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looks like the love of virtue; but a little examination will soon convince us, that what is so ardently extolled and so warmly described, is any thing else than virtue ;-the mixture of a cold and apparently philosophical analysis with an exalted tone of sentiment, conveyed in vehement and overheated expression. Every thing on his canvas is out of its just proportion and due keeping ; all is glaring and glowing. The meanest incidents
. are invested in the utmost pomp and prodigality of phrase ; and the writer imagines, when he has decked out his thoughts in this May-day finery, that no one will detect their intrinsic poverty. He belongs also to the professors of that heartless and unfeeling warmth so observable amongst the cold and frivolous declaimers of the modern Parisian school, of which M. Chateaubriand, his brother Vicompte, stands at the head,who spur and lash themselves into an artificial energy of expression without the faintest spark of real feeling.
In a mere literary point of view, our strictures will not, we hope, be considered as nugatory. The popularity of M. D'Arlincourt's romances proves the deficiency of the French in the elegant department of historical romances; for, if any eminent standards in this branch of composition had existed in their language, such works as Le Renegat and L'Etrangeré.would never have been written, or never read.
Art. III. Considerations addressed to the Eclectic Reviewer, in De
fence of those who maintain that Baptism should precede Comnunion : occasioned by his Address to Correspondents in the Eclectic Review for December 1824. By Joseph Kinghorn. 8vo. pp. 38.
Norwich, 1825. THE major part of our readers are, we presume, aware that,
from its very commencement, the Eclectic Review has had among its regular contributors and ablest supporters, individuals holding widely different sentiments relative to the mode and subject of Baptism. A very agreeable necessity has consequently been laid upon us, of excluding from our pages that one topic of interminable and angry controversy; and although writers and pamphleteers on either side may have been not a little dissatisfied with our magnanimous or pusillanimous silence,-we care not which epithet is applied to it-we frankly confess that we have never in any single instance regretted the compact to which we are pledged. While severally holding our respective opinions with sufficient firmness and decision, for Eclectics are not latitudinarians,—we have been able to maintain inviolate among ourselves the principle of Catholic
communion, without the slightest inconvenience or difficulty, whatever loss the public may have sustained by our reserve.
On the appearance, however, of Mr. Hall's Terms of Communion,” we felt bound to assert our conviction of the truth and importance of the principles so luminously and eloquently stated in that masterly production, on the express ground that their application was by no means limited to the particular
case of the Baptists and Pædobaptists,' but related to the prevailing practice of perhaps all the churches, whether national or congregational, of Christendom*. In taking this view of the subject, we were warranted by the Author's own statement of his design. The practice of incorporating pri* vate opinions and human institutions with the constitution of
a church, and with the terms of communion, has long appeared to him,' says Mr. Hall, speaking of himself as the Writer, untenable in its principle and pernicious in its effects. • There is no position in the whole compass of theology, of the
truth of which he feels a stronger persuasion, than that no • man or set of men are entitled to prescribe, as an indis• pensable condition of communion, what the New Testament • has not enjoined as a condition of salvation. To establish * this position, is the principal object of the following work ; . and although it is more immediately occupied with the discus*sion of a case of conduct which respects the Baptists and • Pædobaptists, that case is attempted to be decided entirely upon the principle now mentioned, and is no more than the application of it to a particular instance.'
Attempts have been made to narrow the application of the principle to the case in question, and then to charge Mr. Hall with partiality and unfairness in bringing accusations against his own denomination, which, it is contended, apply equally to the practice of other communities. So far, however, as this is the case, such communities stand equally condemned by the Writer's uncompromising and explicit maintenance of his general principle. It is not Mr. Hall, but his opponents, who insist that the case of Baptists and Pædobaptists is altogether per se; that nothing analogous to it can exist in other communions; that no general reasoning touches it. Mr. Hall lays it down as his fundamental principle, that every church which prescribes, as a term of communion, what the New Testament has not enjoined as a condition of salvation, is wrong and blame-worthy, and that the strict Baptists are so, inasmuch as,
* Eclectic Review, N.S. Vol. IV. p. 338.
by requiring uniformity of sentiment on the subject of Baptism, they do exact what they themselves admit to be not a eondition of salvation. The reply of his opponents is substantially twofold. First, they say, we are right in so doing, beeause Baptism is specifically excepted by Christ himself from the application of every Scriptural principle. Secondly,--and this is perhaps, the most extraordinary specimen of arguing that was ever employed in any controversy-if we have not a right to insist on uniformity in this particular, then, the Church of England had a right to insist on uniformity in other particulars. If we are chargeable with schism in dividing the Church of Christ by insisting on our terms of communion, then the Authors of the Act of Uniformity were justified in insisting on their terms of communion. If the former argument is no better than what logicians term a begging of the question, the latter is something beyond a non sequitur : it is an argument turned topsy turvy, proving the very opposite of the inference drawn from it. Yet, so delighted is Mr. Kinghorn with this most fantastic paradox, borrowed from the estimable Vicar of Chobham, that he gravely urges it again and again, and, in the pamphlet before us, seems to exult in the annihilating conclusion, while he asks, * Why do not Mr. Hall • and the Eclectic Reviewer go to the Establishment ?'
Being thus called upon to answer a fair, though, we must take the liberty 10 think not a very wise question, we have deemed it unbecoming to remain longer silent; and though we cannot presume to speak for Mr. Hall, we will reply to it as regards ourselves. But first, we will state the argument in Mr. Kinghorn's own words.
• The tendency of Mr. Hall's reasoning is also marked by a writer of a different description, who asks him how he can justify his Dis. SENT
from the Church of England on the principles of his own work, The Rev. Charles Jerram, Vicar of Chobham, in a volume entitled, 6. Conversations on Infant Baptism," &c. brings the subject forward in a long note. He classes Dr. Mason and Mr. Hall together; he compliments them both, and is glad that he can appeal to such unexceptionable authorities. He argues from what they have each brought forward; and contends that, on their principle, Dissenters ought not to have left the Establishment. He observes, that Mr. Hall challenges the Baptists to produce a single instance of withdrawing from the ancient church on the account of Infant baptism; that this shews at least the sentiment of Mr. Hall, that difference of opinion on this important rite, a difference so great as to annul the ordinance in the minds of the Baptists, is not a legitimate cause of separation. That if any thing may be considered as of such minor importance that it may be merged for the sake of peace, the circumVol. XXIII. N.S.
stantials in the administration of the Lord's Supper may be viewed in that light: and he tells us, that “the doctrine which Mr. Hall lays down as the foundation of a more extended communion among the various denominations of Christians would undoubtedly lead to this conclusion.”—That we have the authority of Mr. Hall for asserting that nothing less than a radical defection from the purity of Apostolical doctrine and discipline can authorise the principle of separation or exclusion from Christian communion. This, Mr. Jerram says, is “a most important concession ;” and he adds, “ We may challenge the world to substantiate such a charge against us, as would render it improper, on these principles, to continue within her pale, or make it a matter of indifference to desert her communion." ;
• Mr. Jerram is a man of sense,' says Mr. Kinghorn. (Mr. Jerram owes Mr. Kinghorn a bow.) Men of the best sense, however, are not infallible, as we shall presently shew. But may we be allowed to put a question to Mr. Kinghorn, as he has put one to us; whether he is himself satisfied as to the fairness and conclusiveness of Mr. Jerram's reasoning ? Will he stake his reputation for acuteness on this issue, that Mr. Hall has no other way of escape from the dilemma, than renouncing either his Catholicism or his Dissent ? If Mr. Kinghorn can have been honestly taken in by this very shallow reasoning, he is not the man of sense' we took him for. If he is conscious that Mr. Jerram reasons badly, we cannot praise his ingenuousness.
Mr. Jerram, in the passage referred to, adds: “I am aware, • indeed, that Mr. Hall makes an exception to the Established
Church, and contends that, while it is wrong for other de* nominations of Christians who held the essentials of religion, • to exclude each other from the mutual participation of the • Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, it would be improper for • Dissenters to communicate with our church, on the ground • that such an act would compromise the principles of Dis• sent.' The fact is, that Mr. Hall makes no erception to his own principle, whatever exception he may make against the Church for bringing in “inventions” in violation of that principle. We shall cite his words.
• It is one thing to decline a connexion with the members of a community absolutely, or simply because they belong to such a community, and another to join with them in practices which we deem superstitious and erroneous. In the latter instance, we cannot be said absolutely to refuse a connexion with the pious part of such societies ; we decline it merely because it is clogged with conditions that render it impracticable. It is impossible for a Protestant Dissenter, for ex. ample, without manifest inconsistency, to become a member of the Established Church; but, to adnit the members of that community
to participate at the Lord's Table, without demanding a formal renunciation of their peculiar sentiments, includes nothing contradictory or repugnant. The cases are totally distinct, and the reasons which would
apply forcibly against the former, would be irrelevant to the latter.' Terms of Communion. p. 6.
Now, can any thing be plainer, than that Mr. Hall rests the impropriety of a Dissenter's communing with the Established Church, purely on what he, the Dissenter, deems superstitious or erroneous in the services of the Church? It is because such communion is clogged with terms, imposed by the Church, which render it to him impracticable; because, by the exacting of those conditions, he is virtually excluded from communion. Whether the practices he is required to join in, be really superstitious or erroneous, is not the present question. On this point, Mr. Kinghorn and his coadjutor Mr. Jerram would not, we apprehend, entirely agree. It is quite certain, that they were regarded as such by the Puritans; and although it is the fashion to ridicule their conscientious scruples, in our judge ment, they had reason on their side. They considered the prescribed attitude, in connexion with the language of the communion service, as too closely resembling the adoration of the elements, and too much favouring the delusion of transubstantiation in the minds of the vulgar, to be a matter of indifference. They would gladly have communicated with the Church, if terms had not been insisted on, which they could not conscientiously comply with ; and on the unlawfulness of the authority which decreed such rites and ceremonies as terms of communion, they rested the vindication of their nonconformity. Mr. Jerram is unable to perceive why they should have made any difficulty in the business; and Mr. Kinghorn says, Mr. Jerram is a man of sense, and affects to agree with him!
But we by no means understand Mr. Hall as referring to the mere act of what is called taking the Sacrament at church, when he says, that there are terms imposed by the Establishment, and practices enjoined by its ritual, which render it impossible for a Protestant Dissenter, without manifest inconsistency, to become a member of it. It was natural for Mr. Jerram to fall into the error of making this a test of churchmanship, seeing that it is the only test which the State requires. Mr. Kinghorn, however, knows that there have been Dissenters-let him call them inconsistent if he pleases-who have not deemed it improper to communicate with • Our Church,' as Mr. Jerram styles it, nor have considered themselves as compromising, by that act, any one principle of Dissent; but yet have preferred, on what appeared to them sufficient grounds, the simpler worship and more Scriptural discipline of the Dissenters. We