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whose ministerial labours the Bri- Baptism is thrown out of the idea tish Reviewer pretends more in sor- of regeneration; renewal of state is row than in anger to condemn. confounded with renewal of mind;
He especially charges, “ that in conversion and repentance are held some quarters the genuine and life- equivalent to regeneration; and the giving principles of our early re- doctrine of infant regeneration and formers as displayed in their doc. the practice of infant baptism are trinal instructions, exhibited in their rejected. holy lives, and embodied in their This is the consequence of the invaluable formularies are found no misuse of words, and it may teach longer." The fact is denied, and the British Reviewer while he imof the competence of the British putes to others the abandonment of Reviewer to decide the fact, the the formularies of the Church, to reader may judge from the following be himself more circumspect in in. passage, in which he writes with terpreting and explaining them, more reference to the year 1769, at which diligent in ascertaining their proper time he says,
sense and import, than he appears « The best friends of the Church of hitherto to have been. It is the England are willing to allow that those observation of Mr. Richardson : leading doctrines of the reformation, the " I found that the Bible will not subfall of man-justification by faith alone m
mit to any system however neat, and the absolute necessity of that' death unto
made to go upon all fours : that in the sin and new birth unto righteousness,' of
perpetual controversy between Calvinists which baptism is the outward and visible
and Arminians, both sides go beyond the sign,' had greatly fallen into neglect in the
line of simple truth, in order to make their Established Church."
respective systems complete, and that the Now in which of the invaluable Church of England agreeable to Scripture, formularies of the Church of Eng
bolds the Calvinistic doctrine of election, land is it taught, that BAPTISM is
and the Arminian doctrine of general re
demption, as is plain from the explanatiou o the outward and visible sign” of of her Creed, where I learn to believe in a “ death unto sin and a new birth God the Son, who hath redeemed me and unto righteousness ?" It is the doc- all mankind, and in God the Holy Ghost trine of the Church Catechism, that who sanctifieth me, and all the elect peoBaptism is a sacrament, and as a ple of God.'” sacrament comprises two parts, an The Reviewer remarks. outward visible sign, and an inward spiritual grace; that the outward “...... it is impossible to pass by visible sign or form in Baptism is without commendation what appears to
not us so accurate a description of the safe water, and that the inward spiritual us, so
and modified course pursued by the Church grace of which water, not Baptism
of England, in her interpretation of Scrip. is the sign, is a death unto sin and
ture." a new birth unto righteousness. This is the doctrine of the Church With what accuracy of chronoof England: but the Reviewer mis-' logy the Arminian doctrine is im. takes the part for the whole, the puted to the Catechism, the Resacrament including the sign and viewer will probably explain upon the grace, for the sign without the another occasion : of the Calvinistic grace. This confusion is in itself doctrine of election which “ the most erroneous, and in its direct Church of England agreeable to and immediate consequences by se- Scripture” is here said to "hold: parating the outward sign from the another writer in the same review inward grace destroys the sacra. observes with admirable perspicuity: mental character of Baptism, and “ According to Calvin, the predestinathus according to the masterly ex- tion is absolute and irrespective, and the position of Waterland, outward election single, sure and everlasting, so
that the election is merged in the predes groans of men. The sin of slander tination. Our Church considers election may be confounded with the imagi. as distinct from predestination, and that nary holiness of an ignorant and inpersons may come under the one description without being comprehended in the
judicious zeal; and men and women other. They may be called and elected
å of less discernment than presumpbut not predestinated, inasmuch as they tion, whom a very little insinuation may after their calling and election fail will tempt to suspect the fidelity of through their own fault of attaining to their pastor, will be hurried away everlasting felicity."
in the pursuit of doctrines, which
have at least the merit of novelty, Is this also an accurate descrip
and which promise to gratify for the tion of the modified course of the
hour the love of choice and change, Church in the interpretation of
os of an assumed right of independence Scripture ? And yet, as if the doc
and a practical unsettledness in their trine were not already sufficiently
spiritual communion. Too many perplexed, another reference is made in imitation of Dr. Copleston “ to
whose religious education has been Mr. Sumner's excellent treatise on
neglected, and who have no fixed
principles of the doctrines of Christ, Apostolical preaching, particularly
will be distracted in the sincere enhis chapter on election, which refers
quiry for religious truth, by the his expressions on that subject, to
errors imputed to its the election of the Gentiles rather
teachers, will be embarrassed with than to personal election."
doubts and scruples, and ultimately Thus the Church of England does and does not hold Calvinistic elec
inveigled into false doctrine, heresy, tion, does and does not hold condi
and schism, into a neglect of public
worship and instruction, and a getional election, does and does not
neral indifference and unconcern hold personal election. Instead of
to sacred truth. Even clergymen these crude theories on a doctrine
of minds not sufficiently grounded which perplexes the minds and dis.'
in the Scriptures, and exquisitely turbs the peace of many men, how
sensitive and conscientious, may be much more worthy would it have
alarmed by the confident assertions been of the advocate of the invalu
of a British Reviewer, impressed able formularies of our Church, to
with vain apprehensions of the puexplain the child's avowal of his sanctification with all the elect peo.
rity and integrity of their doctrine, ple of God, by the corresponding
and led astray from the good old
paths in wbich they have been answer in which he gives thanks to
taught and accustomed to tread, the heavenly Father, that be hath
into the bye ways of error and called him to this state of salvation
doubtful speculation. None but and prays that he may continue in
the scorner and the infidel has oc. the same unto his life's end.
casion of rejoicing in the sins and It is not easy to conceive the
sorrows of the Church, in the issue mischief or the misery, which arises
of controversies, in which they have from these jejune and unsatisfactory
no interest or concern, but in their references to controverted doctrines.
known tendency to counteract the The minds of men are thus kept in
progress of truth and righteousness. a state of continual ferment and
No conceivable advantage can result agitation, ever learning and never
from a tissue of insinuations offered able to come to the knowledge of;
in such a spirit as distinguishes the the truth. The depraved but too
article which has challenged our popular passion for religious gossip
observations, and of which it is only may be indulged, and fed like the
doubtful whether the blame princiantient Moloch with the sighs and
pally devolves upon the writer or REMEMBRANCER, No. 43.
the editor, who suffered its inser- The Manifold Wisdom of God made tion. Its spirit and tendency can known by the Church: a Sermon not we trust, for the honour of preached at the Cathedral Church Christianity, be agreeable to a large of Calcutta, un the Third Day of class of readers. It is by such December, 1820, being the First publications that the peace of indi Sunday in Advent. By Thomas viduals is disturbed ; that families Fanskaw, Bishop of Calcutta. are divided under different teachers; With Notes and an Appendix. tl:at the order of the Church, and 8vo. pp. 56. Balfour, Calcutta. the unity of the Christian brother 1821. hood are violated, and that jealousies are inflamed among Churchmen, We should be happy, if we could when the exclusive merit of evange convey to our readers the same plealical preaching is claimed to one sure which we have ourselves expeparty, and the other are accused of rienced in the perusal of this clear preaching « little better than hea, and masterly discourse. The text then instruction ;" and of abandon is from Ephes. iii. 10, and the three ing the formularies with which they topics offered to our consideration bave pledged themselves to conform, are these. and to which they from their just 1. What is the manifold Wisdom adherence by inculcating with equal of God? force and earnestness the doctrines 2. Why should it be proclaimed and the duties of their religion, and to the Gentiles? enforcing Christian practice upon . And, 3. What are the means, by Christian principles. The unchari- which the work may and must be tableness of some of their adversa- carried on, till all the kingdoms of ries, insinuations and censures, all this world are become “ the kingunfounded and unjust, may cherish dons of our Lord and of his Christ." the narrow pride of a Pharisaic spi-, (Rev. ix. 15.) rit, which thinks itself righteous In treating of the first, the Bishop and despises others. “At Bristol justly remarks, that the very phrase we abound in spiritual light,” said itself, “ the manifold wisdom of a lady to the wife of a distinguished God-" writer in the controversy on the
" Seems to overwhelm us by the variety Bible Society, “but we hold the
and weight of the topics, which it immediname of “ (the Lady's husband) ately suggests. Manifold, indeed, (he con“ in abhorrence and execration.". tiones) is that wisdom ; infinite in its conThe words still tingle in our ears, ceptions and modes of operation, even as and our hearts yearn at the recol apprehended by the faculties of man; and lected soundand our eyes still what then winst it appear to sublime and painfully dwell on the hardly less
heavenly intelligences, altbough even they,
as the text plainly intimates, are as yet but censorious aspersions of the British
scholars and novices in the knowledge of reviewer, when he describes a style the Divine dispensations.” of preaching “ of which we fear it may be too truly predicted, that it is
From this the Bishop takes occa. not even its object or design to turo sion to point out the excellence of many from darkness to light, and this wisdom, as it is displayed in from the power of Satan unto God.” Creation and Providence, and more Alas for the charity, which is the especially, (as that which is chiefly end of the commandment, and of contemplated by the text,) in the dis. which it is the distinguishing cha pensation of Grace, and the schenke racter that it vaunteth not itself, of Redemption. thinketh no evil, rejoiceth, not in " In Creation, the field which displays iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. the divine wisdoin, is absolutely immeasurable: into whatever district our curiosity complete for the purpose, and exhibits inor picty leads us, there we discover the dubitable and connected proofs of profound wisdom of the Almighty, whether the ob- design; bnt in the system of Providence the ject of research be a plant or an insect, or proofs are not easily drawn from parts: we the system, by which worlds revolve ; whe. are required to contemplate and comprether it be the instinct of animals, or the head the whole. We cannot sever a link reason of man; whether it be the structure from the midst of a chain, but the chain is of the human frame, or those faculties and broken. In Providence we have to conpowers, which constitute the activity inhe. sider a long series of causes and effects, of rent in mind. And then what a countless purposes and results, which, in that view multitude of subjects are either too great of the subject, exist not but in connexion. or too small to be grasped by our feeble vi. The results, indeed, are apparent, but not sion! What regions lie beyond our reach, 80 the process : we cannot always clearly of which we but dimly descry the confinest connect the first cause with the primary efThere is no boundary to what we see: we fect: the intermediate steps, elude our indiscern not the termination of any thing: vestigation. Let it not, however, be there is always something beyond, seen thought that this difficolty at all invalidates more and more indistinctly, till it is lost in the doctrine of Providence, as evincing the distance : the whole circle of human know. wisdom of God. It is as if we bebeld some ledge in comparison with all the subjects of vast river discharging its waters into the knowledge, with all which might be kuown ocean, but were not permitted to trace it by an infinite intelligence, and therefore is upwards to its source: we catch, indeed, known to God, is probably but as a single glimpses of it at distant intervals; but leaf torn from the iniddle of some vast vo- mountains and forests frequently intervene. lume, filled indeed with references or allu- Still we are sure, that it has its source somesions to what has preceded, or with faint where, however distant or inaccessible. anticipations of what is to follow, and And so it is with all the good we enjoy in therefore but imperfectly understood, yet the world, with all the provision made for leading the mind to lofty speculations, and our wants, with all our deliverances from admiration of its author: we understand danger, in short with all that is incident to just enough to be instigated to, thought men or to nations : events are brought and inquiry, and to be convinced from abont, good is accomplished, and evil avertthe little we comprehend, that wisdom must ed, not only through means quite inadequate have dictated the whole. For how many to the end, as we estimate these things, but benevolent ends do we discover in all the frequently in opposition to natural causes, Tealms of nature, and in every work of God? of which we see the full force and efficacy, What mighty effects are accomplished by "and are quite at a loss to understand how means the most simple, and apparently the they have been defeated. And what is the most inadequate? What provision is made inference? It is, that what is not of man to meet what in buman mechanism we is of God: it is that an over-ruling Power should consider as insuperable difficulties, directs all things; influencing the wills of but which in the divine workmanship serve those, who serve Him, to what is ultimately only to evince the operation of one Per- good ; and in those, who by corruption are vading Mind? and what adjustment in a biassed to evil, averting the consequences, system inconceivably complicated, so that if not to themselves, at least to others, or there is no collision or interference, where even converting them to His purposes. all at the first snperficial glance would seem H ere, however, we pass to what our text to be confusion ? Our limits will not per- chiefly contemplates the manifold wisdom of mit as to illustrate these general remarks God in the dispensation of Grace and in the by individual examples: but they will be scheme of Redemption. This wisdom, inverified by every inquiry into the works of deed, is not so easily discerned by minds, the Creator.
in which Religion has made but little pro“But what shall we say of Providence? gress, as that which beams forth in the The evidence under this head would pro- works of Creation, or as that of which the bably be more striking, than tinder that of proofs are more slowly deduced from God's Creation, if we were equally capable of moral Government of the world. To be in dedncing it; wliich, however, seems not to any degree appreciated, it requires a prebe the case. In Creation mach may be in paration of the mind and heart; it requires ferred from the contemplation of single us to divest ourselves of pride and prejudice, parts, and those the most obvions and fami. and to be deeply sensible of our condition. liar to our apprehension. A blade of grass The mere Philosopher is very capable of or ao ear of corn, though indeeed we detect discerning facts, which establish the docnot all its contrivance, is yet sufficiently trine of final causes; or the Metaphysician
may be driven by the necessities of his ar- whether life is rational without gument to acknowledge a pervading and religion? or this present state. over-ruling Mind: but to gain even a whon uninformed by the views and glimpse of what the Apostle had called in the context « the unsearchable riches of hopes of the Gospel, any thing but Christ, you must be in principle, in heart, a scene of vanity? - And having forand in sentiment already Christian : the first cibly shewn this, he goes on to state step in your progress must be humility; more distinctly, in what particulars hauility, however, not as prompted by un especially our reason discerns the reasonable despair, but as founded in eter
wisdom of God in the scheme of hue nal truth. Look, then at the natural condition of the species ; of man without Re
man Redemption; and to combat a ligion, meaning Faith in a Saviour and Re notion but too prevalent, that all deemer: what is bis confidence, or even his questions of this kind are purely spehope." P.5.
culative, and consequently of compaThe forcible and affecting picture
ratively little importance. Whereas, which the Bishop draws, of the for
as his lordship justly remarks, “all lornness of the deistical scheme, is
the speculative truths of Religion,
which are revealed in Scripture, (and worthy of very serious attention.
no others deserve any serious regard) “ We are evidently in the situation of are in their inferences, and consethose, who have violated a law fortified by quences, and relations, highly pracpenal sanctions, without any power of sa
sam tical; they are in truth, the very basis tisfying the penalty. Sceptics in the pride of their hearts, may cavil at this compari
of all practice; and none is more ex
o son ; but they have never adduced any evi. tensively so, than the doctrine of our dence to shew, that it is not strictly appli- Redemption through Christ." This cable. If they will only admit the being of is strikingly exbibited in detail, and a perfectly just and holy God, all substan- on the whole the Bishop thus contial consequences, which the Christian cludes. claims, will inevitably follow: it will follow, that the wisdom and mercy of God were " These reflections, capable however of in some way to be exerted for the restor- being pursned through a thousand channels, ation of violated order and the indemnity of may prepare os to form some imperfect esman.-But even reason should revolt at the tinjate of the wisdom of God in the work very ground-work of the deistical scheme, of our Redemption. Mysteries, it is true, if scheme it can be called, which 'has no envelope the doctrine theoretically consiconsistent application. In what light does dered: but in a practical view nothing can Deism, if closely examined, place the Deityd be more intelligible. Our nature, in its It leaves Him in possession of perfect attri- inconsistencies and contradictions, in its butes, which are, however, but imperfectly weaknesses and in its strength, in its elevaexercised: it recognises His sovereignty, tion and depression, conspires with Scripbut would suspend His functions : it ad ture to bear witness to our primeval fall: mits and even insists opon His mercy, but and the wisdom of God has been exerted in a way which forbids us any longer to in a scheme for our restoration through consider Him as infinitely just, and which Jesus Christ; a scheme, in which mercy is affords us no means of asserting His holiness. the moving principle, in which Holiness is It represents Him as the author of a Law, vindicated, -in which Justice is satisfied, the sanctions of which can never be abro. in which our weakness is upholden by divine gated, and the dignity of which can never support-in which holy desires are instilled be maintained. It acknowledges Him to into the heart,-in which sorrow is combe the eternal source of purity and trath, forted, --in which repentance is efficacions, although if the language may be endured, in which sin is pardoned-in which God He acquiesces in falsehood and counives at is reconciled, in which the world is over iniquity. These results are inevitable, if come, and in our last hour Death is deprived Christ hath not appeared to pnt away sin of his triumph. It is to such a schene by the sacrifice of himself! (Heb. ix. 26.)" more especially, that the Apostle refers, P.9.
when he speaks of the manifold wisdom
of God:' and its complicated characters of •» Nor does the Bishop stop here;
power and wisdom we are able to a certain but proceeds to ask of those who
ask OI those who extent to appreciate, even with our faint profess to admit no test but reason, perception of things.divine, In no speri