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we be made Christ's members, to live by the appointment of God. According contrary to the same, making our- to our service the end of the washing selves members of the Devil.” of an infant in baptism, or of a peni
These statements seem to agree with tent and faithful adult, is the regenea remarkable one of Cranmer's, which ration of his spirit, that regeneration I find in his work on the Lord's Sup- without which our Saviour declares no per, p. 366, Parker Society's edition.
man can see, no man can enter the king“ In baptisın we must think that as
dom of God; and so Hookerimplies that the priest putteth his hand to the child it is a means ordained of God for giving outwardly, so we must think that God a new birth to His elect, and says putteth to his hand inwardly, and wash- that in an ordinary way that new eth the infant with the Holy Ghost. birth cannot be had without the water, Moreover that Christ Himself cometh though he allows under certain cirdown upon the child and apparelleth him cumstances God may dispense with with his own self.”
His ordinary manner of working, and Becon also advocates this view of work extraordinarily.
He leads us to think that God ac, regeneration with the water, and deliverance from wrath in the ordinance complishes the work of the new birth of water baptism ; but his statements not with the Spirit alone, but with seem confused and contradictory as water thereunto adjoined ; and while regards infants. However he is he seems to limit the effect to the
very plain on the point that the gift of elect, he seems also to think that in a regeneration may be lost by following judgment of charity we ought to conthe evil concupiscence (still left after sider all infants of that number, the new birth, to try us and prove us)
“We receive Christ Jesus in baptism, and so displease God here, and come once, as the First Beginner; in the short of the inheritance of obedient Eucharist, often,
as being by continchildren hereafter. Bp. Burnet was ual degrees the Finisher of our life.” of opinion that sufficient grace in the
I have been long on this subject, baptism was given to infants for salva- because I feel that the meaning of our tion, if they died without actual sin, baptismal formularies is very imand that this was the Church's teach- perfectly understood. ing. His words are as follows;
Hence we find so many pamphlets, • The office carries on this supposition
&c., written in defence of them, while of an internal regeneration, and in that
the writers are really most hostile to helpless state the infant is offered up and their real meaning. I have read with dedicated to God, and if he dies in that some interest Mr. Ryle's Treatise on state of incapacity, he being dedicated to Regeneration, and fully agree with God, is certainly accepted of Him; and by your remarks respecting it. He quotes being put in the second Adam, all the a Homily to shew that the Church bad effects of his having descended from does not hold baptismal regeneration, the first Adam, are quite taken away.”. and I quite agree that the quotations he Burnet on Art. xxvii.
makes therefrom shew that the writer I have come to the conclusion that
was not of opinion, that wicked adults no one can read the baptismal formu- were regenerate. Whether he thought laries with a proper understanding of they might have been in their baptheir statements, and with a full per- tism, and lost the gift, I think we suasion of their truth, and so with a cannot tell. It seems foolish to refer good conscience, unless he really be- to the Homilies as almost infallible lieves that the water in holy baptism interpreters of the baptismal or other is as much ordained as an instrument services, or as standards of truth. In ky which God's Spirit inwardly clean- one of the Homilies the Apocrypha, ses the proper recipient, as it was or- at least the Book of Tobit, is termed dained that the waters of Jordan Scripture. The one to which I allude should wash away Naaman's leprosy, is the Homily on almsgiving, in the after he had seven times dipped him- second part, 6. The same lesson doth self therein at God's bidding. In that the Holy Ghost teach in sundry places case the water was a means to an end of Scripture, saying, Mercifulness and
previous to its being brought to the font? This may be the case or not.
But, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury," the Scripture nowhere declares the effects of infant baptism,'
on this subject it does not speak definitively." Now if this be true, how can we feel satisfied of the positive declarations in our Services, that we as ministers are obliged to make, and call upon the people to join in; and it becomes us in all things to seek to live honestly, and to remember that whatever is not of faith is sin,-and that our only ground of faith is the written Word of God.
almsgiving purgeth from all sins, and delivereth from death; and suffereth not the soul to come into darkness," see Tobit iv. I have quoted from the Homily, the words in our present It translation are rather different. seems to me a great pity, that really well-meaning and enlightened men like Mr. Ryle, should labour hard to justify the words of a service which connects the right reception of baptism with the new birth, while they themselves deny it to be the necessary or even ordinary means of communicating it. I feel a difficulty in assuming that an infant is necessarily in wrath till baptized, and necessarily in grace because baptized; for who can tell what God has done for the infant
THERE is much that is very interesting as well as highly instructive in this Memoir. Dr. Byrth has furnished his biographer with a great portion of his work in the shape of a very complete autobiography of his early life,
written for the use of his children. There are some circumstances in the
life of this good man, of so interesting a character, from the nature of his position in early life, and there are passages of such value in the appendix to the biography,-that we wish we could give a few extracts both from the Memoir and the Remains.
Dr. Byrth tells us that he was born in 1793, at Plymouth, or rather that part now called Devonport; his father was a native of Ireland, and his mother was a Cornish woman. His
Reviews, and Short
REMAINS OF THOMAS BYRTH, D.D., Rector of Wallasay, with Memoir of his Life. By the Rev. G. R. MONCREIFF, M.A. 8vo, pp. 444. Hatchards.
father although brought up as a High Churchman, and intended for the ministry, yet from the adoption in part of the revolutionary principles of that day, his old Church principles were not only uprooted, but he went to the very opposite extreme, and be
A PRESBYTER OF THE CHURCH OF
Dec. 19th, 1851.
Notices of Books.
came a Quaker. Dr. Byrth's mother was, to use his own language Wesleyan in the ancient and now obsolete sense of the word ;" that is, she was a good Churchwoman in heart, and only united to the Methodists, because the Gospel was not generally either preached or loved by the clergy of the Establishment. Her father had been an early convert of John Wesley's, who seems to have distinguished him by personal friendship.
From this curious stock sprang the future Rector of Wallasey, who, as Mr. Moncrieff remarks, retained in after life the peculiarities of his early religious training, "there running through the whole texture of his latest views, a fine thread of connection with each theological school."
The following further statement of his origin is well worthy of attention:
'My father's occupation was that of a But although he kept a shop, grocer. he carried on business on such a scale, as would in the last century, in all the subordinate towns of the country, have placed him in the standing of a merchant. I must ask my children to believe that I do not write this from any silly sense of shame that my father kept a shop, but that they may be in possession of the truth as to their origin.
The right appreciation of the fore While I was at Cookworthy's there going sentence would prevent many happened other circumstances which diministers, themselves perhaps sprung
verted my mind from merely scientific from a similar origin, from indulging a pursuits, and directed my thoughts to foolish pride of a station only high and metaphysical and theological disquisiexalted, inasmuch as its possessors
tions. Among the numerous persons in abase themselves and exalt their Mas
their employment, there were more than ter; would also save many a hum
one professing great knowledge of doc
trinal religion. With these, although ble Christian from experiencing that
they were persons of little education, I chilling dignity which often repels
was continually maintaining disputations. them from approaching their pastor. One of them was a man of very superior
First at a dame school, and then at natural powers, and not without very exthe parish school of Callington, Dr. tensive reading in polemics. He was the Byrth received his earliest education; working chemist in the laboratory, and and afterwards wasted, as he terms it was, when I first became acquainted with with bitter regret, “eight precious him, a lay-preacher among the Baptists. years” with a person of the name of Of course, then, his views were CalvinGuest, where the late John George istic. Against the doctrines of the ReBreay, of Birmingham, was his school
former of Geneva, I had jinbibed, both fellow, who, Dr. Byrth says, “ left
from Quakerism and from Wesleyanism, behind him a name beyond any lite
the most unmitigated hatred. And these
matters were the subject of everlasting rary distinction—a faithful and suc
contention between me and Daniel Shep. cessful minister of Christ." He was
heard, till they ended in his coming over removed from this school, and from to the Arminian system, leaving the that time appears to have picked up Baptists, and becoming a local preacher from various individuals some fur- among the Methodists." ther elements of those acquirements While at this chemist's, his father's in which he was destined to perfect failure took place, and he then felt himself with much of severe midnight most keenly the sudden coldness labour and perseverance.
which the world pours After finally leaving school, young who can no longer mingle with the Byrth was bound apprentice to a firm
more fortunate in the affairs of life. carrying on the business of a chemist Upon the expiration of his apprenticeand druggist, and resided with the ship, he formed the determination to junior partner, where he says that he
become a teacher. Under circum“not only learned to hate Quakerism,
stances apparently the most disadbut unhappily to doubt the truth of revealed religion altogether.” A sudden vantageous, did Dr. Byrth struggle on
in his attainment of knowledge; and disgust which he took against this bu
as Mr. Moncreiff remarks, “ He was siness, resulting from a rather ludi- allowed to be the architect of his own crous accident, which happened in the honours, and seldom has the uphill course of some of his stolen experi- battle of life been more unflinchingly ments, made him abjure chemistry for
fought. ever, and turn his attention to litera
In the spring of 1814 Mr. Byrth ture.
secured an engagement, or rather en“ As I sat brooding over my hard tered into a kind of partnership, with destiny by the light of my little candle, Mr. Southwood, in a school at Ridge I perceived my school box of books,
way, near Plympton, where he acted which I had brought with me from home. as tutor in the Greek, Latin, and It contained Homer, Virgil, Horace, and French languages. This engagement A thought flashed across
was not of long continuance; its abmy mind, that I would devote myself to literature, instead of science. No expense
rupt termination being caused by a but that of a candle would be necessary ;
heartless reference to a natural infirand from that night until now-thirty- mity in Dr. Byrth's vision. He then five years ago—not a day has passed, opened a school on his own account, except I have been travelling or disabled where he was happily successful, and by sickness, without a Greek or Latin ultimately, as he says,
“ The blessing book being in my hands.
of Providence rested upon my la
bours, and my income became a large devotedness to the pastor's office was
steady. Decidedly evangelical in his We have here only given a slight views, he yet, as his biographer obsketch of the early life and difficul- serves, did not consider himself tied ties of Dr. Byrth; the whole history to adopt the conventional technicaliwill well repay the perusal of those ties of any system of men, but was who may, like him, be struggling to one who eminently followed after escape
from situations uncongenial to truth wherever it was to be found. their tastes. If they would do so, We must pass over his appointment like Dr. Byrth they must labour long to the rectory of Wallasey, and hasten and hard. In 1818 or 1819 he ap- to give one short extract on the subplied for membership with the society ject of his union with the Evangelical of Friends, but only on the score of Alliance. birthright; and as was said, by “pro
“ He earnestly believed that our church, bably being desirous of being identi
with all her faults, had not her like on fied with some system of Christian
the face of the earth; and in joining the doctrine.” The brethren disallowed Evangelical Alliance, he did not give up the claim, and Dr. Byrth relinquished one particle of his churchmanship ; but Quakerism, and became a member of he rightly considered, that he was not the Church of England. Of course only a member of the Church of Eng. his religious feelings were at this time land, but also of Christ's Catholic Church, of a most unsettled character, and it and, much as he loved the church of his was not until his attendance at a country, he would at once have renounced meeting of the British and Foreign all connection with her rather than forBible Society, that it is supposed his
get the paramount duty which he owed personal convictions of the import
to that great body, of which we only form ance of religion were riveted, and
a part." the speeches he there heard also We regret to find that Dr. Byrth helped to decide him as to the bear- was at issue with his brethren in the ing of his future life.
Alliance, on the necessity of waging In 1818 Dr. Byrth entered at Mag- open warfare with Popery, and that dalen Hall, Oxford, still continuing he had kept aloof from Protestant to carry on his school, which he ma- associations and other similar bodies, naged to do by the kindness of Dr. under the deep impression of the Macbride and the other authorities of danger to true Protestantism of mixthat Hall. This course was taken ing up the religious controversy with without any intention of entering the the political agitations of the day. ministry. After the usual time had Viewed as merely auxiliary to the elapsed, Dr. Byrth passed a most cre- furtherance of any particular political ditable examination, and was placed opinions, the active support of Proin the second class, a position, not- testantism and consequent outcry withstanding his own keen disap- against Popery never could be depointment, more than sufficient to fended; but the experience of the establish his reputation, consider- past few years has abundantly proved, ing his having to combine the la- even to the most cautious in the mibours of his own school with the nistry, that while we have been carecourse of necessary reading for the less, or over timid, the Romanists University.
have been sowing seed which has Shortly after this, he decided upon yielded a crop it is not easy to giving up his school and entering the ministry, to which he was soon or- We have given at some length the dained by Dr. Kaye, the present Bi- history of Dr. Byrth's life, until his shop of Lincoln. We cannot follow entrance upon the minstry, and, had the memoir further than to notice that we space, we should notice with sinshortly after his ordination an entire cere pleasure the continued energy change came over “ the spirit of his and faithfulness with which his every theology," and from that period his gift was then consecrated to the serprogress in real spiritual religion, and vice of the sanctuary. His christian
character is thus well described in one of the closing passages of the Memoir :
"Give the praise of this consistent walk to that holy principle which he cherished daily by close communion with the hearer of prayer. Truly, he walked by faith;' his life-the real life of his soul-was out of sight-hid with Christ in God.' The stern integrity-the increasing self-control-the unbounded liberality-the devotion of life and health unsparingly to the service in which he was engaged-these all told of inward sources of strength, and that strength was union with Christ. Living and dying, he bears this testimony-oh! may God make it effectual To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' To live was indeed Christ to him. He knew, as his comfort and his joy, that for him, a sinner, Christ had died. Long had his soul been tempest tost; but long ago the storm had been hushed. In quiet assurance of redeeming love, he lived, he laboured, he died. At the end of the days,' he shall stand in his lot,'-in the place which by faith he claimed as his own, while yet a pilgrim here."
We must abandon our intention to extract for this number, any portion from "the Remains." We could have wished that the compiler of this Memoir had given us a volume arranged in a somewhat better and - more readable form, and which, with the materials he possessed and has used, he might have woven into a biography, if not as generally interesting, yet in many points as useful as that of Bickersteth.
books for the new year, we strongly advise them to let Dr. Kitto's new work be one among the friendly offerIt is a ings at this festive season. beautifully illustrated History of Palestine in its geographical features;a full history of the Hebrew nation, in its origin, past history, and present aspect,-the habits of life, and the peculiar privileges, customs, and laws, which have ever made the Jews a separate people.
The work is written for our elder children, who having become interested by Scripture reading in the Jewish nation, may seek to know more about the country and customs of a people who have played a most important part in by-gone days, and shall again assume a position of no small moment in the future events of the world at large.
HISTORY OF PALESTINE from the Patriarchal age to the present time. By JOHN KITTO, D.D. A. & C. Black, Edinburgh.
If our readers should not have already made their selection of gift
SEVENTEEN SERMONS on various Subjects. By CHARLES KEMBLE, M.A., Incumbent of St. Michael's, Stockwell, &c. London: Seeleys.
There is a beautiful simplicity and earnestness of tone in this volume of Sermons, which renders them eminently valuable for home reading, not only amongst the members of the author's own flock, but which will
make the book a useful addition to a
far wider circle of sermon readers. Containing a variety of subjects, all bearing upon the most important topics of evangelical doctrine, and written in a plain, but way-making style, we can unhesitatingly recom
mend Mr. Kemble's "Seventeen Sermons as specimens of the treatment of truths which we should delight to know were delivered from every pulpit in England.