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OF THESE LITURGIES.
if we remark, that (as before) they relate only to one single text; not all the passages in the Liturgies, which bore upon the doctrine, nor even all which bore upon the text, have been admitted ; but those only which directly quote and apply it ; and from these some notion may be formed of the full extent of the whole evidence. 2ndly, The mode in which the several liturgies employ the text, evinces their independence of each other; e. g. some only, use it as a lesson ; some only, after baptism ; and this renders the agreement the more conspicuous, in that all employ it in the consecration of the water of Baptism, and (as
“ accounted worthy to receive the Holy Spirit in the Baptism of regeneration. “ May he become of the body, and a member of Thy Holy Church," &c. (pp. 171, 172.)
“ In the peace of God pray we,--for him, who is now coming to the holy " Enlightening, and for his salvation : that he may be made a child of light, " and heir of all good things; that he may be planted with, and be a partaker “ of the death and the resurrection of Christ our God; that the robe of Bap“tism, and the earnest of the Spirit, niay be preserved to him throughout, “ unstained and undefiled in the terrible day of Christ our God ; that this “ water may be to him a 'washing of regeneration' to the remission of sins, and
a garment of immortality.” (ib. ii. 130-133.)
Syriac. Apostolic by James of Edessa. “ O Christ our God, make this child Thy servant meet for the gift of the "'bath of regeneration, and prepare him for good and pure works at all times," &c. (i. 238, by Severus, ii. 288.)
“ The good Shepherd, who came forth to seek the lost sheep, (which through “the craft of the rebellious serpent had lost its place among things endued “ with reason,) and lighted a candle, His Holy Flesh, and swept the house of " this world from sin, and found the lost coin, the royal image, encrusted with “passion, and rusted through sin, and purged it and cleansed it in the furnace “ of Holy Baptism and in the washing of regeneration, and imparted to it the “ beauty of its first creation. Now also, O God, for Thy goodness and the “manifoldness of Thy tender mercy, free and redeem all our souls from all filth " and rust of sin," &c. (Hymn, ib. 273, 274.)
Revised Liturgy. ." preparing them for the reception of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may “ be made meet for the washing of regeneration.'” (i. 232.)
in our own) in the prayer for those about to be baptized. Eren this, however, is but a broad correspondence ; the detail implies the existence of distinct models embodying the same principle : the Eastern and Western are manifestly distinct; and even amid the mutual correspondence of the Eastern Churches in the accumulation of the titles of Baptism there is no identity. It is the free following out of a pattern which had been given, implying at once the original correspondence of the pattern, and the independence of the execution. The antiquity of these titles is implied and illustrated by the like accumulations in the several fathers, especially of the Greek Church'. This evidence meets a longing which has been felt; "how are we to know that the “ fathers, now extant, represent the doctrines of their several “ Churches, and so the voice of the whole Church ?" This might be met in another way, viz. ; that as soon as lists of authorities began to be made, the same fathers whose works we now possess? were appealed to, as chief witnesses. But, over and above, we have their testimony confirmed in another way ; these Liturgies were not taken out of their writings, were not composed by them, were prior in their component parts to most of them, and yet they contain precisely the same doctrine, and do not teach but imply it, as the only doctrine known to the Church, and in that most solemn way, prayer to ALMIGHTY God. We should take a man's prayers as evidence of his faith ; we appeal to our own Liturgy, as embodying that of our Church; why not then to the Liturgies of the universal Church for the faith of the “ Holy Church Universal throughout the world ?” Thus, then, we have two distinct bodies of evidence, both solidly establishing the same result, and each confirming the other. First, the works of the several Fathers, as individual witnesses of the faith of their several Churches, and so ultimately of the whole Church : and, secondly, in the Liturgies, the collective doctrine of each Church as a whole. They will also supply an answer to a question
1 See below, ch. 8. Extracts from the Fathers.
· As has been noticed to me in the dialogues of Theodoret; so also in the Pelagian controversy in St. Augustine.
INFANT BAPTISM HAS THE SAME GIFTS AS ADULT.
which not unnaturally arises from this text, now that people undertake to solve all points of Scripture for themselves; “ do all the
promises and descriptions of Baptism apply to Infant Baptism?" Certainly, unless they did in effect, Infant Baptism were wrong; for so we should be depriving our children of whatever benefits it were supposed that Adult Baptism conferred, and Infant Baptism was incapable of. But, since Infant Baptism is right, then must it confer, in effect and in the rudiments, all the benefits of Adult Baptism, to be developed hereafter. Moreover, where the language of Holy Scripture is unlimited, we are not to restrain it. But Holy Scripture speaks universally ; it says, " the washing of regeneration and of the renewing of the Holy Ghost,"
," “ born of the water and the Spirit ;" how, then, are we to say, that because our infants are not in like way decayed through actual sin, as were those adults to whom St. Paul wrote, therefore they are not regenerated and renewed? This would involve the very error of Pelagius, that they needed no renewal, no "new birth," having no "birth-sin." Holy Scripture speaks indeed incidentally of some effects of “the washing " of regeneration, and of the renewal of the Holy Ghost," relatively to particular adults; since the greater the decay, the greater the renewal thereby effected : not the seed only of corruption, which (if no remedy were applied) would surely spread decay through the whole living being, but the decayed and corrupted wreck, wherein the disease had wrought its full work, was thereby made sound. Yet is the remedy the cure the same, although in one the ctual corruption be remedied, in the other checked ; in the one the healing antidote is infused, when the poison has spread through the whole frame, and through the whole frame arrests ; in the other, it is imparted, ere yet the latent poison has begun to work. But the same Scripture pronounces Baptism absolutely to be “the wash“ing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Ghost;" and what Scripture calls it, it must remain, at all times, and however applied, to infants as to adults. In all, their Maker's image was defaced ; all are renewed after that image in Him, and by being in Him, Who is the brightness of His Father's
glory, and the express image of His Person, God blessed for ever. “ He came,” are the well-known and weighty words of St. Irenæus", "sanctifying every age by its relation to Himself. “ For He came to save all by Himself: all, who by Him are “ reborn to God: infants and little ones, and children, and youths, “ and elders. So He came in every age; and to infants was " made an infant, sanctifying infants ; among little children a “ little child, sanctifyiug those of this age, and made also to “them an example of piety, and righteousness, and subjection ;
among young men, a young man, becoming an example to young
men, and sanctifying them to the Lord." But now, in these Liturgies we have not our private judgment only, but the voice of the Church, applying to our infants particularly, the promises, which God annexes to Baptism, and which, since He has not restrained, we should have thought beforehand were not to be limited. The combined Liturgies are an authoritative because a Catholic exposition; how should they, East and West, be thus combined, except by a true and separate tradition ?
These two (St. John iii. 5. Tit. iii. 4–6.) are the only passages of the Holy Scriptures in which the first origin of regeneration (so to speak) is marked out, and the circumstances under which it takes place are at all hinted at. And surely this ought, to any careful Christian, to be of great moment; and instead of longing, as the habit of some is, for more evidence, he will thank God, that the evidence is so clear, that all Christians of old times confidently relied upon it, and transmitted it to us.
For this is the way of God's dealing throughout Scripture: He gives us, whether as a rule of life or doctrine, certain plain statements; and then, in His other communications, intersperses allusions to these same truths, not in themselves perhaps altogether definite, certainly not satisfying to a captious, or unwilling hearer, but blending and harmonising with those broader statements. And when persons are disposed to believe, they often appeal to these incidental allusions, as more forcible even than direct statements. For the very fact of repeatedly introducing
1 ii. 22. 24.
IMPRESSIVENESS OF THIS INDIRECT TEACHING.
one subject, when we are mainly employed in speaking upon or inculcating others, shows how deeply the subject, which we so introduce, is impressed upon our own minds. And so also (as far as it has pleased God to convey His inspired wisdom after the manner of human thoughts) we infer, and rightly, from similar appearances in Holy Scripture, how deeply He had impressed upon the souls of His Apostles the truths which thus, as it were, burst forth in the midst of other teaching. Thus, when St. Paul wisheth himself accursed for his kinsmen, and enumerates all which God had done for them, and the marks of His love, “the " adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of “the law, and the service of God, and the promises, and the “fathers," we should not, amidst this catalogue of the glories of the Old Testament, have expected beforehand, to find the Divinity of our LORD; and so we are the more impressed when the rising list of God's loving-kindnesses at last ends in, "of whom,
as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God “ Blessed for ever." We continue to be awed, as often as we read it; for the feeling abides or increases, "how awfully must “ he have thought of the Divinity of our Lord, who thus wrote.” This and the like unexpected references seem to us the more to indicate what was the mind of God, because they are unexpected ; they bring their own impression of Divinity, because they are not human ; they are not what the mind of man would have conceived. I mean not, that we should argue in this way, as if we were judges of the matter, for we are not ; but that these flashes, so to speak, out of the cloud, impress us often even more with God's Presence than the noon-day brightness. Of course, a very perverted use might be made of this feeling, if persons were to look out for passages which should thus strike them, or so prefer them as to lose out of sight the depth of God's direct teaching; if, e. g. one were to look out for these scattered notices of the Divinity of our Lord, and neglect to meditate on the enunciation of St. John, before which all Christian Antiquity bowed, "in the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the “Word was God.” And this is rather the defect of our age, in those doctrines or views which it wishes to have proved. Still
VOL. II. P. 11.-NO. 67.