Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

sations of God towards the Christian salvation to every one that believeth." Church, which are at variance with the Archdeacon Hoare, pp. 20-22. Apostolic and Catholic doctrine con “ It is not by shrinking from a due stantly received, and clearly inculcated assertion of authority, and much less by by our own wise and learned Reformers. declining a full and conscientious disAbove all, I would deprecate the intro charge of duty connected with our several duction of such topics into your ordinary ecclesiastical stations, that we shall best instructions from the pulpit, where they meet the exigencies of the times. Those can for the most part only serve to perplex duties which bear the evident stamp and and to mislead the ignorant and unstable, impress of utility upon them, and that to excite and inflame the imaginations of authority which is clearly upborne by young and ardent hearers, and to with fair legal sanction, will, I am fully perdraw the attention of all from those prac suaded, meet with approbation and suptical lessons of faith and holiness, which port from all that is really influential in can alone convert, and edify, and save the the frame of society: most especially, soul." pp. 30–34.

when the whole is administered with The name of Archdeacon Hoare that brotherly feeling amongst ourselves, needs as little to be introduced to

and that paternal interest in the several

classes recommended to our care, which our readers with a comment as that

shall best illustrate the spirit of our of Dean Pearson : we therefore only common Christianity. ” pp. 7, 8. copy a passage or two from his

Archdeacon Bather also is advanCharge, to shew its spirit.

tageously known to our readers by “In reference to the doctrines of

his volume of discourses reviewed in our Church, allow me to observe, that a distinct avowal and clear exposition of

our pages. The Charge before us is them upon Scriptural grounds is essential, in a good measure devoted to matters as at all times to attain the highest ends of local detail, accompanied with of instruction, so more especially in these

many useful suggestions. We transtimes to secure the just weight and preponderance of our own authorised 'mi

cribe the concluding passage, as illusnistry. There is a power in Divine truth trative of its general character. which nothing can ultimately resistor “ You have your advantages and your quell. There is a conclusiveness in the disadvantages, your privileges and your doctrines of Scripture, made manifest to difficulties, your comforts and your disthe conscience and heart, which nothing appointments, but they all speak the same can evade or overturn. Let these then, language to the honest soldier of Jesus as they are clearly exhibited in our va Christ. • Make full proof of thy minisrious creeds and formularies, be made our try'--Do the work of an Evangelist' own :—the distinct doctrine of original • Take heed unto thyself, and unto the sin, verified as indeed it is in our daily doctrine '--' Let your loins be girded experience of human corruption ;--that about and your lights burning, and ye of justification by faith only, confirmed yourselves like unto men that wait for the more by every vain attempt to ques their Lord that when he cometh and tion its application to the penitent, or knocketh, they may open unto him imto with-hold its balm from the wounded mediately.' If we would have our churches spirit and broken heart; the doctrine at filled-if we would have our endeavours once, and practice of true Scriptural blessed--if we would have our preaching holiness, illustrated the more by every listened to if we would 6 save ourselves feeble comparison into which it may be and them that hear us '—this, it is obvious, brought with mere worldly morality; and is the one course to take : but hardly less embracing in its fullest extent that sepa obvious is it that other foundation can ration of the church from the world, and no man lay, if we would have external even of the invisible from the visible obstacles to be removed, and greater fachurch, which is best known by the cilities to be afforded us for labouring to sound evidence of Christian fruits. I advantage. If more churches are to be need not add before this audience, that zealously provided, or those which we these doctrines must be so taught as to

have are

to be cheerfully upheld if derive all their force, and their very schools of religious learning are to be essence, from the fundamental truths of better supported, or the people are to the Deity of Christ; the merits of His care to have their ministers among them, atonement; and the work of His Spirit -such works and such desires can be in the heart, beginning, continuing, and looked for only from a people who know consummating the Christian life within us, by experience, as the ministers of

These are the truths, which, stated God to them for good, who have learnt in all their fulness, and all their conse from us that one day in the Lord's quences, I regard as the main-spring of courts is better than a thousand 'who our Church, the strength and stability of see in our unworldly deportment that our times, and the fountain of eternal we are not seeking theirs but them' CHRIST. OBSERV, No. 358.

4 L

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

us.

verse.

to whom our self-denying labours have firmer that faith the closer may be the made it evident that we love them not union :--they will see that the object in word, neither in tongue, but in deed of faith is Christ, in the atonement He and in truth.'"-Archdeacon Bather, pp. made, and in the proffer of its merit which 29, 30.

He commissions His ministers to proIn turning from the Charges of the pose: that the act of faith is the recepVery Reverend and Venerable digni- tion of that proffer, and the application of taries, to the visitation addresses of that atonement, to justify and save the

repentant sinner; and that the evidence private clergymen to their assembled of faith is the exemplification of the mind brethren, we first take up Mr. Gar- and temper, the holiness and benevolence

His minister will exhibit bett's sermon; the object of which of Christ. is briefly expressed in its title, im constantly; not in the mere repeti

, “ The Spirit of the ministerial Gift thing mystical in that; but in His chaillustrated.” This gift he considers racter ; in his His eternal attributes, under its three-fold characteristics, and in His mediatorial offices ; in the as described by the Apostle, of power tial holiness of His human nature, inse

glories of His divinity, and in the essen(or courage), love, and a sound parably connected, as it is, with the volunmind. We copy a portion of the tariness and merit of His sacrifice ; in the Reverend author's pious, judicious, bumility He exemplified, in the love He and forcible remarks under the third manifested, in the obedience He wrought,

in the satisfaction He made; in inof these heads.

fluences of His Spirit; and in the results of “ It is often said, Preach the Gospel His death, resurrection, and ascension, to faithfully, and it will find its way.

Un Himself, to His church, and to the uni. doubtedly. But it may justly be denied He will be represented as the that he does preach the Gospel faithfully life of Christian graces, of faith, and hope, who preaches it as the Lord and the in- and charity; and as the quickening Spirit spired Apostles did not preach it; who of Christian ordinances, sacraments

, and delivers it in a crude unsevered mass, ministry : for, we shall find that it was regardless of the state, attainments, or in this way that not only St. Paul, but dangers of his people : who either deals the whole of his sacred colleagues, dein the Law rather than the Gospel, or termined not to know any thing among? confines himself to the promises and com their people, “save Jesus Christ, and forts of salvation; or who limits his mi. Him crucified ;' that ‘God in Christ renistration to any peculiar class of his conciling the world unto Himself,' was not hearers; and, in the exercise of a more a mere abstract point of credence, but than apostolic discerning of spirits,' de was a vital principle glowing in their bearts, cides upon the indwelling of the Holy and expanding, in a fame that never Ghost, and upon that evidence and por- smouldered, through all the operations of tion of faith in which the people of God their ministry, which was little else than may be comprised. It was by rightly the embodied features, life, and image of dividing the word of truth,' that Timothy the Saviour. Hence, with them, every was exhorted to study to shew himself subject of Revelation, from the sublimest approved unto God, a workman that need mystery of heaven to the plainest topic of not to be ashamed.'

morals, derives its source or impulse from “* A sound mind,' thus impressed the Cross. The economy of the Persons with the importance of the truth itself, of the blessed Trinity, the manifestation and of fidelity in imparting it, will adopt and gifts of the Holy Ghost, the recovery all useful helps :—yet turning from them of man, the glories of the world to come, with increasing anxiety and attention to are all involved in this. Nor do they ever the unerring fountain of Scripture; which introduce a subject, nor establish a truth, is not merely the proclamation of Divine nor controvert an error, nor urge a duty, mercy, and the pandects of the Divine law, nor explain a service, nor enforce a sacrabut the rich volume of precedents and ex ment, nor arrange a topic of domestic haramples. Conformity to this will compel mony or ecclesiastical order,without referthe minister, however varied in detail, ence to the sacrifice or example of Christ. upon all occasions to exhibit the truth : To them had the Spirit of revelation and I mean by the truth, that which is opened the depth of the depravity of man, essentially so, the Person and work of and the workings of the author of evil ; Christ. In all things He will have the and therefore they knew that any mopre-eminence.' He will be held forth to tives but such as arise from the Gospel, His people as the origin of spiritual life, however specious or even valid they may and the model of evangelical perfection; be in mere moral questions, neither had that as by His word the new man is nor could have the effect of uprooting created, so to His image he may be con a single seed of iniquity, much less of formed; that as faith is the bond of union converting a soul from death, or of probetween the Head and the members, the moting the purposes for which the Christian

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

<

[ocr errors]

Ministry was set apart.-We see at once not willingly omitting, disguising, or mis-
that they did not merely know the single- stating any thing plainly revealed; but
ness of their character, ministers of exhibiting every part of the Christian
Christ, and stewards of the mysteries system, without bias or partiality, in its
of God, but that His ever-living inter proper place and proportion. We must
cession was as it were the life-blood flow not single out, for more frequent and en-
ing in their veins; and we appreciate larged consideration, the doctrines which
language so unintelligible to the carnal are most acceptable, or least disgusting
mind, when they assure us that the life to the people, nor confine ourselves to
which they lived in the flesh, they lived such topics as are the most delightful to
by the faith of the Son of God, who had our own minds; but we must preach the
loved them, and given Himself for them.' word of God, as such, clearly, distinctly,
After the effusion of the day of Pente- and practically. We ought not to dwell
cost, their minds were freed from contract very minutely, and still less with a dogma-
ed views and partial ministrations. They tizing contidence, on more abstruse and
went through the land in all the breadth less clearly revealed points. We should
and length of it ; they explored its depth recollect that there are subjects of subor-
and height, as far as the hand of revela- dinate importance, in respect of which,
tion led them, but no farther. With what with whatever care and maturity of judg-
courage of love do they present the glo- ment the Scriptures be investigated, we
rious privileges of the Gospel of the must still • know (only) in part, and pro-
grace of God;' and yet with what pru- phesy in part, and have occasion to ex-
dence of a sound mind' do they fence it claim, the depth of the riches both of
with its cautions, and adorn it with its the wisdom and knowledge of God! how
duties! and if they never withhold the unsearchable are his judgments, and his
consequences to the unbeliever from the ways past finding out! . We have,' how-
comforts of the believer, still less do they ever, a sure word of propliecy' and ' tes-
sever the mercy from the terror, Hence, timony,' to which we shall do well if we
if they arouse the slumbering sinner from take heed,' and endeavour to frame our
the sleep of death, it is not to leave him discourses that they may agree, not only
in hopeless remorse, but that he may see in their spirit and matter, but, as far as
“the day star arising upon his heart;' practicable, in their very language, with
• Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise the .oracles of God.'
from the dead, and Christ shall give thee “ A few leading particulars, which are
light.' If they direct the eye to the necessary to be constantly insisted upon
horrors of the everlasting lake, it is also in our ministry, may here be mentioned.
to point out the ark of safety, not like A chief object of every address from the
that of Noah, upon which the perishing Christian pulpit should be to set forth the
reprobate could only look in the agony of Lord Jesus Christ, and to honour him,
despair, as it glided secure amidst the especially as crucified for us.' To him,
tempest, but to see it anchored in peace as the great Prophet, the High Priest,
upon the shore, with its door wide open, the only Mediator, and principal subject
and its dove of peace sent forth, that of the new covenant, we must invariably

whosoever will,' may enter in, and find and most earnestly direct the attention
rest for his soul.” Garbett, pp. 19–24. of our flock, commanding and persuading

them to apply to him, to receive him, to Mr. Benson, in delineating in a yield to him their unreserved confidence, truly scriptural manner those parti- their affectionate love, and entire subculars which constitute the topics mission, in all the ofices which he ful

fils for our advantage. Many preparatory of the Christian ministry, as well as

steps, however, may be necessary in order in pointing out the source of ability to lead sinners to Christ, that they may for fulfilling it, concurs most fully in partake through him of the blessings of the general views expressed in the

the everlasting covenant. In this view

the law may be employed as “a schoolother discourses before us. We sub

master.' We may, with St. Paul, reason join an illustration.

of righteousness, temperance, and judg“ As the ministers of the New Testa ment to come,' in order to conduct the ment, it must doubtless be our duty to awakened offender to Him, on whom the preach and to dispense this last and most Lord hath laid the iniquity of us all.' We perfect dispensation of the will of God must, at least, by every scriptural means,

We must unfold. the mystery show to man his transgression ; how which was hid from ages and from gene- utterly lost he is without Christ; and rations, but is now made manifest to his that there is ‘none other name whereby saints.' We must declare all the counsel he can be saved.' We must show him, of God,' relative to the way of salvation that through the weakness of his fallen by grace through faith; constantly and nature, ' he cannot turn and prepare himfaithfully setting before our people all self,' even 'to calling upon God;' that the doctrines, the precepts, the promises he hath 'no power to do good works, and threatenings of the New Testament: pleasant and acceptable to God, without

[ocr errors]

to men.

the grace of God by Christ preventing' thing, as his Reverend brethren. For him. We must show him, at the same

example: time, that the Lord is a God of judg

“ We watch for souls! precious imment; “there is no unrighteousness in

mortal souls! souls, the purchase of the him ; ' that he is also merciful and gra

Saviour's blood! souls, each one of which cious, slow to anger, and plenteous. in is of more value than ten thousand worlds! mercy;' that he hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked ; ' but is willing that

* Souls! methinks,' said a prelate who all should come to repentance;' that

was never charged with extravagance of through the propitiation of Christ, He expression, “methinks! in that one word is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, applause or pleasures of the world, not

there is a sermon.' We watch, not for the and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'ajust God,' and the justifier for the wealth or dignities of the church of him, which believeth in Jesus. We

—these all perish in the using.'—but must show that the sacrifice and media

for the undying principle in man--bis tion of the Lord Jesus avails not only to

soul, which must exist in all the bliss of procure the pardon of all who faithfully heaven, or in all the miseries

of hell, and rely on it, but their entire sanctification

that throughout eternity. This, this is by the Holy Spirit. In a word, that a

the trust confided to us." Carr, p. 9. remedy is revealed in the New Testament,

“ When the primary object of the fully commensurate with the wants of

Christian ministry—the restoration of the our souls; a remedy proposed to the re

sinner to his God-is lost sight of, we ception of all, though the power by which

labour in vain and spend our strength for we receive it is given of God; that his nought. If we come among our people grace is, nevertheless, so abundant, so

merely to promulgate a code of precepts, suitable, so free, that all who'sin against

and not to unfold to them a plan of retheir own souls,' by rejecting this remedy,

demption—if we content ourselves with offer an insult to Divine merey, and will

enjoining the practice of virtue, and incur a punishment as awful and tremend- urging the abstinence from vice-we at ous as it will be just and inevitable.

once lose the essential characteristics of “ Again, while, as the ministers of the

ministers of the everlasting Gospel, and New Testament, or covenant of grace,

become little, if at all, better than the we are carefully to distinguish between this

heathen moralist, or the Socinian teacher. covenant and that of works, we must not

The Gospel is not merely precept, but forget to inculcate holiness, internal, uni

power; not a code of laws, but a system versal, and practical, under the influence of recovery; not instruction, but remedy; of those powerful motives, which the

not light only, but life: you hath be Gospel only supplies."Benson, pp. 17–21.

quickened, who were dead in trespasses “ The whole will of God, concerning

and sins : ' "the Son of man came to seek our salvation is, without doubt, clearly

and to save that which was lost.' We preach revealed in the New Testament Seriptures;

not to angels, but to fallen men: we have but even these lively oracles' will be to

not merely to make known to them their us as much a dead letter, as the old dis

duty, but to tell them whither to look for pensation was to the Jews, unless the

pardon for the breach of their duty, and Spirit of God show and discover to us

grace for the performance of their duty. their spiritual excellence and meaning.

The minister who marks not this distinc“ But if ministers derive their "suffi

tion, lies open to the reproach of the Lord, ciency,' even to understand the Gospel

declared by his prophet Ezekiel_*The discovenant in a proper manner from God,

eased have ye not strengthened, neitherhave how much more are they indebted to him,

ye healed that whichwas sick; yea, myflock for its just and full effect upon their hearts,

was scattered upon all the face of the earth, for their experience of its inestimable

and ye did not search or seek after them.' blessings and privileges, and for their attainment of the whole character it is de “ It might seem, at first sight, as if the signed to produce in the soul. Yet this Apostle had resolved on a limited range is certainly needful for their usefulness; ministry every

thing - save Jesus Christ

of subjects, when he rejected from his for if we have no experimental sense, no enjoyment of spiritual blessings ourselves,

and him crucified; ' but, in fact, the dochow can we sincerely desire and exhort trine of the cross, like a golden thread, others to receive them from Christ, or ex runs through the whole line of Scripture

truth, pect that God will employ us as his in

In the cross of Christ, we behold struments of conveying them to others." man's lost and helpless state: If one

died for all, then were all dead.' In the

cross of Christ, we discover the doctrine Mr. Carr, also, in describing “ the of justification by faith.. "As Moses Christian ministry, its nature, and lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man be lifted responsibility," taking the word of

up, that whosoever believeth in him God for his guide, treads in the same

should not perish but have everlasting steps, and says substantially the same life.' In the cross of Christ, we see the

P. 12.

P. 27.

• dutiful necessity (as Hooker calls it) Mr. Temple adds his testimony to for good works :' * He gave himself the same important truths, while he for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar discusses the dignity, qualifications, people, zealous of good works.' In Christ and blessings of the ministerial office. crucified, we see an example to the Chris- He applies the subject as follows to tian, teaching us to be crucified to the the consciences of his Reverend auworld, and to be willing to lay down our lives for the brethren, In Christ ditors :crucified, we find the motive to every “ But this implies that he himself is good word and work ; for when the Apostle walking with God. Though zealous and would urge his brethren, by the most in- active in the discharge of every duty, and fluential of all considerations to dedicate with a mind enriched with all the stores themselves to the service of God, he refers of human literature, yet his character to the cross of Christ, and says, ' Ye are would be only half formed till the live not your own, for ye are bought with a coal from off the altar were laid upon his price, therefore glorify God in your bodies mouth. Having therefore his lips touched and in your spirits, which are his.' A in token that his own iniquity is taken crucified Saviour, then, is to be the theme away and his sins purged by the blood of of our ministrations, if we would preach Christ, and having the holy image of God 'as of the oracles of God whether we

stamped upon his soul, by the powerful seek to convert the sinner--to reclaim energy of Divine grace; he is thus better the wanderer-to comfort the afflicted fitted to declare the covenant of reconcior to edify the believer. A crucified liation to others having experienced the Saviour must be our theme, if we would love of Christ in his own heart, he is desire hereafter 'to give up our account constrained no longer to live to himself. with joy, and not with grief.'

-The idol self with all its unscriptural “ Ånd herein lies much of the painful accompaniments of ease, and indolence, responsibility, which the faithful minister and ambition, and pleasure, and love of feels in the fulfilment of his duty. He the world, are sacrificed at the cross of would fain give to each of his hearers Christ. The rays of mercy that beam * their portion of meat in due season ;' from it, cheer and enliven his heart, and he desires to be pure from the blood of animate him to increased vigour and diliall men;' and would not knowingly shun gence, in proclaiming Jesus Christ and to declare unto them the whole counsel him crucified. In honest sincerity he of God'-but, amidst the errors and per- walks with God in peace and equity; in versions of truth which mark the present the retirement of his closet; in social and day, he finds it almost difficult to discover relative life ; and in the more active scene that good old way of ministering, by of his public ministrations. Availing which such multitudes of souls have al- himself of the privilege of adoption, he ready been brought safe to glory. In holds secret communion with his God and this difficulty, however, he is not without Father, and there obtains the mind and

While the Neologian is dis- will' through the Spirit's influence, to carding all the fundamental doctrines of prosecute his holy and arduous task with religion, and the Antinomian rejecting zeal and fidelity. And if at times he be all its duties; while the one would destroy oppressed under a sense of his own ignothe spirituality, and the other disregard rance; or weighed down under an accuthe holiness of the Gospel; while in these mulated load of opposition and obdays of excitement and novelty, each fresh loquy; or disheartened by the little apopinion finds its votaries, ready to con parent success of his labours; he exercises demn all who hesitate to pronounce dis a more lively faith on the delightful tinctly their own shibboleth ; while a promise, 'Lo! I am with you alway, even wicked world is saying, ' Prophesy unto to the end of the world;' his zeal increases us smooth things;' and while too many with increasing difficulties, and he becomes in the church itself are implying, that ready to spend and be spent' in the cause nothing can be faithful, which is not harsh of the Gospel. His peaceful walk with or extravagant: only let the ministers of God is manifest to all, in his own our venerable establishment fall back upon meekness and affectionate disposition; in the formularies of our church, and there the doctrines which he preaches; and in they will find a check to every extravagance his endeavours 'to sanctify the lives of and an antidote to every error; for nothing him and his, and · to fashion them after of human compilation can be conceived the rule and discipline of Christ, that'he more purely scriptural than the liturgy, may be a wholesome and godly example articles, and homilies of the Church of and pattern for the people to follow.'” England. Nor do I fear to assert, that Temple, pp. 18, 19. the minister who, by the grace of God, is " The ambassadors of earthly kings enabled to preach strictly in accordance may tax their ingenuity in devising schemes with these formularies ; in so preaching, of political aggrandizement,—they may is effectually preparing to give up his employ the most profound sagacity in account with joy. pp. 17-19.

attaching whole nations to their master's

a resource.

« PrécédentContinuer »