Page images

If this anticipation should be real- thing upon the subject. It must ized, then shall we adore that be very delightful to see


poor wisdom and goodness, which now creatures, snatched from the most permits such hinderances to be wretched situation, and from the thrown in the way of the final ex- brink of most degrading Slavery, tinction of the Slave Trade.

dwelling together in peace and Perhaps I may be permitted, harmony, and not a few of them through your pages, to suggest to rejoicing in " the glorious liberty the Committee of the Church Mis- of the children of God;" but this is sionary Society the importance of not all we hope for from them: we using means to keep up the native hope that they will “ go home to languages among the emancipated their neighbours and friends, and negroes, I do not know that the tell them how great things the Lord hint is needed'; but I have not hath done for them, and had comseen, at least not noticed, any passion on them.”



CHARGE TO HIS CLERGY. The following extracts are taken vagant opinions, which persons, from a Charge delivered by the more to be esteemed for the warmth Bishop of St. David's to the Clergy of their piety than the soundness of of his Diocese, at his primary Visi- their judgment, have grafted, in tation in the


modern times, upon the doctrine of As this most excellent piece of justification by faith, as it is stated theology is only in the hands of a in the 11th, 12th, and 13th Articles few, I have taken the liberty to of our Church (which, however, is transmit a part of it for the inspec- no private tenet of the Church of tion of your readers. Its insertion England, but the doctrine of all in your useful Miscellany, as soon the first Reformers, not to say

that as convenient, will oblige your it is the very corner-stone of the constant reader,

whole system of redemption); a Lesbury.

R. G. dread (Ỉ say) of the pernicious “ Some erroneous maxims are tendency of those extravagant opigone abroad, which, for several nions, which seem to emancipate years past, if my observation de- the believer from the authority of ceive me not, have very much go- all moral law, hath given general verned the conduct of the parochial credit to another maxim; which I Clergy in the ministration of the never hear without extreme conword.

cern from the lips of a divine, either “One is, that the laity, the more from the pulpit or in familiar conilliterate especially, have little con- versation; viz. that practical relicern with the mysteries of revealed gion and morality are one and the religion, provided they be attentive same thing; that moral duties conto its duties. Whence it hath stitute the whole, or by far the seemed a safe and certain conclu- better part, of Christianity. sion, that it is more the office of a « Both these maxims are erroChristian teacher to


prac- neous. Both, as far as they are tice of religion upon the consciences received, bave a pernicious influof his hearers, than to inculcate ence on the ministry of the word. and assert its doctrines.

The first, most absurdly, separates “Another is, the dread of the practice from the motives of pracpernicious tendency of some extra- tice. The second, adopting that separation, reduces practical Chris- enforce this practice, by inculcattianity to heathen virtue; and the ing its doctrines.

The motives, two, taken together, have much which the revealed doctrines furcontributed to divest our sermons nish, are the only motives he has to of the genuine spirit and savour of do with, and the only motives by Christianity, and to reduce them to which religious duty can be effecmere moral essays; in which moral tually enforced. duties are enforced, not, as indeed “ It has been very much the they might be to good purpose, by fashion to suppose a great want of scriptural motives, but by such ar- capacity in the common people, to guments as no where appear to so be carried any great length in relimuch advantage as in the writ- gious knowledge, more than in the ings of the heathen moralists, and abstruse sciences. The peculiar are quite out of their place in the doctrines of revelation; the Trinity pulpit.

of persons in the undivided God. 6. Thus, under the influence of head; the incarnation of the Sethese two pernicious maxims, it too cond Person; the expiation of sin often happens that we lose sight of by the Redeemer's sufferings an.1 that which is our proper office to death; the efficiency of his interpublish the word of reconciliation cession, the mysterious commerce to propound the terms of peace and of the believer's soul with the divine pardon to the penitent; and we Spirit:—these things are supposed make no other use of the high com- to be far above their reach. mission that we bear, than to come “ If this were really the case, abroad one day in the seven, dress- the condition of mankind would ined in solemn looks, and in the ex- deed be miserable, and the proffer ternal garb of holiness, to be the of mercy, in the Gospel, little betapes of Epictetus. I flatter myself ter than a mockery of their woe. that we are at present in a state of For the consequence would be, recovery from this delusion: yet, that the common people could never still the dry strain of moral preach- be carried beyond the first prining is too much in use; and the er- ciples of what is called natural roneous maxims, on which the religion. Blessed be God, the case practice stands, are not sufficiently is far otherwise. As we have, on exploded.

one side, experimental proofs of the “ That faith and practice are se- insignificance of what is called naparable things, is a gross inistake, tural religion; so, on the other, in or rather a manifest contradiction. the success of the first preachers of Practical holiness is the end; faith Christianity, we have an experiis the means : and to suppose faith mental proof of the sufficiency of and practice separable, is to sup- revealed religion to those very ends, pose the end attainable without the in which natural religion failed. In use of means. The direct contrary their success we have experimental is the truth. The practice of religion proof, that there is nothing in the will always thrive in proportion as great mystery of godliness, which its doctrines are generally under- the vulgar, more than the learned, stood and firmly received; and the want capacity to understand; since, practice will degenerate and decay upon the first preaching of the in proportion as the doctrine is Gospel, the illiterate, the scorn of misunderstood and neglected. It pharisaical pride, who knew pot is true, that it is the great duty of a ihe law, and were therefore deemed preacher of the Gospel to press the accursed, were the first to underpractice of its precepts upon the stand and to embrace the Christian consciences of men; but it is doctrine. equally true that it is his duty to “ Faith, like natural faculties,

your hearers.

may be improved by exercise; but of moral obligation reach the secret in its beginning it is unquestionably meditations of the mind, and the a distinct gift of God. By faith, silent desires of the heart? Does the people's minds are opened to it impose restraint upon

the sensuapprehend all that is revealed of ality of the imagination, and the the scheme of redemption, no less private prurience of appetite ? Like than the very first principles, the the divine law, does it extend to doctrine of a resurrection, or the every secret energy of the mind, first creation of the world out of the will, and the appetite, and renothing. Let me entreat you there- quire the obedience of the inner, fore, my reverend brethren, to dis- no less than of the outward man? card these injurious uncharitable Does morality say, Thou shalt surmises of a want of capacity in love thy enemies; thou shalt bless

them that curse; do good to them Pray earnestly to God to assist that persecute ?'

Doth morality the ministration of the word, by enjoin forgiveness of injuries, or the the secret influence of his Holy giving of alms to the poor? Truly, Spirit on the minds of your hearers; morality 'careth for none of these and nothing doubting that your things. How small a part then of prayers are heard, however mean Christian duty is the utmost which and illiterate the congregation may morality exacts; and how fatally be, in which you exercise your are they misled, who are taught sacred function; fear not to set be- that mere morality satisfies the law fore them the whole counsel of God. by which the Christian shall be Open the whole of your message judged, even in the inferior branch without reservation; that every one of the love of our neighbour! of you may haye confidence to say, “ With the higher branch of when he shall be called upon to duty, with the love of God, and of give an account of his stewardship, consequence with the duties of the « Lord, I have not hid thy righte- first table, morality hath evidently ousness within my heart, I have not no concern or connexion. The concealed thy loving kindness and worship, which I owe to God, is truth from the great congregation.” certainly no part of the duty which

• The second maxim, that mere I owe to man. It is indifferent to morality makes the sum and sub- morality, whether I worship one stance of practical religion, carries God or many. Morality enjoins in it a double falsehood. It con- no observance of one day in seven; tracts the range of Christian duty, no feast of faith, in sacramental and it totally misrepresents the for- rites, upon the body and blood of mal nature of the thing. In direct the Redeemer. For reason, from contradiction to this wicked maxim, which morality derives her whole I affirm, that although religion in- authority and information; reason cludes morality, as the greater per- knows not, till she hath been taught fection includes the less, so that an by the lively oracles of God, that immoral man cannot be religious, the Creator of the world is the sole yet a man may be irreproachable in object of worship; she knows of no his moral character, and at the prohibition of particular modes of same time perfectly irreligious and worship; she knows nothing of the profane; irreligious and profane creation of the world in six days; in that extreme, as to be in danger nothing of redemption; nothing of of being cast at last into outer dark- the spiritual life, and the food ness, with his whole load of moral brought down from heaven for its merit on his back.

sustenance. Morality, therefore, “ Does morality say;

• Thou having no better instructress than shalt not covet.' Does the control this ignorant Reason, hath no sense


or knowledge of any part of that amples of moral rectitude; but let great branch of duty, which comes not the morality of their lives be under the general title of devotion. mistaken for an instance of a righLet me conjure you, therefore, my teous practice, resulting from a brethren, to be cautious how you perverse faith; or admitted as an admit, much more how you propa- argument of the indifference of ergate, that delusive, dangerous ror. Their moral works, if they maxim, . That morality is the sum be not as God hath willed and of practical religion, lest you place commanded such works to be done, the totality and perfection of the have the nature of sin; and their thing in a very inconsiderable part. religion, consisting in private opi

Religion and morality differ, nion and will-worship, is sin; for it not only in the extent of the duty is heresy. they prescribe; but in the part in “ That man was justified without which they are the same in the ex- the works of the law, was the uniternal work, they differ in the mo- form doctrine of the first Reformers. tive. They are just as far asunder It is a far more ancient doctrine; as heaven is from the earth. Mo- it was the doctrine of the whole rality finds all her motives here be- college of Apostles. It is more low: religion fetches all her mo- ancient still; it was the doctrine of tives from above. The highest the Prophets. It is older than the principle in morals is a just regard Prophets; it was the religion of to the rights of each other in civil the Patriarchs. And no one, who society. The first principle in reli- hath the least acquaintance with gion is the love of God; or, in the writings of the first Reformers, other words, a regard to the rela- will impute to them, more than to the tion which we bear to him, as it is Patriarchs, Prophets, or Apostles, made known to us by revelation. the absurd opinion, that any man, And no action is religious, other- leading an impenitent wicked life, wise than as it respects God, and will finally, upon the mere pretence proceeds from a sense of our duty of faith (and faith connected with to him; or at least is regulated by an impenitent life must always be a sense of that duty. Hence it a mere pretence), obtain admission follows, as I have before observed, into heaven. that although religion can never be 6. Be careful that


ascribe no immoral, because moral works are such merit to the good works of a part of the works of religion, yet men, as may claim immortality as morality may be irreligious. For the wages of a service; that you any

moral work may proceed from ascribe no power to man to permere moral motives, apart from all form works truly good; without the religious considerations. And if a assistance of the Divine Spirit. moral work be done, by a person not “ It is not by the merit of our sufficiently instructed in religion to faith, more than by the merit of our act upon religious considerations, it works, that we are justified; there cannot proceed from any other than is indeed no hope for any, but mere moral motives; and of conse- through the efficacy of our Lord's quence it must, in that instance, be atonement; for, that we are justiirreligious: not contrary to religion, fied by faith, is not on account of but without it. Upon this ground any merit in our faith, but because stands the doctrine of the first re- faith is the first principle of that formers, concerning works done communion between the believer's before justification; which is laid soul and the Divine Spirit, on down in the 13th Article.

which the whole of our spiritual life Infidelity and Atheism boast depends.”among their disciples eminent ex



To the Editor of the Christian admonition of the Lord; by these Guardian.

he will be long and sorely regret

ted-in a word, he was esteemed The pleasure I have repeatedly by all who knew him *. felt in reading your valuable pub- Desirous of promoting the word lication, especially that department of God, and to be useful in his day of it which contains memoirs of and generation, he cheerfully acthose who have been called from cepted the situation of Secretary to this transitory scene, induces me our Bible Association; an office to forward a brief notice of the which he discharged for several exemplary life and happy death of years, to the great satisfaction of the late Mr. Thomas May, of the other members of the society; Chatham, in the county of Kent, but finding his health decline, and whose friendship I had the satis- his energies unequal to the exerfaction of enjoying for more than tion, he relinquished the office of twenty-five years.

Secretary, and was chosen TreaThis excellent man was born in surer, which situation he filled in the year 1784, in the Isle of Shep- an honourable manner till the time py; and was deprived of his father of his death. when not more than twelve years About nine years since he was of age ; and about two years after, actively engaged in establishing a his affectionate mother placed him Church of England Sunday school, in the civil department of the navy, of which he became one of the in which he held a respectable situ- managing committee. This instiation till his death.

tution reflects great credit on him From the time he began to and his friends, since it would be think for himself, he was always difficult to find in any part of the fond of religious conversation, and country one conducted on a more was deeply impressed with the admirable and efficient plan; at consideration, that this was not the same time, his exertions were his abiding place; but that, like not confined to this institution, but a traveller, he was pursuing his he took an active part in supporting journey to a more delightful and various other charities. permanent residence. The word

Mr. M. had been, for some of God was his delight, and the years, subject to pain; and his tabernacles of his God were his gradual decline was observed and sanctuary. He was invariably feared by most of his friends; he found in his place at church on the

was, however, able to attend to Sunday, whatever might be the business, and was not entirely constate of the weather; and through fined to the house until about his the week was habitually delighting last six months, when he seemed in holy services and instructive

to be fully aware that his latter end conversation.

was rapidly approaching; yet in As a husband and a father he was most exemplary. Kind and * About three years since, he observed affectionate to his wife, he was “I have a fine treat for you: a book ever found the promoter of her has been put into my hands, called “The

Christian Guardian ;' and I have felt such joys, and the soother of her sor

pleasure in perusing its contents, that you rows; tender and faithful to his

must read it also.” He was especially dechildren, his great concern was to lighted with the communication of your bring them


in the nurture and valuable correspondent, the Village Pastor.

to me,

« PreviousContinue »