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possession of it in a way that was not right, THE SCRIPTURAL MODE OF ENTRANCE

shall his purpose fail ? “ God forbid : yea, INTO CHURCH-COMMUNION.

let God be true.” Jacob's unbelief makes The Scriptures teach us how we are to enter not faith of God of none effect. So might into public fellowship with other Christians, God deal with us. He designed for us the as clearly as they determine that a visible covenant of the Gospel ; and even if we had national Church is agreeable to God's pur- not entered into it the right way, yet, if we pose. There are, however, Christians who be entered thereinto, “in the place where do not allow that the manner in which mem- it was said unto us, Ye are not my people, bers of the Church of England become mem- there shall we be called the children of the bers is agreeable to the model of the word of living God” (Rom. ix. 26). God. They say that we ought to enter into But this is said only upon supposition. the state of a visible Church by voluntary Tried by the word of Christ, the members of covenant, and from an intelligent wish to the English Church can never be proved to advance the kingdom of Christ; and that in have made an illegitimate entrance into pubno other way can we have a right to the name lic communion with the faithful. The claim of of a true Church, and to the privileges of it any believing community to be a true Church for us and our children ; whereas we were may be considered in two ways,- in its first forced, in our first planting, by edicts, laws, planting, and its reformation. How the Church and proclamations; and yet admitted mem- was first planted God knoweth : we know bers, and our posterity after us, by baptism, not from his word. The “sound” of the without properly distinguishing who were apostles “ went into all the earth, and their members of the Church in a spiritual sense. words into the ends of the world” (Rom. x. Now, supposing that this plea were true at 18). “ The Gospel is come unto you,” says first, yet may not the correction of what was St. Paul to the Colossians (i. 6), “ as it is in first amiss confirm the whole ? Things may all the world, and bringeth forth fruit :” and, be ill done at first, which, being once done, doubtless, it was brought among us by some may be of force, and, being prosperous in apostle, or men of apostolical character, who their results, may end with a blessing. If a thereby made our ancient predecessors a true child marries without consent of its parents, Church. Before this, we were without Christ; it is a wicked act; yet, when it is done and now we know him. Before, we were without sealed, shall it not be of force ? nay, do not the covenant; now, we are within it, by bapthe parents whose will was at first disregarded, tism. We were, before, not professors of his if they see good conduct and prosperity, fol- truth : now, we are ; and God " shews mercy low the union with their blessing? And to thousands among them that love him and shall we make God a harder master? Did keep his commandments ;” and “is their he not love Jacob, though he had gained the God, and the God of their seed.” blessing by deceit? God designed the bless- But our case is that of a Church in its ing for him; and, though he came into the reformation. After that the Church in this




land, however planted, had covenanted with servants covenanting with him, when they God, it fell into fearful and abominable had previously fallen into a disorderly state.

When God would raise it up out of | Asa and his people (2 Chron. xv. 12, 14) this state, he dealt with it as he had done entered into a covenant and sware unto the with his servant Job of old time, whom he Lord. The princes, Levites, and priests had made “ perfect and upright,” but whom made a sure covenant, wrote, and sealed it Satan (by God's permission) had marred, and (Nehem. ix. 38). This was done to bind brought into such a state that he was full of the consciences of the unruly amongst them; sores, which so defaced him, that he was and as the prophets did not condemn the scarcely recognised by his friends, and loath practice, we conclude that it was lawful, some to all. All this while Job was as truly when the case demanded such a measurg. a man as he was before, however clouded his That it was lawful, however, but not necescharacter might have been by sinful impa- sary, we know from the fact that there are tience : and when God would lift him up many eminent Churches spoken of in the again, he did not create a new man, but Scriptures which never took this course, but cleansed and cured him, that he might appear which yet entered into covenant with Christ. like his former self; and his end was happy. God, in giving his word, covenanted with It was thus God dealt with the Church: it them to be his peculiar people ; and they, commenced in a healthy state, but it became in receiving his word, “covenanted with him full of “ wounds, and bruises, and putrefying to take him to be their God.” Baptism is sores." God, however, did not build a new Christ's seal of the covenant upon them that Church, he reformed the old, shewing our are baptised, even as those that were cirforefathers wherein they had erred ; that, cumcised were said to be “born to Godby having had the truth of Christ in the recorded covenant (Ezek. xvi. 20). Every person, articles of their faith, and the profession of therefore, who has partaken of baptism, has the truth in their public formularies, they had made the covenant required. This is preoverlaid it with a mass of superstitions and cisely what this sacrament means, what the vanities. Then he places in their hands, and very word “sacrament” itself means, an enin the hands of his ministers, the word and gagement, upon oath, to continue Christ's faithsacraments of his covenant rightly adminis- ful soldier and servant to the end of life. tered; and thus, by degrees, we have fallen There is such a thing as “ dealing falsely into the public profession of Christ's truth by with God concerning his covenant ;" but a union of laws, agreements, and practices. still the covenant has been made once for all,

If it be required of a true Church that and completely, in baptism. By that wide all its members shall have entered it upon door, therefore, and not by any other private knowledge, or an intelligent faith, then the and more contracted gate, is the scriptural members of the English Church have so en- entrance into the communion of the Church. tered : for surely the knowledge of the doc

E. trine of salvation by the blessed Trinity is sufficient for the admission of members,

CHAPEL-RATES AND CHURCH-RATES. since Christ saith, “Go, teach all nations, and baptise them.” And what must they be

In a parish in the county of there is a dissenting taught? That into which they must be bap- know, is kept in repair by what are called " Church

chapel as well as the parish church. The church, we tised--faith in the "Father, Son, and Holy

rates ;" and the clergyman is supported by what are Ghost," which was Christ's first crced that

called " tithes." But how is the chapel supported ? made Churches. Had not the members of the general opinion is, that it is supported by the our reforming Church this intelligent faith? voluntary contributions of the persons who attend it. But, if not, where was the seed of our many

But not entirely so. The chapel was built many years hundreds of martyrs ? In the darkest times

since by a benevolent lady, who at her death left that our Church has suffered, it has pre

money to keep it up: that is to say, she directed that, served this knowledge, and the profession of out of the routs of a certain estate of hers, 301, a-year looking to be saved by "Jestis Christ the

was always to be paid to the minister of this chapel, Son of the living God;" the confession of which was called St. George's. Accordingly, when she which truth is (Matt. xvi. 16, 18) the “rock died, ber trustees advertised that the property was to against which the gates of hell shall not pre- be let on lease, the terms being, that 1101. a-year was vail.”

to be paid to them, and 301. in the manner aforesaid. If it be demanded of a true Church, that Various applications were made to rent the estate ; its members shall enter into it by corenant, but the person who ultimately bired it was not a Disthen the members of our Church have com- senter, but a Churchuman, who, however, on taking plied with this requirement, though not per- possession, gave security that he would comply with haps in the sense sometimes intended. The the stipulated terms. He has always hitherto done Scripture gives several instances of God's

• Published as a tract.



80 ; but seeing, it appears, that some of his neighbours | giving him notice to quit, and saying that he would are resisting the payment of Church-rates for con- take care, in letting the premises again, to demand science' sake, as they say, it has led him to inquire how proportionably higher terms. far he too can take advantage of a similar plea ; and, landlord; and it has set me thinking how it would be

“ Thus matters stand between Mr. Grant and his fancying that he has quite as good reasons for with

if every one were to act in this way. One person is a holding his payment from the chapel, as they have for Churchman, and another a Dissenter; or, rather, some keeping back theirs from the Church, he has just now partieular kind of Dissenter, - a Baptist or an Indeinformed the collector, that if he insists on receiving pendent: and if people are thus permitted to plead the 301. he must distrain on his goods. It appears

conscience for not paying their debts, I don't see how that, in consequence of this refusal, he has been

business can go on, or man can place confidence in

I am sure it would operate as a premium on shunned by every member of the dissenting congre- deceit. We might all, for convenience' sake, change our gation ; and that the minister has been known to go religion on the day when the collector comes round for out of his way rather than meet him in the street. his dues ; and I don't see how it could be ascertained This has led him to publish the following explanation whether we were hypocritical or sincere ; and then, of liis conduct:

after the collector was gone, smile at his credulity,

and resume our former faith. At all events, I am a “My neighbour, Mr. Grant, hired premises at the Churchman ; there is no need to change sides, or deny same time that I did. We were both born in the same iny belief; so that, on the principle Mr. Grant has parish in a distant part of the country, and were always laid down, I can't be compelled to pay the 301. to his good friends, though he was a Dissenter and I a mem- chapel (though it is in my lease), if I like to say, “ my ber of the Church of England. We were induced to conscience won't let me. I have therefore, for the settle in the county of , because we saw advertise- present, suspended this annual payment; and though ments of property there which we thought would suit it has exposed me to many severe remarks, and to the

He struck his bargain as I did, but was particu- displeasure of the minister of the chapel, I feel that lar in his inquiries as to what had been the average the Dissenters persecute me for imitating themselves, amount of taxes, and of parochial and Church-rates and that I must be content to put up with their taunts which had been levied on the premises. The landlord | until they shall set me a better example. produced his books, and satisfied him on these points ; " There are, it is said, several hundred chapels and then said that he would either let the property for in this country having endowments similar toʻst. 601. a-year and pay these rates, &c. himself, or for 451. George's ; but if there were only one, the case would and leave it to Mr. Grant to pay them. Mr. Grant be the same:-the Dissenters would prove that, as took the premises on the latter terms, becoming re- Dissenters, they have no objection to the principle of sponsible for the customary rates. For some time he endowments; and, in letting out their estates, they regularly paid them; but after a few years he began would of course require, like all other proprietors, that to complain that his conscience was burdened by his the terms should be complied with, or the property having to pay for the support of a Church which he surrendered. did not attend.

“Let Mr. Grant, then, prove himself to be indeed a “ I shewed him passages from Matthew Henry and man of conscience, by dealing as he would be dealt other dissenting authorities, where the duty of paying with, and fulfilling the engagements he has voluntarily such “ tribute,' when lawfully demanded, is clearly laid made, and he may be assured that his neighbour will down ; and I reminded him, moreover, that in every not be long behind him; that the 301. will be paid case it must be a matter of contract, and a part of the without distraint or delay; and that Churchmen and bargain between the buyer and the seller; and that he Dissenters are never so likely to be thought sincere in (Mr. Grant) had to pay, not as a Dissenter, but as a their professions of religion, as when they act honestly tenant ---- as occupying, like myself, the property of in the common business of life.others, on terms mutually agreed upon. This seemed to convince him, and for a year or two he paid the rates with a better conscience, I venture to say, than

NAZARETH. he had when he refused them. But lately he has changed his course, and the reason is because there

NAZAreth is beautifully situated, but though it is has been such a stir about the rates, and people have

termed a city in the sacred volume, it is now an inin such numbers refused to pay them, that he fancies considerable village; and the houses are as much he shall be borne out in his resistance ; so that he has, marked by poverty as the inhabitants. It stands on conscientiously as he alleges, determined on keeping the west side of a valley resembling a circular basin, the money in his pocket. Not, however, that it is

The houses are small, likely to remain there; for his landlord, it seems, called encompassed by mountains.

In the on him the other day, and there was a quarrel which of Aat-roofed, and built of a light porous stone. them should have the spoils. The landlord said he ought centre of the town stands one mosque, the minaret of to have them, because he had let the property for a which daily proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth is not lower sum than he otherwise should, on account of these

the dominant master here. rates; but Mr. Grant replied that the landlord could

The Latin convent stands at the east end of the have no right to them, because he had himself admitted, when he let the estate, that he had formerly pur- village, and is built upon the high ground just where chased it for so much less as the average of these the rocky surface joins the valley. Its church, which rates would come to ; and so with the purchaser before is called the “Church of the Incarnation," is erected him, and the one before him, until we come back to the time, centuries ago, when the legislature of this Chris

on the supposed spot where the angel saluted the tian country, acting in the name of the country itself,

Virgin Mary with the joyful tidings related in Luke, dedicated for ever this proportion of its goods to the

i. 28-38. It resembles the figure of a cross; that part Church; to which, therefore, it must of course now be- of it which stands for the tree of the cross is fourteen long, if only the present tenant's conscience would allow paces long and six broad, and runs into the grotto,

-Well, then,' said the landlord, 'give which is said to have been the house of Joseph and the money to me, and trust my conscience as to the way I shall dispose of it.' But Mr. Grant stoutly

• From Landscape Illustrations of the Bible, engraved by declined; so that the interview closed by the landlord

Finden, with Descriptions by the Rev. T. H. Horne, 2 vols.
Murray. 1836.

him to pay it.

Mary. The transverse part of it is nine paces in this spot, on the right hand of the ravino, is shewn length and four in width, and is built across the mouth the rock to which the men of Nazareth are supposed of the cave. Just at the section of these divisions are to have conducted our Lord, for the purpose of throwerected two granite pillars, two feet in diameter, and ing him down. With the Testament in our hands, about three feet distant from each other. Tradition we endeavoured to examine the probabilities of the represents them as standing in the very place where spot; and I confess there is nothing in it which exthe angel and the Virgin severally stood at the time cites a scruple of incredulity in my mind. The rock of the annunciation. The innermost column, which here is perpendicular for about fifty feet, down which is intended to represent the Virgin Mary, has been space it would be easy to hurl a person who should be made the subject of a pretended miracle. Near the unawares brought to the summit; and his perishing convent is shewn the workshop of Joseph; it is now would be a very certain consequence. That the spot a small chapel, perfectly modern. Over the altar is a might be at a considerable distance from the city is representation of him with the implements of his an idea not inconsistent with St. Luke's account ; trade, and holding the infant Jesus, as if instructing for the expression thrusting' Jesus 'out of the city, him in his mechanical employment.

and leading him to the brow of the hill on which their Not far distant from the house of Joseph is shewn city was built,' gives fair scope for imagining that, the synagogue where our Saviour preached the sermon in their rage and debate, the Nazarenes might, withrelated in Luke, iv. 18-27; and also the precipice, out originally intending his murder, press upon him from which the monks of the Latin convent affirm for a considerable distance after they had quitted the that he leaped down, order to escape the rage of synagogue. The distance, as already noticed, from his townsmen, who were offended at his application modern Nazareth to this spot is scarcely two milesof the sacred text. “All they in the synagogue, a space which, in the fury of persecution, might soon when they lieard these things, were filled with wrath, be passed over. Or should this appear too considerand rose up, and thrust him out of the city ; and led able, it is by no means certain but that Nazareth may him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was at that time have extended through the principal part built, that they might cast him down headlong. But of the plain, which lies before the modern town: in he, passing through the midst of them, went his way" this case, the distance passed over might not exceed (Luke, iv. 28-30).

a mile.

It remains only to note the expression, the The Mount of Precipitation, as it is now called, is brow of the hill on which their city was built:' this, about a mile and a half distant from Nazareth, accord- according to the modern aspect of the spot, would ing to Dr. Richardson, but two miles according to the seem to be the hill north of the town, on the lower observations made by Mr. Buckingham and the Rev. slope of which the town is built; but I apprehend the W. Jowett; though Dr. E. D. Clarke maintains that word "hill' to have in this, as it has in very many the words of the evangelist explicitly prove the situ- other

passages of Scripture, a much larger sense; deation of the ancient city to have been precisely that noting sometimes a range of mountains, and in some which is occupied by the modern village. Mr. Jowett, instances a whole mountainous district. In all these however, has, we conceive, clearly shown that the cases the singular word hill,' 'gebel,' is used aeMount of Precipitation could not be immediately con- cording to the idiom of the language of this country. tiguous to Nazareth. This village is situated in a Thus, 'Gebel Carmyl,' or Mount Carmel, is a range little sloping vale or dell on the side, and nearly of mountains : ‘Gebel Libnan,' or Mount Lebanon, extends to the foot of a hill, which, though not very is a mountainous district of more than fifty miles in lofty, is rather steep and overhanging. The eye na- length : 'Gebel ez-Zcitûn,' the Mount of Olives, is turally wanders over its summit, in quest of some certainly a considerable tract of mountainous country. point from which it might probably be that the men And thus any person, coming from Jerusalem and of this place endeavoured to cast our Saviour down entering on the Plain of Esdraelon, would, if asking (Luke, iv. 29); but in vain : no rock adapted to such the name of that bold line of mountains which bounds an object appears.

the north side of the plain, be informed that it was “At the foot of the hill is a modest, simple plain, Gebel Nâsra,' the Hill of Nazareth ; though, in surrounded by low hills, reaching in length nearly a Englislı, we should call them the Mountains of Nazamile; in breadth, near the city, a hundred and fifty reth. Now the spot shewn as illustrating Luke, iv. yards; but further on, about four hundred yards. On 29, is, in fact, on the very brow of this lofty ridge of this plain there are a few olive-trees and fig-trees, mountains ; in comparison of which the hill upon sufficient, or rather scarcely sufficient, to make the which the modern town is built is but a gentle emispot picturesque. Then follows a ravine, which gra- nence." dually grows deeper and narrower, till, after walking This intelligent traveller, therefore, concludes that about another mile, you find yourself in an immense this mountain may be the real scene where our divine chasm, with steep rocks on either side, from whence prophet, Jesus, experienced so great a dishonour from you behold, as it were, beneath your feet, and before the men of his own country and of his own kindred. you, the noble Plain of Esdraelon. Nothing can be In a valley near Nazareth is a fountain which bears finer than the apparently immeasurable prospect of the name of the Virgin Mary, and where the women this plain, bounded to the south by the mountains of are seen passing to and fro with pitchers on their Samaria. The elevation of the hills on which the heads, as in days of old. It is justly remarked that, if spectator stands in this ravine is very great; and the there be a spot throughout the Holy Land which was whole scene, when we saw it, was clothed in the most more particularly honoured by the presence of Mary, rich mountain-blue colour that can be conceived. At we may consider this to be the place; because the

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situation of a copious spring is not liable to change, fall short of reaching the heart, will strongly appear and because the custom of repairing thither to draw in the sequel of my history; yet, I think, tor the enwater has been continued among the female inha- couragement of pious parents to go on in the good bitants of Nazareth from the carliest period of its

way of doing their part faithfully to form their chil

dren's minds, I may properly propose myself as an history.

instance. Though in process of time I sinned away The population of Nazareth is estimated by differ- all the advantages of these early impressions, yet they ent travellers at fifteen hundred or two thousand; about were for a great while a restraint upon me; they resix hundred of whom are Christians. No Jews are turned again and again, and it was very long before I permitted to reside here. The village is now called

could wholly shake them off; and when the Lord at Nassera.

length opened my eyes, I found a great benefit from the recollection of them. Further, my dear mother, besides the pains she took with me, often commended

me with many prayers and tears to God; and I doubt Biography.

not but I reap the fruits of these prayers to this hour.

“My mother observed my early progress with pe

culiar pleasure, and intended from the first to bring It is written that “the Lord hath made all things for

me up with a view to the ministry, if the Lord should himself;" and it is for his pleasure that they are and

so incline my heart. But He was pleased to reserve were created: and among the things created, man

me for an unusual proof of his patience, providence, stands out “ the noblest work of God.” It would

and grace; and therefore overruled the purpose of my appear that a council of the sacred Trinity was held

friends by depriving me of this excellent parent when respecting his formation. “ God said, Let us make

I was something under seven years old. I was born man in our image, after our likeness; and in the image

July 21, 1725 ; and she died the 11th of that month, of God man was created.” But, alas! the creature fell

1732. My father was then at sea : he was a com---sin marred all his fair proportions. Hence it is now

mander in the Mediterranean trade: he came home the work of redemption that mainly demands our con

the following year, and soon after married again. templation, as the mirror in which the glory of God

Thus I passed into different hands. I was sent to a our Saviour is most fully unveiled.

boarding-school in Essex (having been previously renew creation" on the heart of man is one

sident in London); but at eleven years of age I was grand division of this perfect work of God; and often

taken to sea, and made several voyages till the year

1742." does its display of “the beauty of holiness” constrain the world to a reluctant acknowledgment, and excite

During this period, Mr. Vewton describes himself the Church to a joyful exclamation, “ What hath God

to have undergone various religious convictions. Bewrought!" For not only will the Redeemer's glory

fore the age of twelve years, he met with “ Bennet's be manifested in his saints at the blissful era of his

Christian Oratory," and endeavoured to walk relicoming—not only will they then be seen as the jewels giously by means of its guidance. Several remarkof his everlasting crown,-but even now they are “ the

able incidents occurring in succession, each aroused glory of his inheritance,” set forth for the conviction

his conscience; but were one after the other soon forof the world, “ that they may see, and know, and un

gotten. At another time, the perusal of the “ Family derstand together, that the hand of the Lord hath

Instructor” put him upon a partial and transient redone this, and that the Holy One of Israel hath cre

formation. He thus seems to have taken up and laid ated it."

aside a religious profession three or four different It is the object of the following sketch of the life of

times before the age of sixteen. an eminent servant of the Lord Jesus, to shew forth

Of his last reform at this age, he thus writes :--"It one of those striking manifestations of Divine

was the most remarkable both for degree and continu

power and grace, in the new creation of the soul of man,

ance. Of this period, at least of some part of it, I may bringing it out of darkness into his marvellous light, say, in the apostle's words, 'After the straitest sect of from the power of Satan unto God.

our religion, I lived a Pharisee.' I did every thing The Rev. John Newton having himself drawn up

that might be expected from a person entirely ignoan account of his early life, and his conversion from

rant of God's righteousness, and desirous to establish

his own. the paths of sin to the service of God, some extracts

I spent the greatest part of every day in from the highly interesting “ Narrative” will afford

reading the Scriptures, meditation, and prayer: I a better view of his history than any matter that can

fasted often: I even abstained from all animal food now be put together. He thus commences :

for three months. I would hardly answer a question “I can sometimes feel a pleasure in repeating the

for fear of speaking an idle word. I seemed to begrateful acknowledgment of David, — O Lord, I am

moan my former miscarriages very earnestly, some

times with tears. thy servant, the son of thine handmaid; thou hast

In short, I became an ascetic, and loosed my bands.' The tender mercies of God to

endeavoured, so far as my situation would permit, to wards me were manifest in the first moment of my

renounce society, that I might avoid temptation. I life: I was born, as it were, in his house, and dedi

continued in this serious mood (I cannot give it a cated to him in my infancy. My mother (as I have

higher title) for more than two years, without any beard from many) was a pious and experienced Chris- considerable breaking off. But it was a poor religion; tian. I was her only child; and as she was of a weak

it left me, in many respects, under the power of sin, constitution, and a retired temper, almost her whole

and, so far as it prevailed, only tended to make me employment was the care of my education. At a time gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless." when I could not be more than three years old, she

In the year 1743, he was appointed to a post of taught me Englislı, and with so much success (as I

considerable trust in Jamaica; but on the very eve of had something of a forward turn), that when I was

starting, an event occurred which changed the whole four years old, I could read with propriety in any

current of his ideas, and gave rise to the series of uncommon book that offered. She stored my memory,

common dispensations which distinguished his afterwhich was then very retentive, with many valuable

life. He formed a sudden and violent attachment to pieces, chapters, and portions of Scripture, catechisms,

a young lady residing in Kent, near Maidstone, then hymns, and poems. How far the best education may under fourteen, " which," again to use his own words,

never abated or lost its influence a single moment • See his own Narrative, Letters to a Wife, &c.; also his Life in my heart from that hour. In degree, it actually in the Christian's Family Library, and Memoirs hy Cecil. equalled all that the writers of romance have ima

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