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in its origin. We all take a peculiar, temple of the Lord. It is not an institupleasure in tracing things to their begin. tion which kings, or princes, or statesmen, nings or fountain heads. When we look or philosophers originated, and conseupon a magnificent river as it rolls its quently they have no right to meddle with waters into the wide and deep ocean, we it, or to turn it to their worldly or selfish are irresistibly led to think of its origin, purposes. It is too sacred and ethereal for and to bave a strange desire spring up in their touch. When they seek to bend it to our bosoms to know whence it takes its their private ends, they do but mar its rise. When we see a beautiful piece of beauty, corrupt its principles, and rob it of machinery, and admire its complicated its usefulness. All the business they have structure and operations, we like to know with it is by repentance and faith to seek by whom it was contrived and constructed to be members of it, and to share in its inWhen we read a book which enlightens valuable privileges, and to give their MORAL, our understandings, refines our tastes, stirs' not political, aid to help in its extension deeply our feelings, and purifies our souls, and consolidation in the earth. It is the we wish to know who its author is. And Church of the living God, and not theirs when we contemplate this spiritual house, to pervert to political and low purposes. when we admire its constitution, its laws, Let us not forget that it is heavenly in its members, its privileges, and the objects its origin, and therefore that it is fitly for which it has been set up in the earth, denominated "a spiritual house." we very naturally are led to ask, whence is II. It has a Divine and spiritual Head, and it? by whom was it originated ? is it of therefore it is a spiritual house. We are left heaven or is it of men ? Now, in reply to in no doubt as to who the Head of the Church these questions, we emphatically and un is. The Scriptures of the New Testament liesitatingly say that it is not of human everywhere assert that Jesus Christ, God's origin. It did not take its rise from the only begotten Son, has been placed over earth. It is not a political organization the Church or house of God. Paul incontrived by kings and statesmen to forms us, in the first chapter of his Epistle answer certain Governmental purposes ; to the Ephesians, that God the Father nor was it originated by philosophers and raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, and men of science to accomplish literary or “set him at his own right hand in the educational ends. The plan of this Church heavenly places, far above all principality, was contrived and laid down in the infinite and power, and might, and dominion, and and eternal mind of our God and Father every name that is named, not only in this in heaven; hence it is sometimes called world, but also in that which is to come : “ the Church of God,“the household of and hath put all things under his feet, and God,” “the temple of God," “ the king. gave him to be the Head over all things to dom of God.Before the foundations of the Church, which is his body, the fulness the earth were laid, before he said, “ Let of him that filleth all in all." He informs there be light, and there was light," before us in his Epistle to the Philippians, " that he formed man out of the dust of the God hath highly exalted him, and given ground and breathed into his nostrils the him a name which is above every name : breath of life, and he became a living soul, that at the name of Jesus every knee he foresaw the fall of Adam, and the con: should bow, of things in heaven, and sequent moral ruin of all his posterity, and things in earth, and things under the resolved in his infinite wisdom and grace earth; and that every tongue should conto found this spiritual house, or Church of fess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory Christ. He gradually paved the way for it of God the Father.” And in a still more by the establishment of the patriarchal and express manner he tells us, in the letter to Mosaic dispensations; and then in the the Colossians, that “ He is before all fulness of the times he sent his own Son things, and by him all things consist : and into the world, that he by his obedience, by he is the Head of the body, the Church: his death, and by his resurrection, might who is the beginning, the firstborn from lay the foundation of it, ani might become the dead ; that in all things he might have its chief corner-stone; tren he exalted the pre-eminence. For it pleased the him to his own right hand, that he might Father that in him should all fulness pour down his Spirit, and so enlighten, dwell.” In another chapter of the same convert, and bless the song of men, and epistle he says, that in Christ dwelloth all thus form this spiritual Church, thisthe fulness of the Godhead bodily, and that he is “the HEAD of all principality and that his laws, which he has imposed upon power.” He has been appointed to this his loyal and loving subjects, are sufficient exalted position by bis eternal Father. He for our guidance, and are deserving of our has received his authority from heaven, cheerful and grateful obedience. The and not of men. And he is pre-eminently writer of the Hebrews tells us that we are qualified to discharge the duties of his his house. We belong to him. He is over office by the mental and moral perfections us. We have a spiritual and a heavenly which he possesses ; and he has won the Head. The Church may therefore be fitly right to sit upon his Father's throne, and called “a spiritual house." to be the Head of the Church, by the ser. III. It is, wę observe once mora, a rice he has rendered to the Divine go spiritual house, because the materials of vernment and by the privations and suffer. which it is composed are spiritual The ings to which he voluntarily submitted, and apostle Peter informs us in this chapter by which the redeeming purpose of his that the stones which compose this house Father has been accomplished." Paul tells are living ones. The members of the us that Jesus Christ “made himself of no Church of Christ were once dead in tresreputation, and took upon him the form of passes and sins, but they have been quicka servant, and was made in the likeness of ened, or made alive, by the operation of the men : and being found in fashion as a man, Spirit of God and by the truth. They are he humbled himself, and became obedient represented as those who have been enunto death, even the death of the cross. lightened, convinced of their sinfulness, WHEREFORE,” he says, “ God hath highly stripped of their self-righteousness, led to exalted him.” Other portions of God's exercise genuine and saving faith in the word inform us that there is an intimate Lord Jesus Christ, and who have been reconnection between “the sufferings of newed by the Holy Ghost, and who aro Christ and the glory that was to follow.” living a life of holy obedience and conseThe Head of the Church, then, you perceive, cration. No one has any right to conclude is not a mere human being, is not a de that he forms an essential part of this pendent creature like ourselves, is not of spiritual house, who is not converted, who the earth earthy. He is of heavenly is not a sincere believer and a devoted folbirth, and is spiritual, Divine, and holy in lower of Christ. This may be proved if his character. No ecclesiastic like the Pope we examine the meaning involved in the of Rome has any right to be designated original word rendered CHURCH, by which the Head of the Church, or to aspire to a this spiritual house is go frequently dedignity to which none but the eternal Son signated. The Greek term, ecclesia, is of God is entitled. No monarch like our used in profane writers to denote an asown, however much she may be beloved, sembly consisting of those possessed of the however virtuous and estimable she may rights of citizenship who have been called be, ought to have such an honour thrust out or summoned by a competent tribunal upon him or her. Just think of the ab- ! for the transaction of public business. The surdity and impiety of such men as Pope word, when used in the New Testament, Alexander VI., or Henry VIII., or Charles has become endobled and consecrated to a II., or George IV., being called the Head more sacred use. It denotes those who of the Church. When we look at the have been called out of the world by the licentious and immoral characters of these distinguishing mercy of God, and formed persons, we are shocked to think that they into a separate body or community, and should have occupied a position so exalted who meet at stated times for the worsbip of and so sacred. One would have thought God, the celebration of divine ordinances, that as none but the high priest dared to the cultivatie of personal piety, and the enter into the most holy place, and that extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. It only with blood, that these men would is sometimes employed to denote the age have trembled to have called themselves by i gregate body of believers, whether existing & name which belongs to Jesus Christ in this world or in the world to come. alone, or to have entered upon an office for Christ gays, “ Upon this rock will I build which they were so completely disqualified. my Church, and the gates of hell shall not Let us rejoice that Jesus Christ is (though prevail against it.” Paul tells us that he is invisible to us, and is now in heaven) Christ“ loved the Church, and gave himself the Head of the Church ; that he is the for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it source of all ecclesiastical authority; and with the washing of water by the word ; that he might present it to himself a those only who were assumed to be sincere glorious Church, not having spot or penitents and believers. We are told that on wrinkle or any such thing, but that it the day of Pentecost 3,000 were awakened, should be holy and without blemish." We , and repented of their sins. It was not read in the Epistle to the Hebrews of the until they had gladly received the word “general assembly and Church of the first preached by Peter that they were baptized born, which are written in heaven.” The and added unto the Church. And we are word, however, has a much more restricted told by the writer of the Acts of the meaning sometimes. It is employed to Apostles, " that the Lord added to the denote an assembly of believers, whether Church daily such as should be saved," or large or small, meeting together in some rather those that were already saved. A one place for the purposes of divine wor Christian Church is supposed to consist of ship and the celebration of divine ordi those who have truly repented of their nances. We read of the Church of sins, and who have sincerely believed in Corinth coming together into one place. Christ, and who have resolved in the Paul speaks of a Church that was accuse strength of God's grace to lead a holy and tomed to meet in a private house. Our useful life upon the earth. None besides exalted and glorified Redeemer addressed | properly belong to the Church of Christ by name the seven churches in Asia Minor. none else can be living stones in this But though the word is employed some spiritual house. Hence our decided ob times to denote the collective or aggregate jection to all National Churches—to ali body of Christians, and at other times is those Churches which include in their pale used with a more limited signification to those who happen to be born in a giver describe those Christians who meet to district or place. We speak with all kinds gether in the same place for the same ness and charity, and without wisbiog to sacred purposes, still there is involved the wound needlessly the minds of any, whes idea that those who are members of the we solennly and sorrowfully declare it as Church have been officially summoned or our opinion that the National and Estabe called out of the world by the grace of | lished Church of this country is not a God. They are addressed by the New | scripturally constituted Church. Its memTestament writers sometimes as believers, bers are not built up a spiritual house. I as the elect, frequently by the sacred term is an ecclesiastical corporation of persons, of saints. They are described as pardoned, many of whom are not converted and justified, regenerated, washed, sanctified. saved. Their entrance into the Church bet Peter speaks of them in this chapter as a been through a very wide door. They chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a were baptized ia infancy by an apostolicals holy nation, a peculiar people, whose duty descended and episcopally-ordained priest, it is to show forth the praises of Him who and thereby made (so they say) members hath called them out of darkness into his of Christ, children of God, and inheritur: marvellous light. We are quite willing to of the kingdom of heaven. They were of acknowledge that all who have professed to the proper age confirmed by the bishop, by believe in Jesus Christ, and who have united whose sacred touch Divine influence, themselves to his Church, are not spiritual some magical or mysterious way, was cut or holy men. Some of them are not living veyed; and then they were admitted W stones. In all ages, not excepting that of the Holy Communion, to partake of the eale the apostles, persons have outwardly con blems of the broken body and blood of o fessed Christ, but who have been uncon. Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ : and thus verted and unsaved. This we admit with were constituted members of the Church sorrow. This was a consequence of human Forgive us if we speak strongly upon this infirmity. It was not the necessary or na. subject. What a solemn farce! What? tural result of the laws of Christ by which ruinous delusion! What a sad inversion o members were admitted into the Church, the order instituted by Jesus Christ! ! Persons unawares would sometimes creep is well known and generally acknowledged in; others were deceived by their own evil that numbers of those who are thus bapa hearts ; and some again imposed on the tized, and thus confirmed, and thus admit credulity and goodness of those whose duty | ted to partake of the Lord's Supper, er it was to introduce them as members of | ungodly, are living a worldly and sinto * tbe spiritual house." It is evident that | life, are not believers in the scriptura it was the practice of the apostles to admit sense, are constantly giving the lie to i

profession they have made. Besides, in Churches. What a misnomer is the word the Established Church in these realms National Church! The original word, there is no method (excepting one that is church, means those that are called out ; 80 expensive as to render it almost useless) but if the whole nation is looked upon as to get rid of unworthy members. In the | the Church, from what has it been called Churches of Christ, constituted after the out? What absurdities are involved in the apostolic mode, there is a wise and salutary idea! Let us not forget that the Church of discipline to be exercised by which un- | Christ is a spiritual house, and that none worthy members can be excluded, and by but those who are spiritually alive are which the purity and spirituality of the entitled to regard themselves as members Church can be preserved. There is nothing ! of it. of the kind in what are termed National

(To be continued.)


BY THE REV. CORNELIUS ELVEN. THE writer being among the audience in a court of justice, when a prisoner was tried and found guilty, observed that before passing sentence the judge, addressing himself to the poor trembling culprit, said, “ Prisoner at the bar, have you any one to speak to your character ?” Upon which the prisoner, looking anxiously round him, replied with a pitiful voice, “ No, my lord : I have no one to speak for me." He was too poor to have engaged a legal advocate, and he had no friend in court; consequently the law took its unmitigated course, the sentence was pronounced, and the guilty 'one was led away to execution. The scene was well calculated to awaken a train of reflections, which it is hoped may be useful in the pages of THE CHURCH.

First: it is urged upon the reader to consider how soon we must all appear in the grand assize at which our final destiny for happiness or woe will be irrevocably and eternally fixed; and unless we have known Christ as our Redeemer and Advocate here, in vain shall we look around upon the innume. rable assembly there for a friend to plead our cause. The devil and his angels, who are “ reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of that great day," if even permitted to speak, would only, after being our seducers, become our accusers. Holy angels have been witnesses to our crimes, and therefore could not be advocates on our behalf. As to our fellow-sinners, if allowed to speak, it could only be in mutual recrimination. Partners in guilt, we must then be sharers in condemnation. In vain, also, we should look up to the Judge : the book of his omniscience is opened; no witnesses are required; all is known to the God with whom we have to do; and in that high court we shall have no one to speak for us. Well and truly might the quaint old poet Herrick say,

Good and great God, how should I fear

To come to thee, and Christ not near!
Could I but think he would not be
Present to plead my cause for me,
To hell I'd plunge rather than I

Would see thy face, and he not by." Secondly: it would be just as impossible for us to plead our own cause; for another book will then be opened, the book of conscience. Already, if our hearts have not been “sprinkled from an evil conscience" by the blood of Calvary, this accuser is often felt like a worm gnawing with insufferable anguish at the very

vitals of the soul. It has been truly said, no eye affrights a sinner like his own: it is that from which he most desires to flee, but from which he can least escape. His misery reminds us of the fate of the Roman Consul Regulus, who was enclosed in a barrel the inside of which was stuck with nails; so that whichever way the unhappy wretch turned himself he was pierced and torn. Cain, Saul, and Judas, must have known something of this. But even suppose the conscience should become “ seared as with a hot iron," and be benumbed for a time, the viper will uncoil before the judgment-seat, and then strike bis envenomed and deathless fangs into the sinner's heart. Oh think, then, unconverted reader! If you go up to the bar of God as you are now, it is not only that you will have no one to speak for you, but you will not be able to speak for yourself; for then every sinner's mouth will be stopped, and all will appear guilty before God.

Thirdly : it is, however, a blessed truth to every humble believer, that there is one whose name is COUNSELLOR, of whom it is said, “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And now turning to the Christian reader, we congratulate him on having such a friend at court to plead his cause. He is not a hired advocate ; not one who puts on an air of zeal on your behalf, and who for the same fee would have shown as much zeal for your condemnation ; but one who has “ loved you with an everlasting love," and who, at the peril, nay, more, at the very cost of his own life, has undertaken your cause, and “ ever liveth to make intercession for you."

It was well for Moses when he said, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue,” that the Lord answered him, “ Is not Aaron thy brother? I know that he can speak well.” But a greater than Aaron is here.

Reflect, then, for a moment, on the sympathy of this loving Advocate. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” He once dwelt in this vale of tears ; his feet have trodden the thorny path ; his eye has wept the mourner's tear; his heart has felt the human pang:

“ He our thrilling flesh hath worn;
He our mortal griefs bath borne ;
He hath shed the human tear:

Heir of Jesus, hush thy fear.” There are times when the heart is so cast down, and seemingly so held down, that it cannot shoot a single arrow from the bow of prayer : the bow-string is broken and the quiver empty. So Bunyan, describing his own experience, said, “ When he was at prayer, endeavouring to fix his mind on God, such distracting thoughts would rush upon him as were indescribable and almost inconceivable; and sometimes in the midst of all this, his heart,” he said, “was so hard, that if he could have given a thousand pounds for a tear he could not have shed one." Yet even in this distressing frame the intercession of Him who bears our worthless name on his breastplate ceases not: it is then he will send the Comforter to “assist our infirmities with groanings that cannot be uttered.” We very much err, to our own sorrow, therefore, if we consider nothing is acceptable prayer but that which is vocally uttered. The unutterable groanings are those which most engage the sympathy of our Advocate on high. The smaller and lighter prayers may find egress by the avenue of speech, while the large rocky masses of inmost thought are too great to pass that narrow passage. But he can read them there, and will not fail to present them to the Father. At this moment he may see some reader of these lines about, like Peter, to be sifted as wheat, and he will pray for him that his faith may not ultimately fail. Another may be walking in darkness both spiritual and providential ; his way, like Jeremiah's, may be enclosed as with hewn stone,

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