Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

for the propitiation of offences, &o. of the partakers, that by the communion of these vivifying sacraments we may have entrance to the delights of eternal life," &c.— Ibid. 192.

Syriack Liturgy, ascribed to St. Dionysius.—“May make this bread the living body. of .... Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and for eternal life, to them who receive it ; and the mixture in the cup, the living blood ...... of.. Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and life eternal, to them who receive it." - Ibid. 206, 207. Syriack Liturgy, ascribed to St. Ignatius.—" May make this bread the holy body

.. of.... Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and life eternal, of the receivers; and this cup the living blood. .. of.... Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and life eternal, of the receivers."-Ibid. 218, 219.

Syriack Liturgy, ascribed to Julius, Bishop of Rome.-"May make this bread the body of Christ our God, and the mixture in the cup the blood of Christ our God, that it may profit all those who shall receive and communicate of it.” &c.--Ibid. 229, 230.

Syriarck Liturgy, ascribed to Eustathius of Antioch._"May exhibit this bread, the boly body of Christ our God, and make the mixture in the cup the blood of Christ our God, but may give to us, by the receiving of them, pardon of sins.” &c.— Ibid. 237. Syriack Liturgy

of St. John, which, in the Chaldaic Missal, is ascribed to Chrysostom." May exhibit this bread, the body of Christ, our God, and the mixture in the cup the blood of the same Christ our God, that whosoever shall communicate in them may be heirs in the kingdom of heaven," &c.—Ibid. 257. Syriack Liturgy, ascribed to Maruta, Metropolitan of Sagril

. -" May change this simple bread, and make it the very body which was sacrificed for us.. the body of the very word of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and life eternal, to them who receive it; and may change this mixed wine, which is in the cup, and make it the very blood which was shed for us ...... the blood of the very Lord, the word of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and eternal life, to them who receive it.” &c.—Ibid. 264, 265.

It were a waste of time, and of the reader's patience, to add all the numerous proofs which might be adduced from the remaining oriental liturgies. I will content myself, therefore, with citing that which is in general accounted the purest and most ancient of all—I mean the liturgy called the Clementine, which stands in the eighth book of what are called the Apostolical Constitutions :

“ That he may make this bread the body of thy Christ, and this cup the blood of thy Christ, that all who shall partake of it may be confirmed in godliness," &c.-Bult,

P. 10.

This, when combined with all that have been, and the rest that might be, cited, may serve to shew that when St. Basil expressed in his liturgy-which has received the entire approval of the Deutero Nicene fathers—the change in the Eucharistic elements to be a change only for the use of those who received them, he was expressing that which, throughout the whole of the east, from the remotest periods, has been the received sense of all the bodies of Christians, orthodox or heretical.

But it is not only the liturgies of the east that bear witness to this point: the west and the east have joined their voices together, that the testimony against the Roman error of transubstantiation may be catholic. In the ancient Gothic liturgy, published by Mabillon, we have the prayer of consecration as follows:

“ Beseeching thee, that thou wouldest vouchsafe to send thy Holy Spirit upon these solemn mysteries, that they may become unto us a true eucharist, in the name of thee and of thy Son, and of thy Holy Spirit, that they may confer eternal life, and an everlasting kingdom on us, who are going to eat and drink them in the transformation of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”-Brett, 114.

In the liturgies of Narbonne and Aquitaine, cited by Martene, in his Treatise of Divine Offices, 4to. Lyons, 1706, p. 537:

“Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, eternal God, deign to bless this bread with thy holy and Spiritual benediction, that it may be to all who take it the salvation of mind and body,” &c.

Nay, even the Roman liturgy itself, in the very canon of the mass, bears witness that such was the doctrine of that apostolic church before the enemy of mankind contrived to sow his tares in that fruitful field of the Lord's planting, which erst had yielded good wheat :

“ Which oblation do thou, O God, we beseech thee, vouchsafe to render, in all respects, blessed, approved, effectual, reasonable, and acceptable, that it may be made unto us the body and blood of thy most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Oh! when will Rome return to that purity of doctrine, to which, even to this very day, her ancient forms,—which she has providentially preserved—bear undeniable witness ? Surely, the day will come. Blessed will their eyes be, to whom it is permitted to see it! Blessed their ears, who shall hear the joyful sound!

But to return whence I set out, and to conclude: if fair and reasonable argument may be allowed any weight in this controversy, then I venture to think, that I have succeeded in citing the collective evidence of nearly seven hundred bishops, at the close of the eighth century, against the doctrine of transubstantiation; and in shewing, that as the assertion of a belief in transubstantiation being required as necessary to salvation, in the early ages, is untenable, and has consequently been abandoned by the candid writers on the Roman side, so the assertion, that though not necessary to salvation in the early ages, still that the belief in it was, in point of fact, generally received, is also untenable, and should, in fairness, be likewise abandoned by them.

Notice:- The press of matter is such this month, that the readers of the Magazine must excuse the omission of any paper illustrating the usual frontispiece.

DEVOTIONAL & PRACTICAL.

PUBLIC WORSHIP. (An Address by the Bishop oF BARBADOES, on laying the first stone of a New Church,

December 31, 1835.) My Christian Brethren,—The worship of Almighty God is grounded upon the express command of Holy Scripture," Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." The readiness of angelical obedience may be imitated by us,-the names of departed saints and apostles may be held in all holy remem

VOL. IX.-April, 1836.

[ocr errors]

brance—the lowly Virgin may be pronounced“ blessed among women,"_but prayer is offerable only unto God through the intercession of Christ Jesus, the one sole mediator between God and man. Saints and angels are but created beings; and God is a "jealous God, and giveth not his glory unto another.”_"I fell down," saith the beloved disciple,“ to worship before the feet of the angel : but he said unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book :-worship God."

In every relation of life, and under whatever character we regard ourselves, this worship is due from man to God. In our individual capacity, how various are our personal wants; how great our dangers, both spiritual and temporal; how many the mercies which we have severally received; how necessary to our happiness is their continuance! But the issues of life and death are, we know, in the hands of God. He can give or take away as best pleaseth him; and if he has said by the mouth of his beloved Son,“ ask, and ye shall receive,” is it not for our individual interest, no less than our bounden duty, to kneel in prayer before him who is thus almighty to preserve, and all-merciful to bless such as cast their care upon him”? Shall we not worship him in secret, who “ seeth in secret,” and can for Christ's sake reward every individual openly, in that very way which is most needful both for the soul or for the body.

Again, in our domestic capacity, as heads or members of a family, how is both the moral and bodily danger proportionally increased !-we have to take care, not for ourselves only, but for many,—we have to watch and provide, as far as in us lieth, against temptations yet more varied,-accidents, yet more frequent,-maladies, yet more numerous,-necessities, it may be, yet more distressing and severe. Can we, by “taking thought, add one cubit to our” own “stature"? Can we “make one hair of our” own heads white or black"? Has not God retained in his hands all these natural gifts, whether as regards ourselves, or our families, or our dependents? And shall not the Christian householder, then, take up the resolution of Joshua, and say with the pious captain of Israel, “ As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,"_" the God of all the families of the earth.” The domestic altar should as duly be reared in every Christian house, as the more private supplication for our individual welfare be offered up in the privacy of our own chambers.

In our chambers we pray for ourselves; in the midst of our assembled households we commend unto the Giver of every good gift the collective wants of our respective fami

* “Degenerate souls, wedded to their vicious habits, may disclaim all commerce with Heaven,—refusing to invoke Him whose infinite wisdom is ever prompt to discern, and his bounty to relieve, the wants of those who faithfully call upon Him, and neglecting to praise Him who is great and marvellous in his works, just and righteous in his ways, infinite and incomprehensible in his nature;—but let us take care that every morning, as soon as we rise, we lay hold upon this proper season of address, and offer up to God the firstfruits of our thoughts, —yet fresh, unsullied, and serene, before a busy swarm of vain images crowd in upon the mind. When the spirits, just refreshed with sleep, are brisk and active, and rejoice, like that sun which ushers in the day, to run their course ;-—when all nature, just awakened into being from insensibility, pays its early homage ;—then let us join in the universal chorus, who are the only creatures in the visíble creation capable of knowing to whom it is to be addressed.

“ And in the evening,—when the stillness of the night invites to solemn thoughts,-after we have collected our straggling ideas, and suffered not a reflection to stir but what either looks upward to God, or inward upon ourselves upon the state of our minds,—then let us scan over each action of the day, fervently entreat God's pardon for what we have done amiss, and the gracious assistance of his Spirit for the future, and, after having adjusted accounts between our Maker and ourselves, commit ourselves to his care for the following night.

“ Thus beginning and closing the day with devotion, imploring his direction every morning as we rise for the following day, and recommending ourselves every night before we lie down to his protection, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, the intermediate spaces will be better filled up,--each line of our behaviour will terminate in God, as the centre of our actions. Our lives, all of a price, will constitute one regular whole, to which each part will bear a necessary relation and correspondence, without any broken and disjointed schemes, independent of this great end,--the pleasing of God. “And while we have this point in view, whatever variety there may be in our actions, there will be a uniformity too, which constitutes the beauty of life, just as it does of everything else,-a uniformity without being dull and tedious, and a variety without being wild and irregular.” — Seed's Sermons on the Duties of Family and Private Prayer considered, vol. i., p. 296.

name.”

lies. But man has yet wider connexions;" God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” We are one in Adam by our natural birth; we are one in Christ by our spiritual regeneration. The same God has made us; the same Saviour has redeemed us; the same Spirit has sancti. fied, and still continues to sanctify us. We all look up to the same benefactor,to the “ one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.” “ Thou that hearest prayer, to thee," then, “shall all flesh come. "_" All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy

In the congregation, no less than secretly among the faithful, are we bound to kneel before the Most High, and to render public thanks for mercies thus public and universal! Scripture enjoins it," neglect not the assembling of yourselves together. Religion requires it;-however pure and bright the flame of devotion may burn within our hearts, or diffuse its beneficial warmth around the narrow circle of our families,—yet how can God be publicly glorified before men, but by acts of more open and collective adoration“ in the presence of all his people,” in the more especial “courts of the Lord's house !" Public services,– public edifices expressly set apart for such services, sabbaths duly observed, -and an established ministry, regular in the performance of every appointed solemnity, and zealous for the salvation of souls, are essential to the preservation of religion.t If these be

• “The joint devotions of a family are as necessary to derive a blessing upon a family, and to return thanks for blessings already received, as the applications of each individual are to beg of God, or to thank him for, his own personal advantages.

“ If ever then you would have your children to be dutiful and your servants faithful,if ever you desire your small community here should join you hereafter with the great congregation of men and angels in one chorus to their Maker, be sure to cultivate the spot of ground committed to your care ; teach them to look up to God in every step of their conduct; impress upon them, and keep alive in them by repeated prayers, a manly, serious, and devout frame of mind; and set apart some portion of the Sabbath to read, or hear them read, such good books as may instruct them in the strong and decisive evidence of Christianity, the great work of their redemption, and the whole compass of their duty. From a neglect of doing this it comes to pass that our youth, as soon as they launch out into the world, fall an easy, defenceless prey to those professors of iniquity who go about seeking whom they may devour,—that they become proselytes from the best religion the world was ever blessed with, to no religion at all,—and that those, who should be the flower of the nation, are too often the very dregs of it.”-Seed's Sermons on the Duties of Family and Private Prayer considered, vol. i., p. 290.

t." God is to be regarded as the universal benefactor of mankind, from whom we all have received public blessings, and to whom therefore we owe public acknowledgements. For private praises and thanksgivings are by no means proper returns for public mercies.

“Every creature ought to do homage to his Creator ; he ought to pay the tribute of honour where honour is due. Now the honour of God is more promoted by his being worshipped publicly, than privately; because private prayer is piety confined within our breasts, but public prayer is piety exemplified and displayed in our outward actions. It is the beauty of holiness made visible; our light shines out before men, and in the eye of the world; it enlarges the interests of godliness, and keeps up a face and sense of religion among mankind.

“Were man only to repair to their devotion, as the disciple of quality did to his Lord and Master, secretly and by night for fear of the Jews,---religion, thus lonely and unfriended, would soon decay for want of public countenance and encouragement. For what would be the consequence if religion sought the shades, and lived a recluse entirely immured in closets, while irreligion audaciously appears abroad, “like the pestilence that destroyeth at noon day?" It requires po great depth of penetration to perceive, nor expense of argument to prove, that the want of a public national religion, or a general absenting from that national religion, must end in a general national irreverence to the Deity; and an irreverence to the Deity in a universal dissolution of morals, and all the overflowings of ungodliness. The service of the church, and the word of God read and expounded, must awaken those reflections which it is the business of bad men to lay fast asleep, and let in upon the soul some unwelcome beams of light; but when these constant calls to virtue are neglected, men will become gradually more and more estranged from all seriousness and goodness, until at last they end in a professed disregard to all fixed principles.

“The fear of that Being, whose judgments no power can fence off, no skill elude, being absolutely necessary, it is the duty of every man, not only to cultivate this reverence in himself, but to promote it, as far as he can, in others. Now he that would promote a sacred regard to the Deity, must do it by such actions as are most significant of that regard. He

384

wanting in any place, or if the provision throughout a large community be irregular, or inadequate, or unseemly, can we wonder “if iniquity abound, and the love of many wax cold?"

With what feelings, then, of Christian exultation may we behold the preparations at length made for the re-erection of the church of this populous town! Long and deeply must every pious soul have lamented its ruins; with the Israelites of old, when they wept over their fallen Sion, “thinking on its stones, and pitying to see?? them in the dust.”

Wherever bodies of men are congregated together, whether for the object of social convenience, or pleasurable relaxation, or commercial business, there the enemy of the human soul is never slack in sowing the tares of irreligious opinions; and irreligious opinions lead inevitably to immoral practice. Every day's experience, in every age of the world, has proved the truth of these positions. Nothing but the countervailing influence of a pure, and sober, and practical faith, grounded on God's written word, and embracing all which that word has revealed, can give a holier and more serious turn to the thoughts, elevate the affections, control the inclinations, purify the desires, and render our actions, through God's grace, holy, just, and good. God's Spirit is indeed ever striving with the heart of man; but ordinarily, as in the natural, so in the spiritual world, God works only by outward and secondary means. • Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is in the Lord's sanctuary that we have the promises of God's more especial presence with us:--"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst.” It is when we are on our knees before him in the congregation,—when his word is read in our ears,—when his sacraments are administered before our eyes,

when his ministers are proclaiming the message of reconciliation, and explaining the words of everlasting life, and like the apostles of old “shewing” unto their people" the way of salvation,”-it is then that God's Spirit is nighest to sanctify and enlighten, strengthen and bless us!

Press forward, then, my brethren, in the good undertaking of this day: "God is not unrighteous that he will forget your work or labour which proceedeth of love for his name sake.” He that thus “ lendeth unto the Lord” in the services of bis sanctuary, will never have to regret what his piety shall have prompted him thus to bestow! Gladly have I heard of-gladly do I now witness—the zeal manifesting itself throughout the parish. Gladly have I heard of the appropriate and munificent exertions which were made by the ladies to take their part in this holy object. Female influence, when adorned, and regulated, and sanctified by Christian principle, must ever be of incalculable weight in upholding and advancing the morals of any community! Gladly have I heard of other instances of a willing heart and a bountiful hand. “ The Lord,” in the words of the prophet Nehemiah,

remember" every benefactor“ concerning this; and wipe not out any good deed that they shall do for the house of their God;" but accept and reward them in the great day of account for Christ's sake. And now may

the glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us! prosper thou, O Lord, the work of our hands upon us; O prosper thou our handy work !”

[ocr errors]

must express and exemplify to others that serious awful sense of the Deity which is impressed upon his own mind, by a solemn and avowed acknowledgement of his power and glory in assemblies set apart for that purpose. Whoever thinks justly must be sensible that private religion never did in fact subsist but where some public profession of was regularly kept up; he must be sensible, that if public worship were once discontinued, a universal forgetfulness of that God would ensue, whom to remember is the strongest fence and preservative against vice; and that the bulk of mankind would soon degenerate into mere savages and barbarians, if there were not stated days to call them off from the common business of life, to attend to what is the most important business of all, their salvation in the next.”-Seed's Sermon on the Reasonableness of Prayer and Public Worship, p. 273.

* The sum of 2741. was raised by the sale of articles, principally of female workmanship, at a bazaar held for this purpose in Speight’s Town.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »