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the Christian Knowledge * and the Gospel Propagation, or the Church and other Missionary, the British and Foreign Bible, the Jews, the Church Pastoral Aid, the Additional Curates, the National and other Education, the Church Building, the Prayer Book, the Colonial, the Protestant, the Reformation, the Religious Tract, the London City Mission, the Scripture Reader, the Foreign Aid, the Church Extension Fund, and all those noble and beneficent institutions that with a lesser or greater measure of human infirmity are the ornament and the safeguard of our beloved country, and make it a blessing to the whole earth. To give them an interest in these, ministers must bring their claims before them, and thus at once we shall enlarge their minds, call forth the best affections of their hearts, and raise them out of the miserable atmosphere of selfishness and dependance, into the noble character of those benefactors who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Such are some of the requisites of the faithful minister which I gather from the words of the Apostles and the character of the times through which we are passing
* The author has already given his sentiments on some of the Tracts of the Society in his Remarks on the Progress of Popery, prefixed to his “ Testimony of the Reformers ;' all our Institutions have human imperfections; but he rejoices in the general and growing usefulness of this Society, and its noble contributions to great Christian objects.
There is to the true Church of Christ a continual growth and enlargement of divine truth, and it will be so, for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ ; the Lord Jesus Christ will so enrich all that call on his name and the testimony of Christ will be so confirmed that his people shall find the Apostle's words realized, Ye come behind in no gift waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall also confirm you unto the end that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. The truths that have been points of conflict in one age have become the inheritance and possession of the Church in the next. The Arian controversy established the Trinity; the Pelagian, the doctrines of grace ; the Apostles' Creed leads on to the Nicene, the Nicene to the Athanasian; the Athanasian to the full testimony of the Reformation in our thirty-nine Articles. The Infidel historian, Gibbon, with all his subtle sneers, has a remarkable testimony to this.* Our own Church combines and con
* The passage referred to is this. Gibbon is speaking of the
centrates this growing truth in our established formularies, in which, however others who have assumed superior attachment to Church principles may discover
Paulicians or Albigeois and their extirpation, and then with his usual acuteness, enmity to God's truth and sneer at its mysteries, thus describes the progress of truth :- But the invincible spirit which they had kindled still lived and breathed in the Western world. In the state, in the church, and even in the cloister, a latent succession was preserved of the disciples of St. Paul, who protested against the tyranny of Rome, embraced the Bible as the rule of Faith, and purified their creed from all the visions of the Gnostic theology. The struggles of Wickliff in England, of Huss in Bohemia, were premature and ineffectual ; but the names of Zuinglius, Luther, and Calvin, are pronounced with gratitude as the deliverers of nations. A philosopher, who calculates the degree of their merit, and the value of their reformation, will prudently ask from what articles of their faith, above or against our reason, they have enfranchised the Christians, for such enfranchisement is doubtless a benefit so far as it may be compatible with truth and piety. After a fair discussion we shall rather be surprised by the timidity, than scandalized by the freedom, of our first reformers. With the Jews, they adopted the belief and defence of all the Hebrew Scriptures, with all their prodigies, from the garden of Eden to the visions of the prophet Daniel ; and they were bound like the Catholics, to justify against the Jews the abolition of a divine law. In the great mysteries of the Trinity, and Incarnation, the reformers were severely orthodox; they freely adopted the theology of the four, or the six first councils, and with the Athanasian Creed, they pronounced the eternal damnation of all who did not believe the Catholic faith. Transubstantiation, the invisible change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is a tenet that may defy the power of argument and pleasantry : but, instead of consulting the evidence of their senses, of their sight, their feeling and their taste, the first Protestants were entangled in their own scruples, and awed by the words of Jesus in the institution of the sacrament. Luther main
discord, * blessed be God, there is a growing and strengthening concurrence of consent, as to their full harmony with all God's truth, among faithful ministers of the Church of Christ.
The same growth we have seen in our own day. The principle of missions in our recollection had an arduous struggle ; it is established ; the principle of education was greatly opposed—it is everywhere acknowledged ; and that more and more, in its religious, scriptural, and Church of England character.
tained a corporeal, Calvin a real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; and the opinion of Zuinglius, that it is no more than a spiritual communion, a simple memorial, has slowly prevailed in the reformed churches. But the loss of one mystery was amply compensated by the stupendous doctrines of original sin, redemption,
and predestination, which have been strained from the Epistles of St. Paul. These subtle questions had most assuredly been prepared by the fathers and schoolmen ; but the final improvement and popular use may be attributed to the first reformers, who enforced them as the absolute and essential terms of salvation.'
* A reviewer in the British Critic of April, 1840, thus speaks :• What sort of attachment can that be which embraces with one and the same strength and glow of affection, the Prayer Book, Articles, and Homilies ? Mr. Wilberforce talks somewhere of the chilling tone characterising a committee of the Prayer Book and Homily Society; and it must be confessed we cannot be surprised at his enthusiastic temper detecting unawares a sort of concordia discors in the combination. But the third ingredient really seems to put the result beyond the range of human categories. What one thing can be said, or thought, or felt, equally of all three together? However, the gentleman of strong lungs, who wished for a large London church, is, it appears, tenderly attached to the whole trio. “How happy could I be with either,' or rather, ‘How happy am I with all three of you together.'' It is with real grief such statements are transcribed, and with grief they will be read by faithful members of the Church of England. How easy it would be for the same levity to direct such shafts against different books of the word of God.
I mention these things as illustrating the growing fulness of that help which is afforded to us. I would now direct your attention to the help of human teaching and the help of divine teaching.
1.—THE HELP OF HUMAN TEACHING.
Ministers of the Church of England have much to aid them. This Church, to God alone be glory, our enemies themselves being the judges, is the grand bulwark of the Reformation. The Papists in their vain boasting,* call it 'the almost sole surviving coherent body of Protestantism.' Under this our good Mother Church, I am not ashamed of the scriptural term, believing fully my Church to be a part (and blessed be God it is only a part, and other denominations in our own land, and in other lands, hold the Head and share the blessing) but it is a real part of that Jerusalem above which is the Mother of us all. Gal. iv. 26. We have re
* The Roman Catholic Recorder, a weekly penny publication, in No. 3, gives the following as the view the Romanists take of that unhappy course which has been pursued by the authors of the Tracts of the Times, “ She regards them as wedges for splitting up the almost sole surviving coherent body of Protestantism into fragments, which the returning wave of Catholic Faith shall bear away into that abyss wherein so many preceding heresies lie engulphed.' There is no safety in this vain boasting. Many besides have gloried most, just before their destruction.