Imagens da página

sixty or seventy years, this country has fallen miser- | The latter was probably earliest in the field of scienably behind in the philological and critical depart- tific criticism; and by its numerous productions, and ments of biblical inquiry; while the Germans, allowed the periodicals it has established and kept up, has to walk the course, have perverted the instruments extensively influenced American theology. The oriof criticism to the most mischievous purposes. They ginality and depth, the value and safety, of this school, have been met, indeed, on their own field, but almost are far, however, from equalling their warm zeal and exclusively their own countrymen, some of whom untiring industry. A too indiscriminate admiration have, for upwards of twenty years, been applying to of their German models, for which they have been the text of Scripture the most searching criticism, and rallied by some of the Germans themselves—a too triumphantly vindicating its authoritative character, reckless importation of German criticism, without and some of its most precious teachings. These the necessary correctives-an over-estimate of the labours we accept thankfully at their hand; but province of mere philology, as an instrument of inthere are peculiarities in their modes of conception terpretation—with a shallowness of theological conwhich do not commend themselves to the English ception, and a disposition to overstep the limits of mind, and the views of some of them seem but half true liberality by narrowing unduly the ground on consolidated, as if held in solution by some powerful which they undertake to defend the orthodox faith; agency. On the other hand, the English mind, were —these are some of the things which, much as the it on a level with the German in critical accomplish- Andover school has done deserving of all praisements, possesses qualities, natural and acquired,which with Moses Stuart at its head, and the eminent Rowe have long thought peculiarly fit it for excelling in binson (now of New York), bred under and long the exegetical walk. In proof of this we have only associated with him-detract seriously from the value to refer to what has actually been done in this of its labours. In all these respects, the Princeton branch of late years among the English Dissenters. school is distinguished by the opposite qualities. With Dr Pye Smith's Testimony to the Messiah, and his learning quite equal to that of their northern rivals, Discourses on the Priesthood of Christ, Dr Hender- they display a manly independence, a healthy vigour, son's works already mentioned, and, more recently, a firm yet liberal orthodoxy, and a depth of thought, Dr Davidson's works on Biblical Criticism and Sacred which give their productions great value in the estiHermeneutics, are evidences of ardent and success- mation of the best judges. The two thick volumes ful efforts to raise the character and extend the pro. of Essays, extracted from the Princeton Review, will secution of biblical study in this country. A noble amply justify this character of their labours, high as effort has been made by Mr Tregelles to occupy the it is. To this school belongs Dr Hodge, as Professor ground of the Griesbachs and Scholzes, the Lach- of Biblical Literature, whose work on the Romansmanns and Tischendorfs of Germany. His beautiful infinitely superior to Moses Stuart's-we are accuscorrected text of the Apocalypse leaves nothing to be tomed to class with our Fraser on Sanctification for desired but that he should extend his labours to the the treasure of solid criticism which it compresses other books of the New Testament, and complete his into the smallest space. long cherished design of “Preparing a manual edi. But the greatest work which this school has yet tion of the New Testament, containing the text, produced is undoubtedly the one before us. Inheritedited on ancient authority, entirely irrespective of ing his father's vigorous and accurate mind, the modern and commonly received readings, together author has superadded qualities of his own. On all with a careful collation of all the more ancient MSS. the numerous questions-critical, theological, and so far as they are attainable.” Such a work is emi. prophetical— which a thorough exposition of the most nently safe in the hands of one who, while enthusi- important of all the prophetical books involves, our astic in the use of all literary aids, trembles at the author is perfectly at home. His familiarity with word of the Lord,“ believes in its absolute plenary | the original is thorough; his acquaintance with all inspiration,” and, “just because he reverences Scrip- | that has been written on the subject, particularly by ture as being the word of God, believes it to be of the eminent critics of Germany up to the present importance to bring every aid in our power to bear date, leaves nothing in this respect to be desired ; upon its text, in order that we may as accurately while his own views, discussions, and decisions, have as possible read it in the very words in which it very materially advanced the interpretation of this was given by the Holy Ghost.” We pray he may be rich and most pregnant portion of Old Testament spared to perfect this work. In Scotland, Mr Fair. Scripture. bairn and Dr Alexander are contributing by their If it be asked, what are the principal peculiarities writings to the advancement of exegetical studies; of the exposition, apart from the literature of it, we the venerable Dr Brown, in his recent work on Peter, should decidedly say, the two following : -First, The displays critical sagacity and attainments of a high use which it makes of the Oneness of the Messiah and order, and has done much from his professorial chair his people, as a principle of interpretation in the to kindle in his students a love of biblical study. Mr “ Later Prophecies” of Isaiah. Second, The appliPatterson, in his brief commentaries on several of the cation of most of the prophecies of the new economy epistles, shows a taste for such inquiries, which one to great evangelical principles rather than to specific would like to see more fully developed; and the re- Christian erents. The author's views on both these spected editor of the work before us, with one or two very important points open up a wide field for disothers in the same body, though they have as yet given cussion; and we scarcely know whether (with the little to the public, will probably do something worthy space we have at command) we should attempt even of themselves for helping to raise Scotland to a fitting to touch them here. We certainly regret this, and position amongst its neighbours, in the critical inves. still more, that there is not one suitable medium for tigation of the oracles of God.

the full discussion of such questions in our existing In America, the old and the new school Presby- periodicals. Scotland has no Biblical and Theologiterians have each their biblical schools, which may cal Journal, and what is more surprising, Britain has be termed the Princeton and the Andover schools. / scarcely one. For Dr Kitto's, though in itself a

[ocr errors]



highly laudable attempt to supply the lack, is not Our author's view of the “ Servant of Jehovah," in managed on principles which give sufficient assurance the later prophecies of Isaiah, as one ideal complex of unity, elevation, and strength, and, for this reason, person—Christ and his Church, the Head and the will scarcely reach the position necessary to insure its members together-has very much to recommend it. permanence. Some admirable statements on the im. It is not new, but it has not, that we have observed, portance of biblical literature, and the poverty of been so formally employed as a principle of interpreScotland in this respect, were made at last Assembly tation. We have, for a considerable time before by the distinguished Principal of the New College. this work was published, tried to what extent it might The vacancy in one of the chairs of that college, and be found available as a key to certain difficulties the question regarding an additional chair at Aber which all acknowledge, and had been led to think deen, afforded an opportunity for suggesting, in the that a Christology of the Old Testament, founded on report on the college, important views on the eleva. this as a radical principle, might be constructed. tion of the standard of theological training, and a re- Very great caution, however, it appeared to us, would distribution of the curriculum for that purpose, which require to be used in defining and applying it; and were illustrated with great power by the learned the work before us only confirms that opinion. It Principal. And we fondly trust, that whatever may certainly advances the question; but it leaves much be the Church's mind respecting the appointment that for farther investigation and development. In one will devolve on next Assembly, regard will be had or two instances, the author's way of employing the to the claims of that department of theology which principle might, we fear, be perverted; nor has he has drawn forth these remarks. There is not the pointed out sufficiently the grounds on which the least ground to fear, that any appointment that could dangerous inferences to which the principle seems be made, having respect to this branch, would affect liable are to be avoided. Some of the confirmations the paramount importance attached so justly to a of the priuciple which he has drawn from the New sound dogmatic training. The work before us shows | Testament seem to us exceedingly slender, to say how beautifully the highest style of criticism may be the least. For example, on ch. xlix., which“

opens," made to subserve the strictest orthodoxy, and how he says, “ with an exhibition of the Messiah and groundless are the fears which some have entertained his people, under one ideal person, as the appointed on this subject. But we have digressed too far- teacher, apostle, and restorer of the apostate nathough we persuade ourselves it will be excused tions,” he makes the following remarks upon the from the peculiar interest which the topic possesses words, 'I also will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, at present--and must now proceed to examine, a very that thou mayest be my salration unto the ends of the earth.' little in detail, the work our author,

“ The application

this verse by Paul and Barnabas The introductory matter is greatly more valuable in their address to the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia than the corresponding portion of Dr Henderson's (Acts xiii. 47), is very important, as a confirmation of work. It is not so much the far greater fulness with the hypothesis assumed above, that the person here which all the questions coming under the head of described is not the Messiah exclusively, but that his “ Introduction" are handled in our author's work, people are included in the subject of the description. but the vigorous grasp which it takes of the whole It was necessary that the word of God should first subject--the dignified satire with which he shows up have been spoken to you; but, seeing ye put it from the higher criticism of the modern Germans—the skill you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting with which he exposes its pretensions—the elevated life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles: For so HATH THE tone in which he vindicates the integrity and inspir. LORD COMMANDED US (saying), I have set thee to be a ation of the book-the luminous abstract which he light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvagives of what has been done upon it, in the field of tion unto the ends of the earth. Although this,” the scientific criticism, up to his own time—the compre- author adds, “as Hengstenberg observes, is not irre. hensive views and principles which he unfolds, on the concilable with the exclusive Messianic explanation relation of this prophetical book to the old and the of the verse before us, its agreement with the wider new economies respectively—these are features of explanation is too striking to be deemed fortuitous.” the introductory matter which give it great value. Some, we rather think, will be at a loss to perceive

In point of philology, however, we are not disposed what it really is which the author deems so “striking." to rate Dr IIenderson's work a whit below that of For the sake of such we must explain, that where the our author. It is true that the latter goes more into apostle quotes the words, “I have set Thee to be a detail in his criticisms. But Dr Henderson's perfect light of the Gentiles,” as a “ command of the Lord to familiarity with the niceties of the Hebrew language, us” to extend that light to the dark Gentiles, the his ability to avail himself of the cognate languages author understands him to mean that the “ thee" and whenever they can be of real service, and the suc- the “us” are one and the same party-Christ and they cess with which he has employed these accomplish- together. Now this, so far from being evident to us, ments to the detection of the philological objections seems quite a strained sense of the passage. Who that lie against the proposed readings of Lowth, and would naturally suppose that the apostle meant any the perverted renderings of Gesenius--are excellen- thing more than that as Christ-meaning Christ «cies, in the view of which we venture to think he has personal – was ordained to be the light of Jews and not been superseded by his transatlantic brother. Gentiles alike, it was the duty of his servants to deProfessor Alexander, indeed, has scarcely done jus- vote themselves to the illumination of the one as tice to his English predecessor. We are astonished he well as the other? Yet Hengstenberg, it seems, should have placed him on the same level with Barnes, barely admits that the apostle's language may be so ascribing to him “ greater haste and less laborious understood, while our author deems the other, and effort" than that superficial though popular commen- very forced, sense, to be too strikingly in harmony tator, and merely allowing him more extended with his principle of a complex person to be deemed reading, and a more independent exegetical judg- fortuitous. Another confirmation is drawn, in the ment.

following page, from the allusion to the 8th verse in 2 Cor. vi. 2, with as little reason, as we think. | gospel, as the primary theme of this rich prophecy. “Here, again,” he says “we have clear apostolical In his comprehensive, and sometimes elegant sumauthority for applying this description to the Church maries of the different sections and chapters of the or people of God, as the body of which Christ is the prophecy, our author prepares the way for the great Head. Paul says to the Corinthians, “We, then, as general principles which he shows to pervade them workers together (with him), beseech you also that in detail. But he seems to think that specific erents ye receive not the grace of God in vain: For he saith, are not to be looked for as matter of evangelical preI have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day diction. In one instance he is forced to see a great of salvation have I succoured thee. What follows specific event in the prophecies of this book — the is no part of the quotation, but Paul's comment on it. future conrersion of the Jewish nation, as such. But he Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is is not always consistent with himself here, as we the day of salvation. This, taken in connection with think; and while employing some rather misplaced the citation of verse 6, in Acts xiii. 47, precludes the satire against Dr Henderson, for the inconsistensupposition of an accidental or unmeaning applicacies in which his literalism sometimes involves tion of this passage to the people or ministers of him, we have felt disposed to say, once or twice, Christ, as well as to himself.” We are surprised the though certainly not often, Physician, healthy. author should, from materials like these, draw sup- self.” On the difficult question of the restoration port for the great principle which he advocates. To of the Jews, we certainly shall not enter here; but us, the apostle seems to intend nothing, by the quo- if Dr Henderson has laid himself open to easy refutation of verse Sth of this chapter, beyond fastening tation in some of his expositions on that head, we on the great truth, that for every great work of God are far from thinking Professor Alexander impregthere is an “appointed time,”- a day of salvation.” nable in his opposite exegesis of the disputed pasChrist acted explicitly on that principle, in the dis- sages. Our author appears to think, that where the charge of the work given himn personally to do, in great general principles of the gospel kingdom are the days of his flesh; as when he said, “I must work the burden of prediction, we should not look for the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the details at all. But why should it be thought at all night cometh, when no man can work.” The pas- improbable that those principles which are involved sage in Isaiah refers, however, not so much to his in the Antichristian oppressions under which the gospel work on earth, in accomplishing redemption, as to kingdom has so long groaned, in their overthrow behis work from "his holy hill of Zion,” in dispensing fore the latter day, and in the subsequent new imsalvation to the ends of the earth. This also has its pulses and developments which will characterize the “acceptable time”-it is eminently “a day of salva- most perfect state of Christianity upon earth-wliy tion;" and the assurance to Messiah is, that in this ac. should it be thought unsuitable that such leading deceptable time, God has “heard him," and in this day of tails of historic Christianity should have a place in salvation he has helped him," or will help him, to this prophetic book? And what if it be mainly in carry out to the uttermost the saving objects on which connection with these historic fortunes of the Christian his heart is set. This is what the apostle fastens on; Church that the great principles of the new economy and all we can gather from his doing so is simply this are in Isaiah held forth-not so much as mere prin--that as the work which Christ is presently engaged ciples or truths, but as embodied and manifested in the in accomplishing is the same on which every one of us fortunes of the people of God? We fear that, when should be bent--that is, the salvation of our souls-so altogether separated from these, the very principles the same opportunity which Christ has for dispensing, is which we make so much of will taper away; and we our opportunity for obtaining it—that the day of salva. had marked a few examples of something like this in tion is the same for the communication of it by Him, our author's work. Another objection we have to the and the reception of it by us. We think this a natural, sweeping generalities into which Professor Alexander a striking, and an elegant use of the prophecy by sometimes resolves great, though certainly difficult the apostle; but it has nothing to do with the exege- prophecies, is, that it is rather too easy a way of getting tical principle to which the author would derive sup- over difficulties. To cut a knot is far easier than to port from it. If it cannot stand on better ground loose it. An example or two of the former might be than this, we are afraid it must be given up. But given from the work before us. But we must draw we hope to see it yet established and illustrated. reluctantly to a close. Farther investigation will give rise to more matured We are glad our author has not followed Henderviews of the whole subject. Here, eminently, a son and his predecessors in the fantastic plan of biblical periodical of English character, if only con- printing his translation (which goes, by the way, to ducted with competent ability, would be productive excess in its literality) in the rersified form. It can of real service to the cause of divine truth.

scarcely be said to have one recommendation; and the One of the chief excellencies of the work is, through incorrect ideas to which it is apt to give rise, not to excess, the source, sometimes of mistaken, sometimes speak of its utter arbitrariness, should be sufficient of deficient interpretation, in our judgment. The ca- now to confine it to pedants and sciolists. pricious application, by critics of the Cocceian school, In point of method, the work has a certain cumof prophetical language to the minutia of Church brousness wbich wearies the reader. Nor can one history under the gospel, is well exposed by Professor consult it even on a particular passage without the Alexander, who, in addition to what is said in the In- danger of missing the very thing he is in quest of. troduction, has pointed out its absurdity in a number The synopsis of interpretations on each verse is so of instances throughout the work. It is a fine feature full, and the author's objections to the numerous of his Commentary, on the other hand, that it holds views of a passage which he particularizes, so much up the great principles of spiritual and evangelical religion mixed up sometimes with the expression of his own already in operation under the ancient economy, and opinion, that we have repeatedly had to read a long about to be established on an enduring foundation, paragraph twice, thrice, or oftener, before we were and in all their naked simplicity and glory, under the sure that we had got his own view of the verse.


o Dr

We should be sorry to miss the body of facts—the tions of the British Churches; a fresh impulse has literature of interpretation-on almost every verse been given to the study of theology; the denominawhich he gives us, and in so orderly a way. But it tional views of the Baptists have been subjected to is a pity he should bury himself under the materials a searching examination, and it has been abundantly he has accumulated. While on this point, we can. demonstrated that their objections to the dispensation not help expressing the wish that he had developed of the initiatory ordinance of the Christian Church his views of the more prominent portions of the to infants are more specious than substantial. We book, and the great lessons which they contain, in- are satisfied that a careful perusal of the work whose stead of confining himself to the barest statement of title appears at the head of this article, will tend them. We have not forgotten his object-tofurnish the greatly to deepen this conviction. materials only, out of which the clerical student may There have always appeared to us to be certain develop these for himself. But we think he could preliminary difficulties in the way of the admission have gone a good deal farther than he has done, of the doctrine of the Baptists. Their principle, as without overstepping the bounds proper to such a to the mode of the administration of baptism, rests commentary as he contemplated.

almost entirely for support upon a doubtful interpretaIt is scarcely necessary to say, that we do not tion of the single word Baztibw. According concur in all his expositions. We certainly do not. Carson, this Greek verb “always signifies to dip," But we rejoice to say, that he has greatly advanced and " nothing but to dip.” The New Testament was the exact interpretation of the whole book, and certainly not written exclusively for the benefit of even of those portions where we cannot concur Greek critics; but though not one in a thousand of with him. In conclusion, it would be a cheer- the community is competent to pronounce an opinion ing evidence of the growth of that taste for Bible as to the merits of Dr Carson's exegesis, it is the study which we long to see in this country, if this pivot which sustains the whole denomination to which work—which, thanks to Mr Collins, is now within he belonged. As Protestants, we feel disposed to look the reach of almost every student-should have an with suspicion on a system resting on such a basis. extensive sale, and its principles and details be The Bible is designed to make the man of God perfect, closely investigated. While we are far from thinking even thoroughly furnished unto all good works; and that further advancement is not to be expected, we we doubt the sufficiency of a dogma of theology, if, believe that a due appreciation of the merits of this instead of presenting us with “ line upon line” and work will best pave the way, under the teaching of “ precept upon precept,” it refer us for its creden. the inspiring Spirit, for that clearer insight into this tials to some grammatical nicety, which minister rich portion of the lively oracles which we cannot questions rather than godly edifying. We freely doubt will yet be graciously vouchsafed.

admit that literature must lend its aid in the illus

tration of Scripture, and that the right interpretation INFANT BAPTISM A SCRIPTURAL SERVICE, AND Dipping almost all the evidence in favour of one of the grand

of words is a matter of primary importance; but here UNNECESSARY TO ITS Right ADMINISTRATION; containing a Critical Survey and Digest of the Lead peculiarities of a religious sect is derived from the ing Evidence, Classical, Biblical, and Patristic; twentieths of the Christian world must be cast out of

disputed meaning of a solitary trisyllable. Nineteenwith Special Reference to the Work of Dr Carson, the visible Church, if the meaning of this vocable has i and Occasional Strictures on the Views of Dr Halley. By the Rev. Robert Wilson, Professor

not been fully apprehended. We think that this is of Sacred Literature for the General Assembly, and setting up the lexicon, rather than the Bible, as

very like making a man an offender for a word," Royal College, Belfast.

London. 1848.

the religion of Protestants. Those who are accustomed to observe the signs of On the ground we have just mentioned, and apart the times will be disposed to agree with us in think- from other considerations, we would hesitate to adopt ing, that the Baptist denomination is not likely to the views of Dr Carson and his party relative to extend itself in these countries. Towards the con- the mode of baptism. For another reason, we would clusion of the last and the commencement of the be inclined to pause before assenting to their docpresent century, various circumstances contributed trine in reference to the subject of the ordinance. to promote its advancement. Within the pale of According to their principles, the infant children of the Established Churches, religion was at a very low believers have no standing in the visible Church of ebb; among Nonconformists, also, it was generally in Christ, and He who lifted up the little ones in his a most languishing condition; but, about the period arms and blessed them, has left behind him no instito which we refer, several individuals of eminent tution to indicate that they have still a share in his spirituality, energy, and talent, made their appearance gracious consideration. The Church of Israel comin the Baptist connexion. The names of Carey, prehended the sucking babe as well as the hoaryFuller, Haldane, Carson, Hall, and others, are fami- headed patriarch; but it follows as a legitimate liar to all our readers; and it must be admitted that inference from the theology of the Baptists, that, in these men exerted a mighty influence in the genera- the New Testament Church, there is no ordinance tion which has passed away. They rendered most which recognises the seed of the faithful as related important services to the cause of evangelism; and, to the commonwealth of the saints. Jesus, speaking on this ground, many were induced to join their of infants, said—“Suffer little children to come unto party who might otherwise never have thought of me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom adopting the peculiarities of their system. Some of of God” (Luke xviii. 15, 16); and yet Baptists withthem were first-rate controversial writers; and we hold from them the only ordinance in which they may safely assert, that they have advocated their dis- can draw near to the heavenly High Priest. tinguishing tenets with an ability and learning never But we must pass from these general observations, surpassed by any of their predecessors. But, mean- and address ourselves to the examination of the work while, a great revival has taken place in other sec- before us. We hail it as a most important contribu

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

tion to our theological literature. It is the only , description of the bath'administered to Ulysses in the palace answer, at once effective and complete, which has of Circe, that this vessel did not contain water itself, but yet appeared to the treatise of Dr Carson on the

was only used for the bather to sit in, while the warm water same subject. Mr Wilson is Professor of Sacred

was poured over him, which was heated in a large caldron Literature for the General Assembly of the Presby- ciently warmed, was taken out in other vessels, and poured

or tripod, under which the fire was placed, and, wheu suffiterian Church in Ireland. It is apparent, from this over the head and shoulders of the person who sat in the volume, that he is a most accomplished scholar; and asaminthos.' From this pregnant instance, the advocate for we rejoice that he has turned his attention to a dipping, may learn an instructive lesson. It is no proof of question which his intimate acquaintance with Greek immersion, that a party is represented as going into the bath, literature enabled him so thoroughly to investigate. descent and ascent are both distinctly recorded; while the

and coming out of the bath. In the case of Ulysses, the He has brought to light a great amount of false author expressly informs us, that the ablution was performed criticism in the work to which he replies. He has by pouring or affusion, and not by immersion. fairly overthrown the favourite doctrine of Dr Car

“ If our judgment is to be swayed by the most son, by demonstrating that the word berribw does not unexceptionable of all testimony-the sculptured representanecessarily denote immersion. His argument is con

tions of Greeks actually enjoying the bath, as exhibited on ducted in a spirit of the utmost candour; and yet system was entirely excluded. We do not overstate the case,

ancient vases—we must of necessity believe that the immersion nothing can be more satisfactory than the proof as against the doctrine of our opponents. In the Dictionary which he adduces in refutation of the peculiar inter- of Ăntiquities, already quoted, it is broadly asserted, that so pretation of the Baptist controversialist. Dr Carson far as this important class of witnesses is concerned, not even stakes the credit of his whole system upon the inean

a solitary testimony has been discovered, tending to identify ing he attaches to the Greek yerb. “ Nothing," says prevalent in our own times.

the ancient mode of bathing with that which is so generally

We extract the words: On he, “is Christian baptism, but the immersion of a

ancient vases, on which persons are represented bathing, we believer in water, in obedience to the command of

never find any thing corresponding to a modern baih, in Jesus." “Our opponents have not an acknowledged which persons can stand or sit, but there is always a round or foundation on which to rest the opinion, that, with oval basin (louter) resting on a stand, by the side of which respect to the ordinance of baptism, the word Barciso those who are bathing are represented standing, undressed, may have the meaning for which they contend; for

and washing themselves !The writer appropriately intro

duces, in illustration of the preceding statement, an interesting in no instance can it be proved to have such a

woodcut, taken from one of the vases in Sir William Hamil meaning." “There is not one instance in all the

ton's collection; and its value is greatly enhanced by the fact Greek language, in which it necessarily signifies to that, in this instance, the louter has inscribed on it the word pour, sprinkle," &c. President Beecher, Dr Halley, public, showing it to be no private concern, but one of the and others, have completely exposed the inaccuracy ordinary public baths of Greece. Here, again, is bathingof these statements. "Dr Čarson himself admitted, public bathing in the customary manner; but where is the

immersion? Can we conceive of evidence more convincing ? that his views respecting the meaning of Barrisw were opposed by the learned. “My position is,” said he way of bathing, but to the mode constantly practised by the

The representation on the vase does not point to a possible that it always signifies to dip; never expressing anything people. It may be added that this evidence possessed the but mode. ... I have all the lexicographers and advantage of being perfectly disinterested, as the author was commentators against me in this opinion.” Professor evidently unaware of the bearing of his views on any doctrine Wilson has entered into a lengthened examination

or observance of Christianity.

“It is not, then, matter of fact, though Dr of the classical, scriptural, and patristic use of the

Carson has stated it in strong and unequivocal terms, that term, and has fairly upset the Baptist exposition. | immersion is almost always the way of bathing! It may be This portion of his work will be read with great in our own age and country; and if this furnished the standard interest by those who have closely attended to the of comparison, no doubt his cause would be triumphant. But, progress of this controversy, as he here minutely in regard to the baths of the ancient Greeks, his statement examines the ingenious argumentation of Dr Carson, utterly fails, and, failing in that quarter, it is nothing to his and shows that it cannot stand the test of sound

purpose."--Pp. 157, 158, 159, 162. and philosophical criticism. He has pointed out a If, as professor Wilson has clearly established in variety of cases in which the verb cannot possibly this treatise, the word Bartibw does not necessarily signify to dip; and he has noticed the remarkable denote immersion, it follows that the New Testament fact, that Dr Carson himself has very frequently contains no positive instructions in regard to the been obliged to employ another translation. In mode of the administration of baptism. And here connection with this department of his subject, he the Church may recognise the wisdom of her King has thrown new light upon the controversy, by and Lawgiver. He foresaw that the grossest idolatry referring to the mode of bathing among the ancient would at length dishonour the celebration of the last Greeks and Egyptians. We suspect that the testi- supper, and that the doctrine of transubstantiationmony which he here brings forward will take most one of the most startling heresies of the grand aposof our Baptist friends by surprise, as their writers tasy-would spring from an erroneous view of the have hitherto reasoned on the supposition that the character of that institution. That his true servants bathers mentioned by the classic writers dipped or might therefore be furnished with the means of bearimmersed themselves.

ing effective testimony against the defection, he “ We are not aware," says Professor Wilson, that a

has given us in his Word the most precise information solitary particle of evidence can be drawn to the cause of respecting the mode in which the ordinance was oriimmersion from the mode of bathing practised by the ancient ginally observed. We have an account of the cirGreeks; while, on the opposite side, there is presented a very

cumstances which preceded and followed the dispenlarge and conclusive mass of testimony. In the excellent sation of the elements; we can tell what was said Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, published on the occasion; we know the names of the parties some years since, under the able superintendence of Dr W. Smith-a work practically illustrating the advantages of

who were present; and we can even describe the posdivision of labour-the article on baths presents us with the

ture in which they received the sacramental symbols. following clear and important statement respecting the mode But it is otherwise in the case of baptism. The water of using the asaminthos :-* It would appear," from the has never been converted into an object of worship,


« AnteriorContinuar »