Obrazy na stronie

taken, that they relate to some great deliverance to go ye out of Babylon ; touch no unclean thing; go ye be worked out by the Almighty.

out of the midst of her; be ye clean, ye that bear the Interpreters differ as to the nature of the deliver- vessels of the Lord” (Isa. lii. 11). In order to get ance alluded to. Some think that the words of the rid of this difficulty, and to discover the true sense of text refer only to the return of the Jews from cap- the passage, we must take into consideration that tivity; others, to the release of mankind from spiritual much of the Jewish history was typical of the spiritual bondage ; and others, again, imagine that they point history of mankind. Thus, their captivity, the just to both these objects. Let us examine these different punishment of their hardness of heart and perseveropinions. First, that of persons who look only to a ance in iniquity, was emblematic of man's condition temporal deliverance. Although in the time of the in consequence of sin; and so, also, the deliverance prophet Isaiah the Jews were in the full enjoyment of mercifully granted to them was a type of that which their freedom, yet the Almighty had at different times Jesus Christ has provided for the whole world. threatened to punish their hardness of heart and fre And now, my brethren, it will be easy for us to quent departure from his ways. Isaiah had already follow the prophet's meaning. Looking into futurity, made known to them the decree of the Lord, that the he sees, on one hand, the guilty people of the Lord days were coming when they should be dispersed bowed under the yoke of bondage ; and on the other, among all nations, when they should wear the yoke of the compassions of the God of Israel again exercised strangers, and be led into captivity. Already did the towards them, by disposing the heart of their ruler to inspired prophet foresee the days of tribulation which restore them to freedom. His soul kindles at the the anger of the Lord was preparing for his people ; sight, after having announced the threatened chastisewhen his terrible threats should be accomplished, in ment, and be hastens to furnish the unhappy people the time of Zedekiah. According to these interpre- with consolation against the day of trial, by unfolding ters, then, the words of the text were intended to sup before them the wonders of their deliverance. Then, port the Jews under this severe trial, by giving them connecting this event with a similar one of a more the hope that God would at length break their bonds, general nature, and seeing in the return of the Jews and permit them to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem ; a type of the salvation of the world by Jesus Christ, and the prophet's rejoicing was for the time when a divine fervour took possession of his soul, his whole Cyrus would restore liberty to the captives, and throw being was exalted by the subject, the Spirit of the open for them the gates of haughty Babylon. Such a Lord God was upon him, "to proclaim the acceptable gracious deliverance was indeed calculated to call year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our forth the most lively expressions of joy and gratitude God," Isaiah lxi. 2. in the hearts of those who wept by Babel's stream, The words of my text, then, point to a twofold deand bewailed in such touching language the bitter- liverance; first, to that of the Jews from captivity; ness of their captivity and exile from Jerusalem. “By secondly, and principally, to that purchased for us the waters of Babylon we sat down, and wept when we by the sufferings and death of the Son of God. I say, remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the principally to the deliverance purchased for us by willows in the midst thereof: for there they that car. the suiserings and death of Jesus Christ ; because the ried us away captive required of us a song, saying, benefits of which the prophet speaks belong only to Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the the Gospel-dispensation, and to it St. Paul, in his Lord's song in a strange land ?” (Ps. cxxxvii. 1-4). If epistle to the Romans, applies the words of my text, such was the grief of their captivity, how great must “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the have been the joy of their deliverance and return! Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things !" But, however great it might be, it was still only of a (Rom. x. 15). The thick veil which hides the future temporal nature, and limited to one nation. 'Is it from the rest of the world was withdrawn from the therefore probable, that a man inspired by the Holy prophet's eyes, and the Holy Spirit revealed to him Ghost, and whose exhortations tended peculiarly to the merciful designs of the Almighty, and enabled him fix the attention of his fellow-creatures on the inte to look into the time when the Sun of Righteousness rests of eternity, would have celebrated in the most should arise with healing on his wings. He beheld exalted strain, and with all the fervour of one under the only begotten Son of the Father lay aside his standing "the secret of the Lord,” an event as cir- glory, and take upon him the form of a servant, that cumscribed in its duration as it was to be limited in he might bring the good tidings of salvation to man, its object? Besides, if this deliverance is to be under- and publish on Mount Zion the mercies of the God of stood as relating only to the return of the Jews from Israel ; that the terrors of the troubled conscience captivity, how can we reconcile such an interpreta- might be calmed ; that the justice of God might be tion with other parts of the same prophecy, wherein satisfied, and man be reconciled to his heavenly Father it is declared that the benefit shall be common to all | by the one great sacrifice of himself. Isaiah beheld people? “ The Lord hath made bare his holy arm the heroes of the Gospel crossing mountain and valin the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the ley, sea and land, to proclaim the glad tidings, to earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isa. lii. 10); publish the peace of the Lord, and to say unto the that is, all nations of the earth shall be made partakers whole earth, “ Thy God reigneth.” That God whom of this promised salvation. It is clear, therefore, that you have forgotten, the wonder-working God, the the passage does not refer exclusively to the return of Creator of əquniverse, he it is who cometh to save the Jews from the Babylonish captivity.

and to redeem his people. Well, then, might the But can we then adopt the opinion of those who prophet exclaim, “0, how beautiful upon the mounconsider it as relating only to the deliverance from the tains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, bondage of sin and eternal death, purchased for man that publisheth peace!" by the advent of the Messiah? Undoubtedly the whole I now come to the second part of my subject, and of the prophecy, and the animated and glowing language will endeavour to analyse the feelings of the prophet of the prophet, may seem to justify this interpretation. upon this occasion. And O, that we were able fully to An extraordinary event is predicted, in which not one realise these feelings of his, and to comprehend with nation only, but the whole world, is concerned, and him “what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and which can only be the coming of the Saviour, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth promulgation of the Gospel. But while we acknow knowledge!" (Ephes. iii, 18, 19). ledge the universality of this promised deliverance, The words of my text are evidently the expression we find other passages in the same prophecy which of a heart overflowing with the most pure and exalted seem to limit it, in part at least, to one particular sentiments; we see in them the effects produced on nation such as the words, " Depart ye, depart yc, the prophet's soul by the promised salvation revealed

to him.

First, a profound feeling of admiration,'caused by a of man's redemption, planned by thine unsearchable clear perception of God's infinite majesty and per- wisdom, even at this hour, and to be executed herefections, contrasted with man's weakness and insuffi- after, according to thy will, and at thine own appointed ciency. He sees, on the one hand, man, a sinful fallen time. Words cannot praise thee ; but I will for ever creature, a rebel against his Maker, trusting in the celebrate thine infinite mercy in hymns of praise and vanity of his own devices, and walking after his own thanksgiving: 'O, how beautiful upon the mountains lusts. On the other hand, bim whose name is “The are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that Lord of hosts, glorious in holiness ;” who, instead of publisheth peace,--that saith unto Zion, Thy God crushing the sinner with the thunders of his wrath, reigneth!' himself provides a ransom-a Victim who should bear We must now revert to our own case, and endeavour the penalty of man's transgression, and rescue the to derive some practical instruction from what I have sinner by satisfying divine justice. God gave his only been saying, begotten Son, who was with him in the beginning, him First.—My brethren, if such were the feelings of in whom his soul delighted, to be a ransom for sin, to the prophet' in considering only prospectively the be made a curse for man. Who is not lost in admi wonders of salvation, what should ours be, who see ration, when he contemplates the boundless ocean of the accomplishment of the glorious work-who are His love? Who will noi exclaim with David, “ Lord, the witnesses and the objects of the blessed effects what is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of the preaching of the Gospel? Alas, without this of man, that thou visitest him ?” (Ps. viii. 4). What, Gospel of grace,—without these glad tidings of salthen, may we not imagine the prophet to have feli, vation, what would become of us? Look around on when, through the dim vista of futurity, he beheld, as those for whom the Gospel-day hath never dawned. in the brightness of noon-day, the chain of events by What doubts and uncertainty and error surround them! which the sovereign wisdom of the Almighty would Ignorant of God their Creator-ignorant of themselves produce this blessed result! With what admiration be strangers to the covenant of promise -- they live would contemplate the wonders of this salvation! As without hope and without God in the world. And if dazzled by the splendour of divine love, he turns this would be our case, if the Lord had not had comfrom the inexhaustible fountain of mercy to the depo- passion on us,-if he had not sent us first apostles, sitaries of the treasure of grace—the messengers of the then preachers, to bring us the good tidings, and to glad tidings, and he exclaims, in the accent of praise publish peace upon these mountains. and gladness, “ How beautiful are the feet of him that Christians, inhabitants of the mountains, to whom bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!” the Saviour this day sends the glad tidings of his

But the joy of the prophet was not such as the word, receive this Gospel-this doctrine of salvationchildren of this world feel on hearing of some indivi- with joy and gratitude. To this the prophet invites dual private good which is to befall them,-a fleeting you in the words of the text,—“ Break forth into joy, pleasure, in which the soul has no share. The joy sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the of which I speak is of a different kind; it is the heart- Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed felt joy which the Christian feels in the promotion of Jerusalem ”. (Isaiah, lii. 9). To this the shepherds of the welfare of mankind. Such was the joy of the pious Bethlehem invite you. After they had heard the good Simeon, when, led by the Spirit into the temple, he tidings from the chorus of the heavenly host, and were took the child Jesus in his arms, and said, “ Lord, now assured of the truth of these things, “ they returned lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes glorifying and praising God.” Join, then, your praises have seen thy salvation” (Luke ii. 29, 30). Such was with those of the shepherds of Bethlehem and the the joy of Anna, when she saw Jesus in the temple, and heavenly host; let your voices mingle in the holy con"gave thanks unto the Lord, and spake of him to all cert, and sing with them, "Glory to God in the highest, them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Luke, i. 14). ii. 38). And this was the feeling of the prophet, en Inasmuch as the design of the Almighty in sending the lightened by the Holy Spirit; he saw the thick dark- Gospel of salvation, was to deliver men from the bondness which covered the earth dispelled before that age of sin, and to make them an holy nation, a spiridivine light, which " lighteneth every man that cometh tual priesthood, a peculiar people, zealous of good into the world.” He saw man restored to his first works” (Tit. ii. 14), - may you, by fulfilling his estate, reconciled to the Father of mercy by the blood will, testify your grateful sense of the mercies vouchof the Holy One and the Just; he saw all the precious safed unto you. "Depart ye, depart ye,—go ye out benefits, temporal and eternal, conferred upon the from Babylon, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of children of Adam by the preaching of the Gospel; the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of and filled with heavenly joy, he exclaimed, “0, how the Lord.” This was the prophet's exhortation to the beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that Jews, when he looked forward to the time of their bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace !" Faithful deliverance from captivity; and such is our exhortation interpreter of the Almighty's will, he thus already to you. Touch not the unclean thing, my brethren ; shared in the glorious redemption which, after the lapse renounce the corruption of the world, and the lusts of centuries, the Saviour vouchsafed to his people. of the flesh. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful His soul, inspired by the glorious things he looked works of darkness. Be ye clean that bear the vesupon, breaks out into the song of praise and thankful- sels of the Lord." Sanctify your hearts and your ness. Gratitude pervades the whole of the prophet's conduct, you whom God hath chosen to be earthly words; and it is the last feeling to which I shall direct vessels containing the heavenly treasure of his word your attention.

-to be holy temples of the Holy Spirit. Purify yourIf the heart be filled with admiration and joy, how selves; serve God in holiness and righteousness, doing can it be insensible to emotions of gratitude? This those things that are well pleasing in his sight, through sentiment is the natural effect of the others. Gratitude the grace given unto you by Jesus Christ. It is true is the language of the heart; and does not the whole (and I thank God that it is so), that living in these soul of the prophet speak in his words? What lan- mountains, far from the strife of the world, you are less guage can be more touching, more appropriate, and exposed than many others to make shipwreck of your better calculated to express the most lively and sin- faith, through the temptations to immorality and vice. cere thankfulness than that which he employs-" How All that surrounds you tends to remind you of the beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, power of God, who is “ glorious in holiness, doing that publisheth peace !" Is it not as if we heard him wonders ;” and this is in some respects your safesay, "" O adorable Providence, my heart overflows guard. But do not deceive yourselves by presuming with gratitude, when I contemplate the merciful scheme tco much on these precious privileges. The world's

impoisoned breath may reach you here; hatred, dis- | point, and also the Augustan Confession. Gregory the sensions, quarrels, and jealousies, exist on these Great, Augustine, and Cyprian, and antiquity genemountains ; immorality of many kinds, which might rally, say the same: so does our Church in many seem to be excluded, is to be found here. Watch, then, places, particularly in the form of Absolution for the and pray, that these things may be kept from your sick: but above all, holy Scripture is clear. No danhearts. Improve the blessings you enjoy; the light ger can arise from the doctrine of priestly Absolution, of the Gospel shines around you. Walk as children so long as we bear in mind that it is “ conditional." of the light. Let that charity which is the bond of The Minister in the Anglican Church does not pretend perfectness reign amongst you ; let it be manifested in to hold in his mortal hands the power of pardoning acts of kindness and forbearance and mutual assistance; sin: he only declares “ that God forgiveth iniquity, and may all the heavenly dispositions, of which our transgression, and sin;" and yet this declaration has divine Saviour was the model, shine brightly forth in in it something more than the same truth would have, you. Thus, and thus only, can you testify your attach- proclaimed by one who was not ministerially entrusted ment to the doctrine of salvation which is preached with the message. It would be equally true in the unto you; and then God will bless you in this life, by lips of any one else; but it would not be equally a shedding abroad his peace in your hearts; and, this life message immediately sent from God, to the people in ended, he will receive you into the heavenly Jerusalem, whose cars it was spoken. If a king should pardon there to realise the glorious promises held forth by the certain rebellious subjects in his realın, and some perGospel.

sons, not inembers of the council at which the pardon O Lord God of Israel, from whom cometh every was resolved upon, but hearing of the resolution, should good and every perfect gift, produce and keep alive go into the town or house where the offenders were, these good resolutions in the hearts of thy faithful and tell them that the Sovereign had just pardoned people. To the inestimable benefit of hearing the them, it would be a true report, but it would not be good tidings of salvation, add also the gracious assist an authoritative announcement; it never could be. ance of thy Holy Spirit, that they may live according treated as such, until the king's messenger should to thy will, and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith bring the happy news. 1. The former part of the Abthey are called. Lord, bless them in their persons and solution declares God's unwillingness that the riched in their undertakings; be to them a strong tower and should perish in their sins. So the prophet Ezekiel a defence against the enemies of their salvation. Lord, (xxxiii. 11) speaks: “As I live, saith the Lord God, bless this congregation, and each member of it. Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but save thy people, and bless thine inheritance. Amen. that the wicked turn from his ways, and live.” “Why

will ye nie, 0 house of Israel? for I have no pleasure THE SERVICES OF THE CHURCH.

in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God;

wherefore turn yourselves and live ye" (Ezek. xviii. No. IIJ.

23, 31, 32). And the apostle Paul declares that “Understandest thou what thou readest ?"

“ God will have all men to be saved, and to come The ABSOLUTION.--The LORD's PRAYER.

into the knowledge of the truth.” 2. The commission The word Absolution is derived from the Latin word entrusted to ministers to declare this truth, authori. absolvo, which in its primitive signification is to loose, tatirely, is next mentioned. Repentance and reor untie; Absolution, or Remission of Sins, being an mission of sins to be preached in Christ's name" act similar to that of loosing a chain, or untying a (Luke, xxiv. 47); this was the message with which cord, with which a person or thing is tied and bound. the apostles were charged, and in execution of the The doctrine of Absolution, as it is delivered in the

same, the ministers of religion, lawfully called to the sacred records of the New Testament, and the writings work, as ambassadors for Christ, beseech men to be of the primitive fathers, is a subject of difficult eluci- reconciled to God. Not only has God given them dation; and to treat of it at large would lead into a

“ power,” so that they may make known this gracious wide field of dissertation. The present remarks will, purpose, but he has issued also his “ commandment" therefore, be confined to that particular form of Absolution, which occurs in the order for daily prayer. nouncement.

to them, so that they may not hide his gracious an

It should be particularly noticed, howThe propriety of introducing the Absolution in this

ever, that repentance is necessary in those who would part of our daily service is acknowledged without re- hope to share the benefit of the “ Absolution and reserve by Calvin, whose immense learning and extraor

mission of their sins.” It may, perhaps, be theologidinary abilities no one will dispute. This distinguished cally inaccurate to speak of repentance as a “qualitiinstrument of the Reformation, who was not remark- cation” for pardon ; but certain it is that where reable for his partiality to the Reform made in England, pentance is not found, remission will not be given. It (for he says of the English liturgy, meaning Edward's, is, at any rate, a quality, if not a qualification: it is a that it contains some “impertinencies not absolutely

state of character, an attitude of soul, which must intolerable”) delivers here the opinion of his colleagues, pre-exist in every subject for God's mercy in Christ. as well as his own: “ We are every one of us," says

3. “ He pardoneth and absolveth ;" not man, but God, Calvin,“ ready to admit that a general confession, to

forgives, though man is honoured by being made the subjoin some signal promise, which may excite hope of herald of the pardon ; “Who can forgive sins but God pardon and reconciliation, is a very useful and bene- only?” (Mark, ii. 7.) But, if we are to repent, (4) he ficial practice. And, from the very beginning, I was

must enable us: it is God, therefore, whom we must desirous of adopting this method, but I yielded too

beseech to give repentance, to the acknowledging of easily to the apprehensions of others.” This Absolu- the truth by putting his Spirit within us; that we tion is an act of authority, by virtue of a “power and

may no longer live the rest of our time in the last of commandment of God to his ministers," as it is ex

the flesh, but to the will of God. pressed in the prefatory part of the Absolution in the Prayer Book. There is some meaning, undoubtedly,

THE Lord's PRAYER. in those words of Christ, “Whosesoever sins ye reinit, Ilitherto we have been preparing ourselves to pray, they are remitter,” words which are spoken, as an and now we begin with prayer, properly so called, essential part of his commission to every presbyter of | viz., the Lord's Prayer; which, being maile by Jesus, the English Church at the time that he is ordained and indited by his Spirit, deserved to stand in the first such. The qualifications being brought by the reci- place, but that we were not fit to call God “ Our pient, namely, “ true repentance” and “ an unfeigned | Father” till we had repented of our sins against him. belief of God's holy Gospel," this Absolution is as ef- St. Jerome says, “ It is recited in the Liturgy by our fectual as if God did pronounce it from heaven. The Lord's tradition;" St. Cyprian also, and divers other Confessions of Bohemia and Saxony testify to this ancients, call it “ the daily prayer;" and all the primi

it; but

tire liturgies have it in every one of their services ; so &c., is left out.* The reason given by many men is, that St. Augustine tells us, “ In the Church of God it because the Doxology is no part of our Lord's prayer; is daily used at the altar;” yea, the whole congrega- for, though in Matth. vi. 13. it be added in our usual tion joined in repeating it (as our rubric requires now); copies, yet, in the most ancient manuscripts it is not for that father adds, “ If any of you do not say this to be found; no, nor in St. Luke's copy; and thereprayer, though you be present in body, you are out of fore is thought to be added by the Greek Church, who the church.” Our Lord was led to give this set of used it, indeed, in their liturgies, (as the Jews before petitions to his disciples, because he had been pro- them did) but divided from the prayer, as if it were no testing against the corruptions that had crept into this part of it. The Latin Church, generally, say it as this duty of prayer, among the Jews: having condemned Church does, without the Doxology, following St. what was amiss, he directs them how they may do Luke's copy, (Luke xi.) who, setting down our Lord's better. It has been supposed by some, and is, indeed, Prayer exactly, with this introduction, when you pray a notion far from uncommon, that our Lord did not say, -not, . After this manner,' as St. Matthew hath prescribe this as a form of words to be used as a

say Our Father,' &c., leaves out the Doxprayer; but that he intended it only as a model of ology; and, certainly it can be no just matter of prayer, to show what was to be the subject-matter of offence to any reasonable man, that the Church in our petitions. Now, while there is no reason to blieve many places used that form which St Luke tells us that our Lord meant to tie up his hearers to this form of was exactly the prayer of our Lord." words so that no other prayers but this should be used by them; yet, that it was designed to be used by them as a form, as well as to be kept for a model, none can doubt. It is given us as the patteru of all other pray

CHURCH RATES,+ ers, so that whatsoever we cannot reduce to some part We have no hesitation in telling our opponents of this prayer, as virtually involved therein, should

one and all," that we do believe “ Church Rates make no part of our petitions ; if, the closer we keep to it, and the nearer we resemble it, the more excel.

are coeval with priest-craft,” as they choose irrevelent are our prayers, then none can scruple to use the rently to designate the divine institution of the prayer itself.

“ For,” argues Archbishop Leighton, priesthood. It is our proposition that the “princi“ if other prayers are to be squared by it, what forbids ple" of Church Rate was coeval with the priesthood to use that which is the square, and therefore, perfect --we believe this, and we believe something more : est? If they be good by conformity to it, itself must be better." We shall form a right notion of this prayer,

we believe that the Almighty, who appointed the if we view it as both an absolute prayer in itself, and priesthood, also established the principle of Church a prayer giving a perfect direction by which to frame Rate, or a provision for altars and temples erected all other prayers. If we refer to the Lord's Prayer, for his honour and worship, and that, consequently, as it is found in St. Matthew, its commencement we shall find to be thus: “ After this manner, therefore,

the principle of Church Rate is of divine origin. If pray ye;" if we refer to St. Luke, we shall find that

our opponents will “ condescend" to do as we have he bids us say (“ When ye pray, say”) “Our Father:" done ; if they will examine that piece of “old anthe one propounding it as the most perfect platform, tiquity," the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, they to be imitated; the other as the most excellent form, to will learn that this proposition, which they find it be used by all Christians. It is to be noted that this

more easy to sneer at than to refute, is capable of prayer has been used, as such, by the Church, in all proof, either by positive evidence or fair inference, ages ; at least, from the third century. In this point in almost every book of the Old and New Testament. of view, as well as from considerations of its intrinsic worth, the use of this prayer is a pledge of “ the com

In that “ musty old record,” the book of Exodus, munion of saints." The reverent disciple of Christ there is an account of the erection of the sanctuary, will use this forin of petition, because it was com with the appointment of an atonement tribute, or posed and appointed by his Lord; and the humble provision for the service and reparation of the sancChristian will thankfully avail himself of this help to his feebleness. “ He that followeth me," saith tuary, distinct from a provision for the priests and Christ, “ shall not walk in darkness :” and if, in all Levites; it is there said by the Almighty to Moses, our ways, it is safest to be led by Christ, then must it “And thou shalt take the atonement-money of the be so, particularly in our access to the Father, by children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service prayer. Christ leads us into the presence of God by of the tabernacle of the congregation.” —(x18, his mediation : “ Through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” He takes us by the hand to

11–16). Here we have the principle of Church bring us to the throne of grace; then he gives us his

Rate brought into practice by the express comSpirit to frame our ininds into the fitting disposition; mand of God himself. It will not suit advocates and here, he further leads us, by putting words into of the voluntary system to come to the bible for enour mouths.

couragement: it was not left to the choice of the The Church of Christ (says Bp. Sparrow) did use to people to pay or not, since the command is, “This begin and end her services with the Lord's prayer, this they shall give [the half shekel] every one.” There being the foundation upon which all other prayers should he built; therefore, we begin with it; that, so, the

were dissentients among the Israelites, but no idle right foundation being laid, we may justly proceed to plea of “conscience” or oppression,"

"' would reour ensuing requests : and, it being the perfection of lieve such from the obligation, as may be seen in all prayer, therefore we conclude our prayers with it. the New Testament. The sanctuary was kept up Let no man, therefore, quarrel with the Church's frequent nse of the Lord's prayer, for the Church Ca- by half-shekel tribute, from that early period, down tholic ever did the same. Besides, if we have hope to

to the time of our Saviour: the temple of Solomon have our prayers accepted of the Father only, for his was kept up by this Church Rate, and, although the Son's sake, why should we not hope to have them most king, with the princes and great men, voluntarily speedily accepted, when they are offered up in his Son's own words ? Both in this place, and other parts † In the present Book, the Doxology is used here. of the service, when the Lord's prayer is appointed to + From an "address on Church Rates" by the Editor of the be used, the Doxology, For thine is the kingdom,' | Exeter and Plymouth Flying Post.

gave munificent offerings of silver and gold and I witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and costly stones, for the beauty and ornament of the the sin which doth so easily beset us, and house of God, the timber and hewn stone was pur. let us run with patience the race that is set chased, by the “ command" of Solomon, and paid before us. for out of his royal revenues, or the public property, It is, undoubtedly, for want of complying contributed by the whole nation ; so were the thou- with this exhortation, that many Christian sands of workmen, “levied” by the command of believers complain of being barren and unSolomon, paid out of the national revenue. We ad. fruitful in the knowledge of their Lord and mit that Solomon's temple was built for the whole Saviour Jesus Christ, and of making sach Jewish nation ; but there were those among the

little progress

in the

of virtue and godJews who were compelled to pay the tribute, who

liness. refused to receive the benefit of the temple worship: knowledge, spirituality of mind, and practical

If they do not improve in divine So was the church of England built for the whole holiness, it is because there is some sin lurkEnglish people ; but, although there are those among the people who think proper to depart from its wor.

ing within them which they do not strive ship, that is no excuse for their withholding the rate against and mortify, but which they maintain which belongs to the church alone. Solomon's

and cherish with a certain degree of fondness temple was the temple of the Jewish constitution, and affection. It, therefore, behoves all who so is the church of England the temple of the Eng. complain of not growing in grace and in the lish constitution; and, therefore, as all the subjects knowledge of their Redeemer, to examine who lived under the Jewish constitution were called well into their own hearts, and to see whether upon to contribute to the national temple, so are all they cannot discover the latent evil; and, English subjects, who live under, and enjoy the having discovered it, to put it away from benefits indirectly or directly, of our constitution, them as the accursed thing which is hateful, called upon to contribute towards the national tem- in the highest degree, to a God of infinite ple of the land. This important part of the question holiness and purity. is just what our opponents always take care to pass In the chapter from whence the text is taken, over : they always represent the church of England

we see that there was an accursed thing among as a mere sect in this country, whereas they know the people of Israel, and that this was the that it is not a sect, but the national church, an integral part of the constitution, and, as such, claim- mies with whom they engaged in conflict.

reason why they were smitten by their eneing, upon the ground of constitutional right, the

No sooner were this people conducted over respect and support of every subject of the crown.

Jordan into the land which the Lord God of That the tribute which our Saviour wrought a miracle to pay was the half-shekel for the reparation and their fathers had promised them for an everservice of the temple is affirmed, not by churchmen lasting possession, than they were encouraged only, but by four eminent dissenting commentators to go up against Jericho, a great and fenced Dr. Gill, Dr. Doddridge, Matthew Henry, and Dr. city, and take it. They were instructed as Adam Clarke : they all agree, (in thc language of to the manner in which this was to be effected. the latter,) that this tribute was not a tax to be They were to encompass the city, and go paid to the Roman government, but a tax for the round about it once a day, for six days, and support of the temple; the law (Exodus xxx, 1S), on the seventh day they were to encompass it obliged every male amongst the Jews to pay half a seven times. They proceeded exactly in the shekel yearly for the support of the temple." The manner they had been told ; and the walls of apostle Paul strongly enjoius the payment of this Jericho fell down flat, and they gained an tribute, as well as other customs, "for conscience- easy possession of all that was found therein. sake;" and St. Peter gives similar instructions. The people, however, were not allowed to

appropriate the spoil of this city to themselves, SIN A REPROACH AND HINDERANCE:

but tliey were to devote it to the Lord, as the

first-fruits of the land which he had proA Sermon,

mised them for an inheritance. The sole adBY THE REv. W. BATTERSBY, M.A. vantages which were to accrue to them from Curate of St. Lawrence, Eresham.

this most wonderful conquest, were the extirJOSHUA vii. 13.

pation and slaughter of their enemies, the " There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, on the treasury belonging to the house of the

dominion of the land, and the enriching of Israel ; thou canst not stand before thine enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among

Lord. you.”

The instructions that were given the peoThe writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, ple of Israel, relative to the disposal of the in consideration of believers being surrounded spoil of Jericho, are recorded in the 17th, by innumerable ministering spirits, and in 18th, and 19th verses of the chapter prececonsideration of their conduct being observed ding the one from which my text is taken, by thein, says:

Wherefore, seeing we also and are as follows : “ The city shall be acare compassed about with so great a cloud of cursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the

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