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happy feel, and no sinning dying creature can feel, separate from Christ.
With all our caution to beware that no man take our crown, God's gift of himself is not a miser's treasure, to be buried for safety in the earth. We are to wear it, and to spend it in the sight of all men: “that they, seeing our good works, may glorify our Father which is in heaven." If we be rich in God, it may be seen by the little need we have of other possessions. If we be happy in God, it may be manifested in our daily enjoyment of him, in cheerfulness and contentedness of spirit, without the stimulants of adventitious pleasures. If we be safe in God, it may be seen in the absence of all anxious, carking cares and apprehensions of the time to come. All may be seen in a life of willing obedience to his word,“ walking henceforth in his holy ways.” Such an expenditure communicates our wealth to all around us, and when men behold it, they will inquire how we came to be so rich; perhaps be persuaded to seek treasure in the Lord.
The ungodly world is ever as Jesus found it: “ We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced: we have mourned unto you, and ye have not wept:”-offended at one time by what they call the gloom of religion, its abstinence from forbidden pleasures—they affect at other times to doubt the believer's pretension to a higher happiness, because he seems to enjoy
life as much as others;--the delights of nature, the gifts of Providence, the pursuits of science, the exercise of our faculties, and the gratification of our tastes and feelings-in short they do not see that Christians want relish for any thing that is good. Oh, if they could see what lies beyond their search, they would find it not only so, but that the Christian is the only one who tastes the zest of any thing, for God himself is the zest of all his gifts. The food we eat, the green turf we tread upon, the fresh breeze that blows upon our bodies, and invigorates our limbs, and nature's gay coloring that delights our eyes-God's universal boon: and those more special grants, the feasted intellect, and satisfied affection, and all that superfluity, that prodigality of good, with which an indulgent Father gratifies even the least preferences of his children: who knows them who feels them who estimates them as the Christian does, when he enjoys his Maker's presence in them? It is the condemnation of the world, that God is not in all their thoughts; not to detach those thoughts from any legitimate pursuit, or withhold them from any innocent delight; but God, the life as well as the source of all, is to be sought in every pursuit, and enjoyed in every delight, himself at once the giver and the gift: as He hereafter shall be all in all, not in the waste of annihilated being, but in the fulness of all being, possessed and enjoyed in Him.
OF YOUNG PERSONS WHO RECEIVE THE SACRA
MENT FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER CONFIR
Our church has determined “ that there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed;" a strong refutation, I think, of the arguments drawn from the wording of some of her formularies, to prove that the church considers every baptized child to be really and spiritually regenerate, and born anew of the Holy Spirit. If this were to be taken for granted, the so-made child of God is entitled to be considered a member of Christ's mystical body, and to be a partaker of his flesh and blood, without any further examination or evidence of his claims. The determina. tion of the church is otherwise. Dedicated by the parent's faith and desire, to God, and pledged to his service in the sponsor's hopes and prayers, the church receives to her outward privileges, and all the benefit of her instruction and her prayers, the unconscious infant; assuming as she does throughout her forms, but not deciding upon, the validity of the
contract between the soul and God—the inward and spiritual grace signified, but not inherent in the outward and visible sign. On children so baptized the church pronounces it “ certain by the word of God, that dying before they commit actual sin, they are undoubtedly saved.” Not, I conceive, because they are baptized, for that would make the church their Saviour: not because of their parent's faith, for that would make a Saviour of the parents, and would besides invalidite the baptism of many, on behalf of whom no such faith has been exercised; neither, I believe, because the Holy Ghost is then necessarily received; but because in the view which the church takes of general redemption, the one perfect and sufficient satisfaction and oblation for the sins of the whole world, the death of Christ, has removed the penalty of original sin, derived from Adam; the only charge that could be laid on an unconscious child, before the age of moral responsibility. To exhibit this truth, and to confirm it to the glory of God, and the great consolation of a parent who loses a child in infancy, I should consider to be one of the primary objects of infant baptism. If Jesus takes our dedicated one before it has been soiled with wilful sin, or stamped with the guilt of unbelief, he surely takes his own. If not, whatever the Church has pronounced, on the assumption that the outward profession has been accompanied by
the inward and spiritual grace, she attaches no such certainty of acceptance with God, as would entitle the baptised to the more exclusive ceremony of the Lord's Supper, reserved and restricted to the faithfnl, to them that actually, not ceremonially, and by the faith of another, do truly repent them of their sins, and believe the promises of God in Jesus Christ. If, in stating my own views, I misrepresent those of the church, I do so without design; but I think this interposition of the rite of confirmation between the baptism in which the child is assumed to be made a child of God, and the communion of the Lord's Supper, in which he is accepted as such, is a strong testimony that the church does not decide upon the efficacy of the first administration. Like many worldly contracts, which, however solemn and binding on the conscience, and however confidently relied upon, can have no legal validity, till the contracting party is of age; the solemnly taken covenant of baptism; waits the signature of the matured and instructed proselyte, before it is received in evidence of a Christian profession. The pious parent's hopes, meantime, are in abeyance, upheld by a far surer ground of confidence than this incomplete transaction, the faithful promise of God, of a divine blessing upon their instruction, their example, and their prayers; till the child having incurred the penalty of actual and personal transgression, is