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baptismal regeneration. Opinions we will not pretend to say, but we have thus been shapened to points. grieve to observe that his attempt to Truth and error have been made to make the Baptismal Service fit in with stand out in bold relief, and the sys- it, has thrown his noble defence of tems of interpretation, which for three vital truth far into the background in hundred years have satisfied the most the estimation of many strait-forward conscientious and faithful men, are
readers. beginning to crumble under them. The words "prevenient grace,"* in That our veterans* in the Church reference to infants, act as an elecshould shut their eyes to this fact is trical shock, and repel many from a very natural. They are unwilling to system which they feel to militate see any imperfection in the mother against Ezekiel xviii., in which God who has cherished them; within whose is represented as graciously vouchshelter they have been permitted to safing to prove His method of dealing preach the pure Gospel, and to win with mankind to be agreeable to our souls to Christ. They feel it to be natural ideas of justice. Mr. Gorham's their duty to remain at their post; idea is probably founded upon Calvin's and who would not encourage them statement, that " baptism is the seal to do so ? They feel at the same time of grace already received;"+ but we the necessity of harmonizing their would ask him whether, if grace
in teaching in the pulpit with the words that statement is to be taken in the they are directed to use at the font; sense of regeneration, its application and, in order to do so, they suppose
must not be rather to adults than to the latter to admit of a less positive infants? We wish to speak humbly, construction than that which appears but very great circumspection is reon the surface, and they satisfy them- quired, lest, in these days of keen selves that this is the fact. As far as discussion, when we state a truth, we they are themselves concerned they should in any degree misplace it. may go on quietly as they have done, Nine points in a system of divinity they are conscientious in their belief, may be perfectly well placed, but if and it does not hurt their ministry; the tenth leans too much either to one but they are not aware how it weak- side or the other, the error is perens the force of their arguments and ceived, the truths are overlooked, the puts weapons into the hands of the system is overthrown, and the great adversaries of scriptural truth. Many enemy triumphs! Oh, who is suffipowerful and keenly discriminating cient for these things? We may well minds are at work, and many plau- pray to the Great Head of the Church, sible fallacies that were current some as a correspondent has suggested in years ago, will not do now. We would your last number, that He will Himtherefore entreat our Evangelical self raise up fit instruments for His brethren to take into consideration work. We may feel sure that He will two results that may follow from do so, if it be for His own glory; and things remaining as they are. Young the blessed time may yet come when men who may be really called of God we shall look back upon the false to the ministry, may be deterred from teaching that has for the last twenty entering the Church, from the fear of years been troubling the Church, as a not being able to subscribe without leaven, which has been permitted to circumlocution to every word of the work out and expose the errors which Prayer-Book; and those who were overlooked at the Reformation, merely educated for the ministry, and and to prepare the way for the reespecially those who are trained upon settling of the Church in the full clear the Tractarian system, will rush into light of the Gospel. the Church, in order to maintain the
Truth and Peace. very error, which is supported by the few words we wish to see altered.
Unless they may be taken in the general
sense of admission into the gracious covenant Whether Mr. Gorham's system of of the Gospel prevenient grace be right or wrong, • See Mr. Spurgin's and Mr. Parker's Tracts.
+ Calvin's Ins. bk. iv. c. 13.
To the Editor.
a'that," or, A good time coming,"
or some lyric of similar character, the Sir,-If the infidel proposition, that most fitting strain to displace the " the mind of a child is a blank sheet, simple hymn of prayer or praise, upon which we may write good or which may be heard daily ascendevil,” could be proved to be the truth, ing from our National and British it would manifestly be our highest Schools. wisdom to surround children with
Perhaps, some one may be tempted every influence that could operate to ask if these things are true. Unupon them in a beneficial manner, fortunately they are.
The means of and “write good ” upon their minds. verifying these statements are unhapHow much more important then, does pily too numerous. One of these this duty become, when we are assured, schools is situated at that focus of on the highest authority, that we are infidel Socialism, the National Hall, naturally prone to every kind of evil; Holborn; another is in most suspicious and all experience confirms the me- proximity to, though I believe not lancholy assertion. It is with refer- identified with, the notorious Hall of ence to this fact of our nature, that I Science, in the City-road; a third, venture to draw your attention to a at Islington, I am told, is to be sepaclass of seminaries springing up in rated from the parent stock; what our midst, which appear to me to be for, I do not know, but certainly not pregnant with evil of the most alarm- because a course of Unitarian lectures ing character. I allude to the Birk
are in progress of delivery at the beck Schools, some five or six of
The others are in difwhich have been lately established in ferent parts of the metropolis. London. The admirers of Mr. Fox's
We may be told, that as these pet scheme of secular education,- schools give only secular instruction, for which, with the usual liberality of there can be no bias imparted to the such liberals, he wishes to tax the pupil's mind in favour of one form of whole rate-paying cominunity--may religion more than another; and that here see their favourite theory in the religious instruction may be received course of development; for the re
at that Sunday school which the ligious element is carefully excluded. pupil or his parents may prefer. But The Bible is a forbidden book; Scrip- we ask, humanly speaking, what ture history a forbidden study; man's
prospect of moral good in the mind responsibility to his Maker, his im- of a boy, have we, from any Sunday mortality, and the other great facts school, when that boy has been exwhich lie at the root of Christianity, posed all the week to a course of are matters of subordinate import to training calculated to blunt and exthe ordinary routine of popular ele- tinguish every spark of religious mental education ; or, rather, of no feeling? Will he be likely on the import at all. We cannot, perhaps,
Sunday to reverence that Book which charge these schools with teaching in the week he was told was inferior positive infidelity ; but they are cer- to « Robinson Crusoe "? or to containly chargeable with teaching a sider its expounder in any better negative infidelity, by studiously with- light than a fanatic or a deceiver ? holding everything of a religious cha- Surely, sir, when we consider the racter; and, by the mere fact of doing kind of men that are likely to be so, impressing the minds of the pupils formed by the training they receive with a contempt of, a dislike to, and as boys, in these Birkbeck Schools, a disbelief in that Word, “ which is we must feel called upon to oppose able to make us wise unto salvation.' the progress of the evil. An "elocutionary reading of Shak- and the pulpit have the power to shew spere," or a drainatic representation, the character of these institutions, or some trashy lecture, immediately that unthinking parents,-misled by after school hours, is considered the the specious advertisements put forth most desirable substitute for the Scrip- with all the pompous march-of-intellect ture lesson ; “A man's a man for cant of “moral training,” “laws of
health,” &c.-may at least be saved to receive the most pernicious errors, the bitter mortification of finding that, and preparing them for the fatal when they thought they were placing results to which such errors lead. their children in a "good school,' I remain, respectfully yours, they were in reality exposing them
Rebiews, and short Notices of Books.
THE LAND OF Promise; a l'opogra- the hosts of Israel might enter the Prophical Description of the Principal of the priests
, bearing the ark in advance
At the moment the feet places in Palestine, ili ustrated. By of the host, touched the brink, the waters John Kitto, D.D. 12mo, pp. 328. coming down from the upper part of the Religious Tract Society.
river stood still,' or the current was
stopped, and rose up in one heap to a This is an exceedingly useful and great distance from the city called Adam, interesting Book, and one which will hard by Zaretan, while the lower waters be found to afford valuable help for that were going down to the Dead Sea, Sunday school teachers and other in- (called in the narrative of this great mistructors of the young, in their illus
racle in Josh. iii. the Sea of the Plain,' trations of Scripture. Such persons separated from the upper stream; and
and 'the Salt Sea,') ran quite off, being will find in Dr. Kitto's volume
many facts and historical notices of the
as the passage took place over against principal places in Palestine, that will Gilgal, it would seem that the whole
portion of the river between that point not fail to supply them with more ex- and the head of the Dead Sea was left tensive, later, and more condensed clear. The manner in which the passage information upon the history of the took place appears from the sacred narLand of Promise, in its past and pre- rative to have been this ;-The priests, sent condition, than any little work bearing the ark, at the distance of two we have met with.
thousand cubits from the host, marched The book is divided into seventeen onward, and, in full confidence in the chapters, each taking some distinct Divine promise, proceeded as if to enter portion of the Holy Land,-such as, the river ; but no sooner did their feet Jerusalem, the Jordan, Hebron, Gaza, touch its waters, which then overflowed &c., &c. We wish we could transfer the banks from the melting of the snows to our pages more than one or two of shore to shore, to the extent probably of
in Lebanon, than the stream divided from the interesting descriptions and an
about seven miles. The bed of the river, cient reminiscences given by Dr. Kitto, in the part immediately above the Dead of many spots of sacred memory; and, Sea, has a firm, pebbly bottom, on which as in this case, we often lament that
the armies of Israel might pass with conwe cannot afford our readers a speci- venience as soon as the waters had been men of the beautiful engravings with cleared before them. The priests en which our modern works are made at tered first, and stood in the mid-channel once attractive and doubly useful. with the ark, until the entire host had
Our readers may judge of the utility passed over. They seem to have been of the work by the following extract
so placed that the people passed, not on from the chapter on “ the Jordan :"
each side of them, as they stood there,
but only below them, that is, between “ The Jordan is the only river of any them and the lake. The ark of God was importance in Palestine, and the only thus interposed between the people and one to which there are frequent allusions the suspended waters, that the most in Scripture. The chief incident in the
faint-hearted might feel assured of their Old Testament history of the river is the safety from the gathering waters, which, miraculous separation of its waters before stayed by the Almighty arın, rose high the ark of God, to open a passage whereby above them. It must have taken a con
siderable time, many hours, for so vast a rise of the river has been greatly exagmultitude of men, women, and children, gerated. The sole account that we have with baggage and cattle, to pass clear of the ancient rise of its waters, is found over ; and the constancy which, during in the earlier Scripture history of the that time, the priests manifested, bears Israelites, where, according to the Enghigh testimony to their faith. When all lish version, the Jordan is said to 'overwere over, the priests also went up with flow all its banks' in the first month, or the ark out of the channel ; and no sooner all the time of harvest.' But the origihad they left it than the suspended waters nal Hebrew expresses nothing more in returned to their place, and the river these passages than that the Jordan was overflowed its banks as before. When 'full (or filled) up to all its banks,' the river is in this state, about the time meaning the banks of its channel; it ran of the vernal equinox, the breadth of the with full banks, or was brimful. The stream je said to be nearly two hundred same sense is given by the Septuagint fathoms, and its greatest depth fourteen and the Vulgate.' feet. This gives some idea of the in- “ It is scarcely correct to say that this mensity of this miracle, in the greatness is the only text which implies or ex. of the body of waters which must have presses the overflowing of the Jordan. gathered above, and been kept suspended Indeed, while this passage is, by itself, there, while the chosen people went over. open to the more limited interpretation • The passage of this deep and rapid, suggested, there are others which demand though not wide river,' says Dr. Hales more certainly the wider application. in his Analysis of Chronology, 'at the Thus the lion, (and by implication other most unfavourable season, was
ravenous beasts,) is described as driven manifestly miraculous, if possible, than from its coverts on the banks by the that of the Red Sea; because here was swellings' of the river, (Jer. xlix. 19; no natural agency whatever employed ; see also xii. 5;) and this would hardly no mighty wind to sweep a passage, as in be possible unless the channel were not the former case ; no reflux of the tide, merely filled, but overflowed, so as to on which minute philosophers might inundate the thickets which lie above fasten, to depreciate the miracle. It the inner channel of the river. As ani. seems, therefore, to have been providen- mals hiding in the jungle of this river tially designed to silence cavils respecting have been mentioned, it may be added, the former; and it was done at noon- that in all probability the bears which day, in the face of the sun, and in the slew the youths who mocked Elisha at presence, we may conclude, of the neigh. Jericho, came out of the same coverts. bouring inhabitants.
It struck terror These coverts still afford shelter to wild into the hearts of the kings of the Aino- animals ; but not either to the lion or rites and Canaanites west of the river, the bear. The lion has long disappeared whose hearts 'melted, neither was there from all parts of Syria, though it is now spirit in them any more.'' Josh, v. I. found upon the lower Euphrates ; but
“ The matter of the 'overflowing' of wild boars are still found there, and the the Jordan at that time of the year has tracks of the leopard have been seen. lately been examined by Dr. Robinson. In the New Testament, the most He remarks : 'It has generally been as- memorable occurrence connected with sumed that the Jordan of old, somewhat the Jordan is the baptism of the Saviour like the Nile, regularly overflowed its there, by John, with its wonderful incibanks at the spring, covering with its dents; when the Baptist, as he bare waters the whole of the lower valley, and record,'' saw the Spirit descending from perhaps sometimes large tracts of the heaven like a dove, and it abode upon broad Ghor itself. It seems, however, him,' (John i. 32;) and lo a voice from to be generally admitted that no such heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, extensive inundation takes place in the in whom I am well pleased,' Matt. iii. 17. present day. is therefore supposed John the Baptist testified of him saying, that soine change must have taken place; “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh either because the channel has been worn away the sin of the world;' adding, 'I deeper than formerly, or because the knew him not: but he that sent me to waters have been dispersed or diverted. baptize with water, the same said unto But although at present a smaller quan- me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit tity of rain may fall in Palestine than
descending, and remaining on him, the anciently, in consequence, perhaps, of same is he which baptizeth with the the destruction of the woods and forests, Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare reyet I apprehend that even the ancient cord that this is the Son of God,' John i.
29, 33, 34. Thus wonderfully began at rotten security of man. All that man the Jordan the public ministry of the fondly calls into being, and rests on Lord Jesus Christ, to be terminated by with satisfaction as his work, is built his crucifixion, death, and resurrection,
upon the sand, and when the storm as an atonement to the justice of God, of fiery trials shall come, that will thereby to make reconciliation for ini precede the second coming of the quity, and to bring in everlasting righ- Lord Jesus, all that is not built upon teousness,' (Dan. ix. 24;) and to be a
that Rock of safety must be swept propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remis
away. sion of sins that are past, through the
All this is strikingly declared in forbearance of God; that he might be
the magnificent Psalm of history and just, and the justifier of him which be- prophecy, of which the volume believeth in Jesus,' Rom. jji. 25, 26. fore us is a safe and deeply interest
“The place of this baptism is not ing exposition. We say safe, because known. It is described as being at we are painfully aware how greatly • Bethabara beyond Jordan.' But both the interpretation of the prophetical this name, and that of Enon near to
parts of Scripture has been unwisely Salim,' where John subsequently bap- attempted, and the study of prophecy tized, are now unknown.
The pilgrims discouraged by the rash and speculawho repair yearly at Easter to Jerusalern,
tive views which many good men proceed also to the Jordan to bathe. The
have set forth. Mr. Pitcairn is emiplace where this takes place is over against Jericho, probably at, or not far nently cautious, and in every part of from the point where the Israelites
his work has, we feel assured, sought crossed the river. We are aware of no
only to write as guided by the spirit evidence for or against this being the
of wisdom and of prophecy. spot of our Lord's baptism; but it is not After giving us the authorized verimpossible that the question may, in no sion of the Psalm, the author has long time, be determined by the discovery added a new translation, which throws of the very names, which would fix the the subject into that dramatic form site. The ceremonial of bathing takes in which the solo and the grand cho. place at the time of the year when the river is at the fullest, agreeing certainly than in our own version.
ruses stand in a much clearer light with the time when the Hebrews passed “1.Why do the nations tumultuously rage? the Jordan, and probably with that of the baptism of our Lord.”
And the peoples meditate a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth stand in array,
And the rulers take counsel together, Zion's King: the Second Psalm ex
Against Jehovah and against H18 pounded in the light of History and
3. Let us break off their fetters, Prophecy. By the Rev. D. Pitcairn,
And cast away their cords from us.' Author of “Perfect Peace," 8c. post 4. Sitting in the heavens He will laugh, 8vo. pp. 444. J. H. Jackson.
Jehovah will hold thein in derision.
5. Then shall He speak against them in To the watchful observer and dis
His wrath, cerner of times and events, there
And in his anger strike them with seems to be a foreshadowing of days dismay. coming upon the earth, full of distress
6. Yet have I installed my king and perplexity to the world, but full Upon my holy hill of Zion. of hope and joy to the waiting be- 7. I will proclaim the decree of Jehovah; liever in Jesus. Amid the present joy
He said to me, My Son thou art : ous gathering of the nations, and the
This day I have brought thee forth. day-dream of peace on earth and
8. Ask of me; good will amongst men, in which
And I will give the nations, thine in
heritance, people of the world, and some too
And the extremities of the earth, thy ardent christian spirits, indulge, there
possession. is, we believe, an under-current
9. Thou shalt beat them with a rod of strongly working all through the
iron, world, which will sooner or later dis- Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a turb the present false peace