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The Bishop of Lincoln. “This great and wonderful change [his Lordship is plainly speaking of baptism] is, as It were, a new nature.” Refutation, p. 84, 2d ed. “The word regeneration, therefore, is in Scripture, solely and exclusively applied to the one immediate effect of baptism, once administered, and is never used as synonimous to the repentance or reformation of a Christian; or to express any operation of the iloly Ghost upon the human mind, subsequent to baptism.” (p. 86.)
Tillotson, Archbp. of Canterbury. “I shall shew [his Grace says in a sermon on Gal. vi. 15, vide 2d vol. folio] that this doctrine of the conversion and regeneration of a sinner being effected in an instant and all at once, is not well grounded either upon Scripture, or experience.” Again (p. 340): “ legeneration and sanctification are attributed to the same causes, the principal and instrumental; to the Spirit of God, and to the word of God. We are said to be born of the Spirit, and to be sanctified by the Holy Ghost; to be begotten by the word of truth, and to be sanctified by the word of truth, which is the word of God. So that Scripture speaks of them as the same thing.” (He does not here name baptism.)
lives; and twhen that is done, and not before, they
are said to be regenerate.” “It is said,” (p. 341), “that one of the Imain differences between regeneration and sanctification, is this, that regeneration is incapable of degrees, and that all that are regenerate are equally so.” “ But this is a mere fancy and imagination.” ‘i’hough the Archbishop is even speaking against sudden conversions as usually happening, he still says, “Some men, by an extraordinary power of God's
*How does his Lordship dispose of those
baptized (which too
often happens) in an impenitent state. They are not born again at baptism, and they cannot (the Bishop says) be born again after
How then can they enter into
t If we omit the term forcible, this description would apply to Archbishop Tiflot
adults who may be
in their hearts grace upon their and dispositions.”| hearts, are suddenly changed, and strangely reclaimed from a very
wicked and vicious, to a very religious and virtuous course of life; and that which others attain by slower degrees, and great conflicts with themselves,before they can gain the upper hand of their lusts, these arrive at all of a sudden, , - by a mighty resolution wrought in them by the power of God's grace, and, as it were, by a new bias and inclination put upon their souls.” (p. 341.)
° Ought we not to ask, therefore’ and ought we not to determine also, by an unprejudiced appeal to the pure word of God, which of the above distinguished prelates of our church has afforded us a just view of the important doctrine of regeneration 2 For it is impossible that two comments, which so diametrically oppose each other, should both be in unison with Scripture. Leaving it to your readers to decide in favour of that view of regeneration which appears to them most correct and scriptural, I may, nevertheless, presume to add, that the animadversions heaped on those who maintain the doctrine of regeneration as separable from baptism, ought to be tempered by the recollection, that, the “sober Archbishop Tillotson” maintained this very doctrine. And when the Bishop of Lincoln shall recollect (for his Lordship must have surely forgotten this circumstance), that the doctrine in quesChaist. Observ. No. 132.
“As the rule to attain our chief end, must come from God; and as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God; so we say, that these Scriptunes are the rule, and the only rule, to attain our chief end. Good books of other men, good education, good sermons. the determinations of the church, are good helps; but there is no other rule but this. It is by this rule that we must try other men's books and sermons, yea, the very church. itself. Thus the Bereans tried the doctrine of the Apostles themselves. by the Scriptures which they then had, and are commended for it. And Peter prefers the evidence of the Scriptures, before a voice from heaven”. And Christ himself appeals to the Scriptures, to justify himself and his doctrine +. And if the Scriptures be the only rule, “1. Then, not a natural conscience, especially as the case now stands with mankind; for that is many times corrupted and false princi* 2 Peter i. 18, 19, t John vi. 39. 5 G
pled, puts good for evil, and evil for good. It is, and may be, a great help, guide, and direction, not a perfect rule.
“ 2. Then, not the writings and traditions of men: God, that appoints the end and means, must be the discoverer of the means of our salvation.
“3. Then, not pretended revelations: those may be men's imaginations, or the devil's delusions; to prevent and discover which, God hath set up this great and standing revelation of his Scriptures.
“4. Then, not the church: for that may err; and it hath no way to evidence itself, but by the Scriptures, which are its foundation.
“The business of man's salvation is
of that importance, and the wisdom of God so great, that he will not commit so weighty a matter to such uncertain rules as these, but hath provided one of his own making, the Holy Scriptures.”—Thirlwall's Edition of Hale's Works, vol. ii. p. 3.18.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
PerMit me, through the medium of the Christian Observer, to lay before the public the following resolutions of the estimable Lavater. And, whilst “ he, being dead, yet speaketh,” may those who hear earnestly pray for that devotional spirit, and heavenly-mindedness, which characterised this excellent man! May a spark of that Divine love, which animated his soul, animate theirs also, till they shall at length “shine together, as stars in the firmament of heaven!” W. F.
DAILY RESOLUTIONS OF J. C. LAVATER.
. “I will never, either in the morning or evening, proceed to any bu
siness, until I have first retired, at least for a few moments, to a private place, and implored God for his assistance and blessing. “I will neither do, nor undertake any thing, which I would abstain from doing is Jesus Christ were standing visibly before me; nor any thing of which I think it possible that I shall repent in the uncertain hour of my certain death. I will, with the Divine aid, accustom myself to do every thing, without exception, in the name of Jesus Christ, and as his disciple; to sigh to God continually for the Holy Ghost; and to preserve myself in a constant disposition for prayer. “Every day shall be distinguished by at least one particular work of love. “Every day I will be especially attentive to promote the benefit and advantage of my own family in particular. “ I will never eat or drink so much as shall occasion to me the least inconvenience or hindrance in my business; and between mealtimes (a morsel in the evening excepted), I will abstain as much as possible from eating, and from wine.
“Wherever I go, I will first Pray"
to God that I may commit no sia there, but be the cause of some good. “I will never lay down to sleep without prayer, nor, when I am in health, sleep longer than, at most, eight hours. “I will every evening examine my conduct through the day, by these rules, and faithfully note down in my journal how often I offend against them. “O God! thou seest what I have here written. May I be able to read these my resolutions every morning with sincerity, and every evening with joy and the clear * probation of my conscience.”
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
The kind attention you have paid to every branch of our family (complainants, I grant, for the most part), in giving publicity to our complaints, encourages me to hope that you will be equally kind to a neglected female, whose wrongs, long borne with silent patience, have at length compelled her to make this appeal to the public. Our family, Sir, is of acknowledged antiquity, and has been respected for some centuries by the good. My mother is a most respectable matron, and I have two elder sisters, who, with myself, are all the children of my mother's house. But Pardon, Sir, the involuntary emotions of nature: I cannot mention my mother, without experiencing sensations of admiration and love, to which I would willingly give expression were I able : let it suffice to *ay, that she is one of the most holy family upon record. She had many sisters, some older than herself, but none of superior or even equal promise: she is therefore called the fairest daughter of the Reformation. My grandfather is a venerable personage, descended directly from Heaven many ages since, but still of sound constitution and undiminished vigour. Indeed, of late his face has been lighted up with a smile of peculiar complacency, in consequence of the marked respect which has been paid him throughout this land; and the efforts which have been made in it to procure for him a similar degree of respect in every part of the world, whether civilized or uncivilized. My mother also has of late been cheered by witnessing the return of no inconsiderable share of that almost universal regard which she experienced in her youth, but of which for many years she had been unjustly depriv
ed. Thousands, who partook of the blessings of her bounty, many of them in a lavish measure, while they loudly extolled her liberality, yet neglected her service, and turned away from her peculiar graces with a chilling disregard. After having paid this short tribute of affection to a beloved parent, permit me now to introduce my sisters to your notice, before I say any thing of myself. I would only premise, that though we are three, there is but little difference in our ages; we were all born nearly about the same time.—In painting the character of my eldest sister, it is very difficult to convey any adequate idea of the rare dignity and excellence of the original. Her matchless simplicity ; the harmonious, rich, and heaven-born elevation of her expressions; her comprehensive feeling for human wants; her peculiar felicity in adapting her remedies and her consolations to every case of distress; her copious flow of unaffected piety; her spotless purity; her unbounded love of man; and her unreserved devotion to the will of God in all things, have uniformly engaged the esteem of all who have cultivated a familiar intercourse with her. But there is in my sister one quality which peculiarly distinguishes her, and forces a tribute of respect and admiration from every unprejudiced beholder; and that is, her marked resemblance to my grandfather, the venerable personage already introduced to your notice. My grandfather's claim to a heavenly descent is generally allowed, and my sister's resemblance of him is so striking, that some have even gone so far as to say that she bears the majestic impress of a Divine original, so legibly in her countenance, that he that runs may read it. But, endued as my sister is with
all this excellence, which my second sister and myself most gladly acknowledge, it has, from the caprice of the world, operated most unhappily to the depression of us, the younger branches of the family. My elder sister has not only attracted the general attention; she has engrossed it. Sir, you will scarcely believe that there is not one of those who profess any attachment to our family that does not give to her his almost unqualified commendation : one may find a freckle here, another a spot there ; but you can scarcely conceive with what indignation the least hint at her imperfections is apt to be received. It is the fashion to admire her, and to appear in her train. Where she resorts, thousands resort also ; many of them, however, led thither merely by the force of custom, or the influence of fashion. Formerly, indeed, her assemblies used to be attended daily; but they are now almost wholly confined, except in some particular cases, to one day in seven. In short, Sir, though ny eldersister now lives but rarely in the hearts and affections, she lives much in the mouths of those who know us. I must do my sister, however, the justice to say that she most unwillingly accepts, and most unequivocally disapproves, of every expression of respect or attachment which does not proceed from the heart, or which flows from ignorance, prejudice, or blind attachment; and that she laments, equally with ourselves, the injurious effect of the exclusion of her younger sisters from their due share of regard and attention. Her own usefulness and influence, indeed, have been greatly impeded by this neglect, part of our office being to enable mankind to perceive and to enjoy her transcendent excellencies. My second sister, though far inferior in the majesty of her person to the first, (indeed, to speak honestly, she is the least, while I am the largest of the three), is yet admired for the regularity of her features,
and the correctness of her deportment; and particularly for a certain terseness and smartness of manner peculiar to hersels. Her expressions are accurate even to the strictness of definition. She is thus guarded and cautious even in her minutest phrases, because my mother has committed to her the important office of recording in a summary form the particulars of our grandfather's counsels and commands; and this she has done with such scrupulous care, that if ever spoken against, it is for the unbending rigour of her definitions, and the fearlessness with which she exhibits to the world whatever my grandfather has delivered. You will easily believe, Sir, that to this sister our mother has been much indebted for the preservation of the family estate. If
my sister had not thus persevering
ly kept the records, I can assure you, so much rapacity, and fraud, and shameless peculation, have been exercised against us, that but for her vigilance, we, her sisters, might long since have been turned out of doors, and my poor mother's means of subsistence have been pitifully abridged, if not wholly withdrawn. With such distinguished merit, you might suppose, Sir, that this sister possessed no small share of regard. This, however, unhappily, is by no means the case. Even the outward respect she enjoys is chief. ly to be ascribed to a rule established by my mother, and still in force, that no one can enjoy any share of her bounty without a formal acknowledgment of the accuracy of my second sister’s definitions. But so hollow has this acknowledgment been, in some instances, that we have seen her thrust from the station she has usually held in my eldest sister's train; and it is said she would have lost it altogether, had it not been for the compassion of some kind friends, who have lately asserted her cause, and restored her to her privileges. Nay, by some who have paid her this pretended homage, the very mention of her name is made a