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brethren; it being his Lordship’s ance to its display in your church, or wish that I would embrace the op- to the genuflexions and obeisances portunity of thus informing the cler- which, without any direction from gy of his opinions on the general the rubric, you are in the habit of subject,' in order that it may be making before it; and if these be known that our diocesan is decidedly things in different, where is the pruopposed to the introduction of novel- dence of 'troubling the consciences ties—which create disunion without of those who are rightly religious,' producing any counterbalancing good by adopting practices in themselves whatever:' a sentiment, in the pro- indifferent, but which you know will priety of which I cannot but think give cause of offence to others ? every sincere friend to the Church's . There is one point which I wish'. • purity and peace will heartily concur. to press upon your attention. Grant-I remain, reverend and dear Sir, ing that various modes of divine woryour affectionate brother,
ship may, for various reasons, have ' John GÁRBETT.' become obsolete, which yet may have
been the practice of the primitive
church, and even directed by some · Palace, Worcester, Jan. 1842. of our rubrics or canons, who is to
Reverend Sir,—My attention has decide upon the propriety of their bebeen called to certain letters in the ing again revived? Is every indiBirmingham Advertiser, wherein it vidual minister to take this upon is alleged that in one of the churches himself? Or does it not more proin Birmingham a gilt cross has been perly belong to those who are placed introduced upon the communion- in authority? And may it not be intable cloth, and that the officiating ferred, from their silence, that they clergyman is in the habit of kneeling consider such a revival inexpedient, down before this cross, on his way or at least indifferent? to the reading-desk, and of bowing 'I have received the little pamphto it, on returning to it. after the let which I conclude you sent me; * pravers and the sermon. Not know and though to comment upon the ing to whom these letters referred, whole of it would exceed the compass I wrote to Mr. Garbett, the Rural of a letter, I cannot refrain from obDean, and requested that he would serving, that when you undertake make the necessary inquiries. I now that you will “ conform to the Book learn from him that you are the indi- of Common Prayer," the object of vidual who has given such cause of requiring this declaration from you offence: and I think it therefore my is, to secure the use of the general duty to request you attention to the “form of the Morning and Evening following observations.
Prayer, and administration of the Without entering into the question two Sacraments,” in opposition to of how far the introduction of such other forms, or to the extemporanenovelties may be justified by the. ous composition of the minister. practice of antiquity, I would wish Essential and honest conformity is you seriously to consider whether here meant: not a scrupulous adthey are of such importance as to herence to petty ceremonies, which justify the destruction of unity in the time may have rendered obsolete, church, which must be the necessary and of which the lawful authorities consequence. The mere display of of the Church have never required the cross, as a symbol of our Chris- the restoration. tian profession, may indeed be a mat 'I have written more at length ter of indifference; and I lately de- upon this subject than is perhaps reclined ordering one to be removed, quired by our relative position ; beas I was requested to do, from one of cause I am anxious to use the lanthe churches which I have recently guage of remonstrance instead of auconsecrated at Rugby; but I then thority; that of a father to an indissaid, that I would certainly do so, creet son ; or, if you will, that of a if I afterwards found that it led to senior presbyter to a very young one, idolatrous or superstitious practices. who yet has taken upon himself, Now I firmly believe that you do not without authority from his Bishop, worship the cross in the sense in to introduce practices, which, if they which the Roman Catholics are said ever prevailed in the Church, have to do so; but if you do not, you long since fallen into desuetude. cannot attach any religious import * Extracts from the Rubrics, Canons, &c.
In conclusion, I will refer you to consciences, ye sin against God.” an authority older than any that the And again-"Giving none offence, utmost admirer of antiquity can pro- , neither to the Jew nor to the Genduce. St. Paul distinctly asserts that tile, nor to the Church of God.” there was no sin in eating meat which 'I feel sure that this admonition had been offered to idols; still, he will be sufficient to ensure the disdirects the Corinthians to abstain continuance of the novelties comfrom such a practice, out of consider plained of, and I beg that you will ation of the consciences of others believe me to be, always, Reverend “ When, therefore, ye sin against the Sir, your faithful friend and brother, brethren, and wound their weak
SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN
79, Pall Mall, Feb. 4, 1842. The following extracts from a letter of the Bishop of Newfoundland, dated Nov. 16, 1841, will be read with much satisfaction by all who take an interest in the progress which the Church is making in that colony :
'It would not be easy to express the deep gratitude which I feel to Almighty God, and the noble Society which has been the instrument for enabling me to bring the lately drooping Church of this colony into its present healthy and vigorous condition.
'I have the happiness to know, that not only has the number of churches, schools, ministers, and teachers, been largely increased, but that the principles of Church unity, doctrine, and discipline are now gaining ground in this community, and beginning to produce their legitimate effect.
"The district missionary now inspects and exercises a just influence over the school with which he had been heretofore disconnected. His people, awakened to a sense of the importance of Christian education in direct union with the Church, willingly enrol themselves as members of a Diocesan Church Society, whose object is the support of those institutions, and I look forward with inexpressible satisfaction to the prospect of a gradual supply of well-qualified missionaries from the seminary of lay-readers and students in theology, which the exceeding liberality of your Society has enabled me to found.
'But while I am writing on this subject I would beg leave to invite the attention of the Society more especially to the new missions which have been this year commenced. In
several of these, founded amongst a people, poor to the utmost extremity of poverty, and where both churches and school-houses are to be built, at least partially, at their expense, it will be absolutely impracticable to find any permanent lodgment for the missionary, unless some aid may be obtained from your board, for the erection of this humble dwelling. Fortune Bay, in the bays of St. George and Placentia, at Burin, on the Cape shore, and in the district comprising Kinn's Cove, and Salvage in Bonavista Bay, the missionaries and their families are literally houseless wanderers, and pursuing their arduous labours under difficulties and perils which God's special grace can alone enable them to sustain.
Unwilling as I am to waste the funds of the Society for the erection of parsonage-houses, which generally the people ought certainly to provide, I must implore their assistance in behalf of these zealous and distressed labourers in the most desolate parts of the Lord's vineyard.
'I would not devolve on the Society the cost of a single pound that might be borne by the people, whom their missionaries instruct; but in the instances to which I refer, without the aid of the Society, the privations of their servants would be insupportable.
Mr. Slade, a merchant whom I met in the course of my northern visitation, has liberally contributed to the building of five churches in his vicinity, and a planter at Twillingate has bequeathed the whole of his property to your Society, feeling himself indebted during fifty years to the ministers you have sent out.
THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
DISTRICT VISITORS' AND SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS' MAGAZINE,
IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
SHORT LECTURES ON THE COLLECTS.
FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES AND SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
In the former part of this Collect, we renew our remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and in the latter part we offer up a prayer, that we may obtain the spiritual blessings Aowing from the meritorious work of Christ.
1. In our commemoration of Christ's death, we refer to the design and object of his sufferings. He was given to “ die for our sins.” The wages of sin is death. A double curse, the death of the body, and the eternal misery of the soul, awaited every child of Adam. The penalty of our natural death has not been remitted ; for it is still “ appointed unto all men once to die.” But the heaviest part of our doom hath been borne by him.' " Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." He himself was sinless, and therefore was able to bear the sins of others; removing far away from them their curse, and giving them life by his death. And this was not only submitted to by him of his own free will : it was likewise the appointment of his Father, God himself spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. He “made him to be sin,” that is, a sin-offering, “ for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. v. 21.).
We refer yet further to the resurrection of Christ, as our ground of confidence when coming to the throne of grace. The doctrine is thus stated by St. Paul : (Rom. iv. 25.) Jesus " was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.” The Apostle repeatedly argues this point, that the resurrection of Christ from the dead was necessary to the completing of his work of redemption,
Otherwise his death had been no more than the death of any one of us; simply an ending of life ; consequently a leaving of his work unfinished; a failure of proof that his mission was from God. Christ had himself repeatedly predicted that on the third day he would rise again : had he not risen, his words would have been a falsehood, and his followers would have been a multitude of deceived and disap. pointed persons. Then should we have had no assurance that we ourselves shall rise again ; but rather the contrary. Together with Christ perishing in the grave all our hopes must have perished likewise. “ If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain : if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain : ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished.” (1 Cor. xv. 14, 17, 18.) " But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. xv. 20—22.) Jesus is our living Head ; “ because I live,” he says, “ye shall live also.” In him, therefore, we are made perfect and complete. United to him through faith, we are pardoned, justified, and accepted : and both in life and in death, we may look forward with a feeling of holy hope and confidence in God.
2. This then is the ground of the prayer which we here offer up, for the spiritual blessings flowing from the meritorious work of Christ.
The former part of this prayer refers to the putting away of sin from our hearts and lives. Sin is here compared to leaven : and the occasion of this simile may be understood by referring to Exodus xii. 15—20, and comparing that passage with 1 Cor. v. 6—8. At the time when the Israelites left Egypt, the feast of unleavened bread was established, as a part of the celebration of the Passover. Asthey quitted Egypt in such haste, that they were obliged to take the dough of bread in their kneading troughs, without having time sufficient to leaven it ; at this annual feast, therefore, during seven days they were required to eat unleavened bread: nay more, they were to put away leaven out of their houses. And to this very day the Jews have a custom, at this season, of lighting a candle, and searching very minutely into every part and corner of their houses, to see that there may not be left by any chance a particle of leaven in their houses. Now as the Passover of the Jews, and the Easter of the Christians correspond to each other both in point of time, and also in various typical respects, it was very natural to adopt the language of the Old Testament in reference to this Christian festival. So does the Apostle actually speak in the passage above referred to. (1 Cor. v.) “ For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness ; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Sin is the leaven which we are to put away : and as the similarity of the Passover and our Easter is the occasion of this simile, so the fitness of it rises from the strong resemblance between sin and Jeaven. The leaven (as used in Eastern countries) is a small quantity of dough leavened with salt or sour leaven, and which is put into a large mass of kneaded dough: by degrees it diffuses its own nature throughout the dough, and the whole lump is leavened. Thus it is with sin : which existing by nature in our hearts, from a small beginning spreads to the entire man, and forms his whole character to evil. It is a very affecting view : and it is one which the corrupters of the Gospel cannot endure to hear of. Yet it is the Scripture doctrine, that even from our birth this leaven of sin is in our hearts. It works in some persons more visibly, more extensively, and more rapidly than in others : but it exists in all, and it works in all. It operates by alienating the heart from God: then it leads us to make self our idol : it taints all our intercourse with our fellow-creatures : it breaks out in a variety of actual transgressions in word and deed : it begins at our birth, and unless we be renewed in the spirit of our mind, it grows with our youth and manhood, and accompanies us to old age. The Holy Spirit of God alone can expel it from our nature. For his aid therefore we should pray without ceasing. And in casting out of our hearts every evil thought, and renouncing every evil habit, we must use the same diligence, watchfulness and care, which the Jews were wont to use in putting away leaven out of their houses. For the least particle (so to speak) of allowed sin or evil feeling, may spread, we know not how quickly, through all our temper and conversation.
We pray also that we may be enabled to serve the Lord in pureness of living and truth. This holiness of character, to which we should continually aspire, is by the Apostle termed, “ the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." A spirit to love the truth, to search for the truth, and to obey the truth, is not natural to man. But when the Holy Spirit works on the heart, this holy disposition is created there. What constant need then, of all prayer and supplica-, tion in the Spirit! What need have we earnestly to plead the merits of Christ Jesus our Lord! What need to wait upon him, in the study of his word ! " Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings ;, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Peter ii, 1, 2.) Such is the exhortation of St. Peter. And in similar terms the apostle James addresses us : “ Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls." (James i. 21.) Thus, therefore, let us keep the feast.
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
The believer's views and feelings are set before us in this Collect in words remarkably simple and beautiful. We here contemplate our Lord both as a sacrifice and as an example ; praying that we may by faith embrace the doctrine of his atonement, and by our obedience copy the divine pattern of his holiness.
1. First, we view Christ as given by his Father to be our sacrifice for sin. This grand doctrine lies at the foundation of the Gospel. Our sins merited the wrath of God: we were under the curse of God's law : but Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. He bare our sins in his own body on the tree,