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Lecture on the Church Catechismt. the same principle, had we been born in Asia, we should have been Mahometans ; or had Providence placed us among the Savage nations, our religion had been Paganism. But it is one thing to be called a Christian, and to prodess a religion because it happens to be the religion of our country, and quite another thing to be a Christian according to the spirit and tenor of the Chris tian dispensation. In the one case we may indeed deceive men; but God, it is to be remombered, knows at all times them that are his. The picture of a inan is not a man, seitser is the form of Christianity the substance of it.
The foundation stone inust be weil laid. Children must be trained up in the way they should go, they must be taught what it is to be Christians, if we hope they should ever becomie such. With this view, the custom of catechising was originally introduced into the Christian Church ; the end designed to be answered by it being to instruct, and establish all baptized persons in the principles of that religion which they profess; that they may be built up in waar most holy faith and be made wise unto salvation.
Those who take upon themselves any engagement, must be satisfied that they ought to take the first opportunity of making then selves acquainted withi the conditions of it; otherwise it is not to be expected triat they should' ohserve it. The engagement by which as Christians you are held bound, and upon the fulfillment of which your everlasting salvation depends ; was taken upon you when admitted into the Church of Christ by baptism. To make you acquainted with the conditions oi' this engagement is the design of our Church Catechism, which is accordingly well calculated for this purpose. When you know the meaning of that solemn promise made to God in your baptism, you will then be able to judge in what manner you have kept it ; for keep it you must, if you expect to be happy. That you may have a right understanding this subject, is the design of these Lectures, that you may beco:ne Christians, not in name and profession only, but in deed and in truth,
By the word Catechisin, is generally understood, a short instruction by way of question and answer ; and by the Church Catechism, that particular :struction necessary to be learned and understood by every person who is baplized, before he comes to the Bishop be confirmed. This instruction the Church to which you belong has wisely provided for the use of her young members, that they might become acquainted with the things necessary for 1hem to kawir, in order to their being saved from everlasting misery. These iliings inay be reduced ta two general leads :--First, the knowledge of the gospel covenant. The knowledge and proper use of the means of grace.-, The word covenant, in the general sense of it, signifies an a greement wherebyi two parties are bound to each other upon certain conditions. The first cove: Dant, commonly cuiled the covenant of works, God made with Adam in. Baractise. The conditions of it were, that man should possess life and happiness upon his performing perfect obedience to the law of his Maker. This cores, Küsit being broken by Idan's wilful transgression, it pleased God to enter into a second covenant with him. This covenant, distinguisired by the title of the cuvenant of grace, or mercy through Jesus Christ, God made with Adam immediately after his tall. By virtue of which covenant, Gol, on his part, proinises to van a pardon, grace to enable him to fultil his duty, and eternal life alter death. Man in order to secure to himself the performance of these conditions, promises, on his part, an hearty repentance of past sins, a lively faith in God's mercy threrga Christ, and an earnest endeavour to keep God's commandments for the time to come. Such are the conditions of that covenant under which Christians now live, and in consequence of which they become members oi Christ, children of God, and inlieritors of the kingdom of heaven. This covenant, by way of distinction, is called the gospel covenant ; or the covenant of gou news to fallen man ; because it holds forth to him the terms, or conditions upon which he may become forever happy. By means of grace, you are to understand those meåns which God has appointed to convey his Srace to 115. br the grace of Gad, you are to understand the assistance of God, the blessings of his spirit, vich is freely and graciously bestowed upon man for the purpose of enabling him to do those good things which he would not olderie be able to do; and to avoid those evil courses which he must atherwise i cessarily fall listii ---- By the grace of God, says St. Paul, lan what i am." Andine same past de said by every man who calls himse if a Catand. The truth or Cirist being made perfect in our weakness.
Of Justification by Faitle: Since the grace of God is so necessary for you, that you cannot possibly do ány good thing without it, it becomes a matter of the first importance with you to know by what means this grace is to be obtained. The instruction which qur 'Church recommends to your attention under the name of a Catechism, is intended to give Christians the necessary information upon this subject. This Catechism instructs you in the nature of the gospel covenant; it acquaints you with the conditions necessary to be observed as yow part of that covenant, in order that you may be entitled to the performances of those promises which God has been graciously pleased to make to you on his part. It also point's out to you, and teaches you how to make a proper use of those nieans of grace, by which God has appointed to convey to you that spiritual assistance, by which alone you are enabled to fulfil any part of your duty; so that from this little short introduction duly, attended do, you will know every thing which as Christians you must know, in order that : ou may be saved.' May God give us all grace, to see the Catechism in this light; in which case we shall be very thanktul to Almighty God, for having brought us into a Church which has thus wisely provided for the instruction of lier members. And when this Catechism is put into our hands, and we are told from time to time that we must learn it, understand it, and be directed by it, if we wish to please God and be happy; it will in a great measure be our own faults, if we do not become good. Christians. To be continued.]
OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.
-Concluded from No. 2. page 26..
portebiet in de N two respects it is strictly true that a man is not justified by works, or by
The scriptures have concluded all under sin.” No one therefore can claiın eternal life from the merits of his own obedience,-His own works will condemn him. God in bis wisdom has appointed the mediation of Jesus Christ as the only way for fallen man to pardon and life. are lost upon the ground of our own works, Christ has proposed to us salvation upon another and better foundation ; the merits of his own mediation. As is would be totally inconsistent with the purity and holiness of God's nature to propose salvation on any other condition than that of a righteous and godly life; so the gospel still requires of the Christian purity both in thought and deed. Here we may see the reason that we are required to work out our own salvation, though Christ has died to atone for our sins. He has redeemed us from that law wnich it was no longer possible for us to fulfil, and has given us new laws of his own which may easily be performed by every one.
« Niy yoke is essy" - ne says_my buthenlight." His law is no less.pure than that first giver to Adam ;--as pure indeed as God liimself is pure (and no other indeed could be give) and yet, wonderfel to tell, it is a law which will save sinners !--a law pieh admits of pardon for sius, past upon the condition of repentance and faitir. in the merits of Christ ; a law or system in which “mercy and truth are met togetier ; righteousness and peace have kissed each other!" Faith is the principie on which we are justified, because we have no nerits of our own; but still faith itself is acceptable no farther than it producesobedience tothe laws of Christ; who died not to excuse our obedience to his own laws,-it would be nonsense to suppose it; but to render that obedience ellectual to our salvation.
Nor are Christians “justitied by the deeds of the law” given to Israel as a congregation. The ordinances of that law looked forward to Christ " who sly-uld conie." When he had come and fulfilled the significancy of every ordinance, it expired of course, as no longer proper; and to regard it after, was in ellect a denial that Christ had come. Tience he tras nf no eject to those 1!nder the law, through, want of faith and submission to God's righteousness. This matter is fully explained in the epistles to the Romans and Gallatians.
Fçoin this viçw of the subject, you may see too, that there is no manner of disagreement between the apostles taul and James, respecting justification by faith. St. Pani slows the vanity of trusting in works, as they stand opposed, to faith and works by; and through which men espect to be justified for their own merits; as the Jews did from thcirobservance of the Mosaic law, and the Gentiles for their moral viitue. He siews that both will be ipsusticient with
An idea of the word Church. out an interest in Christ, who alone can atone for those sins of which all are guilty.
On the other hand, St. James speaks of works wrought through faith, or such works as the gospel requires of its professors. Of course what the one includes in the single word furth, the other expresses by two words faith and works. “Seeth thou,” he says, “how faith wrought with Abraham's works; and by works was faith made perfect." St. Paul illustrates his argument by the saine example, and shows the Jews that the merits of Abrahan's offering his son, consisted in /is belief of God's word and obedience to his command, and not from any goodness in the work itself; for if he had done the same deed of his own accord, to claim merit to himself, like those who offered their seed to Moloch, it would have been sinful-would have been his own selfrighieousness. By this he would shew us that no works are profitable unto salvation any farther than they are a submission to the will of God. Whilst St. James produces the same example to shew the necessity of actually submitting to God's will, and doing those works which he has ordained for us to walk in, which if we do not our faith is vain. One of them tells us that what alone renders our works acceptable to God, is their conformity to his will ;whilst the other with equal truth informs us that except we do thus conform to his will we shall not be accepted. Where then is their contradiction? They are perfectly consistent, and between them teach us to avoid two dangerous extreines :-teach us neither to trust to our own works, nor neglect those which God requires of us :-teach us that faith is not given to excuse our doing good works ; but to enable us to do such works and such only as are pleasing in God's sigis. St. Paul teaches us to trust in God only through the merits of Christ, in opposition to all who are inclined to rely on the merits of the outward deed: wbilsi St. James warns us of the danger of making that trust an excuse for neglecting our duty, in answer to those who thought that their faith would save them without any Christian work.
And from both apostles we learn this very important truth in practical religion ; that they who sincerely endeavour to live as the gospel directs, and to obey the precepts of Jesus Christ, cannot, generally speaking, be guilty of trusting in their own merits. The reason of this is obvious; as all the ordinances oi the gospel are founded upon, and refer us to the redemption of Jesus Christ; so are they the best and indeed the only evidence we can give that we Jook unto him alone for salvation :—that we put no trust or confidence in ourselves. Thus for example, if we receive his sacraments, what is it on our part but the most solemn declaration that we durst not trust in ourselves ? That we look unto him alone, who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification? When the Christian prays it is through the name of Christ as the only prevailing intercessor. fie presumes to ask nothing in his own name, but tumbly acknowledges his own unworthiness. In a word, every Christian duay is founded upon the idea of man's insufficiency to merit salvation, and there jore when you strive as the gospel directs to work out your own salvation, you give the best, liie strongest evidence that you depend not upon your own works.
FOR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
AN IDEA OF THE WORD CHURCH. First. T'ense denote SHURCH, uliof the original; Ecclesia) in its primary that God called Adam from among the trees of Eden ; and in the gospels, Christ tells his disciples, and in them all faithful followers, I hare called you <:ut of the torld; and the same idea is continued, and denotes a regularly constituted family, of which Christ is both the Redeemer and Lord.
Second. This word frequently implies the Church universal or Catholic; the whole body of the faithful spread over the face of the earth. Irenæus and Origen frequently mention the Church under heaven. Polycarp, at the hour of his martyrdoní prayed for the Catholic Church ; and Dionysius Alexandrinus stiles the persecuting Emperor Marcian, a warrior against the Catholic Ghurch of God
Dialogue between a Clergyman, and his Parishioner. Third. This word frequently denotes a particular Church, or company of Believers, (Cætus fidelium) who at one time, and at one and the same place, associate together, and unanimously concur in the participation of all the institutions and ordinances of Jesus Christ with their proper pactors or ministers. Thus Irenæus mentions the Church which is in any place ; Euseb. lib. 2. lib. 56.And Dionysius Alexandrinus writes that when he was banished to Cephro, in Lybia, there came so many Christians to him, that even there he had a Church. Tertullian thinks that three are sufficient to constitute a Church. # Ubi trés, ibi Ecclesia.” Exhort. ad Castitat. p. 457.--In this sense we are to understand the Church of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Smyrna, Athens, or the Church in any other place whatever, assembled as a congregation with one heart and one mouth to offer up their appointed sacrifice of prayer and praise, according to their several liturgical forms and usages.
Fourth: This word is used by Cyprian to denote the aggregate or collection of many Churches ; (Ephs. vii. 1.) The Church of God in Numidia. The Church of God in Africa, &c.
Fifin. This word sometimes denotes the places of public worship, whether parochial, or domestic. In the writings of St. Paul, we read of the latter, the Church which is in thy house. And Clemens Alexandrinus exhorts, that all persons should, with all modesty and humility, enter into the Church.-And St. Paul interrogates the irregular Christians of Corinth, saying, what ! have ye not houses to eat and to drink in, despist ye the Church of God, &c.
Sixtk. This word principally respects what is commonly called the visible, but it frequently, occurs for the invisible Church, the spiritual kingdon of God within all those, who by their union with their blessed Redeemer, continually live by faith and not by sight, looking for and hastening unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory to eternal life. In this sense we may understand Tertullian, when he says that Christ had espoused the Church, and there was a spiritual marriage between him and her. "And Irenxus says, that the Church was fitted and framed according to the form or model nf the Son of God.-Others of the fathers use this word in the very same sense ; and our Church in like manner confesses her belief in the invisible communion of Saints.
Seventh. This word likewise frequently denotes the faith and doctrine of the Church. Thus Irenæus prays, that the heretics might be reclaimed and conwerted to the Church of God; and exhorts Christians not to follow heretics, but adhere to the Church.
Lastly. The common acceptation of the word Church, in its primary and spostolical intention, is, that of a particular congregation, whether great or small; that is, a society of Christians meeting together in unity and love, with one heart and one sout, and in one place, under their proper pastor or minister regularly and Episcopally ordained (by virtue of a commission given to the priesthood, by our Lord himself, the chief bishop of our souls) for the performance of religious worship, and the exercise of Christian discipline, &c.
ye into all the world and preach the gospelto every creature, &c. was the original indefeasible charter invested in the bands of the apostles, and by anel from them, conveyed to all those, that shall ever be sent (lineally and succes sively sent) upon the same important errand ; such governors of the Churcht, maintain, as far as they can, its antient spirit, as well as form, together wilt: its undoubted rights and privileges.
Continued from No. 2. page 30.
A Dialogue betwecu a Clergyman, and his Parishioners C.--" I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual gracok riven unto us ; ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof." So that'there are two parts in a sacrament, an outward and visible sign. Something that you can see, and something signified which you cannot see ; that is, "an inward and spiritual grace,” which God gives to us. And this outward and visible sign, is instituted and ordained by Christ himself, as a means by which we receive this inward and spiritual grace; it is the instrument by and through which the grace of God is conveyed to the souls of men. And moreover this outward and visihle sign, is as a pledge to assure us of that inward' grace; that is, we are as sure to receive this inward and spiritual graee, if qualified as Christ requires, as sure as we make use of the outward and visible means. And since it is the rame all gracious Redeemer who instituted the outward and visible sign, who is to bestow the inward and spiritual grace ; the duly partaking of the outward sign- must needs be as a pledge to assure us that we shall receive that inward and spiritual grace; that he will by the power of his spirit, though in a manner unknown to us, convey and confirm to us in baptism ; and convey and eonfirm in the Lord's supper, to every worthy receiver thereof, the divine grace signitied thereby, according to his most true promise. Thus for instance, in the sacrament of baptism there are two things : First, the outward and visible sign or forin, which is “ water wherein the person is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” instituted by Christ. --Secondly, the inward and spiritual grace, which is a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness; for being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby made the children of grace.' Here the outward and visible sign, or the being baptized in the manner and form prescribed by our blessed Saviour, is the means by which the party, baptized (if rightly qualified by faith and repentance) receives the grace of having all his actual sins forgiven, and the sin of Adain so far as he is concerned. A to tle to the holy spirit, as being the life of that body of which he is thereby made a member.—The assurance that a sincere and universal obedience to the laws of the gospel, will be accepted though it be imperfect.-And that if the person baptized should be so unhappy as to pollute his baptism by wilful sin, God will not withstanding pardon him upon sincere repentance. This outward and visible sign, is also a mean by which all infants receive the gracious benefits of being cleansed from their original pollution, of becoming members of the body of Christ, and entitled to all the benefits of his death.
P.-But Rev. sir, suffer ine here to ask, whether the death unto sin, and a. new birth unto righteousness, do not intimate the conditions, on man's part, on which he enters into covenant with God in baptism?
C.-Every one indeed who is baptized does thereby engage and stipulate, to die to: sin, and live to God: that is, to forsake sin, and live a life of obedience to the gospek. But the grace of baptism, is something bestowed and promised by God on his part, anth therefore, a death unto sin, does here signify the parcion of past sins, to him who is duly baptized: and a new birth unto rightcounless, is the pronzise of God's grace to assist the baptized person in living righteously for the time to come. For every one who is qualified (by faith and repentance) to come to baptism, and is baptized according to the institution of Christ, is actually forgiven all his past sins, is translated from a state of nature to a state of grace ; he is also obliged to die to sin and live to God ;. “ to crucify the old man, continually to mortify his evil and corrupt affections, and daily to proceed in all virtue and godliness of living." We are by nature born is sin, and children of wrath. We inherit the corrupt propensities of fallen Adam, and are therefore under the displeasure of God: but being baptized, Rre are made children of grace, our sins are forgiven, we are put under God's power, and engage to continue so, which cannot be done, but by dying to sin, and living to righieousness for the time to come; and which cannot be done by any of us, without the grace of God.
P.-i think, sir, that your observations imply so piuch as to assert that baptisni is regeneration. I wish to know whether it is so.
C.-Most certainly, in the genuine sense of regeneration, and so considered (I believe) in the articles of almost all who call themselves Christians. The Sak-brook Platforn, says, " that baptisna is a sacrament of the New Testa--.