« PreviousContinue »
one of those whom Christ has promised feel our own emptiness, save as a cato refresh.
pacity for our Redeemer's fulness.' Nor is this state of mind limited to In order that our steps may be put in the first beginnings of christian life; the way to Paradise, it is necessary the believer is renewed daily unto re- for us to take a new path; for by pentance, and carries about with him nature we are prone to evil and error;
ual feeling of his own weak- nor till convinced that we are going
This sense of natural helpless- wrong shall we be induced to take any ness and entire dependence on Divine means for being set right. If then aid, is beautifully expressed in those our road become barred by perplexiancient collects which, through God's ties and trials ; if darkness settle on it good providence, have been pre- in the shape of doubts and anxious served for our use,—"O God, who questionings of ourselves; if wild beasts knowest us to be set in the midst of -for to these may the remembrance so many and great dangers, that by of past sins be compared-howl around reason of the frailty of our nature we us; let us welcome these disturbers of cannot always stand upright; grant,” the quiet with which we were tread&c. "O Lord, we beseech thee to keep ing a path leading to danger and thy Church, that they who do lean death. For those moments of darkonly upon the hope of thy heavenly ness, during which, like Paul, we lay
“ Almighty God, who trembling and astonished on the earth, seest that we have no power of our
around helplessly for a guide, selves to help ourselves, keep us,” &c. we are amply repaid in being led to "O God, the strength of all them that the right way; which, had we been put their trust in thee, mercifully ac- left to ourselves, we should never have cept our prayers; and because, through found. the weakness of our mortal nature, we
There is another instance in which can do no good thing without thee, God's strength is made perfect in grant us the help of thy grace,” &c. human weakness. The mind of man
Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy has in all ages been distracted by the Church with thy perpetual mercy; mystery in which his own destiny is and because the frailty of man with enveloped, and by the impossibility of out thee cannot but fall, keep us,” &c. reconciling the seeming contrarieties “O God, forasmuch as without thee of Providence. It is difficult to glance we are not able to please thee, mer- over the annals of our race without cifully grant,” &c. On this point the meeting many a startling perplexity. experience of the universal Church is The triumphs of the wicked which found to agree: it is in the position, have scattered misery over wide terrinot merely of needy suppliants, but tories, have been followed with acclaalso of weak and helpless creatures, mation and homage: while the rightethat we have to approach the throne ous have been left to languish in of infinite mercy; and we are de- dungeons, in obscurity in pain. Even pendent on God not only for all good a walk through a populous town will and perfect gifts, but also for the present enough to fill us with anxiety wish and the power to receive them. and dismay. The countenances hag
But this casting down is followed gard with woe or distorted with cunby a lifting up. The rejection of the ning or malice, the tortured animal, “filthy rags” of our own merits is a the blasphemy, the brutality, and the necessary preparation for the putting other dark spots that dim the splenon of the "wedding garment of dour of our streets, are apt to become Christ's righteousness. The mourning texts for painful and wearying disbeliever may imagine for a while that cussions in the contemplative man's he has lost all; but he will eventually mind. The consideration of such find that he is become heir of all things has driven some men, unrethings. His tears of repentance and strained by God's grace, to desperaself-humiliation will be followed by tion, to impiety, to atheism. The those “permitted moments of exulta- Christian is sometimes enticed to an tion through faith, when we cease to . Coleridge.
endeavour to pierce this darkness; Almighty had given understanding? and following some gleam of philo- But we may go yet further. A season sophy, which seemed to promise to follows, when all motion, all percepexpand into daylight, he just begins tion cease, and nothing remains but to congratulate himself on his success, cold, insensible clay. Deaf to the when the meteor disappears. The voice of love or exhortation, blind to scheme of world-government which the dearest countenance and most he had devised, appears on a closer affecting scene, the corpse asks but a inspection to be futile and absurd; shroud and a tomb, to hide from the and, covered with confusion at his own living those marks of disgrace which folly, he learns that his best philoso- corruption is hastening to impress upon phy is to believe and to wait. In this it. But a lower depth of humiliation “quiet and confidence "—this aban- even than this awaits it; for, at length, donment of his own efforts to solve that lifeless form itself is no longer problems so mighty—is his strength. found, and the very grave retains For the pains which wring his heart, nothing to give up. Of man, the when contemplating oppression and noblest of God's creatures on earth, at wrong, he finds a refuge in that prayer. length the only visible relic is a little of extensive import, “ Thy kingdom dust, which the wind can scatter or come!" and in the anticipation of the the stream absorb. And can God's time when the King of saints shall strength be made perfect even in a appear to claim His universal crown, weakness like this? Oh, yes; the
But there is yet another perfecting body of one who has died in the Lord, of Divine strength in human weak- is indeed “sown in weakness," but it ness which may be mentioned. Man will be "raised in power." From in his last sickness is so humbling a this most pitiable exhibition of human spectacle, that the imagination is un- weakness, we are assured that glory willing to dwell upon it, The arm, will spring. The feeble limbs, on beneath whose sturdy stroke the wood sinking down exhausted on the pathmay have bowed, becomes weaker way of life, will leave the ransomed than an infant's; the mind that could spirit free to wend her course upwards readily follow intricate reasonings, or without interruption to her God and ascend in poetic vision, is now wan- Saviour; and that body which had dering in delirium, and seeking in been associated with us in so many vain to fix the ideas that flit before it. pains, which we had laid down amidst Over the splendid pictures of the circumstances so humiliating, will be fancy a black pall has fallen. The restored to us, transformed by some noblest earthly designs are broken off. ineffable process to a glorified body Is this helpless being, then, the man fit to rejoin the soul; which, safe in who was made a little lower than the God's hand, had been awaiting its angels, and to whom the breath of the ancient companion.
IGNATIUS VINDICATED FROM ARROGANCY,
AND TRULY PRIMITIVE EPISCOPACY SIEWN IN HIS CASE FREE FROM A TEMPER OF
In the request and remarks which Spirit of God for an honest heart, a follow, it is not my wish to pour oil single eye, and a sense of the value upon the flame of a too angry spirit of truth, and we shall have as much now raging amongst us. I rather truth elicited, but with less strife. desire to encourage a spirit of calm We shall have more forbearance with, inquiry and charitable discussion ; and christian love towards each other. premising, however, that truth can- My request is, that by means of this not be attained without divesting our- cheap monthly periodical, the now selves of all prejudice, whencesoever ascertained genuine remains of Igimbibed. Let us study, read, and natius may be placed in many hands think, with constant prayer to the which they are not likely to reach
through the necessarily expensive, character; for whilst we admired the though to my mind invaluable, work of zeal, the christian fortitude and love the Rev. W. Cureton, their honest, that were in him, we yet had those talented, and devoted translator and feelings greatly restrained by that editor.
spirit of overbearing lordship, comIt is due to conclude that the con- bined with some expressions of a ductors of this magazine consider it questionable character, as regards their special calling, and the chief doctrine, which both marred and dedesign of their publication, to protect faced his epistles. To the Rev. W. those different points of christian Cureton, however, the present Rector faith, discipline, and morals, which of St. Margaret's, Westminster, who are drawn from the word of God. It was entrusted with the charge of is right to suppose that their own the Syriac and other manuscripts of minds are in perfect agreement with the British Museum, a large debt that doctrine of our Church, accord- of gratitude is due by all theoloing to which “Whatsoever is not read gians and literary inquirers, whose in the word of God, or which cannot views are of a simple and scriptural be proved thereby, is not to be re- character. quired of any man to be believed as His recent edition of those wrian article of faith.' Still I am at tings of Ignatius, which I must be liberty to suppose that they do not allowed to designate as alone cerwithhold any deference to those ear- tainly genuine, has cleared the meliest, though uninspired writers,-few, mory of the revered Bishop of Antioch very few, though they be,-who lived from many a blot, and delivered the just. within, or immediately subse- mind of many an humble, honest, stuquent to, the days of the Apostles. dent of ecclesiastical literature from That they sift and try even such wri- much perplexity, To enter at any ters, by the writings of the Apostles length into the history of the discoand Prophets themselves, I fully very of the valuable Syriac remains, believe, and that they would accept containing the transcript of the three no statements but such as are in har- epistles of Ignatius, which Mr. Curemony with the inspired Word. ton has so laboriously edited in the
Now, of these earliest writers, Ig- Syriac, accompanying them by an natius the martyr, Bishop of Antioch, English translation, would require is unquestionably one of the most more space than I can fairly request. important, and, owing to the light re- The name, however, of the Venerable cently shed upon his writings, one of the Archdeacon of Bedford, the Rev. the most interesting.
Dr. Tattam, should ever be associated Ignatius has ever been relied upon with that of the learned editor, in this by extremely high Churchmen, as the contribution to patristic theology, the great support of their exorbitant most important, perhaps, with which claims of episcopal supremacy. Now we have been favoured since the days it appears from the recently disco- of the learned Archbishop Usher. vered and uninterpolated remains of Should, however, a brief narrative of the martyred Bishop of Antioch, that these circumstances, extracted from his genuine writings afford no ground the prefatory remarks which the for such claims; but that, when re- learned Chaplain to her Majesty has stored to himself, he exhibits all prefixed to his “ Corpus Ignatiathe mildness, paternity, consideration, num,” be deemed desirable, it will be wisdom, and humility, which are the given; while I only request in this chief graces of the episcopal charac- number to present those Christians ter and office. No diotrephian dis- who read and take an interest in these position attached to him, no arro- matters, but who may not have access gance and assumption. As were the to Mr. Cureton's work, with a reprint meek and venerable Clement and of these three interesting epistles, Polycarp, so was he.
which form so valuable a document in Heretofore we have contemplated the contest now raging in these sohim with feelings of a very mixed lemn and critical times in which our much peace.
lot is cast; between prelatical usurpa- est be lacking in nothing, and mayest tion on the one hand, and the licen- abound in all gifts. tiousness of self-will and independence The time requireth,—as a pilot a on the other.
ship, and as he who standeth in the The letters are three in number; the tempest, the haven,—that thou shouldfirst to Polycarp, the venerable and est be worthy of God. Be vigilant, amiable Bishop of Smyrna; the se- as a combatant of God. That which cond to the Ephesians, and the third is promised to us is life eternal, into the Romans. I shall feel much gra- corruptible: of which things thou tified and obliged by the insertion of also art persuaded. In every thing these. CLERICUS SUBURBANUS. I will be instead of thy soul, and my
bonds which thou hast loved. Let The Epistle of St. IGNATIUS The Bi- not those who seem to be something, SHOP, TO POLYCARP.
and teach strange doctrines, astound Ignatius, who is Theophorus, to thee, but stand in the truth, like a Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who combatant who is smitten: for it is himself rather is visited by God the (the part) of a great combatant that Father and by Jesus Christ our Lord, he should be smitten and conquer.
Forasmuch as thy More especially, on God's account, it mind, which is confirmed in God as behoveth us to endure every thing, upon a rock immoveable, is accepta- that He also may endure us. Be ble to me, I praise God the more diligent (even) more than thou art. abundantly for having been accounted (8.) Be discerning of the times. Exworthy of thy countenance, which I pect Him who is above the times, long for in God. I beseech thee, Him to whom there are no times, Him therefore, by the grace with which who is unseen, Him who for our sakes thou art clothed, to add to thy course, was seen, Him who is impalpable, and pray for all men that they may Him who is impassible, Him who for be saved, and require things be- our sakes suffered, Him who endured coming with all diligence of flesh and every thing, in every form, for our of spirit. Be careful for unanimity, sakes. than which nothing is more excel- Let not the widows be neglected ; lent. Bear all men as our Lord on our Lord's account be thou their beareth thee. Be patient with all guardian. And let nothing be done men in love, as (indeed) thou art. without thy will; neither do thou 'any (p. 4.) Be constant in prayer. Ask thing without the will of God: nor more understanding than what thou indeed doest thou. Stand yell. Let (already) hast. Be watchful, for thou there be frequent assemblies. Ask possessest a spirit that sleepeth not. every man by his name. Despise not Speak with all men according to the slaves and handmaids; but neither will of God. Bear the infirmities of let them be contemptuous, but let all men like a perfect combatant; for them serve the more, as for the glory where the labour is much, much also of God, that they may be accounted is the gain. If thou love the good worthy of a better freedom, which is disciples only, thou hast no grace : of God. Let them not desire to be rather subdue those who are evil by set free from the common (property) gentleness. All wounds not that they may not be found the slaves healed by one medicine. Allay cut- of lusts. (10.) Fly from evil arts; ting by tenderness. Be wise as the but rather discourse respecting them. serpent in every thing, and innocent Tell my sisters that they love in the as the dove as to those things which Lord, and that their husbands be sufare requisite. On this account art ficient for them in flesh and in spirit. thou (both) of flesh and of spirit, that Then, again, charge my brethren, in thou mayest allure those things which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, are seen before thy face, and ask re- that they love their wives as our Lord specting those things which are hid- His Church. den from thee, that they may be If any one be able in strength to revealed to thee, (6.) that thou may- continue in chastity, to the honour of
the flesh of our Lord, let him conti- and love of Jesus Christ our Saviour; nue without boasting; if he boast, he and ye are imitators of God, and feris lost: if he become known apart vent in the blood of God, and have from the bishop, he has corrupted speedily accomplished a work congehimself. It is becoming, therefore, nial to you; for when ye heard that to men and women who marry, that I was bound from actions for the sake they marry by the counsel of the of the common name and hope,-and bishop, that the marriage may be in I hope through your prayers to be our Lord and not in lust. Let every devoured of beasts at Rome, that by thing, therefore, be for the honour of means of this of which I am accounted God.
worthy, I may be empowered with Look to the bishop, that God also strength to be a disciple of God,-ye may look upon you.
I will be instead were diligent to come and see me. of the souls of those who are subject Forasmuch, therefore, as we have reto the bishop, and the presbyters, and ceived your abundance in the name the deacons: with them may I have of God, by Onesimus, who is your a portion near God.
bishop in love unutterable, whom I Labour together with one another; pray that ye love in Jesus Christ our make the struggle together, run to- Lord, and that all of you be like him: gether, suffer together, sleep together, for blessed is He who hath given you rise together. As stewards to God, such a bishop as ye deserve; but forand His domestics and ministers, asmuch as love suffereth me not to be please Him and serve Him, that ye silent respecting you, on this account may receive the wages from Him. I have been forward to entreat you to Let none of you rebel. Let your be diligent in the will of God : for so baptism be to you as armour, and long as no one lust is implanted in faith as an helmet, and love as a spear, you which is able to torment you, lo, and patience as a panoply. Let your ye live in God. treasures be your good works, that ye I rejoice in you, and offer supplicamay receive the gift of God as it tion on account of you, Ephesians, a just. Let your spirit be enduring to- Church renowned in all ages. For wards each other in meekness, as God those who are carnal are not able to towards you. I rejoice in you at all do spiritual things, neither the spiritimes. The Christian has not power tual carnal things; likewise neither over himself, but is ready to be sub- faith those things which are foreign ject to God.
to faith, nor lack of faith what is I salute him who is accounted wor- faith's. For those things which ye thy to go to Antioch in my stead, as I have done in the flesh, even they are charged thee.
spiritual, because ye have done every
thing in Jesus Christ, and ye are preHis SECOND EPISTLE — TO THE EPHESIANS.
pared for the building of God the
Father, and are raised up on high by Ignatius, who is Theophorus, to the the engine of Jesus Christ, which is Church which is blessed in the great- the Cross, and ye are drawn by the ness of God the Father and perfected; rope which is the Holy Ghost; and to her who was separated from eter- your pulley is your faith, and your nity to be at all times for glory that love is the way which leadeth up on abideth and changeth not, and is per- high to God, fected, and chosen in the purpose of Pray for all men, for there is hope truth, by the will of the Father of ofrepentance for them that they may be Jesus Christ our God; to her who is accounted worthy of God. By your worthy of happiness; to her who is at works rather let them be instructed. Ephesus in Jesus Christ in joy un- Against their harsh words be ye conblameable, much peace.
ciliatory in meekness of mind and Forasmuch as your well-beloved gentleness: against their blasphemies name is acceptable to me in God, do ye pray: and against their error which ye have acquired by nature by be ye armed with faith: and against a right and just will, and also by faith their fierceness be ye peaceful and