Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Popery Revived.

108 POPERY REVIVED-Concluded from page 87. THE Church of Rome, like the Pharisees, has been justly censured for fessions and pardons are among the chief of those unwarrantable innovations; not that the ordinances themselves are reprehensible, but the venal and arbitrary manner in which they are performed. The Pope and

other persons commissioned by him, claim the right of calling the people before them, to make a thorough confession of their past sins; and after receiving a specified sum of money, pronounce their pardon and absolution. In the popular assemblies, these things are managed in the same way. When a member has transgressed, he is cited before the whole body of the people, and there directed to confess and particularize the several disgraceful and sinful actions of which he stands accused ; upon which, the people (if so disposed) signify his pardon and forgiveness. To pay money on such occasions, is not indeed the usual practice; but the beneficence must be purchased by courting the favour of the people, which is often done by means equivalent to money. This ceremony is known in the Scotch dialect, by sitting on the stool of repentance, but in New-England, from a different mode in its performance, it is called walking the holy plank, walking the broad alley, &c. The penalty for refusa ing to comply with this ordinance is the same as in the Romish Church, which is excommunication, or deprivation of all Christian privileges. In the Romish Church, however, the nature of the confession is, for the good of society, kept a profound secret ; whereas, in this latter mode of confession, in open day and before a promiscuous congregation, many sins are revealed, in which others are implicated, which gives rise to a variety of jealousies and suspicions, very injurious to the peace of the community. And it often happens, that in these public confessions, things are related, which, for the honour of human nature and the preservation of virtue, ought never to be published to the world. Upon a fair comparison, therefore, it appears that the subject of confessions and pardons is carried to as great and as dangerous an extreme, by the sovereignty of the people, as by the papal hierarchy.

Works of supererogation are those acts of superabundant goodness, which it is thought, a person may perform, over and above what his duty requires. This is considered by the Church of Rome, as a species of stock, which may be transferred from its original proprietor, to the benefit of others who have been wanting in their duty. The name of this pretended excellence is, among all Protestants, deservedly held in the greatest abhorrence ; yet it is to be la mented, that some of them have introduced something very like it, under a different appellation, The Papists represent the Father of mercies to be so in: different about the concerns of his creatures, or so far above the knowledge of their necessities, that one's case cannot be successfully laid before him, without the aid of human mediators. For that purpose, they address some departed saint, who for his supposed works of supererogation on earth, is thought to have great interest in the court of heaven. The modern Papists canonize no-saints but the living; whose virtue, faith, and piety are often called to the assistance of those, who have not enough of their own. A palpable instance of this kind appears in their mode of baptisın.' Children being in their opinion so very obnoxious and hateful in the sight of God, that they deem them inadmissible into his kingdom upon earth, or unworthy of being received into covenant with God, by baptisin, unless it be through favour of another's righteousness. When an infant is presented to receive the seal of the covenant, this question is immediately asked :-On whose account is this child to be baptized? The father, if he is in full communion and has complied with all the rites and ordinances which the regulations of that society have enjoined upon the saints, replies, that he wishes it to be baptized on his account. Should he have been deficient in any of these particulars (which is often the case ;) sliould it appear, that he has, in any former period of his life, committed a fault within the cognizance of the society, for which he has not suffered the penance of a public confession and obtained pardon of the people; or should it in any wise be found, that his accounts with heaven are so situated as to leave no balance of grace in his favour ; he then makes no pretensions of this sort on his in account, but challenges the privilege on the score of his wife, And should

104

Saored Criticism. there be no like objection against her, thé baptisín is administered. Should the state of her account however be disputed and her order protested, the unfor: tunate infant must remain unbaptized; unless other relatives or friends, who have obtained better credit, have compassion enough (and they are sometimes allowed) to have the ordinance performed on their account. These regulations indeed are various in ditferent places, but a very considerable number of them, agree in the mode here described.. And will any body deny, that this harmoniously corresponds with the monkish doctrine of supererogation ?

In the doctrine of predestination and election, the inother and daughter most lovingly agree ; it originated with the one and was thence inherited by the other.

The parallel might be extended further and drawn closer; this however may afford a specimen of the similitude between these two hierarchies, although they disclaim all fellowship and relation. To draw their portrait at full length, might render the proof of their consanguinity still more evident and convincing ; yet these heads perhaps may preserve the family complexion, until more general and perfect work shall render them useless. A mutual advantage might be made by this similitude of features ; for by looking at each other as through a mirror, they might respectively behold their own deformity. And it were to be wished that, since their hatred for each other is so great, they might be less pleased with thiemselves, after being assured how much they are alike.

M. C.

[ocr errors]

SACRED CRITICISM.: PARALLEL BETWEEN SARAH AND MARY. NARAH.-Gen, chap. xviii. ver, 9.-And They said unto Abraham, whëre

is SARAH thy wife? And Abraham said, behold in the tent. And JekoVah said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life ; and lo, SARAH thy wife shall bear a son. And SARAH heard it in the tent-door, which was behind him.-Verse 11-Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and weil stricken in age.—Verse 12—Therefore Sarah laughed within herself.Verse 13–And Jehovah said unto Abraham, wherefore, did SARAH laugh, saying, shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old ?--Verse 14— Is any thing: too hard for JEHOVAH? At the time appointed' I will retorn unto thee accord.ing to the time of life, and SARAH shall have a son.-Verse 15—Then SARAH denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And Jehovah said, nay, but thou (didst) shalt laugh. That the rendering ought to be shalt is evident from chapter xxi. ver. 6. And SARAH said, “ God hath made me to laugh ;. let all that hear it laugh with me.”. It was joy to all the earth.

MARY.–St. Luke chap. i. ver. 28—And the Angel said unto MARY, Hail thou that art highly favoured, JEHOVAH is with thee ; blessed art thou among women.--Verse 29—And when she saw Him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind, what manner of salutation this should be.Verse 30—And the ANGEL said unto her, fear not MARY: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the HIGHEST ; and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.-Verse 34--Then said MARY unto the ANGEL, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Verse 35-And the Angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy (thing) being which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age ; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God noiling shall be impossible.-Verse 38–And Mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word. --Verse 46-And Mary said, my soul doth magnify the LORD ; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my SAVICUR.--For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden : for, behold, froin henceforth all generations shall call me bless

On Family Worship.

ios ed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things ; and holy is his name.

-And his mercy is on them that fear him, from generation to generation.He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the ime agination of their hearts.--He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.--He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in rés membrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

[To be continued.]

POR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,

OF FAMILY WORSHIP.

CHE duty and necessity of family worship will appear very important when

we attend to its consequences. If we do not let our children and de pendants see that we actually attend upon the duty of prayer, by performing it in their presence, they will be apt to suspect that we do not attend to it at all. Of our private devotions, they know nothing; and if we are ever so punctual in obedience to the injunction of our Lord, to "enter into our closet, and pray to him who seeth in secret," it will have no influence upon them. Every possible care ought to be taken to render our children virtuous and religious. I his of family worship, I am fully

, persuaded, is one of the most effectual means. When children see one whom they highly reverence and respect as a parent, soliciting the pardon of God, for failings and imperfections; and at the same time endeavouring to keep all his ordinances blameless; the idea of prophaneness and immorality will strike them with horror. To take the name of God in vain, to whom their superiors offer up their most devout supplications, will hardly be practicable ; to disobey, his plain commands, will hardly be possible. Parents who neglect "this important duty may expect to see but little religion in their families; and when their children fall into vicious practices they may take a very considerable part of the blame upon themselves. Vice, like the weeds in our fields and gardens, grows without cultivation. The tender plant of virtue will thrive only when it is carefully tended. Upon young minds example operates much more powerfully than precept, and the reason is, that they reverence their parents, and even manhood, more than manhood reverences any other of the distinctions of life. This is the great spring that gives force to example ; and parents are most happily in the possession of it. With what gratitude then should they look up to God, who has invariably given them this influence, and teach their children the adoration due to the great Parent of the universe? This obligation must forcibly, operate upon every person, See a family of children, showing every mark of reverential

love and repect to their parents for providing them only with food, and raiment--and does the parent receive so much homage for so small favours conferred by himself; and will he not openly in the face of his children show his love and reverence toward Him who gave being to both, who maketh the exepings and the mornings to rejoice over then, and who feeds them both by his bounty?

Public worship has erer been considered as one of the greatest means of keeping up a sense of religion in the world. But the neglect of family prayer tends, in a great measure, to diminish and hinder its happy etiects among men. When families are not taught to join in domestic worship, they will hardly be persuaded to believe that the great object of assembling in church is to join in the worship of God. Their consciences will therefore be satisfied with trifling excuses for absenting themselves from public worship, or vain and wicked motiyes may lead them there, and thus all the purposes for which it was instituted, may be frustrated. This ipdeed may be the case, where family worship is practised. But we should be careful to use every mean in our power of gire ing our children reverence and respect for public worship; and this can be done only by letting them know the nature and importance of devotion and of religious instruction. Without this the preacher labours under a very great disadvantage; and the morals and salvation of youth are greatly in danger,

[graphic]

100

A succinct history of baptisni. shall conclude with observing, that no man can excuse himself by pleading the want of ability to perform this duty with decency and propriety, when the Church has put forms into our hands for this purpose, and the Prayer Book, as well as the Bible, is a constant witness against

every one who lives in tha habitual neglect of family prayer, which is confessedly a great means of salvae fion to himself, his children, and dependants, ows viquis is nisl si disco

1996., K ****2 0,2 LETO o vise stii 48 169 146 14+41'5444

A SUCCINCT HISTORY OF BAPTISM,

AS CELEBRATED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH.
CĦAP. 20.-Of the Mutter of Raptism';' wkti a short account of those who

rejected or corrupted the administration of it by water. THOUGH the Church always esteenied Baptism as a diviše institution,

yet there were sects and heresies in the earliest ages who contemned it and either wholly or in part rejected or corrupted it.

Among those were the Ascodruta, a sort of Gnostics, who assérted, that divine mysteries, being the images of invisible things, were not to be perform

ed by visible things; nor incorporeal things by sensible and corporeal. They therefore i

never baptized any of their sect; their redemption they said, was the knowledge of all things.

The Marcosian heretics acted upon the same principle; some of them main taining spiritual redemption by knowledge aloue, whilst others held a sort of baptism, but invented strange forns of their own; of which we shall treat in the next chapter. This sect nad for its founder Marcostan the son of a bishop of Sinope on the Euxine sea, in the second century. Being excommunicated by his father, he espaused the notions of various heretics of that period, and adding to them several peculiarities

of his own, became the head of a party. Irenæus gives the same account of the Valentinians--that some of them rejected and others corrupted baptisen, as the Marco.ians did Valentine, the founder of this sect, was an Egyptian and educated at Alexandria. Aspiring to a bishoprick, but being disappointed, he set himself up as head of a sect, corrupting the Christian doctrine, and introducing a doctrine similar to that of the Ghostics. The rise of the Valentinians was in the time of Adrian, in the year of our Lord 143.

SY. NO 79120 Tertullian brings a similar charge against one Quintilla, a woman preacher at Carthage, who denounced water baptism Teless, pleading that faith alone was sufficient to save men, as it saved Abrahain, who pleased God without any other sacrament, Lou Another sect of these that the world was made not by God supreme,

seismatico de called ile Archontier et beg taught of the universe. The rulers who

created the

world, according to their system were many, one ab

above another, under one chief, to whom they gave the name of Sabaoth, and in his The Seluccians and

it and the eucharist'as foreign inštitutions, savar

it was not the baptisin instituted by Christ : because St. John the you with the Holy Glost and with fire, >>> I&. such * baptism they imagined was more suitable to the nature of the soul, which they taught consisted of tire and spirit. And therefore, by some 'means, when they went down into the water to baptize, they made fire to appear upon the surface of the water; and this they called baptism by fire beno)

lo his owsills The Maníchees also ligd that baptizing in water was of no efficacy to salvation, and therefore despisedoit, as St. Augustine (about the year 390) informs us. This heresy afterward split into two seets, one of which, called the Pauticians, taught that the word of the gospel was baptism, because our Lord to said, I am the living ruter, and therefore no other baptism was required of

men. Yet they sometimes brought their chwaren to be baptized in the apostolic manner, from an opinion that both baptism and the sign of the cross were of some advantage as an amaietor charın to prevent or cure diseases of the body.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

1

107

Dialogue between a Clergyman and one of his Parishioners, To these 'sects rejecting baptism, we may add the Mosšalians or Euchites, ho had their name from the Syriac word inetsalak or from the Greek Euchi prayer, because they resolved all religion

into prayer. They did not however wholly reject baptism, but denied the principal part of its spiritual efficacy.

They owned that baptism granted remission of sins past, but gave no additional strength from the spirit to withstand sin for the future. They maintained that neither baptism nor the eucharist could give a man the perfection of a Christian, but only such progress as they defined. From this account of the Euchites, it appears that they were neither anabaptists nor quakers.

About the middle of the eighth century there was a decree made by Pope Stepben the second, that if an infant is baptized in wine instead of water, in case of necessity, it is no crime and the baptism shall stand good.”-But against this St. Ambrose and many others are positive and say, “ if water is taken away, the sacrament of baptism cannot stand. [To be continued.]

your lot.

DIALOGUE BETWEEN A CLERGYMAN AND ONE OF HIS PARISHIONERS:

Continued from page 63. fleroyman. Godectwarning Mr. Bow I am glad to see you ; your

expected visit to me has been long delayed in conse quence of your excursion to the westward. I hope you have experienced a good providence during the time of your absence from home, PARISHTONER. I have, thank God, been graciously preserved "all the while, and he hath made my journey prosperous, by opening a way for ine to provide better in those new countries, than I can do here ; and as my views are, to remove soon with my family, I wish to have all the instruction from , that I can obtain before I

go. you

C_Though I shall regret the being deprived of so valuable a parishioner, yet I shall comfort myself with the thoughts, that you will carry the true prins ciples of the gospel along with you, and that your family will in some measure resemble that of the Father of the faithful, in preserving and disseminating the knowledge of God and his Church wherever Providence may

order P.-I thank you, Sir; for your good opinion of me, and by God's help will do all that I can to preserve the faith once delivered to the saints, pure and udmixed. But as have a prospect of settling in a part of the world which is at a great distance from any Church, but preachers of every other denomination in abundance round about ; as a case of conscience I wish to have your solution of it--whether we may not occasionally, attend their exercises, and thereby keep the younger part of my family in the habit of going to public worship? I confess-iny scruples in adopting this method--but pray give me your opinion.

C. The case is as clear as noan day. He that is not with ye is against usHe that gathereth not with us scattereth.---The primitive Christians continued. steadfast in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers. The persons here spoken of were steadfast, unmoreable, always abounding in the work of the Lord they were no half-way Christians, the good confession which they had made at tñeir baptism--they were not asham. ed nor afraid to confess before many brethren. This record of their conduct is made for our instruction, and for that of every member of the Church to the end of the world ; and accordingly we pray in the prayer for all conditions of men, that "all who profess and call themselres Christians, may be led into the way of truth and hold the faiih in unity of spirit, in the bord oj peuce, and in righteousness of life. In this petition unity of spirit is evidently placed before the bond of peace and righteousness of life, to teach us that without it there can be neither bond of peace nor righteousness of life.--In the cominunion of fice we pray.", Almighty and everliving God, &c.and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people, &c. And we most humbly beseech thee, O Heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fel:

« ZurückWeiter »