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three objects: God, the giver of act of free, unmerited good will: grace; man, the receiver of it; the proper view of grace as it and, the means divinely appointed respects the receiver of it, is to be for the conveyance of it. With gathered from its Effects on the regard to the two first, the tract heart and conversation. The digwriters would profess to hold the nity and value of the means are to most simple and obvious views. be judged of by the Scriptural In fact, that God should confer, proof, that they are divinely apand that man should receive grace, pointed. This divine appointment are propositions so plain, that they creates our bounden obligation to need but to be stated in order to use them ; but to declare of them their being admitted. It is the that they are in any case, absothird proposition which furnishes lutely, and by the mere outward the arena for all this mystic writ- acting of them, effective, is to ing. One of the means of grace,
attribute to means that which God baptism, is selected ; and to this so has no where assigned to them. great a virtue is attached that it is
Means may well be necessary as considered absolutely to convey a divine institution, and yet be not grace to infants in such a way and only resistible, but absolutely in measure, that they, having no themselves inefficacious : so indeed power to resist the operation of they are, excepting in the cases this grace, are totally renewed in where God himself works by bis their nature: the infection of sin own accompanying Spirit: which is cured, they are regenerated, they Spirit is not bound to the means, are made new creatures.
though he vouchsafes to appoint The controversy may well de- and to use them. serve to be limited to this one It is here that we especially sacrament, and to it, as administer- anticipate mischief to the souls of ed to infants : for ordinarily speak- men, from the statements of the ing, the other means of grace tract writers. For the doctrine of (namely, the Lord's supper, and the Effects of Regeneration, as the preaching of the word) are evidenced in the heart and life, is used on behalf of adults, who, con- studiously kept out of view, as fessedly, by reason of their mature rationalistic.
We have always age, can oppose the operation of considered appeals to the congrace (obicem ponentes, bolting or sciences of men, and powerful blocking it out.) The question
convictions produced in them of then simply reduces itself to this: the desperate malignity of their Is grace so infallibly, so insepa- unregenerated natures, to be among rably and so certainly attached to the most effectual means of bringinfant-baptism, that as sure as the ing them to seek regeneration. In child is baptized, so sure does it other expressions, we regard the receive a new nature? Is the thing lively and faithful preaching of signified essentially bound up with the word to unconverted men, to the outward and visible sign of it? be the appointed method of rousing The tract writers say
those who are dead in trespasses not. The Papists say that bap- and sins. But here, behold, intism is regeneration; so do these terposes this soothing opinion, this tracts. But not so says scrip- false opiate to the conscience. ture, or the Church of England ; • The man has been regenerated ; whose language is misunderstood, and though no fruits thereof have or unfairly represented, when it is appeared, yet he has been in a stated to convey this sentiment. state of light, life, and salvation, The proper definition of grace,
ever since he was sprinkled at the as it respects the giver of it, is an font: all he has to do, is to stir
it is: we say,
up that gift, and he will find that the erroneous doctrine of these he is quickened, is pardoned, is Tracts of Regeneration is proholy, is able to discern spiritual pounded, they are various. A things with a mind which is already leading one is, the incorrect handspiritual, although somewhat neg- ling of Scripture. The following lected.'
instance may suffice, selected from Fatal, indeed, is this notion to Professor Pusey's Tract. the multitudes who are thus thrown upon their mere natural powers,
Again, let any one consider the em
blems under which baptism is pointed out their natural conscience, their na
in Scripture, as having been figured in the tural understanding and exertions,
Old Testament, the flood, and the passage vainly assured that what they thus of the Red Sea, In modern times, neither put forth is the acting of grace, the has appeared a very obvious similitude, rousing of dormant (not dead) en
The symbol of the ark, as an emblem of
Christ's Church, has recommended itself ergies ; the work, in fact, of the
to us ; not so the resemblance of baptism Spirit. All this results from hold- to the flood, since the flood destroyed life, ing that Baptism is regeneration ; baptism saves it. The apostle, however, from holding that the means and
looks upon the flood as the entrance, and the end are co-existent in the case
the only entrance, into the ark, and, lay
ing aside all other points of resemblance of infants.
or difference, he fixes our minds upon this In considering what
one subject, -by what means we Effects of Regeneration, we have brought in thither; and since the flood been frequently assisted by the
was the occasion of Noah's entering the
ark, and the ark was borne up by that very simple threefold delineation
water which destroyed those who entered of those effects, in the state of the not therein, he pronounces that “the few, enlightened understanding, the re- the eight souls, were brought therein safe newed will, and the sanctified by water; the antitype whereof, baptism,
doth also now save us, not the putting affections ; adding to this, the in
away the filth of the flesh, but the inquiry dispensable evidence of a holy into a good conscience towards God;" i.e. life. Now according to the doc- baptism, not as an outward rite, but actrine of the tract writers, every
companied with faith, the baptized person
answering with a good conscience to the baptized person ought to consider
inquiry made into his faith. was then himself as having received this an object with the apostle to impress upon abundant grace : if he discovers it the minds of Christians the greatness of not in himself, still he ought to
the sacrament of baptism, by comparing believe that he has received it ;
it with the most wonderful displays of
Almighty power which this globe had ever and on stirring up the gift, he will witnessed : and the less obvious the refind himself to have been already semblance, the more moment we must holy, enlightened, and spiritually
suppose there to have been in pointing minded. A most fallacious view
out their connection; or rather we should
admire God's mercy, who in the record of for unawakened, unconverted, un
his dispensations so harmonized them to. regenerate, nominal Christians to gether, that we should not be “staggered take! In fact, saving the outward through unbelief,” at the meanness of the privilege they have already par
instruments which he uses; but having
seen that the Holy Spirit condescended to taken of in being admitted into the
brood over the shapeless mass of waters, visible church by Baptism, they and thence to produce order and lifehave ALL TO BEGIN; they have to that water was the means appointed for implore a grace, which As YET
saving Noah and his sons—that Moses THEY POSSESS NOT. We see not
and Israel descended into the water of the
Red Sea as into a tomb, and thence arose in what material respect this false again, and were delivered that water doctrine differs from Antinomian- cleansed Naaman from leprosy, and the Both imply that a man may
children of Israel from pollution, - we be“ in grace," although living
might the more readily believe that water
should be consecrated by God “ for the babitually" in sin."
mystical washing away of sin," and con3. Asto other methods by which nect the admonitions of his previous dis
pensations with the greatness of our pre- First, then, I would remark on the fact, sent privilege.
that whereas, confessedly, regeneration is And whoever thinks lightly of water- in scripture connected with baptism, it no baptism, if he compare his mind with that where is disconnected from it. Baptism of St. Peter, will surely find himself re- is spoken of as the source of our spiritual proved, &c. (Tract on Baptism, pp. 44, birth, as no other cause is, save God: 45.)
[here baptism is exalted as a cause,' not
an instrument or means of grace :) we are Was it then a main object of
not said, namely, to be regenerated by St. Peter to extol the greatness of faith, or love, or prayer, or any grace Baptism? That it is so with the which God worketh in us, but to be writer of the tract, is conspicuous
" born of water and the Spirit” in con
trast to our birth of the flesh; to be enough. But we hold the very
saved by the washing of regeneration, or opposite in the interpretation of
the new birth, in like manner as we are this text. It surely challenges the said to be born of God, or of incorruptible mind to reflect on the nature of seed. Other causes are indeed mentioned spiritual regeneration, as being
as connected with our new birth, or
rather that one comprehensive cause, the typified by water baptism : while
whole dispensation of mercy in the gosthe notion that Baptism is regene- pel, as, " born of seed incorruptible ration, seems to be specially staved through the word of God, which liveth
and abideth for ever ; "-"in Jesus Christ off by the qualifying clause, not
have I begotten you through the gospel,” the putting away the filth of the
of his own will begat he us by the word flesh, but the answer of a good of truth; but no other instrument is conscience. The whole
spoken of as having the same relation to seems to us to place the subject of
our heavenly birth as that of water.
[Here baptism becomes an instrument.] – the controversy in a very clear
Tract on Baptism, p. 12. light. Baptism is indeed extolled as a means of grace: but the effec- The double it in the first sentence tual grace is so defined, that if is a violation of the laws of perthat be wanting, then the Baptism spicuity. What is meant by is as though it were no Baptism : Regeneration being no where in and the inquiry as to these effects Scripture disconnected from Bapis laid home on the conscience of tism? What is the logic of slureach professed Christian. We feel ring over other means of grace, that to this view we are guided by especially, the preaching of the St. Peter; and that thus holding word, by the terms, one compreit, we are not reproved' by him. hensive cause, the whole dispenHis language is not simply decla- sation of mercy in the Gospel ?' rative, but likewise explanatory This is a way-but not a fair and and exclusive, designed to check candid way-of representing water the very error of this tract.
as an instrument of regeneration. It is important to add that this The Bible plainly declares, not in passage, speaking of
generals, but specifically, that cising conscience, cannot be consi- God begets, that is, regenerates dered to affirm any thing concern- souls by the word of truth : and ing the regeneration of infants by this instrument we hold to have baptism : it appertains to adults. certainly not less to do with our Thus, nothing is gained by this heavenly birth than water. text, towards the notion of the So again, the following verse Baptismal Regeneration of Infants. seems to be alluded to. We know that The
passage in John iii. 5, is of whosoever is born of God, sinneth course produced, and that, early not, but he that is begotten of God in the tract. But in the paragraph keepeth himself, and that wicked with which the consideration of it one toucheth him not. 1 John v. 18. opens, we light at once upon a Passages of this kind are referred passage singularly confused, both to with the observation that these in style and argument. The writer are tests afforded, whether we are observes,
acting up to our privilege of Rege.
neration.' (Page 14.) Acting up.' us : nor do the words that follow Truly, we regard them as tests of in his Tract, at all clear our view. whether we be, or be not, regene- Whose energetic faith is it, that rated. If those born of God so infuses into what words this amazing act; we ought to infer, conversely, force ? Is it the faith of St. Grethat they who do not so act, are gory that infused energy into his not sons of God.
We have no style? This we apprehend to be alternative.
the sense, but we are not quite cer4. But the Fathers ! Now in tain whether it be. If some one touching on this almost illimitable had said to us, that the writer subject, we heartily wish that we referred to the faith of the officiatcould have all the good of this class ing minister, or of the parent, or of of Authors, without any of their the church, transfusing force into evil. But it is not the fate of the the baptismal form of wordsTract Writers to produce such a (here called
Imparting the result. Indeed, we much doubt Trinity'), we should have been whether it is a work that could, unable to say that that was not with any fairness, be accomplished
As to the design of to any considerable extent. Gregory, it appears to have been may, here and there, glean out of to animate Christian parents to the folios of antiquity single sen- that faith which becomes every tences and even whole paragraphs, person who presents a little infant sometimes long ones, which are very
at the font. Prayer, the prayer valuable. But after all, is it not of faith and hope, is far more picking and choosing ? On this strongly expressed in the Service account we question the force of all of the Church of England, than in the quotations put together, which these hortatory sentences of St. are given in this Tract on Baptism. Gregory: but we do not learn Lest, however, we should seem un- from either the one or the other, to fair, we will extract that one which, consider the infant as having in to the Writer, appears to have been baptism received a new nature. of the greatest value and beauty in In page 180, speaking on both this controversy.
Sacraments, Professor Pusey reLet us hear St. Gregory of Nazianzen marks concerning the opinions of commending Infant Baptism : ' Hast thou the Fathers, · The sign was to them an infant ? Let not wickedness gain an
so glorious, only because it was opportunity against it? Let it be sancti
identified with that inward grace.' fied from a babe. Let it be hallowed by the spirit from its tenderest infancy.
Identified ! We should almost Fearest thou the seal of faith on account think this a slip of the pen, but of the weakness of nature, as a faint- that the argument itself is pushed hearted mother and of little faith? But Hannah devoted Samuel to God, yea,
to that length. The sign is the before he was born, and when he was
grace ! Certainly the questionborn, immediately she made him a priest, • How many parts are there in a and brought him up in the priestly attire, Sacrament?" was well nigh supernot fearing human nature, but trusting in
fluous: the answer at least is defiGod. Thou hast no need of Amuletsimpart to him the Trinity, that great and
cient. According to this eulogy excellent preservative.' The thrill which of the Fathers it ought to have these impressive words “ impart to him been—' Two; the outward and the Trinity, (ods aútg Thu Tpiáda) echoing
visible sign, and the inward and to us after 1400 years, still awaken in us, may well make us admire the energy of
spiritual grace; and these two are the faith, which, infused into words more
identical. The sign and the grace simple, a force so amazing.--(Tract on are one and the same thing.' Baptism, p. 178.)
5. Another method resorted to, The comment of the Author is in the conduct of this controversy, that which most of all perplexes is an appeal to Modern Fathers. But how many modern Fathers are method both aggressive and invithere? Who calls them out, mar- dious) adopted by the Tract Writshals them, assigns their rank, ers is, to bold up Calvin and value, and authority ? As to their Socinus side by side, in printed rank, we know that of the Forty parallel columns, in the form of whose paragraphs are strung toge- extracts from their writings. Cal. ther under the title of Catena vin and Socinus! Shall we borPatrum, some were bishops, others row the word, Identified ? No, we were doctors, &c. But then, it repudiate the very principle that should be remembered that so many led to their juxta-position. Indeed, bishops, doctors, and others have it might provoke some person not written and continue to write, that better employed, to heap together this species of argument has no in parallel columns, 'extracts from bounds. It is a matter past all
the Council of Trent on the one calculation how long the Catena side, and extracts from these three Patrum will be by the end of ano- volumes on the other. But as the ther century. And are all great alarm of the · Revival of Popery' modern writers on one side ? even has already become rife in Oxford if they were, yet truth is not counted
itself, we for the present postpone by numbers.
the further discussion of this im6. Another mode of warfare portant subject. (we use the term because it is a
CONSIDERATIONS ON THE VITAL PRINCIPLE;
Description of Mr. Crosse's Experiments. By John MURRAY, F. S. A.,
F. and S., &c. 2nd Ed. 8vo. pp. xiv. and 40. Wilson. 1838. CONSIDERABLE interest was, insects are a species of mite, or of short time since, excited by the acarus, whose ova being deposited announcement that a Mr. Crosse in the silica, potassa, acid, water, had, by certain galvanic processes, flannel, volcanic slag, &c. emfound insects where he expected ployed in the operation, were to see crystals of silica-had actu- eventually hatched by the galvanic ally produced life by means of process. The sum of the whole galvanism-and had thus, at least, matter, as far as Mr. Crosse's exsuggested the idea that animal life periments are concerned, is simply, might possibly be produced by this: the ova of the acarus derived chemical action on material sub- from some of the sources mentioned, stance. These intimations were, no doubt the water or the atmoas might have been expected, sphere, are hatched by the electrihailed with great satisfaction by city of the galvanic battery! Mr. that class of philosophers whose Crosse's production of life by galscepticism in religion is usually vanisin is therefore an operation combined with a considerable por- of the same genus as the Egyptian tion of credulity on other points ; production of chickens by means of while the more fully informed on an oven. Philosophers must proscientific and religious topics re- ceed a step further before they can garded the assertion with no small account for a creature, without a suspicion ; feeling, as the late Dr. supreme, intelligent, Almighty CreMilner used in such cases to re- ator. We think certain philosomark, a pretty strong presentiment phers of real science must look that there was
back with not very pleasant feelwhere ! The correctness of such ings at the language they have suspicions is now established by incautiously used with reference to Mr. Murray's experiments, who Mr. C. and his discoveries ! has ascertained that Mr. Crosse's