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REPROVED BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
views and administration of the sacraments, must be denied: let those services be derived from what source they might, we do not perceive that they are an exact copy from any.
1. We admit that the baptismal service seems constructed greatly after the ancient manner of the fathers, though not agreeing, we believe, in doctrine with any one of them. But had the church viewed the opinions and authority of the fathers, in the slavish manner which Dr. Pusey does, she would in other matters have followed them as well as in those which she has adopted.
2. She has purged our services from numbers of things which they adhered to, and of some which they considered apostolic; which she never would have done, had she not viewed them as being unscriptural whencesoever derived.
Archbishop Laurence says our offices are Lutheran. If so, why did our Church cast out consubstantiation, which Luther never resigned. She has also laid aside numerous extravagant notions well as usages of the ancients. We call them extravagant, for what less than extravagant are the sayings of Austin, Prosper, Jerome, Fulgentius, Chrysostom, Cyril, which follow ?
“ The baptismal water is red when once it is consecrated.” “ In baptism we are dipped in blood.” ye baptized in blood in the laver of regeneration." flesh of Christ is eaten and his blood drank in the laver of regeneration." They that are baptized put on a royal garment, a purple dipped in the blood of the Lamb." The baptized “ immediately embraces Christ in his arms, that he is united to his body, nay, compounded or consubstantiated with that body which sits above.” the bread in the eucharist, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, is not mere bread, but the body of Christ, so this holy ointment, after invocation, is not bare common ointment, but it is a gift of God that makes Christ and the Holy Spirit to be present in the action,” &c.gc. (Bing. 519.520.)
St. Austin calls “ exorcism” a sacrament, and also the salt that was given to the Catechumens before baptism. This our church has laid aside as an invention of man and not an appointment of God. We differ from the primitive church in excluding Chrism; in separating confirmation from baptism : in not giving the eucharist to infants ; in omitting exorcism ; and forbidding lay baptism; and especially in having no mysteries, or mys
terious things which we studiously keep from all but the “ initiated.”
These things, independent of the repetition of unction, crossings, and a host of ceremonies which got to be common in the church in the third and fourth centuries, are laid aside. Dr. Pusey sorely regrets the loss of several of these, especially exorcism, and wishes they could be restored. A sure sign the Church and the Professor,
are not one.
Respecting the mysteries, Ambrose says, his own “common discourses to the unbaptized, were only upon points of morality ; but when they were baptized, then was the time to open to them the mysteries of the sacraments of religion. To have discoursed to them of those things before, had been more like exposing mysteries than explaining them.” (Bing. Oxf. Édit. v. i. p. 26.)
We cannot but consider the habit of withholding from persons under divine instruction, any part of God's holy word on those points which lie at the very commencement of the Christian life, as most highly censurable and unscriptural. The Apostles never did this. Nay, they consider the “ doctrine of baptism and laying on of hands," as matters so obvious and elementary, that all must needs be acquainted with them.
This concealment of mysteries, before they were embraced and received, is even wicked. To cause a person to undergo a ceremony, the nature of which he was to learn only after he had received it, is such a sort of Freemasonry as is highly offensive to Scripture. And it seems, as before remarked, to have been adopted only for the sake of avoiding giving offence to the Heathen, or to excite (as Augustine says) the “curiosity” of the enquirer. But surely nothing could be a greater disappointment to a person invited by “magnificent” words, than to find all these mystical words terminating in so very simple a ceremony as “washing in water," an act, though not as an appointment, which all the world was acquainted with! And the not allowing the unbaptized to use even the “ Lord's Prayer,” or to call God their “ Father, or the church their mother," seems like lighting a candle by giving instruction, and putting an extinguisher upon it as soon as lighted, lest it should be seen that light and heat had been communicated before bap
DR. PUSEY REBUKED BY THE FATHERS.
tism was administered. This vicious custom had not begun to work in Justin Martyr's days. In what language, to whom, and in whose name, could these Catechumens be taught to pray
Such awful perversion of Scripture, joined with that other extraordinary oversight, the giving the eucharist to infants, (not to say, which nevertheless some did, to dying or dead men) must for ever root up all implicit confidence in those Fathers as veritable interpreters of Scripture. Who can believe that the Apostles, confirmed and gave the eucharist to infants; yet the Christian Fathers did both these, till the sixth or seventh century.
Soon after, or in some parts, possibly before, the death of the Apostolic Fathers, the language of the church began to be very loose, indistinct, and even erroneous, respecting both the number, the design, and efficacy of the sacraments. And the further they advanced the further their language, generally speaking, diverged from the simplicity of Divine truth. And though Augustine restored a more Scriptural mode of teaching religious truth, he never seems to have possessed clear, consistent, and apostolical views of the holy sacraments.
We do not find any of the Fathers, though they do occasionally speak of tradition, acting like Dr. Pusey, and directing us to human testimony for the purpose of correcting the Divine. But this subject we would rather leave to younger writers, with better memories. But our CHURCH does (and indeed the pious Fathers all do) so explicitly, and of set purpose, refer us to the Scriptures for every "article of faith," that, could there be found any portion of her ritual which apparently teaches us a "doctrine not found in Scripture nor
which may be proved thereby," we have her own warning, yea rather her command, not to put such a sense upon it, because that would be contrary to her first principles and her great design.
What then can we say of persons who, like the Oxford advocates, seize upon a few words in a prayer or ordinance, put their own isolated construction upon it, and thus force it to speak a language contrary to her doctrinal, matured, and deeply studied “ARTICLES OF RELIGION;" as well as to the word of God itself? When, therefore, we find writers like Dr. Pusey, and his Oxford associates, gravely arguing that a devotional office, in which all are to join, is a more genuine and appropriate index of the doctrines of our church, than those “ Articles of Religion,” which she expressly composed to explain them, we are so exceedingly puzzled that we know not how to account for it, unless we ascribe it to moral obliquity or mental imbecility.
We do not mean here to enter upon an explanation which is intended for a future number; but we may perhaps be pardoned for so far anticipating the design, as by observing that if we only apply to our baptismal offices, the same analogical reasoning for its consistency which Bishop Mant has applied to the “visitation of the Sick,” we shall as readily arrive at the same result. And is it not more becoming the true sons of the church to try to make this small portion consistent with the whole, than by forcing it back in the face of all the rest to endanger the shattering of the whole to atoms! For if Dr. Pusey has a right to put his semi-popish construction upon our Protestant PrayerBook, who is to prevent future Froudes, Wisemans, or M'Hales, from going one step further, and placing us all in the bosom of Rome, or in the “ burning fiery furnace,” for our refusing “ to worship the golden image which she has set up?"
THE PARTIES THEMSELVES.
Four authors of great exaltation, Archbishop Lawrence, Bishops Mant and Bethell, and Dr. Pusey, Divinity Professor in the University of Oxford, have all written upon the subject of baptismal regeneration, and all professedly derive much of their evidence from the same source
-the Fathers of the ancient Christian Church. Though we shall not dilate, we cannot forego making one observation relative to Dr. Pusey's fundamental argument, i. e, that the whole Christian Church did for fourteen hundred years teach only “ONE SENSE” of “ water and the spirit,” and consequently only “ONE sense of baptismal regeneration.” Respecting this so much vaunted argument, we might roundly assert that there is not a particle of truth or consistency in it, nor is it possible there should be.
1. The Fathers themselves differ from each other most materially about what regeneration actually is; i. e. That
upon the said "
regeneration which is absolutely necessary to salvation, and which (as in the Scripture) is always connected with it. Nor do we perceive that any one of them all has given any thing like a clear, intelligible, and consistent explanation of this all-important doctrine.
2. Hence then we see the amazing defect of judgment in placing together such an heterogeneous mass of authors as veritable expositors of Scripture, upon such an essential doctrine; and above all the recommending them as a sure guide to YOUNG DIVINES.
We have before seen how one set of interpreters of the Fathers are opposed to another. But our present remark goes further. The writers in the very SAME CLASS, which appeals to the Fathers in proof of baptismal regeneration, differ very essentially from one another about regeneration. We are almost tempted to ask here, “How is it then, brethren ? every one of you hath a doctrine—hath a revelation-hath an interpretation ;" but no two have hit
one sense. They all ascribe a regeneration to baptism. So does Christ, so do the Apostles, so do we, and so does the Church of England. regeneration ? is the sole question. All short of this is delusion. It is “
vox et preterea nihil.” For example, Archbishop Lawrence studiously avoids giving any proper definition of regeneration, and says that that is beside the question !
Bishop Bethell defines regeneration to be “a translation from a natural state in Adam to a spiritual state in Christ, the forgiveness of sin, adoption, a covenanted title to everlasting happiness, a new principle of spiritual life consigned over to the soul by the Holy Ghost.” But this does not include “a change of heart”
66 creation or infusion of moral habits or virtues.” xxiv. Pref.
The Bishop calls this “a mysterious operation of the Holy Ghost.'
And certainly to us, at least, it is quite mysterious, and unintelligible.
Professor Pusey is understood by Bishop Bethell, in Preface, page 21, to oppose This view of regeneration in page 18, where he says, our “Saviour's words refuse to be bound down to any mere outward change of state.” The Bishop thinks that his definition
the Professor's reproof by its describing a change, not of outward,” but of “spiritual state;" but forasmuch as this “spiritual state