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Cum his enim volo coram te aliquid colloqui, Deus meus, qui hæc omnia, quæ intus in mente mea non tacet veritas tua, vera esse concedunt. Nam qui hæc negant, latrent quantum volunt et obstrepant sibi; persuadere conabor ut quiescant, et viam præbeant ad se verbo tuo: quod si noluerint et repulerint me; obsecro, Deus meus, NE tu SILEAS A ME. Tu loquere in corde meo veraciter; solus enim sic loqueris; et dimittam eos foris sufflantes in pulverem, et excitantes terram in oculos suos; et INTREM IN CUBILE MEUM, et cantem tibi amatoria, gemens inenarrabiles gemitus in peregrinatione mea, et recordans Jerusalem, extento in eam sursum corde, Jerusalem patriam meam, JERUSALEM MATREM meam, teque super eam regnatorem, illustratorem, patrem, tutorem, maritum, castas et fortes delicias, et solidum gaudium, et omnia bona ineffabilia simul omnia; quia unum summum et verum bonum: et non avertar, donec in ejus pacem matris charissimæ, ubi sunt PRIMITIE SPIRITUS mei, unle mihi ista certa sunt, colligas totum quod sum, a dispersione et deformitate hac, et conformes atque confirmes in æternum, Deus meus, misericordia mea.—AUG. Confess. lib. xii. cap. 23.


As in thy presence, O my God, would I confer with those who hold the spiritual suggestions of Thy word to be true indeed :-Thy word, revealed in Christ, recorded in Holy Writ, but speaking in the reasonable soul. For others, I will seek to hush their loud and angry contradiction with gentle persuasion, bidding them be still, that they may hear Thy voice. But, if they repel my advances, and will have none of my counsel, turn not Thou from me, nor be silent. Speak to me in my heart with truth-revealing prompture, Thou who alone so speakest; and let me leave unquiet and worldly men to their selfinflicted blindness: that in the stillness of my chamber I may plead to Thee, with hymns of spiritual love, and inward moans unutterable, the yearnings of my pilgrimage; remembering Jerusalem, with straining desire, and uplifted heart; Jerusalem my country, Jerusalem my Mother, and Thee her King, and light-diffusing Glory, her Father, Guardian, Husband; the Source of all pure delights, the Ground of all solid satisfaction; the Substance and Union of all ineffable blessings. For Thou art the One supreme, and real good; and I will not cease from my importunity till from the distraction and disfigurement of this present state, calling home my scattered affections, and restoring the unsightly ruin of my nature, Thou gather up all that I am, into the peaceful bosom of that holy, well-beloved Mother, where the first fruits of my spirit,even the witness of my assurance,-are already laid; moulding me to Thy image, and strengthening me with Thy communion, for evermore-my God, my merciful God!


The altered position in which the Church of England has recently' been placed as a national Establishment, and the still more serious changes with which she is daily menaced, have stimulated the minds of her more intelligent supporters, and produced many admirable writings in her defence. It has been felt that, unless both juster and clearer views on ecclesiastical subjects become prevalent, an evil day is drawing near, which the efforts of private zeal may retard, but cannot prevent. A vigilant discharge, on the part of the clergy, of pastoral and other official duties, with a strict attention to personal deportment, must indeed win respect, in a general way, for the faith which they profess. In some instances (such is the temper of the times), it may even procure too marked a homage for themselves; they may enjoy, as individuals, that deference which is denied to their order : but if the perma

· The publication of this volume having been delayed by unforeseen circumstances, the temporary allusions in the first eight Sermons, must be referred to the beginning of last, or the end of the preceding, year (1837-8). Little change, however, has taken place in the posture of ecclesiastical affairs since that time, except that the controversy, to which certain members of the University of Oxford have lately given birth, has become more general, and assumed a more decided tone.

nent welfare of religion be in any sort identified with the stability of the Church, their best exertions will fall short of this object, so long as they are recognised as insulated teachers, and not as representatives of a system. It may even happen that high ministerial endowments, exercised in a separative spirit, may promote the disaffection which they might be expected to conciliate. Oh! it is sad, when those gracious and commanding qualities, on which, as accessories, the ablest Christian advocacy is dependent for success, are employed to strengthen prejudice, to sanction error, and to embarrass the truth.

It is remarkable that those writers who have maintained the cause of the Church on the highest religious grounds, have obtained by far the most attention. This is as it should be: we have leaned too long on the broken reed of political influence. It was time to look to the foundations of our belief, as Churchinen, and rejecting those props which indicate weakness, rather than confer strength, to replace the fabric on its

basis. We shall err, however, in regarding the notice excited by a particular party as a proof of a corresponding movement in the public mind. The returning eddy may be seen and heard, when the main current flows on in silence. In every case, it is the obstacle that ripples the stream.

Still it is a hopeful symptom. It evinces that the faith of our forefathers is not extinct. It may have slept, but it has been awakened; and now that it is distinctly re-asserted, we may hope that it will make head against the

proper basis.


strongest tide of popular opinion. Meanwhile, an interest in the higher branches of theological study has been revived, and is rapidly gaining ground. If we miss the transcendent ability displayed by the greatest of our old divines, or the stupendous erudition by which they were still more generally distinguished, in Christian meekness, in courtesy and candour, or, at the very least, in decorum,-our contemporaries may claim the advantage. Polemical divinity is thus redeemed from its most serious reproach; and the studies of the cloister, rendered practical by the necessities of the times, begin to recover, and to justify, their ancient repute.

It is in periods like the present that opinions are sifted. The treasures of thought and learning, which the Church of this nation has always had at its command, are unlocked. 5. Things new and old” are “ brought out,” and in the comparison thus provoked, a powerful instrument is furnished for the investigation of truth. In such a time any attempt, however crude and unsatisfactory, to consider facts with a reference to principles, may have a beneficial tendency. If it promote discussion, if it widen the field of examination, or bring into it additional inquirers, it will do good. In a humbler province, as giving increased publicity to the thoughts of other men, it may be of service. It may contribute to the spread of knowledge, though it confer nothing to its advancement; and though speedily set aside, it may run through a little circle of usefulness before it fall into entire oblivion. At all

events, it can do little harm; for it finds the public mind prepared to take up the subject, and its errors are quickly detected, and effectually exposed.

It is by this reflection that I have justified to myself the publication of the following Essay; for such I would wish it to be considered. It has no pretensions either to regularity of design, or to completeness of execution. A series of Sermons cannot follow the same method as a formal treatise, divided into chapters.

Each Sermon is, or ought to be, a separate composition, having an independent unity in itself. Though intended for the closet, it must admit of being delivered from the pulpit to a suitable audience; and inust exhibit an entire portion of the truth, with an implied and prospective reference to the whole. It must consequently repeat much that has preceded, and anticipate much that is to come.

This is scarcely compatible with the gradual developement of a system. But in truth a graver objection to this mode of proceeding inheres in the subject itself. Religion, as it subsists in the world, is not an abstract scheme, and cannot be so considered without manifest risk of error. It is a collection of facts, each of which implies the existence of every other, and a common ground of truth, apart from which the several facts have no existence or reality. Historically considered, these facts correspond to a succession of events; thus the nearest approach to a systematic arrangement is that supplied by the order of time, in which, however, we have to combine and concentrate all that we know of

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