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religion can never be immoral, because moral works are a part of the works of religion, yet morality may be irreligious. For any moral work may proceed from mere moral motives, apart from all religious considerations. And if a moral work be done by a person not sufficiently instructed in religion to act upon religious considerations, it cannot proceed from any other than mere moral motives; and of consequence it must, in that instance, be irreligious; not contrary to religion, but without it.” *

Let it be remembered that nothing short of vital Godliness will prove that we are members of God's household, or qualify us for admission to a place in His family above. The highest degree of morality, if unaccompanied with true Godliness, will leave us the objects of His displeasure. For “ the wrath of God is revealed “ from heaven against all ungodliness and un“ righteousness of men.” A supreme regard to God is essential to a life of faith and of acceptance with God.

Our collect teaches us that, as Divine grace is the efficient cause of all Godliness in the human heart (for naturally we are all ungodly, and cannot implant in our own bosoms the love and fear of God), so our preservation in the possession of it must be the result of Divine protection. The soil in which it is sown is unfavourable to its cultivation. The climate is uncongenial to its growth, and even to its existence. A thousand enemies threaten its

Bishop Horsley's primary Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of St. David's. The importance of the distinction which the Bishop has stated, will justify the length of the quotatìon,

destruction. A swarm of worldly lusts, numerous as the locusts which covered the land of Egypt, would soon devour it; nay, it would die spontaneously, did not Divine power shelter and cherish it.

That God's household the church is in danger of losing the Godliness which hath been communicated to it, its experience clearly evinces. If we survey the state of the Jewish church at several periods of its history—that of the Catholic Christian church during the dark ages—that of particular branches of the Catholic church in the present day-we shall discern that the existence of Godliness in the world is exclusively to be attributed to a continued exertion of almighty power and goodness; independent of which, idolatry, superstition, heresy, and profaneness, would long since have banished every ray of true religion from the church, and have left it a mere heap of useless rubbish.

That the members of God's household, in their individual capacity, are likewise dependent on Divine care for the preservation of personal Godliness, daily experience demonstrates. The awful examples of David, Peter, and others, prove, that it is not in man who walketh to direct his steps aright. And the conscience of every awakened sinner concurs in the testimony which these instances bear to man's liability to apostacy and ruin.

If these premises he admitted (and they cannot be denied) O how proper and needful is the petition of our present collect! And how importunate should we be in the use which we make of it! If we are indeed members of God's household, Christian charity constrains us to pray for the Catholic church, and self-love for ourselves,

· The ends for which we pray that the church may be kept in perpetual Godliness, are very important, viz. “ That through God's protec“ tion it may be free from all adversity, and

devoutly given to serve God in good works, to the glory of His name, through Jesus « Christ our Lord."

There is a connection between the exercise of Godliness and the enjoyment of prosperity, in the experience both of the church of God as an aggregate, and of the individual believer. While the Jewish church was preserved in the fear and worship of God, it prospered; and when it declined therefrom, evil ensued. The history of the Christian church, though not under the same theocracy, bears a similar testimony to the effect of prevailing piety and impiety. When the eastern church lost its Godliness through the leaven of heresy corrupting its whole mass, it soon became an easy prey to the invading Saracen, and affords an awful proof that a departure from Godliness is the forerunner of ruin. The experience of individuals needs not to be adduced, as its evidence may be read by every one who takes a retrospective view of his own life. God

God may indeed try the faith of His church and people by adverse circumstances, for the purpose of purging away their dross and of brightening their character, as he did in the purest age of Christianity. But, generally speaking, piety and prosperity go hand in hand together. (Comp. Deut. xxx. 9, &c. vii. 15. Ps. i. 3, 4. lxxxi. 11-16. xxxiv. 12, 13, &c. cited 1 Pet. jji. 10-14. 1 Tim. iv. 8.) It was a remark of the excellent Judge Hale, formed on long observation, that his secular business of the week prospered in proportion as he had sanctified the Sabbath-day.


An exemption from adversity is desirable so far as it may be consistent with the glory of God and with our spiritual welfare. With this limitation, therefore, we may lawfully pray for prosperity, both on our own behalf and that of the Christian church. “ To the flesh (as the Apostle himself granteth) all affliction is naturally grievous. Therefore nature, which causeth to fear, teacheth to pray against all adversitý. Prosperity, in regard of our corrupt inclination to abuse the blessings of Almighty God, doth prove for the most part a thing dangerous to the souls of men

Howbeit, even as these ill effects, although they be very usual and common, are no bar to the hearty prayers, whereby most virtuous minds wish peace and prosperity always where they love, because they consider that this in itself is a thing naturally desired: so because all adversity is in itself against nature, what should hinder to pray against it, although the providence of God turn it often unto the great good of many men? Such prayers of the church to be delivered from all adversity are no more repugnant to any reasonable disposition of men's minds towards death, much less to that blessed patience and meek contentment which saints by heavenly inspiration have to endure (what cross or calamity soever it pleaseth God to lay upon them) than our Lord and Saviour's own prayer before His passion was repugnant unto His most gracious resolution to die for the sins of the whole world.” *

Another object proposed by our petition is, that “the church of God may be devoutly given

• Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, vol. ii. p. 192, 193. Oxford edit.

56. to serve Him in good works, to the glory of “ His name.” Wherein it is implied, that the practice of good works depends on internal Godliness; for we pray for our preservation in the latter with a view to the promotion of the former. No work is really good which does not spring from the spirit of Godliness. The motive, rule, and end must be Godly, or the work performed is ungodly-it is essentially evil. Our outward activity in the practice of duty. will be always proportionate in its degree to the inward activity of the power of Godliness. Faith and love must be operative in the heart, or spiritual obedience cannot prevail in the life.: Unless there be a free circulation of sap in the tree, fruit cannot be produced; nor, if produced, be ripened. The blood must circulate freely in the human body, or its strength will fail, and its functions be impeded.

It is not enough that we perform good works, but we must be “ devontly given” to them.

Totus in illis, Intire absorption in the work, is the Christian's motto. The practice of them must be our business and pleasure. For the service required is that of the heart, which will always discover its tendency by extrinsical acts. The service of the monastery, the life of the quietist, is essentially defective—the result of superstition and error. For “our light must “ shine before men, that they may see our “good works, and glorify our Father which is « in heaven." A devout dedication of ourselves to God, in the way of His appointment, is requisite as a testimony that we are members of His household; and nothing short of it can satisfy an enlightened conscience.

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