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does assure, ordinarily at least, if not always, those whom he converts, of their being personally pardoned, by a direct communication to their souls. He has hitherto laboured in vain, so far as this point is concerned; he has, nevertheless, done some service, by abundantly proving, that a scriptural assurance is not only desirable, but an attainment which it is our duty to seek; and one, in duly seeking which we may expect success.
It seems unwarrantable in the author of the “ Farther Reply,” to persist in the insinuation, that Dr. W. accounts the agency of the Holy Spirit needless; for in our first number, we quoted enough from his Essay to satisfy any candid person, that he deems the influence of the Spirit absolutely essential to the commencement and continuance of a holy, spiritual life. In his “ Review," before us, he reiterates the plainest assurances, that “the author never contemplated the denying of the agency of the Holy Spirit, in the act of faith. Had he been of that mind, he might have brought in the words ['faith cometh by hearing;'] with the mental reserve of a Pelagian; and might have recollected, that, according to his theory, faith is produced by the unassisted action of the natural powers of man.”.p. 10. Dr. W. asks with much propriety, which Mr. Emory must feel," why should he have exercised his ingenuity on clauses of sentences and words, in order to find out a sense in contrariety to what was before him, in language not to be misunderstood, of the agency of the Holy Spirit in man's salvation?” p. 11. Probably Mr. E. was induced to think Bishop W. opposed to the doctrine of divine influence in regeneration and a holy life, on account of his opinions relative to baptism. We know it is generally said, that Bishop W. believes and teaches, that baptism with water is regeneration; and hence it is inferred, that because he can baptize, he thinks he can in that act regenerate one, so that he shall need no other change to enter heaven.
Let us give the Bishop his due. We are as much opposed to the sentiment, which the Bishop, and many of the English Episcopal prelates and presbyters in company with the Romanist, really do hold, as Mr. Emory can be; but surely, Dr. W. cannot think, that the water applied to the body in baptism of itself effects any change in the soul of the infant or adult. Neither can he think, that the officiating minister confers any saving benefit to the soul by any of his merely human actions. If the Bishop thinks every infant scripturally baptized a renewed person, he must think that the Holy Ghost ever accompanies the right administration of baptismal water with his renewing agency upon the mind: so that instead of making in his creed baptism to be the regeneration of the soul, he simply believes that God actually renews every babe who is, in the course of his own providential dispensation of the means of grace, rightfully baptized. In all this, erroneous as we think the sentiment, there is no denial of the necessary agency of the Spirit in regeneration, but an assertion of saving influences in baptismal regeneration.
Several passages of the Bible are quoted by the Bishop and those who think with him, which prove, as they imagine, that the Holy Ghost always does accompany the proper administration of Christian baptism with a divine and renovating energy on the soul of the subject. A worse doctrine than this the Bishop has not asserted in his pamphlets; and Mr. E. instead of accusing him of denying the Spirit's agency, should have proved that God never promised to accompany external baptisın with the internal grace of regeneration; and that actual regeneration of the soul does not inseparably associate with the rite, which signifies the necessity of " the washing of regeneration,” or the spiritual baptism of our souls.
Had the Lord resolved to regenerate all to whom baptism is, agreeably to the constitution of the church, administered, he would certainly have done it; for there is nothing impossible in the notion of the inseparability of baptism and regeneration. Instead of attempting to refute the Bishop's opinion, we refer our readers to Fa. ber's sermons, in which the texts relied on by the ad
vocates for inseparability are considered; and their ar. guments refuted.
That God never regenerates a sinner in the moment of baptism, none will probably be bold enough to assert; and if Dr. White could evince to our satisfac. tion, that Jehovah actually changes all that are baptized by his authority, we should then agree, that they need no subsequent conversion, unless it should be such an one as Peter experienced after his temporary apostacy; concerning which it was said, “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
The greater part of Mr. Emory's Farther Reply is wholly irrelevant to any subject of dispute between himself and the Doctor; for he proves, again and again, that the Holy Spirit is in believers; that he regenerates, and edifies and comforts them, which his opponent never denied. He proves, that many have been assured of salvation on their dying couches, by being conscious of holy feelings; which they figuratively called, feeling the Holy Ghost; and this too, the Bishop is as ready to admit, and rejoice in, as his brother Emory. The principal objection which we have to Mr. E.'s Farther Re. ply is, that it impliedly impeaches the Bishop's charac. ter, by insinuating that it is necessary to prove to him, that without the agency of the Sanctifier, there is no conversion, no genuine faith, no scriptural assurance of salvation, no holiness of heart and life. The Bishop, however, has ably defended himself, and we should think, terminated the controversy.
ARTICLE XII.-An Eulogium in commemoration of Doctor
Caspar Wistar, late President of the American Philosophical Society, &c. delivered before the Society: By the Hon. William Tilghman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, &c. Philadelphia, published by E. Earle, 1818. pp. 47. 8vo.
Dr. David Hosacs, of New York, holds the pen of " a ready writer,” and is a gentleman of such promptness, that he delivered an elegant Eulogium on the much lamented Doctor Wistar, a few days after his death. Dr. Caldwell, of this city, was the next orator on this funereal occasion, and if he was too much inclined both to compliment and to disparage physicians now living, he nevertheless acquitted himself with reputation. We are as ready to praise Dr. Physick, whom we esteem the first surgeon in the world, as Dr. Caldwell was, but we really think the most appropriate time for doing this, was not over the grave of the eminent man, whose death had convened the audience. Neither are we so despondent as Dr. Caldwell seems to have been, about procuring a successor to fill the chair of the late professor of anatomy with celebrity. We doubt not that Dr. Dorsey will, before long, become a second Wistar, should it please God to spare his life, and afford him, in the course of his providence, suitable encouragement.
Of all the writings occasioned by the decease of Dr. Wistar, this elegant Eulogium of Chief Justice Tilghman, claims the preference. It was delivered with the unaffected eloquence of feeling, without any other action, than that of the muscles of a very expressive face. The recollection of the recent death of a beloved daughter, we could not help thinking, conspired with a manly regard for the subject of his eulogium, to render the orator uncommonly tender, and impressive in his man. ner of utterance. It is the state of the heart which makes an orator, whether it be in the forum, or in the street, or in any other place; but more especially in the pulpit
. It is not our design to retrace the biographical sketch of Dr. Wistar, for that would be useless, so long as the address under consideration may be easily obtained by our readers; but to show that great men, in our day, feel it to be their honour to be good men, and friends of the Bible; which we think a very happy thcological
The Chief Justice was not ashamed to unite the office of a public moralist, and of a religious advocate for Christianity, with that of a philosophical eulogist. He takes pains, therefore, to present in a prominent light,
that benevolence which was the most distinguishing characteristic of Dr. Wistar; and for the exercise of which he seems to have had a native predisposition. It was this, which induced him, while assisting the wounded soldiers after the battle at Germantown, to determine on becoming a physician. “Conquerors and heroes,”-says our honourable Eulogist, “ye. who delight in the shout of battle and exult in the crimson field of victory, contemplate the feelings of this young man, and blush at the contrast! But let us adore the mercy of God, whose mysterious providence produces good from evil
. From the decay of matter, springs up the green herb and the purple flower. From the disasters of Germantown, arises a youth, destined to bind up the wounds of many, and to send forth from his instructive school, thousands of hands, to open the fountains of health through the land." p. 13.
It gives us high satisfaction, to hear the admonitions of wisdom, from the mouth of his honour, while he commends young Wistar, for avoiding the “ frivolous and vicious amusements,”-“to which youth is exposed in populous cities;"_and while he warns the unwary that “the diverging paths,” of criminal pleasure and of virtue, "grow wider and wider asunder, until they terminate in the opposite extremes of infamy and honour.” p. 16.
It comports well with the object of our Review to state, that Dr. Wistar generally refused to read works of mere fiction, because he deemed the time employed in them to be lost;—that he was regular and punctual "in attendance at meeting,” when the duties of his profession did not prevent him;—that he carefully preserved a neat edition of the Bible, presented to him, while in Edinburgh, which he frequently read, and without one or the other volume of which he never travelled;-and that he died, with an expression of good will to all mankind upon his lips. Very pertinently does our author remark, i that “ Vain is the splendour of genius without the virtues of the heart. No man who is not good deserves the name of wise. In the language of scripture,