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night watches, that thou mayest be occupied in the words of the Almighty: So shall thou be a meet receiver of the glad tidings of joy: So shall the glory of the Lord shine round about thee, and give thee the knowlege of Godix the face of Jesus Christ, to enlighten the understanding, and enliven the heart, and to make thee, both in doctrine and example, a burning and a shining light.
10. Suddenly there wus with the Angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men. Surely this is a night to be much observed among the generations of men for evermore. Who does not fancy himself in the field with the poor, but happy Shepherds? Who does not think he suddenly hears the stillness of the night sweetly invaded by sounds, like those in that ravishing symphony with which the inimitable Handel, ushers in this scene in his Messiah, and which never can be exceeded, but by the music which welcomes the departing soul into the regions of peace and harmony, and hails her, on her safe arrival in the fields of paradise? There is joy among the Angels of God, for one sinner that repenteth. What wonder, then, that, at the birth of the Son of God, for the redemption and salvation of the world, there should be a jubilee in Heaven? The wonder is, that there should not be one upon earth, and that man should be unconcerned at an event, which brought forth the spirits above in multitudes, to admire, adore, and celebrate it. But be not thou, my soul, among the ungrateful and unthankful. Rejoice thou in the Lord Jesus always, and magnify his holy name for ever: But at this season, above all others, forget not to renew thy joy, taking up and continuing, with all thy powers and faculties, the Song first set by the Angelic Choir for that purpose : Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men. useib o lt
ON A PRACTICE IN PRIVATE BAPTISM. - TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S .
MAGAZINE. ni lotius rod GENTLEMEN,
1998 tot CEELING myself in a situation nearly similar to that f of the London Curate, and wishing sincerely with
him, that some Gamaliel would step forward, « and fix the line of demarcation between a holy rite and a Sacrament;"--I have presumed to trouble you with a query as to the propriety and decency of a practice which is sometimes adopted in the private baptism of infants. The Rubrie directs, that the Minister shall call upon God, and say the Lord's Prayer, and so many of the Collects appointed to be said before, in the form of public baptism, as the time and present erigence will suffer." As this direction leaves a great deal to the discretion of the Minister, and this discretionary power has been abused in several instances within my knowledge, I should be glad to know whether the prayer for the con: secration of the water is absolutely and indispensably necessary to be read before a Minister proceeds privately to baptize an infant. If we reason from analogy, the answer to this question appears to be sufficiently obvious. The bread and wine, in the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup. per, is consecrated; and what reason can be assigned why the same solemnity is not to take place in the Sacrament of Baptism? They were both instituted by Christ, and consequently ought, one should think, to be equally observed by us. But what is the practice which is sometimes adopted? Why, the Infant is immediately baptized s in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," without any previous address to the Supreme Being, and without any preceding consecration of the water. Now, surely there is an abruptness, at least, if not an indecency, in thus rushing at once upon so solemn an office. It may do very well with a Poet, who, as Horace says,
Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res
Non secus ac notas auditorem rapita but I am afraid it will not suit the character of him whose province it is to " do the work of an Evangelist," and to declare unto his hearers' " the whole good pleasure of God,”--As for myself, I can positively assert, that I have never found a case so imminent and full of danger, as not to allow me sufficient time for reading the previous prayers, and particularly that for the consecration of the water. A critical moment may happen when it might be, necessary to shorten the service;-—but we should never needlessly deprive the Sacrament of Baptism of any circumstance which adds to its solemnity. Having thus'
Vol. VII. Churchm. Mag. Nov, 1801. Uu stated
stated my notions of the necessity of complying with the Rubric in all cases where it is possible, I may, perhaps be referred by some of your literary correspondents, to the practice of ancient times, when no such custom, as that of consecrating the water, prevailed.---Far be it from me to despise and reject “ the old ways, and the old paths.”-suspicio atque veneror. But are we sure that no such custom ever prevailed in the primitive ages ? How many directions of our blessed Saviour, and his boly Apostles, are unrecorded in the Scriptures? Even pædobaptism itself is not, I believe, expressly mentioned in the Gospels; and we are left to reason out the probability, nay the certainty of it, from analogy, and other collateral circumstances. I shall, therefore, be very much obliged to the London Curate, or any other of your respectable Correspondents, who will have the goodness to detail his ideas upon the question which I have submitted to his consideration in the former part of this letter :--namely, “ whether the consecration of the water is absolutely and indispensably necessary to the private baptism of infants?"
OF ORIGINAL SIN.
N acquaintance of mine, lately deceased, who in A his life time was very loud in his professions of religion, disbelieved the whole Mosaic History of the Fall of Man, and unequivocally declared, that he considered it, in no other light, than as a fable or allegory. He allowed the actual existence of sin among men, and very readily confessed, in general terms, that he himself was a sinner; but, at the same time, he absolutely denied: .. the Scripture account, of the manner in, and by which, sin was introduced into the world. I conceive the doctrine of original sin, as taught in the Bible, to-be at
the bottom of Christianity: And he who does not acknowledge with St. Paul, that by one man's disobedience, sin entered into the world,” I cannot esteem as orthodox in his belief. The Scripture appears to me, uniformly to exbibit the Two Adams, in contrast and opposition to each other as Type and Antitype, as Public Heads and Representatives of the human nature; the office of one of which, was to repair the fatat consequences of the transgression of the other.-Such is my faith on the important subject, " The Fall of Man.”—Nor can I see how any one can understand the force and meaning, of the first gracious promise to a fallen world, that " the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head”—or be sensible of, or grateful for the meritorious services of our blessed Saviour, who denies the delinquency of Adam. I wish svine of your learned and pious correspondents, would give their sentiments on the above most momentous article, in your excellent repository of divine and useful knowledge. The discussion might prove of advantage to many, and it would be particularly gratifying to, , mii,
Your constant Reader, October, 1804.' W.;
OF BRIEFS. ,
DIAGAZINE. . GENTLEMEN, I just snatch up my pen to tell you the result of the gd* 1 Brief obtained for the repair of Dagenham Church, Essex, in the year 1801. The parish is brought in DEBTOR to the undertakers of Briefs. The amount, I know not, nor am I anxious to be informed of it; if indeed it can yet be completely ascertained, for a few returns, which may lessen the debt à trifle perhaps, are yet expected. I know enough already to be sick of Briefs. 4. ..
si . lam, : ... .... Gentlemen,,,
Yours, &c. .
PIERCE PLOWMAN. *****, Essex, 1.:,. Oct. 27., 1804. TALL
*See P. 186. !"
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S :
MAGAZINE. GENTLEMEN, Thumbly beg leave to return thanks to your CorresIpondent J. C. for his Letter on the Puritans and the Methodists in your last Magazine. The resemblance between those old, and these new enemies of the Establishment, holds in various instances. I beg leave to add one to those already adduced.
It is well known; that either a fund is provided for the purpose of purchasing livings for Methodistical Incumbents, or that several wealthy Fanatics think their money well laid out in thus pronoting the cause which they have so much at heart. This was a mode of weakening the Church, resorted to by the Puritans in the Reign of King Charles. I. A set of people styled Feoffees, purchased impropriations, ostensibly to improve poor vicarages, but really to increase the benefices of the Preachers of Puritanism. Archbishop Laud penetrated the designs of those worthy Gentlemen, and by the vigorous steps he took, in the end defeated them.
Subjoined to his Diary, is a list of “ Things which I have projected to do, if God bless me in them.” And this is one of them,-"3. To overthrow the Feoffment, dangerous both to Church and State; going under the specious pretence of buying-in impropriations." He adds this one significant word, “ DONE,” If you look into bis Diary itself,---1632, Feb, 13, you will see a note upon the subject;-" The Feoffees that pretended to buy in impropriations, were dissolved in the Chequer Cham, ber. They were the main instruments for the puritan faction to undo the Church. The criminal part reserved."
I need make no observation on this record. The Archbishop did a good office to the Church in breaking this confederacy to pieces; and you will please to observe, too, that this was done not in the Star, but in the Chequer Chamber.
By the way, $.11. of his Grace's Diary runs thus :* To see the Tyihes of London settled, between the Clergy and the City." Bishop Horsley may now write DONE, to what the iniquity of the times compelled Archbishop Laud to leave undone. . .::Gentlemen, Ever Your's,
JONATHAN DRAPIER. Nov. 1, 1804,