תמונות בעמוד

if at any time, that the occasion of authority from a single Apostle, but were tilling up the number of the twelve themselves empowered singly to ordain Aposties did determine: and the

eluers in every city. number of the twelve Apostles was

“I will not enquire at present whether actually enlarged before the death nation have ceased or not.

the reasons of the former species of ordi

I shall only of James by ine call of St. Paul, observe that if any Church defends itself who both in deed and in designa- either by the smallness of its community, tion was an Apusile from the very or by the republican form of its civil period of his conversion. In the vernment, in adhering to the example of instances of the election of St. Mat

our earlier Apostles, our Church is justithias and St. Paul, and also of tied both by its greater extent, and its

monarchical principles, in following that Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, and Epa. of St. Paul. Nor have the reasons of the phroditus, all of whom are called several orders instituted by St. Paul and Apostles by the primitive or sacred retained by our Church lost any thing of writers, the fact of the succession their original force. As long as the peoof the Apostles, which Doctor ple shall continue to want instruction, the Pearce assigns to the mere reason

reason of the appointment of Priests an

swering to St. Paul's Elders will still subof the thing, is established : and however the naine of this governing shall be pecessary for so holy and arduous

sist; as long as any preparation or trial power in the Church was subse.

an office as that of Elder, there will be quently exchanged for that of reason for the order of deacons; and as Bishops, which was originally borne long as both these ranks shall require any by the second order of the christian previous examination, into their learning,

their morals or their faith; or shall want ministry, its nature has always been distinguished by the peculiar power

any encouragement to the discharge of

their duty or censures for their neglect of of ordaiving or laying on of hands.

it, so long will the reasons remain for an The Dean justly distinguishes be order corresponding to that of Timothy tween the sixplicity of our Lord's and Titus. manner in calling his Apostles, and “ The Scriptures indeed are silent conthe ceremony with which the Apos

cerning the future appointment of the tles laid their hands on those whom

higher orders. They no where intimate

who were to succeed the Apostles, or who they ordaines: and attributes the

were to appoint successors to Timothy, eeremony with which this mediate

or Titus. But this silence extends no furordination was administered to the ther than to the manner of appointinferior authority of the administra- ment, and not to the existence or necestor. It is the standard of distinc- sily of such orders, and ail that can be in. tion between those who were imme.

ferred from it is, a conclusion highly im

portant to our own Church, that we have diately, and those who are mediately and by the

permission and anthority for that mode of of men admitted ageucy

appointment, which in the opinion of the to serve God in his Church. From

legislature has been thought wisest and this distinction it is indiscreetly ar best." gued :

The reasons assigned for the con“ If the Apostles thought themselves tinuance of the several offices are justified in deviating from the example of just and satisfactory; the opinion Christ, when the reason of copying it had

of the legislature is wise and good : ceased, we shall not wonder, it, upon the

but the true and only adequate ausame account, in the appointment of the several orsiers of the ministry, they varied thority for the mode of appointment from one another. In the infancy of the

to the Christian minisiry, is not Church the orders were fewer, and all re. the opinion of any legislature, or ceived their commission from the whole

the justice of any reasons, but the body of the Apostles. As the number of known example of the Apostolic believers and the duties of the ministry

age, and the political ditierences increased, new ranks were added adapted

between thie sectaries and the to the exigencies of the Church; aud Timothy and Titus not only derived their Church are altogether irrelevant, REMEMBRANCER, No. 33.

4 A

The variations of political govern- terian might have delivered them to 'ment cannot affect the true consti. the Independent, and the Baptist tution of the Church, or render that might have cominended their libeschismatical which is not schisma- rality. The Episcopalian alone has tical, or that apostolical which is no part in this accommodating monot apostolical. Our Lord laid no deration : he knows no criterion of hands on his Apostles; the Apos- a true Church but its establishment tles not taking upon themselves his on the apostolical model, and while simple authority laid hands, as did he has pleasure in tracing the the priesthood before them, on episcopal form from the earliest pethose who they devoted to the riods to the remotest boundaries of service of God. When they insti- the Church; he is persuaded in his tuted the Deaconship they laid mind, that if " the two principles haods in a body on the Deaconship; of sound reason and apostolic exbut there is no other instance upon ample" should ever again be prac. record in which they did not think tically followed, the differences bethat an Apostle with the coucurrence tween sects would cease to excite of the Presbytery, had alone power animosity, because they would cease of ordaining, and till such an in to exist. The Episcopalian sees no stance can be produced, the divine reason to despair of the ultimate origin and riglit, and sufficiency of re-union of the Christian body, and episcopal ordination will not be re of an uniformity in Church estabfuted.

lishments, especially when he con.

templates the extensive and broad “ In conclusion: to copy the example foundations of episcopacy in all the of Christ and his Apostles is to copy the provinces of the Greek and Roman spirit of their institutions, as well as the Churches, in the Church of Engforms. This metliod we are instructed to adopt, in explaining the written precepts land and Ireland, and its depenof Christ's morality, and the reason is dencies, in the Episcopal Churches stronger for its application to Church go of Scotland, and of Ainerica. In vernment, in which we have little else but this large contemplation of the preexample for our guide. Reason and con sent state of the Church of Christ, science, to which the Gospel every where appeals, are less liable to dispute tian tech- Independency are comparatively of

the boastful pretensions of English nical rules or forms of government. Hence the morality of the Gospel is simple and

no account: and in the Protestant uniform, throughout all the Christian Churches of the continent, the want world. The same uniformity is not to be of an Episcopal government and expected in Church establishments, be- constitution is regretted as a defect, cause the reasons may vary on which they which it is attempted to supply by are founded. But were all Churches regu. lated on the two principles of sound rea

the innovation and invention of suson and apostolic example, the differences perintendants. The only occasion between them being accounted for and

of alarm and regret to the Episcojustified, would be no longer objects to palian is to see the true principles excite animosity. The violence of sects, of ecclesiastical polity suppressed and the prejudice of pusty, would yield to or misrepresented, or exhibited in a the genuine temper and spirit of Christi- form which while it confirms the anity, and our minds would bear the same prejudices of the sectary, leads him characters as the Gospel which we profess, to suspect the sincerity of a Churchthose of simplicity, candour, and moderation, and at the same time ot' consistency,

man's conviction, or the stability firmness, and dignity."

and soundness of a Churchman's

principles. These are plausible sentiments, Sermon II. “The Argument from which might have been issued from Prophecy." A perspicuous stateany preacher, and been addressed ment of the difficulties of the proto any congregation. The Presby- phetical writings, and of the advan

tages arisiug from those difficulties, from the truth of the doctrine to the reality demonstrating the work of God in or truth of the miracle, but from the falsetheir fulfilment, and rendering the hood of the doctrine to the fiction or falsecollusion of man impossible and in- hood of the miracle. For example, the

text says, if a miracle teaches idolatry, it effectual,

is a false miracle, and not to be regaj ded; Sermons III. IV. “On the ulti. but it does not say, if it teaches the wormate Object of Prophecy,” which is ship of the one God, it is therefore true. So shewu to be not the benefit of the again, by parity of reason, we in these Jews, nor of the persous addressed latter times say, that if any action claimby the prophets, nor of succeedinging to be miraculous tcaches us any impiety ages : not to bear witness of Christ - did it proceed from God; but we do not only, which is the object of mira. say on the converse, that if it dues teach cles also, but to attest the truth of us morality and piciy, it is therefore a real God. The advantages of this inter- miracle, and does proceed from God. So pretation are, that it makes a pro- that the answer to the objection may be per distinction between the offices briefly stated thus: Miracles may, in many of miracles and of prophecies; that cases, be disproved by the doctrines, but

it is no where asserted, that they ever can while it proves the divine foreknow

be proved by them. And the objection, ledge, it assures the divine pro- therefore, which supposes that Christians mises, and is common to all pro- prove the truth of the miracles from the phecies; at the same time in its оре. truth of the doctrines, is not founded in ration and tendency it does bear fact.” witness to Christ, and thus an obvious objection is refuted.

The propriety of this distinction Sermon V. “On the Criterion of is argued at considerable length, a false Miracle," or of miracles in and it is applied both to real and to general. The subject is important, pretended miracles, and the Dean

concludes : and, with the exception of some unnecessary allusion to natural re “ I cannot dismiss this subject without ligion, an idol which receives too taking notice of a difficulty which may be much homage in these Discourses, thonght to attend the foregoing theory. It is argued in a very masterly manner,

relates to the assertion that no internal docin refutation of a deistical position.

trine can be brought in proof of a miracle.

For it may be said, that there are certain “ It is objected to us, by the adversaries doctrines conveyed by the lielp of miracles, of Christianity, especially by some philo- which no haman reason conld ever have sopliers of great note fately in a neigh- discovered; such are, that God on certain bouring kingdonı, that in proving the di- conditions will freely forgive sins, and that rine authority of the Christian doctrines,

to the sincere penitent and faithful believer we begin with founding it on the evidence in Jesns Christ, he will grant life eternal. of miracles, but that we afterwards turn Nay, further, that there are some things back, and endeavour to prove the divine revealed to us, which, so far from being origin of the niracles by the intrinsic qua- discoverable by human reason, are incomlities, the excellence and sublimity of the prehensible to us after they are discovered. doctrines, which the miracles were brought The answer is, that though the truth of to support. This mode of arguing from these things be beyond the reach of human the miracles to the doctrines, and from the

reason to discover, yet the things themdoctrines to the miracles, leaves iis, they selves are not beyond the reach of the husay, just where it found us, and destitute man imagination to conceive. Their truth, of any distinct proof either of miracles or therefore, must depend on the evidence of doctrines."

the miracles, which were wronght in their

support; and the miracles must first be In

to this objection, distinctly proved, before we can give an more subtle than just, the Dean admission to the doctrines. argnies:

“ Some of the most engaging features

in Christianity are the purity, the simpli. ".....Wlien Christians argue from the city, the sublimity of its morality, and that doctrine to the miracle, they do not argue consistency and conformity which it has to


everó deduction of natural teason, when it witnesses no longer remained of the miradescribes and heightens tlie jastice and ho- cles which had been performed, the belief liness, and coolness and mercy, and power of Christians rested on the following of the Almighty. The nse of these doc. grounds: they believed the miraculous trines, as an evidence for Christianity, how facts, on the ground of the historical lessatisfactory and sublime soever they may be, timony of those who were eye witnesses is not immediately and without miracles 10 and ministers of the word, and they beprove the divine origin of the Gospel, brit lieved the spiritual nature of the Gospel, in the manner I before stated, to prevent the promises and the threatenings, which any disproof being brought from the doc- animale and restrain the Christian world, ttides against the reality of the miracles on the credit of historians thus authorized by which those doctrines are supported. and qualified to declare the word of God.

“ And this is perfectly consisteut witli “ This, which is the belief entertained an argument of great weight, which has by us at this day, is similar to what was often been urged with irresistible force in believed during the tinie of our Saviour's behalf of Christianity; that its internal ministry. Our belief of the miraculous characters of wisdom and purity, and con- facts recorded in the Gospel, corresponds sistency and depth, coming from such with the belief of Christ's divine mission, teeble and illiterate instruments, as the founded on the miracles performed by first promulgators of tlie Gospel were, forin himself; and our belief of the theory of a direct and distinct proof of the divinity Christianity corresponds to our Lord's deof its origin. For in this case we do not clarations concerning himself as the proargne from the doctrines alone, but from mised Messiah, which were received as we the doctrines taken in conjunction with receive the theory of Christianity, on the something else, namely, in conjunction ground and on the supposition of its being with the characters of the first publishers the word of God. In addition to these two of Christianity. These two things taken grounds, and to verify and confirm the detogether, form a new, , and distinct, and in- claration of God's word, we have histodependent miracle ; and the argument rical evidence of prophecies fulfilled, and, drawn from it is reducible to the general what is still more important, bave ocular rule of proving the miracles first, before demonstrations of prophecies, at this day we infer the divine authority of the doc- fulfilling and fultilled, in various parts of trines."

the world." Sermons Ví. VII.

" On the

This view of the grounds of our Grounds of Belief in Christ,” contain belief is applied to the several artian historical view of the grounds on cles of the Apostles Creed; of the which men in different ages have first article of which the exposition been brought to believe in Christ. is encumbered with unnecessary alZacharias and John the Baptist be- lusions to natural religion, but of lieved on the authority of an imme. which the other articles are prodiate revelation. The attention of perly grounded and made to depend, the Apostles wa

at the first at

on miracles, or prophecies, or scrip tracted by the testimony of the tural anthority. These are cerBaptist, and their faith was after- tainly the only sure grounds of a wards confirmed by a miracle and rational, scriptural, and consistent by Christ's assertion of his autho- belief in Christ and in God. rity, corresponding with the writ

Sermon VIII. “A future State of ings of the prophets. After his re- Immortality, not discoverable by surrection they believed in the im. Reason." "Between the Deist, who mediate revelation of the Holy Spi- pretends to discover a future state rit also. The belief of others was by the mere exercise of his reason, grounded on miracles, either seen

and those who deny the competence or reported, and proving a divine of reason to make this discovery commission, and, after the ascen. sion of Christ, in the more full de revelation, the Dean assumes the

which they attribute exclusively to velopement of prophecies.

office of the moderator, allowing “ After those times, when the power of that reason may discover a future working miracles was withdrawn, and eye state, but claiming to revelation

alone the promise of immortality. so affectingly applied in the exhorThe scriptural doctrine appears to tation in the Office of the Visitation be, that eternal life was made of the Sick: an exhortation which koown from the beginning of the no repetition, in public or in priworld, and is thus traditionallyreceive vate, can deprive of its effect. ed by all mankind, and that the Gos Sermons XI. XII. “ On the pel hath cleared up and thrown Lord's Prayer.” The characters of light upon this primitive doctrine, this prayer, unexhausted and inex. by unfolding a state of incorruption. haustible, in matters of edifying disThe Deist discovers nothing by his course, are that it is concise, that reason : he does but repeat the it is comprehensive; and, belief of his fathers, more or less

“ The next thing to observe in it is, if illustrated by Christian truth: the

we may presume to use the expression, the Gospel hath made manifest what judiciousness that prevails throughout the before was only not unknown. whole. In all our devotions we are natu

Sermon IX. “ On the unequal rally liable to two errors, both of them, Distribution of Happiness and Mi- perhaps, arising from a good principle, but sery.” The plausible and ingenious productive of great irregularities, these

are enthusiasm and superstition.' Enthuargument of this discourse will be siasm, to defive it in few words, is an exbut too powerfully resisted by the

cess of hope; superstition an excess of experience and operation of the real fear: the one is sanguine, the other bor. ills of human life. The good and ders on despair. Both these extremes are pious purpose of the preacher is to guarded against in the Lord's Prayer. The vindicate the ways of God to man,

enthusiast is checked in luis presumption, whose impartial and undiscriminate bread, to implore the pardon of his sins,

when he is taught to pray for his daily ing favour he maintains, by refer- and that only on a condition, to which the ring to the variety of his gifs pro enthusiast is not the most inclined, that of miscuously bestowed, and without pardoning those that trespass against him. the qualification of any common The superstitious man, on the other hand, evils. It is thus that our attention is encouraged to conquer bis unreasonable is drawn to God; it is thus that

fears, by the anthority of calling God by virtue and vice, and more especially

the name of Father ; by looking forward

with anxious hope to some future perfec. the latter, have their reward, and

tion of God's government, when he prays, that the mercy of God is exhibited • Thy kingdom come:' by being taught to in all his dispensations, in exciting repose himself with confidence on the di. bope and perseverance by the delay vine providence when lie says, “ Thy will of the recompence, and in averting

be done in earth as it is in heaven,' and, by seasonable chastisements the

lastly, by reflecting that God is the Su

preme Being, and able to protect him, final condemnation of the wicked.

when he says, . For thine is the kingdom, Sermon X. " On Affliction." The

and the power, and the glory, for ever, subject is considered by the light of Amen.' When we consider how naturally, reason, and by the light of revela. from our respective tempers, our devotious tivn. By the former, prosperity

deviate into excess of hope, or excess of and adversity are compared in

fear, we cannot but admire the wisdom of themselves, in their consequences,

that divine composition, which thus so ef.

fectually guards us against both extremes, supports, virtues, and opportuni. and enables us to pray not only with ties; and by the latter the preacher the spirit, but with the understanding exhibits the promises of Scripture also. made to those who are afflicted for “ But the wisdom that prevails in the their religion, and the effects of Lord's Prayer, may appear from another afflictive discipline in producing vir- consideration. This prayer, like all other

prayers, is an address from the creature to tue, which is always contemplated,

the Creator. By all the rules of interand ultimately rewarded by God.

course, therefore, between one being and No notice is taken of the great ex. another, it should be suited to the characters ample of patient suffering, which is of both. On the one hand is infinite good

« הקודםהמשך »