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worthy men from entering into the Church, but do at this hour press upon the consciences of many, who in all other things approve and admire the public formularies of our Church. A great portion of this present assembly are educating with a view to the ministry in the Establishment; and, if I may be able in any little measure to satisfy their minds, or to remove a stumbling-block out of their way, I shall think that I have made a good use of the opportunity which is thus afforded me. A more essential service I can scarcely render unto any of my younger brethren, or indeed to the Establishment itself, than by meeting fairly the difficulties which occur to their minds, and which are too often successfully urged by the enemies of our Church, to the embarrassing of conscientious minds, and to the drawing away of many, who might have laboured comfortably and successfully in this part of our Lord's vineyard.

There is one circumstance in the formation of our Liturgy, which is not sufficiently adverted to. The persons who composed it were men of a truly apostolic spirit: unfettered by party prejudices, they endeavoured to speak in all things precisely as the Scriptures speak: they did not indulge in speculations and metaphysical reasonings; nor did they presume to be wise above what is written: they laboured to speak the truth, the whole truth, in love and they cultivated in the highest degree that candour, that simplicity, and that charity, which so eminently characterize all the apostolic writings. Permit me to call your attention particularly to this point, because it will satisfactorily account for those expressions which seem most objectionable; and will shew precisely in what view we may most conscientiously repeat the language they have used.

In our Burial Service, we thank God for delivering our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world, and express a sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, together with a hope also that our departed brother rests in Christ. Of course,

it often happens, that we are called to use these expressions over persons who, there is reason to fear, have died in their sins; and then the question is, How we can with propriety use them? I answer, that, even according to the letter of the words, the use of them may be justified; because we speak not of his, but of the, resurrection to eternal life; and because, where we do not absolutely know that God has not pardoned a person, we may entertain some measure of hope that he has. But, taking the expressions more according to the spirit of them, they precisely accord with what we continually read in the epistles of St. Paul. In the First Epistle to the Corinthian Church, he says of them, "I thank my God always on your behalf, that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Yet, does he instantly begin to condemn the same persons, for their divisions and contentions; and afterwards tells them, "that they were carnal, and walked, not as saints, but as men," that is, as unconverted and ungodly men'. In like manner, in his Epistle to the Philippians, after saying, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," he adds, "Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all." Yet does he afterwards caution these very persons against strife, and vain-glory, and self-love; and tell them, that he will send Timothy to them shortly, in order to make inquiries into their state, and to give him information respecting them: and he even mentions two by name, Euodias and Syntyche, whose notorious disagreements he was desirous to heal.

A multitude of other passages might be cited to the same effect; to shew that the Apostles, in a

1 1 Cor. i. 4-7. and iii. 3.

m Phil. i. 3-7.

spirit of candour and of love, spoke in terms of commendation respecting all, when in strictness of speech they should have made some particular exceptions. And, if we at this day were called to use the same language under the very same circumstances, it is probable that many would feel scruples respecting it, and especially, in thanking God for things, which, if pressed to the utmost meaning of the words, might not be strictly true. But surely, if the Apostles in a spirit of love and charity used such language, we may safely and properly do the same: and knowing in what manner, and with what views, they spake, we need not hesitate to deliver ourselves with the same spirit, and in the same latitude, as they".

In the Baptismal Service, we thank God for having regenerated the baptized infant by his Holy Spirit. Now from hence it appears that, in the opinion of our Reformers, regeneration and remission of sins did accompany baptism. But in what sense did they hold this sentiment? Did they maintain that there was no need for the seed then sown in the heart of the baptized person to grow up, and to bring forth fruit; or that he could be saved in any other way than by a progressive renovation of his soul after the divine image? Had they asserted or countenanced any such doctrine as that, it would have been impossible for any enlightened person to concur with them. But nothing can be conceived more repugnant to their sentiments than such an idea as this so far from harbouring such a thought, they have, and that too in this very prayer, taught us to look unto God for that total change both of heart and life, which, long since their days, has begun to

n To guard against a misapprehension of his meaning, the author wishes these words to be distinctly noticed; because they contain the whole drift of his argument. He does not mean to say, that the Apostles ascribed salvation to the opus operatum, the outward act of baptism; or, that they intended to assert distinctly the salvation of every individual who had been baptized; but only that, in reference to these subjects, they did use a language very similar to that in our Liturgy, and that therefore our Reformers were justified, as we also are, in using the same.


be expressed by the term Regeneration. thanking God for regenerating the infant by his Holy Spirit, we are taught to pray, "that he, being dead unto sin, and living unto righteousness, may crucify the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of sin" and then declaring that total change to be the necessary mean of his obtaining salvation, we add, "So that finally, with the residue of thy holy Church, he may be an inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom." Is there, I would ask, any person that can require more than this? or does God in his word require more? There are two things to be noticed in reference to this subject; the term, Regeneration, and the thing. The term occurs but twice in the Scriptures; in one place it refers to baptism, and is distinguished from the renewing of the Holy Ghost; which however is represented as attendant on it: and in the other place it has a totally distinct meaning unconnected with the subject. Now the term they use, as the Scripture uses it; and the thing they require, as strongly as any person can require it. They do not give us any reason to imagine that an adult person can be saved without experiencing all that modern divines have included in the term Regeneration; on the contrary, they do, both there and throughout the whole Liturgy, insist upon the necessity of a radical change both of heart and life. Here, then, the only question is, not, whether a baptized person can be saved by that ordinance without sanctification; but, whether God does always accompany the sign with the thing signified? Here is certainly room for difference of opinion but it cannot be positively decided in the negative; because we cannot know, or even judge, respecting it, in any instance whatever, except by the fruits that follow: and therefore in all fairness it may be considered only as a doubtful point: and, if we appeal, as we ought to do, to the Holy Scriptures, they certainly do in a very remarkable way accord with the expressions in our Liturgy. St. Paul says, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one

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body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit:" and this he says of all the visible members of Christ's body. Again, speaking of the whole nation of Israel, infants as well as adults, he says, "They were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud, and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ"." Yet behold, in the very next verse he tells us, that "with many of them God was displeased, and overthrew them in the wilderness." In another place he speaks yet more strongly still: "As many of you,” says he, "as are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ"." Here we see what is meant by the expression" baptized into Christ :" it is precisely the same expression as that before mentioned, of the Israelites being "baptized unto Moses;" (the preposition eis is used in both places ;) it includes all that had been initiated into his religion by the rite of baptism and of them universally does the Apostle say, " They have put on Christ." Now I ask, Have not the persons who scruple the use of that prayer in the Baptismal Service, equal reason to scruple the use of these different expressions?

Again St. Peter says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins";" and in another place, "Baptism doth now save us." And speaking elsewhere of baptized persons who were unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, he says, "He hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Does not this very strongly countenance the idea which our Reformers entertained, That the remission of our sins, as well as the regeneration of our souls, is an attendant on the baptismal rite? Perhaps it will be said, that the inspired writers spake of persons who had been baptized at an adult age. But, if they did so in some

o 1 Cor. xii. 13-27. Acts ii. 38, 39.

p 1 Cor. x. 1-4.

s 1 Pet. iii. 21.

9 Gal. iii. 27.

t 2 Pet. i. 9.

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