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Speaking of those who believe in, and realize, the mystery of Baptism, "the purification and betrothment of the body unto Christ," he says:

"They go abroad, with a holy and chaste eye, to look upon God's handy works, whether seen in the beautiful though fallen world, or in that noblest work of God, the stately dignity and godlike countenance of man. With an open but circumcised ear, they drink in the melody of nature's various song; the spiritual utterance of the voice of man, with all the combinations and inventions for drawing forth and expressing the powers of Divine harmony. With every sense awake, with every sense redeemed, with every sense directed by the Holy Spirit, the lover of God expatiates in a large freedom over the visible creation; and, unsatisfied with the broken, marred image of his Maker, which he findeth there, his very flesh and heart cry out for the living God; longing to behold His very self, and to look upon the very image of His invisible Majesty, when all creation, more beautiful and fresh than when it rose in its fragrant infancy, shall stand in redeemed strength and beauty, obeying its Creator, and delighting to do whatever Ilis pleasure is. Oh, ye niggard spiritualizers of God's universal promise! ye pharisaical contemners of the material creation, who will not hear that this rough rosebud should blow into the fragrant and generous rose, nor that the lily which hath emerged from the waters should open its fair bosom unto the eye of heaven, I canot away with you, for your refusal unto the sense of man of her resurrection might, and enjoyment, and possession, and pure delight, and roaming range over the heavens and the earth; I cannot away with you, for your most unscriptural, unprophetical, unnatural dislike to hear of anything but nature's doom, or nature's death! Nought will satisfy you, ye heartless men, but that the world, animate and inanimate, once happy-for but a single day!--should draw its penance onward to the utmost longevity of miserable age, and then sink into the pit of Tophet, or escape away, like the chemist's mixture from his alembic, into aerial substance, fit accompaniment of your aerial heavens. The ghosts of Ossian, which sweep the clouds, and have their habitations in the mists, and take their shapes from the fogs of the morning, are the best emblems of your shadowy paradise and fleeting heavens. But for my own part, as a believer in God, I do expect to see my Lord eye to eye in bodily form, not in any spiritual drapery, but with true body invested. I do expect to look upon and to rule over this world, purified and redeemed, and possessed by living creatures in flesh and blood-yet in flesh and blood redeemed from Satan, and in a measure from sin also, though still under the power of death. And, as a man set for the belief of this great redemption, baptized into it, and possessing the first fruits thereof, I do feel that I am then fulfilling my part in the purpose of God, when I stand forth in my lot, and, without flinching, or fleeing into any narrow religious circle, do take my privilege of the wide world; and without contracting myself to any man's space, do struggle out unto the measure of Christ, and taste and see that God is good; and handle and possess the pleasant things which He hath given me; and take pleasure in His goodly works, without stint, and without reservation; yet always in the love of Him who gave them, always to the praise of Ilim who gave them; using, but not abusing; eating, and giving God the glory; and permitting those who eat not, not to eat, and give God the glory."

With the exception of the Coming of the Lord and His reign upon the earth, in respect to which he held to the primitive rather than the reformed doctrine, Mr. Irving, during this pe riod of his life, was one of the best exponents of the Reforma tion Theology that this age has seen. He could not be said to be of any one school exclusively-whether of Luther, or Calvin, or Knox, or the English Reformers,-but he combined in his teachings almost all the noblest truths to which they witnessed. Upon justification by Faith, and Election, and the all-accomplishing Will of the Father, and the Sacraments, and the Constitution of Church and State, he held substantially with them. He was a high Churchman after the Protestant and Presbyterian school, yet with a large infusion of truth from Hooker and the best divines of that class. He abhorred the Papacy as devoutly as Luther, though with a more discrim inating and charitable indignation, and preached the Gospel of God's grace with the freedom and fulness of that mightiest of the Reformers, clearing again the way to the Cross of Christ which false notions of Faith had blocked up, and showing to burdened men their liberty to believe at once and enter into peace. He opened anew many old wells of doctrine which the Protestant declension had abandoned, or filled with rubbish; especially the truth of the Sacraments, in regard to which he held with the first Scotch Confession of Faith:

"And thus we utterly condemn the vanity of those that affirm sacraments to be nothing else but naked and bare signs; no, we assuredly believe, that by baptism we are ingrafted in Christ Jesus, to be made partakers of His justice whereby our sins are covered and remitted; and also, that in the supper, rightly used, Christ Jesus is so joined with us that He becometh the very nourishment and food to our souls."

In the dedication of his Homilies on Baptism to his wife, he connects his growth into the truth with his personal experiences of sorrow, as was the case with the hope of the Lord's Coming:

I believe, in my heart, that the doctrine of the holy sacraments, which is contained in these two little volumes, was made known to my mind first of all, for the purpose of preparing us for the loss of our eldest boy; because, on that very week you went with him to Scotland, whence he never returned, my mind was directed to meditate and preach those discourses upon the standing of the bap

tized in the Church, which form the sixth and seventh of the Homilies on Baptism. I believe it, also, because, long before our little Edward was striken by the hand of God in Scotland, I was led to open these views to you in letters, which, by God's grace, were made efficacious to convince your mind. I believe it, furthermore, because the thought contained in those two Homilies remained in my mind, like an unsprung seed, until it was watered by the common tears which we shed over our dying Mary."

These incidents of his personal history are interesting, as showing how vital was his growth in doctrine. It was not an intellectual process merely, but his whole spiritual being had part in it. All his powers and affections strove to act together in harmony. No truth that did not touch his heart as well as his understanding, could take deep root within him. The whole man must be appealed to; the moral sympathies and spiritual intuitions, as truly as the logical understanding. His faculty of reasoning was of the strongest, but his vision was still more piercing, and his religious instincts more sure.

Mr. Irving's doctrine on Baptism differed from the opus operatum of the High Church party in its containing the element of Election, according to which the sacrament was effectual to all those whom the Father had given to the Son, but inoperative and void in the case of the non-elect. But he also held that as the Elect were known only unto God, the presumptien should be that all the baptized were truly engrafted into Christ, and that they should be addressed and dealt with by parents and pastors as being really of the Church, and responsible for all the fruits of the Christian life:

"No man may take upon him to separate the effectual working of the Holy Spirit from Baptism, without making void all the ordinances of the visible Church; which become idle ceremonies or worse, save for the faith that the IIoly Spirit may be, and is in them of a truth, to all to whom the Father granteth the faith of his presence in them. On the other hand, no one may connect the Holy Spirit absolutely and necessarily with the administration of Baptism; for thereby he would take the gift out of the electing will of the Father, and the redeeming love of Christ, and fix it on an outward visible act of an ordained priest; which act of a man will, in process of time and progress of ignorance, come to usurp the attributes of the Almighty Persons from whom the Spirit proceedeth. Therefore is it good and right to say, that every one who cometh to receive Baptism, whether for himself or for his child, should come in the full faith and assurance of having his sins remitted, and of receiving the Holy Ghost; remembering always, that faith is not our work, but the gift of God by Jesus Christ, and believing that

this faith being present, the Holy Spirit is assuredly present in this and every other ordinance of the Church."

His high Calvinistic notions of the absolute Will of the Father, the irresistibleness of the Spirit's operations, and the perseverance of every one in whom a good work had been once begun, led him theoretically to limit the efficacy of Baptism; but really and practically he looked upon it as God's ordinance for conveying the benefits of Christ's death and res urrection to all who received it. The limitations were more notional than real, as being logical deductions from abstract principles in regard to the sovereignty of God, rather than spiritual truths resting upon Divine revelation, and all his exhortations to the baptized presupposed a responsibility in them flowing from a gift conferred in the sacrament. It seems to us that there was the same contradiction in his case, as in many of the Reformers, between his speculative doctrine, and the living truth in his spirit. That which was cast into the moulds of his understanding, was not brought into perfect reconciliation with that which his faith apprehended, and in which his inmost being rejoiced. His whole soul pressed him to deal with the children of the church as being really, and not hypotheti cally, in covenant with God; but he was fettered by his inability to reconcile that truth with the absolute sovereignty and unrevealed purpose of the Father. The same inconsistency meets us in Luther and Calvin, who, on one page, use the strongest language as to the spiritual efficacy of sacraments, and on the next, from their zeal for Justification by Faith, and for Election, half withdraw it, and leave the whole subject involved in mists of uncertainty. The Reformers had no welldefined and self consistent doctrine of Baptism.

It was not till the year 1828, that any charges of preaching heretical doctrine were preferred against Mr. Irving. For sev eral years he had dwelt much on the great mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, unfolding them in no controver sial way, but in the ordinary course of his ministerial labors, as the most fundamental truths of Christianity. He held, as we have already seen, the ancient and orthodox doctrine in regard to the God-head; viz: that in the one essence there are

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from eternity the three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He looked upon the Incarnation as the greatest of all God's actings towards the creation, both in bringing Him into manifestation for the knowledge and worship of the creatures, and also in effecting the redemption of fallen man from the curse. In asserting the oneness of Christ the Redeemer with the race He came to redeem, he used language which was construed to imply the personal sinfulness of the Lord. How indignantly he resented this accusation, and with what fervor of love and adoration he affirmed the spotless holiness of his Saviour, in thought and desire, in word and act, from His conception in the womb to His death upon the cross, every reader of his writings knows full well. The charge is now well nigh abandoned, every reviewer of his Life, (so far as we have noticed), virtually, if not formally, admitting that it was untrue, and that he only sought to show the closeness of the sympathy of the Lord with His brethren, and the reality of His work in mortal flesh, as "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." But as the subject is one of great practical as well as doctrinal importance, the true humanity of the Lord being the very root of redemption, and the source of holiness in the believer, we will state, in few words, what seems to us the scriptural doctrine, and then give some extracts from Mr. Irving's writings.

There has never been any doubt in the Church, that our Lord became very Man in His Incarnation, taking "a true body and a reasonable soul;" and that the human nature in both its elements, material and spiritual, was united indissolubly with the Godhead in the Person of the only begotten Son. And it has been also held, by implication or in express terms, that He took humanity in the condition in which he found it, that is, under the Fall; whereby He was introduced into all our human experiences of temptation, and suffering,

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sorrow, and enabled to be an example to us that we should walk in His steps. It was the fallen, not the unfallen, nature into which He came, because it was the fallen nature which needed redemption, and there was no unfallen nature in existence which He could take. The mother of whom He was born

VOL. XXII.

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