Obrazy na stronie

so deformed as cruelty. Personify it, and you cannot Paul, too soon meet their counterpart in the morosegive it form or features too disgusting, or too revolt- ness and harsh invective of Tertullian, in the insolent ingly odious.

bearing of Victor; and for the steady and commanding simplicity of divine truth, he is presented with the

tortuous or unstable deductions of unassisted, if not Biography.

erring, human reason. In short, he may enter upon THE LIFE OF SYMEON, BISHOP OF JERUSALEM.

this new field with much of the feelings of Adam when

he quitted paradise, and entered upon the wide earth; We extract the following history of Symeon, by the and if the ground be not cursed, yet it is, comparakind permission of the author, to whom we beg to express our grateful thanks, from a most interesting

Far from plucking from

tively speaking, unblest. volume, lately published, entitled, " Biography of the

the tree of life in all security, and gathering his fruit Early Church,” by the Rev. Robert Wilson Evans, in leisurely gladness, he has now to eat his bread in M.A., rector of Tarvin, formning No. XIV. of “ the the sweat of his brow, painfully to select wholesome Theological Library." Our readers will thank us for from amid noxious, and to pass over much ground for prefixing some of the valuable observations of Mr.

but little store. Legitimate types are to be adopted E.'s introduction.

from a heap of fanciful allegory, good reasons from a ...." The extinction of the dominion of the Gos

tissue of loose argument, and credible facts from much pel amid the ancient civilisation of the East, its erec- careless assertion. His industry, his judgment, his tion amid the barbarism of the West, and its transla

charity, are kept in perpetual exercise. tion thence into a new world, which had never been “ But it is the very contrast (here so briefly stated) contemplated by its apostolic founders, are facts of that makes the exploration of this region so inthat magnitude and interest, which throw all revolu- structive; and the apprehension of this contrast must tions of science, or of empire, into the shade, and be obtained before he ventured upon the enterprise, could only attend a system, which, sustained by the and be maintained throughout his research. Few and truth and power of God, was appointed to prevail unimportant would have been the lessons which Adam through all time, and finally in all place.

derived from the niggardly soil, had he not cherished “ But, besides these prominent points, are many fresh in memory the blissful abundance of paradise. others, which, though less obvious, are not less im- But thus furnished, he met with an instructive mo. portant. Such is that at which supernatural guidance nitor at every step, and in every act. So must it be was withdrawn from the administration of the Church, with him who enter's upon the field of the writings and inspiration from her writings; and the visible and lives of the Fathers. He must be, first of all, leading-strings of heaven having been removed, she well imbued with the knowledge and spirit of Scripwas left to her own exertions, as capable of making ture, so that he may come to them with a good knowher way amid the new wcrld in which she was now ledge of his own heart, with an enlarged acquaintance settled. Awful, indeed, is the interest with which the with human nature, with a judgment and feeling well reflecting reader passes from the last writer of the schooled to discern human from divine, with his views New Testament to the earliest of the Fathers; and of moral excellence most lofty, and, at the same time, on the point of quitting with one foot, as it were, the with a meek and charitable spirit of consideration for epistles of St. John, comes down with the other upon the most frail of his fellow-servants. Thus only will that of the Roman Clement. Men have so bestridden, he be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and in the body, the boundary-mark of Europe and Asia, tares, which must needs be mingled with the very . and reflected, as they passed, upon the contrast of the purest production of uninspired human knowledge; fortunes and characters of these two quarters of the and thus only will he rightly apprehend the several globe. But inferior, as body to mind, is the subject parts of the body of ecclesiastical literature by having matter of the reflections of these travellers. That well studied the head upon which all its life and intelreader passes from the blessed company that heard, ligence depends. One indeed can never be thoroughly and saw, and touched the Lord of life, from those to understood without the other; and if the motions of whom he gave in person his commission to preach his the body are to be accounted for from the head, so word to every creature, from those whom he endowed are the thoughts of the head illustrated by the posie with miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost for that pur- tion or gestures of the body. Carrying, therefore, a pose, on whose written record and doctrine therefore perfect acquaintance with the written word into his he can securely rely, in whose authority lies the last investigation of this field, he will reap an abundant appeal of Christian controversy, and whose lives and harvest of instruction. He will there descry the writings exhibit, in lively characters, the conversation effects of the causes which he has been studying; he which they once enjoyed with Christ in the flesh, and will descend to the historical application of the doctheir sure and certain hope of rejoining him in a glo- | trine which he has been imbibing; he will follow into rified body. I'rom such he passes at one step to those their consequences events of which he bad there seen who, with the exception of the privilege of having but the starting point, and will trace the development been the disciples of such men, and enjoying occa- of allusions, and the fulfilment of prophecy. sionally more than ordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost “ The study of this field has been too much and too (which privilege, however, extends but to the first long depreciated; and by many has been regarded two or three), are like to ourselves. He comes to the with a look of jealousy as if it were a rival to that of infirmities of human understanding, to the frailty of Scripture, and not a minister to it. Yet surely the imperfectly evangelised temper. The overflowing more excellent the ministration, the more should the

iarity of John, the mingled sweetness and dignity of minister be had in honour ; and if the ministry of the

letters by which we read, and of the pulses of the air One among few glimpses gained of a Church more by which we hear the divine word, be not despised,

celebrated than known, and of a preacher, who, having

been born early enough to share in the general expecthe commentary upon its spirit, which is afforded by

tation of the coming of Christ, lived long enough both the writings and lives of holy and learned men, who

to witness the fulfilment of his prediction of the despoke the same language, were familiar with the same struction of Jerusalem, and to see the third generation manners, lived almost in the same age, cannot but be rise in succession to the apostles :—this combines a highly appreciated, especially when we consider that number of interesting objects to him who sits down to the great majority of readers of Scripture are com

collect and arrange the scanty documents of the life

of Symeon. He is disappointed at tinding so slight a pelled, either by want of learning, or deficiency of

record of one who was so nearly connected with the comprehension, or by both, to read it with an eye Lord, and held a conspicuous post in his Church. But constantly and servilely directed upon some unin- as the moon will pour from one end of the heavens to spired guide. ... These venerable teachers have been the other a light which could not be contributed from most rudely assailed from two opposite quarters. One

the whole host of minute-studding stars, so it is with

certain historical facts. They shed a brighter and party, which has read Scripture under a timid sub

wider light than the whole extent of historical view, mission to modern theology, and has therefore used it starred with less important facts, could dispense. Two but as the text-book to the positions of some particular or three such facts combine to render the life of system, has charged them with laxity of doctrine, Symeon a theme of clear conception and glorious because they do not deliver themselves in the set

meditation, terms to which the scrutiny and strict definitions of line, might have envied his relationship; and among

“ The proudest kings, of the longest and most famous succeeding controversies have now compelled us; or, the few who would be superior to the boast of such a it may be, even because they do not find in them the distinction was the possessor. Symeon was son of identical phraseology which themselves have been in Clopas, who was brother of Joseph.* Thus he was the habit of connecting with religious feeling. Another, reputed cousin-german to the Lord. His mother was again, which has read Scripture with no great defer

Mary, sister of the Virgin.t. Thus he again stood in

the same relation to the Lord. He was in the vigour ence to any authority whatever, seated in the easy

of ripe manhood | when the long-expected Saviour chair of the luxurious indulgence of a vain, a petulant, revealed himself to the world in one of the members of and a superficial age, has endeavoured to throw ridi- his own family. Such members are naturally the first cule both on the words, the thoughts, and the deeds,

or last to believe in lofty pretensions set up by one of

their own number. Their familiarity has long reduced of these men; all of whom suffered shameful injustice,

him to their own standard ; they are reluctant to part and many laid down their lives for the sake of the

with deeply-rooted habits, opinions, and associations; name of Christ.* The notes of the trumpet of de- they are jealous of the superiority of a former equal, famation thus blown have been eagerly caught up by or, it may be, even inferior. But, on the other hand, the great multitude that is always glad of a shadow of pride and interest, affection and admiration, may

dispose them to engage with eagerness in the assertion reason to despise what is too difficult for its indolence,

of his claims. The brethren of Joseph illustrate the or too excellent for its attainment; and a general

feelings with which any claims to superiority are resentence of condemnation had consigned these valuable jected. In our Lord there were many qualities which authors to the dusty shelves of neglect, until the late would hide his spiritual glory from the carnal and revival of a better spirit and deeper knowledge.

superficial view of his brethren. For instance, his “ To such views the right reading of Scripture can

meekness and sweetness of disposition would be a

veil to his transcendent wisdom. Il temper too frenever lead. He who has studied well that volume

quently passes for talent, from the dogmatisin and will not take up captious objections to the opinions of

appearance of decision which it exhibits; and the men-some of whom conversed with the apostles in fear which it impresses emboldens the man to give person--others with their disciples-and others were free scope to such talent as he possesses. Thus it familiar with a tradition, which as yet was full and

often happens that, with the same quantity of talent,

one man shall be deemed to have superior, another incorrupt. Nor will he who has weighed the character

but moderate, attainments. Alas, that fear should of Peter, Paul, and John, be niggardly in his venera- often be so important an element of respect! Had tion for such men as Ignatius, Polycarp, and Justin one started up from among the brethren of Jesus with Martyr,-men, who, after a life of incessant labour in the lurid demoniacal glare of untempered worldly the Lord, were witnesses to his truth in that particular wisdom, his claims would have quite excluded those

of Him who shone with the mild, tempered light of sense of the word which is denoted by the term

heavenly wisdom. The heat, which angrily bursts its Martyr. Will he charge with carnal bigotry, or with prison in the volcano, and lays cities ilesolate, engages erroneous doctrine, those teachers who bore the brunt our wonder, while we never think of that which, being of the conversion of the world to Christ? those who uniformnly and gently tempered through the ground, hungered, and thirsted, and watched, that he might be

nourishes the flowers for our subsistence and delight.

When to these considerations we add the idea enterfilled, and sleep? Will lie withhold a filial reverence

tained of the carnal dominion of the Christ, we cannot from these Fathers of the Church into which he has

be surprised that Jesus disappointed the expectations so blissfully succeeded? Assuredly he will acknow- even of his own family; and that for some time not ledge that the disciples of the apostles were worthy of even his brethren believed in him.s their masters, and that the disciples of those disciples attached himself to Jesus : not, however, that he had

“ But Symeon overcame all these impediments, and did not do discredit to their instructors.

as yet risen superior to the ambitious feelings which • The spirit of Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

were entertained in the breasts of ail Christ's folcannot be too severely condemned. The flippancy and heartless sneer of Voltaire ill accord with the character of a Christian

• Euseb. E. il. iii. ll.

# Ib. 32; John, xix. 25.

I Suffering under Trajan, at the age of 120. divine; and the unfeeling banter of Gibbon should not have

Euseb. E. H. iii.

32, whose whole account of Symeon is given from llegesippus, found a precedent in the work of a Boylian lecturer.

Ś John, vii, 5.

was misunderstood. The whole period of Symeon's Huence, and, by consequence, an equally lowers, while as yet the real nature of his kingdom | proof to the fulness of the Holy Spirit's inlife had been one of lively hope to his nation; and he could little dream, that instead of giving laws to the

incontestable proof to the immutable truth world, its extinction in the list of nations would be of the Christian religion. The character among the first and grandest preparations for the given of these three thousand individuals, coming of the promised kingdomIn what position describing the course they pursued, and the he stood as a disciple of our Lord is not known. He standard of faith and practice they adopted, might have been one of the seventy, since we may reasonably suppose that his Master, who intended to is invaluable to us living at this remote age, place liim hereafter in so conspicuous a situation in inasmuch as it affords a decided specimen of his Church, would give him this earnest and foretaste

what was a good and consistent Churchman of its duties, and mark him out to the Church by this token of his approbation. Since the kinsmen of the

in those early days, when there could be no Lord were held in so much honour after his ascension,* | mistake upon this important matter; when Symeon was probably called upon to assist at the Jesus, the blessed Founder of our religion, council of Jerusalem,+ and was also entrusted with

had but just departed to heaven, and his inthe care of one of those congregations into which this Church, so numerous even under its sorest atilictions, spired apostles were in their own persons was divided. But such consideration was attended regulating the infant Church, and laying down with the reverse of worldly advantage, and with a the terms of communion in it. There is ungreat weight of spiritual responsibility: To be shep questionably such a thing, such a virtue, such

, the assault of the wolf or the robber, is a situation of

a Christian duty, as good churchmanship, painfulness, which we are both unwilling, and (God

a conscientious and scriptural acting up to be thanked) unable to conceive duly. Seated at the the obligations imposed upon us as members head-quarters of its most bitter enemies, this Church

of Christ's Church : there are duties and suffered much more than its sisters among the heathen, in proportion as a schismatic is always more hatefui obligations devolving upon us all in our than an apostate. For it still maintained its con

relative, social, and official capacities;-good nexion with the Temple, and therefore appeared in children are docile, affectionate, and obedient the garb of a sect. I By incessant persecution its to parents; good parents are kind towards, members were reduced to great poverty. With what delight, then, must Symeon have hailed the several earnestly solicitous for, the temporal and arrivals of the apostle of the Gentiles at Jerusalem

eternal welfare of their offspring; good huswith the contributions of the heathen churches! The bands have their peculiar duties, and good relief, however, to the necessities of his flock would be wives their peculiar duties, which they rewhat a proof was here of the progress which the Gos: spectively discharge, as in the fear of God, pel had made, not only over the face of the earth, but

towards each other. As members of society, also in the depths of the luman heart! The heathen we are either good or bad members, accordhad been bred up in a contempt and aversion for the ing as we humbly discharge, or wickedly Jew; and, after he had become Christian, had every neglect, the duties incumbent upon us reason to slight the law of Moses. Yet the conformity to it of the Jewish Christian did not chill his charity. neighbours, citizens, and subjects. Our poliLittle could Symeon then foresee that these Churches tical privileges all involve in them a religious would, in no long time, quarrel among themselves responsibility: it is a mistaken notion that we upon a matter so indifferent as the day of celebrating may imbibe what opinions we please, and the resurrection. He saw, too, in these gifts a palpable representation of the accomplishment of the prophe. pursue what course we please, in reference cies, which foretold the flocking of the Gentiles with to these matters ; the Scriptures, that unergifts to Jerusalem; and looked forward in hope to the ring guide to man in all the intricacies of crowded courts and spiritual treasures of the heavenly human life, lay down principles as our rule Jerusalem."

of conduct in reference to them; and, as [To be concluded in the next Number.]

members of a social and political community,

we are strictly accountable to God for the ATTACHMENT TO THE CHURCH : manner we conduct ourselves therein. From A Sermon,

the king supreme to the lowest office-bearer,

each one has his part to act in his own pecuBy The Rev. J. C. ABDY, M.A.

liar department; and the part he is to act is Rector of St. John's, Southwark.

that of a Christian king, a Christian officeActs, ïi. 42.

bearer, making his office subservient to the * And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doc- glory of God and to the advancement of true

trine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and religion. As, therefore, these conditions, and in prayers."

all the multiplied ramifications of them, have Such is the character given by the inspired and contain their respective obligations, duhistorian of the three thousand persons who ties, and accountabilities, so likewise has on the day of Pentecost (answering to our churchimanship: those who are of no religion, Whit-Sunday) were converted to the faith of who belong to, who identify not themselves Christ, affording thereby an incontestable as members of Christ's Church, while, per

haps, they may (strictly speaking) escape the I Acts, iii. 1; xxi. 20. Euseb. E. H. ii. 23; iv. 5. charge of inconsistency, because they mak



• Euseb. E. H. iii. 11.

+ Acts, xv.

pretensions to churchmanship, cannot escape courageously to assert and to maintain the the awful predicament of having neither lot doctrines of the cross of Christ in all their nor part in Christ's salvation. We are not genuine simplicity, and that not only when it defining strictly what Christ's Church really can be done without incurring opposition, but is. Upon this point I shall now only state also when their maintenance may be scorned that which is incumbent on the minister to by the world, and assailed by the sceptic: the state, that we of the Church of England do good Churchman knows from Scripture that belong to the Church which partakes of all these truths are the doctrines of the apostles; the essential points referred to in our text; doctrines which the apostles learned from the it is the “one catholic and apostolic Church” | mouth of the divine Redeemer, and delivered to which we belong; a Church of apostolical to the Church for their safe keeping. From doctrine and fellowship, " built upon the these doctrines he has derived peace and confoundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus solation; and from them, under the influence Christ himself being the chief corner-stone." of the Holy Spirit, he feels implanted within Its doctrine is according to the scriptural him a principle, a life-giving principle, of writings of the apostles; its discipline, as far holiness, which suggests the motives, and as she can exercise it, is in accordance with dictates the acts of his daily conduct. These the regulations of Scripture; its ministers, by doctrines, when heartily embraced, are doca providential interposition, can trace their trines for the healing of the world of its sins ordination in an unbroken line to those who and evils; they are the only remedies for received their ministerial commission from our sinful nature : the Church, therefore, in the hands of the apostles; our prayers and which these doctrines are conspicuous, in sacraments are of the same pure origin : so whose liturgy they stand prominent, through that, as to the question whether the Church whose formularies they run with a uniform of England is an apostolical Church, there consistency, is loved; and in its apostolic felneed not be any doubt. All of us here lowship the good Churchman remains immovassembled profess ourselves members of this able ; he loves his Church for the truth's Christian community ; we profess ourselves sake : if any of her sons act unworthily of churchmen, as members of the Church of her, if any abuse, any deformity for a time Christ ; for every sincere and honest member creep round her sacred battlements, the abuse, of the Church of England values his Church the deformity is lamented, and, if possible, for this reason, that it is a portion of the removed ; but the Church herself is his deChurch of Christ.

light; he loves her for the blessings she conThe churchmanship which I am now incul- veys; and his whole behaviour, in private cating is the churchmanship of our text, and and in public, agrees with the prayer in the duties therein described are the duties which frequently, in heart and soul, he joins : which I earnestly press upon you, and which “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall I now proceed to illustrate. " And they con- prosper that love thee : peace be within thy tinued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces.” fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in Lukewarmness or indifference to his Church, prayers. This description of the first Chris- | when attacked by open enemies or by pretians implies that the good churchman is tending friends, is an inconsistency never stedfastly attached to the communion of his chargeable against those who, as sound Church, cultivates a warm and constant affec- Churchmen, “ continue stedfastly in the tion for her, and uses all proper means for apostles' doctrine and fellowship.” And, extending its influence, and carrying its bene- then, ficial influence to all who are ignorant of, or Secondly ; from our text it is to be obcareless about, those invaluable blessings she served, that the Christian, who desires to act contains within her sacred repository. Most, his part well in his duty and obligations to if not every one, of those whom I am ad his Church, will stedfastly attend on its serdressing, have been joined in infancy to the vices, and observe its institutions. The first communion of an apostolic Church, and have three thousand churchmen, than whom so very generally taken its vows upon themselves good a sample has never since been met with, in the sacred rite of confirmation. By these * continued stedfastly, as in the apostles' religious acts the sincere Christian feels him- doctrine and fellowship, so also in breaking self pledged to “confess the faith of Christ of bread, and in prayers." Indeed, the sercrucified, manfully to fight under his banners vices of the Church' form the main bond of against sin, the world, and the devil; and to fellowship with her. Apostolical fellowship continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant consists in a participation of apostolical serto his life's end." This profession, entered vices,—these services are the Christian's most into at baptism, and ratified at confirmation, familiar and most delightful points of union leads the true member of Christ's Church with her. Most inconsistent is it for men, like the Jews of old, to exclaim, “ The temple apostles' doctrine, the apostles' fellowship, the of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are we," breaking of bread (by which is meant the adwhen the temple is scarcely ever frequented, ministration of the Lord's supper), and and they themselves never seen within its prayers, leads me to remark that the Chrissacred enclosure, unless a baptism, a mar- tian's conduct in relation to his Church is riage, or a funeral occasion their formal attend marked by a peculiar consistency; he equally ance! Calling themselves members of Christ's values each and every one of its various serChurch, but altogether neglecting its ser- vices : he does not put one service before or vices, except as necessity calls upon them to after another, but esteems them all and uses join in them, and consequently as ignorant them with the like affection; he does not seof their intent and meaning, as unmoved by parate the public teaching of the word from any spiritual affection towards them, or sa

prayer, nor attendance at Church from atcred pleasure from them, as though they were tendance at the sacrament; the same authorepeated in a language they understood not; rity which appointed one, appointed all. He boasting of their external fellowship by bap- who said “pray without ceasing," said also tism, as though baptism were the sum-total of "give attendance to reading, to exhortation, Church membership. The remark of Bishop to doctrine:” the same word which comBeveridge upon the character and behaviour of mands us not to "forsake the assembling of these first Christians is well worthy of univer- ourselves together,” contains the injunction sal attention : "they did not think it sufficient “ do this in remembrance of me."* His mind to be baptised into Christ, but they still conti- is adapted, through divine grace, to all the nued in him, doing all such things as he hath ap- services and institutions of his Church; he pointed, whereby to receive grace and power loves them, he prizes them, not as mere obfrom him to walk as becometh his disciples; servances, which decency and decorum reand so must we also, if we desire to be saved quire him not to neglect, but as means, as by him. It is our great happiness to have channels through which spiritual influences are been by baptism admitted into the Church imparted, in the use of which the heart is and school of Christ, and so made his dis- amended, and the amendment shewn in the ciples and scholars : but unless we continue daily walk of his life; in one word," he conto do what we promised at our baptism, our tinues stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and condemnation will be the greater, in that we fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and do not only break the laws of God, but like- in prayers,” because of the pleasure such wise the promise we made to him when we consistent stedfastness occasions him ; bewere baptised." Of this state of things (as cause he feels such stedfastness is essential thus plainly noted down in this extract) the to his growth in grace, and meetness, through consistent Churchman is fully aware, and by Christ's abundant merits, for the eternal inthe grace of God he acts accordingly; hence heritance in glory. This, then, my dear brethhis regular attendance on divine ordinances ren, is the grand end of religious ordinances; is marked by internal devotion and external | Christ's Church is established on earth, that propriety; he considers beforehand to what its members may become members of the place he is going, whose work he is under- Church of the redeemed in heaven. It is taking, whose presence he is entering, and for no party purpose, that the good Churchprays and strives more especially to "keep man adheres to his Church, and deplores the his heart with all diligence.” He would assaults which are made upon it; he keeps tremble to indulge in the presence of God a to it, and, as far as in him lies, supports it, state of mind which, if laid open to man as it is because it is God's instrument to gather out before the Searcher of hearts, would display : of this wicked world, and collect into one scene of carelessness and inattention, perhaps spiritual fold and community, those who, of pride, malice, revenge, and many other through Christ, shall be saved for ever. With guilty passions; he dreads the idea of bringing the conviction on their minds of the imsuch a heart before God: hence he seeks, and portance and benefits of Church-membership, by divine grace he obtains, the eradication of it is no wonder that


ministers are these most heinously wicked feelings, and is earnestly solicitous that those committed to possessed with holy thoughts, with heavenly their charge should continue stedfastly in desires, spiritualised affections; he finds it. If we magnify our office, it is on account God, and Christ, and the blessed Spirit here, of the mighty interests involved in it; intranquillising and soothing his temper, puri- terests involving the well-being of the life fying and sanctifying his heart. He is en- which now is, and of that which is to come. abled to say of the temple and worship of | In the turmoil and distraction of passing the Lord, “ this is none other but the house

events, lose not sight of the real intents and of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” The distinct enumeration in

See an excellent sermon on the text, by the present Arch our text, of the

deacon of Winchester,

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