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“ if thou keep the faw, but if thou be a “ breaker of the law, thy circumcision
is made uncircumcision.” The benefit of the sacrifice itself on the Cross was to be enjoyed only on the same condition. “ Yet now hath he reconciled you, in the “ body of his flesh through death, to “ present you holy and unblameable in “ his sight, IP YE CONTinue in the faith, “ and be not moved away from the hope “ of the Gospel *.”
“ And, therefore, it is,” says Bishop Cleaver, “ that, in perfect consonance to the whole Gospel dispensation, our Church, in her Cominunion Service, hath taught us to pray that God for Christ's sake will forgive us all that is past, and that we may ever hereafter serve and please him in newness of life; without which amendment this pardon will be withdrawn, and leave the sinner in the state of his prior guilt, with the aggravation of having abused additional means of grace: and, therefore, with an increase of condemnation.”
* i Coloss. v. 22, 23.
66 Now, farther:
“ Now, from this representation of the matter, which has nothing in it of subtlety ; no consequence can be drawn to the encouragement of vice; whilst it affords a solid and substantial comfort to the penitent. On the contrary, the doctrine is as wholesome as it is obvious ; it Tenders habits of virtue necessary to all, whilst it supplies a mighty incitement to the sinner; “ by purging his conscience from dead works, to serve the living God;" and, by removing the weight of his present guilt, enables him cheerfully to run the race that is set before him," and, with confidence, to aim at “ the prize of his high calling." !
“ But in the present eagerness to depreciate the use and efficacy of this rite, it is probable we shall be still asked, of what need at all is a rite, the conditions of which, faith and repentance, are, in a general view, considered as of themselves effectual to procure salvation ? Which question I shall answer by applying it to the other Sacraments ; what need is there of baptism? yet the injunction is, “ repent and be baptized.” One step farther : What need of any external means ? Yet the Divine Wisdom hath found them expedient in every religious dispensation. If the question could be asked by any sober inquirer, I should reply respecting both these Sacraments, that they are necessary external means :
“ First, to be the instituted expressions before God of our faith and repentance.
“ Secondly, to be each as an offering of ourselves, of our souls and bodies, a pledge to him of our future obedience.
“ Thirdly, to be pledges to us of God's acceptance.
“ Fourthly, as solemn professions of our agreement in Christ; without which there can be no Church Communion.
“ Fifthly, to remind us constantly, that all our hopes of pardon and acceptance rest upon the sacrifice of Christ's death.”
“ And would it not be reasonable to expect, that the religious 'use of rites of such importance, by their practical influence, might be, by Divine appointment, the means of deriving upon us the blessings of pardon and sanctification, in a degree beyond that annexed to the performance of any positive or moral duty whatever ; even if we had not authority from Scripture for this conclusion *?"..
* The holy Sacrament operates indeed, and consigns or seals our pardon, yet not ALONE ; but in conjunction with all which Christ requires as Conditions of Pardon; but when the conditions are present, the Sacrament ministers pardon ; as, pardon is ministered in this world ; that is, by parts, and in order to several purposes, and with 'Power of REVOCATION; by 'SUSPENDING the Divine Wrath ; by procuring more Graces; by obtaining time for repentance, and Powers and POSSIBILI-, Ties of working out our salvation. For in the usual methods of God, pardon of sins is proportionable to our repentance, which, because it is all that state of purity we have in this whole life, afier our first sin; pardon of sins is all that Effect of Grace, which is consequent to that Repentance; and the worthy receiving of the Holy Communion is but one conjugation (or article) of holy actions and parts of repentance; but indeed it is the best and the NOBLEST; and such, in which man does best CUOPERATE towards PARDON; and in which the Grace of God does most illustriously consign or seal it." Bp. TAYLOR.
'We must be infinitely careful to remember that even the Death of Christ brings NO PARVON to the IMPENI. TENT, persevering sinner; and the Sacrament of Christ's Death cannot do more than the Death itself; and therefore let no man come with his guilt about him and hope to find his pardon by this ministry.”. Bp. 'TAYLOR." Qui sceleratè vivunt in Ecclesiâ, et communicare non
The following observations of Bishop Kidder on this subject deserve our attention, as they are plain and decisive.
“Let not the sinner who lives in sin and loves it, think to obtain his pardon by partaking of this Sacrament. This Sacrament will not avail such a man. For the Death of Christ will not avail him if he lives in his sins and loves them; and therefore this Sacrament can avail him nothing, it being but the annunciation of the Death of Christ : It cannot avail the sinner whom the Death of our Lord does not avail. It is a vain thing
for such a sinner to take Sanctuary · here. If there be not in our Souls a prin
ciple of new life, it is not the outward elements of Bread and Wine that will help us. God is ready to forgive us our sins; and we may see it clearly in this Sacrament, but while we love our sins, we are incapable of this Grace. It is the desinunt, putantes se tali Communione mundari, discant nihil ad Emundationein proficere.
Isidor. HISPALENSIS, de summo Bono. Nunquid carnes sanctæ auferent â te malitias tuas ?
Jer. 11, 15.-The English Translation differs from the Latin.