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tion from extensive provinces, which might not be left without Episcopal superintendence, rather than from insignificant boroughs? I do not know that there is any evidence that Elgin, which is now a handsome though small county town, was in ancient times a place of any great importance, or that Chanonry or Dornoch were even of much more consequence than they now are. The smallness and ruined state of Candida Casa appear to have been the reason why, on the restoration of that bishopric by Malcolm Ceanmohr, the bishop's title was ordered to be taken from the diocese. The antiquity of Dunblane and some of our other small cities may have prevented the omission of their names in the titles of their respective bishops. I do not pretend to any great acquaintance with the ancient history of Scotland, or the Church generally; but in the absence of any better reason, if none such is found, my suggestion may perhaps be admitted as a probable one.-I remain, your obedient servant,
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.-We think our correspondent generally correct in his supposition. The northern dioceses of Ross, Caithness, Moray, and Orkney, had no towns worthy of giving titles to their bishops. Galloway in the south, and Argyll and the Isles in the west, were similarly situated. Iona, be it remembered, was originally a Monastic, not an Episcopal, residence. St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Brechin, Dunkeld, and Dunblane, were all ancient towns; and most, if not all, had religious establishments previously to the erection of bishoprics. Edinburgh is a modern See, erected by King Charles I.
SIR,-I have just observed in your November Number a letter containing some strictures upon my Letters against Secession to Rome.' The writer of this uncalled-for communication, whose only effect can be to neutralize any benefit which the above letters may, with God's blessing, produce, will I sincerely trust ere long discover, what he might already by this time have known, were he possessed of ordinary acquaintance with Romanism or the subjects under discussion, that such attempts as he seems disposed to make, with the view of conciliating members of the Church of Rome, can never by possibility avail. The only course to pursue is to maintain the Reformed doctrines on the only sound, i. e., Catholic principles, by
adhering not to fond and visionary fancies of Romanism, but to the stern realities of historical evidence and ascertained facts, which will effectually prevent any tendencies to reconciliation with Rome,attainable only, I am convinced, on our part by a sacrifice of truth.
Whether your correspondent or myself have formed the soundest opinion of Romish doctrines and practices, your readers in the course of this pending correspondence will decide. Of one thing I may at all events apprize him, that some of my future remarks on the corruptions of Romanism will, probably, call forth stronger strictures than any observations which I have as yet most unwillingly felt it my duty to make.-I am, &c.
P. S.-In future I must decline noticing any strictures on my letters. '2'
A FEW WORDS TO MY CONGREGATION ON BAPTISM. (To be read by every Parent before applying for the ministration of the Rite.) MY CHRISTIAN BRETHREN,-I am so often applied to for the SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM by strangers, and even by members of the Church, in circumstances that forbid assent, and I am thereby so frequently placed in the most painful position, that I believe I can hardly render better service to clergy and laity, than by putting before you, in the simplest language, a condensed view of the questions respecting the DOCTRINE and the RITE; so that any one, with his Bible and Prayer-Book before him, may at once see what he as a Churchman can consistently demand, and what I as his clergyman can conscientiously perform. For all ought to bear in mind, that every clergyman at his ordination most solemnly promises that he will give his 'faithful diligence always so to minister the sacraments (of which baptism is one), as this Church hath received the same;' that he also signs the Canons of the Church, the 28th of which enjoins all to obey the 'words and rubrical directions of the English Liturgy;' and that he testifies his consent to the Thirty-Nine Articles, of which the 34th declares, that whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common autho
rity, ought to be rebuked openly (that others may fear to do the like), as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.' Now these references most clearly shew that the clergyman is entirely bound by his ordination vow-that he has no choice whatever in the matterand that in withstanding the importunities of the inconsiderate, even if they plead the lax discipline of brother clergymen, he is but doing his duty in resisting temptation to the sin of perjury. The true Churchman, in this as in all other matters, ought to use every effort to support his clergyman in his arduous office, instead of joining in the cry against him-and should reverently yield to the Church's orders, instead of presumptuously striving to bend the Church to his prejudices. And surely, the stranger who, inconsistently enough, seeks admission for his child into a society of which he is not himself a member, ought to be the very last person to dictate the terms or mode of reception, when it is an act of mercy that the infant is received at all.
In attempting this task, I shall not venture to advance anything on my own responsibility, but endeavour to convince you, by citations from authorities equally binding on clergy and laity, of what is plainly your duty and mine. In short, my purpose is not harshly to rebuke, but affectionately to expostulate, ' in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.'
I. What is BAPTISM? It is one of two sacraments, that by resemblance represent, by institution signify, and by the power of Christ sanctify. It is, then, not registration—it is not giving a child It is not a mere badge or token—‘a sign of profession and mark of difference.' It is not, on the one hand, to be lowered into an external ceremony, the result of custom, the compliance with prejudice, the occasion of festivity; nor is it, on the other hand, to be exaggerated into a magical influence, as if the ritual sprinkling with water, or the words of the clergyman, or any opus operatum, could secure salvation *- —as if all the baptized were undoubtedly saved, and all the unbaptized as unquestionably condemned.
'I stated, that no divine of the Church of England has maintained that God's grace is so limited to his ordinances, that it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and to inherit eternal life without
*The holy sacrament of baptism is the laver of our spiritual regeneration; yet not by any virtue of the outward sign, but by the inner renovation which is wrought in us by the Holy Ghost.'-Bishop Hall.
baptism; or that adults, baptized in unbelief and impenitence, derive any immediate benefit from this sacrament; and I added that they who hold that regeneration, strictly speaking, is the inward and spiritual grace of baptism, do not identify it, as has been sometimes erroneously contended, with repentance, conversion, the renewal of the whole inward frame, and an entire change of mind, or radical change in all the parts and faculties of the soul.'-Bethell on Bap. Reg., Pref. xxxiii.
(1.) What it is you will best ascertain by consulting first the Word of God. You will there find that baptism was ordained by our Lord and Saviour (Matt. xxviii. 19) as the ordinance by which we are admitted into the Christian covenant. (John iii. 7.) It is the SACRAMENT, not the mere outward sign, of initiation into the Christian Church and faith (Rom. ii. 28)—the means of putting us on the way to heaven (1 Pet. iii. 21)-representing a death to sin, and a new life to righteousness' (Rom. vi. 4), necessarily implying our union to Christ. (Gal. iii. 27.) Its value consists in the inward spiritual washing, in which the grace of the Spirit, signified by the external sign of water, is really and actually conferred. (John iii. 3, 5; Tit. iii. 5; Eph. 5. 26; 1 Cor. xii. 13; Acts ii. 38.) Baptism was typified by the passage of the Israelites (Exod. xiv. 31), and by the ancient purifications. (Ezek. xxxv. 25, 26.) It was appointed that Christ might sanctify and cleanse his Church (Eph. v. 26), and that it might be the seal of the new covenant between God and man. (Gal. iii. 27; and Rev. vii. 3.)
Does the Bible declare, or does it not, that' REGENERATION," *
* Few words have caused more controversy than this. For fifteen centuries it was held to signify the 'grace bestowed in baptism,' and, as such, we still define it. But about three hundred years ago, it began to be used vaguely, to mean, first, justification, conversion, repentance, renovation; then, a great and general reformation of character; and, lastly, ‘a radical change of all the parts and faculties of the soul.' (See Bethell, p. 10.) 'If the Church of England, following both the analogy of Scripture, and the common consent of Catholic antiquity, uses the word regeneration in the first sense; are others justified in affixing a new meaning to the word, in ascribing novel and unheard of effects to the act, and then to say that the Church teaches thus and thus, and to pronounce her heterodox, merely because they take up new opinions themselves, and do not choose to inquire into the real principles upon which she decides and acts? Bishop of Tasmania on Ch. Cat., p. 611. Perhaps some objectors may not be aware of the definition in their own 'Confession of Faith.'
'Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath VOL. I.
change of religious condition and spiritual relationship to God, takes place in baptism? To settle this, read certain passages in order :— 1. Those which call this change 'regeneration,' or being born again,' and connect it with water and baptism, are—John iii. 3, 5; Titus iii. 5.
2. Those alluding to the ceremony, in parallel expressions— Rom. vi. 1, 4; Eph. ii. 5, 6; Col. iii. 1; Col. ii. 12; Gal. iii. 26.
3. Those which attribute the change simply to washing and baptism-Mark xvi. 16; 1 Pet. iii. 21. Acts ii. 38, 40, 47; Acts xxi. 16; 1 Cor. vi. 9,-11.
4. Those which describe the change by other figures—2 Cor. i. 21, 22; Eph. i. 12, 14; Eph. iv. 30; Rom. viii. 15. From this series of texts, carefully studied in order, we may conclude
1. That, according to the doctrine of Scripture, such a change as that which we denominate regeneration, does actually take place in baptism. Christians are represented as receiving the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, in baptism; as being saved by baptism, washed, sanctified, and justified; as being buried with Christ by baptism into death; buried and risen again with Christ in baptism; crucified with Christ putting on Christ in baptism; sealed and anointed, endowed with the earnest of the Spirit, and the spirit of adoption; and circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, made without hands. Now all these expressions terminate in a mysterious collation of grace, and a passing from a carnal state in Adam to a spiritual state in Christ; or in our admission into this latter state, carrying with it the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a covenanted and conditional title to everlasting happiness.'
2. Several of the figures, by which this change is denoted, re
ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of our sins by his blood, and REGENERATION by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible Church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's; also, the minister is directed to pray that the Lord would join the inward baptism of his Spirit with the outward baptism of water; make this baptism to the infant a seal of adoption, remission of sins, regeneration, and eternal life, and all other promises of the covenant of grace: that the child may be planted into the likeness of the death and resurrection of Christ; and that, the body of sin being destroyed in him, he may serve God in newness of life all his days.'-Directory, p. 332.