Page images

we shall conclude our present discourse by praying God to take you into his holy keeping, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[blocks in formation]


PSALM CXix. 130.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.

THE Word of God is the best enlightener of the mind, and the best helper of human understanding. Deprived of Revelation, the world had, from the beginning, gone on in darkness, and all the foundations of religion and morality had been out of course. The nature of God had been left the sport of endless supposition, and vague, unsatisfactory guessing; the true mode of propitiating and serving him had remained unknown; man's duty to his neighbour would have continued

unascertained, or have been left to the undistinguishing choice of blind habit, or the irrational and infinitely varied determination of local custom. Blessed, for ever blessed be God, through Jesus Christ, who hath not left us in this miserable state, sunk in obscurity, enveloped in the mist of error, and the sport of unceasing delusion ;-even as the sun illuminates the natural, so doth the Word of God the intellectual, world :—in this latter, as well as in the former instance, when "God said, Let there be light!" there was light ;"the entrance of God's word (into the heart, namely,) giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple;"-or, as the older translation has it, (in the Book of Common Prayer,) " When thy word goeth forth, it giveth light and understanding unto the simple."-Woe unto that Church whose doctrines are not founded upon

the word of God!

Woe unto that Church

which teacheth for

doctrines the command

ments of men! Woe unto that Church which denies to its members the free use of God's Holy Word! Woe unto that Church which misunderstands, in defiance of conviction and better instruction, which misinterprets, which distorts, and explains away the direct and obvious meaning of Scripture! "But blessing, and honour, and immortality," shall come upon that Church, erected on the eternal basis of the Word of God, "Jesus Christ himself being its chief corner stone;" that Church which receives Revelation as its only rule of faith and practice; which discards all lying legends, all vain traditions, all false glosses; which exhorts its children evermore to search the Scriptures; and which receives nothing as an article of belief, and enjoins nothing as

matter of duty, in, nor may not be proved thereby." And this I take to be the very character, and the merited praise, of the Church of England. She grounds all her tenets on the Word of God; her Ministers are daily employed in studying and expounding it; she has caused it to be translated into our mother tongue; and, moreover, that those of her members may be compelled to hear it at Church, who wILL not read it at home; and that they may edify by it in the House of God, who are UNABLE to read it any where;-she incorporates the Word of God with her daily service; and thus provides that they, who assemble "to worship the Lord," may learn from his Holy Word "what the will of the Lord is."

which is not read there

The quantity of pure Scripture, prescribed by the Liturgy of the Church of

« PreviousContinue »