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Correspondence. (The Editors are not responsible for every statement or opinion of their correspondents; at the same tiine, their object is to open the pages of their Magazine to those only, who seek the real good of that Protestant Church with which it is in connexion.] To the Editor of the Christian Guardian.
and none shall be put to shame that
hope in Him. Dear Sir,-We are just closing one
But what is the year likely to proyear, and are on the verge of en- duce ? First, It is likely to be a year tering upon another period of time. of much religious conflict. What then
Should the reader, and writer, of is the spirit in which we should prethis be spared through another year, pare for this fight of faith? what the circumstances, the most unlooked for,
temper of the arms with which we may befal them, or forebodings and should gird ourselves for the battle? anticipations may be verified. At all Let us begin by girding about us events, come what may to ourselves, the girdle of love-not a spurious chaour Church, or our country, it will be rity, but that true evangelical, which well for us to reflect in what spirit we follows after peace, while yet it boldly are awaiting the unfolding of the Di- speaks the truth. This should be esvine purposes, and to lift up our hearts pecially prayed for, striven after, when in prayer to God, in dependence upon we contend for the truth against Ronone but His dear Son, that we may mish error, in the mass, or in interbe so led and sustained by the Holy course with individuals, whether by Spirit, that neither pleasantness nor the press or the lips, with those who trial may overtake us in a state of are of the contrary part. mind in which we cannot glorify It is truly afflictive sometimes to God.
read the effusions of some who stand None glorify Him but those that out boldly for the truth. The truth know Him, according to the Psalmist's requires for its defence neither wrath witness.-"they that know Thy name nor irony-neither ridicule nor fury. shall put their trust in Thee;" then It is often said, that the stander-by at we shall indeed do well, or suffer well; a game of chess sees much more than for He keepeth the feet of his saints, the actual combatants; and so it most
such an interpretation of our Ordinal would have ever entered his mind. The true nature of this inward call has been well defined as, “the good testimony of our own heart, that we have taken this office neither for ambition, covetousness, nor any evil design, but out of a true fear of God, and a desire to edify the Church." (Calvin as quoted in Bp. Mant's Prayer-book, p. 792, col. 2). Archbishop Secker has well observed upon it: “ It is not said, 'Do you feel ;"
.but, 'Do you trust'; are you on good grounds persuaded ? What then are the proper grounds of such persuasion ? In the first place, if he hath not moved you effectually to live • soberly, righteously, and godly,' you may be sure he hath not moved you to assume the office of a minister in God's Church.... But... more is requisite in the present case : and what more the latter part of the question points out. “To serve God for the promoting of his glory and the edifying of his Church. This, then, being the design of the office; if, so far as you know your own hearts, this is your motive to desire it; and if, so far as you can judge
of your own abilities and attainments, they are
;" “ Vicar," &c. are used to designate-not different "orders” in the ministry, butmerely different degrees of dignity and of preeminence among the orders of “Bishop,” and of “ Presbyter ” respectively, in this particular - Church of England. In the American Episcopal Church the three orders are strictly adhered to in their primitive simplicity. Some excellent remarks on a practical reduction of Episcopacy, something on Abp. Ussher's plan, may be seen in Bishop Short's History of the Church of England, s. 595, p. 435. Ussher's “ Reduction of Episcopacy” was reprinted in the “Christian Guardian," Dec. 1850, p. 557.
assuredly is in the combat of spiritual solutely interdicted-should be placed and religious warfare. The quiet ob. before the eyes of our national Proserver is being continually constrained testantism, in this day when so many to exclaim, how unfair, how ungene under a spirit of delusion are ready rous is this.
to believe a lie, but that it should be Truth should never attempt to en- done in the language of banter and list laughter under its pure and inherently peaceful and loving banner; We may go far higher than the irony and caricature, severity and niddle ages, and read in the writings contempt, should be weapons not to of the champion of grace, the pious be found in the Christian's tents. and spiritually-minded Augustine, ac
But to shew that there is a needs-be counts of miracles detailed by him, for this remark, let us take two recent and which he evidently believed, illustrations :
which cause grief to every pious The first shall be an extract from a mind, because they impel us almost very popular periodical, of a Protest- to laughter over the pages of so ant though not avowedly religious blessed a man. character; the second, alas! from an Our next illustration of the unavowedly religious and scriptural pub- happy spirit which too many suffer to lication, set on foot for the express guide their pens or their tongues, purpose of upholding Gospel truth, in stands in the pages of a religious peopposition to papal or Romish error. riodical, to which we cannot fail to Of the first it may be said at once, wish good success.
It appears in the “Oh, but this does not profess to be a first number of the “ Bulwark,” and decidedly religious publication.” Why animates the remarks at the close of then touch the subject of religion at all? the description of the ceremony of The reply is, it is a good political pro- the feet-washing, p. 11. " Can men tective; it exposes what cannot fail, believe that such contemptible exhiif it gain ground, to divest man of bitions are to pass current in a country liberty of mind, and of freedom of impatient of everything that savours speech; what must, if it go on gather- of religious humbug and hypocrisy?" ing strength, silence the preached Gos- No! this is not the language which pel, interdict the inspired Word, and becomes those whose object it still is place the civil governor at the mercy in all sincerity to hold up the truth of the usurping priest.
as it is in Christ. Let us avoid all Be it soit would do so, and pray “railing accusation ;" be " pitiful and that the God of truth may prevent it, courteous;' “ contend earnestly for -but surely the way to defend the the faith once delivered to the saints;” city of God'is to take away those bat- but, “contend for it in love,” in the tlements which are not the Lord's, and “spirit of a sound mind and love ;" build up in their place the sure de- and then indeed it will be “in the fences of truth, of pity, and of love. spirit of power” as well.
Methinks I hear one whisper, “Non But we pass to another suggestion, tali auxilio." No “Non tali auxilio” in reference to the new year. It is indeed ; whatever grieves the Spirit likely not merely to be a year of con
! repels the Lord of Hosts, and robs us tention, and probably political as well of His defence.
as religious, but also a year of golden The first of the passages alluded to opportunity,--a year of golden opporabove is upon the subject of miracles. tunity for England, for our own beIt recites or condenses many narra- loved Church, and for individuals. tives of miracles from the legendary Let us then enter upon it; may grace writings of chroniclers of the middle be given us so to do, with renewed ages. Now what we complain of is determination to make it a year of this,--not that such delusions and fan- especial prayer, of increased effort, cies which marked the darkness of of much increased self-denial, times, when the pure light of the Gos- The world is opening before; let pel was well nigh extinct, and when us arise and take possession of as Bibles were not to be had, or were ab- much of it as the Lord may allow,
now in the Saviour's name, prepara- baptized” are to learn the Catechism tory to the time when the kingdoms before they are confirmed, and if perof this world shall become the king- sons baptized as adults are to learn it. dom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then It is not true of persons “privately will be the true Christendom; but in baptized” that their "godfathers and the mean season let England, let us, godmothers” did give them their individually, rise up to what seems to "name,” for they had no sponsors at be in great measure her call to pre- their “baptism.” Nor is it true of per
sons baptized as adults, that their She may suffer for her sins, and “godfathers and godmothers” did come under the hail of the last great promise and vow for them, since storm, because of the much sin which they promised and vowed for themmay still remain in her wide-spread selves. A slight change, so as to empire; but still this is the only way make the Catechism suitable for all in which we can look to lay up a good parties, would be very desirable. foundation for the time to come. Some such form as this would do :
And in order to do this, we must “Who gave you that name? “They each prepare to make what are com- who brought me to my baptism.' monly called sacrifices. If we would What is their part and duty who offer more to the Lord, we must take brought you to be baptized? To see less for ourselves; though we that I be taught to perform three in fact gaining more for ourselves, things, (1) to renounce, &c. Dost and more for eternity, by so much as thou not think that thou art bound so we offer more upon the altar of the to believe and to do? Yes, verily,” &c. cross, and become rich in good works. Again,—"You said that you should
We have become generally, from keep God's commandments. Tell me various circumstances, too self-indul- how many there be,” or “are"? gent, and have but little amongst I should think all parties could us of that Christ-like spirit which
For at present the should peer through all the arrange
whole Catechism is framed for the ments, conduct, and habits of those exclusive use of persons baptized in who profess to be only strangers and their infancy, and baptized too with pilgrims upon earth.
sponsors, according to the Public form. Many other thoughts or suggestions Whereas, there are thousands of perpress upon us, but we doubt not that
sons living who have been baptized others will throw them out for our according to the Private service withbenefit.
out sponsors: We would not take up too much
I am, Sir, yours, &c. space or time. Our leading idea will
M. A. be caught, and our end accomplished,
18th Dec. if these few remarks may only produce, through the Divine blessing, a
To the Editor. temper of increased meekness and quietness, yet devotedness and firm- SIR,-In reading the “ Christian ness in any; greater depth of piety, Guardian” for the present year (which sobriety of feeling, devotion of heart, I lately procured at the recommendaand deadness to the world.
tion of a friend), I perceive that yourCLERICUS. self and many of your correspondents
are favorable to a revision of the LiTo the Editor.
turgy of our Church : that while, in
the main, you sanction the doctrines Sir,—As the subject of “Revision” contained in the Book of Common has occupied your pages of late, will Prayer, you do not think them inyou permit me to point out a kind of spired and infallible. Much attention revision in the Catechism (quite un- has been within a few years called to connected with any doctrinal points) the subject of Baptismal Regenerawhich seems absolutely necessary, if tion, and to what is really our Church's children who have been “privately teaching concerning it. Now I think
agree in this?
it of great importance to ascertain, if to expect a gracious reception of the
congre- case of infants offered in the baptism gation to pray to God for the heavenly as the Church would have them, the rebirth in the use of the material water; generation is conveyed in and through which element we tell the Lord, in the sacrament of baptism,
" It is the following prayer, He, " by the certain from God's word that children baptism of His well-beloved Son, Je- being baptized, and dying before they sus Christ, in the river Jordan, has commit actual sin, are undoubtedly sanctified to the mystical washing saved.” This I think was taken from away of sin.” In this prayer we also a larger Rubric, which I find in the supplicate for the cleansing of the second Liturgy of King Edward the child by the Holy Ghost, and deliver- Sixth, and which is still more explicit : ance from the Divine wrath. And in “And that no man shall think that any another prayer we find this petition: detriment shall come to children by
“ That he coming to thy holy bap- deferring of this confirmation, he shall tism may receive remission of his sins know for truth that it is certain, by by spiritual regeneration.”
God's word, that children being bapAnd then follows the Gospel, from tized have all things necessary for the words of which we are encouraged their salvation, and are undoubtedly
saved.” This teaching is confirmed tion of some but not of all infants), in the Confirmation Service, where the and afterwards, " seeing this child is" Bishop tells the Almighty that he by baptism.“ regenerate.” The same has regenerated those upon whom he observations, apply to the case of lays his hands, that he “has regene- adults (only certain pre-requisites are rated them with water and the Holy necessary in this case; and unless Ghost, and has forgiven them all their they are possessed of them, the sacra
ment does not to them convey what it If we turn to the service for bap- signifies). But whatever "prevenient” tism of children in private houses, we acts of grace may have passed upon discover the same teaching. The Ru- them before they are baptized, they bric states “ that the curate shall often evidently present themselves at the admonish the people that they defer font as seekers and expectants of the not the baptism of their children blessing of regeneration in the use of longer than the first or second Sunday the water; and are considered only after their birth, or some holy-day as in the flesh, unregenerate and in falling between.” Why is this, except wrath, till' they have received the saon the ground that the Church would crament of baptism, after which (if have the child re-born as soon as pos- rightly received) they are no longer sible after it is born ?
in the flesh, but in the Spirit; no In the case of private baptism, longer unregenerate, but regenerate; which evidently is only to be admi- no longer in wrath, but in grace. This nistered in cases of extreme danger I think our service teaches, if there is of the death of infants, the minis- any meaning in words. The evangeter and all persons present are to call lical teaching, so called (as far as I upon God in the use of some of the understand it), is that a proper candicollects to be read at public baptism, date for baptism is, first, regenerate, beseeching Him to grant with the use and receives only the seal of his reof the water the new birth of the in- generation in the ordinance, but the fant; and after baptism with water, service teaches that the water is not in the name of the Trinity (the whole only a sign of the washing of regeneraparty kneeling down), the minister is tion, but the means of conveying it, to return thanks for their prayers “ a means whereby we receive the being answered, as in the service at church. But the form in which the On referring to the Homilies, I find minister of the parish is required at the notion of the saving effects of church to certify of the effects of bap- baptism, as far as infants are contism, when the child has been pri- cerned. Thus in the Homily of the vately baptized at home, not by him- “ Salvation of Mankind,” ascribed, I self but by some other minister, is so believe, to Archbishop Cranmer, we explicit that it seems to me that its read“ that infants being baptized, and sense cannot be evaded; and that dying in their infancy, are by this sasense is, that the child is by virtue of crifice washed from their sins, brought baptism regenerated, and for the pre- to God's favour, and made His chilsent saved :- “ I certify you that in dren and inheritors of His kingdom;" this case all is well done, and accord- and again, in the same Homily, “We ing to due order concerning the bap- must trust only in God's mercy, and tizing of this child, who being born in that sacrifice which our High Priest original sin and in the wrath of God, and Saviour offered for us upon the is now, by the laver of regeneration cross, to obtain thereby God's
grace in baptism, received into the number and remission of our original sin in of the children of God, and heirs of baptism, as of all actual sin committed everlasting life; for our Lord Jesus by us after our baptism, if we repent Christ does not deny his grace and and turn unfeignedly to him again." mercy unto such infants,” &c. (con And again we read, in the same Hotrary I think to Mr. Gorham, who, mily, of being " baptized or justified.” as far as I can understand him, ac- Another sentence is remarkable:knowledges the baptismal regenera- “Much less is it our office, after that DECEMBER-1851.