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ed;" and we may add, wears more the appearance of the product of an old Lady's hours of amusement, than a train of deliberate reasoning. The arguments are concealed in such a profuse heap of extraneous observations—are introduced with a species of canting circumlocution, of half subtlety and halfwit,—and beset before and behind with such a pompous display of dusty learning, that it is no easy matter to extract any thing like the sold of an argument from any part of the volume.
The first part contains, after a few "introductory remarks," (evidently designed to caricature and ridicule the ceremony of adult baptism) one Letter, purporting to be written by the Deacon himself; and two others by Mr. T. to the Editors of the Baptist Magazine. These Letters contain remarks on Dr. Ryland's " Candid Statement." We make a short extract here, as a specimen of the Author's ingenuity and honesty. Dr. Ryland was desirous of expressing in English language, the meaning of the word baptize, by the use of sj nonymous terms, or terms as nearly synonymous as he could find, so that what was deficient in one term might be made up in another, in order conjointly to express the full idea. The terms he adopted, were — dip, plunge, immerse, drench, overwhelm, &c. Mr. T. immediately begins his quibbling story " What, then, have the words dip, plunge, drench, &c. the same meaning? I did not think our good old sturdy English was a tongue so compliant, nor do I now think it. Let us interchange some of these synonyms—I content myself with the words dip and plunge, 'Send Lazarus, that he may plunge the tip of his finger in water'—' He (Judas) who plunges his hand with me in the dish.' What! two hands plunged into the same dish? Good manners forbid!"— Again, try the word dip. "I dip my pen in ink; I do not plunge it, for then it would be black from end to end. You have seen a round of matches as large as a wheel; they ■were rendered inflammable by means of melted sulphur: were they plunged into that sulphur? no: for then they would have been coated with it all over: but, one superficies presenting pointed tips, was first dipped in the liquid sulphur; then the whole was turned, and the other superficies
presenting a new combination of pointed tips, was dippedalso." (Query. Is not Mr. T. intitled to a vote of thanks from the match-makers for dressing up their profession in such genteel language ?) "Plunging and dipping, then, are not synonymous terms; but are distinct, and ought to be distinguished."
We will not insult the common sense of our readers, by shewing the egregious equivocation of this criticism, where the laugh is evidently put as a substitute tor sense. Let him take down his Dictionary, and look at any word he may cast his eye. upon,—the word cunning for instance. Dr. Johnson defines it thus; " skilful, knowing, learned; artful, trickish, subtle, crafty,-Sec. "What then, Sir, are all these" English terms synonymous? 1 did not think good sturdy old English was a tongue so compliant, nor do I now think it."
Mr. T. does not appear to fall in with the common mode of evading, the force of the greek prepositions f» and info, which he is aware has often excited the contempt of writers on the opposite side. He has invented another mode of relieving the difficulty; and that is, by dividing the ceremony into two separate and contrasted parts. For this purpose he has introduced a long tale of a baptism in the Abyssinian Church, as described by a modern traveller, which in fact carries just as much authority with it as if it had been taken out of Don Quixote.
"The Apostle evidently divides the rite into two distinct, and even, contrasted, parts; the first of which, Washing, he says, has no consequence salutary to the party on whom it is performed; bnt the second, an engagement to maintain a conscience void of offence toward God, is salutary to a person of whose solemn profession it forms a part.
"Docs the New Testament afford any instance of Baptism, strictly taken, as separate from immersion .'—as a subsequent act? What say you to the instance of Philip and the Eunnch ? Philip, in company with the Eunuch, "came to water; —and be commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water [here is immersion], and he baptized him", [here is baptism.]
Now it might be said, taking the text for correct, as here quoted, that baptism was distinct from immersion, because it followed it; for the writer does not say, "they went into the water, that he might baptize him," but—"and he baptized him." But what are the real facts of the case? Why, in order to preserve what be knew to be the customary separation between immersion and baptism, the sacred writer inserts a whole sentence, in itself perfectly unnecessary, and clogging the progress of the story, in the very middle and height of the sacrament: it conveys no addition.il information; the reader knows as much before he reads it, ai he does after he has read it;—but, it marks a pause: it distinguishes the two parts of the service; 1. the " putting awav the filth of the 8esh," from g." the stipulation of a good conscience toward (Jod." St. Luke even takes pains to produce this effect;—"and they went down both into the water-BOTH Philip Andthe Eunuch, and he [Philip] baptized him [the Eunuch]—and when they were come up," &c. Now we knew both Philip lud the Eunuch well enough, at least quite at well from the former part of the history: but the insertion of this description of the parties, has the effect of "parating the foregoing sentence from the Mowing sentence; and, consequently, of separating the foregoing action from the following action: which is the only **ifna»1e purpose of the writer for inserting it, at this point of time. Nor is this the only peculiarity in the story; no other passage can be adduced in which the person administering baptism went himself down into the water: John Baptist did nots—in short, who did? This, then, is an exception from the general practice; and this took place in a country almost, oir wholly desart, where no convenience of any kind could be commanded; an<l these exceptions recommended the instance for insertion."
On ibis speci men of double-refined Discernment, we shall make no remark, and are sure the public will give Mr. T. credit for very penetrating optics. We shall now introduce an argument in which our author profes!es a sufficient confidence to trust his whole scheme upon it. The words mxof and wxijt, by our translators rendered indifferently house or household, says the editor of Calmet, "have distinct significations." The import of the torn cuxia, includes all the inhabitants °'a house; but scripture Always employ the term oixo;, to denote kindred in the nearest possible degree; »nd, therefore, emphatically, children; *nile it uniformly, and necessarily, excludes servants. Hence it is interred, that the apostles, who so frequently baptized the collection of per"fvL c?l'ed arl "*'!■> but never speak « baptizing an nun, must have bapJ'zed infant children." A reply has
given to these quirks, which
Mr. T. has the candour to place liefore his readers. In that paper, in- . stances are adduced point blank in opposition to' his hypothesis, and several passages referred to, where one Evangelist has used one of the words and another Evangelist the other word while relating the same story, or narrating the same discourse; which to a person of an ordinary capacity would be a sufficient proof that the terms were completely convertible. Our design, as we said before, is not to argue but to review; hut, did our limits allow, we should readily follow up this novel' argument through all the windings and intricacies in which, by the subtle genius of its advocate, it has been enfolded. We cannot, however, forbear saying, that could the argument be maintained, it would only amount to a probability; and, unaccompanied with other evidence, would exhibit a mere blank. For, supposing the criticism to be right, Mr. T. cannot deny that "the term oixor is in scripture sometimes applied to families where it is expressly hinted that there were no children;" and if so Mr. T. is again driven back, and must appeal to other evidence to prove that the families said in the New Testament to be baptized were possessed at that time of infants. Again, allowing his criticism to stand, we should say, it
f>ractically deviates from the first rule aid down, and agreed to on both sides, viz. that "every word should be taken in its primary, obvious, and ordinary meaning, unless there be something in the connexion, or in the nature of things, which require it to be taken otherwise;" for notwithstanding the explanations and evasions and subtleties so often resorted to, it will still be maintained, that in every instance where the baptism of households is mentioned, there is something in the connexion which requires it to be restricted to adults.
But how many instances are there in the New Testament to which this boasted argument can apply? ,,In the controversies of former times they were restricted to four; but Mr. T. . has doubled their number, and has advanced them to eight; and in the;' course of a few years, by the process of a kind of critical legerdemain, he has discovered One Million!! For the benefit of those of our readers who wish to know how to make "a
good deal of a good thing," we will let them into this wonderful secret.
Chittian Families marked as Baptized.
1. That of Cornelius.
3. —— the Jailor.
Christian Families not mnrkeit asUaptized.
Christian Families1 neither expressed as
families, nor marked as Baptized.
But how are the four last, especially the Tth and 8th, which he acknowledges, are " neither expressed as families, nor marked as baptized," dragged into the service of this argument? Why, the following is the process by which the sacred text is strained and tortured to serve the purpose; and we shall suffice ourselves with one instance. The Apostle, in concluding his epistle to the Homan Christians, greets several of them by name; and in chap. xvi. ver. II. he says, "Salute Herodian my kinsman: Greet them that are of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord." Now, according to Mr. T.'s previous argument, the household of Narcissus (though the word itself is not in the original) must mean his family ,- there can be no family without children; and if the apostle could " greet" them, they must have been baptized, otherwise, they would not have been proper objects of Christian salutation. If Mr. Taylor had been there and had witnessed the fact of their baptism, his testimony would have carried some weight; on any other ground, we esteem it the wild vagary of a mind screwed and rivettcd down to the service of a creed. To conceive of *he same kind of salutation sent to an aged and experienced Christian as to an infant of a few years old, is a horrid profanation of feeling; and could never have been conceived but in a mind where the pursuits of literature had smothered the finer sympathies of hunian nature. A , friendly salute or a sixpenny toy, would, to the apostle's supposed juvenile friends, have been a much more seasonable and acceptable present.
Having established, as Mr. T. conceives, the fact that eight families we're converted, and their in/ant
offspring baptized, he proceeds to spread over them his magical wand.
"Take these eight families on a fair average: suppose half to consist of/our children, and half of eight children: the average is six: calculate if you please, that in forty-eight children, not one should be an infant: it is hundreds of thousands to one. Or, put the question in another form: supposing Baptism were completely out of sight,—" How raanj young children would be found, on the average, in eight families, each containing six children?"
"Here, Sir ,we enter on another calculation: what proportion do these tight families, identified and named in the New Testament, bear, to that of christians, also identified and named? The number of names of persons converted after the resurrection of Christ, is—in the Acts of the apostles, twenty-eight, or at most thirty: four baptized families, recorded in the Acts, give the proportion of somewhat more than one in eight. Tie number of names of similar convert)'■ the whole of the New Testament, is about .fifty-fife, or under sixty: eight baptized families recorded in the New Testament, give the proportion of one in seven, oral least, of more than one m eight. A wonderful proportion this! and for what purpose recorded? But, since Scripture gives this proportion, I have a right to carry it through the body of Christians not distinguished by name; nevertheless, to avoid cavil, I lower it to one in itn. How many converts may be fairly inferred from "the History of the Acts of the Apostles—ten thousand ?—this gives Oke
THOUSAND BAPTIZED FAMILIES. HoW
many from the whole of the New Testament .'—one hundred thousand—te
gives TEN THOUSAND BAPTIZED FAMILIES.
How many must be allowed during the first century, and down to the days of Origen? one million—it gives Oke
HUNDREDTHOUS.4NO BAPTIZED FAMILIES:
ten millions? the proportion is One MilLion Of Baptized Families. This calculation, or one to the same effect, cannot be evaded j neither can it be confuted."
Such are the "facts" and such the "Evidence" with which this work is crowded from the first pa°p to the last; and as our readers v*i' no doubt be sufficiently satiated with the quotations already made, we shall close the book, and read their attention within the boundaries of common sense and common observation. And here, we beg to remind the reader, what is the design of the author in the work before Us,—It .1S not a literary dissertation on the writings of Horace or Seneca.j( but«» the word of God—it is not to bring to light additional beauty and force in some of the acknowledged truths of Christianity — it is not to discuss some metaphysical and abstract principle, in no way connected with the ■comfort or obedience of Christians; but it is on one of the positive institutes of the Saviour, enjoined by his precept and illustrated by his example. We would candidly ask, what opinion do such criticisms lead us to form of the author of our religion? Is it conceivable, that he should have engaged the Spirit of inspiration to assist the writers of the Sacred Scriptures, and after all, have delivered his will in such a latent and ambiguous style as would require such an amazing fund of ingenuity and penetration to discover its meaning; and i which indeed would never be fully' comprehended, till a bright genius arose near 2000 years after it was penned? Let it be considered, too, that the discussion is not respecting one of the ultimate branches of Christian duty; but on one of its first precepts, yea, the very first—to be practised on the first introduction of ■a. convert into the Saviour's kingdom, and when, consequently, his information as to the will of Christ, •must have been in one of its earliest stages.
We cannot conclude our remarks on this series of pamphlets, without laying before our readers, a short hint selected from the Preface to the ivth tetter. "The Gentleman who complains that the former were unfit for the perusal of his family, will be gratified to learn, that after the opinion of the more intelligent class of readers has been obtained on the ar- i gument, they will be reduced to the level of the meanest capacity, in a | sixpenny pamphlet. For, it appears to the writer to be inconsistent with honour and integrity to render the argument popular, till after it has been canvassed by those who are best able to appreciate it." So then it appears, that when these lords of learning have settled the point to their .own satisfaction, they are to come down to the lower house, and by some magisterial veto to settle the terms of the controversy for ever! But we wish them to know, that the " Commons," are the true representatives of the people; and that we will never have eur liberties infringed upon by the
dogmatical and confident tones of any high and learned lords.
"Dare ye for this nbjure the civil sword, M To force the consciences which God s.-i dee "And ride m with a clastic hierarchy t'
We bless God that he has given ut a plain English Bible, and good eyes to read it; and we bless Him likewise that he has indued us with some measure of capacity to understand its contents. We are not unmindful of one fact, that the commonalty of the Christian church who have learned their religion purely from the Bible, and not from systems, or sculptures, or scraps of the fathers, have been far nearer each other in sentiment and much more pacific in disposition, than those who have investigated the Bible with all these preparatory acquisitions. Let the learned agree about any point, and then it will carry some portion of weight in fixing the opinions of those who cannot avail themselves of their advantages. But till then, we must be excused if we refuse Mr. Taylor's " sixpenny" glasses, and congratulate ourselves on having "a more sure word of prophecy, to which we do well to take heed.
A Discourse on Sacrifices. By Solomon Bennett. London. 181$. Price 8*.
Among the multitudinous productions of the modern press, we have j more than once seen a pamphlet, I written by an Empiric, with the pro\feised intention of guarding mankind I against some malignant disease, and ; recommending the course proper to be pursued by such as are unhappily labouring under its baneful influence, or in danger of being contaminated by it. But 'ere we had turned over half a dozen pages, we discovered that much more was meant than met the eye in the title page, or even in the preface.;—that the benevolent disciple of Esculapius was not so intent on the public good as to forget his own;—that all his profession of philanthropy was
only a maneuvre of self-interest;
and that the real design of the pamphlet was to reqommend some nostrum prepared by the writer, a kind of panacea, to expel every inward malady, and heal every external wound, —and that a quantum sufficit of this pulvia, or aqua mirabilis would be sold lor the moderate sum of two guineas.
There are Empirics in Theology as well as in Medicine; and among the Theological Empirics who have insulted the world in print, the writer before us, is not the least empirical. • The distinguishing characteristics of his "Discourse" are ignorant assumption, dogmatical contradiction, illogical argument, and scurrilous invective: for, like most other quacks, he discovers no small talent at abusing much wiser and better men than himself. But the chief design of this pamphlet appears to be that of calling . the attention of the public to a larger work which, it seems, the author has written, of which this Discourse exhibits a choice specimen, and with the whole of which he is desirous of blessing the world.
Mr. Bennett's vaunting pretensions and the style in which they are announced, remind vis of the foreign mountebank, who had just acquired a sufficient smattering of English to address his gaping audience in the following elegant couplet:
M Come buy my fine powdars, come by dem
In the liber mirabilis no w advertised, this Solomon has proved—that notwithstanding all the various readings found in different Jewish copies of the Pentateuch, there have been no interpolations, omissions, or alterations!! That Kennecott and De Rossi were pedants and fools for such fantastical insinuations and falsehoods!! —that Jewish Rabbies and Christian Divines have been equally fools or knaves in representing atonement by animal sacrifice, as required for remission of sin under the law of Moses!! —and that the Mishna, a book written nearly two centuries after the Christian era, is authority anterior to the Christian era!! &c. Sec.
And to perfect the climax, if any of our Readers be desirous of seeing such prodigies of argument and demonstration as those we have hinted at, they may send their names to " Mr. Solomon Bennett," as Subscribers to his publication, Price only Two
The Abode of Wisdom exhibited in a Series of Letters from Miss Truth to Miss Attentive. By the Author of the .Shepherd and his Flock.
London. Nisbet; and Gale &Fenner. Pp. 824. Price 3s. 6d. 1817. It is to be lamented that a work, professedly intended to instruct the rising generation, should introduce itself with such a parade of biblical tyroism, and abound so much with quotation as to render it, little more than a compilation of heterogeneous matter, more calculated to confuse than to instruct. We find little that is original either in the plan or the execution of this small volume. "Of making many books," said Solomon, "there is no end." And if books are to be made of such materials, and put together in such a manner as this is, we cannot doubt that Solomon's remark is peculiarly applicable to the present times.
To aim at enlightening the juvenile mind is highly commendable; but to assume the Doctor's gown, and the clerical cap is more calculated to awe the minds of youth than to gain their attention and esteem. We presume that were the Tutor to familiarize his style, and to condescend to the low estate of the understandings of those he wishes to instruct, he would be more likely to obtain his object than by appearing to soar so much above them as he does in this performance. Perhaps we may, by some, be considered as severe in saying that we half suspect this author to be just entering the Janua Linguarum, and that like other Tyros he is fond of displaying the advances he makes.
When permission has been given us to inspect the mansions of the great and the noble, we have generally found something curious and amusing. In this Abode of Wisdom we have not been altogether disappointed: we have made, at least, two very extraordinary discoveries. The first in (p. 6.) That Bees are up and at work before T o'clock in the morning. The second (p. 9.) that, a few months since they were "inanimate maggots." And we doubt not, that should some Connissieurs in these; affairs be admitted into this Royal Palace, they will discover many other things equally amusing and instructive..
Notwithstanding the remarks now made, we admit that the author is not destitute of talents, which we wish him to cultivate; and we recommend it to him to study Teipsum nosce as a profitable text to all his future efforts.