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or life with activity, and pleasure, and pain; yet “they are used to express an operation on the human mind and heart subsequent,' in many instances, “to baptism;’ unless all, in every age, who have been baptised adult, on a formal or hypocritical profession of faith, are to be consigned without hope, to perish with the enemies of God.”
What, then, it may be asked, is Mr. Scott's own view of baptism, and of the baptismal office of our church To the former part of this inquiry, we may reply by quoting his words in the preface, in which he declares it to be his object to prove, in this second chapter of his work, that,
“Baptism is only the sacramental sign and seal of regeneration (as circumcision was under the Old Testament,) and not regeneration itself, nor inseparably connected with it; that adults, sincerely professing repentance and faith, are already regenerate, and in baptism receive the sign and seal of the righteousness of faith, which they had being yet unbaptised; that the event, as to each baptised infant, must determine, whether it was or was not regenerated in baptism; that baptism is not universally and indispensably necessary to salvation, but that regeneration is; and that ungodly and wicked persons, who have been baptised, need regeneration, even as all wicked Israelites needed the circumcision of the heart, and the Jews in our Lord's days, needed regeneration." On this representation of baptism we shall presently offer a few observations; but it may be previously necessary to inquire how far it accords with the general tenor, and with some of the particular expressions, of the baptismal service of our church. After observing, that these expressions are accounted for by the deference paid by our Reformers to the language of the primitive Fathers (with whom, as we have already remarked, for an obvious reason, it was customary to identify baptism with regeneration), Mr. Scott trusts it will appear, that the language of our Reformers,generally taken, by no means implies this identification *,
* The Sermon in our last number on Regeneration, by Bishop Beveridge, is a plain Proof that this was not the opinion of that eminent prelate and sound churchman.
or that baptism in all cases, even when rightly administered, is accompanied by regeneration. In the office for the Baptism of Infants, Mr. Scott thinks that the prayers themselves for spiritual blessings evidently distinguish between baptising with water, and spiritual regeneration, “the heavenly washing;” between what man can do, and what God only can do: and that this implies that one may be done without the other. He conside's also, that the declaration, “seeing now that this child is regenerate,” together with the thanksgiving in the concluding prayer, proceed upon the supposition that the blessing is granted * in answer to the prayers of all concerned in the administration, and is therefore distinct from the opus operatum. At the close of his work too, Mr. Scott adopts, as from some high authority, the sentiment, that all which is said of infants in the baptismal service, is spoken conditionally; on the supposition and condition, that, when they come to age, they perform the promises which they have made by their sureties. This is said to follow from that part of the Catechism which mentions the qualifications for baptism. Upon this subject, we have always thought that the strongest argument was to be derived from the similarity of the expressions in the services for infant and adult baptism t. In the latter service, as Mr. Scott remarks, the “great benefit derived to adults by baptism,” is spoken of as connected with their “truly repenting and coming to the Lord by faith.” Doubtless, wherever this is the case, the persons so baptised are born again both of water and of the Spirit;
* Mr. Scott, we doubt not, did not intend by this sentiment to give any countenance to the error of those who consider the efficacy of a sacrament as at all dependent on the piety of any of the parties concerned in the administration of it; a hint which we give merely to avoid misunderstanding.
t See this subject fully discussed in our volume for 1809, pp. 794-797,
but can this be justly supposed of hypocrites, or of those who have only a dead faith ? . They have, indeed, partaken of what Bishop Hopkins calls “ ecclesiastical regeneration,” but not of that which can alone render us “new creatures” in Christ Jesus.
Mr.Scott supports his views on this subject by the three Articles on the Sacraments, and by several extracts from Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Latimer, and others of the Reformers. Admitting, however, that in some of Cranmer's early writings, there are many expressions which shew that he supposed the inward and spiritual grace generally to attend the outward sign, in baptism; especially in the case of infants; Mr. Scott nevertheless maintains, from the quotations he has adduced, that our great reformer did not think that the outward baptism was regeneration, or in all cases inseparably connected with it.
In replying to the strange misrepresentation of the Bishop of Lincoln as to the sentiments of the evangelical clergy upon this subject, Mr. Scott gives the following apt and striking illustration of his own view of it.
“Regeneration is like the grafting of the tree; and if it take place, either before, or at, or after baptism, it will be shewn by its boly fruits. Miraturque novas frondes, et non sua poma. But if it be fancy and delusion, for a man, on account of some inward feelings, to think himself born again, and new-created unto good works, " while guilty of the grossest immoralities; we think it also fancy and mistake, to suppose persons regenerate, who are living in the practice of gross wickedness, or an ungodly life, in any form, merely because they were baptised in infancy.—lf a nurseryman should be introduced into an inclosure, planted with crabfrees, covered with their worthless sruit, and having not one apple or pear on any of them; and be told, that they had all been grafted, when young plants, and needed no other grafting: he would say, It is plain the graft did not take; and it is evident, they must be grafted in a more efficacious mannet, or they will still remain crab-trees; without this, proning, and digging, and ma
muring, will do nothing. The application to our views is obvious.” Vol. i. p. 244, 245.
At the close of his remarks on regeneration, Mr. Scott, aware of the misconstruction which is often put upon the words of those who maintain that baptism is not regeneration by the Holy Spirit, nor always attended by it,adds some excellent observations on the propriety and scriptural authority of infant baptism”. This leads us to refer to a former passage in the chapter under discussion, in which Mr. Scott declares, that a large proportion of the evangelical clergy suppose that some special gracious effect attends the due administration of this interesting initiatory ordinance. This is certainly our own sentiment. That in many instances, more especially in the case of the children of really pious parents, true spiritual regeneration may take place in baptism, we are willing to admit :--and that in all, some spiritual benefit is bestowed, besides the mere external change of condition, we think there is ground from Scripture, as there undoubtedly is from the language of our church, for believing. “We find no difficulty whatever, in considering the baptismal rite as an assurance and pledge, on the part of God, that the person hereby admitted into personal cove: nant with him through the second Adam, shall not perish through the fault of the first; which consideration, by the way, explains that petition of our baptismal service, in which we pray for the forgiveness of sin in behalf of the infant subject, no less than of the adult, though hitherto incapable of having contracted guilt by actual transgression't.” ster all, as we have often before observed, we could be contented to wave the term “regenerate,” with respect to all who have been baptised, if it were to be allowed, that, in the case of those whose affections, dispositions, and conduct do not cor
* The case of infants is again noticed by Mr. Scott in this first vol. p. 311. * Christian Observer for 1806, p. 36.
respond with the Christian character; who are selfish, sensual, or worldly; some internal change, similar to that which is called regeneration by Mr. Scott and others, is indispensably necessary to salvation. Supposing, however, with the writer before us, that the term regeneration, in this connection, were disused, which, according to the Scriptures, Mr. Scott thinks must not be done, what ground would its opponents gain? “They themselves allow,” he observes, “ that a very large proportion of baptised persons lose sinfully their baptismal regeneration": and unless they suppose, that they will nevertheless finally he saved, (a species of final perseverance more antinomian than perhaps any Calvinist ever held), they must allow, that they differ nothing from the unregenerate, except in having once had, as the gift of God, what they have wickedly forfeited and lost; which certainly is nothing favourable in their case. We may, therefore, by the allowance of our opponents, address such persons as those who need repentance and conversion; and may use every warning, exhortation, persuasion, and expostulation, that we can find in the whole Scripture, addressed to persons of every character and nation; provided we do but avoid the term regeneration, and others of similar import, which are prohibited to us.”
If this really be the case, we think that the evangelical clergy, so called, and their opponeuts, may fairly compromise this dispute. Let only the one agree to drop the term regeneration, and the other to aim at the production of the thing signified, and they may mutually hail each other as fellow-labourers in the great work of converting and saving the souls of men. With the trul pious of both parties, we believe this is in some measure realised ; and we shall greatly rejoice, if this union of intention and endeavour, though not of language, should prove daily
* The Bishop allows, in his third chapter, that justification, when lost, may be renewed; yet denies that regeneration can but they, who have sinned away regeneration, must still be addressed as regenerate. “I can see,” says Mr. Scott, “no reason for this distinction, unless the opus operatum of baptism is actually regeneration.”
more extensive; but we fear we must add, that on this, as on some othermost desirable points, our hopes are not sanguine. Considering the ambiguity of a few expressions in the baptismal service, and the general disposition of mankind to rest in external performances, it is by no means surprising that great differences of opinion should arise on the subject of regeneration; but that on the points of justification, faith, and good works, which are discussed in the third chapterof the two publications before us, there should be any material variation in sentiment, amongst the writers of our church, is truly wonderful. It is scarcely possible that the scriptural doctrine on these important points can be more clearly, correctly, and repeatedly stated, than in the Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies of the Church of England: and it is difficult to account for the mistakes and errors on these points which are unhappily so general amongst us, on any principles which may not be liable to the charge of pride and uncharitableness. The fact, however, with respect to the Bishop of Lincoln's representation of this fundamental doctrine, we have already had occasion to point out; and in his remarks on that part of the “Refutation,” Mr. Scott has entered much inore into detail than it was possible for us to do. We cannot now notice the various points of difference between the statements of the two writers, for as we have been so diffuse on the preceding subjects, we must endeavour to be more concise on this. Upon the general protestant doctrine of justification by faith in Jesus Christ, in opposition to the popish doctrine of the merit of good works, the Bishop of Lincoln is as clear and satisfactory as the most strenuous assertor of that corner-stone of the Reformation could desire. In many passages of his work he is equally correct in his statement as to the nature of justifying faith, viz. that it is uniformly productive of good works; and sometimes he even places these fruits of faith upon their just and scriptural foundation. Here we are frequently led to exclaim, O si sic omnia 1 and Mr. Scott accordingly expresses, in various places, his unqualified approbation of the Bishop's sentiments, and his persuasion that the great body of the evangelical clergy cordially agree with him. It is the more painful, therefore, and discouraging, to perceive, as we proceed, how he gradually diverges from what we conceive to be scriptural truth, on several important points connected with this subject, until at length we find him fairly landed on a deliberate declaration as to the efficiency of good works in the matter of justification! This is actually the fact, and it has more than once been unanswerably proved. If we were not afraid of exhausting the patience of our readers, we think that we could give a satisfactory solution of this apparently strange phaenomenon; but we must content ourselves with observing, that a rooted, perhaps an unallowed, notion of the merit of our good works, lurks at the bottom of this whole subject. Hence the otherwise almost unaccountable assertion of the Bishop of Lincoln, that the works which St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, “ rejects from any share in justification,” are not works of obedience to the moral but the ceremonial law, “ for which the Judaizing Christians contended.” This is a master error, which we have had but too frequent occasion to mention. It is really almost inconceivable, that any divine of the English Church should be chargeable with it; but it has been so pointedly exposed, and so decidedly refuted, by various writers”, and now again with great ability by Mr. Scott, in his remarks on those
* By no one better than by Mr. Gisborne, in the Sermon on Justification in his third volume; and by the author of a Critique on the Bishop's work in the British Review, to which we have already referred,
passages of the Bishop's work in which it occurs, that we really hope we shall hear no more of it. We may apply the same observation to his equally strange assertion, that when St. Paul “speaks of the justification of Christians, he always means the justification conferred by baptism.” We have heard that this notable sentiment has been advanced by a certain learned Professor of Divinity in one of our universities; but we have yet to learn in what part of his Epistles St. Paul so much as hints at the “justification conferred by baptism,” or where he expressly mentions the two subjects in connection with each other. But we proceed to the point we have already mentioned, as to the efficiency of good works in the matter of justification. After the decided manner in which the Bishop of Lincoln sometimes speaks of justification by faith alone, and that, such a faith as worketh by love, and obedience to the divine commandments; it is truly wonderful that he should afterwards set about involving this plain and scriptural statement in perplexity and error, by asfirming that, though faith is sufficient to admit a man into a state of justification, it is not sufficient to continue him in it; but that for this purpose good works must be added. This is the extraordinary doctrine which perwades a great part of the Right Reverend author's reasoning upon justification, the error and inconsistency of which Mr. Scott has most clearly and satisfactorily pointed out. Nothing can more plainly prove the latent disposition to exalt the merit of good works, and to assign to them a place and an office which they were never intended, and are utterly unable to fill, than the zeal and pertinacity with which this unsound position has been laid down and defended by the Bishop of Lincoln and others. It is a remarkable circumstance, as Mr. Scott justly observes, that wherever the Bishop speaks of justification by faith alone, he evidently means living faith: but when he comes to speak of continuance in a justified state, he as uniformly, by some inadvertency, substitutes a dead faith, which no one thinks will either continue a man in a justified state, or bring him into it.
“It is the settled judgment," says Mr. Scott, “ of nearly all, if not quite all, the evangelical clergy, that such a faith as is without good works, is wholly insufficient for salvation ; and that no faith justifies, which does not evidence itself" (to be) “living and genuine by good works; as certainly as a tree is known by its fruits.”
Mr. Scott very properly quotes the famous passage from Hooker's Sermon on Justification, which has already so frequently appeared in our pages, as exactly expressing his own sentiments and those of his brethren, who are styled evangelical clergymen, on that all-important oint. There, it is well known, that food and judicious divine affirms, that St. Paul declares “nothing upon the behalf of man, concerning his justification, but only a true and lively faith; which nevertheless is the gift of God, and not man's only work without God. And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, and the fear of God, to be joined with faith in every man that is justified ; but it shutteth them out from the office of justify. ing. So that, although they be all present together in him that is justified, yet they justify not altogether. Neither doth faith shut out the justice of our good works, necessarily to be done afterwards, of duty to. wards God (for we are most bounden to serve God, in doing good deeds, commanded by him in his holy Scripture, all the days of our life:) but it excludeth them so that we may not do them to this intent, that we may be made just by doing them.” There is, in fact, no controversy as to the necessity of good works, which both parties allow; but merely, concerning the rank which they are to hold; and the office which they are to Christ. Osses v. No. 126.
perform, or sustain; whether of recommending us to God; or as proving the sincerity of our faith, and serving other important purposes, distinct
from that justification which must be
begun and preserved by faith alone. This the Bishop of Lincoln presumes to call an absurd distinction, a strife of words, a perverse disputing. It was a distinction, however, which the venerable Hooker strenuously maintained; and which can alone prevent men from assenting to the incorrect and inconsistent, but farfamed, propositions of the Bishop of Lincoln, on the identity of being saved by faith producing obedience, and by obedience proceeding from faith: upon which, as we have already expressed our opinion *, we shall not here enlarge. After the very distinct and able manner in which Mr. Scott has in this, as in every former publication, repelled the charge of neglecting good works, which is so confidently brought forward by the Bishop of Lincoln against those whom he opposes; we trust it will not again be urged, without clear and indisputable proofs of its truth. We should very much exceed the limits to which we are confined, if we were to quote even a small part of Mr. Scott's replies to this accusation : but we cannot forbear extracting one passage in which this point is treated in a highly beautiful and elevated strain of piety.
“It seems to me wonderful,” says this truly excellent writer, “that no other necessity of good works is expressly mentioned by our opponents, except that which is connected immediately with self-love: as if, were it possible tor us to be justified, and preserved in a Justified state, and thus get to heaven, without theiu, though we might not prefer this, we should, at least, have little objection to it. Whereas, I am confident, that there is not a true believer on earth, nor ever was, or will be, who would prefer going to heaven, if practicable, in the neglect of good works, to the being made abundantly fruitful in them. Christ, ‘gave himself for us that he might re
* See our Review of the Refutation of Calvinism, p. 587. -3 C