Imatges de pÓgina


the pleasant interest and refreshment enjoyed a Sermon,

in studying the word of God; the serenity BY THE Rev. R. L. Cottox, D.D.

and illumination derived from the holy comProvost of Worcester College ; and Vicar of Denchworth. munion ;-could you have a lively apprehenJohn, iv. 10.

sion of all the spiritual blessedness which the “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest gift of God bestows upon men, even in this the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, life, you would indeed earnestly pray for it to Give me to drink ; thou wouldest have asked of him, that heavenly Father, who will give the Holy and he would have given thee living water."

Spirit unto them that ask him. How much We find here a woman in the presence of the more if you could know the blessings which Saviour of the world, but unacquainted with flow from it in the life to come ; if you could bim, and with the great and glorious things know the misery, the pain, the anguish, both which he was able and willing to do for her. of mind and body, amidst the never-dying Jesus having been in his lowly manner jour- worms and everlasting flames of hell, from neying on foot, fatigued with the toil of it, in which it can save you; if you could know bumble simplicity sat down on the wood the sweet, the delightful, the triumphant work, or some part of the machinery, of a nature of the angelic joys, the "pleasures at well, which was called Jacob's well. He had God's right hand for evermore," the everperhaps directed his steps especially to this lasting delight of living in the presence of place, because he knew that a woman was God, in the presence of Christ, among pure there, who, though hitherto ignorant and sin- and righteous and glorified beings, angels ful, was blest with an honest and ingenuous and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, and heart, ready to receive and follow instruction; triumphant saints; could you know the naand that intercourse with her would lead to ture and extent of the felicity and glory of the edification of many others. The blessed those things which "eye hath not seen, nor Jesus, ever intent upon carrying on his work ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of of love, was not to be restrained by the fatigue man," but which “God bath laid up for them under which he was labouring, from exercis- that love him;"—could you form but the fainting his affectionate interest in the salvation of est idea of one-thousandth part of them, you man. He sat by the woman ; he began to would not surely pass them by with neglect, speak to her; he said, “ Give me to drink.” as if they were not worth seeking; you would She, little thinking that the lowly man with pant for them, you would long for them, you whom she was sitting was the blessed Son of would seek them with all your heart and God, the Saviour of mankind, asked him how mind and soul. he, being a Jew, could beg a favour of a Sa- Again, the blessed Saviour might say, maritan, since the Jews and the Samaritans Could you know who it is that speaketh to were enemies. The gracious Jesus takes no thee; could you, my people, know what notice of what she had said : he took no part manner of person that is who saith to you, in enmities and quarrels ; his holy mind was "Come unto me;" who promiseth, "him occupied with another and a better subject. that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast He knew the sad state into which her dark

out;" could


know his meekness and genness and iniquity had brought her; and he tleness, his righteousness and justice, his wisknew the salvation which he could work for dom and prudence, his mercy and love ; her. He addressed her to this effect: "Could could you know all the beauty of his holiyou but know who I am, and what I could do ness, sweetened and softened as it is by his for you, you would long for the great bless. gracious tenderness, compassion, and condeings which I am able to impart to you." scension ; could you know the glory and His compassionate heart felt that it was a greatness of his divine majesty, as it appeared pity that there should be such grand blessings when the seraphim "cried to one another, ready for the woman, while she was losing and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of the enjoyment of them, because she did not hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory;" know what they were, and therefore could or, as it will appear when he shall come in not seek them. Therefore he saith, “If thou his glory, and all his holy angels with him, knewest the gift of God.”

and shall sit on the throne of his glory, and And to how many might he thus speak at before him shall be gathered all nations," the present day! If you could know the even all the thousands of all generations nature of that unspeakable gift which the which have lived since the world began; or blessed God offers you in the Gospel of his as he will for ever appear in "the light which Son; if you could know the soothing conso- no man can at present approach unto, King lation of pardon and reconciliation with God; of kings and Lord of lords," with the vast the comfort of love, and all other heavenly hosts of the holy angels "standing round graces; the sweet satisfaction found in prayer; about him, and falling before the throne on their faces, and worshipping God, saying, me with favourable regard, with gracious acAmen ; blessing, and glory, and wisdom, ceptance? Do I receive with joy and gratiand thanksgiving, and honour, and power, tude every sign and expression of his love, and might, be unto our God for ever and which I find in the comfort vouchsafed to me ever;" could you know that he “is the in prayer, and in the study of the Scriptures, brightness of the glory of God, and the ex- and in the holy communion, in the spiritual press image of his person;" could you hear consolation which at any time pervades my the Father himself, God Almighty, saying heart? Or is it the case, that I care for none unto him, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever of these things-that I hear of all the offers and ever ; a sceptre of righteousness is the and promises of the Gospel, and see nothing sceptre of thy kingdom: and, Thou, Lord, in engaging or attractive in them ; that I hear the beginning hast laid the foundation of again and again of the righteousness, and the earth, and the heavens are the work of love, and glory of the Saviour, and “ see no thy hands;" could you see the “wonderful beauty in him, that I should desire him?" Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Surely there must be some sad disease inFather, the Prince of peace;" had you an fecting that heart that finds nothing lovely, enlightened knowledge of Christ in all the nothing desirable, in the blessed Saviour and loveliness of his beautiful character as man, his heavenly gifts. Surely they that possess “ fairer than the children of men," and in all such a heart must be" dead in trespasses and his divine attributes and glorious majesty as sins." The darkness of the grave must have God; could you know all the goodness and overspread their minds, preventing them from the greatness and the glory of the blessed seeing the glorious light which shines over Son of God, the Saviour of the world, who them.“ The god of this world hath blinded invites you to

come unto him, that you may the eyes of them that believe not, lest the have life," that you may have it abund light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who antly,"— life in all the abundance of living; is the image of God, should shine unto them." life, with every thing that can fill the living The cold hand of death must have been laid being with joy and peace; life, blessed with upon their heart, chilling all its feelings, and the perfect exercise of reason, righteousness, freezing all its affections. How otherwise and love-angelic, heavenly life; could you could people hear of the ever-blessed Son of know the gift of God, and who it is that God, and his inestimable gifts, without any speaketh unto you,--you would surely ask of interest, or concern, or admiration, or desire ? him, and you would surely pray to him, with How will they wonder at their wretched all the eagerness and earnestness of your blindness and stupidity, when they " see the hearts, beseeching him to give to you that Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven which he offers to you.

with power and great glory;" when they see But if you have no knowledge of the the bright saints shining in the brilliancy of blessed nature of that "living water," or of their glory, and the heavenly light streaming the heavenly glory and happiness for which from the blessed heaven, manifesting to them it will prepare you, or of the beauty and ma- the radiant glory of the kingdom of God! jesty of that divine Saviour, who offers these What will be the anguish of their self-accusgrand spiritual and eternal blessings, you will ing hearts, when they find themselves driven not long for the living water ; you will not away, and “punished with everlasting deanxiously desire the enjoyment of heaven; struction from the presence of the Lord, and your soul will not be “athirst for God, even from the glory of his power;" while his for the living God;" you will not be eager to blessed saints are, with joy and triumph, appear in the presence of God."

glorifying him and admiring him! Then Wherefore, beloved friends, I beseech you, there will be “ weeping and gnashing of "consider your ways.” Ask yourselves this teeth, when they shall see others in the kingquestion: Do I value most highly that living dom of God, and they themselves shut out.


, of do I pray for it? Do I look forward, with God, and who it is that speaketh unto you, eager desire and hope, to the attainment of a you would ask of him, and he would give you place in the glorious heaven? Do I seek the the living water. But what is this living Lord ? Do I seek an enlightened knowledge water? We find that the Samaritan woman of Christ ? Do I eagerly desire to know the could not understand what the blessed Jesus love of Christ, which passeth knowledge? Do meant by the living water; and perhaps such I anxiously cultivate the knowledge of him, words, expressive and beautifully significant by reading of him, and hearing of him, and as they are, may convey no idea to manythinking of him, and imitating him? Do I they may be to them å mere empty sound. seek his face, and the light of his counte- They may not perhaps know, after all, what nance, eagerly desiring that he may look upon that gift of God is which is offered them, and

for which they may ask in prayer. Let us undefiled” by sin. Do we, then, find that we hear, then, some further explanation of it abominate sin ; and are we utterly ashamed from Jesus himself. “Whosoever shall drink of ourselves because we have been guilty of of the water that I shall give him, shall never it, and because of the badness of our hearts, thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall so prone to evil, so wanting in piety and love? be in him a well of water, springing up unto Do we find that we are ever seeking the pareverlasting life." The living water, then, don of our sins in prayer, with grace to give means something which, having been im- us power to master our sinful nature, and parted to us, becomes to us the means of our excite in us good affections? Are we ever attaining eternal life. What can this living maintaining a struggle with our vile passions water be, then, but the Holy Spirit? That and all our tendency to sin ? and do we really blessed Spirit poured into the heart of man, keep the command over them? Are we ever by the goodness of the gracious God, causes endeavouring to cherish every good feeling, good principles and holy dispositions to arise to cultivate every good disposition, to seek in it. The fear of God, trembling before his the improvement of the whole frame of our justice and holiness ; faith in God, resting mind and heart ? and do we find, as a matter upon his divine mercy and promises, and the of fact, that we are really devoted to the sermerits of his blessed Son ; the love of God, vice of the Lord--that we are really “ in the admiring his divine perfections, and feeling fear of the Lord all the day long,"endeavouring grateful for all his goodness and all his bless to please him by all that we say and do—that ings ; charity, filling the heart with kind we are really given to prayer and the study affections, and exciting it to active and zeal of the Scriptures, and attending the Lord's ous efforts to comfort, relieve, assist, benefit house and his holy table? Do we find that a neighbour ;-these, and other good princi- we really feel for our fellow-creatures -- that ples and dispositions appearing in our heart, we weep with those that weep, and rejoice moving us to lead a righteous and godly life, with those that rejoice—and that we not only to be diligent and persevering in acts of piety feel, but act upon our feelings, exerting and charity, testify that the well of living ourselves, and enduring loss, that we may water is really in the soul, and is " springing afford every assistance, and consolation, and up unto everlasting life.” For the presence relief to our distressed, and afflicted, and needy of the Spirit is known by its fruits. “ But neighbour ? Do we find that our affections the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long- are set upon things above, and not on things suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek on the earth”--that we are not "carnally ness, temperance." And to such signs of the minded, which is death, but spiritually minded, presence of the Spirit we must look, if we which is life and peace ?" wish really to discover whether we are fa- These are no vain, or impertinent, or needvoured with the effectual enjoyment of that lessly curious questions. They are of the inestimable blessing. We must watch the deepest concern to us. For if such a stream feelings, and affections, and dispositions of of holiness is really proceeding from our our heart; we must continually look into, hearts, it testifies to us that the fountain of and observe, and examine the ways of our life is there, the “ living water.” And this life; if we would, indeed, discover whether pure and holy stream, derived from that the living water is springing up in us to ever- sacred fountain, tends in its course to the lasting life. What, if there should appear ocean of everlasting life. Such is the tenour of in us adultery, fornication, hatred, variance, our Lord's promise : "It shall be in him a well envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and of water, springing up unto everlasting life." such like ? Could we hope that the blessed Happy and thankful may those blessed children Spirit is a fountain of life to us in such case of God be, who find that, notwithstanding The Holy Spirit would not send forth a stream the dreadful flood of iniquity which seems to befouled with filthy ways, and perverted by be overflowing the world and overwhelming devilish tempers. The Spirit of Christ would mankind in misery and ruin, in them appears dispose us to follow the example of the blessed a stream, though far from the purity which Jesus in his holy way, and engender in us his they desire to see in it, yet running in the lovely dispositions. He" went about doing right course, the course of honesty and truth, good.” In him was the Spirit of wisdom the course of chastity and sobriety, the course and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of piety and charity,-a course spiritual, not might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the earthly-tending to heaven, not to hell. To fear of the Lord;" and " righteousness was find the heart set heavenwards, seriously, the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness was the earnestly, constantly " hungering and thirstgirdle of his reins." He " loved righteous-ing after righteousness" - to find the life ness, and hated iniquity." He “ fulfilled all directed heavenwards, running through a righteousness," and was " holy, harmless, and channel of good and religious ways towards

the blessed ocean of everlasting bliss—to find shewn to be a necessary step to salvation. that all the heart and all the life, imperfect And not only seeking the Lord in prayer, and faulty as they are, are yet steadily, and confessing sin, and calling upon him for continually, and consistently bent towards mercy, but forsaking the wicked way and the God and glory,-is indeed comfortable, cheer- unrighteous thoughts enters into the direcing, and refreshing ; for this course of holi- tion of the prophet. Yes, in vain shall we ness springs from God, and runs to God. pray for the blessed gift of the Spirit, if we God, in infinite mercy and love, sends his do not give up all bad practices, and bad Holy Spirit into the soul, and causes pious language, and leave all wicked society, and and good dispositions to spring up in it. take to religious and good ways—" break off These dispose a person to renounce all sinful our sins by righteousness;"

cease to do and worldly ways, and to give himself to a evil, and learn to do well.” But if we do virtuous and religious life ; and he then be earnestly and sincerely seek the mercy and comes “ prepared to meet his God.” He favour of Almighty God, striving to change becomes “holy as he is holy," and there- the manner of our life, and so to " frame our fore fit to be ushered into his glorious pre- doings, that we may turn unto the Lord" in sence; that “presence in which there is fulness such a manner as to be accepted by him, of joy," the perfection of happiness, happiness great are the encouragements, blessed are the far beyond all the present powers of our heart hopes, which the prophet sets before us. "He to conceive.

will have mercy upon you ; he will abundDo we now know so much of the gift of antly pardon you ;" his gracious compassion God, and of Him who speaketh to us in his will be moved towards you; his pardon will holy word, as to desire that he may give us be poured down in abundant streams upon the living water? What shall we do? Can you. Beautiful are the descriptions which we hope that so great, so ineffable a gift, will the Scriptures give, in many passages, of the be granted to such unworthy creatures at fulness and perfection of the pardon which their request ? Let the prophet encourage the merciful God grants to the truly humbled us, who speaks to us in remarkable unison and believing penitent: and from this state with his and our divine Master and Saviour: of lowly self-abasement and contrite sorrow, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to and eager desire for pardon and grace, the the waters; and he that hath no money, come blessed Spirit will lead the penitent forth into ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and the way of life; he will "convert his soul, milk without money and without price." and bring him forth into the paths of rightThese words surely encourage us to fall eousness, even the ways which lead to glory, down before our God, praying to him to glory eternal in the heavens. For ye shall grant to us that Holy Spirit, which will be a go forth with joy, and be led forth with fountain of life in our soul, of a religious life peace : the mountains and hills shall break in this world, and of a glorious life in the forth before you into singing, and all the world to come.

And such encouragement is trees of the field shall clap their hands.” So one of the very last things which the volume happy is the change in the penitent's condiof Scripture presents to us, as if it would tion, that it is enough to make all nature leave its readers impressed with a lively con- burst forth in joyful songs of gratulation fidence, that upon praying with earnest long. around him : but not only this, it is of suthing for the blessed Spirit, it would be granted cient importance to fill the very heavens with to them. “And the Spirit and the bride say, joy. "There is joy in the presence of the Come ; and let him that is athirst come; and angels of God over one sinner that rewhosoever will, let him come and take of the penteth.” And the joy and peace with which water of life freely." But the prophet points the penitent will be brought forth, will be of out to us one step which is most necessary in durable, of eternal nature. The “joy and the way to the attainment of the desired life: peace in believing," with which he is favoured "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, in this world, will be the earnest of joy and call ye upon him while he is near : let the peace eternal, which will crown him for ever wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous in heaven. The stream of righteousness, man his thoughts ; and let him return unto which proceeds from the sacred fountain in the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; his soul, “springs up unto everlasting life." and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Repentance is here plainly laid down as a necessary step to divine favour. Seek

JANSENISM.-No. III. ing the Lord, calling upon him, and that

Port-Royal. while he may be found, while he is near, before he has absented himself for ever from

Tue fixed determination of purpose on the part of the

adherents of Jansenius not to sign the declaration us--think of this, young people,--is here already referred to, and which was directly at variance

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with their principles, drew down upon them, as was to from the world, but who were not bound by any vow, bave been expected, the most rancorous malice of their and of whom one company consisted of men who lived enemies. Excomniunications, finés, banishments, and at the farm-house belonging to Port-Royal and other imprisonments, were the consequence; the state-pri- small cottages, and the other of ladies who boarded in sons were thronged; the threats of fire and poison the ruunastery; 3. various friends, who had houses were not withheld; the Bastile, within whose walls the near, and kept up an intimate connexion with the inobjects of tyrannical jealousy and hatred had for years stitution. languished in despair of regaining freedom, was crowded The remarks of Mosheim with reference to the with fresh victims-even recesses in its passages were state of Port-Royal, how just many of them may converted into temporary cells. It was in vain for the be, are to be received with much caution : he does Jansenists to attempt to escape the fury and trickery not appear to have entered into the spiritual feelings of the Jesuits. That crafty society could not bear their | by which many of its adherents were unquestionunconi promising condemnation of many of the means ably actuated, and from which tbeir devotedness to adopted by the Romish see to retain and to extend its religion took its rise. “ Such," he says,

was the influence over the consciences and properties of men, fame of this devout nunnery, that multitudes of pious and which scrupled not to suffer the enormities of its persons were ambitious to dwell in its neighbourhood, adherents to pass uncensured, provided there was a and that a great part of the Jansenist penitents, or selfready zeal testified to bow with 'submission to its au- tormentors, of both sexes, built huts within its precincts, thority, and to seek to bring others in thraldom to its where they imitated the manners of those austere and iniquitous sway. Had the Jansenists been less open gloomy fanatics, who, in the fourth and fifth centuries, in condemning the vices of their brethren of the Rom- retired into the wild and uncultivated places of Syria ish Church, or had they been in their own habits more and Egypt, and were commonly called 'the Fathers of conformed to the world, it is probable that they might the Desert.' The end which these penitents had in with the utmost safety, as far as persecution was con- view was, by silence, hunger, thirst, prayer, bodily cerned, have adhered to the peculiar views of Augus- labour, watchings, sorrow, and other voluntary acts of tine. The world is, generally speaking, more prone self-denial, to efface the guilt and remove the pollution to condemn a man's uncompromising censure of its

the soul had derived from natural corruption or evil maxims, than any peculiar notions which lie may en

habits.” It would seem that there is something not a tertain on theological subjects. A man's belief, in little harsh and unjust in such a statement. If those fact, is little inquired into, provided he sets not bis who retired to Port-Royal hoped by voluntary acts of face against the prevailing vices of the times,

self-denial to efface the guilt and remove the pollution The abbey of Port-Royal in the fields, situated in of the soul, then, indeed, they erred greatly, a retired valley not far from Paris, occupied at this knowing the Scriptures ;" they displayed an utter period a very prominent place among the religious ignorance of the plan of salvation through the meritoinstitutions of France. “ It excited,” says Mosheim, rious efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ; " the indignation of the Jesuits, the admiration of the they forsook the fountain of living waters;- but I Jansenists, and the attention of Europe;" and this not can scarcely believe their views were so radically only on account of the highly religious tone of thinking erroneous. This, however, is stated as a mere matter and acting of its inmates, but of their literary acquire of opinion. Wherever there is an unreserved submisments. Founded in 1204 by Eudes de Sully, bishop sion to the see of Rome, there must be a departure of Paris, its discipline had in process of time become from the truth of the Gospel; but it would appear that gradually relaxed, and the inhabitants had sunk into by the refusal to sign the declaration that has been rethat sloth and sensuality which was too prevalent ferred to, such blind submission was not maintained by among monastic bodies : this was, in fact, a natural the Jansenists. result of an unnatural system of seclusion froin the The penitents, however, according to Mosheim, did ordinary occupations of life, equally at variance with not all observe the same discipline, or follow the same the Gospel and common sense, and one which was in no kind of application and labour. The more learned small measure the means of forwarding the progress of consumed their strength in composing laborious prothe blessed Reformation; at the same time testifying ductions filled with sacred and profane erudition ; that a life of supposed separation from the world might others were employed in teaching youth ; but the yet be spent in walking according to its course, and that greatest part exhausted both the health of their bodies the walls of a monastery or nunnery are by no means and the vigour of their minds in servile industry and to be regarded as containing within them the most ex- rural labour. What is singularly surprising, he adds, alted religious feeling or the purest morality. An im- is, that many of these voluntary victims were illustriportant reformation, however, had taken place under ous both by their birth and station; amongst the most the government of Jaqueline, daughter of Anthony eminent of whom was Isaac le Maitre, a celebrated Arnaud, who, after her conversion, assumed the name lawyer at Paris, who retired to Port-Royal in 1637, his of Marie Angélique de la St. Madelaine. It had for a example being followed by persons of the highest discentury exemplified a model of piety, mingled indeed tinction. with lamentable error, and accompanied with austeri. Against the establishment of Port-Royal, its friends ties at variance with the true character of the Gospel: and supporters, the fury of the Jesuit party was steadily still, a great change had been wrought; the views en- and relentlessly poured forth: the monastery was surtertained by Jansenius had here taken root, and had rounded by an armed guard ; sentries were placed at been instruniental in weaning many a heart from the the doors; the nuns were prevented walking out in world, aod in producing a tone of seriousness that their own gardens; they were deprived of their minisstrikingly contrasted with that existing in many of ters, interdicted the sacraments, and delared rebels and those institutions which it has been, and now is, the heretics. This persecution lasted some years, during policy of the see of Rome to sustain--institutions that which many died in consequence of the privations they are silently working their way in our own country, the suffered. They were denied a participation of the holy increase of which is viewed with a strange apathy, but communion in their last hour; and their bodies were which may be one day instrumental in causing much debarred from the rites of Christian burial. The reconfusion in the kingdoin, in the attempt to raise cluses suffered little less cruelly : band-bills were Popery on the ruins of Protestantism.

posted in the corners of every street, offering large The Port-Royalists might, at the period referred to, rewards to those who would apprehend them; they be divided into three classes :- 1. The nuns, who occu- were consequently obliged to wander from one hidingpied the monastery, and followed the rule of Cisteaux; place to another-the police officers ofien searching the 2. the recluses, who led a retired life of abstraction rooms in which they were concealed. Some of them

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