Obrazy na stronie

compressed ritual of the early Christians, so arranging it that the Psalms should be gone through monthly, instead of weekly; and carrying the spirit of compression still further, they added to the Matin Service what had hitherto been wholly distinct from it, the Mass Service or Communion.

Since the Reformation, the same gradual change in the prevailing notions of prayer has worked its way silently but generally. The Services, as they were left by the Reformers, were, as they had been from the first ages, daily Services ; they are now weekly Services. Are they not in a fair way to become monthly ?


There are persons who wish certain Sunday Lessons removed from our Service, e. g. some of those selected for Lent,—nay, Jeremiah v. and xxii.; and this, on the ground that it is painful to the feelings of Clergymen to read them.

Waving other considerations, which may be urged against innovation in this matter, may we not allow some weight to the following, which is drawn from the very argument brought in favour of the change? Will not the same feeling, which keeps men from reading the account of certain sins and their punishment from the Bible, much more keep them from mentioning them in the pulpit? Is it not necessary that certain sins, which it is distressing to speak of, should be seriously denounced, as being not the less frequent in commission, because they are disgraceful in language ? And if so, is it not a most considerate provision of the Church to relieve her Ministers of the pain of using their own words, and to allow them to shelter their admonitions under the holy and reverend language of Inspired Scripture ?


Oct. 31, 1833.


These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold al the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.




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




BEFORE we meet again, we shall have celebrated the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, the Apostles. You will be at your daily work, and will not have the opportunity to attend the Service in Church. For that reason, it may be as well, you should lay up some good thoughts against that day; and such, by God's blessing, I will now attempt to give you.

As you well know, there were twelve Apostles; St. Simon and St. Jude were two of them. They preached the Gospel of CHRIST; and they were like Christ, as far as sinful man may be accounted like the Blessed Son of God. They were like Christ in their deeds and in their sufferings. The Gospel for the festival' shows us this. They were like Christ in their works, because Christ was a witness of the Father, and they were witnesses of Christ. Christ came in the name of God the Father ALMIGHTY; He “ came and spoke," and "did works which none other man did.” In like manner, the Apostles were sent to bear witness of Christ, to declare His power, His great mercy, His sufferings on the cross for the sins of all men, His willingness to save all who come to Him.

But again, they were like Christ in their sufferings. “If the world hate you,” He says to them, “ you know that it hated Me, before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.”

i John xv. 17.


Gilbert & Rivington, Printers,

St. John's Square, London.

Thus, they were like Christ in office. I do not speak of their holiness, their faith, and all their other high excellencies, which God the Holy Ghost gave them. I speak now, not of their personal graces, but of their office, of preaching, of witnessing CHRIST, of suffering for being His servants. Men ought to have listened to them, and honoured them; some did : but the many, the world did not,—they hated them; they hated them, for their office-sake; not because they were Paul, and Peter, and Simon, and Jude, but because they bore witness to the Son of God, and were chosen to be His Ministers.

Here is a useful lesson for us at this day. The Apostles indeed are dead; yet it is quite as possible for men still to hate their preaching and, to persecute them, as when they were alive. For in one sense they are still alive; I mean, they did not leave the world without appointing persons to take their place; and these persons represent them, and may be considered with reference to us, as if they were the Apostles. When a man dies, his son takes his property, and represents him; that is, in a manner he still lives in the person of his son. Well, this explains how the Apostles may be said to be still among us; they did not indeed leave their sons to succeed them as Apostles, but they left spiritual sons; they did not leave this life, without first solemnly laying their hands on the heads of certain of their brethren, and these took their place, and represented them after their death.

But it may be asked, are these spiritual sons of the Apostles still alive? no ;-all this took place many hundred years ago. These sons and heirs of the Apostles died long since. But then they in turn did not leave the world without committing their sacred office to a fresh set of Ministers, and they in turn to another, and so on even to this day. Thus the Apostles had, first, spiritual sons; then spiritual grandsons; then great grandsons ; and so on, from one age to another, down to the present time.

Again, it may be asked, who are at this time the successors and spiritual descendants of the Apostles? I shall surprise some people by the answer I shall give, though it is very clear, and there is no doubt about it; THE BISHOPS. They stand in the place of the Apostles, as far as the office of ruling is concerned'; and, whatever we ought to do, had we lived when the Apostles were alive, the same ought we to do for the Bishops. He that despiseth them, despiseth the Apostles. It is our duty to reverence them for their office-sake; they are the shepherds of Christ's flock. If we knew them well, we should love them for the many excellent graces they possess, for their piety, loving-kindness, and other virtues. But we do not know them; yet still, for all this, we may honour them as the Ministers of Christ, without going so far as to consider their private worth; and we may keep to their "fellowship?,” as we should to that of the Apostles. I say, we may all thus honour them even without knowing them in private, because of their high office; for they have the marks of Christ's presence upon them, in that they witness for Christ, and suffer for Him, as the Apostles did. I will explain to you how this is.

There is a temptation which comes on many men to honour no one, except such as they themselves know, such as have done a favour or kindness to them personally. Thus sometimes people speak against those who are put over them in this world's matters, as the King. They say, "What is the King to me? he never did me any good.” Now, I answer, whether he did or not, is nothing to the purpose. We are bound, for Christ's sake, to honour him, because he is King, though he lives far from us ; and this all well-disposed, right-minded people do. And so, in just the same

1 As far as the office of ruling, not as far as the office of teaching is concerned. The Apostles were both inspired teachers (Acts ii. 3, 4), and Bishops (John xx. 21-23). Their successors are Bishops only, not inspired teachers; and rule according to the Apostles' teaching,—not absolutely, as the Apostles may be said to have done.

7 Acts ii. 42.

« PoprzedniaDalej »