Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

the progress of the discussion, that- Baptists who are in the practice of “Baptism is a setting apart to a sacred strict communion, and the Pædopurpose," p. 11. and the primary sense baptists of the old school, will agree in of the terın is to consecrate, or religi- pressing Mr. Eisdell to prove his preously to set apart the subject." p. 15. mises, or they will obstinately refuse to Serious and thoughtful men, both Bap- admit his conclusion; and those who tists and Pædobaptists, will agree that plead for mixed communion on the Christian baptism, does not consist in modern theories, will not, we presume, the external action alone, which either thank hinn for his assistance; for, they party may adopt; but both parties will will instantly perceive, that he has sasay, give us some fair reasonable proof, crificed the argument on which they what that external action ought to be; have rested their cause. but neither of them can be satisfied In fact, if the writer's theory be corwith the definition which is here pro- rect, all parties have to begin anew. duced.

He may reply, that he admits the conAnother circumstance in Mr. Eis- sequence; we doubt not he is sincere dell's theory, deserves consideration, in supposing that his principles are dewhich is, when speaking of the “suit. duced from the New Testament: so able subjects" of baptism, he says, “it was Mr. Emlyn, and so is Agnostos, who is not necessary they should have both argue against the perpetuity of saving faith; or, that their profession baptism; and so are our good friends should be fully triedmor, that they the Quakers, who adopt a mode of inshould have been long in a course of interpretation which differs from them struction and discipline. In such cases, both. But, the question still returns; the administration would become nugatory. Can a plain, unbiassed man, who, in The ordinance is prospective; it looks simplicity of heart, submits his judge forward to a change in its subject; and, ment to the New Testament, ever diswhere the character of a disciple is cover Mr. Eisdell's theory in the die already formed, its administration can-rections of the Lord, and the practice not answer its real design." p. 25. If of the apostles? It is a strong preso, real faith in Christ operates as a dis- sumption against it, that it was unqualification! For, he that possesses it, known in all antiquity, and equally unought not to be baptized ; to him the known in modern times, till the present administration of the ordinance would author discovered it. But, the final debe nugatory! We confess, this is a cision must be made by an appeal to view of the subject we never met with the Sacred Volume; to that touchstone before.

we refer our readers of every denoIn opposition to the strict com- mination; and, if they are satisfied munion Baptists, Mr. Eisdell says, that our author's system is well foun. " Upon the principles here assumed, ded, we may yet live to see a revothe question of its [baptism being a lution in opinion and practice, unexampre-requisite for the Lord's Supper, is pled in all preceding ages. set at rest; because, it is an ordinance to be considered as belonging primarily, not to those who are instructed, but to

Infant Hosannas : a Sermon, containing those who teach." p. 34. It seems,

many Particulars in the Life and Death of then, that if a minister does not ad Charles Sutton, a Child, belonging to the minister baptism to those under in Scot's Lane Sunday School, Salisbury: struction before they believe in Christ, Preached in the Meeting, Nov. 29th, 1820, he loses a benefit; and, from this au BY SAMUEL SLEIGA. WESTLEY, pp. 24. thor it also appears, that, as soon as Price 6d. they commence believers, it is not their This Sermon is printed partly at the reduty to be baptized at all I Could these quest of friends, and partly from a feeling positions be established, we grant' it in the Author's mind that it would not be would be in vain to contend that bap- right to suppress such an instance of early tism is a term of communion; but, the piety. It is in substance, and, he believes, argument depends on its being proved,

nearly the same in words, as was delivered. that the apostles did not baptize be

The delay in its appearance has been oc

casioned by the Author's reluctance to com-, lievers; and, that there may be a num

mit it to the press. Such as it is, he now ber of persons found, who ought not to commends it to the blessing of God, and be baptized, because they believe! Those the candour of his readers.

baiblinotion

50 MR. GIBBS'S DEFENCE AGAINST MESSRS. HULL AND ALEXANDER. Mr. Editor,

| of his sermons brought many severe charges I shall be obliged if, through the medium against the Baptists ; I called them “opof your miscellany, you will give publi- probrious," because I thought them so-1 city to the following letter, addressed to think so still.and others who heard them the Editors of the Evangelical and Con-received the same impression. gregational Magazines, and sent to them Their assertion, ihat they treated the fer insertion in their publication.

Baptists with "affection and respect," is · I am, Sir, yours respectfully, considered, so far as I have heard an opinNorwich,

GEORGE GIBBs.ion on the subject, to be grossly absurd ; Jan. Stk, 1822,

and many are surprised, that the good

sense of ihese gentlemen should allow them · Io reply to the letter in your last sup- to call the expressions they used, “Christian plementary number, signed William Huil, charity.” In the progress of my work L aod Joba Alexander, accusing me of did not notice these expressions, because " misrepresentation" in my defence of the they contained no argument; and I shall Baptists, I beg leave to make the following not repeat them now, because I would nei. statements; and as your Magazine lias been ther make the religious public parties to the vehicle of the charge against me, Il what passed in a single city, nor contribute request that you will allow it to become to spread the materials of discord. the medium of my vindication.

Those who heard the sermons, are comOn the 11th of June, 1820, Mr. Alex- petent to judge, whether my calling the ander gave notice that he should preach charges exhibited against the Baptists, op infant baptism; and the next Lord's-day " opprobrious,” was repaying “ Christian be delivered two sermons from Matt, xxviii. charity” with iqsult and defamation, or 19. to crowded congregations, collected whether it was not giviug to those charges by the publicity given to his intention. In their proper epithet, the September following, three months That the terms of friendship with us afterwards, I had to baptize ten persons should be a " systematic silence" on their I then delivered a discourse in defence of part, is an insinuation that ought to be believers' baptism, which I had prepared withdrawn. The baptist ministers in this with particular reference to his statements. city, seldom state their peculiar sentiments, This discourse I was requested to print; except when called upon to administer the and while revising it for the press, I heard ordinance of baptism; and they by no that Mr. Hull intended to advocate the | means object to those of other denominacause of Pædobaptism; I therefore delayedtions doing the same; But in the cases publishing, that I might have an oppor- under consideration, the attention of the tunity of hearing and answering his argu- inhabitants of this city, was called to the ments.

subject of Pædobaptism, by public notice This, Sir, is a plain statement of the facts that serpons would be preacked in its supof the case; and you will perceive that port-of conre many Baptists took the these gentlemen and myself, are at işsue opportunity of hearing them; and against respecting the cause, and period, of my the arguments then brought forward, I publishing. They affirm, that my work, published my DEFENCE OF THE BAPTISTS. k was in the press, or preparing for the These gentlemen profess to lament that press, at the very time when the advocates a separation should take place between of Pædobaptism, delivered those discourses those, whose differences sink into "entire in which they are falsely charged to have insignificance," compared with other parts conducted themselves in an opprobrious of the gospel in which they are agreed : manner." This I deny, and declare, that But have they forgotten in what colours what I preached on the 26th of September, these very differences were painted by was occasioned by Mr. Alexander's disa themselves twelve months ago To me it courses in the preceding june; and that is manifest, that if we would patiently have Mr. Hull's lectures begun the 14th of borne their animadversions, then we inight December, 1820, and ended the Ilth of have acted with them : But my telling January, 1821, induced me to abandon my the world that these “charges” were original plan of printing a sermon, and to "opprobrious," is the real cause of the present the public with a larger work, the separation they pow lament. substance of whicb, was composed and Still, however, I respect these gentlepreacbed subsequendy to the delivery of men, as useful and valuable ministers; and these lectures. win

so far from desiring to live estranged from 9 In addition to these particulars, I offer them, I am willing to combine my efforts a few observations on the concluding part with theirs in the promotion of any good of the letter. These gentlemen say of the cause, on those common principles, the expression, " opprobrious charges, “We importance of which we mutually achave ooly to meet this offensive statement koowledge, with a direct and solemn denial.I reply,

I am, respectfully yours, that one of them in particular, in the course Norwich.

GEORGE GIBBS.

60

Religious and Literary Intelligence.

CITY OF LONDON AUXILIARY | lence, amidst destruetive engines of war. BIBLE SOCIETY.

fare, at present heaped up on one another

in harmless profusion. If to these tremen[Continued from page 31.]

dous stores, Great Britain had been accus

tomed to resort for those weapons wbich Mr. J. Angell James, of Birmingham, had been the effective instruments of her eame forward. It was predicted in that power; mighty as that had shown itself, holy volume, which they were met to cir how gratifying was it to feel that she was culate, or at least to assist in the circulation yet greater in her mercy than in her power, of_" that the nations should bring their | Yes, they were assembled to celebrate the glory and their honour into the temple of Anniversary of an Institution, whose buour holy religion.” This day, he could mane, whose saving exertions, were calcupot but think, that the prediction was in lated to do good to, and to ameliorate, to part accomplished, when the very first city proclaim the tidings of mercy to more in the world surrendered in this place, and nations than ever trembled at this country's in the person of its Chief Magistrate, its re- power. When God built up her rocky sources, and its hall, for the purpose of as. | seats in the midst of the stormy ocean ; sisting in the propagation of the word of when he made the waves to be her servants, God. Never was this seat of civic splen and the elements to be the ministers of her dour more nobly filled ; never did a com- | greatness; when he gave enterprise to her pany more honourable or respectable than people, and decreed that coinmerce should this day might boast to have seen, assemble reward with its treasures and its blessings there; never did that illustrious fetter--the their enterprise and industry; what was only fetter, he well knew, which was liked | the voice with which he spoke when he or tolerated by his Lordship (the Lord proclaimed his will : “ For this purpose Mayor)-never did it glitter with more be- have I raised thee up :---to be my salvation coming splendour than now, when it was to the ends of the earth; to be a light to borne by his Lordship, presiding at a Meet lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of my ing devoted to the attainment of ends more people Israel.” And if he might be al• elevated and more noble than all which lowed to put such a case, he would say, splendour could confer-

that could he in the origin of created things,

have anticipated what would be the events, “A glory gilds the sacred page,

the virtues, or the crimes, of succeeding “Majestic like the sun : " It gives a light to ev'ry age;

ages, of every people, and in every counbut borrows none!

try, their greatness and their declension,

their revolutions and their victories, be Such, too, was the character of that holy would have said-deaf to the murmurs of volume, wbich they were nnited together discontent, that in all ages must somewhere for the purpose of propagating as widely as prevail-blind to every speck that must possible. For himself, he loved upon every almost necessarily rest upon the disk of her suitable occasion to express his admiration glory and her greatness—" Let me live of his native country; and, for its prose , iu Britain, and in the commencement of the perity, he could offer no better wish, than 19th century." . that her power might be without oppres. "It would be quite useless, in the place sion, her liberty without anarchy, her where he stood, to be eulogizing the Bible, wealth without sensuality, her liberality A man might as well think of eulogizing without profuseness; and, in religious mat- the sun on a fine day in autuin, when its ters, without fanaticism or bigotry on the genial effects are apparent in every fruit one hand, or scepticism and supineness on that is glowing in its ray. It had been the other. How different was the pleasing, said, however, that the man who caused the delightful scene, which he had now the but one blade of grass to grow where node happiness of beholding, from that which he had grown before, was a benefactor to bis had witnessed but a few days since, in the species, and a patriot in his country. How arsenal at Woolwich; that arsenal, from much more truly might it be affirmed, that whence Great Britain derived the elements he who bestows but one Bible where no of her power. True it was, that the Ge Bible had been possessed before, was the pius of War, which was wont there to con- | benefactor of his species! Had any one template the implements of its active ven- | twenty years ago ventured to predict how geance, was now slumbering in gloomy si- | mach this excellent Society would ebec,

in that period; had any one said that in So he would say of Popery; he was conthe firët seventeen years of its existence, tent to give it Catholic emancipation here, it wouid put into circulation more than and the Inquisition elsewhere-Ferdinand 3,000,000 of Bibles—that it would be en- in Spain, and Louis in France; but give abled to expend more than £1,000,000 of bim the Bible Society, and, he would money-and that it should create upwards boldly declare, that all the power of of 600 Auxiliary Societies to assist it in the Popery would fade before it. Not many attainment of its grand objects; that it years ago, a decree passed in a neighbour. would send a coal, taken from its altar, ing country, and publicly passed, declaring over the Atlantic, to kindle a sacred fire Christianity to be a forgery, death an that should burn all over an immense con eternal sleep, and reason God, or God tinent, from tije falls of the Niagara to the reason, he hardly knew which. At that mouths of the Mississippi; he would have time, several persons were afraid that this been rejected, laughed at, ridiculed as a country would be deluged with atheism, visionary enthusiast; and have been in As reasonably might men have been alarmed danger of being assigned a cell in the vi- lest the glorious light of the majestic sun cinity of those, who would have been look- should be obscured or extinguished by the ed upon as his brothers. Could that meet- | fluttering of the wings of owls and bats. ing, with the eye of omniscience, surveythe But, in these days, there could be no scenes over which those 3,000,000 of Bibles danger of the triumph of infidelity; more had been disseminated, what unaumbered especially, while the British and Foreign blessings, and through what countless chan- | Bible Society was in existence. After nels, would they perceive to have flownpaying a handsome compliment to that ob. from that source of benefits the British livion of sects which was manifested by the and Foreign Bible Society. They would various professions of faith which here see the labour and the repose of the poor found representatives, all equally anxious peasant, alike sweetened by those delights to disseminate the word of God among all which the perusal of the holy book was the nations of the earth, the reverend gencalculated to afford him. But not merely tleman concluded by moving the reso, would they find that book consoling and lution. sustaining the exertions of honest industry; " That this Meeting, sensible of the adthey would and among its other blessed vantage which, under the Divine blessing, effects, the tear of penitence bedewing | has been derived from the patronage conthose unhappy eyes which had been accus ferred upon the Society, tenders an extomed to wake but upon scenes of guilt pression of gratitude to the Right Hon. the and crime. Upon these grounds alone, he Lord Mayor, the President; to the Right might rest the claims of this society, on the Hon. and others the Vice-Presidents; to support of all classes; but more than this, the Treasurer, to the Secretaries, and to its principles were in strict accordance with the Committee, for their countenance, sipthose of the Protestant establishment. What port, and exertions, during the past was Popery but the exalting of the commentary above the text? What was Pro Dr. Thorpe, in seconding the resolution, testantism but the putting the commentary would say a few words with respect to the below the text, and restoring the text to undertaking in which they were engaged, its proper and original superiority? I It was one that required, from time to time, was precisely in this feeling, that the soci. their exertions and their money; and ety acted. The Reformation itself was therefore it became them, in the outset, to never completed till the British and Foreign ascertain whether it was a necessary one Bible Society started into existence, or not. That it was necessary, appeared What was the Reformation itself, but the from the testimony of the book itself, and bringing forward of the Bible from the fiom the language of its divine author. It recesses of monasteries, by Luther and was his recorded wish, that his word should Tindal and others, who were the great be searched by all the nations of the earth, agents of publishing it to the world at by every class of people in the world ; and large? Of late years, some persons of del- here, therefore, was sufficient justification icate nerves, had expressed their appre of the society. Two-thirds of the human hensions of the return of Popery. As little race were still destitute of those sacred reason, in his opinion, had they to dreadlights which Almighty providence had des. the return of wizards, witches, and hob. tined for the benefit of all mankind. Up. goblins. What had been said by a great wards of 600,000,000 of our fellow-crea. orator about the liberty of the press, iu tures, were not only destitute of the Scripsome measure applied, by analogy, to the tures, but the greater part of them were Bible Society. That great man said, that ignorant even of the existence of such a he would give Ministers a corrupt House book as the Bible. Here was another ar. of Commons, a venal majority, and all the gument for the necessity of this society. influence of patronage ; yet, if they would still many objections had been made to the give him the liberty of the press, he would dissemination of the Holy Scriptures. It defy their efforts and defeat all their force. was said, that the heathen idolator, or the

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

native of India, could not understand them. sing, whilst he noticed for a moment apother It was difficult, however, for those who objection, namely, that the progress of the maintained this, to argue against the evi- Bible Societies was likely to prove inju. dence of facts. Let such persons look at rious to church and state. It was most ex, the exainple furnished by the South Sea | traordinary, how such an impression should islands; where there were instances of a bave gone forth, when it was a notorious whole people casting away and demolish | fact, that they took every opportnnity of ing upon the sea coast, the idols of their embodying among their numbers, the lea. country. Let them look to Africa ; and ders of church and state, tbe very men mark the example, for instance, given by who were solemnly bound to maintain the the Regent's tour. They who said that no civil and religious institutions of their necessity existed for the dissemination of country. If, therefore, the Bible Societies the Holy Scriptures throughout Great Bri- were intended to militate against church tain and Ireland, were greatly deceived; and state, the promoters of them took the for in very many parts of those islands, the most extraordinary step in the world to population was extremely deficient in the effect their object, by calling into their means of arriving at this necessary, this deliberations the very men, who, of all indispensable knowledge. But the strong others, must be their determined oppoest argument in favour of Bible Societies, dents. The reverend gentleman, in conwas to be found in the avidity with which clusion, quoted the opinion of the Earl of its presents were hailed by every people Liverpool, in favour of the Bible Societies. and in every climate, Wherever the agents. The noble Lord on a late occasion, emof this society had been, they had found | phatically declared, that every good subthe nations as willing to receive as the ject and churchman ought to belong 10 Bible Society had beep forward to copfer these institutions. . the knowledge of the Bible. The history Dr. Wardlaw, of Glasgow, proposed the of the society clearly proved that the bles- fifth resolution. In doing so, he eulogized sing of God was with it. He would now the objects of the Association, and returned call their attention to one or two objections thanks to the ladies, for the zeal and activwhich were lately brought against their ity which they had displayed in furtheraace extensive society, by some of their oppo- of them.' He insisted strongly on the pronents. It was said, that it was a bad thing | priety of circulating the Bible without to circulate the Bible, without the accoin. note or comment, and urged that those who panying explanation of comments. Now, anticipated danger from circulating it in he must say, that such an objection partook that manner, and at the same time saw none of little modesty ; for what was it, but to from circulating it with comment, acted as say, that the great work which had its ori- | if they augured danger from what yvas gio with the divine Saviour himself, and divine, namely, the Scriptures; and a rewho declared, that it would make mankind medy for it from what was human, namely,

wise unto salvation," was incomplete the comment. He likewise observed, that without the explanatory aid of a book of there were two eyenis-be meant the iotheir own making: Another objectionvention of printing, and the institution of was, that it was treating the Prayer Book | Bible Societies, which, though removed with contempt, to circulate the Bible with- from each other in point of time, were out it. Nothing could be inore idle than | closely allied in the great effects which they to attend to such an objection. They inight were producing upon the human mind. He as well say, that a society composed for knew that the invention of pripting, had the distribution of clothing alone, had not been attended with unalloyed good; shown a contempt for feeding the poor, as but what was there which we could enjoy to say that the circulation of the Bible, without evil? The very air we breathed without the Prayer Book, involved the I was the vehicle to the ear of all evil, as slightest indifference to the latter. lodeed well as of all good, of blasphemy, as well it was a remarkable fact, that since the as of devotion, of imprecations and curses: establishment of the Bible Societies, the l as well as of gratitude and prayer. But circulation of Prayer Books had increased what man was there, who on that account in an extraordinary degree. Its circulation would, even if he had the power of depriv. had, in fact, increased tenfold. The Bart. ing the air of its capability of conveying Jett's-buildings Society, had distributed of sounds, wish to exercise it? So wild is late froin 14,000 to 90,000 Prayer Books; 1 gard to printing ; what man was there who and the Universities had printed 150,000 would wish to destroy the press, bec more within the last 15 years, than they some miscreants abused its powers? Pr had during the preceding period of the ing, by the facility, which it gave to same duration. That fact at once put an distribution of the Holy Scriptures, wa end to the insinuation, that the circulation invaluable blessing. The javentiodo of the Bible bad in the slightest degree was necessary to that circulation of tr retarded the demand for the Prayer Book. which took place at the Reformation; The contrary was obviously the real-trutl. nothing more was wanting to shew " He entreated the jodulgence of the meeto l estimable advantages of it, than the es

[ocr errors]

ecause

« НазадПродовжити »