Изображения страниц

very considerable weight; and, in- | the remonstrances of conscience, deed, that it has so, appears from Acts vii, 51; opposition to the the universal appeals of all parties dispensations of Providence, 2d to those early times in support of Chron. xxviii, 22; and repeated their particular opinions. Becommission of the same sin, Psa. sides, the thing is in itself watu- lxxviii, 17; Presumptuous sins are ral ; for if a man finds a variety | numerous ; such as profane swearof opinions in the world upon im-ling, perjury, theft, adultery, drunportant passages in scripture, where kenness, sabbath-breaking, &c. shall he be so apt to get the true | These may be more particularly sepse as from contemporary writers considered as presumptuous sins, or others who lived very near the because they are generally commitapostolic age? And if such a man ted against a known law, and so shall find any doctrine or interpre- often repeated. Such sins are tation to have been universally most heinous in their nature, and believed in the first ages, or, as most pernicious in their effects. Vicentius Lirinensis words it, sem- They are said to be a reproach to per ubique et ab omnibus, he will the Lord, Num. xv, 3; they hardunquestionably be disposed to len the heart, 1st Tim. iv, 2; draw think such early and universal down judgments from heaven, consent, or such prescription, of Numb. xv, 31 ; even when revery considerable weight in deter-pented of, are seldom pardoned mining his opinion.

without some visible testimony of PRESUMPTION, as it relates God's displeasure, 2d Sam. xii, 10. to the mind, is a supposition formed See R. Walker's Ser., vol. i, ser. before examination. As it relates 3 ; South's Ser., vol. vii, ser. 10. to the conduct or moral action, it 11, and 12; Tillotson's Ser., ser. implies arrogance and irreverence.147; Saurin's Ser., ser. 11, vol. As it relates to religion in general,lli, Robivson's translation ; Bp. it is a bold and daring confidence Hopkins on the Nature, Danger, in the goodness of God, without and Cure of Presumptuous Sins. obedience to his will. Presumptu. See his Works. ous sins must be distinguished from PRIDE is inordinate and unsins of infirmity, or those failings reasonable self-esteem, attended peculiar to human nature, Ecc. vii. with insolence, and rude treatment 20. 1st John i, 8, 9; from sins of others. “It is sometiines," says done through ignorance, Luke xii, a good writer, “ confounded with 48; and from sins into which men vanity, and sometimes with digare hurried by sudden and violent nity; but to the former passion it temptation, Gal. vi, 1. The in- has no resemblance, and in many gredients which render sin pre- circumstances it differs from the sumptuous are, knowledge, John latter. Vanity is the parent of xv, 22; deliberation and con- loquacious boasting; and the pertrivance, Prov. vi, 14. Psal. son subject to it, if his pretences xxxvi, 4; obstinacy, Jer. xliv, be admitted, has no inclination 16. Deut. i, 13; inattention to to insult the company. The prouch

man, on the other hand, is na-| our nature, our scanty knowledge, turally silent, and, wrapt up in his contracted powers, narrow conown importance, seldom speaks but ceptions, and moral inability, to make his audience feel their in-are strong motives to excite us to feriority.” Pride is the high opinion humility. We should consider, that a poor little contracted soul en- also, . what punishments this sin tertains of itself. Dignity consists has brought on mankind. See in just, great, and uniform actions, the cases of Pharaoh, Haman, and is the opposite to meanness. Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, and -2. Pride manifests itself by prais- others. How particularly it is ing ourselves, adoring our persons, prohibited, Prov. xvi, 18. 1st Pet. attempting to appear before others v, 5. James iv, 6. Prov. xxix, in a superior light to what we are ;|| 23 ; what a torment it is to its contempt and slander of others ;| possessor, Esther v, 13; how soon envy at the excellencies others all things of a sublunary nature possess; anxiety to gain applause ;|| will end; how disgraceful it rendistress and rage when slighted ; ders us in the sight of God, angels, impatience of contradiction, and and men; what a barrier it is to opposition to God himself.-3. our felicity and communion with The evil effects of pride are be-God; how fruitful it is of discord; yond computation. "It has spread how it precludes our usefulness, itself universally in all nations, and renders us really contemptible. among all characters; and as it See HumilITY, was the first sin, as some suppose, PRIEST, a person set apart for that entered into the world, so it the performance of sacrifice, and seems to be the last to be con- others offices and ceremonies of requered. It may be considered as ligion. Before the promulgation of the parent of discontent, ingrati the law of Moses, the first born tude, covetousness, poverty, pre- of every family, the fathers, the sumption, passion, extravagance, princes, and the kings, were priests. bigotry, war, and persecution. Thus Cain and Abel, Noah, AbraIn fact, there is hardly an evil ham, Melchizedec, Job, Isaac, and perpetrated but what pride is con- | Jacob, offered themselves their own nected with it in a proximate or sacrifices. Among the Israelites, remote sense.-4. To suppress this after their departure from Egypt, evil, we should consider what we the priesthood was confined to one are. “ If we could trace our de-tribe, and it consisted of three orscents,” says Seneca, “ we should ders, the high-priest, priests, and find all slaves to come from princes, Levites. The priesthood was made and all princes from slaves. To hereditary in the family of Aaron, be proud of knowledge, is to be and the first born of the oldest blind in the light ; to be proud of branch of that family, if he had virtue, is to poison ourselves with no legal blemish, was always the the antidote : to be proud of au-high-priest. This divine appointthority, is to make our rise our ment was observed with consideradownfal.” The imperfection of ble accuracy till the Jews fell un

der the dominion of the Romans,siastical history informs us, that, and had their faith corrupted by in the second century, some time a false philosophy. Then, indeed, after the reign of the emperor the high-priesthood was sometimes Adrian, when the Jews, by the set up to sale, and, instead of con- second destruction of Jerusalem, tinuing for life, as it ought to have were bereaved of all hopes of the done, it seems, from some passages restoration of their government to in the New Testament, to have its former lustre, the notion that been nothing more than an annual the ministers of the Christian office. There is sufficient reason, church succeeded to the character however, to believe, that it was and prerogatives of the Jewish never disposed of but to some de- priesthood was industriously proscendant of Aaron capable of fill-pagated by the Christian doctors; ing it, had the older branches and that, in consequence, the bibeen extinct. (For the consécra- || shops claimed a rank and charaction and offices of the Jewish ter similar to that of the Jewish priesthood, we refer our readers high-priest; the presbyters to that to the books of Moses.] In the of the priests; and the deacons to time of David, the inferior priests that of the Levites. One of the were divided into twenty-four pernicious effects of this groundcompanies, who were to serve in less comparison and pretension rotation, each company by itself, || seems to have been the introducfor a week. The order in which tion of the idea of a real sacrifice the several courses were to serve in the Christian church, and of was determined by lot; and each sacrificing priests. course was, in all succeeding ages, In the church of England, the called by the name of its original word priest is retained to denote chief.

the second order in her hierarIt has been much disputed, whe-chy, but we believe with very difther, in the Christian church, thereferent significations, according to be any such officer as a priest, in the different opinions entertained the proper sense of the word. If of the Lord's supper. Some few the word priest be taken to denote of her divines, of great learning, a person commissioned by divine and of undoubted protestantism, authority to offer up a real sacri- maintain that the Lord's supper fice to God, we may justly deny is a commemorative and cucharistithat there is a priest upon earth. cal sacrifice. These consider all Under the Gospel, there is but who are authorised to administer one priest, which is Christ; and that sacrament as in the strictest but one sacrifice, that of the sense priests. Others hold the cross. The church of Rome, how-Lord's supper to be a feast upon ever, erroneously believe their the one sacrifice, once offered on priests to be empowered to offer up the cross; and these, too, must to the Divine Majesty a real pro- consider themselves as clothed with per sacrifice, as were the priests some kind of priesthood. Great under the Old Testament. Eccle-numbers, however, of the English Voz. II.


ciergy, perhaps the majority, agree cannot be refused him, being a with the church of Scotland, in necessary consequent of those emimaintaining that the Lord's sup- nent qualities resplendent in him, per is a rite of no other moral im- and of the illustrious performances port than the mere commemora-achieved by him beyond the rest. tion of the death of Christ. These This may be inferred from that cannot consider themselves as renown which he hath had from priests in the rigid sense of the the beginning; and likewise from word, but only as presbyters, of his being so constantly ranked in which the word priest is a contrac- the first place before the rest of his tion of the same import with elder. brethren.—3. As to a primacy of See Lord's SUPPER.

order or bare dignity importing PRIMACY, the highest post in that commonly in all meetings the church. The Romanists con- and proceedings, the other apostles tend that St. Peter, by our Lord's did yield him the precedence, may appointment, had a primacy or so- be questioned, for this does not vereign authority and jurisdiction seem suitable to the gravity of such over the apostles. This, however, persons, or their condition and ciris denied by the Protestants, and cumstances, to stand upon ceremothat upon just grounds. Dr. Bar- nies of respect; for our Lord's rules row observes (Works, vol. i, p. seem to exclude all semblance of 557), that there are several sorts ambition, all kind of inequality and of primacy which may belong to distance between his apostles. But a person in respect of others. 1. A yet this primacy may be grantprimacy of worth or personal ex-ed as probable upon divers accellency:-2. A primacy of repu- counts of use and convenience; it tation and esteem.-3. A primacy might be useful to preserve order, of order or bare dignity and pre- and to promote expedition, or to cedence.-4. A primacy of power prevent confusion, distraction, and and jurisdiction. As for the first dilatory obstruction in the manageof these, a primacy of worth, we ment of things.-4. As to a primay well grant it to Peter, ad- macy importing a superiority in mitting that probably he did ex-command, power, or jurisdiction, ceed the rest of his brethren in this we have great reason to deny personal endowments and capaci- upon the following considerations. ties; particularly in quickness of 1. For such a power it was needapprehension, boldness of spirit, ful that a commission from God, readiness of speech, charity to our its founder, should be granted in Lord, and zeal for his service.-2. absolute and perspicuous terms; As to a primacy of repute, which but no such commission is extant St. Paul means when he speaks of in scripture.-2. If so illustrious those who had a special reputa- an office was instituted by our Sation, of those who seemed to be viour, it is strange, that no where pillars of the supereminent apos- in the evangelical or apostolical les, 2d Gal. ii. 6, 9. 2d Cor. xi, history there should be any ex. 5. 2d Cor. xii, 11, this advantage press mention of that institution.

3. If St. Peter had been institut-||decreeing ; but as an apostle, ed sovereign of the apostolical se- warning, arguing, and persuading nate, his office and state had against them.-10. The considerbeen in nature and kind very disation of the apostles proceeding in tinct from the common office of the conversion of people, in the the other apostles, as the office of foundation of churches, and in ada king from the office of any sub-ministration of their spiritual afject; and probably would have fairs, will exclude any probability been signified by some distinct ||of St. Peter's jurisdiction over name, as that of arch-apostle, arch-them. They went about their bupastor, the vicar of Christ, or siness not by order or licence froin the like; but no such name or St. Peter, but according to special title was assumed by him, or was direction of God's spirit.-11. by the rest attributed to him.-4. The nature of the apostolic miThere was no office above that of|nistry, their not being fixed in one an apostle, known to the apostles place of residence, but continualor primitive church, Eph. iv, 11. ly moving about the world; the 1st Cor. xii, 28.-5. Our Lord state of things at that time, and himself declared against this kind the manner of St. Peter's life renof primacy, prohibiting his apos- | der it unlikely that he had such a tles to affect, to seek, to assume or jurisdiction over the apostles as admit a superiority of power one some assign him.-12. It was inabove another, Luke xxii, 14. to deed most requisite that every a24. Mark ix, 35.-6. We do not postle should have a complete, abfind any peculiar administration solute, independent authority in committed to St. Peter, nor any managing the duties and concerns privilege conferred on him which of the office, that he might not any was not also granted to the otherwise be obstructed in the discharge apostles, John xx, 23. Mark xvi, of them, not clogged with a need 15.—7. When Peter wrote two to consult others, not hampered catholic epistles, there does not with orders from those who were appear in either of them any inti- at a distance.-13. The discourse mation or any pretence to this and behaviour of St. Paul towards arch-apostolical power.-8. In all St. Peter doth evidence that he relations which occur in scripture did not acknowledge any dependabout controversies incident of docence on him, or any subjection to trine or practice, there is no ap- him, Gal. ii. 11.-14. If St. Peter peal made to St. Peter's judg- had been appointed sovereign of ment or allegation of it as decisive, the church, it seems that it should no argument is built on his autho- have been requisite that he slould rity.-9. St. Peter no where ap-have outlived all the apostles; for pears intermeddling as a judge or otherwise, the church would have governor paramount in such cases; wanted a head, or there must have yet where he doth himself deal been an inextricable controversy with heretics and disorderly per- who that head was. But St. Pe. sons, he proceedeth not as a pope ter died long before St. John, as

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »