Page images

he resolved to return home. He passed through Dort, right ways, and would not endure to live under where the president, and others of the synod, took a undeserved suspicions." solemn leave of him. He was also visited by the The archbishop was vehemently opposed to purideputies of the states; and a gold medal was after- tanism. He watched, with the most scrupulous alarm, wards presented to him, containing a representation every innovation which appeared in the most remote of the synod, which he generally wore suspended by a degree to favour its growth. A society was formed tiband from his neck.

for the endowment of preacherships in various dark Though his own views were unquestionably Cal- and destitute parishes; but by Archbishop Laud's vinistic, his moderation may be gathered from his interference its promoters were called into the Star* Via Vedia,'* written soon after. It had been well chanıber, and compelled to abandon their plan. Bishop for the cause of sound religion had all the deputies Hall was, moreover, grieved while he held the see of assembled at the synod breathed the same Christian Exeter by the revival of the “ Book of Sports," with spirit. No one can defend the proceedings of the additions, and which was patronised by Laud. Many synod. Persecution, under any circumstances, is bad; of the clergy were opposed to the circulation of the for it is diametrically opposed to the principles and work, and were consequently deprived of their livings, precepts of the Gospel; its malignity and heinousness though no instance of such removal took place in the are infinitely increased when its object is to punish diocese of Exeter. It is painful to reflect that such others for maintaining those views which they firmly open desecration of the Lord's-day should have been believe to be in accordance with God's revealed word. countenanced by the highest authority in the land; The Church of Rome is not the only Church that must and that even those who held the highest offices in the plead guilty in this particular.

Church should have sanctioned such a desecration. Dr. Hall was offered the bishopric of Gloucester in The Sabbath, indeed, was made for man, for the re1921, and earnestly pressed to accept it; but he reso- freshment of his body, and also for the refresliment of lately declined. On the 29th of January, 1625, he his soul; and any laxity as to its observance as a preached a thanksgiving sermon before the king at day of holy rest consecrated to the service of Jehovah, Whitehall, on the cessation of the plague in London. is a lamentable evidence of the non-existence of vitaIn 1627, he was raised to the see of Exeter, and con- lity of religion in the soul. It is necessary to consecrated December 3d, holding, at the same time, the sider this in reference to the present subject, because rectory of St. Brook, in Cornwall, in commendam. this same Book of Sports is not unfrequently appealed

But though thus raised in rank, he does not seein to by the ungodly at the present day as a proof that to have gained an increase of happiness. On entering the law of the land at least, whatever the law of God on this new sphere of labour he met with very much may do, permits, nay, even recommends, recreations, to dispirit and to annoy him. “ I entered upon that the tendency of which is to dissipate all scrious place,” he says, not without much prejudice and thoughts, and to render the Sabbath void as a gracious suspicion on some hands; for some who sat at the means for religious improvement. stern of the Church had me in great jealousy for Bishop Hall is not the only prelate against whom too much favour of puritanism. I soon had intelli- the charge of a leaning to puritanism has been brought, gence who were set over me for spies : my ways were because he was more than usually active and energetic curiously observed and scanned.” For a time matters in his high and holy calling, and because he was a went on very smoothly; but at length opposition was stanch defender of the doctrines of the Established shewn to his plans for the more effectual instruction Church as set forth in its articles, liturgy, and homiof his diocese, by those who were culpably negligent lies. At the time he filled the see of Exeter there in the discharge of their parochial duties. “ Some was unquestionably no small departure from the simpersons of note in the clergy, finding me ever ready plicity of the Gospel in many of those who filled places to encourage those whom I found conscionably forward of hig! rank and trust in the Church; and it can and painful in their places, and willingly giving way scarcely excite wonder that he was regarded with no to orthodox and peaceable lectures, in several parts of very favourable eye, that spies were employed to watch my diocese, opened their mouths against me, both his proceedings, and, if possible, bring such an accusaobliquely in the pulpits, and directly at the court, tion against him as might afford a plea for removing complaining of my too much indulgence to persons

him from his office, and supplying his place with a disaffected, and my too much liberty of frequent lec- prelate who would be more subscrvient to the pleasure turings within my charge. The billows went so high, of the primate. that I was three several times upon my knees to his Though the good bishop, however, was looked upon majesty to answer these great criminations; and what as a puritan, and not over-much attached to the Episa contestation I had with some great lords concerning copal Church, yet, at the very commencement of those these particulars, it would be too long to report: only

troubles which ended in the great rebellion, he wrote this, under how dark a cloud I was hereupon, I was most energetically in defence of episcopacy. His 59 sensible, that I plainly told the Lord Archbishop treatises on the subject were: 1. “ Episcopacie by of Canterbury (Laud), that rather than I would be divine right asserted” (London, 1640, 4to). Thie obnoxious to these slanderous tongues of liis mis- treatise, dedicated to the king, was occasioned by informers, I would cast off my rochet. I knew I went Graham, bishop of Orkney, renouncing lis episcopal

function before the whole body of the clergy assembled t'ia Media, the way of peace in the five busy articles, com

at Edinburgh, and craving pardon for having accepted noaly known by the name of Arminian, wherein is laid forth en fair an accommodation of the different opinions as may con.

it, as if by so doing he had committed some heinous tot both parts, and procure happy accord.

offence ; an uncouth act,” as the bishop terms it,



“ more than enough to inflame any dutiful son of of God; to hold forth to sinful man a sure mode of the Church." This treatise commences in the follow

reconciliation to his Maker ; and to teach the way of ing strong and energetic language :-"Good God! advancing his soul to the highest perfection of its

The Church which cherishes these principles what is this that I have lived to hear? that a bishop,

cannot be erroneous; the Church which counteracts in a Christian assembly, should renouince his episcopal them cannot be a true one. function, and cry mercy for his now abandoned calling? The Church of England, knowing the darkness and Brother that was (whoever you be), I must have leave inefficiency of unassisted human nature, readily assents awhile to contest seriously with you : the act was

to the assertion, “ that we must be all tauglit of God.”

So mysterious in nature, and so surpassing all finite yours — the concernment the whole Church's; you intellect, is this eternal Being, that to attempt the could not think so foul a deed could escape un- knowledge of him is a dangerous essay for the feeble punished. The world never heard of such a penance; brain of inan. This Zophar indicated to his friend you cannot blame us if we receive it both with wonder Job in the question, “ Canst thou by searching find and expostulation, and tell you it had been much

out the Almighty?” To know him may be life, and better to have been unborn than to live to give so

to mention his name may be joy; but our soundest

knowledge is, that naturally we know him not as he heinous a scandal to God's Church, and so deep a

is; and our safest eloquence concerning him is silence. wound to his holy truth and ordinance. If Tweel With this view our Church attempts not to portray that runs betwixt us were an ocean, it could not either him and his attributes but according to the revealed

word of God. drown, or wash off, our interest or your offence: how

In accordance with that, she teaches

that he is the only God," who in the beginning created ever you may be applauded for the time by some

the heavens and the earth ; " " who formed the worlds ignorant and partial abettor, wiser posterity shall

visible and invisible;” and that it is "he who upblush for you, and censure you too justly for some holdeth all things by the word of his power.” We are kind of apostasy. ... llow weary should I be of this continually under his providence and inspection : rochet if you can shew me that episcopacy is less

"he compasseth our path and our lying down, and is than Divine institution.” Surely such forcible lan- acquainted with all our ways:" he observes all our

actions : so that we may say, “ Verily there is a reward guage is an index of the true state of the bishop's for the righteous; verily he is a God that judgeth the view with respect to episcopacy. He published, 2dly, earth.” We are to "worship him in the beauty of “An humble Remonstrance to the High Court of Par- holiness.” Our Church, like the prophet of old, laughs liament, by a dutiful Son of the Church” (London, to scorn the idea of including Omnipotence in an 1640, 4to), in behalf of the liturgy and episcopacy. worship by idols : she justly also discards the carnal

image made by man. She abhors the pagan mode of To this Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas

mode of Jewish worship ; being convinced that “it is Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow, not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should jointly wrote an answer, under the name of “ Smec- take away sins.” She teaches her children “ to retymnus," composed of the initials of their own ; which nounce such idols and vanities, and to serve the living

God." they called, “ An Answer to a book intitled, “ An humble Remonstrance:' in which the original of

A second characteristic of the Gospel of Christ is

to hold forth to sinful man a sure mode of reconciliaLiturgy and Episcopacy is discussed; and queries pro- tion to his Maker. That sin is an indignity done pounded concerning both,” &c. (London, 1641, 4to). to God, and therefore deserving of punishment, very Whereupon Bishop Hall wrote, 3.“ A Defence of the naturally entered into the sense of all mankind. To * Humble Remonstrance,' against the frivolous and

appease the anger of a justly offended Deity confalse exceptions of ‘Smectymnus :' wherein the right worship. The purpose of their adoration was correct,

stituted an essential part of pagan as well as Jewish of Liturgy and Episcopacy is clearly vindicated from but their mode of application was erroneous and the vain cavils and challenges of the Answerers,” &c. defective. In this respect our Church scrupulously (London, 1641). Smectymnus replying in “ A Vin- adheres to this truth" that sin cannot be expiated dication of the · Answer to the Humble Remonstrance' by any service man can do." Yet how hopeless must

be the case of sinners of every generation, if" they had from the unjust imputations of frivolousness and false

not been taught of God.” The heathen wandered hood: wherein the cause of the Liturgy and Episco- blindly amidst the errors and filth of their polytheism ; pacy is further debated” (London, 1641, 4to). Bishop and the Jews, though blessed with the principles of a Hall concluded the dispute with, 4. “A short Answer true religion, are to this day employed in a false proto the tedious · Vindication of Smectymnus, by the

fession of it. The mystery of the reconciliation of Author of the · Humble Remonstrance'” (London, religion. Our Church builds the hopes of her followers

sinners to God is the proper character of the Christian 1641, 4to).

upon this foundation, this surest character of a true In November 1611, Bishop IIall was translated to religion. She teaches how God can shew his justice the see of Norwich.

0. in punishing sin, and yet be so merciful as to pardon (To be continued.]

the sinner. The justice of God demanded some compensation for his broken law, and an adequate recompense for the dishonour done to him. With this

truth in view, sinful man must have at once seen the TIIE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND THE

hopelessness of his case, and the necessity of a MeCHURCH OF ROME COMPARED WITH THE diator. “ Yet to whom should he flee for help?" In GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

the love of God alone originated the redemption of

He appointed his own Son to undertake the By the Rev. HENRY WINTLE, M.A.

work; yet the Son himself, being immortal, could not Rector of Matson, Gloucestershire.

undergo tlie penalties of the law without becoming

incarnate. He assumed our nature, and thus “he If we analyse the Gospel of Christ, and attempt to

that knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might develop its aim and tendency, we shall find it to be, be made the righteousness of God in him.” to give right apprehensions of the nature and attributes It is thus the great Ruler of the world received


ample satisfaction for sin. He can now declare the | fections, but whò debased himself to the form of a righteousness of his Son, and so become “the justifier servant, instructs us to be thus meek and lowlyof him who believeth in Jesus :" and the redemption “ Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly.” of man is made to consist with the attributes of God. When we are thus humbled, we shall see the absolute This deep and mysterious method human reason could | necessity of becoming new creatures; and our servent never have discovered, had not God in his mercy and continued prayer will be,

“ Create in mc a cleau revealed it. And even now, with all the strong light heart, O God! and renew a right spirit within me.” thrown upon it, our finite capacities cannot develop, Without this new and better heart, we can never lead but may gratefully admire, this wonderful mystery. new and better lives. Yet vain will be the attempt to "It has pleased God to represent the relations which renew our hearts by our own power. He who at first the second person in the Trinity bears to the first, made the heart can alone renew it. The operation of under the analogy of that of a Son to a Father; yet his grace, through the medium of his Holy Spirit, is we must not think that this analogy holds in every the only way of moulding our hearts to a conformity respect, or that every circumstance of human paternity with his will. To him, therefore, must we pray, and and filiation is applicable to the divine. It is im- on his grace we must rely. It is then that we not only possible for God himself to reveal these things to such read the letter, but enter into the spirit of every Gozkinds of being as we are, in any other way than by pel precept. Aided by this grace the Christian sees accommodating himself to our conceptions, and using the necessity of purifying the thoughts of the heart, such terms as bear some analogy to things known and as well as keeping correct the actions and habits of understood by us. The Father is first in our concep

the outer man. He then sees how the wandering eye, to of God; and therefore when we speak of the and the wanton wish, may be deemed as criminal as Almighty, or the eternal God, (and the reason is the the actual deed. It is by this all-powerful influence same for the only God,) we primarily and principally also that he is able to forgive injuries, and to love mean the Father, tacitly including the other two per- even his enemies. This principle of love shews itself $**"

to be a true principle of holiness. For what men do The Church of England, in strict consonance with from a principle of love, they do with delight; and hur Scripture, teaches " that we are counted right- what men delight in they will be sure to do. It is es before God, only for the merit of our Lord and thus that he who truly loves his God will be sure to Sariour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own obey him; and he who loves his neighbour as himself Forks and deservings" (Article 11). As true members will never do him an injury. The love of God and our of that Church, and as true Christians, we believe neighbour is a doctrine no where to be met with but that the eternal Word was made man, and underwent in holy Scripture. internal sufferings in mind, as well as external suffer- It is by these means that our souls may be advanced ings in body, for the sins of man. We cannot indeed de- to the lighest perfection of their natures. It is by scribe we cannot truly conceive, what those suiferings this way that our Church would conduct lier followers sere which produced such agony, mental as well as into the temple of holiness. It is thus the purity of bodily; but we are assured they were commensurate their lives is made to harmonise with her pure and with the heinousness of sin, and adequate to the Gospel teaching. Their hearts and lives are under indignation of Almighty wrath. By the merits of such the constant influence of the spirit of true religion. endurance, Christ hath a right to grant pardon, give Sustained by the same Holy Spirit which so wonderTace, and confer eternal life on all “who believe in fully upheld the apostles, they are animated to a like hiin." Not our own works and deserving, then, but zeal in the service of the same divine Master. The our faith in Christ, fits us for redemption; and this proofs of their faith are manifested in the holy firmfaith must necessarily include in it hope, love, repent- ness of their lives, tempered with humility. A conance, and obedience. It is also a constituent part of viction of their own weakness is made in them a our faith, that we offer up all worship to God through source of enduring strength; they become exalted Lin, since “ he is the one Mediator between God and through a true humility; and the faith which raises man."

their views from earth to heaven purifies their souls, A third character I pointed out as belonging to a and elevates them to the highest perfection of their true Christian Church was--that it taught the way of advancing our souls to the highest perfection of their In thus delineating the character of our true natures. By many of the heathen philosophers pre- Church, a subject for the exercise of our thoughts has cepts of morality were eloquently displayed, and en- been afforded both easy and pleasant. It is with pain forced with much cogency of argumeni. 'In the books to our Christian feelings that we have now to prove of the Old Testament the doctrines of purity and the Romish Church by the same mode of essay, behumility were also fully laid open. But it was re- cause we cannot but prove that she is anti-Christian. served for the teaching of the New Testament, or the In portraying the Church of England, we drew, as Gospel of Christ, to sublime and elevate the best feel- one of its correct and prominent features, that " we ings of our nature. Every virtue that can adorn the must be all taught of God.” Now, it is well known), nan, or grace the Christian, was there accurately de- that the Church of Rome has studied to keep her fined, and its necessity and beauty strongly illustrated members in ignorance by debarring them the use of by the striking example of its blessed Author. It is from the holy Bible. This, we read, was the general and this divine source that the stream of pure doctrine is universal practice, until a better spirit was excited by 1.2de by our Church to flow down upon all her children. those who protested against this practice. The holy Ste assures them, that “ without holiness no man Scriptures, being the revelation of the whole will of shall see the Lord.” The liopes of God's mercy and God, were intended to teach men the mystery of godpardon are held out to their faith, but that faith must liness, and to direct them in the path of life. It is no be evidenced in their lives. Their lives must be suit- mean argument for the fallacy of the Church of Rome, able to the holy precepts of the Gospel.

therefore, that she strove " to hide this light by The greatest obstacle to the purity and truth of the putting it under a bushel." The use of it was conChristian life is pride. The axe is laid to the root tined by her to the priests, and forbidden to the great of this, when we are taught that we are sinful dust body of the people, till the Reformation made her and ashes. The Gospel evinces the nakedness and more liberal, and the perusal of the Bible was permisery of human nature since divested of its primitive mitted upon the allowance of the confessor. hieousness. It cherishes in every true Christian Our Church, in unison with the Bible doctrine, this lovly sense of unworthiness. The example of our teaches that God should be worshipped in a pure and daviour, in whom were united divine and human per- spiritual manner. “ God is a spirit, and they who


worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” the act of disburdening the conscience to a priest, and But what are we to think of the purity and truth of the doing of which is termed a satisfaction! The true that Church which permits and directs the knee to be notion of religion is, that it is a system of many truths, bowed, and adoration to be made, before an image which are of such efficacy, that, if we receive them made by man? In vain does it attempt to palliate into our minds, and are governed by them, they will, such impiety, by pleading, that the image is set up, through grace, rectify our thoughts and purify, our not for worshipping, but for exciting the senses and natures. By making us like God here, they will put the imagination. However men of higher faculties us in a sure way to enjoy him eternally hereafter. might avoid the impiety, it constitutes a snare to the Sorrow for past sins, and all reflections upon them, are generality and vulgar, who will be ready to think that enjoined us as means to make the sense of them pene. God is like to the image they fall down before. This form trate so deep into our minds, as to free us from all of adoration is, however, contrary both to the Divine those bad habits that sin leaves in us, and from those essence and command. What would you, as English- evil inclinations that are in our nature. If we set up, men, think, if the lowest of earthly creation, a toad or therefore, a sorrowing for sin as a merchandise with a worm, were to be set forth as the image of your God — by so many acis of one kind to take off the acts king; and that your civil reverence was ordered io be of another— the true design of our sorrow is turned paid thereto? As English Christians, you must be into a mere trafficking. And, however priests may sensible that a greater indignity is done to the Divine gain by this, religion will certainly lose in its main nature, by worshipping God under the form of an design, which is planting a new nature in us, and the image. The essence of God is incomprehensible and making us become like God. True Gospel repentance invisible to us. “ He hath no shape or figure." | imports a renovation of the inner man, and a purity of Such image-worship is contrary to the Divine pre- life. No repentance, then, can be esteemed true, but cept, that“ no graven image, nor the likeness, should as we perceive it has purified the heart, and changed be made to be worshipped." The Church of Rome the course of life. This touchstone will prove the has, indeed, omitted this precept in her version of the fallacy of Romish confession and absolution ; for there decalogue; but she has failed of her purpose, for the the priest, having enjoined the penance, without waitBible furnishes us with other and ample testimony to ing for proof of obedience, lays his hand on the head, God's displeasure at this kind of worship. By the and pronounces absolution! These deformities in the mouth of the evangelical prophet Isaiah he hath said, Romish Church manifestly indicate its discordance " My glory will I not give to another; neither my with the spirit and truth of the Christian religion, and praise to graven images.” The Church which docs derogate from the honour due to Jesus, the “ only this cannot be a true Christian Church.

Mediator of the new covenant." In another point of view we shall perceive the

We come now to the third character of a true erroneous teaching of the Church of Rome, viz., in Church — that it teaches the way of advancing our shewing to sinful man the mode of reconciliation to souls to the highest perfection of their natures.

We huis Maker. When the sinner conceives the wish to have already seen how erroneous, in one instance, for break from his sins, and to enter upon a life of holi- this purpose, is the teaching of the Church of Rome. ness, ample encouragement is allorded him by the cer- The penance enjoined to her sinning followers tends tainty that his sins may be forgiven, and heavenly aid only io nourish the life of sin in them, when they see supplied for liis future struggles. Such assurance is a trade set up with which they can buy themselves off held out in the Gospel by the blood of Christ, and the from the wrath of God. The Gospel of Christ unites assistance of his Holy Spirit. It is to this the ob- the soul of man to God by the graces of faith, hope, noxious sinner is directed by our Church to apply. and charity. But how is the purity of Christian faith This she points out to him as the only mode of return- debased by Romish image-worship and idolatry of ing to. God and happiness. “ If any man sin, we saints! How is the Christian's hope of future blesshave an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the cdness damped by the Romish doctrine of purgatory ! righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins." And how does their hatred and opposition to all who But how does the Church of Rome derogate from this differ from them counteract the charity of the Gospel! office of Christ, by associating with him in such work In the teaching of holy Paul, charity is shewn to be a created beings, saints, angels, and the Virgin Mary! | principle of love to God and good-will to men. " It Shall we, for whom he suffered, rob him so sacrilegi- suffereth long, and is kind: it envieth not, vaunteth ously of his honour, and bestow it on those who are not itself, is not putied up.” It is a grace which is our fellow-servants ?

never lost, but goes with us into another world, and is Again, we read in the Gospel of truth, that the exercised there. It cannot be that heaven-born feelexpiation of sin was fully and alone made by the sacri- ing which St. Paul taught, that would expose a fellowfice of that Lamb of God “who became sin for us, and mortal to horrid tortures and death by burning. Such bare our sins in his own body.” What indignity, then, is not the way to perfect, but to debase, human does the Church of Rome otier to this suffering love, when she sets the merits and works of men on an Whenever impositions are placed more than are equality with the blood of Jesus? It is a favourite allowed by the Gospel of Christ, Christian liberty is doctrine with this misguided Church, that the inherent infringed, and a grievous yoke is attempted to be laid. holiness of good men is a thing of its own nature so It is this sore burden of the Romish Church which we perfect, that, upon the account of it, God is bound to refuse to bear, and on account of which our wise fore. esteem them just, and to justify them. Our better fathers withdrew from her communion. We believe teaching asserts, " that should the Lord mark iniqui- that " holy Scripture containeth all things necessary ties, no one could stand before him." We believe to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, that he is pleased with the inward reformation he sees nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of in good men in whom his grace dwells; we believe any man, that it should be believed as an article of that he approves and accepts their sincerity: still, faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation" there is such an imperfection in it, that his acceptance (Art. 6). of it must deemed an act of mercy and grace. The The Church which would make additions to what is very best of mon must acknowledge himself a sinner; in holy Scripture must be erroneous, and is tyrannical and, would be be saved, he must cast himself at the in exacting belief and obedience thereto. We believe foot of the cross, and say,

" God be merciful to me, a that God is “to be worshipped in spirit and in truth ;" miserable sinner.” Such is Christian penitence, such but we cannot agree with the Church of Rome in woris Gospel faith. Of what a different texture from this shipping him by images and sensible figures.

We is the confession used by the Church of Rome, which is believe that Christ is the Mediator between God and


" The

man; but we cannot accede to the Romish doctrine of rate--and we are reminded of our privileges intercession of saints, angels, &c. We believe bap. in Christian communion-we are, at the same tism and the Lord's supper to be true sacraments of time, warned against expecting to enjoy them, the new covenant -- these were appointed by Christ himself, and have an outward visible sign, and an or even to share the salvation which is in inward spiritual grace. Confirmation, penance, ex- Christ, except in the exercise of that true and treme unction, matrimony, and ordination, which in lively “ faith which worketh by love,” and is the Roman Church are fermed sacraments, partake not of a like nature, and cannot be viewed in the same

manifested by godliness. light as baptism and the Lord's supper. Apostolical

That which is mentioned last in the text I ceremonies some of them are, but not one of them was propose to bring first before you, for it is the ordained by Christ himself, as a means of grace, or a foundation of the Christian's hope, and should pledge to assure us thereof. It is not without pain that we have traced the errors

be the very frequent subject of his thoughtsof a Church professing itself to be Christian. It is the atonement by Christ. “ The blood of with sorrow that we read of temples, at first raised to Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all worship God in spirit and in truth, become the habita- sin.” I would endeavour to impress you with nons of idols and graven images, whereby God is proroked to jealousy. We trust, however, there is

a sense of the value and importance of this satñcient reason for holding up for avoidance the statement, chiefly by a reference to Scripture, errors of a Church which hath not only “ fallen from the sure and unfailing testimony of truth. her first love” and purity, but hath, in essential points, First, I would point out how dreadful a corrupted our holy faith.

thing is sin, from which the blood of Jesus

cleanses those that believe in him. CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP:

If we inquire what is sin ? the Bible an

swers, “all unrighteousness is sin”—“sin is 9 Sermon,

the transgression of the law." Whose law ? BY THE Rev. R. P. BLAKE, M.A.

The law of God. It is the disobeying, the Curate of Stoke, near Guildford.

insulting the good Being who made us, who

loved us, and sent his Son to save us. How 1 Joux, i. 6, 7.

black and horrid is the guilt of this, though " li ve say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth: but if we

sinners little think so! But is it asked, walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fel- What is the consequence of sin? The Bible lowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus

tells us it is just what we might have exChrist his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

pected from its very wickedness. The message we are charged to deliver to wrath of God is revealed from heaven against you is that of the Gospel of the Son of God. all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” It is a rich provision of mercy for otherwise “Cursed is every one that continueth not in condemned persons ; it is a method of bring- all things written in the book of the law to do ing out from a guilty world, by the power of them;"_" the wages of sin is death ;”the Holy Spirit, a company of immortal be- wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the ings to hold a blessed communion with each people that forget God.” other and with God-a company of sinners All this renders it so sad to know the rescued and called to be saints, advancing in prevalence of sin ; its commonness, as testigodliness, and heirs of eternal glory.

fied both by Scripture and by conscience and The message is by many despised ; by experience, that all have sinned and come some misunderstood ; and by comparatively short of the glory of God;" that “there is few though, taken together, they are a mul- none righteous, no, not one;" that "by one titude which no man can number) it is re- man's disobedience many were made sinners, ceived in faith, and with thankfulness. To and that so death passed upon all men.” I do warn and invite sinners to listen to this gra- not recite these texts to give you any comfort cious message; to prevent misunderstanding in sin from the fact that all are sinners, because thereof; to build up believers in their most that can never afford you a hope of escape ; Loly faith, are the objects of the Christian but I recite them to induce each to look into ministry: and in this way I would endeavour his own heart; to remind such as already now, by the blessing of God, to exercise it. know it of what has been, if it be not now,

Our Saviour appointed the Lord's supper their state; and to convince any who are as a special remembrance of the only way of puffed up with vain and false estimation of salvation, and as a means of communion and themselves, of their share in the general conan effectual channel of grace among them demnation. To forget God is sin; to live in that believe. To that sacrament such of you carelessness of our souls is sin; to be high as are religiously and devoutly disposed are in our own esteem, and proud of our freedom invited this day. In the text, then, it ap- from gross vice, is sin. Sin, in some form or pears to me, that while our thoughts are other, hath polluted every one of us, because directed to the most proper object of con

born in sin;" and the consequence lemplation-the great sacrifice we commemo- is, that by nature we are

children of wrath,"

“ the

we were

« PreviousContinue »