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hoped, in the "judgment of charity, to be the lalter; just as St. Paul, in his epistles, is wont to address a whole Church, as if every one of its members were indisputable heirs of salvation." (Note ut supra.) From what part of tlie baptismal office Mr. Faber has obtained this novel view of the subject he has forborne to inform us: it is not we presume from the following declaration of the Minister, “ Seeing now, dearly beloved, that this child is regenerate;" nor from the following expression of thanks. giving, “We yield thee hearty thanks most merciful Father that åt hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spigit;" nor from the office for the baptism of adults, in which she instructs the minister to pray unto God for the parties whom he has just baptized, that, “ being now born again, and made heirs of ererlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, they may continue his servants,” &c. But upon this subject we will trespass no longer on the patience of our readers; we challenge Mr. Faber to produce a single passage, either from Scripture, or the language of our Church, which will justify his idea of two regenerations, the one formal, and the other real; or prove that such a distinction was ever contemplated.
The attempt to illustrate this novel fancy by a reference to the language of St. Paul, is not more successful than the argument which it was brought forward to support. We maintain, however, it may startle those who think with Mr. Faber, that, in the judgment of the Church, every baptized person is at his baptism“ indisputably made an heir of salvation;" that, while lie continues a member of the Church, he still retains this privilege, although he may finally forfeit his inheritance by sin. We are jot referred to any particular passage, in which St. Paul has ad. dressed “a wbole Church as if every one of its members were indisputable heirs of salvation.". But the apostle well knew the privileges conferred by that covenant, into which God vouchsafes to receive us at baptism; and therefore would not have hesitated to use the expressions attributed to him, even in their strict litea ral meaning. For he was able to make a distinction between heirship and possession; between the situation of him who may plead a conditional title to salvation, and him who is actually and irreversibly invested with it: the former may be called an heir of salvation, but the latter is something more. Again we are told that“ whether the subjects of baptism have really been renewed by the Holy Spirit must be determined by their future conduct.” (Note ut supra.) But the Church positively declares that they have been renewed, and makes the certainly of this renewal an argument for the necessity of their leading the rest of their lives according to ihis beginning. Their future conduct, therefore, is not to determine whether they liave been made par
takers of the Holy Spirit, but whether they have made a proper use of his gifts. The last attempt to disprove the efficacy of baptism, is made in the following statement of the cases of Cornelius and Simon.
" In fact, if we maintain that regeneration is so inseparable from baptism, that every baptised person is regenerate, and that every un. baptised person is unregenerate; we shall be compelled to maintain that the devout Cornelius was absolutely in the gall of bitterness until he was baptised, while the baptised sorcerer Simon was a truly regenerate Christian, notwithstanding he is declared by Peter to have neither lot nor part in the Holy Spirit.” Note. P. 108, ut
• We wholly deny the inference. The devout Cornelius cer. tainly was not in the gall of bitterness until he was baptised ; nor is the general state of man before baptism described by this phrase in Scripture. St. Peter says of Simon that he was yet in the gall of bitterness, because he was convicted of actual and gross sinfulness of intention. He partook of baptism with the most sinister view, and his conduct proved it: therefore St. Peter was at once enabled to determine, that he had rendered his baptism of no effect by his unworthy receiving of it, and was yet in the bond of iniquity. Nothing can exceed the folly and danger of attempting to establish a doctrine of general application upon inferences drawn from extreme cases. In fact, neither can the case of Cornelius prove that baptism is unnecessary, nor can that of Simon shew that it is a mere initiatory rite, unaccompanied by divine grace. They are both extreme cases, and no general rule can safely be framed by them. But we think that even Mr. Faber must allow, when he coolly reconsiders the subject, that the sending St. Peter on a special mission to baptise Cornelius proves more for the indispensable necessity, and spiritual advantages of baptism, when it can be had, than any distortion of his case, or even an artful comparison of it with that of the sorcerer Simon, can establish against it.
. Mr. Faber concludes this note, upon which we have felt it. necessary to dwell so long, by strongly recommending to his readers four sermons by Bishop Hopkins on the doctrine of regeneration, which seem to have been his guides. We trust that after our exposition of the mistakes into which he has been led, our readers will have no inclination to travel in the same road. But, if they will take a shorter and a safer direction than Bishop Hopkins will give them, let them study one discourse of Water. land on the same subject; which, though it must be decidedly opposed to the treatise of Bishop Hopkins, does nevertheless present a complete exposition of the doctrine, as taught in Scrip.
ture, and maintained by the Church of England. His statements, vever have been and never, can be refuted.
When Mr. Simeon boldly asserted that baptism is a mere rite, and thus degraded it from the rank which the Church had assigned it, as one of the two sacraments generally necessary to salvation; he deserved at least, the credit of having made a clear and maply avowal of his opinions; which, however irreconcileable with the doctrines of the Church which he was solemnly, pledged to support, he had not left us to surmise froin ambigu. ous hints or far-fetched inferences. Mr. Faber has not deserved the same praise. He has, made no, open, avowal.,, on the coule. trary, in his text he has contented himself with puzzling his read. ers, and has committed to a note his efforts to mislead thein. How far, he may have succeeded we know not; but if any of those, who have hitherto thought higbly of this author as a spirityral instructor, should chance to cast their eyes upon these pages, they may perhaps be induced in future neither to trust implicitly. to him or to his Magnus Apollo, Bishop Hopkins. We intreat them if they value the truth rather to try the doctrine of the Church by, her own words; not as quoted in scraps and fraymentsby those who have a system to support; but as they stand in her own authorized formularies, the Homilies, Articles, and Liturgy. When they have compared her definition of a sacranent in theArticles, with her explanation of baptism in the Catechism, and with the whole tenour of her three offices for the administration of it, we are in good hope that they will agree with us, that this. « Practical Exposition" does not exhibit the plain doctrine of the Seriptures and the Church of England, whatever may have been the wish or endeavour of its author.
In this chapter, as well as in other parts of his treatise, Mr: Faber, rather ,unadvisedły.as we think, has imputed Pelagian and other beretical notions to those who may be inelined to question the soundpese of his doctrines. In page 115 for instance, we are told of persons, who, not having experienced the never-ceasing conflict which Mr. Faber.considers to be a useful test of-regeneracy,. .
. . "Readily adopt the Pelagian notion, that repentance is always in their own power, and scoff at the sober decision of our Church, that the condition of man-is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works toi faith and" calling upon: God".") P115.
Hów, often must we remind this author of the necessity of drawing the line of distinction between the state of the natural
man, and that of the Christian ; and request him to refrain from using language to describe the latter, which was originally spoken of the former.
The tenth article treats of the situation of man after the fall of Adam, and declares that, in this his natural unregenerate state, he has no power “ to turn and prepare himself, &c.". But the Christian is made partaker of the Holy Ghost at his baptism, and Therefore has the necessary power given him; and, by the proper use of it, he can at all times turn unto God if he will. The notion then that repentance is always in the Christian's power, is strictly scriptural; we speak not here of'extreme cases, we entet not into the question of the validity of a death-bed repentance, but referring to the general case of Christians, we have little hesitation in saying, that did they not possess this power, every exhortation to repentance which the Scriptures contain would be little less than mockery. In the course of this treatise we are frequently referred by the author to the Homilies; we now recommend to his attention the following passage from the Homily on Repentance, as a useful illustration of the sober decision of our Church," respecting the condition and the duties of a Christiant. . Now doth he (the prophet Joel) add unto this doctrine of ex hortation certain godly reasons, which he doth ground upon the nature and property of God, and whereby he doth teach that true repentance can never be unprofitable or unfruitful. For as in all other things men's hearts do quail and faint if they once perceive that they travail in vain; even so most especially in this matter must we take heed, and beware that we suffer not ourselves to be persuaded that all that we do is but labour lost : for thereof either sudden desperation doth arise, or a licentious boldness to sin, which at length bringeth unto desperation. Lest any such thing then should happen unto them, he doth certify them of the grace and goodness of God, who is always most ready to receive them into favour again, that turn speedily unto him.” Hom. P. 451. Edit. Oxon 1802.
It is true that the same Homily says that
“ We must beware and take heed that we do in no wise think in our hearts, imagine, or believe, that we are able to repent aright, or to turn effectually unto the Lord by our own might and strength." Hom. P. 4646
But the question is not at present whence the strength is derived, but whether Christians possess it; for if they do, repente ance is always in their own power, and the language of the tenthe article is by no means in contradiction to such an opinión. Mr. Faber stigmatizes it as a Pelagian notion; were then the framers
of our Homilies Pelagians ? Before he again hazards the use of these hard words, we recommend him to consider how far lie may wish to subject himself to the following severe but dignified censure, which a similar indiscretion of Paræus drew from the pen of the learned Bishop Bull.
“Quod addidit Paræus de Juliano Pelagiano, vereor ne eo fine ab ipso dictum fuerit, ut hinc odium sententiæ nostræ apud impe. ritos conciliaret; quasi scilicet monstrosus esset quidam fætus ab insigni aliquo Hæresiarchâ in lucem primum editus. Sed hujus scholæ disputatoribus omnes a se, in unico licèt S. Scripturarum capitulo, diversum sentientes inter infames continuo Hæreticos censere solenne est.” Bulli Harm, Apost. Diss. Post. Ch.ix. Sect. 22. p. 67. ,
In illustration of the internal struggle, which he represents as taking place in the bosom of the true Christian, Mr. Faber quotes a passage from the works of Bishop Hall, in which it is asserted that “there are two men in every regenerate breast;" from whence he infers that « Where the workings of one alone are perceptible, and where consequently there is no struggle, it is not possible, if Bishop Hall be a sound expositor, that the renewing influence of the Holy Spirit can ever have been really experienced.” P. 120.
We cannot but think that the good Bishop's doctrine is here carried much farther than he intended. Is he to be supposed to mean, that a sensation of inward corruption is a necessary test of the influence of the Holy Spirit ? That no man can be living under this influence but be who is sensible of sinful desires ? Surely there is something absurd and monstrous in the very pro. position. We would believe that there inay be no struggle, that is no such active desire to disobey God's Taw as can occasion a “ never ceasing conflict ;" that the flesh may be so far subdued unto the spirit from the first, by the careful education of the child in the faith and fear of God, that he may from early youth delight in bis Law and obey it; that he may be spared those grievous trials, which would give opportunity to the incitement of the old Adam within him ; that he may in consequence pass through life in such a steady and habitual course of duty, as to be insensible of severe inward contests, as to need none of the biller feelings of repentance. And shall we believe that Bp. Hall, or. any sound expositor would teach, that such a person had never really experienced the influence of the Holy Spirit. That this is not mere hypothesis we are justified in asserting from the case of Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were both righteous before God, Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord