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Sermon, and of awakening the attention of the Protestant Clergy and people to the actual position occupied by their adversaries. Our engagement is an arduous one; for it requires us to keep the middle path between two equally dangerous extremes: to maintain liberty of conscience, and to excite attachment for purity of doctrine, yet at the same time not to give occasion or countenance to that irregular intemperate zeal which threatens to dash in pieces like a potter's vessel the very frame and fabric of the Church. If we would preserve what is left us of our Protestant institutions, we must be careful above all things to have union among ourselves.
Henry Ward, Printer, 14, Sun Street, Cauterbury.
A SER MON
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND:
PREACHED ON ST. MARK'S DAY, APRIL 25, 1835,
IN THE CHURCH OF
ST. MARY-LE-BOW, CHEAPSIDE,
Before the Trustees
CORDWAINER & BREAD-STREET WARD SCHOOLS,
PURSUANT TO THE WILL OF THE FOUNA
REV. THOMAS BURNET, D.D.,
CURATE AND LECTURER OF ST. JAMES'S, GARLICK-AYTHE, IN THE CITY OF LONDON,
AND WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL.
Luke xi. 1. And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
The disciple who addressed our Lord on this occasion, testified that docility of disposition and that diffidence in his own attainments, which mark the character of every sincere and well-instructed Christian. He had been privileged to hear “the gracious words which proceeded out of the mouth*" of Him “who spake as never man spaket;" he had, no doubt, often “searched the Scriptures,” and meditated upon what Moses and all the holy prophets had written concerning Christ'; and, we may presume, he had been prompted by his religious feelings, and by that impulse of inquiry which the light of knowledge always enkindles in the human mind, to accompany his kinsfolk and neighbours into the wilderness of Judea, to make himself acquainted with the doctrines of the illustrious prophet, who was at that period“ preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” He communed with his own heart on all that he heard and on all that he saw; and he was constrained to confess, that in Jesus Christ he beheld a greater than Moses, and a more able instructor in righteousness than even John the Baptist. When Christ “opened his mouth and taught," and exhorted with affectionate warmth the assembled multitudes to “ give heed unto the things which belong to their peace,” and to " seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” there was a sublime earnestness in his manner, and a simple unadorned beauty in his language, and a solemn, yet benevolent, persuasiveness in every thing he uttered, that awakened in all around a holy wonder, and compelled them to acknowledge that “He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” He possessed in himself, and in the glorious character he came to sustain, an inherent divine authority, which gave a dignity and power to the great truths of his mission, and proved him to be superior to all the prophets, teachers, and apostles, who either preceded or followed him. The scribes appealed to tradition, and told the people that “thus it was said by them of old time.” The prophets admonished with “thus saith the Lord.” The apostles derived all their authority from the great Head of the Church, and proclaimed aloud, “We are ambassadors for Christ.” But He to whom the well-instructed disciple in the text resorted, assuming a loftier tone, claimed attention on his own account:—“Verily, verily, I say unto you, without me ye can do nothing," was the emphatic reason assigned why his audience should listen to and believe in his words. And the many mighty works that he performed, and “the life and immortality that he brought so clearly to light,” demonstrate to all men the veracity of His doctrine and the divine authority of His Person. The more we meditate on His wisdom, goodness, and truth, the more do we feel ourselves confirmed in our faith as Christians. He alone can say, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”*
* Luke iv. 22.
I Luke iii. 3.
+ John vii. 46.