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Thus was frustrated the attempt of James to bring back England under the papal yoke! From this failure did the nation take courage, and steel its heart for the struggle that it perceived was so rapidly approaching to a consummation! We all know how that struggle ended in the virtual dethronement of the monarch, and the preservation of our religion and laws and though the politician who bases his principles upon the precepts of Scripture, must ever regret that the safety of the Church involved the dis-crowning of its temporal head, yet God, in his infinite mercy,
grant, that should the folly and wickedness of the second James be re-enacted in our day, seven bishops may be found ready to lay down their lives in maintenance of our religion, our liberties, and our Church! Five of the venerated prelates who suffered and who triumphed in 1688, conscientiously refusing to transfer their allegiance to William of Orange, were deprived of their bishoprics; and whether we consider them as right or wrong in this respect, we cannot but point with the honest pride of churchmen to their sorely tempted but incorruptible integrity. England has still the worthy successors of her Sancrofts and her Kens, fraught with a spirit that would teach them to resist meekly, and to suffer courageously; and the English people-let the hour of trial, of imminent Protestant danger arrive-will again be found faithful to the divinely authorised bishops of the national
sary, though painful duty, the possibility that, without much circumspection, Satan would avail himself of it to the prejudice of the Gospel and the detriment of the infant Church.
It will be profitable, in this view, briefly to We consider what these circumstances were. in may, indeed, have little direct interest them; there may be scarcely a possibility that the offence, which the apostle had been called upon to notice in terms of censure, and visit with exemplary severity (incest with a near relation), should be found amongst ourselves; but yet in this, as in many similar cases which the Spirit of God has recorded for our learning, we may be deeply interested in the experience which it furnishes and the admonition which it conveys.
It had been reported to St. Paul (1 Cor. v. 1) that a member of the Church at Corinth had been openly living in the commission of great and grievous wickedness; wickedness so scandalous, that it was never even named amongst Gentile unbelievers without the most indignant expressions of detestation: but though such conduct was thus reprobated by the heathen, it would seem that it had escaped the condemnation and the censure which it so richly merited from those who, having "named the name of Christ," were of all men the most obliged to "depart from all iniquity." Nay, they were puffed up with a vain conceit of inward gifts and outward advantages, and were not concerned about it. Possibly a most erroneous notion of Christian liberty secured the offender from the censure of the Church. The apostle therefore, though personally absent, yet as " present in spirit," personally absent, yet as having the whole affair clearly before his mind, and being full of zeal for the honour of Christ and the welfare of the Church,determined on the case, and passed sentence He on the criminal as if upon the spot. charged them in the name, by the authority, and for the honour, of Christ, that when they met together as a Church, they would consider him as present among them (to ratify their sentence by his delegated authority, and to enforce it by the authority of Christ), and would expel the incestuous person from their communion; that he might no longer be considered as a Christian, but as a heathena subject of Satan's kingdom. Yet this justly merited act was not to be done in hatred, or for the offender's ruin, but in the hope that it might be the means of bringing him to repentance, and the mortification of his fleshly lusts; that so, as it is expressed in 1 Cor. v. 5, " his soul might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
THE DEVICES OF SATAN:
BY THE REV. GEORGE SPENCE, LL.B.
THE one great object of our spiritual enemy
If we take, for example, the occasion on which the caution presented to us in the text was suggested to the Corinthian Church, it will require an attentive consideration of the circumstances to discover in what way the adversary would be likely in respect of it to "obtain an advantage over" them; yet the practised eye of the apostle could detect, even in the performance of an act of neces
Preached at St. Clement's Church, Cambridge, on July 22, 1838, being the Sunday following a confirmation, held in Cambridge, by the Lord Bishop of Ely.
Such was the apostle's determination, which, as I have said, you will find on reference to the 5th chapter of his 1st epistle to the Co
rinthians. From the chapter now before us (the 2d chapter of the 2d epistle to the same Church), we learn that they had obediently attended to his directions. The rebuke and excommunication which had been inflicted on the transgressor by the Church (acting according to the sentence and command of the apostle) had produced a salutary effect; and now therefore, "lest such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow,' he entreats for him, as he had before protested against him," sufficient to such a man (says he) is this punishment." "I beseech you" that ye would "restore him to your communion;" that ye would "forgive him and comfort him," and "confirm your love to him :" and then he assigns as a motive for his entreaty, "lest Satan should get an advantage over us;" lest overmuch sorrow should unfit the erring brother for his duty, or give Satan an opportunity of tempting him to hard thoughts of God and religion, to apostacy, or even to despair, which might swallow him up, and occasion the final and everlasting ruin of his soul; "for," he goes on to add, we are not ignorant of his devices." So subtle is he, that, on the one hand, he can persuade men so far to pervert the grace of God, as to continue in sin under the pretext of magnifying that grace, and making it to abound; and, on the other hand, when sin has, in some measure, met with its merited, though merciful, condemnation, he can induce men to an undue severity; thus bringing an evil report on the Christian character, as rigorous and unforgiving, and keeping the erring brother without the pale of Christian charity and comfort.
There is nothing Satan hates so much as the mercy which extends forgiveness to a wandering sinner, and rescues from his dominion one whom he had hoped irrevocably to have retained within his grasp. Should there be here one whom he has tempted to the commission of wilful and deliberate sin, to the dishonour of the Christian name, and whom he would seek to keep from returning to the God whom he has offended by hard thoughts of his heavenly Father,-let such an one beware of his devices; let him listen to the gracious words of the Sovereign whose laws he has transgressed, and turn a deaf ear to the tempter, who has well nigh ruined him. "Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" (Ezek. xxxiii. 13.) "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah, lv. 7).
But, my brethren, it is not to either of the classes whom the apostle had immediately
in view, that I desire at the present moment more particularly to address myself; neither to those who presume upon God's goodness, to whom the apostle, in his epistle to the Romans, indignantly replies, in answer to the question, "Shall we, then, continue in sin, that grace may abound?... God forbid;" nor yet to those who, having grievously offended the holiness of God, in the words of the preacher, " go about to cause their heart to despair" (Eccles. ii. 20). My address is designed for those who, we hope, are not to be found in either rank; to those who have recently presented themselves as, we trust,
a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service" (Rom. xii. 1). Our desire is, being ourselves "not ignorant of Satan's devices," to guard them against some of those temptations to which they will be subject, that "Satan may not obtain an advantage over them." Attend, then, to me, my young friends, as unto one who has sought, in solicitude and prayer, to prepare you for the engagements on which you have lately entered, and who now entreats of God, that he would further honour his servant by enabling him to assist you in faithfully observing them.
I have already in private warned you, that you must expect temptations. They who, whatever they may before have done, have now, at least, ceased to halt between two opinions, and have openly declared themselves on the Lord's side, are those who will be likely to experience the most ingenious exercise of the enemy's devices. There are many who are willingly his slaves, who feel no desire, and therefore make no effort to release themselves from his thraldom: upon these he bestows little pains; they give him little trouble. If at any time they manifest dissatisfaction with the wages which he bestows, he will not object that they should amuse themselves with half-formed resolutions of repentance, or distant purposes of amendment; he knows that to-morrow's resolutions never lost him a single captive; therefore, leaving them, he devotes his utmost energies, and he sets the myriads of fallen spirits, who do his bidding, in array against those who, like yourselves, have dared to promise that you will "renounce the devil and all his works;" and if such shall be the consequence, I may surely say unto you, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" (James, i. 2). Yes; fear him not. Could I now cause your eyes to be opened, as Elisha caused the eyes of his servant to be opened that he might see, it is not improbable that you would behold, as he did," that they that be with you are more than they that be with him." You have
publicly professed your faith in "God the Father, who hath made you and all the world; in God the Son, who hath redeemed you and all mankind; and in God the Holy Ghost, who hath sanctified you and all the elect people of God." If you have truly and faithfully pledged yourselves to the service of your Saviour, you may confidently trust that he "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape" (1 Cor. x. 13); and if you are filled with apprehensions at the number of those evil spirits of whom we have spoken, do ye not remember the most encouraging intelligence which our Lord declares unto us respecting his little ones, 66 that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven?" Is it not an animating and delightful thought that the highest angels, who stand continually in the presence of God, watching the expression of his countenance, and ready on the instant to obey his motions, do not disdain to perform services of friendship and protection for the youngest, meanest, weakest Christian, but are, as St. Paul expresses it, "all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation?" (Heb. i. 14.) Do I then say too much, when, adopting Elisha's words, I say to you, "They be more that be with you than they that be with him?"
But now let us, from the general notice of your high privileges and consolations, turn to a particular consideration of some of your dangers.
First; it is not improbable that the tempter, who is too wise to approach you all at once with a direct temptation to sin, may whisper gently in your ear some such insinuations as these: Well, now you have been confirmed, and you have done a good act, and you have attended with much regularity the appointments made by your minister for the purposes of examination and instruction; and you have read the books he gave you, and have said your prayers and sought the Saviour's presence night and morning; and during this season of preparation you have abstained more than you have been used to do from worldly ways, and light amusements, and idle and unprofitable company,you have been very good in all this, and it was very right; but, now it is all over, there can be no need for all this strictness; you may now surely relax a little, and indulge yourselves as before prayer once a day will now serve; or, as you are very much engaged in your worldly callings, and, you know, God commands you to be "not slothful in business," it will be sufficient if you read the Scriptures and attend diligently to your religious duties on the Sunday; you will remember that
your Lord himself condemned the Pharisees for their much praying; be not you like them; "be not righteous overmuch."
It is possible that the serpent may insinuate suggestions such as these into the ears of some among you. He can cite Scripture when it suits him, and by perverting and wresting it to his purpose, seduce the hearts of the unguarded, and "obtain an advantage over them."
Should he have assailed you thus, remember that it was with passages of Scripture he approached our Lord in his temptation in the wilderness; and bear in mind that it was with passages of Scripture our Lord resisted his assaults. If he would beguile you by urging the performance of one duty as a ground for the omission of another; if he tempt you to the neglect of prayer by setting before you the duty of being "not slothful in business,"-meet him with the very weapon he employs, and tell him he has cited only half the text say to him, "it is written," indeed, "not slothful in business;" but it is added, "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." O, how can you be fervent in spirit without continual supplies of his most gracious influences? and how can you obtain or expect them, except your heavenly Father, in answer to your prayers, (offered up, not on the Lord's day only, but night and morning, yea, seven times a day), be moved as he has promised, to "give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" And then, how shall you know what blessings to ask for, or what evils to avoid, or what are God's accustomed dealings with his children, if his blessed word be laid aside and read only on the Sabbath? How would your bodies be kept in health and vigour if they were to be fed but once a-week? But you will say, The case is different, we could not live if we ate but once a-week. I know it well, dear friends; but I know that unless you would starve your immortal spirits, and provoke the Lord to "send leanness into your souls" (Ps. cvi. 15), you will not give less attention to the preservation of the inestimable jewel, than you do to that of the poor perishing casket. Neither, let me add, will you be likely to be "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord," in the indulgence of any habits, or the presence of any society, from which the reasonableness of the thing has led you to withdraw during the season of preparation if it was reasonable then, it is no less now. You found seriousness of mind and prayer, and the reading of the Scriptures, inconsistent with those habits, and you withdrew from them. Let it be for ever; let not Satan persuade you to resume them. Confirmation, and the preparations for it, were but means to an end-the end is the salvation
of your soul; what was requisite as the means, | sation; however agreeable may be their words, "adder's poison may be under their lips;" see especially that they are lovers of truth, remembering the testimony of the Lord, "lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord," but the "lip of truth shall be established for ever." I need scarcely conjure you to abstain and flee from the society of those who approach in even the most distant degree to immodesty or indecency of gesture, look, dress, or conversation. But here-let the word of God speak to you: words, that in the mouth of man might savour of too much plainness of speech, but are thus sanctified in their use,-turn to the fifth chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, the third verse: "Fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named amongst you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks; for this ye know, that no whoremonger nor unclean person hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye, therefore, partakers with them."
will be requisite, if you would grow and
I. Some few things which are to be strenuously avoided; and
II. Point out some things which are to be sought after and attained.
I. Under the head of things that are to be avoided, as snares and hinderances in running your Christian course, I would mention first evil and unprofitable companions. Young persons naturally seek the society of others of their own age and station; their objects of pursuit are generally similar, and they like to speak of them one to another. Now, a pleasing appearance, and agreeable manners, and an obliging disposition, are the qualities in another which commonly attract the youthful mind towards its companions. There can, of course, be no objection to them on this account; but it will be the duty of those who have ranged themselves on the Lord's side, to look beneath the surface, to consider whether the principles of those whom they choose for their companions are such as will strengthen them to fight the Lord's battles. Let this never be forgotten,-that every one, whether of the same or of the opposite sex, admitted to your confidence and friendship, is so admitted for good or for evil; not merely is a man known by the general character of his associates, so much so that it has grown into a proverb, ("tell me what company a man keeps, and I will tell you his character"), but with young persons especially, the character itself is in a great measure formed by their associates. Therefore be most careful of your companions. Weigh well their principles, watch jealously the motives of their actions, scrutinise the tenour of their conver
Much that I have said in reference to the friendships you may form, applies with equal force to the books you read; avoid indecent, and immoral, and light and frivolous books, as you would avoid poison. It might be easier had you literally swallowed poison, to be delivered, by means of the discoveries of modern science, from its deadly consequences, than to be rid of the evils which result from unhallowed books; it is impossible to will forgetfulness of them. There is one short rule which I would recommend to you, both in respect of the books you read, and the companions with whom you would associate. "Wouldst thou know," says an ingenious writer, "the lawfulness of the action which thou desirest to undertake, let thy devotions recommend it to Divine blessing. If it be lawful, thou shalt perceive thy heart encouraged by thy prayer; if unlawful, thou shalt find thy prayer discouraged by thy heart. That action is not warrantable which either blushes to beg a blessing, or having succeeded, dares not present a thanksgiving.'
One more general direction in the way of prohibition, and I conclude this head of my address to you. Idleness, if not the parent, is the opportunity of all evil: never be unemployed. To use a strong expression, "an idle man is the devil's playfellow" or, as I have seen it in another shape, "he that is employed has but one devil to contend with; he that is idle has a hundred."
II. But it is time that we proceed to notice,
in the second and last place, some of the means by which, through God's assistance and a constant remembrance of our own frailty, we may combat the devices of the evil one, that " he get not the advantage
On the efficacy of private prayer, at the commencement and conclusion of every day, I have so often dwelt, and the Bishop, in his address to you on Friday last, spoke so much at large, that there is less need for me, on the present occasion, to insist upon it; but I will just refer to one point, which, doubtless, through want of time, was not insisted on. I wish you to bear in mind, that though the morning and the evening seem naturally pointed out as stated and suitable seasons at which God is to be worshipped, he is confined to no place or period. In the midst, therefore, of happiness, raise your hearts to him in thankfulness, and pray that you may be "wise as well as merry ;" in the midst of heaviness or temptation, let it be your practice, as well as your privilege, to "lift up your eyes unto the hills whence cometh your help;" when sitting down to meat, seek his blessing; when you have eaten and are satisfied, offer to him, as the Giver, the thanks that are his due; if you are busy, pray that you may be preserved from undue carefulness; if for a moment unemployed, entreat that you may not be led into temptation. The Lord is nigh; his "eye is ever upon the righteous, and his ears open to their prayers" (Ps. xxxiv. 15; 1 Pet. iii. 12). The rite in which you have lately participated is a means of grace, which has been blessed to many, who, like yourselves, have "vowed a vow unto the Lord." The vow which you have recently made is registered in heaven; the engagement is written in God's book of remembrance-read it over frequently. It shall be my part and duty also, if spared, to recall your attention to it occasionally; the remembrance of it may stand you in stead in the hour of temptation; in a moment of surprise, "when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord may lift it up as a standard against him" (Is. lix. 19), and enable you, under the recollection of your plighted troth, to say with our Lord, "Get thee behind me, Satan ;" and with Joseph, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Have nothing to say to those who are going about seeking to persuade you, that confirmation is either dangerous" or "delusive;" the Lord may work by the remembrance of this solemn season, to spare your soul the commission of many a sin; and every victory obtained by grace over the enemy of souls is, as it were, a supply of grace for future conflicts.
There yet remains one topic on which, though generally referred to on Friday by my Diocesan, it will doubtless be expected that I should say a few words. I mean the sacrament of the Lord's supper; the commemorating, in obedience to his last injunction, of his precious death and passion.
From those who are truly sensible of a dying Saviour's love, and desire in obedience to his command to commemorate his passion and draw larger supplies of grace from communion with him, I shall rejoice to receive the notice which the Church requires, that I may speak with them on the subject; to those who desire counsel and instruction, I wish to say that I shall be always ready to impart it to the utmost of my power; while to all and each I cannot err in recommending an attentive and prayerful perusal of the communionservice in connexion with our Church Catechism.
I must now conclude; yet not without an expression of thankfulness to my young friends for their cheerful compliance with my directions; to their parents and relatives for the encouragement and assistance which I received from them during the preparation for this anxious and interesting service; and, above all, a grateful acknowledgment to our God and Saviour for the help of his grace at this season, without which," neither is he that planteth nor he that watereth any thing" (1 Cor. iii. 7).
ADORATION OF IMAGES.*
UPON this subject I have referred, as I have before done with respect to my other notices of the Romish dogmas, to the Scriptures for the purpose of discovering whether there be a single text or passage to authorise such adoration or worship. I have searched the Scriptures; and the result of my scrutiny is, that out of about a hundred and sixty passages in which the word image, or its synonymous word idol, occurs, there is not one verse or passage which gives the slightest sanction to this doctrine of the Romish communion; and I will further add, that in all in which
image - worship is mentioned, it receives from the written word an express and implicit prohibition. Indeed, it may be said, with the most perfect regard to truth, that if there be any one point on which the Divine mind is more sensitive than another, if I may so express myself, or, in other words, the Almighty is more particularly jealous, it is on this very practice; for this, perhaps, among other reasons that might be alleged, on account of the proneness and liability of the human mind to be betrayed into the marked, that the Greek word eldwλov, translated commission of this idolatrous act; for it may be re
in the Septuagint from the Hebrew one, image, signifies also an idol. It expresses and means one and the same thing in the Scriptures. They, therefore, who prostrate themselves before an image do, in strictness of speech, bow themselves down, and proffer homage to an idol. They justly expose themselves to the charge of being the worshippers of idols.
• From "Increase of Popery." By James Rudge, D.D. London, Painter.