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the ministry, that he had laboured unsuccessfully among his parishioners until reconciliation to God through Christ became the prominent and pervading subject of his preaching; and the free offer of forgiveness through the blood of Christ was urged upon their acceptance.
2. Since, then, the preaching of CHRIST CRUCIFIED is the grand instrument for the conversion of the world to the Christian faith, it follows, secondly, that the preaching of this doctrine, with all its momentous consequences, is-Now-the one great object of the Christian ministry.
What Paul said of himself and his associates in preaching the "glorious Gospel of God our Saviour," is equally true of every Christian minister. "We preach NOT ourselves." We aim not at exalting our own authority, extending our reputation, or securing to ourselves any secular advantage; but, renouncing all such base and sordid motives and considerations, we preach "Christ Jesus the Lord." (2 Cor. iv. 5.)
This, brethren, is the proper business, as it should be the resolution, of every minister of the Church, through Christ strengthening him. We are not to be politicians, nor to engage in the strifes and controversies of men. We are not to be good scholars merely (invaluable auxiliaries as literature and science are to theology), nor are we to be skilful in driving bargains. We are not to mingle in circles where dissipation reigns. We are not to be profound philosophers or metaphysicians; but we are to make CHRIST CRUCIFIED the grand object of our attention, and to seek, always and everywhere, to make Him known. We are not to be ashamed any where of the humbling doctrine, that Christ was crucified. On the contrary, in this we are to glory. Though the world may ridicule; though the philosopher may sneer; though the rich and the gay may deride it; yet this is to be the one great object of interest to us and at no time, in no society, are we to be ashamed of it. To us it is of no moment what are the amusements of society around us, or what fields of science, of gain, or of ambition are open before us. WE the ministers of Christ-are "not to know anything save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." If we cultivate science, it is in order that we may more successfully explain and vindicate the Gospel. If we become familiar with the works of art or of taste, it is that we may more successfully shew to those who cultivate them the superior beauty and excellency of the cross. If we study the plans and employments of men, it is that we may more successfully meet them in those plans, and more successfully speak to them concerning the great plan of redemption."*
In short, throughout the whole of our ministerial career, we are, at our ordination, exhorted "ALWAYS to have printed in our remembrance how great a treasure is committed to our charge." For the immortal souls, over whom we are to "watch as they that MUST give account," (Heb. xiii. 17,) "are the sheep of Christ, which he bought with his death, and for whom he shed his precious blood."+
3. Further, not only are we-the ministers of the Church-thus solemnly charged at our ordination, to watch over the sheep which Christ purchased with his own blood; but this very doctrine is interwoven with every part of our Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies; to which
Barnes's Notes on 1 and 2 Corinthians, Vol. I. pp. 41, 42.
† Ordination of Priests [Presbyters.]
we have subscribed, as "containing nothing contrary to the Word of God."*
All our supplications, for instance, in the several collects and prayers, are addressed to God, in the name of Christ,-not as our teacher or example, but solely "through HIS merits and mediation;" who, having overcome the sharpness of death, hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers." And we address the Lord Jesus Christ himself, as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." He is "the way, the truth, and the life," "whereby alone men must be saved:" "for there is none other name given to man, in whom and through whom we may receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," "the Saviour of the world; who by his cross and precious blood hath redeemed us." For He, "being very God and very man," "truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men." "The offering of Christ, once made, is a perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world :. . . . and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone."+
After we have been baptized, we "are signed with the sign of the CROSS, in token that, thereafter, we shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of CHRIST CRUCIFIED." And in that admirable summary of Christian doctrine and Christian duty,-the Church Catechism,- -we are instructed, that "the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper" is " dained for the continual remembrance of the SACRIFICE OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST, and of the benefits which we receive thereby."
Such are a few of the very explicit declarations of the Liturgy and Articles of our Church to the doctrine of CHRIST CRUCIFIED; which was the great theme of Saint Paul's discourses, as it is, and ought to be, the great subject of our ministry. Would time permit, I could produce many passages from the Book of Homilies, to the same effect. Two or three, however, must suffice.
'God, the Father of all mercy. . . . . . put" upon his beloved Son "our sins, and upon him he made our ransom. Him he made the mean betwixt us and himself; whose mediation was so acceptable to God the Father, through his absolute and perfect obedience, that he took his act for a full satisfaction of all our disobedience and rebellion ; whose righteousness he took, to weigh against all our sins; whose redemption he would have stand against our damnation."§ "So that Christ is now the righteousness of all them that do truly believe in him. He for them paid their ransom by his death."|| "We must trust only in God's mercy, and that sacrifice, which our High Priest and Saviour, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, once offered for us upon the cross, thereby to obtain God's grace, and remission as well of our original sin in baptism, as of all actual sins committed by us after baptism, if we truly repent and turn unfeignedly to him again."¶
And as (we have seen) St. Paul preached to the Corinthians the vicarious death of Christ, and his subsequent resurrection, solely "ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES," (1 Cor. xv. 3, 4); not the Scrip
*Constitutions and Carons Ecclesiastical, Can. 36.
Litany;-Collect for St. Philip and St. James;-Art. xviii.;-Visitation of the Sick ;-Art. ii. and xxxi.
Office of Public Baptism.
§ Hom. xxix. Part 3.
Hom. iii. Part. 2.
tures AND Tradition, as the Romish section of the universal Church and her followers erroneously teach.*-So our Reformed Protestant Church, conformably to the Apostle's example, utterly disregards and rejects all uninspired and unauthorised human traditions of doctrine; and bases all her statements of Christian doctrine and Christian duty upon "Holy Scripture" ALONE: which "containeth all things necessary to salvation. So that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."†
The following is the doctrine of the Romish Church and of Oxford Tractarians, on Scripture AND Tradition being the rule of faith:
The ROMISH CHURCH,
at the so-called Council of Trent,
"all-saving truth is NOT contained in
which whosoever doth not receive with
A Specimen of the doctrines of certain
on the subject of Tradition:
Scripture AND Tradition,
taken together, are the joint Rule of Faith." (Tract No. 78, p. 2.)-Mr. Newman, treating of the rule of faith, says: These two " ["the Bible AND Catholic Tradition, taken together"] "make up a joint rule."-(Lectures on the Prophetical office of the Church, p. 327.) Scripture is "but the document of appeal; and Catholic tradition, the authoritative teacher of Christians," (Ibid. p. 343.)
The close coincidence of these statements with those of the Romish Church, on Scripture and Tradition as the rule of faith, is too obvious to need any remark. It is not astonishing that the astute titular Bishop of Melipotamus, Dr. Wiseman, should say that "it seems to him impossible to read the works of the Oxford divines, and especially to follow them chronologically, WITHOUT DISCOVERING A DAILY APPROACH TOWARDS OUR HOLY CHURCH," [meaning the Romish section of the Catholic Church, with all her unscriptural and anti-scriptural tenets and practices] both in DOCTRINE and in practice.”—(Letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury, p. 15.) The reader will find an able statement and complete refutation of the whole of the Tractarian doctrine on Tradition, in Mr. Goode's "learned and accurate work" (as the Bishop of London has truly characterised it) on "the Divine Rule of Faith and Practice." London 1842, 2 vols. 8vo.
† Article VI. This Article directly contradicts the decree of the so-called Council of Trent, and also the doctrine of the Oxford Tractarians. "For, instead of describing tradition, or the unwritten word, as equal in authority with Scripture, or the written word, it gives the whole authority to Scripture alone. The sixth Article, therefore, REJECTS— entirely and absolutely-tradition as a rule of faith, though the term tradition is not used in it." (Bishop Marsh's Comparative View of the Churches of England and Rome, p. 44, 3rd Edition.) Equally explicit with the sixth Article, against Tradition, are the following declarations in the first part of the first Homily. "Unto a Christian man there
can be nothing either more necessary
And though our Church claims an authority of power and of order (not of infallibility) to decree rites and ceremonies, and in controversies of faith;" yet she expressly limits that power and authority by Scripture, declaring that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God's word written; neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another."* So anxious, indeed, is our Church, that her ministers should not derive their instructions from any other source than the divinely inspired Scriptures, that her bishops and presbyters, at their respective consecrations and ordinations, are required to declare their solemn determination, in the presence of God and of the Church, "out of the said Scriptures to instruct the people committed to their charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to salvation, but that which they shall be persuaded may be CONCLUDED AND PROVED BY THE SCRIPTURE."† Our Church, in fine, imposes upon us no doctrines or moral duties, but such as are in perfect accordance with those sacred writings upon which they are founded. At the same time she is so just, as to leave us to judge of that accordance for ourselves; in this respect obeying the injunctions of the Lord Jesus Christ and of Saint Paul, to "SEARCH the Scriptures," and to "PROVE all things." (John v. 39; 1 Thess. v. 21.)
4. Once more :— -Let us manifest our determination, "NOT to know anything save JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED," by a penitent and believing supplication to "Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," for the forgiveness of our sins, "through HIS merits who died and was buried, and rose again for us." Under the Law, the lepers were not healed by the bare shedding of the blood of sacrifice which was offered for them, but by the sprinkling and application of it: nor were any healed by the brazen serpent, who did not look up to it. Let us then, by faith, receive CHRIST CRUCIFIED, as Jesus, our Saviour, Prophet, Priest, and Sovereign Lord: and let us evince our devout gratitude for all the mercies of "redemption through his blood," by unfeigned love to him; by "shewing forth the Lord's death" according to his "holy institution;" by our obedience to the moral precepts of the Gospel; and by aiming more and more to "follow the blessed steps of his most holy life." (A nobler model can never be proposed to
salvation. For in Holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to do, and what to eschew, what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at length." So, in the first Part of the Twenty-second Homily, ("Information for them which take offence at certain places of Holy Scripture") we are exhorted to search the Holy Scriptures alone, to the utter rejection of "any man's earthly work or writing." Treating of "the knowledge of God and of ourselves," this Homily thus proceeds: “And the ordinary way to attain this knowledge is, with diligence to hear and read the Holy Scriptures. For the whole Scriptures, saith St. Paul, (1 Tim. iii.) were given by the inspiration of God. And shall we Christian men, think to learn the knowledge of God and of ourselves in any earthly man's work or writing, sooner
or better than in the Holy Scriptures, written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? The Scriptures were brought unto us by the will of man: but holy men of God, as witnesseth St. Peter, (2 Pet. i.) spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost is the schoolmaster of truth, which leadeth his scholars, as our Saviour Christ saith of him, into all truth. (John xvi.) And whoso is not led and taught by this schoolmaster, cannot but fall into deep error, how godly soever his pretence is, what knowledge and learning soever he hath of all other works and writings, or how fair soever a shew or face of truth he hath in the estimation and judgment of the world.”
† Offices for the Consecration of Bishops and the Ordination of (Presbyters or) Priests.
our imitation!) Let it be the study of our lives, "through Christ strengthening us," to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour," by "denying all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly in this world." "Woe is unto us who are the ministers of the Lord. . . . . . if we preach not the Gospel." Woe is unto us, if we preach any other righteousness but that of the Lord our God and Saviour,-any other holiness but His, who "only is holy,"-any other life but that which is "hid with Christ in God." Woe is unto us, if, whether as pastors or as sheep of the Lord's flock, we follow any other shepherd but Him, "the good Shepherd, who LAID DOWN HIS
5. To conclude:-Let "JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED be the subject of our frequent meditation.
Let his example be engraven upon our hearts. Let Him be the guide of our youth and the stay of our age; our glory in prosperity; our solace in affliction; and our refuge at all times. For all our prayers, penitential tears, and services, without the sprinkling of his blood
..all our sufferings and sorrows, without his atoning sacrifice, will not make satisfaction for the smallest sin; and we cannot answer the justice of God for one evil thought. Let us therefore resolve to value nothing, to rejoice in nothing, to boast of nothing in comparison of "CHRIST JESUS, AND HIM CRUCIFIED;" and let us each adopt for himself the noble resolution of Saint Paul: "God forbid that I should glory"—that is, glory in anything as the means of salvation,-"save in the CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST." (Gal. vi. 14.)
And "NOW, UNTO HIM THAT LOVED US, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, AND HATH MADE US KINGS AND PRIESTS UNTO HIS GOD AND FATHER:- TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN."
PARALLEL HISTORIES OF THE LITERAL AND SPIRITUAL ISRAEL. For the Christian Observer.
THE history, whether past or prophetic, of the Jewish theocracy, written by the pen of inspiration; and its laws, written by the finger of God himself, contemplate a far deeper and more important object than merely to furnish us, in these latter days, with the political records of this ancient and interesting people. They exhibit, as it were, a colossal specimen, held up to the world's view-a practical and simple commentary which he who runs may read, of the spiritual dealings of that God who changeth not, but is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, with an individual soul.
But let us briefly recapitulate the heads of that history. We see the bitter slavery of Israel in a strange land under cruel and unreasonable task masters, who demand from them their allotted work, yet refuse to furnish them with the materials essential to its production. This bondage is terminated by a double deliverance-from the destroying angel, and from their tyrant masters; by the efficacious blood of sprinkling, and through the obedience of faith. They are then pursued by their enemies with overwhelming force, and suddenly and miraculously delivered.
Prof. Hampden's Sermon on "the Lord our Righteousness," p. 33.