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when they had degenerated into though there is no special promise mere ceremonies, and when his in the Scripture confined to the people were resting in the external sacraments themselves, yet they rites, without the knowledge of are included in the general protheir spiritual import. His own mises of God's presence with his appointments were his abhorrence. church, and his blessing on all And surely Christian sacraments their services; and, surely, we may can be no other, if they are used have reason to expect a peculiar in the same carnal and senseless communication of his grace in manner. These, as they are signi- those ordinances which he has apficative of the same things, and de- pointed with such peculiar solem. signed to convey the same, bless- nity, and sanctioned with such an ings if used aright, will be equally express and particular command. insignificant if used amiss. To, The work which he thus effects, is what purpose is the multitude of the “ quickening *" the soul to spi. your sacrifices unto me? saith the ritual life, or the further quickenLord," &c. “ Who hath required ing that life into lively exercises, this at your hands ?” The Lord and “the strengthening and con.' himself had required all the things firming our faith in him.” These there alluded to, but not in the are wrought by an invisible operamanner in which they had present. tion, but, though invisible, real ed them. “ Bring no more vain ob- and effectual. The Spirit of God lations ; incense is an acomination is the great agent and the author unto me;" which, when offered ac. of all spiritual life, activity, and cording to his appointment, in faith blessings. Without his efficacious and love, was the sweetest savour, influence every ordinance is equally « Your ner modus and appointed ineitectual to any sanctifying and feasts my soul hateth.” See Isa, saving purposes. This, therefore, 1. 10.-15. Again, “ He that kill- is what we ought most especially eth an ox (in sacrifice), is as if to have in view, and most earnestly he slew a man (in murder); le to seek, in every means of grace; that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut not resting in the mere ceremony, off a dog's neck," &c. Is. lxvi. 3. nor expecting any profit in themero Compare Amos, v.21-23. But external fornialities, but from the when rightly received, there can communication of the grace ofi be no doubt but that the most im- God attending the observance: uts portant purposes are answered, The sacraments, then, of the and the most important benefits Christian church are intended for conferred; for « They are not these important purposes : viz. to only badges or tokens of Christian hold out before the world and the men's profession (these they most' church, in a public' manner, and certainly are, but not only so, for in a way most intelligible to us, they are much more), but sure the two great doctrines of Chrise witnesses and efectual signs of tianity, regeneration and atonement, grace and God's good will towards with all their consequent blessings.
And were no other purposes an. The blessings which are here swered by them, than these, they stated as attending the administra. must be considered as highly imtion, are blessings which are com- portant and eminently beneficial. mon to both sacraments: First, But they are, still further, the
By these he doth work inisibly means by which Gad does convey in us. As we have reason to expect his power and influence in * Perbaps in the terp “ quickening, every means and ordinance of his the Church mạy refer to the initiatory, sas. appointment, more especially may
crament of baptism; and by strengthening pecany may and confirming faith, to the supper of the
in We expect them in these ; for Lord,
and confirm to the heart the bless-firmation, penance, orders, matri. ings implied in these two great mony, and extreme unction, are doctrines of Christianity, and not to be counted for sacraments which are essentially necessary to of the Gospel, being such as have salvation. But do these blessings grown, partly of the corrupt folnecessarily follow the outward ad- lowing of the Apostles, partly are ministration and reception of the states of life allowed in Scripture, sacraments ? Surely not. In the but yet have not the like nature ofsacrament of the Lord's Supper it sacraments with baptism and the is acknowledged no blessing can Lord's Supper ; for that they have attend it, but when received in not any visible sign or ceremony faith, by a believing worshipper. Ördained of God.” Those which Is it not, then, equally true, that have grown from the corrupt fol. no blessing can be received in the lowing of the Apostles, are, conother sacrament, unless it be duly firmation, penance, and extreme received ? So it is asserted in the unction. Confirmation was doubt. close of the Article, Our Church, less a custom of the primitive indeed, takes it for granted, where. church, and as such ought to be ever the sacraments are administer- retained. But it was never instied that the blessings are received; tuted of Christ, nor can it be and the baptismal service proceeds considered as a distinct sacrament, upon this idea : but why? because, being only the consummation of it takes it also for granted, that the baptismal vow. Penance, or the rite has been duly administered auricular confession, with its at. and received. And how can it do tendant consequences, is also a otherwise ? A contrary, supposi- corruption of an evangelical come tion would argue a consciousness mand, to repent and confess our that there had been some defect in sins to God.. Extreme unction is the administration, which would the same corrupt following of the imply a condemnation of its own apostolical custom of anointing act, and in which case it ought with oil for the restoration of the not to have been administered at sick. (Mark, vi. 13. James, v. 14.) all. It must, therefore, charitably But this was no sacrament of the hope, in every particular instance, church; and it differs from the Po. that the administration and bless- pish extreme unction, in that this ing are united; though conscious is for the salvation of the dying, that in some instances, to, us un- that was for the recovery of the known, the hope will not be 're- sick, when attended with the prayer alized.
of faith, and must evidently be con· These are the general views of sidered as a peculiar custom suited the sacraments, as to those things to the habit of those tiines. “ States in which they both agree: those of life allowed in Scripture” are benefits, which relate more parti. orders, or ordination of ministers, cularly to each, are brought under and matrimony ; but all of these our observation in the Articles differ from sacraments, in that they which treat, of each distinctly. : were never appointed as such by. . In opposition to the Popish Christ, nor have they any external church, which has multiplied the signs of inward grace. . sacraments to seven, the Article Itis added, “ the sacraments werer goes on to state, that there are not ordained of Christ to be gazed two sacraments (only) ordained upon, or to be carried about, of Christ our Lord, that is to say, but that we should duly use them."... baptism and the supper of the This alludes to the elevation and Lord. Those five, commonly call. Carrying about of the host and the ed sacraments, that is to say, con-, consecrated .wafer, to be gazed.
upon and impiously adored, in- reading them. The Bible is a gold, stead of the Lord of his church, en mine; he who labours the hardby the ignorant populace; and for est in it, and digs the deepest, will which, indeed, no authority can be possess the richest treasures. The found in Scripture. Then, to close suitability and sweetness of God's the whole, it is justly remarked, word are never so powerfully exwhich deserves our most serious perienced as in the dark days of attention, and for which purpose it afiliction. We profit most by our is afterwards made the subject of a readings, when we go to them with separate Article (29th), « And in the full conviction that nothing such only as worthily receive the but the Bible can do us good, and same, they have a wholesome ef that that can The writer of this fect or operation : but they that gives a few specimens of his manner receive them unworthily purchase of perusing the Seviptures, and the to themselves damnation, as St. benefit he has derived from it, Paul saith.”
with the hope that it may prove a As thiş Article (it will be seen) means of indducing others to adopt must be considered as of a general the like method, and enjoy the nature, and preparatory to the same advantages with himself. Dit particular explication of the Chris. June 14. This morning four tian sacraments, these remarks texts were much blessed to the remay now suffice; and the best moving my foars, agd calming my mode of deriving further instruc- disturbed soul These texts, de. tion from it, will be, by attending lightful and cheering in themselves, to some general observations, became much more so as my mind which naturally arise from the connected them, and experienced whole.
the force of their combined influ-. [To be continued.)
ence. Hebrews, iv. 15; John, xiv. 18; Matthew, xxviii 18; and
Psalm xxiii 1. The first gives a PROFITABLE READINGS OF THE sweet and consolatory display of SCRIPTURE.
the feltow-feeling which Christ has « EVERY thing in Scripture," for his people in all their afflica says St. Austin, « is sublime and tions, trials, and temptations; it divine ; its truth and doctrine are points him out as so connected most aptly accommodated to the with them, that they cannot be refreshment and building up of our touched, without his being touchmind; and in all respects so order- ed; that they cannot feel, but he ed, that every one may draw feels also. thence what is sufficient for him, The second evinces his bowels provided he approaches it with de- of compassion for them, and bevotion, piety, and religion," And comes an assured pledge of his uncertainly nothing so much tends changing regard for them, and his to nourish and increase the life of never-failing readiness to come to faith in the soul, and support the them for their support and consoChristian under the multiplied sor- lation, how gloomy and comfortless rows to which he is exposed, as soever their situation and circumthe frequent perusal of the word stances may appear. of God in secret, accompanied The third presents a most exwith meditation and prayer. alted view of him; and directs the
Search the Scriptures '--EceviŐTE mind, under all its distresses, to - search diligentlytrace--in- repose in him as possessing omnivestigate the Scripture.” This is potence; and that, therefore, there the divine injunction; and it surely is nothing which his people need includes much more than merely but he can do for them; no sin which
he cannot pardon-no lust which spoken of as doing evil in the sight he cannot mortify-no enemy of the Lord, and the Lord as give which he cannot vanquish-nowant ing them up into the hands of their which he cannot supply--no evil enemies for their sins ; but it is from which he cannot deliver ; in added, “ when they cried unto the fine, “ that he can do for them Lord he raised them up a deliverexceeding abundantly above all er," &c. verse 9; and in the 13th that they can ask or think." . verse it is repeated.
The fourth expresses the de- In Psalm cvi. which "recapitulightful experience of the soul lates Israel's rebellions and God's when enabled, by the witnessings mercies, the same delightful truths of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, are declared ; and from verse 40 to see its interest in Christ, and to 46, the forbearance, tender appropriate him to itself, in the mercies, and astonishing grace of glories of his person, the riches of God are set forth, and traced up his grace, and the compassions of to their fountain--his unchanging his heart. ,
love. Do so unto me, O Lord, I June 13. « To the Lord our beseech thee, and let my future God belong mercies and forgive life declare thy glory and praise ! nesses, though we have rebelled December 8. The perusal of a against him.” This is a truth ex- part of the with chapter of St. emplified in the whole of the John afforded me some sweet and Lord's dealings with his people; consolatory ideas. The fourth and I trust, as it has been, so it verse led me to consider that all will be exemplified in his dealings the trials and afflictions of the with me. I found much comfort children of God have for their ula this morning in meditating on the timate object the glory of Christ ; xivth chapter of Exodus, which and hence, that every distressing gives an aniinating relation of the sensation they feel, every burden Lord's timely interference in be- under which they labour, and half of Israel when pursued by every danger to which they are Pharaoh. From it I drew these exposed, must eventually bring conclusions :
about this great and glorious pur1. That the Lord's people, even pose. So thou art glorified, O when in the path of duty, may he Lord; be it unto us as seemeth 60 surrounded with difficulties and good in thy sight! The sixth verse dangers, as to be able to discern taught me, that though Jesus lovno possible way of escape. ed Martha, and her sister, and La
2. That what appears impossible zarus, yet, in the extremity of their to man, is not only possible, but affliction, he kept at a distance easy to God, who always can, and from them; and that, in doing so, always will, make a way for his he was not actuated by caprice or people's escape, because his own anger, but by love and wisdom ; glory is connected with it.
his affection for them, and kind in3. That, very commonly, the tentions towards them, were the way which appears most unlikely, same. Thus the Lord may refrain, is the way which the Lord chooses, for a season, to come to his people that the deliverance may, in a (though they cry unto him), eistriking manner, be known to be ther by the consolations of his his. Their path was through the Spirit, or the interferences of his
providence; and that, too, when it I also received comfort from appears to them that his presence reading two or three chapters in and power are most needed. The Judges, particularly the third, in seventh and eighth verses talight which the children of Israel are me, that when the Lord's time was CHRIST. GUARD. VOL. VI.
come, and he intended to favour never were so. You may see, in the mourning family with his con- Lucian (in his vindication of his solations, and dry up their tears images), that they did not take in a way little expected by them, their statues to be real gods, but nothing could restrain him. Hence only the representations of them. we learn, that though the Lord The same doctrine may be found does not always come to his people in Plutarch; and it is all the mowhen they wish, yet he always dern priests have to say in excuse does when he knows it is best for for their worshipping wood and them, and the design of the afflic- stone, though they cannot deny, tion is accomplįshed. Make us at the same time, that the vulgar willing, O Lord, to wait with are apt to confound that distincfaith and patience thy time, as- tion. " I always, if possible, avoidk sured that thine unchanged affec- controversial disputes; whenever I tion will at length deliver us from cannot do it, they are very short. every evil.
I ask my adversary, if he believes · LAMECH. the Scripture? when that is an
,swered affirmatively, their church AN INDIFFERENCE ABOUT POPERY. may be proved, by a child of ten
years old, contradictory to it in To the Editor of the Christian . their most important points. My Guardian.
second question is, if they think SIR, 1
St. Peter and St. Paul knew the Being one of those who think true Christian religion? the con-' the distinctions of religious faith stant reply is, o yes: then say I, to be matters of vital importance, purgatory, transubstantiation, inand viewing with apprehension the vocation of saints, adoration of the fashionable indifference on this Virgin, relics (of which they might head, especially in relation to Po- have had a cart-load), an observapery, I send you a short extract tion of Lent, is no part of it, since from an esteemed letter-writer * of they neither taught nor practised the last age, at that time resident any of these things. Vows of cein Italy : she is speaking of a mar- libacy are not more contrary to riage between a member of our nature than to the positive precept Church and a Papist, which stipus of St. Paul: he mentions a very lated that the daughters were to common case, in which people are be educated in the Romish faith. obliged, by conscience, to marry:
H. he tells us, “the marks of the Holy
· Spirit are charity, humility, truth, « THERE must be a great indif- and long suffering.” Can any thing ference as to religion on both sides, be more uncharitable than damning to make so strict an union as mar- eternally so many millions, for not riage tolerable between people of 'believing what they never heard ! such distinct persuasions. He or prouder than calling their head seems to think women have no a vice-god ? Pious frauds are souls, by agreeing, so easily, that avowedly permitted, and persehis daughters should be educated cutions applauded: these maxims in bigotry and idolatry. You will, .cannot be dictated by the spirit of perhaps, think this last a hard peace, which is so warmly preached word, yet it is not difficult to in the Gospel. The creeds of the prove, that either the Papists are Apostles and council of Nice do , guilty of idolatry, or the pagans not-speak of the mass, or real pre
sence, as articles of belief; and *Lady Wortley Montegue's Works, Athanasius asserts, whosoever beKol V. p. 25.