« ElőzőTovább »
Germeny into Switzerland, and Italy, had translated George Barn, resided for a considerable ume in well, which was represented iheie the delightful neighbourhood of with applause'. Lausanne. Crossing the Alps, Dir. K. was a decided Unitarian, they took up their residence at Tü. at a time when that obnoxious Tin, and here frequently at the name belonged to few, and was court, then not a little celebrated owned by still fewer. He was one for the politeness and affability of of the first members of the Western the royal family. From this city Unitarian Society, instituted by they went to Florence, and thence his nephew, the late Rev. T. Kena to Venice, wi.cre Nr. Guliken rick. His early emancipation died in April, 1763, and Mr. K. from Caluinisa he owed to the $con atter returned to Scoilanil, rational principles of sacred criti. He liad soon of Casion 10 visit the cism thich he learnt fron. Dr. Coment gain with the second Leccuman. He always delighted and on you.iving son, to whom in the siudy of the scriptures, and the zin cicle Suuth of France was frequently employed bimself in recomiended by the physicians, comparing the cuginal of ine N. He conculled himio Montpelier, T. with diferent Latin translations where he staid a long time and and the principal English and Fo. afterwards visited with him several reign Versions. His manners of the principal cities in France were marked with that dignified and Germany
polii, Dess, which nalurally flowed Soon aiter his second return to from a benevolent, liberal and cul. this country, be settled at Bewd- tivated inind, guided by experience ley, and conducted a banking of the best society. Though his establishment there between thirty disposition was tinctured with reand forty years. The active ma- serve, it was wholly free from nagement ofits laborious and often moroschiess : towards his family he anxious concerns, devolved on bim was most affectionate and kind; till within a twelve month of his and the author of this tribute to death. Though his early habits his memory, can testify the lively had not been those of a inan of interest which he took in the wel. business, his industry and inviola- fare of remoter relatives. He was ble integrity, gave the concern universally respecied and beloved which he superintended an unuslin in the neighbourhood in which he al respectability and permanency, lived; and the strong sympathy and obiained for himselian honoure and weep regret: which were exable competence, whough much pressed during his painful illness Occupied by this employment, and on the event of his death, nothing could check thai ardent proved the estination in which he love of inenial culuvation which was held by those to whom he had he derived from the siudits of his been long and intimately known youth. Whatever une could be to the gricf which his numerous spüred from bustless and from the ielatives have felt at the removal cais of duty, he cagerly devoted of one whom they loved and hoto ancient and wojenn literature. noured, is united the recollection He was meter of the French and that he was the last survivor of a Telian languages, and when in generation of their ancestors, who
svere eminent for piety and worth: possession 0. Mr. Sharp, of this when they too shall be gathered town, son of the late Mr, Clairent to their fathers, may those who Sharp. Tour insertion of these come after them, be able to bear letters, in the Monthly Repository, testimony to their characters, in as soon as your limits wiil permit, the same spirit of truth which has will oblige, dictated this imperfect memorial! Your faithful friendl,
RUSSELL SCOTT, Original Letters of Dr. Priesto ley's, 071 Baptisin : communi
LETTER I cated by the Rer. R. Scott,
Leeds, Feb. 4, 1770. Portsmouth,
SIR, Sir, dugust 17th, 1811. As your letter seems to bear I do not approve the practice the marks of a sincere desire of of the posthumous publication of information, and not to have been all the letters and fragmenis thav Whiten for any captious purpose, may be met with, which have my thoughts on the subject of heen written by learned men, It baptism are at your service, or is oftentimes nothing less than a that of any of your friends to whom violation of trust. When, how. you may chuse to cominunicate ever, the writer himself did not then, wish his communications to be it appears to me, that few confined to the person to whom persons in this western part of the they were addressed, but gave him world, enter sufficiently into the permission to shew them to an ideas and nutious of tie Jews and of his friends, to whon he might other people of the Last; and that think they would be useful, as in your objections to infant-baptism, the present instance, it appears to cannot be satisfactorily answered, me we may, without any breach without laying aside some of the of that confidence which private viens peculiar to this part of Elle correspondevice demands, give rope, and especially in moderna such communications to the pub. times. lic, and, particuladily, when they. Nothing was, or indeed is, more. are illustrative of the scriptures. common in the East, than to exa Under this impression, I send vou press sentiments and purposes by. two letters from Dr. Priestler io Ortions; and so natural was it to Mr. Clement Sharo of Ronny the Jews, to denote purity of neart in this county, and the answer of hy outward wassing, that we tud Vigilius to some queries proposed by the success. Jubii's preaching, by Mr. Sharp, in one of his lets that, though he did not pretend to ters to Dr, Priestley, As the teach a new religion, but unly Dr, does not disclose the name insisted upon reprintance and of his friend Vigilius, I shall only greater regularity and strictness add thai this excellent critic wrote, of manners then was common as also, in the Theological Reposi, mong the Jews, Ypt that few of tory, under the signature of Luse. then made any ditticulty ut being. biui. The origiuals are in the bapuzed, considering it nothing
more than a profession of repen- common practice of the Jews, our tance and a new life, and there- Lord had no occasion to give any fore it is called the baptism of particular instruction, as to the repentance. With respect to the proper subjects of baptism. When subjects of baptism, we should con- a head of a family was converted sicer, more than we do, the great to Christianity, he and all his power of a master of a family in house, i.e. his children and slaves, the East, and how far his own acts were baptized; not as a mark of affected his wife, children and ser- their being Christians, but of their vants, and indeed every thing be- master being one, and of the oblonging to him : thus, though cir. ligation he was under to educate cumcision was a religious cere. them in that religion, and incul. mony, expressive of a covenant cate upon them the inaxims of it; between God and Abraham, it this is an obligation that is pecu. was applied, not only to the child- liarly sacred, and hardly ever ren of Abraham, but also to all fails of success all over the East. that were born in bis house, or There is nothing thal a Mahome. bought with money, i. e, his slaves, tan is more intent upan, than to who were not in the least interested make his servants good Mussulin the covenant. In fact, it only men. When the children were concerned Isaac; Ishmael who, grown up, or the slaves changed however, was circumcised, had their service, they might adhere no interest in it at all. See Gen. to the religion they had been xvii. 12, 23. The circumcision of brought up in, or not, as they Ishmael, of the children of Abra. pleased. Infant.baptism appears ham in general, and of bis slaves, to me to have been the uniform was not considered as any act of practice of Christians, as far as I their's, but only of their master, can collect from the primitive fa. and therefore, their consent was thers, till an idea was introduced, not in the least necessary of the peculiar efficacy of baptism,
When the Ninevites repented, as such, to wash away sins, and at the preaching of Jonah, the cat. the safety of dying soon after tle were made to fast, as expres. baptism, before a person had consive of the contrition of their tracted fresh guilt:-on this ac. masters.
count, Constantine the Great, and I have no doubt but that the many others, deferred baptism till Jews admitted proselytes to their the hour of death. Afterwards, religion, by solemn washing or slaves being generally infranchised baptism as well as by circum. and considered as acting for them. cision; indeed, considering their selves, and the power of fathers ideas and practices in other re. over their children having never spects, I should have wondered if been so great in the northern na. they had not done it, and I have tions, Christianity and all the as little doubt, but that when a badges of it, came to be considered. master of a family embraced their in all respects, a personal thing; religion, their children, if not their and hence the conclusion, that no slaves also, were baptized and persons could be the subject of any circumcised. This then being the of its institutions, but with their own consent, expressed when they your conceptions be. The censure were arrived at years of under- of the world is not to be regarded, standing.
where the least punctilio of religion For my own part, I endeavour is concerned; but let us not for to adhere to the primitive ideas, get, that there are things of more and consister the baptising of my importance than positive instituchildren, as nothing more than tions. Wishing you all the con. a declaration of my being a Chris. solation of our most excellent retian myself and, consequently, of ligion, in the decline of life; and my obligation, to educate them in and that you and I may have a the principles of the Christian happy meeting, in that world with religion.
which it brings us acquainted, I have no doubt, but that the only I am, Sir, antient mode of baptism was im. Your very humble servant, inersion, and I should rather ap.
J. PRIESTLEY. prove of it at present; but since it is the application of water, that
LETTER II. expresses the purity of heart and
Leeds, 12 Sep. 1770, life, peculiar to Christians, and
SIR, not any certain quantity of it;: I received yours of the 29th of and since the meaning of the rite May, only a few days ago. It was is as well understood in whatever not found in the pack of wool, manner it be administered ; and, till the manufacturer had occasion also, since dipping is sometimes to make use of it. Being very
imagined at least to be dangerous busy myself, I sent your queries to · for the health of children, I think an ingenious friend of mine, who
a scrupulosity in this punctilio un- signs Vigilius in the Repository, necessary ; and therefore, in this and I enclose you his answer, respect, I do not tbink it worth which I much approve, in his while to make any alteration in own hand writing. I wish it may the common practice. If I thought give you the satisfaction you want; immersion the only proper bap. but, in this imperfect state, we tism, I should certainly submit to are not to expect a perfect solu. it without delay. I do think that tion of all our doubts and diftibaptism was intended to be al- culties. We must be content ways observed in the Christian with as much light as is sufficient church, though I should readily to guide our conduct, and, in admit to communion one who lesser things, we must often be dethought otherwise, and had not termined by probabilities only, been baptised.
certainty not being to be had, I have not sufficiently consider. I ain sorry for the loss you ed the passage in St. Paul, you have sustained, but it is happy mention.
that you do not grieve as one withI shall be glad if these few on thoughts shall prove to be of any
I am, with every good wish, service to you ; but I doubt not
Dear Sir, but you will think for yourself,
Yours sincerely, and act with freedom and spirit,
J. PRIESTLEY. becoming a Christian, whatever
P.S. I would recommend to reveale, Matt, xxvii. 19. should, · your perusal a pamphict intitled, have been translated disciple, all
& Dipping not the only or Scrip. nations) and taught tu obserre all tural method of baptising." things whatsoever Christ hath com
manded. Juvaluable privileges !
Quest. ll. Who are the proper THE ANSWER OF VIGILIUS TOP
subjects of baptism? Answer, . MR.SHARP'S QUERIES,
Those who want the privileges. Roin. vii. 14. Ile know that As to children ; in many cases of the law is spirilunl: its com. common life' and affairs, parents mands extend their obligations to not only may, but are obliged to the passions and attections of the introduce their children to privispirit, and are calculated to form leges without their expressed and establish in it all holy dispo. consent, nay, even before they sitions and good habits : but I (a are capable of giving consent, and sinner under the law) am tarnai: are justly blamed if they neglect feel myself strongly inclined to the opportunities to do it: suche indulge the passions and lusis of as making the members of an the flesh : 'sold under sin ; being advantageous corporation, or so. in the condition of a miserable ciety. Parents also, not only slave, who having sold himself to have a right, but are obliged to a master, is no longer at liberty to instruct their children in every act according to his own better thing that they apprehend will be Sentiments, but must obey his useful and ornamental to them master's dictates, St. Paul bor. bereafter, and have a right to de Tows the thought and expression mand their attention to such ins from the Old Testament: parti. structions, and to initiate and ac. cularly it is said of Anab, 1. Kings custom them to practice those xxi. 20, Because thou hast sold things they have instructed them thyself to work evil in the sight of in, so long as they remain under the Lord. See also v. 25, and on, their care and tuition: afterwards in what follows of Ahab's story, they are to choose for themselves, the condition of a slave sold under whether they will continue to obu sin': when he heard this message serve them. Cnder the above de. from God, he humbled himself, scription, must be ranked all things no doubt, beyging forgiveness, and whatsoever Christ hath command purposing amendment : but the ed. By baptism, we do not lay iyiant in him prevailed; he re- our children under obligations to. turned to wickedness and perished observe (or to do what otherwise in it. See also a like espression, they would not have been obliged i Maccabees i. 15, and were to, All persons to whom the gosa sold to do mischief. But in all pel is, or shall be preached, are, these cases it is the sinner's own and will be obliged to observe all doing. See also 2 Kings, xvii. 17. things, whatsoever God hath com
Quest. I, What privileges are manded by his son Jesus; we annexed to Baptism? Answer", only procure for them certain From the words of the institution, privileges that will hereafter be to be discipled, or received amony very advantageous to assist then) Christ's disciples, (the word naby- to fulfil that duty to which they