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against a deluge which is pressing for admittance; and as the proper fastenings are thus slipped, there is danger that the gates will be fully opened. The apparently unimportant innovations of the few first ages, which since have introduced so universal and overwhelming a deluge of corruption, are thought to be a sufficient caution, even if the deep impression of exact obedience to divine directions were less strongly felt than it is. For these reasons, they have held that the full import of the Bible is to be preserved, in whatever language of men it may be published. It is a boon which belongs to mankind. No class or distinction of men have a right to monopolize it, or to arrogate it to themselves to determine the field of its distribution and sufferance, to mark what portions of its holy truth may be dangerous or inconvenient, or to prescribe the nature and the limits of its interpretations. To withhold it, even from the most illiterate, on the ground of his being unable to comprehend it, they regarded as the part not of Christians, but of the Man of Sin; and that an attempt to vary or conceal its meaning in any particular, is a fearful sacrilege. It is to be confessed, however, that in taking this stand, the denomination have cut off themselves too much from the rest of the Christian world, as recent transactions in respect to Bible translations have too plainly indicated. It cannot, however, be so much the attachment of this denomination to the Bible, which we lament; as that it is held, as these circumstances have shown, subject to so many selfish interests by others; and that, for the miserable farce of a tradition, the word of truth must be silenced. It will not be expected that there can be unanimity, till the Bible needs no coloring or shading to suit us.
The Baptists have ever held, that the Saviour instituted two ordinances, and only two; and that he left them to be observed by the church. These are baptism and the Lord's supper. They believe that the design of these rites is of such a nature, that they can admit of no substitutes or alterations. To change them is to destroy them; to attempt a substitution is to practice our own devices, and not the commandment of God. They regard the Lord's supper as an ordinance which belongs to the organized church; and to administer it to those who have not visibly attached themselves to Christ by submitting to the rite of baptism, is to remove it entirely from the intention of the Saviour; and hence, to remove it from the command of God, and to give it only the weight of a tradition, or of a human device. Its design is to show forth the Lord's death, till he come; but as those who partake of it are supposed to be united to Christ, it also expresses the fact of Christian fellowship. They believe that baptism is the immersion in water of believers, in the likeness of the death and resurrection of Christ. In this they find themselves fully sustained by the Scriptures, and by the practice of the apostolic church. They also are happy to find themselves sustained by the uniform practice of the whole church for several of the first agesin its being immersion, by the whole church till about the fifteenth or sixteenth century; in its being the immersion of believers only, by the practice of a respectable portion of the Christian world down to the present time. In reference to its being immersion, they have also the uniform practice of the Greek church in all ages; and to all these supports, they are able to add the uniform testimony of the learned, and particularly the more candid of every name. From the supreme conviction they have of the direction and distinctness of the Scriptures, they reject from their church fellowship all those, though they may be acknowledged Christians, who have not been baptized, or immersed in the name of the Trinity on profession of their faith in Christ.
It will be seen, on reflection, that the disagreement between this denomination and the apostolic church, according to the uniform acknowledgment of interpreters and the most candid ecclesiastical historians, can be but slight. If the apostolic churches were all independent bodies and were none of them subject to the jurisdiction of any other,
so are these. If the assembled people did every thing which is proper for those in whom is vested the supreme power of the community,--so do these. If the elders, the bishops of the apostolic churches, were wholly equal in their authority,--so are these. And if the bishops of that time were chosen or nominated by the people, only by their own consent,—the same may be said of these. If the primitive churches held the rights of conscience, as inviolably the property of every individual man,--so do the churches of this denomination. If the first church VOL. XI.NO. XLI.
regarded the Bible and the word of inspiration, in distinction from the traditions of the elders and the commandments of men, as the only divine authority,--so do these. If the apostolic churches knew of no rites in the church of Christ, but baptism and the Lord's supper,-neither do these. And if the baptism of that church was the immersion of believers only,so tenacious are the Baptists on this point, that they are indebted to it for their very name; and are thus distinguished from all the rest of the Christian world.
And there is another thing besides this agreement, which will present itself in a pleasing view to all lovers of the
evangelical Christianity of the apostles.” We shall not take it upon ourselves to interfere with the language of the great historian, whose narrative of the Reformation and whose masterly dissection of the schemes of Puseyism must forever do honor to the name of Christianity. Nor shall we attempt to point out, in how many glaring particulars the Reformers themselves fell short, in their single leap, of the full Christianity of the apostles. But we shall allow ourselves to be gratified with a fact in the history of the church,- dark and deformed though it may be in every other respect--we shall allow ourselves to be gratified with the fact, that there ever have been a few people who have never bowed the knee to Baal-a few, who have ever stood firm and full on the doctrine of the apostles, and of Christ-who have no Pope, but God-no prelates, but such as are first to serve and the last to lord it over them-none great among them, but he that is least and servant of all; and who have no master but one, that is Christ. That such a people can be found through all the different periods of the church, is a pleasing fact; and it is more so, when we believe in connection with it, that the same hand which has thus saved them will make them triumph.
It is not the disorganizer, nor the leveller, who looks on with the deepest interest upon the contest between Episcopacy and Papacy, and hopes for a mutual destruction between the two. It is the true Christian, who hopes that the two false powers which have grown up out of the corruptions of Christianity, but which nevertheless each claim it as their own-it is the true Christian, who hopes that the fierce conflict between these two powers
the one, the legitimate offspring of the other—will show to the world the deformity and corruption of both. Episcopacy should crush its son, still more unnatural and deformed than itself; and the Christian world should return to the period which preceded the birth of either, and to the true liberty of the sons of God. It is a thing worthy of explanation, that while the church of England, at least a part of it, is willing to call herself the daughter of Rome, Papacy is, in fact, the very offspring of that form of church organization on which the Church of England is constructed, and both have sprung up in a regular declivity of corruption from the primitive church.
If the Baptist churches occupy such a place as this, which we have described as being fully secure upon the entire Bible, they may look on with the expectation that every commotion is to confirm them in the position they have taken. They are at liberty to survey the trial which is taking place, with no other emotions than those of most sincere hope for the entire success of truth. They place themselves upon this rock, and look around to see who is to accompany them. They look to the Protestant world, to Pædobaptists. But they themselves stand alone. They are told that the various sects have abandoned the innovations and corruptions of the Romish church, and rebounded back to the Christianity of the apostles; but instead of this, it is found that they have only thrown off the grosser absurdities of Papacy, while they retain, in their organizations, without the least mitigation, those very elements which were the sources of all that abominable growth which they affect to abhor. They have cut down the Upas, but its roots, unharmed, still flourish; and it is a question whether they are or are not again to spring up, and to overshadow the world with a broader and a darker growth than before.
MEMOIR OF JEREMIAH EVARTS.
BY THE EDITOR.
MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF JEREMIAH EVARTS, Esq., Late
Corresponding Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. By E. C. Tracy. Boston. Crocker & Brewster. 1845. 448 pp. 8vo.
Few books are more entertaining than the biographies of eminent persons. When those persons have been largely occupied in public affairs, the memoir of their lives is the more entertaining and instructive, because it comprises in itself historical reminiscences of permanent and extensive interest. We see both the acts and the actor. We are permitted to look behind the veil, and to discover the springs of events. The results wrought out by master-minds and the master-minds themselves pass in review before us. We trace those master-minds from the beginning; and in them we trace back the stupendous results to the influences which moulded those minds from the cradle, and prepared them for the beneficent activity of ripened manhood. We see the forest in the acorn, the fertilizing river in the rain-drops. The "seeds of things" grow up before us into a great tree, whose branches spread abroad, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We may add, few persons rightfully claim the distinction of a biographical record; and only those, whose characters mingle with the history of their times, either in the department of church or state, illustrating and adorning it; or who have some eminent excellences, distinguishing them from their fellows and honoring the race; or who have been placed by Providence in circumstances suited to call forth noble actions, to illustrate great principles, or to stimulate, encourage, or restrain those who may come after them. We protest against those fulsome eulogies, whose only end seems to be to magnify common virtues, to give dignity to common circumstances,