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Julian Pe 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest Jerusalem.
riod, 4740. the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and
Vulgar Æra,
27.
The first In the Catechism it is affirmed, that we are made members
Passover. of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of

heaven in baptism:” that a sacrament is “an outward and
visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us,"
and that this sign or sacrament is “ ordained by Christ himself
as a means,” that is an instrumental cause, or instrument of
conveyance, “ whereby we receive the same” inward grace,
“ and a pledge to assure us” of its collation : and that the
inward and spiritual grace of baptism is “ a death unto sin and a
new birth unto righteousness ;" the forgiveness of sin, implying
the promise of power to resist and overcome it, and the gift of
the Holy Ghost as the principle of a new life of righteousness.
In proof of this, we are reminded that “ being by nature born
in sin, and children of wrath, we are made children of grace,'
children of God, and partakers of his grace, by baptism. For
if we are born in sin and children of wrath, we cannot become
children of grace by baptism, unless we receive the forgiveness
of sin and a new principle of righteousness, in the right use of
that sacrament.

In the offiee of confirmation, the regeneration of the parties
before the Bishop, and the forgiveness of their sins in baptism,
are directly and unequivocally asserted. Almighty God, who
hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and
the Holy Ghost, and hast given them forgiveness of all their
sins ; strengthen them, we beseech thee, with the Holy Ghost
the Comforter.” And precisely in the same manner, we intrcat
God in the Collect for Christmas Day, that “we being regene-
rate,” that is, having been born again, " and made his children
by adoption and grace, may be daily renewed by his Holy Spirit.”
For since the Liturgy every where teaches and assumes our
adoption and regeneration in baptism, and never uses the word
except in reference to baptism, the supposition that in this
prayer the congregation is contemplated as unregenerate, and
that we are praying for some other regeneration and adoption,
is totally inconsistent with sound and just principles of inter-
pretation.

From a review then of the Articles and Liturgy we may derive the following conclusions.

1. They maintain the doctrine of regeneration in baptism in the most decided and unrestricted manner, grounding it on the same texts of Scripture, from which the ancient Cbristians had deduced it: including under it the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven : and never introducing the word itself except in conjunction with baptism.

2. They teach, in common with the writings of the ancient Christians, the necessity of faith and repentance as qualifications for the salutary effects of baptism. But they never contemplate any person, however qualified, as regenerate, till he is actually baptized.

3. They suppose that infants, who are necessarily free from actual sin, are duly qualified for baptism, and are looked on by God precisely in the same light as penitents and believers : and they unequivocally assert that every baptized infant without exception is born again.

4. They suppose that all baptized persons, whether infants or adults, contract a solemn engagement to holiness and newness of life, and that their continuance in the state of salvation to which they are called depends on their future conduet.

riod,

Julian Pe- whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Jerusalem.

4740. VulgarÆra,

Spirit.
27.
The first 5. They lay down a very plain and broad distinction between
Passover. this grace of regeneration, and conversion, repentance, renova-

tion, and such Christian virtues and changes of the inward
framc, as require the concurrence of man's will and endeavours,
imply degrees, and are capable of increase.

The Reformers of the Church of England, and foreign divines,
afford the same testimony as is here given from Dean Bethell's
admirable and conclusive treatise.

If it be said that this doctrine of baptismal regeneration is inconsistent with reason, and that it is impossible that the mere sprinkling of the human body with water, can be attended with a change so important, we may observe, that the characteristic or peculiar doctrines of Cbristianity are addressed exclusively to our faith.

Christ's bearers were required to believe upon the strength
of those evidences that were before them, and in direct opposi-
tion to their popular prejudices and prepossessions, that he was
the Messiah, or he that should come into the world. In the
same manner the doctrines which relate to his person and the
purposes of his mission; his Godhead and incarnation, re-
demption, atonement, sanctification by his spirit, the resur-
rection of the body, and the circumstances of the last judge-
ment; are proposed to our faith; and the benefit which we are
to derive from them depends in a great measure upon the
steadfastness of our belief in their certainty. What is the
exact nature of the union between God and man in our Sa-
viour's person; how the death of Christ atones for our sins, and
purges our consciences from dead works; by what physical
process the Holy Ghost acts upon the human soul; are ques-
tions with which we have no concern. If the truths themselves
are plainly revealed in Scripture, and Scripture contains the
word of God, we must receive them with the same assurance as
if we could analyze and expound them with the most minute
accuracy, and penetrate into the secret parts of the divine
economy. But the doctrine of regeneration in baptism stands
precisely on the same footing with these weighty truths, and
barmonizes with the whole scheme of revealed religion. It is
proposed to our belief, and is intended to be a test and exer-
cise of it: it demands of us the same kind of assent, which we
owe to the other peculiar doctrines of Christianity, and it is
our business to believe it in the simplicity with which it is
taught us, without attempting to unravel God's mysterious
operations on the soul, and without being offended at the
meapness of the instruments, through which pardon and grace

are made over to us.
- But farther. Regeneration in baptism, implying this close
connection between the grace bestowed and the sign which
denotes it, is an act of tenderness and mercy, not less worthy
of God's intinite benevolence, than analogous to the whole
course of his dealings with man. Goodness indeed, I am per-
suaded, is the leading feature of his government, and the key
to his mysterious dispensations: and those theological systems,
which straiten bis gondness, and depend principally on abstract
views of his sovereignty and glory, will be found on investigation
to have no foundation in his word, nor in the history and ex-
perience of mankind. But if man, considered as an alien from
God and a child of wrath, had been left to collect the assurance
of adoption into bis family, and restoration to his favour, in

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can Jerusalem. Jalian Period, 4740. these things be? Vulgarra, 27. The first Passover. the best way that he was ablo, without any specific form or po

sitive consignation of these privileges and blessings; he would
have been placed, as it were, without chart or compass, in
troubled sea of doubt, suspense, and anxiety, and would have
been tempted to resort to fanciful and absurd criterious of
sonsbip and reconciliation. But on the principles which the
Church deduces from Scripture, he receives in the sacrament
of baptism such comfortable assurances of God's favour and
loving kindness, as are sufficient, if duly prized and religiously
pondered, to bring peace to his mind, and to invigorate his soul
to duty. For on these principles the convert to the faith of
Christ, who receives baptism rightly, may assure himself, that
as certainly as God is true, and his promises in Christ are yea,
and amen; so surely he is released from the bond and penalty
of his sins, endowed with the earnest of the Holy Ghost, as a
principle of new life and holy endeavour, and enrolled among
the children of God, and the inheritors of the kingdom of
heaven. On the same principles the parent will “not doubt,
but earnestly believe," that his child, who was “ born in sin
and in the wrath of God, is by the laver of regeneration in bap-
tism received into the number of his children, and heirs of ever-
lasting life.” Here we rest on sure ground. And the very fact,
that regeneration in baptism (supposing the truth of the doc-
trine) is a strong evidence of God's goodness and conde-
scension to fallen man, forms a probable presumption of its
truth, since it proves that it is reasonable in itself, suitable to
our wants, and analogous to the general course of the divine
economy.

What is contended then is, that regeneration, according to
the language and doctrine of Scripture, and our own Churcb,
is a mystical change of spiritual condition, and relationship tó
God, implying in capable subjects a moral, or practical change,
already begun, and requiring from all baptized persons a moral
change and improvement: and that it is not a mystical renewal
of the inward frame, a mystical or miraculous change of man's
moral nature, qualities, and habits (p).

(a) Verba Jesu non accurate cohærere cum Nicodemi alloquio, atque bunc plura protulisse, a Johanne omissa, mihi quidem cum aliis interpretibus persuasissimum est. Neque enim facile perspicitur, quà de causà Jesus statim delatus sit in commemorationem eorum, quæ v. 3. continet, nisi Nicodemus alia quædam dixisset, et interrogasset, quæ Jesam, eo deduxissent. Attamen Langius in loc: contendit omnia bene cohærere, nihilque esse omissum ; Jesum nimirum-cum videret Nicodemum, ne in collegarum invidiam et odium incurreret, noctu ad se venire, hâc-timiditate offensum nullå morå ei respondisse, qui non publice, suscipiendo baptismo, atque andiendå med doctrina, profitetur, se esse meum sectatorem, eum non curo, non in numerum regni mei civium recipiam.-Kuinoel, comm. in lib. Hist. N. T. vol. iii. p. 196-7. (6) Nicodemus was convinced that Christ was a divine teacher, but he did not dare to confess bim openly. On this accountour Lord reproved bim by his apparently abrupt address : he tells him that all such compliance with the opinions of men must be done away. From this commencement our Lord proceeds to declare in what manner his disciples were to be admitted into his Churcb. With this key we may easily pass through the several parts of this conversation, which, properly considered, will be found to have a just and regular dependance upon one another.-Dr. Owen, ap. Bowyer's Conjectures, p. 264. (c) Brescith Rabba, sect. 39. fol. 38. 2. Bammidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 211. 2. et Tanchuma, fol. 5. 2. Dixit R. Berachia : Deus Gepes, xii. 2. non

K

27.

Julian Pe 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a Jerusalem. riod, 4740.

master of Israel, and knowest not these things ? Vulgar Æra,

11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we The first do know, and testify that we have seen ; and ye receive Passover.

not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things ?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted

up :

,ואעשך ponam aut constituam te
,
sed אתנך ואשימך dicit ad Abrahamum
namque ego te facio creaturam משאני ערשי אותך בריה חרשה et faciam te

c
.
Homo recens natus non& ,ותגזר אתער עליה רוחא אתערותא דלעילא

novam. (d) Dixit R. Eliezer, fil. Simra ad verba Gen. xij. 5. cur hoc
loco dicitur iwy TVR VoIn Oxr et animas quas fecerunt? Notandum est
illos fuisse proselytos, quos ad veram religionem adduxerupt-Obj. si
vel maxime intelligantur proselyti, cur tamen de illis dicitur wy fece-
runt? Resp. Diximus exinde, quod, siquis alteram ad veram religionem
perducat, idem sit, ac si ipsum creaverit.-Schoetgenius, vol. i. p. 705.
(e) Jalkut Rubeni, fol. 105. 1. vin 7992 joan nvy nnvnn mw oto by
per oleum unctionis Sacerdos factus est creatura nova. (1) Sobar Levit.
fol. 39. col. 154. 117 772007 Ty xby77 xDrn by xnnx xs gebenxt vi 12

.
statim accipit Spiritum supernum, donec circumcidatur. Cum vero
circumcisus est, Spiritus in eum effunditur effusione cælesti. Quando
autem adolescit, et Legi operam dat major effusio in illum effundi-
tur, &c. &c. (9) Lightfoot's Works, folio, vol. i. p. 570. (h) Bing-
ham's Antiquities, vol. iv. b. 11. c. 1. Aug. de Bapt. lib. 5, c. 21,
Sacramentum Gratiæ dat Deus etiam per malos, &c. Baptismum vero,
quod est Sacramentum Remissionis Pcccatorum ; nulli dubiam est,
habere etiam homicidas posse, &c. (c) Halcyyeveoia Yuxñs Cyril.
Catech. præf. n. 10. (k) "Ydwp Swñs. Justin Dial. p. 231. (1) Qui
natus fuerat sæculo, renascitur Spiritualiter Deo. Sic fit hominem
Pater Deus, sancta sic fit Mater Ecclesia. Optat. lib. 2. p. 52. (m)
Δώρον καλέμεν, χαρισμα, βάπτισμα, χρίσμα, φώτισμα, αφθαρσιας,
{věvua, 18rpov Talivyevepias, tāv oti zipsov. Naz. Orat. 40. de
Bapt. p. 638. (n) See Dean Bethell's statement of Waterland's argu-
ment-Treatise on Regeneration, p. 15, &c. Schoetgen. Horæ He-
braicæ, vol. i. p. 704, et p. 329. (0) Vide Waterland's Sermon on
Regeneration-Dean Bethell's General View of the Doctrine of Rege-
neration in Baptism-Scott's Bible, on John iii.-Gill's, ditto, and the
various commentators the tracts on each side in the late controversy,
between Mr. Scott, of Hall, Archbishop Lawrence, &c. &c. and the
many publications referred to by Doddridge, in his lecture on tbis sub-
ject. Archbishop Lawrence, and Dean Bethell, appear to have settled
the controversy. Mr. Morgan's tract, too, is very valuable. See also
the sermons of Mr. Nolan, on the Operations of the Holy Ghost.
For the various opinions of many of the Reformers, and most learned
theologians on this _sabject, see Witsius, Miscellanea Sacra Ex-
ercitatio XIX. de Efficacia, et Utilitate Baptismi in Electis fæde-
ratorum parentum infantibus. Witsius considers that the children
of pious parents, who are baptized, are to be considered as elect
and holy, till they prove themselves to be otherwise, by their con-
duct in after life-eam piis parentibus fiduciam fecit Deus, ut in-
fantes suos, tanquam Dei per gratiosam adoptionem filios, intueri iis
liceat; donec provectiones facti contrariis se indiciis prodant; utque
de eorum in infantia morientium salute securi esse queant, non minus
quam olim Abrahamus, et Isaacus. Witsii Miscel. Sacra vol. ü
p. 615. Exer. XIX.

Julian Pe 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, Jerusalem. riod, 4740. but have eternal life. Vulgar&ra, 27.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only The first

begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not Passover.

perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but
he that believeth not is condemned already, because he
hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of
God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come
into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20 For

every one that doeth evil hateth the light, nei-
ther cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

SECTION VII.

Soon after the first Passover

John's last testimony to Christ.

JOHN iii. 22. to the end. 22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into Judæ. the land of Judæa ; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

23 And John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim, because there was much water there : and they came, and were baptized.

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom : but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice : this my joy therefore is fulfilled ".

16 This final address of the Baptist cannot be understood, unless we keep in view a peculiar custom which prevailed among the Jews. At every wedding two persons were selected,

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