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whom they do not believe. Such a strange idea cannot be entertained.

What we have stated is the genuine THEORY of Christ's commission to his disciples, that is, faith, which is involved in the new-birth,-baptism,-and salvation. But no baptism is prescribed or allowed, unless faith go before." He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved." "What doth hinder me to be baptised?" Nothing but unbelief. "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest:" but certainly, thou mayest not, otherwise. The very character of baptism, and its design as a token of friendship between Christ and his church, and as representing the spiritual character of its members, and the new-birth unto righteousness, professed and promised by those who wish to be baptised,-both its character and design necessarily imply, that the hearts of those who are candidates for it are divorced from every other Lord, and that they embrace Christ to the saving of their souls. Every thing short of this is an abomination with the Lord. Baptism is that which represents the true spiritual character of the kingdom of God, both with respect to God, and also its members. But we have spoken of this, and shall speak more of it in a future number.

SECONDLY. Our view corresponds with the practical operation of the Gospel in forming the "kingdom of God."

There has been universally the profession or the appearance of a new heart and character, or of faith and repentance, or of the new-birth unto righteousness, before any were wished or invited to enter into the kingdom of God. The Ethiopian eunuch, to whom we have already alluded, was an instance of this: "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest" be baptised. What was Peter's exhortation to those who enquired, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" It was first to repent, and then to be baptised: Repent, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." And it is added, "With many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." The effect corresponded with this exhortation : "Then they that gladly received his word were baptised;

and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts ii. 38. 41. There was here a clear manifestation made of the properties of the new birth, before they were added to the disciples, or, in other words, before they entered by baptism into the kingdom of God. What but the Holy Ghost produced that effect, which is expressed by their being "pricked in their hearts?" What made them so anxious to flee from the wrath to come, but the illumination and influence of the Holy Spirit? By whose influence was it, that they gladly received" the word of God? "The natural man," we are assured, "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." And yet these people did receive them gladly. They must, therefore, have been born from above; and hence the effects that have been mentioned. We are also told, that the numbers which the Lord added to the church daily, were "such as should be saved." These, then, were clearly born first from above, and then added to the holy number, by being publicly baptised.

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There is the strongest proof of what we advocate in the case of Cornelius. He most clearly possessed a new and spiritual disposition; for he was a "devout" man, and "feared God." And Peter said, with an especial reference to him, that "in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." And as an evidence of his being in an accepted state as to his personal piety, though he stood in need of more teaching as to the way of salvation, he (and his household too) received the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, even before he was baptised. And it was this that overcame the reluctance of Peter to admit him, by baptism, into the kingdom of God, or into the number of its visible members. We are informed, in Acts v. 14, that there" were more added unto the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." But of what character, and of what disposition were they? How did they stand as to their judgment and affections towards the Saviour? It is simply said, that "believers were added unto the Lord." Yea, they were believers, that is, such as were regenerate, and penitent, having been converted from "the error of their ways" by the word and Spirit of God: and having experienced this holy change, they necessarily desired to change their companions, and to be added in a public manner, by bap


tism, unto a new society," the people of God." In other words, they were "born of water and of the Spirit," and thus became the real members of " the kingdom of God :" and all real members of this kingdom are "such as shall be saved."


Another striking instance we find in St. Paul. He was convicted and converted on his way to Damascus. He became penitent, believing, and obedient; he was full of prayer, and was a chosen vessel unto God, and all this, before Ananias invited him to " arise, and wash away his sins," symbolically, by being "baptised."-Lydia was another remarkable instance. It is said that the Lord opened her heart, so that she attended to the things spoken of Paul :" and in consequence of this holy change, she was added, by baptism, to the number of God's people. There is not, indeed, in all the records given in the New Testament, of the practical working of the Gospel, a single instance to be found of any person being encouraged to be baptised, without a testimony given, by profession or spiritual example, that the heart was "on the Lord's side." But no one's heart has ever yet been turned to Christ, except by the Spirit of "the Father who sent Him."

We shall now proceed to show that no other interpretation will accord either with itself, with the context, or with the Scripture at large.

The Professor claims the assistance of the fathers, and makes the subject quite different from what it really is. He considers the new-birth, which Christ bestows, to be "bestowed through baptism." He strenuously holds, that " our blessed Saviour's words declare the absolute necessity of regeneration for the entrance into the kingdom of heaven, or our state of grace and glory;" and that this regeneration is the being born of "water and the Spirit," p. 19. He maintains, that there is no information in Scripture that "regeneration can be obtained in any way but by baptism,"-p. 14. He says, in baptism itself two very different causes are combined-the "baptism of water and of the Spirit, and that only,"-p. 13. We find him also saying, that " we are not said to be regenerated by faith, or love, or prayer, or any other grace which God

worketh in us, but to be born of water and of the Spirit," -p. 12.

Hooker is also quoted, who, as we are told, "well says I hold it for a most infallible rule, in expositions of Sacred Scriptures, that where a literal construction will stand, the further from the letter is generally the worst," and this rule, we are further told, he applies with especial force "concerning regeneration by water and the Holy Ghost.""-p. 16.

The careful reader will notice here

1. That Christ "bestows our new birth or regeneration through baptism," and not without it.

2. That this "regeneration is absolutely necessary for the entrance into the kingdom of grace and glory."

3. That this is" the literal interpretation" of the words "born of water and of the Spirit."

Now we have already, as we think, given the literal interpretation of our Saviour's words. But we have found nothing like the above. The words are, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." What is now their "literal" interpretation? What the words say is, that a man must "be born of water and of the Spirit," in order to "enter into the kingdom of God." This we perfectly allow. But they say no more. They say nothing whatever about receiving Spiritual regeneration by "water," and nothing whatever about the kingdom of "glory." There are

here two errors, the foundation of all the rest; for our Saviour's words, "literally" understood, teach no such things as are stated above.

1. Baptism, as we have already shown, does not convey regeneration, nor is it instituted or intended for such a purpose.

It might as well be contended, that baptism conveys faith, and through faith salvation; for salvation is evermore joined with true faith. Our Lord's words expressly, repeatedly, and most emphatically declare, that "whoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Yet these words belong to the same discourse, and are, in a particular manner, explanatory of what he before said about the new birth, and may be viewed as equal to saying, the new birth is the same as believing, or, it is that which issues in believing. No ingenuity on earth. can separate faith and regeneration for they are both

"This argument," he adds, "weighed strongly in my own mind, so that I should have needed no other; andI felt and said, that with one who loved his Saviour, I should be content to rest the question upon this one passage.'" Pref. vii.

All this may be very plausible, but we do not think it sound reasoning. We have in the preceding Tract alluded to the difficulty and danger of making such an appeal to the fathers in this case, and when we again resort to the special, though brief, consideration of this point, we shall probably find as little reason to place confidence in the Professor's appeal to the Fathers, as we have found in his appeal to the Institution of Baptism," and his "Interpretation" of St. John, iii. 5.

We assure Dr. Pusey, that though we most willingly sit at our "Saviour's feet," " teachably" to hear "his words" (apart from "modern systems") and deeply anxious to learn what they "must mean in his mouth who spoke them," and would desire, above all things, to have our judgments brought under the "subduing influence of God's word;" and admitting the importance of our author's remark, that, "a spiritual mind will see truth for itself," we must beg to decline conforming to the rule of interpretation which he has prescribed. And while we do this, we must deny that we " explain away the force of our Saviour's words," or give an explanation of those words" "inconsisent with reverence for him." (iii. vi.) We certainly have not, however, the same respect for Dr. Pusey's traditionary "Exposition." But on this occasion, our reasons for non-conformity must be very brief, as the subject is interminable.


1. This canon, as Dr. Pusey uses it, would go far to enervate and make void great portions of holy Scripture, and well nigh overturn the sixth article of our church.

2. The notion that the "Divine foreknowledge must have known"—and the Divine “goodness could not mislead" the faith of the church, must lead either to infallibility, or to a worse consequence; namely, that of charging all the errors into which the church may have fallen, upon the circumstance of her being misled by her Lord and Saviour! Thus making our Saviour the source of error as well as of truth.

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