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convinced that God has loved you, and will love you to the end? Ah, then you have got the improvement of trouble, if it has led you thus. Pray for me sull, that I may get the good of all God's dealings with
Lean all on Jesus. Pray for a tine of the pouring out of God's Spirit, that many more may be saved. I hope the Lord's work is not done in this place yet. Ever your affectionate pastor, etc.”
The following fine sentiments, addressed to a person in affliction, are worthy to be quoted.
“ Improve this sharp wind, dear A., for you will soon lose the benefit, if not carefully sought after. Search out the Achan in your heart at such an hour. Let affliction strike heavy blows at your corruptions, your idolatries, and self-pleasing, and worldly schemes. Learn much of Christ at such an hour. Study him at the grave of Lazarus (John 11); and at the gate of Nain (Luke 8: 11); and also within the veil (Rev. 1: 18). Do not be ashamed to grieve deeply ; but let your sadness find relief in the bosom that was pierced with the spear.
“ • Is any afflicted? Let him pray.' Strange, Satan often tempts us to restrain prayer at such a time. Be very gentle towards the souls of your kindred now.”
These specimens of his letters are very inadequate to show their true character and value; but we cannot allow much more space to such extracts. On reëxamining the letters, it seems to us that the parts which we have left are more beautiful, rich and evangelical than those we have taken. The letters touch upon a variety of topics, and form a rich variety of affectionate and holy correspondence.
We content ourselves with a single extract farther, from a letter entitled, “Passing on to glory." It is the last that was written by him, and is dated seventeen days before his death.
“I send a few lines to you in answer to yours. You complain of the plague of your own heart, and so you will, till you die. You know little yet of its chambers of imagery. All that is ours is sin. Our wicked heart taints all we say and do ; hence the need of continual atonement in the blood of Jesus. It is not one pardonir.g that will serve the need of our souls. We must have daily, hourly pardons. I believe you are in the furnace, but it is a short one. Soon the bridegroom will come, and we shall be with him, and like him, and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. I burst through all the cobwebs of present things; and, his Spirit anointing my eyes, look at Jesus as one beside me. Blessed elder brother, with two natures-God and man-ever living, never dying, never changing. I was preaching last Sabbath on Heb. 9: 13, 14. *He through the eterVOL. XIII. —NO. LII.
nal Spirit offered himself.' It was very sweet to myself. In the afternoon 'I preached on Rev. 2 : 4, 5. I have this against thee, that shou hasi left thy first love.' I fear many of my people have done so ; therefore it was very suitable. Several, I see, have felt it very deeply. In the evening I preached on Ps. 78: 41,–. They turned back and lempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel,'-op the sinfulness of limiting God. It was a very sweet and solemn day. Meantime, stay your soul on God. • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteih in ihee.' A few more trials—a few more tears—a few more days of darkness, and we shall be forever with the Lord. • In this tabernacle we groan, being burdened. All dark things shall yet be cleared ur-all sufferings healed—all blanks supplied, and we shall find fulness of joy (not one drop wanting), in the smile and presence of our God. It is one of the laws of Christ's kingdom, We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.' We must not reckon upon a smooth road to glory, but it will be a short one. How glad I am that you have received ihe word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. Cleave closely to Jesus, that you may not have io say, in a little, .O that I had aifliction back again, to quicken me in prayer, and make me lie at bis feet.'
• Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give new life to prayer;
Lay me low, and keep me there.' “ This land will soon be strangely convulsed, if God prevent not. The plans now preparing for carrying the gospel into every corner of the land are sweet indeed. If I be spared and strengthened, I go to London towards the end of April.
My poor flock; how I yearn over them! So many of them careless, and judgment at the door!
“I must add no more, as I have work before me May you experience more and more that, when he giveth quietness, none can make trouble,'—even as you once experienced the other, “When he hideth his face, who then can behold him?' Soon we shall see him as he is; then our trials shall be done. We shall reign with him, and be entirely like him. The angels will know us by our very faces to be brothers and sisters of Jesus.
• Remember Jesus for us is all our righteousness before a holy God, and Jesus in us is all our strength in an ungodly world. Persevere even to death ; eternal life will make up for all. I was reading to day, • God hath granted repentance unto life.' Remember Barnabas's advice, Cleave to the Lord ; ' not to man, but the Lord. May he perfect all that concerneth you. Do not fear the face of man. Remember how small their anger will appear in eternity. Till then, believe me your friend in gospel bands, etc.”
We have not left ourselves space to speak of the remaining portions of these volumes.
We can only say
in general, that we have perused them with pleasure and profit, and deem thein richly worthy of a place among our biographical and theological literature.
IMPORT OF BAPTISM.
Baptism with reference to its Import and Modes. By
EDWARD BEECHER, D. D. Baptism in its Mode and Subjects. By ALEXANDER CAR
soy, LL. D., Minister of the Gospel.
The work of Dr. Beecher is chiefly a republication of his articles on baptism, which appeared some years since in the Biblical Repository, with a re-statement of his principal positions, and some additional remarks on the strictures of Dr. Carson. Whatever interest his work has excited, either in this country or in England, is to be attributed, we imagine, rather to the novelty and extravagance of the views presented, and the zeal of their author in advocating them, than to any real confidence felt, or supposed to be felt, in their soundness or availibility. It is true, there seems to be on many Pedobaptist minds an impression that he has advanced something in support of Their views, that is unanswerable and decisive; and yet it is accompanied, we apprehend, with a conviction, scarcely less extensive, that the distinctive theory in behalf of which this decisive proof is adduced, is, in reality, untenable and groundless.* We are not aware that it has
* A single fact will sufficiently show that this remark is made not without ground. Since the first apperaance of Dr. Beecher's work, in a public docu. ment prepared by a committee appointed by the Board of the American Bible Society, and composed of distinguished gentlemen belonging to the various Pe. dobaptist denominations, it is stated, that most Christian denominations, including, of course, the denominations represented in the committee, believe that the word baptize, as it occurs in the New Testament, “cannot be translated ;? whereas Dr. Beecher's whole argument is framed expressly to prove that it may be properly translated, to purify ;-although, he suggests, an actual translation, in
been unequivocally endorsed by any respectable body of Pedobaptists, or any distinguished individual in the Pedobaptist ranks, on either side of the water. The commendatory notices of the work, however, which have appeared in certain Pedobaptist journals, together with the note of triumph with which Dr. Beecher closes his remarks on the strictures of Dr. Carson, (the “very brevity" of which he claims as an argument for the soundness of his theory,) especially when taken in connection with the opinion expressed on page 245, that all has been done to refute bis positions that will be attenipted, may seem to call for a fuller and more general examination of the work than it has yet received.
The work properly consists of three parts: 1. An attempt to show that the religious sense of baptizo is to purify. 2. An examination of Rom. 6: 3, 4, and Col. 2: 12. 3. Remarks on the position and character of the Baptist denomination.
Before proceeding to a particular examination of its several parts, we may notice two or three of its general characteristics.
1. The general spirit of the work, although in many of its parts unexceptionable, is, wherever the position or views of his opponents come directly under review, by no means pleasant. There is not withstanding all that is said respecting the importance of a right spirit in a controversialist, and the wickedness and evil tendency of indulgence in its opposite, -there is an apparent lack of Christian charity and courtesy, which we are sorry to witness. Many of his remarks respecting the Baptist denomination, for example, might have been spared. A regard alike for truth and courtesy, we should have supposed, would have dictated their suppression. Notice, for example, the intimation thrown out in various forms on pages 180—184, that the bad spirit by which he supposes Dr. Carson to be influenced, and which he frequently takes occasion to censure in the strongest terms,
new versions of the Bible, may not, perhaps, for reasons of expediency, be ad. visable. An apposite illustration of our remark is also furnished in the recent work on baptism by Dr. Peters. He apparently expresses the fullest confidence in the conclusiveness of Dr. Beecher's argument; and yet, in conclusion, contends that baptism properly denotes virtual, symbolical purification, or consecration; and hence cannot be correctly rendered, to purify.
pervades, with some honorable exceptions, the great body of the denomination, and is in danger by “infection” of arousing in their hearts "malignant emotions" towards their brethren of other denominations. Had Dr. Beecher been acquainted to any great extent with the denomination, he would have known that nothing could be more opposed to truth, than such an intimation ;-he would have seen abundant reason 10 be convinced that they are behind no body of Christians, in the exercise of that spirit which he so largely commends. Indeed, we believe, strangely as it may strike the minds of Dr. Beecher and many of his Pedobaptist friends, it is susceptible of the clearest proof that the position maintained by the Baptist churches in this country, is, in itself, of all occupied by the disciples of Christ, the least favorable to the promotion of an uncharitable and merely sectarian spirit. Nor is this view at all brought into suspicion, on the one hand, by the decided language in which they are accustomed to express their disapprobation of what they regard as having originated in the superstition of men, and to be a manifest violation of the laws of God; nor, on the other hand, by their strict and firm adherence to the order established by Christ for the regulation of his visible church. Properly distinguishing between Christian conmunion and affection, and the privileges pertaining to an organized church relationship, --in the distinct recognition of which they stand alone in the Christian world, -they occupy a ground peculiarly favorable to the exercise of the largest Christian charity consistent with the claims of evangelical religion. Nor would Dr. Beecher, we are confident, were he to become acquainted with the spirit which really pervades the body, find that they had failed to experience the benefits naturally resulting from this position. Without such acquaintance it is unbecoming in him to prefer against them, even indirectly, charges as groundless as they are ungenerous.
But it is in his reply to Dr. Carson that the objectionable feature of his book to which we have alluded, especially appears. He has much to say, as we have intimated, respecting Dr. Carson's "bad spirit.” Proof of this we find in the sarcastic tone of Dr. Carson's strictures on the former part of his work, and the want of respect evinced for the qualifications of his antagonist as VOL. XIII.—NO. LII.