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translate “eis” to, and “ek” from. said of Cornelius and his friends, Philip and the Eunuch were toge- that when the Holy Ghost in his ther in the chariot, and according to miraculous gift of tongues fell upon JEROME, SANDYs, and other travel- them, Peter said, “ Can any man lers, who haye visited the place, a forbid water, that these should not small stream of water (ti hudoor) be baptized who have received the ran beneath them. And instead of Holy Ghost as well as we? and he translating the passage they went commanded them to be baptized in down to the water, and came up the name of the Lord.” . I would from the water; they have rendered only here remark, that what is said it, “they went down into the water, of these baptisms, conveys the idea and they came out of the water." that they were baptized in the places They evidently designed to convey where they were-Saul in the house the idea, and make the impression, of Judas, and Cornelius and his that there was immersion in the friends in Cornelius's house; and case; and I have frequently heard that immediately too, on Saul's rethese words quoted as a proof of it; ceiving his sight, and after the Holy and Mr. C. seems, in p. 154, to un- Ghost had been ed out on Corderstand the words as conveying nelius and his friends. Every cirthis idea. But such do not reflect, cumstance conveys the impression that the words thus understood, inn- that they were baptized by affusion; ply that Philip was immersed as nor is there a single circumstance well as the Eunuch; for it is said that favours immersion. that “they went down into the wa- As for the baptism of Lydia, and ter, both Philip and the Eunuch ; of her household, recorded in the and they came up out of the water." 16th chapter, it is not said where it
But read the passage as it ought was administered. There is, into have been translated;“they went deed, mention made of her resortdown to the water; and they came ing to one of the Jews proseuche, or up from the water;" and all the ab
places of prayer, by a river side; surdity of the baptizer being im- but there is not the least intimation mersed as well as the person bap- that she and her household were tized, disappears; and the passage baptized at or in that river. But I is rational, solemn, and instructive. think it is certain that the jailer and I deem it unnecessary to say a word his household, mentioned in, the more respecting this interesting same chapter, were baptized in the baptism, as I am persuaded that prison, and the strong presumption there is not a person whose mind is is, by affusion, and not by immernot prepossessed by a system, and sion. For although it appears that who will weigh the circumstances there was a river near the city of attending it, but will be constrained Philippi, it is not to be supposed to say that the Eunuch was baptized that he would leave his charge, and by affusion, and not by immersion. at midnight go with his household,
The baptism of Saul of Tarsus, and Paul and Silas, to that river, recorded in the 8th, and of Corne- for the purpose of being baptized. lius and his friends, mentioned in Besides; it is said, that after the the following chapter of the Acts, alarm by the earthquake; and after were administered, the one in the they had spoken the word of the city of Damascus, and the other in Lord to him, and to all that were in Cornelius's own house. It is merely his house; and after he had washed said of Saul, that when Ananias laid their stripes," he was baptized, and his hands upon him,“there fell from all his straightway,” or immediatehis eyes as it had been scales, and ly. The refusal of Paul and Silas he received his sight forth with, and on the next day to leave the prison, arose and was baptized.” It is also until the magistrates themselves
“ would come and fetch them out," church ought to change her terms, is a strong presumption that they for the sake of admitting him to exwould not, and did not, leave it in ercise his ministry among us; for the night. Here again every cir- what would this amount to, but to cumstance attending this extraordi- insist that the will of a whole sonary baptism, affords the strongest ciety should bend to the will of an presumption that it was administer- individual, and that their rights ed by affusion; nor is there a single
should be sacrificed to his pretencircumstance in favour of its being sions ? She invites no one to enter administered by immersion.
her communion, she asks the minisSAMUEL RALSTON. terial services of no one, who can(To be continued.)
not conscientiously subscribe to her
terms. To such as cannot, if they Heviews.
hold the essentials of religion, and appear to be pious, she says, “I
acknowledge you as brethren in the CONSTITUTION &c. OF THE PRES- Lord; but, as we do not sufficientBYTERIAN CHURCH.
ly agree in points of doctrine to (Concluded from page 461.)
walk together in peace and act in
harmony, as members of the same In our preceding papers we have society, I cannot consent to endanshown, it is apprehended, the true ger the prosperity and comfort of light in which the Confession of my family, by receiving into minisFaith, considered as a part of the terial fellowship individuals, whose constitution of the Presbyterian discordant sentiments would too church, is to be viewed. It contains probably furnish occasions of strife an exhibition of the doctrines which and unhallowed controversy among her ministers are required to preach. members of the same church.” She It constitutes one of the terms of is of the opinion of Abraham, who ministerial communion. It is a rule although he and Lot were that must govern presbyteries in kinsmen, yet thought it better for receiving members of their bodies, them to separate from each other, and a rule by which they must try than that strife should exist between and censure those who depart from them or between their herdsmen. the faith.
But while the Presbyterian church By this adoption of the Confes- thus watches over the peace sion of Faith as a part of her con- rity of her family with a careful stitution, for the preservation of her eye, she is ready to receive as teachpeace and purity, the Presbyterian ers into her communion all who can church has done injury to no one. conscientiously subscribe to the She has only exercised a right com- Confession of Faith, provided they mon to all societies; the right of are well qualified in other respects. declaring the terms on which she The existence of the Confession will admit persons to hold official of Faith, as a part of the constitustations in her communion. “In tion of our church, imposes no imthe exercise of this right,” to use proper restraint on freedom of inher own language, societies "may quiry. It may restrain the exercise err in making the terms of commu- of a disposition given to change ; it nion either too lax, or too narrow: may prevent a minister from being yet, even in this case, they do not rash and precipitate in altering his infringe upon the liberty of others, religious sentiments, without delibut only make an improper use of berate investigation; it may save a their own." (See chap. i. sect. 2, congregation from the injurious efForm of Gov.) It would ill become fects arising from the preaching of any individual to contend that the men who seldom remain long in the
same mind, who “prove all things," a term of communion, and that the but do not “hold fast that which is Bible is the only lawful test of orgood.” But it does not restrain thodoxy, shall receive due investithe exercise of that manly indepen- gation. By seeming to exalt this dence of mind which
divine book, it carries a degree of of the gospel should maintain; nor plausibility, and wears an imposing does it discountenance that spirit aspect. There is, however, a fallaof wise and cautious inquiry which cy in this objection, of which its every conscientious man ought to advocates are not aware ; and it indulge. The Presbyterian Church can be, we think, shown, that in the considers the sacred scriptures both present state of the world, the Bible of the Old and New Testaments, as is not, and cannot be used as the the only infallible rule of faith and sole test of orthodoxy, while any repractice; and, therefore, she will gard is paid to the sacred claims of receive no man as a teacher in her truth in the constitution of a Chriscommunion who does not profess to tian church. believe them to be such a rule. How shall the Bible be applied (Form of Gov. chap. xiv. sect. 7.) as a test of orthodoxy? Shall this And not until he has answered af- be the question, Do you believe the firmatively the question on this sub- Bible to be the word of God, writject, does she inquire whether he ten under the inspiration of his Spican receive and adopt the Confes- rit? Who could not stand this test? sion of Faith as containing the sys- Would not gross heretics answer tem of doctrine taught in the holy this question affirmatively? And scriptures. The scriptures then, in would a church that admitted such the judgment of our church, are the men to minister in the gospel, be great rule by which ministers must organized on scriptural principles ? fashion all their sentiments; and Does not John tell us not to bid he has not the spirit becoming his such God speed ? 2 John, 9-11. high and holy office, who, in the in- And if it be unlawful for an indivi. vestigation of truth, is restrained dual Christian to salute them with by the fear of losing his standing in such a wish, surely it must be unthe Presbyterian church. From a lawful for any Christian church to man of such a spirit we should have open her pulpits to them that may no reason to expect any valuable disseminate their heretical notions, discoveries in theology, even if he and sow destructive tareis among were freed from all ecclesiastical the wheat. control. To a far different spirit But the opening so wide a door the world owes the promulgation of may be disavowed by the objector. the gospel at first, as well as the re- He will allow that heretics ought covery of it again, after it had for not to be admitted into any Chrisso long a time been almost lost un- tian church; not even to the privider a vast heap of superstitious er- lege of communing in the Lord's rors and practices.
supper, much less to the ministry of What is alleged by some that the word. We ask him then how, Presbyterians make a Bible of their on his principle, he can close the Confession of Faith, and assign to door against them ? How, by the it the property of infallibility, is application of the Bible as the sole an objection so utterly destitute of test of orthodoxy, he can exclude foundation, that we deem it suf- either Arians or Socinians from the ficient just to mention it, lest the ministerial office? I would examine omission should be supposed to re- them, he may say. Well, let us sult from ignorance.
suppose such candidates in regard But the objection, that it is im- to literary attainments amply quaproper to make any human creed lified for the office to which they The only
aspire, appear before a presbytery conveying the sense which their exor council, and that the subject of aminers put upon the language of orthodoxy is brought up; how shall the inspired writers, or by the cansatisfaction be obtained on this didates giving explanations which point, while the Bible is used as show that their sense of the scripthe sole test?
ture differs from that of their exaLet the judicatory propose their
miners. In either case the test of questions. What questions? Such their soundness in the faith, is the as the following ?-Do you believe creed of the presbytery or council. the Bible to be the word of God? Where then is the difference beDo you believe that it was written tween such a test and that of the by men under the inspiration of the Presbyterian church? Both are huHoly Spirit? Do you believe Jesus man creeds, or expositions of the Christ to be the Son of God? Do Bible by fallible men. you believe that he died for sin- difference we can discern is this: ners? In proposing such questions one is a written, and the other an a presbytery or council may pro- unwritten creed. Now, if it be lawceed for hours, and as long as they ful to apply an unwritten creed as continue to put them in the words a test of orthodoxy, what can make of scripture, affirmative answers it unlawful to apply a written one? will be given, and it may be impos- If the one be lawful, the other cansible to discover the heretical no- not be unlawful; and we think that tions of these candidates.
to a written creed the preference What now is to be done? Why, should be given, because by affordask them to explain their meaning, ing the candidate an opportunity or propose questions in terms dif- for a careful examination of its conferent from those of the Bible. But tents, he is enabled to answer the this is abandoning the Bible as the great question that is to try his orsole test of orthodoxy. As soon as thodoxy with more deliberation. the presbytery or council begin to An independent church is vapropose questions in terms accord- cant, and wishes to settle a minisant with the construction which the ter. Is this church obliged to call members put on the language of the a candidate whose literary attaininspired writers, they begin to ap- ments and elocution are entirely ply their own creed as the
test of or- satisfactory, merely because he prothodoxy; or if the candidates should fesses to believe the Bible to be an explain their meaning of particular inspired book?
May not that passages, and they should be re- church, if, from his preaching or jected as heterodox, it would be be- conversation, they find that he has cause their construction of scrip- adopted a creed differing from their ture differed from the construction creed in important or fundamental of the presbytery or council; or, in points of doctrine, refuse on that other words, because their creed ground to call him as their minisdid not correspond with the creed ter? Would this conduct 'violate of the ecclesiastical body,
any Christian principle, or be deroBut it will be asserted, the can- gatory to the honour due to the didates do not believe the doctrines Bible as the word of God? Or supof scripture. Granted: but how is pose the members of this church this fact ascertained ? Not by using were in a public meeting to draw the Bible as the sole test of ortho- up a certain number of propositions doxy; for to every proposition stated expressive of their faith, and resolve in the words of sacred scripture they not to call any man as their minisassent. The discovery of their here- ter, who could not subscribe these tical opinions is made either by ap- propositions, would there be any plying questions expressed in terms thing unlawful in this, any thing in VOL. I.
consistent with due homage to the per deity of Christ, and his vicaBible? If these propositions ac- rious sacrifice for the sins of men. corded with the sacred scriptures, The presbytery condemn him. They and embodied important doctrines, do right. But on what ground do the conduct of this church could they rest their sentence? Not on not, we presume, be condemned; but the ground of his avowed opposition ought rather to be commended for to the authority of the Bible, but on their attachment to the truth, for the ground that, according to their their caution in guarding against apprehension of the sense of scripthe incursion of error, and for their ture, he does not believe some of wisdom in endeavouring to secure its capital doctrines. What is this to themselves and children the
but applying their creed as the test bread of life. Now, if a single of his orthodoxy? But it may be church may do this, why may not said, that they interpret the Bible several churches associated together right, and the heretic interprets it for mutual edification, do the same
This does not thing, by forming a common creed alter the case. Here is still the apas a barrier against heresy, and a plication of a human creed as a test security to the preaching of sound of orthodoxy; and this is an abandoctrine among them? This the donment of the principle on which Presbyterian church has done; and the objection to the Confession of she is to be commended for her wis- Faith is founded. The objection is, dom, and attachment to the truth, not that false creeds are unlawful and for that firm opposition which
to be used as tests of orthodoxy, she has made to the progress of he- but that all human creeds, whether resy and error.
true or false, are unlawful to be Let us look at this objection in used for this purpose ; all are deroanother light: let us consider the gatory to the honour of the Bible. operation of the test for which it We think we have now exposed pleads in another case. It is taken the fallacy of this objection, and for granted that those who advocate shown, that in order to prevent the the Bible as the only lawful test of intrusion of heretical men into the orthodoxy, will allow that heretical sacred ministry, as well as to expel ministers ought to be deprived of them from it, the application of the their sacred office. But how shall Bible as the sole test of orthodoxy, their deposition be effected by the is insufficient, and that to preserve application of this test? Suppose a the purity of the church, recourse man arraigned before a presbytery must be had to the application of for preaching heretical doctrine. He human creeds, written or unwritten, professes to believe the Bible and as tests of soundness in the faith. whatever it contains. Witnesses We cannot conceive how the Biare produced. They deliver their ble, separate from all human creeds testimony. In the review it does founded on it, can be used as the not appear that this, preacher has sole test of orthodoxy, unless every ever denied the divine authority of candidate for the ministry be adthe Bible, or asserted that he disbe- mitted to the sacred office, without lieved any doctrine revealed in it; any regard paid to the manner in but on the contrary he always pro- which he interprets the inspired fessed to regard it as the rule of his writings, how different soever his faith, and to receive all its doc- sense of them may be from that of trines as true. It however does ap- the ecclesiastical body to whom he pear, that while he professed to be applies for ordination; provided he lieve the doctrines taught by the only profess to believe the Bible as inspired writers, he explained them à revelation from God. Such an in such a way as to deny the pro- application of this test will, we