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the interpretation of prophecy, for as a type is not an accidental but a designed prefiguration of its antitype, it is in reality a prediction of its antitype. Whether then a future event is indicated by words or by oiher tokens, the comesicy of the event with the words in the one case, or with the tokens in the other, is equally a fulfilment of prophecy. The Bishop illustrates ibis principle first, by the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, which was the type of the sacrifice of Christ. We are to observe that these two sacrifices not merely resembled each other, but that the one was preordained to designate the other. Now as the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper vas instituted by Christ in remembrance of his death, the same sacrifice of the paschal lamb which was a type of the one, may be considered as a type of the other. But as the one sacrament was prefigured by the type of the paschal lamb, so was the other by the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea; as St. Paul has declared, i Cor. s. 1. From this circumstance the Bishop takes the opportunity of making a digression upon that most important subject which now agilates and confounds the Church, clearly shewing that from the necessary correspondence of type to antitype, Regeneration, or the new birih, takes place at baptism, and at baptisni alone. From hence the Bishop is led into a few short remarks upon this vilal point of Christianity, which as they contain the marrow of the volumes that have been written on the subject, we shall extract not for the information only, but for the conviction of our readers. .“ Resting on such divine authority, the Church of England has adopted this example with all the circumstances, which are warranted by St. Paul; and since in this particular instance our Church has been lately subjected to severe and unmerited censure, the occasion requires a few additional remarks in its defence. Our twenty-seventh Article declares, that Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are distinguished from others, that are not christened, but it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby as by an instrument, they that receive Haptism rightly, are grafted into the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed. In the several services for Baptism, as also in the service for Confirmation, Regeneration is represented as an essential part of Baptism, It is the inward grace of that, of which water is the outward sign. Nothing can be clearer on this subject than our Catechism, which expressly declares, that whereas the outward visible sign in Baptism is - Water wherein the person is baptized,' so the inward spiritual grace, is “ a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness. If then we detach regeneration from baptism, we not only fall into the absurdity of making the outward açt a visible sign of nothing to be signified, but we destroy the Sacrament of
Baptism as a Sacrament, altogether. It is essential to a Sacrament, that the outward act be accompanied with an inward grace. If Baptism therefore, as some pretend, is nothing more, than an outward work of man upon the body, it is a perfect mockery of religion to retain it as a ceremony in our Church : for if such only be Baptism, it has no more to do with the concerns of religion, than the common ablutions of domestic life. Vain is the pretence of those, who assert, that we imitate the Church of Rome, in believing, that grace is conferred at baptism merely ex opere operato, · (as it is called in the Canons of the Council of Trent. The grace of God accompanies the outward act : but the outward act is not the cfficient cause of it. The twenty-seventh Article compares indeed Baptism with an instrument, by which the promises of God to forgive our sins are visibly signed and sealed. But, not to mention, that in every legal instrument the signing and the sealing is accompanied with the declaration of its being our own act and deed, and that this mental assent is the thing, which gives force to the signature and the seal, the comparison in question is limited by the very words of the Article to those, who • receive Baptism rightly. And Baptism, according to the general rules of our Church, is not received rightly, unless, either by ourselves or by our sureties, we make professions of Repentance and Faith. What is required (says our Catechism) of persons to be baptized ? Repentance, whereby they forsake sin ; and Faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament. Conformably with this doctrine of our Catechism, godfathers and godmothers, in the name of the child to be baptized, make a public declaration, before the baptism itself is administered, that they renounce sin, and believe in the promises of God. And whereas these previous declarations are made by the godfathers and godmothers at the public baptism of infants, the same previous declarations are made by the parties themselves, in the ministration of baptism to such as are of riper years. In the exhortation also to this service, the Priest says, “Doubt ye not, therefore, but earnestly believe, that he will favourably receive these present persons, truly repenting, and coming to him by faith.' Repentance and Faith, therefore, expressed either by ourselves or by our sureties, are the causes which operate in producing that spiritual grace, which is conferred at baptism. Thus St. Paul, when he spake of washing away sins at baptism, spake at the same time of * calling on the name of the Lord.' But how under such circumstances can we call on the name of the Lord, except by professions of repentance and faithIn like manner, when we receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, it is not the bread, which we eat, nor the wine which we drink, any more than the water, which is used in baptism, which confers the spiritual grace, but the repentance and faith, which accompany the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine. Our Articles are very clear and precise on this subject. The twenty-eighth Article says, “To such as rightly,
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worthily and with faith receive the same, the Bread, which we break, is a partaking of the Body of Christ : and likewise the 'cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.' On the other hand, says the twenty.ninth Article, "The wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ. The relation therefore both of the outward sign to the inward grace, and of the inward grace to that which is required to obtain it, is so dis. tinctly marked, that one should hardly suppose it possible to mis. take the meaning of our Articles. There is an act of the mind, and there is an external token of it: for every act of the mind 'must have some external token. But neither here nor in other cases does the real virtue of the act consist in the token. Each of our Sacraments has its own external token: but in both of them are 'the acts of the mind acknowledgements of Repentance and Faith. Unless therefore it is superstition to believe, that the grace of God accompanies Repentance and Faith, there is no superstition in believing, that the grace of God accompanies, as well the Sacrament of Baptism, as the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. And since that peculiar grace, which is called Regeneration, is a grace, which is conferred on us only once in our lives, (for it is a different thing from renovation) the Sacrament, which we receite only once in our lives, and which then admits us to the Christian Covenant, would appear to be the appointed means of conferring that grace, even if St. Paul had not declared it. But that St. Paul has declared it cannot admit a doubt. Unless Regeneration had belonged to Baptism, the Apostle would not have called the act of Buptism'the washing of Regeneration,' or the laver of Baptism (the laver of Regeneration. For there is nothing besinde Baptism, to which the term washing,' or rather the term • laver,' which is a better translation, can possibly apply. 'It is strange therefore, that such efforts should now be made to delach Regeneration from Baptism ; though we must acknowledge, that in the estimation of those, who make such efforts, the separation is highly useful. For, as soon as Regeneration is cietached from Baptism, it may be employed on other occasions : it may be made the instrument of conversion at a later age: and thus the pangs of the new birth may become tokens of admission to that holy state, which the converts are taught to expect in vain from a Sacrament deprived oi its spiritual grace. But strange as this doctrine may appear, it is yet more strange, that men should detach Regenertion from Baptism, and still preiend to be Churchmen. There is no possible artifice, by which the words of our baptismal services can be distorted from their real meaning. In the words of our Public Baptism of Infants, the Priest thus addresses the congregation, immediately after the baptism is completed. Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren “that this child is by baptism regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church, &c. And the thanks
giving, giving, which immediately follows, begins thus, · We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit.' Unless therefore the expressionit hath pleased God to regenerate' is synonymous with the expression it shall please God to regenerate, unless the past is the same with the future, it is impossible to deny, that they, who wilfully and deliberately detach regeneration from baptism, impugn essentially the doctrine of our established Church, inasmuch as they impugn it in one of our Holy Sacraments.” P.6.
From this very seasonable and important digression, which is yet most ingeniously connected with this subject, the Bishop returns to some further considerations upon the prophetical character of types. The evidence of this actual prefiguration of the one event in the other is to be found in Scripture only; for that one thing was actually designed to prefigure another, can only be known to him who designed it, and to those, to whom he has vouchsafed to reveal it. This consideration will clearly convince us of the folly of those, who employ themselves in searching for obscure and concealed prefigurations in the Old Testa. ment of the events of the New. Those which the Almighty has revealed, we know; those which he has not revealed, we cannot know: they are the creatures only of our fancy, which is alwavs a dangerous, often a destructive guide in the interpretation of Scripture. The same difficulties which occur with respect to things, occur also with respect to words; hence the various and contradictory opinions of those, who have come forward as interpreters of the prophetical writings. The principal sources of error in this point are, first, an ignorance of the Hebrew language, and of its figurative style; secondly, inattention to the situation and circumstances of the writer, whose works are to be expound. ed; thirdly, preconceived opinions, which the words, or rather the translations of the author are often tortured to support. From these sources has arisen that variety of opinion in the interpreta. tion of prophecy, which is to be attributed, not to the ambiguity of the Sacred Text, but to the indiscretion of its interpreters.
In the twentieth Lecture, the Bishop applies the principles which, in a former Lecture he had laid down for the interpretation of Scripture in general, to the interpretation of prophecy, distinguishing at the same time between the inspiration of the historian and the inspiration of the prophet. In the first, the immediate interposition of the Holy Spirit is only required to preserve him from error; in the other, the inspiration of SUGGESTION is necessary, to acquaint him with the events which he is to predict. We strongly recommend the following passage to the notice of all mystifiers of Scripture, who in the comnionest ex: pressions are especially ingenious in detecting some latent mean
ing, which the author does not choose to discover to the eyes of the vulgar,
“ Let us apply then the principles of interpretation, as explained in a former Lecture, to the two different cases of history and prophecy. When we interpret the words of a sacred historian, and consider those words, as signs to the reader of what was thought by the author, we may regard the historian himself as the author. But when we interpret a prophecy, we must distinguish between the author, and the writer. For when the knowledge of the writer is communicated to him by an immediate suggestion of the Holy Spirit, we must consider the Holy Spirit, as the author of that knowledge, which the prophet, as a writer, communicates to the reader. But then this knowledge might be communicated to the prophet in two different ways, either of which lay within the reach of Almighty power. The understanding of the prophet might be opened in a supernatural manner, so as to give him an insight into future events, while the record of those events, or the mode of committing them to writing, was left entirely to himself. In this case, though the prophecy has the Holy Spirit for its author, yet the words of the prophecy are the words of the prophet. And if the prophet was the author of the words, those words must be signs to us of what was thought by the prophet. On the other hand, the words also, as well as the things signified by the words, might have been com. niunicated to thie prophet. In this case he was the mere instrument of communication to the reader; and the Holy Spirit must then be regarded as the author, as well with respect to the words, as with respect to the things. But whether the words were choşen by the prophet, or chosen by the Holy Spirit, the principle, on which they were chosen, must in either case have been the same. In either case, the choice of them must have de. pended on the connexion, which the usage of the Hebrew language had established between words, and the things signified by those words. If they had not been so chosen, they could not have been signs to the reader of what was thought by the author, whether we refer them to the prophet, or refer them to the Holy Spirit. Whoever was the author of a passage, which we propose to interpret, we must conclude, that he used his words in such senses, as he supposed would be ascribe to them by his readers. For if he used them in other senses, he would not inform, but mislead.' Consequently, whether we interpret prophecy, on the supposition that the words were chosen by the prophet, or in. terpret prophecy on the supposition that the words were chosen by the Holy Spirit, we must on either supposition apply the same rules of interpretation.” P. 24.
The Bishop now proceeds to the particular consideration of those prophecies ubich relate to the Messiah, which include the questions of primary and secondary senses, and of what is commonly termed accommodation. This consideration, therefore,