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"They are constrained to allow, that the term Regeneration itself, as far as it is applicable to the present subject, is only found once in Scripture, and that in the single passage, where it does occur *, it stands in close connexion with Baptism, and refers to a change already past."
In the next page Mr. S. observes, that
"Many laboured and some ingenious attempts have been made of late to prove, that no such change is necessarily effected at Baptism, for the purpose of inferring that it therefore remains to be accomplished. In the case of infant baptism, more especially, we may clearly see how completely it has been divested of its sacramental character: for our opponents have declared in plain terms, that any spiritual benefits, with which that Sacrament may be attended to an infant, arise solely from the worthiness of the Minister, and the pious supplications of himself and the congregation; that is to say, in other words, that Baptism has no sort of spiritual efficacy in itself, and operates in no respect by virtue of any blessing annexed to it, as an institution of divine appointment."
Mr. S. then informs us in a note, that such was the doctrine, which Mr. Simeon had delivered from the University Pulpit : and we can easily give credit to the correctness of the statement, because Mr. Simeon has long since published his Confession of Faith upon this subject. He has plainly told us in his two hundred and twenty-first Skeleton, that Baptism is "an outward work of man upon the body;" whence we cannot but infer, that according to Mr. Simeon there is no necessary connexion be tween Baptism and Regeneration. Another passage is quoted by Mr. Sharpe from Mr. Scott's Effect of Baptism, p. 17. from which we find that Regeneration is a blessing, which only " may be conveyed" at Baptism; and that when it is conveyed, "it is conveyed in answer to the devout prayers of the several parties concerned in the administration and reception of this Sacrament." Having stated the opinion of Mr. Sharpe on the one side, and the opinion of his opponents on the other, as far as relates to the connexion between Baptism and Regeneration, we shall merely observe, that, as both parties are professed Churchmen, the question at issue between them lies in a short compass. Every Churchman must either consent to have his. religious opinions tried by the Articles and Liturgy of the Established Church, or he must renounce his character as a Churchman. And we are confident, that if the question were submitted to any impartial jury, who gave their verdict according to the
* Tit, iii. 5.
plain meaning of the law, they would decide in favour of those who assert, that Regeneration is always conferred at Baptism, when that Sacrament is rightly administered according to the rules of the Church of England.
The fourth Sermon relates to Justification by Faith, and the fifth to Final Perseverance. But as so much has been already said on these subjects, and we have already made copious extracts from the three first Sermons, we hasten to the conclusion of the fifth Sermon, where Mr. S. has briefly stated the motives which induced him to examine the subjects brought forward in these Sermons. He thus addresses his audience in p. 91.
"Controversy in theology is, like war in civil life, a very great, though sometimes a very necessary evil. But, whatever may be thought of the justifiableness of commencing an attack in either case, the right of opposing one will not at least be doubted. Of this right then we claim the full benefit, for you are our witnesses, that in the present instance we were not the aggressors; it must be still fresh in the recollection of every one, that when we first re-assembled in the current academic year, after a premature separation occasioned by certain awful events, which might, one should think, have reminded us all that there was better employment for us, during the short and uncertain time of our sojourning here, than to waste it in strifes, and debates, and questions;
at that moment, while we were waiting to hear the accents of Christian meekness, an alarm was sounded in the sanctuary of God; we looked to those, who should have spoken peace to us, and behold they were making themselves ready for battle. We heard with sincere regret, and not with regret alone, all the controverted points again brought forward which have so long agitated and divided us; we heard opinions, in themselves objectionable, proposed in terms as objectionable as could well be chosen ; we heard imputations indirectly cast upon our brethren, which we are convinced they do not merit; and we heard one of the most sacred institutions of the Gospel' treated with such perfect levity, as actually to be made the foundation of a joke*. Some of these assaults were made openly, some more in the way of mining; sometimes the bolt descended on our heads, mantled in all the terrors of the storm; and sometimes it fell when we least expected it, amid the gentle dew from heaven. Such was the nature of an attack, which we never anticipated, and in its very outset it displayed a stratagem, which, might be sometimes very successful, if it were not quite so common; for those unhappy people, who might perchance think differently from our opponents, were set down, with
"Mr. Simeon told us, that according to our notions of Baptism, we might date Regeneration from the Parish Register."
out farther ado, as vain disputers of this world,' and as persons, whose understandings were perverted by the just judgments of God! This is certainly one mode of silencing argument, but in the face of this formidable artillery of anathemas, of the genuine manufacture of the Vatican, we have ventured to question the accuracy of certain principles of our opponents; for, as long as we believe we have the word of God to support us, we need not fear the high sounding words of man."
We will conclude the present Article (after thanking Mr. Sharpe for his manly conduct in stepping forward as an advocate of the Church at the present crisis) with some brief remarks on the peculiar character, which attaches to his controversy with Mr. Simeon. Both of those gentlemen, it seems, were appointed select preachers for the same year. The controversy therefore was conducted before the same audience from the University Pulpit: and we heartily rejoice, that, as the University of Cambridge, or rather the Delegates to whom the choice was entrusted; thought proper to appoint two such heterogeneous preachers, the impression, which Mr. Sharpe must have made on his auditors, was subsequent to the impression, which we find from Mr. Sharpe's account had been previously made by Mr. Simeon. But we sincerely lament, that the minds of the young men should be distracted by hearing opposite doctrines from the University Pulpit, on subjects of vital importance. We do not wonder at the appointment of Mr. Sharpe, as we find, that the Margaret Professor as usual, has brought up the rear, though it does not appear from the subject, which he announced, that he has engaged in the present controversy. But we do wonder at the appointment of Mr. Simeon. The Delegates could not have been taken by surprise. When Mr. Simeon made a joke of Baptism from the University Pulpit, it was not the first time, that he had done so : and his controversy with Dr. Marsh on this very subject, about two years ago, must have rendered his opinion of Baptism notorious at Cambridge especially. But since he has lately avowed the same opinion from the University Pulpit, we trust that the Delegates, whoever they may be, will never again be so unguarded as to sanction an appointment of which the effects must be highly injurious to the Established Church. Mr. Simeon is doubtless, a very worthy man, and has the right, which he possesses in common with every Englishman, of holding what opinions he pleases. We do not object to Mr. Simeon, as a man, because he holds opinions contrary to those of the Church; but we object to Mr. Simeon, because knowing them to be contrary to those of the Church, he would for ever obtrude them from the pulpit of a Church University. The two Universities are the especial guardians of
the Church it is their especial duty therefore to provide, that the young men, entrusted to their care, should be educated in such religious principles, as are in unison with our Liturgy and Articles. But if they find, that preachers, who treat with contempt our holy ordinances, are not only allowed to teach them Divinity from the University Pulpit, but are even authorised and sanctioned by public appointment, the Church, already beset with innumerable dangers, must rapidly verge to its utter downfall.
ART. IV. The Substance of some Letters written by an Englishman resident at Paris during the last Reign of the Emperor Napoleon; with an Appendix of official Documents. 2 vols. 8vo. 11. 4s. Ridgway. 1816.
IT has lately become a fashion with authors of a certain description, to usher their works into the world without the formal sanction of their name, under no desire of disavowing the production, but with the full intention of securing its reputation to its proper owner. The reason of all this coquetry, we do not profess to understand, we shall charitably suppose that in the case of Lord Byron and of the author of the present work, it arises from that excess of modesty, which forbids a lady to appear without a veil, though its texture be sufficiently slight to display the glancing eye, and the deep-rouged cheek from within. One advantage, however, arises from this unaccountable fashion, that we are always at liberty to refuse to the supposed author the credit of his work, and to transfer its failings to another hand. Thus though the volumes before us are universally ascribed to Mr. Hobhouse, and though there are some who pretend too surely to discover in them the leaven of the Byron school, yet we shall exercise the privilege which their anonymous title page allows us, and shall suppose it wholly impossible that an Englishman and a scholar could have sent into the world such a publication as this. The volumes before us cannot be the production of the ingenious traveller, whose journal gave us so much satisfaction; they must proceed from some wretched adherent to the cause of Buonaparte, to the chains of civil and military despotism, to the slavery and subjugation of Europe. The feeling displayed in them is wholly French; French in its most ferocious and hateful form. The author appears to be enamoured alike of the opposite extremes of revolutionary anareby, and imperial tyranny. The government of Louis, in its
attempt to steer its course between these two fatal shores, is assailed by him with the bitterest indignation and contempt. That we may not be thought too severe in our censures, we shall produce such passages as will fully warrant the opinion which we have formed.
"There has been but one nation in the world, as far as I am aware, notorious for loyalty, or love of a sovereign, as such, and that nation has long repented of so mean and unreasonable an attachment."
This nation, we conclude, is England. Long may it continue its ancient and constitutional attachment to the person of its sovereign, as such, even though it may have the misfortune of appearing mean in the eyes of so exalted a spirit, as the author of the letters before us. Again we are informed,
"The royal vice of ingratitude finds no place in the bosom of an usurper; this baseness belongs to such as are born kings.”
We know not how far Talleyrand, Fouché, or Lucien, will coincide in this sentiment. They will probably give a very different history of the Usurper's gratitude. But the hatred which the author evinces towards every legitimate sovereign, as such, is more than compensated, by the idolatrous adulation which he offers before the shrine of the Ex-Emperor. The following is his description of his conduct during a review at the Thuilleries, in April, 1815.
"The vast palace of kings; the moving array before me; the deep mass of flashing arms at a distance; the crowd around, the apparatus of war and empire, all disappeared, and, in the first gaze of admiration, I saw nothing but Napoleon-the single individual, to destroy whom the earth was rising in arms from the Tanais to the Thames. I know that I never should have beheld him with delight in the days of his despotism, and that the principal charm of the spectacle arose from the contemplation of the great peril to be encountered by the one undaunted mortal before my eyes. Let me say also that the persuasion, that the right of a powerful and great nation to choose their own sovereign was to be tried in his person, and the remembrance of the wonderful achievements by which he had given an opportunity to decide that choice, contributed in no small degree to augment my satisfaction. He has been of late often seen and described by those who visited him at Elba. I can only say, that he did not appear to me like any of his portraits, except that one in the saloon of the palace of the Legislative Body, nor did I ever see any man just like him. His face was of a deadly pale; his jaws overhung, but not so much as I had heard; his lips thin, but partially curled, so as to give to his mouth an inexpressible sweetness. He had the habit of retracting the lips, and apparently chewing, in