unfit words for a Christian, excepting upon this principle of reserve; according to which we believe that the inspiration of GoD is in the words, and reverence them as full of Divine meanings with respect to ourselves. Something after the same manner that we look upon a Church and altar as holy, though to bodily eyes they are nothing more than cold stones or bare wood. And after some faint imitation of this vast principle of reserve, which thus pervades the Church of God, it is supposed that even the visible shape and structure of sacred edifices was intended by our forefathers to represent sacred mysteries, and the higher doctrines of our faith. Indeed, the Lessons themselves which are read in Divine worship, are many of them not at all understood by some, by most very imperfectly. Hence this popular system will not allow this reading of Holy Scripture to be sufficient for maintaining their opinions, without also what they call the "preaching of the Word;" by which it is implied, that the Scriptures themselves are not the Word, in that sense in which they use the term, because they do not put forward prominently and explicitly on all occasions the doctrine they so exclusively regard.

But moreover, with respect to the doctrine of the Atonement, it is contained throughout the whole of the Liturgy, after this manner of sacred reserve: inasmuch as the whole tone, spirit, and character of it, and especially the Litany, is expressive of this doctrine; and in fact conveys it, teaches it, infuses a right sense of it, more vitally and truly than any set speeches could do, in the same way that it is taught by all our LORD's words and actions. So that they of her sons whose spirit is in unison with her prayers, rightly receive this great cardinal truth: they whose spirit is not thus in accordance with her cannot receive it rightly.

4. The Church realizes the Kingdom in secret.

Now to realize all these mysterious blessings contained in the Church were, indeed, to understand the meaning of the term by which it is designated in Scripture as "the kingdom of Heaven" upon earth. It is all founded on that vast principle in Religion, that "he who will do the will, shall know of the doctrine."

They are all things that depend on the state of the heart they cannot be otherwise than real and substantial gifts, as they have reference entirely to God's unseen presence, and only thus attained by secret faith and obedience. Now, some persons will allow that the case is perfectly true respecting our LORD's conduct in the flesh, that He observed this reserve (as shown in Tract 80. part i.); but they would confine it to that alone. They may be asked, then, whether the cause of the Church in all these respects is not perfectly analogous to it? Our LORD is present in His Church according to His promise, and in all these things, as of old, "He doth not strive, nor cry, nor lift up His voice in the streets."

We have in these points endeavoured to show more especially that the Church holds, after a living and substantial manner, those great truths of our LORD's Divinity and Atonement: she holds in secret what others require to be publicly pronounced aloud. But as the Church is more especially the dispensation of the SPIRIT, So it may be shown that she realizes, in the same kind of retiring modesty, all those influences of the SPIRIT connected with duty and dependence on the part of man, which it is thought so necessary publicly to profess. It is very evident how this is implied in the principle of the Church sacramentally conveying grace: not to all indiscriminately, but to those who duly watch and wait for those gifts. It might be shown in like manner, how each article in the third part of the Creed, respecting the dispensation of the SPIRIT, is found fulfilled in the Church after a living manner, and not in human plans of religion. "The Holy Catholic Church" is realized throughout it, all our principles and practices being thence derived, and holding us in union with her. "The Communion of Saints" is maintained by unity of worship, by similarity of devotional forms, by one Baptism, and also by her Saints' days; whereby various Churches throughout the world, by commemorating the same Saints, on the same days, preserve a communion of spirit with the living, and also with the dead, whom they commemorate. "The Forgiveness of sins" is taught by her Sacraments, and Absolution. "The Resurrection of the body" by the doctrine of the Eucharist, was always considered to have some mysterious connexion with the resurrection of our bodies: by the reverential regard with which she looks on Churchyards:

and the whole tone of her Liturgy and prayers looks forward to "a life everlasting after death." So fully do her Services contain every doctrine and every principle which has a reference to the HOLY SPIRIT and as far as her sons, by faith and obedience, realize the same, they obtain the blessings of the SPIRIT; though the world knows not of it. And if the Church is reproached for not exhibiting these sacred truths more publicly, that reproach she shares with her Divine Founder and Master, to whom it was said, "If thou doest these things, show thyself to the world."

There are many points in which the sacred economy of the Church, being directed to the eye of GOD, and not to man, as one of reserve, is free from the temptations to which human systems are liable. It has no temptation to put forth principles of expediency rather than of truth, as that of Regeneration after Baptism it is in a great degree independent of numbers ;—are there few or many that hold them, it matters not: it is free from the temptation to party spirit: it needs no words, no professions, to collect others around in sympathy; to make "broad phylacteries," wearing without that which should be within: external ordinances serve the purpose of external bonds of union, and it thus secretly enters into the Communion of Saints. And, again, the House of God is, we know, "the House of Prayer," for the purposes of worship, but those whose religion mainly consists in popular appeals, are used to say, that the sight of a thinly-attended Church is perfectly deadening to them and judging from their own feelings, they think it very desirable, that a Church should never be open, but when fully frequented: they need, moreover, external sympathies more for worship: but not so those who are used to realize, or endeavour to realize, in a Church, God's presence where Angels are intermingled as their associates in worship. And it is remarkable, that the two systems, that of this sacred reserve, and that of popular expediency, cannot exist together, without one derogating from the other: in the same way that what is carnal, sensible, visible, has a tendency to stifle that which is spiritual and invisible. Where preaching (or rather eloquence of speech) is too highly estimated, prayer and the sacraments must necessarily lose their value: spirits excited, and

moved beyond the tone of God's WORD, cannot enter into the calm and deep reality of the sacred services.

But it may be asked, if the principle of the Church is so much of this retiring character, how is she as well calculated to propagate the Gospel publicly, and extensively, in the world, as the more popular system, and to bring into CHRIST'S fold His sheep that are scattered abroad? To this it should be a sufficient answer, that these are the ways of GoD: this is the point we maintain; to which it may be added, that at that early period when this system was most of all observed in the Church, the Gospel spread itself throughout the earth in a manner quite beyond any subsequent example: for as they then carefully inculcated that saving truths could not be known, but by obedience and faith, they preserved that unity to which the blessing is attached. But it may be explained in this manner, how it is that the Church, under this veil of reserve, must necessarily be more powerful than any human modes or principles of extending the faith. For all the means we have spoken of, as belonging to the Church, are ways of obtaining holiness of life and GOD'S favour and the obedience of Christians is the light of the world; example the most powerful of persuasions. But besides these, preaching, catechising, and all such means directed to mankind, obtain their greatest efficacy from holiness of life. And the point we have endeavoured to show in popular systems, is their want of real efficacy; that expediency in things Divine is the worst policy for surely the ways of GoD are more powerful than those of man, though it is impossible they should appear so to mankind, as they are spiritually and morally discerned. A faithful Church is necessarily a converting Church, for it is, of itself, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid," the true Bethlehem, from which CHRIST goeth forth publicly, though there hid in secret the true Bethlehem, the house of bread, which is the Church, the city of God. Though it be silent, if that were possible, yet in holy reserve it preaches aloud; "though there be neither speech nor language, yet their voices are heard among them."


When our LORD in the Sermon on the Mount, after laying down the laws of evangelical righteousness, proceeded to give

directions respecting the three modes by which power should be obtained to fulfil His laws, viz. by Prayer and Almsgiving and Fasting, He confined those regulations especially by the law of secrecy, commanding that they were to be done in secret, with reference alone to our FATHER, who seeth in secret, and will reward openly. It seems not unnatural to think that in these He spoke (according to the vastness of Divine words) of what must be the essential character of His Church, as therein all duties are by faith to be directed to Him who dwelleth in secret and there is something of a reward which is openly promised in this world (in prelude to the manifestation hereafter), in that, from the strength thus derived in secret, the example shines before men, who are able to see the good works, and by their own conversion by these means, glorify God.

And thus, if there are persons living in the fear of God, and entirely given up to the things that are unseen, and making great sacrifices to do so, (which has been the purpose with whole bodies of Christians in religious houses) not only by the prevailing power of their prayers, and such means as are known to God only, but as a witness, their efficacy is most powerful in supporting a sense of piety in the world. Such a religion, which has its anchor in the invisible world, is not moved by the storms of this a city which has its foundation on the eternal hills, and standeth fast like the great mountains. In contrast to which, this modern system, partaking of the character of our own age of expediency, and mostly founded on feeling, is moved by every wind; it partakes of the weakness of human things, and cannot stand when the floods arise. For surely it must be allowed that it consists, not in Sacraments, not in gifts of GOD bestowed on His chosen, not in Divinely appointed Ordinances, not in Liturgical Services, not in prayer, not in obedience, not in the strong-holds of the eternal world, and the secret strength of GOD but in words and phrases, in professions and emotions, in popular appeals, and party zeal: in confounding all distinctions between the Church of God and all the sects that prevail among misguided men. Very tenderly as we must wish to speak of individuals that adopt it, (some of whom are in fact but attempting VOL. V.-87.


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