« הקודםהמשך »
world, to give to those vices softer names, for divine things, which simply the apand what confirms us in this new system pearance of evil disturbs. Such a spirit of conduct is, that it has the approbation of piety is the soul of our ministry, and of men of the world, who give to our on this depends all its success. We are cowardly compliance with their customs continually conversant with holy things; the specious names of moderation, great-temples, altars, the holy mysteries, spiness of mind, acquaintance with the ritual songs, the word of life;—it is in the world, a talent to render virtue amiable. midst of these great, these divine objects,
5. In the fifth place, the Spirit of our that we pass our days; all our occupaMinistry is a Spirit of Knowledge. tions relate to objects, in the view of
“The lips of a priest, says the which angles themselves tremble. Spirit of God, "should keep know Now, my brethren, a serious consider
We are ordered, like the pro- ation of these things could not f il to phet to devour the sacred volume of the make the most pious distrustful of thenilaw, notwithstanding the bitterness of selves, and sensible of their need of conlaborious study; we must nourish our-tinual assistance from God. What a life selves with spiritual food by the sweat of of prayer, of retirement, of circumspecour brow; and adorn our souls with the tion, of faith, of rigorous government of law of God as the Jewish priests did the passions, is necessary to prepare us their garments: Ministers of religion for such services? A minister of religion are compared, by an eminent Father, to ought not to indulge himselt in any thing those two great luminaries which God at which he cannot carry to the sanctuary, first placed in the firmament. They are any thing which would be unbecoming in to preside over the day and over the that place. He certainly ought not then night;-over the day, by guiding the to carry thither dispositions, affections, faith and piety of believers;-over the and desires which are common and worldnight, by enlightening the darkness of ly. It is necessary that the fire of divine error, infidelity, and false doctrine. They love should purify his heart and raise it are the interpreters of the law,--the from a common to a holy and elevated teachers of the perple,-the seers and state; in a word, as nothing is greater and prophets, appointed to enlighten their more sublime than his functions, so nothdoubts, or to make known to them the ing ought to be purer and more sublime will of the Lord.
than his piety. Now, judge whether it is possible to Will you then think of going from an unite dissipated and worldly manners ssembly of pleasure to the house of God? with the conduct becoming such a great Will you go to invoke a blessing from and dignified office. Knowledge is not God, with the same mouth with which to be considered as one of those rare gifts you have just pronounced vain and trifling which God distributes to whom he will, words? Will you attempt to administer and with which all are not favoured; it is Christian ordinances with a mind filled an essential-an absolutely necessary tal- with frivolous and indecent images? Inent for the ministry. The Apostle, hav. sted of elevating your minds and hearts ing enumerated the different gifts which on high, will you suffer them to dwell God bestowed upon the rising churches, upon the mean objects of the world?and remarked that some were prophets, upon objects unworthy of occupying the others had the gift of tongues, and others attention of a wise man, at any time, and the power of healing diseases, and work- much more of diverting a ininister of ing other miracles, adds that many were Christ from an attention to the sacred established as “Pastors and Teachers,”\ || duties of his office? (He does not separate these two titles, But further, a worldly, and dissipated because one is a necessary attendant up- life is inconsistent not only with that piety on the other.) Now, nothing is more which we ought to possess when officiatfatal to a taste for useful knowledge than ing at the holy altar, but also with that a familiar intercourse with the scenes of grave and edifying conduct which is nethe world. Order, retirement, and re- cessary to prepare us for all the functions collection are necessary for study; con of the ministry, and without which we tinual dissipation and interruption relax cannot expect success. If
, my brethren, the fervor of the mind and destroy all you associate freely with men of the relish for close application.
world, with what propriety can you 6. In the last place, the Spirit of the speak of avoiding the world,—of the Ministry is a Spirit of Piety.
dangers to which people are there exBy this spirit of piety I mean not only | posed, -of the necessity of prayer, and good morals, but that purity of heart, recollection, and watchfulness, of the that tenderness of conscience, that taste eye which must be plucked out, when it
becomes an occasion of offence,-of the *Malachi ii. 7. Ephesians iv. 11. account which we must render for every
idle word,—and of all those mortifying and entered again into the clouds of the maxims so foreign from your manners, firmament; its ministry was finished, and and so unknown to the world? With its appearance ceased with its ministry. what an air of coldness and dryness must Therefore, my brethren, as you exyou appear? The holy truths of Salva-pect ere long to enter upon the public tion come but with regret, and with an duties of the ministry, be on your guard air of constraint, from a mouth accus-against a taste for the world and its contomed to frivolous and worldly conver cerns. If you still cherish this fatal sation. To imitate the Apostle, in taste, be certain that this is a learen preaching Christ crucified with success, which, if not destroyed, will one day cor. we must, like him, be attached to the rupt the whole lump; and which will occross of Christ; to affect the heart, there casion your ruin. If this taste is so powermust be expressions which proceed from ful that you despair of ever subject. a heart that is itself affected. Without ing it to a sense of duty, take the world this you will be in the Christian pulpit, for your portion, before a holy engage: like those mercenary declaimers, who ment shall oblige you to separate from it formerly made a parade of their elo- | for ever. Do not add to the damages of quence, in the public schools of Rome a worldly life the crime of appearing and Athens, upon vague and indifferent there with a sacred char cter, which subjects, which intersted neither the ought wholly to remove you from it; its hearers nor the speakers; you will make seductions will be dangerous, even if the of the ministry of the word a vain exer- calling to wisich you may devote yourcise of parade and ostentation,-a spec- selves should make it your duty to aptacle for the world; and not a serious in- pear there; judge then of the safety struction for sinners; you will seek the which you can promise yourselves, if applauses of your hearers, rather than you associate with the world in oppositheir conversion,- your own glory ra- tion to the commands of God, and against ther than that of Jesus Christ, -your- the rules of the holy profession which you selves rather than the salvation of your have chosen. Anien. fellow men.
These consequences of a worldly life may make you iremble; but they are inevitable; an intercourse with the world sooner or later leads to them. And be
The readers of the Education Regissides, do you consider as nothing the ter are respectfully informed that it has stumbling block which, by such a life, not been in the power of the Corresyou will throw in the way of your fellow men, and the grief which you will occa- ponding Secretary, to attend to the edsion to good people? What! Shall you itorial department for the months of be continually seen in the midst of the July and August, having only entered pleasures and vanities of the world, and
on the duties of his uffice on the 28th will the world, in favor of you alone, not take offence at this? And will you not,
instant. It may also be proper to say, by such conduct, greatly afilict your as the present No. closes the year, that brethren who are faithful, and all those
some important changes in the form and who are friends to the cause of truth and
character of the work, are now under righteousness?
But our functions themselves, you will consideration, say, necessarily draw us into an inter
JOHN BRECKINRIDGE, course with men of the world. True, but
Philad. Aug. 1, 1831. we shall rarely be there when we are there only on this account. When we have no object but to conduct souls to Christ, we shall show ourselves only to Subscribers of $100 annually. point out to them the way. The moment they have found it, and can go with Daniel Montgomery, Esq. Danville, Pa,
Solomon Allen, Esq. Philadelphia. out us, we shall conceal ourselves, be
John Stille, Esq.
do. come eclipsed, and enter again into the
Robert Ralston, Esq. do. darkness and safety of retirement. Like
Ezra Stiles Ely, D.D.
do. that star which conducted the Magi to
William Brown, Esq.
do. Christ, and which was a type of pastors; it showed itself as far as Bethlehem, Furman Leaming, Esq. do.
Alex. Henry, Esq.
do. whither it was to conduct those Sages of
do. the East; but the moment they found, Thomas Elmes, Fsq. acknowledged, and adored the infaní J. J. Janeway, D.D. New Jersey. Saviour, it disappeared, became eclipsed,
Rev. Horace S. Pratt, St. Mary's, Geo.
LECTURES ON THE SHORTER CATE
CHISM OF THE WESTMINSTER AS-
call venial, and which do not subject those who commit them to such an awful penalty-sins which are in their nature so small and trivial, that they may be expiated by pen
ance, or by some other mode of It is a solemn and alarming truth making satisfaction for them by the which is expressed in the proposi- offenders.* We believe that this tion of our Catechism, to which distinction, in regard to the nature your attention is now invited; of different kinds of sin, is not namely, that “Every sin, deserveth warranted either by reason God's wrath and curse, both in this scripture, but directly opposed by life and that which is to come.” both. All sin, by the verdict both
Perhaps you are ready, my young of reason and scripture, is an evil friends, to object to the doctrine of the same kind, however differing which is here propounded, as in- in degrees. We can give no consistent with equity, and irre- other just definition of this evil, concilable of course with the di- than that which is given in the savine attribute of justice. A care cred oracles—"Sin is the transful attention to the subject, how- gression of the law”—and of course ever, will, I am persuaded, satisfy "where there is no law, there is you that no other proper answer no transgression”-no sin. What could be made to the question “What doth every sin deserve ?” *“The Romanists mention three kinds than that which is given in the ca of venial sins-Some which are in their na. techism. A principal design of the ture really bad, as an idle word, excessive answer doubtless was, to oppose
laughter. Others, which are not volun. the absurd and dangerous distinc- tary, as the first motions of anger, or of
envy, which occur by surprise. Others, tion which is made in the Romish which are so small that they scarce claim church, between some sins which, attention, as the purloining of a denier"in that church, ade represented as [The twelfth part of a French penny.)-venial, and others that are denomi. Pictét Tlieol. B. vii. c. 9. Note.
Pictêt also remarks, that the term venated mortal.
nial was applied to sin by the Protestant By mortal sins, the Romanists Reformers, but in a totally different sense understand those which they admit from its use by the Romanists. The Resubject the parties committing them formers used it to denote those sins which to the penalty of death--even death
are pardonable, and which are actually
forgiven to believers in Christ-thus diseternal. But there is, according to tinguishing these from the unpardonable them,another class of sins which they sin, or the sin unto death. Vol. IX.-Ch, Adr.
the Papists, therefore, call venial and another; and by the wages of sins, are either no sing at all, or sin he manifestly means the desert else they are transgressions of the of sin. Death, therefore, accordlaw of God: And if they are trans. ing to him, is the desert of every gressions of the law, they must sub- sin, which is precisely what our caject those who commit them to the techisin affirms; for by death, in penalty of that law; for you will this place, the context proves beobserve that it is essential to the yond a question, we are to undervery idea of a law that it should stand everlasting punishment, which contain a penalty-A publication is the same thing that is intended that holds forth no penalty, may in the answer before us, by “the contain counsel, or argument, or wrath and curse of God, both in recommendation, or persuasion, this life and in that which is to but it is not a law. Now there is come”-all the sufferings of this nothing offensive to God bat what life being the deserved effects of is a violation of his law; for he cer- sin, and the commencement, to evetainly has prohibited whatsoever is ry finally impenitent sinner, of the offensive to himself. If, therefore, wrath of God to endless ages-You the Papists cannot show that God scarcely need to be reminded here, has affixed two kinds of penalty to that by the wrath of God we do not his law, they can never make out mean any thing like passion, which their class of venial sins. They always implies change, and thereseem indeed to have felt this con- fore imperfection, which we know sequence, and hence to have in- cannot belong to the Supreme Bevented for their venial sins the pe. ing. By the wrath of God, we are nalty of penance, and human to understand “ that most pure and merit. But this is only adding a undisturbed act of his will, which second error to the first; for the produces most dreadful effects scriptures teach us abundantly and against the sinner."* unequivocally, that “without the I have said so much on this sub. shedding of blood—the blood of ject, because it is of the greatest Christ which cleanseth from all sin practical importance to have just there is no remission."
views of the very nature of sin-of As then all sin--and consequent. its unspeakable ill desert. It is, in ly what is called venial sin-is a its essential nature, rebellion against transgression of law, and as every God, the supreme moral legislator law must contain its own penalty, of the universe. It is, says Fisher we have only to inquire what is the justly, “opposition and contrariety penalty which the law of God pro- to the holiness of God expressed in nounces on all who transgress it, his law, which is the very thing and we shall see at once what every that constitutes the enormity or sin deserves; for we know that the heinousness of it." Without a perjudgment of God is always accord- ception of the evil nature of all sin ing to truth. Thus then it is writ as possessing this character-the ten—"Cursed is every one who con- character, objectively at least, of an tinueth not in all things which are infinite evil-men will not be driven written in the book of the law to away from their vain attempts to do them.” The curse of the law is, cancel their sins by some acts and can be, nothing else than the of their own-will not be shut up penalty of the law; and it is here to the faith of Christ, as the only declared to rest on every trans- ground of pardon and of hope, and gression without exception. “ The thus make sure their salvation from wages of sin is death,” says the the awful consequences of their Apostle Paul-He makes no dis- apostacy from God. tinction between one kind of sin
But it may now be proper to re My dear young friends—it is of mark, that although we have shown the highest importance to us to hold what every sin deserves, there ne- correct principles in Theology and ver has been, since the fall of our morals—The connexion and the first parents, an individual of their bearings of such principles are apostate race, of whom it could be more extensive, strong, and pracsaid, after he became capable of tical, than you can easily perceive moral action, that he had com or comprehend. But when a retrimitted but one sin. The penalty bution for sin is to be made, as in of the divine law, therefore, will, the present case, by the infinitely in fact, be inflicted only on those wise, just, and merciful God, we whose sins are multitudinous. Such need not trouble ourselves with at least must be the creed of those nice speculations how he will make who believe that neither ideots, nor it. We know, from all his attri. infants who die in non-age, will butes, that it will be made with suffer after the present life. perfect equity--an equity which
Again. It must be kept in mind, we may not be able to analyze, but that no sinner will ever be punished which he will not fail to preserve beyond his desert; and that this in his award. desert, among the individuals con Finally-We are most imprescerned, is almost infinitely vari- sively taught by the subject we have ous. On this point the word of God been considering, that the atoneis most explicit—" That servant ment made for sin by our Lord and which knew his lord's will, and Saviour Jesus Christ, is the only prepared not himself, neither did ground of hope for every child of according to his will, shall be beat. Adam, that his transgressions of en with many stripes. But he that God's holy law will be pardoned, knew not, and did commit things and his soul be saved from “the worthy of stripes, shall be beaten wrath that is to come.”
This with few stripes. For unto whom great truth is expressed in our much is given, of him shall be much Larger Catechism, as a part of the required; and to whom men have subject before us: And verily when committed much, of him they will we consider that in every sin we ask the more-For there is no re commit there is a malignity which spect of persons with God. For as deserves the severe and endless dismany as have sinned without law, pleasure of Almighty God, and call shall also perish without law; and to mind that we are chargeable with as many as bave sinned in the law, ten thousand times ten thousand of shall be judged by the law. (For these malignant acts; and especinot the hearers of the law are just ally that all our sins, who have enbefore God, but the doers of the joyed the clear light of the gospel, law shall be justified. For when are of the most aggravated kind the gentiles, which have not the what could keep us from sioking law, do by nature the things con- into absolute and endless despair, tained in the law, these, having but the knowledge that our gracious not the law, are a law unto them. God and Father has himself proselves: Which show the work of vided an adequate expiation for all the law written in their hearts, our guilt, a complete remedy for their conscience also bearing wit- our helpless ruin. “For God so ness, and their thoughts the mean- loved the world that he gave
his while accusing or else excusing one only begotten Son, that whosoanother.) In the day when God ever believeth in him should not shall judge the secrets of men by perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus Christ, according to my gos. For God sent not his Son into the pel.”
world to condemn the world; but