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66 SCRIPTURE PROOF NOT DISPARAGED BY MEN'S NOT SEEING IT.
this very perversion is a witness to the inherent feeling of our nature. Here, then, so far from regarding it as a diminution to the evidence of a doctrine, that it is incidentally mentioned, we are even the more impressed with it. And if others are not, (as we know that the unhappy persons, who dispute against our Blessed Lord's Divinity, would, on that very account, explain one text away, or declare the stress laid upon another to be fanciful,) this disturbs us not; they see not, because they have not eyes to see. Apply we this to the present case; the “ doc“trine of Baptism” (Heb. vi. 2.) is declared as explicitly, as incidentally, and as variously, as that of our Blessed Lord's Divinity or the saving truth of the Holy Trinity, with which its administration is inseparably blended, the belief in which it very chiefly upholds. For both, we have the same uniform testimony of the Church Catholic; in both cases alike, those who have refused to listen to the Church, have failed to find the truth in Holy Scripture; there is then as little reason to be moved, that others do not see what we see, in the one case as in the other; and if any see not the Church's doctrine of Baptism in Scripture, they have no reason thence to conclude that it is not there, because they see it not. The force done to Scripture has not been in any way greater in one case than in the other. They who say
that “ water and the Spirit” means “ the Spirit only,” or that "the " washing of regeneration" means " spiritual regeneration" independent of any actual " washing," however they may commiserate the misguided people, who assail other Catholic truth, have nothing assuredly to allege against them for forced interpretations of Holy Scripture. It was in their own school that those systems of interpretation were learnt.
The object then in producing some other chief passages of Holy Scripture, wherein Baptism is mentioned or alluded to, is not to prove any thing further with respect to that Sacrament, or to increase the evidence for what has been alleged ; for our Lord's words, when rightly unfolded, of course contain all; and they who hear not Him, as His Church has from the first transmitted the meaning of His words, will not hear His disciples. • The servant is not greater than his Lord.” (St. John xv. 20.)
MODERN TRADITIONS A BAR TO UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE. 67
The object will be, not to prove any thing, but from the mode in which Baptism is spoken of in Holy Scripture, to illustrate the wide difference between the character of mind which that teaching implies and would foster, and that which modern notions imply and reproduce. Each text is only an item, an indication of a difference existing between modern habits of mind and Scripture teaching. And this, one would fain hope, might startle some, who, because they have never seen the Catholic system, or its bearinge upon Scripture, developed, at present oppose it. It seems to us strange how any errors which we do not share should prevail about Scriptural doctrine. We marvel how the Jewish doctors could have reconciled with the plain letter of the law, their permission to a child to dedicate to God what its parent needed; we marvel, how the Romanist can reconcile his inculcation of image-worship, with the same law: in either case men have thus far “made the word of God of none effect through “ their traditions ;' in either case, through traditions not de"livered to their fathers," but the “ inventions of men." Let those then, who, with respect to Baptism, embrace a tradition, whose origin is but as it were of yesterday, consider earnestly whether they may not be in the like case; whether their traditional exposition of the Gospel, derived from the one or other individual in these “ latter days,” may not be as little consonant with the real meaning of Holy Scripture, as those by which the Pharisees justified their abuse of the “ Corban," or the Romanists their image-worship; whether they too may not be" making the “ word of God of none effect through their traditions ;" whether they may not “ have left the fountain of living waters, to hew out “ broken cisterns which will hold no water."
At least, their conviction of the contrary is no more argument in their behalf, than the persuasion of the Jewish Rabbis, the Romanist, the Socinian, or any sectarian, in favour of their traditions; all alike have taken and handed down a modern, opposed to the ancient way of explaining the Word of God; and “they
are their own witnesses.” The ancient system, while it claims to be consonant to that Word, appeals not to one school, but to
the whole Church, “from all times, in all places, and in all its teachers," as long as it spake one language, and until a new Babel arose.
There is yet another and a distinct point which it is important to remark. They who depreciate Baptism, appeal to their own inferences from passages, in which Holy Scripture is not speaking of Baptism ; e. g. when St. Paul is speaking of justification; and from these they form a system, whereby they depreciate Baptism. The appeal is here made, on the contrary, after the example of the Fathers, to places where Scripture is speaking on Baptism ; and this, surely, will seem the directer way toward the truth. May God guide us all into that truth, which He has promised to His Apostles and His collective Church, and teach us to read Holy Scripture as the living Word of the Living God!
In considering then this part of the subject,—the impression which Scripture-teaching has a tendency to make,I would again put in the first place our Blessed Saviour's words, His parting words, the only direct teaching preserved to us of those mysterious forty days after His resurrection ; words on which our very commission to teach, the very security of our existence, depends ; words, the very title-deeds of our inheritance, and wherein the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is by Him imparted; and yet with these, bound up with them and the very perpetuity of the Church and the privilege of discipling the nations, is “ Baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of “ the Holy Ghost;" so that thenceforth Baptism is the embodying of our creed', a living creed, and the safeguard against every heresy as to the ever-blessed Trinity in Whom we believe”;
1“ He commandeth them to pour themselves over the whole world, giving " into their hands a summary of their teaching, that, namely, through Baptism. “ Tben, since He had given them a mighty task, lifting up their thoughts, He “ says, ' Behold, I am with you alway, to the end of the world,' not with them “ only, but with all who through them should believe ; for the Apostles were “ not to abide always; but He addresses the faithful as one body."-St. Chrys. ad loc.
a Hence in the Roman ritual, our collect for Trinity Sunday forms part of
BELIEF IN THE HOLY TRINITY BOUND UP WITH BAPTISM.
which whatsoever Church retaineth, hath the promise of the SAviour of the Church, and should any body of Christians reject, they cut themselves off from that Church. Baptism in the Name of the Holy Trinity, and that saving belief, have been indissolubly conjoined by our Lord; "what then God hath joined, let not man put asunder." Yet even this view, so familiar and so sacred to the ancient Church, is unfamiliar to us; and men appeal at most to the words wherein the doctrine is conveyed, forgetting when that belief was delivered over and sealed to themselves ; as if they had for themselves acquired or learnt it, instead of being baptized into it. And so, again, an outward conception of Baptism leads to an outward view of faith. Even this might prepare us to find in our Lord's words more than the Zuinglian school has taught men to find in them. They have more reality. They convey then, not simply that the minister of Baptism baptizeth not to himself but to Christ, that Christians are to bear no other Name than that of the Holy Trinity, or of Christ, “in whom the whole fulness of the Godhead dwelt,” and “was “ manifested to us;" nor, again, that Christians are to profess and to hold the belief in the Ever-blessed Trinity, to bind themselves to obedience to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-they convey this, but much more, not merely what man must do, but the power which God gives to do it. The “Name" of Almighty God means not only the outward name by which we poor mortals are empowered to call Him, but His attributes and power, that which His name designates, His Essential Self. Let any one but consider what varied powers, attributes, what intrinsic majesty and efficiency is ascribed in Holy Scripture to the “Name" of God, —not to His Name independent of Himself, but yet to His Name as that wherein Himself is manifested—and then again, what reverence is there said to be due to It, not simply in uttering It, but to It in Itself, as expressing Himself. “The “ Name of the God of Jacob defends us” (Ps. xx. 1.); "the
the Baptismal service; only that the connection of the latter part with the former is somewhat more visible; it there is, “ We beseech Thee, that by the firmness “of that faith, we may ever be defended from all adversities.” (Ass. ii. 21.) The primer published by authority under Queen Elizabeth retains the same form.
" Name of God is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into "it, and is safe" (Prov. xviii. 10.); “save me by Thy Name" (Ps. liv. 1.); " through Thy Name will we tread them under" (Ps. xliv. 5.); " for that Thy Name is near, Thy wondrous “ works declare” (Ps. lxxv. 1.); “I will wait on Thy Name" (Ps. lii. 9.); "keep through Thine own Name those whom “Thou hast given Me.” (John xvii. 11.) The strength of these and the like passages is manifestly not to be expounded out of them ; it must mean something that it is said, " by Thy "Name" not “ by Thyself;" "the Name of God" and not“God" only. Holy Scripture useth not to employ paraphrases thus superfluously; and modern criticism, with its common-place substitutions, fosters in us a habit which is depriving men of all deeper insight into the word of God. How much of the language of Scripture, which by its very unusualness would invite our thoughtfulness, do men thus accustom themselves to disregard. But now, besides this, God saith of the Angel, “ beware “ of Him and obey His voice; provoke Him not; for He will “not pardon your transgressions ; for My Name is in Him." (Ex. xxiii. 21.) “ By what power or Name have ye done this?” are the Apostles asked. (Acts iv. 7.) “ If (the answer is) we be “examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what " (ev tive) this man hath been saved (oboworai), be it known unto "you all, that by (év) the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, “ Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, by this “ (év Touro) doth this man stand before you whole. Neither is “there salvation (ournpia) in (év) any other, for neither is there " any other Name under heaven given among men, whereby “ (év ) we must be saved.” (V. 9—12.) It is very striking at the first superficial glance, how much is here attributed to the Name of Christ, how the bodily cure, effected on this poor man by His Name, was an emblem of the spiritual, and how completely identified the Name of our Blessed Lord is with Himself and His power; so that one might, at first sight, have thought that St. Peter was speaking of Himself, when he is declaring the efficacy of His Name. And so the council determines to "threaten “them that they speak henceforth to no man in this Name" (v.17),