Images de page
PDF
ePub

in us.

taught and commanded in his look to Him who is all wise! when word.

beset with dangers and with eneSecondly, We are to consider the mies, may I pray to Him who is specimen and pledge which the ever watchful! in a word, may Christian bas of the Divine power in every defect in myself teach me his own heart. St. Paul says, “ Ac. increasingly to admire and adore cording to the power that worketh the perfections of my God!

"The power of God was But, it may be asked, will not first exerted in raising us from our the contemplation of such privioriginal dust, in breathing into us leges encourage a feeling of spithe breath of life, and preserving us ritual pride, and destroy that deep to the present moment from all the sense of humility and dependence dangers that threatened our destruc- which becomes a fallen and guilty tion. Each of these is a proof and creature ? Far, bowever, from this pledge of the power of God in us, being the case, the same text that and therefore demapds our admira- teaches the Christian his privilege, tion and gratitude; but it is to a reminds him of his dependence. yet far greater exemplification of Neither the power nor the glory this power that the Apostle seems are ascribed io us.

It is the power to allude. The philosopher, when of God that worketh in us, and, he would discover more of the therefore the Apostle infers, “ TO power of God, begins to examine Him be glory.'

Which leads us, more attentively the works of na- Thirdly, To consider the return ture ; but, in addition to this, the of glory due to God for his exerChristian can appeal to that power tion of this power. It would be as exerted in raising him from the needless to prove generally, that death of trespasses and sins. He we ought to feel gratitude to God, has been born again, and created and ought to express it by renderanew in Christ Jesus.

When he ing glory to bis Name. This is not compares his present desires and only a religious, but a natural and fears, bis hopes and sorrows, his reasonable service. - We owe it to motives and enjoyments, with those hiin as our Maker, our Preserver, which once influenced him, he finds and our Benefactor. But the partihimself transformed in the spirit of cular nature, and the higher causes, his mind. The advanced Chris. of this glory, cannot be known but tian, therefore, no longer doubts by the Gospel. St. Paul, in the that God can do more than he can words before us, mentions three ask or think, since, if he bad no very important circumstances reother evidence, he might appeal, lative to this glory; namely, the in numberless cases, to his own persons by whom it is paid, the experience of the Divine love and church,-ihe source from which it power. Will my heavenly Parent, is derived, Christ Jesus, -and its he argues, who has already done perpetuity, world without end. so much for me, forsake me at i. This glory is in the church. last? Will He, who has given his That portion of Divine glory which only Son for me, withhold

any is displayed by the works of nalesser blessing? Can He, who has ture and the dispensations of Proso fully proved his power, be un- vidence, by the justice shown in able, or He, who has so uniformly the punishment of fallen men and proved his infinite love, be unwill. angels, and even the eternal bliss ing, to maks me holy and happy? of those who kept their first estate, Every want, therefore, should re is quite unnoticed by the Apostle, mind me of Him who is ready to He hastens to a yet more wonder. supply it. When weak, may Irely ful theme of adoration. Forgetting, ou Him who is all powerful! when as it were, every other source of I most feel my ignorance, may I Divine glory, he speaks only of

ac

that derived from the redeemed to exhibit his glory : every prayer church. Angels who never fell will offered in humility and faith, every praise their Creator for the vast action performed from Christian blessings they enjoy; but the spirits motives, every trouble sustained of the just made perfect will have for the cause of God, contributes a theme of gratitude peculiar to to his glory. And how great is the themselves. For "I heard," said privilege thus to join with angels the Apostle John, as it were a and archangels, and the church new song before the Throne, and universal, in so ennobling a ser before the four beasts, and the vice; especially as our own hapelders : and no man could learn piness is inseparably connected with that song, but the hundred and

the performance of the duty! Let forty and four thousand which were us, then, earnestly pray to that redeemed from earth.” Thus the Spirit by whose sanctifying influ. church will add a new song of ences alone we can do unto God glory to God. The church also true and laudable service, that in will doubtless be loudest in the every thought, word, and work, we general song of praise, on may be enabled to show forth the count of the contrast with their glory of our Redeemer. former state. When they view the

2. The second circumstance menheight to which they are raised, tioned by the Apostle respecting they will look back, we may ima- this glory is, the Source from which gine, to the depth of misery into it is derived-Christ Jesus. This, which they had fallen : when they being in some measure included in feel conscious of unutterable feli. the former circumstance, needs not city, they will doubtless remember be again proved. We may, howthat they were those who came out ever, learn from this, a practical of great tribulation; they will en. distinction between a true and a joy the greater delight in unspotted false church. The members of the holiness, by calling to mind how former attribute the glory of their long they carried with them a body redemption to Christ; while those of sin ; and will triumph more of the latter, however variously loudly in their victory, while they distinguished in name reflect

upon the perils of the con- trine, assume the whole or part of test.

it to themselves. He who imagines These claims of the Almighty that his own works will procure on our gratitude and praise apply his salvation, deprives God of his exclusively to the redeemed church, honour; for the glory which he reand a lively consciousness of them ceives for the salvation of man is will be a most effectual incitement only through Christ. But the humto holiness ; for we must not ima. ble penitent, trusting implicitly to gine, that the glory of God in the the merits of bis Saviour, will join church is confined to the church with sincerity in singing those songs triumphant. The church, even

The church, even of praise which St. John repeatedly while "militant here on earth,” assures us are sung by the church may and must contribute to his triumphant above. They are coinglory. We were created and re- pletely in unison with the feelings deeined for this very end, that we

and sentiments of such a man, might show forth his praise, not since they attribute glory to God, only in heaven, but even in the through Him who alone hath represent world; and the way to deemed us by his blood. In this, as evince it is by consistency and bo- in other things, the Church of Eng. liness of conduct. We should be land evidences itself to be a branch willing to spend and be spent in of the church of God. Every suphis service. If we are real disci- plication for mercy, every acknow. ples of Christ, it is our privilege ledgment of past blessings, and every

or doc

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

song of praise, is addressed to the and eternity itself, far from being
Divine Majesty only in the name tedious, will not suffice to utter all
and through the merits of our Sa. the praises of Him who loved us,
viour Christ. That church, whose and gave himself for us.
errors we profess to renounce, still But wbile we contemplate the
continues to supplicate God, not eternity of God's glory in the
exclusively through Christ, but church, with what force does the
through the medium of saints, and important question recur, Are we
angels, and martyrs:--but He who true members of that church ? Are
giveth not his honour to another, we showing forth the glory of God
receives no ascription of glory, or on earth? For if not, what ground
petition for favour, but through the have we for supposing we sball
intercession of bis dearly beloved be permitted, with the church tri-
Son.

umphant, to celebrate it in beaven?
3. The last circumstance mentioned Thousands “ who profess and call
by the Apostle respecting this glory themselves Christians," do not in
is its perpetuity: “To bi be glory reality belong to this church. One
in the church by Christ Jesus, denies the Divinity of the Re.
throughout all ages, world with deemer; another depends, in whole
out end.”—This perpetuity of the or in part, upon bis own righteous-
Divine glory, when taken in con- ness for salvation ; another seems
nexion with what bad gone before, to begin well, but turns back to
is a most consolatory truth. It is a the world, and crucifies the Saviour
decisive argument for the eternity afresh; and still a larger num-
of the church's happiness ; for the ber are wholly thoughtless and in-
dead cannot praise God. While, different to the subject. Now, none
therefore, God himself shall exist, of these can add, as far as their
the cburch shall endure, to contri. conduct is a test of their real views,
bute to his glory. The song of that solemn Amen with which the
praise, now so often interrupted, Apostle concludes and confirms his
shall then be uniform; now so ascription of praise. Tbeir life is
short, shall then be eternal; noi in perpetual variance with such a
so feeble, sball then be “ loud as sentiment; and their eternal exclu-
the voice of

many waters." If we sion from the privileges of that look forward into endless duration church, of which they were mem. as far as the human mind can bers only in name and not in reality, stretch, this glory will be still new will prove how awful a thing it is and still beginning. The song of to bave heard of the blessings of adoration shall never tire the lip the Gospel, and to have rejected of the bappy spirit, or weary the them till the space for repentance. ear of his beneficent Redeemer; is for ever passed.

MISCELLANEOUS.

I cannot, however, forbear expressTo the Editor of the Christian Observer. ing to you how much I am shocked

A CLERICAL friend has just put at the contents of the Number into my hand, I regret to say, before me. with apparent commendation, the I first open upon a sermon on last Number of “ The Bible Maga-, the text, “Of bim are ye in Christ zine." I know nothing of the present Jesus, who of God is made unto conductors of that publication, or us wisdom, and righteousness, and of the extent of its circulation; but santification, and redemption;"

not so.

on

and, under the head sanctification, natural repentance, witbout a conI read; “ The believer is possessed nexion with any spiritual and of a sanctification which no pollu- evangelical religion of the heart.” tion can tarnish, which no defile- (p. 575.) I no more think of ment can do away. He learns troubling a reader, accustomed from the boly Scripture, that ac- to his Bible, with the processes cording to the appointment of God (falsely called reasoning) by wbich in the Covenant of Grace, Christ is such conclusions are supported, made the Sanctification of his peo- than I should think of troubling ple by the imputation of the holiness him with the arguments, by which of his nature.” (p. 587.) This may a certain ancient philosopber debe paralleled with the extracts froin monstrated that snow was black ! Dr. Crisp, in your Number for The next passage of Scripture September

is John xvi. 8, 9; " When be [tbe Again, (p. 588;)" Believers are Holy Ghost] is come,

he will reof God in Christ Jesus.' There prove the world of sin,, and of never was a time in which they were righteousness, and of judgment :

of sin, because they believe not on I next turn to a communication me.” Here the remark is ; “ The

“ the kingdom of God,” and original of because is not to be upthere read, (p. 572,) “ Let it not derstood in a causal sense. As be supposed ibat it is here intended special faith in Christ is only and to refer the believer to his own purely of heavenly origin, the want, works for evidence of bis accept or nonpossession of it, CANNOT ance with God-far otherwise.?! be the cause of condemnation.” It must be needless to remind your (p. 577.) With this compare the readers that the language of Scrip. following note, in the Socinian ture is, " We know that we have " Improved Version" of the New passed from death unto life, because Testament, on Rom. i. 4: “ The we love the brethren. Hereby Apostle COULD NOT mean to asdo we know that we know him, if sert or countenance the strange we keep his commandments.A and unintelligible notion of two good free cannot bring forth evil natures in Christ," &c.Acts iii. fruit, neither doth a corrupt tree 19; “ Repent ye, therefore, and bring forth good fruit," &c. &c. be converted, that your sins may

I proceed to a paper son Ex- be blotted out, when the times of bortations ;” the object of which is refreshing shall come from the prestated to be," not to establish any sence of the Lord;" the same particular system, or to serve any writer interprets only of “ their favoured party, but merely to show regicidal sins" being “ 90 far the impropriety of universal exhor. blotted out, as to bave preserved tations to faith in Christ!";-In their temple, their city, and their pursuance of this design, the writer nation." (pp. 578, 579.) comments on various passages of Finally, on 2 Cor. v, 20; “ Now Scripture. First on John vi. 29; then we are ambassadors for Christ, “ This is the work of God, that ye as though God did beseech you by believe on him whom he bath sent:" us : we pray you, in Christ's stead, --Jobn xii. 36; “Wbile ye bave be ye reconciled to God;" be oblight, believe in the light, tbat ye serves, “ This glorious text is often may be the children of light: pressed into the unworthy service Acts viii. 22; “ Repent therefore of of that Arminian doctrine, which this thy wickedness, and pray God, addresses Christian exhortations to if perhaps the thought of thy heart unchristian, that is, to unconverted may be forgiven thee.” “ All these persons !" (Qu. Did this writer, (be remarks) have been, and still who talks of Arminian doctrine," may be explained, of a merely ever read Calvin's writings ?) He

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

goes on to remark, that “the ex. them, to render them commensu® hortation is directed to the church rate with buman wisdom ! of God at Corinth, and to all the I do trust, indeed, that there is saints in Achaia,'" instead of “ all sufficient sobriety of mind, and the sinners in the world.” (p. 579.) scriptural simplicity left amongst

Another communication (and the us, to render the religious world last I shall advert to) is entitled a proof against such unchristian per

Critique on Heb. vi.” in which it versions of the word of God. Let is maintained, that, in speaking us hope, that “their folly shall be of persons whom, when “ fallen manifest unto all men," and "sball away," it is “impossible to renew proceed no further." But surely to repentance, seeing they crucify when “such erroneous and strange to themselves the Son of God doctrines, contrary to God's word, afresh, and put him to an open are sedulously disseminated sbame,” and who are accordingly mongst the people, it behooves the compared to ground which,“ bear- watchmen of our Israel to be ing thorns and briers, is rejected, “ ready with all faithful diligence and is nigh unto cursing, whose to banish and drive them away.' end is to be burned ;'-the Apostle The good seed is now widely sown: speaks not of any final or total we must expect that the enemy falling away, even of persons who will not be wanting in exertions had only seemed to be believers, " to sow tares among the wheat;" but merely of “ falling from stead- and I must consider such a disfastness in Christ :” “a fact, of torted perverted Gospel as this which every Christian man's ex- (whatever be the intentions of perience teaches bim bourly not those who publish it) to be one only the possibility, but absolute great means by wbich he is endeacertainty !” (p. 580.). The “im-vouring, at this day, to counteract possibility of renewing them to the great good which is otherwise repentance," he seems to confine doing amongst us. to the period of their continuing But I beg leave to subjoin a few “ under the power of unbelief," remarks on the mode by which such during which they cannot enjoy a system is supported, and on the the benefits of the repentance in principles upon which it rests. which they walked, while faith, the The abettors of it have, I know, fruit of this repentance, laid hold a just horror of Socinianism, and on the hope set before them in suppose themselves the very antiChrist Jesus.” The “ being nigh un- podes of that beresy; and so, in to cursing," is the mind's hearing the detail of doctrine, they may potbing but the terrors of the law :* be. Yet no one, I think, can seand its end being to be burn- riously contemplate their mode of ed,” refers “not to the popish pur- proceeding, without being struck gatory, nor the fire of bell, as the with its resemblance to that in use simple dream in their terrified ima: among Socinians. The impugners ginations, but to tribulations and of the Divinity and Atonement of manifold temptations"--the "purg- our Saviour, embrace and give ing of the branches of the vine prominence to one part of Scripspoken of, Jobo xv. 2,

ture, to the neglect or disparagediscipline (apostolicé caustics, from ment of others. Now, do not these ravois, burning) through wbich persons fall into the same practice ? they mostly pass.”

One principal employment of the Such is the spirit of system, former class is, to bend or break which is perpetually placing the down a multitude of texts to consacred Scriptures as on the bed formity with the sentiments which of Procrustes; stretching and distorting, contracting and maiming * Office for the Ordering of Priests

severe

« PrécédentContinuer »