 
with full confidence in Him. 

Luke xix. 8. " And if I have taken any thing from any man 
by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." The judgment, 
which, of his own accord, this penitent passes upon himself, 
will condemn those who reject all the remedies offered, and all 
methods made use of, for their conversion, and who will not 
make the least atonement for their crimes. Men show very 
plainly that they love sin, when they will not suffer any one to 
put a stop to it, to remove the occasions thereof; and to shame, 
to reprove, and to punish the sinner. This is a sin which draws 
after it great judgments. 

If a pastor hopes to do his duty without reproving the world, 
(without testifying that the works thereof are evil; John vii. 7.) 
or to reprove it without being hated by it, he will deceive him- 
self; he may carry it fair with men, but will be condemned by 
Jesus Christ. 

John viii. 7. " He that is without sin among you, let him 
cast the first stone." They whose duty it is to punish offenders, 
should take great care not to be influenced by pride, hypocrisy, 
passion, false zeal, or malice ; but to punish with reluctancy ; 
with compassion, as having a sense of their own misery and 
weakness, which, perhaps, render them more guilty in the sight 
of God. Let Ecclesiastical Judges always remember, that the 
Holy Ghost, to whom it belongs to bind and loose, never makes 
Himself the minister of the passions of men. 

John xii. 43. " They loved the praise of men more than the 
glory of God." And this is the cause that men count it more 
shameful to acknowledge their crimes than it was to be guilty of 

We must never insult a sinner ; but, without extenuating his 
sin, we must comfort him, by showing him the good which God 
may bring out of it. 

Acts viii. 3. " As for Saul, he made havock of the Church." 
The designs of God toward Saul should teach us not to despair 



of any man's conversion, but to pray for it, and to use our best 
endeavours, instead of being angry, and using them ill. 

Acts ix. 9. •' And Saul was three days without sight, and 
neither did eat nor drink." Jesus Christ himself, in this- in- 
stance, teaches His ministers not to be too hasty in receiving 
penitents, but to let them fast and pray, and bear the sense of 
their sin, and of their bad condition, before they be reconciled. 
It teaches penitents to fast and pray, and to bear with patience 
the fruit of their own doings. 

Acts xix. 18. " Many that believed, came and confessed their 
deeds," &c. The Spirit of Grace always inclines men to confess 
their evil deeds, and humble themselves for their sins. There 
could not be a more shameful one than dealing with the devil, 
&c. yet this did not hinder them, — or from sacrificing the most 
valuable things that had been instruments in their wickedness. 
This is a proof of a true conversion, &c. 

The fall of others, is for us a great instruction, and a lesson 
which we ought to study, not in order to insult our neighbour, 
but to fear for, and amend, ourselves. 

Let us not despise any sinner. God has sometimes very great 
designs in relation to those who are at present most opposite to 

To reprove, when persons are not in a proper disposition for 
amendment, would be to give both them and ourselves trouble 
without any prospect of advantage. 

To make reproof beneficial, they to whom it is given shpuld 
see that it does not proceed from humour, or from a design to 
vex them, but from a true zeal and love for their souls. 

A true charity will never insult those that arei gone astray, but 
will use the greatest sinners mildly, lest they should be driven 
to despair by too great severity. 

The Church forgives sins " in the person of Christ," (2 Cor. 
ii. 10.) She remits the temporal punishment of them also, be- 
cause Christ is the Sovereign High Priest, and because it belongs 
to God alone to recede from the strictness of His justice, in what 
manner He thinks fit. An ecclesiastical governor should endea- 
vour to preserve discipline, and the esteem of his people, at the 
same time, by acts of tenderness, &c. 


2 Cor. X. 8. " For though I should boast of my authority, 
(which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for de- 
struction,) I should not be ashamed." It is necessary, sometimes, 
to extol the dignity of our office. N. B. Pastors are appointed 
by Christ to edify the Church ; they must, therefore, be hon- 
oured and obeyed. 

The disorders which a good pastor observes in his flock, will 
always be matter of humiliation to him, because he will always 
impute them to himself. A pastor, a priest, who does not, with 
tears and supplications, bewail the sins of his people, cannot call 
himself their mediator with God. 

It is the greatest comfort of a good pastor, to feel himself 
obliged to use nothing but good advice, and the mild part only 
of his authority ; but when that will not do, he must " use sharp- 
ness ;" but still, with this view, that it be for their edification, not 
for their destruction. 

It seldom happens that great men, whether clergy or laity, 
reform their lives, because they seldom meet with persons of 
courage to oppose them, or to tell them of their faults. , A 
Bishop, who is not restrained by any earthly engagements, will 
not spare any man whose conduct is, prejudicial to the faith. 

Gal. v. 12. *' I would they were even cut off which trouble 
you." To wish shame, or some temporal evil, for the salvation 
of my neighbour's soul, is not contrary to charity. It seems, 
matters were come to a great height of evil, when St, Paul was 
forced to wish that to be done, which he did not, in prudence, 
think fit to do. 

Ecclus. viii. 5. " Reproach not a man that turneth from sin, 
but remember that we are all worthy of punfshment." 

2 Thess. iii. 6. *' Now we command you," fand the same 
authority subsists still in the governors of the Church,) " in the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves 
4 from every brother that walketh disorderly," &c. Nothing 
is there which the faithful ought more carefully to avoid, than 
disorderly livers, — nothing which pastors ought more earnestly 
to warn their flocks of. 

May I ever observe the rules of an holy and charitable 


2 Thess. iii. 14. '* And if any man obey not our word, note 
that man, and have no company with him, that he may be 
ashamed ; yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as 
a brother." Excommunication is only for the contumacious, — 
not to insult, but to cure. 

1 Tim. V. 1 9. " Against an elder receive not an accusation, 
but before two or three witnesses." A pastor ought not lightly 
to be exposed to the revenge of those, whom it is probable he 
has, or shall have, occasion to reprove. 

1 Tim. V. 20. " Them that sin rebuke before all, that others 
also may fear." That is, who sin grievously and are convinced 
before two or three witnesses — let such be censured, before, or 
by the consent of, all the congregation. 

2 Tim. ii. 25. " In meekness instructing," (reproving) " those 
that oppose themselves, — if God peradventure will give them re- 
pentance," &c. When we consider that repentance is the gift of 
God — that the wiles of the devil are many, and corruption of 
nature very strong, we shall compassionate instead of insulting a 
sinner. We shall adore the mercy of God towards ourselves, 
and hope for it for others. We shall fear for ourselves, and pray 
for them. They may recover, and be saved. We may fall, and 
be lost for ever. 

When men will not take care of their own salvation, the 
Church owes this care to her children, to hinder them as much 
as possible from ruining others. 

If excommunication is perpetual, it is caused by the obstinacy 
of the offender, not by the laws of Christ, or His Church, which 
only deprives wicked men of the benefit of communion for a time, 
to bring them to a sense of their duty. Church discipline is for 
the honour of God, for the safety of religion, the good of sinners, 
and for the public weal, — that Christians may not run headlong 
to ruin without being made sensible of their danger, — that others 
may see, and fear, and not go on presumptuously in their evil 
ways, — that the house of God may not become a den of thieves, 
— and that judgments may not be poured down upon the whole 
community. Josh. xxii. 20. '* Did not Achan commit a tres- 
pass, and wrath fell on all the congregation ?" 

The most eflfectual way of answering these ends is, to exercise 


a Strict impartial discipline. First, to withhold from Christians 
the benefit of the Holy Sacrament, till they behave themselves so 
as to be worthy of so great a blessing. And, secondly, if they con- 
tinue obstinate, (all proper methods being used to reclaim them,) 
to excommunicate them ; and to oblige all sober Christians not 
to hold familiar conversation with thejn. But first of all. Christ- 
ians should be made sensible of what blessings they are deprived, 
when they are debarred the communion, — even the greatest on 
earth ; without which they can have no hopes of salvation, but 
must perish eternally, John vi. 53. 

He that understands and believes this, will submit to any hard- 
ships, rather than incur, rather than continue under, a sentence 
so full of terror ; and a sentence passed by one commissioned by 
God ; and bound, at the peril of his soul, to pass it, it being the 
greatest indignity to Christ and the divine ordinance, to prosti- 
tute the body and blood of Christ, to notorious evil livers. God 
has therefore lodged a power in the pastors of His Church, to 
repel all such ; and it is a mercy even to them to be hindered 
from increasing their guilt and their damnation. 

Nor can any prince, governor, nor human law, hinder a Christ- 
ian Bishop from exercising this power, because he is under an 
obligation to the King of kings and Lord of lords to do his duty 
in this respect. 

Nor must it be pretended, that the punishment which Christ- 
ian Magistrates inflict may supersede this discipline. Those pun- 
ishments only affect the body, and keep the outward man in 
order. These are designed to purify the soul, and to save that 
from destruction. Excommunication, as St. Paul tells us, (1 Cor. 
V, 5.) is " for the destruction of the flesh, that the soul may be 
saved;" that is, to mortify the corruptions of nature, lust, pride, 
intemperance, &c. ; this being the only way to save the soul of 
the sinner, and to bring him to reason, that is, to repentance. 

For upon a sinner's repentance, (unless where he has incurred 
this sentence more than once,) the Church is ready to receive him 
into her bosom, with open arms. But then by repentance must 
be understood, not a bare change of mind ; not an acknowledg- 
ment of the sin and scandal ; not a seiious behaviour for a few 
days; — all which may soon wear off'; but, a course of public 
penance, a long trial of sincerity, such as may satisfy a man's 



self, and all sober Christians, that the sinner is a true penitent ; 
that he has forsaken all his evil ways, evil company, ievil habits ; 
that he is grown habitually serious, devout and religious, — and 
that by fasting and prayer, he has, in some good measure, got the 
mastery of his corrupt nature, and has begun a repentance not to 
be repented of. 

For want of this care and method, many Christians are ruined 
eternally. They sin, and repent, and sin again, and think all is 
safe, because they have repented, as they think, and are pardoned. 

There are people who are in the same sad case with those that 
stand excommunicated, though no sentence has passed upon 
them, namely, such as live in a contempt of the public worship of 
God. They cannot properly be turned out of the Church, who 
never come into it, but they keep themselves out of the ark, and 
consequently must perish. 

Excommunication, in jthe primitive times, was pronounced in 
the congregation to which the offender belonged. After which, 
they gave notice to all other Churches ; namely, ' let no temple 
of God be open to him, let none converse with him,* &c. 

2 Sam. xii. 13, 14. " And David said unto Nathan, I have 
sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said, the Lord also hath 
put away thy sin, thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this 
deed thou hast given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blas- 
pheme, the child that is born unto thee shall surely die." The 
divine justice punisheth every sin, either in this world or in 
the next. A sinner's willingness to undergo any punishment 
which shall be appointed by the minister of God, in order to 
make proof of, and to establish his repentance, is a sure sign that 
God has not withdrawn his grace, notwithstanding his sin. 

(To be continued.) 
The Feast of the Annunciation. 

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The Holy days observed by the Church of England are of two 
kinds : — Festivals, or days of joy ; and Fasts, or days of sorrow. 

The Festivals are : — 

The Nativity of our Lord, commonly called Christmas- day ; 
on which we celebrate that great event, the birth, as man, of the 
everlasting and Almighty Son of God. (Dec. 25.) 

The Circumcision of Christ. On this day we are taught to 
remember with joy the transaction which may be called the first 
act of our Lord's obedience to the law for our sakes : the begin- 
ning of that unspotted career of purity and duty, which He 
mercifully submitted to accomplish for the redemption of sinful 
man. (Jan. 1.) 

The Epiphany, the manifestation, or making known of the 
new-born Saviour to the Gentiles. The first individuals, from 
the nations who till then had walked in darkness, who bent the 
knee before Him, were the Wise Men of the East ; when, led by 
a miraculous star, they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, 
as their offerings to Bethlehem. And this event we, in an island 
which has since, by God's mercy, also seen the ** great light" of 
Christian truth, cannot too joyfully or too thankfully comme- 
morate. (Jan. 6.) 

The Presentation of Christ in the temple, commonly called, 
the Purification of St. Mary the Virgin. The event comme- 
morated on this day is the fulfilment of prophecy (Malachi iii. 1.) 
by our Lord's appearance in the Temple, whither He was brought 
that His mother might comply with the rite of purification, en- 


joined by Moses. The examples of the holy Simeon and Anna 
(Luke ii.) are on this occasion held up for our imitation. Like 
them, we should devoutly rejoice that our earthly career has been 
blessed by the knowledge of Christ's coming in the flesh ; — that 
we have been enabled to see that light which was destined to 
lighten the Gentiles, as well as to be the glory of God's people 
Israel. (Feb. 2.) 

The Annunciation, or announcement of the approaching birth 
of the Saviour by the angel Gabriel, to the Virgin Mary, Luke 
i. 26. (March 25.) 

Easter day, and* the days following. On this greatest of all 
festivals, we celebrate the consummation of our Lord's victory over 
the powers of darkness. His glorious and triumphant rising from 
the grave ; an event in which His true followers rejoice as being 
alike the great confirmation of their Master's truth, and the 
earnest and proof of their own blissful resurrection in the fulness 
of God's appointed time. 

Easter is kept on different days of the months of March or 
April, in different years, the time of its celebration depending on 
that of a full moon, as did the Jewish Passover. 

Ascension day, (forty days after Easter,) on which, as the 
name of the festival implies, we commemorate the ascension of 
our Lord into heaven, forty days after His resurrection. 

Whitsunday, or the Feast of Pentecost, (ten days after 
Ascension day.) On this day we celebrate the fulfilment of our 
Lord's parting promise in the descent of the Holy Ghost, in 
fire, upon His Apostles, to abide with them, and with His Holy 
Church, even unto the end of the world. 

Trinity Sunday, (the Sunday following Whitsunday.) On 
this day, having commemorated severally the different leading 
events in our Lord's history, from the annunciation of His birth 
to the pouring forth of His Spirit, we are led by our Church to 
contemplate the mystery of our Redemption in one general view ; 
glorifying alike God Xhe Father, who sent His dearly-beloved 
Son to save us ; God the Son, who graciously undertook our 
redemption ; and God the Holy Ghost, who mercifully vouch- 
safes to sanctify us, and all the elect people of God. 


The Conversion of St. Paul Jan. 25. 

St. Matthias Feb. 24, 

St. Mark Apr. 25. 

St. Philip and St. James May 1. 

• St. Barnabas June 1 1 . 

St. John the Baptist June 24. 

St. Peter June 29. 

St. James July 25. 

St. Bartholomew Aug. 24. 

St. Matthew Sep. 21 . 

St. Simon and St. Jude Oct. 28. 

St. Andrew . .• ••.... Nov. 30. 

St. Thomas Dec. 21 . 

St. Stephen Dec. 26. 

St. John Dec. 27. 

On these days we are instructed to seek encouragement in our 
Christian warfare, by remembering the triumphant issue of 
that warfare in the cases of those eminent followers of their 
Lord, the Apostles, the Baptist, and the first martyr. In the 
graces bestowed upon them, we behold the most striking illus- 
trations of God's merciful promises of support to His servants ; 
and in striving to confirm our own faith by the example of theirs, 
we are following the advice of one of themselves — of one " n6t 
a whit behind the chiefest of them," — St. Paul. See his Epistle 
to the Hebrews, chap. xi. 

The Holy Innocents. On this day we commemorate the 
infants of Bethlehem, whose blood, shed by Herod, was the first 
spilt by the enemies of Christianity in opposition to its progress. 
Mourning this, and all similar events, the Church yet directs our 
praises to Him, who made infants to glorify Him by their deaths ; 
and who, while receiving to His mercy, these and millions of other 
infant souls, has declared for the instruction of those more 
advanced in years, that " of such" as little children "is the 
kingdom of heaven." (Dec. 28.) 

St. Michael and all Angels. Sept. 29. 

All Saints. Nov. 1. 

A 2 


We should ever recollect that we, humblest members of Christ's 
Church militant ^ here on earth, form part and portion of a great 
society — of what St. Paul calls "the general assembly and churchof 
the first-born,"Heb.xii.23. And to this belong alike those glorious 
spirits who have never known either sin or sorrow, and those glo- 
rified saints, who, having come out of the great tribulations of earth, 
have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the 
Lamb, Rev. vii. 14. These two days are therefore set apart, 
that we may comfort ourselves, by thinking on the great privilege 
to which we are invited, of an union with that blessed society ; 
and that the thought may inspire us with additional ardour to 
run, while yet on earth, the race that is set before us. 

The Fasts of the Church of England are, — 
In the first place, the vigils, or days before the following 

The Nativity of our Lord St. James 

The Purification St. Bartholomew 

The Annunciation St. Matthew 

Ascension Day St. Simon and St. Jude 

Whitsunday St. Andrew 

St. Matthias St. Thomas 

St. John Baptist. All Saints. 

St. Peter 

These the Church has prescribed to be observed as seasons of 
fasting, that we may bring our minds into a fitter state for cele- 
brating the more joyful solemnities which succeed them. Those 
festivals which are not preceded by such fasts either follow im- 
mediately other festivals, or occur, for the most part, in what the 
Church considers seasons of joy ; as, for instance, the circumci- 
sion, at Christmas time, and St. Mark's day, between Easter and 
Whitsuntide, while we are commemorating the glorious events 
which follov.ed the resurrection. With regard to the feasts of 
Saints and Apostles, the observation of these fasts tends to revive 
in our minds the recollection of the troubles and sufferings which 

' That is '■ in a state of warfare." 


these Christian heroes underwent on their way to the possession 
of that happiness and glory which we are, on their festivals, 
invited to contemplate. And upon this principle, probably, it is, 
that no fast is appointed before the feast of St. Michael and all 
Angels. We have no previous struggles with sin or evil, to com- 
memorate in the history of those exalted beings who have never 
partaken of mortality or of its troubles ; but have, from the 
beginning, been happy, pure, and holy, in Heaven. 

Lent, — Or the season of forty days, excluding Sundays, which 
precedes Easter. The earlier part of this solemn season is in- 
tended to prepare us for the great week of our Lord's passion, 
wuh which it concludes. And the space of forty days seems 
marked out as a proper period for fasting and humiliation by the 
instances, not only of Moses and Elias, but of one far greater 
than they, who prepared Himself for the commencement of His 
ministry by a fast of forty days in the wilderness. 

Ash-Wednesday. — The first day of these forty has ever 
been observed by the Church with peculiar solemnity. On that 
day, in early times, her ministers maintained the custom, which 
the Apostles had introduced and enjoined, of putting to open 
penance and shame notorious offenders against her laws or her 
authority ; thus, according to the direction of Scripture, punish- 
ing them in this world, that they might be led to repentance, and 
that their souls might consequently be saved in the world which 
is to come. 

But those happier, because purer, days of the Church's history 
have past away. God in His own good time will renew them ; 
and that He will speedily do so, we are bound to pray. In the 
meanwhile, the Church calls upon us, upon this day, collectively 
to humble ourselves before Him whom our sins and our abandon- 
ment of this godly discipline have deeply offended ; and to im- 
plore His pardon for those transgressions, committed among us, 
without meeting such rebuke, for which we affirm with our own 
mouths, His vengeance and curse to be due. In making this 
acknowledgment, we continue, in the Christian Church, a cere- 
mony which God Himself ordained for the Jewish. See Deut. 
xxvii. 13 — 26. 


The different days of Passion week : of the week, that is, 
between the Sunday before Easter and Easter-day — are consi- 
dered by the Church fasts of such importance as to have Epistles 
and Gospels appointed to each. The same reasons which should 
incline us to a reverential observance of Lent in general, apply, 
of course, still more strongly to the week which represents the 
season of our Saviour's sufferings ; and, most strongly of all, the 
that solemn day which commemorates His death ; and which, in 
memory of the benefits which we derive from that mysterious 
event, we call Good Friday. 

That we may, indeed, keep in continual remembrance the ex- 
ceeding love of our Master and only Saviour, thus dying for us, 
the Church reckons among her other fasts, — 

All Fridays in the year, excepting, of course, Christmas- day, 
should that festival fall on a Friday. 

The following days in the year are called Ember-days. 

^ The first Sunday in Lent. 
The Wednesday, Friday, y The Feast of Pentecost, 
and Saturday before j Sept. 14. 

/Dec. 13. 

These days are ordained to be kept as fasts, because the four 
Sundays which respectively follow them are the appointed seasons 
for the ordination by our Bishops of priests and deacons to 
their sacred offices. St. Paul clearly declares the duty of all 
Christians to pray for those set in ministerial authority over 
them. And that fasting was practised by the early Church at 
the season when such" ministers were ordained, we learn from 
Acts xiii. 3. 

The above, with the three days immediately before Ascension- 
day, — days which, under the name of Rogation days, the Church 
has from the very earliest times employed in especial supplica- 
tion and prayer, — complete the number of the fasts of our 
English Calendar. 


A holy season which, though it is observed by some branches 
of the Church as a strict fast, is not comprised among the fasts 
of the Church of England, is that of Advent ; the season of 
preparation for celebrating the festival of the Nativity. It 
begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and continues 
till Christmas Eve. 

The Feast of the Annunciation. 

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

That we henceforth he 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 con- 
sciousness 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 think- 
ing 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 un- 
scriptural and wrong, were it only by this simple consideration ; 



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 ind 
uniform in them. If this were not a principal object in the eye 
of Divine Wisdom, is it conceivable that the great Apos*^^ should 
have introduced it as he has done when speaking to the Ephe- 
sians 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 ev^ry 
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 
sotDe, Apostles, and some, Pr.ophets, 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 sup- 
pose 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 o( men, by cunning craftiness, 


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 effec- 
tually 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 commis- 
sioned and responsible guardians, the Bishops of the three first 
centuries effectually maintained the truth for us. The same con- 
clusion is now (;o be deduced from a more painful set of experi- 
ments, 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 o£ doctrinal views, even on those points which 
contain the very essence of our faith : will not this be an addi- 
tional 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- 



tury : — " It may be right here to add some account of the prac- 
tical system of the heretics, how futile it is, how altogether 
earthly and human ; destitute of weight, of authority, of disci- 
pline: 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, lights 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, hav- 
ing no reahty" [of spiritual power] " to offer. In fact, promo- 
tion 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 rvill 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- 


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 cham- 
pion 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 conse- 
cration,) " 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 
npt what imaginary and vain ordination." 

Is it not plain that this person would have rejected the episco- 
pal 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 unfortu- 
nate 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- 


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 hojiest truths of Christianity. The imme- 
diate 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 fol- 
lowers never renounced the Apostolical succession ; their pro- 
ceedings were marked all along by a thorough disdain of Apos- 
tolical 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 thosfe 
points, which the unbelievers are most apt to ridicule ; and daily 
exciting tumults and factions against us. One of their methods 



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 permit- 
ting the younger persons among them to run irreverently 
about all the streets :" i. e., as it should seem, from one con- 
venticle 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 : call- 
ing 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 i^. tl^^ir nati;ire 
never could have come into the mind of any other under the 

Such were th© 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 

The largest experiments yet made in the world on the doc- 
trinal 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 Incarna- 


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 
England ^ : books and opinions which England herself had re- 
jected. 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 pre- 
cluded 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 con- 
trolled by her decisions, which ultimately has proved of the worst 

' Pusey on the Theology of Germany, part 1. p. 124. 


consequence to the Genevan Church in particular. For example, 
he feared not, in his prime work, the Institutes, to speak con- 
temptuously 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 Gefteva, 
as the soil most congenial to them : and the later years of 
Calvin, and almost all those of his successor, Beza, were dis- 
turbed 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 con- 
sistent 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 congrega- 
tions 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 in- 
tentionally 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 seven- 
teenth 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 Presby- 
terianism 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 pre- 
ceding 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 defec- 
tion 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 no- 
tice 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 con- 
troling 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 ex- 
periment 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 expecta- 
tions." 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 en- 
tirely 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 apos- 
tacy" finds more or less acceptance, in proportion as less or more 
remains of primitive order and respect for the Apostolical com- 

" 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 compro- 
mise 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 jeo- 
pardy we place the irreverent and the wavering, when, from 
whatever cause, we shake their confidence in the express testi- 
mony of the early Fathers ? 

Secondly, Looking at the whole subject as matter not of argu- 
ment, 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 ma- 
jority 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 

Can 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 super- 
natural 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 respon- 
sible, 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. ^ 

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 ad- 
juncts 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 to- 
gether, 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, stand- 
ing 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 

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 Minis- 
ters 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 dura- 
tion 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 forget- 
ting 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 politi- 
cal 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 pos- 
sessors of property and privileges, they also, in this country, pos- 
sess 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 im- 
prove 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 foir- 
tunes 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 trumpet- 
tone 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 Eng- 
land 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 adver- 
sity to her who had been in her prosperity their nursing mother 
and their guide. Beholding her built upon the rock of apos- 
tolical 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 plea- 
sure ; 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 in- 
sult 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 for- 
tunes and condition are necessarily as imperfect as their notions 
of the Church itself. Seeing nothing but its tangible frarae^ con- 
scious 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 

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. Church- 
men know not, in their generation, what is passing around them, 
or even in themselves. In silence and in mystery, God is work- 
ing 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 vouch- 
safed 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 Insti- 
tution ; 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 

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 contempla- 
tion of Him, which shall hereafter be the privilege of the 
redeemed in Heaven. 

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 cla- 
mour 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 consti- 
tution 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 above- 
mentioned 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 thou- 
sands 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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 cha- 
racter 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, ap- 
pointed 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 pre- 
vent the intrusion of improper persons into Bishopricks. To 
exclude the great officers of state from a share in the nomin- 
ation 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 con- 
nected, in many instances, with the peasantry of the country, 
whose feelings and opinions they iecm to have, in a great mea- 
sure, represented. The courage and resolution with which 


these men frequently resisted state persecution, will be appre- 
ciated 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 cir- 
cumstance 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 consecrat- 
ing : 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 

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 ar- 
bitrarily, 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, Con- 
secration, 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 in- 
quire 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 imprison- 
ment 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 com- 
pel 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 schismaii- 
cus 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 sup- 
press 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 

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 neces- 
sary 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. 

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 sus- 
picion 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 unreflect- 
ing, 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 mani- 
fest 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 devo- 
tion 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 ques- 
tion 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 sim- 
phcity ; 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 presump- 
tion 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 con- 
verge :) 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 dis- 
tinctly 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 reli- 
gious 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 men- 
tioned, 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 pro- 
nounced 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 specu- 
lations, 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 becom- 
ing so very prevalent, the word ought to mean, simply, " well- 
meaning;" "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 doc- 
trine 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 pro- 
nounced by St. Paul in the New Testament. There is one pas- 
sage 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 cer- 
tain " 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 cove- 
nant. 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 Gen- 
tile 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 per- 
sisted 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 Per- 
son 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 well- 
meaning. 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 dead- 
liest errors, if they allow themselves to take liberties with the old 
standard of the Faith, — what shall we say ? will it not then ap- 
pear, that the better we think of the motives of our erring bre- 
thren, 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 coun- 
try, their priesthood being especially strong. Most unfortu- 
nately, 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 Constan- 
tinopolitan 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 ten- 
dency of their doctrine, that they actually received the Mussul- 
mans 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 ap- 
pears 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 re- 
ceived him with the remark, that in all the countries which the 
Caliph had conquered, he had not met with any person of pre- 
sence 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 Per- 
son, were asked, and granted, in behalf of the Mahometan Anti- 
christ, 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 to- 
wards 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 reason- 
ing 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 hea- 
venly 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 con- 
tending 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 ex- 
actly 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 Sacra- 
ments, 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 our- 
selves 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 acknow- 
ledging 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 circum- 
stance, 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 doc- 
trines 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 Augus- 
tinians, 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 distin- 
guish 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 narrow- 
minded 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 

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 tem- 
per 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 

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 con- 
venticle, 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 ; there- 
fore 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 cha- 
racters 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 in- 
veniuntur haeresibus." 

While Dissenters are exclusive on the one hand. Papists are 
so on the other. The Council of Trent converted certain theo- 
logical 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, surren- 
dered 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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No. v.— THURSDAY. 


(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 

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 con- 
cerned 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 de- 
struction 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 indul- 
gence 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, notwith- 
standing, 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 dis- 
tinct. 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 sin- 
cerity 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 pe- 
nance for their sins. They that are for making still more con- 
cessions 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 neces- 
sary 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 excom- 

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 neces- 
sary 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. 

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 incor- 
rigible 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 confu- 
sion 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 hard- 
ness of his heart, but awakens him by his judgments, or the visi- 
tations 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 sug- 
gestions in the hearts of all sinners, wherever he has got posses- 
sion. 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 

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 mi- 
nistry, forget that they act in the name and place of Christ, and 
are to account to him for the mischief the Church receives 

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 judg- 
ment, 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. 

2 Chron. xix. 6. " And he said to the judges, take heed what 
ye do : for ye judge not for man but for the Lord, who is with 
you in the judgment." 

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

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 accept- 
able 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-offer- 
ings 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 

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 accord- 
ing 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 com- 
munion 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 

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

Feast of St, Philip and St, James, 

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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 supersti- 
tion, 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, in- 
deed, 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 anathe- 
matized 1383 years since, at the council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. 
This ancient sect has from that time to this persisted in its sepa- 
ration from the orthodox Church, and no communion has sub- 
sisted 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, find- 
ing themselves no longer able to maintain an independent exist- 
ence, 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 evi- 
dently 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 Patri- 
archate 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 Mono- 
physites 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 re- 
mote 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, evi- 
dently 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 anti- 
quity. 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 un- 
doubted record of St. Basil's opinions. Their decree opens 
thus : — Kat yap BaviXeiog 6 ttk Kaio-ape/wv iKKXrfffiag ^Apyitirla- 
KOTTog, 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 well- 
informed respecting its value, we may perhaps admit its genuine- 
ness without much hesitation. 

Another Liturgy, which can be traced back with tolerable cer- 
tainty 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 re- 
spects 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 ap- 
pear 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 re- 
visals, 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 be- 
tween the times of Gelasius and Gregory, tells us that the " ca- 
nonical 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 ascrib- 
ing 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 com- 
paring 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, neverthe- 
less, evidently a superstructure raised on that basis : the com- 
position 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. Chrysos- 
tom, 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 cha- 
racterized 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 sup- 
position otherwise suggested, that these four were of Apostolic 

The confirmation of this supposition, which results from com- 
paring the four independent rites, is, if possible, still more re- 
markable. 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 com- 
mon 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 ascend- 
ency 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 in- 
dependently 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 re- 
searches. 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 

(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 

(10.) The Lord's Prayer. 

(11.) Communion. 

II. These parts are always arranged in one of the four follow- 
ing 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 


4. Consecration Prayer. 

5. Commemoration of our 

Lord's words. 

6. The Oblation. 

7. Prayers for the dead. 

8. Breaking of bread. 

9. The Lord's Prayer. 

10. The kiss of peace. 

11. Communion. 

St. James's Liturgy. 

10. The kiss of peace. 

1 . Lift up your hearts, &c. 

2. Therefore with Angels. 

5. Commemoration of our 

Lord's words. 

6. The Oblation. 

4. Consecration Prayer. 

3. Prayers for the Church on 


7. Prayers for the dead. 
9. The Lord's Prayer, 

8. Breaking of bread. 

11. Communion. 

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

English Order. 

3. Prayers for the Churcli on 


1. Lift up your hearts, &c. 

2. Therefore with Angels, &c. 

4. Consecration. 

6. Commemoration of our Lord's 
11. Communion. 
9. The Lord's Prayer. 
6. Oblation. 


St. Mark's Liturgy. 
Egyptian and Ethiopian. 

10. The kiss of peace. 

1 . Lift up your hearts, &c. 

3. Prayers for the Church on 


7. Prayers for the dead. 

2. Therefore with Angels, &c. 

5. Commemoration of our 

Lord's words. 

6. The Oblation. 

4. Consecration Prayer. 

8. Breaking of bread. 

9. The Lord's Prayer. 

11. Communion. 

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

3. Prayers for the Church on 


7. Prayers for the dead. 

10. The kiss of peace. 

1. Lift up your hearts, &c. 

2. Therefore with Angels, &c. 

5. Commemoration of our 

Lord's words. 

6. The Oblation. 

4. Consecration Prayer. 

8. Breaking of bread. 

9. The Lord's Prayer. 

11. Communion. 

Thus it appears that the four original forms from which all 
the Liturgies in the world have been taken, resemble one ano- 
ther 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 

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. 


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 venera- 
ble 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 peo- 
ple, 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 Him- 
self for the life and salvation of the world, taking bread into His 
holy, immaculate, pure, and immortal hands, looking up to Hea- 
ven, 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 Testa- 
ment, which is shed and given for you and for many, for the re- 
mission 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 

Priest continues. — Wherefore, having in remembrance, his life- 
giving 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 ser- 
vants, 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 supplica- 
tion before Thee. 

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

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, andun- 
defiled 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 man- 
kind, 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 ministe- 
rially, but according to His own will : simple in nature, but 
various in operation. The fountain of all divine graces, consub- 
stantial 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 tho- 
roughly 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, re- 
sembling 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 Zacha- 
rias, 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 remem- 
brance 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 re- 
ceived 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 

The Feast of St, Philip and St, James, 


In No. 59, page 2, line 5 from the bottom, for millions, read hundred 
^ thousands. 

3, line 16, for million, read hundred thousand, and for 

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{From his XII UA Sermon.) 

[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, inter- 
cessions, '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 under- 
stood 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 

And it is observable, that however those ancient liturgies 
have been altered and corrupted in after times by many addi- 
tions and interpolations, yet there are in all of them still remain- 
ing many excellent and divine forms of prayer and thanksgiving 
wherein they do all perfectly agree, and which, therefore, can- 
not 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 tes- 
timony 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 litur- 
gies 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 Eu- 
charist, 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 vouch- 
safed 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 


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 Li- 
turgy, 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 invisi- 
ble, the Treasure of all good, the Fountain of life and immor- 
tality, 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 mar- 
tyrs 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." 

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Question from the Office of Ordination. — Will you be faith- 
ful 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. . . . 

1 Tim. V. 22. " Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be 
partaker of other men's sins : keep thyself pure." A Bishop 
engages to answer before God for such persons as he by advice> 
ordination, &c. causes to enter into a state of life so very 
hazardous, and which requires so great a stock of virtues. 
It is happy for a minister of God, that the life he is to lead, 
and the very outward acts he has vowed to perform, will help 
to change his heart, and create in him those dispositions whicli 
will make him like his great Master. For instance ; lie has 


solemnly promised to read the Holy Scriptures daily ; he will 
therefore have daily before his eyes the precepts, the instruc- 
tions, 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. 

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The following observations were occasioned by some questions, 
signed " Clericus," addressed to the Editor of the British Maga- 
zine, 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 dif- 
ficulties, 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. 

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 accus- 
tomed 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 re- 
freshed, and unencumbered, ready to receive God's holy influ- 
ences 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 for- 
bad the celebration of the birth-days of martyrs, i. c. the days of their mar- 
tyrdom (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, un- 
known 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 fast- 
ing, 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 earnest- 
ness and distrust of self implied by this preparation for the fes- 
tival 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 per- 
son was fasting,) not caring to conceal an observance which all 
are sharing with us." But further, since fasting is to be accom- 
panied 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. 

2 Sic et die Paschae, quo communis et quasi publica jejunii religio est, 
merito deponimus osculum, nihil curantes de occultando quod cum omnibus 
facimus. Tertul. de Orat. c. xiv. 

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 counte- 
nancing 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 convic- 
tion, 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 com- 
mand 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 visita- 
tion on one of the church's fasts, (the case proposed by " Cleri- 
cus,") there would be nothing in the intercourse of a visitation 
dinner inconsistent with the abstemiousness of a fast-day. Gen- 
erally 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 extraordi- 
nary 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 for- 
ward the grounds of our actions ; we might leave it to circum- 
stances 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 re- 
garded 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 cor- 
ruptions 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 in- 
fluence — 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 under- 
taken, 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 ex- 
ercise or fatigue, which might incapacitate the soul from per- 
forming its duties aright, unless the body had its usual refresh- 
ment. 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 sud- 
den, 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 plea- 
sant 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 

1 Life and Death of the Holy Jesus. Disc, xiii. 5, " On fasting." This 
discourse is full of valuable practical rules, which are in part repeated in the 
" Holy Living," c. iv. sec. 5. 


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. Ac- 
company 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, un- 
easy garments, laborious postures of prayer, journeys on foot, 
sufferance of cold, paring away the use of ordinary solaces, deny- 
ing 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 impa- 
tience 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, at- 
tained 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 ope- 
ratum, a thing good in and for itself, even if followed by acts of 
an opposite kind. In Bishop Taylor's words, " Let not intemper- 
ance (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 under- 
value 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 pre- 
clude 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 bene- 
volence 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 sub- 
sequent privation, such as eating a sparing meal early, as the last 
in the day, or they might at least decidedly abridge their princi- 
pal 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 self- 
discipline 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 re- 
collect 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 humilia- 
tion 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 difficul- 
ties as Satan would persuade men, for fear they should try it. 
Even among the poorer, some act of self-denial as to the plea- 
sures 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 uncon- 
sciously 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 re- 
gard 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 be- 
tween 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 pre- 
ceding those of their birth (into the other life), which days we call 
their vigils, eating more sparingly than usual, we devoutly pre- 
face 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 in- 
stead 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 prepara- 
tion, 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 ap- 
pointed 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 withhold- 
ing 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 congrega- 
tion 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 re- 
joice at such a sight ? and might not the evils we dread, per- 
chance, 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 op- 
portunity 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 ex- 
tolling 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 need- 
ful 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 remem- 
brance 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 dif- 
ference 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 dis- 
ciples 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 com- 
munions 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 privi- 
lege 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 


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 self- 
discipline, and so was an evangelical portion of the old despensa- 
tion. 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 cor- 
rupt religion, attained a degree of spirituality rare among our- 

" Fasting is Popish.'' If this means, that it has been pre- 
served 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 mem- 
bers. And does not the objection imply that we have forgotten 
the peculiar character of our church, which is not a mere Pro- 
testant, 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 ? 

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. 


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, contri- 
bute 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 conflict- 
ing 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 pur- 
pose 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 ab- 
stract 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 Scrip- 
ture, 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 consi- 
der 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 Scrip- 
ture-teaching upon the subject of Holy Baptism. It was in- 
tended, 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 main- 
tenance 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 inno- 
vation 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 perpe- 
tuated 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 cen- 
tury, the whole Church knew but of one sense belonging 
to them. The v hole Church of God, from India to Bri- 
tain, 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 circum- 
stances, and talents, and zeal against error, gave extensive 
influence, and with a new theory of the Sacraments, intro- 
duced 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 expo- 
sition 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 in- 
jured 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 Chris- 
tian new-birth are bestowed ordinarily, without the " water," 
or are not bestowed with it. 


The argument briefly is ; He, by His Divine foreknow- 
ledge, 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 argu- 
ment 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 here- 
sies, they did not originate in the misunderstanding of Scrip- 
ture, 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, calcu- 
lated 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, de- 
monstrating 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 Bap- 
tism, (p. 12 — 48.) passages which speak of the forfeiture of those privi- 
leges, 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. Re- 
moval 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 " Bap- 
tismal 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 de- 
fensive 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 can- 
didates 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, in- 
tellectual 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 de- 
feated ; now it appears as the ally and supporter of the faith, 
which it would undermine : it supports our Evidences ; re- 
conciles 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 Naa- 
man, 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 under- 
stand it, and extol the wisdom of the scheme ! The Holy 
Eucharist it has rationalized, and in that degree, as a Sacra- 
ment, 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 ratio- 
nalist 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 study- 
ing primitive Antiquity, wherein our great divines were 

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. 


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. Nei- 
ther 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 Zuingli. 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. 1*24) the statement of a writer of 
a very different class, who (however by some happy incon- 
sistency 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 


in the early ages ^" He admits that these views are coun- 
tenanced 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 bene- 
ficial reception of it, but is " the true consecrating prin- 
ciple, — that which brings down Christ to the heart of each 
individual ^" 

On one point, I fear that the doctrines of the ancient 
Church are so distinct from modern ultra- Protestant theo- 
logy on the one hand, (as also) from theRomanist 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 re- 
jection 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 pro- 
mises 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 

' Dr. Hampden, Bampton Lectures. Lcct. vii. p. 315. sq. 
2 Ibid. p. 323. sq. 


on "Sin after Baptism" (Art. 16.), or for denying that 
" every such sin is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpar- 
donable.'* 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 vk^ell 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 repent- 
ance itself, to be humbly waited for, and to be wrought out 
through that penitence : were the repentance at once per- 
fect, 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 deep- 
ened ; and therefore the ancient Church diligently noted out 
of the Old Testament the means whereby repentance might 
be heightened and secured, as humiliation, voluntary afflic- 
tion, 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 irk- 
some, distasteful course, and having already failed, it be- 
comes 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 gra- 
dually 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 

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. 
3 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 bre- 
thren. 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 small- 
est 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 

1 De Civ. Dei. L. 21. c. ult. 2 Serm. 9 alias 96. de temp. c. 11. 


he have sinned ; how long remained in sin, or against what 
present and ready help of God's Holy Spirit. And in pro- 
portion to his sin, must be his repentance. Only of this he 
may be sure, that man always undervalues his sin, and over- 
values 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 repent- 
ance : but they do not relate either to the possibility of re- 
pentance, or God's readiness to forgive the penitent. Mo- 
dern 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 ascer- 
tained, 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 restitu- 
tion 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 


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 vine- 
yard, for their own sakes, as well of those, of whose souls 
they must give account, neither here, nor in any other por- 
tion of these tracts, to be deferred by any vague fear of an 
approximation (as they may be led to think) to any doc- 
trines 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 reforma- 
tion rejected. Hence, the Lutheran (seep. 104), the Bohe- 
mian (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 Soci- 
nians" (p. 198-9), been held, and rightly, to have stopped short 
of the results of their own principles, and have been repre- 
sented, though wrongly, as retainers of Alexandrian ^* cor- 
ruptions 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. 

Christ Church, 
The Feast of the Circumcision ofChrisK 

r^» 7ff f'^/Vftf! H')f:in") n .vo iii(- ha:) .{. 


» «9ukJ9i e& t^l-f^aoaw dy^ 

yJiupiJu; r/iHuL 


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. 

1 Cor. i. 5— 8.— p. 36, Note, 212—16. 

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. 

1 Pet. i. 23. ii. 1. 3.— p. 14. 

iii. 21.— pp. 21 . 44, 45. 220—222. 

2 Pet. i. 9.— p. 54, Note. 

1 John ii., iii. 9. — ^pp. 166 — 171. 

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. 

1 Pet. iii. 21— pp. 289, 290. 292, 293. 


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 — 

' X ,{i€ .q — .1 Aii j 

.()£• ,til .qq— .''. Mi .JtT 

Ok _ r.r. 


Ml ^^i 

fjur. .It .(iq — .ot;,7 ,;;,;. . 


• .{([—.a-.z.d'jH 

No. f)7. (Ad Cleruiiu) IPrice 6rf. 



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 doc- 
trine 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 cha- 
racter 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 in- 
fluence upon men's hearts, would imply that we know much more 
of our own nature, and what is necessary or conducive to its re- 
storation, than we do : it would be like setting about to heal our- 
selves, 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 be- 
lieved 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 in- 
stance ; 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 cir- 
cumstances, beside the reading of infidel books, led him to infi- 
delity, 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 con- 
tinued 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 igno- 
rance 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 purifi- 
cation of our natural tendencies, we shall generally be in igno- 
rance 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 providen- 
tial 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 Re- 
formers 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 teach- 
ing 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 for- 
mality, 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 pre- 
suming 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 

The doctrine, then, of Baptismal Regeneration (rightly under- 
stood) 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 Christ- 
ians 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 Regenera- 
tion sometimes accompanies Baptism ; and since Baptismal Re- 
generation 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 de- 
nounce, in terms so unmeasured, what may after all be the teach- 
ing 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 neces- 
sity ; but whether God have ordinarily annexed this gift to Bap- 
tism, this they would have passed over as a difficult or curious ques- 
tion. They bid men to examine themselves whether they have 
the fruits of regeneration ; if not, to pray that they be regene- 
rate. " 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 dis- 
cerned by sense nor concluded by mere natural principles, must have prin- 
ciples 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 convey- 
ing 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 impor- 
tance, 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 pri- 
mary article of Justification : and yet no one could have antici- 
pated 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 con- 
ception 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 com- 
plied with, but to be embraced with a glad and thankful recog- 
nition 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 Scriptu- 
ral 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 matu- 
rity, 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 doc- 
trines 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 supe- 
rior 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 ex- 
amined the treasure committed to them. It may be, to speak 
plainly, that many who deny or doubt about Baptismal Regenera- 
tion, have been made holy and good men, and yet have sustained 
a loss in not holding this truth : and again, that others may no- 
minally 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, Con- 
fessors, 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 Bap- 
tismal 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 un- 
speakable 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 ex- 
amined 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 so- 
ciety, 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 dis- 
pensation 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 preach- 
ing 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 pro- 
posed 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 im- 
mediate 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, ne- 
glects 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 mis- 
givings, and restrictions, and limitations, are forgotten : what was 
originally an exception is made a rule and a principle ; and de- 
partures, 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 with- 
out its influence upon the rest, the adoption of any forsaken 
truth involves not only the admission of a foreign and unaccus- 
tomed 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 Cate- 
chism as well and as undoubtingly as in the services of Baptism and Confirma- 
tion ; 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, con- 
fessedly. 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/"* incor- 
ruptible 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. 

4 &vayiyivvT]fi'tvot oi/K U oiropaQ (ftOapTtiQ, dXKa d<j>9dpTov. 1 \\i. i. J.'i. 

* 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 regenera- 
tion, could not of course have excluded the operation of Baptism : 
as indeed in Baptism itself, two very different causes are com- 
bined, 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 co- 
operation 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 Re- 
generation 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 neces- 
sary 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 incor- 
ruptible 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 intro- 
duction 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' 

1 See Faust Socinus de Baptismo, c. 4. 0pp. Fratr. Polon. t. i. p. 718. 
Slichtingius, ad loc. ib. t. vi. p. 26. agrees to the letter almost with Calvin. , 

* " 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 speci- 
fied, 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 no- 
thing 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 there- 
unto 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 regenera- 
tion 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 Bap- 
tismo, 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 ex- 
pedient, 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 ordi- 
nary 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 privi- 
leges 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 cove- 
nant, 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, ve- 
rily, 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 un- 
seen 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 regenera- 
tion is the being " born of water and the Spirit," or by God*s 
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 con- 
gruity," but all such previous preparation as should make Bap- 
tism " 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 ordi- 
nance ; 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 rege- 
neration, 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 compa- 
rative disparagement of Baptism ; yet a little thought would have shown them, 
that, though our Saviour annexed the reception of the sacrament of regene- 
ration 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 no- 
thing (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 like- 
minded 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 regenera- 
tion ;' 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. 

3 De peccat. merit, et remiss. L. 1, § 34. 


error; and, where our Forefathers found fervid and heart- uph'ft- 
ing 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, through- 
out, 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 salva- 
tion 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. 

2 Sec Note (C), at the end. 


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 dead- 
ened 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 thou- 
sand 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 

1 Horn. X. in Rom. t. ix. p. 525. ' Moralia, c. 22. t. ii. p. 317. 

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 Re- 
surrection ; 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, contain- 
ing 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 like- 
ness 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 ex- 
hortation 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. 

2 Horn. 13. in S. Bapt. § 1, 2 t ii. pp. 114, 115. 

* 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. Assur- 
edly 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 neces- 
sity 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 im- 
mensity 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 moder- 
ation 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, ' who- 
ever 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 Evangeli- 
cally 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. Where- 
fore Evangelically to put on Christ is not to put on a law or 
works, but an inestimable gift, viz. remission of sins, righteous- 
ness, 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 Bap- 
tism 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 


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

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 trans- 
formed into His likeness, thou hast been brought into one kin- 
dred 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 glori- 
ous 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 applica- 
tions 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 cha- 
racter 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 con- 
dition of understanding God's Word : according to what we our- 
selves 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 de- 
fect 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 in- 
stances, exists, we may be sure, where they are too heavy to 
penetrate ; so that no one wrong habit of mind, or faulty prin- 
ciple 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 pas- 
sages 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 re- 
ceived. For he feared lest they should be taught by the vain 
deceit of a false philosophy to take other stays than their Sa- 
viour, 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 circum- 
cision, and so could require no other ; they had been disencum- 
bered of the sinful mass, with which they were naturally encum- 
bered, " 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 dis- 
parage 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 Sa- 
viour'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, annul- 
ment 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 thanks- 
giving ?" (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 immor- 
tality, 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 new- 
birth 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 ordi- 
nances, " 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 know- 
ledge 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 con- 
veyed. 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 anti- 
quity ^ ; 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 Testa- 
ment 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, indivi- 
duals 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 esta- 
blishe^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 salva- 
tion — 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 rau- 
niatur ; 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 re- 
demption." (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 establish- 
ing 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 designat- 
ing 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 Bap- 
tism. 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, con- 
veyed 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 im- 
press 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 un- 
less 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 blood- 
shedding, 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 sus- 
pected of teaching coldly and lifelessly. Not as though we 
supposed that the Apostle here speaks of a sealing, which hav- 
ing 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 influ- 
ences of God's Holy Spirit, as well those which any of us contuma- 
ciously 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 Sup- 
per 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 predestina- 
tion, 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 Him- 
self 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 sanctifi- 
cation 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. 


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 conse- 
crated 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 inter- 
preted 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 con- 
science 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 re- 
generation is again referred to by St. Paul (1 Cor. xii. 13) as a 
ground of Christian unity, together with that of the Com- 
munion 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 

Again, let any one consider the emblems under which Bap- 
tism 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 re- 
commended 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, Bap- 
tism, 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. Bap- 
tism, not as an outward rite, but accompanied with Faith, the bap- 
tized 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 Sacra- 
ment of Baptism, by comparing it with the most wonderful dis- 
plays 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 instru- 
ments 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 conse- 
crated by God " for the mystical washing away of sin," and con- 
nect 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 

1 *' Baptism is a greater deluge than that described by Moses, since more are 
baptized than were drowned by the deluge." — Luther, Serm. de Baptismo, 
ap. Gerhard, loci de S. Bapt. § 9. The types of Baptism in the Old Testament, 
and several passages of the Fathers relating to them, are given, I. c* § 11. 14. 
There is a striking saying of St. Cyprian, Ep. 63. ad Caecilium : " As often 
as water is mentioned alone in Holy Scripture, so often is Baptism extolled." 
Moderns may think lightly (i. e. as it is, in truth, unphilosophically and 
superficially) of this system of interpretation, but which reverence most the 
Sacrament of their Lord ? 


of His Baptism, that it was a Baptism " not of water only, but of 
water and blood," of water purified, and purifying by the effi- 
cacy 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 

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, how- 
ever, Holy Scripture, if we consider it attentively : before his 
baptism he appears neither to have been pardoned, regenerated, 

1 Bede in Mk. L. 1. c. ap Gerhard, loci (de S. Baptismo, § 112.) " That 
Christ saw the Heavens opened after Baptism was done for our sake, to 
whom the gate of the kingdom of Heaven is opened by the bath of the 
regenerating water." 


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 here- 
after. 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 bap- 
tized. 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 forth- 
with, 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 con- 
version 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 ? 

Feast of St. Bartholomew. 

(to be concluded in the next no.) 

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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 per- 
plexed 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 enlight- 
ened,) "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 pri- 
vileges upon those who had once enjoyed them and had for- 
feited 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 1 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- 

1 " 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, Theo- 
phylact, 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 new- 
made Christians." 

2 " I might say also to him, who understands this passage of repentance, 
that those things which are impossible with men, are possible with God ; and 
God is able, when He will, to remit to us, even those sins which we think 
cannot be forgiven. And so, what seems to us impossible to be obtained, is 
possible for God to give." Ambrose 1. c. 

3 Ad loc. Hom. 9. § 2. t. xii. p. 96. sqq. ed. Bened. cp. Horn. i. de S. 
Pentecoste t. ii. p. 467, Hom. x. (al. ix.) in Joann. t. viii. p. 60, Hom. ii. in 
Ephes. t. xi. p. 12., Hom. i. in Act. § 6. 



" 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 ver- 
sion, " 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," Chry- 
sostom 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 dif- 
ferent 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 mani- 
festly 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 purifi- 
cation of his old sins" (ruiv waXai avrov afiapriiov). (Ecumenius para- 
phrases, (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 holi- 
ness 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 Sacra- 
ment), 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 shrink- 
ing 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 Scrip- 
tural 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 de- 
fending 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 

1 £p. 4. ad Serapion. § 13. t ii. p. 705. cd. Bened. 

2 Cateches. 18. dc Ecclcsia Catholica, § 20. 
' litres. 59. §2. 


'* 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 Chris- 
tians, 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 re- 
laxed 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 

* Horn, in Psalm vii., t. i. p. 99. ed. Bened. 


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 Bap- 
tism 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 

1 Card. Bellarmine directly argues (Controv. t. ii. p. 1483,) " Since the 
" Apostle says (Heb. vi.) that it is impossible that a man should be restored 
" through that repentance which is united with Baptism, therefore we must 
" either with the Novatiaus dejiy all reconciliation, or with the Catholics 


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 all- 
powerful 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 unclean- 
ness, 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 fa- 
mihar 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. 
2 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 Bap- 
tism. " 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 con- 
trast with our modern practice ; although most sincere peni- 
tents will probably have found it a great hindrance to effec- 
tual 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 satisfac- 
tion : 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." 

2 The Church has provided a place, where the distressed in mind, as well 
as the sick in body, might, if they desired it, obtain the prayers of the Con- 
gregation directly for themselves. There would be no occasion for naming 
them, as is sometimes done in the case of bodily sickness. Christian sympa- 
thy might be much promoted, and great relief obtained for sufferers, if the 
clergy were, in sermons or in private, to recall persons' minds to this for- 
gotten provision. 

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 exag- 
gerated 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 repent- 
ance, 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 em- 
powered 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. Am- 
brose *, " 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 bap- 
tized. 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 


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 forgive- 
ness : "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- 

1 Epist. 82. (olim 91.) ad Theodorum, quoted by Bellarmine, 1. c. 

2 Haeretic. Fabul. Compend. L. 5. Divin. Decret. Epit. § 28, also ap. Bel- 


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, ex- 
pressly 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^lde- 
MnbtCfab 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 prin- 
ciple, 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 ex- 
perience, although limiting very awfully what their written 
teaching has left undefined. And these, and similar Apostohc 
sayings, were the foundation, doubtless, of that primitive Eccle- 
siastical rule^, which, in the case of any grievous offences, 

* See a very practical sermon, in the 1st vol. of Newman's Parochial Ser- 
mons, " On the religious use of excited feelings." 

2 See Bingham Christian Antiq. L. 18. c. 4., and Morinus de Administr. 
Sacram. Pcenitentiae, L. v. c. 27-30., who is the more unexceptionable wit- 
ness, since thig practice of the primitive Church is so greatly opposed to the 
laxity of the modern Church of Rome. Morinus, with an honesty unusual to 
his Church on this subject, distinctly asserts, that this discipline flourished 
in the Latin Church, till about the year 700. " It is certain, moreover, and 

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 con- 
cealed. 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 se- 
cundam, 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. 

2 De TaMiitint. L. ii. c. 10. § rt5, V*. 

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 sin- 
ning ; ** 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 epis- 
tle also is his, or at all events a very ancient author.) " If such 

1 Strom. 1. Praef. p. 322. ed. Potter. " But these (Clement's instructors), 
" keeping the true tradition of the blessed doctrine, directly from Peter, and 
" James, and John, and Paul, the holy Apostles, receivhig it each fromi 
" father to son, (though few are like their fathers) have by God's blessing 
" arrived, to deposit with us also those inherited and Apostolic seeds (of 
** doctrine) ; and well 1 know that they will rejoice, pleased, I say, not with 
" this exposition, but that I have adhered to the scheme transmitted to me. 
" For such a sketch is, I think, the office of a soul, which would keep the 
" blessed tradition, so as not to let it slip." Quoted in part by Euseb. H. 
E. L. V. c. 11. 

2 Strom. L. ii. c. 12, 13, p. 459. 
■' lb. L. iv. c. 24. pp. 633, 4. 

* 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 oft- 
misinterpreted 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 re- 
pentance there s)> 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 con- 
stantly 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 " rea- 
sonable 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 Bap- 
tism, 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 Regenera- 
tion," 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 : 

1 Ad loc. t. X. p. 708. ed. Bencd. 

2 Ad loc. t. vii. p. 467. ed. Vallars. 

3 Ap. Euseb. H. E. L. 5. c. 1. See the whole translated Tracts, 1834, 
Kccordb ot the Church, No. VI. 


" 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 repent- 
ance 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. 
3 § 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, cor- 
responding 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 repent- 
ance ! 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 com- 
manded 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 privi- 
leges 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 with- 
out 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 wil- 
lingly 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. 

2 " If Christ himself, which giveth salvation, do require Baptism, it is 
" not for us, that look for salvation, to sound and examine Him, whether un- 
" baptized man may be saved, but seriously to do that which is required, and 
" religiously to fear the danger which may grow by the want thereof. Had 
" Christ only declared His will to have all men baptized, and not acquainted 
" us with any cause why Baptism is necessary, our ignorance in the reason 
" of that He finjoineth, might perhaps have hindered somewhat the forward- 
" ness of our obedience thereunto ; whereas now being taught that Baptism is 
" necessary to take away sin, how have we the fear of God in our hearts, if 
" care of delivering men's souls from sin do not move us to use all means 
" for their Baptism ?" Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. § 60. 

^ 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 in- 
fancy, 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 in- 
crease, 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 un- 
faithful. Ours is inestimably the higher privilege ; to have had 
^jod's seal put upon us, God's Spirit within us, from our child- 
hood 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 con- 
fides 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 be- 
lieved ; 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 con- 
sider 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 pre- 
sent 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 cheerful- 
ness, but — what the world calls gaiety, is ill-suited to the cha- 
racter of a penitent : that his repentance, although its anxiety 
may by God be removed, ought to increase in depth and sharp- 
ness : 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. 
2 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 ten- 
dencies 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-Christ- 
ianism 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 Sacra- 
ments : 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 earnest- 
minded Christians, imply that men scarcely regard it as a neces- 
sary means of grace ? Where is our longing for *' our daily 
" bread ?" and does not again the very name by which we ordi- 
narily 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 occa- 
sion 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 

1 Thus in a modern re-print of portions of the " Fathers of the English 
" Church," where they spoke of the " most Holy Sacrament of the Body and 
** Blood of Christ," or the like, the modern ' Contents' or ' Indices* uni- 
formly speak of " the Sacrament." 

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

F 2 


" unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness," is hereby con- 
ferred 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 Bap- 
tism 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 Ga- 
latians 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 per- 
verseness, impede the operation of God" through His Sacrament, according 
to Calvin's own principles they must participate of its grace. This is ex- 
pressed 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. Au- 
gustine \ in answer to an African Bishop, who felt some diffi- 
culty 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. Au- 
gustine'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 instru- 
ment 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. 2 § 28. 3 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. Augus- 
tine 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 doc- 
trine, but as being found in him, who, if any of the fathers, 
might have been expected, on account of his theory of predes- 
tination, 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. 

2 De Peccat. Merit. L 1. c. 21. 


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 conse- 
quence 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. 
3 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 refor- 
mation, 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 Sacra- 
ments, 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 rational- 
istic 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 

* 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 Scrip- 
ture, 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 pri- 
vileges of the Covenant, but of persons, whether within or with- 
out 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 origi- 
nally, not from Scripture, but from classical usage. " Sacra- 
mentum,'' 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 

1 This is his constant argument against Luther. " What miracle is there 
" which no man had felt ?" Arnica Exegesis f. 331. and v. 337- f. de Ccena 
Domini f. 277- ad Theobald. Beilicam. f. 263. Tl>e argument was originally 
Buccr's, ib. f. 331. 

' 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 argu- 
mentation as this, the whole doctrine of the Sacraments is dis- 
patched : 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 ex- 
tolled 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 in- 
cluded 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 in- 
fluences 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 pro- 
ceeds, " ' 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 pas- 
sage 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. 

2 Ad Lutheri Confess. Respons. ii. lb. f. 608. r. 

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 Zuin- 
gli'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 Sacra- 
ments 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). 

2 Ad. P. G. f 545. V. 3 Ibid. f. 549. * Hospinian 1. c. p. 49. 




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 state- 
ments 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. 2 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 dis- 
guised in Scripture words, that " Baptism is a sign of a covenant 
" whereby we initiate ^^ or consecrate 3 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. 

3 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. 

6 De Bapt. f. 60. 

7 Fid. Christ. Expos. *' Quae Sacramentorum virtus," f. 555. v. 556# et v, , 


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 straightfor- 
wardness 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 perni- 
cious 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 Sacra- 
ments '. 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 dis- 
believed the Romish doctrine, (and such, Zuingli says, was the 
case of most ecclesiastics,) ^ it seems, humanly speaking, im- 
possible 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." 

Feast of St. Michael. ' ^ ^ 

(conclusion unavoidably delayed.) 

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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-kind- 
ness of Almighty God, who allowed the seeds indeed of Refor- 
mation to be sown among us by Wickliffe, yet then, notwith- 
standing 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 Consub- 
stantiation 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 ac- 
counted 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 Lutlie- 
ran. 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, conse- 
quently, it was a great evil to have to decide or to speculate. 
Such are the ubiquity of our Saviour's glorified body, the com- 
munication of the properties of His Divine to His human nature, 
and the like. These, however, of necessity, occupied a promi- 
nent, 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 Sacra- 
ments 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, un- 
confiding, 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 under- 
standing ; they recognized faith, and yet made the operations of 
faith cognizable by reason ; and so appeased at once both con- 
science, 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. 

3 Viz. that it is a visible sign, or form, or figure, of a divine grace, which 
is invisible ; which invisible grace, he says, is sacratnentally united with the 
si^n, i. e. as Zuingli explains " sacraincntally," is represented by it. So also 
Calvin, Institt. 4. 14. 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 mys- 
tical 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. 

2 Inst. 4. 15. 18. Zuingli, t. ii. f. 78. 

3 lb. 4. 15. 20 and 22. Zu. f. 67. * lb. 4. 14. 3. 

5 lb. 4. 15. 17. Zu. de Sedit. Auctorib. t. ii. f. 134, v. comp. P. Martyr, 
Loci, 4. 8. 7 and 14. 

6 lb. 4. 14. 5. Zu. de Pecc. Orig. t. ii. f. 120. 

7 lb. 4. 14. 21. sqq. Zu. f. 84. 134. v. cp. P. Martyr, 4. 8. 7. ad. 1. Reg. f. 74. 
« lb. 4. 16. 3. and 6 and 9. Zu. f. 109. 1 12. 

9 lb. 4. 14. 20. sqq. and 16. 3. sqq. Zu. ad. LibelL D. Balth. t. ii. f. 108. 
v. and f. 37. v. 59. v. 

'» 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 twenty- 
seven, 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 lan- 
guage 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 distinc- 
tion between them. 

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

1 Inst 4. 14. 6, 6. 12. cp. P. Martyr, Loci, 4. 7. 3. 

2 Witsius, liowever, notices another source, which I was unwilling, upon 
my own impression alone, to name, viz, that Calvin uses one language in con- 
troversy, another, when tranquilly, explaining Scripture. "Tantum's«pe 
" interest utrura quis cum adversario contcndat, an libero animo commen- 
" tetur." De Bapt. § 39. 

3 De Baptismo. f. 65. ' Ititiiit. 4. I J. V. 


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 (osten- 
dit) 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 Bap- 
tism : 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 Sacra- 
ments 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 desig- 
nated 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 Sacra- 
ments, 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 infir- 
mity 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 incredi- 
ble 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 (Anti- 
Bellarm. 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 out- 
ward: Baptism is only an outward introduction into a visible 
Church, entitling men to, or rather attesting that they have, privi- 
leges, but not itself imparting any : it is no more spiritual than the 
seal, diploma, safe-conduct, to which they compare it. It is an un- 
spiritual attestation of spiritual privileges. The Eucharist, accord- 
ing 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 

1 This view is remarkably expressed in the following passages of P. Martyr 
(ad i. Reg. f. 74.) : — " When we think of this visible Word or Sacrament, the 
" Spirit of God rouses faith in our hearts, whereby we again and again embrace 
*• the Divine promise, and thus justification is increased, while faith is increased 
" in believers." And loci, 4. 10. 76. : — ** Frequent communion is not (on 
" our view) superfluous ; because, by frequently communicating, we celebrate 
" the remembrance of the Lord, and givings of thanks ; and the mind 
" is excited by the appearance of those things which are done ; for the signs 
" there are not mute, but speaking. Then it is a sort of badge, whereby 
" Christians denote that they are joined together, and with Christ. They 
" profess, besides, their faith that the body of Christ was put upon the 
" cross, and His blood shed for our salvation ; for it is not enough to believe 
*' with the heart, but confession is made also with the mouth, and not by the 
" mouth only, but by outward actions." Comp. ib. §. 19. Again, in the Scotch 
Confession (of which Johri Knox chiefly was the author) : — " This union 
*• and conjunction, which we have with the body and blood of Jesus Christ, 
" in the right use of the Sacrament, is eiFected by the operation of the Holy 
*' Spirit ; who carries us by true faith above all things which are seen, and 
" which are carnal and earthly ; and causes, that we feed on the body and 
" blood of Jesus Christ, once broken and shed for us, and which now is 
" in heaven, and appcareth in the presence of the Father for us." 

114 THE church's doctrine of the sacraments. 

of Divine grace to the soul, which are closed up indeed by un- 
faithfulness, 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 par- 
takers 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 con- 
fess, 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. 

2 Only some principal authorities are here adduced ; and that, chiefly, 
because the language of those consulted was so very similar, and their theory 
so entirely identical, that it would have been needless repetition to have 
quoted them. The authorities examined comprise those of chief weight, 
and who are acknowledged as such by later writers, as by Gataker, de vi et 
efficacia Baptismi Infantilis (a disputation against Dr. S. Ward, Divinity 
Prof, at Cambridge, who maintained the Baptismal regeneration of all infants, 
Whitaker, the regeneration of elect infants only) ; and Witsius, de efficacia 
Baptismi in Infantisis (Misc. Sacr. t. ii. Exerc. 19). Of older authorities, 
Zuingli, Calvin, P. Martyr, BuUinger (Comm.) Beza, Musculus (loci, who 
agrees altogether with P. Martyr), Z. Ursinus, A. Willet (Synopsis Papismi), 
Whitaker (de Sacramentis), who, as an English divine, speaks sometimes more 
strongly of the efficacy of the Sacraments than the foreign, but his theory is the 
same ; — of intermediate writers, Vorstius (Anti-Bellarm.), Polanus (Syntagma 
Theolog.), Chamier (Panstrat. Cathol.), have been examined for tlie most 
part throughout; but some two or three, just so far as to ascertain that they 
spoke to the same purpose, and used tlie same language. Moderns have been 
purposely omitted, both to avoid the appearance of controversy, and because 
the object was to ascertain the original character of the theory in question, 
of which they could, of course, give no evidence. A large portion of the 
quotations are given by Gataker, who Iwis selected naturally those most bear- 
ing upon his purpose, and is a repertoriimi for this end. 


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. 

2 Thus, it is not an unusual phrase with these writers to say that the Sacra- 
ments •* not only signify, but effect what they signify," " not only shadow 
{figurant) but effect what they shadow ;" and they are much displeased with 
their opponents, if they deny it ; but when they explain this, we find that 
" • effecting' only means that the Sacraments seal and confirm that word of 
" promise whereto they are united" (* efficere' utique obsignando confirman- 
doque verbum illud promissionis, cui adjunguntur ap. uti supra. — Chamier, 
Gatak. 1. c. p. 102. For Chamier' s notion, see above, p. 1 12. Note), whereby we 
come back to the same result, that they do but seal a thing already given, 
or to be given, but are not the channels whereby it is imparted. Calvin's 
definition of a Sacrament (and it is generally praised by this school, e. g. 
Whitaker, as the best,) is " an outward symbol, whereby the Lord seals to 
" our consciences the promises of His good-will towards us, to sustain the 
" weakness of our faith ; and we, on the other hand, attest our piety before 
" Him, angels, and men." (Institt. 4. 14. 1.) Or, more briefly, " a testi- 
" mony of the Divine favour towards us, confirmed by an outward sign, with 
" a mutual attestation of our piety towards Him.'' lb. (Contrast this with 
cur's, " an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, or- 
" dained by Christ Himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a 
" pledge to assure us thereof." In Calvin's view, the " means whereby we 
receive the same" is excluded.) GataJcer, 1. c. makes the excuse for his own 
(the Calvinist) writers as well as for the Fathers, that " whereas they say 
" that the * Sacraments effect what they figure,' they often so speak as to the 
" Sacraments, as to need a fitting explanation, which," he adds, ** they them- 
selves also often furnish." Gisb. Voethis (ap. Wits. § 31. " immortalis nominis 


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 influ- 
ence 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, (ac- 
cording 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, Anti- 
Bellarm. 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 Sa- 
craments, 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 Ro- 
manist), 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 sup- 
poses 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 Bap- 
tismal 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" 

2 ff'aUeus(de Bapt Thes. 28. ap. Gat p. 116.) Gataker himself, p. 103: 
" They to whom the Apostle is speaking, whether they had approached the 
" holy font either truly believing or feignedly, in neither case had received 
" that grace at Baptism. If they feigned, the rite wrought nothing as to them ; 
" if believing, Baptism could not confer regenerating grace on them ; for 
" having been regenerated before, how could they be re-born again ?" in 


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. 3- 
p. 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." 

2 Whitaker, de Sacr. q. 2. c. 2. arg. 3. ad. obj. 3. (ap Gat. p. 95.) " We 
*' are not all born in guilt; for some are holy in the womb, as John Baptist 
*' and Jeremiah," and ad obj. 4. " By the gift of grace some may be born 
•* sons of God, as Jacob, John Baptist, Jeremiah, and others of the like sort." 

3 P. Martyr (loci 4. 9. 14.) '' Augustine grievously erred in this doc- 
*♦ trine, in ascribing too much to Baptism. For he does not acknowledge 
" that it is [merely] an outward symbol of regeneration ; but liolds that, 
" by the very act of baptizing, we are regenerated and adopted, and pass 
" over into the family of Christ." Beza also calls it " a palpable error, 
" drawn from the stinking pools of the schoolmen, who, to introduce their sa- 
" tanic doctrine of the impress or mark [given through Baptism] had regarded 
" the Sacraments as subordinate instruments in conferring grace, God as 
*' the principal Cause. Into this error men had fallen, not understanding 
" the sayings of the Fathers, who, not certainly with any view of attributing 


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 ob- 
jection, but that they proceed to infer, 1st, that Baptism is never the instru- 
ment 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. 

2 Calvin's words on Eph. v. 26. " In the word. The * word' here signifies 
*• the promise, whereby the power and use of the sign is explained. For they 
" boast that they have the word, but it is as an incantation ; for they mumble 
" it in an unknown tongue, as if it were meant rather for the dead element, 
** than for man. There is no explanation of the mystery to the people, which 
" (explanation) alone causes the dead element to begin to be a Sacrament." 
Forstius, Anti-Bellarm. in t. iii. Contr. i. Thes. 3. has the same language 
about magic incantations ; and P. Martyr Loci, 4. 7- C, and others. In a re- 
cent publication, the idea that Sacraments are instruments of grace, or 
communicate grace instrumen tally, is decried as a scholastic theory, an<l 
the ready reception of such a theory of Sacramental influence, is stated to be 
^' sufficiently accounted for, by the general belief in magic, in the early ages 



These are only so many several ways of saying the same thing, 
viz. that we derive every thing, — forgiveness of sins, regenera- 
tion, 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 Sa- 
craments 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 pa- 
rent) : 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 Christ- 
ianity ; — true indeed, but a small portion of the truth ; as if the 
Sacraments or the whole Gospel were so many means of per- 
suading 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 physi- 
cal 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-myste- 
rious 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 pre- 
senting to the mind outward motives ; and His sanctifying influ- 
ence 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 sem- 
blance of removing what men call physical, they do in fact de- 
stroy 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. 

2 Witsius, quoting this, 1. c. § 60, adds, " the Lutherans on this point op- 
" pose, not Zuingli only, but Calvin also, Beza, Grynseus, Tossanus, Piscator, 
*• and the Reformed Doctors generally, who deny that the Sacraments have 
" really in them treasures and heavenly goods, as though a promise were 


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 con- 
stantly 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 expla- 
nation of this language he approves of the defender of the Re- 
monstrants, 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. 2 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 state- 
ment 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 with- 
drawn, 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 bene- 
fits of complying with this ordinance ; 1st, obedience to God's com- 
mand : ^ndly, visible incorporation into the Church ; Sdly, in- 
crease of grace already received ; 4thly, strength and confirma- 
tion ; — 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 con- 
sistently 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 pa- 
rents 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. 

2 E. g. Calvin Institt. 4. 16. 26, &c. 

' 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 mem- 
bers 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 some- 
times 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 neces- 
sary they made it seem almost indifferent : and for fear God's 
grace should be " tied to the Sacrament," they virtually dis- 
joined 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 con- 
sequence 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, conse- 
quently, 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 Lu- 
theran 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. 

2 The theory of Zuingli is fully contained in the three Helvetic Confessions 
(which were composed under the influence of his disciples), the Hungarian, 
and the Belgic : less explicitly in the Gallic (which drew upon its author, 
Beza, the charge of apostacy). In the Scotch, it is implied in the statement 
on the Lord's Supper, but not in that upon Baptism ; and it is in some 
respects modified in (Calvin's) Catechism of Geneva. In the Heidelberg 
Catechism, (composed by Z. Ursini, also a disciple of Zuingli,) it is through- 
out implied, though not in the technical language which occurs in the Hel- 
vetic Confessions: of the other symbolical books of the Reformed German 
Church, the Confessio Tetrapolitana, 1530, (Bucer's) : Marchica, 1613, 
(Pelargus') Colloquium Lipsiacum, 1631 : Declaratio Thoruniensis, 1645, 
are entirely free from it : in the Confessio it is nearly effaced. The Bohemian 
or Moravian Brethren appear, according to the " Confessio Bohemica," A.D. 
1536, to have been counted wrongly, as well as our own Church, as belonging 
to what is technically called the Reformed Church ; unless so far as " Re- 
formed" may be a negative term, opposed simply to Lutheran and Romanist, 
without implying doctrinal agreement among the several portions of that 
body. See further Note L, at the end. 


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 out- 
ward 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 con- 
troversies 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 re- 
generation was taken to mean, partly, the first actual commence- 
ment of conscious spiritual life, partly that life in its subsequent 
development; then, since faith and repentance are the com- 
mencements 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 

1 Institt. 4. 16, 17, 18. 21. In like manner, Beza, Act Collat. Mompelgard. 
** As to infants born in the Church, and elected by God, (as I said all may be 
" presumed to be,) and who are to die before they obtain the use of reason, 
" 1 should readily suppose, relying on the promise of God, that they by their 
*' birth are engrafted into Christ. But of others, what else can we decide, 
" without the most evident rashness, than that they are then regenerated, 
" when they have true faith given them througli * hearing?' Unless in some 
" God put forth that extraordinary efficacy of His inspiration ; but who can 
" deHne this ?" (Ap. Wits. 1. c. §. 30.) 

2 Calvin makes regeneration rather the consequence than the cause of 
Christian sanctification. " We then" (he says, Institt. 4. 15. 6.) " obtain 
" regeneration from Christ's death and resurrection, if, having been sanc- 
" tified by the Spirit, we are imbued with a new and spiritual nature." 
Witsius (1. c. § 33.) notices this same confusion: — "Some theologians of 
" great estimation contend that infants are baptized for a future sanctifica- 
" tion, which, whether, and how, they distinguish from regeneration, I confess J 
*' do not clearly perceive." 

^ Thus even Witsius, though he notes the confusion made between rege- 
neration 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 

9 - 


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 incor- 
ruption 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 ser- 
vants, but not as yet the sons, of God. Christ had not died : 
our nature was not yet placed at God's right hand : the ever- 
blessed 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 cre- 
ation, nor conceal the immensity of our Birthright, although our 
feeble brain may turn dizzy, and our faint hearts sink at the ex- 
ceeding 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 ap- 
pear, we shall be like Him ! We speak not of the heavenly bless- 
edness 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 ab- 
horred, 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 responsi- 
bility, 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. ( 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 trea- 
sures 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, Con- 
fessors, 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 Evan- 
gelist, who saw " Him that sat on the throne" and declared the 
mystery of the Incarnate Word, so does sanctification compre- 
hend 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 

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 assump- 
tion, 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 Corne- 
lius (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) en- 
grafted 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 Hea- 
then, 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 king- 
dom, 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." Cor- 
nelius 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 in- 
stanced 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. 2 ij, § 31. 3 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 in- 
defectibility 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 indefecti- 
bihty of grace. 

^ So, at some length, Burges' Answer to Objections, obj. vi. pp. 263 — 297- 
So 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 for- 
gotten, 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 So- 
cianism or Rationalism (though, one would hope, not in these in- 
dividuals) ; 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 sys- 
tem, 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 in- 
fants 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 

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 Scrip- 
ture (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. 

2 ** Let us first distinguish of infants, of whom some are elected, and some 
" belong not unto the election of grace. These latter receive only the 
" element, and are not inwardly washed ; the former receive, in the right 
" use of the Sacrament, tlie inward grace." Taylor, Comm. on Titus, p. G43. 
" In the Sacrament, by virtue of Christ's institution, ordinarily, grace is 
" given to all, that are by election capable of it." Burges, p. 150, and Beza, 
1. c. p. 387- " This we say, that the Holy Spirit does not, by the outward 
" Baptism of water, put forth in all the power of the internal Baptism, but 
" in the elect only." *' As in circumcision, so in Baptism, many thousand 
" infants receive it who yet are never regenerated, but perish for ever." 
P. 393. Archbishop Usher, Summe and Substance of Christian Religion, 
p. 416. " The Sacrament of Baptism is efFectuall in infants only to those, 
** and to all those, who belong unto the election of grace." Calvin, anguing 
against the Anabaptists, and so for the regeneration of elect infants, although 
not as bestowed through Baptism, implies that of those who die in infancy, 
some are not elect, and so perish. " Moreover," he says, " infants which 
" are to be saved, (and certainly, of that age, some are at all events saved,) 
" it is clear that they are before regenerated by the Lord." Institt L. 4. 
c. 16. § 17. And on Eph. v. 26. " Many receive the sign, who yet are not 


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 comment- 
ing 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 con- 
ferred 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 Bap- 
tism, 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." 

2 See Archbishop Laurence, Bampton Lectures, pp. 440, 441 ; and Doc- 
trine of Baptismal Regeneration, p. 38, sqq. See also Note M at the end. 
Bp. White (Answer to Fisher, touching the efficacie of Baptisme, p. 176,) 
having asserted of Protestants generally, that they " do not deny die virtue 
" and efficacie of Baptism to sanctifie men ; but according to the Holy 
" Scriptures and the ancient Church, they teach and maintaine that this 
*' Sacrament is an instrument of sanctification and remission of sins," adds, 
with regard to Calvin, " he, with others of his part, maintaine the former 
" doctrine, concerning the efficacie of the Sacrament, and they diiTer only 
" from LutJierans and Pontificians, first, in that they restrain the grace of 
" sanctification only to the elect. 2dly, In that they deny cxternall Bap- 
" tisme to be alwaies effectuall at the very instant time when it is adminis- 
♦♦ tered." See above, p. 116, Note. 

» 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 illus- 
trated 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 ori- 
ginally 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 Scrip- 
ture, 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 diffi- 
culty, 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 regenera- 
tion 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 igno- 
rance 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." 

2 The distinction was probably inherited from the Schoolmen : I find it in 
Pet Lombard, Lib. 4. Dist. 4. c. 5. *' Quidam putant gratiam operantem et 
" cooperantem cunctis parvulis in Baptismo dari in m&nere non in usu ; ut 
" cum ad majorem venerint aetatem in munere sortiantur usum, nisi pei* 
** liberum arbitrium usum munerisextinguant peccando; et ita in culpa eorum 
" est, non ex defectu gratiae, quod mali fiunt, qui ex Dei munere valentes 
'' habere usum bonum, per liberum arbitrium renuerunt, et usum pravum 
** elegerunt." 

' 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 regenera- 
tions, or rather that regeneration meant two things — 1st, the act 
of the new-birtli bestowed by God ; 2d, the spiritual life confor- 
mable 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 aboli- 
tion 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. 

2. 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 un- 
limited : 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 Co- 
venant, and entitled to its privileges. " Let not that disturb 
" thee," (says St. Augustine to Bishop Boniface ', in an ex- 
treme 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. 

2 In Cant. Scrm. iH't. quoted by Walker, Modest Plan for Infant Baptism, 
p. 172. 



" 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 con- 
fession ^ 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 excommuni- 
cate, 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." 

2 So Burges also p. 2?. " The Church enjoin©th 1. The minister alone 
*' thus to bespeak the congregation." 

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 cove- 
nant 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 pro- 
mises 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 piety*s 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 con- 
t* 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 regene- 
rated 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 Sepa- 
ration, 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 con- 
gregation, 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 op- 
posed 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 be- 
cause 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 pre- 
sent 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 Infant- 
Baptism 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 cor- 
ruption. God's gracious promise to Abraham has full often, 
doubtless, been again realized, and the city or the Church pre- 
served 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 se- 
veral 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 instru- 
mental, 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 cha- 
racter 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 circum- 
stances, 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 neces- 
sary 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 commemo- 
rative 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 recommen- 
dation, 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 mar- 
riage 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 pro- 
mise to restore it by Baptism : and it has been without authority, 
when persons have so insisted on the inherited holiness of the chil- 
dren of Christian parents, as to represent the Sacrament of rege- 
neration 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 un- 
circumcised, 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 ex- 
plained 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 cho- 
sen 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 cove- 
nant-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 cove- 
nant, 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 annex- 
ing 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, can- 
not be bestowed through Baptism ; because, if a child, for in- 
stance, 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, Cal- 
vin 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, there- 
fore it had never been given ? We see daily, that great intellec- 
tual 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 striv- 
ings 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 unavoid- 
able ; 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 con- 
tent 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." 

2 St. Augustine, ad loc. declares himself on this ground much perplexed, 
and explains " sinneth not," of the one commandment of love, "which whoso 
" keepeth, to him his sins are forgiven ; whoso breaketh, his are retained." 
His exposition, though far-fetched, admits, and is founded on the plain mean- 
ing of the words, that the Apostle speaks of an entire freedom from all sin. 
His application of the words shows also his conviction that they are a test, 
whether we retain, not whether we ever received, baptismal grace. " Behold a 
" baptized person has received the Sacrament of the new-birth : he hatha Sa- 
" crament, a great Sacrament — divine, holy, ineffable. Think of what sort ; one 
" which, by the remission of all sins, maketh a new man. But let him observe 
" the heart, whether what was done in the body has been perfected there ; let 
" him see, whether he have love, and then let him say, * I am born of God.' 
" If he have not, he has indeed received a certain stamp impressed upon him, 
" but is a deserter.'" A different, and, I think, a better interpretation, with 
vthich St. Augustine elsewhere combines this, is that it is through love that 
we are enabled to fulfil the law : see below, p. 170, note 1. 


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 teach- 
ing. 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 neces- 
sity 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 purify- 
ing 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 parti- 
cular 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 im- 
planted ; 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," 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 receiv- 
ing it in unbelief. The questions are entirely distinct ; nor 
would any conclusion which we might come to, as to the unbe- 
lieving adult, affect the case of our infants, who cannot be unbe- 
lievers ; 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 dis- 
parage 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 Re- 
generation in unbelief, there being no other appointed means 
whereby the new-birth is bestowed, such an one had not pre- 
cluded 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 exhor- 
tation 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 per- 
son 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 des- 
pising 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 admi- 
nistered 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 Chris- 
tian, 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- 

* !- 4. § 10. ' Jbid. L. 1. § 18. 


schismatic communion, although she held the Baptism adminis- 
tered 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 consider- 
able 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 

1 This hypocrisy St Augustine explains ib. L. 5. c. 18, 19. to be " re- 
" nouncing the world in words not in deeds, and coming so to baptism." 

2 The author of the sermon on the Passion of Christ in the appendix to 
Cyprian, quoted by Vazquez in 3 Part. Disp. 159. c. 1. 

3 " Whether Baptism, which on account of the hypocrisy of the Catechu- 
" men had not the effect of justifying, have that eflfect on the removal of 
" that hypocrisy ?" Comp. Vazquez, 1. c. * Catech. 17. u. 36. 


** 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 out- 
ward 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 Dis- 
senter, (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 regenera- 
tion, is not to preach it ! and has not the very dread of the 
subject as thorny and debateable ground, in great measure pro- 
duced 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 par- 
doned us, our adoption, our Sonship, our calling, our Redemp- 
tion, 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 Bap- 
tismal 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 con- 
tinually 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. 

3 Expos. Inchoat. ad Romanes, ib. p. 422. 

* Serm. ad Infant, ib. p. 21, 230, 292, 449. 

* De Baptismo, ib. p. 287. ^ In Ep. ad Ephes. ib. 292. 
7 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 induce- 
ments to rest therein, or not rather exhortations to hold onward 
in the so imparted. " This illumination (Baptism) 
" then," says St. Gregory of Nazianzum% " is the brightness of 

1 P. 2C3. 

2 Orat, de Baptismo init. St. Basil sets forth the benefits of Baptism with 
the Hke accumulation of titles; Homil. 13. Exhortatoria ad S. Baptismum 
§ 5. p. 117- ed. Bened. And so also Gregory of Nyssa in Bapt. Christi. init. 
p. 368. Bishop Jeremy Taylor refers for the same purpose to Theodoret 
also, Epiphanius, Cyril Hieros., Dionys. Areop., Augustine c. Crescon. 
Gram. L. ii. c. 13. (Life and death of the Holy Jesus. Of Baptism 


" 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 bene- 
fits, but " cannot, as it would." In like manner, S. Chrysos- 
tome^ (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 * exhor- 
tation 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. 

3 Ad Donat. c. 2. p. 2. Translated in " Tracts for the Times," Records of 
the Church, end of No. 21. 

* Confess, t. i. p. 99. ed. Bened. 

5 Horn, xxiii. in Actt. 11. § 3, 4. t. ix. p. 189, 190. 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 subse- 
quent 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 ad- 
verted 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 

1 lb. § 15. 2 Ep. 189. ed. Bened. olim. 80. ^ ^g Spiritu S. c. 10. 



" 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 Ever- 
blessed Trinity, incorporated the memory of their Baptismal 
blessings with their warnings not to forsake the Catholic doc- 
trine. 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. Atha- 
nasius, (although it is almost doing injustice to these Fathers, to 
give such brief extracts in a foreign tongue ; and be it remem- 
bered, 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 Bap- 
tism), 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. 

2 De decretis Nic. Synod, t. i. p. 237. ed. Bened. 

3 Orat. ii. c. Ariann. lb. p. 509. * Orat. iv. c. Ariann. p. 633. 

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 difficul- 
ties ^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. 

3 Ep. 81. " Farewell, my sons," concludes the good Bishop, "and serve 
" the Lord, for the Lord is good." 


Iiad begun to wax weary of their profession, as a toilsome, un- 
profitable, 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 them- 
selves ; 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 tempt- 
ation, how poor the reminiscence of any vows would be, com- 
pared with the thought, that the life we had was Christ's life, 
the breath we lived by, Christ's Spirit, the breath of the resur- 
rection. Yet, I would not compare the efficacy of different mo- 
tives ; 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 fellow- 
men, 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 
) 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 Bap- 
tism. 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 clear- 
ness of perception, as the source of our spiritual existence, 
this may be, in part, true ; for we are, comparatively, in this re- 
spect, 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 our- 
selves : 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 observ- 
able 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 them- 
selves, 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, be- 
cause 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 en- 
trance 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 wit- 
nesses, not against us, but to us. Their witness is obviously the 
more valid in this respect, because they knew the fruits of Bap- 
tism 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 remis- 
sion 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 safe- 
guard. 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 de- 
parture 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 inter- 
preted, 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 Bellar- 
mine 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 

1 Burges 1. c. p. 325, 6. comp. Hooker*s golden observations 6. i v. parti- 
cularly c. 8. 

2 In what is now Art. 25, after " in such only as worthily receive tlie same, 
"they have a wholesome effect and operation ;" there followed, ** and that not 
** ex opere operato, ' the work wrought,' (as some speak,) which word, as it 
" is strange and unknown to Holy Scripture, so it engendereth no godly, 
•• but a very superstitious sense." Articles A. 1552. (Sparrow's collection, 
p. 48.) At the same time some other Zuinglian expressions were omitted 
in the 25th Article, as also the somewhat rationalistic argument ag-ainst the 
ubiquity of Christ's body, " because our bodies could not be in two places at 
" once ;" and again the denial of the real and corporeal presence of His body 
and blood. (The real and the corporeal presence are always confused by the 
school of Zuingli). In our Thirty Nine Articles is also added, fo^ ^he first 
time, the sentence, that " the body of Cnuisx isgivett, taken, and eaten," &c. 
which is decisive against any Zuinglian view of the Sacraments. These are 
so many indications of a return to the original views of our first most dis- 
tinguished reformers, which were neither Romanist, Lutherati, nor Ziiiiifjliaii. 
but those of the primitive Church. 



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 repen- 
tance, 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 " scho- 
lastic," (i. e, a mere human speculation) ; Baptism can mani- 
festly 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 chil- 
dren ; since no one would hold that Baptism would be of any 
ultimate avail, unless its graces were subsequently cherished and 

I instanced the above- cited fathers, in proof that the views of 
Baptism, which they derived from the Apostles and from Scrip- 
ture, — 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 dif- 
ficulties 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 univer- 
sally 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 cha- 
racter 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 en- 
deavouring 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 de- 
mand 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), un- 
less 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 put- 
ting 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 pri- 
vileges being thus great, the loss of them should be, in propor- 
tion, 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 decid- 
ing 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 de- 
clarations simply as we found them. And it is useful to contrast 
with this mode of exposition that adopted by such as fear, un- 
duly 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 doc- 
trinal truth, this is decisive. For it is not here, as in a pro- 
phecy 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 whole- 
some, 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 exa- 
mine 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 interpreta- 
tion, 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 " Re- 
formed " 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 rie- 
raarkable; 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 prin- 
ciples 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 be- 
tween the two schools, beyond the point for which they are com- 
pared. 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 compari- 
son 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 vindi- 
cating presently all misemployment or defilement of this ines- 
timable 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 involun- 
tarily 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 reckless- 
ness, which is intolerable, when they think that childhood has only 
been dedicated to God, not hallowed by Him, but which be- 
comes 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 bro- 
ther'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 sup- 
poses,* shall be such as shall interest and instruct them, long be- 
fore their confirmation : their elementary instruction, she sup- 
poses ^ 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 ser- 
mons, 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 re- 
centness of its Baptismal purity, augments, probably, the re- 
pentance 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 sin- 
ner, after many years of crime, is represented as first softened into peniten- 
tial 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 cul- 
tivate 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 prin- 
ciple 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 in- 
crease and the promise of the future harvest ; that they are 
already, in deed as well as in name, Christians : — it requires hu- 
mility as well as faith to believe that the doctrines which we re- 
ceive, 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 victo- 
rious in their little trials than we ; that there is not the wide dif- 
ference 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 king- 
dom 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 colo- 
nization 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 proportion- 
ate 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 appro- 
priate 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 
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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 alto- 
gether 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 Bap- 
tist's words, there is an evident contrast between the material element, 
the water, wherewith he himself baptized, and the fire, as the more ve- 
hement, 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 In- 
fants, 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 mun- 
dari,) 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 (In- 
fant 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 

215 EXPOSITION OF 2 COR. I. 22. 

*' 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 Testa- 
ment 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 lan- 
guage 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 pre- 
vious 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 : where- 
in 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 con- 
secration 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, there- 
fore, most probable that it was, from the very first, received into Christ- 
ianity. " 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 Johan- 
nes 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 pur- 
pose 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 lava- 
tione 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 effi- 
cacia 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 con- 
temporary 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 remit- 
ting 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 inci- 
dental admission, how obviously the interpretation above given con- 
nects itself with it. The interrogatories at Baptism are alluded to, in 
Justin Martyr's 2nd Apology, §61 ; and the remarkable verbal coin- 
Qidence 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 through- 
out 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 

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 conse- 
crating, setting apart, a peculiar people, and showing what He required 
of them. 6th. That God operates in, not bi/, or through His ordi- 
nance. 7th. The mention of the elect, as alone partaking of them. 
8th. Denial of the value of the words of consecration. 9th. Rejec- 
tion 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. 

3. 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. 


4. 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 origi- 
nally 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 univer- 
sity 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 participa- 
tion 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 

1 Offertur, in itself an ambiguous expression, is determined by its use in 
the preceding sentence, wherein he says, that in " Baptism the washing 
" from sins, which however is effected (perficitur) by the Father, Son, and 
" Holy Ghost alone, is set forth (offertur), tiirough the minister of tht 
'' Churcli." 


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.