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baptism and the Lord's supper. these sacraments, besides being signs and symbols of truth, have residing in them, by Divine appointment, an intrinsic virtue or grace; which when they are administered by the regularly ordained priests of the church, is invariably and certainly imparted to every recipient;-except only that adult that regards iniquity in his heart;-the former conveying the new birth; and the latter, irrespective of the faith of the communicant, and ex opere operato, nourishing the hidden life of body and of soul.
And these sacraments hold such a place among the institutions of Christ, that, according to Mr. G., (p. 183,) they are "the chief and central fountain of the vital influences of religion, when the church is in health and vigour; their never wholly obstructed source, when she is overspread with the frost of indifference; their last and innermost fastnesses, when latent infidelity gnaws and eats away the heart of her creed, and of all her collateral ordinances."-Church Principles, cap. iv.
3. That Christ has also appointed in the church an apostolic ministry,-that that ministry is transmissive only,-and that "the ordained method of perpetuating the apostolic office was by a personal authority from the apostles, as
tutions of a special kind,-baptism and the Lord's supper; which are signs and symbols of Divine truth. That the one is to be administered-First, to all adult persons who desire to become learners (uanral) in the school of Christ; and is designed ceremonially to purify them to the Lord, to teach them the necessity of being born of the Spirit, and to preassure them of the unrestricted freeness of his grace, actually to create them anew, and make them children of God. Secondly, to infants. That the other is to be partaken of by Christian churches; its institution, on the part of Christ, being intended to teach us, that our new life is dependent on our union with him; to assure us of his special and most gracious presence at the feast, to sustain and nourish it; and to lead us to expect from him there, all spiritual blessings. Its observance, on our part, being a grateful commemoration of his dying love; a profession of entire reliance on the blood of the new covenant for the remission of sins; and a public avowal of our faith in his second coming.
Congregationalists do not believe the efficacy of these rites to depend, either absolutely or chiefly, on certain official qualifications in the administrator; but that, though order requires them to be dispensed, when possible and convenient, by a duly instituted minister of Jesus Christ, if such be not possible and convenient, he will still impart his grace and Spirit. They are persuaded that these sacred rites cannot be neglected, or in the least degree undervalued, without proportionate and serious injury to the souls of individuals, and the spiritual life of the church: but it is to the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ alone, that they would dare to apply the words of Mr. G., and to say that they are "the chief and central fountain," &c.
3. That Christ has instituted in his church the permanent office of bishop or elder, pastor and teacher; no such minister, however, having any superiority to his brother, or authority over him, save that which is moral and arises from
well as by a personal succession to them;" so that no persons but such as are in this line of succession, are true ministers of Jesus Christ, have a right to preach the word, or to administer the sacraments; whilst all that are, may be regarded, by virtue of that succession, and irrespective of their personal spiritual character, as capable of the valid performance of all the offices of the church. Ib. chap. v.
age or character. That every individual possessed of personal piety and of adequate natural capacity, who desires the office of a bishop, who is approved by the churches and accredited and set apart by the laying on of the hands, and by the prayers of a competent number of the brethren who already hold the same office, is a good and valid minister of Jesus Christ; is duly authorised, either to become the evangelist among his fellow-men; or, as pastor and teacher, to take the oversight of any society of Christians that may desire the benefit of his ministry; to preach to them the word of life, and administer all the ordinances of the New Testament.-Coleman. Congregational Tract Series, Nos. 1, 7, 10, 12.
From this comparative view, it is easy at once to see how the case stands between us. The Tractarians give to the church, to the sacraments, and to the priesthood, that position in God's great plan of redemption, which we give to the word of God, to the atoning sacrifice of the Great High Priest, and to the renewing and sanctifying Spirit. The chief objects of man's contemplation and faith are made to exchange places. They call fundamental what we regard, not as unimportant, but still as secondary; whilst what we believe to be fundamental, they, not avowedly, but yet virtually, and by unduly exalting the secondary, depreciate and degrade. The question then is, Which is right,-which is scriptural? and as the effects of the two systems must be exceedingly diverse and contrary, that question is of unspeakable importance.
(To be continued.)
An Inquiry into the nature of the Symbolic Institutions of the Christian Religion, usually called The Sacraments. By Robert Halley, D.D. Part I. Baptism. London: Jackson and Walford. [Congregational Lecture: Tenth Series.]
(Continued from page 366.*)
BUT is it really so clear that Apollos had baptized these twelve? There is a good prima facie case for it; but we doubt if it is anything more. The context suggests that it was probably so; but let us
.* We have reprinted a few lines from the conclusion of the previous part, the printer having been accidentally, but unavoidably, compelled to divide the notice at a point particularly unfavourable to the clearness of the argument in hand.
take the facts and probabilities which a closer consideration of it suggests. Ephesus was the abode of these men: Apollos was from Alexandria: why must Ephesus derive the doctrine and baptism of John from Alexandria? It was, as the apostolic history shows, in the high way from Syria to Greece and Italy, and there was continual communication between it and Judea-might not these persons have received John's baptism from some other traveller?-or might not some of them have received it in Judea? Again, if Apollos first instructed them in John's doctrine, and baptized them with John's baptism, would he not, when he had "learned the way of God more perfectly" in that very city, have re-instructed and re-baptized them? Is it probable that he would have left his former disciples in the ignorance he had so partially illuminated? It appears, after all, more natural to suppose that these twelve persons had derived their baptism from others. Or will it be said that Apollos was not authorised to administer Christian baptism? Then what authority had he to administer John's-supposing them essentially identical?
Dr. Halley, when proposing his suggestion that the twelve disciples were re baptized because they had received John's baptism after our Lord's death, says, "it is remarkable we do not read that Apollos himself, who had received John's baptism, was re-baptized, when taught the way of God more perfectly." We hardly think it remarkable. Water baptism, whatever interest controversy may attach to it, is a very subordinate matter in the New Testament Scriptures. Paul was sent, not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel. If therefore Apollos himself was re-baptized by Aquila, there would be nothing remarkable or unusual in its not being recorded. Moreover, Luke, while Paul's companion, recorded usually what fell within his personal knowledge. He recorded the re-baptism of the twelve, because he probably witnessed it. He as naturally would take no notice of the re-baptism of Apollos, because, supposing such a fact, it occurred before he came to Ephesus. Dr. Halley must be contented to allow that not a few New Testament facts have found their way into that hiding-place of oblivion which found room for all the circumcisions which were performed from nearly the commencement of the Theocracy till its close.
In thus expressing our dissent from a particular view of Dr. Halley's, we have not, for a moment, lost sight of the ability, learning, and candour which distinguish all his investigations. By his valuable refutation of the various arguments alleged by the early reformers and others to prove that the twelve were not baptized again, and by the candid concessions we have noticed, he has prepared the most effective weapons against his own cause. The most skilful warrior must not expect success, if he gives his best arms to his antagonist.
Dr. Halley's SIXIH lecture brings in the controversy with our Anabaptist brethren; a controversy on which, like him, we always
enter with reluctance, becanse we feel, as he does, that, in several respects, the importance of it is greatly over-rated. The subject of this lecture-if we except a few pages at the commencement, in which Dr. Halley briefly states his judgment, that the complete and proper formula of Christian baptism comprises the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-is the mode of baptism. And here, at the risk of having our place assigned us among those reviewers with whom wholesale compliment is the alpha and omega of criticism, we must thank Dr. Halley for the important service he has rendered to the controversy, by removing this "cause" from a lower to a higher court -from the jurisdiction of philology to that of Christian ethics. We cannot, with the quantity of matter still before us, extract the pages (293 to 302) in which he opens the subject, and it would not be just to give mere fragments from them; but we would, with much earnestness, commend them to the consideration of all persons who take an interest in the baptismal controversy, or indeed, any controversy which turns principally upon externals. To those who are acquainted with Andrew Fuller's invaluable letter on "the principles on which the apostles proceeded in forming and organising Christian churches,”the tenth of his "Letters on Sandemanianism,"-it will be sufficient to say, that these pages are written in the same admirable spirit. The great principle Dr. Halley enforces in them is, that love-expressed in conscientious obedience, is the fulfilling of the law and as he is satisfied that the law of baptism, like every other, is fulfilled by conscientious obedience to the recognised will of Christ, he objects to the imposition of any particular mode of baptism, as obligatory. Hence, though he admits that he has no religious scruple against immersion, he would not submit to it, if imposed, even "for the sake of union," contending that to do so, would be "to concede a principle of more importance than baptism itself." He therefore distinctly avows that this principle creates the only interest he feels in the controversy respecting the mode of baptism; that to decide upon the comparative merits of sprinkling or immersion would, in itself, occupy very little of his thoughts, and that his chief object in the philological discussions which the lecture and its appendix embrace, is to assert the validity of sprinkling against those who contend that it is no baptism.
Our assent to Dr. Halley's general view of the subject is sufficiently implied in what we have already said. We agree with him that the principle for which he contends "being the very life of all obedience to positive institutions,-a principle distinguished from all formalism, and identified with conscience, with charity, with liberty, with the right of private judgment, and even with the supremacy of Christ in the church," is "far more important than immersion or sprinkling, or any other mode of administering a sacrament." We also consider, with him, that the apostle Paul's judgment on the controversy respect
ing "high" days, (Rom. xiv.) is conclusive in favour of that principle. Still we think that his earnestness in behalf of it—an earnestness provoked by the unjust oblivion which has so greatly enshrouded ithas betrayed him into some exaggeration and some carelessness of expression. These appear in his assertion, that the principle contended for creates the only interest he feels in the controversy respecting the mode of baptism, (p. 299;) and in his belief that the apostle Paul, were he now living on earth, would not think it worth his while to decide the question between the immersionists and sprinklers, (p. 300.) A firm adherence to the great principle, that conscientious obedience is the fulfilling of the law, is surely not inconsistent with considerable interest in the inquiry, What constitutes conscientious obedience? It even requires it, for conscience must be satisfied that the professed obedience is a substantial compliance with the law. Dr. Halley, indeed, admits this in page 298, when speaking of the sacrifice of the mass. It is also too much to infer from Rom. xiv. that Paul would not decide the question between the immersionist and the sprinkler. We admit that, in that chapter, he did not decide the question respecting a religious distinction of days. He then decided a higher question, and, perhaps, purposely left the other in abeyance, that the higher principle might receive due attention. But it by no means follows, that he observed the same silence when he went to Rome, and when, from his habitual intercourse with the brethren, he could rightly divide and apply the word of truth to all classes and characters. And if he did so, he would, if now among us, probably throw light upon every question respecting baptism, by which the consciences of serious men are exercised. We have written thus, of course, on the assumption that the practice of the apostles was, in ordinary circumstances, uniform. In this assumption we have followed Dr. Halley, whose observations would have no weight on the contrary supposition. But if their practice was in ordinary cases uniform, it is surely a point of some interest, we should say of conscientious interest, to ascertain their practice, if it can be ascertained. The very fragments of truth are precious, and the more exact and comprehensive our knowledge is, the better shall we be able to distinguish the substance from the accident.
In pages 304-326, Dr. Halley undertakes to show that, even conceding that Barrio invariably means to dip, and nothing more, we are not restricted to the conclusion of our Baptist brethren, that sprinkling is not Christian baptism. In pages 340-345, he contends that their philology is not to be conceded in the discussion of this question. He gives his reasons for this arrangement. We must own we should have preferred the reverse order, as more natural; but it is of little consequence. Two advantages follow from Dr. Halley's method: the philological branch of the argument is kept distinct from