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Clericus Hibernicus on the Irish Articles
Holy Eucharist, (The Sacrifice in the)
Kavanagh's (Miss) Women in France
Parochial Work, Office, and Means
Abraham's (Rev. C. J.) Festival and Lenten Lectures
Book of Common Prayer, &c., according to the use of the Church
Douglass's (Rev. C. E.) Doctrine of Holy Baptism briefly explained in
its practical uses
Gauntlett's (Dr.) Stabat Mater, with Latin and English Words, set to
Eight Melodies, Ancient and Modern
Churches, according to the Law and Practice of the Church
Holy Men of Old
with Reference to certain Theories put forth by the Right Hon.
Sir J. Stephen
Jackson's (Mr.) Confirmation Address, The Spirit of the World, and the
Spirit which is of God.
THE SCHOLASTIC DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM.
The Doctrine of Holy Baptism: with remarks on the Rev. W.
Goode's “ Effects of Infant Baptism.” By ROBERT ISAAC WILBERFORCE, M. A., Archdeacon of the East Riding.
London: John Murray, 1849. In every department of literature, and in every branch of science, there are many pretenders to genius and knowledge ; but, as a general rule, even the pretenders know something. The least qualified writer of history has some imperfect acquaintance with dates and facts, and of necessity has looked a little to what others have written. The latest theorist in geology has some idea of the theories broached by others; and the most superficial epitomizer of any science has at least acquired its ordinary terminology. But in theology, once so proudly ranked as “queen” among sciences, the world has been long accustomed to a phenomenon, (which but for the experience of so many years would have seemed incredible, a whole class of writers, and those too the most popular and widely influential, who betray, not merely shallowness and incompetency, but absolute“ innocence” of the whole subject matter of their lucubrations; who use terms without looking farther than their etymology for a meaning; inherit phrases, and create from them doctrines; and boldly dogmatize on all points scriptural and ecclesiastical, with an unconscious absence of as much as a rudimentary knowledge of sacred science. That class of writers has had its day: the present age, so inquisitive on all other subjects, could not be expected to rest satisfied with earnest ignorance in Religion. We may be thankful
Vol. IX.--JANUARY, 1850.
that the rise of a more learned theology among us has, at least, encountered, if not anticipated, the active infidelity of these searching times.
The work of Archdeacon Robert Isaac Wilberforce on the doctrine of the Incarnation is one of the best examples of this “revival of learning" in our Church. It is a work which will no doubt mould the thoughts, and direct the reading, of hundreds of our younger clergy who are already studying it. The Archdeacon has now published its fitting sequel" The Doctrine of Holy Baptism." "Most opportunely for the Church has this able volume, of one of her best read theologians, appeared at this time; when the controversy is again raised among us as to what is called “ Baptismal Regeneration.” Not that this work is, in any sense, of the ephemeral nature of a mere controversial rejoinder to the reverend gentleman who is alluded to on its title page. It is a discourse on the whole subject of Baptism, with such reference only to Mr. Goode's theories as seemed called for by the prominent position assigned to him in the present controversya position from which he certainly has not shrunk. Before we remark on the details of the work; or notice the peculiar circumstances of our Baptismal controversy; it will be desirable to mark the position in that controversy taken by the Archdeacon, and to give our readers some outline of his present treatise, which,
- notwithstanding even its superiority in some respects—we have designated as a Sequel to the work “on the Incarnation.” Wemay begin our outline in the Archdeacon's own words from his concluding chapter ; which will well open the general view of the subject which he takes.
By the Christian Religion is meant the scheme of Christ's Mediationthat new law whereby it pleased God that in the Humanity of the one atoning Mediator there should be embodied those divine gifts by which the degeneracy of man's nature might be remedied. The appointed means whereby each individual enters into the line of this Regenerate race is Holy Baptism." pp. 290, 297. “Regeneration is the re-creation of man's nature in Christ.” This gift is bestowed upon all to whom Baptism is duly administered.” (p. 298.)—" These assertions (however) bring the Church's doctrine into direct contradiction with the two counter systems by which it is opposed; for they will be found to turn upon the denial of these two assertions—the first maintaining that grace is not bestowed by the Giver, through Baptism; the second, that if bestowed at times it is not bestowed upon all infants to whom Holy Baptism is duly administered.” (p. 299.)
The Archdeacon, in illustrating this, shows, that the objections of those who wholly deny Baptismal grace are “ founded upon the system of Rationalism ;” are applicable to adult as well as infant Baptism ; and “are directed against the system of Mediation at large." (This part of his argument is so