Imatges de pÓgina
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Mast. Why is there in the latter end mention made of the glory of God?

Scho. To teach us to conclude all our prayers with praises of God, for that is the end whereunto all things ought to be referred, that issue ought always to be set before the eyes of us Christians, for all our doings and our thoughts to reach unto, that God's honour be most largely amplified and gloriously set out to sight; howsoever yet among men, in whose hearts Christian religion is not settled, there is scarce any one found, that for his enterprises attempted and perils adventured, desireth not glory as a reward of his deeds and virtues, which yet as not true and sound glory, but vain show and boasting, the Lord vehemently and earnestly commandeth them that be his to eschew.

REFORMATIO LEGUM, &c.

Of Sacraments.

How these Things are to be proceeded in. Chap. 10.

We include the forms of all these offices in one Book which expressly treats of ecclesiastical ceremonies. From this Book we will that the mode of administration in each of these matters shall respectively be taken.

Of Divine Offices.

What Things are commonly to be observed in all Churches. Chap. 16.

A diligent caution is always to be observed in every kind of Church, as well in the families of noblemen, as in the public places of worship in which the sacred offices are performed, lest any thing should be done contrary to the prescribed rule and formularies of that Book, written in the vulgar tongue, which we have ordained to be the proper and perfect law and guide with respect to all divine services. Whosoever shall offend in this particular shall bear the punishment assigned by the sentence of the ecclesiastical judges according to the magnitude of his offence. But if there should be any unoccupied time over and above that which is appointed for divine service, let it be employed in the visitation and consolation of the weak, the sick, and the afflicted of every description, and in other similar charitable offices. To these may be added, instruction of servants, acts of discipline, and study-in short, let the partition of time on holy days be such as that common affairs may give place to meditation and converse regarding things sacred and divine.

PART III.

CHAPTER I.

Of the State after Death, the Resurrection, and the last Judgment.

SECTION I.

When the sentence of mortality to which the sin of Adam subjected himself and his posterity, is executed on us; and our bodies, which during the present life are in the power of the soul that animates them, return unto the dust from which they sprung;-when death has put a period to the first state of our existence, which, though enduring only for a short, uncertain time, is that on which eternity depends;-when all the aids and privileges and blessings which we have derived from the free grace of God, from our election into the number of his favoured children, are now to be consummated, if we have employed them in working out our own salvation, or to be withdrawn, if they have been so abused, as to aggravate the guilt they were mercifully intended to remove;-when we have arrived at the end of that conflict in which we were to strive for the mastery, and of that course in which we were to run the race that was set before us;-when

death has closed upon us the scene of our probation, and the prospect beyond the grave is opened to our view;-when the day of repentance and good works is for ever passed, the night come in which no man can work, and our fate in futurity irrevocably fixed: -then our disembodied souls shall live in a state of consciousness and perception, of enjoyment, or of suffering, subject neither to a temporary annihilation nor oblivious sleep, nor to penal inflictions as preparatory to a state of happiness and perfection, after the restoration of the body. According to the revelation afforded us in Scripture on this subject, the intermediate state of existence commencing at the moment of dissolution, and continuing till the great and terrible day of the Lord come, shall be either happy or miserable in proportion as the life we have led has been righteous or wicked, and in the measure in which we have proved ourselves to be true disciples of the Saviour of the world, or have by our words and works denied the Lord who bought us. The souls of those who are the heirs of salvation shall go at once into heaven-an abode of blessed spirits,—into Paradise, and be with Christ; and the souls of the reprobate, of those who have been faithless and disobedient, shall remain in hell, a place of torment, with the devil and his angels, till the appointed time arrive for their bodies to be restored to existence, in order that both soul and body may from thenceforth endure the threatened penalties of obduracy and impenitence.

§ 2. On a day known only to God, and fore-ordained by him for the accomplishment of his righteous purposes, the end of the world shall come-and time shall be no more. Then shall be effected a General Resur

rection of the dead, and a re-union of the bodies of those who have lived and died since the creation of the world, with the souls which tenanted them in this mortal life. The wicked, no less than the just, shall rise again; though the consequences of their resurrection shall be widely different.

§ 3. To establish the certainty of the general Resurrection at the last day,—an article of the Christian's faith and hope not inferior in importance to any other tenet of his creed, it is necessary to have recourse to Scripture; for though reason acknowledge its probability, she does not by any means instruct us clearly in this mysterious fact. It is a doctrine, properly, of revelation, alluded to, and occasionally asserted, in the Old Testament, but expressly and authoritatively affirmed in the New.

From Scripture we learn the nature of the primeval promise, which would be nugatory unless death were utterly abolished;-from Scripture we gain a knowledge of the covenant of God, which stipulates, that whosoever believeth in the Son shall be raised up at the last day and have eternal life;-from Scripture we obtain the assurance, that Christ is the Redeemer of the body as well as of the soul, even as he is Lord of both;-from Scripture we receive the record of Jesus having himself broken the bonds of death, thereby affording us, in his own resurrection, a pledge of his power and will to accomplish ours, and actually becoming the first fruits of them that sleep ;-in Scripture we contemplate the justice of God, which requires that the rewards of the good, and the punishments of the bad, should affect the body as well as the soul in a future life;-by Scripture we are convinced

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