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of Saint John, it is not an espresa manifested by some outward act; sion peculiar to him." It is the very without which it could not have word used by our Saviour him been known who were begotten of self in speaking of the necessity of him, or who, in the capacity of regeneration in baptism, (Joby iii. Christians, were the objects of a 3.5. 7.) and the beloved disciple, Christian's love. The individual in attaching a new and different alone could be conscious of his sense to the word, would have abiding state; bis baptismal regethrown'an air of ambiguity not only peration only could be publicly upon the doctrine, but upon the known; and it must therefore have language of our Lord, which he been a change of condition by a vi. alone of the Evangelists has record- sible sign, not a change of heart ed. The same word, is found in by an invisible grace, in virtue of Hebrews vi, 4. in reference to the which the primitive disciples loved initiation of those, of whom it is those who were begotten of God. supposed that they did not abide: The author has now proved to the and a synonymous expression “be. conviction of every unprejudiced gotten again," is also found in 1 mind, that regeneration in baptism Peter i. 23. (see v. 3.) in the same is a primitive doctrine and a scrip: sense of initiation. It is also of im. tural doctrine, and has refuted the portance to remark, that in all the arguments advanced in favour of texts - which relate to regeneration, the contrary hypothesis, and is prethe verb is always found in a tensé pared to shew in the four following indicative of time past, and indi- chapters, that it is also a doctrine rectly proving, that the act is als of the Church of England. Our ready definite and complete: the reformers, and the compilers of our word is itself figurative, and in its public formularies, were not disoriginal and proper sense denotes posed to innovations in the Church, completed rather than continuous They were content to bring the preaction. It would be a tedious di- vailing doctrines to the test of the gression to adduce the proof, which Scriptures, to reject what the Scripmight be collected from the internal tures disowned, and to admit what testimony, and to sbew what is the the Scriptures approved, and to admeaning of the word in the several here, as far as was possible, in their texts in which it occurs (1 John iii. own practice, to the language as 9. iv. 7. v. 4. 18. 1.) But in the well as to the sentiments of the prilast text the argument is very ob- mitive writers. The effects of this vious : “ Ile that believeth that Je. deference to the Scriptures, and to sus is the Christ, hath been born of primitive antiquity, are traced by God;" his faith was the ground Dr. Bethell, through the Arti-, upon which he was baptized, and cles, the offices of baptism and without which he would not have confirmation, and the catechism, been baptized, according to the and in the progress of his inquiry rule of our Saviour: “ He that be- he freely avails himself of the elalievetda, and is baptized shall be borate investigations of Dr. Lau. saved, and be that believeth not rence : shall be damned. From this au We find then, that our Liturgy, in thoritatii e doctrine, the Apostle strict conformity to the doctrine of the draws his practical inference : " And Universal Church, makes' no
inention of every one that loveth him that be regeneration except in conjunction witli gat lovesh bim also that is begotten baptism and that its compilers were sur of lim.” 1. It is the very largiument been intimately connected in the faith and
far from attempting to separate wiat lado of Saint Peter. (1 Peter i. 22, 23.) discipline of their forefathers in Christi and it is pláin, that this regenerats tianity, that they have never introduced tion from the Father must have been the word into these services, even in a po
the doc the Thanksgiving in the Office of Bap- his creed, to believe in contre les of
pular sense. The learned Professor Lan. cessity of faith and repentance as qualif. rence, has investigated the genealogy of cations for the salutary effects of baptism. these offices, and shrewn, that this doc. But they never contemplate, any person trine pervades all those documents from however qualified as regenerate, tilbhe is which we can infer their true drift and actually baptized, import, on legitimate principles of ana “3. They suppose that infants; who me logy and indnction. He has traced the pecessarily free from actnal sin, are duly doctrine which they exhibit to the writings qualified for baptism, and are Jooked.com of Cranmer, the two books of Homilies, by God precisely in the same light as pe the Paraphrase of Erasmus, the works of nitents and believers: and they unequiyor Lnther, and the public services of the cally assert that every baptized infant with a Lutheran Church. As we ascend higher, the out exception is born again. ir. 2011 104) line of testimony continues unbroken, and “ 4. They suppose that all baptized perthe doctrine of regeneration in and through sons, whether infants or adults, contracta baptism, as a necessary article of Chris- solemn engagement to holiness and new tian faith, grounded on our Saviour's ex ness of life, and that their continuance in press declaration, may be traced backward the state of salvation to which they are withont interruption, from the æra of the called depends on their future conducta ou Reformation to the days of the Apostles, “ 5. They lay down a very plain and Br" It is true that we find many divines broad distinction between this grace.coft of our Church departing, more or less, regeneration and conversion, repentance, from the doctrine or the language of these renovation, and such Christian virtues and fornjularies, and, led by the fashion of the changes of the inward frame as require the day and their deference to the opinions of conciirrence of men's will and endeavours
, some foreign theologians of eminence, to imply degrees and are capable ofisini kia relinquish the sentiments and phraseology crease.". P. 106. i da ul., 24 V of Christian antiqüity. But the greater number of those divines, who have been
The older divines in the Calvinis. most distinguished for their intimate ac- tic school did not deny the doctrine quaintance with the history of ecclesiasti- of baptismal regeneration, and while cal opinion, a sound judgment and a they adhered to the language of the vigorons understanding, though they may primitive Church, they introduced have sometimes used the word regenera- subtle distinctions into the doctrine tion in an enlarged and popnlar sense, have adhered to the primitive doctrine, and which their successors have opposed enforced it with the whole weight of their with various objections, and have learning, talents, and eloquence. segalut Zealously laboured to abolish and
From a review then of our Articles supersede." Dr. Bethell enters into a and Liturgy we may derive the following a concise but "powerful refuta eonelusions : oja 1. They maintain the doctrine of re
tion of the principal objections by generation in baptism in the most decided which it has been attempted to evaand unrestricted manner, grounding it on cuate the true doctrine of the Church the same texts of Scripture from which of England; and shew's,' that there the antient Christians had deduced it: in- is no foundation for the popular cluding under it the forgiveness of siu, the pretensions, that there is a distine gift of the Holy
Ghost, and the inheritance tion between ecclesiastical and sp of the kingdom of heaven, and never in: ritual regeneration ; that troducing the word itself except in conjimction with baptism. Dla os trine of the Church 38 founded in 12. They teach in common with the general language, and the constracwritings of the antient Christians, the ne- tion of charity; that children are - be in the Collect for the Nativity of and that there are passages in the
not worthy recipients of baptisin, Chrise, baptism is not mentioned, but it Liturgy and Homilies, which speak is not excluded, it is implied. The expressions of the Collect, * We being re
a different doctrine. generate and made thy children by adop- set in the Catechism the child is taught tion and grace," are parallel with those of to say, that he learns
the Holy tišm: "It hath pleased thee to regenerate Ghidst, who sapetitieth Laim and all the this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive elect, people of God.: < If then it is hins fortline'owo child by adoption," &c. urged, it is absurd. to imagine that our qate 9gsirgesit
Ciare deems every child who repeats his individuals rather than of people, Catechism really one of God's elect people, election to the means of grace rather and truly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, it than to the hope of gloryb. When it is no less absurd to contend, that it sup. shall be proved, that the doctrine of poses every baptized infant to be actually the Scriptures and the Churek of regenerated, Consequently, both these passages must be explained on the prin- England, and the doctrine of John ciples of general language. The truth is, Calvin are one and the same, and diatour Church considers every child who that the particular election of perrepeats this sentence as one of God's elect sons is a doctrine of authority and people and sanctified by the Holy Gliosť, truth, then will it be presumptuous apon the assured persuasion that he was and absurd in any child to say,
what regenerated or made a child of God, and he has no means of ascertaining, declared one of his eleet people in baptism: and it reasonably sapposes, that a that he is one of the elect people of Christian of that age, who is enjoying the God; but until that interpretation benefits of religions instruction, has done shall be established, the imputanothing hitherto to deprive him of that tion of absurdity is precipitate and state of salvation to which he was then unjust, the offices of baptism abound called, and that sanctification of the Spirit with declarations of this election in of which he was then made partaker." P. 192. *ix mebelid J Bone besede: baptism and consequent sanctificaat pilipsz sem bywa to sakt tion. We pray, that God “ would
It was one leading rule of the mercifully look upon this child, wash compilers of our Liturgy to use upon him and sanctify him with the Holy every practicable occasion, Scriptu- Ghost :” that he would give his ral and primitive language, and a Holy Spirit to this infant, that he reference to the Scriptures and the may be born again.” The sum and primitive writers, will frequently substance of these prayers is that form a powerful means of interpret- « our Lord Jesus Christ would ing their expressions. It is in the vouchsafe to receive him, to release primitive sense, that they use the him of his sins, to sanctify him with word regenerate: it is on the same the Holy Ghost." We pray also, authority, that they speak of per- that the “ child may receive the sons being elect and sanctified. In fulness of God's grace, and ever rethe same sense, in which St. Paul main in the number of his faithful reminds the Thessalonians of their and elect children:" and we give
election of God, and of God's thanks that it hath pleased God “to having " chosen them to salvation, regenerate this infant with his holy through sanctification of the Spirit, Spirit, to receive him for his own and belief of the truth;” in the child by adoption and grace, and same sense in which St. Peter calls to incorporate him into his holy
the strangers scattered through Church." It is very consistent with Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, these public declarations of the miand Bithynia, elect according to the nister at the baptism of the child, to foreknowledge of God the Father, teach the child himself to say, that through sanctification of the Spirit he is one of the elect people of God: unto obedience, and the sprinkling and in these expressions there is no of the blood of Jesus;' in the same thing which looks like general lansense does our Church teach her guage, there is no want of precision, children to say, that they believe there is even a minuteness of personal in God, the Holy Ghost, who sanc- application, which if it had been the tifieth them and all the elect people will of the reformers, it might have of God. There is in fact no absur. been easy to avoid and omit. « AU dity in judging every Christian child the elect people of God," would have to be really one of God's elect been general language : to regenepeoples i unless itəcan be shewn, rate those who believe, would have that election means the election of been general language also: “ the REMEMBRANCER, No. 31.
ble construction, when the general favour, in the best way that he was able,
Holy Ghost who sanctifieth me, and government, and the key to his mysterious all the elect people of God," and dispensations, and those theological sysas it hath pleased thee
tems which straiten his goodness, and de
regenerate infant," are the very reverse of
pend principally upon abstract views of his
sovereignty and glors will be found on ins general language. And what neces. vestigation to have no foundation in his sity was there to lead the authors of word, nor in the history and experience of our Liturgy to reject the latter, and mankind. But if man, considered as an to choose the former mode of expres- alien from God, and a child of wrath, had sion, to adopt the pretended charita- been left to collect the assurance of adope
tion into his family, and restoration to his language would not have been uncha- without any specific form or positive
consigt ritable, except that their sentiments nation of these privileges and blessings, he harmonized with their language ? would have been placed, as it were,
out chart or compass, in a troubled sea of 1 66If indeed the compilers of our Lítar- doubt, suspense and anxiety and would gy had thought that only some infants are
have been tempted to resort to fanciful born again in baptism, they were men of and fanatical criterions of sonship and re too much honesty and simplicity of charac- conciliation. But on the principles which ter to employ what cannot be called ambi
our Church deduces from Scripture, he re, guous, but delusive and dangerous lan- ceives in the sacrament of baptism suck guage. They were not tied down to tech- comfortable assurances of God's favour and nical forms, or what has been called bap- loving kindness, as are sufficient, if duly tismal phraseology, but were at full liberty prized, and religiously pondered, to bring to frame these offices upon their owo prin- peace' to his mind, and to invigorate his ciples, and to couch them in such language soul to daty. For on these principles the as was best calculated to express their real convert to the faith of Christ, who receiver gentiments. This they have done with baptisin rightly, may assure himself, that as perfect simplicity and good faith, and have certainly as God is true, and his promises set forth their own belief, and the belief of in Christ are yea and amen, so surely
he is their forefathers in Christianity, without released from the bond and penalty of verbal ambiguity, or mental reserve.” his sins, endowed with the earnest of the P. 127.
Holy Ghost, as a principle of new life and It is further alleged, that the doc. holy endeavour, and enrolled among the trine is unreasonable, an objection children of God, and the inheritors of the which, as Dr. Bethell fully, shews, ples the parent will not doubt bat ear
kingdom of heaven. On the same princi, arises from an imperfect and partial nestly believe, that his child who was bom theory of regeneration, and from an in sin, and in the wrath of God, is by the indistinct view of the gifts of God, laver of regeneration in baptism, received which are not all equally simple into the nnınber of his children, and being and gratuitous. He also maintains, of everlasting life.' Here we rest on sure that this doctrine is founded on the ground; and the very fact that our regene. Scriptures; that it harmonizes with the doctrine,) is a strong evidence of God's
ration in haptisin, (sapposing the truth of the analogy of other institutions, and gooddess and condescension to fallen man, that it is properly a doctrine pro- forns a probable presumption of its truth, posed to our faith, and not a pro: since it proves that it is reasonable in itblem to be demonstrated by the evi-self, suitable to our wants, and analogous dence of reason and of'sense; and to the general course of the divide eco. there'is no good and pious man, who nomy. P. 159, will not cordially assent to the con. The ninth chapter is highly interelusion of his argument.
esting and important, comprehend"Our regeneration in baptism, imply- ing a detailed and extended view of ing this close connexion between the grace the brief summary, which is given by bestowed, and the sign which denotes it, Waterland in the conclusion of his is an act of tenderness and mercy, not less discourse, of the history of the sea worthy of God's infinite benevolence, thau malago to the whole course of his deals veral changes, which the word regeipgo with neó. Goodness, indeed, I am neration has undergone. The sevepersuaded, is the leading feature of lisral stages of this history, from the
suchexaggerations naturally to haven
time of the Reformation, are; the
The author then shews, that the prejudices of the Reformers against Calvinistic doctrine is inconsistent the opus operatum of the Romanists; with the three standards, by which the stress laid upon faith ;' the new he proposes to try its merit, and he theory founded upon the doctrine of also shews, that it is founded upon indefectible grace; the indistinct- exaggerated views of the Fall, that ness which Melancthon introduced in its various modifications it in in treating of justification and rege- volves the doctrine of Necessity, and neration; Calvin's own doctrine of that it is justly chargeable with makregeneration; the doctrines of his ing God the author of sin, with followers; the misuse of terms by weakening the force of Christian thie Calvinists and the schoolmen; doctrine, with exciting the spirit of the separation of regeneration from enthusiasm, and with ministering to baptism, by some who nevertheless spiritual pride. held right notions of baptism; the “ There is another consequence result. fanátical conceit of a regeneration, ing from this theory of regeneration, iniwhich might be sensibly felt; the mical to the main purposes of religious distinction between baptismal and
instruction and discipline. For religious spiritual regeneration; and lastly, inward frame and moral principles of man,
instruction is intended to operate on the the Arminian doctrine of regenera. through the niedium of his eonscience, by tion. All these deviations, for which bringing homeits admonitions and reproof, the truth has been successively its pictures of bunian nature, its general abandoned, are clearly and distinct. views and special descriptions of siu, to ly exhibited by Dr. Bethell, and an
the heart and bosom of the individnal. But important argument is reduced to the it is impossible that those tragical repreform of an interesting history.
sentations of the depravity of our common
nature which are the props and supports of same method is pursued in this theory can be brought home to the respect of the Calvinistic theory of conscience of the sinner. When his evil regeneration, as in respect of the habits are described and delineated, and less exceptionable theories, the doc- the several specialties of his transgression trme is fairly stated, and the excep- pointed out to him; when he is charged tions to which it is liable, are exa
with an inherent proneness to sin, and an mined.
aversion from holiness and moral discipline,
and" on tliese grounds is impleaded as a " We have seen that according to the sinner, and a fallen creature, the appeal is theory stated in a preceding chapter, rege. made to his conscience, and he acknow. Deration is a pure act of God's special ledges the truth of the indictment. But grace, immanent ip himself, and terminat. when he is taught that he is a compound of ing in man, limited and determined to a beast and devil *, and a mere mass of departicular time, and incapable of latitude pravity and loathsome corruption; that he and increase. But the theory, whose me is utterly devoid of all good principles and rits we now propose to examive, proceeds affections, and entertains a fierce and bit. upon totally different principles; for it re ter hatred of God, and a violent antipathy presents regeoeration as a kind of general to the principle of holiness; and when tlie revolution in the moral nature and reason. necessity of regeneration is placed apon able faculties of man, effected by the sole this footing, his conscience cannot acquipower of God's Holy Spirit, in the way of esce in these charges, because
e they do not creation, or miraculous operation; is an contain a true statement of the and implátitation of new qualities of habits; or is that tarning point from evil to gond, în the force of Christian doctriue, the Kbich a radical change of all the parts and faculties of the soul takes place. Such a This is an expression which has fallen change, however confidently asserted and more than once from Dr, Bethell, and is, o ingenionsly defended, will be found, if I doubt, imputed upon evidence with schick mistake not, on a
more exact inquiry to be he is acquainted. But it is expedient ipon inconsistent with the reason of the thing, all occasions to specify the source tiom tis experience and history of mankind, and which sucli expressions are drawní; it prothét drift and purposes of natural and te- vents general offence, and anticipates the vealed religion." P. 208.
exceptions of the disputant.