Imatges de pÓgina

It would, indeed, be difficult to compre- his conduct harmoniscs with the Divine will, hend how it should be more degrading to and his prayer ascends with acceptance before unite with our inferiors in singing than in the throne of God. prayer; though some, it is to be feared, are I would observe, too, that our duty rises weak and mistaken enough to imagine that far beyond the cultivation of congregational they would be descending below their proper praise. There is a still higher kind of harlevel, were they to join in this pious and edi- mony, and which it is of far greater moment fying part of divine worship.

for us to cultivate, even that religious harWhen we inquire how a Christian congre- mony by which the real children of God must gation will best perform this part of public always be distinguished. It is a good and worship, it must be obvious to every reflect- joyful thing when brethren assemble together ing mind, that nothing can contribute more and unite their voices in the praise of “ God directly to this good end than the attainment and of his Christ;" but it is a still more blessed of a truly devotional spirit, the ascendency and more joyful thing, when brethren of the of a sincerely religious feeling. Without this household of faith dwell together in unity, there will be always something defective in when the disciples of a common Saviour the discharge of it; there will be a want of realise the communion of saints, when they that pathos which gives the musical instru- take sweet counsel together, and walk to ment, whether it be the human voice or the the house of God as friends. It is this conorgan, a life and soul — the very seal and cord of the heart, this union of the affecimpress of sincerity. It is this which the tions, in which he especially delighteth. We apostle means when, alluding to social wor- shew our reverence for the temple of the ship, he exhorts the Ephesians “to be filled Most High, when we add to its beauty, and with the Spirit, speaking to themselves in repair its decays; it is well done, when men psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, sing- devote a portion of their substance to the ing and making melody in their hearts unto embellishment of places dedicated to the the Lord.” In these holy offices, the spirit living God; but the highest respect that can of a man must be engaged, the melody must be paid to the temples of the Almighty, is to be in the heart, and from thence it will find feel the privilege of attending upon the ordiits way to the lips. If devotion really dwell nances of them io enter into his gates with within the breast, its influence will transfuse thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. itself into the voice and manner; if, whilst | Those, therefore, who display a laudable zeal the composer is meditating his holy anthem, for the decent appointments of his temples his heart be “hot within him," like that of made with hands, must bear in mind, that the royal Psalmist, then the fire will kindle, He to whose honour these earthly tabernacles and the fervour of it will be felt by those are erected is himself a Spirit, and requires who execute, and those who liear, the com- that "they who worship him should worship position.

him in spirit and in truth." The hints that have been thrown out have been directed to the pre-eminence of divine music; its exalted origin, its high destina

THE PRAYER-BOOK.* tion, its intimate connexion with the services

It is not my intention now to prove either the reasona of our Church, and with the lofty poesy of ableness or the advantages of a set form of prayer. the Psalmist; it has been seen how it adorns The example of the Jewish Church, and of our Lord the public worship of the Almighty, and swells himself, who gave his disciples that perfect form which the

pomp and grandeur of the most august we still use, the constant practice of the apostles, and and awful ministries : and I cannot close my the invariable usage of the Catholic Church for cenremarks without noticing that the very

frame turies and centuries, are abundant arguments against and mechanism of these noble instruments, public extempore prayer, if any such were needed. But which we use in the solemnities of public I wish rather to point out to you how completely the worship, awaken a thought from which we Prayer-book is your own book, your own inheritance, may derive valuable instruction. Unless the as sons of the Church. In a series of services of pure wind be breathed into them, they are silent; and solemn beauty it accompanies you from the cradle and even when it is introduced, they yield no to the grave. It meets you at the baptismal font, it music unless the hand and skill of man be furnishes you with a catechism for your younger years ; applied to draw it forth. And so it is with it goes with you when you seek the bishop to take that mysterious organ, the soul of man : the upon yourselves your baptismal vow. When you enter Spirit of God must first inspire it; it must

into the estate of holy matrimony, there again the first be (as the early saints are described) Prayer-book meets you, and sends you out into the “ full of the Holy Ghost ;” and man's own

world with blessing and with prayer: you see it still sincere endeavours must concur and conspire with the same unwearied care and assiduous love with the influences of that Spirit; and then

• From Rev. F. W. Faber.

receiving your children at the font, as it received your-, keep us stedfast in this faith, that he will not let us be selves before ; and going from the font to the altar to “blown about by every wind and blast of vain docjoin the thankful mother in her praises to almighty trine; for he that is unstable as water shall not excel." God for her deliverance from the great pain and peril of child-birth. Then, when illness comes upon you, and lays you low upon the bed of suffering, the

THE COMING OF CHRIST WITHOUT SIN Prayer-book brings the priest to your side, bids him

UNTO SALVATION: soothe your aching heart, fill you with the hopes of

Sermon for Adbent, the Gospel, and pour upon you, by his effectual blessing, a peace which this world can neither give nor

By the Rev. Thomas BISSLAND, M.A. take away. Nay, it leaves you not even when your

Rector of Hartley Mandytt, Hants. eyes are closed in death; it waits for you by the side

Hec. ix. 28. of the opened tomb, and gravely and affectionately

“ And unto them that look for Him shall he appear

the second time without sin unto salvation.' commits your spirit to almighty God, reminding the dull earth that it must give you up again at the resur- When our blessed Redeemer previous to his rection of the dead. Again ; are there any here pre- crucifixion had declared to his sorrowing dissent who are mothers, whose affections are far away ciples, that he should speedily return to his with sons who are serving their country on the great Father, he at the same time comforted them deep? How blessed for them to feel that there, on not only with the assurance that the Holy the wide sea, the Prayer-book, perhaps the very one Spirit would be shed abroad upon their hearts, they gave them at parting, is with them still; that its

but that he should come and receive them calm and untroubled voice is lifted up above the swell

unto himself; that where he was, there they ing of the storm; and that should death come to any might be also. The effect of this blessed one among them, the Prayer-book speaks as much of hope and rest on the tossing waters as if it were still Spirit, they fully comprehended; its true im

assurance, when enlightened by the divine in a quiet country churchyard at home. Now there is something so simple

, so touching, port, when all doubts were removed, and

iheir faith firmly established, was powerfully so gentle, in this domestic character of our Churchservices, that a person who had weighed them well

, hour of trial, their uncompromising stedfast

manifested in their patient submission in the a person who bore in mind how, for generations and generations, the Prayer-book, like a minister

ness in the hour of danger, their willingness ing angel, had walked side by side with his fathers, to part with every earthly comfort for the joy would surely feel as if he were wronging their sacred

that was set before them. And if this immemory lightly to leave the inheritance they had left portant truth be received by us, and impress him, and to seek for a home in some far land among us, as it ought, and as it is intended that it aliens and strangers. It is only in the bosom of the should, it will stimulate us to active exertion Church that you can realise that strong feeling of in the great duties of our Christian calling; home which is so grateful to a mind weary with the " to be always abounding in the work of the endless tossings of this unquiet generation. It is the Lord;" to seek that, when Christ, who is Church only, which, full of life and power within her- our life, shall appear,

“ without sin unto salself, can afford to discountenance that feverish excite- | vation, we also may appear with him in ment, on which unsatisfying food so many of the poor glory.

1. The first point in the passage selected her children, in all her staid, and grave, and beautiful for our meditation deserving our notice, is solemnities, “ In returning and rest shall ye be saved; the fact that Jesus will again appear. It is a in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” fact grounded on the testimony of his apcsIt is the Church only, who, from her lofty seat, will tles, on the testimony of angels, and what not stoop to allure you onwards by dangerous novel

renders it, if possible, more certain, on his ties in doctrine or in discipline; that turns neither to

own; and the apostles exhorted the converts, the right hand nor the left, but walks meekly upon the

to whom their epistles were directed, to be old ways whereon the Lord hath placed her, and where

ever on the watch for this momentous event; his gracious hand will keep her steady for evermore.

to be ever looking for the blessed hope, It is the Church only who dares lift up her voice to

and the glorious appearing of the great God reprove all heresy and schism, who will not, and does

and our Saviour Jesus Christ." not, respect persons; and wbo, strong in the confidence of her most holy faith—" that faith once for all

Difficult, if not impossible, as it must be delivered to the saints"- dares openly to pronounce

for us, with limited faculties, to form any the threatenings of God against those who deny the adequate notion of the splendour with which divinity of his blessed Son, and bring another doctrine

the Saviour shall be invested at his second than that which hath been delivered to us from the advent, the Bible abounds with the most vivid beginning." Shall it be for us, then, my brethren, to

descriptions of that event. We are told" that leave this loving mother? Shall it be for us to hew he shall come in his glory, and all his holy out cisterns for ourselves, to leave those green pastures angels with him;" that these blessed beings, and fresh water-courses, wherein we may now live so who were the harbingers of his incarnation, peaceably? I pray God most fervently that he will the comforters of his agony, the witnesses of

sheep of Christ are content to feed ; that can say to 1. The first point in the

his ascension, and who constitute the chariots of the Saviour in power and great glory was of God, will follow in his train. We are typified by the return of the high-priest from told that he shall sit upon the throne of his the inward tabernacle. For after appearing glory, and that before him shall be gathered there in the presence of God, and making all nations ; that he is constituted Judge of the atonement for the people in a plain and simquick and the dead; for that the Father hath ple dress, he came out arrayed in robes of committed all judgment to the Son for this extraordinary magnificence, to bless the as. very purpose, that all men should honour sembled congregation. But still he was rethe Son, even as they honour the Father. quired to make a new atonement in these Even in his state of humiliation there was a pontifical garments. Herein, then, was the glory which essentially marked the dignity wide distinction : the high-priest, even at his of the Saviour's character, which proved him return, again offered sacrifice; Jesus, at his to be infinitely superior to the most distin- return, requires to offer none: the one oblaguished of the sons of men, and which must tion and satisfaction having been made when have been acknowledged even by his most he expired in agony on Calvary, he shall reinveterate enemies, had not prejudice, or, turn without a sin-offering unto salvation. In more properly, the desperate malignity of one sense, indeed, as the death of Christ was their characters, blinded their eyes that the primary cause of man's salvation, so it they should not see, and hardened their may be said to have been accomplished when hearts that they should not understand. that event took place, and the gift to be be“ The Word was made flesh," says the evan- stowed even in this present life. But Jesus, gelist John, “and dwelt among us; and we at his second coming, will fully bestow the beheld his glory, the glory as of the only be- | inestimable blessings which the expression gotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” salvation implies. He will emancipate from But the glory of the returning Saviour will the power of the grave-he will open the be more transcendently striking. The state- gates of the heavenly kingdom-he will grant ments respecting the Saviour's triumphant a ready admission to the many mansions of return, while eminently calculated to inspire his Father's house. The soul of the believer us with holy reverence for his character, are who comes to Christ as a Saviour, and seeks ill suited, however, to convey consolation to through the merits of his cross and passion the sinner burdened with a deep sense of guilt; reconciliation with God, becomes partaker of and it is therefore consolatory for the penitent this salvation, and enjoys, even amidst the believer to know that the most blessed results most trying circumstances of worldly afflicwill flow, to those who look for the Saviour, tion, a frame of calm composure, and patient, from his second advent.

willing submission, to which others necesFor the apostle further declares that Jesus sarily are strangers. will come “ without sin unto salvation." The Meditating with holy rapture on the tranexpression “without sin" does not imply that scendent love of God in the redemption of a when he was invested with man's nature, the perishing world-led to acknowledge Jesus as Saviour was, in the slightest degree, contami- head over all things to his Church, the founnated with sin. In the nature of the holy tain of all spiritual and eternal blessings,child Jesus there was no tendency to evil. sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and enabled to Sanctified even from the womb, the most resist the manifold temptations by which he is seductive temptations assailed him in vain. beset, — the believer can indeed affirm the Fruitless were the attempts of the arch-enemy salvation wrought by Jesus to have been to induce him to offer an impious worship; great. He can add his testimony to the imand though he underwent indignities and pri- portance of its proclamation, as a faithful vations which seldom have found a parallel saying, and worthy of all acceptation; and in the history of human suffering, there was he will seek to glorify in soul and body that the same unsullied purity of principle, the same gracious and glorious Being, who hath spoken undeviating obedience to his heavenly Father's peace to his troubled spirit, and opened a will. The apostle would have us understand way of escape from the punishment due to that Jesus will come again, but without a sin- his offences. I earnestly trust that some of offering; for so the word in the original lan- those I address have thus become partakers guage of the epistle may be translated. As of the inestimable gift referred to; that it is appointed to all men once to die, but some of you have felt the value of Christ's after that the judgment; so Christ was once salvation, and are testifying that you do feel offered to bear the sins of many. Address- it by a life consistent with your Christian ing men well versed in all the customs of profession. their forefathers, in all the peculiarities of In a still more exalted sense do they feel the Mosaic ritual, the declaration of the apos- the value of Christ's salvation, who having tle carried with it peculiar force. The return bid adieu to the cares and anxieties of this

The ye


world, are resting in peace and safety until parable of the virgins : "Watch therefore, for the judgment of the last great day. The know neither the day nor the hour when the souls of true believers, emancipated from the Son of man cometh.” The day of death may trammels of a corruptible body, enjoy a state indeed be termed, as far as the individual is of blessed tranquillity---enabled, more fully concerned, the day of the Lord's coming ; than when on earth, to appreciate the grace for it is the day which must fix his eternal of the Saviour. They have some foretaste of destiny. In the grave there is no repentance, that glory which awaits them, when the trum- no contrition, no pardon. The whole period pet shall sound, and the body be raised in- of life is the time, the only time, for prepacorruptible. Still, the salvation wrought out ration; and the uncertainty of its duration is by the Saviour cannot be fully experienced intended and calculated to quicken our vigilby them : it will not be made manifest until We are looking and preparing for the the consummation of all things— until the coming of the Saviour only when we are diligraves shall be opened, and the sea shall give gently devoting ourselves to his serviceup her dead, and the Lord Jesus shall come acting with a constant reference to his will again with ten thousand of his saints. And -- seeking every opportunity of testifying who shall describe the glories of that morn- our love, gratitude, and reverence for his ing, which shall behold the Son of Man com- commands – our faith in his sacrifice- our ing in the clouds of heaven — that morning hope in his promises. The diligence of faithanticipated with rapture by myriads of ran- ful servants, the devotedness of affectionate somed souls? but a morning, alas, which children, are required of us. In the parable shall consign to everlasting destruction the alluded to, we are not only exhorted to be impenitent and unbelieving—when the wicked thus looking and watching for the coming of shall be turned into hell, and all the people our Lord, but a fearful judgment is dethat have forgotten God - when the fearful nounced against those who are neglecting and abominable, and murderers, and whore- the duty,—who are thoughtless and unpremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all pared; and we have the express assurance liars, shall have their part in the lake that of Jesus himself, that the warning was not burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the addressed exclusively to his own immediate second death.

disciples, but unto all ; for is not every human II. For, let it be observed, that the apostle being deeply and fearfully interested in the describes those to whom at his second coming, momentous subject ? Our Lord declares, without a sin-offering, Jesus will bring sal- “What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch." vation; it is to those who look for him: Those assuredly are not looking for Christ, Every eye

shall indeed see him, and they who rarely, if ever, think upon the subalso which pierced him; and all kindreds of ject of his second appearance, upon the the earth shall wail because of him:" but to glories of heaven, the terrors of hell; who them who look for him shall he bring sal- are not even aroused by the judgments of vation. What, then, is implied by the ex- God, by the fearful instances of mortality pression “ looking for the Saviour ?” What occurring so frequently, to realise the cerwould St. Peter have us to understand, when tainty of their own death, and its awful rehe exhorts us to be “ looking for and hasting sults; who pass their lives, if not in gross unto the coming of the day of God, wherein sin and coarse voluptuousness, yet in vain, the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, frivolous, and useless pursuits; who occupy and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" themselves -- but not in the business of their By looking for the Saviour, we are to under- Lord; who cannot be induced to reflect, that stand such a continual, habitual watchfulness in such an hour as they think not, the Son of conduct, as becomes those who anticipate of man cometh. “ Nor is the belief of that the arrival of that day, when they shall stand coming, so explicitly foretold,” to use the before the judgment-seat, and who trust words of Bishop Horsley, “ an article of little through his infinite merits to become par- moment in the Christian's creed, however some takers of his great salvation. Other inter- who call themselves Christians may affect to pretations have been given of the passage ; slight it. It is true, that the expectation of and the propriety of living in the momentary a future retribution is what ought, in the expectation that the Lord Jesus will appear, nature of the thing, to be a sufficient restraint has been strongly insisted on, not only as a upon a wise man's conduct, though we are duty, but as absolutely necessary to salva- uninformed of the manner in which the thing tion. It would seem, however, that the apostle will be brought about; and were at liberty would more peculiarly insist on the being con- to suppose, that every individual lot would tinually prepared for such an event, whenever be silently determined, without any public that event may take place, in accordance with entry of the almighty Judge, and without the our Lord's own directions at the close of the formality of a public trial. But our merciful

God, who knows how feebly the allurements / him,"— but let us seek to be found in Jesus, of the present world are resisted by our rea- arrayed in his righteousness; and then shall son, unless imagination can be engaged on we lift up our heads with joy, because our reason's side, to paint the prospect of future perfect redemption draweth nigh; when the good, and display the terror of future suffer- trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be ing, hath been pleased to ordain, that the raised incorruptible; and when that Saviour, business shall be so conducted, and the method who has been our stay in time, will become of the business so foretold, as to strike the our abiding portion through eternity. profane with awe, and animate the humble and tiniid.” And where, indeed, is the man, however immersed in sin, and however reck

THE CHURCH IN THE ISLE OF MAN.* less he may boast himself to be of the judg. The deeply-rooted attachment of the Manks to the ments of God, who can anticipate without

Established Church, which precluded dissent till the dismay the terrors of that judgment-seat, arrival of the Methodists, and still binds the adherents where his doom must be fixed for ever — of that sect to its ordinances, is attributable to various from the wrath of which myriads shall call causes. Among them may be enumerated, the tena. on the rocks to hide them, and the hills to

cious adherence to ancient rites and customs, and the cover them? Where is the humble believer,

reverence for authority which distinguishes them —

the commanding influence of the episcopal office, enhowever compelled to pass through much dowed with elevated rank, civil and ecclesiastical tribulation, and to buffet the storms of life, power, and ample wealth; and yet, from its peculiar who is not animated and cheered by the

constitution, which assigned to it a throne in every assurance, that the Saviour whom he loves, tion of the diocese, -- and partly the extraordinary

parish church, brought into contact with every porand in whom he finds a hiding-place from the ascendency which the episcopal station derived from wind, and a covert from the tempest, will at the character of Bishop Wilson--a prelate tolerant last receive him to himself, and, before an

and charitable, yet inflexible in the maintenance of assembled and admiring world, will bestow

his official authority, and the discipline of his church,

promoting by his unwearied personal exertions the upon him that crown of righteousness, that economical and moral, as well as spiritual improvediadem of beauty, with which they shall be ment of the people committed to his charge. adorned who shall reign with Jesus in his

“Nothing,” says Bishop Wilson, in his history of eternal kingdom ?

the island, " is more commendable than the discipline

of this church. Public baptism is never administered And now, let me ask, what effect does

but in the church, and private baptism as the rubric the anticipation of the second advent of directs. Confirmation and receiving the Lord's supper the Lord Jesus produce on

our minds ? a necessary preparation for marriage.” The bishopric Can we exclaim, in the glowing language of

was founded by St. Patrick, A.D. 447. Bishop Wilson

drew up the code of ecclesiastical constitutions, which the Psalmist, “ Let the heavens rejoice, and passed into a law in 1703. The following eulogium let the earth be glad; let the sea make a was bestowed on it by the lord chancellor King: “ If noise, and all that is therein. Let the field the ancient discipline of the Church were lost, it might

be found in all its purity in the Isle of Man." The be joyful, and all that is in it: then shall

bishop liberally contributed from his private purse to all the trees of the wood rejoice before the

the maintenance of the clergy and of the church. The Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge chapel of St. Matthew, at Douglas, was built chiefly at the earth ; with righteousness to judge the his own expense, and to the building and repairs of world, and the people with his truth.” Let

the churches he also subscribed. By him was published

the first book ever printed in the Manks language, it ever be borne in mind, that the day of the

entitled “ The Principles and Duties of Christians.” Lord will come, and may come sooner than The veneration with which bis memory is cherished is contemplated : that, as far as we are con- is unbounded. I conversed with some old people who cerned, the hour of our departure hence is to

remembered him, and with one who well recollected

his funeral —one of the most impressive scenes which us the coming of the Lord; and while it is

the island ever witnessed. His monument in the churchnow the day of grace, and the accepted time, yard of Kirk Michael is religiously preserved. let us seek to obtain, through the merits of It is the excellent practice of the Mankmen emthe Redeemer, that pardon which he will ployed in the herring-fishery, to commence and end

the day with prayers and hymns. Each crew is seen, freely bestow. He is even now waiting to

when the vessel is on the point of sailing, standing up be gracious— he is even now inviting us to with their heads uncovered for this purpose. The form come to him. Let us not delay to listen to of prayer was composed by Bishop Wilson, who also the invitation ; let us accept it, and we are introduced into the Litany a clause for the restoration safe ; let us not trust to any supposed right- Manks statute, prohibiting fishing from Saturday morn

or preservation of the resources of the sea. The old eousness of our own, to screen us from the ing till Sunday after sunset, on pain of forfeiting boats wrath of Him that shall sit on the throne of and nets, is observed; and the take of Monday is genejudgment -- a wrath to be poured out without rally superior to that of other days, in consequence of

the less previous disturbance of the fish. measure on the impenitent and on the unbe

One of the leading dispositions of the islanders, is lieving; when “our God shall come,” and not loyalty to their sovereign, and attachment to their keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, lords. and it shall be very tempestuous round about

• From Lord Teignmouth's Sketches of the Isle of Man.

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