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the Canticles, for the place or act of washing sheep; and in Ecclesiasticus xxxiv. (Gr. xxxi. 25. There it signifies the act; and surely enough the word tarriówevo; is applied to the person washed; but it plainly imports only one of the legal ablutions. But let what will be made of the word washing, this determines nothing with respect to the next word, regeneration, which, after all, may signify the spiritual change from sin to holiness at any time of life, although always aceompanied with the enjoined rite of baptism, where opportunity was afforded. But almost the whole confusion on this interesting subject seems to have arisen, as has often been urged, from the circumstance, that in the first ages, apostolic and subsequent, the principal subjects of baptism were adults, and persons fully believed to be real converts; whose baptism, accordingly, was their open formal enrolment among the members of the church, and being an external act, obtruding itself, for that reason, more forcibly upon public notice than anything internal, was used to express, not itself only, the sign, but the thing signified. If, however, we admit the whole of the phrase to imply baptism and nothing more, yet that which immediately follows perfectly supplies the deficiency. But to those who pay more attention to things than words, except where words are things, which they often seriously are, it is obvious, that there are many other terms and expressions in Scripture which signify the same thing; particularly the being born of the Spirit, or of God, becoming his children, &c. &c. But if these import solely and exclusively the one immediate effect of baptism, then what is to be determined respecting that vast majority of instances, in which the baptized infant grows up an irreligious youth Is he still regenerate? ls his regeneration annulled, or is it dormant? And supposing it anaulled, when he is recovered to
holiness, are we forbidden to apply the term regenerate to him # is there, or is there not, a perpetuity and indetectibility of baptismal grace in the baptized? If this grace may be lost. then, unless we reduce the little flock of Christ ala most to a non-entity, i.e to those who continue in a state of uninterrupted sanctity from their baptism, there may be real converts, and the most exalted Christians, who can 1łever be regenerate and made God's children by adoption and grace. But, really, if we did not give up things with words, or rather with a single word, we could be content, for the sake of peace, to surrender the term recomeration, and let the thing coutended for remain under other names. But when the obnoxious term is converted into a masked battery to play upon those, who use and enforce it, as expressive of that change which everyungodly person.baptized or unbaptized, must undergo; and which must be effected, we dissemble not, by divine power; we grieve at the injury done, and wish that he who does it may in that instance himself be changed. It was certainly with some concern that we read the following retlections, which seem to convey the spirit and sense of the whole chapter. “Regeneratiou of those who are already baptized, by the forcible operation of the Spirit"— We must stop to make a remark on the introduction of the epithet forcible. If taken in he sense of overpowering and irresistible, it serves only to confound the subject, by introducing teacher, who are certainly far from constiuting even any considerable parts o' those who inculcate regeneration in the sense which the bishop comats. And yet, as they are not excpted, and carefully excepted too, tere is perfect reason to believe tat readers in general, and particulaly unholy ones, whose interest and prejudice lead them to that conclosion, will
apply to them the renoves which
succeed. If by forcible be meant the exertion of independent power in any agent, we see not, that any influence whatever can be exerted without force. But to return. “Regeneration of those, who are already baptized, by the forcible operation of the Spirit, is one of the doctrines by which the weak credulity of unthinking persons is imposed upon in the present times. It is a dangerous illusion, calculated to flatter the pride and indolence of our corrupt nature. It is an easy substitute, for that “godly sorrow which worketh repentarce; for that real amendment of life which consists in mortifying our carnal lusts, in forsaking ‘the sin which doth most easily beset us,’ and in an active and conscientious endeavour to obey the revealed will of God. Men who fancy they have received this second birth, consider themselves full of divine grace, are too regardless of the laws both of God and man, affect to govern themselves by some secret rules if their own breasts, urge the suggestions of the Spirit upon the must trifling occasion, and pretend the most positive assurance of their salvation, while, periops, they are guilty of the grossest immoral ties,” &c. &c. pp. 93, &c. Whether it were the frequent reference which the bishop has made to Dr. Doddridge's Expositor, or the natural occurrence of the thing itself, we had no sooner read this formidable string of charges, than the name of that same Doddridge presented itself to us, as the author of, perhaps the best, certainly the nost popular, work on this very subject, Regeneration, in the sense so much reprobated. And can any roader, who knows that work, for a moment imagine, that consequencs, such as detailed above are in any degree those which it naturally this to produce, or that directly the contrary are not If it be said, hat such works and doctrines, so teated, were not intended, we can unerstand such an apology as no otherthan a retractation of the whole chater before us, and all its injurious alegations. But, indeed, there is nothing more dissonant from our ieas of theological justice, than the agueness of such persomalities as ave just been transcribed, and which abound throughout the
work. The custom in our senate on occasions of this sort, of calling for names, is highly equitable in itself, and deserves imitation in all religious disputation which proceeds to personality: but were the names to be given, which we suppose would be given, in the present instance, the reader's surprise would probably be raised to no inconsiderable elevation, to find that all the apparatus of caution with which he was instructed to fence himself, was to be opposed to the assaults of Mr. Huntington, and others, of the like importance and influence. Before we leave this chapter, we think it expedient to bring forward to particular notice a small work of a bishop, and published by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. It is entitled, “A Dis. course concerning Baptismal and Spiritual Regeneration.” The author is Samuel Bradford, bishop of Rochester. It is contained in the 8th vol. of the Society's collection of tracts, and is the 6th number. The 6th edition was published by the society in 1802 with this advertisement: “This sixth edition is published at a time, when it is hoped so judicious and scriptural a discourse may be of service to settle the minds of good Christians, in some present disputes concerning Baptismal and Spritual Regeneration.” The fourth proposition in this discourse is “to shew that the washing of regenerg. tion may be separated from the renewing of the Holy Ghost;” &c. Simon Magus is produced as an ill. stance in point, who believed and was baptized, and yet had neither part nor lot in the kingdom of Christ. “Our Saviour,” he adds, “ makes the being born of the Spirit, as well as of water, necessary to the entering into the kingdom of God. St. Peter, in like manner, when he mentions baptism as saving us, adds, to prevent all mistake. not the putting away the filth of the flesh' (not that merely), but the answer of a good conscience 10wards God;’ I Pet. iii. 21; that also
is necessary to salvation; namely, when the baptized person's heart, * and consequently his life, agree with - his profession and obligation*.” The 3d chapter is intitled, “Of *Justification, Faith and Good Works.” When we reflected, that the present work is intended for a refutation of Calvinism, we were much surprised at the title of this chapter. For if Calvin were not necessarily a heretic on every article of divinity, we conceived that he would be allowed to be orthodox here; especially as this has been allowed, in the most unreserved manner, by Arminius. We think the passage has been referred to in our work before, but we will now transcribe it. There is some fault in the grammar, but the sense is plain enough. “Sed quicquid hic sit, mea sententia Calvini, quem tamen nemo nostrum reprehendit atgue male in hac re sentientem, quin paratus essem manus meae subnotatione subscribere illis, quae in tertio Institutionum suarum libro de hac re dicit, tisque calculum meum adjicere.” In the margin, he writes, “Paratus sum, quicquid Calvinus, lib. Inst. 3. de hac redicit, amplecti, eique subscribere.” Declarat. Sentent. Arminii. Opp. p. 102. . The passage occurs after giving his view of Justification. - The Bishop of Lincoln very justly observes, that justification is a for rensic term (p. 98), and that it is discussed at the greatest length, (we may add, most professedly and systematically), in the epistle to the Romans (pp. 105, 106). From the office of justifying he excludes perfect obedience (p. 111), and likewise the ceremonial works of the Mosaic dispensation (pp. 114–119, 120). Great pains are taken, as
" We could refer to other publications of the same venerable society, which inculcate the same apostolic doctrine, on this and other connected subjects, with simplicity and seriousness, particularly “The Catechism, &c. briefly explained,” &c. and * Plain Directions for reading the Holy Scriptures.”
usual, to reconcile the apostles Paul and James on this subject. We think there has been very little occasion for them, and that the pious, and not unlearned Jenks is right, when he says, St. James “treats of a different kind of justification from that which St. Patil establishes: not of the justification of our persons in the sight of God, and before his judgment-seat; but of the justification of our faith in the sight of the world, and at the bar of our own consciences; where (it is true) works must come in, to make good our pretensions to the holy Saviour of the world.” Submission to the Righteousness of God, ed. 1808, p. 35 *. It appears to us, that the bishop confounds the necessity of good works, on which all rational divines are agreed, with their efficiency in the office of justifying, where many are completely at variance. And this efficiency we cannot but consider as perfectly tantamount to merit. It may further be observed, that the bishop considers justification as conferred by baptism, and that it is this justification St. Paul always means, when he speaks of the justification of Christians (distinguished, we conclude, from the justification of heathens), p. 150. Regeneration, therefore, and justification appear to be, in his lordship's opinion, perfectly identical. But the most luminous and most important part of this disquisition is the declaration, p. 162. “Salvation, therefore, is promised both to faith and to obedience ; and consequently, faith and obedience must in reality signify the same thing, or include each other; otherwise the two passages would be irreconcileable.” Again, in the next page, “There seems no essential difference in these propositions: a man is saved by obedience which proceeds from faith; a man is saved by faith which produces obedience; a man * This view has been suggested by a
correspondent in our vol. for 1807, p. 437, col. 2, without any knowledge, as we believe, of the opinion of Jenks.
is saved by faith and obedience.” We verily believe that this is the first time that these propositions were held identical. In one view, they pretty accurately express the different doctrines, as they are generally maintained, of being saved by works, being saved by faith, and being saved by both together. We shall give our opinion on this subject more at large, when we have noticed, in a cursory manner, the remaining part of the chapter which contains the personal application. “ Certain preachers,” are introduced, p. 165, and doctrines are imputed to them, which we believe not an individual of the persons really intended, acknowledges. At p. 174 occurs the only name with which the work before us favours the reader out of the host of adversaries, against whom the zeal of the author sounds the trumpet of alarm: but he is himself a host— Overton. Without intending to vindicate or adopt (which every one knows we have not done) the whole contents of this writer's celebrated work, we think ourselves bound in justice and duty to say, that the sentences selected by his opponent are justifiable; and more especially the inference made respecting the teaching not only of Mr. Overton, but of the whole body of evangelical [. so called, perfectly reieves, in our opinion, both him and them from the necessity of saying a single word in their own defence. Let our readers weigh the following words: “ From these censures we might surely be authorised to conclude, that evangelical preachers do not inculcate a regular attendance upon divine ordinances, an uniform practice of religious precepts, repentance, good works, obedience to the moral law, holiness of living, abhorrence of vice, justice, mercy, and humility.” pp. 175, 176. These persons will not consider themselves much flattered by the allowance which is soon after made in favour of their intentions. We wish to Preserve respect to the dignity of
the episcopal order: but under the full impression of that sentinent, we know not how even to extenuate such accusations as those before us, otherwise than by supposing a considerable inacquaintanee with the objects of them, and adverting to the great misfortune attached to elevated stations of being obliged to see with other people's eyes, and hear with other people’s ears. But to return to the subject more immediately before us. The identify. ing of faith and obedience appears to us the most unjustifiable violence, or rather contradiction, to the dectrine of justification, as stated in the epistle to the Romans, where it is properly to be sought, that could easily be invented. It supposes the apostle to be ignorant of the real nature of merit, and leaves, or ra. ther establishes, the proudest ground of boasting. It appears to us, therefore, of importance to settle, if possible, this matter; and to shew that something more than the exclusion of perfect obedience, or of the ceremonial or Levitical observances, is intended by St. Paul, when he asserts that justification is by faith, without the deeds of the law. Not only is perfect obedience excluded, (a part of the truth, and only a part), which leaves entire to inperfect obedience the office of justifying, but every degree of obedience is likewise excluded. Not only are Levitical performances excluded, a doctrine less specious than the former, but every possible performance of man is likewise excluded. And so far are his moral performances from being exempted from this conclusion, that they are the very works most o intended. We think no one will deny that St. Paul had a very correct notion of the nature of moral. internal, or spiritual duty, as distinct from, and infinitely more valuable and in itself meritorious than. any thing external. If any doubt remain on this subject, let the last verses of the Ep. Rom. c. ii...bread. That the apostle had like
wise a correct notion of the distinction between grace, or favour, and works, the following passages of the same Epistle will as decisively determine, viz. iv. 16, and xi. 6. It only remains, then, to be decided, in what sense the apostle, in the Epistle to the Romans, uses the terms law, and works, or works of the Jaw; and it will thence be clear, whether, by making faith and obedience synonimous, he could be guilty of the palpable oversight and self-contradiction, of resting man's justification on a ground the most meritorious, when he intended it to be the most humiliating. By the crimes charged on the heathens, in the first chapter, it is evident that the law by which they are condemned is the law of nature, as it is called, or the moral law. The law of Moses could not apply to them to this purpose. See likewise ii. 14, 15. In the second chapter, where the Jews are likewise condemned, their offences are stated to be, not against the ceremonial of their law, but against its moral code,theft, adultery, sacrilege. The general description which is given of the depravity of the whole world, the two great divisions jointly, and which proves it to be under sin, and excluded thereby from the hope of justification by works, specifies moral transgressions, and is expressed in terms derived from different parts of the Old Testament. In ch. v. 20, the entrance of the law that sin might abound, is determined, by the context, to refer exclusively to moral transgressions. The whole of the seventh chapter, from verse seven to the end, can relate to moral injunctions alone, and the eighth verse particularly refers to the tenth commandment of the decalogue: in verse twelve, the commandment is said to be holy, and just, and good; and in verse fourteen, the law is affirmed to be spfritual. We have been as concise as possible in these references, presuming upon the general acquaintance of our readers, more espeChais T. Ossek v. No. 117.
cially with this part of Scripture. Thé inference appears to be irresistible, that the moral law is that of which the apostle is uniformly speaking, and that, therefore, the works excluded from justifying are moral works, of whatever description or degree, perfect or imperfect”. That the argument in the Epistle to the Romans is not concerning Levitical performances, is confirmed, and luminously illustrated, by adverting to another epistle in which it is a principal argument: we mean the Epistle to the Hebrews. How different, at a glance, is the character of these two epistles! With respect to the distinction between a mere historical and a real faith, and the necessary connection of good works with the latter, we are happy in the concurrence of the Bishop of Lincoln with ourselves, and with the evident sense of the Twelfth Article of our church, and of the Homily entitled “A short Declaration of the true, lively, and Christian Faith,” against many of the sons of the church, and particularly the Archdeacon of Sarum, whose inexcusable error respecting the homily ought never to be forgotten, till it is acknowledged: The three Articles on this subject are the eleventh, the twelfth, and the thirteenth; and we are contented with the plain words, without a single explanation. The homily more particularly relating to justification, is that entitled “A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind, by only Christ our Saviour, from Sin and Death everlasting.” This is referred to in the Eleventh Article, under the title of the Homily of Justification. To be as sparing as we can in our quotations, we read “justification is not the office of man, but of God; for man cannot make himself righ
* See this subject most ably and satisfactorily discussed in a sermon of Mr. Gisborne's, on “Justification not attainable by Acts of Morality," in a volume, entitled “Sermons principally designed to illustrate and enforce Christian Morality,” reviewed by us in our vol. for 1809.