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cient believers; though I appre- To the Editorof the Christian Observer,
J. M. W.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Almighty's goodness and his own
unworthiness, as to consider it a I have read with much satisfac- proof of infinite mercy that he was tion the concise but able and con- 1 out of hell. There are many vincing refutation inserted in your Mr. Martyns in England ; but we Number for last November (p. 728,) thank God we are not of the pumof the unguarded and unjust ber. This article contains also charges urged by the Quarterly some spirited and just observations Reviewers against the Church Mis- on the abortiveness of missionary lasionary Society. It would be well bours. It appears that the Church if writers of their talent and in- Missionary Society' expended upfluence, and who profess to be rang. wards of 30,0001. last year, and ed on the side of Christianity, or- that of twenty converts made at thodoxy, and loyalty, against the one of their eight stations in four seditious, the blasphemous, and the years, they had all relapsed except anti-Christian part of the press, would look a little more cautiously Leaving the Quarterly Reviewer to the probable effect of some of to parry off as well as he can the their statements than they seem to disgraceful panegyrics of such an have done in the present instance. It ally in the anti-missionary crusade, can give no pleasure to the friends I shall request permission to touch or conductors of that work to find upon anoiher point of some imthe paper in question hailed as fol- portance brought forward in his cri. lows by the Monthly Magazine ; a tique. I shall not at present dipublication which needs no stigma late upon the general opinions and of mine to point out the character conclusions of the reviewer, relaof its principles on all subjects of tive to the missionary character politics or religion. Speaking of the and labours of the sainted Martyn, article under consideration, (Quar. whose humble, holy, zealous, and Rev. No. L., Oct. 1821,) the con- disinterested exertions for the salductors of the Monthly Magazine vation of the heathen will be reremark:
membered and appreciated long “ Martyn's Memoirs exbibit a after the strictures and the praises deplorable picture of devotional of his contemporaries are forgotten ; hypochondria. Mr. Martyn, we but I would be permitted to offer doubt not, was a harmless, well- a few cursory remarks on certain meaning creature, who had fallen passages in the article in question, into such mistaken notions of the respecting the discretion be observed in administering the rite of bap- tyn's correspondence with bis exlism to the idolatrous people of the cellent friend Mr. Çorrie, the reo East. In pp. 443 and 444, the re- viewer remarks, and that after viewer has thought proper to as- having admitted that the supposed sert, and that notwithstanding the candidates for baptism, “though praises be bas liberally and honour- convinced of the truth, were igably bestowed upon him, in other norant of the spirit, of Christianiparts of the review,) that “ his ty,”-that " it appears to have management was too rigorous at the escaped Mr. Martyn, that the Hinoutset; that he made no allowance doo had better offer an imperfect for the gradual reception of the service to the Most High, tban bow truths which he taught; he fancied his knee in the temple of Juggerthat nothing was gained to the naut. Is nothing gained, if, by adhousehold of faith, unless the pro- milling those people to the rites selyte were at once as good a of baptism, we save, as we unChristian as himself. An extract doubtedly shall, their women from or two from his Journal will explain the funeral pile, their children from this, and the loss of many oppor- the Ganges, and their young damtunities of adding to the number sels from the impurities of the most of those who would be saved, revolting of religious rites? Is it through a too punctilious attention nothing to instruct and purify by to single and insulated points of degrees ? but must we insist on au doctrine.-[Query, is the term absolute, a thorough regeneration “ insulated” strictly applicable to at once, or refuse to admit them any part of that volume whicb into our communion ?” forms one consolidated mass of Having fairly transcribed the divide and imperishable truth?]- sentiments of the Quarterly ReApplication for baptism having viewer, on this important point, I been made 10 loim by one of the would ask, Are they just ? are they native women, and refused, he thus warranted by fact? are they such observes upon it:" (tbe subjoined as the editor of an accredited and passage is taken from page 275 of widely circulated journal ought to the first edition of the Memoir.) have presented to the public?
“ Your account of a native wo. I must begin by noticing the man, whom you baptized, came in concession made by the reviewer season for me. I have been sub- himself respecting the ignorance jected to some similar perplexities, of those wbo were desirous of bebut I tbink no one would refuse ing admitted to the sacrament of baptism in the case you mention. baptism : “ Though convinced of The woman, who is making the the truth, they were iguorant of same petition here, promises to the spirit, of Christianity.” And marry, and comes frequently for were these persons in a fit state of instruction, but her heart is not preparation to come to the holy touched with any tender sense of sin, fount? Could they seriously unand of her need of mercy. Yet, dertake those promises and vows, if there be no scandal in her life, whose especial object is to enforce and she professes her belief in “ the spirit of Christianity?" Is those points in which they are inter a person considered qualified to rogated in the Baptismal Service, take a solemn oath in any temporal may I lawfully refuse?-I cannot concern, without having first intell what to do. I seemed almost formed himself of the spirit of his resolved not to administer tbe ordi- obligation ? And can any thing be Dance till convinced in my own more preposterous than an engagemiod of THE TRUE REPENTANCE ment on the part of a Hindoo, in of the person."
the presence of the Searcher of all On this extract from Mr. Mar. hearts, “ to renounce the world, CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 242. M
the flesh, and the devil; to believe trines of the Gospel, and to promise
But I will next cousult an autho. extract, might be sufficient to derity, to which the Quarterly Re- cide the point at issue between the viewer is accustomed to defer ; Quarterly Reviewer and the defendnamely, that of the episcopal au- er of Henry Martyn, I would neverthor of the Elements of Christian theless strengthen my argument by Theology." lo the 2d vol. third shortly consulting the declared edition (on Article XXVII.), his and authoritative sentiment of the lordship thus expresses himself on Church of England on the subject. the subject of Christian baptism : Referring to her office of Adult “ Tertullian, who lived about sixty Baptism (and be it remembered, years afterwards, says, ' They that that Mr. Martyn, in the passage come to baptism must use the de- quoted by the reviewer, was imvotions of frequent prayer, fast- mediately speaking of adults), I ings, kneelings, and watchings, find the following rubric: “ When and the confession of all their past any such persons as are of riper sins, that they may at least do as years are to be baptized, timely much as was done in John's bap- notice sball be given to the bishop, tism.' From these passages it ap- or whom he shall appoint for that pears, that the persons to be bap- purpose, a week before at the least, tized were required to undergo by the parents, or some other discertain preparations, and to make creet persons; that so due care certain promises ; and that the may be taken for their examination, whole of this important business whether they be sufficiently inmight be conducted with the greater structed in the principles of the regularity and solemnity, it was Christian religion; and that they customary to perform baptism, ex- may be exhorted to prepare themcept in cases of necessity, only selves, with prayers and fasting, for twice in the year-namely, at the receiving of this holy sacraEaster and Whitsuntide,
The can- ment." Next follows a peculiarly didates
gave in their names several striking exhortation to the persons weeks before the day appointed : about to be baptized, requiring they were in the mean time in them“ faithfully” to undertake structed and exumined by the mi- tbose promises and vows which nisters of the church; and it was I have already noticed. In like indispensibly necessary that they manner, our excellent catechism should be able to give some ac- represents " repentance whereby count of the grounds of their faith; they forsake sin, and faith whereand, beside this previous instruc- by they stedfastly believe the protion, they were called upon at the mises of God, made to them in that time of their baptism, by answer- sacrament," as “ what is required ing certain questions, to declare of persons to be baptized.” their belief in the fundamental doc- It may perhaps be replied, that the whole detail of preparation for pable injustice to his own senti. baptism demanded by the Church ments. Happily, however, for the of England, could not reasonably cause of true religion, the characbe expected of a Hindoo who secks ter of Martyn, in the case now admission to that sacred rite. Un- under consideration, may be dedoubtedly some circumstantial dif. fended on yet stronger grounds. ference must be allowed in the pre- For not only has the reviewer failparatory steps which be may be ed to prove, by a reference to facts, required to take. At the same that this devoted missionary was time, it cannot but appear to a mind “tou rigorous in the outset,"and that so enlightened as that of the Quar. “ he made no allowance for the terly Reviewer, that it is among the gradual reception of the truths” most essential principles of the which he taught; and that he Church of England, to exact of all required the proselyte to be" at candidates for baptism (heathens once as good a Christian as himnot excepted) a due acquaintance self;" but he will even find such with “ the spir t of Christianity," evidence in the Memoir, as must as well as a mere unmeaning con- establish the opposite conclusion. viction“ of its truth." Indeed, For his biographer expressly states not to institute these strict con- respecting an application made to ditions of administering the bap- him for baptism by one of the natismal rite is, in fact, to tell a
“ This request, as heathen, at the very time when he the candidate manifested no signs wishes to partake of it, “ You need of penitence or faith, and could by not be at any pains to repent of all no means be made to comprehend your abominations; you have no what farther was necessary to be a occasion to consider ihe spirit of Christian than to say the Lord's those promises and vows which Prayer, he found himself comyou are about to make to that pelled to refuse." Let the reader God whom we Christians acknow. impartially determine, whether Mr. ledge and adore : you have only to Martyn was "too rigorous” in reassure us that you believe the New jecting such a candidate for bapTestament to be true; and we will tism, even one who was absolutely then immediately baptize you, and destitute of the great elementary receive you into ihe Christian requisites; namely, penitence and church." And should this be re- faith; and whether, in insisting presented as an exaggerated state- upon these, he really expected his ment, I would reply, that the re- proselyles to be at once" as good viewer does not even hint at the Christians as himself.” necessity of exhorting the Hindoo But I must yet detain your at the time of bis admission to the readers, while I endeavour to corrite of Christian baptism, to culti- rect what to me appears a very vate that repentance, that faith, serious error in the sentiments of and that desire to obey God's com- the reviewer, as they relate to the mandments which are required by ministry of Martyn. He considers the Church of England, of “ail it a point gained to the cause of persons to be baptised.” The re- Christianity, that an Hindoo, by viewer, it is true, intimates that being admitted to the rite of Christhe person so baptized should be tian baptisın, abandons those abo.“ instructed and purified by de- minations which had before formgrees;" but he either does not in- ed the essence of his religion. But tend that the instruction which he may it not be asked in reply, “ Is here speaks of should take place he less polluted than before in the at the time of administering the sight of a Holy God, when he rite of baptism, or else he has, by vows that repentance with his lips a singular oversight, done a pale which he does not cherish in his
heart? Or, liad the inspired writer tenet, in opposition to the " arti-
racle ; and accordingly the Romish Ilisis.
Church holds, that all those mi
racles bave been performed by her To the Editor of the Christian Observer. the end of time. He then declares,
clergy, and will continue to be so to I BEG 10 express my acknowledg. that “ the power of exorcising has, ments to your correspondent MAN from the earliest ages, been conferred CESTRIENSIS for the extracts on those who entered into the minigiven in your Number for Decem- stry;" speaks with some contempt ber, from tbe Funeral Sermon of a of the new acquired lights which Roman Catholic Divine at Man- the glorious Reformation spread chester, and for his judicious re- over the minds of men,” and plainmarks on the unaltered doctrine of ly charges open infidelity on such the Church of Rome (so success- as will not believe these things; fully opposed by Luther and his observing, " that if our Saviour contemporaries), respecting justifi- was to appear again on the earth, cation by works. It inay perhaps his wonderful works would make not be known to all your readers, no greater impression on the minds that as the Romish Church conti- of these enlightened men, than oues 10 maintain and defend this they did on the incredulous High