« PreviousContinue »
To recur once more to H. M.'s for other occasions, would again communication; he does not seem become a “ bidding" or hortatory to be aware of the ground on which prayer, instructing the people in the words " and oblations," in the many important particulars, for Communion Service, are omitted which they ought to pray, accordby many ministers. The sentences ing to the pattern provided in the read at the offertory are sufficient fifty-fifth canon.
C. C. to shew, that the money collected before the sacrament was originally ** Some months before C. C.'s intended in part for the use of the communication, we had received clergy. It was therefore first of another paper in reply to H. M., in fered to God upon the altar, and which the writer contends that ibe then became the property of the words " and oblations” may prochurch, as well for the support of perly be retained; because, upon its ministers as for the relief of ihe authority of Wheatley aud Bithe poor : aud this proceeding was shop Patrick, the word oblations in analogous to that followed in the this place does not mean the offerJewish sacrifices; many parts of ings anciently made for the use of which, except in the case of burnt- the clergy, but “ the elements of offerings, were laid on the altar, bread and wine, which the priest and, after being heaved, or waved, is to offer solemnly to God, as an before the Lord, became the pro acknowledgment of his sovereigaty perty of the priests. But, as the over his creatures, and that from ministers of the Church of England henceforth they might become prohave long refrained from availing perly and peculiarly bis : for, in all themselves of these offerings, there the Jewish sacrifices of which the seems to be a propriety in their people were partakers, the viands omission both of the word obla. or materials of the feast were first tions, and of those sentences in made God's by a solemn oblation, the offertory which refer to it. In- and then afterwards eaten by the deed, I believe that these sen- communicants, not as man's, but as tences are now generally disused God's provision, who, by thus enterby the clergy.
taining them at his own table, deOf the omission therefore of the clared himself reconciled and again word oblation, though sanctioned in covenant with them." (See Wheatby po rubric, I approve: for I have ley on the passage.) Our correno idea of making any rule so ab- spondent, however, adds, that he solute as not to be modified by cir- thinks the point doubtful; but tbat, cumstances, or to yield to a mani- whether Wheatley's exposition be fest change in the occasion for just or not," there is no improusing it. But departing from a rule priety in retaining the expression, without necessity or reasonable since our alms to the poor, when cause, is very different from a de- consecrated by faith and prayer, viation founded on the same prio- become a truly evangelical oblation, ciple which occasioned the rule. and are mercifully accepted by our I much wish, for the advantage of heavenly Father, in virtue of the the church, that, except in such one great satisfaction and sacrifice particulars, its service could be offered upon Calvary: • Forasexactly conformed to its regulations much as ye did it to the least of and canons. We should then have these my brethren, ye did it unto the Communion Service detached me.
.'"-Our correspondent further from the Morning Prayer; and per. remarks, that though the clergy no haps, among other restorations, the longer receive any part of the saprayer preceding the sermon, in- crament alms themselves, the grastead of being either an extempo- tuity usually given to the parish rary effusion, or a collect designed clerk is strictly an v oblation" bestowed upon him in virtue of his sify all the predictions of the inoffice as a sort of sub-minister of spired Prophet. God had indeed the church; and be adds, that so been pleased to honour them with certainly is that the fact, that he signal privileges: they were favour. almost thinks a parish clerk mighted with many disclosures of bis maintain an action at law against will; they were governed by his a clergyman or churchwarden, in laws, and were under bis immedisupport of his claim to such a por- ate superintendence, and his temple tion of the offerings at the sacra- and worship were established among ment as he could prove had from them: but instead of considering time immemorial been appendant the end of these benefits, too many 10 his office. We leave our readers of them only took advantage of to decide between the statements of them to build themselves up in a our correspondents.
false confidence, seeming to think, EDITOR. that with such tokens of God's fa
vour, no calamity would be suffer
ed to befaltbem, however great PAMILY SERMONS.—No. CLIX.
their provocations. But the proJeremiah vii. 4.- Trust ye not in phet Jeremiah endeavoured to bring
lying words, saying, the temple them to a better mind, and to sweep of the Lord, the temple of the away their refuges of lies, by shewLord, the temple of the Lord ing them the uiter fallacy of their
hopes. “ Thus saith the Lord of are these,
bosts, the God of Israel; Amend The prophet Jeremiah, in the pre- your ways and your doings, and sent chapter, as well as in several I will cause you to dwell in this others which go before and follow, place. But trust not in lying words was foretelling the grievous cala- saying, The temple of the Lord, mities which should befal the Jews the temple of the Lord, the temple on account of their sins. He de- of the Lord are these....Behold ye scribes, in the most affecting lan- trust in lying words that cannot guage, their rebellion against God; profit." their obstinacy when threatened The text will lead us, first, to con. with punishment; their impenitence, sider the extreme folly of trusting their" idolatry, their ingratitude, to any religious privileges, while their pride, their covetousness, their our hearts remain unrenewed and falsehood, their perjury, their cruel- our lives unholy; and, secondly, ty, their gross immorality of life, to shew that this folly is too comtheis hypocrisy in religion, and mon in every age and country, and their seltled contempt of God's that we ourselves perhaps are guilty word and commandment. Having of it. thus shewn them their offences, be First, We are to shew the exaffectionately urges them to amend treme folly of trusting to any relitheir ways, and to turn to God. gious privileges, while our hearts But, instead of receiving his mes- remain uprenewed and our lives sage with humility; instead of unboly.-On what ground can we abasing themselves before their rely on the continuance of God's justly offended Creator, and im- favour under such circumstances ? ploring forgiveness; they answered Should we, because a friend had the Prophet, with pride and self- conferred many benefits upon us, security, “ The temple of the Lord, and forgiven us many offences, be the temple of the Lord are these;" justified in supposing that there as if they thought their outward would be no limit to his endurance, privileges, and the long continued or that his past favours bound him favour of Jehovah towards their to continue his countenance to us, nation, were quite sufficient to fal- however perverse or ungrateful our
conduct in return? Yet the Jews another memorable occasion, being --and their case is not singular- overpowered by the Philistines, seemed to claim a special right to they sent for the ark of the covethe continued favour of God, in nant into the camp, in hopes, by virtue of their religious privileges ; means of that visible emblem of not considering that those privileges the Divine Presence, to gain the were a free gift; that they might at victory over their enemies : but any time be withdrawn, without a they bad broken God's commandshadow of injustice; and that while ments, and he suffered them to be ibey lasted they were intended to a second time defeated, and the operate, not as inducements 10 ark in which they trusted to be presumption, but as motives to love taken by the conquering army. and thankfulness and obedience. A similar lesson is to be learned They had in themselves no spiritual throughout the whole of their hisefficacy; and it was both irrational tory: they were frequently given and unscriptural to suppose that over to the pestilence, or to famine, they could shield the disobedient or to the sword, and were carried from the punishment due to their captive into the land of their enetransgressions. Neither the cha- mies, to punish them for their na.. racter of God, nor bis promises, tional sins. Yet, with all these held out any ground of hope on proofs of God's righteous judgwhich to build such a conclusion. ments, their constaot cry was, It would not have been coosistent “ The temple of the Lord,, the with bis holiness, or wisdom, or temple of the Lord :" they caught justice, that the sinner should bold, as it were, of ihe horns of escape under the plea of any na- ibe altar with unhallowed hands; tional or personal privileges, howe and, notwithstanding the ibreatenever great. And his promises, both ings of the Almighty, were ever temporal and spiritual, were all prone to trust in those external made in accordance with the same privileges by which they were disprinciple. “If ye walk in my sta- tinguished above other nations, but tutes, and keep my commandments which, when abused, only added and do them...then I will walk to the aggravation of their offences.' among you, and I will be your At the very time when they were God ;... but if ye will not hearken committing the grievous enormities unto me, and will not do all these of which the Prophet Jeremiah concommandments,...I will set my face victs them, they were zealous for against you.” The whole tenour the outward worship of God, and of God's providential dispensations boasted highly of their religious is likewise to the same effect. Aud profession. But could any folly accordingly the Jews, great as were be greater than that of supposing their national mercies, found on that this insincere worship could numerous occasions that they were satisfy Him who searcheth the not exempt from the just displea- heart, and trieth the reins ? Could sure of their Divive Governor. At any infatuation be more dangerous an early period of their history, than that of stifling the remonwhen sustained by miracles in the strances of conscience, and drown.' wilderness, and under his imme- ing the voice of the warning Prodiate guidance and protection, they pbet, with a vain boast of their were visited with severe calamities outward privileges; their form of for their murmurings, backslidings, godliuess, without the power for aud idolatry. Again, ages after, What though they were born of when settled in the promised land, the seed of Abrabam, and were it is said, “ The band of the Lord initiated into the external observwas against them for evil,” on ac- ances of their church from their count of their transgressions. Oa infancy, and werc 'scrupulous in
all the ceremonials of Divine wor- Having thus considered the exship, and bad the lively oracles of treme folly of trusting to external salvation in their hands, and, as privileges, while the heart is unthe prophet Zephaniah expresses it, renewed and the life unholy, we "' were baughty because of God's are, Secondly, to shew, that this folly holy mountain !". Would these is too common in all ages; and that things profit them in that day we ourselves, perhaps, are guilty of when the secrets of all bearis it.We have already seen how prone shall be revealed, and each indi- the Jews were, at every period of vidual of mankind shall be judged their history, to take refuge from according to the deeds done in the denunciations of their Prophets the body; and when, moreover, in the excellence of their public he who knew his Lord's will and worship, and the presumed favour did it not, shall be beaten with of God towards them; and this, many more stripes than_bis less notwithstanding that his promises privileged neighbour ? The Pro- were inseparably joined with an phet forcibly points out the extreme exhortation and command to walk folly and delusiveness of such ex- in his laws, without which they pectations : "Go,” he says, "unto were to expect no protection at his my place which was in Shiloh, bands. And thus it is to the prewhere I set my name at the first; sent hour. How many pride themand see what I did to it for the selves in being zealous Protestants, wickedness of my people Israel. or strict members of the Established And now, because ye have done Church, or regular attendants on all these works, saith the Lord," public worship, while they live in and I spake unto you, rising up the spirit of the world, and without early and speaking, but ye any scriptural evidence of being in heard not; and I called unto a state of favour with God! How you, but ye answered not; there many trust to the supposed orthofore will I do unto this house doxy of their faith; or to their zeal which is called by my name, against infidelity, enthusiasm, or wberein ye trust, and unto the superstition; while they are ignoplace which I gave to you and to rant of the scriptural way of salyour fathers, as I have done to vation, and indifferent to the great Shiloh.” The temple of Jerusalem, concern of niaking their calling and however glorious its appearance, election sure! How many cherish bowever dear, if we may so speak, a secret hope from the prayers of 10 Jehovah, if wickedness were religious parents, the zeal and piety found in it, should soon be made of their ministers, the remaining like that tabernaele of which it is re. good effects of a Christian educacorded, that“ God forsook it;" and iion, or the sigoal mercies of Diwbieh probably remained in ruins vine Providence in their behalf; to future ages, a monument of the wbile they are destitute of any prinDivine displeasure against sin, evenciple of love to God, and have no in the very seat of professed sanc- desire to live to his glory! How tity, and the place which he had many boast of the extensive circuselected for the visible emblems of lation of the Scriptures; of the bis presence. Truly, to use the many symptoms of a revival of rewords of St. Paul (Gal. vi, 15)," with ligion in the land; of the efforts, in God neither circumcision avail- particular, of their own sect or party eth any thing, nor uncircumcision;" to extend the knowledge of Christhat is, no outward form, or pro- tianity throughout the world; or of fession, or privilege ; but “a new, the invaluable religious privileges creature," or, as the Apostle ex- of our highly favoured country ; presses it in the fifth chapter, and yet, like the self-deceivers in « faith which worketh by love." the text, are wholly unconcerned
themselves to lead a life consistent must give up ourselves body and with their professed hopes and prio soul to his service'; we must make vileges ! How many, again, conteod it our chief object to know and to earnestly for Ibe purity of Christian perform bis will; we must renounce doctrine; or trust to some change every known sin for his sake; we of sect or sentiment, or to some must endeavour to love and serve impression on tbeir imagination, our fellow-creatures, even as He which they mistake for true con- also loved us. Every thing short version of beart, without being of this true devotion of heart and at all nearer the kingdom of God life to God, is but the shadow of than the Jews, with their boasted Christianity: it is but crying, “The zeal for the temple and the ritual temple of the Lord, the temple of of Divine worship! Jo short, in- the Lord are we:" whereas the only numerable are the ways in which earthly temple in which God dwells persons deceive themselves on these by his spiritual presence is, that of subjects ; fancying that the temple a new and contrite heart. “The of the Lord is among them; and on temple of God is holy, wbich temthis vain surmise remaining content ple ye are.” “Know ye not that and careless in their sins, and igno- your body is the temple of the Holy rant of all true religion.
Ghost, which is in you, which ye Now let us ask ourselves, in con- bave of God ? And ye are not your clusion, whether such is our own
ye are bought with a On what are we placing our price; therefore glorify God in your hopes for eternity? Are we rest- body and in your spirit, which are ing upon any thing superficial or God's." external; upon any thing short of genuine conversion of heart to God, a simple reliance upon the merits Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer, and grace of our Saviour, accom. THERE is no topic which has been panied by a life of holy obedience more frequently and ably discussed to his commands ? It is nothing in the pages of the Christian Obthat we were born in a Christian server, ihan the duty of renouncing country; that we received a pious the world ; and I feel greatly ineducation; were taught the Scrip. debted to many of your correspondtures from our infancy; were accus- ents for their valuable remarks on tomed to attend public worship this subject, scattered up and down and family prayer; were trained your twenty volumes. In practice, to take an interest in the benevo« bowever, there is frequently found lent labours of religious and chari- great difficulty in accommodating table institutions ; were instructed general rules to the daily occuraccurately to detect and warmly fences of life, and on no point to exclaim against false doctrine, more so than that of worldly conand to comply with every usage formity. I will take the liberty, and ceremony of the church ; if to therefore, of requesting from some this fair outward form be not added of your contributors, a well-weighthe life and spirit of religion in the ed answer to the following query; soul. True piety is not any thing a query which relates to a subject that can be done for us; it must of great interest to no small pumbe engrafted in us; it must dwell ber of persons at the present pein our hearts, and shew its blessed riod, and on wbich the opinions of effects in our conduct. We must many excellent practical casuists devoutly love and reverence our are greatly divided. The query is Creator ; we must come as belpless as follows: sinners to ibe cross of our Saviour; What is the proper line of conwe must trust alone in his all-suffi- duct to be pursued by pious and cient sacrifice for salvation; we conscientious parents providentially