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Ir is asserted by Professor Pusey, that "baptism is an appointed means for conveying the Holy Spirit." We wish to know where it is so stated. It is truly lamentable, to find such an assertion repeatedly made, in a work professing to adhere strictly to the word of God, without a single reference to any place in that fountain of truth, which even borders on the subject. We have, in a former number, made especial inquiry respecting the two following points:-1. As to the original document, and its language, in which baptism has been appointed for the purpose above expressed. And on enquiry, we find that there is not, in the New Testament, a single word said about any original document, whatever, that relates directly to the primary institution of baptism, or to its original adoption by our Saviour. The words of our Lord and Saviour, "Go ye and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" we willingly allow, are, to us, an authorized institution and command to continue baptism in his church. But this, as we have before shewn, is neither the origin of baptism, nor its original adoption: and no promised blessing, whatever, is "annexed" thereto, but in connexion with faith:-2. As to regeneration in baptism, grounded as it is pretended to be, on our Saviour's discourse with Nicodemus: we have seen that those remarkable words, "born of water and of the Spirit," assert

expressly united with salvation, and absolutely necessary

for its attainment.

2. Baptismal regeneration is said to be "necessary to enter into the kingdom of grace and glory."

Part of this error is obviated under the last remark. Baptism, we have allowed, is necessary as well as the Spirit, in order "to enter into the kingdom of God." But there is here a little too much haste. We have observed before, that the "kingdom of God" is not in every sense the same with glory, or with heaven. It is identified with heaven, we admit, as far as it extends, inasmuch as every true member of the Church of Christ is born of water and of the Spirit, and, consequently, will be everlastingly saved. But we do not consider that eternal glory is exactly identified, as to the number of its inhabitants, with the Church of Christ, or the "kingdom of God," into which "water" is necessary to enter. The mystical body of Christ is, we conceive, co-extensive with savlation, or with the number of the saved; and regeneration is co-extensive with that mystical body. But we do not think that there ever was a time, since "men began to multiply on the earth," and external signs, as well as internal grace, marked the boundaries of the kingdom of God, that that kingdom embraced every individual pious soul that was an heir of immortal "glory." We hear of men, before the Flood, who "called on the name of the Lord," but we do not hear of any external distinguishing marks encircling that society before Abraham, who was called from among his people, and who, with his posterity, was afterwards distinguished by the rite of circumcision. But there are here two remarks, which are of universal application :-first, that Abraham was a pious regenerate soul before he received "the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith, which he had, being yet uncircumcised;" and, secondly, that the same faith was required of, and professed by every person received into that covenant, before he received the sign of circumcision.

Hence, then, our Saviour's instruction, which is exceedingly appropriate to the kingdom of God under the new dispensation, was yet equally appropriate, mutatis mutandis, to the kingdom of God under the old. No man could enter the "kingdom of God" then, any more than now, without being born, if we may so speak, of

circumcision (otherwise of water), and of the Spirit. If Nicodemus, therefore, had not lost and mistaken, like all other unregenerate persons, the spiritualities of his own religion, he would not have mistaken those of Christ's religion. Though it be true, that after the appointment of circumcision, "the kingdom of God" became appropriate, and was distinguished by that rite, yet it is obvious that it did not include every soul who "feared God and worked righteousness." Melchisedec, and Job with his friends, in its early days, and the Eunuch, the Centurion, as well as Cornelius and his friends, in later times, are examples confirmatory of this exception. And forasmuch as every person is required, whether under the old or new dispensation, to be a sincere and spiritual convert to the "faith of God's elect," before he be admitted by the initiatory sacrament among the spiritual "children of God," it is worse than waste of words to contend, that all such are "unregenerate" until they are "baptised." For if they are sincere believers, they would be saved, if they could not be baptised-so that it is like tying the term regeneration, to a nonentity, to assert that such "holy" souls are unregenerate, though they obtain salvation with eternal" glory."

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We are perfectly aware, that in our interpretation of John iii. 5, we have violated the canon of exposition laid down by, we believe, the united fiat of Archbishop Lawrence, Bishop Bethell, Bishop Mant, and Dr. Pusey, upon this text. The latter writer, indeed, considers this canon as little less than infallible. He first assumes the fact, that "the whole church of God, from India to Britain, as expressing itself by the fathers or its liturgies, for fifteen centuries, took in one sense the words of our Redeemer, except a man be born again of water and the Spirit.' Then, secondly, on this assumption he builds the following "argument" (which he tells us is "briefly" this); "He (Christ), by his divine foreknowledge, must have known this, that his whole church would so understand his words, and in his goodness he could not mislead her." He must then have meant to teach as he allowed her to understand him. The force of this argument is not weakened by the fact, that the modern church of Rome, or other heretics, allege Scripture in support of their


"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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