Page images

as the badge that distinguishes a clude them from the presence of party. Religion has nothing to do their Maker. But wisdom is juswith the follies of one class or the tified of her children : they have other. There are many, I cannot not so learned Christ, as to remain doubt, whom the world considers without His Spirit. as no better than themselves, and Now brethren, it were well to only following the multitude in the ask ourselves, in what way we eager pursuit of worldly advantage, have learned Christ; are we bondbut who have received an unction slaves, or those whom the truth bath from the Holy One, by which they made free? Let every one here understand all things relating to satisfy himself on this point, and their peace; and by which they let him not delay. Let every one are by some miracle of deliverance here say to himself, it is essentially kept from the evil that is in the necessary that I know my real world, and eventually brought off state before that God to whom, more than conquerors over such my reason tells me, as well as overwhelming contingencies. And, revelation, I am accountable for on the other hand, there are many the light I possess. Have I any false professors of religion among real and lasting advantage from my those, who with every religious knowledge of Christ? If I were advantage, and every chance in to go hence and be no more seen, their favour, so to speak, having what would revelation profit me ? shut themselves out from the How has the day of grace been world, have never had that depra- spent by me? If it found me a vity removed which nullifies every

debtor to the divine law, and unChristian ordinance, makes re- der its wrath, would it leave me ligious privileges leave them still so still, and so Christ be made of unblessed, and must finally ex- none effectas far as I am concerned ?




The following comment of the we ought to do. God hath given pious and excellent Samuel Hieron a long time of rest to us in this on Psalm li. 19, appears to me

nation, during all which time, in so appropriate to the existing state places where the means have been of things amongst ourselves, that I afforded, there hath been a comcannot but wish to see it reprinted fortable liberty for all men to give in the Christian Guardian, The their due attendance at the posts of work from which it was taken was the Lord's doors, and for the published in 1617.

spouse of Christ to pasture by the

tents of the shepherds. We have Then shalt thou be pleased with

not been fain to do as Christians of the sacrifices of righteousness ; with

our profession in other countries, burnt-offering and whole burnt

to assemble by stealth, and privily, offering; then shall they offer bul

in vaults, and woods; or else to locks ироп thine altar.

go armed to the churches, for the • At what a high rate we ought prevention of some sudden_surto value this freedom and liberty prise. The re-edifiers of Jeruof serving God publicly in peace !.. salem after the captivity, with one We are herein for the most part hand did the work with the exceeding faulty, even that we trowel, and with the other held the esteen not this mercy of God as sword; (Nehemiah iv. 17.) we are


not put to any such strait.

There Then shall they offer calves upon be many of God's dear servants in thine altar, and shall the gates of the world, who if they might, thine house stand open, and there would redeem the one half of our shall be free access unto thine freedom, even with the most of altars ; and let us labour for the their estates. But how do we

same affections. Oh, that reckon of it? I do but appeal in would once truly thank God for the fear of God, and in his sight the glorious gospel of his Son; unto your souls and consciences, to and that for the sound of trumpets, say When did we rouse up our and roaring of cannons, which our spirits, when we have been in neighbours in other countries have meditation by ourselves, to thank been used to,* we have had the God for the liberty of his gospel, noise of bells calling us to the for the free use of his word, for house of God, to be partakers of the peace of profession? The his word. . . . . Alas, (I know not truth is, there be many things how) plenty hath made us wanton, wanting amongst us, many defects and the ordinances of God begin and blemishes in matters of the even to wax stale; men can let pass church; but I am persuaded, if we and neglect many opportunities, were more thankful than we be for and oft-times let the altars of God so much as is enjoyed, God would be naked


small occasions. go on in his mercy to us: but be- If once God should shew himself cause of our general unthankfulness angry with Sion, and lay down the herein, and our not prizing the walls of Jerusalem, it

may goodness of God, as it doth de- would then desire to see one of the serve, we are more like to be days of the Son of Man, but shall deprived of that we have than to not see it: (Luke xvii. 22.) so is enjoy more. Why should the Lord the Lord wont to punish, not to suffer us to see more of Sion's give that which is desired, when beauty, who are not so in love being given, it is not valued as is with this we see as we should ? I fit.' beseech

let us think with

* Alluding to the state of the French what heart David spake this here, Protestants in those times.

be we



The following observations on the which that duty is taught in the duty of preaching without reserve pages of revelation, and enforced the doctrine of the Atonement, in the services of our Church. appear in a charge delivered by • Our ministry, my Christian the Rev. Prebendary Townsend, brethren, is the ministry of reconto the Clergy and Churchwardens ciliation to God. It is the office of the peculiar of Allerton.

of effecting the reconciliation of « Before I mention the error to

man to God. Before reconcilia. which I allude, and the arguments, tion there must have been enmity. if such they may be called, by Man by reason of sin was at enwhich it is defended, I will sub- mity with God. This enmity arose mit to you the view I have always from two sources, fear because of taken of the one great duty of a guilt, and fear because of the conclergyman, and the manner in sciousness of continued sin. Our office is to teach men to be recon- head.” It goes on with it, from ciled to God by removing this the days of Abel to those of the fear. We teach the removal of apostles, in the perpetual offering fear because of guilt, by preaching of the sacrifices, which revealed, the expiation of the guilt of sin, in their typical details, the Lamb by the sacrifice of Christ. We of God. I know I am speaking preach the removal of fear because to those who have read, and who of continued sin, by the imparta- have been convinced by the argution of the power of the Holy ments of the deeply-learned Faber, Spirit, to those who have faith in Magee, Smith, Jerram, and others that sacrifice. The doctrine of on this point. When John the reconciliation implies, therefore,

therefore, Baptist, the connecting link bethree things; that man is a sinner, tween the Jewish and the Christian that sin can be pardoned, and that dispensations, pointed out Christ sin can be removed; and every- to his own disciples, who thereupon thing which revelation relates to left him to follow Christ, he deus of these things, is summed up clared him, with reference to the in that one word, which accurately atonement alone, to be the Lamb expresses the whole truth. That of God. When Christ went up to word is, the Atonement. This word Jerusalem to die, he became our implies the causes, the means,

and sacrifice, our passover, only to the result of reconciliation. Its complete the work of his atonement, causes are, the mercy of God, and of which his death was the princithe sin of man- the means, the pal part, and which he undertook propitiation by Christ--the result before the creation of the world. of receiving that propitiation, the

When he returned to his glory, his bestowing the Divine aid to sanc- apostles summed up all their teachtify, and to renovate the soul. Alling in this one doctrine, “ We our external services are but proofs preach Christ crucified.” The of our faith in the atonement, which Epistles more especially dwell on reconciles man to God; and there this point, because the history of is no holiness, no true morality, but the redemption of man being comthat which flows from faith in this pleted, the mind is brought under atonement. Faith in Christ, work- the teaching of inspiration, to poning obedience in the heart and life, der this topic without interruption. by life to God, is the one true reli- When we shall see Christ at the gion. The preaching this doctrine last, we shall “ look on him whom of the atonement, therefore, is your we have pierced.” The piercing first chief duty. It includes every

of bis hands, and his feet, was the other. On all occasions when you sign of the completion of his atonespeak to the people, this doctrine ment: and he shall be known as must be, and ought uniformly to the atoner, when he comes again be, without the exception of any

to judge us. Such is the manner sermon whatever, the ex

in which the doctrine of the atonepressed, or the implied foundation ment is the beginning, middle, and of all moral inference, and all spi. the end of the whole book of Revelaritual instruction. This is the one

tion. See too in what manner the truth. The pages of Revelation church, in full accordance with the may, in one sense, be said to teach Scriptures, teaches the same truth. this alone; for all its history, facts, Every prayer we offer to God, is and inferences, refer to this, as the

addressed to him in the name of object for which alone, all was

Christ: not alone as our prophet written. The Bible begins with to instruct us, but as the sacred it, when it says,

" the seed of the intercessor of the new covenant. woman shall bruise the serpent's We approach to God in the name


of Christ, because Christ is the to which it refers must be intermediator, who offers the prayers preted, of their public instruction. of his people. We pray to Christ The object of the author, therefore, as the Lamb of God, who taketh is to enforce reserve in the pulpit, away the sin of the world. Men, in imparting knowledge to the women, children, the philosopher, people. You will inquire, what and the uninstructed, all join in

can be the

arguments upon which what we justly call the ommon this offensive proposition can possPrayer. In the sacramental ser- ibly be established? I will briefly vices of the church, we thank God inform you of their substance, and for him who made


the cross as briefly submit to you my reply the great sacrifice, oblation, and to each. satisfaction for the sins of the whole • The arguments on which this world-and so I could go on, to strange novelty is defended are prove to you, that the doctrine of principally three : the example of the atonement is the one great Christ--the moral government of truth, which we always, on all God-and the custom of the Prioccasions, systematically explicit- mitive Church. ly, prominently, and uniformly keep With respect to the example in view ; as the hope of our souls, of Christ. Weacknowledge that he the basis of our prayers, the foun- taught in parables, and that he had dation of all our faith, praise, and many things to say to his disciples gratitude, and the source of all which they could not bear, and that Christian holiness, of which which he did not therefore reveal morality is only a part, because to them. Two considerations, morality is our duty to man, and however, render the conduct of the includes not our duty to God. Christian minister who should

• I am now, therefore, brought preach the doctrine of the atoneto the question - Why have I said ment with reserve, on account of all this? Why have I presumed our Saviour's mode of teaching, to remind you of a duty so well utterly unreasonable and absurd. known, so thoroughly understood, The first is, that the apparent and I doubt not, so long practised reserve of Christ may be accounted by you all ? What is the error for, by local, temporary, and ocagainst which I shall warn you ? casional circumstances. He had

The error to which I refer shall not come to the earth merely to be mentioned in the words of the teach the Jews. He had come to writer. It is the inference or con- fulfil a vast number of prophecies, clusion from the preceding reason- especially those which related to ng in his book. It is this: his death ; and it was necessary

• The prevailing notion of bring- that all these should be fulfilled, ing forward the atonement explicit

in order that the evidence of their ly and prominently on all occasions, accomplishment, might be added is evidently quite opposed to what to that of his miracles, and that all we consider the teaching of Scrip- the churches after the day of Penture, nor do we find any sanction tecost, should coinpare the events for it in the Gospels. If the of his life, passion, death, and Epistles of St. Paul appear to resurrection, with the predictions favour it, it is only at first sight.' which had previously recorded

· Such is the statement of the them; and the Divine wisdom can error to which I allude. The title never be sufficiently admired, of the tract is, On Reserve in com- which, by the manner in which municating Religious Knowledge ; Christ taught, so overruled the and as it is addressed to the clergy, conflicting feelings, and inconsistthe communication of knowledge ent conduct, of be multitude, the


Jews, the Pharisees, and the pecting the example of Christ, Romans ; that they all contributed renders the adoption by the Chrisin the very precise moment of the tian minister of this prescribed predicted fulness of time, to the reserve still more objectionable. death of Christ ; in that exact « The truths wbich Christ did manner, and through all the mi- not reveal to his followers, benuteness of detail, which was ne- cause they were not able to bear cessary, that the letter of the Scrip- them, were all revealed to them ture might be fulfilled. Sometimes, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, even with all his studied caution for the benefit of themselves, and in speaking to those around him, of the Church, after the day of the truths which they were to re- Pentecost. The express and solemn member hereafter, though they declaration of our Saviour wascould not receive them at that it is expedient for you, that I go present time; they took up stones away. If I go not away, the to stone him. If they had done so Comforter will not come unto you. the prophecy could not have been I will send you another Paraclete, fulfilled, which said, a bone of

even the Spirit of truth, that he him shall not be broken.” Some- may abide with you for ever. He, times they were so impressed with when he is come, shall guide you bis miracles,--and especially with into all truth. The Holy Spirit that by which it was found that he

has come.

He has been, he is could maintain large armies, at the with his Church. He has guided, expense of a few loaves and fishes, and He does guide it into all truth; and thus have headed the Jews so that the Scriptures have been against the Romans,—that they completed; and whatever there were coming by force to make him has been of reserve, either in the a king. If they had done this, the types and shadows of the law, Romans, unless other miracles had which was only one stage in the been performed, and other pro- education of the Church of God, phecies had been previously spok- that education is now ended : and en, might have slain him with the whatever there may appear to have sword, in tumultuary conflict, been of mystery or reserve in the together with his followers, and teaching of Christ, for any purpose then the soldiers might not have whatever, we are now guided into cast lots upon his vesture, nor have all truth : and such mystery, diffigiven him the vinegar and the gall. culty, and reserve is, consequently, When he alluded to the conversion by the teaching of the Holy of the Gentiles, they desired to Spirit, fully and entirely done throw him from the brow of the away. We are the interpreters of hill on which the city was built; that completed revelation : and the and a miracle was wrought contrary interpreter can have no right to to his general plan of acting, for teach the message of his master his own personal safety. He de

with reserve. pended for that safety till the time • The second argument, upon of his death drew nigh, when the which reserve in our communicating prophecies should be accomplish- religious instruction to the people ed, upon that very reserve and is defended, is the moral governforbearance, which is now per- ment of God. verted into an argument, to you

· The view which this writer and to me, to lose sight of our first submits to us, of the moral governduty, and to preach with reserve, ment of God, is, that God comthe sacred doctrine of the atone- municates less knowledge to man ment.

than man can bear, in pity to bis • The next consideration, res- weakness, lest man should increase DECEMBER, 1838.

3 N

« EelmineJätka »