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good, far better than we are accustomed to meet in the pages of similar controversy, and many things that are said are very excellent. How his declarations on the subject of infant baptism are to be reconciled with his evangelical doctrines, is not so clear. Take for instance this paragraph on page 590:
It does not follow from this that the benefits of redemption may not be conferred on infants at the time of their baptism. That is in the hands of God. What is to hinder the imputation to them of the righteousness of Christ, or their receiving the renewing of the Holy Ghost, so that their whole nature maybe developed in'a state of reconciliation with God? Doubtless this often occurs; but whether it does or not, their baptism stands good; i( assures litem of salvation, if they do not renounce their baptismal covenant.
The question has been often asked, What is the benefit of baptism to the infant? but rarely has so intelligible an answer been returned. Dr. Hodge's statement is eminently clear and satisfactory,—it lacks but one thing, a reference to the Scripture which authorizes the assurance. We turned from this Theology to that charming work, "The Way of Life," by Charles Hodge, and read page 260:
As the efficacy of the sacraments is a subject of great practical importance, it is necessary to examine more particularly what the Scriptures teach on this subject. Baptism is called the washing of regeneration; it is said to unite us to Christ, to make us partakers of his death and life, (o take away our sins, to save the soul. The bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are said to be the body and blood of Christ; to partake of these emblems, is said to secure union to Christ and a participation of the merits of his death. These and similar passages must be understood either with or without limitation. If they are to be limited, the limitation must not be arbitrarily imposed, but supplied by the Scriptures themselves. We have no right to say that the sacraments confer these benefits in every case in which no moral impediment is interposed, because no such limitation is expressed in the passages themselves, nor elsewhere taught in the Scriptures. The limitation which the Scriptures do impose on these passages is the necessity of faith. They teach that the sacraments are thus efficacious, not to every recipient, but to the believer; to those who already have the grace which these ordinances represent.
And this on page 278:
We degrade the Scriptures into formulas of incantation, and the sacraments into magical rites, if we suppose a knowledge of their meaning to be unnecessary. God is a spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit, intelligently as well as sincerelv and inwardly. It is, therefore, essential to a proper attendance on the sacraments, that we should knew what they are designed to represent, what benefits they confer, and what obligations they impose when they are thus understood. When the believer sees in them the clear exhibition of the truths and promises of the gospel, and knows that they were appointed to b« the means of his confessing Christ before men, and to ratify the gracious covenant of God with his soul, he then really receives the spiritual blessings of which the sacraments are the outward signs.
The "Way of Life" is better than the " Systematic Theology."
Oriental Religions, and their Relation to Universal Religion. By Samuel Johnson. India. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company. 1872. 8vo. pp. 802.
The title of this book indicates the position of the author. It does not indicate what will be found to be the fact, that here is the result of more than twenty years of careful study, presented in a style of classic English, and furnishing a vast amount of information. But the excellences of the book are overshadowed by the theory of the author, and the merciless way in which he fits everything into his system. With hira, Christianity is of the past; like many other religions, it had its merits, but its work is done. If we remember aright, Mr. Johnson, long ago, repudiated for himself the title of a Christian minister, and now while he can say but little in favor of Christianity, all the odious peculiarities of the religions of India are, if not defended, excused. In the sacrifices of Juggernaut, in the burning of widows, in infanticide, ascetism, polygamy, he finds much that commands and deserves respect. In fact, Mr. Johnson's zeal against Christianity is so obvious that it not only compels a rejection of his philosophy, but casts suspicion on his statements of alleged facts. It is with regret that we see so much ability and such genuine scholarship so unworthily employed.
Four Phases of Morals. Socrates, Aristotle, Christianity, Utilitarianism. By John Stuart Blackie. New York: Scribner, Armstrong and Company. 1872. 12mo. pp. 354.
In this valuable addition to ethical literature some of the most fundamental questions of morals are discussed, in a manner so vigorous and suggestive that the attention even of persons unaccustomed to abstract reasoning is kept wide-awake throughout. An admirer of Socrates, a despiser of democracy, and a hater of Utilitarianism, Professor Blackie makes no secret of his opinions, and enforces them in a downright and earnest way that wins favor for the writer, even if his views are not received. His criticism of Hume and Jeremy Bentham is especially noticeable. As might be expected from his anti-democratic prejudices, he differs decidedly with Mr. Grote, and does not hesitate to express that difference. The lecture on Christianity is not entirely satisfactory, though it is well worth reading.
Oriental and Linguistic Studies: the Veda, the Avesta, the Science of Language. By William Dwight Whitney, Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology in Yale College. New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Company. 1873. 12mo. pp. 416.
The accuracy, ability, and learning of Professor Whitney are so well known, that it is only necessary to call the attention of lovers of scholarship to this volume. It consists of essays which have been published in various periodicals during the last twenty years. Of these papers there are thirteen treating of; The Vedas; The Vedic Doctrine of a Future Life; Mi'iller's History of Vedic Literature; The Translation of the Veda; Miiller's Rig-Veda Translation; The Avesta; Indo-European Philology and Ethnology; Mailer's Lectures on Language; Present State of the Question as to the Origin of Language; Bleek and the Sinuous Theory of Language; Schleicher and the Physical Theory of Language; Steinthal and the Psychological Theory of Language; Language and Education. Although in the form of reviews of books, they are really essays on the literature connected with the books.
One of the most valuable papers in the book is that on the Avesta. At the close a brief sketch is given of the characteristic features of the ancient Parsian religion:
By the testimony of its own scriptures, the Iranian religion is with the fullest right styled the Zoroastrian: Zoroaster is acknowledged as its founder throughout the whole of the sacred writings; these are hardly more than a record of the revelations claimed to have been made to him by the supreme divinity. It is not, then, a religion which has grown up in the mind of a whole people, as the expression of their^conceptions of things supernatural; it has received its form in the mind of an individual; it has been inculcated and taught by a single sage and thinker. Yet such a religion is not wont to be an entirely n.'W creation, but rather a carrying out of tendencies already existing in the general religious sentiment, a reformation of theold established creed which the times were prepared for and demanded And so it wag in the present instance We are able, by the aid of the Indian Veda, to trace out with some distinctness the form of the original Aryan faith,held before the separation of the Indian and Persian nations. It was an almost pure nature religion, a worship of the powers conceived to be the producers of all the various phenomena of the sensible creation; and, of course, a polytheism, as must be the first religion of any people who without higher light are striving to solve for themsolves the problem of the universe. But even in the earliest Vedic religion appears a tendency toward an ethical and monotheistic development, evidenced especially by the lofty and ennobling moral attributes and authority ascribed to the god Vnruna: and this tendency, afterwards unfortunately checked and rendered inoperative in the Indian branch of the race, seems to have gone on in Persia to an entire transformation of the natural religion into an ethical, of the polytheism into a monotheism; a transformation effected especially by the teachings of the religious reformer Zoroaster. It is far from improbable that Varuna himself is the god out of whom the Iranians made their supreme divinity: the ancient name, however, nowhete appears in their religious records; they have given him a new title, Ahura-Mazla, 'Spiritual Mighty-one,' or 'Wise-one' (Aura Mazda of the Inscriptions; Oromatdes and Ormuzd of the classics and modern Persians). The name itself indicates the origin of the conception to which it is given; a popular religion does not so entitle its creations, if indeed it brings forth any of so elevated and spiritual a character. AhuraMnzda is a purely spiritual conception; he is clothed with no external form or human attributes; he is the creator and ruler of the universe, the author of all good; he is the only being to whom the name of a god can with propriety be applied in the Iranian religion. Other beings, of subordinate rank and inferior dignity, are in some measure associated with him in the exercise of his authority; such are Mithra, an aucieut sun-god, the almost inseparable companion of Varuna in the Vedic invocations, and the seven Amshospands (AmcskaCpenta, 'Immortal Holy-ones'), whose identity with the Adityas of the Veda has been conjectured; they appear here, however, with new titles, expressive of moral attributes. The other gods of the original Aryan faith, although they have retained their ancient name of darva (Sanskrit deva), have lost their individuality and their dignity, and have been degraded into the demons, the malignant and malevolent spirits, of the new religion ; just as when Christianity was introduced into Germany, tjie former objects of heathen worship were not at once and altogether set aside and forgotten, but maintained a kind of place in the popular beliof as mischievous spirits of evil. The Daevas, together with other classes of beings of like character, form a body of malevolent end harmful powers corresponding to the Indian rakthat. At their head, and the chief embodiment of the spirit which inspires them, is Angra-Mainyua (Arimanius Ahriman), the 'Sinful-minded,'or 'Malevolent;' his name is one given him as an antithesis to the frequent epithet of Abura Mazda, cpentomainyus, ' holy-minded,' or ' benevolent.' This side of the religion came to receive, however, a peculiar development, which finally converted the religion itself into a dualism. Such was not its character at the period represented by the Avesta; then the demons were simply the •embodiment of whatever evil influences existed in the universe, of all that man has to hate, and fear, and seek protection against. This was the Persian or Zoroastrian solution of the great problem, of the origin of evil. There was wickedness, impurity, unhappiness in the world; but this could not be the work of the holy and benevolent Creator Ahura-MazdA; the malevolence of Angra-Mainyus aud his infernal legions must have produced it. Later, however, a reasoning and systematizing philosophy inquires: How came there to he such a malevolent being in the fair world of the benevolent Creator? can he have been produced by kim? and why, if an inferior and subject power, is he not annihilated, or his power to harm taken away? And then arises the doctrine that the powers of good and evil are independent and equal, ever warring with one another, neither able wholly to subdue its adversary. This latter phase of belief is known to have appeared very early in the history of the Zoroastrian religion; the philosophers aided in its development by setting up an undefined being, Ztrvanakerene,' time unbounded,' from which were made to originate the two hostile principles, and for which they sought to find a place among the original tenets of their religion by a misinterpretation of certain passages in the sacred texts.
Such being the constitution of the universe, such the powers by which it was governed, the revelation was made by the benevolent Creator to his chosen servant for the purpose of instructing mankind with reference to their condition, and of teaching them how to aid the good, how to avoid and overcome the evil. The general features of the method by which this end was to be attained are worthy of all praise and approval. It was by sedulously maintaining purity, in thought, word, and deed; by truthfulness, temperance, chastity; by prayer and homage to Ahura Mazda and the other beneficent powers; by the performance of good works, by the destruction of noxious creatures; by everything that could contribute to the welfare and happiness of the human race. No cringing and deprecatory worship of the powers of evil was enjoined; toward them the attitude of the worshipper of Mazda was to be one of uncompromising hostility; by the power of a pure and righteous walk he was to confound and frustrate their malevolent attempts against bis peace. Fasts and penance, except as imposed by way of penalty for committed transgressions, were unknown. Beligious ceremonies were few and simple, for the most part an inheritance from the primitive Aryan time; they were connected chiefly with the offering of Homa (Indian Soma) and with the fire. The latter was to the ancient Iranians, and has remained down to the present day, the sacred symbol of divinity. An object of worship, properly so called, it never was; it was only invested with the same sanctity which belonged also to the other elements, the pure creations of Ahura-Mazda; all were invoked and addressed with homage, and it was unpardonable sin to profane them with impurity. Fire was kent constantly burning in an enclosed space; not in a temple, for idols and temples have been alike unknown throughout the whole course of Persian history: and before it, as in a spot consecrated by the especial presence of the divinity, were performed the chief rites of worship.
The doctrines of the Zoroastrian religion respecting death, and the fate of mankind after death, are a very remarkable and interesting part of it, strikingly exhibiting both its weakness and its strength. On the one hand, as sickness and death were supposed to be the work of the malignant powers, the dead body itself was regarded with superstitious horror. It had been gotten by the demons into their own peculiar possession, and became a chief medium through which they exercised their defiling action upon the living. Everything that came into its neighborhood was unclean, and to a certain extent exposed to the influences of the malevolent spirits, until purified by the ceremonies which the law prescribed. The corpse was plainly arrayed, and removed as soon as might be from the company of living men; but where should it be deposited? neither of the pure elements, earth, fire, or water, might receive it; so to soil their purity would be a crime; it was exposed in a place prepared for the purpose, and left to be devoured by beasts and birds of prey; and only after the bones had been thoroughly stripped of flesh, and dried and bleached, w:is it allowed to hide them away in the ground. But while the body was thus dishonored, the different nature ind separate destiny of the soul were fully believed in. If the person of whose mortal form the demons had thus obtained possession had been during life a sinceVe worshiper of Mazda, if he had abhorred evil and striven after truth and purity, then the powers of evil had no hold upon his soul ; this, after hovering for a time about its former ten ment, hoping for a reunion with it, was supposed to pass away beyond the eastern mountains from which the sun rises, to the paradise of the holy and benevolent gods; the souls of the unbelieving and the evil doers, however, were not deemed worthy of that blessedness, and were thought, so it seems, to be destroyed with the body.
It cannot be said, however, that this belief in immortality, and, to a certain extent, in a future state of rewards and punishments, formed a prominent feature of the Iranian religion, any more than of the Indian, or that it was made to enter into the daily practice of life Sjb an ever-present and powerful incentive to good conduct.
IT has been confidently claimed, from time to time, for the Plymouth Pilgrims, that they were never guilty of persecution in the matter of religion, differing wholly in this respect from the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay. A lecture by Benjamin Scott, Chamberlain of the city of London, delivered in the year 1866, entitled, "The Pilgrim Fathers neither Puritans nor Persecutors "—perhaps the most elaborate attempt to make good that claim—has more recently given currency to this idea. The same ground is taken by Herbert S. Skeats, in his "History of the Free Church of England " (1868), when he says: "The former [the Pilgrims] never persecuted. The latter [the Puritans] were avowed state-churchmen."
On the other hand Samuel G. Drake, in his "Historical Memorial of the Colony of New Plymouth,"1 while he speaks of Mr. Scott's lecture as "a performance of great merit," yet says that, as a vindication of the Pilgrims, it is "not at all conformable to the true state of facts respecting the premises." He further says:
It must be apparent to the attentive observer, that there was as much a spirit of persecution in many of the old colonists, as in some who resided upon the peninsula of Shawmut. In this averment it must be understood that, taking each colony as a whole, there was indeed a far
> Pari V, p. 45.
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