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character, obtain in Churches that practise the immersion of the subject professing faith in the Saviour. In the September number of a periodical published in this colony, and representing one of the denominations here, in a quotation referred to with approval, the author speaks of the second birth as a birth “ from the water," and that we enter apon the life of God in our souls at this second birth. I am told, indeed, that the logical inference deducible from this language is not supported by the other writings of the author quoted. This theory requires the belief, not as Mr. Gace teaches, that the Episcopalian Church is the mother” of the new-born babe-Christian —but that the water used in the act of immersion is "the mother.” It is just as needful to protest against this theory of the ordinance of baptism, as being procurative of salvation, as the theory which associates the action and virtue of baptism with the unconscious infant.
It is quite possible for other than Baptist Churches to lift up their testimony against this perilous error of baptismal salvation; but we feel that non-Baptist Churches are heavily weighted in giving that protest by reason of their own unscriptural notions of infant baptism. Somehow or other every Church practising infant baptism finds it exceeding difficult, however much it wishes to do so, to steer clear of this quicksand of baptismal salvation. As a matter of fact, we believe that, to a much larger extent than is supposed, some modification of the full-blown theory of baptismal regeneration is held by the bulk of those who accept and practise infant baptism. The Baptists do not exist mainly to defend and uphold what we deem the only Christ-honouring doctrine of baptism ; but this furnishes one ground for our standing out distinct from other Churches. It is not in the spirit of opposition, but from deep and strong conviction that all the theories of this ordinance which depart from the truth concerning baptism, as Christ by His example and precept has taught us, work disastrous mischiefs among men, that we are constrained to hold and practise the one baptism divinely established and left to us for our acceptance and obedience. We must defend the divine law relating to it; this often necessitates our exposing the errors clinging thereto.
Often in the opinion of superficial observers, it is imagined that we exist as a denomination simply because of our beliefs touching baptism, but this is a great mistake. We value all the truths of the gospel of salvation and seek to preach and embody them in our lives. Whatever prominence baptism may seem to have among us arises from the prevalence around us of what we regard as serious error. If no such errors had become associated with the ordinance, as Christians it would still be our duty and privilege to proclaim and practise the truth concerning it as we now do. As matters now are we must contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints
We shall now turn to the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. I hope that to-morrow evening we shall evince, by the faith and love with which we shall observe this memorial supper, how simple and beautiful is this ordinance which our Lord bade us keep in memory of Him. If a stranger could witness our observance thereof, and then witness the same ordinance as kept under the name of Mass by the Romanists, or as the Eucharist by the Ritualists, he would scarcely imagine them to have the same origin in the words of Christ. If, moreover, he were carefully to analyse the doctrinal expositions of the rite as set forth by us and by the Romanist and Ritualist, he would be confused with the statement that the exposition was based in both instances on the teachings of our Lord. In setting forth what is the ritualistic idea of this ordinance, I shall at some length quote from the noted author, the Rev. Orby Shipley. In his tract on the Real Presence, he says that the Holy Eucharist-meaning of course the Lord's Supper- not only unites as to the body of Christ, but makes us actual partakers of that body. Baptism (I am quoting his words) is the sacrament of the new life giving spiritual life to dead souls. The Eucharist is the sacrament of immortality, imparting to soul and body the quickening flesh of Him who is the life itself. In a word, baptism joins us to Christ; the Eucharist joins Christ to us by an intimate union—a union so intimate that some of the ancients mpare it to the amalgamation of two substances fused together."
another place Mr. Shipley adds: “ It has been said that Christ arnates Himself in each worthy communicant, because He unites His sacred flesh to ours, and in a real and true sense makes Himself one with us. Lest this should be thought to indicate only a subjective anion, consequent upon the ardent faith and devotion of the receiver, there is an antecedent union altogether external to the communicant himself, upon which the other is dependent; for in order to this union of the flesh of Christ with ours, He first incarnates Himself in the hands of the priest; that is, at the moment of consecration, Christ unites Himself, body, soul, and divinity, in an effable manner, with the elements of bread and wine; and so near does this approach to the union of the divine and human in the incarnation, that Bishop Andrewes calls it a kind of hypostatical union of the sign and the thing signified, so united together as are the two natures of Christ." What part the priest plays in this transaction Mr. Shipley does not hesitate to affirm. With not a little eloquence of language, speaking of Christ, he says that, “ His word called the universe into existence ; a simple act of volition converted the water into wine; and the same power can turn wine into His own blood to fulfil the purpose of His love in the blessed Sacrament. If He called the elements His body and blood it was no vain metaphor, but a name of truth and reality. His almighty power made them what He called them. He is the real consecrator still. The priest is His representative; speaks and acts, not in His name only, but in His person "We are ambassadors for Christ.' The words and the acts of consecration are His, though spoken and done by an earthly priest. What is done in the Eucharist is but an imitation and renewal of what He did. He still takes the bread and wine into His sacred and venerable hands, blesses and breaks, and says, “This is my body, and this is my blood.' These are words of power, and at their utterance the Holy Ghost, who consecrates all things in the Church, makes Christ present, and in a supernatural and incomprehensible manner forms & conjunction between His sacred person and the elements of bread and wine, as at the incarnation He formed in the virgin's womb the hypostatical union between the Eternal Word and man's nature." I will add one more extract on this important subject. The Lord's Supper is represented as the “ unbloody sacrifice," and concerning it Mr. Shipley asserts that " The value of the Eucharistic sacrifice depends upon the Real Presence, which connects it with the one sacrifice of the Redeemer. Christ is truly, really, and substantially present under the form of bread and wine; and we offer not these visible productions of the earth, but Him as our propitiation before God. Thus does the Real Presence connect our offering with the sacrifice which Christ made of Himself upon the cross once for all, and which, as our Priest and Mediator, He continues in Heaven. The offerings are iues.inl. or rather there is but one offering of Christ upon the cross in hiided and in the Church on earth. It is one and the same m ust presented in different ways. The sacrifice upon the cross is ', AISAI repeated nor renewed ; for in that He died for sin He died once i' (Bo But the victim is carried into the presence of God in Heaven, wher He continues the same offering, as the Lamb that had been slain, anı the same victim gives Himself to be present in the Holy Eucharis and to be offered under the form of bread and wine." There is no need that I should critically examine these assertions, as they are sufficiently explicit in setting forth the one idea which I am desirous you should clearly see to be running through the whole system that of an external deed actually effectuating the communication of life and salvation. Mr. Orby Shipley's representation of the Lord's Supper differs but slightly from that given by Romanists of the Roman Mass. All real objective presence notions associated with the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine, involve this dangerous tenet of salvation received through the participation of the elemental media. Now, you believe, and believe without the shadow of a misgiving, that we have the right conception of the Lord's Supper, and that we carry out this belief into practice. Ought we to be satisfied with this ? Shall we say, “If others are wrong, that is their fault; it is no business of ours. Let them get out of their mistakes themselves; we need not trouble about them.” Observe, that this is not a harmless matter, as indeed nothing affecting the ordinances and truth Christ has left us is unimportant. If our view of the ordinance be right, and if the ordinance is to serve the object our Lord intended, then it follows that the ritualistic notion is not only wrong, being diametrically opposed to the view we hold, but the inculcation of this ritualistic notion cannot but be fraught with great spiritual evils.
These considerations call upon us to live to purpose, and not merely to live for our own spiritual enjoyment, but to benefit others in trying to persuade them of the truth and of the beauty of the truth as it is in Jesus.
(To be concluded next month.)
GOD PREPARING THE WAY. Most pastors can recall incidents gone over me;" and called on in their experience where God another elder to pray, who, enterprepared them in a strange way ing fully into the spirit of the to do good. An “old minister | Psalm, and spiritual desertion, mentions a striking case in one of implored the Lord to grant a rehis journals.
viving in bondage. During this One afternoon, in preparing for prayer he felt impelled to speak on an evening lecture, he found his the subject of “spiritual declenmind singularly torpid and barren. sion.” Without taking any text, He turned over the pages of the he began to speak of the causes, Bible again and again, but could marks, and remedy of spiritual find no text suggesting any fruitful declension, and drawing from his or even acceptable theme. He own feelings, he doubtless spoke could gain no light or comfort in with more than usual earnestness prayer, and as he subsequently said, and pathos. After a fragmentary “Of all the days of my life, that address, he called on a brother to was the day in which I could say, close the meeting with prayer, and most emphatically, as to spiritual went home in deep gloom, alarmed things, that a 'horror of great dark- by the thought that he was forsaken ness' had fallen upon me. The of God and unworthy to be a sun, moon, and stars had all gone minister of the Gospel. out in my spiritual sky.".
The sequel may be told in his The mental darkness increased own words: “On the afternoon of as the evening drew on, and when the next day a pious woman called the time came for evening service to see me. She alluded to the serhe was almost in despair. He vice of the previous evening as one dragged himself to the lecture-of the most solemn she had ever room, without a remote thought attended. I heard her with silence of any text or subject for the even- and made no response. One of the ing. To his regret he found the men who prayed soon afterwards room unusually full, and suddenly called; he made the same remark. determined to change the service The solemnity of that evening's into a prayer-meeting. Giving out lecture was a topic of conversation a penitential hymn, he called on for some days with those who were an aged elder to pray, who led the present. The prayer - meetings devotions with great solemnity and were soon more fully attended. unction.
There were searchings of heart The minister then read the forty- among the people. Our public and second Psalm, as expressive of his social services increased in attendown inward feeling. “O my God, ance and solemnity. The praying my soul is cast down within me; and the anxious ones, as they all thy waves and thy billows have invariably do, multiplied simultaneously; and thus opened the first | Never did I more fully realise the revival under my ministry which truth of the proverb that 'the dark. continued for upwards of a year, est hour is just before light,' or of gently distilling its blessed influ- the saying of the Psalmist, He ences, multiplying the followers of that goeth forth and weepeth, bearChrist and their graces. Some of ing precious seed, shall doubtless its subjects are now useful and come again with rejoicing, bearing faithful ministers of the gospel. his sheaves with him.""
THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS.
BY THE REV, W. 7. KING. "
Acts x. 24–46. . . THERE are one or two facts in regard to the reception given by Cornelius to Peter that should be carefully noted. Allusion has already been made to the incident that when the Roman officer first saw the apostle he “ fell down at his feet, and worshipped him." This, it can hardly be doubted, is a plain indication that, earnest and sincere as that officer's search after truth had evidently been, and though his perception of the great principles anderlying the Jewish religion had been wonderfully correct and perfectly in harmony with the great utterance of our Lord about loving God and our neighbours, yet, after all, he was only partially enlightened. The old instincts of heathenism, and the strong tendencies implanted in his mind by a thoroughly heathen education, were only partly eradicated. No Jew would have bent in devout prostration before any man. The great commandment, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,” had, at this time, been too clearly and too deeply written on the bearts of the whole nation to permit any one in it to render such homage to a mortal, however great he might be. And it may be remarked, in passing, that the fact that such homage was freely rendered to, and received by, our Lord Jesus Christ, stands out as one of the proofs that men recognised in Him the claims of His Divinity, and that Christ Himself, in the deep consciousness of His Divine pature, only permitted a homage which was His due by Divine right. With Peter, however, the matter was far different. This prostration of Cornelius was at once seen by him to be a wrong thing, and being wrong, was firmly, and yet kindly, rebuked : “Stand up, I myself also am a man."
But though this prostration of Cornelius before Peter may be traced to the instincts of partly enlightened heathenism, we may clearly see more than that in it. Does it not show how deeply in earnest he was in his search after truth ? His whole soul had been stirred and quickened by the expectation of seeing a messenger who