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teristic of the event prefigured, as licly set forth, and by multitudes in some extraordinary, sudden, light- different nations owned and felt. It giving, world-arousing intervention was one in which, through the voice of the Lord Jesus for His own cause of the Reformers, He rebuked His and Church, there is not an event, usurping enemies, even as the Lion of from St. John's time even to the pre- the tribe of Judah ; and, both by it, sent, that can be shewn to answer to and by the providential overthrow of it, but the Reformation; while, on the the usurper's power in a tenth* of the other hand, not only does the Refor- Apostate City, did also assert His mation answer to the figure in this rights to this earth as His inheritance; respect, but there is not a particular and all in connexion with the opening in the vision of all we have just noted, of His own written word, that had in respect of which it did not answer, been so long neglected and forgotten; even to exactness. Sudden, unex- the republication, if I may so say, of pected, most extraordinary,- the hu- His Gospel. Finally, the auspicious man instrumentality employed so in- result of this deliverance of His Church adequate, and the results of such sur- and His religion was passing importance,- if ever
plished without fiery contentions, in the had the character stamped upon it, which the Divine power was maniabove others, of some direct interven- fested to discomfit the enemies of the tion of Divine Providence, this was truth, as it was said by Luther, in the one. Its most prominent charac- attending long afterwards to the effect teristic, as a religious revival, con- of his protestation against indulgensisted in its being one in which the ces, “This was to set the world on glory of the Lord Jesus, as the Light fire, and disturb the whole order of of the soul, the Sun of Righteousness, the universe." Jehovah our Justification, was pub
III. There is a beautiful opening amidst The blackthorn is early with its a gloomy sky. Retire, ye intrusive blossoms, but the fruit that it gives us clouds! and let me see in its full is sour and harsh. Let us not put our splendour that azure plain of which confidence in the first gay notions that you so jealously shew me only a part. spring up in our minds: the blossoms They do not retire : but can I com- of true wisdom may be more slow to plain, when they have grown golden appear, but they will bear rich fruit in the sun, and have exchanged their in their season. darkness for light? Neither let me complain of the sorrows of life, though The sea lies dark and heaving; and they leave me only a partial glimpse melancholy is the sound of its waves. of the serenity of heaven, while, though But the sun looks out upon it; and its slow to retire, they themselves are gloom brightens into azure, and its gilded with the promise of future murmurs now seem a festal song. glory.
Thus, () Sun of Righteousness! when II.
Thou shinest upon the troubled breast, Time has rent away huge fragments
its very sighs become songs of praise. from the cliff: but nature has covered
V. the wounds with mosses and flowers. Some minerals, which are soft and Thus over the wounds of the heart flexible in their native beds, become can religion cause to arise the spiri- • In Lev. xxvii. 30, we read, “ All the tithe tual flowers of evangelical graces,
of the land is the Lord's.” It was the quit rent,
if I may so say, in acknowledgment of His title resignation, peace, humility,--through to the whole. And thus, perhaps when a tenth which the character assumes a loveli.
was taken by Him of the city, the very proporness which it never possessed before.
tion may have indicated that it was an act asserting His right to all.
rigid and hard when exposed to the snares, and walking upon the battleopen air. Thus, how does the youth, ments of the city.” (Eccles. ix. 13.) who seemed soft-hearted and amiable
VII. while sheltered in the privacy of home
How clear and bright looks the sometimes become hardened and selfish when exposed to the influences
water in the rocky basin! Drop a of the outward world!
pebble into it, and it becomes im
mediately clouded with the impurities VI.
arising from the bottom. Ah! thus, How careful are we of our footing how does a sinful suggestion or a sudwhen walking on the edge of a pre- den temptation stir up the sediment cipice, and yet how heedless we fre- of our corrupt nature still lurking quently are of the moral dangers of within us ! One blessed Being only life, where it becomes us to remem
“ The prince of this world ber, we are going, “in the midst of cometh, and hath nothing in me.”.
A PLEA FOR OPEN-AIR PREACHING. A LETTER ADDRESSED TO INCUMBENTS, BY THE Rev. J. H. TitcomB, M.A.
[Continued from page 128.] IV.- Ministerial responsibility de- racter,—How many persons live within mands it.
the precincts of the parish? We feel In taking up this branch of the that on the strict parochial theory of question, it will become me to speak the Church of England, this, and this with very much diffidence ; for the alone, is the true test of the magnitude last wish I have, is to appear as pub- of our ministerial responsibility. If lic censor of my brethren. At the our parishes be small
, so that our same time let us recollect that we are churches and school-rooms provide called to provoke one another to sufficient accommodation for the publove and good works,” (Heb. x. 24.) lic worship of all our parishioners, then I trust therefore that a word spoken we have no greater burden than that in all humility, for this great object, which is necessarily attendant on the will be received in brotherly kind- ordinary exercise of preaching and
pastoral visitation. Then we can have I shall commence with a remark a machinery at work, covering the which is too plain to be disputed, viz., whole field of our labour; we can bear that the chief burden of ministerial testimony to the Lord before every responsibility consists in bearing testi- soul to whom our commission reaches; mony for Christ before all those who and we can believe that our parochial are committed to our pastoral charge. duties are fairly and properly disNow where, as the case of a dis- charged. But what if our parishes be senting minister, or the minister of a so large and populous that neither Church of England proprietary chapel, churches nor school-rooms are able to the pastoral charge is congregational, meet the numbers crowded around of course there can be no burden of them? You say, perhaps, Build more responsibility beyond the narrow li- churches, erect new school - rooms. mits of that congregation. But where What, however, will you do when our pastoral charge is territorial, the they are built, if hundreds and thoucase is widely different. There we sands still refuse to enter them. A step are invested with the spiritual over- has no doubt been taken in advance; sight of souls altogether independent yet what nearer will you be toward of the congregational principle. It is the great object aimed at? Can an not a question with us then, as to who empty school - room, or half - filled may rent a pew, or who may occupy a church, bear of themselves any testifree sitting in the church. We ask one mony for Christ before the souls of of far more comprehensive a cha- those perishing without their walls ?
from our eyes.
Will these things bring us any nearer sonally responsible for having left no to the people ? No! In vain shall effort untried, in order to evangelize we think our ministerial responsibility all within our parishes. If so, how discharged, unless we go farther than can any of us be fully and wholly this. Every evil may still be rampant, satisfying our consciences in the sysin spite of this seeming improvement. tematic omission of this one effort at The Sabbath-breaker and blasphemer their evangelization ? When we have may blazon defiance to the Gospel in to stand at the last great day of judgthe very sight of this newly-built ment, to give an account of our stewchurch. The gin-shop and infidel ardship,- how shall we meet these soiree may be crowded by the very lost and everlastingly outcast sinners ? side of this lately-erected school-room. Shall we be able to plead then that Now in relation to these wretched
every means was taken for their conoutcasts from society, the clergyman version ? No, brethren, on the conof the parish is a perfect cipher. Who trary, they may perhaps be found to that is placed in such a position can say, You did not seek after our souls lay his hand upon his heart, and say as you might :-the message of salthat he is faithfully bearing testimony vation was not carried to us in the for Christ among them? Perhaps he only way likely to attract our attencomforts himself by the distribution tion? It is true you adopted many of tracts. But let him think in the means to win us; but one was wanting. first place, now many are unable to Had you brought out the Gospel into read them; and then, in the next the streets or fields, we might have place, how many more refuse to read listened and lived ? but now it is hid them. Perhaps he rests satisfied with the labours of some active lay- Let us be up, then, and doing, beassistant. But who can discover the fore it be indeed too late. If souls numbers among that wretched popu- are precious, if the love of Christ be lation, whom even the most active constraining, if the burden of our palay-assistant must pass by? Expe- rochial responsibility be pressing,— rience tells us that there is a large let us away with false notions of our class of persons who cannot be
own dignity, and arise to the full meareached either by tracts, District Visi- sure of ministerial energy demanded tors, or Scripture Readers. What, then, by interests so great and overwhelmis such a parochial n.inister to do? Is ing. Nothing will repay us so much he to throw down his energies as ex- on a dying bed, as the power to look hausted, and say that he has done his back over the flock from which we utmost? Impossible !
He has not are parting, and to be able to reflect, done his utmost. Hitherto he has that however unworthily and unfaithonly been attempting to carry the fully we may have served our ReGospel to these poor outcasts by de- deemer, even in our best duties, yet we puty; he has only been throwing have left behind us a sweet savour of down a few scattered crumbs of the His name, not only in the pulpits of bread of life through another man's our churches, and among the housefingers. He has not, like his blessed holds of our people, but also in the Master, left his ease and home, and very highways and hedges of our pagone forth to face the host in person. rishes, where the infidel and the harUntil he does this, how can he feel lot could alone be expected to receive that he has boldly and honestly con- it. Then shall we depart in peace. fessed Christ, or borne testimony for Not for one moment as trusting to the God before them? This is a startling merit of our labours, but as feeling question, dear brethren.
Let us not that in Christ Jesus we have delivered dismiss it impatiently. Let us ask our own souls,—and that we are “free ourselves whether we truly realize from the blood of all men.” “I speak the parochial principle of our beloved as to wise men; judge ye what I say," Church, so as to hold ourselves per- (1 Cor. x. 15.)
(To be continued.]
PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH REFORM ILLUSTRATED.
[Continued from p. 177.] The position of the clergy is simply so doing set forth the great and powerthis:— They are bound by subscrip- ful principles upon which our Church tion to the letter of the rubric, but the is founded, and may therefore be reambiguity of the rubric, and the con- formed. trariety of usage, render it impracti- Let it be observed, then, in the first cable for them to maintain a rigid place, that it is most necessary to conformity to it. The enforcement distinguish and separate between the of conformity would have relieved the essentials and the non-essentials of reconsciences of those who felt them- ligion. The Archbishop has done so selves tied and bound by the letter of everywhere throughout his letter, and the rubric, but then this would have in one passage of it has the following deprived the laity of certain liberty, admirable sentiment in reference to which the ambiguity of the rubric, this particular :—“The matters in and contrariety of usage, had assured controversy, considered in themselves, to them. What then can be done to are not of vital importance; the sersecure this liberty to the laity, and at vice in our churches has in general the same time to relieve the con- been conducted in conformity to the sciences of those who feel themselves Apostolic direction, with order and subject to a rigid conformity with the decency; and, whether performed rubric? The enforcement of con- with exact regard to the letter of the formity having been tried, and failed, rubric, or with the variations estabit would be useless, as I believe it lished by general usage, will still be would be retrograding from the work decent and orderly.' Certainly no of the Reformation, to attempt any- sentiment was ever more truly Scripthing of the kind. There remains, tural and Apostolic than this; none then, another way in which the object ever more truly conceived in accorddesired may be accomplished, and ance with the spirit that quickeneth, that is by relaxing the strictness and in opposition to the letter that killeth. severity of the present subscription to The Church has to be most thankful the Book of Common Prayer, so that for the faithful expression of it by the the clergy not being in conscience Archbishop at such a moment of peril. bound to a rigid conformity to the It shews that the mere externals of rubrics, but only to a general unifor- religion are comparatively insignifimity of religious worship, they should cant, while it draws forth to their due be relieved from that which presses prominence and power," the weightier upon them, and the laity at the same matters of the law, judgment, mercy, time protected in the enjoyment of and faith ;” Matt. xxiii. 23 ; and such liberty as usage has ensured teaches us the application of that to them.
great truth, “ I will have mercy, and When a proposition of this kind is not sacrifice." Matt. ix. 13. made, which will be regarded by some Since, then, there is the main disas startling, by others as tending to tinction to be observed between the unsteadiness and variation in our ec- essentials and the non-cssentials of reli. clesiastical system, it will justly be gion; and since the first are to be maindemanded of the proposer that he tained at any sacrifice on our part, shall be able to show whether such a and the second are to be sacrificed, if proposal can be carried into effect with necessary, for the conservation of the safety to the faith and the Church we first; it behoves us to consider how are bound to conserve. This is what in our ecclesiastical system, the essenI am well satisfied can be done, and tials are guarded, and can still be prein proceeding to expound the princi- served intact, and at the same time ples upon which the proposed relaxa- such a relaxation be allowed respecttion inay safely be effected, I shall in ing the non-essentials, as that they
shall be retained in subservience to keeping of our christian faith to these the due and faithful exhibition of the Articles, bearing in mind at the same essentials.
time what the royal declaration preThe first principle we have to ex- fixed to them requires, “that all dispound in this matter is one not suffi- putes be shut up in God's promises, ciently regarded, and that is, that our as they be generally set forth to us Book of Articles is the governing for- in the Holy Scriptures, and the genemulary in our Church system. This is ral meaning of the Articles of the evident, not only from its own nature, Church of England according to them." but from well authenticated facts in Consequently the Articles understood ecclesiastical history. In its own na- and interpreted aecording to "God's ture it is the most precise and formal promises, as they be generally set exposition of the christian faith pos- forth to us in the Holy Scriptures," sessed by our Church, and it may be are the secure bulwark and strength safely affirmed to be one of the most of our pure and Apostolical faith. admirable human expositions of the Our second principle is one that has christian faith that mankind has ever not as yet been admitted into our ecbeen favoured with. But further, clesiastical system, but which cannot history informs us, that the Homilies fail to recommend itself, and carry were first put forth to instruct men in conviction of its correctness to every the faith; that the Liturgy was then unprejudiced mind. In the Church prepared, to supply them with a de- of England the clergy are charged cent and orderly form of approaching with the Ministry of the Word; they God in prayer; and that last of all have authority to preach the Gospel, the Book of Articles was edited with and they are entrusted with full great care, as being a concise sum- liberty of speech therein, according mary and confession of the faith, to the doctrine set forth in the Thirtyalready taught to the people by the nine Articles of religion. Within the homilies and liturgy, but prepared wide and safe bounds of that most and expressed with the greatest care admirable symbol of the faith, the and deliberation. The words of Bp. clergy are free, nay rather are bound, Burnet, in his history, are too remark- freely to preach that gospel of salvaable to be omitted. “So now (1551) tion which they have freely received. the Bishops being generally addicted But if they are worthy to preach the to the purity of religion, most of this Gospel, how is it that they are not year was spent in preparing Articles, trusted to pray with equal freedom to which should contain the doctrine of that God who gave the Gospel ? Certhe Church of England. Many thought tainly the same man who can be enthey should have begun first of all trusted with preaching can also be with these. But Cranmer, upon good entrusted with praying. No man will reasons, was of another mind, though venture to affirm, that the minister of much pressed by Bucer about it. ... the Church of England, who is worthy It seemed advisable to open and ven- and able to preach God's truth, is not tilate matters in public disputations worthy to pray to God in sincerity and books, written about them for and truth. And yet, so it is, that some years, before they should go too while the clergy have full liberty in hastily to determine them; lest, if preaching they have not the same they went too fast in that affair, it liberty in praying, but certain forms of would not be so decent to make alte- prayer are supplied to them,-- which rations afterwards.” These important forms, and those only, they have lihistorical facts, then, as well as the berty to use.
Here then is the PRINnature of the Articles themselves, con- CIPLE, the great principle, upon which cur in stamping upon them that chief I take my stand, that they, who are and ruling authority amongst our worthy of being trusted to preach the formularies, for which they are by Gospel, are worthy also to be trusted their precision and excellence so emi- with liberty of prayer to God. And nently qualified. We may then with bearing this principle in mind, I am the most perfect security commit the to shew in what manner subscription