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tive good thus effected, even if nothing more is done : secondly, on the hope that the influence thus brought to bear on the Emigrants will be continued upon them, and have practical effects on their own conduct and 'exertions in the Colony, even if the presence of the spiritual aid thus given is withdrawn from them at the end of the voyage : thirdly, on the probability that, in some manner or other, many of the Clergy thus accompanying Emigrants will be induced and enabled not to return, but to remain in the Colony, together with those whom they have accompanied.
On this plan I have to remark first, that, like the other one, for its due success it must not be looked on as a temporary but as a permanent one; and therein as different from what is ordinarily understood as the object of a Special Fund. But still the cessation or interruption of this plan would be attended with less inconvenience than in the other case.
Secondly, it appears to be mainly, if not solely, adapted to the Australian emigration. It could hardly be worked except in connection with a definite number of emigrant ships, and ships of regulated dimensions and accommodation. Both these conditions apply accurately to the Government emigration to Australia, but not to that of America.
Moreover, the main part of the plan is that which contemplates a lasting effect on the Emigrants through their prolonged intercourse with the Clergyman. This is true with regard to the four or five months of the voyage to Australia, but can hardly be said of the four or five weeks of that to America.
I cannot but feel a strong impression that this plan
is a defective one, and that the Society ought not to be contented with it. But I am prepared to agree to its being acted upon, and even strongly to contend for it, for this reason :-it seems important that some public movement on the part of the Society should now be made on this question. My plan may be set on foot at once, but the conditions of it will not admit of anything in the nature of a public demonstration for a considerable time to come. Mr. —-'s plan, as far as it goes, may be acted upon completely and publicly at once. It depends wholly upon resources to be obtained at home. Moreover, it will not, in any degree, interfere with the adoption and the progress of the other plan, of which, indeed, it may rather be looked upon as a beginning and a part.
Assuming, therefore, that Mr. - 's proposition is at once adopted, and reserving, in respect of it, the question of the American emigration, on which I desire some further explanation, it seems to me that the practical course to be followed is this :
1. That a public appeal be made, in the same manner as has previously been done, or in any other better one that may be devised, for contributions, to be applied by the Society to sending out Clergymen in emigrant ships.
2. That communications be opened with the Bishops and other authorities in the North American and Australian Dioceses, with the Land and Emigration Commissioners, and with the Colonization Society, of the nature above described, with a view to the organization of a permanent system of support to the Colonial Churches on the part of the Society in proportion to the emigration from this country to the Colonies.—I am, &c. THOUGHTS ON INFANT BAPTISM. 1857.
(The following paper on Infant Baptism was read at a meeting of
a Clerical Club, at which I was allowed to appear as a visitor. I have attempted to put the subject in a practical and popular form. I am anxious not to be supposed to question those statements on this subject of the higher theology, which may be found, for example, in Hooker's Fifth Book, in Wilberforce on Baptism, and in an able tract, called “The Second Adam, and the New Birth.” My belief is that these views may be as it were translated into more popular language, so as to tend, at least, to reconcile opinions, without any sacrifice of truth.)
ONE of the most curious of those forced figurative constructions of Scripture, common in the early and middle ages, I lately saw quoted in a Review. * A worthy mediæval person, I do not know who, illustrated his statement that it is the province of the clergy to teach, and the laity to learn, by the text “ The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them.”+
As one of the asses in question, I am well aware that we may strengthen our claim to that respectable title, if we attempt to harness ourselves, especially to the controversial plough.
It was once my misfortune to get into some controversy on the subject of this paper, Infant Baptism, with some warlike clergymen in the neighbourhood of
* Christian Remembrancer, Vol. xxviii. No. 85 (July 1854), p. 12.
+ Job i. 14.
The ass on that occasion got out of the row as soon as he could, not without some perception of what, I do not say was, but might be, the odium theologicum.
In this assembly, however, where I am grateful for being allowed to appear as an intruder, I feel no such risk : and perhaps my habits of many years may be some excuse for my venturing to offer some considerations on the subject.
I was not surprised at the appearance of the feeling to which I have alluded. The advocates of what is known as the hypothetical view of the Baptismal Service, have always shown an especial sensitiveness on this particular point, as if it was their proper peculium. More than that : they seem to regard it as the Athenians of old did a certain law, of which the repeal was not even to be discussed. When required, they defend it vigorously ; but they prefer that nothing at all should be said on the subject. And this mainly on the ground of the alleged scantiness, to say the least, of Scripture notices about it. Dr. M'Neile has said that there is not one single word in Scripture bearing on the question.
Now, without going to the other extreme, as Mr. Neale,* who deduces Baptismal Regeneration from this text among others, “Then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo,t" this withdrawal of the question from the region of fixed dogma I am slow to acquiesce in, if it were only for the text in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which “ the doctrine of baptisms” is recited among the fundamentals
* Lectures on Church Difficulties. † Judges v. 59.
I vi. 1, 2.
of the Christian faith. For to us, to the vast majority of the Church since the day that the writer of the Epistle wrote those words under the guidance of the Holy Spirit foreknowing that state of things, the doctrine of Baptism is the doctrine of Infant Baptism : in that shape, practically, it concerns us. None of the other doctrines in that memorable list are relegated to that limbo of uncertainty : and I question whether this one ought so to be.
I venture to think that this feeling on the part of the theologians in question is in some measure owing to the fact, that they feel themselves somewhat weak, not of course in the Scriptural argument, but in that on our Services. Not when speaking in the heat of controversy, but when giving their deliberate opinion on the question abstractedly considered, I venture to believe that most of them would acknowledge that they would prefer the Baptismal Services, at least, otherwise expressed than they are. Not so indeed when collateral considerations come in. There are many, of all schools, who dread the consequences of the slightest alteration in any of the established legal documents of our Church and oppose it accordingly.
Μη κινες Καμάριναν, ακίνητος γαρ αμείνων. This position may suit those who look on the Church as a house of cards, from which if one be withdrawn the whole will topple down. It may suit that writer in one of our periodicals, or at all events the periodical itself, which seems to hold that fixed unity and consistency in the Church is a dream, and indeed that both in civil and ecclesiastical matters Truth is that which