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sages from Holy Writ, in the epistle and gospel to which we have alluded.

It might be supposed that if we have the Bible itself in our hands, that such extracts, as it were, might be selected at any time, which would equally well serve for the purpose. But surely this is not the case, for persons might select passages from Holy Scripture, here and there, which they might in some measure make to speak their own language. If some new doc. trine in religion, some new gospel, as it were, should become popular, then they might only take such places in the Scriptures as might seem, taken singly, to coun. tenance it, and set aside other portions which would prove that they were wrong.

Such has been the case in the present day. The opinion now prevails (whether right or wrong), that they who teach, and have taught for eighteen hundred years, the necessity of holiness of life above all things, and obedience to Jesus Christ, as the one thing which alone is needful, have quite mistaken the true nature and meaning of the gospel.

This opinion now prevails; and when it has had its day, some other opinion of another kind will, very likely, become popular, and prevail. And each will in turn be made to speak the language of Holy Scripture, by taking one part of it and rejecting another. Nor is this to be wondered at; I mean that opinions which are not true should be able to do this, for we know that satan never so effectually deceives, as when transformed into the appearance of an angel of light. And, therefore, principles may not be true, which yet may have many passages of Scripture apparently to support them.

And now if we are only to go by the preacher and not by the church of God, we may take up unsound principles in this way, some false religion that obtains in the world; and it may be even such as to endanger our salvation, and never come to a right sense of the truth before we die, if such opinions last through our own day. If this were our condition, then it would not


be the case that the church of Christ is founded upon a rock, as we know that it is, but upon the sand, or upon the waves of men's fancies, and tossed about by the winds of strange doctrine.

But we may be very thankful that this is not the case with any

of us who still remain in the bosom of the ancient and apostolic church. Our faith does not depend on the doctrine of any preacher, or of any set of men, but on what St. Paul calls “the pillar and ground of the truth, which is the church of the living God.”

Whether the minister teaches what is faithful and true or not, for of course he is liable to be deceived like other men, yet the church always speaks the same language, and has always one voice ; whatever changes may take place in this changing world, she is in some sense even like her own blessed Author, “the same yesterday, to-day and for ever.”

She teaches you to-day with the same lessons, and teaches you to pray to God in the “ form of sound words” that she did your fathers, and those who died a thousand years ago.

And if we do not forsake her, nor tempt God to remove her from us, she will continue to teach your children's children the same. The gates of hell shall never prevail against her, neither shall they prevail against any who have kept to her teaching and guidance, and fulfilled those vows which they have at their baptism made to God through her.

Very sad opinions may have sway both in politics and in religion ; but the church will ever quietly teach the truth, without ever looking to the right hand or to the left. Of the Holy Spirit who dwells in her, it may be said, as it was of the church in which he dwelt of old, “The Lord is King be the people never so impatient; he sitteth between the cherubims be the earth never so unquiet.”

And this is one great advantage in the teaching of the holy church, that popular impulses which prevail do not affect her one way or the other: her instruction is ever quiet and peaceable. From the beginning to


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the end of her sacred year, she continues to bear witness against that world into which she has been received; unfolding one by one her great mysteries, and the doctrines and practices connected with them; ever laboring to maintain the form of sound words in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

She teaches us throughout the season of advent to prepare speedily for judgment, as for that which is even now close at the doors, although the world and its false religions would teach us that we have time enough, or that we have no reason to fear it. However we may be taken up with exciting projects, or lulled in a fancied security, her still, small voice of eternal judgment, and of Christ “coming quickly,” will ever be repeated

Or, again, however we may be given up with dissen. sions and divisions, as if they were of little consequence among Christians, every Christmas that returns, the church has the same angel's voice which came from heaven, saying: “Glory to God, peace upon earth, and good-will to man.”

And again, through the whole season of Lent she will always call upon us to mortify the flesh, to fasting and to repentance, although there may be many now, who will tell us, that there is no need of such unpleasant duties, and our own hearts, alas ! are too ready to be. lieve them.

Though some of the most sacred days of the year, may become greatly forgotten or neglected, as Holy Thursday, or Ascension day has been, yet not the less on that account, though even her very ministers are silent, yet her ancient services still remain as a witness, calling upon those who will attend to her, not to forget so great a part of their Christian faith, but to have their conversation in heaven, whither Jesus Christ has gone before them, and in heart and mind thither to ascend, and dwell continually with him.

Although some would tell us that there is no occasion for such strict obedience, if only we are susceptible of such feelings as they call faith, and men of the

Vol. II.-21

world are secretly pleased with such a notion, and look favorably upon religion for the sake of it, when the offence of the cross is thus done away with ;-though it be difficult for us thoroughly to see through the van. ity of such thoughts—yet the church, without looking to the opinions of men, on one side or the other, always teaches us the commandments of God.

Indeed, no sooner has she set before us all the mysteries of our religion, from Advent to Trinity Sunday, than, after that, during nearly half the year (the Sundays after Trinity), she urges upon us in every possible way that can engage our attention, awaken our hopes and our fears, and above all our love to God, who has done so much for us), Sunday after Sunday she impresses upon us the necessity, the absolute necessity, of our being conformed to the life and death of Christ by obedience.

In what beautiful order during this season of Trinity do her collects arise on our course, one after another, like an angel taking us by the hand, and leading us to our heavenly Canaan: now opening to us, as it were, a view of our celestial country, now urging us on our way, now supporting our weakness and comforting us in our infirmities, in all things teaching us practically to look to God only: as we

go through the vale of misery,” these are indeed “pools filled with water."

Ar, moreover, if we look to her occasional services, tRere are some who say there is no new birth in baptiểm; others will arise and say, that there is nothing holy in marriage ; others, that there is no reverence due to the bodies of departed saints: but here in all these things our heavenly guide will not deceive us.

And all the while the great weight of her evidence consists in this: that she only unfolds the truth as it is in Christ, she has no prejudices to bias her, no human interests to serve.

If her ministers be carried away by prevailing errors; if they should teach nothing more than outward decency, and such a regard to good principle and character as would satisfy a low standard of duty, putting as it were

in the back-ground, and out of sight, the cross of Christ; as perhaps we have done : yet, notwithstanding, if any one would look to the church, she was still the same witness, the same light set on a hill, the same still, small voice, to guide those who would be guided by her.

And now again, if people will rush into the opposite extreme, and satisfy themselves, and make others satisfied with a naked, barren faith ; while the church, the

2 candlestick of God, remains to give them light, it is their own fault if they are deceived.

Again, the church is calculated to produce in us good habits, in distinction from mere good wishes and intentions; habits of daily prayer, habits of obedience to those set over us of God, which is the foundation of all true piety, instead of the old heathen notions of false liberty.

But above all things the holy church has within her, in every way, the only remedy against our own evil nature, she, by the aid of the Holy Spirit ever present with her, applies the medicines provided by divine power and goodness, against our poor, frail, human in. firmities. For we are all inclined in some way or other to trust in ourselves, but she leads us to look always to something beyond ourselves, and to trust in God only.

This she does not only by her weekly collects, of which there is perhaps not one but what teaches us practically to trust only in the mediation of Jesus Christ, and in the continual help of his Spirit—but n vre than all, by teaching us not to look to any fancied g

od works of our own ;-not to any supposed faith of our own-Bot to strong affections not to preaching, which is to trust in man-not to any sect or party ;-but to Christ coming to dwell within us at his two most holy sacraments.

These are alone all our strength, all our grounds for hope and pardon, if we soil not that baptismal robe with which he has been pleased to clothe our nakedness, nor by evil thoughts wilfully defile that temple in which his holy feet have trod, but “working out our salvation with fear and trembling,” from our being assured by the

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