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sort. It would be scarcely more insane to tell a peasant, or an artisan, to observe attentively the firmament of heaven, and to expect that his observation would lead him to the Newtonian system of physical astronomy. The firmament, it is true, is the book by which all schemes of astronomy must be tested. The Ptolemaic tradition, the Tychonic tradition, yea, the Copernican or Newtonian tradition, are worth no more than the paper on which they are described, if they cannot endure comparison with the doctrine written in the skies. But, if it had so happened that the Newtonian tradition had been regularly, and without interruption, handed down to us, from the first dawn of science, to the present hour, most outrageously absurd would it have been for any disciple of natural philosophy to say," I will have none of your human contrivances and schemes. I will read nothing but the volume which God has spread out before me in the heavens; and, from that alone, will I form my judgment of his handy-work. Talk not to me of leading ideas and principles. The wisdom and power of God hide not themselves from the simple. I need no principle but a firm and impartial reliance on his benignity and wisdom. If he will not direct me, to whom else can I look for guidance?" Now, as it is with the firmament of heaven, so is it with the whole expanse of revealed truth. It is there, and there only, that we must look for the phenomena. But we may seek there in vain for the theory which shall harmonize and explain them, if we disdain to accept the guidance of other minds, or cast away from us the labours and the testimonies of former generations.
But what, then, becomes of the principle for which this writer so justly and so urgently contends, that it is the gracious office of the Comforter to lead us into all truth; and that they who are in communion with the Church wherein he dwells, need never go astray for want of sufficient direction and illumination? To this question the answer appears to us abundantly plain and simple. The Lord and Giver of life is present with us, not to save us the toil of inquiry, but to direct our inquiries to a prosperous issue: and, them only will he so direct, who, in patience and humility, employ whatever subsidiary resources may be within their reach. We are not to look for aid from heaven, if we will not also condescend to use such assistance as may be found on earth. Now among the aids which earth affords, may undoubtedly be reckoned the testimony of Catholic tradition, which, to say the least of it, is the witness of the truth. And, into what head can it enter, that this testimony must be rejected, lest peradventure we should dishonour the supreme and unfailing oracle within us?
To this extent, we are, ourselves, traditionists. Further than this, we are unable to advance, with any confidence, in the firmness of the ground beneath our feet. The lamp of our Reformers is the guide to our steps. The torch held up by certain mystic hierophants of the present day, casts around it a glare too fitful and capricious to be safely and comfortably followed. It leads us into the shadowy realms of mere Ecclesiastical tradition,-into chambers of imagery, peopled with fantastic forms, and echoing with ambiguous voices. We scarcely can be certain whether the sounds and sights around us are the witcheries of superstitious vanity and will-worship, or whether they are the work of religion, pure and undefiled. The men who conduct us, we
know, are, themselves, faithful and single-hearted, and, in the day of trial, would love not their lives, even to the death. But still, when we listen to their words, we are sore perplexed, at times, "with saucy doubts and fears." Nevertheless, from the disquiet thus inflicted, we find substantial relief in the persuasion, that the spirit of inquiry, which their labours have called up from the long stagnant and oblivious deep, will work, on the whole, for good, and not for evil, to the Church.
On such matters, however, it is needless for us to dwell. So much has of late been written,-so much is at this moment being written,—and so much will assuredly be written in future,-touching these "still-vexed" questions, that we abstain from the task of superfluous discussion. In one word, then, we are satisfied that the abhorrence of tradition may be excessive and irrational, nearly as much so, as a slavish subserviency to it. To teach religion without the aid of tradition, or something very like it, seems to us nearly impracticable. We teach our children, in some sort, traditionally. The Sectarians do the same. It is scarcely possible for either of us to do otherwise. With us Anglicans, "the leading ideas and principles" are to be found in the formularies of our Church. And whence were these derived, but from the labours of our Reformers? And where did they find their leading ideas and principles, but in the documents and testimonies of Christian antiquity? Here, then, we set up our rest. To revive and strengthen the things which our Reformers bled to recover, is the work which now lies before us, their successors. And, until that work is done, it would be worse than idle to distract our thoughts, and to waste our energies, in other revivals of questionable value and importance. And with a view to the better discharge of that responsibility, we recommend the perusal of Dr. Biber's concluding chapter on the privilege and duty of the Anglican Church. His whole volume, indeed, is entitled to a respectable place among the controversial monuments of the present time; and, with the cautions and corrections which we have ventured to suggest, may, we think, be safely and profitably consulted.
ART. III.-The Order of Baptism, both Public and Private, according to the Use of the United Church of England and Ireland: illustrated from the "Use of Salisbury;" the "Religious Consultation of Herman, Archbishop of Cologne;" and the sentiments of the Compilers and Revisors of the Book of Common Prayer. By the REV. T. M. FALLOW, A.M. Curate of All Souls, St. Marylebone. London : Burns. Oxford: Parker. 1838. Pp. xxxix. 249.
We owe an apology to Mr. Fallow and our readers, for not taking earlier notice of this useful and timely book. At the present day there are few subjects on which men's minds are more at work, than on that of Baptism; and while some all but denude it of its character as a sacrament, others place it so prominently forward, that it bids fair, in their scheme, to eclipse the whole of Christianity besides. And even some of those who hold to the via media of Scripture and our Church, are tempted to exaggerate the statements on this side or that, in order to meet the local errors most prevalent around them; as if men were to
be brought to truth, as you straighten warped wood, by bending them in the opposite direction. In the midst of conflicting opinions and statements, the mind of the English Churchman turns naturally for satisfaction to our own services and formularies. Yet even here, where all should be calm, he finds the waters troubled with the breath of controversy; and our beautiful offices interpreted in almost as many ways as the Word of Truth on which they are framed. Now, it is granted, that, could the opinion of our Church be settled beyond the reach of dispute, the question would still be open-the final appeal is to Scripture, and Scripture only yet humble-minded men would, we conceive, be very cautious of venturing beyond the decisions of their Church on the uncertain footing of their own individual reasoning, and would gladly avail themselves of the primitive interpretations and collected wisdom which her forms embody, to direct their judgment and influence their determination.
To the settlement of this important, even though, in a certain sense, subordinate inquiry-What are the real opinions of our Church on the subject of Baptism? the work before us is calculated to give much assistance. It is a collection of the chief sources from which our baptismal offices were compiled, further illustrated by the sentiments of the compilers themselves. We are thus enabled to analyse the composition of our services; to trace the several parts to their original position, and observe what sense they bore there; and to restore the idea of the doctrine of Baptism, as it must have existed in the minds of our Reformers, as well by what they omitted as by what they retained. It is interesting, too, to watch the gradual process of their work of reformation, as they stripped off, piece by piece, the deforming incrustations of error and superstition, till they left the baptismal font in the holy simplicity of primitive Christianity. One can hardly rise from the contemplation, without blessing God afresh for raising up men in those unsettled and stormy days, to steer the vessel with keen eye and steady hand between the Scylla and Charybdis of theology-the vortex of Popery and the many-mouthed monster of restless and rationalistic innovation.
The materials which Mr. Fallow has brought together are briefly these.-1. "The Use of Salisbury," the ritual most generally followed throughout England, Wales, and Ireland, before the Reformation: for the Church of Rome, as is well known, had no uniform ritual prior to the "Missale Romanum" of Pius V. A. D. 1571. This "Use" "is ascribed to Osmond, bishop of Sarum, who died 1099. The Baptismal Office copies very closely the Sacramentary of Gregory the Great." A considerable portion was retained in the first book of Edward VI. 2. "The Baptismal Liturgy of Herman, archbishop of Cologne," who in 1530, conceived the design of promoting a reformation of his diocese, and drew up a scheme of doctrine and service, with the approbation and assistance of Melancthon and Bucer, which was translated and twice published in England, "for the purpose, doubtless, of preparing the minds of the people for a reformation of our own ritual." (p. 28.) 3. The Formularies of Faith put forth by authority during the reign of Henry VIII. viz. "Articles devysed by the Kinges Highnes Majestie, to stablyshe Christen quietnes and unitie among us, &c." "The Institution of a Christian Man :" and "A necessary Doctrine and Erudition to
any Christian Man." 4. "A Boke conteyning divers Articles-de Unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum, de Peccato Originali, &c.," printed with Cranmers's works, and supposed to consist of certain Articles drawn up at a Conference held in London, in 1538, between the English Bishops and divines, and an embassy from the German Reformers.
This "Boke" is of deep interest to the theological student, (says Mr. Fallow,) not only from the circumstance of its presenting him with the combined views of the English and German Reformers on the subject of Baptism, but likewise from the very striking similarity in phraseology, as well as sentiment, between it and the Thirty-nine Articles subsequently drawn up by our own divines.-P. 67.
5. "Cranmer's Catechism." 6. "Bucer's Censura on the first Servicebook of Edward VI." This is followed by a tabular comparison of the first and second books of Edward VI. : an account of the Hampton Court and Savoy conferences, as far as they related to Baptism; and a Synoptical Table shewing the alterations made in the Baptismal Services after these conferences, and the points of agreement between the services as they at present stand, and the Use of Salisbury and Herman's Liturgy. To the whole Mr. Fallow has prefixed an Introduction, pointing out the distinctive principles of the Church of England on the subject of Baptism, and setting forth the agreement of those principles with the recorded sentiments of Luther and Melancthon.
It will be seen that these materials are sufficient to aid us very materially in determining the opinion of our Church on disputed points. To take, for instance, the subject of Baptismal Regeneration. On this point there is a remarkable agreement between all the documents here collected. They all connect Regeneration and Baptism in the relation of the grace and the channel through which it is conferred. In Herman's Liturgy, the following form part of the interrogatories to the sponsors:
Do ye beleve that those thynges be true, whyche I shewed you out of the worde of God, concernynge the corruption of nature thorowe originall synne, and concernynge regeneration in Christe our Lorde, and everlastynge communion wyth God, which is exhibited thorowe holie baptisme?
Answere. We beleve.
Do you require then, wyth all your hertes, and wyth true fayeth, that thys your infant, whom you have brought and offered to Christe, be delivered from thys corruption of nature thorowe the meritte and vertue of Christe in baptisme, and be reconciled in God, and born agayne into a new and perpetuall lyfe? Answere. We require it.-P. 40.
And the concluding blessing is this:
The almyghtie everlastynge God, and father of oure Lorde Jesus Christ, who hath begotten the agayne wyth water, and the holye Goste, and hath forgyven the all thy sinnes, confirme the with hys grace, unto everlastynge lyfe. AMEN.—P.48. The Articles of 1536 say :
The sacrament of baptism was instituted and ordained in the New Testament by our Saviour Jesus Christ, as a thing necessary for the attaining of everlasting life, according to the saying of Christ, "Nisi quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, non potest intrare in regnum cœlorum."-P. 58.
And thus the Necessary Doctrine (p. 61). Cranmer's Catechism teaches thus:
And the seconde birth is by the water of baptisme, whiche Paule calleth the bathe of regeneration, because our synnes be forgyven us in baptisme, and the
Holy Gost is powred into us, as into Goddes beloued children, so that by the power and wourkynge of the Holye Ghost, we be borne agayne spiritually, and made new creatures.-P. 72.
Even Bucer writes:
Hoc facile probaverint, quicunque vim regenerationis et amplitudinem divini beneficii, quod baptismate confertur, agnoscent. —Pp. 86, 87.
The Bishops then at the Savoy conference rested on no slender authority, when they thus explained the meaning of the Church in answer to the objections of the non-conformist divines :—
In the second prayer before baptism.
May receive remission of sins by spiritual regeneration. EXCEPT. This expression seeming inconvenient, we desire it may into this: May be regenerated, and receive remission of sins.
ANS. Receive remission of sins by spiritual regeneration. Most proper; for baptism is our spiritual regeneration: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit," &c. And by this is received remission of sins: "Repent and be baptised every one of you for the remission of sins." So the Creed, "One baptism for the remission of sins."
In the prayer after baptism.
That it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant by thy Holy Spirit.
EXCEPT. We cannot in faith say, that every child that is baptised is regenerated by God's Holy Spirit; at least it is a disputable point; and therefore we desire that it may be otherwise expressed.
ANS. We cannot in faith say that every child that is baptised is regenerated, &c. Seeing that God's sacraments have their effects, where the receiver doth not ponere obicem, put any bar against them (which children cannot do), we may say in faith of every child that is baptised, that it is regenerated by God's Holy Spirit; and the denial of it tends to Anabaptism, and the contempt of this holy sacrament, as nothing worthy nor material, whether it be administered to children or no.-Pp. 181, 182.
The prayer before imposition of hands.
Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them the forgiveness of all their sins.
EXCEPT. This supposeth all the children who are brought to be confirmed have the Spirit of Christ, and the forgiveness of all their sins: whereas a great number of children of that age, having committed many sins since their baptism, do shew no evidence of serious repentance, or of any special saving grace; and therefore this confirmation, if administered to such, would be a perilous and gross abuse.
ANS. This supposeth that all children, &c. It supposeth, and that truly, that all children were, at their baptism, regenerate by water and the Holy Ghost, and had given unto them the forgiveness of all their sins; and it is charitably presumed, that notwithstanding the frailties and slips of their childhood, they have not totally lost what was in baptism conferred upon them; and therefore adds, "Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace," &c. None that lives in open sin ought to be confirmed.-P. 187.
At the same time, however, those whom our Church has followed, were ever careful to point out the necessity of the performance of the conditions of baptismal grace, the promises of repentance and faith. To select but one or two instances. From "The Necessary Doctrine :"
Finally this sacramente of Baptisme maie well be called a covenaunt betweene god and us, whereby god testifieth, that he for his sonne Christis sake, justifieth us, that is to saie, forgeveth us our synnes, and indueth us with his holye spirite, and geveth us such graces, that thereby we be made able to walke in the woorkes of justice ordeined by god to be exercised of us in this present