Immagini della pagina
PDF

gin Mary, and the Apostles, and others whom they call Saints, for acceptance with the Lord Jesus Christ. All these improper customs are contrary to the true faith of those, who have washed away their sins by faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ; and, by faith, producing works, are accounted righteous. According to this statement we find the history of the Apostle Paul. The Jews called him beside himself: but he cared not for their reproach, nor for any one's praise or dispraise: but, for the joy set before him, he pressed forward to preach the Holy Gospel in a spiritual manner, in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is stated in the 16th verse—Henceforth know we no man after the flesh : yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. From this we derive this spiritual instruction—that the Apostle Paul, through the grace of the Holy Spirit was so filled with the faith and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, being absorbed in the same, he cared not for any one's praise or ill name, or for shame or trouble. Should any praise him, or speak ill of him, or persecute him, or comfort him, still, as the devoted servant of Christ, he went forward labouring in the cause of God. In like manner, whatever person would glory in the faith and love of the Lord Jesus, it becomes him not to trust in his own strength, but day and night to seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that he may pass his time without anxiety. If any speak well or ill of him, let him manfully go on, endeavouring to teach and preach the Holy Gospel with all his heart; and fear not those who hurt the body, but fear Him who is able to cast his body and soul into hell. In the 17th verse, the Apostle says—If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : old things are passed away; behold, all things are become wev. From this verse we collect this spiritual instruction—that who

soever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, his sins are washed away in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he has received the gift of the Holy Ghost: then his spirit bears witness that he has obtained a spiritual taste; for, as he who takes sugar into his mouth tastes its sweetness, while he who only cries “Sugar, sugar,” will still know nothing of its taste, so it is not sufficient to call ourselves Christians. But when a person loves the Lord Jesus with all the heart, and obeys His commandments, and strives against Satan, and repels his fiery javelins, and contends day and night with his own heart, and seeks the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, by whose help all these enemies may be overcome, then his spirit can witness that now the old nature is changed; and that he, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit, is become a new creature : and then he finds that old things are passed away, and that all things are become new. And such an one will desire with all his heart, that, as his sins are forgiven through faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, so the sins of others may be forgiven : as when the Lord Jesus was in the world, and healed sick persons of the most dangerous disorders, those who were healed, through joy could not restrain themselves, so that others getting intelligence obtained relief from their respective necessities; so he, who has freely obtained the instruction of the Gospel, desires that he may impart it freely to others, and that others may taste of the spiritual good things he has tasted of. And whosoever through God's grace has this desire, is as a good swimmer, who through the help of the Holy Spirit can escape out of the whirlpool of this world, and dives that he may draw out those who are drowning ; and this power of diving to draw others out, he derives from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the 18th verse, the Apostle Paul proceeds—And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. From this verse, we learn that God so loved the world, that He sent His Son into the world ; so that we, who were as rebellious subjects and deserving of the wrath of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ making us obedient subjects and deserving of protection are saved from the divine wrath. And the Lord Jesus Christ, at the time of His ascension into heaven, commanded–Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; and teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Those who obey this command, and endeavour to teach all nations with this design, that, through the Lord Jesus and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, they may reconcile all creatures to the true God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, and that all may obtain the knowledge of these three, such are worthy of this service. In the 19th verse, the Apostle Paul affirms that God hath reconciled the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation; from which we learn, that whoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, his sins are forgiven, and he is accounted righteous before God through faith; and, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and from intercourse with thosewho have obtained the grace of the Holy Spirit, attains to those views of the dignity of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the peculiarities of the Gospel, from which alone the knowledge of Christ can be learned as it ought to be : as from one lamp another can be lighted, and from a second, a third, and from a third, a fourth, till light may be afforded to many before sitting in darkness. ‘And the Lord 'Jesus Christ has said, in Yespect of those who believe in Him—Ye are the light of the world a city set upon a hill cannot be

hid; and having lighted a candle, they place it upon a candlestick that it may give light to others. So ought a preacher of the Gospel, as a faithful steward of God, to endeavour faithfully to make known the word of reconciliation to rebellious people, and not be heedless or idle; that, when his Lord comes, He may find him engaged in his work; and lest he be proved unfaithful in his Lord's presence, and what was entrusted to him be taken away, and he proved unworthy of trust. In the 20th verse, the Apostle Paul makes known—Now then we are ambassadors for Christ: as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. From which we are instructed in what our Lord Jesus said in respect of his Apostles, Ye are the salt of the earth, viz. as, by salt, the earth is preserved from corruption; so through those, who have the work of the ambassadors of Christ committed to them by the grace of the Holy Spirit, such spiritual instruction is imparted, that all, who embrace that instruction and believe on the Lord, receive the adoption of children, and, their souls being delivered from a death in sin, gain everlasting life. Those who obtain this blessing will, with all entreaty and gentleness, excite in others a desire after the Christian Religion. Therefore, whosoever will fulfil the work of preaching the Gospel, it behoves him, that, with all gentleness and tenderness, he teach all nations: as an Ambassador, with wisdom he will reduce to obedience rebellious subjects, so that his Prince's glory and great mercy may appear to thoserebels—that, hearing of his glory and greatness, they may fear; and, being made acquainted with his inercy, they may, through his Son, return to obedience. Those holy persons who embrace the work of Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, what comparison is there between them and the ambassadors of earthly kings? It appears from the Gospel, that

these ambassadors of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and only ruler of Princes, when our Lord Jessus Christ shall ascend the throne of His glory, shall also sit upon thrones as deputies of the Lord Jesus to execute judgment. Whether rebellious subjects shall give them honour or not, or obey them or not, they cease not from their work of preaching the Gospel. If any shew them respect or otherwise, they consider it the same 5 and, according to that dignity which is conferred on them, go on preaching and teaching with all authority: for happy will that blessed time be, when every one's judgment will be according to the Gospel by the hands of the Apostles. What rest and prosperity will prevail in the world ! And it is to be observed, that, notwithstanding this excellent service, these exalted persons, the Ambassadors of Christ, who are laden with spiritual fruit, are humble and respectful, and mild, and gentle, and as little children; as once was said, Boughs heavy laden with fruit bend toward the earth. Such things are

not to be found in other religions : only pride, and high-mindedness, and self-conceit. True it is, that the tree that bears much fruit bends downwards: so these Ambassadors of Christ will certainly be humble and respectful toward all : and thus, in their conversation, humility, and good temper, and indifference to themselves are very manifest. They love one another, and pay one another respect, and give honour to one another. Except love and unity, nothing is heard among them. Whosoever receives this Ministry, ought, day and night, in secret and in company, to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, and seek help from the Holy Spirit, that the dew of the Holy Spirit may always descend upon him ; and that, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, he may, as long as he lives, remain employed with his heart in spreading the Gospel. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with all who believel Amen :

Ertraete of the Rev. Deoear Schmid's Address, to the Rev. Abdool Messeeh on his Ordination.

How faithful, discreet, and zealous soever you may be in preaching the Gospel, do not think that thereby you fulfil the whole of your duty as an Overseer over the flock of Christ. In order to feed the Church of God which He hath purehased with His own blood, you must also be careful to execute, strictly and without fear of man, those Regulations and Laws which Christ has ordained for the organization and government of His Church. Let it therefore be your concern, to execute also this part of the Pastoral Office, agreeably to the mind of Christ and the commandments of His Holy Apostles; always remembering, that, the prosperity of the Church of Christ depends, in a great measure, upon the due admimistration of Ecclesiastical Discipline.

[ocr errors]

And here let me exhort you, above all things, not to admit any Adult into the Christian Church by Baptism, of whom there is not sufficient reason to suppose, that he has trul repented of his sins, and fled for refuge to the hope set before us in the Gospel; and that he is firmly resolved to deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow his Saviour. It must be said to every Adult who desires baptism, what the Evangelist Philip said to the Eunuch, If thou believe: with all thy heart, thou mayest be baptised, but not otherwise.

Be no less careful, how you admit to the Lord's Supper such as have been baptized in their infancy. Administer the consecrated bread and wine to such only, as you can su pose are discerning the Lord's body; lest this Holy Sacrament be profaned; and lest, by eating and drink

[ocr errors]

ing unworthily, they eat and drink

judgment to themselves. There is a good custom in the Church whose Ministers we are, to assemble those who wish to partake of the Lord's Supper, on the preceding day, to represent to them the holiness of the Service in which they are going to engage, and to speak with each in particular on the state of his soul : this custom we would strongly advise and request you to adopt, as it is admirably calculated to keep away unworthy Communicants from the Lord's Table, and to make the Sacramental Service the more edifying and impressive to real believers. You will take peculiar pains in instructing the Children of the Members of your Congregation, in the doctrines and precepts of Christianity: for, as the Church becomes the Mother of the offspring of believers by receiving them into her bosom through the laver of regeneration, it is the

duty of her Ministers to watch over them with a Mother's care, and to nourish them with the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby. You will not admit them to the Lord's Table before they shew signs of a sincere repentance, and of a lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. On the Sunday preceding that on which such Young People for the first time partake of the Lord's Supper, you will do well to examine them in the presence of the whole Congregation, with regard to their knowledge of the Gospel, and to admit them solemnly to all the privileges of Adult Members of the Christian Church by Prayer and imposition of hands—a service usually called Confirmation, which, purified from all errors and abuses annexed to it in the Roman Church, has, with great wisdom, been adopted by most Protestant Communions, though it has not been expressly prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

APPENDIX VII,
(See Page 109.)

ExtsAets from A tract “ I would ask those Pundits; together with their followers, who are averse to the worship of the Supreme God", and devoted to the service of images— Why do you make yourselves the laughing-stock of all sensible men, by considering miserable images which are devoid of sense, motion, and the power of speech, as the omniscient, omnipresent, and almighty God? And why do you expose yourselves to the scorn and contempt of all the world, by considering such absurd practices, as playing with the fingers on the mouth, beating one's sides, snapping the fingers, and stamp

• Which according to the theology of the Hindoos, is incompatible with the use of inaces.

[ocr errors]

ing with the foot on the ground, clapping with the hands, and singing abominable songs, as spiritual worship? If you say—We are incapable of firing our minds upon the Supreme Onnipresent God; consequently we worship images, considering them as God— I reply—That the images are exceedingly dear to you, this is very true; else you would not endeavour to establish the worship of images, even by confessing yourselves to be ignorant and stupid people. But you must know also with what contempt the Shasters speak of such ignorant people: those who do not observe the precepts of the Vedas, ignorant people, such as o afflicted with very

bad diseases, and those who live agreeably to their own lusts, all these are said to be impure all their life-time. Therefore, as you possess enough understanding to fix your mind upon the Supreme God, why do you wilfully cause yourselves to be called stupid people, merely on account of your attachment to images? This is very singular, that, if any one were to call you stupid with respect to the study of the Shasters, or to the business of the offices under government, or in any other respect, you would be ready to take away his life; for you think yourselves wiser than all others, in every other respect; but, if you are exhorted to worship the Supreme God, you say, “We are weak, and possess but little understanding: therefore we are incapable of worshipping the Supreme Omnipresent God; for it is exceedingly difficult.” But you will find, if you duly consider it, that there is nothing more difficult than the worship of images which you practise: for you consider a lifeless block as an animated being: though it cannot eat, yet you present it food; though it cannot smell, yet you give it various sweet-smelling flowers, imagining to give it pleasure thereby. And you consider this block of earth or stone as possessed of divinity; nevertheless, lest, in the cold season, it mightsuffer cold, you clothe it in winter clothes; and, in the warm season, you fan it, and, lest the mosquitoes should bite it, you place it all the night in curtains ! Now there is nothing in the world more difficult, than to consider something at the same time as God, and as not God: but you do not find it difficult to believe such contradictions, because you are accustomed to it from your infancy; as jugglers, because they are exercised therein from their infancy, perform with ease a feat which is very difficult, viz. catching a great many knives and balls at the same time. If you say—It can be proved by facts, which are perceptible by the senses, that, after consecration, the image is

animated by God ; now that which cant be proved in this manner, cannot be rejected— I reply—Both you and we see clearly, that the properties of stone, earth, or wood, which the image had before the consecration, it retains also afterward: for, as the flies and mosquitoes were playing before on the whole iumage from the head to foot, so they do also afterward; as, previously to the performance of the consecration, the image would break to pieces if it fell on the ground, thus it would also afterward; as, before, it had not the power of eating, sleeping, and moving, thus it is also destitute of this power afterward. How can it therefore be proved that the image is animated by God? The truth is, that, having heard from your infancy various stories of such a supposed animation of images, you imagine at one time you see an image laughing, and at other times you perceive grief expressed in its countenance; like the people called Garrows", who, because they have heard so from their infancy, consider the cat as a godhead, and see many wonderful things in that animal. It follows from hence, that men enterlain such absurd imaginations, because their understanding is perverted by what they hear from their infancy. It is singular, that our perceptions should agree with yours in all other things, but that only with regard to the laughing of images there should be a disagreement. But what can be more shameful than that men, endowed with the faculty of judging what is profitable and unprofitable to them, should pray for children, riches, and deliverance from sickness, to such as have not the power of seeing or moving, and are destitute of all feeling, and should present gifts to such a senseless block, in order to obtain all this; more especially, as you see clearly, that so many continually fail in obtaining the design for which they

* A savage tribe inhabiting the hills in the North of Bengal.

« IndietroContinua »