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invoke her name ten times for once they invoke that of her Son, and then always to intercede for them with her Son, as possessing still fleshly maternal authority with him! Is he a Protestant? Let him show how auricular confession, transubstantiation, invocation of the saints, prayers for the dead, purgatory, and penance began, before he perplexes himself or any one else upon the question, How originated infant ablution?
Dr. Miller's tenth argument in favor of infant baptism, as reported from his own book in our last essay, is—“Finally, the history of the Christian church from the apostolic age furnishes an argument of irresistible force in favor of the divine authority of infant baptism." From the documentary evidence we have furnished from the history of the Christian church, may we not now ask, not only the reader of Dr. Miller's book, but Dr. Miller himself, Whether Leo X., or Pius IX., both old bachelors, might not, with equal show of reason and evidence, have said, Finally, the history of the church from the apostolic age furnishes an argument of irresistible force in favor of the divine authority of sacerdotal celibacy, of the sanctity of virginity, and the sublime excellency of a monastic life?'
Dr. Miller's logic is evidently at fault here, as in some other points. His witnesses prove too much for him; and would, if he dare listen to them to the end of their testimony, compel him to become the advocate of an unmarried ministry, and of the paramount purity of monks, and friars, and vestal nuns. He has as venerable, as learned, and as numerous a host of ecclesiastic fathers, confessors, and historians in favor of clerical celibacy as in favor of infant baptism. Nay, I will strongly affirm, a much more numerous and powerful host in favor of the heaven-subduing grace of pure virginity, sanctified at the altar of the church, than he or any other man on this continent can adduce in favor of infant affusion or infant baptism.
If, then, the number or reputation of the authorities, which, according to Dr. Miller, renders the argument from church history "irresistible" as respects the divine authority of infant baptism; the argument from church history must be equally irresistible in favor of monkery and an unmarried priesthood: for we have all the same authorities, and a few more of as high, if not of a still higher reputation than they, in favor of the most baseless, most unreasonable, most (desolating tenet of Popery--the heaven-subduing potency of perpetual bachelorship or celibacy, and its indispensability to the efficacious administration of ecclesiastical institutions, and to the virtue of prayers, penances, and intercessions.
COMMUNINGS IN THE SANCTUARY—No. VI. I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy, and, in thy fear,
will I worship toward thy holy temple.—Ps. v. 7. The subjects to which our attention is here invited, are of the most serious importance. Religion does not occupy herself with tuifles, or present to our consideration the light matters of a passing hour, or of a fleeting fancy. Ah! no. Her themes are serious, and they are urged upon us with a solemn earnestness, appropriate to their character. We come not to the house of God to gaze upon a display of beauty or of finery; to listen to the voice of earthly pleasure, or dwell upon the idle vanities of the world. Far different objects meet here the eye of faith; far different is the voice that here salutes the listening ear; far different are the themes that here engross the soul. It is with life and with death we come to hold communion; and, amidst the solemn darkness and awful secrets of the grave, to find the light and the revelations of eternity. Surely, that which thus regards the deepest interests, must be itself important; that which thus deals alone with realities, must itself be real; that which allies itself equally to the dreary desolations of the grave-our mortal fears; and to our eternal hopes,—the smiling joys of life and light and love, must claim our earnest and sincere regard. How serious should be our thoughts of life! How solemn our meditations upon the mysteries of our being! How impressive our consciousness that we are raised up from the dust, to move amid “this breathing world,” to wrestle with its giant forms of evil; to struggle with the ever-watchful destroyer; and to contend for life even unto death! How abiding should be the conviction, that we ar2 inhabitants of two worlds, and partakers of two natures; associated as well with the lowest form of animal existence, as with the loftiest development of spiritual being—that there are ties which bind us both to earth and heaven; the seen and the unseen; the temporal and the eternal! How earnest should be our efforts to maintain our relations with life, and especially with that "eternal life which was with the Father” and was “manifested” to the world!
Who can contemplate unmoved, the dissolution of this mortal nature; the cessation of the life-pulse that sends the vital current through the frame; the breaking up of those conscious springs of existence which we feel within us! How solemn and how sad, those moments when we approach the last hour of life, even though our pains may Series. II.-VOL v.
be soothed by the kind hand of affection, and our hearts comforted
my bones are sundered. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws, and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
The crucifixion of Christ was the greatest crime ever committed by men. He died by sin, as well as for sin. Well did he say that 'the blood of all the Prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world should be required of that generation;' for his death was the consummation of all their crimes. It is, indeed, often hard to realize that human beings could be guilty of so cruel an enormity; that they could so harm the harmless, and pursue with such cruel animosity that good and gentle One. It seems so contrary to the common occurrences of life, and to the common sympathies of humanity, which will be awakened in behalf of even the most atrocious criminal who is led along to execution, that we pause for a moment in astonishment and wonder, to inquire, How can these things be? But again, when we reflect upon the power of Satan to inspire the human heart with his own malignity; when we remember what reason he had to seek the destruction of Jesus, who had resisted all his temptations, invaded his own dominions, and dispossessed his legionary tormentors of their prey, we can comprehend the fact, and explain the enigma. And when we refer to the persecutions of the martyrs, and to the inconceivable malignity evinced against the true followers of Jesus, on his account, we see but the agency of the same mighty Power of darkness and of death. With how much bitter animosity and hatred, has he inspired even the unbeliever, who, from his own principles, should have been but an indifferent spectator of religious controversies, and sectarian crimes. “Let us
crush the wretch!” exclaims Voltaire, the prince of infidels; and have not his followers in our day been known with dying lips to curse the name of Jesus? Here we have, so to speak, our own experience to corroborate that wondrous tale of sorrow, related by the evangelists;—to show that it is possible for men thus to hate, with such deadly and bitter hatred, one who never harmed them, but who, on the contrary, bestowed upon them the most precious favors.Yes, they hate him now, as they hated him then, “without a cause." They would even now "crush,” or crucify him, and still vainly be called upon to answer the inquiry which Pilate propounded to his murderers: “Why? What evil hath he done?”
Who can approach, without trembling, to look in upon a soul thus filled with malignity? Who can, without a shudder, gaze into that dark abyss of wickedness, into which human nature may thus be plunged? Who can duly estimate the capacities of men for crime, when the dark Spirit of Evil himself undertakes to develope them? Yet such are the scenes we are called upon to witness; such are the subjects we are here invited to consider, where Christ crucified is placed before us, and the scenes of Calvary are brought to our remembrance. From this position, we may survey that cruel spectacle, and hear the mockery and the shouts of the infuriate crowd. They offer to him that bitter (chole) that narcotic bitter, in sour wine, which the Romans, to add the semblance of mercy to cruelty, were wont to give the condemned before their crucifixion, to deaden their sensibility to pain; but when he tastes thereof, he will not drink it. No. It is the cup which the Father hath given him that he will drink. It is the punishment due to our sins that he will endure without mitigation or alleviation. Behold him in those more tal agonies, and hear even his fellow-sufferers revile him, and see the disciples whom he had so fondly loved and so highly honored, forsake him in the hour of his calamity. But hearken to those piteous accents;—that sole complaint which he can be made to utter: "My God, my God, why hast THOU forsaken me?” The mortal pangs of expiring nature he can bear without a p.urmur, and endure that he should be abandoned by his friends, but not that God also should forsake him. He can suffer the death of the body with unshrinking fortitude, but not that his soul should be separated from God, the source of being and of blessedness. Who can depict the expression of agony which rests upon thạt gentle countenance, when he is thus excluded from both worlds, and left, for one dreadful moment, alone with human crimes! Upon that pure and innocent nature, how heavily presses that sinful load! Before his sacred soul, appear, in horrid array, the unnumbered transgressions of the whole world, from that of Eden;—the murder of Abel;—the crimes of Manasseh;—the blood of Zachariah;—the cruelty of his own destroyers; --the persecutions of his martyrs;—the revolting detail of all the forms of human guilt now known, or yet to be. And are not our sins, too, there, while cruel lips mock that cry of agony, and say: Let us see if Elijah will come to save him? and while cruel hands present him vinegar to drink? Surely, he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. For it pleased the Lord to bruise him;--to put him to grief;—to make his soul an offering for sin; and he hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.
For this "he hath trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with him.” For this he is "despised and rejected of men.” For this "he is taken away by distress and judgment,” and "cut off out of the land of the living” in the morning of life. Who now shall give an account of his race? “Who shall declare his generation?” What name or memorial hath he left in Israel? Is there not one to mourn for him?- not one to bear his name to future ages? Yes, says the Spirit, it is even now, when his soul is made an offering for sin, that "he shall see his seed;" that he "shall prolong his days,” and that “the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” “He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” He shall rejoice in a numerous posterity that God shall give him—the children of faith and love; the children of the resurrection; of light and life. For “I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with transgressors, and bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Through this offering God can be just, in justifying the ungodly. Through his death, God has brought to light incorruptibility and life; and the greatest crime ever committed by man, has been made to us the richest blessing. 'Twas Satan's doing to instigate men to slay him. 'Twas the Lord's doing to destroy, through his death, him that had the power of death, and to deliver human souls from bondage. Let the earth rejoice and break forth into singing, for the grave shall not devour forever, nor continue to rob us of our joys. Death itself is made to bring forth life, and the tomb becomes the chrysalis of immortality!
And shall not we, then, who have known the love of God, ap.