Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

suasion, and all good means he can devise, to reclaim both them and all other within his Diocese so affected."- Canon 66th.

2 Tim. iv. 3. “ The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears."

N.B. We are now in these sad times, and it behoves all faithful Pastors to know it. It is not the doctrine of the Gospel, if it favours men's lusts. They that will not receive, or who reject, the truth, are often judicially punished with a greediness to receive errors, falsehoods, and fables.

Ver. 5. “ Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, make full proof of (or fulfil) thy ministry.” He that is wanting in any essential part, is wanting to his own salvation.

Lord, Thou art just in all the troubles which thou hast brought upon this Church and Nation. Yet, O LORD, have mercy upon us, and restore to us that peace and unity which we once enjoyed.

Matt. vii. 20. “ By their fruits ye shall know them.” This rule, though given by Christ himself, is seldom observed. The best fruits are counted as nothing, are overlooked, and often condemned by those who have none good to show. Hence all the eyils the Church suffers.

Matt. xiii. 25. “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” O Jesus, awaken the Pastors of Thy flock, and open their eyes, that they may perceive the tares which choke the seed, the wolves which destroy Thy sheep.

A mixture of good and bad in the Church is necessary to instruct, exercise, purify, sanctify, and keep the righteous in humility.

Matt. xiii. 29. “Nay, lest, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.” A zeal not regulated by this prohibition allows no time to the good to grow strong in goodness, or to the wicked to forsake their evil ways; but chooses rather to destroy the good, provided they can but destroy the bad.

Rev. ii. 14, 20. “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto ido's, and to commit fornication. Thou

sufferest that woman Jezebel to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication." How dreadful is the government of the Church, wherein a man must answer for those sins which he does not hinder! To tolerate by silence those who favour and promote sin, Jesus Christ rebukes in the persons of these Bishops.

O my Saviour! Thou who givest me this warning, enable me to profit by it. Assist me, in this day of trial, effectually to oppose and suppress that spirit of impurity, idolatry, profaneness, and irreligion, which is broken in upon us.

If for fear of offending men, or from a false love of peace, we forbear to defend the truth, we betray and abandon it.

Acts xxvii. 29. “And when he had said these things,—the Jews had great reasonings among themselves." A preacher of the truth is not to be blamed for the contests which it gives occasion to carnal men to raise. Even Christ himself could not preach without disturbing sinners ;-—and if he came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword of division, His Ministers ought to expect to do the same.

It is not by the heat of disputation, but by the gentleness of charity, that souls are gained over to God. And when controversy is necessary, as sometimes it is, let it never be managed with harshness, bitterness, or severity, lest it exasperate and harden, more than convert and edify. A prudent condescension has often prevailed upon the weak, and rendered them capable of hearkening to reason, when the contrary conduct would have re. moved them farther from the light.

We ought to avoid eyil men and seducers, in order to shame them ;—to deprive them of that credit, whereby they may do hurt; -to make them to return to a right mind ;—and that we may avoid the snare ourselves.

Disputes.

The primitive Fathers were ever modest upon religious questions. They contented themselves with resolving such questions as were proposed to them, without starting new ones; and carefully suppressed the curious, restless temper.

May I receive from Thee, O God, at all times, the rules of my behaviour on these occasions.

God judges otherwise than we do of these things. He knows the good he intends to bring out of evil,--either for the sanctification of the righteous,-conversion of the wicked, by His goodness in bearing with them,- or leaving them without excuse.

One single soul is worth the utmost pains of the greatest Minister of Christ. But, then, let us take care, when it is brought into the fold, that he be a better Christian than before,—that he be not two-fold more the child of hell than before.

OXFORD,
The Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.

(NEW EDITION.)

These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 78. for 50 copies.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE.

1839.

GILBERT & RIVINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.

RECORDS OF THE CHURCH.

No. I.

THE HOLY CHURCHI TIROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTII

ACKNOWLEDGE THEE.

St. IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch, and Martyr, is reported to have been the child whom Christ took into His arms, in order to give his disciples a pattern of Christian humbleness. But, however this was, he certainly was a disciple and friend of the Apostles, particularly St. Peter and St. John.

St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have laid on him their hands, and made him bishop of Antioch. In A. D. 106, when he had been Bishop nearly 40 years, the persecuting Emperor Trajan came to Antioch; and on finding Ignatius resolute in confessing the faith of Christ, he ordered him to be carried prisoner to Rome, and there thrown to the beasts in the idolatrous heathen shows, a command which was strictly obeyed. During his journey, he wrote letters to various Churches, by way of taking leave of them, and to confirm them in Christian zeal, love, and unity; and these by God's good providence are preserved to us. They are especially valuable to us at the present day, as shewing us how important it is, in the judgment of this blessed Martyr, to honour and obey our Bishops. They are as follows.

Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter and St. John, and

Bishop of Antioch, on the way to Martyrdom, to the Ephesians.

IGNAtius, also called Theophorus, to her who is blessed in the

greatness and fulness of God the Father; to the predestinate before all worlds to be ever unto glory enduring, unchangeable, united, and elect in the true Passion, through the will of the Father and Jesus Christ our God; to the worthily renowned Church, which is in Ephesus of Asia, all health in Jesus Christ and in undefiled grace.

for us.

I. I WELCOME in God's behalf that well-beloved name, which ye have attained in a righteous nature according to Faith and Love in Jesus Christ our Saviour, for that being followers of God, and rekindling in the Blood of God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work congenial to you, when ye heard that I came bound from Syria, for the common name and hope, and trusting through your prayers to attain to fight with beasts at Rome, that so by that testimony I may be able to be the Disciple of Him who gave Himself to God, an Offering and Sacrifice

How many ye be, that be called by the name of God, I have heard from Onesimus, whose love is beyond all words, your Bishop according to the flesh; whom I beseech you, by Jesus Christ, to love, and that ye would all be like unto him. And blessed be He who has granted unto you, who are so worthy of him, to enjoy such a Bishop.

II. As to my fellow-servant Burrhus, who is your Deacon, according to God, blessed in all things, I pray that he may abide with you to the honour both of you and of your Bishop. And Crocus, also, worthy both of God and you, whom I have received as the sample of your love, has in all things refreshed me, as may the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ also refresh him! together with Onesimus, and Burrhus, and Euplus, and Fronto, in whom I have seen all you in love. And may I always have joy of you, if I be worthy of it! It is therefore fitting that you should by all means glorify Jesus Christ, who hath glori

« PoprzedniaDalej »