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or the courtier. But we speak of the system. Has not the system been more calculated to disunite and divide Christians_has it not been more uniformly schismatical-than that of any other Protestant church ? Other churches of the Reformation have been as closely incorporated with state-power-others have persecuted:--but none have maintained a claim to so lofty a dominion over con. science ; for no other has clung to the innovation of an exclusive divine right.' None have halted in the career of reform, so near to Rome ;-have any been so Romish in their spirit ? None have been so rich ;—have any been so high-minded, or so worldly?”
“She has continued to impose obligations, and to demand 'assent and consent' to doctrines which are as inconsistent with Holy Scripture, as they have proved galling to the consciences of many of her clergy. By all this, she has perpe. tuated, and encouraged, secession from her pale. She has caused a moral power to rise up beside her, which, though it has been small and despised, in the eyes of those who judge only from the outward appearance, has shown a vitality, and a vigour, wholly disproportioned to its apparent resources. That power is none other than an ardent and growing desire, in the minds of many, for entire freedom in religion ;-a power destined, no doubt, to exercise a mighty sway over things which might seem high and lifted up above its reach—like the little horn,' in the vision of Daniel, which waxed great even to the host of heaven; and cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground.'”
“The Church of England may, possibly, yet be destined to give serious occupation to the legislature, and to the country. She may prove the dissolution of future parliaments, and the breaking up of cabinets; and the grand burden of religious strife, for some time yet to come:-and she shall resolve to aim at being, again, what she once was—the dictator of a nation's faith: if her prelates shall still presume to regard the people as their spiritual subjects and tributaries, and the exchequer as the bank of the church, from which she may continue to draw millions more of wealth; while those masses of the population who conscientiously dissent, are condemned, if not punished, as schismatics and rebels against ghostly authority, and are almost denied the Christian name—if, in short, the * Church' shall fail to estimate the position she now holds in the community, as representing the religion of the most numerous body, but not of a vast and apparently increasing multitude :-it is not difficult to imagine what may, possibly, one day be the issue :-history may tell the tale
Fuit Ilium-et ingens
Gloria Teucrorum." Much of this is put hypothetically: but not the less pointedly or vexatiously. Upon the whole we prefer open honest denunciation; and we sorrowfully predict that Sir C. E. Smith will have cause to wish his £100 better bestowed than in calling forth a schismatical book on schism, notwithstanding vast masses of what is truly excellent in it.
We wish we had a few pages left, to demonstrate the catholicism of the Church of England against all her impugners; for we believe that no church is more truly liberal (why should this word not be used in its good sense ?) in its whole spirit and system. Take, for example, the case of the Baptists themselves. They cannot, without schism, forsake her, as regards either the subjects or the mode of baptism; for they may hold communion with her upon their own terms, With regard to the subjects, even the writers of the Oxford Tracts, though they broadly and unflinchingly assert, (No. 35, p. 1,) that “without baptism NONE can enter into the kingdom of heaven," thereby consigning all infants dying unbaptised—or what, in their view, is the same thing, baptised in churches whose ministers have not received " the power of imparting the Holy Trinity " through “the apostolical, or, as we now call it, the episcopal, order of clergy," (No. 36.)—to everlasting destruction ; yet they admit (No. 61, p. 3.) that "the Church, though earnestly enjoining infant baptism, does not exclude from communion those who scruple at it: therefore the Baptists are self-banished.” This is true ; for we have an office for adult baptism,
Then with regard to the mode ; if the child is brought to church, and the sponsors certify that it is able to bear immersion, the clergyman is bound to administer the sacrament in that manner. The old fonts are large enough for the purpose ; and if such fonts as grow in these degenerate days are not, almost any cottage or nursery will supply some decent baptistery.*
Mr. M'Neile lately caused the water to be warmed on such an occasion. His intention was kind and charitable, but we should not wish to see the case quoted as a precedent. Great inconvenience, confusion, expense, and consumption of time, would be caused, if the custom became general, by heating a bath for every child that is to be baptized (more especially when the office is performed, as the rubric directs, “after the last lesson ;") and churches must be fitted up
with suitable apparatus for warming the water, and vestries and fires be provided for dressing and undressing the infants-perhaps twenty in number. If, indeed, the sacred rite were invalid without immersion; or if the church had directed that it should be performed in no other manner; then it would be necessary to encounter every inconvenience and expence, in order not to dissever duty from charity and humanity. But the certification that the child may well endure immersion, evidently means, at the natural temperature of the water ; or if the pointwere doubtful, the case of private baptism would settle it; for that being confined to weak and sick children, the church asks no questions ; but, taking for granted that the child could not “ well endure' being plunged into cold water, does not prescribe the alternative of warming it, but of baptizing by affusion, which may be confined to a single drop, if more should seem hazardous.
If the sponsors
* Do the Laudean divines, who stickle private baptism shall be poured into the so superstitiously for the consecration of fire, or be used only “ for the washing sacramental vessels, keep a portable of the church linen;" or at least taken font for "christening in private to church to be poured out upon houses ? and even if they do, how do consecrated pavement?”. If such ques. they get over the perplexity of rightly, tions seem not serious, the fault is not disposing of the “ life-giving water ? in the questions but in the superstition We are writing with all seriousness. that renders them pertinent. Wheatly “ By a provincial constitution of our is quite as serious as Dr. Hook or Dr. oron church," says Wheatly, “made in the Pusey in the matter; and he accordingly year 1236, and which is still in force, goes on to express his “wonder that our (this would be true if popery were indeed church has made no provision how the our own church] “ neither water, nor water used in the font at church should vessel, that has been used in the ad- be disposed of;" and to tell us what ministration of private baptism, is after- “ particular care
is used in the Greek wards to be applied to common uses; but church in that behalf.
Why did he out of reverence to the sacrament, the neglect to mention the practice of the water is to be poured into the fire, or else Latin church also ? Besides, if the to be carried to the church, or to be put Church of Rome is “ our church," and to the water in the baptistery or font; and “the constitution of 1236 is still in the vessel is also to be burnt, or else to be force,” there needed no new rubric or caappropriated to the use of the church ; non. The notorious and undeniable fact perhaps for the washing of the church- is, that the Anglican Reformers repudilinen, (!!!) as Mr. Linwood supposes. ated all such superstitions, and left bapDoes Dr. Hook follow up this popish tismal water to be decently poured rubric, so falsely foisted upon away, as having acquired no sacred church,” by taking care to burn or qualities beyond any other water. Notcarry to church every vessel which has withstanding Mr. Newman's displeasure, been used at the houses of any of his two years ago, at our using the word parishioners in the administration of “ drivelling," we wish we could find a either of the two sacraments; and does gentler term equally appropriate to such he carefully see that the water used in follies,
certified Mr. M'Neile, that the child “could well endure it," he was “ discreetly and warily to dip it in the water ;” “but," adds the rubric, “if they certify that the child is weak, then it shall suffice to pour water upon it.” Mr. M'Neile's third resource would not, upon a national scale, be real tenderness ; for thousands of infants would perish by being kept in their wet garments, out of warm water in a cold church, till the end of the service, and then carried out into the wintry air, to a comfortless cottage across a bleak moor; or even in summer, and under the most favourable circumstances; and we are medically advised that in most cases, for a momentary plunge, to be succeeded by considerable exposure, cold water would be less hazardous than warm. The church has, with her usual wisdom, united tenderness with a reasonable service; for the quantity of water not being an essential part of the sacrament, she has constructed a rubric adapted for summer or winter; for England or Jamaica ; for a hale or a weakly child; for a Liverpool church, with the addenda of stoves, blankets, a warm vestry, and a close carriage; or Greenland and Nova Zembla, where an overwhelming expenditure would not furnish fuel to heat a bath.
We have said thus much, lest, in convicting the Baptist of schism, without even a shadow of pretext for it, if, either as regards the mode or the subject, (whatever other reasons he may have) he severs himself from the communion of the Church of England, we should seem to wish to disturb, in ordinary cases, the use of affusion, which, if lawful, is for the most part, in our climate, and according to our usages, expedient. But our allusion to Mr. M'Neile's plan does not in the least affect our argument with the Baptists; for there is no question between them and us as to whether the person to be baptized can endure cold water; and indeed the rigid Baptists have rejected with abhorrence the thought of warming it, even in the midst of winter, as an innovation as unscriptural as sprinkling; and importing that He who appointed baptism did not know what would be suitable to all climates. All that we mean to say is, that they can demand to have infants baptised by immersion; or if their children, when come to years of discretion, apply for baptism, they may obtain it, being duly prepared ; and, so far as the Church is concerned, in the form of immersion.*
say so far as the church is even if there were no inconvenience concerned;" for the rubric for adult bap- in providing the requisite apparatus, tism leaves it to the discretion of the which a parish might feel loth to do clergyman to dip or affuse. This dis for a solemnity which might not occur cretion we think by no means mis- again for ages, we should say that it placed; for adult baptism not being of must be a strong case in which it would frequent occurrence, and our churches not be best for an unbaptised adult to in consequence not being provided with come to the holy rite without the exsuitable baptisteries for it; and there citement and extreme publicity which being reason to fear that if no discretion such an unusual spectacle might occawere allowed to the minister, scenes of a sion; and, at all events, if the church ofvery unedifying nature might occur; it fers the administration in a way which is best that the rubric should not be she considers valid, she is not scriptuperemptory, as in the case of infants. rally bound to yield to private opinion. The Baptists have a bath built for the We have added this note for the sake of purpose, with steps down to it; and fairness; but in any case, as the church large flowing draperies are provided, recognizes adult immersion, the Baptist weighted with lead; and the ancient cannot say that she schismatically churches used to have a division in the rejects him. baptistery for men and women. But
We have now done with our Anti-pædobaptist neighbours : and as for our friends in the North, we will take leave of them, not in any words of our own, but by quoting a few sentences from one of the brightest ornaments of Presbyterian churches, the pious, amiable, and eloquent Claude. The few remarks which we shall quote will lose somewhat of their point to those who have not read certain recent speeches in Scotland, in which the poor Church of England was majestically vituperated. One of the speakers, the Rev. Mr. Begg, holds out the threat, if she does not behave herself well, of “ taking up the Covenant again; instructing the Church of England to lay aside all the parts of her system which (Mr. Begg being the judge] are not in accordance with the word of God; and again setting up an assembly at Westminster, from year to year, over against the parliament!" The chief thesis was the putting down Laud's tyranny in 1638 ; but the speakers, in their zeal for civil and religious liberty, which they asserted was then established, forgot to add, that tyranny as fierce as Laud's was set up in its place; the press being gagged, and no person being allowed “ to speak or write against the Covenant or Assembly under severe penalties. But let us listen to Claude, who, in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1680, writes as follows; speaking in the name of all the reformed Presbyterian churches :
“ Wherefore our churches have always looked upon and considered yours, not only a sister, but as an elder sister, for which we ought to have a kindness, accompanied with respect and veneration ; and for which we do present most ardent prayers to God without ceasing. We do not enter into the comparison of your order with that under which we live. We know that there is not, neither can be, any amongst men, which, by reason of our natural corruption, is not subject to inconveniences. Ours bas hers, as well as yours; and the one and the other, without doubt, have their advantages and disadvantages in divers respects. It is enough for us to know that the same providence which, by an indispensable neces. sity, and the conjuncture of affairs, did at the beginning of the Reformation put our churches under that of presbytery, has put yours under that of episcopacy; and as we are assured that you do not despise our simplicity, so neither ought we to oppose ourselves to your pre-eminence. So that, my Lord, we do utterly disapprove and see with grief certain extremes whereunto some of the one side and the other do cast themselves; the one looking upon episcopacy as an order so absolutely necessary, that without it there can be no ecclesiastical society, and the other looking upon it with indignation as a relic of Antichrist. These are equally heats and excesses which do not come from Him that calls us, and which do offend against the laws of wisdom and charity.
“For what concerns those amongst you whom they call Presbyterians, as I am persuaded that they have light, wisdom, and zeal, so I would wish with all my heart that they would observe more moderation in the scandal that they believe they have heretofore received from the episcopal order.” “ At present that God by his grace has taken away this scandal from before their eyes, and made them see piety, zeal, and constancy for the preservation of religion in the persons of the bishops, I hope that this will not a little contribute to the sweetening of their spirits.
ON THE SERVICE FOR ASH-WEDNESDAY.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. No serious Christian can read or hear the service appointed for AshWednesday, without having a strong impression made on his mind. It is, indeed, confessedly eminent for its appropriateness and solemnity. In reading it publicly in the church, I have felt myself powerfully affected; and I have been sensible of the strong impression which it seemed to make on the congregation. I call to recollection with thankfulness an instance of the good effects which it is calculated to produce. One of the most intelligent of my flock, a skilful physician, was induced, with several other persons, not usual church-goers on that day, to attend my church, situated in a populous town in a colony far from England, on the Ash-Wednesday of 1833. The colony was then suffering under the awful visitation of frequent and violent earthquakes. I observed during the service this gentleman's fixed attention and peculiarly solemn demeanour. He visited me at my parsonage immediately after it was concluded, and acknowledged, I think, that it was the first time he had ever been present during that service. He spoke freely of its impressive effect upon him; and I have good reason for concluding that from thenceforth, to the period of his lamented death, there was greater fixedness in his mind and conduct on all points connected with religion.
From the acknowledged impressiveness of the service, and my conviction of its usefulness, as uttering the most powerful warnings to the impenitent, I have often regretted that this service is in most places lost to the Church. In country parishes it is rarely performed; and even in towns the congregations, as at all week-day prayers, is not usually large. But as the Rubric gives the power to the ordinary to appoint the Commination to be usedat other times besides the first day in Lent, it has struck me, though I express the conviction in all humility, that much good would result, if this discretion were exercised; and the service enjoined to be read in every church, where AshWednesday is not observed, or the congregation on that day small, on the first Sunday in Lent.
I am, though a constant reader, a distant correspondent; but I am convinced that that circumstance will not lessen the claim of the suggestion to due consideration. It will, I trust, be in time for the approaching Lent of 1839.
A CLERGYMAN IN A FAR COUNTRY,
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
WORKS OF THE REV. JOHN BERRIDGE. The Works of the Rev. John Berridge, M.A., late Fellow of Clare Hall,
Cambridge, Vicar of Everton, Bedfordshire, &c. : with an enlarged Memoir of his Life, numerous Letters, Anecdotes, Outlines of Sermons, &c., and his original Sion's Songs. By the Rev. RICHARD
WHITTINGHAM, Vicar of Potton, Bedfordshire. A MEMOIR, published in 1839, Mr. Berridge was a remarkable of a clergyman who was born in member of a memorable brother1716 (nineteen months after the hood of English clergymen, who, death of Queen Anne), and who, about the middle of the last cennext January twelve-months, will tury, and thenceforward to the have been dead half a century, close of it, were the instruments by his still surviving curate, would of effecting a great revival of be somewhat of a curiosity, even piety in the land, and into whose if the subject of the narrative labours the faithful and devout were not a curiosity in himself. servants of Christ in the present