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the first place, with respect to Confirmation, that it was a most ancient and primitive rite; that it had been used by the Apostles 'themselves, and by the Catholic Church from their time tū the present; and that the Liturgy of the English branch of the Church Catholic, did not hold it to be a Sacrament necessary to Salvation, or that Baptism was incomplete without it. Hereupon Dr. Bancroft, Bishop of London, declared that the ceremony of Confirmation was used by the Apostles, and this he proved from the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the second verse;, in which St. Paul calls “Baptisms,” and the “laying on of hands, &c.," the first " principles of the doctrine of CHRIST,”
DR. Matthew, Bishop of Durham, also brought forward the example of Our Lord, since, “ He took little children in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them." In conclusion, it was resolved that the bishops should consult whether the Order of Confirmation might not be headed, ---"An examination with a confirmation.” With respect to the King's second objection, Archbishop Whitgift endeavoured to convince him that the doctrine contained in the Book of Common Prayer was entirely free from any resemblance to Romish abuse; and, in order to strengthen his arguments, he brought forward the confession and absolution, contained in the order for the Morning Prayer, and Even Song. Hereupon, Dr. Bancroft produced the absolution in the office for the Visitation of the Sick. The King having heard it, expressed himself very well satisfied with it; and affirmed that it was a godly and apostolical ordinance. In answer to the King's third objection, Dr. Whitgift declared that the Church in England did not permit the Sacrament of Baptism to be administered by laymen or women; that the bishops censured this custom, and that the Rubric, gave no authority for any such thing. The King expressed himself satisfied with this explanation, and gave it as his opinion that a regularly ordained Prieste or Dea.
con was necessary to the right administration of that Sacra ment; - for Christ had given the Commission to teach an baptise all nations to His appostles whom He had chosen of the world. In conclusion it was agreed, that the bishop should consult whether the word. 6 Curate," or “ Law Minister," might not be inserted in the Rubric.
ON THE-sixteenth of the month, the four puritans, togeth with Galloway, were admitted into the royal presence. Som members of the church commission were admitted also. Reynolds now declared that he had objections to make on four following points : -1.' The articles of the Church Her ministers : - 3. Her government and discipline: 41 Book of Common Prayer. He affirmed that the twentyarticle allowed that Confirmation was a depraved imitati of the Apostles ;" but that in the Confirmation service it affirmed to be a following of their example.
This misrepresentation of the doctrine of the church so pr "voked Dr. Bancroft, that he could not resist breaking in up the order of the conference by refüting him. The King ho ever ehecked him; saying that such interruptions would vent fair conference. I
BANCROFT now declared that the 25th article affirmed, the elevation of Confirmation to the rank of a Sacramenta eesssary to Salvation was " à depraved imitation of the Ape tles, and that the church of England, imitating the custom the Apostles, did not adopt the Romish doctrine concerni it:”. Upon this, after some further discourse, Bancroft minded His Majesty of the speech made by Rognie, whob been sent by Henry IV of Franée, to congratulate King Jam on his accession to the crown. Rognie said, " that if the R -formed Churches in France had kept to the same decent ord and discipline as the Church in England, he was confide that there would be a great many more Protestants in th country, than there are."
REYNOLDS here desired that the heretical articles, called the Lambeth Articles, should be adopted; and he suggested some alterations in the Church Catechism. He also requested that there might be a new translation of the Bible ; and to support his request brought forward several passages in the translation then in use, in which he shewed many faults. Bancroft demurred at this, but the King declared his intention of causing a new translation to be made ; and made some suggestions respecting the way of doing it. They then had some dispute with respect to the use of the Apocryphal Books, the sign of the Cross in Baptism, and the Surplice.
Their argument against the use of the cross was, that the brazen serpent, when abused, was broken in pieces by King Hezekiah, and they alleged that the Surplice was the vestment used by the Priests of Isis. This manner of arguing very much displeased the King. Reynolds then made some objections to the Marriage Service, and the office of the Churching of Women, which the King himself refuted.
The last day's conference related rather to the discipline of the church, than to the Prayer Book. The alterations made in the Liturgy after this conference were as follows: The words. “ remission of sins," were added to the Rubric of the Form of Absolution; some slight alterations were made in the Rubrics of the Office for Private Baptism, and of that for Confirmation. Thanksgivings for rain; for fine weather ; for peace and deliverance from enemies; for plenty; and for deliverance in time of any common plague or sickness; were added to the Liturgy. That part of the Church Catechism, as it stands at present, relating to the Sacraments was added at this time. These questions and answers were composed by Dean (afterwards Bishop) Overall. In consequence of this conference, a new translation of the Bible, the one we have at present, was made. It was completed in the year 1610. On the 29th of of February, 1603, Archbishop Whitgift died, and Dr.
Bancroft, Bishop of London, was chosen to fill his high office.
IN THE year 1604, the Book of Canons, consisting of one hundred and forty-one, collected from various sources, by Dr. Bancroft, passed Convocation, and received the King's sanction. Dr. Bancroft died in 1610, and Dr. Abbot was appointed to succeed him.
F. C. H.
THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS. The Church at Thessalonica was founded by St. Paul in his first journey on the Continent of Europe; and although his stay in that city was much shortened by the malice and violence of the unbelieving Jews, who drove him from the city, Acts, xvii. 5-15, and prevented his retnrn, 1 Thess, ii. 18.; yet he had gathered there a little flock into the fold of Christ; and this little flock won bis warm affection by its patience and steadfastness in affliction, as well as by the christian love which reigned in it.
From THESSALONICA, which was a sea-port, and the chief city of Macedonia, St. Paul, accompanied by Silas and Timothy, went to Berea, where they preached in the synagogue of the Jews; but soon afterwards, the apostle was obliged to leave that city : and he then proceeded to Athens, where he was joined by his companions who had tarried at Berea. . While there, St. Paul was so anxious to hear news of the latelyfounded Church at Thessalonica, that he sent Timothy back to visit it, 1 Thess. iii. 1, 2. On his return, Timothy found St. Paul at Corinth; and it was from that city that the Apostle wrote his first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the subjects of which were suggested by the account which he received from Timothy.
AFTER SALUTING the Thessalonian Christians in the name of himself, Silas, and Timothy, St. Paul assures them that he
constantly returned thanks to God on their account, and mentioned them in his prayers ; he acknowledges the readiness and sincerity with which they embraced the Gospel; and the great reputation they had acquired by turning from idols to the living God, ch. i. He reminds them of the bold and disinterested manner in which he had preached among them ; comforts them under the persecutions which they like other Christians, had experienced from their unbelieving countrymen ; and informs them of two ineffectual attempts which he had made to visit them again, ch. ii; and that being thus disappointed, he had sent Timothy, to confirm their faith, and enquire into their conduct. He tells them that Timothy's account of them had given him the greatest consolation and joy in the midst of his afflictions and distress; and that he continually prayed to God for an opportunity of seeing them again, and for their perfect establishment in the Gospel ch. iii. He exhorts to purity, justice, love, aud quietness, and dissuades them against excessive grief for their deceased friends; hence he takes occasion to recommend preparation for the last judgment, the time of which is always uncertain ; and he adds a variety of practical precepts. He concludes with his usual benediction.
[IN This epistle Timothy and Sylvanus are acknowledged by St. Paul to be, and are expressly styled APOSTLES OF CHRIST as well as himself, in ch. ii. ver. 6. Under the expression “ the day of the Lord,” St. Paul includes both the final judgment, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation for the obstinate resistance of that infatuated people to the doctrines of the Gospel ; and by “forbidding " these three apostles “ to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved.” ch. ii. 16.-Ed.]