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ed;" and we may add, wears more presenting a new combination of the appearance of the product of an pointed tips, was dipped also." (Query, old Lady's hours of amusement, than Is not Mr. T. intitled to a vote of a train of deliberate reasoning. The thanks from the match-makers for arguments are concealed in such a dressing up their profession in such profuse heap of extraneous observa- genteel language?) Plunging and tions-are introduced with a species dipping, then, are not synonymous of canting circumlocution, of half terms; but are distinct, and ought to subtlety and half wit,—and beset be- | be distinguished." fore and behind with such a pompous display of dusty learning, that it is no easy matter to extract any thing like the soul of an argument from any part of the volume.
The first part contains, after a few "introductory remarks," (evidently designed to caricature and ridicule the ceremony of adult baptism) one Letter, purporting to be written by the Deacon himself; and two others by Mr. T. to the Editors of the Baptist Magazine. These Letters contain remarks on Dr. Ryland's " Candid Statement." We make a short extract here, as a specimen of the Author's ingenuity and honesty. Dr. Ryland was desirous of expressing in English language, the meaning of the word baptize, by the use of synonymous terms, or terms as nearly synonymous as he could find, so that what was deficient in one term might be made up in another, in order conjointly to express the full idea. The terms he adopted, were dip, plunge, immerse, drench, overwhelm, &c. Mr. T. immediately begins his quibbling story "What, then, have the words dip, plunge, drench, &c. the same meaning? I did not think our good old sturdy English was a tongue so compliant, nor do I now think it. Let us interchange some of these synonyms-I content myself with the words dip and plunge, Send Lazarus, that he may plunge the tip of his finger in water-He (Judas) who plunges his hand with me in the dish.' What! two hands plunged into the same dish? Good manners forbid !"Again, try the word dip. "I dip my pen in ink; I do not plunge it, for then it would be black from end to end. You have seen a round of matches as large as a wheel; they were rendered inflammable by means of melted sulphur: were they plunged into that sulphur? no: for then they would have been coated with it all over: but, one superficies presenting pointed tips, was first dipped in the liquid sulphur; then the whole was turned, and the other superficies
We will not insult the common sense of our readers, by shewing the egregious equivocation of this criticism, where the laugh is evidently put as a substitute for sense. him take down his Dictionary, and look at any word he may cast his eye. upon,-the word cunning for instance. Dr. Johnson defines it thus; “skilful, knowing, learned; artful, trickish, subtle, crafty, &c. "What then, Sir, are all these English terms synonymous? I did not think good sturdy old English was a tongue so compliant, nor do I now think it.".
Mr. T. does not appear to fall in with the common mode of evading the force of the greek prepositions in and into, which he is aware has often excited the contempt of writers on the opposite side. He has invented another mode of relieving the difficulty; and that is, by dividing the ceremony into two separate and contrasted parts. For this purpose he has introduced a long tale of a baptism in the Abyssinian Church, as described by a modern traveller, which in fact carries just as much authority with it as if it had been taken out of Don Quixote.
"The Apostle evidently divides the rite into two distinct, and even, contrasted, parts; the first of which, WASHING, he says, has no consequence salutary to the party on whom is performed; but the second, an engagement to maintain a conscience void of offence toward God, is salutary to a person of whose solemn profession it forms a part.
instance of Baptism, strictly taken, as "Does the New Testament afford any separate from immersion?-as a subsequent act? What say you to the instance of Philip and the Eunuch? Philip, in company with the Eunuch, came to water;
and he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water [here is immersion], and he baptized him". [here is baptism.]
for correct, as here quoted, that baptism Now it might be said, taking the text was distinct from immersion, because it followed it; for the writer does not say, "they went into the water, that he might baptize him," but " and he baptized him." But what are the real facts of the
case? Why, in order to preserve what he knew to be the customary separation between immersion and baptism, the sacred writer inserts a whole sentence, in itself perfectly unnecessary, and clogging the progress of the story, in the very middle and height of the sacrament: it conveys no additional information; the reader knows as much before he reads it, as he does after he has read it;-but, it marks a pause: it distinguishes the two parts of the service; 1. the "putting away the filth of the flesh," from 2. " the stipulation of a good conscience toward God." St. Luke even takes pains to produce this effect;-" and they went down both into the water--BOTH PHILIP AND THE EUNUCH, and he [Philip] baptized him [the Eunuch-and when they were come up," &c. Now we knew both Philip and the Eunuch well enough, at least quite as well from the former part of the history: but the insertion of this description of the parties, has the effect of separating the foregoing sentence from the following sentence; and, consequently, of separating the foregoing action from the following action: which is the only assignable purpose of the writer for inserting it, at this point of time. Nor is this the only peculiarity in the story; no other passage can be adduced in which the person administering baptism went himself down into the water: John Baptist did not:-in short, who did? This, then, is an exception from the general practice; and this took place in a country almost, or wholly desart, where no convenience of any kind could be commanded; and these exceptions recommended the instance for insertion."
Mr. T. has the candour to place before his readers. In that paper, instances are adduced point blank in opposition to his hypothesis, and several passages referred to, where one Evangelist has used one of the words and another Evangelist the other word while relating the same story, or narrating the same discourse; which to a person of an ordinary capacity would be a sufficient proof that the terms were completely convertible. Our design, as we said before, is not to argue but to review; but, did our limits allow, we should readily follow up this novel argument through all the windings and intricacies in which, by the subtle genius of its advocate, it has been enfolded. We cannot, however, forbear saying, that could the argument be maintained, it would only amount with other evidence, would exhibit a to a probability; and, unaccompanied mere blank. For, supposing the criticism to be right, Mr. T. cannot deny that "the term oxos is in scripture sometimes applied to families where it is expressly hinted that there were no children;" and if so Mr. T. is again driven back, and must appeal to other evidence to prove that the families said in the New Testament to be baptized were possessed at that time of infants. Again, allowing his criticism to stand, we should say, it practically deviates from the first rule laid down, and agreed to on both sides, viz. that "every word should be taken in its primary, obvious, and ordinary meaning, unless there be something in the connexion, or in the nature of things, which require it to be taken otherwise;" for notwithstanding the explanations and evasions and subtleties so often resorted to, it will still be maintained, that in every instance where the baptism of households is mentioned, there is something in the connexion which requires it to be restricted to adults.
On this specimen of double-refined discernment, we shall make no remark, and are sure the public will give Mr. T. credit for very penetrating optics. We shall now introduce an argument in which our author professes a sufficient confidence to trust his whole scheme upon it. The words oxos a, by our translators rendered indifferently house or household, says the editor of Calmet, "have distinct significations." The import of the term oxx, includes all the inhabitants of a house; but scripture ALWAYS But how many instances are there employ the term oixos, to denote kin- in the New Testament to which this dred in the nearest possible degree; boasted argument can apply? In the and, therefore, emphatically, children; controversies of former times they while it uniformly, and necessarily, were restricted to four; but Mr. T. excludes servants. Hence it is in- has doubled their number, and has ferred, that the apostles, who so fre- advanced them to eight; and in the quently baptized the collection of per- course of a few years, by the process sons, called an oxos, but never speak of a kind of critical legerdemain, he of baptizing an xa, must have bap-has discovered ONE MILLION!! For tized infant children." A reply has the benefit of those of our readers been given to these quirks, which who wish to know how to make " VOL. III.
offspring baptized, he proceeds to spread over them his magical wand.
"Take these eight families on a fair average: suppose half to consist of four children, and half of eight children: the average is sir: calculate if you please, that in forty-eight children, not one should be an infant: it is hundreds of thousands to one. Or, put the question in another formn: supposing Baptism were completely out of sight,-"How many young children would be found, on the average, in eight families, each containing six children?"
Here, Sir,we enter on another calcu-
also identified and named? The number
But how are the four last, especi-lation: what proportion do these eight ally the 7th and 8th, which he ac- famiñes, identified and named in the knowledges, are "neither expressed New Testament, bear, to that of christians, as families, nor marked as baptized," of names of persons converted after the dragged into the service of this argu-resurrection of Christ, is—in the Acts of ment? Why, the following is the the apostles, twenty-eight, or at most process by which the sacred text is thirty: four baptized families, recorded strained and tortured to serve the in the Acts, give the proportion of purpose; and we shall suffice our- somewhat more than one in eight. The selves with one instance. The Apos- number of names of similar converts in tle, in concluding his epistle to the the whole of the New Testament, is about Roman Christians, greets several of fifty-five, or under sirty: eight baptized them by name; and in chap. xvi. ver. families recorded in the New Testament, 11. he says, “Salute Herodian my give the proportion of one in seven, or at kinsman: Greet them that are of the least, of more than one in eight. A wonderful proportion this! and for what household of Narcissus, which are in purpose recorded? But, since Scripture the Lord." Now, according to Mr. gives this proportion, I have a right to T.'s previous argument, the household carry it through the body of Christians of Narcissus (though the word itself not distinguished by name; nevertheless, is not in the original) must mean to avoid cavil, I lower it to one in ten. his family there can be no family How many converts may be fairly inferwithout children; and if the apostle red from the History of the Acts of the could "greet" them, they must have Apostles-ten thousand ?—this gives ONE been baptized, otherwise, they would THOUSAND BAPTIZED FAMILIES. HOW not have been proper objects of many from the whole of the New Testament ?-one hundred thousand-this Christian salutation. If Mr. Taylor gives TEN THOUSAND BAPTIZED FAMILIES, had been there and had witnessed How many must be allowed during the the fact of their baptism, his testi- first century, and down to the days of meny would have carried some Origen? one million—it gives ONE weight; on any other ground, we HUNDRED THOUSAND BAPTIZED FAMILIES: esteem it the wild vagary of a mind ten millions? the proportion is ONE MILscrewed and rivetted down to the LION OF BAPTIZED FAMILIES. This service of a creed. To conceive of calculation, or one to the same effect, the same kind of salutation sent to cannot be evaded; neither can it be confuted." an aged and experienced Christian as to an infant of a few years old, is Such are the "facts" and such a horrid profanation of feeling; and the “ Evidence" with which this could never have been conceived but work is crowded from the first page in a mind where the pursuits of lite- to the last; and as our readers will rature had smothered the finer no doubt be sufficiently satiated with sympathies of human nature, A the quotations already made, we shall friendly salute or a sixpenny toy, close the book, and recal their atwould, to the apostle's supposed teation within the boundaries of juvenile friends, have been a much common sense and common obsermore seasonable and acceptable pre-vation. And here, we beg to remind the reader, what is the design of the Having established, as Mr. T. con-author in the work before us.-It is ceives, the fact that eight families not a literary dissertation on the writwere converted, and their infant 'ings of Horace or Seneca; but on
the word of God-it is not to bring to light additional beauty and force in some of the acknowledged truths of Christianity it is not to discuss some metaphysical and abstract principle, in no way connected with the comfort or obedience of Christians; but it is on one of the positive institutes of the Saviour, enjoined by his precept and illustrated by his example. We would candidly ask, what opinion do such criticisms lead us to form of the author of our religion? Is it conceivable, that he should have engaged the Spirit of inspiration to assist the writers of the Sacred Scriptures, and after all, have delivered his will in such a latent and ambiguous style as would require such an amazing fund of ingenuity and penetration to discover its meaning; and which indeed would never be fully comprehended, till a bright genius arose near 2000 years after it was penned? Let it be considered, too, that the discussion is not respecting one of the ultimate branches of Christian duty; but on one of its first precepts, yea, the very first-to be practised on the first introduction of a convert into the Saviour's kingdom, and when, consequently, his information as to the will of Christ, must have been in one of its earliest stages.
We cannot conclude our remarks on this series of pamphlets, without laying before our readers, a short hint selected from the Preface to the ivth Letter. "The Gentleman who complains that the former were unfit for the perusal of his family, will be gratified to learn, that after the opinion of the more intelligent class of readers has been obtained on the argument, they will be reduced to the level of the meanest capacity, in a sixpenny pamphlet. For, it appears to the writer to be inconsistent with honour and integrity to render the argument popular, till after it has been canvassed by those who are best able to appreciate it." So then it appears, that when these lords of learning have settled the point to their own satisfaction, they are to come down to the lower house, and by some magis terial veto to settle the terms of the controversy for ever! But we wish them to know, that the "Commons," are the true representatives of the people; and that we will never have our liberties infringed upon by the
dogmatical and confident tones of any
"Dare ye for this abjure the civil sword,
We bless God that he has given us to read it; and we bless Him likewise a plain English Bible, and good eyes that he has endued us with some meatents. We are not unmindful of one sure of capacity to understand its confact, that the commonalty of the Christian church who have learned their religion purely from the Bible, and not from systems, or sculptures, or scraps of the fathers, have been far much more pacific in disposition, nearer each other in sentiment and than those who have investigated the Bible with all these preparatory acquisitions. Let the learned agree about any point, and then it will carry some portion of weight in fixing avail themselves of their advanthe opinions of those who cannot tages. But till then, we must be excused if we refuse Mr. Taylor's "sixpenny" glasses, and congratulate ourof prophecy, to which we do well to on having "a more sure word take heed.'"
A Discourse on Sacrifices. By Solomon Bennett. London. 1815. Price 28.
Among the multitudinous productions of the modern press, we have more than once seen a pamphlet, written by an Empiric, with the professed intention of guarding mankind against some malignant disease, and recommending the course proper to be pursued by such as are unhappily labouring under its baneful influence, or in danger of being contaminated by it. But 'ere we had turned over half a dozen pages, we discovered that much more was meant than met the eye in the title page, or even in the preface;-that the benevolent disciple of Esculapius was not so intent on the public good as to forget his own;-that all his profession of philanthropy was only a maneuvre of self-interest;and that the real design of the pamphlet was to recommend some nostrum prepared by the writer, a kind of panacea, to expel every inward malady, and heal every external wound,
and that a quantum sufficit of this pulvis, or aqua mirabilis would be sold for the moderate suin of two guineas,
There are Empirics in Theology as well as in Medicine; and among the Theological Empirics who have insulted the world in print, the writer before us, is not the least empirical. The distinguishing characteristics of his "Discourse" are ignorant assumption, dogmatical contradiction, illogical argument, and scurrilous invective: for, like most other quacks, he discovers no small talent at abusing much wiser and better men than himself. But the chief design of this pamphlet appears to be that of calling the attention of the public to a larger work which, it seems, the author has written, of which this Discourse exhibits a choice specimen, and with the whole of which he is desirous of blessing the world.
Mr. Bennett's vaunting pretensions and the style in which they are announced, remind us of the foreign mountebank, who had just acquired a sufficient smattering of English to address his gaping audience in the following elegant couplet:
"Come buy my fine powdars, come by dem
Hare be de best powdars dat ever you see." In the liber mirabilis now advertised, this Solomon has proved-that notwithstanding all the various readings found in different Jewish copies of the Pentateuch, there have been no interpolations, omissions, or alterations!! That Kennecott and De Rossi were pedants and fools for such fantastical insinuations and falsehoods!! -that Jewish Rabbies and Christian Divines have been equally fools or knaves in representing atonement by animal sacrifice, as required for remission of sin under the law of Moses!! -and that the Mishna, a book written nearly two centuries after the Christian era, is authority anterior to the Christian era!! &c. &c.
And to perfect the climax, if any of our Readers be desirous of seeing such prodigies of argument and demonstration as those we have hinted at, they may send their names to "Mr. Solomon Bennett," as Subscribers to his publication, Price only Two GUINEAS!
The Abode of Wisdom exhibited in a Series of Letters from Miss Truth to Miss Attentive. By the Author of the Shepherd and his Flock.
London. Nisbet; and Gale & Fenner. Pp. 224. Price 3s. 6d. 1817. IT is to be lamented that a work, professedly intended to instruct the rising generation, should introduce itself with such a parade of biblical tyroism, and abound so much with quotation as to render it, little more than a compilation of heterogeneous matter, more calculated to confuse than to instruct. We find little that is original either in the plan or the execution of this small volume. "Of making many books," said Solomon, "there is no end."
And if books are
to be made of such materials, and put together in such a manner as this is, we cannot doubt that Solomon's remark is peculiarly applicable to the present times.
To aim at enlightening the juvenile mind is highly commendable; but to assume the Doctor's gown, and the clerical cap is more calculated to awe the minds of youth than to gain their attention and esteem. We presume that were the Tutor to familiarize his style, and to condescend to the low estate of the understandings of those he wishes to instruct, he would be more likely to obtain his object than by appearing to soar so much above them as he does in this performance.
Perhaps we may, by some, be considered as severe in saying that we half suspect this author to be just entering the Janua Linguarum, and that like other Tyros he is fond of displaying the advances he makes.
When permission has been given us to inspect the mansions of the great and the noble, we have generally found something curious and amusing. In this Abode of Wisdom we have not been altogether disappointed: we have made, at least, two very extraordinary discoveries. The first in (p. 6.) That Bees are up and at work before 7 o'Clock in the morning. The second (p. 9.) that, a few months since they were 66 inanimate maggots." And we doubt not, that should some Connissieurs in these affairs be admitted into this Royal Palace, they will discover many other things equally amusing and instructive.
Notwithstanding the remarks now made, we admit that the author is not destitute of talents, which we wish him to cultivate; and we recommend it to him to study Teipsum nosce as a profitable text to all his future efforts.