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thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church,” &c. It is however far from being the opinion of the general body of the Church of England that regeneration and baptism are inseparable. They generally consider Baptism as a Divine institution, emble. matical of Regenerating grace, as the Lord's Supper is of our Pardon and Peace through the Atonement of Christ, or his body broken and his blood shed for us; and though they admit that the external reception of both these sacraments may be, and they hope is often, attend. ed with the blessings they represent, yet they do not consider them as uniformly operating as cause and effect, but rank them among the means of grace, which God has commanded us to use for obtaining salvation. The question therefore is, How can a Minister of Christianity, who does not believe that baptism is always attended with regeneration, use that part of the office which seems to proceed upon the supposition that they are concomitant? It is remarkable that neither Mr. Hooker, nor Mr. Wheatly, have either stated, or met this difficulty. Mr. Simeon, so far as we recollect, is the only commentator on the Liturgy who has stated, and given it. an answer. In his Sermons on the Liturgy preached before the University of Cambridge in November, 1811, and in his defence of them, published in the Christian Observer for November, 1812, against the remarks of an anonymous correspondent in that publication, for the month of August in the same year, Mr. Simeon vindicates the language of the Litur. gy by the use which Scripture makes of expressions of a similar kind. He contends that the Apostles in their writings, frequently employ modes of speech which will not admit of being carried to the utmost extent that the words would bear, and argues that the expressions in the Liturgy, to which we have referred, are entitled to the same candid interpretation, as they are accommodated to the popular style of the Scriptures on the same subject. To prove that the Apostles use language of this kind, he quotes the words of St. Paul. “ By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free ; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”—1 Cor. xii. 13. This the Apostle says of all the visible members of Christ's body. Again, speaking of the whole nation of Israel, infants as well as adults, he says they were “ all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and that rock was Christ.”—1 Cor. x.2, 3, 4. Yet behold in the very next verse he tells them, “ But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” He applies the same mode of reasoning to these words of the same Apostle_“As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” (Gal. iii. 27.), and enforces his illustration from the declaration of St. Peter with respect to the state of the apostate from Christianity, “ he bath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter, i. 9); a mode of speaking which Mr. Simeon thinks perfectly similar to the expression in the Liturgy to which the exception is made. “ Though,” says Mr. Simeon, “I am no Arminian, I do think that the refinements of Calvin have done great harm in the Church. They have drawn multitudes from the plain and popular way of speaking, used by the inspired writers, and have made them unreasonably and unscripturally squeamish in their modes of expression; and I conceive that the less addicted any person is to systematic accuracy, the more he will accord with the inspired' writers, and the more he will approve of the views of our Reformers. I do not mean however to say, that a slight alteration in two or three instances would not be an improvement, since it would take off a burthen from many minds, and supersede the necessity of laboured explanations : but I do mean to say, that there is no such objection to these expressions as to deter any conscientious person from giving his unfeigned assent and consent to the Liturgy altogether, or from using the particular expressions which we have been endeavouring to explain.”*
A strong objection has often been made to the indiscriminate use of the Burial Service. “ The expression in the Burial Service,” says an anonymous writer, in his remarks on Mr. Simeon's Sermons on the Liturgy, (Chris. Ob. for Sept. 1812,) “ of our sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life,' which he (Mr. S.) admits, according to the spirit of the words, to imply our sure and certain hope that the soul of the person about to be committed to the grave, will rise to eternal life, and the direct assertion of our hope that he rests in Christ, and our thanksgiving to God, for having taken his soul to himself-are a stumbling block to many members of the Church, and have a tendency to produce this error, than which, few can be more pernicious,--that whatever a man's life may have been, yet if he die in communion with the Church his case is hopeful.” Let us hear Mr. Simeon's defence. “Io our burial service we thank God for delivering our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world, and express a sure and certain hope of the Resurrection
• Sermons on the Liturgy, p.p. 51, 52, wbieb Work the Reader may consult
to eternal life, together with a hope also that our departed brother rests in Christ. Of course it often happens that we are called to use these expressions over persons who, there is reason to fear, have died in their sins, and the question is, How we can with propriety use them ? I answer, that even according to the letter of the words, the use of them may be justified, because we speak not of his, but of the resurrection to eternal life; and because, while we do not absolutely know that God has not pardoned a person, we may entertain some mea. sure of hope that he has. But taking the expressions more according to the spirit of them, they precisely accord with what we continually read in the Epistles of St. Paul. In the first Epistle to the Corintbian Church, he says of them, ' I thank my God always on your behalf, that in every thing ye are enriched by him in all utterance, and in all knowledge ; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you : so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Yet does he instantly begin to condemn the same persons for their divisions and contentions, and afterwards tells them that they were carnal, and walked not as saints, but as men ;' that is, as unconverted and ungodly men.”*
“ Against the last of these prayers,” says Mr. Wheatly, 6 it is often objected, we make declaration of Hope that all we bury are saved. In order to appease the scruples about which, as far as the nature of the expression will bear; we desire it may be considered, that there are very different degrees of hope, the lowest of which is but one remove from despair. Now, there are but very few
with whom we are concerned, that die in a state so utterly desperate, as that we may positively affirm they are damned; which yet we might do, did we absolutely and entirely despair of their salvation; and this seems sufficient to warrant this declaration, especially if it be pronounced as faintly as the hope itself is entertained. However, it must be confessed, that it is very plain, from the whole tenor of this office, that the compilers of it, presuming upon a due exercise of discipline, never supposed that any would be offered to Christian Burial, who had not led Christian lives. But since iniquity hath so far prevailed over the discipline of the Church, that Schismatics, Heretics, and all manner of vicious livers, escape its censures; this gloss seems the best that our present circumstances will admit of. And if it be not satisfactory, there seems to be no other remedy left, than that our governors should leave us to a discretionary use of these expressions, either till they be altered by public authority; or, which is much rather to be wished, till discipline be so vi. gorously exercised, that there be no offence in the use of them."*
• Mr. Wheatly, of the Order for the Burial of the Dead, Chap. XII, Sect 1.