Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the case, who will supply our places when we are gone, to say nothing of the numerous parishes unsupplied? So poor are we, in such confined and uncomfortable dwellings do the most of us reside, so scanty are our libraries, and so incessantly engaged are we in parochial and missionary duties, that we can neither assist, nor direct, nor teach the young men who apply to us for orders, though they are not a few. If the qualifications for the ministry are kept up to their present standard (and we pray that they may ever be so), by what, except a miracle, can we be supplied with clergymen ?"

The only answer to this question was given by stating the imperious necessity of having an institution for the education of young men for the ministry among those who are to be benefited by their labours.

Bishop Brown, in a letter to me on this subject, emphatically says-"Your clergy must be sons of the soil: a mission to the Western Ocean Islands does not more require an adaptation of character to circumstances in the ministry, than an effectual propagation of the Gospel, according to the doctrine and discipline of our Church, in the western territory of the United States. Wales must not more of necessity have clergymen who are Welshmen, than Ohio, Illinois, &c., clergymen who by early training and habit are capable of assimilation to the character of their inhabitants generally, and of enduring the travel and exposure of their woods and hills."

The missionary Baldwin, in his powerful appeal, speaks thus:-"The planting of a Church in any country must be by foreign ministers; but the watering of a Church therein, its preservation and increase, must be by the labours of domestic ministers, men who have been brought up and educated in the country where the Church exists." He urges the establishment of a general theological seminary, and considers the diocese of Ohio the most eligible situation, and that 50,000 dollars would be requisite to carry the plans into effect. If, therefore, a seminary should be erected for the diocese of Ohio in the first instance, it might be capable of extension hereafter.

The institution," says Mr. Baldwin, "might be a perennial spring. Look on the map of America, and compare the western states-Transalpine Americawith the rest of our rising empire: observe the facilities of intercourse in the mighty rivers that wash the western parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Suppose a theological seminary established near Cincinnati, how great the facilities of visiting it from every part of the western states, and some of the southern! How many and great would be the blessings flowing from it to the numerous people living in those extensive and fertile regions! From Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Ohio is 800 miles, and the Mississippi is navigated from its mouth to the Falls of St. Anthony, a distance of 2000 miles. From the Missouri also, the Arkansaw, and other large rivers, on which our brethren are fixing their habitations, behold the numerous people who will, in every succeeding age, receive inestimable benefits from the founding a theological seminary in the West, and you will see that an institution there will be above all price."

The Rev. Dr. Morse, in a report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian affairs, estimates the aborigines now dwelling within the territories of the United States at nearly five hundred thousand. Almost the whole body of these Indians lie west of the Alleghany mountains. The increase, therefore, of devout and zealous ministers in the western territory Is the most direct step towards reclaiming these nu merous tribes from the dominion of darkness and sin.

consideration was deemed sufficient to warrant an appeal to Great Britain for assistance in this important undertaking. The interesting attitude which the General Theological Institution had assumed in being so harmoniously established in New York, and the pressing and peculiar demands which she had for all the aid of episcopalians in the Atlantic states, forbade us to apply to them. Generous as they had been to us, we could never think of soliciting their beneficence while their own institution required all their means. Under these circumstances, and thus situated, we turned our eyes to the land of our fathers,-to that land whose enlightened inhabitants are spreading the glorious Gospel throughout a benighted world. Could men who were suffering so many privations, who were worn with fatigue and dejected in spirit,-who were strangers to all political considerations but such as they had learned from their Bibles,-could they be censured for a measure which naturally arose from the truth, that all Christians are brethren, of whatever nation they may be?

A mission to England was therefore decided upon; and when my son, who was appointed to make the application, so far failed in his already very infirm health as to give up all hopes of his ability, the last resort, as conceded by all, was for myself to go. Committing my beloved people to the care and protection of almighty God, and begging their prayers in my behalf, I left my home in Ohio on the 4th of August, 1823, and after a journey of more than 800 miles, arrived on the 16th of September in Kingston, New York, designed as the place of residence for my family during my absence in Europe.

I carried in my hand a document from the presbyters and deacons of the diocese of Ohio, in which they stated, that it was upon the impulse of hard necessity they had deputed me as their representative to appeal to the mother country, and in which they most affectionately and piously committed me to the guardianship and blessing of almighty God, and introduced me to the English public.

Many letters, both from clergy and laity, expressing prayers and blessings on my errand, met me on my arrival in New York, especially one from Dr. Ravenscroft, the Bishop of North Carolina, which bore the most gratifying testimony to the motives which led to the mission, and the great importance of the object in view. Under such circumstances, my constant and fervent prayer was, that I might be directed in the right way; and I embarked at New York for England. (To be continued.)

Of six thousand persons occupying the state and diocese of Ohio, one-third are emigrants and their families from England, Scotland, and Ireland. This


THE Gospel is a glorious Gospel, because it is the Gospel of the blessed God. There is glory in all the works of God, because they are his; for it is impossible that so great a workman should ever put his hand to an ignoble work. And therefore the prophet David useth his "glory" and his "handiwork" promiscuously for the same thing; "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork," to note that there is an evidence of glory in every thing which he puts his hand unto. And yet the prophet there sheweth that there is more glory in the "law" of his mouth than in the "works" of his hands. The Lord is better known by Sion, and his name is greater in Israel, than in all the world besides.

The more God doth communicate himself unto any of his works, the more glorious it is. Now there is nothing wherein God hath so much put himself, wherein he may be so fully known, communicated with,

• From Bishop Reynolds on Psalm cx.

depended upon, and praised, as in his Gospel. This is a glass in which the blessed angels do see and admire those unsearchable riches of his mercy to the Church, which they had not by their own observation found out from the immediate view of his glorious presence. In the creatures we have him a God of power and wisdom, working all things in number, weight, and measure. In the law we have him a God of vengeance and of recompense; in the publication thereof threatening, and in the execution thereof inflicting, wrath upon those that transgress it. But in the Gospel we have him a God of bounty and endless compassion; humbling himself that he might be merciful to his enemies, that he might himself bear the punishments of those injuries which had been done unto himself, that he might beseech his own prisoners to be pardoned and reconciled again. In the creature he is a God above us; in the law he is a God against us; only in the Gospel he is Immanuel, a God with us, a God like us, a God for us.

was the fall of man, that it wanted the infinite and unsearchable wisdom of God himself to find out a remedy against it.

We must not, then, look upon God only in Mount Sinai, in his law; but we must acquaint ourselves with him in his Son; we must know him, and whom he hath sent, together; there is no fellowship with the Father, except it be with the Son too. We may have the knowledge of his "hand,” that is, of his works, and of his punishments, without Christ: but we cannot have the knowledge of his "bosom," that is, of his counsels, and of his compassions, nor the knowledge of his image, that is, of his holiness, grace, and righteousness; nor the knowledge of his presence, that is, of his comforts here, and his glory hereafter, but only in and by Christ. We may know God in the world, for in the creation is manifest his "eternal power and Godhead." But this is a barren and fruitless knowledge, which will not keep down unrighteousness; for the wise men of the world, "when they There is nothing doth declare God so much to be knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became God as his mercy in the Gospel. He is invisible in vain in their imaginations," and held that truth of him, himself; we cannot see him but in his Son. He is which was in the creation revealed, in unrighteousunapproachable in himself; we cannot come unto him We may know him in his law too; but this is but by the Son. Therefore, when he maketh himself a killing knowledge; a knowledge which makes us known in his glory to Moses, he sendeth him not to flee from God, and hide ourselves out of his presence ; the creation, nor to Mount Sinai, but putteth him and therefore it is called "the ministration of death," into a rock (being a resemblance of Christ), and then 2 Cor. iii. 7. But to know the glory of God "in the maketh a proclamation of the Gospel unto him. face of Jesus Christ," is both a fruitful and a comfortMoses' prayer was, "I beseech thee, shew me thy|able knowledge; we know the pattern we must walk glory." How doth the Lord grant this prayer? "I by, we know the life we must live by, we know the will make all my goodness to pass before thee" (Exod. treasure we must be supplied by, we know whom we xxxiii. 18, 19), and then revealeth himself unto him have believed, we know whom we may be bold with almost all by mercy. "The Lord, the Lord God, in all straits and distresses; we know God in Christ merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant full of love, full of compassion, full of ears to hear in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, us, full of eyes to watch over us, full of hands to fight forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin" (Exod. for us, full of tongues to commune with us, full of xxxiv. 6, 7); to note unto us that the glory of God power to preserve us, full of grace to transform us, is in nothing so much revealed as in his goodness. full of fidelity to keep covenant with us, full of wisdom "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, to conduct us, full of redemption to save us, full of and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of glory to reward us. his people?" (Mic. xii. 18.)

Besides, though the law be indeed from God, as from the author of it, so that in that respect there may seem to be no difference of excellency between that and the Gospel, yet, though God should not have revealed his law again unto Moses in the mount, much of the law, and, by consequence, of God himself, might have been discovered by human industry; as we see by notable examples of the philosophers and grave heathen. But the Gospel is such a mystery as was for ever hidden from the reach and very suspicion of nature, and wholly of divine revelation.

[ocr errors]

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the hearts of men, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." The apostle speaketh of the mystery of the Gospel; noting that it is above the observation, or learning, or comprehension of nature, so much as to suspect it; nay, the natural inquiry of the angels themselves could never have discovered it; even unto them it is made known by the Church (Eph. iii. 9, 10); that is, if it had not been for the Church's sake that God would reveal so

glorious a mystery, the angels in heaven must have been for ever ignorant of it. So extremely desperate



THE first blessing God gave to man was society, and
that society was a marriage; and that marriage was
instituted in paradise, confederate by God himself,
and hallowed by a blessing. Marriage is the seminary
of the Church, and daily brings forth sons and daugh-
ters unto God. The first miracle that ever Jesus did
was to do honour to a wedding. Marriage was in
the world before sin, and in all ages of the world the
greatest antidote against sin; and although sin hath
soured marriage, and stuck the man's head with cares,
and the woman's bed with sorrow in the production of
children, yet these are but throes of life and glory;
and " she shall be saved in child-bearing, if she be
found in faith and righteousness." Marriage is a
school and exercise of virtue; and though it hath
cares, yet they are but instances of duty and exer-
cises of piety.... Here is the proper scene of piety
and patience, of the duty of parents and the charity
of relations; here kindness is spread abroad, and love
is united and made firm as a centre. Marriage is the
nursery of heaven, and fills up the number of the elect,
and hath in it the labour of love, and the delicacies of

friendship, the blessing of society, and the union of hands and hearts. Marriage hath in it more of safety

[ocr errors]

than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger; it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrow, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but is supported by all the strengths of love and charity; and those burdens are delightful. Marriage is the mother of the world, and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities, and churches, and heaven itself. Marriage is the symbolical and sacramental representment of the greatest mysteries of our religion. Christ descended from his Father's bosom, and contracted his divinity with flesh and blood, and married our nature, and we became a Church, the spouse of the Bridegroom, which he cleansed with his blood, and gave her his Holy Spirit for a dowry, and heaven for a jointure, begetting children unto God by the Gospel. This spouse he hath joined to himself by an excellent charity; he feeds her at his own table, and lodges her nigh his own heart; provides for all her necessities, relieves her sorrows, determines her doubts, guides her wanderings; he is become her head, and she as a siguet upon his right hand. He first, indeed, was betrothed to the synagogue, and had many children by her; but she forsook her love, and then he married the Church of the Gentiles, and by her had a more numerous issue: and all the children dwell in the same house, and are heirs of the same promises, entitled to the same inheritance. Here is the eternal conjunction the indissoluble knot - the exceeding love of Christ the obedience of the spouse- - the communicating of goods- the uniting of interests the fruit of marriage-a celestial generation. is a great mystery." This is the sacramental mystery represented by the rite of marriage; so that marriage is divine in its institution, sacred in its union, holy in the mystery, sacramental in its signification, honourable in its appellation, religious in its employments. "Christ and his Church :" that begins all. And there is great need it should be so; for they that enter into the state of marriage cast a die of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw for eternity. Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. Begin, therefore, with God. Christ is the president of marriage; and the Holy Ghost is the fountain of purity and chaste loves, and he joins the hearts. Let all such contracts, then, begin with religious affections.


Let the husband and wife infinitely avoid a curious distinction of mine and thine; for this hath caused all the laws, and all the suits, and all the wars in the world. Let them who have but one person have also but one interest.

pure as light, sacred as a temple, lasting as the world; it contains in it all sweetness, and all society, and all felicity, and all prudence, and all wisdom. For there is nothing can please a man without love; and when a man dwells therein, then is his wife a fountain sealed; and he can quench his thirst, and ease his cares, and lay his sorrow down upon her lap, and can retire home as to his sanctuary, and his gardens of sweetness and chaste refreshments. No man can tell but he that loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that delights in their persons and society. But he that loves not his wife and children feeds a lioness at home, and ' broods a nest of sorrows; and blessing itself cannot make him happy. So that all the commandments of God enjoining a man to love his wife, are nothing but so many necessities and capacities of joy. She that is loved is safe, and he that loves is joyful.

Above all the instances of love, let the husband preserve towards his wife an inviolable faith; for this is the marriage-ring: it ties two hearts by an eternal band; this is the security of love, and preserves all the mysteriousness like the secrets of a temple. Under this lock is deposited security of families, the union of affections, the healer of accidental quarrels. This is a grace that is shut up and secured by all arts of Heaven, and the defence of laws, the locks and bars of modesty, by honour and reputation, by fear and shame, by interest and high regards.

Hitherto we have spoken of the duty of the man. Now concerning the woman's duty.

The first is obedience; which because it is no where enjoined that the man should exact of her, but often commanded her to pay, gives demonstration that it is a voluntary cession that is required; such a cession as must be without coercion and violence on his part, but upon fair inducements, and reasonableness of the thing, and out of love and honour on her part. When God commands us to love him, he means we should obey him. "This is love, that ye keep my commandments:" and, "If ye love me," said our Lord, "keep my commandments." Now as Christ is to the Church, so is man to the wife; and therefore obedience is the best instance of her love; for it proclaims her submission, her humility, her opinion of his wisdom, his pre-eminence in the family, the right of his privilege, and the injunction imposed by God upon her sex, that although "in sorrow she should bring forth children," yet with love and choice she should obey.

The next line of the woman's duty is compliance, which St. Peter calls "the hidden man of the heart, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;" and to this he opposes the outward and pompous ornament of the body. Indeed, the outward ornament is fit to take fools; but they are not worth the taking. But she that hath a wise busband must entice him to an eternal dearness by the veil of modesty, and the grave robes of chastity, the ornament of meekness, and the jewels of faith and charity; she must have no paint but blushings, her brightness must be purity, and she must shine round about with sweetnesses and friendship; so shall she be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies.


As for the duty of the husband, he is commanded to love his wife even as himself." That is his duty, and the measure of it too; which is so plain, that if he understands how he treats himself, there needs nothing be added concerning his demeanour towards her, save only that we add the particulars, in which holy Scripture instances this general commandment: "Be not bitter against her." And this is the least index and signification of love. A civil man is never bitter against a friend or stranger, much less to him that enters under his roof, and is received by the laws of hospitality. But a wife does all that, and more; she quits all her interest for his love; she gives him all that she can give; she is as much the same person as another can be the same, who is conjoined by love, and mystery, and religion. They have the same fortune, the same family, the same children, the same religion, the same interest, the same flesh; and therefore this the apostle urges, "No man hateth his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it." And he certainly is strangely sacrilegious, and a violator of the rights of hospitality and sanctuary, who uses her rudely, who is fled for protection, not only to his house, but also to his heart and bosom. The marital love is infinitely removed from all possibility of rudenesses; it is a thing

A Sermon

For the End of the Year,
Minister of Peckham Chapel, Surrey.


ISAIAH, lxv. 20. "For the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed."

THE whole book of Isaiah is so full of allusion to Jesus Christ, that in explaining many of its predictions, we cannot fail to be hurried forward to the Gospel-day, and to find every thing resplendent with Gospel truth. The latter chapters, especially, seem to breathe with little else; he, and he only, appears their Alpha and Omega. Yet without farther reference to the rest, we would fix your attention on the latter portion of this, as intimating with peculiar beauty, and expressiveness that holy and spiritual empire-as portraying that reign of righteousness and peace, when the doctrines of the Saviour shall become the statute-law of every land, and every heart a temple to his name. It is scarcely requisite to add, we do not account the prophetic imagery as yet fully realised, whatever tokens there may be of such day approaching; nor, on the other hand, are we inclined to agree in the idea that it represents solely the kingdom of glory accord though it may with that, it is only as the type agrees with its antetype; we believe, and hope that this globe shall first be honoured by the manifestation of its splendours. To create a new heaven and a new earth, though applicable, without doubt, to the pure and celestial and eternal habitations of the children of the resurrection, may, in its simpler intention, mean that change in the economy of human things, effected by the establishment of Christianity, whereby the heavens and the earth became altered in their character relatively to man,—the heavens thenceforward his recognised homethe earth but the pathway to its glorious


being an hundred years old shall be accursed."

We think, then, it is evident the prophet intends to delineate some state of the world parallel to that which preceded the fall; its restoration to a primeval state of holiness and rest, when "this wilderness shall become like Eden, and this desert like the garden of the Lord;" and that it is in accordance with that his metaphors are selected. Life is made to resume its antediluvian extent; the peaceful occupation of labour and tillage answers to the employment of our first parents' innocence; and the condition of the inferior creatures, neither terrified at man, nor longer bent on each other's destruction, beautifully corresponds to that pristine gentleness wherewith they traversed an unfallen world, or waited the behests of its delegated lord. But of course these figures, borrowed from earth's primitive condition, are to be spiritually interpreted, and are designed to delineate that moral renovation of mankind, which the Gospel is both calculated and destined to produce; and in consonance herewith, we understand by the first portion of our text, not that childhood should be so long in number of years, but in the measures of goodness; that there should be, under that holy dispensation, so general a diffusion of knowledge and saving truth, that youth should be as conversant therein as before ever was old age; that the Gospel-day should shine so brightly, that "every man shall know the Lord, from the least even to the greatest;" and in this way "there shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days." And he who shall prove an exception; who, spared to old age, has never lived to God; who, venerable in years, but not of the full age in Christ; he, "the sinner being an hundred years old, shall be accursed.' All allusion, however, to this latter clause we defer for the present, that we may extract from the former some important, and, we trust, by the grace of God, profitable deductions.

The other metaphors too, whatever cisely they may mean (and it comes not within our purpose to follow out the inquiry), certainly betoken that which is blended with things terrestrial; and chiefly the language of our text convinces us they cannot altogether have respect to celestial blessedness, the Jerusalem above: for while the state, where "there shall be no more death," is contradicted by the assertion, "the child shall die an hundred years old," the idea of heaven is yet more so by the truth, "but the sinner

[ocr errors]

We have admitted-would there were less room for such admission!-that, in its strict intention, this prophecy is by no means accupre-rately fulfilled in our own day; that in spite of every advantage possessed by the higher, and every effort made to bring about among the lower, ranks of society so desirable an era, it is yet very far from being generally true, that spiritually our sons grow up as the young plants, and our daughters are as the polished corners of the temple." We cannot but confess, in sorrow of heart, that in too many there is, instead of a maturity in godliness, a precociousness in indifference and sin; and we blush, as the daily proofs


present themselves, at the slow progress made towards this predicted blessedness of the Gospel-era. It is not, however, with the unrealised fact we need concern ourselves, but the principle the text comprises; it is enough that the tendency of Christ's religion is to such happy result, and that in due season it will be brought about. Our object now is, by instancing those exceptions to the general indifference, which we thankfully acknowledge do exist to some extent in our own day, to shew how our text is to be verified, and how sure an earnest we already have of that coming time, when "the Spirit shall be" more abundantly "poured upon us from on high;" when youth shall more generally be an age of godliness, and the morning of life be the dawning of heaven.

Now the principle of which we have spoken, as deducible from the expression," the child shall die an hundred years old," we find very appositely expressed in the apocryphal book of Wisdom." Honourable age," it says, "is not that which standeth in length of time, nor is measured by number of years; but wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age;" or, to evangelise such language: to have attained to a saving knowledge in Christ Jesus, is to have arrived at a full age; and for a child or youth to die at this, is as though he died" old, and well stricken in years." The word "child," however (for we may not pass over an important truth), certainly includes, if in strictness it denote not, a state too tender and too young for such practical growth in holiness; and is, or is not, the prediction to fail as applied to such? We "trow not." O, is it not, brethren, one of the peculiar features of the Gospel, and one well worthy to have been glanced at by the enraptured prophet, that even the least may be made partaker of the blood of rothe covenant; that to childhood and infancy it may be given in Christ the requisite fitness for his kingdom above? Is it not one of the most comforting doctrines of our faith to know that the tender babe, which scarcely yet can recognise its fond parents' smile; or the child, which just can answer their endearing words, if plucked from their bosom by the hand of the destroyer, is, through the Divine appointment and blessing, only transplanted to bloom as an unwithering floweret of the Redeemer's crown? We would not insinuate that the infant under the Jewish dispensation, no, nor of the gentile, or present pagan, world, may not in a degree be a sharer in the same; if they be, it must also be through the redemption which is in Christ; for only through that, "where sin abounded grace did much more abound:" but of neither one nor the other is there the same assurance,


nor was there to the parent the same hope. It is of those who have by baptism been engrafted into his Church," and undergone "the mystical washing away of sin," that the promise is sure to and we can unhesitatingly, because on scriptural warrant, affirm, they are saved in Jesus Christ, if, in the words of our Church, "they die before they commit actual sin."

Without further digressing, therefore, to substantiate this truth, we base on it the question, Whether to have thus, by a Divine and mystical process, conveyed to them all that is requisite for their existing condition, the meetness for admission into the Church triumphant, is not to have attained that age in Jesus which shall fit them to be ranged as lesser stars in the immaterial firmament; and whether thus dying is not, as respects all that is most important to man, equivalent to their dying an hundred years old? And when, therefore, we think of the saddened parent, weeping at the death-bed of such little one, or bending in anguish over its coffin, we feel considerations like this should turn that "sorrow into joy;" yea, though it were the last over which the mother's aching heart had yearned, and thenceforth she must be "written childless;" O, as we tell her that babe is blessed; that God hath "taken it away from the evil to come;" that "she may go to it, though it cannot return to her," she must, if she be spiritual, if she be Christian, find grief's deep throbbings gradually stilled; and while the tearful eye is lifted up resignedly to heaven, faith, triumphant over nature, shall meekly say, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"

But although we have considered this as included in the bearing of our text, it is in a later period, of what may be termed childhood, we seek the fuller application. We take it as representing youth in its general acceptation; but, of course, that youth which is hallowed by holiness, the youth of immortality as well as of time. Some we believe there are among us, whose attainments and exercise in spiritual things may well entitle them to our warmest commendation; and, truly, we know no moral picture more lovely than that of early piety, which, like the tree planted by "the rivers of God," is blossoming for heaven, and gives promise of" bringing forth his fruit in his season." Even where it is yet in its tenderest budding, we hail with joy the happy presage; but where it is already putting itself forth in the solemn duties of its calling; where every future hope is considered only by the light of God's favour, and the meetness for heaven, whenever the time may come, is made the paramount object, O,

« PreviousContinue »