Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

*I, indeed, baptize with water, but he who comes after me shall baptize with the Holy Ghost ?? What becomes of the example of Christ himself? After his baptism, the descent of the Holy Spirit in a visible form, was surely intended to confirm his followers in a belief that their baptism would confer upon them a similar gift ; and, besides the washing away of their sins, and the remission of the penalty entailed upon the posterity of Adam, would bestow upon them a power enabling them to fulfil the covenant laws of their religion.-Ibid, p. 170.

NOTE II. page 20.

“ This is, therefore, the necessity of sacraments. That saving grace, which Christ originally is or hath for the general good of his whole Church, by sacraments he severally deriveth into every member thereof. Sacraments serve as the instruments of God to that end and purpose, moral instruments, the use whereof is in our hands, the effect in his ; for the use we have his express commandment, for the effect his conditional promise: so that without our obedience to the one, there is of the other no

apparent assurance ; as contrariwise, where the signs and sacraments of his grace are not either through contempt unreceived, or received with contempt, we are not to doubt but that they really give what they promise, and are what they signify. For we take not baptism nor the eucharist for bare resemblances, or memorials of things absent, neither for naked signs and testimonies, assuring us of grace received before, but (as they are indeed and in verity) for means effectual, whereby God, when we take the sacraments, delivereth into our hands that grace available unto eternal life, which grace the sacraments represent or signify.”Hooker's Eccl. Polity, b. v. p. 330, ed. Keble.

On the subject of the sacraments, we cannot but remark how safely our Church has kept her course between the two extreme errors of confounding, on the one hand, “the thing signified” with, and, on the other, of separating it from “the outward and visible sign." In baptism she does not teach that men are born of water, but, according to our Saviour's own declaration, “ of water and the Holy Ghost;" the “new birth unto righteousness" being effected by the Holy Ghost, and conveyed by the water. So with respect to the Lord's Supper, the soul is not said to be “strengthened and refreshed” by the bread and wine, but by the body and blood of Christ, which are really present (" verily and

indeed taken and received,” “ given,” “ eaten,”) in the supper of the Lord: not corporeally, as the Church of Rome teaches, but only “after an heavenly and spiritual manner.”—Art. xxviii.

Note III. page 22.

“I would therefore wish generally to restrict the term [regeneration] to the baptismal privileges ; and considering them as comprehending not only an external admission into the visible Church, not only a covenanted title to the pardon and grace of the Gospel, but even a degree of spiritual aid vouchsafed, and ready to offer itself to our acceptance or rejection. At the dawn of reason, I would recommend a reference to these privileges in our discourses as talents, which the hearers should have so improved as to bear interest ; as seed, which should have sprung up and produced fruit." —Bp. Bethell's Primary Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Gloucester.

The following are the passages of Scripture cited or expressly referred to in our Formularies as declaring the necessity and efficacy of baptism :

“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, bap

end

tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." St. Matt. xxviii. 19.

“He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved.” St. Mark xvi. 16.

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” St. John iii. 5.

“One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water.” St. John xix. 34.

“ According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Tit. iii. 5.

“ Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts iii. 38, 39.

“ The ark, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us, (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21.

“ For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Gal. iii. 27.

“ Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom. vi. 4.

THE END.

GILBERT & RivINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.

« PoprzedniaDalej »