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cal purification. I again refer to Grotius's comment: “Non meminit, inquit, baptismi in quo professus fuit se vitia omnia velle deserere et spopondit se sanctè victurum.” My objection to Mr. Simeon is, that he attributes to the opus operatum the pardon of sin and the regeneration of the soul. Having communicated my remarks before the publication of his sermons, he inserted the note in p. 46: “He does not mean to sav, that the Apostle ascribed salvation to the opus operatum, the outward act of bap. tism.” I would ask, then, for what purpose he quoted from St. Peter, “Baptism do honow save us " He was not contending with any who deny that baptism is a type of our salvation; but with those who cannot admit that the remission of our sins, as well as the regent ration of our souls, is a constant attendant on the baptismal rite. “He only meant to say, that, in reference to these subjects, the Apostle did use a language very similar to that in our Liturgy.” Allowing a resemblance in the language, there is an important difference in its application. The hope expressed by our church, that all who die in her communion rest in Christ, &c., has a resemblance to St. Paul's declaration of his confidence that he which had begun a good work in the Philippians, would perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ, “even,” said he, “ as it is meet for me to think this of you all.” The word all, in the burial service, is applied to many who never shewed any sign of grace, and, as far as we can judge, died in their sins. In St. Paul to the Philippians, by “you all” must be understood all the saints in Jesus Christ. If by
these words he had meant all visible members of the church, would he have expressed a confident hope that he which had begun a good work in them, would perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ? I think not, unless he judged them all to be true believers.
I cannot help thinking that Mr. Simeon, in his zeal for the perfection of the Liturgy, has undesignedly abandoned the genuine interpretation of Scripture. Thus he can reconcile himself to the idea, that the Apostle thanked “God for things which, if pressed to the utmost meaning of the words, might not be strictly true.” (p. 46.) He probably alludes to Philip. i. 3, in which he has, however, not shewn that the Apostle has employed words which, if pressed to their utmost meaning, might not be strictly true.
Mr. Simeon has also, in my opinion, failed in his defence of the damnatory clauses of the Athanasian Creed; first, in supposing that the clauses at the beginning and the end, are stronger than that which occurs about the middle; and which he thus explains: He that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity. But the expression is, he must thus think: and therefore, if he do not, he cannot be saved. The Latin, ita sentiat, agrees with his interpretation; but what do we subscribe Surely the English, not the Latin copy. Secondly, he thinks that the first clause relates not to the whole Creed, but only to the doctrine of the Trinity; and the last, only to the incarnation:—an opinion for which I see no good ground.
* MISCELLANEOUS. —oom
For the Christian Observer.
Account OF AN ARAB IC EPISTLE, wkit TEN FROM MARK cy.I., PATRiARCH OF THE COPTS, TO A MORAV 1AN bish Op.
A GERMAN writer* of the Moravian communion, in his History of the Brethren, translated by the Rev. B. Latrobe, and printed in London, 1780, p. 433, § 193, mentions, that “In the year 1750, by means of a French gentleman, who, as he said, had been in Ethiopia, and who aimed at returning thither by the assistance of a European power, the former desire of the Brethren was renewed, of entering into an useful acquaintance with the Ethiopian church, in which, according to their liturgies, a good deal of the old apostolical sim
plicity was expected to be met with,
and the Brethren wished to be of some service to this church. The physician, Frederic William Hokker, who had been in Persia and Egypt, took the matter to heart; and, in the year 1752, proposed to the ordinary, that he would go to Cairo, in Egypt, and wait there for an opportunity of going to Ethiopia. His intention was, to practise there as a physician; to learn the Arabic language; to establish an intercourse with the Patriarch of the Copts, whose office it is to consecrate the Abuna, or archbishop of the Abyssinians; and, through him, to obtain an acquaintance with the Abuna, and to tuer to him the services of the church of the Brethren. The ordinary was pleased with this proposal, and gave him credentials to the Patriarch of the Copts, residing in Cairo. In May, 1752, Hokker went from London, by way of Genoa and Leghorn, to logypt, and reached Cairo on the 27th of August. He hired a house, in which he also entertained, for some time, ! se students Schulz and Wolters
* David Cranz, .
dorf, who were sent by the Hallish institution for the conversion of the Jews. He prepared for the practice of physic, and entered into an useful acquaintance with the Franks residing there (for so all Europeans are called in Turkey). Having so far learned the Arabic language, which is also used in Abyssinia, and has some connection with the language of the country, as to be able to express himself tolerably well in it, and translate his credentials, he delivered them, on the 28th of November, 1753, to the Patriarch of the Coptic church, and had many agreeable and useful conversations with him, concerning the descent, doctrine, and constitution, of the church of the Brethren, and the state of the Coptic and Abyssinian church; during which the tears often stood in the eyes of this venerable, hoary old man. On the 5th day of Kahik, according to the Coptic calendar, which was the 12th of December, 1753, he received an answer in the Arabic tongue, of which, omitting the titles usual in the East, I will communicate the following extract, which I have translated from the Arabic. T. Y.
“ In the name of the merciful and gracious God: In God is salvation. “From Mark*, the servant of the servants of the Lord. “The peace of our Lord and God, and the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ, which he, in an upper room at Zion, poured forth upon the assembly of the excellent disciples and apostles: may he pour out this peace upon the beloved, excellent, and experienced brother, the venerable
* The patriarchs of the Copts, who also bear the title of patriarchs of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Abyssinia, and Nubia, are all called after the evangelist Mark, who is said to have founded the church of Alexandria; and this patriarch was Mark CVI.
bishop, our father Aloysius", the liturgist of the Unity of the Brethren. This is to testify, beloved brother, that the blessed son and venerable deacon, Irenaeus Hokkerf, has deFivered unto us your letter, which was full of affectionate, cordial love. We have read it; and it became unto us a taste of your love to all Christian men. We, in like manmer, pray God for you, and for all the Christian people, that he may exalt the glory of the Christians in the whole habitable world, through the nutrition of his life-giving eross, &c.; ”
-To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
It has long been a matter of surprise to me, to see what an apparent indifference there appears in the heads and tutors of colleges, with respect to signing college testimonials; and as I conceive that it is, in many cases, the only channel through which a bishop can obtain any knowledge, whether the person who offers himself for holy orders is a worthy candidate, I must confess l am far from thinking it a mere matter of form; and in support of this my opinion, I cannot help adding those of two of our prelates, for whose judgment and learning I have a high respect; I mean, the bishop of Lincoln and the bishop of Durham. The bishop of Lincoln, in a note on his Exposition of the 36th Article, writes to the folk wing effect. “I cannot omit this opportunity of expressing a most earnest wish, that parochial clergymen, and the governing part of colleges in our universities, would be more correct upon the subject of signing testimonials, than, it is to be feared, they are at present. They should reflect, that the interests of religion are * Lewis, f Frederic, or, in German, Friedrich, that is, Rich in peace. t A Correspondent has expressed a strong desire to know, in what authors the most accurate account of the Abyssinian church *y be sound,-Editor,
deeply concerned in the moral character of its ministers: that for the moral conduct of the candidates for orders, bishops must necessarily depend upon the testimony of others; and that whoever recommends for ordination an unworthy young man, makes himself responsible for all the mischief of which he may be the cause, when invested with holy orders. A greater degree of strictness, upon this point, would, I am convineed, be productive of very extensive benefit; and colleges, in particular, would quickly experience a material difference in the behaviour of those who are designed for our holy profession. Young men would naturally become more diligent, more regular, more virtuous in every respect, if they knew that they should fail in the main object of their education; that all the hopes and expectations of themselves and their friends would be disappointed; unless by their positive good conduct they merited that recommendation to the bishop, which now they trust (and in most cases, I fear, with too much reason) that they shall certainly obtain, unless they be guilty of some gross immorality. I say not this from any want of respect for our universities, but from a real regard for their best interests, and from a eonviction that the discipline which they observe is of great importance to the cause of religion, and to the welfare of the kingdom at large.” The bishop of Durham, in a letter to the clergy of his diocese, writes thus: “Testimonials for orders and preferment, I fear, for the credit of the clergy, the honour of the church of England, and the interests of religion, are too often considered in another view, and as resting on other ground. We are too apt to be misled by the strange prejudice of the times, that testimonials are matters of mere form, and to be influenced by a good nature, mistaken and misapplied. I confess myself at a loss to conceive what may be included under the term form, if the most
solemn attestation, not only negative, but positive; not only from vague report, but from personal knowledge for the time certified, to a character recommended for the strictest purity of life and soundness of doctrine, as qualifications for becoming a public teacher of the Gospel, and a public example of its precepts, can be comprehended under that appellation. On the veracity of the subscribers, the bishop must rely, in ordination, institution, and license. If he be deceived, I need not represent in how cruel a situation he is placed; since the consequences will be imputed, by the world, to his supineness and neglect. But the consequences will not be confined solely to him; they will be extended to the most valuable interests of your order, of religion, and of mankind. By the introduction of an unfit or disreputable member, the first is dishonoured, and the two last injured. He occupies a place in a society from which his education, habits of life, imperfections, and, perhaps, even his vices, should have excluded him; and he may eventually, by the prostitution of patronage and betraying the trust which it implies, obtain those professional emoluments which should never be the reward but of talents, industry, and virtue.” R. H.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
The interest excited by the extract from Holingshed in your last number, respecting Bishop Ridley's exertions in favour of the distressed Poor of this city, in obtaining the royal residence of Bridewell, as “a house of occupations,” for their relief, may perhaps be gratified by the following “Supplication” of the citizens to the youthful monarch for that purpose. . I have frequently sed it with pleasure. All is nded on Christ: for his sake they petition, for his sake the Christian Edward is requested to grant. God grant that such a spirit may animate
both king and people at the present day, that the one may not be ashamed to offer such a petition, and that the other may find one of his highest gratifications in accepting it! H. B
“A Supplication, made by the Assent of the Governors of the Poor, in the Name of the same Poor, to the King's Majesty, for the Obtaining ef the House of Bridewell. A. D. 1552.
“For Jesu Christ's sake, right dear and most dread sovereign Lord, We, the humble, miserable, sore, sick, and friendless people, beseech your gracious Majesty to cast upon us your eyes of mercy and compassion, who now, by the mighty operation of Almighty God, the citizens of London have already so lovingly and tenderly looked upon, that they have not only provided help for the maladies and diseases, and the virtuous education and bringing-up of our miserable and poor children, but also have, in a readiness most profitable and wholesome, occupations for the continuing of us and ours in godly exercise: by reason whereof, we shall no more fall into that puddle of idleness, which was the mother and leader of us into beggary and all mischief, but from henceforth shall walk in that fresh field of exercise, which is the guider and begetter of all wealth, virtue, and honesty. But, also, most gracious Lord, except we find favour in the eyes of your Majesty, all this their travail, and our hope of deliverance from that wretched and vile state, cannot be attained, for lack of harbour and lodging: and therefore, most gracious Sovereign, hear us speaking in Christ's name, and for Christ's sake have compassion on us, that we lie no longer in the street for lack of harbour. And, that our old sore of idleness may no longer vex us, nor grieve the commonweal, our suit, most dear Sovereign, is for one of your grace's houses, called Bridewell: a thing, no doubt, both, unmeet for us to ask of your Majesty,
and also to enjoy, if we asked the
founder thereof, and to further all their suits, &c.
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
I AM an old man, Mr. Editor, ap-