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has finished them, "he may if he so please," go on to those of the three next.

S. Your Correspondent greatly prefers immersion or pouring to sprinkling and he has my free consent to use his own discretion. All I plead for is Infant Baptism.

4. Your Correspondent seems to be sadly puzzled with Tertullian's "si non tam necesse est ;" but though the meaning appears sufficiently obvious to those who are acquainted with the controversies of the age, yet I would inform him for his comfort that the words are by many learned men given up as an interpolation.

5. Your Correspondent pleads that upon the same principles upon which argue the obligation of Infant Baptism, all the early corruptions of Christianity in doctrine and practice might be justified.-My argument is, that Infant Baptism was the institution of the apostles, and the uniform practice of the primitive church. When your Correspondent can with equal justice allege the same argument in favour of any other doctrine or practice, I will readily acknowledge that doctrine or that practice to be a vital part of the Christian religion.

6. But your Correspondent does not seem to be aware that the charge which he urges against my reasoning rebounds with redoubled force upon his own; and that the will-worship which he advocates, but which the Apostle most explicitly discourages, opens the flood-gates to an endless tide of superstition and absurdity. He practises infant baptism because, forsooth, he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another makes the sign of the cross, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another repeats ten Ave Marias to one Paternoster, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another bows to a crucifix, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another counts beads, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another makes a pilgrimage to Loretto or Jerusalem, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another defends imageworship, because he thinks it " innocent and laudable." And another worships and then devours the consecrated bread, because he thinks it

"innocent and laudable." In short, there is no end to these "inuocent and laudable" appendages to Christianity and the apostate church has introduced and authorized such a countless multitude into its code of discipline and worship, that the simplicity of evangelical doctrine and worship is completely overwhelmed under the enormous mass of these "innocent and laudable" excrescences. So have not we learned Christ. If Infant Baptism is an apostolical institution, let it be observed as such; if not, let it be abandoned altogether: and let not us set ourselves up as better judges of what is fit and right than Christ and his apostles.

Having thus disposed of your Correspondent's arguments, I will beg leave to re-state my own.

Infant Baptism was the uniform, universal and undisputed practice of the Church from the apostolic age down to the fifth century, and even later.

No reasonable account can be given of this singular uniformity in a rite never before administered to the infant descendents of baptized parents, but that which the primitive Christians uniformly assign, viz. the appointment of the apostles.

Had it been left to discretion, some would have baptized their infants and others not.

Had the apostles instituted adult baptism, and limited the application of baptism to adults only, it is absolutely impossible that a change so universal should have taken place so early without notice and opposition.

They who impugn this conclusion must shew either that the practice of Infant Baptism was not universal: they must produce churches, sects or individuals who practised adult baptism, or writers who asserted its authority and obligation, or they must shew how it might be universal without being of apostolical origin. To object to the evidence as traditional, because it is historical, is puerile and weak. Upon the same principle they might object to the resurrection of Jesus Christ: and in fact with equal reason Tindal does object to Christianity itself as a traditional revelation.

The great objection is, that Infant Baptism is not enjoined in the New Testament. But who told us that

nothing is to be admitted as of apostolical authority but what is to be found in the New Testament? How do we know that the Gospels of Matthew aud John are of apostolic origin? Not because we are so taught in the New Testament: for not a word is written, not a hint is suggested upon the subject. We believe it upon the uniform, universal, uncontradicted testimony of Christian antiquity. And we do well. Upon the very same evidence I assume the apostolical authority of Infant Baptism. T. BELSHAM.

W

Perpetuity of the Lord's Supper. SIR, London, Jan. 10, 1818. THEN Dr. Priestley endeavoured to convince Dr. Price that the mind of man was not immaterial, using this term in the sense he defined, the result was different to what either of the correspondents probably anticipated. For Dr. Price in the end declared that, although he was not convinced the mind of man is not immaterial, yet he was inclined to concede that matter is.

So with our friend Mr. Belsham, if he fails to convince his readers of the apostolic authority for the continued use of baptism, he may shake their faith in the perpetual obligation of the Lord's Supper, as resting upon the recorded authority of the founder of the Christian religion. But, Sir, I believe a little attention will convince us that the two rites rest upon a basis as different as that I pointed out in the letter you inserted in the Repository for November last [XII. 657].

Your readers may incline to think it a hazardous attempt for a layman to oppose Mr. Belsham's comment upon the writings of the Apostle Paul, writings to which he has so long and so successfully attended. But all I shall undertake, and indeed all I apprehend I need to undertake, is, to exhibit the testimony of the Apostle as recorded in the Epistle to the Corinthians; taking it from the text of the Improved Version.

At the end of the sixth chapter of the first epistle, the Apostle commences a long series of remarks and directions upon the abuse, and for the better use of the observances of that Christian community; which he continues to the close of the fourteenth

chapter. He introduces his account of the institution of the Lord's Supper with very remarkable expressions, and concludes it with some not less so."

"For I have received from the Lord that which I delivered also unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the night on which he was delivered up, took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and said, This is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of me." In like manner he

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took the cup also, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant through my blood: do this, as often as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shew forth the Lord's death, till he come."

Should it be objected that the 26th verse is not to be considered a part of the direction received from Jesus Christ, I shall feel obliged to Mr. Belsham, or any other of your correspondents, for their reasons for the objection. At the conclusion of the 14th chapter, and near the end of the Apostle's remarks upon the observances of the Corinthian church, is the following remarkable declaration: "If any man seem to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord."

Thus does the Apostle Paul bear his testimony direct and express to the perpetual observance of the Lord's Supper as a rite instituted by Jesus Christ, and declare that all his directions possess the authority of his Lord and Master: indeed it appears to me very difficult to record them more directly and more expressly. Yet Mr. Belsham says, p. 731 of your last volume, "For though Christ instituted the Eucharist, he gave no precept for its permanent obligation: and though St. Paul incidentally mentions that in the Lord's Supper we shew forth his death until he come,' such an oblique notice is by no means equivalent to an express command.' take the liberty of requesting him, if I am mistaken in my conclusions, to

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* I hardly need call to your readers' recollection that the Apostle had no intercourse with his Master before his crucifixion, therefore every other was su pernatural.

shew what is the true meaning of the apostolic language. Some persons may perhaps unwillingly alter the opinion they have hitherto cherished of the authority upon which this rite rests; but truth, however unpalatable, will in the end be preferred to error. Before I conclude, I cannot but remark upon what appears to me an inconsistency in the members of our Unitarian churches. Unitarians claim to be observing and reflecting Christians. How is it, then, that when a rite so simple, decent and impressive, and resting upon such high authority, is about to be celebrated, the majority take their departure as though they had no interest in it? Why other bodies of Christians, who for want of a better term, are called "orthodox," habitually neglect this institution of the Christian religion, is obvious to every one who has escaped from the fold of orthodoxy; but that Unitarians should retain this part of the old leaven, is, to use the mildest phrase, incousistent with their profession. Much do I wish that the state of public opinion would allow Christian ministers to make this a continued part of the public service-offering to no individual of the congregation, by the interruption of the service, an opportunity to depart. Let the ministers of our congregations reflect upon the favourable opportunity af

forded to them to lead their churches into the knowledge and practice of all that is truly Christian, by the freedom they, and they alone of all Christian ministers in this country, enjoy for conducting their public discussions towards such truths and in such manner as they deem most

useful.

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of the result of those efforts, I cannot
but conceive I am warranted in the
conclusion, that there is some radical
deficiency in the Socinian views of
the gospel to enable them to
sinners from the error of their ways."

convert

The easy access with which the more popular doctrines of redemption seem invariably to gain the hearts and rivet the attachment of the lower classes of society, (to whom in fact missionary labours are devoted,) is surely a striking proof, in its contrast to the want of such success in the other case, that no inferior motives to conversion either at home or abroad, of the unreclaimed sinner in our own, or of the ignorant idolater in a Heathen land, will ever be productive of any material or permanent success.

And the cause, I conceive, of this contrast is obvious. The system of the gospel, as a whole, appears so inexplicable, there seems such a want of consistent explanation of its parts without the grounding main-spring of the atonement, that I can never imagine the possibility of any such powerful multitudes being brought to conversion by a system excluding this principle, which the influence of the Christian doctrine enforced with it, has been found so eminently and extensively successful in producing. To convert sinners without a Saviour,owryg-Salutifer-RESTORER-Seems a hopeless effort.

Entertaining these views, and I do on most serious and deliberate invesso from very sincere conviction and tigation of the subject, I would respectfully submit to those who so sanguinely anticipate the success_of missionary labours, conducted on Socinian views, whether the tone of the public mind with respect to these sentiments does not argue the strong imwhether the very partial effects that probability of such success; and also weave yet resulted from these efforts may not be argued as a pretty decisive confirmation of the principle assumed in this letter, viz. the practical inefficacy of (what are called) Unitarian doctrines for the purposes of coNVERSION? SIMPLEX.

P.S. In speaking, as I have done in this letter, of the religious views al

* Vide P.S.

luded to under the title of Socinian,
I beg to be understood as far from
wishing (however differing indivi-
dually from those views), to apply the
term in any offensive designation, or
in any sense of “vulgar bigotry,"
(XII. 588,) towards the persons or
party entertaining them; believing
them generally, and knowing them in
many particular instances, to be in-
fluenced by sentiments and actuated
by motives of conduct, that do honour
to them as Christians and as valuable
members of society. But the appel-
lation more usually adopted by them-
selves would, in this case, include
numerous individuals, to whose views
these remarks on the converting in-
efficacy of doctrines excluding an
atoning Saviour, could by no possi-
bility of construction be applied.

Letters by Mr. Marsom in Reply to
Mr. Wardlaw's Arguments for the
Deity of the Holy Spirit.

SIR,

HA

LETTER I.

Jan. 2, 1817. AVING Mr. Wardlaw's Discourses, on the Socinian Doctrines, put into my hands, I was forcibly struck, in reading them, with the weakness and inadequacy of the arguments, in general, which he adduces in proof of those doctrines for which he is so strenuous an advocate; but in particular of those arguments, (in his ninth discourse,) which he makes use of in support of the doctrine of the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit. This induced me to sit down and make some observations on his mode of reasoning, and to endeavour to establish the fact, that the Holy Spirit is never spoken of as a person, and that in the nature of things, it neither is or can be such a being.

passage in the Bible affirming it." The doctrine of the Trinity is the doctrine of three persons in the Godhead. The personality of the Holy Spirit, which it is the object of this discourse to establish, is, therefore, an essential branch of that doctrine. It will be necessary then to inquire, (especially as Mr. Wardlaw has no objection for the proof of it to take his stand in this text,) what evidence the passage affords of the truth of that doctrine. We have in it three names mentioned, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; two of these names, the Father and the Son, unquestionably denote persons, they are personal names. This needs no other proof than the mention of the names themselves, for they convey at once the idea of personality. The proper names of persons of the male kind are universally of the masculine gender, whereas the proper names of things, which are not persons, are as universally of the neuter gender, that is, they are impersonal names. The proper name, therefore, of any thing will infallibly determine whether that which it is designed to represent be or not a person. Now the Greek word

up here used and translated spirit is not a personal name, but is a noun of the neuter gender; it is derived from the verb to breathe, and means breath, air, wind, which is also the meaning of the Hebrew word Spirit. The English word spirit is derived from the Latin word spiro, to breathe, and signifies breath. Had the nature and meaning of the word TVEUμa, been as distinctly marked and preserved in the translation as it is in the original, there could have been no question whether or no it was intended to denote a person; for every oue, on seeing or hearing it Mr. Wardlaw introduces this sub- pronounced, would at once see that it ject, taking for his text Matt. xxviii. could not be the name of a person. 19, "Go, teach all nations, baptizing The nature of the English word spirit, them in the name of the Father and as a neuter noun, and its meaning as of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;" derived from spiro, to breathe, is not and immediately adds, "I should have understood by the generality of Enno objection, with regard to the doc-glish readers, though it must be well trine of the Trinity, to take my stand known to Mr. Wardlaw. And the in this text. It would, perhaps, (he translators of the Scriptures, who says) be going too far to say, that I were Trinitarians, have been careful, should certainly be a firm believer in as much as possible, to keep it out of this doctrine, if there were not another view by rendering TVεuμa almost uniformly spirit, and never breath or wind, except where the circumstances

* Page 275, second edition.

VOL. XIII.

F

of the place compel them so to render it, as in the following instances, Gen. iii. 8, it is rendered the cool of the day; vi. 17, The breath of life; viii. 1, wind; so also Exod. xv. 10, Thou didst blow with thy wind; and 1 Kings xix. 1, it is three times rendered wind; Psalm xxxiii. 6, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by (not the spirit or person, but) the breath of his mouth;" ver. 9, "For he spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast;" John iii. S, “The wind, πVEUμa, bloweth where it listeth." In these passages the meaning of the word spirit is clearly seen, and so the word should be rendered, John xx. 22, "He breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive ye the Holy Breath ;” thus 2nd Timothy iii. 16, "All Scripture given by inspiration of God." The words, given by inspiration of God, are but one word in the original, and is literally divinely breathed. So the words under consideration might properly be rendered, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Breath;" for as the terms Father and Son, necessarily convey the idea of personality, so the terms Holy Spirit, being of the neuter gender, as neces sarily convey the idea of impersonality; and we as certainly know, by the very name by which it is described, that it is not a person, as we know, by their very names, the Father and Son to be persons.

Again, as nouns are the names of persons and things, so the pronouns which supply their place must necessarily correspond with those nouns whose place they supply, in number and gender, or they will not be just representatives of them. A violation of this rule, by substituting personal pronouns for neuter nouns, and neuter pronouns for personal nouns, is confounding all propriety, a perversion of all language and grammar. This is never done, nor can it be done, without the greatest absurdity; for instance, how preposterous would it be to apply neuter pronouns to God and to Christ, and to adopt such language as the following, God itself, even our Father, Christ loved our church and gave itself for it! God raised Christ from the dead and set it at his right hand, &c. This, on the face of it, is sufficiently ridiculous. If then the Holy

Spirit be a proper person, and the gender, such pronouns could not posname πνεύμα be of the masculine sibly be used to supply its place; but such pronouns are used, as for instauce, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit ;" itself maketh intercession for us," &c. "The Spirit The last clause in the next verse ought to have been rendered, "Because it, not he, intercedeth for the saints according to the will of God." There is nothing in the original to warrant the rendering in the common version. The Holy Spirit, therefore, cannot be a person. On the other hand, if the word spirit be a neuter noun, (as it unquestionably is,) it would be equally preposterous and absurd to make use of the personal pronouns, he, him and his, as its substitutes. This, we may venture to affirm, is never the case in the New Testament. Yet, notwithstanding this, Mr. Wardlaw, in violation of so plain a rule of grammar, (which every one understands and uniformly complies with,) almost invariably uses these personal pronouns as the substitutes of the neuter noun spirit. "The great work of the Holy Spirit* (he says) is to bear witness to Christ. He did so by all those supernatural powers, of which He was the author, in the beginning of the gospel; and He did so then, and continues to do so now by his gracious influences on the minds of men.' Such is the influence of system,-and by such a perversion of language as this is, the nature of the word spirit, as an impersonal name, and its meaning is completely kept out of the view of the common reader. He is first taught to believe that the Spirit is a proper person, and then to support the erroneous idea, personal pronouns are made to supply its place.

if this reasoning be just, on what ground does Mr. Wardlaw's believing the doctrine of the Trinity or of the personality of the Holy Spirit stand, in the commission of our Lord to teach and baptize? There is not, in this passage, any one of the terms by which those doctrines are or can be expressed; there is in it no such term as Trinity, nor does it contain in it the terms three persons. There are indeed three names mentioned, but one

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