« AnteriorContinuar »
try. You well know, that nothing could strike the ments, and the difficulties of our earthly pilgrimage.tongue of authority with so fatal a palsy, as the very Rev. R. Anderson. thought of unworthiness in them to whom the word of authority is committed. You likewise know, that the
WATCHFULNESS implies a due regulation of the majesty of truth has no ally on earth more powerful
body, as relates to the refreshment of sleep: and in this than the righteousness and the sanctity of them that
view it furnishes a useful hint to those who plead that are called to be the ministers of truth.-Rev. C. W.
they cannot spare time from their necessary avocaLe Bas's Visitation-Sermon.
tions for reading and prayer. Let such honestly ask
themselves, whether they could not, without any injury CHRISTIAN ZEAL.-We have great reason to sup- to their bodily health, but, on the contrary, with much pose that much good remains undone, because we have benefit to it, abstract another hour from those now not boldness of zeal properly adapted to our present devoted to sleep, for the purpose of devoting it to God circumstances. We are too much alarmed at objections, and to the refreshment of their souls. But the watchtoo much given to calculate natural probabilities; we fulness here spoken of is principally of a spiritual magnify the obstacles, we lose sight of the all-sufficient nature ; a watchfulness over the frame and temper of power. True, it may not be God's will; but we are our minds, and over the circumstances in which we are to try whether it is his will: the result alone can prove placed, so far as they are influential upon our spiritual it, whilst we cannot take upon ourselves to be the state. It is a watchfulness against the assaults of that judges beforehand, but only the obedient instruments wily and powerful adversary who goeth about seeking for the work of the Lord, whensoever and wheresoever whom he may devour; who with ever-waking vigilhe may be pleased to shower down the riches of his ance watches each avenue which our sin or negligence mercy. Christian zeal is in no age to be diminished ; it may leave open, in order to enter and make a lodgcannot look back and say, How great things are done! ment in our souls. It is a watchfulness against the it presses forward to those which remain undone ; it
snares and temptations of a world which lieth in the is the same principle now as in the days of the wicked one, which is at enmity with the blessed God, apostles ; and it is to be hoped that many attempts and of which Satan is "the prince" and "the god;" for the salvation of souls are made in the present day, a world whose friendship is enmity with God; and in a revival of the apostolic spirit. The Reformation, which, if any man love, the love of the Father is not in the zeal of our Protestant forefathers, was of this him. It is a watchfulness against the solicitations of nature. A spirit of ready, enlightened, and courageous our own corrupt nature, and especially against that zeal, aiming only at the welfare of men's souls, de- sin which doth most easily beset us. It is a watch sirous of the conversion of vast multitudes perishing in fulness against the indulgence of evil tempers and ignorance ; assured of the happiness produced among wandering thoughts, and vain conceits of our own mankind by the extension of Clirist's kingdom.-Rev. goodness or ability: a casting down imaginations, with H. Butlerfield.
every high thing which would exalt itself against God "COMMUNION OF SAINTS. — The holy communion
in the sanctuary of the heart, and a bringing into capbetween the Church on earth and the Church in hea
tivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. In a ven, as constituting together that one mystical body,
word, to watch is, in the apostle's mind, practically to of which Christ is the head, is plainly inculcated in
offer that daily prayer to God, "Lead us not into various parts of our Prayer-book. In one collect, we
temptation."--Rev. J. M. Hiffernan. call upon that “ Almighty God, who has knit together Clerical Consistency. - We may remember, his elect in one communion and fellowship, in the brethren, that there was a time when the prophet mystical body of his Son Christ our Lord;” beseeching Elijah, overwhelmed by the terrors of the moment, him to "give us grace so to follow his blessed saints terrified by the threats of Jezebel, and still more by in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to the faithlessness of the people, yielded to the storm those unspeakable joys which he has prepared for which he seemed incapable of stemming, and fled for them that unfeignedly love him." In another, we his life into the wilderness. We read again, that the beseech him “ of his gracious goodness shortly to word of the Lord came to him as he was sleeping, and accomplish the number of his elect, and to hasten his that its language was, What docst thou here, Elijah ? kingdom ; that we, with all those that are departed in While idolatry is triumphing at court; while ignorance the true faith of his holy name, may have our perfect is covering the people ; while God is forgotten by high consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in his and low, and none is standing up for the truth, What eternal and everlasting glory." In another, we" bless doest thou here, Elijah! And will not the same word his holy name for all his servants departed this life in follow the man of God at present? Will it not repeat his faith and fear; beseeching him to give us grace to each and every one of us hereafter, whatever our 80 to follow their good examples, that with them we employment, whatever our condition, at all times and may be partakers of his heavenly kingdom.". And in in all places, What doest thou here? I need hardly another, all who have been fed at the table of the speak of the places where the world assembles; for the Lord "with the most precious body and blood of their world is ready, now-a-days, to anticipate the question, Saviour Jesus Christ,” most heartily thank God for and to greet the clerical intruder with asking, What “ assuring them thereby of his favour and goodness doest thou here? The world itself, blind to its own towards them; and that they are very members in- inconsistencies, is quick and sharp in marking ours ; corporate in the mystical body of his Son, which is and intimates plainly enough that a clergyman is out the blessed company of all faithful people.” It is of his place when he appears as one of them. But the plain, therefore, that in the judgment of our Church question must be asked when the world is silent; and the devout contemplation of the Christian cloud of at every time and place you must be prepared to hear, witnesses is one of the holiest and happiest occupa- and you must be prepared to answer to the question, tions in which we can be engaged ; one of the surest What doest thou here? Is it thy Master's service, or is methods of obtaining the height of holiness, and the it thine own will that thou art doing? Is it to win souls depth of peace here; and one of the most effectual to Christ ? is it to awaken the dead in heart; to bind preparatives for that perfection of bliss which awaits up the wounded spirit, to pour in the wine and oil of the triumphant Church in the regions of eternity. the Gospel, that thou art going from house to house ? And, assuredly, such associated love, in this its fullest or is it to while away time which ought to be otherwise and highest sense-a love by which we realise in all employed; and to seek in the world, or from men, its blessedness “ the communion of saints” spoken of that degree of comfort which the man of God ought to in the apostles' creed, is beautifully suited to animate find in God and in the things of God? At other times and encourage us under all the trials, the discourage- | you may be found engaged in study. Again the ques
tion comes, Man of God, what doest thou here ? Are Through earth's extended circle-to the bed
Grief's incense, clinging to a parent's bier, of a carnal mind? Are you at rest in the retirement
Where parting spirits linger in their Alight of your own home ? Man of God, what doest thou To realms of darkness, or to realms of light,here? Is not thy Master's cause in danger ? is not his Where anguish'd friends watch life's expiring spark, flock scattered abroad? Are not his sheep in peril,
And linger breathless e'en when all is dark,and must not thou give account of every one that is
There art thou present, in each grief hast part, lost through thy indifference? O my brethren, what a name is it that we are bearing! What warnings and
Canst still the troubled soul, the throbbing heart; what motives, what fears and what hopes, are not in- Canst bless, when life, and light, and hope seem fled, cluded in it! Take it, then, as you will, from this day To living man the chambers of the dead. as your own; but take with it the admonitions, the pledge which it conveys. Remember, that henceforth And where thy servants humbly bend the knee you no longer are your own. Devoted to the service
prayer and praise, and humbly lauding thee; of Him who has called you, forget the things that are
Where, at thy altar, hearts in reverence bow behind, and reach forth to those that are before. Con
To thee, as God and Father,-there art thou ; sider yourselves no longer as your own masters, as free to choose your occupations and pursuits ; but re
Thy Spirit, hovering round the blest abode, member that the service of this day impresses on your
Dwells in the midst of those who seek their God lite a character which is indelible; and while it ele- Fills with its unseen presence heaven and earthvates you to the highest distinction which man can
Was, ere the rolling worlds themselves had birth ; contemplate for himself, it involves you in the most
And when those worlds no longer are, shall be fearful responsibility which man can undergo.-Chancellor Raikes's l'isitation-Sermon.
Still omnipresent to eternity.
Weston, near Ross, Herefordshire.
LINES ADDRESSED TO A DYING FRIEND.
BY MISS A. BEALE.
BY W. L. NICHOLS.
(For the Church of England Magazine.)
From scenes of sin and sorrow haste away;
From realms unfading, and a brighter day.
May thy example guide our pilgrim-feet,
Where pain shall cease, and friends again shall meet.
And soon shalt rise, the soul's last conflict done,
Wave thine immortal palm in joy that heaven is won.
(For the Church of England Magazine.)
GOD'S GOODNESS IN THE SEASONS.
• From "Metrical Paraphrases; or, Selected Portions of the Book of Psalms." By the Rev. Robert Allan Scott, late of Balliol College, Oxford, Curate of Sheriffholes and Woodcote, Shropshire. London, Rivingtons. 1839. A neatly got-up little volume, dedicated to the Dean of Lichfield, reflecting great credit on Mr. Scott's taste and poetical talents. The numerous selections of metrical paraphrases, &c., however, render it almost impossible to recommend one in preference to another. It will be a great point gained, when there shall be a fully authorised collection of Psalms and Hymns for public worship. The subject is one of great importance. While we have one liturgical service, we ought to have one book of devotional psalmody,
The herds rejoice-the valley's pride-
O Thou, from whom all blessings flow,
TRANSUBSTANTIATION: EFFECTS OF THE DOCTRINE AMONG THE HEATHEN AND JEWS.-Even Romanists have confessed that this doctrine is a disadvantage to their missionaries among the heathen. Let us suppose that a Romish priest visits the South Sea Islands. At present many of these have just heard of the religion of Jesus, as taught from the Bible, and are hesitating about it. What they have heard of it is so pure, so simple, so reasonable, that they are on the point of embracing it. Nothing holds them back but a natural clinging to their ancient habits and superstitions. But now comes the priest, and tells them that when he has uttered a few words over the wafer, a miracle is performed. They see no miracle; they behold all as it was before: and yet they are told they must believe it as an essential part of Christianity. What must they now think of Christianity? In what a new light must it appear! how changed from what it was when they heard it from the lips of Protestant missionaries! If they are brought to think that the Scriptures command them to believe what their eyes, touch, and taste command them to deny, what danger must there be of their changing their mind concerning Christianity? "What better," they may say, "what more certain, is it than our old religion?" And when they are told to worship before the wafer (whatever attempt there may be to teach them that this differs from worshipping the wafer), will they not cry out, "Why, this is as bad as our old idolatry?" And so all hope of their conversion, or of one worth the name, at least, may be lost! We have applied this reasoning to the South Sea islanders, but how much more forcibly does it apply to the polished Hindoos, vast numbers of whom are now throwing off their ancient superstition, and are applying to European studies and philosophy! Of what immense importance is it that Christianity should come to them in a form that will bear the most rigorous examination of reason! Otherwise, will they not reject it as one of the forms of imposture, of which they will learn that there have been so many in the world? When they see the wafer carried in procession, and the Romanists falling down before it, will
between the literal and figurative interpretation of Christ's words, and reason exercised on Scripture already inclines us to reject the literal, shall we not think it an additional inducement, when, by so doing, we facilitate the reception of Christianity to six hundred millions of our fellow-creatures? Lastly, what a stumbling-block is transubstantiation to the Jews! It seems almost impossible for the Romanists to convert the Jews; and so it has, in fact, been found to be. The practice of worshipping God "under the species" of the wafer (the words of the council of Trent) appears to them idolatry, and utterly irreconcilable with the law, not merely in its ceremonial parts, but in its everlasting spirit. The idea also of drinking blood literally, is what they cannot endure. As long, therefore, as Christianity comes to them hampered with this doctrine, it comes in vain-it can obtain no hearing. Till Protestants shall be fully awake to the duty of carrying their pure and reasonable form of Christianity to the Jews, there can be no hope that that most interesting people will be converted. It will be the glory of our reformed religion, when through its instrumentality, under the Divine blessing, "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" shall be gathered into the fold of Christ, and shall display that devotion in his cause which they have with unexampled, though mistaken nobleness, displayed in adhering to their law; and so, through the combined efforts of Jews and Christians, "the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in."-Rev. C. S. Bird.
SUNDAY DRESS AND APPEARANCE.-As the Christian religion is cheerful, and peaceful, and pure, so should every thing connected with it be of the same character. I never can help fancying that I see something of this character in the Sabbath of a country village, where religion prevails. The peaceful cheerfulness, however, which belongs to true religion, is widely different from the noisy mirth which belongs to which belongs to a Christian Sabbath, but it is a the careless and the profligate. There is a stillness happy stillness. You see, in the countenances of those you meet, an appearance of rest, of calmness, of peaceful cheerfulness. There is, also, in the cleanly Sabbath dress of English villagers, something like an emblem of the purity which belongs to that religion which is to be their guide at all times, but on the Sabbath is their more peculiar business and enjoyment. It is of great consequence to keep up the true character of this sacred day. Let no man, however, suppose that the mere Sunday dress, or the Sunday rest, or even the Sunday ordinances, will of themselves entitle him to be called a true Christian; but if they enable him, and if they invite others, to make this day a day of holy rest and of Christian imphi-provement, how useful, how needful they may be! Is
they not be apt to join Averroes, the Arabian losopher, who, when he saw the same thing, cried out, "I have travelled over the world, and have found divers sects; but so sottish a sect or law I never found as is the sect of the Christians, because with their own
teeth they devour their God whom they worship." This is similar to what the greatest of the Roman philosophers uttered hundreds of years before: when, speaking of the various shapes under which superstition and idolatry had existed in the world up to his time, Cicero says, "But was there ever any man so mad as to believe that which he eats to be God?" Now, we wish it to be understood we are not defending the impressions we have described; we are only describing them. They will arise, whether we lament them, and condemn them, or not. Is it likely, we ask, that a doctrine can be true, which gives rise to such impressions, and hinders the propagation of that religion which is sent to be a blessing to the whole earth -out of the eight hundred millions of whose inhabitants, only two hundred millions have as yet ever heard of the name of Christ? When there is a choice
not a man's mind drawn away from every purpose of sabbatical rest, when he sees the inhabitants of a village without their Sabbath dress, and when he hears their noisy mirth expressing a feeling so different from Sabbath devotion? And, on the contrary, is he not forcibly led to join in Sabbath employments, when he sees others whose expression and appearance convey so much delight? Let there be a cleanliness of the person on the Sabbath morning, and let it be a token of that purity of mind which should belong to the Christian. A gaudy finery of dress and appearance belongs not to the Christian Sabbath; but neatness and cleanliness do belong to it.-Bishop (Davys) of Peterborough.
London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country,
ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
ON THE ATONEMENT. BY THE REV. JOHN SPENCE, M.A. Rector of East Keal, Lincolnshire. II.
OF THE UNITED
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
VOL. VII. No. 183. SEPTEMBER 14, 1839.
Ar the conclusion of the former essay, the question was proposed-for building up the sincere Christian on his most holy faithwhence arose the necessity of atonement for sin? The answer to this question, it was remarked, was to be considered in a twofold point of view.
I. Atonement was necessary, because fallen man, having lost all moral power of self-recovery, could in no sense atone for himself; he could in no sense become his own saviour. In point of guilt, he had reduced himself to the state of fallen angels, "who kept not their first estate." Like them, he had voluntarily broken his Maker's righteous law, disbelieved his truth, rejected his sovereignty, stained his glory, and done dishonour to his holy name. Sin had" fixed a great and impassable gulf" between him and God; and beyond it stretched forth a land of thick darkness and eternal death. Nothing, therefore, could ultimately have prevented the execution of the law's threatened penalty, "dying thou shalt die," but the interposition of One who could pay that penalty in the sinner's behalf, "One mighty to save.' Hence we see that " without shedding of blood there could have been no remission of sin;" no acquittal from guilt incurred; and no restoration to the forfeited favour and enjoyment of God. Without this wonderful provision of wisdom and mercy, sin must have terminated in the destruction of the sinner; God must have remained to him "a consuming fire." This reason, how
VOL. VII. NO. CLXXXIII.
ever, is by no means the only one to be assigned for the necessity of Christ dying for us. There is another reason, and a very conclusive one too, which many sincere believers in the atonement either inadvertently overlook, or very imperfectly understand. For,
II. Without this propitiatory sacrifice, the law "would not have been magnified and made honourable," its claims would not have been upheld, its unchanging truth would not have been vindicated; nor would the glory and the harmony of the Divine perfections have been inviolably secured, nor would their holy nature have been unfolded to the admiration and lasting love of angels and the whole redeemed and sanctified family of God.
By keeping this latter important truth in view, we shall be enabled to form a right conception of the sufferings of Jesus substituted in the place of sufferings due to us for our sins: in other words, by taking the revealed will of God for our guide, we shall see the necessity of Christ's atonement, if we duly consider what is meant by sin being called in Scripture "the transgression of the law" (1 John, iii. 4). Now, by the term law is clearly meant the moral law; for it is only by this law" that every mouth can be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God" (Rom. iii. 19). But the moral law, we are assured, is none other than a pure and bright transcript of the Divine mind, and is in itself, and in all its requirements, "holy, just, and good," and therefore calculated, in every respect, to promote the creature's greatest good. It was enacted to be a rule of duty, and a safeguard for securing the highest
[London Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]
interests and happiness of all God's intelli- sins, and no determination to exact the gent creatures in all parts of his universal penalty of disobedience, and vindicate the empire. I say universal empire ; for we are honour of his own righteousness and truth. not to suppose, as is by many unthinkingly Such a sight would have convulsed the supposed, that we are the only moral respon- thrones of angels and archangels, of cherubim sible agents in the universe of God. Scrip- and seraphim, and have sent a feeling of conture at once corrects the mistake. It assures sternation and dismay through all their shining us, that this world of ours, peopled with ranks and orders. On the contrary, having human beings, is intimately connected with witnessed the infliction of the penalty of the another world of bright and holy intelli- law on their rebellious brethren, they doubtgences, who have never sinned, but who are less must have expected to witness a similar still as much the subjects of moral govern- infliction on rebellious man; for it must not ment as ourselves. “To love the Lord our be overlooked, that the glorious scheme of God with all the heart, and soul, and mind, human redemption, “the manifold wisdom and our neighbour as ourselves,” is an uni- of God, was not then made known by (or versal law, as binding in its obligations on through) the Church to these principalities the inhabitants of heaven and hell, as it is and powers in heavenly places" (Eph. iji. 10). binding on the inhabitants of earth ; for it Here, then, we see the moral necessity of atonewould be equally absurd and monstrous to ment for upholding the authority and mainsuppose,
that the wilful rebellion of the taining the sanctions of moral government; we creature, be he fallen man or fallen angel, see how the holiness of God, which delights can ever annihilate or even weaken the unre. in contemplating the supreme good of all his linquished claims of the righteous Lawgiver, intelligent creatures, and his justice, which is though that rebellion has morally disabled bound to maintain that good, required the him, because he is voluntarily disinclined (the atonement-required it, as the indispensable very essence and measure of his guilt) from medium through which these Divine attriyielding the homage and obedience required. butes could be vindicated, and illustriously Now sin is emphatically the transgression of displayed to God's "whole family in heaven this universal law; and its inflexible language and earth;” and so displayed as to be in perto every subject placed under its authority is, fect harmony with the free gift of grace and “this do, and thou shalt live ;" but in case of salvation to the proud rebels of a distant reone single failure," the soul that sinneth, it volted province of his dominions. shall die :" " whosoever shall offend in one The atonement, then, under this scriptural point, he is guilty of all."
Had God, then, view of it, is not one God appeasing another in the character of the supreme Governor God, as its opponents are pleased either to of a whole moral universe, and the pledged misunderstand or misrepresent it; but it is guardian of the law which he himself had what the inspired volume records to be the made, and made too for securing the happy “manifested mystery of godliness," which, order and highest welfare of all his rational previous to the incarnation," was hid in God and intelligent creation“ in all places of from ages and from generations :" it is the his dominions ;" had he, I repeat, connived development, when “the fulness of time was at the transgression of it in the case of come, “of the eternal purpose, which the Adam, he would have substantially abro- Father purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;" gated it; he would have looked on moral and which purpose, when developed, exhibits, evil with indifference; he would have im- as already stated, the peculiar mode adopted peached the rectitude of his own moral by him, as the supreme Ruler of the moral government, and would have subverted its universe, for upholding the rights of moral very foundations, by shewing himself re- government; for maintaining the efficacy of gardless of maintaining the law's unchange- law; for establishing its unaltered and unalable sanctions and righteous authority. Such terable sanctions in the esteem and reverence a procedure would have appeared an appall- of all his obedient, intelligent creatures; and ing mystery to the adoring “sanctities” of for securing to them its beneficial provisions heaven, who had never transgressed the law and ends. of their Creator in one single instance: they In its benignant aspect and influence on would have stood amazed, and questioned the the eternal interests of our guilty, ruined holiness, justice, and goodness of the law, had race, emphatically called “the ministry of they beheld rebellious sinners translated from reconciliation,” the atonement constitutes the earth into their unspotted mansions, bright- adequate basis — the fundamental element, ened with their glory, admitted to bear a part were-of an administration by a Mediin their hallowed employments, and share inator, which, in pardoning sin, secures from their blessedness, when the supreme Law- impeachment all the divine attributes; an giver had expressed no abhorrence of their administration wherein "mercy and truth,