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to shew that the reformers stopt short of all excess; that they neither goaded on liberty to licentiousness, nor invested piety with the waxen wings of fanaticism.
But there is an hypothesis of the translator, with regard to Zuinglius himself, which still more materially offends us. If, indeed, she is a Baptist, some solution of the fol lowing passage may be found in the despotic influence of party feelings. If not, she deserves at least a statue of that society for this disinterested devotion of herself to their cause.
The paragraph to which we allude is the following, p. xiii. "In the transactions of Zuinglius with the Anabaptist leaders in Switzerland, he may, if any where, possibly be thought to have made some sacrifice of his particular opinions to the prosperity of the reformation in general. Had not the fanatics rendered adult baptism the badge of their sect, Zuinglius would apparently have embraced it, as most conformable to the Scriptural notion of that rite."-The only passage in which this fair champion of adult baptism can have discovered this bias of Zuinglius to such an administration of the rite, is the following. The latter part of the passage is so striking, and so decisive of the general question unfortunately still controverted among us, that we shall extract the whole of it.
"Jesus Christ instituted baptism, but neither he nor his Apostles have expressly directed the age at which it ought to be administered. It is therefore permitted to each church to order in this respect what it shall think most adapted to general edification. Judging from the Jewish ceremonies, which certainly had a great influence upon those of the early Christians, we may conjecture, that in the primitive church children were baptised at the moment of their birth. That some sectaries of our days have rejected this custom, is owing to their having formed too high an idea of the efficacy of the rite.
If indeed, the water of baptism had the power of effacing sins, it would be absurd to baptise children who have as yet committed none; but how can it be believed that an exterior ablution
can purify the soul? Baptism is a ceremony by which a man engages to become a disciple of Christ, and to observe all his precepts.
"Under this view of it, it would seem that the rite ought to be deferred till the young Christian is of a fit age to contract an engagement; but important reasons oppose this delay. If the custom of baptising
none but adults were to be introduced, negligent parents would omit giving religious instruction to their children, and would think themselves justified by alleging that they did not know whether, when their children were arrived at years of discretion, they would embrace Christianity or not. The young people themselves would reject all exhortations founded on religion, under pretext that it is still at their own choice whether to become Christians. Baptism ought to be considered as a promise made by parents to educate their children in the Christian faith, and to instruct them in the truths of the Gospel. By thus possessing itself of children from their cradles, the church binds them by a number of invisible threads, and prevents them from ever afterwards deserting her bosom." pp. 228-230.
We do not quote this passage as, in all points, expressing our own opinions, but as decisive of the views of Zuinglius, and of the unfairness of his female critic. It has always appeared to us, that the Church of England, by first baptizing infants and then bringing her youth to confirmation, has made the best provision possible for the due administration of this rite. By the first she secures herself against administering it too late; and by the last, against administering it uselessly. She thus avoids an evil into which the Baptists may possibly fall, and secures the benefit to which they lay claim.
As to Zuinglius, it is the more remarkable that he should now be complimented upon a latent attachment to the Anabaptists, when the ground of almost every former attack upon him has been, and we fear too justly, his unremitting severity to that sect.
Will the authoress forgive us, if, after this, we venture to beg that in any future editions of her work, she will be good enough to suffer
the public to form their unbiassed circumstances which conspired to estimate both of the author and the render the Church of Geneva a reformer. model to half the reformed churches
Upon the whole, we feel a confidence in recommending this little volume to our readers, and especially to those who wish to lead the young by gradual steps to the contemplation of the noblest epoch in the history of religion Independent of the charm which is spread over every event connected with Switzerland, the reformation accomplished by Zuinglius has peculiar claims to our attention. It was the only church which, as it were, had no infancy; but started into being almost a perfect model, for the imitation of future ages. In France, the reformed church was an irregular and ill-cemented fabric. In England, during at least the reign of Henry VIII., Protestantism was little better than Popery robbed of some of her gildings. In Germany, though the foundation was well laid, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple, yet the superstition of the mass remained, to pollute the sanctuary and unhallow the fires of the altar. In Switzerland, on the contrary, a church sprang up, of so truly Apostolical an order, that though some looking back to the still purer fabric of antiquity, and "remember ing the first temple," might "weep," the "multitude" of the servants of God had reason to "shout for joy." It is true, that after a short period, this church was removed, to make way for the ruder erection of Calvin. The gradation of rank in the clergy was then destroyed, and a belief in absolute and personal predestination made the necessary test of Swiss orthodoxy. But this change was not founded on any real defect in the constitution or creed of the church of Zurich. It may be accounted for by the love of change in men newly acquainted with liberty; the adaptation of the church polity of Calvin to a country of republics; the boldness and genius of this Reformer; his talent to defend, and his zeal to propagate his system; CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 128.
of Europe. It is contrary to expe-
dignity; and a larger infusion of
And her undiminished lustre amidst the surrounding darkness of the world; her lofty bearing when Europe is scattered with the fragments of other pious fabrics, that inherent power of revivescence which within a century she has discovered; that apostolic zeal by which she is now carrying the banner of the Cross into the four quarters of the globe; these are the best proofs toChristendom that the church which he, as it were, hewed fresh from the quarry of Scripture, had nothing to gain from the chiselling and polishing of other men and successive ages.
An Inquiry into the Consequences of neglecting to give the Prayer Book with the Bible. Interspersed with Remarks on some late Speeches at Cumbridge, and other important Matter relative to the British and Foreign Bible Society. By HERBERT MARSH, D. D. F. R. S. Margaret Professor of Divinity. Cam2 A
bridge, Deighton: London, Rivingtons. 1812. pp. 80.
WE trust we shall not be deemed to be hastily or prematurely judging a cause which common report declares to be" adhuc sub judice," if we substantiate a sort of challenge we consider ourselves as having already thrown out against the author of this far-famed pamphlet, by a few general remarks on its contents. It is not our intention, in our present number, to descend to the particulars of the occasion which called it forth; much less to enter minutely into the merits of a controversy which we had considered as decided, but which, judging from recent appearances, seems as yet scarcely to have burst its shell. Hoping only that from this ill-omened egg, "that which is crushed may not break forth into a viper," we shall proceed, as briefly as we can, to state the present position of affairs, which strikes us as superinduced by the publication before us, in regard to the Bible Society.
It is most obvious, in the present formidable battle-array, that the enemy has changed his front. And in doing this, he has relinquished at the same time so much important, and, as it had appeared to us, not well contested, though certainly untenable ground, that we had almost felt ourselves inclined to have entitled our present remarks, "Testimonies from Dr. Herbert Marsh, Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, in favour of the Bible Society;" whilst at the end, perhaps, we might have subjoined some few "helps to Lady Margaret" on a single point not so well cleared up in her mind as to leave her at liberty to offer her full and unqualified support to this confessedly valuable institution.
The "testimonies" to which we allude are contained in the following most important declarations:
"Its," the Bible Society's "operations abroad
are not only unobjectionable but highly laudable; and, though I think they have been greatly exaggerated, though I think they have been described in terms which violate both truth and candour, they are certainly productive of great and unmixed good. The liturgy of our church has no concern with the distribution of Bibles, where Christianity is professed under a different form. Neither duty nor interest require us, in this case, to do more than distribute the Bible. For this purpose I would gladly offer the right hand of fellowship, not only to Protestants of every description, but to the members of all other churches,
dispersed throughout the world. For this purpose, we should all, as Christians, engage with the distribution of the Scriptures, being on equal terms. Being concerned alike alike desirous of promoting the general cause of Christianity, we should act on a principle which was common to all. The welfare of the universal church would be promoted, and the welfare of the Church of England would be unimpaired." pp. 29, 30.
"I agree with Mr. Vansittart (and here
also with Dr. Milner) that the co-operation
of churchmen and dissenters so far as they can conscientiously co-operate,' is the best mode of lessening the evils of dissent." pp. 72,73.
"If such an alteration were made in its mode of operation, as to restrict it to countries, where the pre-eminence of our own church, which it is necessary to preserve at home, had no possible concern, such an alteration would render the common principle of action equally beneficial to both parties, and remove the injurious effects, whieh now arise from placing them on the same level in respect to the government of the society, while the terms, on which they act, are not terms of reciprocity. In a society, therefore, composed of churchmen and dissenters for the sole purpose of circulating the Scriptures in foreign countries, I would readily and heartily partaket." pp. 74, 75.
This last quotation sufficiently explains how far, in Dr. Marsh's opinion, "churchmen and dissent
* We suspect some misprint in the word "truth;" both as no falsehood has yet been
proved on the Society, and without proof we presume, ought never to be imputed; and also, as it is not easily conceivable how any society, or department of a society, could be " productive of great and unmixed good" which receives into its means of effecting it an actual "violation of the truth." see, to the same effect, page 78,
ers can conscientiously co-operate;" which might also be made more clear by the following declaration, of a personal nature, in p. 76.
"I will declare for myself, and declare it both to Dr. Milner and Mr. Dealtry, that I fear no contagion from the dissenters. Indeed I know of none. There are many, and very many among them, for whom, as individuals, I have the highest respect. I would associate with them even for religious purposes, as far as my duty allowed me; and if I went beyond that line, I am sure the dissenters themselves would not applaud me. And, were it necessary, I could appeal to dissenting families in this town, who themselves would bear witness, that, so far from dreading a contagion from their intercourse, I freely communicate the contributions which I can spare, without the smallest regard to religious distinction."
every reader the opportunity of comparing them immediately with. the passages, from which alone we assert their legitimate derivation. If, upon due consideration, they shall be found to have been made with all fairness; if it shall appear that "the testimonies" of the Margaret Professor in favour of this Society, are not capable of a different or less favourable construction; they will doubtles afford ample food for meditation, both to the friends and to the enemies of this institution. The enemies of this institution will be distinctly called upon to re-examine their own grounds of opposition to the society, and compare them with those stated by the Professor. If objections in general be made to the distribution of the Bible alone in certain places abroad
Now, from all these several declarations, made from the chair of the Margaret Professor, we pre--for instance, in our Indian possume the following important inferences in regard to the present state of the Bible Society question, may legitimately be deduced.
1. That nothing, in the nature of things, forbids an union between churchmen and dissenters for a religious object.
2. That all which Dr. Wordsworth, Messrs. Daubeny, Spry, Sikes, with Messieurs the Antijacobin Critics, &c., have written to prove that something, in the nature of things, does forbid such an union, is, in Dr. Marsh's opinion, not worthy a reply.
3. That no danger whatever can accrue from the aforesaid union, as it respects the foreign relations of the Bible Society.
4. That the foreign operations of this society are, on the contrary, productive of great and unmixed good.
5. That were these the only operations of the society, every friend to religion, however zealously attached to the Establishment, would act well in "readily and heartily," like Dr. Marsh himself, "partaking
These inferences are stated simply in their naked form, to give
sessions; or any apprehension be entertained from the facility thereby afforded to the operations of missionaries of any persuasion :such objections will be found in direct opposition to the authoritative sentence of the Professor. If it be apprehended that, whether intentionally or not, false translations of the Scripture may creep in, which, when distributed in foreign countries, may have a tendency to mislead the inhabitants, and, by some foreseen or unforeseen influence, react unfavourably on the government or the church of England; such indefinite apprehensions are at once discountenanced and dispelled by the decisive tone of Dr. Marsh's pamphlet. If the union with Presbyterians, Quakers, or Socinians be apprehended by some Churchmen to be a surrender of their own principles, or even a partial recognition of the opposite errors, or an encouragement to others to persist in them, or at least a departure from that precept which seems to exclude us from the very company of false brethren; it is obvious that suclr.speculations are received with no approbation, nay, with every degree of indifference and neglect,
by the just and discriminating mind of the Margaret Professsor of Divinity.
On the contrary, the friends of the Society will feel themselves doubly assured in their undertaking, by finding these objections, which, by some of their adversaries, had been stated and urged with so much confidence, absolutely stultified in the present publication. They will find, that even those circumstances which may be the least desirable, though inseparable from the constitution of the Society, are still, in truth, at least in the mind of a great reasoner, lighter than air, when compared with the grounds of their own conduct :- -so light, as to deserve to be forgotten in the calculation of that GREAT AND UNMIXED GOOD, redounding from the foreign relations of their Society. It will be a great satisfaction to their minds to find the important question, of the legitimacy of what may be generally called the Bible-union of Christians, narrowed, upon the authority of Dr. H. Marsh, to the single spot of British ground, and to the single consideration of the interests of the English Liturgy. Whilst, on the other hand, this will have the most salutary effect of raising in their minds (if necessary) the importance of that Liturgy which alone is sufficient to sway the mind of Dr. Marsh, and affect it unfavourably to the Society at home; and of leading them with all seriousness of mind, if churchmen, to the inquiry, how far the Bible Society is, or is not, calculated to injure the interests of the English Liturgy, and thus vitally to touch the cause, and even the existence, of our venerable national Establishment.
In entering, then, upon this important inquiry, it is no vain assumption to claim Dr. H. Marsh for a friend, in principle, to the Bible Society, as being an avowed friend to a joint distribution of the Scriptures. At the same time, it is to be as distinctly understood, that certain great obstacles in regard to the
Liturgy must be removed from the Professor's mind, before the Society, in its domestic relations, shall have the honour of his patronage or unqualified praise. Now, as we presume the pamphlet to have been, by this time, in the hands of every person actively interested in the cause, we are the less careful to give any direct plan or abstract of its reason❤ ings. We shall, however, just state, that the pamphlet is divided into nine sections or chapters, which, we conceive, might have been headed thus: 1. Liturgy ought, by churchmen, to be given away in this country. 2. Bibles ought not, in this country, to be given away by churchmen, without the Liturgy. 3. PrayerBook respected by the Reformers. 4. Analogy between the Bible Society and Mr. Lancaster's Plan of Education. 5. and 6. Danger accruing to the Church from a contempt of the Liturgy, proved by the history of the Puritans. 7. Remedies to be applied. 8. The dilemma of Mr. Vansittart considered. 9. Concessions in conclusion to the Dissenters.-The aforesaid great obstacles, then, to be collected from these several heads of remark, as existing in the mind of the learned author, we presume, may be met by the following inquiries. 1.Whether it be absolutely necessary for churchmen to give awaythe Bible and Prayer-Book actually bound up in the same volume. 2. Whether the actual distribution of the Prayer-Book be hindered by the institution of a British as well as Foreign Bible Society. 3. Whether, at least, the respect for the Liturgy be not diminished by this institution. 4. Or, whether, in general, the concession to Dissenters, of its omission, be not injurious to the interests or the dignity of the Church of England. 5. Whether there be not some hidden or open analogy between the Bible Society and the Lancasterian System of Education.
Before the short consideration which we wish to give to these doubts, it may be necessary to premise, that the Professor's grand di