« VorigeDoorgaan »
piety in the Christian church, conNEGLECT OF CONGREGATIONAL cerning the second advent of our
Redeemer, it occurred to me that,
if this were a doctrine of faith, it Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. would be most clearly revealed by Your correspondent T. has opened our Lord and his divinely inspired the question, What is it that hinders Apostles. It further occurred to me, our congregations from uniting in that if it were truly the doctrine of the psalmody of the church? The the New Testament, I should find question is important; and your some traces of it in the Liturgy of correspondent has certainly offered our church ; to which (being foundsuggestions which may be of some ed on the ancient Liturgies that use in accounting for the evils com- were in use before the corruptions of plained of. But he has omitted to Popery were introduced) I have been notice that the same tameness which accustomed to refer, as a sound in. prevails in the singing is observable terpreter of holy writ. With this in the responses.
Hence the cause view I examined the New Testawhich solves the phenomenon must ment and our Book of Common be one which will apply in both in- Prayer; and I now send you such stances; and I am inclined to think
passages as appear to me to bear on that the true cause is the prevalence this question. The result to my of a popish feeling, that Divine service mind has been most satisfactory; is a performance, and that the cler- and the fact is, that both in the New gyman, the clerk, the organist, and Testament and in our Liturgy the the choir are the performers. The second advent of Christ is clearly number of musical publications to announced, together with the purwhich your correspondent refers pose for which he will so come proves that there is no remissness namely, finally to JUDGE the world on the part of many persons in their at the last day. attempts to counteract this àpathy, First, I will copy, without note or so far as relates to the singing. But comment, a few passages from the the grand remedy must be found in New Testument, asserting the second removing the cause. When one advent of Christ, for the final judg. prayer in our Liturgy shall be offered, ment of mankind. and heard, throughout the Church I turn, in the first place, to the of England, there will be a new declarations of our Lord himself, warmth introduced into all depart- which are such as the following: ments of our public service : “ Endue “ The Son of Man shall come in thy ministers with righteousness, and the glory of the Father with his make thy chosen people joyful!” angels; and then shall he reward
D. D. every man according to his works "
(Matt. xvi. 27). When the Son
of Man shall come in his glory, and DOCTRINE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, all the holy angels with him, then AND OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, shall he sit down upon the throne
of his glory, and before Him shall To the Editor of the Christian Observer. shall separate them one from ano
be gathered all nations : and he SECRET things belong unto the ther, as a shepherd divideth the Lord our God; but those things sheep from the goats." (Matt. xxv. which are revealed belong to us and 31, 32). “ The Father judgeth no to our children for ever.” Struck man, but hath committed all judgwith the force of this important ment to the Son.....And hath given declaration, while reflecting on the him authority to execute judgment various and conflicting notions lately also, because he is the son of put forth by men of acknowledged Man. The hour is coming, in the Christ. OBSERV, No. 359.
ON THE SECOND ADVENT.
which all that are in the grave shall and the elements shall melt with hear his voice and shall come forth; fervent heat ” (2 Pet. iii. 10). they that have done good, unto the “ ....The LORD cometh with ten resurrection of life; and they that thousands of his saints, to execute have done evil, unto the resurrection JUDGMENT " (Jude 14, 15). ....Beof damnation” (John v. 22,27—29). hold he cometh with clouds; and “I go to prepare a place for you.... every eye shall see him ” (Rev. i. 7). I will come again and receive you The doctrine of the Church of Engunto myself” (John xiv. 3, 28). land, respecting the second advent
Such are the declarations of our of Christ, is strictly accordant to Lord : I now turn to those in the the above declarations of Scripture. Apostolical Acts and Epistles :- Te Deum.—" We believe that “This same Jesus, which is taken thou shalt come to be our JUDGE." up from you into heaven, shall so Apostles' Creed." He ascended come in like manner as ye have seen into heaven, and sitteth on the right him go into heaven” (Acts i. 11). hand of God, the Father Almighty : “ The Lord himself shall descend from thence he shall come to JUDGE from heaven with a shout, with the the quick and dead.” voice of the archangel, and with the The commonly called) Athanasian trump of God” (1 Thess. iv. 16). Creed.—“ He sitteth on the right “ Whom the heavens must receive hand of the Father, God Almighty : until the times of restitution of all from whence he shall come to JUDGE things” (Acts üi. 21). “ It is He the quick and dead.” (Christ) which was ordained of God, Collect for the First Sunday in Ad. to be the judge of quick and dead” vent.—".... In the last day, when (Acts x. 42). “ God hath appointed he shall come again in his glorious a day in which he will judge the majesty to Judge both the quick and world in righteousness, by that man dead.” whom he hath ordained; whereof Collect for the Second Sunday in he hath given assurance unto all Adrent.—“ O Lord Jesus Christ.... men, in that he hath raised him from grant that the ministers and stewards the dead” (Acts xvii. 31). “ We of thy mysteries may likewise so preshall all stand before the JUDGMENT pare and make ready thy way....that
Of Christ” (Rom. xiv. 10). AT THY SECOND COMING TO JUDGE THE “ God shall JUDGE the secrets of WORLD, we may be found an acceptmen by Jesus CHRIST” (Rom. ii. 16). able people in thy sight,” &c. “ As oft as ye eat this bread and Nicene Creed in the Communion drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Service.—“And He shall come again Lord's death until he come” (1 Cor. with glory, to judge both the quick xi. 26.)
“ We must all appear be- and the dead.” fore the JUDGMENT-SEAT OF CHRIST, The Prayer of Consecration.that every one may receive the things “ Who (Jesus Christ) did institute, done in his body, according to that and in his Holy Gospel command he hath done, whether it be good to continue, a perpetual memory or bad” (2 Cor. v. 10). ....At the of that his precious death, until his coming of our Lord Jesus Christ COMING AGAIN.” with all his saints” (1 Thess. iii 13). The Fourth of the Thirty-nine Ar“....Jesus Christ, who shall judgethe ticles.-" Christ did truly rise again quick and dead at his appearing” from death, and took again his body (2 Tim, iv. 1). .... The LORD, the with flesh, bones, and all things aprighteous JUDGE”.(2 Tim. iv. 8). pertaining to the perfection of man's “....That (i e. Jesus Christ) is ready nature, wherewith he ascended into to JUDGE the quick and the dead” heaven ; and there sitteth, UNTIL HE (1 Pet. iv. 5). The day of the Lord RETURN TO JUDGE ALL MEN AT THR shall come, in which the heavens LAST DAY.” shall pass away with a great noise, Such is the unequivocal language
PHILOSOPHY OF SCRIPTURE.
both of the New Testament and of not to present themselves to every our Liturgy and Articles ; and from serious and reflecting mind. But them it is clear that the only coming what I wish to remark is, that in of Christ, which we have yet to ex. shunning fanciful interpretations the pect, is that awful yet glorious ad- sober expounder of Scripture is far vent when he “ will come to judge from frittering away any part of its the world in righteousness, and to sacred contents. He expounds first be glorified in his saints, and to be the literal application of a prophecy admired in all them that believe.” or narrative; he shews, also, what
Seeing then that all these things he believes to be its direct spiritual shall be dissolved, what manner of or mystical application, where he persons ought we to be in all holy considers it has one; and then, in conversation and godliness, looking addition to this, he grasps what I may for and hastening unto the coming call the spirit, the moral, the philoof the day of God” (2 Pet.ü. 11,12). sophy of the passage; and on this
AN INQUIRER. he may dilate as pointedly as if he
vouched for its express and intended adaptation. Thus he gains the intended instruction, while he shuns the misappropriation of making the
inspired narrator or prophet speak To the Editor of the Christian Observer. of things to which his words have no I am much concerned to witness the reference. If a preacher should take flippant confidence with which some a passage relative to God's national of my acquaintance, male and female, judgments, especially the pestilence, apply Old and New Testament pro- and point out for warning and exphecies and descriptions to the events hortation its analogy to the circumof the present day; commenting upon stances of the present times, dwelling a chapter of Daniel or Jeremiah, of upon national sins, national warnings, Ezekiel or St. John the Divine, as if national punishments, and the need the prophetintended expressly to refer of national repentance and turning to the passing scenes of our own par- to God, this would be the true ticular age and country. If I remon- scriptural philosophy of the passage; strate against such a perversion of the but to overlook all the local allusions, sacredoracles,and shew,versebyverse, to pass by Israel and Judah, and to that the inspired writer was speaking maintain that it was meant to apply of circumstances then occurring, or to Great Britain and the Cholera was prophesying of events long since Morbus, is a mode of interpretation past; the only reply I am favoured utterly irrational, and calculated to with is, that this is frittering away bring the word of God into contempt. Scripture, for that there is not a The accurate interpreter will enshadow of doubt the prophet alluded deavour to learn first the direct to our own times, and that we are to meaning and allusion of the inspired construe his words literally without text; and this forbids not that he any scruple of locality oranachronism. should also seize its spirit and apply Upon this principle a chapter of it for the purposes of religious inJeremiah was recently explained struction ; which even an ignorant from the pulpit, by a clergyman of man may do who knows nothing of the Church of England, as an express the primary reference to matters of prophecy of the pestilence now raging ancient history. The difference is on the continent, and advancing, it between saying “The prophet had may be, to our own shores.
evidently an eye to the present times," The evil effects of such misappli- and saying “His words apply, in their cations of Holy Writ need not be spirit, as much to our own times as to recited, since they are too obvious those in which he wrote.” But this
ONE OF THE CAUSES OF DISSENT.
difference involves the whole discre- end. On the other hand, I knew that pancy between sound, sober, edifying among Dissenters I should meet with interpretation, and rash and fanciful a hearty welcome, and be at once inconjecture.
troduced to that sort of society which AN UNLEARNED STUDENT. my recent change of sentiments made
me so earnestly desire: there seemed, indeed, to be a general invitation held out; for I observed a notice stuck up at the entrance of several
of their chapels that the respective To the Editor of the Christian Observer. ministers would be happy to converse As a question has been discussed in with any persons who might choose your magazine with regard to the to attend at an appointed time. I increase of Dissent, I may perhaps believe that at that period the want throw a single ray of light upon the of Christian fellowship would have subject, by simply stating the consi- induced me to join some body of derations that have more than once Dissenters, had I not met with much nearly tempted myself from the Esta- of a proselyting spirit and party blishment, and which I know to have zeal in all with whom I chanced made Dissenters of many under the to come in contact. Delighted at same circumstances. As soon as I first with the apparent fellowship began to be really in earnest about among them, I could not on a nearer religion, my first discouragement view help attributing it, I hope not arose from the apparent solitari- uncharitably--as much to a common ness of my situation. I longed for feeling of hostility against the Estaa friend at hand to whom I might blished Church, as to a true bond of unbosom myself upon the subject, peace and spirit of unity. and really felt as if I should have as Again, when I began to look upon much difficulty to find a Christian myself as a mere cumberer of the in London, as the philosopher had ground, and to feel a strong desire to discover an honest man in Athens. to use in God's service the few I wanted to unburden my conscience talents with which he had intrusted and to have my doubts and misgivings me, I sought in vain in the church removed : I wanted encouragement for any society with which I could and consolation, and above all gui- act in concert, although I saw many dance; and amidst these conflicting schemes of usefulness open to me, in feelings I was as wretched as my company with others, which I knew worst enemy could have wished to not how to set about as an indivi
Still I never thought of dual. In the few instances in which the clergyman of the parish-Ishould I have seen any thing like lay-fellowas soon have thought of introducing ship in the church, it has always myself to an Archbishop : indeed, I struck me as being far too select could not have spoken freely to any as bearing more resemblance to asmall person whom I did not meet on equal circleofacquaintance in whichallmust terms. There appeared to be no necessarily be of exactly the same sort of church-fellowship existing in caste, than to a society held together the Establishment, or, at all events, by the single tie of love to the Reno opportunity for a stranger like deemer, and aiming at but one object myself to obtain admittance. Even to advance the grand scheme of at church no person seemed to re- salvation by every means within cognizeafriend amidst the multitudes their reach. At all events, I have around him ; and I felt as if I might seldom seen any encouragement held saunter on alone in my dreary path, out to a stranger to join the society, and perhaps not meet with a fellow. who, perhaps, though earnestly detraveller till I reached my journey's sirous, and in every respect qualified
ON THE DEATH-BED OF HUME THE
to lend a helping hand, is kept back resumed, which the lady soon found solely by the fear of intruding him to be regarding the state of mind self among persons with whom he persons were in at the prospect of has no previous acquaintance, and death. One gentleman argued that from whom he cannot calculate with a real Christian was more likely to certainty upon a cordial welcome. view the approach of death with Considerations like these, I am per. composure, than he who had looked suaded, are constantly drawing away upon religion as unworthy his nofrom the Establishment persons other- tice. Another (an English gentlewise attached to it, especially young man) insisted that an infidel could men who have received their first look forward to his end with as much impressions of religion in their parish complacency and peace of mind as church.
Q. the best Christian in the land. This
being denied by his opponent, he bade him consider the death of his countryman David Hume, who was an acknowledged infidel, and yet
died not only happy and tranquil, To the Editor of the Christian Observer. but even spoke of his dissolution I INCLose a passage relative to the with a degree of gaiety and humour. death-bed of Hume the historian, The lady who had lately joined them, which appeared many years ago in turned round to the last speaker an Edinburgh newspaper, and which and said, : Sir, this is all you know I am not aware was ever contra- about it : I could tell you another dicted. Adam Smith's well known tale.' Madam,' replied the gentlenarrative of Hume's last hours has man, “I presume I have as good inbeen often cited, to prove how calmly formation as you can have on this a philosophical infidel can die; but, subject, and I believe that what I if the inclosed account be correct, have asserted regarding Mr. Hume very different was the picture. I has never before been called in quescopy it as I find it, thinking it pos- tion.' The lady continued; Sir, sible that some of your numerous I was Mr. Hume's housekeeper 'for readers may be able to cast some many years, and was with him in his light upon the subject. If the facts last moments ; and the mourning I alleged in the following statement now wear was a present from his are not authentic, they ought to relatives for my attention to him on be disproved before tradition is his death-bed ; and happy would I too remote; if authentic, they are of have been if I could have borne my considerable importance on account testimony to the mistaken opinion of the irreligious use which has been that has gone abroad of his peaceful made of the popular narrative; just and composed end. I have, sir, never as was the case in regard to the till this hour opened my mouth on death-bed of Voltaire, which to this this subject; but I think it a pity the hour, in spite of well-proved facts, world should be kept in the dark on infidel writers maintain was calm so interesting a topic. It is true, and philosophical. The following is sir, that, when Mr. Hume's friends the story.
were with him, he was cheerful, and “ About the end of 1776, a few seemed quite unconcerned about his months after the historian's death, a approaching fate; nay, frequently respectable looking woman dressed spoke of it to them in a jocular and in black came into the Haddington playful way; but when he was alone stage coach while passing through the scene was very different: he Edinburgh.
was any thing but composed; his “ The conversation among the mental agitation was so great at passengers, which had been interrupt- times as to occasion his whole bed ed for a few minutes, was speedily to shake. He would not allow the