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declared not to be, in their judgment, Christian Baptism; because the administrator in such a case, is not a mi. nister of Christ, and of course, not commissioned by his authority.
Some of the positive arguments adduced in favour of baptizing in some other manner than by immersion, are such as these. Peter and the other apostles baptized in one day, after preaching, “about three thousand souls” in Jerusalem, in which were no accommodations for immersing so many. Acts ii. 41. When the scales fell from the eyes of Saul of Tarsus, he arose from his bed, in his chamber, and without leaving it, was baptized. Acts ix. 18. Had he gone forth to a brook, or fountain, it seems probable that the circumstance would have been mentioned. The Centurion and his pious friends appear to have been baptized in the same house in which Peter preached to them; and the expression, “ Can any forbid water?” implies that water was brought into the room for the purpose. Acts x, 46, 47. Of the jailor it is recorded, that he brought Paul and Silas out of prison into his house, in which Paul preached to him and his family; and in which he and all his were baptized straightway; he believing in God, (for the construction of the original word for believing is such, as to conneci it with the antecedent he alone,) and rejoicing with all his house. Acts xvi. 30-35.
No longer to detain our readers upon this subject, we shall close with an extract from Dr. Osgood.
“ With respect to the former, we read that Jesus Christ hath washed us from our sins in his own blood. As a token of our being thus washed, we are directed to wash with water in baptism. Now, why tarriest thou? says Annanias to Saul; arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. That blood, by which we are washed, and which actually cleunses from all sin, is, with reference to its application to believers, expressly called the blood of sprinkling. It was of old typified by the blood of the paschal lamb, sprinkled on the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, for their protection from the angel of death. It was also typified by the sprinkling of the blood of all the numerous sacrifices under the law. If,' says the writer to the Hebrews, the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works?' Again in 1 Peter i. 2. Christians are mentioned as elected through sanctification of the Spirit, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Can any tell us, or is it possible for any to imagine, why the application of the blood of Christ to believers was, under the law, typified by such manifold sprinklings; and in the gospel is thus repeatedly called the blood of sprinkling, unless it be in allusion to baptism, its sign and scal?
“In regard to the other part of our salvation by Christmour sanctification by his Spirit; in what forms of speech is the gift of the Holy Spirit, for this purpose, set forth? In what part of the Bible will you find the uncouth language of plunging or dipping into the Holy Ghost, or words of a like confused and unintelligible import Yet we know that baptism is the outward sign of regeneration, of the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which says the apostle, he shed on us abundantly through Yesus Christ. Shedding, pouring out, or sprinkling, are the usual terms by which the donation of the Holy Spirit to Christians is expressed. Thus, in our context, on the Gentiles was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. The language also of the many promises in the Old Testament, foretelling this blessing, is not, ‘I will dip or plunge you in clean water, and ye shall be clean;'— but, • I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean.'
My servant, (meaning the Messiah) shall sprinkle many nations.'—'I will pour water upon him that is thirsty:'--'Í will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. Do our Baptist brethren inquire after our scripture warrant for sprinkling? Are not the many passages of scripture now mentioned, and many others, of similar import, which might be mentioned, warrant sufficient, full and ample, as we could wish?”
ARTICLE VI.—The Christian Orator; or, a Collection of
Speeches, delivered on public occasions before religious benevolent societies. To which is prefixed an Abridgment of Walker's Elements of Elocution. Designed for the use of Colleges, Academies, and Schools. By a Gentleman of Massachusetts. Charlestown, 1818. pp. 264. 12mo.
The title of this work sufficiently indicates its object. The compiler has furnished nearly such a collection of eloquent addresses as was desirable for our “ Colleges, Academies, and Schools.” The youth who wishes to
find " a declamation," as it is styled at Yale, may do it, if he owns this little volume, without much trouble; and surely it is more becoming in a Christian to cherish and exhibit the animated benevolence manifested in these speeches, than perpetually to reiterate, “ Romans, Countrymen, and Lovers,” until he enkindles in the bosoms of his inexperienced auditors the false fire of pagan heroism.
The compilation in our hand, is a judicious one; and the Abridgment of Walker on Elocution renders the whole an excellent book for schools. It would give us pleasure to see it supplant the greater part of works, designed to exercise children in reading, that are now in general use.
It will deservedly recommend “ The Christian Orator” to the public, to inform them that the compiler has made a very liberal use of the sermons of the Rev. Robert Hall, of Dr. John M. Mason, and of President Dwight. Chalmers, Prince Galitzin, Dealtry, Thorpe, Grant, Lord Teignmouth, Jay, Griffin, and Bishop White, have also been laid under contribution.
The compiler seems very well aware, that the introduction of " the Holy League” into his book, was “not in exact accordance with its design:" we advise, there. fore, that it be omitted in all future editions. It is indeed an “interesting state paper;” and we doubt not, whatever may have been the motives of Francis, Frederic William, and Alexander, in preparing it, that Jehovah will publicly honour those who have publicly honoured our Lord Jesus Christ; but a writing not suitable for public declamation, that may be found in all the periodical publications of the day, ought to have had no place in this. Instead of it, the Gentleman of Massachusetts might introduce an extract from President Nott's sermon on the death of Hamilton; from President Livingston's “ Sermon before the New York Missionary So. ciety,” from Dr. Mason's “Hope for the Heathen," from his Sermon on “ Living Faith;” from Dr. Griffin's Sermon before the Committee of Missions; or from some of the many eloquent, occasional discourses of Dr. John B. Romeyn.
It will afford our readers unfeigned satisfaction to see a short Speech of the Rev. John Calvin to his flock, on his return from banishment, in 1541. That bold reformer, who is frequently branded in the present day as an enemy to good works, said, no doubt with an eye and voice that pierced the souls of his auditors,
“ 1. If you desire to have me for your pastor, correct the disorder of your lives. If you have with sincerity recalled me from my exile, banish the crimes and debaucheries which prevail among you.
“2. I certainly cannot behold, within your walls here, without the most painful displeasure, discipline trodden under foot, and crimes committed with impunity. I cannot possibly live in a place so grossly immoral.
“ 3. Vicious souls are too filthy to receive the purity of the Gospel, and the Spiritual worship which I preach to you. A life stained with sin is too contrary to Jesus Christ to be tolerated.
“4. I consider the principal enemies of the Gospel to be, not the pontiff of Rome, nor heretics, nor seducers, nor tyrants, but such bad Christians; because the former exert their rage out of the church, while drunkenness, luxury, perjury, blasphemy, impurity, adultery, and other abominable vices overthrow my doctrine, and expose it defenceless to the rage of our enemies.
“ 5. Rome does not constitute the principal object of my fears. Still less am I apprehensive from the almost infinite multitude of monks. The gates of hell, the principalities and powers of evil spirits, disturb me not at all.
“6. I tremble on account of other enemies, more dangerous; and I dread abundantly more those carnal covetousnesses, those debaucheries of the tavern, of the brothel, and of gaming: those infamous remains of ancient superstition, those mortal pests, the disgrace of your town, and the shame of the reformed name.
“7. Of what importance is it to have driven away the wolves from the fold, if the pest ravage the flock? Of what use is a dead faith, without good works? Of what importance is even truth itself, where a wicked life belies it, and actions make words blush?
“ 8. Either command me to abandon a second time your town, and let me go and soften the bitterness of my afflictions in a new exile, or let the severity of the laws reign in the church. Re-establish there the pure discipline. Remove from within your walls, and from the frontiers of your state, the pest of your vices, and condemn them to a perpetual banishment."
p. 137, 138.
ARTICLE VII.-The Works of the Reo. Isaac Watts, D. D.
in nine volumes. Vol. VI. Leeds, 1813. pp. 660. Royal 8vo. Discourse III. On the glory of Christ as God-man; tracing out the early existence of his Human Nature as the firstborn of God, or as the first of all creatures, before the fore mation of this World. See page 581.
Of the piety of Dr. Watts we never entertained a doubt. That he taught the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, and of the deity of Jesus Christ, is indisputable, It is also equally indisputable, that he taught the preexistence of the human Soul of Christ. This doctrine we deem erroneous; and know, that the adoption of it has led down many to Socinianism.
In our last number, we stated some information com. municated to us, relative to the propagation of this doctrine, by the Rev. Mr. (we should have said Doctor) Allison, chaplain to congress. By turning to the 221st page, the reader will perceive, that we imputed to him nothing more than the preaching of this sentiment, and referring to Dr. Watis, as the father of this doctrine. Any other “distinguishing error," we did not lay to his charge. We did intimate, and we now insist on it, that the treatise of Dr. Watts on this subject has been productive of “pernicious consequences.” If Dr. Allison has not advanced from this scheme to Socinianism, it cannot be inferred that others have not, and that more will not do it.
That our information was substantially correct will be clearly seen from the following letter.
Philadelphia, May 30th, 1818. Rev. SIR, Upon my return from Washington to this City, I was greatly surprized on being informed that, in a Theological Quarterly Review written by you, there were some severe strictures upon a sermon I had delivered before Congress in the month of January last, in which I was represented as having delivered sentiments favourable to the Socinian or Arian systems: in short, that I had embraced some dangerous Vol. I.