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hand; we are in that respect to acknowledge the good and profitable use of this ceremony; and not to hink it superfluous, that Christ hath his mark applied unto that part where bashfulness appeareth, in token that they which are Christians should be at no time ashamed of his ignominy."*

“ The cross of Christ is the doctrine, to which all the other doctrines of the Gospel refer, and from which they derive all the efficacy and influence they have, towards purging our consciences from dead works ; and therefore in that single article they are often all of them summed up and comprized. « We preach Christ crucified,' says St. Paul (1 Cor. i. 23); as if that, and that alone, were the subject of all he wrote, and all he spoke : And again, I determined to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified' (1 Cor. ii. 2); as if that were the great point of saving knowledge, to which those who learn, or those who teach the Religion of Christ, should altogether apply them. selves.- Very fitly, therefore, bas the Church of Eng. land appointed that, after we have been received into the congregation of Christ's flock by baptism, we should be signed with the sign of the cross, in token (as she speaks) that we should not hereafter be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, but should manfully fight under bis banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants to our lives ends.'

A ceremony, whatever fault may have been found with it, which is certainly very ancient, very innocent, and very significant too ; as it fitly

• Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, Book v, 65.

VOL. II.

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admonishes us, throughout the whole course of the Christian warfare, to look upon the Cross of Christ, as the proper badge of our profession, which we ought not to be ashamed, or afraid to own, whenever he, in whose service we are listed, shall call upon us to take it up, and follow him."*

« For the better understanding of which primitive ceremony (the sign of the cross in baptism), we may observe, that it was an ancient rite, for masters and genérals to mark the fore-heads or hands of their servants and soldiers, with their names or marks, that it might be known to whom they did belong : and to this custom the Angel in the Revelation is thought to allude (c. vii. 3), · Hurt not the earth, fic. till we have sealed the servants of our God in their fore-heads. Thus agaio (c. xiv.) the retinue of the Lamb are said to have his Father's name written in their fore-heads.' And thus, lastly, in the same chapter, as Christ's flock carried his mark on their fore-heads, so did his great adversary, the Beast, sigo his servants there also.-(v. 9.) If any man shall receive the mark of the beast in his fore-head or in his hand,' &c. Now that the Christian Church may have some analogy with those sacred applications, she conceived it a most significant ceremony in Baptism (which is our first admission into the Christian profession), that all her children should be signed with the cross on their fore-heads, signifying thereby their consignment, up to Christ, whence it is often called by the Ancient Fathers the Lord's Signet and Christ's Seal.

“ In a word, the cross in baptism till late years had been so inoffensive to the most scrupulous minds, that even

. Bishop Atterbury's Sermon, on Glorying on the Cross of Christ.

Bucer could find nothing indecent in it, if it was used and applied with a pious mind. He only disapproved of directing the form that was used at the imposing of it, to the child itself, who could not understand it. For which reason he wished it might be turned into a prayer. The Reviewers of our Liturgy did not indeed exactly comply with him, but however they have ordered the form to be spoken to the congregation; and further to remove all manner of scruple, have deferred the signing with it till after the child is baptized ; that so none may charge us with making the ceremony essential to baptism, which is now finished before the cross is made, and which is esteemed, in cases of extremity, not at all deficient, where it is celebrated without it.”'*

The Third objection to the Ministration of Baptism used in the Church of England is, against those expressions which seem to identify regeneration with baptism. In the office for the public baptism of infants, after the baptism of the child and his reception into the congregation of Christ's flock, and being signed with the sign of the cross, the Priest is directed to say, “Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church, let us give thanks to Almighty God for these benefits; and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that this child may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning.” Immediately after follows the Lord's Prayer, and then this thanksgiving and prayer, “ We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with the Holy Spirit, to receive him for

• Mr. Wheatly, of the Ministration of Public Baptism. Sect. 3d.

thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate hiin into thy holy Church,” &c. It is however far from being the opinion of the general body of the Church of England that regeneration and baptism are inseparable. They generally consider Baptism as a Divine institution, emblematical of Regenerating grace, as the Lord's Supper is of our Pardon and Peace through the Atonement of Christ, or his body broken and his blood shed for us; and though they admit that the external reception of both these sacraments may be, and they hope is often, attend. ed with the blessings they represent, yet they do not consider them as uniformly operating as cause and effect, but rank them among the means of grace, which God has commanded us to use for obtaining salvation. The question therefore is, How can a Minister of Christianity, who does not believe that baptism is always attended with regeneration, use that part of the office which seems to proceed upon the supposition that they are concomitant? It is remarkable that neither Mr. Hooker, nor Mr. Wheatly, have either stated, or met this difficulty. Mr. Simeon, so far as we recollect, is the only commentator on the Liturgy who has stated, and given it an answer. In his Sermons on the Liturgy preached before the University of Cambridge in November, 1811, and in his defence of them, published in the Christian Observer for November, 1812, against the remarks of an anonymous correspondent in that publication, for the month of August in the same year, Mr. Simeon vindicates the language of the Litargy by the use which Scripture makes of expressions of a similar kind. He contends that the Apostles in their wri. tings, frequently employ modes of speech which will not admit of being carried to the utmost extent that the words would bear, and argues that the expressions in the Liturgy,

to which we have referred, are entitled to the same candid interpretation, as they are accommodated to the popular style of the Scriptures on the same subject. To prove that the Apostles use language of this kind, he quotes the words of St. Paul. “ By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”-1 Cor. xii. 13. This the Apostle says of all the visible members of Christ's body. Again, speaking of the whole nation of Israel, infants as well as adults, he says they were “ all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and that rock was Christ."-I Cor. x. 2, 3, 4. Yet behold in the very next verse he tells them, “ But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” He applies the same mode of reasoning to these words of the same Apostle—“ As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ" (Gal. iii. 27.), and enforces his illustration from the declaration of St. Peter with respect to the state of the apostate from Christianity, « he hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter, i. 9); a mode of speaking which Mr. Simeon thinks perfectly similar to the expression in the Liturgy to which the exception is made. • Though,” says Mr. Simeon, “I am no Arminian, I do think that the refinements of Calvin have done great harm in the Church. They have drawn multitudes from the plain and popular way of speaking, used by the inspired writers, and have made them unreasonably and unscripturally squeamish in their modes of expression; and I conceive that the less addicted any person is to systematic accuracy, the more

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