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Voyage to Congo. Churchill Coll. Church as low down as the third Vol. I. p. 675.
century, with this oply difference, “ La question qu'on donne aux that the solemnity of renunciation, voleurs (en Japon) faute de preuve, though repeated afterwards at the fait plutôt condamner les malheur. water, was previously performed by eux que
les coupables. Pour averer the catechumens in the Places of le crime l'on fait rougir une piece public worship. Towards the condefer d'un doigt d'espais, et d'un clusion however of this century, or pied en quarré, et des que la pre- the beginning of the next we find miere couleur est revenue on la baptisteries mentioned among the couche sur les deux mains de exedræ or outer buildings attached l'accusé, sur deux feuilles de papier, to the Churches, often capacious qui s'allument aussi tot, et si l'ac- enough for the assembling of coun cusé la peut jeter sur une petite cils within their walls, and always claye, que l'on y pose aupres, sans sufficiently large to admit of distinct qu'il se brule on le renvoye absous, apartments, and distinct fonts or mais si les mains sont tant soit peu baths for the separate baptism of offencées par le feu, on le condaume men and women. From this period à la mort.” Oleamis Mandelelo, down to the sixth century the bapVol. II. p. 406.
tistery was the appointed place of
public baptism, and was attached To the Editor of the Remembrancer. city where a bishop resided, which
to the principal Church of every SIR,
from this circumsiance was styled My object in the present letter is the Mother-Church. The privilege very briefly stated. It is to point of baptizing had been however of out certain abuses as they appear to necessity extended to the countryme, or if that be too strong a term, parishes; and to this indulgence we certain irregularities in our mode of may date the introduction of the administering the Sacrament of font, at first into the porch, and Baptism, that are little becoming so subsequently into the Church itself. holy an ordinance, and as little cal. In our own country the font appears culated to excite feeling of reve to have been generally adopted; for rence in the minds of the laity. the cathedral of Canterbury exhibits
I allude in the first instance to the only instance of a detached our almost general substitution of a baptistery. These fonts were for paltry earthen-ware or pewter dish the most part of stone ; and Durand for the old and venerable and more in his way assigus this reason for it. appropriate font.
fons esse lapideus, vam I am aware that during the ear et de silice aqua in baptismi prær liest ages of the Gospel, I mean sagium emanavit; sed et christus, during the times of the Apostles and qui est fons vivus, est lapis anguldtheir immediate successors, the rite ris et petra." of Baptism was administered in any ... By a deeree indeed of a Council place, where there was water. Bap- mentioned by Durand, permission tizabant, says Durand, “in stagnis was given to any presbyter wbo et fluminibus." The several cases could not procure a stone font, to of baptism recorded in the Acts of provide any other proper vessel for the Apostles, such as the baptism the occasion., “ Statutum est, ut of the Eunuch, of the three thou- omnis presbyter, qui fontem lapisand converted by the preaching of deum habere non potest, vas conSt., Peter, of Cornelius, and the veniens ad hoc solum officium haKeeper of the prison, clearly prove beat, quod extra, ecclesiam non this. And such I am equally aware deportetur;": but then, we are told gontinued to be the practice of the by Lyndwood in his comment on
the words " lapideum" and "com- font of stone in every Church and petens” which occur in one of Areh- Chapel, where baptism is to be bishop Edmund's constitutions, that ministered : the same to be set in that only was to be considered as a the antient usual place; in which proper vessel which was solid, du- only font the minister shall baptize rable, strong, capable of retaining publicly." the water, and capacious enough I shall not stop to enquire how for the immersion of the child ; for it came to pass that these repeated his words are these : “ Lapideum injunctions were disregarded : a vel de alia materiâ congrua et ho- more important question for ourdestå : tale videlicet, quæ est solida, selves is this; why we of the present durabilis, et fortis, ac aquæ infusæ day continue to disregard them? Is retentiva: competens, quód bapti- this calculated to excite a reverence zandus possit in eo mergi.” So that for the holy sacrament of baptism in no argument can be drawn from this the minds of the people, or impress permission in defence of our present them with the idea that we reveuse of the bason. Of whatever mate- rence it ourselves ? That feeling rial the vessel in question was made, with which the members of our it was in every respect a regular font. Church as they grow up would be The use of fonts then for the pur- led to look on the old venerable pose of public baptism was formerly font, wherein themselves and their universal, and continued to be so in forefathers before them had been our own country with only some baptized-that common font of a small diminution in their size, down whole parish.--All this feeling, and to the period of the Reformation : any good effect, which might spring a diminution however, that though from it, is entirely lost. It cannot no longer admitting of the immersion be transferred to the little paltry of the whole body, as was the case
bason which for what they know, in the older fonts, yet still left depth may have been borrowed or purand room for the dipping afterwards chased but a few minutes before, prescribed in the common prayer- and before the evening may be brobook of Edward the Sixth. At this ken, or applied to an unconsecrated period the only change made in the purpose. The parochial font on public administration of baptism the contrary is a kind of common regarded the additamenta of Ronish unalienable unperishable property ; superstition. These were justly a spiritual heir-loom : there it stands discarded; but the font was left in and there it has stood from time the full possession of its antient immemorial, never applied to any honour. Enquire says Bishop Rid- other purpose; and that purpose ley in his articles of Visitation in the dearest to man, even his spiri1550, “ whether the water in the tual birth, his free admission into font be changed every month once," all the privileges of the Gospel coand again in 1564, there is this in- venant. And I question much whejunction, " that the font be not ther the substitution of the bason removed, por that the curate do in the place of the font has not inbaptize in parish Churches in any directly bad another bad effect in basons. This injunction was re tending among other causes to ennewed in the book of Canons put courage a custom unhappily but forth in 1671; and is thus alluded to still too prevalent among the laity with a renewal of the injunction in of having their children baptized, the 81st of our present Canons; and, strange anamoly of words, re"according to a former constitution, ceived into the Church, at their too much neglected in many places, own houses, for in weakening their we appoint that there shall be a attachment to the font by our neg
REMEMBRANCER, No. 36.
lect of its use, what do we, but discreetly and warily. Does not loosen one of the ties, by which this injunction then suppose the they might have been drawn to de- font to be duly filled with water? sire a more public celebration of When I consider therefore that the the sacrament?
use of the font is strictly agreeable And now what have we to plead to the practice of the early Church, in our defence? Is it antiquity ? po at least from the time of the third sooner were Churches built, and century, that it is expressly enjoined matters brought into a regular train, by the oldest canons and constitubut baptisteries and fonts were tions down to the present time, that erected, and in these alone was the Rubric and a part of the service baptism performed. Are the several suppose the font itself to be filled articles of visitation, canons, and with water, and that when constitutions, that have been made filled it is at once appropriate from time to time, in favor of the and respectful, and calculated to practice? they are expressly against excite proper and devotional feelings it. Is the practice calculated to in the minds of the people, I cannot raise the sacrament in the eyes of but indulge the hope of seeing the the people? It is more likely to time, when the bason will be altolower it. Is it agreeable to the gether discarded, and the font rewords of the Rubric and the inten· stored to its primitive honours *. tion of our Church? What then I have been so long on this first shall we say to the last of the three irregularity in our ministration of injunctions that are prefixed to the baptism that I have not room to do ministration of the public baptism more than briefly to notice the reof infants, wherein are these words, mainder. It is a remark of Arch“ And the priest coming to the deacon Sharpe's, that our Church font, (which is then to be filled with doth not direct sprinkling or asperpure water")-How can we be said sion, but affusion or pouring of to comply with this Rubric, when water upon the children to be bapthe font that common baptistery or tized; and, though the quantity of fountain of baptism, (as the old water to be used is no where preoffices term it) is not so much as scribed, yet he gives it as his opiused on the occasion ? Again, in the nion that the action should be such prayer of consecration, when having as is properly a washing to make prayed to the Almighty and ever- the administratiou correspond with living God to " sanctify the water the iustitution; and secondly, such to the mystical washing away of as is properly a pouring of water sin," we farther beseech him to which is the Rubrical direction to “grant that the child now to be express that washing at all times, baptized therein, may receive the when dipping is not practised. fulness of his grace." But may we “ And this," he adds,
are not well ask, baptized in what? on bound to observe, as members of the supposition that the font itself the Church of England in particular, is filled with water, the expression taking it always for granted that is strictly appropriate ; but where there is a reason for whatever is this is not the case, few I think can prescribed in the Rubric, and such a use the prayer without wishing to one as is not to be contradicted by substitute the word “ therewith” in its stead. And to give one instance more, in a following Rubric the which the water was formerly carried off
By a little search the hole through priest is enjoined (if the spousors through the shaft, might still be discovered shall certify him that the child may in most if not all the older fonts: and again well endure it) to dip it in the water secured, as thed, with its stoppie.
our private practice, or rejected for the appointed door of our admission the sake of any modes or customs into the Church of the living God. brought in we know not how." In the preceding remarks I trust Notwithstanding these judicious re that I have pot been betrayed into marks, which require neither com- any inadvertency of feeling or ex: ment nor addition, aspersion, and pression. I have ever thought that that in a very slight degree, is too much good' would accrue to the much the prevailing practice of the Church, if the clergy could be day."
roused to a freer communication of A third irregularity is the using their observations and experience the ministration of public baptism relative to the discharge of their in houses, together with the two pastoral duties. Much practical frequent practice of privately bapti. information that would otherwise zing without a sufficient necessity. have been confined to the small For this latter deviation somewbat limits of a private parish, would perhaps may be said ; but the former thus be made general, and afford is as indefensible in itself, as it valuable hints and assistances to would be, I am verily persuaded, un their younger brethren, who are but wished for by the laity, wherever its fresh in the vineyard. Your Reimpropriety should be kindly, and membrancer, Sir, offers a safe and fully, and impartially stated, easy channel of communication, and
I will only add in conclusion that deserves to be duly prized. much benefit would arise from a
I am, &c. frequent allusion in our public dis
Yours, courses and private admonitions to the nature and pecessity of the holy sacrament of baptism ; from the seri. ousness and fervency of our manner in To the Editor of the Remembrancer. administering it--from our attention as far as is possible to the fitness
Sir, and behaviour of the sponsors, and Your Caen correspondent L. seems the distinctness with which they surprised to find a false translation make the answers *; from the clean- of 2 Cor. v. 18, 19, in the French liness and order in which every thing Testament circulated by the Bible is kept in and about the font, and Society. His astonishment will, the careful provision of hassocks perhaps, be increased when he is infor the people to kneel on, where formed that this is by no means a the service requires it ; all these
rare occurrence, either in the Soprecautions could not fail of exciting ciety's French or many other tranand keeping up under God's bles- slations. Their Islandic Testament sing, a due sense of the importance has been “ revised and corrected,” of that rite, which is in very truth 'till it is said that the honest unso
phisticated beings for whose use it
was principally designed, have in * May I be permitted to suggest, that whenever the numbers will perinit, the
their simplicity declared, that “it
broke their hearts" to see the liberinterrogatories would be put with closer conformity to the Rubric, and greater ef. ties that had been taken with their fect on the people, to each separate set of Scriptures. And their Spanish Tesspousors, than to the whole in a body. tament has undergone a similar The agise and confasion of several persons treatment, till it is nearly unintelanswering at once can neither add to the
ligible to Spaniards. decency nor the solemnity of the occasion;
All these “ revisions and correcand, where each set of sponsors are successively called forwards, they will be more
tions" are, no doubt, like those of likely to feel their individual responsibility.' their French Testament, made from
the Greek text;" and a Society with him through good report and which has such a laudable dread of through evil report, even in his most the contaminating effects of notes violent aberrations from the ori. apd comments, will be more than ginal, so that their “ revised and ordinarily careful that the Sacred corrected with care after the Greek
Text be not sophisticated in the text,” amounts to neither more nor translating : this would be polluting less than a bookseller's puff the waters of life at their very source, If you express any distrust to a and consequently they never tran. member of the Bible Society, either slate from a translation, but always of the qualifications or disinterestfrom the original, as well as revise edness of their translators, or of the and correct by it. Their French Tes. accuracy of their translations, the tament is however an exception to this only reply you get is, Look at the rule; which, although on the title. Archbishops, Bishops, and other page it is said to have been “re. Dignitaries associated with us. But vised and corrected with care after these Right Reverend and Reverend the Greek text,” is, in fact, servilely Divines, I fear, have little sway translated word for word, errors and over the Society's proceedings. all, from Diodati's Italian transla- They leave their Episcopal authority tion, which is chiefly remarkable for with their hats and great coats in its ultra-calvinistic constructions; the passage when they attend the a recommendation to the Bible Committee-Room, and the vote of a Society, perhaps, which Martin's calvinistic or socinian dissenter will French translation may not possess. at any time neutralize that of an
Diodati's translation of the pas- Archbishop. It is, therefore, in vain sage in question, is as follows: for your correspondent to hope that
these Prelates can be any cheek “ Ora il tutto è da Dio, che ci ha ricon- upon the dissemination of corrupt ciliati a se, per Gesù Cristo, ed ha dato a
translations or the consequent pronoi il ministerio della riconciliazione.Poichè Iddio si riconciliò il mondo, in pagation of Socinianism. Besides, Cristo, non imputando loro i lor falli; e it may be fairly questioned, whether pose in noi la parola della riconciliazione."' the ** rapid strides of Socinianism".
be so ungenial to the sentiments of I do not mean to affirm that." the Bible Society as your corres. vised and corrected with care after pondent seems to imagine. Certain : the Greek text," as it stands on the it is, that no two persuasions make title-page of the Society's French more frequent exchanges of proseTestament necessarily includes, lytes than Calvinism and Socinianstrictly speaking, that it was also ism, a notable instance of which is translated from the original Greek, recorded in your Remembrancer for although I think it calculated to September. The two creeds are convey this impression. But I think separated, but by thin partitions. it must appear to every one to The Calvinist never blushes openly amount to a guarantee on the part to affirm, that the sacraments of his of the Bible Society, that a very Redeemer are not means of grace; faulty translation had not been that baptism has no regenerating inadopted for their text book, and the fluence; that the Lord's Supper original Greek only resorted to for has no renewing. effect; with him correcting the press. But even in they are only badges, tokens, signsyu this humble capacity, after a tolesymbols, any thing but reality, and rably careful search, I cannot find thus Christ having failed in endowthat the Society have made any great ing his sacraments with' spirituality, si use of the original Greek; for as far the obvious inference is, had be the as I can discover, they stick close power? was he divine ? Contest 11 to Diodati, and make common cause Up to this point, or nearly the