Зображення сторінки

but can this be justly supposed of nuring, will do nothing. The application to hypocrites, or of those who have our views is obvious.” Vol. i. p.244, 245. only a dead faith? They have, in

At the close of his remarks on redeed, partaken of what Bishop Hop- generation, Mr. Scott, aware of the kins calls “ ecclesiastical regeneration,” but not of that which can misconstruction which is often put alone render us“ new creatures”

upon the words of those who main

tain that baptism is not regenerain Christ Jesus. Mr.Scott supports his views on this tion by the Holy Spirit, nor always

attended byit,adds some excellent ob. subject by the three Articles on the Sacraments, and by several extracts tural authority of infant baptism*.

servations on the propriety and scripfrom Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop This leads us to refer to a former pasLatimer, and others of the Reformers. Admitting, however, that in in which Mr. Scott declares, that

sage in the chapter under discussion, some of Cranmer's early, writings, a large proportion of the evangelical there are many expressions which shew that he supposed the inward

clergy suppose that some special and spiritual grace generally to ministration of this interesting ini

gracious effect attends the due adattend the outward sign, in baptism; tiatory ordinance. This is certainly especially in the case of infants ; Mr. Scott nevertheless maintains instances, more especially in the

our own sentiment.

That in many from the quotations he has adduced,

case of the children of really pious that our great reformer did not think that the outward baptism was rege may take place in baptism, we

parents, true spiritual regeneration neration, or in all cases inseparably are willing to admit:--and that in all

, connected with it.

In replying to the strange misre. some spiritual benefit is bestowed, presentation of the Bishop of Lin

besides the mere external change of coln as to the sentiments of the from Scripture, as there undoubtedly

condition, we think there is ground evangelical clergy upon this subject, is from the language of our church, Mr. Scott gives the following apt for believing." We find no difficulty and striking illustration of bis own whatever, in considering the baptisview of it.

mal rite as an assurance and pledge, “ Regeneration is like the grafting of the

on the part of God, that the person tree ; and if it take place, either before, or hereby admitted into personal coveat, or after baptism, it will be shewn by its nant with bim through the second boly fruits. Miraturqne novas frondes, et Adam, shall not perish through the non sua poma. But if it be fancy and delu- fault of the first; which considera. sion, for a man, on account of some inward tion, by the way, explains that pefeelings, to think himself born again, and tition of our baptismal service, in new-created unto good works, while guilty which we pray for the forgiveness of the grossest immoralities;" we think it of sin in bebalf of the infant subject, also fancy and mistake, to suppose persons regenerate

, who are living in the practice of no less than of the adult, though higross wickedness, or an ungodly life, in

therto incapable of having contract

any form, merely because they were baptised in ed guilt by uctual transgressiont.” infancy.-If a nurseryman should be intro.

After all, as we have often before duced into an inclosure, planted with crab. observed, we could be contented to frees, covered with their wortliless fruit, and wave the term “ regenerale," with having not one apple or pear on any of respect to all who have been bapthem; and be told, that they had all been tised, if it were to be allowed, that, grafted, when young plants, and needed no in the case of those whose affections, other grafting: he would say, It is plain the dispositions, and conduct do not corgraft did not take; and it is evident, they must be grafted in a more efficacious man- * The case of infants is again noticed by ner, or they will still remain crab-trees; Mr. Scott in this first vol. p. 311. without this, proning, and digging, and ma

Christian Observer for 1806, p. 36.

We may,

respond with the Christian character; more extensive; but we fear we who are selfish, sensual, or worldly; must add, that on this, as on some some internal change, similar to that other most desirable points, our hopes which is called regeneration by Mr.

are not sanguine. Scott and others, is indispensably Considering the ambiguity of a necessary to salvation. Supposing, few expressions in the baptismal however, with the writer before us, service, and the general disposition that the term regeneration, in this of mankind to rest in external perconnection, were disused, which, ac- formances, it is by no means surcording to the Scriptures, Mr. Scott prising that great differences of opithinks must not be done, what ground nion should arise on the subject of would its opponents gain?

regeneration; but that on the points “ They themselves allow," he observes, of justification, faith, and good works, " that a very large proportion of baptised which are discussed in the third chappersons lose sinfully their baptismal regene- ter of the two publications before us, ration*: and unless they suppose, that they there should be any material varia: will nevertheless finally he saved, (a species tion in sentiment, amongst the writers of final perseverance more antinomian than of our church, is truly wonderful. It perhaps any Calvinist ever' held), they must is scarcely possible that the scripallow, that they differ nothing from the un- tural doctrine on these important regenerate, except in having once had, as the points can be more clearly, correctly, gift of God, what they have wickedly

, for- and repeatedly stated, than in the Lifeited and lost; which certainly is nothing favourable in their case.


turgy, Articles, and Homilies of the fore, by the allowance of our opponents,

Church of England: and it is diffi. address such persons as those who need re- cult to account for the mistakes and pentance and conversion; and may use every

errors on these points which are warning, exhortation, persuasion, and expos- unhappily so general amongst us, on tulation, that we cau find in the whole Scrip- any principles which may not be ture, addressed to persons of every character liable to the charge of pride and unand nation ; ' provided we do but avoid the charitableness. The fact, however, term regeneration, and others of similar im- with respect to the Bishop of Linport, which are prohibited to us."

coln's representation of this fundaIf this really be the case, we mental doctrine, we have already think that the evangelical clergy, bad occasion to point out; and in so called, and their opponeuts, may his remarks on that part of the “ Refairly compromise this dispute. Let futation," Mr. Scott has entered only the one agree to drop the term much more into detail than it was regeneration, and the other to aim possible for us to do. We cannot

at ihe production of the thing signi- now notice the various points of fied, and they may mutually hail difference between the statements of each other as fellow-labourers in the the two writers, for as we have been great work of converting and saving so diffuse on the preceding subjects, the souls of men. with the truly we must endeavour to be more conpious of both parties, we believe this cise on this. is in some measure realised ; and Upon the general protestant docshall greatly rejoice, if this union of trine of justification by faith in Jesus intention and endeavour, though not Christ, in opposition to the popish of language, should prove daily doctrine of the merit of good works, • The Bishop allows, in his third chapter, and satisfactory as the most strenuous

the Bishop of Lincoln is as clear shat justification, wben lost, may be renewed; assertor of that corner-stone of the yet denies that regeneration can : but they. Reformation could desire. Jo many who have sinned away regeneration, must still be addressed as regenerate. “ I can see," passages of his work he is equally says Mr. Scott,“ no reason for this distinc- correct in his statement as to the na. tion, unless the opus operatum of baptism ture of justifying faith, viz. that it is is actually regeneration."

uniformly productive of good works;


and sometimes he even places passages of the Bishop's work in these fruits of faith upon their just which it occurs, that we really hope and scriptural foundation. Here we we shall hear no more of it. We are frequently led to exclaim, 0 si may apply the same observation to sic omnia! and Mr. Scott accord- his equally strange assertion, that ingly expresses, in various places, his when St. Paul “ speaks of the jusliunqualified approbation of the Bi. fication of Christians, he always shop's sentiments, and his persuasion means the justification conferred by that the great body of the evange- baptism.” We have heard that this lical clergy cordially agree with notable sentiment has been advanced him. It is the more painful, there. by a certain learned Professor of fore, and discouraging, to perceive, as Divinity in one of our universities ; we proceed, how he gradually di- but we have yet to learn in wbat verges from what we conceive to be part of bis Epistles St. Paul so much scriptural truth, on several impor- as bints at the “ justification contant points connected with this sub- ferred by baptism," or where he exject, until at length we find him pressly mentions the two subjects in fairly landed on a deliberate decla- connection with each other. ration as to the efficiency of good But we proceed to the point we works in the matter of justification! have already mentioned, as to the This is actually the fact, and it has efficiency of good works in the more than once been unanswerably matter of justification. After the proved. If we were not afraid of decided manner in which the Bishop exhausting the patience of our read- of Lincoln sometimes speaks of jusers, we think that we could give a tification by faith alone, and that, satisfactory solution of this apparent such a faith as worketh by love, and ly strange phænomenon ; but we obedience to the divine commandmust content ourselves with observ- ments; it is truly wonderful that he ing, that a rooted, perhaps an unal- should afterwards set about involving lowed, notion of the merit of our this plain and scriptural statement good works, lurks at the bottom of in perplexity and error, by affirming this whole subject. Hence the that, though faith is sufficient to adotherwise almost unaccountable as- mit a man into a state of justificasertion of the Bishop of Lincoln, tion, it is not sufficient to continue that the works which St. Paul, in his him in it; but that for this purpose Epistle to the Romans,“ rejects good works must be added. This is from any sbare in justification,” are the extraordinary doctrine which pernot works of obedience to the moral vades a great part of the Right Rebut the ceremonial law, “ for which verend author's reasoning upon jus. the Judaizing Christians contended.” tification, the error and inconsistency This is a master error, which we of which Mr. Scott has must clearly have had but too frequent occasion to and satisfactorily pointed out. No. mention. It is really almost incon- thing can more plainly prove the ceivable, that any divine of the latent disposition to exalt the merit English Church should be charge- of good works, and to assign to them able with it; but it has been so a place and an office which they pointedly exposed, and so decid- were never intended, and are utterly edly refuted, by various writers *, unable to fill, than the zeal and perand now again with great ability by tinacity with which this unsound poMr. Scott, in his remarks on ihose sition has been laid down and de

fended by the Bishop of Lincoln * By no one better than by Mr. Gisborne, and others. It is a remarkable cirin the Sermon on Justification in bis third cumstance, as Mr. Scott justly obvolume; and by the autbor of a Critique on serves, that wherever the Bishop the Bishop's work in the British Review, to speaks of justification by faith alone, which we have already referred.

he evidently means living faith: but when he comes to speak of con- perform, or sustain; whether of retinuance in a justified state, he as commending us to God; or as proving uniformly, by sonie inadvertency, the sincerity of our faith, and serving substitutes a dead .faith, which no other important purposes, distinct one thinks will either continue a 'from that justification which must be man in a justified state, or bring him begun and preserved by faith alone. into it.

This the Bishop of Lincoln presumes “ It is the settled judgment," says Mr.

to call an absurd distinction, a strife Scott,“ of nearly all, it' not quite all, the evan.

of words, a perverse disputing. It gelical clergy, that such a faith as is without was a distinction, however, which good works, is wholly insufficient for salva- the venerable Hooker strenuously tion : and that 10 faith justifies, which does maintained; and which can alope prenot evidence itself” (to be) “living and ge- vent men from assenting to the innuine by good works; as certainly as a tree is correct and inconsistent, but fårknown by its fruits."

famed, propositions of the Bishop Mr. Scott very properly quotes of Lincoln, on the identity of being the famous passage from Hooker's saved by faith producing obedience, Sermon on Justification, which has and by obedience proceeding from already so frequently appeared in faith ; upon which, as we have alour pages, as exactly expressing his ready expressed our opinion *, we

shall not here enlarge. own sentiments and those of his bre. thren, who are styled evangelical

After the very distinct and able clergymen, on that all-important

manger in which Mr. Scott baş in point. There, it is well known, that this, as in every former publication, learned and judicious divine affirms, repelled the charge of neglecting that St. Paul declares "nothing upon good works, which is so confidently the behalf of man, concerning bis brought forward by the Bishop of justification, but only a true and Lincoln against those whom he opJively faith ; which nevertheless is poses; we trust it will not again be the gift of God, and not man's only urged, without clear and indisputable work without God. And yet that

proofs of its truth. We should very faith doth not shut out repentance,

much exceed the limits to which we

are confined, if we were to quote even hope, love, dread, and the fear of God, to be joined with faith in every this accusation : but we cannot for

a small part of Mr. Scott's replies to man that is justified; but it shutteth bear extracting one passage in which them out from the office of justify; this point is treated in a highly presen together in him that is justi- beautiful and elevated strain of piety. fied, yet they justify not altogether. “ It seems to me wonderful,” says this truly Neither doth faith shut out the jus- excellent writer, “ that no other necessity of tice of our good works, necessarily good works is expressly mentioned by our to be done afterwards, of duty to. opponents, except that which is connected wards God (for we are most bound- immediately with self-love: as if, were it en to serve God, in doing good possible tor us to be justified, and preserved deeds, commanded by him in his in a justified state, and thus get to heaven, holy Scripture, all the days of our

without them, though we might not prefer life:) but it excludeth thein so that

this, we should, at least, have little objection

to it. Whereas, I am confident, that there is we may not do them to this intent,

not a true believer on earth, nor ever was, or that we may be made just by doing will be, who would prefer going to heaven, if them."

practicable, in the neglect of good works, to There is, in fact, no controversy as the being made abundantly fruitful in them. to the necessity of good works, which Christ, 'gave himself for us that he might re. both parties allow; but merely, con cerning the rank which they are to • See our Review of the Refacation of hold; and the office which they are to Calvinisto, p. 587. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 126.

3 C

deem os from all iniquity, and purify us unto I render to the Lord for all his benefits?" - himself a peculiar people, zealous of good What can I further do to glorify God my

works'. Trae repentance is inseparable from Father, and to adorn and recommend the living faith, Every true penitent hates sin, gospel of my beloved Saviour? In what way for its own batefuluess; and loves holiness, cau I do most good for his sake, to his brefor its own loveliness ; yea, he hungers and thren and my brethren; after his admired thirsts after righteousness.' And every jus- example? or how promote the best interests tified person has the law of God written in of mankind, even of mine enemies and perhis heart: he loves God supremely, and longs secutors? Here am I, send me.' Employ to love him perfectly. He loves his neigh. me, my gracious Lord and Father, in whatbour greatly; and longs to love him as wholly ever way thou secst good; and I shall count end absolutely as he loves himself. He loves every labour of love,' which thou wilt

the household of faith. He would gladly enable ne to perform, an additional favour do good to men, and in every way glorify conferred on me.-Now therefore, O Lord God: and while he is cheered, amidst the my God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorifrowns and scorus of an ungodly world, by

ous name. But who am I, and wbat is my the assarance of a gracious recompence for people, that we should be able to offer so will.

bis work and labour of love :' yet if any ingly after this surt? For all things come of good were practicable by him, for which he thee, and of thine have we given thee.' Be. was sure, never to be the better himself, and doubt, this is the spirit

, with which the either in this world or in the next, he would blessed inhabitants of heaven, serve God 'not decline it; because he loves God, and day and night;' and find that service their man, and holiness: nor would lie, in his better liberty and pleasure: and how can they be judgment, commit sin, if he could possibly weet to be partakers of the inheritance of be assarod, that he should in no way suffer the saints in liglit,' who have not, in a meaby it; because be abhors it as the greatest of sure, the same main-spring of activity, and evils. How shall we, who are dead to siti, who are not capable of delighting in the same live any longer therein. His seed remaineth employments and services here on earth pa

Vol. i. in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born

pp. 330-333.

Mr. Scott's subsequent remarks of God.' A tender mother will not decline the most self-denying attention ko lier darling in his first volume, are chiefly oc. child; because she is not, as a hireling nurse, cupied in defending that body of the to receive wages for her labour and trouble: clergy called evangelical, from the por would she injure it, even if she could be repeated charges which the Bishop assured of escaping all punislınent. Love of Lincoln has brought against their would suffice in both cases. A servant works tenets and mode of preaching, as for his bire; and a slave from fear of punish- tending 10 delude and mislead their ment; teach-alike from mere self-love; even congregations, to depreciate the imwhen they dislike buth their master and thei portance of moral virtue, and to end work; and, commonly they will do more, courage vice and immorality among than is necessary for this selfish purpose: but

their followers. As to the term a dutiful affectionate son will labour, with alacrity, from love to his father; and because that it is not invidiously arrogated

evangelical," Mr. Scott observes, he accounts his fatizer's interest, credit, or comfort, in some respects, his own; nor will

to themselves, but was long since ape he need to be deterred by fear of punish- plied by others to the persons who ment, from doing those things, which he are now generally so distinguished ; knows-will grieve and displease his kind and but that, if it had ever been assumed, biotoured parent. This is the precise diffe- as their opponents represent, it would rence between the spirit of bondage' and at least be more modest than the s the spirit of adoption :' now Christians term “orthodor," by which we un" bave not received the spirit of bondage again derstand it is now the custom to deto fear,--but the

Spirit of adoption, whereby signate the other great body of the they cry, Abba, Father :' and thus, by pro- clergy. We heartily wish that all dueing klial confidence, feverence, and love these invidious distinctions might

the Spirit bimself witresses with their spirits, that they are the sons of God! Under this cease; but in the present state of sacred constraining influence; the question is things, this, like many others, is an noteHowuch must I-do; to escape panish-event rather to be desired than ex. well,' or to obtaia salvation but what cea pected..

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »