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a spiritual serving of God, proceeding from the affections of a faith working by love, and also a continued witness of their Redeemer. Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Rom. xii. 1. and the spirit and connexion of ideas, throughout the whole Epistle to the Hebrews.'
pp. 180-182. Again he says:
• At the time of Tertullian, who stands on the boundary between two different epochs in the development of the Church, we still find more definite traces of the powerful opposition, which the original Christian feeling of the universal and spiritual priesthood, and of the Christian rights founded thereon, made to the hierarchy, which was establishing itself. In his work on Baptism, which he wrote before his conversion to Montanism, Tertullian, in regard to the use of the general rights of the priesthood by all Christians, declares the true principle by which Divine right and human order should be maintained. “ As far as the thing itself is concerned, the laity have the right to administer the sacraments, and to teach in the Churches. The word of God and the sacraments were communicated by God's grace to all Christians, and may therefore be communicated by all Christians, as instruments of God's grace.
But the inquiry is here not merely, what is lawful in general, but also, what is convenient under existing circumstances. We must here apply the declaration of St. Paul, all things, which are lawful, are not convenient.' With a view, therefore, to the maintenance of that order which is necessary in the Church, the laity should make use of their priestly rights as to the administration of the sacraments only where time and circumstances require it." '- pp. 199, 200.
The Third and only remaining Section in this volume is on the Christian Life and Worship ; — the history of Christianity, considered as a sanctifying power.
in this connexion the view taken by our author of the moral condition of the world at the first publication of the gospel.
‘On the one hand, stood the spirit of polytheism, deifying all the powers of nature, and, under their influence, with fresh and vigorous feelings abandoning itself to all the pleasures which the natural life is capable of deriving from individual objects; on the other, the dark, proud spirit of pantheism, despising all that is individual, together with all the energies and pleasures which are derived from it, as mere false appearances, as a delusion which carries man away captive, and as a narrow limit which cramps his views. a spirit which only sought by
serious abstract contemplation to unite itself with that one substantive Being, which hides itself under the deceitful guise of these individualities. The first was certainly the prevailing spirit in the Roman and Grecian heathenism; but, nevertheless, as the youthful life of the old world was daily waning away, as every thing grew old and died, the latter spirit constantly gained ground; and besides this, during these times of powerful intellectual excitement, and lively intercourse between the Western world, and the distant East, the theosophic and ascetic spirit of the latter had extended itself also widely over the West. Christianity, on the contrary, universally raised up a new life out of death, and only killed, in order that a nobler life might have power to rise up. As soon as it had brought man to the consciousness, that the source of evil and impurity was not without, that it was not to be sought in nature, or in sense and matter, but in his own inward heart, in sin; that to the impure all things are impure, and to the pure all things are pure; and as soon as it had freed him from this oppressive consciousness of guilt and uncleanness, by faith in the Redeemer, it restored to him the universal range of nature, as a purified and ennobled temple of God, where the redeemed must glorify his God. The fruits of the Spirit, of which St. Paul speaks, are not a dark and haughty moodiness, but love, joy, and friendship. It is joy in the Holy Spirit, to which he appeals so often, as the characteristic of the Christian life.'— pp. 305, 306.
It would give us pleasure, if our limits would permit, to follow Neander in his account of the gradual efficacy of Christianity in changing existing institutions, and of the errors and abuses of a moral nature or tendency, which
sprang up and spread themselves in the church. The work, likewise, contains much useful and authentic information respecting the conduct of the early Christians in regard to the laws of the state, in regard to holding civil or military offices, in regard to slavery, in regard to forbidden trades and amusements, in regard to dress and domestic life generally.
Neander rejects altogether the doctrine of the divine institution of the Lord's Day as a Christian Sabbath.
"The laws of the Sabbath, like all the rest of the ceremonial laws of the Jews, could only arise again in Christianity, by being spiritualised and ennobled, inasmuch as every day was now to be sanctified by the dependence of the whole life on God through Christ, on every day, and by the sanctification which the prayers of the heart shed over the whole of a Christian day. Inasmuch
as the Christian every day pursued the calling entrusted to him by God, with godly feelings, preserving his heart in purity from all inward contact with what is ungodly, and seeking constantly to keep holy the name of his Lord in thought, word, and deed every day was to be a true Sabbath to him.
St. Paul expressly declares all sanctifying of certain seasons, as far as men deduced this from the Divine command, to be Jewish and unevangelical, and to be like returning to the slavery of the law, and to captivity to outward precepts. Such was the opinion of the early Church. At first the Churches assembled every day, as for instance, the first Church of Jerusalem, which assembled daily for
common, and for the public consideration of the Divine word, for the common celebration of the Lord's Supper and the agapæ, as well as to maintain the connexion between the common head of the spiritual body of the Church and themselves, and between one another as members of this body. Traces of this are also found in later times, in the daily assembling of the Churches for the purpose of hearing the Scriptures read, and of celebrating the communion. Although, in order to meet the wants of human nature generally, consisting as it does of sense as well as soul, and those of a large body of Christians in particular, who were only in a state of education, and were to be brought up to the ripeness of Christian manhood, men soon selected definite times for religious admonitions, and to consecrate them to a fuller occupation with religious things, as well as to public devotion, with the intention, that the influence of these definite times should animate and sanctify the rest of their lives, and that Christians who withdrew themselves from the distractions of business on these days, and collected their hearts before God in the stillness of solitude, as well as in public devotion, might make these seasons of service to the other parts of their life ; — yet this was in itself, and of itself, nothing unevangelic. It was only a dropping down from the purely spiritual point of view, on which even the Christian, as he still carries about two natures in himself, cannot always maintain himself, to the carnal; a dropping down, which became constantly more necessary, the more the fire of the first animation, and the warmth of the first love of the Christians, died away. It was no more unevangelic than the gradual limitation of the exercise of many rights, belonging to the common priesthood of all Christians, to a certain class in the Church, which circumstances rendered necessary. But just as the unevangelic made its appearance, when men supposed the existence of a separate caste of priests in the Church, which stood upon Divine right, when they forgot the common Christian
priesthood in the consideration of this peculiar caste of priests, when they introduced a contrast between secular and spiritual persons among Christians, so also, in this matter, the unevangelic appeared, when men supposed certain days distinguished from others and hallowed by Divine right, when they introduced a distinction between holy and common days into the life of the Christian, and in this distinction forgot his calling to sanctify all days alike. The confusion between the Old and the New Testament notions manifested itself here in the same manner and at the same time, as that which relates to the priesthood.' — pp. 334 - 336.
Farther on he accounts, as follows, for the introduction of the present practice.
Opposition to Judaism introduced the particular festival of Sunday very early indeed into the place of the Sabbath; the first trace of this custom is in the Acts xx. 7, where we find the Church assembled together on the first day in the week, and again somewhat later, in Rev. i. 10, where it is hardly possible to understand the day of judgment by the words “the Lord's day." Allusion is also made to the festival of Sunday, as a symbol of a new life, consecrated to the Lord, in opposition to the old Sabbath, in the epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians. "If they who were brought up under the Old Testament have attained to a new hope, and no longer keep Sabbaths holy, but have consecrated their life to the day of the Lord, on which also our life rose up in him, how shall we be able to live without him?” Sunday was distinguished as a day of joy by the circumstances, that men did not fast upon it, and that they prayed standing up and not kneeling, as Christ had raised up fallen man to heaven again through his resurrection. The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentiors of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps at the end of the second century a false application of this kind had begun to take place, for men appear by that time to have considered laboring on Sunday as a sin.' p.
337. The first Christians were admitted to the visible church by Baptism. Originally, as Neander concedes, it was administered to all among the Jews, who acknowledged their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, and to all among the heathen, who acknowledged their belief in the one God, and in Jesus the N. S. VOL. VII. NO. I.
Messiah. Afterwards a confession of faith was required, including the essentials of Christianity, as held by all churches; but for this purpose, during the first three centuries they never went beyond the Apostles' Creed, as it is called, -a creed, as our readers are aware, which contains not one of the distinguishing doctrines of modern orthodoxy. The following paragraphs on the original mode of baptism, and the introduction of infant baptism, are too remarkable to be omitted or abridged.
'Baptism was originally administered by immersion, and many of the comparisons of St. Paul allude to this form of its administration : the immersion is a symbol of death, of being buried with Christ; the coming forth from the water is a symbol of a resurrection with Christ, and both taken together represent the second birth, the death of the old man and a resurrection to a new life. An exception was made only in the case of sick persons, which was necessary, and they received baptism by sprinkling. Many superstitious persons imagined, from attaching too much importance to externals, that baptism by sprinkling was not valid, and therefore they distinguished those who were so baptized from other Christians, by the means of
clinici.” Cyprian expresses himself strongly against this fancy : “ The heart of the believer is washed in one way, and the soul of man is purified by the merit of faith in another. In the sacraments of salvation, when necessity compels and God gives permission, the Divine service, though abridged, confers its whole efficacy on the believer. ... Or if any one supposes that they have obtained nothing because they have only been sprinkled with the water of salvation, let them not be deceived so far as to be baptized again, if they recover their health. But if those, who have already been sanctified by the baptism of the Church, are not to be baptized again, why should their faith be troubled, and the grace of God made a reproach to them. Have they, then, obtained the grace of God, but obtained it with a shorter and a deficient measure of the gift of God and of the Holy Spirit, so that they may be reckoned as Christians, but not placed on the same footing with the rest ? Nay, then, the Holy Spirit is not given by measure, but is shed on the believer in its whole fulness. For if the day dawns on all alike, and the sun sheds an equal light on all, how much more does Christ, the true sun and the true day, impart to all in his Church the light of eternal life with impartial equality."
As faith and baptism are constantly so closely connected together in the New Testament, an opinion was likely to arise,