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Sabbath, we might perhaps say that they were intended to remind men of it. There could be no natural reason why they should have led men to invent it; for what could the moon's quarters have to do with a day of sacred rest from labour? The injunction was evidently special; and we can account for it only upon the fact of a primæval revelation from the Creator,

TITHE COMMUTATION SCRIPTURAL.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

I AM glad to observe, from the report of the Tithe Commissioners, that the Commutation Act is working sactisfactorily; but I find among some of my reverend brethren an objection in limine, that commutation is wrong in principle; that tithes are divinely set apart as a specific offering; and that to change them for any equivalent whatever, is to oppose the wisdom of God. It is also said to be as practically dangerous as it is wrong in principle; for where, it is asked, is there any command in the Bible to collect a "rent-charge" for the priesthood? And having given up the very name under which the offering is scripturally sanctioned, will not the people, it is said, mutiny against the payment as an unsanctioned impost?

Now, without arguing the question whether under the Christian dispensation tithes are of divine right in the same sense as under the Jewish law, I should be glad to obviate the scruple of my reverend friends by reminding them, that even under the Old Testament economy commutation was practised and divinely authorised. The commutation of tithes for money was enjoined Deut. xiv. 23-25. The particular circumstances of commutation, in which it is said, "Then thou shalt turn it into money," were " if the way be too long," or " the place too far;" and these permissions shew that provided the principle was retained, as it is by a rent-charge, the specific mode of ment might be regulated by considerations of convenience.

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A BEREAN.

STATISTICAL NOTICE OF EARLY AND DELAYED BAPTISM.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

THERE is much discrepancy as to the time at which the members of our Church bring their children to holy baptism. The Rubric directs that the curate of the parish (that is, the clergyman who has the pastoral charge, be he rector, vicar, perpetual or stipendiary curate) shall often admonish the people not to defer the baptism of their children longer than the first or second Sunday after their birth, or other holiday falling between, unless for some great and reasonable cause to be approved by the curate; and they are not without urgent necessity to procure them to be baptised at home. A reasonable cause for generally deferring the baptism till the end of the month, is that it is not usually safe or advisable for the mother to go to church to return thanks before that time; and that generally it is convenient and well, though not necessary, that both solemnities should take place together. The only adequate cause for baptising the child

at, home is that its life is in danger, or would be endangered by its being taken to church.

But are these rubrics generally obeyed? I fear not and I fear also that the pretexts for violating them are often of the most trivial nature. If any clergyman will look over his register he will be astonished to observe the strange discrepancies and irregularities which it exhibits. But I will illustrate the practice yet more strikingly. His parishioners may be ignorant, or careless, or so occupied by their daily affairs that they cannot always, without some little inconvenience, observe set days and times; but the clergy are well acquainted with the directions of the Church; and as they are constantly administering sacred offices, they can generally arrange to have their children baptised at such time as they consider fittest. What then is the practice in their own families?

I take up what I suppose will exhibit a correct average specimen— the list of children proposed for election at the last annual meeting of the Clergy Orphan Society. The list includes the names of twentyfive children; but as the age of one, and the date of baptism of two, are omitted, the available number for my purpose is only twenty-two. Of these, six were baptized on the day of their birth; one at two days old; one at three days; one at four; one at seven; one at nine; one at twenty-eight; one at twenty-nine; one at thirty-six; one at thirtyeight; two at forty-six; one at eighty-seven; one at one hundred and six; one at one hundred and seventy; one at three hundred and nineteen; and one at eight years and three months.

I make no doubt that the reverend parents of each of these children did what he considered befitting; and he might have just and strong reasons for his proceeding; but the list wears an anomalous aspect. Of the six baptised on the day of birth, and the three others baptised respectively at two, three, and four days old-comprising nearer a half than a third of the whole number-it is very unlikely that they were taken to church for the purpose; though perhaps those at seven and nine days were. Several of the infants might indeed appear to be in danger; and a clergyman would of course be peculiarly anxious not to allow his child to die unbaptised; but it must be remembered, on the another hand, that all these infants have grown up to childhood, and are stated to be in good health; and that those who were baptised as sick or weak, where the foreboding proved correct, are not included in this list. In the case of the laity, a very large number of those who are baptised within the month as being in danger, actually die; but if, in addition to these, more than half of those who grow up were required to be privately baptised, the clergy in large parishes could not perform their function.

Only two were baptised about the end of the month. Those at thirty-six, thirty-eight, and forty-eight days, were probably baptised

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soon as their mothers could safely go to church. The other delays are extraordinary, and some of them unaccountable. That any clergyman should delay the baptism of his child to the age of three, four, or even eleven months-nay, in one instance, eight years and three months-is so strange a circumstance, that I cannot attempt to account for it. Yet about one in every seven of these baptisms is thus characterised. Of the six baptised on the day of birth, four were in two families; so that each of the fathers of these children was either alarmed in both instances (with or without a cause) or had

adopted the opinion that it was better to baptise his children immediately; and, it must be presumed, without taking them to church. The three and the seven days also occur in one family. So again the eighty-seven days, and the three hundred and nineteen days, occur in one family; so that here we may conclude that a different rule of acting was set up. The thirty-six and forty-eight days likewise occur in one family; perhaps indicating the case of a mother who was not able to go to church earlier, but who went as soon as she could.

None of the reverend fathers of these children are alive to explain the reasons which satisfied their minds as to the particular time which they either selected, or were constrained to avail themselves of; but the facts shew that much discrepancy, both theoretical and practical, exists; and my purpose, in referring to the subject, will have been answered, if the notice of it shall induce both the clergy and their flocks to endeavour, as far as possible, to comply with the directions of the Rubric.

STATISTICUS.

ST. CLEMENT ON THE PERSON OF CHRIST.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

THESE are days when the writings of the Fathers of the Church are much studied and criticised; and, as I trust, the result will be that men will learn to give to these valuable writings their proper, but not a higher than a proper, place in their estimation. There is a passage in the Second Epistle of St. Clement, section ix., of which the orthodoxy appears to me very questionable. The writer, speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ, says : “ ών μεν το πρωτον πνευμα εγενετο σαρξ.” Archbishop Wake's translation of the whole sentence is the following: "Our one Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved us, being first a Spirit, was made flesh, and so called us." Now, sir, when it is said that Jesus Christ "being first a Spirit was made flesh," is it not an unavoidable inference that when he was made flesh he ceased to be a Spirit? And is this orthodoxy? It appears to me to incline either to the doctrine of the Sabellians, or to what Bishop Pearson (Art. iii. p. 161, folio edition) calls the heresy of the Flandrian Anabaptists. I believe the doctrine of the Sabellians to be, that before his incarnation our Lord Jesus Christ was "the Word ;" and that "the Word" was not simply a divine person, but the Deity united to the angelic nature. The Sabellians therefore might say that He who laid aside his angelic, and assumed the human, nature, was first a Spirit, and was made flesh. The doctrine of the Flandrian Anabaptists I will state in Bishop Pearson's words:

"Again, as the confusion so the conversion of natures is impossible: for first we cannot, with the least shew of probability, conceive the Divine nature of Christ to be transubstantiated into the human nature. There is a plain repugnancy even in the supposition; for the nature of man must be made, the nature of God cannot be made, and consequently cannot become, the nature of man. The immaterial, indivisible, and immortal Godhead cannot be divided into a spiritual and incorruptible soul, and a carnal and corruptible body, of which humanity consisteth. There is no other Deity of the Father than of the Son; and therefore if this was converted into that humanity, then was the Father also that man, and grew in knowledge, and suffered, and died. We must not therefore so far stand upon the propriety of speech, when it is written, The word was made flesh, as to destroy the propriety both of the word and of the flesh."

I may be mistaken, but I cannot see how Clement's ex

pression, “ων το πρωτον πνευμα εγενετο σαρξ, can be interpreted otherwise than that he who was once a Spirit was converted into flesh. Bishop Pearson, in a note upon the passage I have quoted, gives a criticism, worthy of his own great name, upon the word " εγενετο ;" but the interpretation I contend for does not depend upon the sense of this word, but upon the insertion of the words "то πршτov," translated by Wake simply "first." I do not know that Clement intended to convey the meaning which his words seem to bear; and there is not, I believe, another single expression in either of his epistles leaning towards this meaning; but I cannot construe these words otherwise, and I should be very glad and thankful to hear your opinion upon this point. Would Clement have used the word πνευμα without the article, or indeed at all, to denote the second Person in the adorable Trinity? When the infinite importance of the doctrine involved is considered, if Clement's words favour either the Sabellians or the Anabaptists he surely is not an authority to be followed implicitly by the orthodox.

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E. H.

As E. H. asks for our opinion, we reply that the Second Epistle (or rather portion of an Epistle) ascribed to St. Clement is not a genuine document; at least we suppose that no modern scholar maintains its authenticity. The passage was in all probability written after the time of Sabellius; but we do not see that it necessarily implies what our correspondent states, any more than saying that He who was God became man, necessarily implies that he ceases to be God.

THE BRITISH CRITIC, AND PLAYFUL PATRISTICAL DECEIT.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

An admission is made in the " British Critic," in a paper on the use of the Fathers, which, considering the views maintained in that publication, I think of no mean value.

The writer, in noticing the accusation of Mosheim, that the Fathers were guilty of practising pious frauds, says, "Whoever has read the treatise of Chrysostom De Sacerdotio, might suspect he was a little playfully addicted to deceiving a friend for his good!" And this, be it observed, is a voluntary admission, for Chrysostom is not mentioned by Mosheim in his list of the guilty. An admission like this cuts two ways.—It totally undermines the credit of the writer of the paper; for no person who thinks highly of the importance of truth, can speak lightly of a suspected deviation from it in one who professes to be an expounder of the oracles of God: while by the admission of a defender, that so foul a suspicion rests on his memory, Chrysostom must sink in the estimation, not of "zealous protestants" only, but surely in that of all honest men. And thus divines of a "certain class," their antagonists themselves being the judges, are absolved, if they look with a very jealous eye on whatever comes from such a source.

You have already noticed the air of assumption which pervades the writings of those, who, for want of a better term, I must style the "Oxford Tract class of divines." In the paper in question, Mr. Osborn, who had quoted some strange things from the Fathers, is attacked, and an ounce of civet is wished him to "sweeten his imagina

tion;" and then great exception is taken against his daring to attack the sacred memory of S. Ignatius, (the discovery of whose "genuine remains," according to Mr. Keble, opened a treasure of incalculable value to the church) by the accusation that he laid claim to Divine inspiration. The passage on which that accusation is founded, is this: "The spirit preached by me, saying, Do nothing without the Bishop :" (the translation is by the author of the paper in the British Critic). We may surely consider this as no unfounded charge on the part of Mr. Osborn, and may ask the British Critic, if he wished to assert of any one that he spoke by inspiration, what stronger terms he could use? In what does it differ from the Thus saith the Lord," of the Prophets or the Apostles' declaration, that "holy men of old spake as they were inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost ?' unless, perhaps the peculiar form of the expression may be thought more nearly in accordance with the views of the followers of Mr. Irving. If Ignatius, therefore, is to stand acquitted of laying claim to divine inspiration, it can only be at the expense of his character as an intelligible writer, or by the supposition that he thought, in asserting Episcopal authority, it was lawful" playfully to deceive a friend for his good."

The writer to whose paper I have alluded, has identified himself with a party, to which Mr. Keble belongs, for he notices Dr. Wilson's "sending out his war-cry against us," in a passage of his Brief Examination of the Professor of Poetry's sermon on Tradition. And it can scarcely be doubted that the sentiments of the British Critic are the same as those of the author of the "Prophetical Office of the Church." Now Mr. Keble speaks of tradition in a way so vague and desultory, that it is very difficult to comprehend the exact idea he attaches to the word; but enough is said to show, that for tradition, whatever it be, the highest respect is claimed. "The holy writings themselves intimate that the persons to whom they were addressed were in possession of a body of truth and duty totally distinct from themselves, and independent of them."...." divinely appointed in the church, as the touchstone of canonical scripture itself," and which Tertullian and Irenæus employ in reproving false teachers, as "something parallel to Scripture, not as derived from it." Mr. Newman goes beyond this: "Their teaching," (viz. Apostles, Prophets, and Doctors,) "is a vast system, not to be comprised in a few sentences; not to be embodied in one code or treatise; permeating the church like an atmosphere, irregular in its shape from its very exuberance and profusion, at times separable only in idea from episcopal tradition, yet at times melting away into legend and fable;" (deceiving friends for their good, I suppose playfully!)" partly written, partly unwritten; partly the interpretation, partly the SUPPLEMENT of Scripture (!!) partly perceived in intellectual expression, partly latent in the spirit and temper of Christians." (Prophetical Office of the Church). To return to the sermon quoted above, this apostolical tradition has an office claimed for it, which, were it not that I know well the deeply reverential tone of Mr. Keble's mind, I should feel justified in stigmatising with the accusation of blasphemy. "Without its aid, humanly speaking, I do not see how we could now retain either real inward communion with our Lord through his Apostles, or the very outward face of God's church and kingdom among us."

Restricting the word tradition to traditive interpretation of Scripture, several serious difficulties appear to me to prevent its having any

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