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to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which “the Lord hath made known unto us,” even the Son of God come to visit us in great humility; and thence, with faith unfeigned, and hope immoveable, ascend in heart and mind to meet the same Son of God in the air, coming in glorious majesty, to judge the quick and dead.
And certainly, if any thing can lead men to repentance, and turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of that just One, the wisdom that maketh wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus, it must be the united considerations of his mercv and his justice : his infinite mercy during the day of grace, when all sins, that can be repented of, are forgiven unto men ; his inexorable justice at the day of retribution, when he shall infallibly render unto every man according as his work shall be.
And perhaps there is no better method of stiring up our wills to procure an interest, or of discovering the interest we already possess in the love of Christ, than by viewing in their proper colours the terrors of his judgment, as they will shew them. selves to the astonished world at that awful hour of his second Advent ; when the mask put upon false principles, and evil actions, shall drop off, and all things be estimated by the measures of Christianity, and the standard of the gospel of Jesus.
There is something wonderfully awful and affecting in the short description which the text gives of Christ's Advent to judgment. The beautiful manner, particularly, in which it is introduced, is worthy of notice. St. John having occasion to mention his dear Lord and Master, at whose command he wrote this Epistle to the Churches, fired and transported at the glorious name, runs on with amazing rapidity, enumerating the blessings of the redemption which is by him; and having carried him from his cross to his throne, and ascribed all glory to him setting upon it, immediately he sees him in the clouds, and breaks forth in the words of the text:--The whole
passage runs thus : “ John to the seven Churches, which are in Asia, grace be unto
you, and peace from him which is, and which was, and which " is to come ; and from the seven spirits which are before his “ throne ; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, " and the first begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the “kings of the earth ; unto him that loved us, and washed us “ from our sins, in his own blood, and hath made us kings and “ priests unto God and his Father; unto him be glory and do“ minion for ever and ever.-Amen.-Behold, he cometh!
“ Behold, he cometh !"-And is not this a sight most worthy of our attention ? Is it not very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should behold it? That we should open of our faith, which the bewitching cup of pleasure and yanity, mingled by a deceitful world for our destruction, has charmed to sleep? That we should“ lift up our heads, and look up, to see our redemption drawing nigh ?” For draw nigh it will, and it does, whether we consider, or not. Every evening takes a day
from the world's duration. The portion of the wicked is so much less, and the time of their punishment so much approached. The sufferings of the patient so much diminished, and their hopes of deliverance so much increased. Nay, every clock that strikes bids us recollect, that the promise of Christ has then received an additional force ; “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.”
" He cometh," indeed! But how changed! How different his appearance, from what it once was ! How shall we be able to conceive of it as it deserves, to raise our thoughts from the voice of the tender babe in the manger, bewailing our sins that brought him thither, to the voice of the Son of God, from which the heavens and the earth shall fly away, and no place be found for them any more for ever! Yet so it is—Behold, he who came in swadling clothes, cometh with clouds. He who came to preach the day of salvation, cometh again to proclaim the day of vengeance. He who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, leads his ten thousands to the prey, as the lion of the tribe of Judah.--He who cried not, nor lifted up his voice against his enemies upon earth, thunders with the glorious voice of his excellency against them from heaven. He who never brake a bruised reed rules the nations with a rod of iron, and breaks them in pieces like a potter's vessel. He who quenched not the smoking flax, extinguishes the great lights of the world; darkens the sun, and turns the moon into blood ; commands the stars from their stations, and the dead from their graves; shakes the powers of heaven, and the foundations of the earth, and all hearts, that are not fixed on him.
The trumpet sounds, and he is coming! The everlasting gates of heaven, which lifted up their heads for the King of Glory to enter in, are again lifted up; and behold the procession that comes forth of them, descending to this lower world, as it is described by one who saw it in vision. " I saw heaven opened, “ and beheld a white horse, and he that sat upon him, was call
ed faithful and true," the accomplisher of all his promises ;“and in righteousness he doth judge” the world, " and make “ war" against all that oppose him. “ His eyes were as a flame 166 of fire,”
discerning and destroying the counsels of his adversaries; “ and on his head were many crowns ;" all the kingdoms of this world were become his ; "and he had a name written, “that no man knew, but he himself," the ineffable name of the divine essence. 66 And he was clothed with a vesture dipt in "blood," the garment of vengeance.
66 And his name, by which he is known to men, “ is called The Word of God. And " the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white hor“ses," attending him in his glory, clothed“ in fine linen white " and clean,” which is the righteousness of saints.
" And out " of his mouth goeth a sharp sword," namely, his holy word ; " that with it he should smite the nations. And he shall rule
" them,” that have rejected the golden sceptre of mercy,“ with
rod of iron. And he treadeth the vine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his ves"ture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND “ LOPD OF LORDS."-Bishop HORNE.
A GUIDE TO THE CHURCH.
ly misunderstood, and so little attended to, as that in which we are taught to profess our belief of the Holy Catholic Church : and the mistakes and inattention so prevalent with regard to this important article, are the more to be regretted, as the hurtful consequences arising from this unhappy cause are daily increasing, and in their very nature tend to confusion and every evil work.—That the Church of Christ, as founded by Him, the blessed " Author and Finisher of our Faith,” was intended to be an outward and visible Society, like a City set on an hill,” clearly distinguished, and regularly governed, is evident from the account given of it in the New Testament, and the manner in which it was extended over the kingdoms of the world, agreeably to the plan and directions which the Apostles received from their Lord for that purpose. In subsequent ages, however, numberless deviations from the original plan have unhappily taken place ; and there is nothing about which mankind appear at present to be more divided in opinion, than with respect to those points of Christian Duty, which necessarily flow from, and are connected with, the nature and constitution of the Christian Church. From the absurd, unscriptural idea of one earthly, supreme, infallible head, as the centre of unity to the whole of Christendom, many have revolted with such abhorrence of Papal supremacy, as has driven them beyond all the bounds of order and regularity, and made them
despise every principle, and renounce every tye, by which the Church, as a society, can be held together, in due subordination to those who derive their authority, as its spiritual governors, from its only supreme infal. lible Head in Heaven. It must, therefore, be a matter of the highest importance, to discover where that authority lies, that so those who acknowledge themselves bound by the Apostolic precept to obey them that have the rule over them and watch for their souls,” may know to whom that obedience is due, and what is the proper return for this spiritual benefit, so kindly provided by the great lover of souls. If he has been graciously pleased to appoint and preserve a standing Ministry in his Church, and set apart a peculiar order of men for dispensing the means of grace to his people, it is certainly the duty of all his followers to adhere to that Ministry, and shew a becoming
A Guide to the Church.
181 regard to that order which he has established.
But how can this be done, unless we are sufficiently acquainted with its arrangement, and the nature of that chain of succcession by which a regular Ministry has been handed down from the days of the Apostles to the present time? The best way of obtaining a proper knowledge of any society or establishment whatever, is to go back to its original irstitution, and observe both the purpose for which it was founded, and the plan adopted for answering that purpose.
And if such at:eation be necessary with respect to the establishments of this world, and those societies which have only temporal things for their object, it is much more so in regard to that spiritual society, established by the Redeemer of mankind, the great end of which is to keep them in mind of, and fit them for, eternal life and happiness in Heaven.
A Guide to the true Church, in its probationary state here on earth, may therefore be considered the same as a guide to that which will at last be made perfect in Heaven. And such a "Guide" every serious unprejudiced reader may find in the work now before us, which, we earnestly recommend to the attention of those who may stand in need of some instruction on those important points, which Mr. Daubeny has made the subject of this judicious and seasonable publication.—The work is divided into several discourses, and, being originally designed for private circulation in a particular parish, the author thus declares his intention, in his first or introductory discourse :
"To enable you to form some correct judgement upon this matter, it is my intention to lay before you some plain thoughts on the following important heads.-1st. On the Nature, Design, and Constitution of the Christian Church ; 2ndly, On the Sin of Schism, or a Wilful Separation from it; 3dly, On the Reasons commonly advanced to justify that separation ; and 4thly, On the Advantages attendant upon a conscientious Com. munion with the Church, together with the Disadvantages consequent upon a separation froin it. In discoursing upon these subjects, the object is to enter into them, so far only as may be deemed sufficient for the information of the parties to whom they are immediately addressed.”—In pursuance of this plan, the second Discourse opens with the following pertinent observe ation :-" To trace the Church through its several progressive stages, from its original establishment in Paradise, where the good news of a Saviour was first delivered to fallen man, through its infant condition, and days of contraction in the Ark, when it was confined to one single family, to its subsequent enlargement, in the decsendants of Abraham ; its wandering state in the wilderness, and its more complete settlement in the land of Ca. naan ; down to that fullness of time,when our Saviour came in the flesh to visit it, would lead into too wide a field. It is our happiness, and to that part of the subject our present attention is confined, that we live in that stage of the Church, which may be considered as the completion of every former dispensation.
A Guide to the Church. Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, by purging it from the corruptions, which it had contracted, and restoring its worship to that spiritual standard in which its perfection consists, has, as it were, put his finishing hand to the establishment of it, upon the · plan best calculated to secure the purpose he had in view.-It is a matter therefore of importance, that we should be particular in our observations upon this point ; because a deviation from Christ's plan, by an attempt to alter the constitution of his Church, may make it a very different thing from what it was designed to be ; and thouglı, in this case, a man may satisfy himself by calling the creature of his own imagination the Church of Christ, it certainly does not follow that it is so ; and it may be the most dangerous piece of self-imposition to call it so.”The author then proceeds to shew that the Church of Christ being a regular Society, “it must, as such, be possessed of power necessary to its own preservation: It must have its rules and orders, consequently its governors to carry these rules and or. ders into effect; and Christ being the Head, from whom alone all the benefits belonging to it are derived, the appointment of the governors, together with the rules and orders, by which this Society is to be managed and directed, must originate with, and receive its sanction from, him. For man, merely as man, can claim no rule over his fellow-creatures: Government, therefore, whether in Church or State, must look to that su. preme Disposer, from whom all power is derived, by whose authority alone the validity of its exertions can be established.The reason of the thing in this case, we shall find, upon inquiry, to be confirmed by the history of facts." These facts, with the testimonies by which they are supported, are then detailed in such a clear and distinct manner as evidently shews-“the Form of the Christian Church, after the model drawn out by the Apostles themselves, with its officers distinguished by their respective stations, the Bishop, as supreme Governor answering to the High Priest under the Law, the Presbyters and Deacons to the Priests and Lévites, as subordinate Ministers in it." • Such, then,” says our Author in the conclusion of his second discourse, " is the nature and constitution of the Church, as it was originally established by its supreme Head, from whence the Apostles, and their successors the Bishops, have derived their commission; a branch of that commission which Jesus Christ received from his Father, by virtue of which, they challenge obedience from every member of the Christian Church, as to the stewards or chief officers in that spiritual society, over which they are authorised to preside.”
This being the case, Mr. Daubeny finds no difficulty in establishing the nature of the Sin of Schism, which is the subject of his third Discourse,
“ The word translated Schism," says he, " which, in modern language, scarce seems to have an appropriate idea annexed to it, is in the original derived from a verb which signifies to cut,