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of God, or when, to repeat the language of Dr Ward- ! which can be called the palladium of Presbytery, it law himself, “they give their people confidence- is that in which our Lord, addressed his apostles, as --enlightened confidence—in yielding obedience to the representing the rulers of his Church, when they power with which the Divine Head of the Church has in showed the first symptoms of an ambitious and uncested them ; or, in other words, in going unitedly, intelli- brotherly spirit in reference to the government of his gently, and heartily along with them (their rulers), in folo Church : " ONE IS YOUR MASTER; AND ALL YE ARE lowing out the mind and executing the will of the Head." BRETHREN." We have no objections to view this as -P. 187. We could not express in more select or our palladium both against the despotism of Prelacy, more decided terms, the exact part which we assign on the one side, and against the divisiveness of Indeto the people, in regard to the censures of the Church pendency, on the other. To the one we say, Minis-, pronounced by the officers of the Church. And when ters are not masters, but brethren; to the other, to this we add, the practical concurrence of the people Ministers are all brethren under one Master, and in with the sentence of excommunication, we could de- one family, and, therefore, should associate, consult, sire no better reply to the argument drawn from and act together as brethren. another passage that has been dragged in, viz., “Suffi- But, to come to the point now in dispute, we may cient to such a man is this punishment which was in- state it in very few words. Presbyterians maintain flicted of many.” The punishment, of course, in this that the assembly of the apostles and elders at Jerucase chiefly lay in that exclusion from brotherly inter- salem, recorded in the 15th chapter of Acts, was an course, which would be the result of a practical obe assembly of the rulers of the Church met in council, dience of the people to the sentence, “With such an to receive and judge on an appeal; that the apostles, one, no, not to eat." And in the simple fact of the who formed a part of that council, though they were obedience thus“ yielded to the power with which inspired men, sat there not as inspired men, but as the Divine Head had invested” their rulers, we may elders or rulers of the Church; and that the decree find a sufficient solution of the phrase "inflicted of or decision, sanctioned by their combined authority, many,” without being driven to adopt the odd notion was promulgated for the obedience of the Churches. to which Dr Wardlaw would point, that the offender Dr Wardlaw, again, avows it as his firm conviction, had to run the gauntlet through the assembled ranks " that it was a case of appeal to inspired authority, of the whole Church; men, women, and children and that it was by such authority the decision was having each a stroke at him as he passed.
framed and the decree issued.” The Doctor's reaIt will be observed that we have argued the point sonings, though sliced down into a variety of paron the hypothesis of our opponents, that Corinth con- ticulars, and spread over a large surface, may be tained only one congregation. Our case becomes reduced to the two following heads :- First, The doubly strong on the opposite supposition, which can point which was appealed for settlement, which lie be supported from various proofs, that there were holds to have been one of the first magnitude, being several congregations included in that Church or one of doctrine, and of doctrine not of a trivial or general assembly of Christians, under the superinten- unessential character, but affecting the very subdence of a presbytery. Nor have we adverted stance of the gospel—the foundation of the sinner's to other arguments which have been adduced by acceptance and hope--involving the great fundaPresbyterians. We think enough has been said to mental question between grace and works;" and, show that this portion of Scripture at least affords no secondly, The inspired character of the apostles, which countenance to the Independent theory of govern. he maintains to have been necessary to the settlement.
ment of this point, and by which it was actually Passing by the few straggling remarks which Dr settled. In other words, by magnifying the point in Wardlaw has made on the seven Churches of Asia, dispute, he endeavours to show that none but inspired as unworthy of notice, the force of his reasoning de- men could have decided it, and, consequently, that pending entirely on the Independent meaning attach- the council at Jerusalem is now to be regarded in ed to the word Church, we proceed to what he deno- the light of an impossibility-something quite beyond
minates“ the palladium of Presbytery,” the 15th chap- the imitation of the uninspired Church. The whole ter of the Acts of the Apostles. We beg to say, in argument may thus be reduced to a single positionthe outset, that the Doctor is quite mistaken about and that position we most distinctly and emphatically the palladium. Though this may be the only re- deny. corded example of a synodical or representative assem- That the point which rendered necessary a convo. bly, it does not follow that there is no other argu- cation so venerable as that of the apostles and elders ment for Presbyterial representation. We may state of the Church, must have been one of grave importat once that the grand argument for this is founded ance, and closely affecting the substance of the gospel, on the unity of the visible Church. If the Church is one few will question. But how many questions of equal society, it must be the duty of its several parts to act importance, and equally affecting the very substance on the principle of association in government as well of the gospel, have arisen in the Church since that as in worship. This does not imply that the whole time! So closely is divine truth connected, that, per: Cburch should be under the government of one haps, not a single error has sprung up which might synod or council; but it does imply that the different not be shown to affect, directly or indirectly, the parts of the Church should, as convenience dictates, substance of the gospel. If, therefore, the importbe under the government of different synods or ance of the doctrine had been of itself a sufficient councils; which, again, ought to be associated in the reason to demand inspiration to decide it then, would bonds of a common constitution, and of fraternal in- it not follow that the same inspiration is necessary tercourse. This principle runs through the whole to decide it still? Some three years ago, certain New Testament, wherever the Church is spoken of; errors sprung up in some Congregational Churches in and it is a principle directly violated by Independency, the neighbourhood of Glasgow, of which Dr Wardwhich, in so far as it agrees with its name, is founded law is somewhat cognizant. In a pamphlet, which on schism and disunion. If there is any one text is generally understood to be mainly his own compo
stion, he with three other Congregational ministers their inspiration," he says, “they become as other in Glasgow, forming what we would call, for want men." No doubt : but who speaks of“ diresting them of a better phrase, an Independent presbytery, with of their inspiration.” The apostles, we presume, might Di Wardlaw as their moderator, sat in judgment on be inspired men, and as such qualified to teach intheir erring brethren, and, receiving no satisfac- fallibly, and to write the Holy Scriptures; but does tion from them, fulminated a sentence of excommu- this imply that they always acted under the influence nication against them. We say nothing now of the of inspira:ion, or that inspiration dwelt in them as virtual assumption of the functions of a Church court, a permanent quality of their natures, as inseparable which this proceeding indicated in the eyes of the from them as the faculty of reason! Must we suppose, whole Christian community. We refer merely to or does any man suppose, that in everything they the importance they attached to the errors in ques. did they acted by inspiration! Dr Wardlaw himself tion. “ Brethren,” they said, “ this is a solemn step, seems to have a glimpse of the absurdity of this, and and a solemn crisis. This is the first time that therefore quietly guards himself by limiting their inchurches in our body* have been disowned because of spiration to official acts. “There does seem to me no their denial of important truths. Is it a light matter little presumption in admitting the supposition of their that so many of your fellow-Christians, far older and ever acting officially without acting by inspiration-more experienced than the most of you, who are whether in settling doctrine or in settling duty. Their very young in Christ, should pass this judgment upon very office was, in my apprehension, an inspired office; you ?" + Again: “ Brethren, say not that the difference and to suppose them divested of inspiration, is to supis slight, and think not that we can deem its conse- pose them stipped of their official status."--P. 278. quences trivial. On the great doctrine of salvation Here is “confusion worse confounded.” No doubt by grace, we are not at one, as you affirm; for our we are bound to conceive that as long as the apostles views of what grace really is, and what it consists in, acted in their official character as apostles, they acted are not only different but contrary."I The pamphlet under inspiration; but surely a person may possess is full of similar statements. Here, then, to use the an office, and yet not always act in his official characDoctor's language, “the grand point was one of doc- The Doctor adds, “ Let any man attempt to antrine-and of doctrine, too, not of a trivial or unes. swer the question to himself—What was an apostle, sential character, but affecting the very substance of in the Church of Christ, without his inspired authothe gospel-the foundation of the sinner's hope." rity ? and he will find himself not a little at a loss.". And yet he and other three ministers of Glasgow, We answer, that, as an apostle, he never was without none of whom will certainly lay claim to inspiration, his inspired authority ; but he who was an apostle, sat in judgment on the delinquents of Hamilton, might surely, without divesting himself of his office, Bellsbill, Cambuslang, &c., and passed a decree ex- act as a man, or as a member of society, or as a memcommunicating five Churches.
ber of the Church, or as a minister of the gospel, or The question referred to the convocation at Je- as a ruler. And is it not a fact, that the apostles rusalem certainly bore on the great doctrine of jus- did frequently act in these respective characters, and tification. “ Certain men taught, Except ye be that without ceasing to be apostles? They often circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot acted in their subordinate official character as pastors be saved.” But had not the “ great doctrine" itself
and elders of the Church, and that, too, without being been already revealed to and tauglit by the apostles ? necessarily supposed to be under the influence of inor was this the first time it was revealed to them, spiration.* Was the apostle Peter under the influence and the only place in which it is taught by them? of inspiration, when Paul" withstood him to the face, Some vague notion of this kind seems to haunt our au- because he was to be blamed,” in his official conduct, thor's mind; for in no other way can we account for the or because, as a ruler," he walked not uprightly acstrange position which he lays down and strives to cording to the truth of the gospel ?” (Gal. ii. 11, 14.) confirm, ihat “it was a case of such a nature, that no The adoption of this strange theory leads our author authority other than that of inspiration was competent to settle into another sad mistake. He argues, that “if the it.” Certainly “no authority other than that of inspi- decision in question was not given by inspired authoration was competent to settle” the doctrine of justi. rity, it would not be imperatively binding; -- their judg. fication, and it is so settled in various parts of Scrip- ment ceases to be divine—the decree was only a huture; but a question of practice, relating to this doc. man decision---the record of the decision, as a matter trine, might, we humbly conceive, be as soon settled of fact, forms part of a divinely inspired narrative, by the council of the apostles and elders at Jerusa- but the decision itself is not inspired, and therefore is not lem without inspiration, as the questions raised by
dirine, nor dicinely obligatory." --Pp. 266, 267. To this the heretics at Hamilton and Bellshill could be by we have just to reply, that the “ decree" of this counthe council of four Congregational ministers at cil would be received by the brethren of the Gentiles, Glasgow.
doubtless, with all the respect due to the authority of Another strange hallucination pervading the Doc- such a council, “yielding intelligent obedience,” as tor's mind on this point is, that he seems incapable Dr Wardlaw would say, “to the power with which the of conceiving that the apostles could ever have acted, Divine Head had invested them,” as rulers. And on any occasion or in any case, except under the the decision having been engrossed with evident influence of inspiration ! "If you divest them of approval in the sacred narrative, it must have been
* " In our body."-See how naturally and unwittingly “ Congregational churches" become, in the minds of their adherents, amal.
* This extraordinary notion of the inspiration of the apostleg gamated into one “body," when the exigencies of Christian duty.
being a sort of constitutional quality, accompanied as that idea is demand it! And, how absurd to stickle about the term “ Church,
by a metaphysical incapacity of distinguishing between the possesas applicable to a union which, after all, really exists, though it is
sion of that gift and the possibility of acting as other men, has cha. theoretically denied and reasoned against !
racterized Independents of all ages. In an old treatise, we find the + " The Entire Correspondence between the Four Congregational Assembly of Divines, exactly two hundred years ago, labouring in vain Charches in Glasgow and the Congregational Churches at Hamilton, to drive into the beads of the Dissenting brethren of their day the disBellshill, Bridgston, Cambuslang, and Ardrossan, on the Doctrines tinction between " a letter written by men qui erunt apostoli, who of Election and the Influence of the Holy Spirić in Conversion." were apostles, but not simply and exclusively qua apostoli, as Glasgow : 1845. P. 108.
apostles."— The Answer of the Assembly of Divines to the Reasons of # Ibid. P. 89.
the Dissenting Brethren, P. 56. London, 1648.
intended for our guidance and imitation. The to them, and to the elders whether they held it.”— Doctor does not seem to see that the judgment, being | P. 305. now part of the Word of God, is stamped with the Dr Wardlaw professes in one place to be seriously divine approbation. But we have no time and no scandalised at the Presbyterians for the anxiety they need to dwell on the exposure of this misconception. show to strip this famous council of its inspired
He next proceeds to argue, that “if this is con- character; not very consistently with the zeal with ceived to have been a mere uninspired ecclesias- which we have been charged to secure the authority tical council, then, by those who think so, the appeal of inspiration for the council! Much rather would must be regarded as having been made from the superior we incur such a charge than be guilty of this miseauthority to the inferior—from the divine to the human.” rable shift by which he attempts to evade our arguAnd he goes on to talk of the incongruity of sup- ment. In the first place, let it be remembered, that posing that Paul, who was “ an inspired apostle of Dr Wardlaw set out by asserting that it was a point Christ,” and “not a whit behind the very chiefest of doctrine--an essential and fundamental doctrine apostles,” would remit his inspired instructions " for on which this council were called to adjudicate. judicial decision upon their authenticity to an un- Now it turns out to have been merely a point of inspired assembly.”—P. 268. Why, this is the very fact, namely, whether the rest of the apostles taught difficulty with which our writers charge his own the same doctrine that Paul had taught. This is hypothesis, and out of which the Doctor finds it so turning round upon us with a vengeance ! It difficult to escape in a subsequent part of the argu- was clearly a question neither of doctrine nor of ment! “ If,” says Dr Dick, “it had been the wish fact, but one of practice. But if a mere point of of the Church at Antioch that the dispute should be fact, how could it be said “it was a case of such terminated by the authority of inspiration, there was no a nature, that no authority other than that of inspiration reason for sending to Jerusalem, as Paul was among was competent to setile it.” Secondly, Where did the them, who was not behind the chief of the apostles ; and Doctor find that the question was, whether Paul Barnabas, who was endowed with supernatural gifts." taught the same doctrine with the other apostles ? “ Had the question,” says Dr Mason, “ been to be There is not one syllable in the sacred narrative to determined by special redelation or apostolical authority, bear out this supposition. “There rose up certain of ONE INSPIRED MAN, or ONE APOSTLE, would have an- the sect of Pharisees which believed, saying, that it swered as well as a dozen. The dispute might bave was needful to circumcise them, and to command them been settled on the spot, and by Paul himself. Had to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and there arisen any doubt of his power, or distrust of his in- elders came together to consider of this matter.” tegrity, a hundred miracles, if necessary, would in- What matter?- whether Paul taught the same docstantly have removed the obstacle. In every view, trine with them? or whether he and they agreed? Who the embassy to Jerusalem would have been a useless denied that? the Pharisees never did—the Church parade.” This is plain, unembarrassed sense. If the never did. No such thing. It was to decide in a matter was to be decided by inspiration, why appeal council the casuistical question raised by these Phafrom inspiration at all? We can answer this very risees-a question encumbered with special difficuleasily, for we deny that in this case the question was ties at the time_from which even the minds of some to be decided by inspiration; it was so decided be- of the apostles had been only lately delivered. But fore, and would be so again; but in this instance, it this other question about Paul's inspiration never, was resolved by the Church, that it should also be we may believe, entered into their minds, as it cerdecided by a council composed of apostles and elders tainly formed no part of their recorded deliberations. at Jerusalem. Where was the harm of this? or Nor do we believe it ever before entered the head of where its inconsistency with the inspiration of any Independent disputant. It is the pure invention, Paul! That apostle frequently referred his doctrine and the gratis dictum of Dr Wardlaw himself. And to the judgment of individuals, and the Bereans then, thirdly, only think of the native absurdity of the are commended for searching the Scriptures, and supposition itself—that the apostles and elders came deciding for themselves. Pray, what was to hinder together, in solemn conclave, to examine and decide a council of apostles and elders from doing the same “whether the dictates of inspiration in Paul corresponded thing in a more solemn and formal manner? But with the dictates of inspiration in the other apostles!”in how does Dr Wardlaw contrive to answer the other words, to put Paul on his trial as an inspired question ? He finds it necessary here to exert all apostle! The very idea of mooting such a question, his polemic skill. “ The manifest object of the and that, too, in a convocation of elders, as well as appeal was,” he says, “to ascertain whether the fellow-apostles, is so derogatory to the inspiration of dictates of inspiration in him (Paul) corresponded Paul, and so incongruous in itself, that we know nowith the dictates of inspiration in the other apostles; thing like it, unless some odd resemblance may be which had been brought into question by the false found in the late project at Rome of a deliberative pretensions of these unauthorized Judaizers!”. council with an infallible head! P. 269. This he repeats afterwards, with still more Yet this forms the gist of the whole reasoning of assurance, maintaining, that “it was the accredited Dr Wardlaw against the argument for Presbyterianinspiration of the whole college of apostles, which, ism from the 15th chapter of Acts, which occupies a on the point in question, was by these men affirmed whole chapter of his work! Having thus shown its to be in opposition to the accredited inspiration of utter untenableness, we may hold ourselves excused one;" and that “it became necessary, for the full from the necessity of entering into the subsidiary satisfaction of the brethren’s minds, that this question considerations which he urges, not one of which, in La question of inspiration against inspiration, and the absence of this main prop, can stand on its own miracle against miracle-should be promptly, autho. legs. His remarks on the representation of the ritatively, finally settled. And it could be settled in Churches, in his second section, it could be easily no other way than by an appeal to the inspired shown, are founded on misapprehension of the nature apostles, whether they taught the doctrine imputed l of the Church, and on the conceit about the constitutional inspiration of the apostles, already ex- down, like the settlers in the back-woods, without posed.
any bond of union, or work in sections, without havIn the conclusion of his work, Dr Wardlaw meets | ing it in our power to make any joint appearance in some "Objections usually urged against Congrega- behalf of truth or the public interests of religion. tional Independency.” We are sorry that our space And we maintain the order of the Church; whereas, does not admit of our adducing a few more formid- according to the theory of our opponents, all are able ones than even those he has adverted to. It ruling, and yet all obeying-ruling themselves and could be easily shown, as we hinted, that Presbyterian- obeying themselves; so that Independency has been ism has all the advantages of Independency, without its dis- justly termed “the absence of all Church governadvantages. Our congregations, as we have said, are ment." independent of each other, so far as their own affairs In all we have now advanced, we have respect to are concerned; they are only dependent on each other the principles of Independency, so far as these differ when the common interests of the body render them from our own. We are aware that some Indepenso. Our people are at liberty to judge for themselves, dents, and among the rest Dr Wardlaw, deny this, as to the profession of the Church, are consulted in and deny that, to be essential to the system. He any change of it, and may dissent if they disapprove maintains that “all are not rulers,” that “Indepenof it. They have the free choice of their pastors and dency does not mean such an independence of the elders, and free access for redress whenever they con- Churches as that each should regard itself as disunited sider themselves aggrieved. Our communion may and insulated from the rest,” &c. But we must take not be so pure as might be, according to our principles; Independency as it has been known and practised, and but with less pretence, we consider ourselves not far not as seen through Dr Wardlaw's optics. And behind what our Congregational friends are, according we maintain, that in so far as it admits rulers, and as it to their practice. Possessing thus all the advantages is not Independent, it must be regarded as borrowof Congregationalism, we humbly rejoice in our free-ing from Presbytery, and doing so from consciousness dom from its disadvantages. Our people are not, at of its inefficiency. In point of fact, this is done least, at the mercy of a single ruler, in the shape of a by the formation of the Congregational Union; which, pastor, who is as irresponsible as he may be overbear- to the extent that it is efficient for any purpose, is ing. Nor are they at the mercy of a cabal in “ the Presbyterianism; and to the extent it fails of being Church,” which may, at any given moment, hang thoroughly Presbyterian, is radically defective. We them up between heaven and earth, helpless and hope- see no reason why Independents may not now, with less, without the privilege of appeal. Our ministers the sentiments some of them avow, be merged with are not in danger of being summarily dismissed, Presbyterians. It is certain that, as Independents, either at the bidding of a clique among their people, they will never succeed in Scotland. Transplanted headed by some obstreperous deacon, or of being from England during the Commonwealth, by the tarred and feathered by four of their brethren, meet- soldiers of Cromwell, its ministers to
this day ing in a parlour, and concocting a few inquisitorial borrow their tone from England; and a broad questions, which they must answer to the satisfaction Scotch Independent is “a rare bird in the earth, of the said inquisitors, on pain of excommunication, somewhat like a black swan.” The present attempt They stand their trial in “a lawful assembly,” before is not likely to augment the ranks of Congregationtheir peers:
the law is open, and there are deputies, alism; wbile the whole aspect of homo and continenand they may implead one another.” We are not tal Protestantism holds out the most encouraging left at sea with regard to our“ bond of union,” nor hopes of the revival, in a better form than ever, of compelled to seek for our creed, either among the that venerable polity for which Scotsmen have fought anthors connected with the body, whether of tracts, and bled, and which they will not surrender so easily or of volumes,” or “ in the entire tenor of its as Doctors Wardlaw and Davidson seem to imagine. accredited periodicals,” or even in the preaching, the prayers, and the hymns of our Churches.*** Above
THE INFANT DISCIPLE. all, we maintain the external unity of the Church, and are not obliged, by our very constitution, to squat
Mark the affection displayed by yonder mother to * Such, in fact, is the style in which Dr Wardlaw and his three
her child. It is her first-born son. Only see with friends in Glasgow lecture their erratic brethren in “ The Entire Correspondence," formerly referred to. A list of questions was sent
what intense fondness she gazes on him! with what to each of the delinquents, which each answered in writing, not
eager delight she clasps him in her arms, and loads without expressing astonishment at being thus pulled up by a quasi
him with her caresses ! It is a beautiful sight. presbytery, and catechised on a creed of which they had never These, however, are but the outward signs. The inheard. Repeating the constant song of the Independents, they ward emotions of rapturous and yearning affection pleaded that “the Bible was their creed;" and one of them possess
in a mother's heart, who but a mother can tell? We ing a species of quiet humour, responded in the very terms of Scripture, thus :-"1st Question, What do you mean by Divine influence?
may admire the stream as it wells out and sparkles Answer— Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
in the light of day; but who can measure the depths of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' of the fountain within ? What force is in the ScripJohn iii. 5-8. 3d Question, If, as you say, God does not withbold ture metaphor, “Can a woman forget her sucking from any sinner under the gospel any thing that is essential to his
child, that she should not have compassion on the salvation, whence comes it that all are not saved ? Answer, Ye
son of her womb !” It is the last, the highest phase serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ?' John v. 39. &c." Upon this Dr Wardiaw (for it is im
of earthly love; nothing can be found like it, till you possible to mistake his fine rounded hand in the whole correspond- come to the love of God! And it was He that opened ence) waxes wroth-asks what he means“ by quoting a number of that spring in the maternal bosom, the waters of passages of Scripture, as if we had been ignorant of their existence?"
which rise so high and flow so purely. Wise and -hints that the Bible is nothing to the purpose without a creed, which he may find in their “denominational hymn-books,"&c., and
merciful provision ! for what would have become of closes the correspondence! The whole pamphlet affords a rich com
us in the helpless years of infancy, had no such tenmentary on the beauties and advantages of Independent legislation. der nurse been provided for us as soon as ushered
A PLEA FOR INFANT BAPTISM.
into existence—had we been cast as orphans on the ; his subsistence from her own bosom? And what cold sympathies of strangers ?
says the gospel ? Does it not teach her to regard And yet the mother's love, beautiful and beneficent that being as an immortal creature, destined to eter. as it is, when viewed as a provision of nature, is com- nal weal or woe, inheriting through her the curse mon to her with the lowest of the animal creation, and corruption of a fallen nature, and liable, as such, which are endowed with the same affection towards to misery and death! And does it not teach her their offspring. Is nothing more required from wo- that the only way of recovery by which that dear man, and especially from the Christian mother, than child can escape from everlasting ruin, and rise to to minister, like the beasts that perish, to the bodily everlasting happiness, is by the baptism of Christ's sustenance of her child? Was that holy affection blood, by being “washed, and sanctified, and justi80 strongly and deeply implanted in her nature fied in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit merely to run waste in idle dalliance or selfish in. of our God ?" How intensely anxious must she be, dulgence? No. Christianity avails itself of this, as if she possess the heart of a Christian parent, to of every other principle of our nature, and turns it compensate, as far as lies in her power, for having to practical account. It meets the mother at the brought an immortal being into such fearfully prevery threshold of maternal life, and finding the child carious circumstances ! How gladly avail herself of in her arms, says to her, as Pharaoh's daughter to every means of grace which God, in his wisdom, has the mother of Moses, " Take this child, and nurse it provided; and more especially of baptism, in which for me."
“the blood of sprinkling” is sacramentally exhibited, The influence of a mother over the future charac and in which she is invited to dedicate her offspring ter and destiny of her child, whether for good or evil, to the Saviour, obtaining for it the seal of that grais incalculable. She has the moulding of its moral cious covenant which provides a remedy for all the frame almost as much under her control as the ma- evils that have flowed from the penal covenant of nagement of its body; and, during the tender years works! She will not hesitate in this to follow the of childhood, the one is almost as yielding and plas- example of the Virgin Mary, in her care about the tic as the other. In both mind and body there may infant Jesus, when she “ brought him to Jerusalem be tendencies which she cannot wholly eradicate or to present him to the Lord.” subdue; but she can use means and follow a system The leading and most plausible objection to infant which will go far to correct deficiency, to foster ex. baptism, is the alleged unfitness of the infant to recellence, and to modify excess. The maxim is old ceive the ordinance. Baptism, it is said, was inas the world, that “as the twig is bent, the tree is tended for believers, and it demands previous teachinclined.”. And who can foretell how much of the ing; for it is written, “He that believeth, and is future welfare or unhappiness of the man depends on baptized, shall be saved;" and,“ Go, teach all nations, the manner in which that influence is employed ? baptizing them;" but infants are capable neither of Who can say how soon the tendrils of the heart may faith nor of instruction. In answer to this objection, be taught to bend in the right direction, under the it has been often argued with great truth, that in tender hand of maternal discipline? None knows these, as well as in all the general declarations of better than the mother herself how soon her beloved Scripture regarding the necessity of faith, repentance, babe begins to know her, to comprehend her mean- and new obedience, in order to salvation, an exceping, and to accede to her wishes. How soon does it tion must be understood to be made in favour of become sensible of kind or unkind treatment-con- infants, otherwise they must be excluded from salvascious of a smile or a frown-susceptible of joy and | tion altogether; that infants are capable of the grace grief, love and batred! How soon, especially, do the of regeneration as well as adults, and may be blessed evil passions begin to betray themselves—infant pride, with union to Christ, though incapable of active cominfant anger, and even infant revenge! And how munion with him, and therefore competent to receive soon do these emotions, if not repressed in time, burst baptism, which is the seal of union, not of comout in fits, and acquire the strength of habits ! It munion. But we are prepared to meet these objecmay be affirmed, without the least extravagance, that tors on their own ground, and allowing that some the child it capable of moral restraint and training kind of instruction is necessary in connexion with as soon as it is born. It is capable of knowing what baptism, we contend that infants are, in their own is done to it, long before it can know what is done for way, as capable of instruction as adults; that they it-capable of good or evil impressions, long before must be regarded as from the beginning entered it is capable of doing good or evil actions.
into Christ's school, and capable of being taught. Now, for the right and faithful discharge of this The text already cited may be read more agreeably duty, the gospel holds the mother responsible. It to the original,“ Go, disciple all nations, baptizing converts her matronly cares into Christian duties, them”—the term being different from that which and consecrates her to the office of the maternal follows—“ teaching them to observe all things whatsoministry over her infant offspring. The Church, at ever I have commanded you.” We are first to make this early age of her membership, can only devolve them disciples, by admitting them through baptism, them into her hands, binding her by a solemn vow into the Church; and then to teach them, according to the righteous fulfilment of her duties. Even the to their capacities, the truths of religion. And father must leave the charge greatly in the hands of what hinders us from regarding the infant as a disthe mother, chiefly taking heed lest he frustrate her ciple, and declaring him such by administering to endeavours by injudicious interference. Hers, pro- him that ordinance which enrols him as a member perly, is the task to “train up her child in the way of the Christian institute, and initiates him as a in which it ought to go." And how powerful are Christian scholar? the motives presented to her! “ Doth not even In these days of infant schools, it will hardly nature itself teach” her that it is her duty to advance do to deny a position so well authenticated by the best interests of the being whom she has brought experience. It is now universally admitted that into the world, who is part of herself, and who draws education, properly speaking, does not consist in