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the church itself; but still keeping the lower. end; to intimate that baptism is the entrance into the mystical church. In the primitive times we meet with them very large and capacious, not only that they might comport with the general customs of those times, viz, of persons being immersed or put under water; but also, because the stated times of baptism returning so seldom, great multitudes were usually baptized at the same time. In the middle of them was always a partition, the one part for men, the other for women; that so, by being baptized asunder, they might avoid giving offence and scandal. But immersion being now discontinued, and baptism ad. ministered, at all times, and to single persons, and those too, generally infants, there is no necessity to allow them so much room in the church. It is only now required, that there be one in every church, made of stone ;* because (saith Durandt) the water that typified baptism in the wilderness, flowed from a rock. Exod 17.6. and because Christ, who gave for the living water, is in scripture called the corner stone, and the Rock."
The learned Dr. Wm. Nicholls, in the office on bapa tism, observes on fonts, that “in the earliest time of christianity, baptisms were performed in ponds, rivers, and other convenient places, and afterwards in the places where the congregations were held.” But, after the empire became christian, and the faithful had a free exercise of their religion, they had public places for the celebrating their baptisins erected. These edifices were called baptisteries, which, at first, were only one public one in each city, adjoining to the great church thereof. (Cyril. Catech. Myst. 1.) some of which are yet to be seen in the cities of Italy, at Pisa, Florence, Bononia, Parma, &c, wherein, formerly, adults and infants, rich and poor, were promiscuously baptized together. Greg. Naz. Orat. xl. Some of the Latin and Greek writers speak of a stupendous baptistery, built by Constantine the Great, of porphyry stone: the bason in the middle being of silver; from the middle of which, a porphyry pillar rising up, supported a golden cup, of fifty pounds weight, filled always with fagrant perfume; over this stood a holy lamb of pure gold, out of whose mouth the water was spouted; on the right hand stood the statue of our Saviour; on the left, another of St. John the Baptist; both of silver. Dam. in vita Sylv. Theophanis. Hist.ab. Orb. Cond. in Constant. Afterwards, as this part of the world became generally christian, the baptism of adults became less frequent, and therefore the building of baptisteries as distinct rooms from the church, with large cisterns to receive the bodies of full grown persons, began to be left off, and smaller fonts of the present fashion began to grow into use. Gregorius Turonensis relates of Clodovceus, king of the Franks, in the - 6th century, that he put out an edict, that fonts should be erected with the church, upon the left hand of the going into it. De Mir. S. Mart. Lib. II. And the council of Ilerdo, which was held A. D. 524, (as 'tis quoted by Ivo) decreed, Omnius Presbyter qui fontem lapideumi habere nequiverit, vas conveniens adhoc solummodò baptizandi Officium habeat quod extra Ecclesiam non deportetur. Every priest who cannot procure a font of stone, let him have a convenient vessel, which he may use only for the office of baptizing, and which may not be carried out of the church. They chose to have the font made of hard solid stone, and not of a brittle and spongy one; partly, that it'might not be so liable to break, and partly, that it might not suck up the concecrated water."
· * Can. 81. .
Wheatly's Church of England Man's Companion, or rational illast tration of the book of Common Prayer, &c. 8vo. Second Edit. Oxford, 111
The investigating WALL in his admirable work on Infant Baptism, says, before the Christian religion had churches, they baptized in any river, pond, &c. So Tertullian of says it is all one whether we are washed in the sea or in a pond, in a fountain, or in a river, in standing, or in a running water: nor is there any difference between those that John baptized in Jordan, and those that Peter baptized in the river Tiber. But when they came to have churches, one part of the church, or place nigh the church; called the Baptistery, was employed to this use; and had a cistern, font, or pond, large enough for several at once to go into the water, divided into two parts by a partition, one for the men and tbe other for the women, for the ordinary baptisms. :
* See Nicholls's Comment on the Com. Prayer. Office of Public Baptism. Rubrick. Note 1, Ready at the Font. Fol. Edit.
# De Baptisino. C. 4.
i Wall's Hist. of Infant Baptism, part second, Chap. 9 and 2. p. 483 of the 4to Edit. and Vol, 2. p. 352 of the 8vo. Edie
The The learned and pious Joseph Mede in his discourse on churches, where quoting Tertullian, he says, “ concerning the sacrament of baptism, he speaks thus:--- Aquam adituri, ibidem, sed et aliquanto prius in Ecclesia, sub antistitis manu, contestamur nos renunciare Diabolo, & Pompæ & Angelis ejus: dehinc ter mergitamur. Coming to the water (to be baptized) not only there, but also, somewhere afore in the CHURCH, under the hand of the bishop or priest, we take witness that we renounce the devil and his pomp, and angels; and, afterwards, we are drenched thrice in the water.
I say Ecclesia here signifies the place. For the clearing whereof, know that the BAPTISTERIEs, or places of water for baptism, in those elder times were not, as now our FONTS are, within the church, but without, and often in places very remote from it.” “ He must, by Ecclesia, mean the place: otherwise it were taken for the assembly of the faithful, the church, in that sense, was present also at the water. But Ecclesiæ here, and the water, are supposed to be two distinct places; in both of which, according to the rite of the African churches, abrenunciation was to be performed : “ Aquam adituri, IBIDEM (i.e. apud aquam) sed et aliquanto priùs in ECCLESIA, contestamur nos renunciare Diabolo, &c.* ,
Chambers, in his dictionary, defines BAPTISTeRy from “ ecclesiastical writers,” to be “a place or edifice where water is preserved for persons to be baptized in,” that, “ antiently,” where immersion was used, “ the baptis- : tery was a kind of pond, where the catechumens were plunged: though, in many places, the next river served for a baptistery. In after times, it was a little building adjoining to the church, and appointed for this ceremony. There were several fonts and altars in each baptistery,” for baptizing a number at once, “all of whom received the Eucharist immediately after.” At first, they were only in cities, where bishops 'resided, and who alone baptized: but, afterwards, parishes were allowed fonts for greater convenience. Monasteries were refused them, unless they had baptismal churches in other places, or a secular priest to take care of the people;. but the monks soon threw off the priest, made them
on Works of the pious and profoundly learned Jos. Mede, B.D. 13. 2. : concerning Churches, third century. p. 330. Fol. 2nd Edit. 1672. .
... ... .. .. . selves
selves masters of the church, and attached it, with its fonts, to their own monastery*.
A few observations on the above Extracts will conclude the whole in your next Number, if you allow me to do so. Newington Butts,
I am, Sir, • Dec. 18, 1804.
ON THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES or
(From Mr. CLAPHAM's Sermons.) oŅ reviewing the second volume of Mr. CLAPHAM'S
selected and abridged Sermons, we made a promise that we should, at some convenient opportunity, enrich our pages with Extracts froin an original Sermon by that gentleman, (first published in the volume then under consideration), intituled “ The Advantages and Disad vantages of Methodism impartially ascertained." Wegladly fulfil what we promised. The text is, “ i Cor. 1. 10. ť beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing; that there be no divisions among you ; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."
After taking notice of the divisions, or schisms as it stands in the margin (og smeta), which prevailed in the church at Corinth, in a luminous opening, which brings hiin unconstrainedly upon his main subject; he says, “I shall first consider what good, whether real, or supposed, both to Christianity and to Society, has accrued froin the introduction of their doctrines.
Secondly, What are the evils, whether inherent in, or resulting from, them.
Thirdly, Why Methodism has so increased, and by what means it is supported; from which some observations will, in conclusion, naturally arise, which your candour may perhaps dispose you to consider as not unsuita, ble to the design of our present meeting.” We should observe that this was a Visitation Serinon,
* Chambers's Dictionary, Art. Baptistery, 2nd. Fdit. in 2 vols, 1738. I'ol. VII. Church. Mag. Dec. 1804. Mmm Thic
The Methodists have not yet settled in their own minds the relative importance of Faith, Hope and Charity. St. Paul has told us that the last of these is the greatest; but they seem to make light of it, if one may judge of the estimation in which they liold it, by the way in which they treat any one who animadverts upon their peculiar tenets. Mr. Clapham very justly says, “ I am compelled to premise, that the most candid investigation of Methodism has always provoked from its professors the most perverse cavils, and outrageous reproaches. In whatever view you consider it, you are from that moment abhorred, or despised, or pitied by the whole society. This circumstance is surely suspicious. If their system of religion be founded on truth, the more it is examined the greater cause they will have of rejoicing; if on error, the sooner they are convinced of their mistake, the higher must be their obligation to those who discover to them the uncertain foundation on which their edifice is raised. But I have been repeatedly told by some of their most distinguished members, that could they even be convinced that Methodisın is a delusion, it is so pleasing and so comfortable, they would still continue in it. We, my brethren, will act a contrary part. We will divest ourselves of every prejudice. We will not withhold from them that justice which we wish to receive at their hands. We will consider, fairly and impartially, how far their tenets promote the interests of Christianity-how far they conduce to the real welfare of Society, as we believe it will appear when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, and when every good man, of whatever persuasion, shall have praise of God.”
The first claim which the Methodists urge, is, that they preach' the word of God in its genuine purity. “ Acting, (says our Author) under the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost, receiving from him what they must say, and how they must speak, they are, in general, under the direction of an infallible guide. Why, after the ordinary assistances of the Divine Spirit havé been for so many ages granted in aid of human attainments, the Alınighty should entertain for the * ignorant,
* The modern fanatics, says a sagacious and acute observer, pretend to as high a degree of divine cominunications as if no rule of faith was in being; or, at least, as if that rule was so obscure as to need the further assistance of the Holy Spirit to explain bis own ineaning; or so imperfect as to need a ricw inspiration to supply its wants. But these