Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

tt&sehoiarlike and disgraceful, after some years residence in a university, to know little or nothing of either? The phraseology of the Septuagint (I speak not here of the other uses of this version) is a natural comment on the language of the New Testament. You will havca ready opportunity (and without any expence of time) of carrying on your acquaintance with both together, by reading them, as is usual, with the lessons in your college chapel. The lasting benefit of four years Perseverance in this easy task is scarcely to be calculated.

Whatever book of any kind you are about to read, acquaint yourself with the life of the author, and the principal incidents of his times. His sentiments usually take some degree of tincture from these circumstances, and his writings naturally allude to them: This knowledge, consequently, will enable you to accompany him •with greater facility and advantage. For this reason, after the usual application to some sketch of ancient and modern history, I wish you to be particularly conversant with the transactions of England, and and of other nations so far as relates to learning and religion, and with the lives of eminent men, from the beginning of the sixteenth tientury down to the present time. This knowledge is easily and pleasantly attained, while your curiosity is active, and your memory vigorous.

Among your classics, be careful not to omit Cicero. In his ethical and theological compilations and researches, you have the result or compendium of all which philosophy, with such assistance as it may have had from primitive traditions or later communications with the Jews, could do in morality and religion. Its excellencies will shew you the folly of depreciating reason; and its defects will convince you of the fatuity of rejecting revelation. And when you turn to his arguments and declamations in active life, you will perceive how unsteadily the divine meditations of his closet affected his practical sentiments ; or, it may be, only his public professions. Besides these more solid advantages to be derived from reading the works of Cicero, I just mention another, which may happen to be useful to you, a fluency and correctness in writing or speaking Latin.

After the ethical books of Cicero, particularly his Offices, let me advise you to read the prelections of Bishop Sanderson. I propose them to you on two grounds. The first, as I would recommend the criticisms of Aristotle or Longinus, not only for the general justness of his decisions upon the cases before him, but also for his manner of stating and resolving, and for the habit of method and precision which you will in all probability learn from him: as the performances of great masters in every art, not only instruct or entertain you, but inspire you with a relish for the art itself, improve your taste and judgment in it, and (if you advance so far) facilitate and heighten your execution. And you will agree with me in thinking that few arts or sciences are of more importance, especially to a professed divine or moralist, than casuistry, or the application of law to particular cases, in order to guide the conscience of yourself and others in all situations and circumstances. Mr sec-ond reason for recommending to you these prelections is, that the plan of them (as became the chair whence they were given) is to determine every question by the joint authority of scripture and reason; that is, by the Word of God, explained, or, if occasion be, supplied, by the reason of the thing. This is to refer the conscience at once to its " proper and adequate rule."* Any decision proceeding upon narrower grounds, is a mere hypothetical prolusion, applicable to no existing case; as if an English counsellor (I believe I borrow the allusion from a living author of great merit) should give an opinion founded solely on the common law, without regard to the statute law, or on the letter of the statute simply interpreted* •without any respect to the principles and spirit of the common law. Many passages in these prelections allude to the history of the times near which they were written,t and refer to questions, ecclesiastical and civil, fiercely agitated in those days: You are not concerned in the accuracy of every phrase and statement on these topics.

Accustom yourself early to composition in English and Latin, and even, occasionally, and in small portions, in Greek. Do not imagine that the time you shall spend in cultivating the syntax and elegances of a classical language will turn to no account towards your facility or correctness in writing and speaking in your own. Consider any such suggestion as an ignorant plea of indolence. You will find the fact quite opposite; and the reasons may easily be given. However, after a season, incline most to English composition, and exercise yourself constantly in some kind of it or other, original, abridgment or translation. Whatever extracts you make from any writings, wherein the matter, and not the style, is the object of your notice, digest the sense, and set it down nearly in your own 'words. Read, at the same time, some of our best English prose •writers, such as Mr. Dryden, Dr. Swift, and Mr. Addison, and our higher poets. After essays on other subjects, such as your studies or inclination may suggest, you will naturally turn your thoughts to the kind of composition, which will hereafter demand your principal attention. And as your preparation for orders approaches, you will do well to write upon some moral or theological subject, with which you are competently acquainted; sometimes from your own fund entirely, at others with the assistance of some good author.

Lastly, have always in use some treatise of morals and practical divinity, for the employment of Sundays, and occasional hours on other days. This is a point of spiritual prudence in every man; it particularly becomes a scholar ; and still more a scholar with your views. This habit will keep your attention alive to every duty, and will preserve your mind in a proper tone, for the life which you are to lead, and for the particular studies in which you arc soon to be engaged. [To be continued.']

*Thi» point is more fully discussed in Chap. VIII.
t A. D. 1616-7.

FORM OF BAPTISM AMONG THE GREEKS.

From a very scarce book, entitled, "An Account of the Greek Church, by Thomas Smith, B. D. and Fellow of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford. London, Printed by Miles Fletcher, for Richard Davis. 1650. 8vo.

vALTHOUGH there be no time prescribed for the baptism of infants, yet they seldom either defer it beyond the eighth or tenth day, or hasten it before, unless in case of violent sickness, and for fear of sudden death. For they believe such an absolute necessity of this Sacrament, which they ground on those words of our Saviour, St. John, iii. 5. "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," as that they entertain hard and cruel thoughts of the state of infants, which by some misfortune and casualty are deprived of it. To prevent whichmischief, and secure their fears, where there is a real and certain danger of imminent death, in the absence of a priest, who is at all other times the only lawful minister of this sacred rite, it is allowed to lay-persons of either sex, as it is expressly laid down in their public confession of faith, written in the vulgar Greek, and printed in the year 1662—*' It is not lawful and proper for any one to baptise, but a lawful priest, except in time of necessity: and then a secular person, whether man or woman, may do it."

At all other times, the infant, if well, is to be brought to Church: la the entrance of which, toward the JVarthex, is the font, usually large, and about a foot and a half deep, which they call by several names,astheiaT»er,or Pool; (alluding to that in Jerusalem, mentioned is the 5 th chapter of St. John, whose waters had a miraculous virtue in them of healing divers diseases; or to that other in Siloam, St. John ix. 7. where the blind man, by the command of Christ, washed, and received his sight; the waters of baptism having the same effect upon the mind by virtue of our blessed Saviour's institution, as they had upon the body.)

The water made use of is usually consecrated for this purpose on the feast of the Theophania, or Baptism of our Saviour, and that with great solemnity, after the celebration of the other blessed sacrament: for which there is a peculiar office. This they call the great sanctification. But because a sufficient quantity of water for the whole year may not be blessed at that time, and (besides) what is reserved may be apt to putrify, and so be unfit to be used, every month, or sooner, in great cities, they furnish themselves with more.

In the winter, that the tender body of the infant may not suffer 1>y cold, they for the most part warm the water (perfumed with sweet herbs) upon which the priest breathes and makes a cross, and then poureth oil upon it in the form of a cross three times, with which having anointed the child, and holding him upright with both his hands, and his face turned toward the east, he performs the mystical right with this form of words: "The servant of God, such a one, is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and' of the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen." At the mention of each person of the Trinity, the priest dips the child under water; at which time, the godfather, if it be a male child, who is here al — ways single, answers, Amen, in all thrice; which threefold immersion they for the most part rigidly retain, according to the custom and practice of the first ages; though they do not scruple to vary from it upon occasion, being content sometimes to pour water upon the face of the infant three times, in acknowledgment of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, in whose name the infant is christened. But whether the sacramental rite be either by immersion or by affusion, the effect of the sacrament is the same, that is, the washing away of original sin, derived from the first parent of mankind, and an undoubted seal of eternal life, the baptized persons being regenerated and made members of the body of Christ.

The form of baptism is always pronounced passively in the way of declaration : "The servant of God, such a one, he or she, is baptized," Sec. not actively, " I baptize thee." For which Gabriel, archbishop of Philadelphia, assigns these two poor reasons, or shifts rather: the one, that although our blessed Saviour, at the institution of this sacrament, used the active voice, when he said, "Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name, &c." yet it is read passively in St.Mark, chap. xvi. 16. "He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved:" the other, that this way of expression savours more of modesty and humility; which he pretends to fetch from St. Chrysostom. Whereas there is but little difference in the forms, and none in the sense: "Such a one is baptized," that is, he adds by way of explication, "by me," being indeed the very same with, I baptize such an one. The zealous men of both communions are certainly to blame, while they are so eager and fierce in defence of their own form, and use bitter and severe invectives one against another for a matter of so small moment, as this variety of expression seems to be. But as to the latter words, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," in which both agree; the Greeks universally hold them so necessary and essential to the sacrament, that unless they are entirely and distinctly pronounced, they think that it is not so much the sacrament of baptism which is celebrated, as a ludicrous imitation, or heretical and profane abuse of it.

They never use the same water a second time: but if two or three infants are to be baptized at the same time, so often they empty and fill the laver. But the water which has been made use of for this or the like sacred purpose, is not thrown away into the street, like other common water, but poured into a hollow place, under the altar, where it is soaked into the earth, or finds a passage.

Soon after, a prayer or two being interposed, the priest proceeds to anoint the newly baptized infant, lately covered with its mantle and swaddling clothes: for in the Greek Church, Chrismation is inseparable from Baptism, and though reckoned as a distinct mystery, as indeed it is, is in a manner a necesssry appendage and complement of it; according to the 48th canon of Laodicea, which orders the bajUized persons to be anointed ixith the heavenly Chrism;—. "Which Chrism," as Matthicus Blastares explains it out of Zonaras and Balsamon, whose words for the most part he retains, "being sanctified by prayer and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, sanctifies the persons anointed with it, and makes them partakers of the heavenly kingdom of Christ; unless impenitence and impiety of life afterwards alienate and render them unworthy of it.

POETRY.

FOR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.

A FRAGMENT—(cotifinuED.)

YON venerable pile that lifts sublime,
Above the Tarpeian rock, his hoary brow.
And awful crowns the capitoline hill;
The fabled residence of founder Jove;
And hence believ'd, by hostile foot untrod;
Unviolated even by the Gaul,
Victorious else; no reverence now commands:
But spoil and ravage strew the reeking earth
With tribuuilial thrones, and rostral seats,
And curule ebon chairs of august state.
In splendid fragments ini.xt; and echo sad,
While agonizing empire groans her last,
Wails sympathetic from the inmost dome.
From side to side rebounds the hollow moan,
Through all the co^r|s;and areas high o'er arch'd,
WThere long the assembled majesty of Rome,
In her grave senate, likest kings pronoune'd,
Sage consultation held, weighing the fate
Of conquer'd thrones and supplicating realms:
By adverse storms unmov'd, as rooted oaks,
Crowning the hillock's rugged brow; and deaf
To every joy, save what ambition found;
Grasping as nature's bounds, and fell as death.
There, Tully, flash'd the lightning of thine eye,
'1 he thunder of thy voice tremendous roll'd
That struck, astounded, from his throne of blood
The impious Cataline: that shook the soul
Of mighty Julius; from his trembling hand
Wrested the uplifted sword, and sav'd a friend:*
Or with invective's maddening bolts transfixt
The bosom of that matchless profligate,f
And his more venom'd spouse; who thee pursu'd
With unrelenting hate, and dire revenge.
Thou greatest, wisest, best of Romans, doom'd
To swell the stream of guiltless blood, that shed
On faction's altar, stain d thy country's fame
With black ingratitude, and foul disgrace.
Where hoverM sad thy disembodied soul,
When now thy once-lov'd city bow'd her neck,
To fierce barbarian hordes an easy prey?
Heardst thou the savage shout discordant fill
The echoing halls, and hallow'd groves, thy haunts,

* Marcellui. + Mark Antheny.

K

« PoprzedniaDalej »