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after making due allowance for these privileges, I believe that we are now provided with an ampler and better apparatus for elucidating the Holy Scriptures. Dr. Owen states most fully all that can be adduced in favour of this meaning. After mentioning the old Syriac version or Peshito, which may be attributed to the first century,* and in which it is
ditho nechēthū), who have once descended to baptism, he says, “it is very certain, that early in the church, baptism was called potlouds, 'illumination ;' and OwriteLv, “to enlighten,' was used for “to baptize.' And the set times, wherein they solemnly administered that ordinance were called, “uépai tây pórov, “the days of light.' Hereunto, the Syriac interpreter seems to have had respect. And the word ärat, ‘once,' may give countenance hereunto. Baptism was once only to be celebrated, according to the constant faith of the churches in all ages. And they called baptism “illumination,' because it being one ordinance of the initiation of persons into a participation of all the mysteries of the church, they were thereby translated out of the kingdom of darkness, into that of grace and light. And it seems to give further countenance hereunto, in that baptism really was the beginning and foundation of a participation of all the other spiritual privileges that are mentioned afterwards. For it was usual in those times, that, upon the baptizing of persons, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and endowed them with extraordinary gifts peculiar to the days of the Gospel. ....... And this opinion hath so much of probability in it, having nothing therewithal unsuited to the analogy of faith, or design of the place, that I should embrace it, if the word itself, as here used, did not require another interpretation. For it was a good while after the writing of this epistle, and all other parts of the New Testament, at least an age or two, if not more, before this word was used mystically to express baptism.”. Such are the considerations regarded by Owen as favourable to the ancient exposition of the word in question. Baptism was doubtless often called illumination, in the early times of the Christian church ; but this is far from demonstrating, that illumination, in the phraseology of Scripture, expresses what is included under baptism. And even supposing baptism to have been properly termed illumination, it still remains to be shown, that the reverse of the proposition is true.
The following objections to this view of ourisw may be stated. First. The verb manifestly expresses the same thing as laßeiv mig émiywwow tîs åndeias, in the parallel passage, Heb. x. 26. Similar consequences are there threatened against the same kind of apostacy; and as this phrase cannot possibly be referred to baptism ; neither should its parallel pwricw. In addition to this argument urged by Rosenmüller, I affirm,
* See Davidson's Lectures on Biblical Criticism, pp. 59–64.
Secondly, that if Battisw had no past participle of its own, the argument for translating Owtlobévtas by baptized would have been plausible. According to the system of Buttmann, Matthiae, and the best German grammarians, it would then have been the proper participle to the verb Bante[w. But the first aorist passive of Barriţw actually occurs; éßartioon, Luke xi. 38. Battio onvai, Matt. xx. 22, (according to the received text, but the whole clause with Griesbach should be omitted as spurious.) Mark x. 38. Luke xii. 50. Still farther, the participle Barrio deis is found in Matt. iii. 16, which would have been quite appropriate in the present place, had baptism been intended. Why use φωτισθέντας, instead of the obvious and direct form βαπτισθέντας! The natural conclusion is, that a different idea was meant to be conveyed by φωτισθέντας.
Thirdly. The supporters of the view in question have adduced no examples of the verb pwricw being rendered baptize. Drs. Hammond, Whitby, Burton, and others, should have endeavoured to establish the truth of their interpretation by the aid of that learning of which they were possessed. But they do not furnish such demonstration. They adduce no instance of this novel rendering of fwricw; and it is natural to believe, that they were unable to do so. To have justified 80 unusual a signification, they should have pointed to other passages of Scripture, where it bears the same. And even this would have been insufficient to satisfy the minute inquirer. They must also have shown, that the signification of the word in the present passage is no other, than that which it confessedly has in others. It is unnecessary to say, that nothing of this has been done, or even attempted. I am bold to aver, that in no instance where the verb occurs, does it mean to baptize. Neither in the Septuagint, nor in the New Testament, does it ever bear such a sense. Why, then, should it be assigned to it in this solitary passage, in opposition to general usage? Why depart, in the case before us, from its received, acknowledged interpretation! There is no necessity to justify such a strange deviation from the universal acceptation. By the customary sense I am constrained to abide, supported, as it is, by all parallel passages. It was a considerable time after the New Testament was written, before purifw was applied to baptism. And if the Fathers and early Christians understood it thus, we know that they frequently allegorised and mystically explained many phrases, so as to obscure their simplicity, and disfigure their beauty. I cannot see, how the word dat gives countenance to the view of Dorito to which I have objected. It simply signifies, already or formerly. This is not a different signification from that of, one time, once for all, but rather a modification of it.
What, then, is the meaning of the word periodéras? I answer, instructed in the principles of the Christian religion. It is employed in the same signification in the Epistle to the Hebrews, x. 32, where
that the signifiatisfy the minute ame. And eve
our received version has, “after ye were illuminated.” So also in John's Gospel, i. 9; Epistle to Ephesians, iii. 9. It does not necessarily imply saving illumination—at least its use does not warrant this. The surrounding context, indeed, might so influence and limit it, as to impart to it such a sense ; but of itself, it rejects the restriction. It has no farther or higher meaning than instruction in the precepts and doctrines of Christianity, or the enlightenment of the mental eyes in the knowledge of Christ, who is emphatically the LIGHT, the author and giver of all true knowledge of God and spiritual things.
(To be continued.)
CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP_SINGING. SOME recent articles* in your magazine have suggested to my mind a few remarks.
It is common with us to say singing is a most delightful part of worship, and yet we seem often to forget that it is worship at all. Not seldom do we hear given out a prosaic, didactic, descriptive hymn, without the least address to God, having some supposed bearing on the “subject of discourse," but in which there is neither praise, adoration, nor supplication. I do not say, that such hymns should never be announced, but singing them certainly cannot be called worship, and their use should therefore be the exception, rather than the rule ; and I deny, that the act of singing (in one sense quite as important as that of preaching) should be made merely subservient and subsidiary to the illustration of the preacher's text.
On a Lord's day morning I have been frequently annoyed, and the key-note for the whole day has been wrongly struck, by the hasty or ignorant choice of the opening strain. The labourer, the merchant, or the professional man, wearied with six days' toil, and hoping to cast off a week's care, enters the house of God, (the more immediate presence,) he looks round on the numbers about him, all convened for public Worship, and remembers where he is. How beautiful is that sanctuary to him! how thankful is he to have entered it! Perhaps he is overwhelmed with a deep adoration of the Triune Jehovah—perhaps he remembers that it is the Lord's day, and he blesses the resurrection, and the life -perhaps he thinks of Pentecost, and sighs for the Paraclete to enter his breast. How welcome then is such a hymn of praise as the one commencing,
“Lord of the worlds above!" every line of which is pervaded with Hebrew beauty; or that sadly neglected rendering of the same psalm
“How honoured-how dear!”—Cong. Hymn Book, H. 34. If Mr. Lyte's version of the 65th Psalm, or Dr. Watts's second part of the 116th Psalm, or the Doctor's version of the 63rd and 103rd Psalms,
* Pp. 84 and 167.
are sung, how do they harmonize with, and deepen every better feeling. But let a prosaic looking person get up in the pulpit, and drawlishly give out
“And are we wretches yet alive"-
“Now Satan comes with dreadful roar”— and it matters very little, so far as persons of a certain susceptibility are concerned, what is the character of the rest of the service. An injury irretrievable has been perpetrated for that day, although the hymns in question may be wonderfully appropriate to the “discourse about to be delivered !” The minister who can make such a selection, it is to be feared is too full of that discourse, so important to him, to care much about this part of the worship. If he is not giving out the lines, he does not even join in singing, but will sit down in the pulpit, either to complete his preparation of the discourse, or to roll about his eyes in languid vacancy. What is the singing to him? It is not his part! But if he had any of the feeling which the late Dr. M‘All possessed on this topic, he would feel it his bounden duty, and highest pleasure, to lead here, also, the devotions of his people, by visibly joining in the solemn worship of the great assembly. If, in approaching an earthly monarch, he would use preface and preamble, let him take care, that the first public address to the God of salvation on the Sabbath morning have in it something appropriate to the utterance of mortal men, soiled with six days of worldliness, whilst unitedly approaching the throne of the Holy One of Israel. I am concerned, that there is not due attention paid to the choice of hymns for public worship. Some of our ministers too often trust to “ the chapter of accidents,” and make strange blunders. I remember once hearing an idle Tory (though an Independent) minister, who knew little of Dr. Watts, give out the first part of the 75th Psalm ; very good. But proceeding to the second verse
“ Britain was doomed to be a slave"he was not a little shocked, and so hastening towards the close, he took refuge in the sixth, which, to his amazement, flatly denied the divine right of kings!
“No vain pretence to royal birth
Shall fix a tyrant on the throne.” His confusion was apparent. The people thought he must be alluding to the king of Hanover! If our ministers would take a month to go through the hymn books they use, marking with a pen those hymns, and those verses of them which are suitable for public worship, they would find the number remarkably small—they would not find more than fifty-two hymns suitable for the commencement of public worship on a Lord's-day, and it would be very beneficial to make a list of those fifty-two and adhere to it. Each might then complete for himself his Index expurgatorius.
This would bring out distinctly the hymns suitable for public worship, and secure a better choice by limiting its range. After that, there should be care taken in the closet, in making the selection for each Lord's day. The time consumed in the preparation of the needless length of many a sermon, would have been far better bestowed in examining Dr. Watts and the supplement. When it is considered that we have no responses for the people in our public prayers, that in the singing alone they bear a vocal part, it is impossible to over-rate the importance of this department of public worship.
The Congregational Hymn Book (notwithstanding its unauthorized and generally unfortunate variation from the original text of certain hymns) is a very great boon ; but even where it is used, I find many of its best hymns almost unknown to our congregations. I never heard Mr. Conder's 84th Psalm sung on a Sabbath morning, in any of our chapels. Nor,
“According to thy gracious word," given out at a sacramental occasion. Permit a final suggestion. Why should not chaunting the psalms be introduced with us? The people generally would soon join; then we should have the sweet alternate song easily revived. Gallery answering to gallery, and aisle to aisle. The most simple and beautiful music in the world is ready to hand. The authorized version of the Psalms is as easily chaunted as that of the Prayer Book ; in many of our chapels organs are provided, whilst certain tendencies of the age we live in, would thus be seized upon and secured in favour of sound theology and enlightened liberty. And why should the Te Deum—the song of Mary—the song of Miriam, be unheard in our chapels, in the notes which probably best resemble the worship of the ancient church?
A. B. [Without subscribing to every sentiment contained in this paper, we have thought it right to publish it, from the conviction, that many causes are now in operation which will ere long force upon our pastors and churches the question of an extensive reform in our Congregational psalmody.
While we do not sympathize in our correspondent's dislike of " didactic, descriptive hymns,," (for we imagine that the distinction between “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" must consist, as Calvin suggests, in the fact, that some were not proper and immediate acts of devotion addressed to God, but contained moral and religious instruction,) yet, we do wish, that the psalm or hymn with which public worship commences should always be a song of praise. Pastors should recollect that they are never more solemnly required to be “ensamples to the flock," than when engaged in public worship, and we shall be glad if A. B.'s remarks correct, in some quarters, the negligent manners of which he complains. As to the anti-phonistic method of singing which he recommends, we may observe, that the early nonconformists and some of the reformers were decidedly opposed to it. Mr. Andrew Fuller wrote a paper in commendation of prosaic hymns selected from the Scriptures, (Works, vol. v. pp. 319-20,) and gives examples of such as he would have selected from the inspired pages. There is a long and deeply-interesting chapter, in the Rev. Thomas Milner's Sanctuary and Oratory, which will repay the reader for consulting it, in connexion with the whole subject. l-EDITOR.