« VorigeDoorgaan »
one loaf into a hundred, and if the thus : If we state that our hero, whounusual thing were, that a little seed ever he was, performed such a miracast into the earth shot up and grew cle, and show him bidding those into ears of corn, we should call the about him to gather up the crumbs latter the miracle. We live amid mi- that remain, it will be said, here is racles: every pulse of our heart is a inconsistency in the story, here is conmiracle, every inspiration and expi- tradiction; the shading will detract ration of our lungs is a miracle, the from the grandeur of the figure in the movement of the arm by the volition fore-ground, and we must do every of the mind is a miracle; but we are thing to heighten, not dim that. But so accustomed to these things, that John wrote by the guidance of the we call them natural occurrences, Spirit of God, stated fact, described and only when the same result is fact, wrote truth; and therefore you achieved by a more rapid or a more have here the combination of creastartling process do we call it a mira- ture economy with creative power; cle. God occasionally suspends the a trait that no uninspired narrator ordinary process, and interferes by would have given. And yet those an extraordinary one, to teach man who are best acquainted with the that creation is not God, and that in laws and processes of nature, know God all creation lives, and moves, and that this is in perfect keeping with has its being
what they find in the world. It is But there is one touch in the pic- most remarkable that, fallen as this ture inimitably beautiful, which one world is; darkened, injured, shatcannot pass by. It is the prudent tered, as it is; there is a most woneconomy manifested by the Lord, derful combination of exuberance and who had omnipotence adequate to the saving, of profuse bounty and severe supply of twenty times five thousand economy. There are no unnecessary
For He says to His disciples, things in nature; there is no needless after He had performed this miracle waste; and thus we see, in the Lord and fed them, “Gather up the frag- of the miracle, the very counterpart ments that remain, that nothing be of the Lord of nature; we thus learn
In performing the miracle He that both results come from the same moved in the orbit of a God: in say- God, who is over all and in all. ing, “Gather up the fragments that The fragments that remained remain,” He re-assumed His place, amounted to twelve baskets full. It re-accepted the laws, and re-entered is a very remarkable fact, that in the the domain of man. In the first, you miracle where four thousand are fed, have the proof that there was present another word is used for baskets, the mighty God; in the last, you onupidas, but in this miracle, the word have the proof that there was the de- used is kopivous, the Greek word from pendent man. What a strange com
which our word coffin comes,--a very bination! Bounty the most profuse, strange derivation, and some comeconomy the most rigid. We cannot mentators have tried to show that the but notice of this fact,—and I like to one indicated the basket which the notice such as these, because they are apostle carried with him to supply his better even than lectures upon evi- daily wants, and that the other redence,- 1
the very utterance of ferred to baskets of larger dimenthese words in the middle of so stu- sions. This, however, is a very impendous a miracle, is to me evidence material point, and I only notice it in of the inspiration of the writer. If I passing. The twelve baskets full of had been writing a story, or getting fragments were a greater quantity up an account from my own mind, I than the original five barley-loaves should have taken good care never to and two fishes. And what does this have put in any thing that would teach us? That love augments, not seem contradictory, or that would de- exhausts itself; that beneficence never tract from the glory of the stupendous becomes poorer by its exercise; that miracle that had been wrought. Mere the Christian receives in the ratio in human writers would have argued which he gives, so that the greatest
giver is always the greatest receiver; But in this miracle there was not a and the Christianity that unfolds itself restorative or redemptive act, but in missionary sympathy, by a beauti- clearly a creative act of power. ful reflex operation, becomes deeper We notice, too, another fact in the and richer in the heart of him that miracles of Christ; He never perhas it.
formed a miracle, if I may use the The miracle produced a very great expression, in vacuo; he always laid impression upon the minds of the hold of a substratum to work upon. people. It was so like the miracles This seems an analogy to teach us performed by Moses, that the people that God is not going to supplant this saw at once in it evidence of the pre- earth by another earth, and to supersence of the great Prophet like unto sede our present bodies by other bohim. Instead, however, of looking dies; but out of the present earth to at the impression it produced upon construct a glorious one; and out of the people, let me draw some lessons our present bodies, to raise incorrupinstructive to ourselves. The very tible from corruptible, and immortal first lesson we learn is, here was the from mortal, till death is swallowed evidence of a God. Let us recollect up in victory. And so in regenerathe following distinction: when the tion: when God es a natural man Apostles performed a miracle, they a Christian, He does not extinguish always said, “In the name of Jesus;" him, and substitute another in his when Christ performed a miracle, He place, but He retunes him, He redid so as the I am, in His own name, stores him, He disentangles his affecby His own authority. Now, herein tions, He dips them in the fountain is a distinction so palpable, that I of living waters; He re-quickens his cannot conceive how we can escape soul and makes a new creature evolve the conclusion, that if Jesus was not out of the old creature; He does not God, He was something infinitely create another creature perfectly dishigher than man: but He was God; tinct and different. for who could do such miracles in Let me notice another lesson desuch wise except God?
ducible from this. In the miracles And there was in this miracle, I of healing, we had the evidence that may notice, something greater than Christ was the great Physician; in in any of the other miracles which the miracle of raising from the dead, I have endeavoured to explain. we had the evidence that Christ was When Christ healed the lame, when Lord of life; in this miracle, the He opened the eyes of the blind, feeding the hungry, we have the eviwhen He unstopped the ears of the dence that by Him all things were deaf, these were restorative miracles; made, and that He is the Creator of they were restoring nature to what all, as well as Lord of all. nature was, or what nature should be.
MARRIAGE-HOW FIRST CALLED A SACRAMENT. Having shewn in a former article We will first recur to the various that the idea of mystery in the sacra- senses before noticed, in which the ments may be traced to the indiscri- word sacrament has been used. minate use of the two words in vari- 1. An oath or solemn engagement, ous senses, and to their having been taken from the sacramentum of the used synonymously to designate the Roman soldier to his sovereign. ordinances of the Christian Church, * 2. A religious ordinance or cerewe wish now briefly to draw attention mony. to the probability, that the fact of the 3. An outward and visible sign of ceremony of marriage having been inward grace, ordained by Christ. raised to the rank of a sacrament 4. A mystery. may be traced to the same source.
The fourth sense, that of mystery, • See Christian Guardian for Sept., 1851.
we have traced to Tertullian's use of
the word sacrament, where the sense and spiritual grace,” ordained by of the original requires the word Christ himself; for He gave no dimystery. We shall be excused for rections with regard to the ceremorecurring again to Eph. v. 31, 32: nial, though He proclaimed that it was “For this cause shall a man leave his according to the mind of God that man father and mother, and shall be joined should have but one wife. We thereunto his wife, and they two shall be fore entirely dismiss the third and one flesh. This is a great mystery: fourth significations of the word sabut I speak concerning Christ and crament, as inapplicable to marriage. the Church.” Here is the sublime Yet if we go back to the primitive mystery, the distinctive characteristic meaning of the word, which is simply of the New Testament Church, the that of an oath or solemn engageunion between Christ and His Church, ment, it does apply to marriage; and plainly alluded to as a fact, and a fact we sometimes find allusion made to of such a nature as to meet that crav- the sacramental character of the maring for mystery which is natural to riage service,--meaning thereby the the mind of man; for the more he solemn and binding engagement bestudies it, the more it will expand and tween the parties,--and as this is raenlarge his ideas, and he will find in tified by a solemn religious service, it a length and breadth, and depth we may concede to this subject both and height, which he cannot fathom; the first and second significations of so that the spiritual faculties will the word, and safely assert that, though have full exercise. The true trans- not to be classed with Baptism and lation leaves a distinct impression of the Lord's Supper, yet marriage is a an unseen mystery of a highly spiri- solemn engagement, ratified in the tual character. But change a single Church of Christ by a religious cereword, and the sense is spoiled, and mony appointed for that purpose by the thoughts are directed into a dif- the wisdom of the Church. ferent channel; confusion, which is In all matters of controversy, it is Satan's favourite element and most of great moment to come to a right effectual weapon for disturbing the understanding of the terms we make Church, ensues, and an impression is use of. In combating the doctrine of produced
that remains in many of the the seven sacraments with the Roman ancient Churches to this day, that Catholics, it might be well to trace marriage is one of the sacraments. the manner in which five of their ceTertullian, and the Vulgate after him, remonies have been lifted out of their read the passage thus: “For this proper subordinate places, and percause shall a man leave his father and haps we should find the misapplicahis mother, and shall be joined to his tion of words a fruitful source of the wife. This is a great sacrament.” false teaching in that Church. Our We exonerate both parties from any own Church might have escaped much intention to mislead; but it is impos- painful controversy, if, at the time sible not to see that theological wri- of the Reformation, we had adopted ters, reasoning upon this expression, the word ordinance in the place of would naturally infer, that the Scrip- sacrament; but we fear now that tures declared the ceremony of mar- long usage will so have endeared the riage to be a sacrament.
term that it would not be easily given Thus the mind is turned from the up. It is therefore important that we real mystery alluded to by St. Paul, to should define our own meaning, and the marriage union, which is no mys- show clearly that by the use of it we tery at all, but merely the symbol of do not mean to cherish error in any the mystery. Marriage is not a sa- shape, or to make it a part of that crament in the sense in which we sliding scale by which error has found now use the word; it is not “an out- its way into the Church. ward and visible sign of an inward
SPECIMEN OF A REVISED BAPTISMAL SERVICE.
Much has been lately said of the de- contented with that which they find sirableness of a Revision of the themselves unable to improve. Liturgy-and especially of the Bap- In the following form, all the pastismal Services. In nothing, however, sages and words which at all differ is the old adage of “look before you from our existing service in the Book leap, more to be regarded than in of Common Prayer, are enclosed in any attempt to bring about such a brackets, thus, [). Wherever any revision. And difficult as it ever word or sentence has been omitted, must be to effect it, under any cir- it is marked as follows, cumstances, the difficulty will of ne- Passages enclosed between single cessity be vastly increased, if they marks as follows,' denote those who desire such a Revision cannot which are expressed (not in the wricome to anything like an agreement ter's own language, but) in the exact among themselves, respecting the phraseology—the “ ipsissima verba”nature and extent of the changes of some other portion either of our which should be proposed and at- own formularies, or of the American tempted. Under these circumstances, Prayer Book, which has appeared to it seems desirable to submit for the writer very suitable to supply public consideration a specimen of a the place of the words or sentences revised Baptismal Service, in order to which have been there omitted or enable persons to form some sort of altered. judgment how far any attempt at With respect to the most important revision could be devised, which alteration which has been proposed in would be likely to give general satis- the Service, it is only needful to state faction. The writer well knows that that while baptism was designed to be it is,—to adopt the language of the a badge of Christian union (Ephes. Preface of our Prayer-book,"im- iv. 5), the use of the ambiguous and possible in such variety of appre- disputed term “regenerate in the hensions, humours, and interests, as baptismal service, has caused it to are in the world) to please all;" and become the watchword of “party he fully expects that some would not strife, and the source and centre of the “ be satisfied with anything that can most grievous discord and endless be done in this kind by any other confusion. While, therefore, the Archthan themselves.” He does not put bishop of Canterbury gives this canthis revised form forth as in every did testimony,“ Nothing which I find particular the best that can possibly in the law of God gives me reason to be devised. But, since all persons believe that I should be acting in cannot have their own emendations conformity with His will, if I refused adopted; since some form-suited, as Mr. Gorham admission to the cure of far as possible, in its general tenor“ souls, on the ground of his hesitating to the consciences and the tastes of all, to affirm the Spiritual Regeneration must be agreed upon, if any revision of every baptized child,” (Letter of is to take place at all; the writer Abp. Sumner to the London Church submits this specimen to the conside- Union, 8th Aug. 1850); and while ration of the Reforming Public, in the many persons consider that the use hope that, if they do not altogether of the baptismal service, in its present approve of its contents, yet that the form, does require such an “affirmadetection of its errors and defects will tion;" it is to be observed that the at least lead to the production of substitution of the term “ dedicated," something better, of which all may be is not only in exact harmony with the enabled to approve. Or if, perchance, Church's language, as expressed in it shall be found that nothing can be the seventh collect of the baptismal so agreed upon, that then all may services, but is the adoption of the become more reconciled to our present very term which Divines of every authorized forms, and remain better school of Theology naturally and spon
taneously use in describing the nature And note, that there shall be for every of the baptismal ordinance. In proof Male-child to be baptized* two Godof this, see the language of Bishop
fathers and one Godmother; and for Jebb (Pastoral Instructions, vi. pp.
every Female, one Godfather and two 104 and 114); of Bp. Jeremy Taylor,
Godmothers ; ['and Parents shall be ad
mitted as Sponsors, if it be desired.'t as adopted by Bp. Mant, (Bampton
And here is to be noted,'I that no 'per. Lectures vi. pp. 344-5); of Rev. D.
son' shall be admitted Godfather or Whitby, in his Commentary in the
Godmother to any child, ... before the Dissertation on the Note on Matt.
said person so undertaking hath received xxviii. 19, and Titus iii. 5; Abp. the holy Communion'].S Sumner (Canterbury Charge of 1819, | When there are Children to be baptized, p. 29); Rev. C. Simeon (Hore Homi- the parents (or sponsors] || shall give lecticæ, vol.ii. No. 136, p. 205); Rev. E. H. Hoare (Baptism according to Scrip- they can be had,”—which is quite superfluous.
• The American Rubric here adds when ture, pp. 29, 34, 57, 63, 69); Rev. C.
For if the proper sponsors cannot be had, it Bridges (Sacramental Instruction, v.
would be far better to adhere strictly to “the p. 82); Rev. J. B. Marsden (Dis
Office of Private Baptism," than to deviate from courses for the Festivals, p. 405); and
the rule of the Public Office, since th office is Rev. J. N. G. Armytage (Baptismal not limited to cases of sickness but may be used Regeneration Discussed, p. 146, 2nd
in any case of “great cause and necessity." edit.): and among Nonconformist
The child's spiritual guardians are called “GodDivines, Matthew Henry, as quoted fathers and godmothers” because they are to in Bridges' Sacramental Instruction, act as parents in things pertaining to God; p. 84;
and Rev. Dr. J. Cumming sponsors” because they promise for the child : in his Baptismal Font, c. iii. p. 29. and “sureties” because they give security to
That this was also an ancient- and the Church that the child shall be trained up probably Primitive and Catholic- in the principles of the religion into which he title, we conclude from its use by is baptized-security for his Christian educaJustin Martyr in his Apology, c. 79,
tion. See Wheatly, p. 329. and by Clement of Alexandria, who + This addition is taken from the American speaks of Baptism as a “ dedication Prayer-Book. Even now our own Prayer-book to the blessed Trinity,” (quoted by Sir makes no exception against parents as sponsors P. King, pt. ii. c. iv. s. 4. See also c. iii. for their own children. And since the 68th s. 7, and c. iv. s. 2).
Canon threatens a three years' suspension as C. H. D. the penalty for refusing or delaying to baptize
according to the “ Book of Common Prayer," The MINISTRATION OF PUBLICK Bap
it seems to set aside the necessity for adhering TISM OF INFANTS, TO BE USED IN THE to the 29th Canon in this respect. On the subChurch.
ject generally, see the Bishop of St. Asaph's [ The People are to be admonished, that
(Dr. Short's) History of the Church of England, it is most convenient that Baptism
s. 672, p. 496, note. should not be administered but upon
| From the Rubric prefixed to the Burial Sundays, and other Holy-days, when Service. the most number of people come together; § This addition is taken from the 29th Canon as well for that the Congregation there
-an injunction which, says Adn. Sharp, "is present may testify the receiving of supported by so just and evident a reason, them that be newly baptized, into the
that I hope we are all careful to execute it to number of Christ's Church ;
the best of our knowledge.” (Charges, No. vi, because in the Baptism of Infants every
A.v. 1739, p. 106.) For writes Rev. J. Baylee, man present may be put in remembrance
“ the Christian who does not go to the Lord's of his own profession made to God in
Supper has no real regard for his soul, and there his Baptism.* For which cause also it
fore is unfit to take the charge of another's. It is expedient that Baptism be ministered
would be of unspeakable benefit were this rein the vulgar tongue. Nevertheless, (if gulation strictly enforced. How many children necessity so require,) Children may be
might be saved from ruin had each of them baptized upon any other day.
three sponsors who felt as they ought the weight From “as well for” to “in his Baptism," of their responsibility." (Prophetic Herald, might be omitted without any great loss. (See vol. i. p. 320). the American form.)
From the American Prayer-book.