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Sacred Criticism.

153 why ?- Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell ; ñeither shalt thou suffer thine HOLY one to see corruption.

Acts ii. 27. The same words.
Acts xiii. 35.- Thou shalt not suffer thine HOLY ONE to see corruption.

Rom. vi.. 3.-Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more ; death hath no more dominion over him.

Matt: xxviii. 18.–And Jesus came and spake unto them, 'saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Rev. xi. 19.–And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple, the Ark of his TESTAMENT: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Compare, I say, these texts with one another, and we shall distinctly see the reason why this sacred and highly important emblem was ordered to be made of shittim i. e, a kind of incorruptible wood, lo be overlaid with gold within, and without, and to be surrounded with a crown.--See Exod. xxv. 10, 11 and xxxvii. 1, 2... ", iso

We meet with imitations of this divinely instituted emblem, among several heathen nations, both in ancient and modern times. Thus, Tacitus (De Mor. German. chap. 40:) informs us, that “the inhabitants of the north of Germaný, our Saron ancestor's, in general, worshipped Herthum or Hortham, that is Mother Earth (Terram matrem) and believed her to interpose in the affairs of men, and to visit nations ; that to her, within a sacred grove, in a certain island of the ocean, a vehicle, covered with a vestment; was consecrated, and * allorved to be touched by the priest only, who perceived when the goddess entered into this her secret place (penetrali) and with profound veneration attended her vehicle, which was drawn by #cows. While the goddess was on her progress, days of rejoicing were kept in every place, which she vouchsafed to visit. They engaged in no war, they meddled not with arms, they locked up their weapons ; peace and quietness only: were then known; these they only relis till the same priest reconducted the goddess, satiated with the conversation of mortals, to her temple. Then the vehicle and yestment, and if you will believe it, the goddess herself,' was washed in a secret lake.”

Among the Mexicans, Vitziputzliy their supreme god, was represented in a human shape, sitting on a throne, supported by an azure globe, which they called heaven Four poles or sticks came out from two sides of this globe, at the ends, of which, serpents? heads were carved, the whole making a litter, which the priests carried on their shoulders, whenever the idol was showed in public, Picart's ceremonies & Rel: acct. vol. 3. page 146.

In Capt.' Cook's voyage round the world, published by Dr. Hawkesworth, vok 2. p. 252. we find that the inhabitants of Huaherne, one of the islands, lately discovered in the South Sea, had a kind of Chest or Ark, the lid of which was nicely sewed on, and thatched very neatly with palm-nut leaves : wit was fixed upon two poles, and supported on little arches of wood, very neatly carved. The wse of the poles seemed to be, to remove it from place to place, in the manner of our sedan-chairs ! in one end of it was a square hole, in the middle of which was a ring touching the sides,

es, and leaving the angles open, so as to forn a round hole within a square one without. The first time Mr. Banks saw this coffer, the aperture at the end was stopped with a piece of cloth, which, lest he should give offerice, he left untouched. Probably there was then something within : but now the cloth was taken away, and upon looking into it; it was found emptyThe general resemblance between tliis repository and the Ark of the Lord among the Jews is remarkable ; but it is still more remarkable, that upon enquiring of the Indian boy what it was called, he said, Ewharre no Eatua, The house of God; he could however, give no account of its · signification or use. In the neighbouring island of Ulietea

were also four or five Ewharre no Eatu or Houses of Gol, like that we had seen at Huaheine."-p. 257.

(To be continued) Sam. vi. 6,7. Chron, xiii. 9, 10.

+ 1 Sam: vi, 7, 10. Y

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A Succinct History of Baptisni.
A SUCCINCT HISTORY OF BAPTISM,
enfl to

na di
AS CELEBRATED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, ia

Continued from page 159]
Jeg CHAP.5.–Of the Baptism of Adults is do
NONVERTS from Judaism or Heathenism were obliged to be catechumens

for some time, before they could be admitted to baptism. And because
multitudes of this sort were baptized, the Church had occasion to consider
many cases which are seldom or never to be met with in later times. In the
case of dumbness,
" If a person bad desired baptism before that infirmity came upon him, or
could intelligibly signify his present desire, the Church admitted him to
baptism, though he was incapable of answering for himself. The firsť Coun-
cil of Orange has a canon in favour of such persons. By a canon in the Afri-
can code, persons so sick as not to be able to answer for themselves, may be
baptized on similar conditions. Ferrandies gives a particular instance of an
African yegre slave' at Carthage, whom his master had caused to be instructed
among the catechumens, and

prepared with the competentes for baptism: he had gone through all the discipline, when a fever seized him, and rendered if ne had been an infant. This was communicated to the Bishop and approved, the man having all the conditions required by aur, Saviour of adult persons, namely, to beliere and be baptized.

By a' canon of the Council of Eliberis, if a catechumen had forsaken the Church a long time, and at last desired to be baptized, though he were speechless, it might be administered to him, sufficient, witnesses attesting his desire ; Because his crimes were committed whilst he was in the old man ;” or “ bęcause he seemed to bave relinquished, and bid adieu to the old man,

With regard to energumens, or persons possessed with an unclean spirit. The Council of Eliberis ordered them to be deferred, till they were cured, exeept in case of approaching death. St. Cyprian says, that persons possessed were baptized in time of sickness, and that their baptism in urgent necessity, had sometimes a happy effeet, in delivering them from the unclean spirit with which they were before possessed, and that they thenceforward lived a laudabe and Christian life in the Church. Hence we learn not only that energumens were admitted to baptįsın in time of extremity, but that baptism was a peculiar benefit to many of them.

de Another observation to be made upou the baptism of adult persons, is, in relation to slaves of Christian master's. Such were not to be baptized without the testimony of their inasters concerning their life and conversation : not that the Church vested this priviledge in Christian masters to countenance any tyrannical power, but to preserve the purity of religion, and keep hypocritical and profane pretenders from the holy mysteries, the admission to which might prove a scandal to the profession. Experience proved this to be an useful précaution ; for it made the masters zealous for the salvation of their slaves, and their slaves also sincere in their pretences to religion, when they knew that they could not be accepted as real converts without the corroborating testimony of their masters. There were also laws of state, obliging all masters to see their slaves, as well as children, made Christians; and in default of this, some penalties were annexed, depriving them of certain privileges; so that it was their interest, as well as duty, to have their slaves instructed. But if they were slaves to an heathen, they were only taught their obligations to their master; and the master had no concern in their baptisin, as being himself an infidel.

Yet, because baptism was to be a voluntary act in adult persons, the fourth Council of Toledo made a canon, that no one should be compelled by force to profess the Christian faith: and though the Chureh did not rescind such actions as were done against this rule, yet she did not approve them, but deemed them worthy of censure, and not to be brought into precedent. What looks most like force in this case, was an order of Justinian, which appoints the heathens and Samaritans to be baptized with their wives, children, and servants, under pain of confiscation. But even these laws did not compel them immediately against their wills, but allowed them two years to be catechumens, and admitted done but such as inade a voluntary profession of their faith and re

155

Dialogue between a Clergyman and one of his Parishioners. pentance: the penalties being only designed to prevent fraud in such as prétended to receive baptism themselves, but, in the nean time took no care to have their families made Christians.

All such as followed any trades or professions, not allowable by the rules of Christianity, were rejected from baptism, till they had solemnly promised to

quit such vocations. The author of the apostolical constitutions specifies seveFat :-viz: The pairders, or procurers,-makers of images,-actors and stageplayers ; none of whom could be admitted to baptisin, so long as they adhered to their professions, by reason of that idolatry, irreligion, and lewdness, which were actually committed or encouraged by their means; and therefore, by the third Council of Carthage'it tras decreed, that if any such after baptisın returned to their former callings, they should be excommunicated. Tertullian observes, that the professors of theatrical arts were noted with infamy, degraded, and denied many privileges, driveh from court, from pleading, from the senate, from the order of knight-hood, and all the honours in the Roman city and commonwealth, This is also contirmied by St. Austin, and it is no wonder, therefore, that the Christian Church was so strict against them.

In the apostolical constitutions, all charioteers, gladiators, curators of the common games, racers, practicers in the Olympic games, minstrels, harpers, dancers, viners, and the like, are commanded to quit their callings, or to be rejected froin baptism; because that, in the time of heathenism, ihey were instruinental in carrying on idolatry, lewdness and profaneness. The Circensian games were in honour of the gods, and therefore to be concerned in thein, as a cliarioteer, was to partake in idolatry. Upon which account, the first Council of Arles orders all such to be excommunicated, as followed this service after baptism. The gladiator's art was infamous for its barbarity, and therefore inconsistent with the rules of Christianity. The racers, and curators of public gaines, and Olympic combatants, were all concerned in idolatrous practices; and as to the other trades of minstrels, harpers, &c. besides their promoting levity, vanity and luxury, they were enrploved in idol worship, and other profaneness, which seems to have been a principat reason for making so strict a prohibition against them,

Besides these, were prohibited baptism, by the same constitutions, all lascivious persons, with all practisers of curious and profane arts, as magicians, inchanters, astrologers, diviners, idle and wandering beggars, makers of amulets, and phylacteries, such as dealt in heathenish lustrations, soothsayers, observers of omens, interpreters of palpitations, observers of accidents in meeting others, and making divination therefrom : observers of the motions of birds or weazles, of voices, and symbolical sounds : all these were to be examined, time allowed them to consider whether they would leave their arts; and if not, they were not to be admitted to baptism. Those whom we call idle and wandering beggars, in the constitutions are called (Gr.) lotages, which were a sort of fortunetellers, like those called gipsies in Europe. The phylacteries, or Gr. peatmata, were amulets made with ribbands, and a text of scripture, or some other charm of words written in them, and hung about the neck to cure diseases, from whence they had the name of phylacteries or preservatives. Against these, the antient canons and fathers were very severe in their censures, decreeing that any clergyman who made them, should be cast out of the Church; and the Council of Trullo decrees six years penance for such offenders.

There are yet two other kinds or states of life, which must be considered with some distiction, viz. the military life, and the state of concubinage, as it is called in the civil law and the antient canons. Our remarks on these shall close the pre.ent chapter.

[To be continued.]

THE CLERGYMAN's
LAST VISIT AND FAREWELL TO HIS PARISHIONER:
A LITTLE BEFORE HIS REMOVAL TO A NEW SETTLEMENT.
PARISHIONER.

M good Sir, I am glad to see you here, how do yo

do?--I hope your family is well. CLERGYMAN.–Thank God we are all well, and I am happy to find 11 you and your family, whilst they labour for the meat that perishetli, are !

The promises

156

Rules for the conduct of life. portionably solicitous for the bread that endureth unto everlasting life. A man's temporal employment, if it be an honest one, is no obstruction to his spiritual concerns, provided he apportions his time and attention according to their respective claims upon him. Adam was put into the Garden of Eden to lill and dress it, which he did, though we know not how long, before he fell.

P.--Excuse me, a moment Sir, I promised to my people that I would call them together on this occasion, I will directly return and bring them with me. [After mutual salutations]

P.-I have often remarked, with what truth Solomon has said, "There is a time for every purpose.If a man will but only time his work, he will do a vast deal more, than if he had it in a croud about him, not able to determine what to do first.— Nothing is more foolish than to undertake two things at once.

C.- The appropriation of time can be learned only from a knowledge of the value of it. If we estimate time by its scarceness, as we do every thing else, it is the most valuable thing we know of; for there is but one moment of time at once in the world, which moment is withdrawn and another given in its stead." Every portion of our time therefore should be husbanded well, no past of it should be spent idly,--far less murdered by being put to an ill use. The present is ours : -

-The time past was ours, but it is gone to be numbered with the years before the food, and we may as easily recall the one, as bring back the other.' The future is not ours-it may never be ours in this world, and wlien it becomes ours as inhabitants of a country different from the present, O how shall we look back upon the deeds done in this body during that period? There is no counsel, no advice in the grave : Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.

P.-) may we be wise, and remember our latter end !--Of what folly are they guilty, who suppose that Religion is no friend to this life? C:-Religion's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

of God are as much given for the true happiness of the body, as that of the soul, for body and soul make one man, and Christ is the Saviour of the body. But we ought never to forget, that however worldly indụstry may be approbateď by our Heavenly Father, we must take care lest it erect an idol in our hearts, such a love of the world, as of all other things most powerfully precludes the love of God." If any man, saith Jesus, love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Every period of man's life hath its peculiar propensities, lusts and passions; and as years advance, and circumstances vary, these wage war with?, and frequently destroy one another. At a certain age ambition becomes humbled ; at another, thë fame of impure love goes out; at another, revenge and the boisterous passions seem to become like the sea after a storm. But the love of the world has got the appellation of the old man's sin, and what adds to the misery of the case 'not a little, if the man be rich, the richer he is, he becomes the more covetous. The experience of ages hath evinced, that generosity is the virtue neither of the rich, nor of the old, but of those, who, like Agar, enjoy neither poyerty nor riches, but live in the middle grade of life.

P.--Firinly persuaded, that, though Paul may plant, and Apollos water, God only can give the increase, and that he will amply recompence me and inine, ai he did Ovededon for lodging the Ark within his house for a certain time. As I have always made it a point of conscience, I will continue to apply such a proportion of my earnings to the support of religion in the person of its ministers, as I trust God will pronounce sufficient; for I know that he Joreth a liberal as well as cheerful giver; for he giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.

C.--Excuse, Sir, my bringing these things to your remembrance; I trust your piety will always direct you aright in all such matters. I will now read á few rules i have drawn up, and will leave them with you, perhaps they may be thought worthy of your perusal on some future occasion :

RULES FOR THE CONDUCT OF LIFE.

RULE I. Whatever you at any tine intend to do, consider the end which you therein propose to yourself, and be sure that it be always good, or at least innocent. Ile who does any thing, and knows not why, or wherefore, acts foolishly. And he who aim; at an unlawful end, acts wickeilly, which is the worst sort of

Rules for the conduct of life.

157 folly. If you are careful always to observe this fundamental rule, you will thereby avoid niany sins, which would disturb your conscience, and also many trifling actions, which would tend to your discredit, or perhaps trouble your repose

RULE II. When you have thus fixed upon a proper end to aim at in all your actions ; then consider not only what are the lawful means to be used, in order to this end, but also how, and in what manner, these means are best to be applied and brought into operation. That which is unlawful ought not to be done, even for the obtaining of a good end: and means in themselves good, have often failed of success, for want of prudence in the application of them.

RULE III. When you are seeking for a good end, proper means and the right way of using them, remember that the knowledge of all this must not rest in idle speculation or plausible discourse; but ought to be effectually reduced to praciice, as often as you have an opportunity for it. That man who thinks wisely and discoures judiciously, is never to be excused if his practice, when there is occasion for it, is not answerable to his thoughts and words. To him who knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin: and that sertant who knew his Lord's will

, and prepared, not himself, neither did, according to his will, shall be "beaten with many stripes.-James iv.' 17.-Luke xii. 47. Take the sum and substance of these three rules, thus :

Let the end you aim at be always good. Be vigorous in making use of the proper means for the effecting of such an end: And in doing this be always circumspect. If you proceed after this manner, you will certainly obtain the great end you propose to yourself in the life to come: and if you. fall short of some things which you desire in this world, you will have this comfort, that God thinks fit to deny them to you; not for any fault of yours, but for other good reasons, which are known to him, but concealed from you.

RULE IV. Since our life here is short and uncertain, and the pleasures of it, are always intermixed with doubts, fears, and sorrows of one sort or another; and since after our time here is ended, there is a life to be entered upon, which is elernal in duration. A wise man will never propose the joys, pleasures, or prosperity of this transitory world, as the ultimate end of all, or indeed of any of his actions ; but will always look beyond it, and make it his great business to secure his happiness in that other life, upon which be must soon enter. O that we were zuise, that we understood this; O that we would consider our latter end! So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto tuisdom.

RULE V. Since death is the unavoidable passage into eternity, a wise man will make it the constant business of his life, to be so prepared, that death may prove to him a passage into everlasting happiness. Whoever is careless of this, it had been better for him that he had never been born.

RULE VI. The only sure way to die in peace with one's self, with all the world and with God; is to live so. It is a foolish thing to rely on what is very improperly called a death-bed repentance, to which God hath granted no promise. Repentance consists in reformation of life ; and how absurd is it for a man to pretend reformation of life, when his life itself is just at an end !

RULE VÍ. To live well, is to be uniform in your obedience to the commands of God; never setting up your own will in opposition to his, nor expecting that he will reward you for the merit of your own good deeds—but solely for the all-perfect merits of his blessed Son your advocate and Redeemer. In order to know rightly your duty toward God, your neighbour and yourself, often ask yourself these questions, from the Catechism:-What is my duty towards God?

Ans. My duty towards God, is, to believe in him; to fear him; and to love him with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship him; to give him thanks; to put my whole trust in him; to honour his holy name and his word; and to serve him truly all the days of my life.” What is

my duty towards my neighbour? Ans. “My duty towards my neighbor, is, to love him as myself, and to do to all men as I would they should do unto me:- To love, honour, ånd succour

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