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[The Editors are not responsible for every statement or opinion of their correspondents; at the same time, their object is to open the pages of their Magazine to those only, who seek the real good of that Protestant Church with which it is in connexion.]

To the Editor of the Christian Guardian. DEAR SIR,-We are just closing one year, and are on the verge of entering upon another period of time.

Should the reader, and writer, of this be spared through another year, circumstances, the most unlooked for, may befal them, or forebodings and anticipations may be verified. At all events, come what may to ourselves, our Church, or our country, it will be well for us to reflect in what spirit, we are awaiting the unfolding of the Divine purposes, and to lift up our hearts in prayer to God, in dependence upon none but His dear Son, that we may be so led and sustained by the Holy Spirit, that neither pleasantness nor trial may overtake us in a state of mind in which we cannot glorify


None glorify Him but those that know Him, according to the Psalmist's witness." they that know Thy name shall put their trust in Thee;" then we shall indeed do well, or suffer well; for He keepeth the feet of his saints,

and none shall be put to shame that hope in Him.

But what is the year likely to produce? First, It is likely to be a year of much religious conflict. What then is the spirit in which we should prepare for this fight of faith? what the temper of the arms with which we should gird ourselves for the battle?

Let us begin by girding about us the girdle of love-not a spurious charity, but that true evangelical, which follows after peace, while yet it boldly speaks the truth. This should be especially prayed for, striven after, when we contend for the truth against Romish error, in the mass, or in intercourse with individuals, whether by the press or the lips, with those who are of the contrary part.

It is truly afflictive sometimes to read the effusions of some who stand out boldly for the truth. The truth requires for its defence neither wrath nor irony-neither ridicule nor fury. It is often said, that the stander-by at a game of chess sees much more than the actual combatants; and so it most


such an interpretation of our Ordinal would have ever entered his mind. The true nature of this inward call has been well defined as, good testimony of our own heart, that we have taken this office neither for ambition, covetousness, nor any evil design, but out of a true fear of God, and a desire to edify the Church." (Calvin as quoted in Bp. Mant's Prayer-book, p. 792, col. 2). Archbishop Secker has well observed upon it: "It is not said, 'Do you feel;"



.but, Do you trust'; are you on good grounds persuaded? What then are the proper grounds of such persuasion? In the first place, if he hath not moved you effectually to live 'soberly, righteously, and godly,' you may be sure he hath not moved you to assume the office of a minister in God's Church.... But... more is requisite in the present case: and what more the latter part of the question points out. To serve God for the promoting of his glory and the edifying of his Church.' This, then, being the design of the office; if, so far as you know your own hearts, this is your motive to desire it; and if, so far as you can judge

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of your own abilities and attainments, they are equal to it in some competent degree: then you may safely answer, that 'you trust you are moved by the Holy Ghost to take it upon you,' &c. (Abp. Secker's Address to Candidates for Holy Orders. See also Bp. Mant's Prayer-book, p. 791, col. 1.) Our opponents, moreover, frequently forget that the titles of " 'Archbishop," "Primate," and "Metropolitan;" and also of "Archdeacon," "Dean," "Canon," "Rector," "Vicar," &c. are used to designate-not different "orders" in the ministry, butmerely different degrees of dignity and of preeminence among the orders of "Bishop," and of "Presbyter "respectively, in this particular - Church of England. In the American Episcopal Church the three orders are strictly adhered to in their primitive simplicity. Some excellent remarks on a practical reduction of Episcopacy, something on Abp. Ussher's plan, may be seen in Bishop Short's History of the Church of England, s. 595, p. 435. Ussher's "Reduction of Episcopacy" was reprinted in the "Christian Guardian," Dec. 1850, p. 557.

assuredly is in the combat of spiritual and religious warfare. The quiet observer is being continually constrained to exclaim, how unfair, how ungenerous is this.

Truth should never attempt to enlist laughter under its pure and inherently peaceful and loving banner; irony and caricature, severity and contempt, should be weapons not to be found in the Christian's tents.

But to shew that there is a needs-be for this remark, let us take two recent illustrations :

The first shall be an extract from a very popular periodical, of a Protestant though not avowedly religious character; the second, alas! from an avowedly religious and scriptural publication, set on foot for the express purpose of upholding Gospel truth, in opposition to papal or Romish error.

Of the first it may be said at once, "Oh, but this does not profess to be a decidedly religious publication." Why then touch the subject of religion at all? The reply is, it is a good political protective; it exposes what cannot fail, if it gain ground, to divest man of liberty of mind, and of freedom of speech; what must, if it go on gathering strength, silence the preached Gospel, interdict the inspired Word, and place the civil governor at the mercy of the usurping priest.

Be it so it would do so, and pray that the God of truth may prevent it, -but surely the way to defend the city of God is to take away those battlements which are not the Lord's, and build up in their place the sure defences of truth, of pity, and of love.

Methinks I hear one whisper, "Non tali auxilio." No "Non tali auxilio" indeed; whatever grieves the Spirit repels the Lord of Hosts, and robs us of His defence.

The first of the passages alluded to above is upon the subject of miracles. It recites or condenses many narratives of miracles from the legendary writings of chroniclers of the middle ages. Now what we complain of is this, not that such delusions and fancies which marked the darkness of times, when the pure light of the Gospel was well nigh extinct, and when Bibles were not to be had, or were ab

solutely interdicted—should be placed before the eyes of our national Protestantism, in this day when so many under a spirit of delusion are ready to believe a lie, but that it should be done in the language of banter and


We may go far higher than the middle ages, and read in the writings of the champion of grace, the pious and spiritually-minded Augustine, accounts of miracles detailed by him, and which he evidently believed, which cause grief to every pious mind, because they impel us almost to laughter over the pages of so blessed a man.

Our next illustration of the unhappy spirit which too many suffer to guide their pens or their tongues, stands in the pages of a religious periodical, to which we cannot fail to wish good success. It appears in the first number of the "Bulwark," and animates the remarks at the close of the description of the ceremony of the feet-washing, p. 11. "Can men believe that such contemptible exhibitions are to pass current in a country impatient of everything that savours of religious humbug and hypocrisy?"

No! this is not the language which becomes those whose object it still is in all sincerity to hold up the truth as it is in Christ. Let us avoid all "railing accusation;" be " pitiful and courteous;" "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;" but, "contend for it in love," in the "spirit of a sound mind and love;" and then indeed it will be "in the spirit of power" as well.

But we pass to another suggestion, in reference to the new year. It is likely not merely to be a year of contention, and probably political as well as religious, but also a year of golden opportunity, a year of golden opportunity for England, for our own beloved Church, and for individuals. Let us then enter upon it; may grace be given us so to do, with renewed determination to make it a year of especial prayer, of increased effort, of much increased self-denial,

The world is opening before; let us arise and take possession of as much of it as the Lord may allow,

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baptized" are to learn the Catechism before they are confirmed, and if persons baptized as adults are to learn it. It is not true of persons "privately baptized" that their "godfathers and godmothers did give them their "name," for they had no sponsors at their "baptism." Nor is it true of persons baptized as adults, that their "godfathers and godmothers" did "promise and vow for them, since they promised and vowed for themselves. A slight change, so as to make the Catechism suitable for all parties, would be very desirable. Some such form as this would do:

To the Editor.

Sir,-As the subject of "Revision" has occupied your pages of late, will you permit me to point out a kind of revision in the Catechism (quite unconnected with any doctrinal points) which seems absolutely necessary, if children who have been "privately

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"Who gave you that name?' "They who brought me to my baptism.' What is their part and duty who brought you to be baptized? To see that I be taught to perform three things, (1) to renounce, &c. Dost thou not think that thou art bound so to believe and to do? Yes, verily," &c. Again,-"You said that you should keep God's commandments. Tell me how many there be," or "are"?

I should think all parties could agree in this? For at present the

whole Catechism is framed for the exclusive use of persons baptized in their infancy, and baptized too with sponsors, according to the Public form. Whereas, there are thousands of persons living who have been baptized according to the Private service without sponsors.

18th Dec.

I am, Sir, yours, &c.
M. A.

To the Editor.

SIR,-In reading the "Christian Guardian" for the present year (which I lately procured at the recommendation of a friend), I perceive that yourself and many of your correspondents are favorable to a revision of the Liturgy of our Church: that while, in the main, you sanction the doctrines contained in the Book of Common Prayer, you do not think them inspired and infallible. Much attention has been within a few years called to the subject of Baptismal Regeneration, and to what is really our Church's teaching concerning it. Now I think


it of great importance to ascertain, if possible, this latter particular, in order that we may compare it with our only sure guide in matters of faiththe Scriptures; and if found to agree therewith, to retain its statements exactly as they are; if not, to devise some means to make them consonant to the mind of the Holy Ghost. What we, as ministers, are most concerned with, I have taken much trouble to examine-I mean our baptismal formularies (these we have frequently occasion to use); also the Church Catechism and I can come to no other conclusion than that they teach that every infant (faithfully presented), and every penitent and believing adult is, by virtue of God's grace in baptism (i.e., in the sacrament of baptism), really and truly made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven:" that "being by nature born in sin, and a child of wrath, it is hereby made a child of grace." This I collect from the very words of the service. As you are aware, the formulary for the public baptism of infants commences with an address to the congregation, in which it is declared, "that all men are conceived and born in sin, and that our Saviour Christ saith, none can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost;" and from these facts, of the natural conception and birth in sin, and the necessity (because Christ has declared it) of being born again, an earnest call is made upon the congregation to pray to God for the heavenly birth in the use of the material water; which element we tell the Lord, in the following prayer, He, " by the baptism of His well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the river Jordan, has sanctified to the mystical washing away of sin." In this prayer we also supplicate for the cleansing of the child by the Holy Ghost, and deliverance from the Divine wrath. And in another prayer we find this petition: -"That he coming to thy holy baptism may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration."

And then follows the Gospel, from the words of which we are encouraged

to expect a gracious reception of the child, and I think (according to our Church) its new birth; because that blessing is especially asked for, without which it cannot ever enter the kingdom of God. We find in another collect, a petition that God "would give his Holy Spirit to the infant that he may be born again," &c. And in another a petition that "God would sanctify the water to the mystical washing away of sin."

The infant being duly baptized, with this element, in the name of the Trinity, he is declared " regenerate," and grafted into the body of Christ's Church; and on this account the minister calls upon all present to join with him in giving thanks to God for these benefits; and prayer is also called for, that the child may be enabled to continue in his now blessed estate of salvation: that being now in the Spirit, he may lead the remainder of his life in the Spirit, according to this beginning: — "We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit; to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church:" and afterwards reference is made to his having undergone the death unto sin, and supplication made that "as he is made a partaker of the death of God's Son, he may also be a partaker of his resurrection," &c.

The Rubric after this service seems to me to confirm the view that, in the case of infants offered in the baptism as the Church would have them, the regeneration is conveyed in and through the sacrament of baptism, "It is certain from God's word that children being baptized, and dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved." This I think was taken from a larger Rubric, which I find in the second Liturgy of King Edward the Sixth, and which is still more explicit : "And that no man shall think that any detriment shall come to children by deferring of this confirmation, he shall know for truth that it is certain, by God's word, that children being baptized have all things necessary for their salvation, and are undoubtedly

saved." This teaching is confirmed in the Confirmation Service, where the Bishop tells the Almighty that he has regenerated those upon whom he lays his hands, that he "has regenerated them with water and the Holy Ghost, and has forgiven them all their


If we turn to the service for baptism of children in private houses, we discover the same teaching. The Rubric states" that the curate shall often admonish the people that they defer not the baptism of their children longer than the first or second Sunday after their birth, or some holy-day falling between." Why is this, except on the ground that the Church would have the child re-born as soon as possible after it is born?

In the case of private baptism, which evidently is only to be administered in cases of extreme danger of the death of infants, the minister and all persons present are to call upon God in the use of some of the collects to be read at public baptism, beseeching Him to grant with the use of the water the new birth of the infant; and after baptism with water, in the name of the Trinity (the whole party kneeling down), the minister is to return thanks for their prayers being answered, as in the service at church. But the form in which the minister of the parish is required at church to certify of the effects of bap tism, when the child has been privately baptized at home, not by himself but by some other minister, is so explicit that it seems to me that its sense cannot be evaded; and that sense is, that the child is by virtue of baptism regenerated, and for the present saved: :- "I certify you that in this case all is well done, and according to due order concerning the baptizing of this child, who being born in original sin and in the wrath of God, is now, by the laver of regeneration in baptism, received into the number of the children of God, and heirs of everlasting life; for our Lord Jesus Christ does not deny his grace and mercy unto such infants," &c. (contrary I think to Mr. Gorham, who, as far as I can understand him, acknowledges the baptismal regeneraDECEMBER-1851.

tion of some but not of all infants), and afterwards, "seeing this child is" by baptism "regenerate." The same observations apply to the case of adults (only certain pre-requisites are necessary in this case; and unless they are possessed of them, the sacrament does not to them convey what it signifies). But whatever "prevenient" acts of grace may have passed upon them before they are baptized, they evidently present themselves at the font as seekers and expectants of the blessing of regeneration in the use of the water; and are considered only as in the flesh, unregenerate and in wrath, till' they have received the sacrament of baptism, after which (if rightly received) they are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit; no longer unregenerate, but regenerate; no longer in wrath, but in grace. This I think our service teaches, if there is any meaning in words. The evangelical teaching, so called (as far as I understand it), is that a proper candidate for baptism is, first, regenerate, and receives only the seal of his regeneration in the ordinance, but the service teaches that the water is not only a sign of the washing of regeneration, but the means of conveying it,— a means whereby we receive the

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On referring to the Homilies, I find the notion of the saving effects of baptism, as far as infants are concerned. Thus in the Homily of the "Salvation of Mankind," ascribed, I believe, to Archbishop Cranmer, we read "that infants being baptized, and dying in their infancy, are by this sacrifice washed from their sins, brought to God's favour, and made His children and inheritors of His kingdom;" and again, in the same Homily, "We must trust only in God's mercy, and that sacrifice which our High Priest and Saviour offered for us upon the cross, to obtain thereby God's grace and remission of our original sin in baptism, as of all actual sin committed by us after our baptism, if we repent and turn unfeignedly to him again." And again we read, in the same Homily, of being "baptized or justified." Another sentence is remarkable :"Much less is it our office, after that

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