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And truly, this must be effected some that governs all things, how could you way or other, or we shall certainly be slight both his favour and his wrath? ruined by our iniquity. Now I say, If you have a friend, on whom you the pious regulation of families, in this very much depend for your outward nation, would render the whole nation livelihood, you court and crouch to regular and religious; as the healing him continually, and gladly lay by all of all the parts of a Jeper makes the other business, when you can do any whole body sound; and therefore eve- thing to serve him. And can you negry governour of a family is either a pub- lect your infinite Benefactor from day lick benefactor, or a publick grievance, to day ?
Does he not preserve your according to the good or ill manage life and being? Does he not open his ment of bis family.
hand, and fill you with all manner of Upon the whole matter, then, who- plenteousness? Does he not offer you soever prudently consults the glory of the unsearchable riches of his love in God, tbe purity of bis church, the in- his only begotten Son? And must you terest of his religion, the prosperity of not perish now, and for ever, without bis country, the temporal and eternal his grace and mercy ? Alas! where is welfare of his children, the diligence your reason, your conscience, your and faithfulness of his servants, the common sense, when you omit any quietness and comfort of his family, the sort of requisite devotion to our infinitehonour of bis name, the peace of his ly glorious and bountiful God, whom conscience, and the salvation of his to serve is perfect freedom, to whom to soul, will find constraining reasons to be related as a regenerate child, is the engage in constant family prayer, and greatest honour, and whom to enjoy is religious household government; with the greatest happiness. out which he appears too little concern
How will the very heathens rise up ed for his greatest publick and private in the last judgment and condemn you? interests on earth, as well as for his They had a notion of some deities immortal concerns.
which particularly watched over their And how will ye bear it, my bre. domestick affairs, and defended and thren, when ye come at last to sum up succoured them in their houses: these the mercies ye lost for want of asking, they called lares and penates, and and the sins and disorders that multi- were punctual in their daily oblations plied in your families for want of a due to them. These, alas! paid a superdischarge of your duties as the gover- stitious worship to imaginary deities. nours thereof?
But we have the knowledge of the only Truly, sirs, my heart bleeds, and my true God, and the only Mediator, and bowels are pained, when I consider the spiritual and true worship, wbich the dismal end of this contempt of God. alone he will accept. And how inex. What can you say, by way of apology, cusable shall we be, if we put not ourfor so pernicious a neglect ? Wbat selves and families under the shadow of pain would it have put you to, to have his wings ? Especially since we know worshipped God in your family? What bis condescending promise, that, “ if could you have lost by such a blessed we love him, and keep his commandand becoming practice ? How could ments, he will love us, and come unio you think it a loss of time from your us, and make his abode with us. other business, when by it your other Let me, therefore, beseech you, my affairs would certainly have prospered brethren, as you would give me hope better in your hands? How could you of doing any considerable good among refrain from prayer, under the many you, and of our comfortable meeting doubts, and fears, and miseries, of this together in another world, that each of uncertain life? Since you acknowledge you would piously take up Joshua's an infinitely wise, great, and good God, resolution : “ As for me, and my house,
MANNER IN WHICH THE GOS
* CHRISTIAN CHURCH ORGANIZED.
we will serve the Lord.” Show your- vanity : and against these, it is cerselves such serious votaries of our holy tain, we can never be too strongly for, religion, as to call your families to. tified. gether, at least twice every day; and In this discourse, therefore, we sba!) after the serious reading of some part of endeavour to trace the origin, progress, God's holy word, unite in prayers to and final establishment of the Gospel : your heavenly Father, for his blessings together with the forination of the Chrisupon you in soul and body, in this life, tion church. These things, although and that to come ; and may it please different in themselves, were intimatehim, “ who sees you in secret, to re- ly connected and must continue so, to ward you openly,” amply, eternally, the end of the world. So prays your affectionate pastor, Not long after our blessed Lord en
J. W. tered upon his publick ministry, he
selected his twelve apostles. These SERMON.-No. XI.
were to be made his immediate companions—to learn his doctrines—to wit
ness his miracles, and to be spectators ESTABLISHED, AND
of his pure and pious life. li is true,
he sent them out into the world, but the St. John xiv. 25, 26. These things message they proclaimed was barely, ,
have I spoken unto you, being yet " that the kingdom of heaven was at present with you. But the Comfor. hand.”.
He vested them with power ter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom to work miracles, but as yet they were the Father will send in my name, he only qualified to call the people to reshall teach you all things, and bring pentance, inasmuch as the reign of the all things to your remembrance, Messiah was about to commence.
whatsoever I have said unto you. For nearly three years, these men That the Christian religion is a divine heard his publick preaching and bis
were his constant companions. They revelation, is a proposition, to which private illustrations: and it might be every person who professes to be a Christian will readily assent. And
supposed, that they must have acquirthat the constitution of the Christian
ed a pretty correct knowledge of his
doctrines. But admitting that they church was formed by divine wisdom, is also admitted by a large portion of
were men of good capacities, and we
have no reason to suppose that they the Christian world. Still, although these propositions ligion were of so high a character, and
were not, the leading points of his regain a general assent, unless the par. the circumstances of his birth, his life, ticulars included in then be seriously and his death, were so completely inand attentively considered unless the
terwoven with his teaching, that it manner in which this revelation was communicated, and has been preserved of the whole system, until the scene
was impossible to have a distinct view unless the way in which the church was organized be particularly traced, heaven. And with regard to what they
was closed, and he had ascended into the faith, on these points, will be de. did hear and did comprehend while be fective : and a defective faith will seldom fail to beget errours in doctrine,
was present with them ; such is the
fallacious nature of the human memoand deviations from the divine
arrangements of the church. For such a faith in the text, we could have had but
that without the security promised yields too much scope for pride and
slender confidence in the correctness * Preached before the general convention of their witness. But the assurance of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the that the Holy Spirit would bring all United States of America, October 31, 1821. things to their remembrance, yields
the most complete satisfaction that were to effect the salvation of man. what they heard and what they under- kind, that buman intelligence and hustood was faithfully preserved. man power seemed to be quite inade
The writers of the new testament quate to the purpose. "I have yet were not all of the number of the apos. many things to say you,
ye tles: and still, in this respect, they cannot bear them now. Howbeit when were all placed very much on the same he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will footing. St. Mark was converted at guide you into all truth.” And I think an early period of the church, and sent we may venture to say, that if we had out by the apostles themselves as an only possessed the gospels, without any evangelist. He was under the eye of account of the manner in which the St. Peter at Rome, when he wrote bis religion of Christ was applied by his gospel, and of course the information inspired followers, and the most pro. derived from the apostle, with the aid minent objections brought against it of the Holy Spirit, preserved him from answered, we should have had a very errour as well as rendered his account imperfect knowledge of that religion. of our Saviour's life and teaching com- With regard to the object of Christ's plete. Writing for the benefit of the death :-when the angel of the Lord Christians at Rome, he either avoids told Joseph that he should call his or esplains names and references well name Jesus, lest he should have too low understood in Judea, but not in Rome. an idea of the business of this Saviour,
St. Luke in the same respect, may the angel added, “ for he shall save be viewed as similarly situated with bis people from their sins."
When St. Mark. He acquired a perfect John the baptist saw Jesus, he said, knowledge of all things from the very “behold the Lamb of God, who taketh first
, and he was under the same divine away the sins of the world ;” and our direction.
blessed Lord himself declared, that he This then seems to be the way came to give bis life a ransom for marked out by divine wisdom, to pre- many." serve the religion of our blessed Lord. These expressions, we should supHuman
agency was used in its proper pose, were so clear and so intelligible, sphere, and to its full extent: and di- particularly to the Jews, that they vine assistance came in to guard against could hardly have been misunderstood. the imperfection of memory, and to fill And still even his apostles after the up the measure of knowledge. And crucifixion were“ in doubt about him.” it is remarkable, that the apostles, in But when the Holy Spirit had led choosing a person in the room of Judas, them into all truth and brought all selected one of those men, who had things to their remembrance, they then accompanied them all the time that the clearly understood this doctrine, and Lord Jesus went in and out among as clearly showed how it was to be apthem.
plied. St. Peter in his first sermon But the false prepossessions of the said, “let all the house of Israel know Jews, with regard to the Messiah and assuredly, that God hath made that his reign, the manner in which our Sa- same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both viour's doctrines were unfolded, and Lord and Christ." And upon
another the practical results which belonged occasion the same apostle declares, to his death, it was impossible for that “there is none other name under the apostles fully to comprehend.- heaven given among men whereby we Although they often taught in anticipa- must be saved.” tion, still their eyes very gradually In the epistles of St. Paul, this point opened to the truth, and so momentous is illustrated in a most satisfactory and so magnificent a business was it, manner. 66 Christ bath loved us, and to show how his teaching and his death hath given himself for us, an offering
and a sacrifice to God for a sweet matter rested upon the promises of our smelling savour." “ He who knew no Saviour, room would have been left sin was made a sin offering for us." for the fancies of a lively imagination, “ The Lord hath laid on him the ini. or the agitation of a troubled mind. quity of us all.”
But when we are explicitly told, that Then was the permanent doctrine of “the Spirit helpeth our infirmities''the Christian religion unfolded and il- that “ if we live in the Spirit, we must lustrated. And it now stands as the walk in the Spirit ;” and that “ the consolation of every Christian, that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, death of Christ was an atonement for long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, sin, and that through faith in this atone- faith, meekness, and temperance,” the ment pardon of sin is to be secured. matter is made plain and delusion ex
Again ; with regard to the opera. cluded. We find that the divine intions and influence of the Holy Spirit; fluence of the Spirit co-operates with the same course was pursued. When all the other means of grace to subdue our blessed Lord said to his apostles, the bad passions and evil propensities “ The Comforter, which is the Holy of our nature, and to give energy to Ghost, whom the Father will send in correct principle-—to spiritualize the my name, he shall teach you all things, affections, and to bring the souls of and bring all things to your remem- men to that holy condition which will brance, whatsoever I have said unto fit them for God's everlasting kingdom. you ;” this must be understood as ap- And farther : with respect to a fuplying to the propagation and estab- ture state. Our blessed Lord declared, lishment of his religion, and to the or- " that the hour was coming, in the ganization of his church. But still which, all that are in their graves such was the state of the world, that shall hear his voice, and shall come sometbing else was wanting to enable forth, they that have done good, unto the apostles to execute their high of- the resurrection of life: and they that fice. The prejudices of the Jews were have done evil, unto the resurrection of inveterate--the idolatry of the gentiles damnation." Still had not St. Paul in was deeply rooted, so that an over- a most elegant and conclusive manner, whelming influence was necessary to car- obviated those objections which seemry the religion of Christ in triumph over ed to rise from the nature of the body the world. Our Saviour promised to send with which the soul shall be clothed, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, which there might have been some, who would proceedeth from the Father; and he continue to say, “how are the dead directed the apostles to wait in Jeru- raised, and with what body do they salem until his promise should be ful. come !" filled. But how the Spirit was to ope- From this view of the subject, how rate was not explained : and even the powerfully is the mind impressed with appearances on the day of Pentecost the wisdom and goodness of God! Our would have still left this maiter in blessed Lord, with a reference to the doubt. For although the apostles im- power of the human mind and to the mediately spoke a variety of languages moral state of the world, when he ap—and went on to perform miracles, peared, unfolded bis religion as far as still all the operations of the Spirit his apostles were in a condition to remight have remained little understood, ceive it. And when he had finished had not St. Paul enumerated and ex- his gracious work, and returned to his plained them
Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to bring Nor would this have been less the all his teaching to their remembrance, case with regard to the sanctifying and and
lead them into a coinplete moral influence of the Spirit. Had this knowledge of his religion.
This then yields to us a ground of When the worid became depraved the most delightful consolation, that to an extraordinary degree, so ibat the we possess the religion of Jesus Christ Almighty determined to destroy so in its genuine purity. But now, as wicked a race of men, he entered into well as in the time of our Saviour, covenant with Noah and his family to human power and human industry are save them in an ark. And this may to be applied to obtain a full know- be viewed as the first instance, when ledge of this religion. The sacred God chose a particular people, and book, in which this religion is record- distinguished them by bigh and gra. ed, was written by men thus guided by cious privileges. the Holy Spirit, and it is from this After the food, when the world bad book that we are to learn it. If, with again greatly degenerated, and sunk fair and honest minds, we apply all into idolatry, Abraham and his family our powers, and use every assistance were called from the land of their fa. placed within our reach, to obtain a thers, and with this pious and good knowledge of this religion, we need man God made a well defined covenot fear but the Holy Spirit will also nant. And thus, from time to time, direct and assist us : and should we God formed covepants with particular fail in acquiring an extensive know- families, until the Jewish church was ledge on this subject, the points on completely organized in the most miwhich our salvation more immediately nute particulars. depends, we shall easily understand. It was made evident, howerer, that Some men, as soon as they feel con- this was not the highest and last disviction of sin and receive religious im- pensation. There were types which pressions, consider themselves qualified prefigured things of a more spiritual to teach the gospel. And it requires cast-there were sacrifices, which some considerable time and also study pointed to one, which would actually to convince them, how little they know atone for sin--there was a priestand how inadequate they are to lay hood, which ministered in holy things, open so extensive and so grand a sys- but that priesthood was to yield to lem. Still, such will sometimes plead, one of a excellent naturethat the apostles were illiterate men there was a high priest, who entered and called from the lowest occupa- into the holy of holies once a year to tions of human life. That they were offer a sacrifice for the sins of the illiterate while they were engaged, people ; but this bigh priest was to be some at their nets on the sea of Gali- superseded by One, who was once to lee, and some at the receipt of cus- offer himself a sacrifice to put away sin. tom, is not to be denied. But their theo- And a new covenant was to supersede logical learning was from the purest the Mosaick. And thus, in all ages, source, and of the most complete kind. the people of God have been formed They who were instructed in the mys. into distinct communities, and enjoyed teries of the kingdom of heaven by peculiar privileges. But while in forour blessed Lord himself--they to mer times these communities were spewhose remembrance the Holy Spirit cially limited, the Christian communibrought all things whatsoever they had ty is destined to embrace the whole learned froin him, and led them into all earth. Jews and gentiles are received truth; surely such men were instruct. into this community, and we are told ed in a manner and to a degree su. that ultimately God will give to his Son, periour to any thing to which common “ the heathen for his inheritance and men can lay claim.
the utmost parts of the earth for his We come now to the second topick of possession." our discourse, the formation of the Chris- While our blessed Lord was here on tian church.
earth, he was the source of all truth 7
ADVOCATE, VOL. II.