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This is all for which we have so often contended. And notwithstanding some recent and formidable appearances to the contrary, we cannot but hope that this is the temper. and view which will ultimately prevail.
We have extended our remarks on this sermon so far, that we can only recommend the conclusion of it on the success afforded by the great Lord of the harvest to all his faithful labourers, and on the exigencies and appearances of the present times to all our readers.
The last of the three sermons is "on the Salvation which is in Christ only," from Acts iv. 12. Excellent as this discourse is, it will not be necessary to enter into a minute examination of it. It offers nothing of a controversial nature, if we except two sensible notes on the imputation of the sin of Adam to his posterity; a subject, however, concerning which Mr. Vaughan very judiciously observes, that it would be better if we could altogether repress our reasonings, So far, also, is he from introducing into this ser mon any of the peculiarities of what is called Calvinism, that, in speaking of some of the distinguishing properties of the salvation which is in Christ, he has expressly, de clared, that it is "universal as to its objects;" that it applies itself to all men. "I mean not," continues our author, "that all men will ultimately be partakers of it." What writer, indeed, of our Church will venture to assert this proposition? Alas! many will" eventually be injured, rather than profited by it. It is capable, however, of being effectually applied to all. It is urgently offered to all. The fault is in man in the invited; and not in the Master of the feast; if all taste not of it." We might add other extracts from all these discourses, in which the points which the adversaries, of Calvinism, falsely so called, contend to be either wholly inconsistent with that system, or practically neglected by its discie
ples, such as the necessity of good works, and of labour and diligence in the use of means, are plainly, minutely, and pointedly enforced *. But to return to the subject of this third sermon. It gives a full and scriptural account of the nature of the salvation made known by the Gospel, and proves that this is in Jesus Christ, and in Him only. From this last division of the subject, we could with pleasure quote several passages, in which the various pleas that ignorance and self-righteousness too often urge to avoid a simple dependence on Christ alone for salvation, are clearly and decisively refuted, as well as from the animated improvement and application of the whole subject. But we purposely forbear. We consider this sermon as forming so good a model of general parochial preaching, that we cannot but wish it may be very extensively read; and we should consider it as one of the best tokens of the blessing of God upon our Church, if the main principles which it contains were cordially embraced by all her ministers, and preached in all her pulpits, with equal ability, eloquence, and piety.
The Excellence of the Liturgy, a Ser
mon, preached in the Parish Church of St. Mary, Aylesbury, at the Visitation of the Archdeacon of Bucks, on Wednesday, June 27, 1810. By the Rev. BASIL WOODD, M. A. Rector of Drayton Beauchamp, Minister of Bentinck Chapel, St. Mary-le-bone; and Chaplain to the most noble the Marquis of Townsend. London: Bridgewater. pp. 30. Price 1s. 6d.
We can assure Dr. Marsh, that Mr. Woodd has been a zealous friend of the British and Foreign Bible Society, as well as a contributor to its funds from the period of its commencement. We can also assure him, that the publication of the pre
* See particularly pages 30 to 33 of the first sermon; and 129, 132, and 133 of the third.
sent sermon is no puritan trick on the part of Mr. Woodd, intended to futnish a seasonable answer to Dr. Marsh's argument, that the contributors to the Bible Society must of necessity become unfriendly, or at least indifferent, to the Prayer-book. The sermon has lain on our table for near a year and a half, and but for the press of other matter would have been noticed by us long ago. It will now serve a purpose which Mr. Woodd could not have anticipated; for who could have anticipated that a learned Professor of Divinity, himself a beneficed clergyman, should have published a pamphlet of eighty pages, besides an address and a hand bill; and, if report do not belie him, should be about to publish a second pamphlet still more bulky than the first,-all in order to prove, by the force of dialectic skill ("abstract reasoning," the Professor calls it), that the circulation of the Scriptures alone tends to generate a disrespect for the Liturgy, and must have a malign influence on the Church of England! It will serve to shew that there are among the members of that church, who contribute to the Bible Society, aye, and among the most suspected part of that number-we mean the evangelical clergy-men who not only love the Liturgy themselves, but who labour strenuously to make others love and prize it too.
We really mean nothing invidi ous to Dr. Marsh; we merely mean to oppose FACTS to "abstract reasoning," when we bring into competition his own claims and those of Mr. Woodd (this member not only of a mischievous society, which distributes the pure word of God alone, without note or comment, but of that arrogant and heretical sect denominated "evangelical") to be considered as firm and active supporters of the church and her services. First, and this must be no mean merit in the eyes of Dr. Marsh, Mr. Woodd has been a member of the society in Bartlett's Buildings for twenty-six years: what he has done
through that medium, in distributing Prayer-books and Church-of-England tracts, may be seen by turning to the ledger of the society, to which we presume that Dr. Marsh has access. Scarcely a week passes over Mr. Woodd in which he does not perform the service of the Church of England twice or thrice, as well as preach three or four times to numerous congregations. He has superintended, for many years, extensive schools, which are conducted on strictly Church-ofEngland principles: and to give more weight to the formularies of that church, in the eyes of the crowds who attend his ministry, he has instituted, on the afternoon of the first Sunday in every month, at his chapel at Paddington, catechetical exercises, which are attended by the children of all his schools in that quarter, as well as by an overflowing congregation of adults, and which he generally closes by a familiar exposition of some part of the catechism of the Church of England. He has laboured assiduously, not only from the pulpit and by means of schools, but through the medium of the press, to rear the youth of the land as sound churchmen; the very titles of his numerous little works will shew this; but we beg Dr. Marsh not to be satisfied with the titles: he will find the whole matter of them to be very good. That he may do this, we will give him the titles of a few of them.
A short Introduction to the Church Catechism, price 2d.
The Church Catechism with short Questions, designed for the Use of Sunday Schools, price 3d.
A brief Explanation of the Church Catechism, by way of Question and Answer, price 8d.
A short Summary of Christian Doctrine and Practice, in the Words of Scripture, extracted from Bishop Gastrell's Christian Institutes*, designed for the Use of Children, price 3d.
One of the books of the Society for promoting Christian Ķnowledge.
An Address to young Persons on of that flock over which the Holy Confirmation, shewing the Antiquity Ghost has placed him. ・・ of the Rite, the serious Preparation. requisite, and the Benefit resulting from this solemn Act of Dedication to God, designed also as a general Illustration of the Order of Confirmation, price 6d.
The Excellence of the Liturgy, a Sermon, price 1s. 6d, &c. &c.
Now, what number of Prayer books and Church-of-England tracts Dr. Marsh may have distributed during the eleven years of his affiliation with the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; what have been his parochial labours as a minister of the sanctuary and a preacher of the Gospel; what schools he may have instituted and superintended among his flock; what may have been his catechetical exertions; what pains he may have taken to recommend and explain the Bible and its best companion, the Liturgy, among them-we do not pretend to know. This, however, we will say, that if in these respects he has rivalled Mr. Woodd, he has deserved well of his country and of the church of Christ. To his recent honours as a preacher*, and the alarm which he has recently sounded in behalf of the Church and her Liturgy, we are, indeed, strangers. Their fame is now probably co-extensive with the limits of the United Kingdom. We shall rejoice to learn that he is equally well known within the bounds of his parish as the laborious minister of Jesus Christ, the messenger of the Gospel, the instrument of diffusing divine light and knowledge, the firm opposer of all vice, the comforter of the afflicted whether in body or mind, the earnest and affectionate preacher of repentance,, faith, and holiness; in short, the vigilant, faithful, and affectionate shepherd
* There is a rumour abroad, that his sermon is likely to obtain a very wide circulation indeed, in consequence of a proposal to adopt it as one of the tracts of the Society in Bartlett's Builnings, provided no envious black-ball should interfere to prevent this additional distinction.
But to return to the sermon of Mr. Woodd, which we recommend, not merely as furnishing us with an additional argument in a controversy we deem important, but as intrinsically excellent; we shall content ourselves with giving one rather long extract from the concluding part of it. After an exposition of the claims of the Liturgy to be regarded as an admirable" form of sound words," not only as a summary of our most holy religion, and as a course of scriptural instruction, but as an exercise of rational, pure, exalted devotion, he thus proceeds:
sidered, at once, as an epitome of the Chris"This form of sound words may be contian Religion, and as a standard of pastoral instruction. It carefully avoids those subjects of controversy which have unhappily divided the Church of Christ. The Commou Prayer-book has been justly stiled the poor man's body of divinity; and it cestainly contains a general summary of what a Christian ought to know, believe, and praotise to his soul's health. As Bishop Bevething in the Liturgy but what is necessary ridge has well expressed it, There is nofor our edification; and all things that are, or can be, for our edification, are plainly in it. You will find nothing asserted but what is consonant to God's word; nothing prayed for, but according to His promise; nothing required as a duty, but what is agreeable to his commands. The Liturgy not only is presented to us as a form of prayer, but it is at the same time a standing Christian sermon, delivered every returning sabbath, in an atmosphere of religious knowledge upwards of ten thousand churches; diffusing throughout the kingdom; establishing a pure and unsophisticated standard of evangelical truth, so combined, that no man can duly attend to the service, and remain ignorant of the nature of the Gospel.
"Let us, my reverend brethren, who are ministers of our venerable establishment, be
ourselves stedfast in our attachment to its constitution, doctrine, and discipline. Let our discourses from the pulpit breathe the
Bishop Beveridge's Sermon on the Com mon Prayer, page 20, printed by the venë. rable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge." .C..
same spirit, exhibit the same distinguishing truths, and recommend the same purity of practice.
"Let it be our constant aim to exhibit to our parishioners the glory of God; the excellence of the divine law; the guilt, condemnation, and helpless state of man; that they may be convinced of their sins, brought to repentance, and earnestly enquire what they must do to be saved.
"Let us prominently exhibit the Lord Jesus Christ, in the glory of his person, and the riches of his grace, as the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satis. faction, for the sins of the whole world. Let us frequently explain the nature of the New Covenant, and practically enforce the necessity of repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us direct their attention to the Holy Spirit of God, that they may be enriched with his heavenly grace, and enabled to amend their lives according to his holy word. As we invariably enforce the necessity of repentance and faith, in order to obtain the pardon of our sins, and justification before God; so let us as constantly enforce the necessity of those living fruits of faith, holiness, obedience, and good works, in order to salvation. While we maintain that we are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings.' Let us be equally strenuous in maintaining that we must live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this world; and that at the last day we shall be judged according to our works. We shall then, with the venerable Hooker, make it evident, that while we discard the meritorious dignity of good works, we maintain the dutiful necessity of them. We shall, by this means, equally guard against the error of those who trust in themselves that they are righteous, while they have a form of godliness without the power: and the fatal delusion of those who would turn the grace of God into licentiousness. We shall maintain that union of faith and works which God hath joined together, and which no man, bat at the expence of his salvation, can put asunder*.
"The way of salvation,' says the late excellent Bishop Horne, is but one, viz. faith in Christ, bringing forth the fruits thereof: and none but those who preach that are the servants of the Most High God; who shew unto men the way of salvation. The fruit receives its goodness from the tree, not the tree from the fruft; which does not make
"Thus let us hold fast this form of sound words, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus. Let us hold it fast in faith, as to our own personal belief of the truth therein exhibited, and as a sacred trust committed to us at our designation to the ministerial office. Let us hold fast this form of sound words' in love' to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to whose grace we are indebted for all the mercy which it proclaims; in love' to the souls committed to our charge, whose spiritual interests it is so well calculated to promote; in love to each other, and to all mankind. And let not our parishioners forget to show their estimation of the Liturgy, by constant regu lar attendance on divine worship; by early attendance at the beginning of the service; by endeavouring to enter into its devotional spirit, and by diligently observing the beneficent practice which it enforces.
"By these means, through the blessing of Almighty God, we shall be nourished and built up together in all truth and goodness."
"We live in a day in which many have departed from the communion of the Church of England; and it becomes an object of important inquiry, by what means the unity of the church may most effectually be promoted. Let the ministers of the church be faithful to her doctrine, taught in her form of sound words; let them, by their life and conversation, adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. The church will then prove her own bulwark; and the sin of schism will hide its diminished head. If in any of our parishes we should have Chris tians of different denominations, let us de fend the church by consecrated weapons; by pureness; by knowledge; by long-suffer
ing; by kindness; by the Holy Ghost; by love unfeigned. Let us approve ourselves as the ministers of God. Never let us ren
der railing for railing; if reviled, let us not revile again.
«Let us make it evident that we ourselves are churchmen on principle ; but that we can charitably allow the rights of conscience to those, who may consider it a duty to differ from us. Steadfast ourselves in unfeigned and unshaken attachment to the Church of England, let us shew that we wisl: to assume no other influence than that of reason, truth, and goodness.
"The bitterness of opposition never fails to increase opponents. The sure way to make a man an enemy is to act as if we thought him so; but kindness, charity, and candour, descend soft as the snow from heaven; at the same time with an influence gradual, tender, and irresistible.
"By seriously and devoutly conducting the Divine Service; by holding forth the word of life; by visiting the sick and afflicted; by relieving the necessitous, according to our ability; by instructing the ignorant publicly and from house to house; by cate. chising the youth; by establishing and su perintending schools for the education of the children; by being patterns to the flock; we shall, through the Divine blessing, most ef fectually subserve the interests of religion and of the Church of England.
"By such means we may not only exhibit what we consider to be the more excellent way, but we may, as in many instances hath occurred, bring back the wanderer; we may conciliate the disaffected: we may prevent that defection from the Establishment which every true Churchman views with unfeigned concern, prays against, and deplores." PP.
Now, we think we may challenge Dr. Marsh to produce from any quarter, even from his own highly honoured sermon, a passage which more characteristically describes the Liturgy, or which recommends it more cordially, or with greater effect, to the love and veneration of the church. But when Mr. Woodd wrote this sermon he had already been about six years a member of the Bible Society, without experiencing any of those chilling influences with respect to the Prayer-book, the apprehension of which, as deduced by abstract reasoning," formed the great ground of Dr.Marsh's
objection to the Bible Society. Mr. Woodd's sermon, however, is adaptthan to furnish one of the many ed to serve a much higher purpose FACTS by which such reasoning may be disproved; and we believe it to be impossible for any candid and ingenuous person to read it without feeling his affection to the Church of England warmed, and his reverence for her services increased, by the exposition which the pious author has the regard and gratitude of her sons. here given, of the claims she has to
Our object, in bringing this success. ful effort of academical industry to the knowledge of our readers, is not so much to bestow praise on the author, as to recommend to those who have not the means, or the time, or the inclination, to make themselves acquainted with the able and eloquent, but desultory defence of Christianity contained in the justly celebrated treatise of Origen against Celsus, this neat, concise, and perspicuous abstract of his reasoning. Of the original work of Celsus, no trace is now left. It would have been wholly unknown in modern times, had not every thing, that appeared material in it, been preserved in the pages of the Christian advocate. Had Celsus, therefore, never been. refuted, the modern infidel would have been deprived of the greater part of his means of offence. In truth, scarcely an argument of any weight has been adduced to disprove the truth of Christianity in the