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When alloding to the word “baptize" in the Commission, Theophilus asks three very relevant questions :
“1st. How were the disciples likely to understand their Saviour from the sense in which the word had been usually employed by him previous to this time? 2nd. If, whenever the Saviour commanded his disciples previous to this period, he meant water-baptism, were they not likely to understand their Lord in the same sense now as on all former occasions ? 3rd. In what sense Did the apostles actually understand their Lord with regard to this com. mand ? . . . . We have not a single passsage in the history of the apostles' labours, from which it may be certainly inferred that any one person, converted by their ministry, was received into the number of the primitive churches, without receiving this rite; but in numerous cases, and on thousands of persons, we read of its solemn administration."
Many of our readers, we fear, are unacquainted with the admirable Letters from which these extracts are taken. Their Author is revered and loved wherever known, and that he is widely known will be granted when we say he is no other than the Rev. R. Pengilly, who, for forty years, was pastor of a Baptist church in Newcastle. We rejoice that he yet lingers among us, full of years and full of honours, and still occasionally engages in pulpit ministrations. We have read few passages more replete with instruction and pathos than one that occurs in the “ Concluding Reflections " of these Letters, which, for want of room, we must deny ourselves the pleasure of quoting. Did we not fear that we should be imposing too onerous a task on our revered friend in the evening of his useful life, we should ask him to favour us-in addition to the distinguished service he has already rendered to the church in general, and to our denomination in particular-with a new and enlarged edition of the Letters. Such an edition, prepared with special reference to Mr. Macnair's volume, would be emphatically “a word in season.” While many in our day are prone unduly to exalt the ritual element above the spiritual, we fancy we discover in more quarters than one a determination to jostle the ritual altogether out of the position which it divinely holds in the Christian system. There are surely men among us, if Mr. Pengilly declines acting on the suggestion we have respectfully made, who will be willing, as they are competent, to supply a reason for the PERPETUITY of the rite with which they are identified, which no author like the present shall be "able to gainsay or resist.” Mr. Macnair's special pleading, on some particulars, deserves much severer handling than we have given it.
The second writer on our list was, we understand, a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland for upwards of ten years—highly respected and useful. Some two years ago, however, he relinquished his charge in consequence of a change in his views of baptism. He did not, like Mr. Macnair, cease to regard it as a rite, but he considered that the rite is properly observed only when the believer is immersed on a profession of faith. In other words, he exchanged the unscriptural for the scriptural view of the ordinance, and was baptized by his brother-in-law-who had himself some years previously renounced Pedobaptist sentiments-the Rev. Mr. Anderson, of Old Aberdeen. In the treatise before us, Mr. Gavin does not discuss the mode of baptism, persuaded “that no one who concludes that believers only should be baptized, will have much difficulty in discovering that the proper mode is immersion.” The themes to which he directs attention are the nature and design of baptism, the analogy of dispensations, the analogy of faith, the constitution and character of the Church, and the Apostolic practice. We gladly welcome this contribution to our denominational literature, for we know of no work-next to the New Testament itself-we should more readily put into the hands of a person devoutly anxious to understand the spiritual nature of Christ's Kingdom, and the consequent duties of all His subjects. It is kindred in its manner to the
YOL. III.- NEW SERIES.
unanswered and unanswerable tractate by the late venerable Isaiah Birt, on “Personal Religion vindicated in relation to Christian Baptism." It is marred by no sectorian bitterness. It "speaks the truth in love ;" and for the benefit of those who still cling to the sentiments which our Author felt it his duty to expose as radically unsound, we quote a passage on the variety of opinion prevalent amongst them on the relation of baptism to the “Covenant of grace:"
“It would ill become one-who has himself, during a ministry of upwards of ten years, baptized children--to speak disrespectfully of those, who now do so. Nor is anything offensive or disrespectful meant to be expressed, when it is affirmed that many Pedobaptists talk on the subject before us in a contradictory manner. It is but the statement of a palpable fact, which none are more conscicus of than some of themselves. Hence their earnest endeavours to explain it away.” Will Mr. Gavin excuse us if, with hearty thanks to him for his excellent book, we demur to his interpretation of the parable of the tares and the wheat? He reasons as if “the field” spoken of were the Church,-whereas it " is the world."
Mr. Wallace, the third on our list, once belonged to the Established Church of Scotland, but, discovering the unscripturalness of infant sprinkling, was himself immersed as a believer. About two years ago we thanked him for the first of the treatises we have indicated with his name, and now we have to express our admiration of the second. Our readers will find this “rejoinder" worthy of its author; and A. G. will, we are persuaded, be chary of again troubling the “waters of controversy," so long, at least, as Mr. Wallace is seen perambulating their banks.
To the work by Scrutator we call special attention. Scrutator was the late Mr. David Macallan, of Aberdeen, and the revision of these pages for the press was his last literary labour. Ere they met the public eye, howerer, he had exchanged worlds, having fallen asleep in Jesus in May, 1858. He was no ordinary man. Originally a member of the Scottish Ecclesiastical Establishment, he joined the Independents, but soon felt that they had stopped short, where conscience would not allow him to remain. He became a Baptist. Long as he lived he was one of the brightest ornaments of our denomination in Scotland, and one of the most intelligent Dissenters in the northern metropolis of Caledonia. He was self-educated, and his literary attainments and taste were of a high order. He was, moreover, one of the most genial and generous and modest of men. He was warmly esteemed by Christians of all denominations. His memory will long be fragrant, and his works in almost countless spheres of philanthropy will continue to "praise him in the gate.” The church of which he was deacon, and of which, for years, he was, amidst all the trying vicissitudes through which it passed, a main support, deeply deplores his death. We wonder not. No pastor had ever a kinder, a better read, a more prudent, a more estimable friend than had those brethren who in succession held the pastoral office in John Street, Aberdeen. He was the very opposite of a Lord-Deacon. His affection was intense, but thoroughly manly. His counsel was invariably in request, but never obtruded. His candour was sterling, but never ostentatious. His judgment was as discriminating as the manner in which he expressed himself was kind, and some who had the privilege of being his pastor still recall seasons of intercourse with him to which they feel they owe more than they could ever derive from books. Were all deacons like David Macallan, both pastors and churches would be readier than perhaps they often are to recognise the claims which "he who uses the office of a deacon well” has on the gratitude of both the pulpit and the pew.
The first edition of the work before us was published in 1841. It examines
all the arguments that have been produced by Pædobaptists in favour of their practice, and in a very condensed but masterly manner demonstrates the futility of each. We have frequently had occasion to refer to it, and always with the highest satisfaction. Never were the reasonings of the late Dr. Wardlaw more thoroughly sifted, and proved to be chaff. For a shilling each, our readers can be furnished with an armoury from which they may invulnerably equip themselves for nearly every encounter with those who, like some in ancient times (Isaiah xxiv. 5.), “have changed the ordinance."
The present edition contains a very valuable Appendix in which both a Prelate and a Peer are respectfully and irreparably relieved of their honours as advocates of Pædobaptism. Mr. Macallan states only a simple fact when he declares :
“In my replies to Archbishop Whately and Lord Lyttelton, I bave shown THE IMPOSSI. BILITY of reconciling the baptism of infants with the language of the New Testament; and hence the strainings and twistings to which men of intelligence find it necessary to have recourse in treating the Scriptures in connection with an assumption of the propriety of infant baptism issuing, generally, in all the extravagances of Puseyism; or in the shiftings and self-contradictions of such evangelical reasoners as Whately and Lyttelton.”
The Christian Harp. By JouN SHEPPARD. London: Jackson & Walford. In a very modest preface, Mr. Sheppard disclaims for himself “any pretension to the name of poet,' and for “these metrical pieces any title to be called poems." If this be intended to assuage the severities of criticism, it is needless. Few volumes which Mr. Sheppard has published will be preferred to the one now before us. The light and pleasing play of fancy, the refined and delicate taste, the pure elevated tone of sentiment, and the chastened piety, which are so conspicuous in all his productions, give a peculiar charm to this collection of minor poems; for so, in despite of his disclaimer, we must call them. The devotional pieces have specially interested us. A want of glow and ferrour which forms the main defect of his writing is here seldom apparent, and the religious feeling, though not demonstrative, is deep and earnest. The following we select, not as being by any means the best in the volume, but because their subjects are appropriate to the season, and their brevity adapts them to our space. THE CLOSING YEAR.
THE NEW YEAR. Now the year's last hours are waning,
Source of life, whose changeless being, All its moments well-nigh flown;
In unfading glory reigns ; Weeks and months elapsed and vanish'd,
Whose omnipotence all-seeing Gone-irrevocably gone !
Still our fleeting life sustains;
Guide and guard us, Soon life's days will fill their number,
Through all dangers, snares, and pains. Soon its final sun must set!
This new year of life commencing, Oh! my spirit, canst thou slumber?
Veild from us, thine eye surveys; Loiter, linger, trifle yot?
Father, thy own grace dispensing,
Bless to us its transient days;
Teach and prompt us
still to walk by faith in thee !
Grant at length the blest assurance, Soon thy torch of life must humble,
Our Redeemer's face to see; Soon be quench'd in cold decay;
Gracious Saviour, Soon will mourning friends assemble.
Thine for evermore to be! Following slow the coffin'd clay.
When our years on earth are vanish'd,
And we enter death's dark vale, Oh! my soul, God's love adoring,
O let not our souls be banishi'd, Grateful own his mercies past;
Let not, Lord, thy mercies fail; Then, his richest grace imploring,
Save and keep us Seek to have thy best at last!
Till thy grace in heaven we bail !
TALES FOR THE YOUNG.
precede it on our list. At the same time 1. Days of old. Three Stories from
it is scarcely inferior to them in interest. Old English History. For the Young.
The plot is well conceived, developed with Macmillan.-2. The Golden Rule” Story
considerable skill, and the suspense and Books, 3d. each. Jas. Hogg & Sons. -||
| interest are sustained to the last. Though 3. Warfare and Work. ByCycla. Nis. / the religious experience of poor little bet & Co.-4. Stories to Teach me to Johnnie is somewhat too precocious, yet the Think. By T. D. P. Stone. H. Lea- childish feelings are, on the whole, well 5. Don't Tell: or. Mistaken Kindness. By given ; the boys talk, think and feel, Mr. Bennett. H. Lea.-6. Try. A Book I get into scrapes and get out of them, as for Boys. By “Old Jonathan." W. H. I boys do. The tale has our thorough comCollingridge.
mendation. — “Stories to teach me to
Think" (4) and “Don't Tell” (5) are From among the huge pile of tales, good, little volumes uniform in size, price, and middling, and bad, which cover our table, we style of getting-up. The first betrays its unhesitatingly select “Days of Old” as being American origin on every page, and we not only the best of those before us, but confess is not much to our taste. All one of the very best tale-books for the young that the stories teach, children would learn we have ever read. Of the three stories, fast enough without their aid ; and they the first is selected from the British, the have scarcely interest enough to be read second from the Saxon, the third from the for their own sakes. “Don't Tell” is in Norman periods of our history. Of these every respect a good and useful book. We the second is our favourite, and we think rather question the propriety of the suggeswill receive the suffrages of such of our tions made here and there, that a child's young friends as are fortunate enough to promise “not to tell” ought to be broken become possessed of the volume. The when a parent or teacher requires it. But, moral inculcated is always pure and high, waving this question of casuistry, the and is never offensively obtruded. The morality inculcated is unimpeachable, the flavour of the powder does not overpower story is interesting, and there are some that of the spoonful of jam in which it is passages of very considerable power and administered. The outward circumstances beauty.--We are a little doubtful whether of the times are described with admirable “Try," (6) should come into our list of fidelity ; but we are constrained to say tales. It professes to be an autobiography, that the tone of feeling is altogether too and we suppose it is so, The narrative is modern. That Deva, a British maiden, somewhat disjointed and fragmentary ; it is should, while yet a heathen, have attained often difficult to see the connection of the to the good side of Mr. Maurice's theory parts or the pertinence of the illustrations; of sacrifice is an obvious anachronism. This, but the aim and practical purpose of the however, is but a slight defect where all whole are so excellent, that we are not else is excellent.-Ofinferior pretensions, as disposed to criticise. It is an additional works of art, but in their way no less recommendation to the book that it is excellent, are “The Golden Rule' Story printed at the Bonmahon establishment, Books.” (2.) They are similar in character and contains, in a supplement, a copious to the “ Stories for Summer Days and and very interesting account of the indusWinter Nights," which had so large a trial schools established there by Mr. sale a year or two ago. These are books Doudney, to which we call the attention to make girls lay aside their dolls, and boys of our readers. forget their loops for hours together. A bright-eyed child called from play an hour
MISCELLANEOUS. or two ago to receive one or two of them, has scarcely looked up since, and replies to
1. The Last Supper. After Leonardo the question whether she has read through
da Vinci. Hall, Virtue & Co.-2. The “ every word,” by saying, “ Yes, every
| Wife's Trials. By the Author of “Grace word, except the good little bit at the
Hamilton's School Days."—3. Lucknow and end." And “the good little bit at the
other Poems. By S. H. Sharman. Hamilend” is not always present, and it is never
ton, Adams & Co.-4. A Thunderbolt for needed. The story tells its own moral and conveys its own lesson.—“Warfare and J. F. Shaw. Work” (3) is more decidedly religious in Every visitor to Milan has passed through its tone and tendency than the tales which the stable-yard of the cavalry barracks, with its noisy profanity and vice, and enter- ( since the Reformation. He says, “Here ed a retired and silent room, where he has let anyone turn from this preface, and stood in silence, or spoken in whispers before read only pages 106 and 107 in this work, the masterpiece of Da Vinci --all at least that and we promise him such an intellectual remains of it, as it peels and crumbles from treat in reference to the subject as he never the walls ; and as he drinks in its won- enjoyed before ; he cannot fail to be elecdrous beauty, sadly perceives that this trified and illuminated beyond all anticipageneration is the last which will see it. tion." Having duly fortified ourselves, and All the copies of this wonderful picture provided for all contingencies, we turned have either been so costly as to be beyond to the pages indicated, and were somewhat the means of any save the affluent, or have less excited than we expected. The secret been mere caricatures of the original. which Mr. Vines has discorered is revealed This admirable wood-engraving (1) is in- in these words : “Many are the errors and comparably the best reproduction of the evils of Popery, but the cause of them is original that we have ever seen at'a moderate one only, namely, the withholding the sacred price. As a specimen of what can be done Scriptures from the people.” This is true, with wood it is interesting. As a cheap but not new. Luther announced it some copy of a picture which has delighted the centuries before Mr. Vines was born, and world for some centuries, but which is put into operation the cure which he prohastening to extinction, it is worthy of all poses of circulating the Scriptures. Though praise. For the low price of half-a-crown Mr. Vines has made no discovery, he has our readers may possess themselves of this written a useful book, proving clearly the admirable work of art.-The author of incompatibility of Papacy with the Bible. “Grace Hamilton's School Days” bas produced a tale of great interest and admirable tendency, entitled “The Wife's Trials"
ALMANACS AND POCKET-BOOKS. (2). It might have been called, with 1. The Scripture Pocket-Book.-The nearly equal truth, The Husband's Trials, Young People's Pocket-Book.—The Chrisfor in the first half of the book he is quite tian Almanac. – The Religious Tract as much sinned against as sinning. The Society. 2. The Teacher's Pocket-Book lessons suggested by the sad story are and Diary.-Sunday School Union. 3. thoroughly good. Brides and bridegrooms, The Baptist Almanac.—The Bible Almanac. if they were susceptible to reason, might - Partridge of Co. read it with profit; and anyone who begins it will inevitably read to the end-80 ad The Pocket-Books and Almanacs of the mirably is the interest sustained. We Religious Tract Society for the present cannot tell whether the writer intended to year possess their customary excellence. illustrate the importance of the injunction We do not know any which, for general that “a man should leave his father and use, surpass them. The Christian mother and cleave unto his wife;" but Almanac, (1) especially, is a repertory of incertainly this is among the lessons of the formation on almost every subject for which book. Mr. Basil Hope, like hundreds in one could ever consult such a work; and, real life, found that a ménage which in- as usual, is very strong in its astronomical cluded both parents and spouse, does not lore.—The Sunday School Union have pubwork harmoniously, and generally proves lished a Pocket-Book (2) specially adapted a source of discomfort to all parties.--The for teachers. In addition to the usual volume of poems entitled, “ 'I'ne Relief of contents of a Pocket Book, it contains Lucknow" (3), is dedicated, by permission spaces for Sunday-school memoranda, lists of Lady Havelock, to the memory of Sir H. of lessons, &c., of great service to one whose Havelock. The writer pleads for indul- heart is in his work. The price is very mogence on the ground of the interest of the derate, varying from 1s. to 2s., according theme; and because these lines have been to the style of binding.-Partridge & Co. penned “at the close of days of tedious have published two cheap, useful Almanacs, toil.” We are not quite sure that either the titles of which are given above.- The pleas are valid in the court of review. But Baptist Almanac contains much well-conthe poems have sufficient merit to pass densed information on the statistics of our muster of themselves. Notwithstanding body; and the Baptist Directory is a useful the frequent occurrence of prosaic lines and index to the residences of the London passages, the narrative is not without fire, ministers, their places of Worship, and nor are the lines destitute of rythmic times of service.--The Biblical Almanac melody. Many of the minor poems at the gives, with the usual Calendar and other close of the volume have much pathos and matter, many illustrations of Scripture, beauty.--Mr. Vines (4) believes himself to religious anecdotes, &c., which, though have made a great discovery conclusive of good in their way, seem out of place in a the questions which have been debated ever publication of this kind.