« הקודםהמשך »
righteousness of God," should we not one pursue the peace of the church with and all endeavour to speak the truth in swiftest paces.” love? And seeing how futile have been IV. AS TO WORSHIP. Is there no all efforts at effecting an universal uni- room for improvement in this departformity in Christ's church-how foolishment of religious service? Whereas our as well as futile; (for within certain Roman Catholic ancestors ran to one limits diversity may be beautiful, and to extreme in this matter, have not Protry and square all things in the church testants, especially Nonconformists, gone by one rule would be like trying "to too much to the other extreme ? In comb out the tresses of the sky, and to attending to worship, at least the form of put its jewels in order;") seeing this, it, the Romanist neglected instruction ; should we not tolerate minor differences perhaps the Protestant Congregationalist, between our brethren and ourselves, and in attending to instruction, has thought love them not the less, because, while too little about worship. Has not the following the same Master they follow sermon, in all things, had the pre-eminot with us? And seeing, too, that God nence, almost thrown into the shade the has never been a respecter of persons, prayer and the psalm? Is sufficient time and that the gists and graces of the devoted to the devotional parts of the Spirit have in no age been confined to services, and due care taken to make them one sect or party, should we not be pre- solemn, elevating, soul-inspiring ? Has pared to appreciate and recognise fully the method of prayer received due atand cordially the virtues and excellences tention? Is it commonly so arranged of those who may be without our own and expressed, as to meet the wants of pale, and to believe that real conscien- the mind as well as the heart, sustaining tiousness may lead brethren to different the interest of the one, while it professedly conclusions from those we have arrived | declares the desires of the other? Is it at, and that honesty and spirituality may offered in such portions at a time as not be found under a surplice as well as a to weary the attention? Are the parts of Genevan cloak,-in a cathedral no less Divine service among us so varied and than in a chapel ? As we learn from the alternated as to kindle and keep alive an past that the dews of the Spirit are thus interest in the congregation generally? far like the dews of nature, that as the Have the people enough to do in the serlatter are not deposited on the earth vice to make them feel that the minister during stormy nights, and when the sky | is not a priest saying prayers for them, is cloud-covered, but when all is still and but one who simply takes the lead, and the heavens are clear,--so the latter are with whom they are fellow-worshippers ? not shed upon the church when the spirit is our psalmody what it should be? of angry strise clothes its firmament with Simplicity ought ever to characterize this clouds. Let us by the cultivation of part of religious service; but is not simpeace and love among ourselves, and with plicity compatible with all that is sweet, our brethren, put ourselves into the moral soft, touching, tender, and sublime? Is condition most likely to secure the fulfil- not the music of the bird beautiful yet ment of the Divine promise : "I will be simple? And may not the music of praise as the dew unto Israel.” Happy day be like the music of nature-simple, yet when we shall all be able to say of our- full of melody and expression ; selves, and one another, as Archbishop heard in the plaintiveness of penitential Bramhall said of himself and Usher:"I lament, in the soft subdued tone of conpraise God that we were like the candles fession, and in the fervent and imploring in the Levitical temple, looking one to- strains of prayer; and then in the eleward another, and both towards the stem. vated and thrilling notes of Christian We had no contention among us, but hope, in the rich copious flow of loving who should bate contention most, and praise, and in the rapturous burst of
victory and joy, or, to use the language worship is offered; a tendency toward of our great Puritan poet
which in some quarters we gladly hail, in “ In service high and anthems clear, the attention paid to chapel architecture ?
As may with sweetness through mine ear, Surely we ought to have wisdom enough,
after the experience of centuries, to guard And bring all heaven before my eyes.”
against the abuses of art, while we seek What room for varieties in psalmody? | to consecrate it as a chaste and holy What scope for nature's music, guided by handmaid to the service of piety. knowledge and taste, and sanctified by And allow me to add, that in matters piety? What ample range for the exer- of doctrine, discipline, worship, and form, cise of all the modulations of that ex- it is time for us to remember that the quisite instrument-the human voice
extreme opposite of an error is not always that God-tuned organ-are afforded by a truth; that error is often opposite to these manifold subjects and inspirations of error; and that truth frequently lies midthe service of song? In this department
way between. a spirit of reform has sprung up which But I cannot refrain from observing, we gratefully hail. May it spread through in connection with those hints and inall our churches, and be not confined to quiries respecting Congregational reform, psalmody only, but be extended to all that, after all, an improvement in our other branches of worship; for surely in systems of theology, in our mode of gothe worship of God we should offer him
vernment, in our form of worship, would our best, our very best, in all things. be but a poor measure of improvement if
Art, I know, has sometimes unbecom- not connected with a revival of the true ingly intruded itself into the house of God. spirit of evangelical religion. Time has It has introduced pomp and display in taught us that the best systems will not worship utterly at variance with Christian work well save as they are instinct with simplicity. But because art has some- the soul of piety. If we depend on times put on offensive airs in God's creeds, -on Congregational order,-on temple, is that a reason why it should any form of worship, elaborate or simple, be altogether banished from it? Is it
we sink : they will all prove too weak to not possible to subdue, chasten, and hold us up. 'Tis God's own truth wrought sanctify it? Before the Reformation art into the heart; God's own love quickenmade worship and everything about it ing the soul; God's own will guiding the theatrical; and the spirit was lost in the conduct; God's own Spirit sustaining elaborate form. Since the Reformation, and blessing every operation, that alone men have been prone to the other ex- can make us stand as individuals, or as a treme; and have too much neglected denomination : “Abide in me, and I in the form under pretence of preserving you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of the spirit.
In old time men ministered to itself except it abide in the vine, no more the taste, the imagination, the feelings, can ye except ye abide in me.” in worship and in everything else; and Finally, I would remark that a review neglected what was needful for the rea- of the past connected with the contemplason, the understanding, and the spiritual tion of the present, should rouse and aspirations of the soul.
Have not we
animate us to action. Is not our Conmoderns too much forgotten that human gregationalism, which in its essential nature has two sides; that people have features is as old as the time of the sensibility and taste-a longing for the apostles; especially is not our Christianbeautiful as well as the true-a perception ity as a whole, of which the former is of the elegant as well as the rational? Is only a part, though an important one, not the time come for us to revise these worthy of our reverence and honour, our matters; to see if we cannot improve our love and service, our energies and our worship, and the places, too, in which all? Have we not here a cause deservivg
of far more than has ever yet been done, love, upon the minds and hearts of our for it? Ought not the church, the spiritual fellow-mortals, with the one intent of church of Christ, humanly speaking, to saving them and glorifying God. be in a different position in the nine- Thus we are exhorted to serve our teenth century of her history? Ought generation according to the will of God. not her annals to display pages of more
The multitude of men who have passed brilliant triumphs, — her brow to be over the stage of our world are now beadorned with richer laurels,—and her yond the reach of our influence. They throne to be strewn about with more dwell where no prayers of ours can help magnificent trophies? Ought not the them,no efforts of ours can reach them. distinctive principles for which, as a body, Their condition is fixed for happiness or we contend, by this time to be nearer the woe for ever. None, therefore, can serve ascendant?
them. And as to the future. Men, it is The past is now beyond recall. Nor true, in coming days will look back to should we dare to summon before any our times to learn from some who are tribunal of ours the departed heroes of living now lessons of wisdom and truth, evangelical Puritanism and Nonconform- as we look back to some among our ity. We love and honour their names ancestors as instructors still; but the too well to bring any indictment against privilege of eminently serving a succeedthem. Peace be to their ashes! With ing age,—of shining as lights, whose rays reverence we gather round their tombs! | dart onward through centuries,—of being But for ourselves, there are voices ad- examples, to guide remote generations, dressing us in solemn tones. From the of being oracles, to whose voice unborn infinite ocean, the unfathomable caves of millions will listen with reverence,—that time, there rise and come forth in august is a sublime privilege awarded only to a procession the shades of departed days few. But while none can serve the dead, and years, and pointing first to the while few can thus serve the unborn, all divinely-written records of our faith and can serve their own generation according duty lying there, and then to Christ's to the will of God. spiritual kingdom, shining yonder as it Activity is our special duty in these descends from heaven, like a bride times. While the whole of our country, adorned for her husband; they go on to indeed the whole world, is in a state of unfold, on the one hand, the blessings excited action, busy enterprise, energetic which have attended a faithful adherence movement, if we do not fall in thus far to those records, and a hearty obedience with the spirit of the age, and workto the spirit and laws of that kingdom; only on higher principles, and for nobler and then to unfold, on the other hand, ends—what can be expected but that our the corruptions, and evils, and mischiefs cause will be trampled on and crushed which have ensued from the neglect of by the march of mankind, intent upon the former and forgetfulness of the latter; their own secular schemes? We must after which startling revelation, they pro- display a banner because of the truth, ceed, with a voice louder than the sound and rally round it, and fight under it, of many waters, more solemn and awful and make our holy war, not merely dethan the deep thunders of heaven, to fensive but aggressive, till, through God's conjure us, in the name of the God of blessing, we have made the world feel truth, to maintain and diffuse those evan- the power of heavenly truth. Our duty, gelical and spiritual principles, which I repeat it, is activity. We are not called Christ has taught, and the value of which to resist unto blood, as our fathers did. time has proved, -to deem it our special 'Twas theirs to suffer ; 'tis ours to serve. calling in these days to proclaim them Their lot was tears; ours toil. They had far and wide,-to regard it as the mission to take joyfully the spoiling of their of our age, —to press them, in the spirit of goods; we are required to employ ourselves joyfully in the bestowment of our thren of the metropolis and the neighgoods. They had, in the gloom of the bourhood, saying, “ Arise and build, and dungeon, to weep over the corruptions of God be with you!” their age, and to pray for better times; But while I would strenuously comwe have, in these days of liberty, to mend and support associations of this testify, on the very housetops, to the order, I would guard against an evil to whole truth of God, and to pray that which, in these days of union, men are God will speed and bless the message. prone-(for all advantages have over They had to suffer the degradation of the against them some corresponding danpillory, to stand on the scaffold, and have gers)—I allude to the habit of leaning too their noses slit and their ears cut off'; but much upon one another, instead of standour destiny is to act—to employ all our ing upright, if we have strength enough, energies of body, soul, and spirit in pro- and working alone. I hail the men of pagating the principles once sealed with our day who have sufficient means and blood. They had to serve the cause of sufficient energy to arise, and at their truth by dying for it; on us rests the own cost and charge to erect a sanctuary obligation of serving the same cause by for God. Blessed be his name, we have living for it.
examples of this close by! And next I Oh, let us not prove ourselves the un- would mention with honour those who are worthy descendants of these noble-minded disposed to take the lead in suck entermen! Let us in action display the same prises, to contribute largely, and to stizeal, devotedness, and self-denial which mulate others to the work. they did in suffering.
ought the diffusion of spiritual, scriptural Christ- to our resources, to do more in these ianity. Let us work together. Let uz matters than our brethren of the Estabjoin hand in hand in supporting this lishment, because they regard it as the Association. Let us direct our special State's business to provide the means of regards to our immediate vicinity. Let religious instruction. According to their us consider the spiritual destitution of theory, what they do of themselves is only the western part of Middlesex, and exert to help the State in doing its duty. Ou ourselves to supply what is needful. Let the other hand, the Dissenter denies that us resolve to work this society, and pre- the State has anything at all to do with it, vent its proving a failure. Let us deter- , and contends that the lead of the church mine that this shall be a channel of has devoted the entire obligation of this blessing to many, “whiles by the experi- work upon his people. As Dissenters ment of this ministration they glorify take this view, and justly, I conceive, then God for your professed subjection unto clearly they ought to be more zealous, more the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal active, more liberal in such enterprises, distribution unto them and all men.” than Churchmen ;--but are they so?
To one important means of usefulness In conclusion, days should speak, in yet the providence of God seems particularly another sense than that already noticed. to direct us—I mean the erection of As they pass by us in their rapid flight, structures for his worship, and the mini- they tell us of mercies more numerous stration of his gospel. Chapel building than themselves; they tell us of the in London, and its vicinity, is one of the salvation of our own soul, which they great wants, one of the great duties, of are increased in number to subserve; the age. What has been done in this they tell us of the personal duties of way has been wonderfully owned and faith, repentance, prayer, holiness, and blessed of God. This place bears wit- love, without which no orthodoxy of ness,- the pastor bears witness,— the opinion, and no zeal for the spread of church bears witness. Froin this sanc- Christianity will avail; they tell us of tuary there goes forth a voice to our bre- | God, from whom they come, and to
whom their finger poiuting backwards of those who have long been walking in ever directs us, as the omniscient Judge, wisdomi's ways, enrich their experience, in whose presence we are shortly to ap- mature their character, ripen their faith, pear; and they tell us of eternity as our confirm their hope, strengthen their love, dwelling place, when their fleeting pro- unbind their attachments to earth, fasten cession, in a very little while longer, by closer ties their souls to heaven, and shall have passed away. They tell us, add to their spiritual beauty fresļa virtues "Now is the accepted time, now is the and graces, like the exquisite tints of day of salvation.”—“Whatsoever thy autumn, that appear so lovely amidst the hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; decay of nature. Thus let years improve for there is no work, nor device, nor the old, and days instruct the young! knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave Thus let us fulfil our course, and serve whither thou goest.”
our generation, that we may rejoice with And multitude of years should teach joy unspeakable at that day when the wisdom,—the highest of all wisdom,- | last winged moment shall have taken its should lead to piety the old man who, in flight from the shores of eternity, and youth and manhood, neglected its mo “ There shall be time no longer!” mentous duties; and should, in the case
PRACTICAL RESULTS OF CERTAIN VIEWS OF THE ATONEMENT,
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. DEAR SIR,-It may, perhaps, be as- all men, it is easy to conceive of the persumed that most of your readers, especially plexity and alarm of an awakened sinner. ministerial ones, adopt those views of the Oh, if I should not be one of the elect, nature and extent of the atonement which what would the atonement avail me! have been so luminously expounded, among How can I rest upon it the assurance various writers, by Dr. Wardlaw. I have that I shall be saved by it, till I know no wish at present to revive that contro- that it was made for me? It is not neversy, though prepared to bear, at all cessary to affirm that the method adopted proper times, my part in it. I am now by the limitarians to relieve such permore anxious to secure its practical re- sons from their alarm and perplexity sults—to obtain interest from the capital are in themselves incompetent to do it; we have accumulated, than to add to its it is enongh for me to know that they do amount. We have not, I think, as yet not do it. Let them say what they will reaped the full harvest of our principles. about the sufficiency of the atonement, Should I succeed, though in an inconsi- and the certain salvation of all who make derable degree, in securing this, I shall it the ground of their confidence for eterthink myself richly repaid.
nity, the awakened sinner will, in many None who have had the slightest ex- cases, reply, “I dare not rest upon it ; perience in the matter can be unaware of for if I am not one of the elect, it cannot the formidable obstacles presented by secure my salvation after all.” contracted views of the extent of the Now, let it be particularly observed, atonement, to the success of exhortations that, when the instructions of the pulpit, to sinners to repent and believe, that in reference to the nature and extent of they may be saved. When the doctrine the atonement have been in accordance is taught—and it is taught by some—that with the statements of Dr. Wardlaw, atonement
, in no sense of the term, or there is actually no room for such pernot in that sense which is essential to the plexity on the part of an awakened sinsalvation of an individual, was made for ner. If he receive the instructions of the