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pendous monument of his wisdom and mercy. We see one spirit pervading the whole. It is the design of one Master, accomplished by many servants. Every book is perfect as a part; and all together form, if I may be allowed the figure, one temple of truth and salvation, into which the mind that enters with sanctified affections feels sensible of the presence of the Deity." Vol. I. pp. 6, 7.

The difficulties attending any other supposition are admirably stated; as is also the completeness of the sacred volume.

"Its instructions are not complicate, but plain and explicit, adapted to every capacity. They are not arbitrary, but grounded upon the eternal distinction of things, and commend themselves to reason as soon as they are understood. They are not grievous in the practice of them; for they are made easy to the obedient heart, by the Spirit which ever uccompanies them, and are productive of internal satisfaction and peace. They cannot mislead us, nor need any addi tion to their authority or certainty, for they came from God." Vol. I. p. 16.

In the following sermon, on the end or use of the sacred writings,a subject, of course, anticipated in speaking of their completeness; for what is their completeness but in reference to the use designed?the ever accompanying aids of Divine grace, in the reading of the word, are strongly dwelt upon and reiterated as the prime channel of their utility to the heart.

"We are told, you know, that we must be born again in order to the knowledge and enjoyment of the kingdom of God. It is through the instrumentality of the Scriptures that this regeneration is accomplished. They are the seed of this new birth. God's Spirit always accompanying them as his institution, they are effectual in the heart of every one who reads them with the dispositions they require, to enlighten his mind and reform his heart, to bring him 'out of darkness into God's marvellous light,' and to turn him from the power of satan unto

God.'

In Christ Jesus,' says St. Paul, to the Corinthians, I have begotten you through the Gospel.' Of his own will,' says St. James, begat he us by

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the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.' We are born again,' says St. Peter, "not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever and ever.' Our regeneration, like all our blessings, is solely and entirely from God; but it is wrought and perfected through the instrumentality of his word." Vol. I. p. 24.

For our first recovery from a lost state, for our sanctification, for our growth in grace, for our full and final comfort;-for these ends the word of God is given to man.

"Its precious promises, and the glorious prospects which it opens, rejoice the heart, and enable the human pilgrim to pass on his way, wet, perhaps, with many a shower, and afflicted with the apprehension of many a danger, but happy in the hope that his sius will be forgiven, and that his pilgrimage will terminate in a rest from his cares, and an enjoyment of immortal felicity." Vol. I. p. 26.

This useful and interesting sermon terminates with some just remarks on the too frequent neglect of the Scriptures; and on the necessity of duly applying their benefits, by the most devout study, to the heart; and of seriously asking ourselves, whether the end of God's instructions is accomplished in us.

These two sermons afford a rich specimen of the author's powers of reasoning and appeal, no less than of his piety and orthodoxy; and we doubt not, had his finishing hand been put to them, that they would have stood high amongst the best general summaries of the intent and excellence of the Scriptures,

Our next department, in this first part, contains sermons to the end of the eleventh. After defending RELIGIOUS ORDINANCES in ge-, neral in the third, the author proceeds to five consecutive dissertations on BAPTISM. These respectively embrace the inquiries why persons should be baptised; when they should be baptized; how, by whom, and where they should be baptised; the whole being prefac

ed with the following catalogue of persons who entertain false notions of this sacred ordinance.

"There are many who consider it as nothing more than a decent formality of the Christian world. Others view it as of so tremendous and exclusive a nature, that a large part of car race, and that the most innocent part, are inca pable of receiving it. Others seem to think it the mysterious charm which does all that needs to be done for their salvation, leaving them to advance towards heaven on the wings of inconsideration, through the polluted paths of vice and folly. And of those upon whom the ordinance hath been bestowed, the number, it is to be feared, is comparatively small, who preserve an adequate sense of the magnitude of the benefits it conveys to them, or of the sacredness of the obligations it devolves upon them." Vol. I. pp. 58, 59.

In compositions of the present nature, we are not always so happy as to find definitions critically accurate, upon a subject which it has been the effect of modern controversy to render one of considerable nicety, and on which the generality of theological readers have already made up their minds, and are too apt to misunderstand or underrate the opinion of their neighbours. Bishop Dehon, upon first inquiring why mankind should be baptised, in the most forcible manner insists on the authority of this Divine ordinance, from our Lord's appointment; and then on the benefits to be derived from it, under the three beads afforded us by our Church Catechism-"Whereby we are made members of Christ, children of God, aud inheritors of the kingdom of heaven." The first of these benefits he thus describes :

"We are by baptism made members of Christ; that is, united to him; made parts of the body of which he is the Head; and so long as we continue living members of the same, we partake of his life, of his care, and of his glory. For, saith the Apostle, the church is his body; and baptism,' as it is expressed with much precision in the Twenty-se. venth Article, is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby

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Christian men are discerned from others
that be not christened; but it is also
a sign of regeneration, or new birth,
whereby, as by an instrument, they
into the church.'
that receive baptism rightly are grafted

"In this union with the church, we become entitled to its instruction and prayers; to a participation of that light with which God hath illumined it; to access to the fountains of living water which are set open to the members of it; to the bread of life which is provided for our sustenance at its holy which proceedeth from the Father and table, and to the aids of the Spirit

the Son. For from the Head all the being knit together by joints and bands, body hath nourishment ministered, and increaseth with the increase of God. It is on account of the inestimable value instructed, whenever baptism is conof this union with Christ, that we are ferred upon any one, with one accord' to give thanks to Almighty God, that it hath pleased him to regenerate' such person, and graft him into the body of Christ's church."" Vol. I. pp. 62, 63.

the children of God, he says,— Next, of adoption, or being made

"By the precious blood of the Son [of God] he is freed from the guilt, and, by the purifying influences of his Spirit, is cleansed from the dominion of sin; and

in baptism receives, as it were, in sym-
bol, this inestimable grace, being washed
in its waters from the stain of the ori-
ginal transgression, and all past offences,
and blessed with the gift of the Holy
Ghost. •
Arise,' said Ananias to the
converted Paul, be baptised and wash
away thy sins, calling upon the name of
the Lord.""
Vol. I. p. 63.

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to the third benefit, that it is the Further, he adds, in reference title and pledge, to those who truly receive it, of immortality and eternal life.

In removing objections, he repels the infidelity which distrusts its efficacy, from the apparent slenderness of the means. phet," he well quotes," had bid "If the prothee do some great thing, wouldst

thou not have done it? How much

rather when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" After which he proceeds, in answer to another ‘ob

jection of a more melancholy aspect:"

"How is it possible, it may be asked, if baptism is thus efficacious, that so many who have received it are destitute of all faith, and live in trespasses and sins? We are obliged to concede the truth of the afflicting fact; but this, with some qualifications. There are persons, and, blessed be God, the number of them is not small, in whom the seeds which were sown in the infancy of their new life, after having been choked for years by weeds, which have had their growth and withered, do spring up and produce their proper fruits, holiness and everlasting life. This is, doubtless, many times the result of the mercies which were sealed to them in baptism; for though man may depart from his stipulations, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. It must, however, be confessed, that there are many who have tasted of the heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, that seem to fall away, and go on still in iniquity, and die, as well as live, without God or holiness. But this only teaches us, that there is nothing irresistible in the moral operations of God; that the covenant of his grace and mercy, in Christ Jesus, is conditional; and that, in the performance of the conditions, we are left perfectly free. Will it be said, that on such persons remains the burthen of the original guilt of their nature? No. From this, in their bap tism, they were entirely delivered; they perish by their own transgressions. Will it be said, that to them the Holy Spirit was not given? No. It hath moved many times in the heart of every one of them. It hath often called to them, and in a tone of anxious concern, This is the way, walk ye in it, when they have turned to the right hand, and when they have turned to the left.' But its move.

ments they have stifled; to its voice they have been like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ears;' they have resisted, and grieved it, and turned it away. Will it be said, then, that for them was proffered no glorious inheritance? No. Heaven was within their reach. And it is this which, in the day of retribution, will aggravate their condemnation, and vindicate the justice of

their Judge, that when a title to the joys

and honours of God's kingdom, was put into their hands, they preferred the dominion and pleasures of siu? The

objection does not affect the doctrine which has been delivered concerning this important ordinance. It teaches us, rather, when God hath, in baptism, lifted us from the mire, and set our feet upon a rock, and ordered our goings, to take heed lest we fall." Vol. I. pp. 66, 67.

We quote this passage at full length, to put our readers in entire possession of the preacher's views on this important subject, rather than with any design of examining or pronouncing our own judgment upon it. The Bishop clearly gives no countenance whatever to those statements which make baptismal regeneration to stand for true and effectual conversion of the heart to God. This may or may not follow after the administration of the rite. He even doubts whether the seed of faith and holiness be then implauted. (p. 72.) On the other hand, he most strongly asserts, in agreement with the approved sentence of the church, and its best writers in all ages, that baptism implies a change of state; a "provisional" admission to all those privileges of the Christian covenant, which we could have no right to expect, or even to ask at selves or our children, without a the hands of God, either for ourcompliance with his own instituted rite, the pledge and the condition of our covenanted relation. Those privileges he states in the general to be remission of sin, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: and these meeting the Divine offers with suithe regards as suspended on our able dispositions.

"On our observance and fulfilment of our solemn vow, promise, and profession, depend the pardon of our sins, our participation of the influences of the Holy Spirit, and our enjoyment of eternal life." (p. 104.) How far he would in ordinary language ap ply the term "regenerate" to those who have not met the Divine offers with suitable dispositions, we think by no means clear: although a passage from his first sermon, on the

Scriptures, quoted above, applies the term " regeneration" in a very different sense; and views it as the effect of the Divine word read, or preached, and duly received into the heart. In short, we by no means consider the Bishop as speaking a definite language on this point; but as generally aiming, on the one side, to rescue this most holy and significant sacrament from neglect and contempt; and, on the other, to secure that fundamental change of heart and life in the baptised, without which baptism, and every other ordinance, will be worse than vain. And here he will be fully met by all good men; whilst, for ourselves, we desire nothing further than to enter our protest against any popish construction of Bishop Dehon's, or of our own Liturgical, doctrines, as though a proper direct healing efficacy belonged to the waters of baptism, which could give to a mere formal and technical union with the church, all the properties and all the blessings of spiritual regeneration. Such an opinion, we doubt not, laid a flattering unction on the soul of many a formalist in the dark ages of Popery and human nature is ever too prone to adopt a religion of shadowy substitutions, not to render a Protestant caution on this head always seasonable and always applicable. In Sermon V. the Bishop, amongst some good and strong suggestions in favour of Infant Baptism, asks, "By what right, without instructions to that effect, we dare to cut off infants, because naturally incapable of repentance and faith, from the mercies of the covenant, as far as they are capable of them, or from the benefits of its use?" In Sermon VI. he adds a distinction, of which we do not know the

warrant:

"It is evident, the case of infants is very different from that of adults. The latter bring with them to the waters of baptism, as well the inherent corruption of their nature, which is their misfor

tune, as actual sins, which are their crime, and from which God gives no remission but upon repentance." Vol. I. pp. 89, 83.

The following passage, on the speedy administration of baptism to sincere adults, is a specimen of Bishop Dehon's affecting manner.

"It is at the entrance of the Christian life, when the soul has turned to its Creator, and is willing to be led by his Son to righteousness and peace, that God, if I may so speak, meets ns with this animating and efficacious ordinance.

And in this, he is seen the true Father

of the returning prodigal. While yet poverty, the Father goes to meet him. he is a great way off, in his rags and

He brings him to his house, the church. He commands his servants, the ministers of his church, to bring forth the best robe, the robe of his Son's righteousness; and, by baptism, to put it on his recovered child: at the same time they put, as it were, a ring, the signet of favour, the token of affection, upon his hand, and shoes upon his feet, when they have washed them, that he may In the holy eucharist, the banquet of walk pleasantly in the paths of holiness. for him; and the members of the famireconciliation and gladness is prepared ly, whether militant on earth or triumphant in heaven, partake of the Father's joy, that a child who was dead, is alive again; that one who was lost, is found." Vol. I. p. 86.

We must pass over the remaining pages on Baptism; and likewise the Sermons on the Lord's Supper, in which he considers why and how we should receive it, and why it is so often neglected; giving only two or three extracts from the latter the following amplification of the set. We quote with much pleasure text, "This do in remembrance of me; for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."

"To preserve a lively recollection of me, and of my sacrifice for the sins of the world, ye shall observe this ordinance for ever. As often as ye shall eat bread and drink wine like these, made by consecration in my name, symbols

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of my body and blood, ye do shew forth my death in an acceptable and effectual manner. Ye do shew it forth to the Father, as the ground of your plea for pardon, grace, and immortality. Ye do shew it forth to me, as gratefully impressed upon your hearts, and as an inducement to me to forgive and preserve my church, having redeemed it with my blood. Ye do shew it forth to the world, as the subject of your faith, whereof you are not ashamed; as the only ground of your reliance for pardon, and immortality, to which they also should betake themselves, and through which alone, they, and any of the buman race, have everlasting life. Ye do shew it forth to each other, as a source and occasion of common joy, of mutual consolation and encouragement, of tender amity, and reciprocal good services. And ye do shew it forth to your own souls, as the purchase of your redemption, as the sure foundation of hope and peace; as the sacrifice whereby your sins are taken away, and you are restored to the love and favour of God. Do this,' then, all of you,' in remembrance of me.' Let it be the great act of Christian worship in all generations." Vol. I. p. 115.

We pass on to the discourses on the SABBATH.

The history of the SABBATH ; motives for observing it; and the method of so doing, are embraced in the three sermons on this sub

In the sermons of Bishop Seabury, mentioned above,-which in some measure seem to partake of a hardihood of character, and explain his precipitate application to the Scotch Bishops for consecration, we have a long argument to prove that Christ, in the institution of the eucharist, did offer himself to God, a propitiatory sacrifice for sin. Of baptism he also avers, that "by it we receive the Holy Ghost, not only as a seed or capacity of goodness;" which indeed he holds was imparted generally to human nature, by the promise of the Seed of the woman in paradise; "but in a more eminent degree as the principle of holiness, the life of our life, to bring to perfect maturity that seed of salva tion which has been sown in our hearts

ject. The reasoning to prove the
sacredness of the day, even pre-
vious to the Law of Moses, is clear
and
and its transfer from
cogent;

the seventh to the first day of the
week, is beautifully vindicated on
"the ground of the new crea-
tion," which we celebrate on that
day.

"Chaos itself did not exhibit more confusion, before the Creator converted it to order and beauty, than did the state of fallen man, before the Redeemer presented a spiritual system, far more wonderful, harmonious, and sublime, than that which we admire in the material world. As at the first creation,

the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy;' so, at the second, the heavenly hosts exulted with reverence, and the inhabitants of the earth were bidden to rejoice." Vol. I. p. 146.

In the second sermon are well depicted the consequences which must ensue,

"if time were thrown into one promiscuous field, without these heavenerected beacons to rest and direct the passing pilgrim. Man would then plod through a wilderness of being; and one of the main avenues which now admits the light that will illumine his path, would be perpetually closed." Vol. I. p. 152.

A remark that follows, on the. sufficient interim afforded for the avocations and the pleasures of life in the six days, and on the rich round of pleasures and pursuits on man finding a respite from his the seventh; might be misinterpreted to inferences far beyond the Bishop's intention. The ordinary round of worldly pleasures, we should hope, would not only be interrupted, but laid aside for ever after a due and spiritual worship of God had become the taste of the soul.

also that the employments of this We could have wished sacred day had been more dis

by the goodness of God." Such state-tinctly stated and guarded by the

ments make us value the more sober and rational views of the excellent Bishop Dehon.

CHRIST OBSERV No 246

preacher.

In the SANCTUARY, to the consideration, of which two sermons

OD

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