תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

of reasonable creatures, can please jection to what they can understand, or influence a senate, and can please when the speaker confines himself or influence a jury, but is shorn of to worldly business ; and the adopits beams as soon as it is introduced tion of a different standard in ecinto the pulpit. The explanation clesiastical matters, is to be attriof the phenomena appears to be, buted solely to ignorance. When that our countrymen are better ac- from their youth they are brought quainted with their political and regularly to Church, and are precivil, than with their religious du- pared, by a reasonable degree of ties. The former consequently are scriptural knowledge, for the indischarged in a more commendable struction which is there provided for and more consistent manner than them, they will quickly discover the the latter. The particular subject superiority of the genuine preacher under consideration is attentively of the Gospel over all his imitators, examined and the conduct finally and rivals. The sensible and well. adopted is the result of such an ex educated can do so already, and we amination. Speeches, therefore, have no doubt that, as their numwhich are merely eloquent, inflam. bers and their influence increase, matory, or poetical, would not sa. the example will be contagious, and tisfy the expectations of those to will not be thrown away. At prewhom they were addressed. A se sent, the large assemblages of well. nator, or a juryman, attends to lit- meaning people who run after a tle but the argument; and his du- popular preacher have no definite ties cannot be discharged, unless ideas upon the subject of which he arguments can be laid before him. treats." He rouses them from their But if he listened not for the pur- languor; he astonishes and alarms pose of ascertaining how he ought them; and perhaps on some subseto act, but from curiosity, from quent occasion he comforts themidleness, or from fashion--if he bad and for all this they are naturally, no previous acquaintance with the and not improperly grateful. They subject under discussion; and was are not aware that the preacher's disposed to rest contented with the merits will cease with their defects ; first view of it which might be pre- or, that when they become atten. sented to bim; then he would be in tive and well informed Christians, the same situation as many a mo- they will long for a teacher of an dern congregation, and would yield opposite description; and will not much more readily to the rant of the be able to proceed without one. conventicle than to the sober dis- The great work of renewing the courses of the Church.

heart and affections, and of fixing If this opinion be well-founded, the babits on the side of holiness, is our enquiry will quickly come to an not to be effected by nervous end. For it will be evident, that the and enthusiastic eloquence, but by only reason why such sermons as a calm and frequent repetition of a these of Mr.Berens are less esteemed few plair truths. They may not by the generality than others which reach the ear of the drowsy and shall be nameless, is, that the people careless; they may not stimulate are still very ignorant on the subject the sanguine temperament, or while of which all sermons treat. When this away the tedious hour; but, to ignorance shall have been removed such as really hunger and thirst after by the increased attention to the re- righteousness, they are the wholeligious instruction of all classes of some nourishment, which yields the community, the unjust prefer- health and strength and increase. ence which we have been consider We shall conclude these remarks by ing will also come to an end. Our a few more extracts from the volume Countrymen, at present, have no ob- before us. To the Sermon upon the

[ocr errors][merged small]

have pro

Christian Priesthood we shall not are renewed, are in a state of grace, in a advert, because the subject of it state of justification. If you habitually was discussed at length in our last neglect it, or have wilfully drawn back, number. But we have no hesita and continue to draw back, from it, you

are unrenewed, and in a state of contion in saying, that the questions demnation. respecting Church government and “ If you faithfully keep to the engageschism were never more concisely, ments into which you entered at the font; or more conclusively argued, in if you endeavoured to renounce the sing that sort of language which is cal of the devil, the world, and the flesh; if culated for a village congregation, you sincerely believe all the articles of the than in Mr. Berens's concluding dis- Christian faith, even though your faith be

weak; and if it is the desire and purpose course. And if any of our readers of your heart to keep God's holy will and should be desirous to follow up and commandments, and to walk in the same fix the impression, which a perusal all the days of your life, even though your of the controversy between Mr. obedience is marked with much imperfecWix and Mr. Newtou may

tion; if, I say, this is the case, then, duced on the minds of their waver

happy are ye. Your interest in the privi

leges conferred at baptism remains firm. ing parishioners, we can safely re

Humbly beg God to keep you in this state, commend them to try the effect of and seek for the confirmation and increase this sermon.

of all spiritual blessings, by devoutly parThe following passages are se taking of the table of the Lord. But if, lected from the discourses on Bap on the other hand, you unhappily bave tism, and on the Lord's Supper. babitually broken, and are still living in

the neglect of your baptismal vow, let me They may all serve to shew, that

intreat yon, before it is too late, to think the Church's doctrine on these sub

upon the dangerous condition you are in. jects does not necessarily, or “ in

“ in. You have forsaken the guide of your tentionally oppose the cause of youth, and broken the covenant of yonr scriptural holiness and genuine gond God.' You have deserted the standard, works,” and some of them have

under which you were enlisted to war ; been selected as specimens of that have drawn back from the engagements

into which you had entered. Remember happy knack at illustration, which

that they that draw back, forfeit the fahas contributed so materially to

vour of Almighty God-bis soul can have Mr. Berens's success.

po pleasure in then—and that they that “ Consider well, my friends, what has

draw back, draw back unto perdition."" been said. Revolve it again and again in

P. 153. your minds, and beseech God to bring it “ A sacrament, however, is said to be home to your hearts and consciences. not only the means of imparting divine You sometimes probably hear and read of grace, but also a pledge or token to asmen's being converted or unconverted,

sure us that we receive it. It is usual being renewed or unrenewed, and many among men to accompany, with some out. like expressions. All these expressions ward sign or token, the appointment to come in fact to the same thing; and all any dignity, or office, or possession; or questions respecting them are answered

the conclusion of an agreement or barby the answer to the enquiry, which I gain. In this country, for instance, in bave endeavoured to press upon you. Are

several of the high offices of state, the you sincerely endeavouring to ful6l your appointment to or relinquishing of them, is baptismal vow, or are you living in the accompanied by the delivery or redelivery neglect of it? If you are habitually mind. of a seal, or wand, or staff: the conveyful of your baptismal covenant, and wish, ance of land is often completed by the and sincerely try, to live according to it, conveyance of the writings relating to it, with earnest prayer for God's grace to en

or by taking bodily possession; or, to able you to do so, yon are converted *, adopt a still more familiar illustration,

when a farming servant is hired, it is cusBy the term conversion, I mean a tomary to give a small piece of money as turning—a turning from sin to God, the a pledge or earnest.

And in a manner turning from the evil of our doings, the somewhat similar are the bread and wine turning away from wickedness, and doing in the Lord's Supper to be looked upon as that which is lawful and right."

an outward token, or pledge, or earpest,

timents may naturally be supposed

by the delivery of which by the hands of repent and believe you are fit to come. his minister, God conveys to the devout Your families do in fact furnish an addicommunicant the benefits which those tional motive to you for being religious, syimbols represent,

and ought to make you anxious to draw “ These benefits, you will recollect, are down God's blessing both upon yourselves spoken of as being received by the faith- and upon them. If they have been to you ful, and by the faithful only." P. 164. an occasion of sin, you must repent of such

Many of you say that you are too sin, and strive against it for the time to young to communicate. But are you too come; and that you may strive successyoung to repent and beliere? Are you too fully, seek for spiritual strength at the young to fear and to serve God; too young Lord's table. Irritation of temper, and to wish to go to heaven rather than to hell? anxiety or carefulness of mind are to be Our Church considers all who are old regarded as marks of human weakness, enough to be confirmed; certainly all of and must be prayed against, and striven the age of sixteen years *, as old enough against. To suffer them to keep you from also to receive the sacrament; and so they the Lord's table, is the same as if a sick certainly are. If many young people are man thould make his sickness an excuse in the liabit of neglecting the Lord's Sup for refusing to apply to the physician. la per, their bad example furnishes no excuse short, you are either fit to come to the for you, and does not lessen your obliga. Lord's table, or unfit. If fit, you have tion. Do you think that because you are thing to keep you from it. If unfit, young, you need not think of thiese things, you are living in an uncliristian state, a but may lightly follow your own wills and state of condemnation. And can you fancies, and that it will be soon enough to quietly make up your mind to continue in attend to religion when you are old? But a state of condemnation until you bave you may not live to be old. You may be ceased to have children, or until your facut off in the beginning of life, if in the milies are grown up? The Scriptures re. strength and confidence of youth you re. present your children as a blessing. Do solve to 'walk in the ways of thine heart not make them a pretext for disobeying and the sight of thine eyes, know thou God; for neglecting your salvation."that for all these things God will bring you P. 175. into judgment t.' The Scriptures exhort you to attend to religion in the morning of

These are admirable specimens your life : “Remember now thy Creator of village preaching: and they in the days of thy youth 1. God has a plainly prove, that their author right to the best of your days, and the could soar much higher, if the debest of your strength. Do not then suffer sire of doing good did not put him the plea of youth to prevent you from under restraint. complying with the dying command, the dying request, of your crucified Saviour, Do you say that youth is exposed to peculiar temptations ? There is then the greater reason why you should seek for spiritual Sermons. By the late Very Reverend strength at the table of your Lord. You William Pearce, D.D. F.R.S. are old enough to understand what reli

Dean of Ely, Master of Jesus Colgion is; you are old enough to be sensible of the difference between being happy or

lege, Cambridge ; and formerly miserable for ever. You have not then

Master of the Temple. Published any excuse for neglecting the sacrament, by his Son, Edward Scorold and you cannot neglect it without being Pearce, Esq. A.M. Student of gnilty of disobedience to Christ.

the Inner Temple. pp. 489. Ca“ Agaiu: women of the poorer class, dell, 1821, when they have families of children, too generally make this circumstance a pretext The allowance which is generally for absenting themselves from the Lord's due to a posthumous publication, is table. They say that their children burden not required in speaking of a vo. them with cares, fret and ruffle their tem- lume of sernions, prepared by a per, and thus render them unfit for the sacrament. But do your families prevent

learned preacher for a learned conyou from repenting and believing? If you gregation. Of such sermons, the sen. * “ See the 112th Canon."

to have been maturely considered, f" Eccles, xi, 2." 1“ Ibid. xii. 1."

and the language to bave been cri

ses,

were

tically correct, from their first com- preacher. The most usual topics position. The discourses of the are the exceptions of sceptics and late Dean of Ely are of this cha- unbelievers : the doctrines of the racter. They were with the ex Christian Church are less frequently ception of the first sermon preached adverted to, and are argued with at the Temple Church, between the studied moderation, and with an air years 1787 and 1797, when the of liberality which, if it were not for Dean was Master of the Temple; some valuable exceptions, might be and it was worthy of the character mistaken for indifference: while the of himself and of the congregation benevolence of the preacher's mind, which he addressed, that the “ ori- and the confidence of his hope ginal copies should be found in such founded on the anticipations of proa state as to be judged fit for pub- phecy, and on the observation of lication without any material varia. the progress of truth, are manifested tion.” An anxiety “ for the pre- in assuming what in the dark interservation of whatever may do honour val between 1787 and 1797, was to the memory of his lamented hardly visible, that a dawn of moral father," and a “ compliance with and religious improvement has arithe wishes of many who were pre sen, which shall shine more and sent at the delivery of these discour more unto the perfect day. From

the honourable and this general view it is necessary to affectionate motives of the editor in proceed to a more distinct analysis submitting this volume to the in. of these discourses. spection of the public. It was not Serinon I. entitled " Consecra. inconsistent with these motives, or tion,” and preached in Lambeth with the character of a young man, Chapel, at the consecration of Bishop although it has enhanced the price Tomline, and published originally of the book, and will eventually by order of the Archbishop. For contract its circulation, that these the publication of this sermon the sermons have appeared with a de- editor is not responsible: it was gree of splendour seldom found in published by his father, and could theological publications, on wove hardly be omitted in the present paper, with a portrait, a large type, collection. The title of the sermon, broad margin, and a profusion of the occasion upon which it was devacant leaves.

livered, and the authority which comThe character of the congregation manded its publication, will probably at the Temple Church will of itself lead the reader to expect a clear explain the nature of these compo- and luminous view of the origin of sitions. The sermons are number ecclesiastical polity, and of the form twenty-seven, on twenty-one subjects, of ordaining and consecrating the generally chosen with judgment, governors and ministers of the and well adapted to the congrega- Church of Christ. They will hardly tion. They are all distinguished by prepare him to learn, as the rea manly simplicity of language, and sult of a comparison of the dispenby an unembarrassed perspicuity of sation of Moses with that of Christ, argument. They are generally very that in the latter, "every thing reshort, allowing but little room for lating to morality is simple, comrhetorical ornament, or passionate prehensive and general ; the formaappeals to the heart, but suggesting lity even of a precept is studiously much matter for future reflexion. avoided;" for assuredly in compaThey are deficient in the exposition ring his own law with that of Moses, of scripture; they are persuasive our Lord delivers his precepts in a and convincing, but not hortatory; style the most formal and precise : they are more like the arguments of “

ye

have heard that it was said by the lecturer, than the sermons of the them of old time--but I say unto

you.” Still less will the reader in and opinion of his disciples in re. perusing a sermon on consecration spect of the original constitution of be prepared to subscribe to the in- his Church, in which during his perference from this assumption in sonal ministry he was the head, and respect of ecclesiastical government. the Apostles and the seventy bore “ The same difference is still more ob.

the subordinate ranks; and in which servable in regard to ecclesiastical govern

after his ascension, the Apostles, ment. In the Old Testament the bigh the Elders and the Deacons, formed Priest, Priests and Levites; their birth the threefold division of the chrisand rank: their privileges, their duties, tian ministry.

tian ministry. This is the only and their discipline are fixed with the example upon which the true notion most scrupulous exactness. No discretion

of an ecclesiastical establishment is allowed even in the vestments of the priests, or in the utensils of the tabernacle.

can be formed, and our reason should In the New, our Lord simply called his be exercised in tracing the perpetudisciples, and they left all and followed ity and consistency of this form and bin. The only positive ceremonies he order in the Church of Christ, in instituted or retained, were Baptism and the several ages and places of its the Lord's Supper ; nor are there any pre- dispersion. The preacher continues: cepts except in relation to these two institutions, either of Christ himself or his “ We have an instance of the applicaApostles, which are expressly enjoined us tion of both these rules, supported by the for the perpetual regulation of the visible bighest anthority in the earliest times of Church.

Christianity. Our Lord had left no orders " How then it may be asked are Chris behind him, so far as we learn to continae tians to form their ideas of ecclesiastical the succession of the twelve Apostles. establishments? The answer may be drawn On the death however of Judas Iscariot, from the foregoing observations, and from the remaining eleven thought themselves the words of St. Paul in the text: Be ye bound to fill up their number, and their followers of me, even as I also am of conduct in the election of Matthias was Christ; that is, where positive precepts justified soon after by the sanction of the fail us, we are left to regulate the Christian Holy Ghost. Example in this instance visible Church in the same manner as our co-operated with reason. By following private Christian lives; partly by imitating bis steps the Apostles best shewed their the conduct of Christ and his Apostles, affection for their Master's memory; and and partly by applying our own reason, the original reason of the Dumber, the rethe exercise of which as we have already ference to the twelve tribes of Israel, was seen, the whole tenor of the gospel re still subsisting. But the instance does not quires of us as a duty."

end here; it shews still farther that even

the example is not binding, where the It had been well if Doctor Pearce

reasons of it have ceased. For before the had ascertained the point, at which death of any other Apostle, the Gospel was this partial imitation of the Apos- opened to all nations, the reason of any tles, and this partial exercise of our reference to the twelve tribes of Israel bad own reason were severally to deter- ceased, and with it ceased the practice of mine and to begin; or if be had filling up the number of the twelve Apos

tles." shown, that the moderation which St. Paul exhibited and prescribed Did it never occur to the preacher, in respect of eating the idolatrous that in the interval between the sacrifices was a worthy precedent death of Iscariot, and the election to regulate the form and order of of Matthias, the Gospel was opened the Christian Church. The exam to all nations, and the commission ple of Christ and his Apostles, of the Apostles, who had in the first faintly but not imperceptibly marked instance been forbidden to go into out in the Scriptures, and more dis- the cities of the Samaritans and into tinctly visible in the records of the the way of the Gentiles was enprimitive fathers, is the only method larged, so that they were sent into of explaining the instructions of our all nations, even into all the world? Lord, and of binding the practice It was at the ascension of our Lord,

« הקודםהמשך »