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pray you in Christ's stead, be ye recon- congenial spirits, linked together in ciled to God.” Here he addresses the one body, every member of which is disciples in a manner as if Christ him- actuated by the same motive and diself were present and speaking through rected by the same head, without the him; styling himselfexpressly an ambas- least diversity of feeling or clashing of sador for Christ. Now an ambassador interests or designs : where all are is always considered as representing embarked in the same glorious underhis sovereign ; and whatever he does taking ; all are animated by one heart in this character is considered as the and one soul in building up the walls act of the sovereign. The same idea of the city of God; all are disposed is implied in their call to office, being to discharge the duties of the station “called of God;” and is embraced in the assigned them; all are equally inclinvery nature and duties of the office ; ed to the exercise of humility and subfor as pastors, they are to feed and mission, or, in the words of the apostle, govern the flock; as teachers, to in- to “subinit themselves one to another struct them ; as priests, to offer the in the fear of God;" and all cheerfully sacrifices of the people; as apostles make every sacrifice and observe or messengers, to make known the every rule, which may be requisite to terms of salvation; as having the minis. the peace, prosperity, and happiness, try of reconciliation committed unto of the body to which they belong. them, to administer, in Christ's behalf, In the exercise of the authority, the terms of the covenant of reconcilia. vested in those who minister in sacred tion ; as stewards of the manifold mys- things, they are charged not to conduct teries of God, to give to each one his as “ lords over God's heritage ; but to portion in due season, and as wise be ensamples to the flock,” in all meekmaster builders, “ to show themselves ness, condescension, and love, and in the approved unto God, as workmen that exercise of every virtue and grace. necd not be ashamed; rightly dividing Nor are they to " take the oversight the word of truth.”
by constraint, but willingly; not for These various offices show the ele- filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” vated and responsible nature of the Every exercise, therefore, of constraint station assigned in the church, to those or violence, and every instance of merwho serve at the altar. But the au- cenary conduct is so far a deviation thority attached to the office, is alto- from the sacred canon, and a depargether spiritual, confined exclusively ture from the spirit and design of the to the adininistration of concerns, pure. Christian ministry. Nor are ministers, ly ecclesiastical. They claim no con- in their instructions, to be regarded as trol whatever over the freedom or infallible.
They are to take the reproperty of a single individual ; nor vealed will of God for their guide, nor do they look for any thing, on the and are to be respected no farther, part of private Christians, beyond a than they conform to this only infallivoluntary compliance with such pro- ble standard. visions as are indispensably necessary The perpetuity of the pastoral office to the orderly conducting of the affairs follows as a necessary consequence of of the body, to which they belong, this statement of its origin, nature, and and to the secure enjoyment of the design. Having been appointed by rights and priviieges of each individu. God, by him alone can it be abolished. al member. Least of all, do they So long as the church, “ the pillar and claim any control over atheists, deists, ground of truth,” exists on earth, so long infidels, hereticks, or schismaticks. The must it retain its constitution and its intercourse with their respective flocks ministry. Its spiritual necessities are is purely Christian ; the intercourse of always the same, and will always re.
quire the same spiritual functionaries. tend. While on the one part were exOrder can never be preserved without hibited the mildness and simplicity of them; and without order, the church lambs, they were met, on the other, by cannot long subsist. God will always the ferocity of wolves. Indeed, in have a church in the world;" the gates every place, they were persecuted by of hell will never prevail against it.” men in authority; and many of them But when particular parts become dis- suffered martyrdom in its most excruorderly, corrupt, or licentious, when ciating forms. But these traits of cha. dissentions creep in, and every mem- racter are not wholly confined to the ber wishes to be a head or an eye, age in which the apostles lived. The and where the spirit of pride and in- respective parties have occasionally subordination prevails, God can and changed sides, and the clergy (I menoften does remove the candlestick out tion it with grief at the depravity of of its place, and leave such a section human nature) have at times laid aside of the community to grope in heathen the meekness of the lamb, to assume ish darkness.
the fierceness of the tiger. But it Nothing can be more detrimental to has been the predominant disposition the interests, nor can any thing more of mankind to be highly incensed at speedily accomplish the downfal, of any those, who preach the doctrines and portion of the kingdom of Christ, than inculcate the duties of the gospel in jealousy among the people respecting the their native purity and simplicity. To exercise of the sacred functions of the please men, we must exalt them ; but sacerdotal office. When extensively dif- the scriptures inculcate humility as fused, it can never fail, like all rebellions much more becoming. To please men, against regular authority, of destroying we must extol their capacities, give the body in which it prevails
. Opposition them lofty notions of their intellectual to the peculiar rights of the clerical powers, and persuade them of their profession is, in fact, opposition to reli- ability to comprehend every part of gion itself; and all endeavours to un- revelation ; but the scriptures inform dermine the influence of that profession us, that "great is the mystery of godin its own peculiar province, fall but liness ;” and that angels desire to look little short of treason against the king, into it, and veil their faces in subdom of Christ; which, if successful, lime adoration. To please men, we must terminate in the subversion of inust discourse on their own infallibilievery religious and moral institution. ty, on their entire competency in
The form of religion may indeed, be themselves to form correct decisions, preserved awhile by the spirit of seco especially on religious topicks, on their tarisin : but the true spirit will be qualifications to be their own teachers, wanting ; and when the only fostering and the fitness of every man to be bis spirit which supports them--the ranco. own priest, in offering up his religious rous spirit of strife and emulation, oblations : but the scriptures address which keeps up one forin of religion them and say, except ye be convertinerely to put down another, expires, and ed and become as little children,” j. e. is buried amid the ruins which it has humble and teachable, " ye shall not created ; all interest in religion will enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
; subside, and every institution for the To please men, we must lay but little support of religion and morals will be stress on religious ordinances, we must ábandoned and abolished.
represent publick and private worIV. The early messengers of Christ ship and the sacramer were sent as “ lambs among wolves.” nies, the observance of which is sub. Under these images the difficulties are mitted to every man's convenience described with which they had to con- and discretion : but the scriptures
plainly enjoin them, and moreover doubtless room for other remarks ; but assert that whosoever shall keep the it is time to draw to a close ; and with whole law, and yet offend in one this view I would, by way of improvepoint, he is guilty of all.”
Now ment, if the messengers of Christ should 1. Infer the truth of a religion, fail of pleasing men under these cir- propagated in a manner so artless, and cumstances, they are liable to severe as far as human contrivance is concernreproach, nay, if they offend in one ed, so inadequate. Inadequate, bepoint they are deemed guilty of all, cause the means and instruments emand the offence is beyond the reach played were, in themselves, so uiter.' of pardon. Notwithstanding the boast- ly incompetent to the production of ed light, refinement, and liberality of such wonderful effects. The success the age, the faithful ministers of Christ attendant on the labours of the apostles have
many obstacles to overcome, many plainly indicates divine agency. Pahardships to endure, much ignorance, ganism may be traced back to remote prejudice, and virulence to encounter, antiquity, having sprung up in ages of and gross corruption and wickedness (in gross darkness, and having been al. high places too, and in the very midst ways protected by power and popular of this boasted light, refinement, and.lib. prejudice. Mahometanism originated erality) to struggle with. In fine, if in evident imposture and was prothey would always exhibit the plain- pagated by the sword: but Christianity ness, sincerity, and simplicity, of lambs, sprung up in one of the most enlightthey will still find no lack of wolves. ened periods of the world, under the
Finally the apostles and disciples apparent efforts of men, incapable of were instructed, should any city or imposture, who sacrificed their lives village reject their message, to “ shake in attestation of their sincerity; and off the dust from their feet as a testi- made its way, in opposition to the mony against them.”
This was in wealth, the learning, the power, the wil, conformity to a custom, existing among and the talents of the world, leagued the Jews, on their return from foreign in hostile array against it. This circountries, of shaking off the dust that cumstance, alone, is sufficient to demonclave to them ; thus expressing their strate the truth of its pretensions. No sense of the purity of their own country, plausible account has ever yet been and their abomination of the idolatries given of its origin which does not also of the heathen. These is no reason admit it to be divine. for believing that this was instituted, 2. The passage under consideration as a religious rite, to be perpetuated affords much scope for reflection on in the church. No notice is taken of the respect due to the pastoral office. any solemnity in the days of the When the gospel is carried by misapostles, or at any subsequent period. sionaries to the heathen, there can be It was however an expressive ceremo- no doubt as to their being the messenny, calculated to display in a lively gers of God, and carrying the word of manner the folly of those who should God; or, which is the same thing, a reject the gospel, and their exposure message from God to their fellow-creato the rebuke of good men and to the tures. And where lies the difference indignation of an angry God.
between that and preaching the same Thus, in pursuance of the plan pro. word and delivering the same message posed for this discourse, bave I re. to the heathen at home, or preaching marked on the chief instructions and from the word of God to their fellowthe principal circumstances, attending Christians? when they preach the the first mission of the apostles and gospel, what is this but declaring the disciples of our Lord. There is word of God; God speaking through
them; the word of truth not being chastity, truth, and justice, which relitheirs, but God's ? It is true, they have gion enjoins ? Can there be the least this treasure in earthen vessels ; and shadow of propriety in considering the mankind are unhappily too apt to esti- ministers of God, as the enemies of mate the treasure by the vessel which mankind ? But I repress the notes of recontains it, instead of respecting the monstrance, as filter for other ears vessel on account of its treasure. If than those I now address. “I hope they paid less regard to the gifts, the better things of you,” my hearers, talents, or peculiarities of the man, and although I thus speak.” Yes, my more to the message which is brought brethren, while there are some, who reto them, they would profit better, and ject the messengers of Christ, blessed the noble design of the ministry would be God, there are others of a very difbe more effectually answered. But the ferent stamp, who are the salt of the great passport to publick attention at earth, who are the main pillars and present is talents, not authority. The ornaments of society, and “ of whom question is not, Is he a messenger the world is not worthy;" wbo give from the skies ? but, Is he a candidate the gospel message a welcome refor the temple of fame? It is not, Has ception. May such enjoy its bright he intelligence from heaven ? but, Has rewards in time and eternity. be a wreath from the bowers of Let us, my brethren of ihe clergy, science? It is not, Has he a commis. consider the all important trust, comsion to enlist soldiers for the army of mitted to our charge. Let us realize Christ? but, Is he a champion, qualified the great responsibility of our station to lead on troops to victory, and estab- and the solemn account to be rendered lish bis own empire on the ruins of his at the bar of God. Let us not sbun to adversaries ? Our views, alas, are be, declare the whole counsel of God, nor come altogether secular or carnal ; fear to preach the whole truth, whethour veneration is paid to men, and not er men will hear, or whether they will to the office they sustain ; earthly con- forbear. In our intercourse with the siderations take precedence of heav. flocks committed to our care, let us enly; the design of the ministry is endeavour to copy the example of the perverted, and the spirit of religion great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, nearly destroyed.
devoting all our time and talents to Finally, the passage leads us to re. their good, being instant in season and flect on the mutual responsibility of out of season, and being ready even ministers and people in the discharge to lay down our lives for their sakes. of their relative duties. The latter Let us not seek ourselves, but them should receive the message from God and “ may they be our bope, our joy, with lively gratitude for the gift, and and crown of rejoicing, in the day of with benevolence and good will toward the Lord's appearing.” In the publick those who are employed on the errand councils of the church, let us lay aside of grace and mercy. Why should ra- selfish views and local partialities, and tional beings forfeit their claim to this be actuated by a single eye to the character by harassing, like wolves, glory of God and the prosperity of those who are sent to them to promote our spiritual Zion. their best interests in time and eterni. ty ? What fault can be found with
For the Gospel Advocate. their message, which consists in the (We present to our readers the folgood news of salvation to lost and lowing interesting tract published by perishing sinners? What, with the the church of England tract society, terms of salvation, the moral require- with a few slight alterations and omis. ments, the sobriety, the temperance, sions, which were necessary to adapt
; THE FORMS OF THE CHURCH OPPOSED
it to the service of the Episcopal Nothing that the penitent believer is church in this country.]
in himself, nothing that he had done, or that he can ever be or do, forms any part of that ground of hope on
which he builds his plea for salvation ; THERE is no temper of mind that and it will be observed that our church is more frequently and clearly con. supposes her worshippers to consist of demned, both by the holy scripture, and penitent believers : her forms are by that which is its echo, the liturgy adapted exclusively to those who are of our church, than a formal self-righ- such in the inward frame and spirit of teous spirit. It appears from the their minds. scripture that it is hateful to God ; But it is not intended in this appeal and that, wherever it prevails, it must to the consciences of those into whose be destructive to the soul, as it effec: hands these pages may fall, to rest the tually excludes the sinner, in whose truth of its title on this general stateheart it reigns, from all the benefits ment of the spirit which is required in of redemption by the blood of Christ. the worship of our church, and withFaith in him and a self-righteous spirit out which whosoever joins in her deare direct opposites, and cannot dwell votions acts the part of a hypocrite together in the same bosom. This before God. But the appeal will be plainly appears from the parable of made to specifick parts of her service, the pharisee and publican, the former with the hope that all who read it of whom trusted in himself that he may, by the blessing of God, be was righteous, and despised others ; brought, if they possess it not already, while the latter, self-condemned, to that frame of soul wbich she resmote upon his breast, and cried, “God quires. be merciful to me a sinner.” The
It might be sufficient to refer to conclusion of the parable assures us those frequent petitions for mercy that the conscious sinner, and he only, which are wholly inconsistent with is justified or accepted in the sight of any notions of merit in ourselves, and God, while he, who, in any age or which, indeed, suppose him who offers station, or of whatever inoral charace them to be conscious of sin and selfter, “ trusteth in himself that he is condemned. An appeal to mercy and righteous,” can bave no interest in the a claim of merit are as opposite to meril of Christ, and therefore must re- each other as are the east and west ; main under the guilt of bis sins. and therefore while we cry
The forms of the church to which have mercy upon us ;" “ Christ have we belong, show us what is the tem- mercy upon us ; we declare the per required in those who would join conviction of our minds, that we deacceptably in her service. It is the serve that punishment for our sins, temper of the publican abovemention which the law of God has threatened, ed. It is a spirit of contrition and when it enacts, that “the soul that self-condemnation for sin, it is a sinneth shall die;" and we renounce spirit of exclusive reliance for hope all hope but what is derived from the and salvation on the blood and merit gracious promises of our offended God of our Lord Jesus Christ. It re- in Christ Jesus our Saviour. nounces every thing that is our own in We might also appeal to the conour applications to the throne of grace; clusions of all our forms of prayer
'and it throws itself at the foot of the cross praise, which are offered in the name of Christ, pleading mercy as flowing and through the mediation of Jesus to condemned criminals through him Christ our Lord. These conclusions who is the only propitiation for sin. are full proof, if we mean what we