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matters of opinion, as they are borne in upon it by something proportioned to its own nature.
ZUINGLIUS'S MODE OF ADMINISTERING THE LORD'S SUP
THE manner in which Zuinglius the Reformer administered the supper of our Lord was the following: After he ended his sermon, a table was brought into the church, covered with a clean cloth, on which was placed a basket full of unleavened bread, and cups, made of wood, filled with wine. The pastor of the church, with the deacons, approached first to the table, and craved the attention of the whole assembly; then one of the deacons read the words of the institution from Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. xi. 23; and another of them read the 6th chapter of the Gospel by St. John, that the audience might learn what was meant by eating Christ's flesh, and drinking his blood, in the ordinance of his supper. After this they read the Apostles' Creed, and the pastor exhorted all the people to examine themselves, lest, coming unworthily, they should eat and drink judgment to themselves. Next, they all kneeled, and said the Lord's Prayer, which being ended, the pastor took the bread in his hands, and looking on all the assembly, with a loud voice repeated the words of the institution. He then gave the bread and wine to so many ministers or elders, who carried the bread round in baskets, and the wine in cups, and offered both to the church. Such as received what was delivered by the ministers, ate so much, and gave what remained to those who sat next, till it went quite round
the whole church. In the same manner they carried the cup. During the time that the bread and wine were carrying about, one of the ministers read those words of our Saviour which
he spoke to his disciples when he washed their feet, John xiii. 12. When the bread and wine were gone round the congregation, the ministers returned to the table, and all the congregation kneeled down and gave thanks to the Almighty for their redemption by Jesus Christ.
N.B. Zuinglius appears to have omitted blessing the bread, after our Lord's example.
MAKING SECRET PRAYER
1. BE regular in the observance of it. Arrange your affairs with reference to your daily seasons of retirement; and do it with just as much purpose as with reference to your ordinary meals, and, if you are very irregular in the latter, with more. More depends upon this than most are aware of.
2. Watch over your life and conversation. If you suffer yourself to be betrayed into any irregularity of conduct, or frivolity of conversation, it will press like lead upon your spirits as you enter your closet. There is meaning in the words of the apostle, "Watching thereunto, with all perseverance."
Friend. That friend is He before whom the angels veil their faces. There must be a preparation in order to enter suitably into communion with him.
4. Read, in connection with your devotions, a few pages in such works as Baxter's "Saint's Rest," Kempis' "Imitation of Christ," and, above all, devotional portions of the Bible.
5. Let your heart dictate every word you utter in the form of prayer. In other words, do not go to the closet merely to discharge your conscience in relation to the duty; but go there to unburden your soul of its emotions; and, while there, do not utter words significant of desires you do not feel. If you have not the emotion which you ought to have, do not mock God
by expressions which signify its possession; but meditate, and pray for it, till it is awakened; and when it comes, utter it.
6. Pray much to Christ. He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He was tempted, tried, in all points as we are, and presents himself before us in a form to meet our sympathies, and invite our most confiding approaches. Why did Stephen, in the hour of his trial, pray, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit?" There is a volume of instruction in that prayer. It points us to One who, having trod the path of temptation, suffering, death, bears towards us the heart of a brother, that can be touched, combined with omnipotence to save.
The Letter Box.
PLAIN TRUTHS FOR PIOUS CHURCHMEN.
FELLOW-CHRISTIANS, The Bible
The laws which this Divine legislator has enacted for the government of his kingdom are recorded in the New Testament; and the execution of
them he has left to his own followers. All church government, therefore, resolves itself into the observance or execution of Christ's laws. Each church may, in its own separate capacity, adopt whatever rules or regulations it may judge proper for the carrying out of Christ's laws; but no power is given to it to make and impose laws which he has not made, or to alter or unmake laws which he has made. If no such power is given to the church itself, much less is it given to any body of men who do not belong to it. The exercise of such a power, even by good men, is an invasion of the legislative rights of Christ; how much more is he dishonoured when bad men are allowed
to rule in his kingdom, and make laws just what you are, as the Established
for his subjects!
This is a dishonour done to Christ, with which the Church of England is chargeable. It makes the reigning sovereign for the time being its supreme head, without any regard whatever to his character. Almost the entire ruling power which is given to the Pope in the Church of Rome is given to the King in the Church of England. Henry VIII., Charles II., and George IV., were men whose characters were blackened by every species of wickedness; and yet, notoriously wicked as they were, every one of them was made the head of the church. The king may be a sceptic, a profane swearer, a whoremonger, or anything else that is bad, and yet without him no archbishop or bishop can be appointed, no convocation of the church can be held, no prayer can be offered in your churches, except what is found in the Book of Common Prayer: whatever he commands in any of these respects must be done; whatever he forbids must be left undone.
But who gave the king this unscriptural power in your church? The parliament. It was the parliament that singled out the Episcopal Church, and made it the Established Church; it was the parliament that enacted all the laws by which your church is bound; it was the parliament that adopted the Book of Common Prayer, and determined what prayers should be offered in your churches and what should not; it is the parliament that determines how many bishops you shall have, defines the limits of their sees, and then tells them how far and in what way they shall exercise discipline over their clergy; in a word, you are
Church, because the parliament has made you so. You must remain just as you are until the parliament is pleased to alter or amend the laws by which you are bound. You could not alter a single sentence in your Prayerbook without its permission; you must alter, if it so command. The power that made you the Endowed Church can unmake you; and as long as you remain what you are, it can add to or take from your laws, make them better or worse, command you or deter you, regulate or control you, reward you or punish you, according to its good pleasure.
If such a power must be entrusted to any human beings, they ought surely to be the nearest approach to perfection that earth can produce. But who are they ?-who have they ever been? Taken as a whole, what has been their character ?-what is it now?
Let us take a sample from the legis lators of the reign of Charles II. In the year 1660 that monarch formed a Cabinet Ministry for Scotland, and placed the Earl of Middletown at its head. At the end of the year the Earl went to Scotland, with great magnificence, for the purpose of opening the Scotch parliament on New Year's Day, 1661. These legislators, like our own, were required to busy themselves with ecclesiastical affairs. The great measure of the session was the substitution of the Episcopal for the Presbyterian, as the Established Church of Scotland. Surely the men who were to be entrusted with an affair so weighty as the changing of the religion of a whole nation, would be men remarkable for their theological studies, their elevated piety, and their spotless cha
racter. Remarkable indeed they were for some things, but not for these.
Let good Bishop Burnet, one of your own prelates, tell you of their qualifica tions for church legislation. When speaking of the Earl at the head of the Government, the Bishop says, "His way of living was the most scandalous, for vices of all sorts were the open practices of those about him. Drinking was the most notorious of all, which was often continued through the whole night to the next morning." "The people came to look with an ill eye on everything that was done by such a set of lewd and vicious men." The substitution of Episcopacy for Presbyterianism was a measure resolved on “when they had drunk higher." "It was a mad roaring time, full of extravagances; and no wonder it was so, when the men of affairs were almost perpetually drunk." He who had the greatest hand in the establishment of Episcopacy (Archbishop Sharpe) "proceeded with so much dissimulation, and the rest of the order (the bishops) were so mean and so selfish; and the Earl of Middletown, with the other secular men that conducted it, were so openly impious and vicious, that it did cast a reproach upon everything relating to religion, to see it managed by such instruments."
Look again at this description, written by a prelatic pen: "A set of lewd and vicious men, openly impious and vicious, practising vices of all sorts in open day, drinking through the livelong night, almost perpetually drunk." And these were the men entrusted with church legislation-these the men to make laws for the national establishment-these the men to watch over and promote religion! Why,
they could not touch it without profaning it, nor even mention it without polluting it! Such are the fearful inconsistencies which State-Establishment Churchmen are obliged to countenance.
Have you ever reflected on the fact that men who have been notorious for their infidelity have been numbered among the legislators of your church? The Duke of Buckingham, to whom I called your attention in a previous letter, was "an infidel confessed;" and he was one of your church legislators. Lord Bolingbroke was an infidel, and not only had he a large amount of church patronage at his disposal, but he had as much power to enact laws for the government of your church as the most enlightened and devoted Christian in the realm. historian, was an infidel; and yet he was a church legislator, and had as much power to make, alter, or unmake any of your church laws, as any other man in the House of Commons. Does it appear to you a thing that should be tolerated for a single day, that men who avow their disbelief in Christianity, and openly treat it with ridicule and scorn, should be allowed to make laws for the worship and discipline of the church of Christ?
When Mr. Wilberforce was under personal religious conviction at the time of his conversion, Pitt did all he could to remove his impressions. "He thought," says Wilberforce, "that I was out of spirits, and that company and conversation would be the best way of dissipating my impressions. He tried to reason me out of my convictions." Speaking of him at a later period, he says, "I confess I never knew till then how deep a prejudice
his mind had received against the class of clergy to whom he knew me to be attached." Here you have one of the rulers in your church, who exercised a greater amount of power in her legislative council than any other man of his day, cherishing a deep prejudice" against the evangelical clergy, and doing his best to reason an awakened sinner out of his convictions. Ought such a man to have anything to do with making laws for a church of Christ?
After Mr. Wilberforce had become an enlightened Christian, he was distressed at the haste with which the execution of criminals was made to follow the sentence of death. His sons, who have written his memoir, inform us that "he had once intended to bring the matter before Parliament, and gave it up only from the fear of inflicting a useless injury on religion, by provoking an unsuitable discussion. When it was pressed upon him, he answered, To bring forward such a motion would lead to much profane ribaldry, and no good result; you could only argue it on grounds [that is, religious grounds -compassion to the souls of men] to which the great mass of members are altogether strangers."" When he would reprove the low tone of doctrine which he sometimes heard in the pulpit, he would remark, "I could say as much as that in the House of Commons." Having on one occasion dined at Lord Liverpool's, with a large mixed party of these church legislators, he entered in his journal this observation respecting them: "Their notions about churches are all outside work." To one of his correspondents he makes this melancholy admission: "The truth is, and a dreadful truth it is, that the
opinions of nine-tenths, or at least of a vast majority of the House of Commons, would be against any motion which the friends of religion might make."
And have you given up the government of your church to men whose notions on the subject of churches are "all outside work?" Have you seated upon the legislative throne of the Son of God a number of political men "the vast majority of whom would be sure to be opposed to any motion that the friends of religion might make;" "the great mass of whom are altogether strangers" to considerations closely connected with the interests of the soul, and who would treat a motion based on such considerations with "much profane ribaldry?" How can you, as reasonable men, give your countenance to a procedure which is as condemnable for its folly as for its guilt? How can you, as Churchmen, patronize a thing which stamps the deepest disgrace upon any religious community that submits to it? How can you, as Christian men, dare to consent to such an insult to Zion's King, and by consenting to it become yourselves a party to such a wicked invasion of his throne?
Do you seek to turn off the point of these questions by saying, “We are not answerable for what was going on half a century ago ?" Very true; but what do you gain by turning to the legis lators of the present day? Would you give any man credit for spiritual discernment who would assert that the present House of Commons is fit to make laws for the worship or discipline of a Christian church? Think for one moment of the constitution of that house. There are in it Churchmen and Dissenters, Unitarians and Trinitarians,