« PreviousContinue »
Epistles of the apostles, that when the apostles baptized any man, they did it in this form only, I baptize thee in the name of the Lord Jesus? It is said indeed, that they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus ; i. e. into the faith and religion of the Lord Jesus ; viz., according to the form of baptism prescribed by the Lord Jesus himself, i.e. In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Are not they baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, that are baptized according to that form? do not we all understand the Lord Jesus to be meant by the second person named in that form, viz., the Son? Hence Grotius upon those words, Acts xix. 5. And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, hath this note, “In nomen Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.” And for this he refers us to his notes on Matt. xxviii. 19. where he handles this matter at large.
Indeed this will clearly appear, if we do but look back to the verses preceding the aforementioned text in the Acts: there we read, ver. 1, 2, 3. that St. Paul, meeting with certain Christians at Ephesus, asked them whether they had received the Holy Ghost ? To which they answered, that they had not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. St. Paul, wondering at this, replies, Unto what then were ye baptized ? As if he had said, How can you be ignorant whether there be any Holy Ghost ? have you not been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost? If not, after what form, or how have you been baptized ? And they said, Unto John's baptism. John indeed, as the apostle rejoins, only baptized unto repentance, thereby to prepare men for the reception of the Mes
sias, that was to come after him. He did not baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus, i. e. in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This form of baptism was first appointed by our Saviour himself, and that not till after the resurrection, just before he was to ascend into heaven, and from thence soon after to pour out the Holy Ghost after a wonderful manner upon the apostles. Then, and not before, they were commanded by our Lord to baptize, “in plena et adunata Trinitate,” as St. Cypriann expresses it.
To the most holy and undivided Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour and glory, adoration and worship, now and for evermore, Amen.
m Epist. ad Jubaianum.
THE PRINCIPAL PARTS AND BRANCHES OF THE PASTORAL
OFFICE, WITH RULES AND DIRECTIONS FOR THE
In a Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of St. David's.
Reverend Brethren of the Clergy,
by detaining you with a long and useless preface. In short, my business at this time shall be to set before
you the several parts and branches of that holy office and function, which you have undertaken, together with some rules and directions which are necessary to be observed for the due performance of each of them.
The principal parts and branches of the pastoral office are these five :
First, Reading divine service, or the prayers of the church.
Fourthly, Administering the holy sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Fifthly and lastly, Visiting of the sick.
First, reading divine service, or the prayers of the church. This some may think to be a slight and easy matter, that needs not any advice or directions ;
[This appears to have been delivered in 1708. See Sermon VI. vol. 1.]
BULL, VOL. II.
but they are very much mistaken. For to the reading of the prayers aright there is need of great care and caution. The prayers of the church must be read audibly, distinctly, and reverently.
1. Audibly, so that if possible, all that are present may hear them and join in them. There are some that mutter the prayers, as if they were to pray only to themselves, whereby they exclude most of the congregation from the benefit of them.
2. The prayers of the church ought to be read distinctly and leisurely; not to be gallopped over, as the manner of some is, who read the prayers so fast that they outrun the attention and devotion of the people, not giving them time to join with them, or to make their responses in their due places. This rule is to be observed in reading the prayers throughout, but especially in reading the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in the second service. There are some that read the Commandments so thick one upon another, that the people have not time to add that excellent prayer to each of them, “ Lord, have
mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this “ law."
To this head, of distinct reading the prayers, I shall only add this one observation. Sundays and holydays the church hath appointed a first and second service to be read one after another, it is convenient that there be a decent interval betwixt them. For judge, I pray you, how absurd it may seem to conclude the first service with St. Chrysostom's prayer, and The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and immediately without any intermission to enter upon the second service.
I verily believe the first intention of the church
was, that these two services should be read at two several times in the morning; but now custom and the rubric direct us to use them both at the same time. Yet in cathedral or mother churches there is still a decent distinction between the two services : for before the priest goes to the altar to read the second service, there is a short but excellent anthem sung, in imitation whereof in the churches of London, and in other greater churches of the country, instead of that anthem there is part of a psalm sung.
3. And lastly, the prayers of the church are to be read with great reverence and devotion, so as to excite and kindle devotion in the congregation. Thus the prayers of the church are to be read, if we would keep up the reputation of them, and render them useful to the people. But, alas ! there are too many ministers, who by disorderly and indecent and irreverent reading of the Liturgy disgrace it, and expose it to contempt. To whom the church may complain, as one of old in the poet did, of the ill rehearsal of his oration:
Quem recitas meus est, O Fidentine, libellus,
Sed male dum recitas incipit esse tuus. “ The book of prayers which ye read is indeed mine, “ but at the sad rate you read it, I am ashamed of “it, it is none of mine, but yours.”
I am verily persuaded that this is one cause that there are so many sectaries and separatists among us. They find so little reverence and devotion in the use of our common prayers, that they cannot away with them, but run from the church to the conventicle, where they hope to find more devotion.
II. Another part of the pastoral office is preaching, i. e. (as we commonly use the word) taking a