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structed a corrupt world, exceeded only by him who “clad himself with zeal as with a cloak;" in his gift of prophecy, and that particular subject of it, the doom of a sinful generation, the measure of whose iniquity being nearly filled up, the wrath of God was about to be displayed in a manner equally signal and awful, by an universal judgment, in which the ungodly should be swept away by an overwhelming deluge; whilst the little flock who feared the Lord, and had his name always in remembrance before them, should be as miraculously saved, as the former would be marvellously destroyed. The mighty power of God in bringing to light the secret wickedness, and punishing the open rebellion, or hidden works of darkness of the one, and justifying the other, who in meekness and patience committed their cause to him who judgeth righteously.
His ascent into heaven, without tasting death, at what can only be deemed a youthful period of that longæval race, but when his work and testimony were completed, presents a symbol of the triumph of the Lord of life and glory, over whom death and the grave had no power, but who made a show openly of his victory over them, and who having fulfilled the work of the covenant, trampled upon them and upon him who had the power of them, and was received into glory.
This translation of Enoch took place about fifty years after the death of Adam, but before that of Seth or the other patriarchs ; consequently, this eminent type of our blessed Lord and Saviour, in his holy life, his ministerial labours, his zeal and fidelity, and his entrance into heaven, was exhibited to almost all the inhabitants of the old world.
At length the period arrived, when God in his wisdom determined to close the day of mercy to the antediluvians, and to let loose his stores of vengeance on those who had so long neglected or despised his warnings, abused his longsuffering, and hardened themselves in iniquity. Yet, he remembered Noah, the man born to “comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed;" and who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord;" who " was a just man, and perfect in his generation.-Pp. 165– 168.
Of the rainbow, as the sign of a covenant, we think there is given a more satisfactory explanation than can be found in Ambrosius, of whose interpretation a recent writer has spoken with some truth, but with too much severity. Of a relaxed bow, certainly there can be but little to observe ; of the bow, as considered by Mr. Peers, there is much to be said.
The seal of this covenant is equally remarkable with its extent and perpetuity, A sign placed by the Almighty in the clouds, visible to all living creatures, under the recurrence of those circumstances which might call their attention to the deluge, or excite their apprehension of its return. It never appears but by the power of the Creator; no exertion of man can procure the manifestation of it; therefore, whenever it appears, God gives a renewed confirmation of this his covenant with all flesh. The sacrament is singular in its nature, being both general and particular : general, as a sign visible to all ; particular, as no two individuals can see the same, but each one observes his own separate and peculiar symbol ; so that every appearance, whilst it confirms the promise to the whole of the inhabitants of the world, seals it separately to each.
The very symbol chosen for this purpose, bears the strongest evidence of the divine intentions of mercy and benevolence towards those for whose use it is intended. The bow is a warlike instrument, the one of all others most universally employed, and as such it has become the very emblem of war; God employs it for that purpose, and recording his judgments against the adversaries of his people, uses the remarkable expression, “thy bow was made quite naked;" but in this sacrament it is a bow without a string, or 'an arrow; useless as an instrument of war, and only suited to imply that hostilities have terminated, and that peace is established : the very weapon formed for destruction being employed for the assurance of tranquil security.--Pp. 191-193.
Some may think the following passage rather overdrawn, though the intention is excellent, and the general allusion correct.
Moses could not smite the rock till the Lord was present upon it, when it exhibited a type of the human and divine natures united in the person of Messiah, suffering under the wrath of the offended lawgiver. The effect of this act of Moses was the pouring forth of an abundant stream of water, which not only saved the Israelites from immediate death, but which followed them ever after till they reached the confines of Canaan. The sufferings of Christ, the rock of our Salvation, have been the source of that water of life, the streams of which follow his church all through the wilderness, saving, refreshing, and comforting her in every step of her pilgrimage.--Pp. 424, 425.
No fault, however, can be found with the ingenious passage relating to Joshua.
The local situation of Joshua at another most awful and important period, strongly indicates his typical character. The tabernacle of God was removed from among the people, and it was filled with the glory of the Lord whilst standing remote from the camp. On this most memorable occasion, when Moses, as the mediator, was passing to and fro between the Almighty and his people, Joshua, his servant and successor, remained in the tabernacle, and enjoyed the glorious presence of Jehovah. As a public functionary, his active ministry had not then commenced; but he was appointed to conduct the final issue of the work of mercy then carrying forward. He tarried in the emblematical heavens, whilst the rebellious people were separated from God: and Jesus, the real Joshua, the Saviour, abode in the presence of the Father, till the fulness of time had come when the ministry of Moses should pass away; he then left the glorious presence of the Most High, which no man hath seen or can see, but which the onlybegotten, who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared, that he might complete the salvation of his people.-- Pp. 450, 451.
Let us pass away from these to our author's remarks upon the Sacraments : where, if there be an appearance of too great a desire to say all that could be said, there is also the appearance of, in some degree, a partial view of the questions offered to consideration, arising less from the inability of the writer than the difficulty of the subject. We have ever considered baptism as the contract by which the Almighty is pleased to admit man to the privilege of salvation, and as a pledge and a means of grace for the performance of the things required in that contract. And we are inclined to think that baptism in its nature, as an immersion, is really a type of the dying-to-sin of the believer, in agreement with the dying-for-sin of Jesus Christ. Mr. Peers, however, regards baptism as administered from its institution under the three forms of sprinkling, affusion, and immersion : and we agree with him; but there can be little doubt that Rom. vi. 34, does especially refer to the latter. In a note at the end of the book, he alludes to the words, üộara tolla, in John iïi. 23, (as signifying many small streams flowing from the high-lands into the Jordan), by way of proving his assertion respecting the occasional use of affusion. It is curious to observe how six or seven of the acknowledged biblical critics allege these same words as an argument for immersion, asserting that a Hebraism lies couched in them. It matters not; for if an outpouring of the Holy Spirit takes place, affusion is a type of it.
There is every reason to believe, that each of these modes has been employed by the Church from the earliest ages; and either of them correctly suits the thing signified—the blood of Jesus Christ, applied by the Holy Ghost, to take away the defilement of sin.-P. 539.
Now as to the contract above alluded to, there is no mention in this work. The act of baptism is only considered as “one of memorial and admonition.” Are not all included in it? The distinction in the cases of an adult candidate and of an infant, is well pointed out; and infant baptism is properly defended. Yet we are at a loss what to say of the following quotation, although it appears plausible and correct; conceiving, that where Christianity is proclaimed, the rites enjoined by it are a sine quâ non.
" Whoso believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but, he that believeth not shall be damned.” Here is no sentence of condemnation to the believer who is not baptized, to mark that salvation is the effect of faith, not baptism. The reception of the latter is a duty he owes to the Church, a testimony of his grateful acceptance of redeeming mercy, a promise of self-devotion to the service of God; a source of consolation flowing from the author of the covenant, and a warning which ought to sound continually in his ears, that he has separated himrelf from the world that he may be joined to the Lord. It is also commanded by the Lord. These are overwhelming reasons why he should be baptized, but yet such circumstances may occur as may render compliance impossible. The rite must be administered by a minister, whose presence is required, and whose judgment must be exercised, perhaps erroneously. Or the candidate, however desirous, may be prevented the reception of it, by the unjust interference of others, as in the case of believing slaves of unbelieving masters. Where such obstacles exist, the grace of God shall not be hindered by the feebleness, the fraud, or violence of men. None can be saved without faith, but some will inherit the kingdom of God without baptism.---Pp. 541, 542.
This is narrowing the question, because the act of baptism in an adult is a proof of faith, and faith may exist without baptism, but the being taught and instructed in the faith implies the presence of a teacher, and as such, one capable of baptizing. Moreover, the one would naturally lead to the other; as the author properly says in the very next sentence,
Believers in Jesus Christ will always feel his command paramount evidence of the necessity of receiving this symbol of adoption into the family of God.P. 542.
The command to preach and baptize, requires faith in the candidate for this holy ordinance; but it speaks of those only, who having been brought up in ignorance of the Gospel, receive it by the preaching of faith. It is perfectly silent concerning those who have been born of parents who have already received it. Adults have no right to receive it, unless they are believers : their baptism by water is the sign of their having been baptized by the Holy Ghost. Infants receive the seal under very different circumstances; with them it is not retrospective, but prospective: it is the parent's devotion of their children to God, the engagement on their part to bring them up in the fear of Him who promises to accept and bless their labours.-- Pp. 548, 549.
Here a question arises, whether it be lawful to baptize the children of unbelievers without consent of their parents, that is, per force. We should like to have an answer on this point from some one or other of our brother correspondents.
These lengthened remarks have led us beyond our prescribed limits, especially as the “ typical” argument does not appear so intimately connected with the chapter on baptism as with many others. One word on that relating to “ the Lord's Supper," and we have done. The pervading topic is here clearly developed, and well followed up by pious and judicious reflections. And the whole concludes with a sensible warning on a subject not often attended to; a subject which has engaged the notice of dissenters from our communion, and which they make a main principle and means of discipline. It certainly requires attention.
The ministers to whom our Lord has committed the services of his sanctuary, and the feeding of his flock, are required to exercise a diligent care that they do not admit unworthy persons to this holy sacrament. And for this purpose they are in duty bound to make themselves personally acquainted with the individuals of their charge, to know their profession of a sound faith, and the moral consistency of their conduct. Where these are evident, to encourage them to come to the holy communion of the body and blood of Christ; but where these are wanting, it is equally their imperious duty to restrain such persons, or even peremptorily to refuse them the symbols of the dying love of a Redeemer, in whom they have no present interest. Nor will this rule of conduct act as a discouragement; for, if rightly explained, it must be manifest, even to these individuals, that they are not included in the Saviour's invitation; and on these, the offers of grace and promises of mercy, if rightly and affectionately stated, in a manner becoming the ministers of the everlasting gospel, may be expected, under the divine blessing, to produce a powerful impression, and awaken a deep concern for their soul's welfare: but if they should fail in this, the duty of the minister is clearly prescribed to him, and he is not answerable for the consequences. These God has reserved for his own judgment.
Hence, we observe the erroneous practice of those who administer this sacrament to persons in the prospect of death, without a full persuasion, the result of a careful inquiry, that their repentance is sincere, their faith genuine, and that there is a reasonable hope that their future lives, if spared, will be such “as becometh godliness."
We also perceive the reason why infants are not permitted to receive these sacred symbols. They cannot examine themselves. They cannot discern the Lord's body, the spiritual intent and meaning of this typical institution. Their faith cannot be strengthened, nor their souls comforted by it. These are graces which can only be enjoyed or exercised by minds which have attained a certain maturity; therefore, with respect to infantine subjects, the participation of this holy communion is justly deferred until they be of sufficient age to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and rejoice in the privileges of the covenant.
In this sacrament, as in that of baptism, the want of the external symbols cannot hinder or prevent the internal grace. Circumstances may debar even the heirs of heaven the comfort of these holy institutions, but they cannot deprive them of the glorious inheritance to which they are sealed by the Holy Ghost. But this exception extends to those only who are involuntarily and necessarily excluded by the operation of causes which they cannot control. Any professed disciple, who lives in the wilful neglect of this exalted privilege, gives a strong indication of the insincerity of his profession. If he is a real believer in Christ. he will be anxious to avail himself of every help which his Redeemer has graciously bestowed to strengthen his weakness, to comfort his affliction, to encourage and confirm his hope of glory.—Pp. 570—573,
Having thus quoted at large, and stated our opinions “ currente calamo," we take our leave of Mr. Peers, with many thanks for the useful work he has put in our power thus to notice. We wish it the success it merits.
as wel, would the hope by the
Art. IV.-A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of
Lincoln, 1827. By Charles GODDARD, D.D. F.S. A. Archdeacon of Lincoln. London: Rivingtons. 1828. pp. 59.
The primary object of Dr. Goddard in the above Charge, appears to be to collect into a plain and concise form the leading provisions of our law, with which it is desirable that the officiating minister of a parish should be acquainted. The interesting nature of its contents, as well as the able manner in which such contents are arranged and stated, would have claimed our earlier attention, but we delayed our notice in the hope that we might have been in possession of an appendix, promised by the author, containing notes and references explanatory of the legal authorities upon which his statements of law are founded. Some unforeseen circumstance has, however, we suppose, occurred to delay the publication of this latter document; we therefore proceed to notice the contents of the former; and, we believe, we may venture to aífirm that, although the Doctor has not as yet given his authorities, his legal disquisitions possess a character of general correctness which would do credit to a professed lawyer.
We have always considered it a matter much to be desired, that the parochial clergy should possess some general acquaintance with the provisions of our law upon those numerous subjects which relate to the rights and duties of a clergyman, in his character of parish priest. At the same time, however, we regret to say that we have been compelled to observe that our parochial clergy are, in too many instances, deficient in this very useful knowledge. Whether or not the existence of this ignorance, and its consequent inconveniences, have forced themselves upon the mind of Dr. Goddard, so as to induce him to turn the attention of his clergy to the provisions of the law, with a view to the removal of the evil, we cannot determine. But we must confess that we perused the Charge in question with great interest, as much because we conceive it to be calculated to supply some remedy towards the evil we so much lament, as on account of the intrinsic merits of the task itself. Upon a former