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that it should assume such a posi- essentially a spirit of carnal confidence tion.' Those who have heard Dr. and pride as if we attributed a like Chalmers on the subject of ecclesiastical perfect wisdom and purity to ourselves.” confessions, are aware that, with the It is agreed on all hands that Mr. most cordial acquiescence in the doc- Anderson is a man of superior erudition trines of the church of Scotland, he and mental vigour. It is always pleasant freely avowed his sense of the evil to see how such men look at subjects arising out of the rigid application of on which their opinions have become such standards as those of the West- recently in accordance with our own. minster assembly, in prematurely forcing Our readers will find much to admire in upon the weak and advancing Christian the following propositions respecting the views of truth to which he has not spiritual constitution of the New Testapersonally attained, and also of the evil ment church :of their inordinate exaltation as tending

“I profess to believe and offer to proveto limit, by formulas appropriate to

“1. That, according to the intimations of other circumstances and times, the in- Old Testament scripture, a change was destined vestigation of the infinite treasures of to be effected on the character of the church knowledge contained in the bible.” We considered as a visible community, under the

New Testament; and that, from being largely must not, however, blame too severely composed of mere carnal elements, and emthe administrators of the discipline. bracing the whole of a natural race, on the The fault lay not with the men but with condition of their conforming to an outward the system by which they are enslaved. ritual, it is the will of God, that, under the So long as there are “standards,” and vidual member of it, shall be distinguished by

gospel, the church collectively, and every indithose standards are to limit their com

a character of visible spirituality. munion, they must in consistency per- “2. That, accordingly, God has, under the form such acts as the separation of New Testament, by the increased communicaMr. Anderson from their Free Church. tion of the Holy Spirit's influences to his peo

ple, provided that they shall possess a measure But, would it not be well for them to of joy, and love, and purity, which even under consider seriously the character and a very imperfect system of administration of tendency of acts-acts of painful duty, the means of gracc, ordinarily occasions a visible as they term them--which their ad difference between them and nominal Chris

tians; tbat said difference is recognized by herence to the unscriptural system of them in one another, and is, in some respects

, doing homage to uninspired “standards” obvious to the world ; and that God has thus renders necessary? Let them also ponder afforded us the opportunity to form the church seriously two irrefragable positions, as according to the spiritual pattern shown us in

his word. they appear to us to be, which Mr.

“3. That the apostles of Christ accordingly Anderson himself laid before them when formed the churches established by them unihe said, “I profess to believe and offer formly on the principle that all their members to prove: 1. That there is a solemn should be distinguished by a visible spirituality, obligation upon the church, as upon the such as should admit of their being regarded individual believer, to be going on unto saints or boly persons."

and addressed as, in the judgment of charity, perfection, and that this duty can only be performed by a willingness to com- Other propositions on the same subpare our attainments and those of our ject follow these ; but we pass over fathers with the infallible rule of God's them in order to give at greater length word. 2. That to attribute to our fathers Mr. Anderson's conclusions respecting a perfect apprehension of the whole will infant baptism. He says,of God, and to rest in their attainments

“ The standards of the church of Scotland as our standard or rule, betrays as having announced the general principle with FOL. XII.- FOURTH SERIES.

2 Q

respect to the ordinances of baptism and the to children, as a symbol of their nurture or ediLord's supper, that they are scals' of an fication, derived from the Jewish passover, as interest in the covenant of grace previously for giving baptism to infants, as a symbol of obtained.

their regeneration, founded on the Old Testa“I profess to believe and offer to prove ment use of circumcision.

“1. That said standards maintain this prin- “29. That while the denial of infant baptism ciple as furnishing the rule and warrant for the has for ages excited the antipathy of persons baptism of infants, ascribing to all the children resting in forms, and governed by custom and of true believers a birthright interest in the authority in religion, the question of its obligacovenant of grace, in token of which the infants tion has been treated as a fit subject of forbearonly of such as profess their faith in Christ and ance by the most intelligent and candid divines are members of the visible church are to be that one honoured minister and learned baptized; that the same principle as held in writer, after having first doubted and then the Calvinistic churches has been significantly eagerly defended its authority, concluded by affirmed by the synod of Dort, in their decido acknowledging the controversy concerning it ing against the baptism of such children, being to be attended by serious difficulties—that a the offspring of pagans, as may have been re- succession of learned divines, themselves sancceived by adoption into the families of members tioning the practice, have acknowledged it to be of the church.

without warrant, on the ground of history or “2. That the supposed interest of the natu- the word of God—and that, by the greatest ral posterity of gentile believers in the covenant living authority in ecclesiastical history, the of grace is destitute of all solid foundation in defence of its apostolic origin has been publicly the word of God, especially that it has no war- | given up. rant in the provisions of the covenant of grace “ 30. That if the baptizing of infants shall as established with Abraham, or in the admin- be found, as is maintained, to rest on false prinistration of the seal of circumcision to his ciples, and to derive its authority from the tranatural posterity.

ditions of men, it may be expected to be largely “8. That, on the other hand, the proper productive of evil results. New Testament interest in the covenant of

“31. That, accordingly, godly ministers have grace, ascribed to the offspring of believers, and felt the absence of a method, adequately imnecessary to be proved as a ground for infant pressive and significant, of marking the transibaptism, is so ascribed in plain contradiction to tion of a believer from the world to the church, the revealed destiny and actual history of some and have advocated the revival of the rite of members of Abraham's own family, is at vari- confirmation to supply the want-that, to the ance with numberless facts touching the chil- same class, the baptizing of infants bas been the dren of believing parents in previous and chief source of uneasiness in the exercise of subsequent times and in opposition to the their ministry, as being associated generally in express testimony of God's word, 'the children the minds of the people with superstitious views, of the flesh, these are not the children of God.' and as forming the only inducement to many

“22. That infant communicating appears in ungodly persons to assume a Christian profesthe church soon after infant baptizing, that sion—that, in spite of their most earnest efforts, both alike are rested on the generally received baptism has, as compared with the Lord's supbelief that these outward ordinances were

per, continued to be a carnal ordinance in their necessary to salvation—that infant communi- hands—and finally, that the baptizing into the cating was firmly established and generally name of Jesus of infants, in ignorance of their practised for eight hundred years, and was, at future character and views, proves a necessary the end of that period, only abandoned in the occasion of extensively confounding the church western church under the influence of a ridicu- and the world, and prostituting the Christian lous superstition connected with the doctrine of name.” transubstantiation, which it is not necessary

On the mode of administering baptism, here to state. “ 23. That while infant baptizing and com

Mr. Anderson writes thus :municating were maintained in the ancient “ 1. That while the mode of administering church on grounds widely at variance with the baptism can have no importance in itself, a meprinciples on which the former is defended thod agreeable or contrary to the divine instiamong us, the two practices might be united on tution may be expected to affect essentially its our principles as reasonably as on theirs; and fitness as a symbol adapted by divine wisdom to that an argument, at the least equally plausible furnish a representation of Christian privilege might be brought for giving the Lord's sapper and truth.

*2. That the language in which the sacred such.” He said that “they were aware writers speak of baptism, even as rendered under that the controversy on baptism had some disadvantages in our translation, cannot been settled long ago.” Settled, howwithout extreme straining be understood of any other mode of administration than that of im- ever, as the controversy had been, mersion.

Scrutator considering the possibility of “6. That the doctrine of union to Christ and

men becoming unsettled on the question communion with him in his death and resurrec- determined to settle it again. He wrote tion, symbolized by the act of immersion in baptism, is the great key doctrine of the gospel a few pages, showed them to the friends system as it is presented in the apostolic scrip- aforesaid, and had to bear his part in a tures, and that to the want of knowledge of its s'cond conversation very similar to the truth and importance may easily be traced cer

first. "Still, they said that many persons tain false doctrines by which the church of

could not see how an ordinance of a Christ is troubled at the present time.

8 That from the earliest period to which moral kind could be administered when the history of the church extends, baptism was the subject was incapable of compreadministered by immersion as the only complete hending it. Ah, replied I, you are fulfilment of the divine institution--that bap- entering into the body of the controtism hy sprinkling or effusion was introduced as an occasional service for the sick and dying, versy, and you must read those learned under the influence of superstitious views of treatises whereby the controversy has the necessity of water baptism to salvation. long been settled.” Having thus as

"9. That baptism by immersion was practised signed employment to his friends, it universally as the ordinary method very long seems to have been his impression that after infant baptism was firmly established-was maintained to be the only correct method by he might employ his own time more Luther—is sanctioned by the scripture inter- pleasantly than in answering Mr. Anpretations of Calvin, and almost all other derson. Let him mend his statement learned divines—is the method prescribed by himself, and render it more answerable; the rubric of the church of England, and was generally practised in England down to a period then, but not till then, hope might be subsequent to the reformation,

indulged that Scrutator would answer “ 10. That the question between immersion him. He, therefore, adopts that proand sprinkling or effusion was keenly debated cess which the coachmen in the south for two days in the Westminster Assembly of call“ pulling up short,” and says, “InDivines—that, on a vote having been taken on the first day, a decision was obtained by the stead of following Mr. Anderson through advocates of sprinkling, by a majority of one, all the strange things which he has that this decision, and the formation of the di- founded on his theory, it will be for him rectory as it now stands, in substantial accord

to purify his theory first." ance with it, is chiefly to be attributed to the

The “Review,” though anonymous, influence of the great learning and the pertinacity of one of the members having adopted we know to be the production of a extreme prejudices against the ancient mode.” gentleman whom we have long regarded

as endowed eminently with all the The publication of Scrutator's “ An- qualifications of a good controvertist. swer in a Short Compass” was occa- We will present our readers with part sioned by a conversation between him of his remarks on one of the most and some of his friends, when, Mr. popular arguments for the baptism of Anderson's Statement having been men- infants, that on which the greatest tioned, they said that “they knew of stress seems to have been laid by Mr. one or two who had been unsettled by Anderson's antagonists, the Abrahamic it, as there are always some that will be covenant. unsettled by any new thing that appears

“We shall consider the arguments of the and that it would be a good thing to different speakers, in the order in which the publish an answer for the benefit of two branches of the subject were discussed at

the meeting : and, instead of giving an account | covenant ; baptism has come in the room of of what was said, we shall allow the parties to circumcision; and, as the seed of Abraham speak for themselves. Referring to Mr. An- were circumcised, it therefore follows that the derson's views in reference to

seed of believers should be baptized. THE SUBJECTS OF BAPTISM,

“ Here, as already remarked, the whole

theory is made up of assumption and omission, It was said (beginning, of course, with the

without which even its plausibility would be at much misrepresented Abrahamic covenant)

once destroyed; but passing this for the preWhat warrant had Mr. Anderson or any sent, let us see to what the argument really other man to exclude infants from the church leads : of God? Their membership had been consti • Believers through faith are interested in the * tuted by God himself. God had never taken · Abrahamic covenant. Circumcision was the • it away. There had been no discontinuance token of that covenant. Baptism has come • of the ancient church state. Its essence hail ' in the room of circumcision.' And, therefore, * remained the same as it had always been. It “ Ist. As the male geed of Abraham were

was into that church, consisting of adults and commanded to be circumcised, the male seed of • infants, that the gentile church had been in believers (not the female) ought to be baptized ! • corporated. Until Mr. Anderson could prove

(For the baptism of female infants, even were * that the church-membership of infants was the argument admitted, there would be no • set aside by divine authority, he had no war warrant from the Abrahamic covenant. Whence • rant to deprive them of that privilege, or

then do our pedobaptist friends derive even an • withhold from them their right to the ordi

apology for the baptism of female infants ? • nance of baptism, the initiatory ordinance of

Not from the law of circumcision, nor any other • admission into the church of God under the law to be found either in the Old Testament or gospel.' (See p. 11.)

the New. Nor is there any analogous example “Here, by the usual assumptions on the one of such a thing to be found in the scriptures, hand, and the usual most arbitrary omissions on nor anything from which an inference in favour the other, something like a plaasible theory is of it can be drawn. The rite of circumcision formed, still it is but a theory, and its gossamer was restricted to males, why is the rite of baptexture of plausibility gives way the moment tism, which is presumed to have come in the that it is but slightly handled.

room of it, extended to females ? Why?): “ This theory is spun out of the Abrahamic “Pursuing the argument of our friends, it covenant, as recorded in Gen. xvii.

would follow, See verses 1-14, concluding thus:

“2nd, That, as every man-child born in Abra* This is my covenant, which ye shall keep ham's house, though not of his seed, was com• between me and you, and thy seed after thee; manded to be circumcised, every man-child • every man-child among you shall be circum- born in a believer's house, though not of his • cised : ... every man-child in your generations,

seed, should be baptized ! But is this ever • he that is born in the house, or bought with done ? If it were, what would become of the • money of any stranger, which is not of thy argument which rests the baptism of the child • seed. He that is born in thy house, and he on the faith of the parent ? * that is bought with thy money, must needs be “ 3rd, That, as every man-child bought with • circumcised. And the uncircumcised man the money of Abraham from any stranger, was • child shall be cut off from his people ... he commanded to be circumcised, every infant • bath broken my covenant.'

male slave bought by a professed Virginian or “ Such is the covenant made with Abraham, Carolinian believer ought to be baptized! But on which, with an inconsistency which is as then, again, what would become of the artonishing, is founded the right of female as gument founded on the parent's faith? well as male infants of believers to baptism;

| “ 4th, That, as all the adult sons of Abrawhile baptism is denied to both the male and ham were circumcised, all the adult sons of female adult offspring of believers,—to all the believers, (even though they were all uninfants in the believer's house which are not his believers when their father embraced the gospel,) offspring-to men-servants and maid-servants ought to be baptized! But then, as baptism is of every description ! If infants are baptized, the rite of admission into the Christian church, why not adults ? If female infants, why not this would be a principle of admission beneath female servants ? If sons, why not slaves ? that of the presbytery itself, a mere profession

“The argument is this :-Believers, through of faith requiring in this case to be altogether faith,' are interested in the Abrahamic cove- dispensed with! nant. Circumcision was the token of that “5th, That, as all the men-servants of the

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house of Abraham, whether born in his house, the ordinance of baptism, the initiatory ordi. or bought with his money, were circumcised, nance of admission into the church of God all the men-servants of the house of the under the gospel ! believer, whether born in his house, or bought with his money, ought to be baptized! But

“ We know that the presbytery would have then, again, what would become of a personal

no difficulty in replying to this appeal, as well profession of faith, as a prerequisite to ad

as to the additional appeal as to the ground on mission to church-membership?

which (pleading the law of circumcision as the "6th, Once more, that as all these classes law of baptism) females are admitted to bapwere commanded to be circumcised, on pain of tism; but then their reply to us would (mutatis being cut off from among their people, all mutandis) be our reply to them! Their warrant these classes ought to be baptized, or be sub- for excluding the other classes will be ours for jected to the same penalty!

excluding the only class wbich they most ar"Such are the obvious results to which the bitrarily admit, not to a privilege, for to that argument from the Abrahamic covenant leads : class it cannot be a privilege, but to a mere and, therefore, as proving so very much-too external rite ! much—it proves just nothing at all.

Our friends are bound to take it in all its legitimate vantage derived by infants from baptism ; but

* True (it is said) there is no perceptible adconsequences, or on their own showing (see p.

. neither was there any perceptible advantage 19,) frankly give it up.

• derived by infants from circumcision, yet it “Retorting now the argument so often advanced, and in this case with such an air of

was commanded by God.' confidence (see p. 8), and adopting the very “ Precisely so, . it was commanded by God;' language of the speaker, we ask,

the baptism of infants is not, and this makes What warrant has [the presbytery] or any all the difference. The circumcision of the other body to exclude [all these classes but male servants and slaves of Abraham was also

one) from the church of God? Their member commanded by God, the baptism of the servants * ship was constituted by God himself. God of believers is not; and that makes all the has never taken it (formally) away. There difference. But to neither class would baptism has been no discontinuance of the ancient of itself be any privilege without its prerequichurch state. Its essence has remained the sites, which it is impossible for infants to * same as it has always been. It was into that possess." church that the Gentile church was incorporated. Until (the presbytery] can prove that Neither the “Statement

nor the the church-membership of [these classes] bas “Review” makes a heavy demand on the been (formally) set aside by divine authority, ‘it has no warrant to deprive them of that time or the purse, and we cordially reprivilege, or withhold from them their right to commend both to our readers.

BRIEF NOTICES.

The Excellent Glory; or, the Internal Evi- | Evangelical Beneficence-Evangelical Holiness

dences of Christianity Illustrated. By JOHN -the Experiment. They deserved the addiALDIS, Pastor of the Church in Maze Pond, tional publicity which the press confers. The Southark. London: Aylott and Jones, extracts in an earlier part of this number afford 12m0., pp. 190.

satisfactory evidence of their adaptation to

usefulness. A course of ten lectures, and the substance of a sermon of similar character, are presented Sermons by the late Thomas CHALMERS, D.D., to the public in this volume, at the request of

LL.D., illustrative of different stages in his the anthor's friends. They are on the Evi

ministry, 1798-1847. Posthumous Works dences of Christianity in general-the Credu

of the Rev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D., LL.D, lity of Science-Christianity Contradicted but

Edited by the Rev. William Hanna, LL.D. not Confuted—the First Teachers of Christi

Vol. VI. Edinburgh: Sutherland and Knox. anity-the Evangelic Miracles-the Gospel

London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co. 8vo. Remedy-the Evangelical Ideal-the Spirituality of the Gospel – Evangelical Humility, To regard this merely as a volume of sermons

pp. 484,

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