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lowers, while as yet the real nature of his kingdom was misunderstood. The whole period of Symeon's life had been one of lively hope to his nation; and he could little dream, that instead of giving laws to the world, its extinction in the list of nations would be among the first and grandest preparations for the coming of the promised kingdom. In what position he stood as a disciple of our Lord is not known. He might have been one of the seventy, since we may reasonably suppose that his Master, who intended to place him hereafter in so conspicuous a situation in his Church, would give him this earnest and foretaste of its duties, and mark him out to the Church by this token of his approbation. Since the kinsmen of the Lord were held in so much honour after his ascension,* Symeon was probably called upon to assist at the council of Jerusalem,† and was also entrusted with the care of one of those congregations into which this Church, so numerous even under its sorest afflictions, was divided. But such consideration was attended with the reverse of worldly advantage, and with a great weight of spiritual responsibility. To be shep-questionably such a thing, such a virtue, such
of a fold, from which it is impossible to the assault of the wolf or the robber, is a situation of painfulness, which we are both unwilling, and (God be thanked) unable to conceive duly. Seated at the head-quarters of its most bitter enemies, this Church
suffered much more than its sisters among the heathen, in proportion as a schismatic is always more hateful than an apostate. For it still maintained its connexion with the Temple, and therefore appeared in the garb of a sect. By incessant persecution its members were reduced to great poverty. With what delight, then, must Symeon have hailed the several arrivals of the apostle of the Gentiles at Jerusalem with the contributions of the heathen churches! The relief, however, to the necessities of his flock would be the least among the causes of his gratification. For
what a proof was here of the progress which the Gospel had made, not only over the face of the earth, but also in the depths of the human heart! The heathen had been bred up in a contempt and aversion for the Jew; and, after he had become Christian, had every reason to slight the law of Moses. Yet the conformity to it of the Jewish Christian did not chill his charity. Little could Symeon then foresee that these Churches would, in no long time, quarrel among themselves upon a matter so indifferent as the day of celebrating the resurrection. He saw, too, in these gifts a palpable representation of the accomplishment of the prophecies, which foretold the flocking of the Gentiles with gifts to Jerusalem; and looked forward in hope to the crowded courts and spiritual treasures of the heavenly
a Christian duty, as good churchmanship, a conscientious and scriptural acting up to the obligations imposed upon us as members of Christ's Church: there are duties and obligations devolving upon us all in our relative, social, and official capacities;-good children are docile, affectionate, and obedient to parents; good parents are kind towards, earnestly solicitous for, the temporal and eternal welfare of their offspring; good husbands have their peculiar duties, and good wives their peculiar duties, which they respectively discharge, as in the fear of God, towards each other. As members of society, we are either good or bad members, according as we humbly discharge, or wickedly neglect, the duties incumbent upon us neighbours, citizens, and subjects. Our political privileges all involve in them a religious responsibility: it is a mistaken notion that we may imbibe what opinions we please, and pursue what course we please, in reference to these matters; the Scriptures, that unerring guide to man in all the intricacies of human life, lay down principles as our rule of conduct in reference to them; and, as members of a social and political community, we are strictly accountable to God for the manner we conduct ourselves therein. From the king supreme to the lowest office-bearer, each one has his part to act in his own peculiar department; and the part he is to act is that of a Christian king, a Christian officebearer, making his office subservient to the glory of God and to the advancement of true religion. As, therefore, these conditions, and all the multiplied ramifications of them, have and contain their respective obligations, duties, and accountabilities, so likewise has churchmanship: those who are of no religion, who belong to, who identify not themselves as members of Christ's Church, while, perhaps, they may (strictly speaking) escape the charge of inconsistency, because they mak
[To be concluded in the next Number.]
ATTACHMENT TO THE CHURCH:
BY THE REV. J. C. ABDY, M.A. Rector of St. John's, Southwark. ACTS, ii. 42. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
SUCH is the character given by the inspired historian of the three thousand persons who on the day of Pentecost (answering to our Whit-Sunday) were converted to the faith of Christ, affording thereby an incontestable
Euseb. E. H. iii. 11.
proof to the fulness of the Holy Spirit's influence, and, by consequence, an equally incontestable proof to the immutable truth of the Christian religion. The character given of these three thousand individuals, describing the course they pursued, and the standard of faith and practice they adopted, is invaluable to us living at this remote age, inasmuch as it affords a decided specimen of what was a good and consistent Churchman in those early days, when there could be no mistake upon this important matter; when Jesus, the blessed Founder of our religion, had but just departed to heaven, and his inspired apostles were in their own persons regulating the infant Church, and laying down the terms of communion in it. There is un
pretensions to churchmanship, cannot escape the awful predicament of having neither lot nor part in Christ's salvation. We are not defining strictly what Christ's Church really is. Upon this point I shall now only state that which it is incumbent on the minister to state, that we of the Church of England do belong to the Church which partakes of all the essential points referred to in our text; it is the 66 one catholic and apostolic Church" to which we belong; a Church of apostolical doctrine and fellowship, "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone." Its doctrine is according to the scriptural writings of the apostles; its discipline, as far as she can exercise it, is in accordance with the regulations of Scripture; its ministers, by a providential interposition, can trace their ordination in an unbroken line to those who received their ministerial commission from the hands of the apostles; our prayers and sacraments are of the same pure origin: so that, as to the question whether the Church of England is an apostolical Church, there need not be any doubt. All of us here assembled profess ourselves members of this Christian community; we profess ourselves churchmen, as members of the Church of Christ; for every sincere and honest member of the Church of England values his Church for this reason, that it is a portion of the Church of Christ.
The churchmanship which I am now inculcating is the churchmanship of our text, and the duties therein described are the duties which I earnestly press upon you, and which I now proceed to illustrate. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." This description of the first Christians implies that the good churchman is stedfastly attached to the communion of his Church, cultivates a warm and constant affection for her, and uses all proper means for extending its influence, and carrying its beneficial influence to all who are ignorant of, or careless about, those invaluable blessings she contains within her sacred repository. Most, if not every one, of those whom I am addressing, have been joined in infancy to the communion of an apostolic Church, and have very generally taken its vows upon themselves in the sacred rite of confirmation. By these religious acts the sincere Christian feels himself pledged to "confess the faith of Christ crucified, manfully to fight under his banners against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant to his life's end." This profession, entered into at baptism, and ratified at confirmation, leads the true member of Christ's Church
courageously to assert and to maintain the doctrines of the cross of Christ in all their genuine simplicity, and that not only when it can be done without incurring opposition, but also when their maintenance may be scorned by the world, and assailed by the sceptic: the good Churchman knows from Scripture that these truths are the doctrines of the apostles; doctrines which the apostles learned from the mouth of the divine Redeemer, and delivered to the Church for their safe keeping. From these doctrines he has derived peace and consolation; and from them, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he feels implanted within him a principle, a life-giving principle, of holiness, which suggests the motives, and dictates the acts of his daily conduct. These doctrines, when heartily embraced, are doctrines for the healing of the world of its sins and evils; they are the only remedies for our sinful nature: the Church, therefore, in which these doctrines are conspicuous, in whose liturgy they stand prominent, through whose formularies they run with a uniform consistency, is loved; and in its apostolic fellowship the good Churchman remains immovable; he loves his Church for the truth's sake: if any of her sons act unworthily of her, if any abuse, any deformity for time creep round her sacred battlements, the abuse, the deformity is lamented, and, if possible, removed; but the Church herself is his delight; he loves her for the blessings she conveys; and his whole behaviour, in private and in public, agrees with the prayer in which frequently, in heart and soul, he joins: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee: peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces." Lukewarmness or indifference to his Church, when attacked by open enemies or by pretending friends, is an inconsistency never chargeable against those who, as sound Churchmen," continue stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship." And, then,
Secondly; from our text it is to be observed, that the Christian, who desires to act his part well in his duty and obligations to his Church, will stedfastly attend on its services, and observe its institutions. The first three thousand churchmen, than whom so good a sample has never since been met with,
continued stedfastly, as in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, so also in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Indeed, the services of the Church form the main bond of fellowship with her. Apostolical fellowship consists in a participation of apostolical services, these services are the Christian's most familiar and most delightful points of union with her. Most inconsistent is it for men, like
the Jews of old, to exclaim, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are we," when the temple is scarcely ever frequented, and they themselves never seen within its sacred enclosure, unless a baptism, a marriage, or a funeral occasion their formal attendance! Calling themselves members of Christ's Church, but altogether neglecting its services, except as necessity calls upon them to join in them, and consequently as ignorant of their intent and meaning, as unmoved by any spiritual affection towards them, or sacred pleasure from them, as though they were repeated in a language they understood not; boasting of their external fellowship by baptism, as though baptism were the sum-total of Church membership. The remark of Bishop Beveridge upon the character and behaviour of these first Christians is well worthy of universal attention: "they did not think it sufficient to be baptised into Christ, but they still continued in him, doing all such things as he hath appointed, whereby to receive grace and power from him to walk as becometh his disciples; and so must we also, if we desire to be saved by him. It is our great happiness to have been by baptism admitted into the Church and school of Christ, and so made his disciples and scholars but unless we continue to do what we promised at our baptism, our condemnation will be the greater, in that we do not only break the laws of God, but likewise the promise we made to him when we were baptised." Of this state of things (as thus plainly noted down in this extract) the consistent Churchman is fully aware, and by the grace of God he acts accordingly; hence his regular attendance on divine ordinances is marked by internal devotion and external propriety; he considers beforehand to what place he is going, whose work he is undertaking, whose presence he is entering, and prays and strives more especially to " keep his heart with all diligence." He would tremble to indulge in the presence of God a state of mind which, if laid open to man as it is before the Searcher of hearts, would display a scene of carelessness and inattention, perhaps of pride, malice, revenge, and many other guilty passions; he dreads the idea of bringing such a heart before God: hence he seeks, and by divine grace he obtains, the eradication of these most heinously wicked feelings, and is possessed with holy thoughts, with heavenly desires, spiritualised affections; he finds God, and Christ, and the blessed Spirit here, tranquillising and soothing his temper, purifying and sanctifying his heart. He is enabled to say of the temple and worship of the Lord, "this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." The distinct enumeration in our text, of the
apostles' doctrine, the apostles' fellowship, the breaking of bread (by which is meant the administration of the Lord's supper), and prayers, leads me to remark that the Christian's conduct in relation to his Church is marked by a peculiar consistency; he equally values each and every one of its various services: he does not put one service before or after another, but esteems them all and uses them with the like affection; he does not separate the public teaching of the word from prayer, nor attendance at Church from attendance at the sacrament; the same authority which appointed one, appointed all. He who said "pray without ceasing," said also "give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine:" the same word which commands us not to "forsake the assembling of ourselves together," contains the injunction "do this in remembrance of me."* His mind is adapted, through divine grace, to all the services and institutions of his Church; he loves them, he prizes them, not as mere observances, which decency and decorum require him not to neglect, but as means, as channels through which spiritual influences are imparted, in the use of which the heart is amended, and the amendment shewn in the daily walk of his life; in one word, "he continues stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers," because of the pleasure such consistent stedfastness occasions him; because he feels such stedfastness is essential to his growth in grace, and meetness, through Christ's abundant merits, for the eternal inheritance in glory. This, then, my dear brethren, is the grand end of religious ordinances; Christ's Church is established on earth, that its members may become members of the Church of the redeemed in heaven. It is for no party purpose, that the good Churchman adheres to his Church, and deplores the assaults which are made upon it; he keeps to it, and, as far as in him lies, supports it, because it is God's instrument to gather out of this wicked world, and collect into one spiritual fold and community, those who, through Christ, shall be saved for ever. With the conviction on their minds of the importance and benefits of Church-membership, it is no wonder that your ministers are earnestly solicitous that those committed to their charge should continue stedfastly in it. If we magnify our office, it is on account of the mighty interests involved in it; interests involving the well-being of the life which now is, and of that which is to come. In the turmoil and distraction of passing events, lose not sight of the real intents and
⚫ See an excellent sermon on the text, by the present Archdeacon of Winchester.
purpose of the Christian Church; true religion suffers greatly in our own souls, and among our neighbours, for want of a correct appreciation of the Gospel ministry. Be it
may prove to be, if she speaks in the vernacular tongue. With them, words are not only the signs of things, but things themselves.
No. IX.-The Ostler at the Crown.
our happiness to love the house and worship RECOLLECTIONS OF A COUNTRY PASTOR. of our God, to pray for and co-operate with his ministers, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified in ourselves and in the world. We who are ministers, admitted into the solemn, the responsible office of "ambassadors for Christ," of "labourers together with God" (oh the awful import of this peculiarly impressive designation!), of "watchmen," of" overseers over the flock of Christ," we are earnestly solicitous for you, and importunately desirous humbly to execute our office, proving the honoured instruments of bringing you within the Church of Christ, and then of rendering you, by divine stedfast and consistent members grace, of the same.
THEIR religion consists more in a sort of spiritual gossiping, than holiness of life. They diligently look out after the faults of others, but are rather lenient to their own. They accuse of being legal those who act more in the service of Christianity, and dispute less about certain opinions. They overlook essentials, and debate rather fiercely on, at best, doubtful points of doctrine; and form their judgment of the piety of others, rather from their warmth in controversy, than from their walking humbly with God.
They always exhibit in their conversation the idiom of a party, and are apt to suspect the sincerity of those whose higher breeding, and more correct habits, discover a better taste. Delicacy with them is want of zeal; prudent reserve, want of earnestness; sentiments of piety, conveyed in other terms than are found in their vocabulary, are suspected of error. They make no allowance for the difference of education, habits, and society: all must have one standard of language, and that standard is their own.
Even if, on some points, you hold nearly the same sentiments, it will not save your credit; if you do not express them in the same language, you are in danger of having your principles suspected. By your proficiency or declension in this dialect, and not by the greater or less devotedness of your heart, the increasing or diminishing consistency in your practice, they take the gauge of your religion, and determine the rise and fall of your spiritual thermometer. The language of these technical Christians indisposes persons of refinement, who have not had the advantage of seeing religion under a more engaging form, to serious piety, by leading them to make a most unjust association between religion and bad taste.
When they encounter a new acquaintance of their own school, these reciprocal signs of religious intelligence produce an instantaneous sisterhood; and they will run the chance of what the character of the stranger From Hannah More.
THE town in which I now resided was on one of the great roads, on which there was a constant traffic. Stage-coaches were not so well conducted then as they have been of later years. The roads had not felt the salutary influence of Macadam. There was more posting; and the Crown was, at one time, an inn where much was done in this way. The landlord, however, was a man of the most profligate habits. His wife was separated from him. The other house, more respectably conducted, soon gained the lead, and was patronised by the more respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Politics ran very high at the time. There was a strong ministerial party; but the landlord of the Crown was a thorough and avowed democrat. He had wished to change the sign, but was afraid it would injure his trade. Clubs used to be held at his house, at which he usually presided; and which had for their object nothing short of a combination for overthrowing the constitution in Church and State. The evening of Sunday was the usual time for these meetings, which were attended by the loosest characters, though one or two who were men of property were among them. It was always a busy night therefore, both in the house and in the yard; and it was notorious, that neither waiter, chambermaid, nor ostler of the Crown were ever seen at church or meeting. There was a large meeting-house in the town, of which more in another paper. I will only remark, that the minister was a truly conscientious and pious man; and had he been alive, I am sure would have firmly set his face against the conduct of many of his brethren at the present day.
It was late on a Sunday evening that a respectable parishioner called upon me to say, that the ostler at the Crown, who rented one of his cottages, had received a kick on the head from a horse, which threatened to prove fatal. He had consequently been brought home on a shutter, and was now in bed. The person giving me this information requested me to visit the poor man; "for," said he, "I do not think Tom is any better than a heathen. I feel quite ashamed to think I have never given him some good advice, though he is one of my own tenants."
I immediately accompanied my informant to the cottage, where I found Tom in a very deplorable condition. No medical attendant had as yet visited him. The more respectable surgeons were all out; and the only one near was a man of loose character and principles-in fact, a confirmed infidel,-who found, to his astonishment, that his patients were gradually leaving him, and who, this evening, was too busily engaged at the club, planning measures for healing the constiHe had tution, to attend to the case of the ostler. been twice sent for to the Crown, but had not made his appearance, which was, so far, well; for the state in which he was, from the influence of brandy and the excitement of politics, would have rendered his aid very doubtful. Meanwhile, however, another medical man arrived, and dressed the poor creature's wounds. They were not of a character, it was supposed, to create much alarm. But it was thought that for some weeks it might be impossible for Tom to attend to his business. He had, in fact, received two or three severe blows on the head, besides having one of his legs dreadfully bruised. I took an early opportunity of seeing Tom in the week, and found him then perfectly sensible, which was not the case on the first evening I saw him; for he was stupified and stunned with the
blows he had received. And truly, the statement made to me, "that Tom was no better than a
heathen," was but too correct. Of religion he knew nothing. He had been wont to hear it ridiculed by his master and his associates; and he used sometimes, by the way of procuring an additional sixpence, to launch out against all that was sacred. I could scarcely have believed it possible that such utter ignorance could have been found in a man living in a nation professedly Christian, and, not like Gubbens, associating with gipsies only.
Tom's short history was as follows:-He had been thrown upon the parish when a lad, by the death of his mother. He had never known the blessings of paternal care; and the overseer of the day, being the then landlord of the Crown, sent him into the yard, in which he had passed through one grade of promotion to another, until he became head ostler. He could not read there was, in fact, no school in the parish for poor children when he was a boy; and all his accounts of corn, &c. were kept by chalk marks, of which he alone knew the meaning, but which were most corNo one recollected ever seeing Tom at church. The Wesleyan Methodists had been endeavouring, and with success, by various means, to bring many profligate persons to a sense of sin; but Tom had never come within their notice. Churchmen and Dissenters were alike guilty in this respect, that they never endeavoured to benefit this poor creature. reply to my first question, as to his health, he replied, "I'm very bad-" and to this he added an oath.
I immediately stated my horror at hearing him take God's name in vain, and asked him if he did not think it was a sin, for which he should be called to answer?
He said, he did not think about it; he hoped there was no offence: he heard master say it was all stuff about sin. And then he repeated many other sayings that he had heard, with which I need not shock the reader. Suffice it to say, that I found him in a state of utter ignorance and hardness of heart. Death and judgment, heaven and hell, had never entered his mind. He was an utter stranger to prayer-in fact to religious duties of every kind.
The wounds he received did not prove fatal immediately; but he was ever afterwards incapable of work. His brain was obviously injured, for he sank into a state not far from idiocy. He was removed, with his wife and child, to the workhouse, where he lived some years. I had frequent opportunities of seeing him and conversing with him; and I did all in my power to instruct him, but I had never any satisfactory evidence that he was in any way impressed by what I said.
Now this, it may be remarked, perhaps, is an incident in clerical life scarce worth recording, and yet it is one which I confess made a deep impression upon my mind. The yard of a large inn is a soil, indeed, most unfavourable for the growth of religion,—a most contaminating place, which has led to the ruin of many a honest servant; and those who are engaged in it are, in too many instances, almost entirely deprived of attendance on the means of grace. The tap, and not the house of God, is usually the sabbath resort. The church was at no great distance from the Crown; but its door was never entered by the landlord and his servants. Constant Sunday travelling; the changing of horses; waiting upon guests; the necessity of being in attendance at all hours,-render it very difficult for a servant in an inn to frequent the services of religion. Hence many of them for years never enter a place of worship. Exceptions there are, of course, to this rule; but I am speaking of what is too generally the case. I have known several clerical friends, one-a man of deep practical piety and unbounded beneficence-who make it a point, when travelling, to propose to the landlord of the inn at which they may be remaining for the night, that there should be fa
mily worship in the room that has been assigned them, and that they have usually found the offer gratefully accepted; and that the waiters and other servants have appeared pleased at the proposal. Certainly it is worth while to make the offer. It may be blessed of God to the good of some one present. The minister has, at least, shewn himself not ashamed of his holy calling.
Truly glad shall I be if these remarks should induce any brother in the ministry, or any private Christian, to direct his thoughts more fully to the class of persons now alluded to, should there be such in his parish or neighbourhood. And, not less so, should they meet the eye of any landlord of an inn, and induce him to give every possible facility to his servants attending divine worship, and keeping holy the Sabbath-day. Those who travel much, whether for business or amusement, may do incalculable good this way; and may have the satisfaction of knowing that their labour has not been in vain.* Had Tom at the Crown received some important advice from those who frequented the inn, instead of being led on to reckless indifference, his character might have been that of a real and consistent Christian.
I would only, in conclusion, remark, that the individual, a man of property,-whose horse, notoriously a most vicious one, kicked Tom, and thus made him the inmate of a workhouse, and nearly an idiot for life,--though frequently applied to in the poor creature's behalf, never, to my certain knowledge, gave him a farthing; and yet he was regarded as a stanch "friend of the people." Nor do I believe the landlord of the Crown ever offered him a meal. So much for principles which are not founded on a Christian basis; so much for that spurious philanthropy which pretends to have in view the interests of the lower orders; but which will, almost universally, be found to be little more than empty declamation; and which, while it harangues on the people's rights, and the people's privileges, and the people's hardships, would willingly leave the people destitute of the means of sustaining life. Tom, at the Crown, is not the first nor the last who has experienced the folly of being led astray by the enemies of God and of godliness.
ONE country has its dangers as well as another; but I trust that the same restraining grace of God that has kept me here will watch over you wherever you are: and oh, neglect not to seek it earnestly in humble prayer; for if we ask not amiss, and if we avail ourselves of our all-powerful Intercessor, the Lord Jesus Christ, in and through him we shall assuredly be blessed. Be particularly watchful of the society you are in; for evil communications are always corrupting. If we attempt to stand on the enemy's ground, he soon foils us; but if we cleave to the Lord, and unfeignedly seek his face, he will be found of us, and he will teach us himself. I will point out some of his monitors, from each of whom you may have a lecture every day. You have a close intimate, called conscience, which, when an enlightened one, I trust yours is, is always a faithful friend. Its language is, " Keep me tender, quick of feeling, void of offence towards God and man. Consult me upon all occasions, and act according to my dictates: but shouldst thou grieve me, beware of a deceitful
* For a striking instance of the value of religious instruction imparted at an inn by the Rev. Henry Venn, see vol. i. p. 131. Extracted from a Letter to a Young Friend, by the late John Thornton, Esq.