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INDEX TO VOL. XV.
Geology and Revelation, 380.
Gospel, its own Advocate, Griffin's, 477.
Gibbon's Decline and Fall, 478.
Grammar, English, Fowler's, 638.
German, Woodbury's Method of Learning, 642.
Greek, Bullion's First Lessons in, 642.
Apostolical Constitutions, Object in forging, 505. Howell's Way of Salvation, 147.
History of Christian Religion and Church,
Heaven's Antidote to the Curse of Labor, 152.
Baptism and Terms of Communion, Fuller's, Human Nature, Rectitude of, Burnap, 479.
Hygiene, Sweetser's Mental, 633.
Baptist, A Pædobaptist Church no Home for,
Examination of Joshua x. 12—15, 595.
Noel on Baptism, 1.
Nineveh and its Remains, 111.
Neander, Death of, 624.
Neander on the Phillippians, 629.
321 ; Spencer's Sketches of Travel in Egypt and
the Holy Land, 368; Campbell's Lives of the
Chief Justices, 427, President Wayland's Re-
port on Brown University,442; Works on Social-
ism, 520; Hon. T. Butler King's Report on
California, 573; Sights in the Gold Region and
Scenes by the way, ib; Eldorado, ib; Three
Years in California, ib.
Rural Hours, 635.
Reminiscences of Congress, March's, 640.
Salvation, Howell's Way of, 147.
Soul and Instinct, 152.
Seaside and Fireside, Longfellow's, 318.
Southey, Coleridge, 321.
American Baptist Publication, ib; American
and Foreign Bible, 481.
Suspiria de Profundis, 639.
Sleep, Fosgatis, 641.
Socialism in the United States, 520.
Theophany, Turnbull's, 317.
Nineveh and its Remains, 111; Will Taylor, President, Sketch of, 617.
Whip- Union, American Baptist Missionary, 480.
No. LIX. - JANUARY, 1850.
ART. I.-NOEL ON BAPTISM. Essay on Christian Baptism. By the Hon. and Rev. BAP
TIST W. Noel. London and New-York. 1849.*
The secession of Mr. Noel from the Established Church of England, on account of its union with the State, as well as its numerous corruptions both of doctrine and discipline, is justly regarded both in this country and in Europe as a significant event. More significant still is his frank and courageous adoption of Baptist sentiments. For these are not, as some would have us believe, mere sectarian notions, or trivial distinctions, having no relation to the great body of evangelical truth, or the practical working of our common Christianity. Were this the case, no earnest and comprehensive mind, like that of Mr. Noel, would attach to them the slightest importance, above all would make them the ground of a painful separation from his Pædobaptist brethren.
It is difficult, perhaps, in this country, thoroughly to appreciate the change, not merely of opinion and practice, but of position and influence, which such a movement involves. Mr. Noel is connected by birth and station with the aristocracy of England. He is the father of a large and interesting family, the members of which, in ordinary circumstances, might hope to intermarry with that aristocracy, who, with all
# The references in this article are to the London edition of Mr. Noel's work. A handsome edition has just been published by Harper & Brothers, which is also issued with the imprint of Lewis Colby, and that of Gould, Kendall and Lincoln. The same impression, as we presume, has also been issued by E. H. Fletcher, with an Introduction by Dr. Dowling. VOL. XV.-NO. LIX.
their faults, are the best of their class in Europe, and contain among them some of the finest specimens of character. One of the chaplains of the Queen, at once amiable and gifted, of admirable address and great natural eloquence, he has been caressed by nearly all classes of the community, Churchmen as well as Dissenters, and entitled from his position and acquirements to the highest offices in the Church of his fathers. But much of all this he has voluntarily and deliberately abandoned, and cast himself without reserve among the Baptists, who, though they boast the names of Bunyan, Fuller, Foster and Hall, are yet in England one of the least of the tribes of Israel, and regarded with peculiar disfavor by the aristocracy of that country.
It was no light cause, we may be assured, which induced such a man, with all the prepossessions of early education, and all the influences of his position and connections, to make such a sacrifice. Nothing but principle, the deepest and strongest, can account for it. This, however, we are sure, will be conceded by all candid men. Few, we think, will venture to ascribe to prejudice of any kind, above all to sectarian influence, a change so great and decisive.
The reasons, therefore, which Mr. Noel, with all seriousness and candor, has given for such a step, ought to be examined in the same spirit. However much some may differ from him in the end, his two books, the one on the Union of the Church with the State, the other on Christian Baptism, demand their prayerful and candid attention.
The works of Mr. Noel are certainly written with great candor and intelligence. He makes no claims indeed to unusual depth and acumen ; nor is his style remarkable either for originality or beauty:
Nowhere does he seem ambitious of reputation as an author, or anxious about nicety or even elegance of expression. But he is honest, earnest and clear, with a certain air of dignity and grace, as natural as it is becoming. His style is plain, accurate and perspicuous, such as becomes a gentleman and a Christian minister, and withal remarkably well adapted to his purpose. He is uniformly serious and candid, is evidently master of his subject, and reasons fairly and logically. With the Word of God he is remarkably familiar, and applies it with great force and propriety. He never says a severe thing, unless absolutely compelled to do so by the necessity of the case, and then evermore in the spirit of Christian love. We have never seen a finer specimen of fair and conscientious reasoning than his Essay on Baptism. It does not contain a single harsh, unfair or ungenerous expression. Without any pre tensions to peculiar liberality, it is pervaded by a noble Christian tone, as rare as it is delightful. We are glad that he has written it. It will mark, we hope, an era in the discussion of the subject, which demands at the hands of our Pædobaptist brethren a more thorough and candid investigation.
The introduction of believers by the rite of baptism into the visible church marks the clear and impassable distinction between the church and the world. My kingdom,” says Christ, “is not of this world.” From this is deduced what is usually termed the spirituality of the church, a principle recognized by the great majority even of those evangelical Christians who practise infant baptism. This lies at the basis of all the reformatory movements of the churches in modern times. This, if they knew it, is involved in the Supremacy of Christ in his own realm, the battle-cry of the Free Church of Scotland, of the Free Church of the Canton Vaud, and of the Free Protestant Church of France. This, in fact, is the great ecclesiastical question of the age. Is the church free; is it a spiritual body; is it governed by spiritual laws; is it composed of intelligent disciples; is it, in reality, the body of Christ, and therefore animated by his soul ; is it divine in its origin, character and aim; is it the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, and is it thence separate from the world, and adapted, by the blessing of God, to the final regeneration of the race? This, we say, is the great social and religious question of the age. It enters into the very heart of all our polemical discussions ; it is destined to agitate the whole of Christendom. Protestantism, though yet imperfect in its development, is itself founded upon it. It was the regenerating word of the Reformation, though many of the Reformers themselves knew it not; for the doctrine of justification by faith involves it, in fact expresses it. To be justified by faith alone excludes not only all formal and ritualistic churches, but all family, national and hereditary churches. Being the test stantis aut cadentis ecclesiæ, it determines the whole character not only of our theology, but of our ecclesiastical organization.
On this ground we maintain that the solemn induction of believers alone into the visible church by the rite of baptism defines the separation of the church from the world, and discovers, in a most expressive way, the rational and spiritual nature of Christianity. For, unlike Judaism, or any other system of local, national or formal religion, Christianity is