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its opponehts, I must bear my testimony, that whatever tends to invalidate that doctrine, contributes, at the same time, to the utter extermination of Christianity.
If according to Dr. Waterland, to lessen the dignity and importance of the Sacraments be to attack the Divinity of Christ; then, to support and enhance their dignity and importance, must conduce to the defence of that sublime and most momentous tenet. The true doctrine of the Sacraments is worthy of all possible reverence and esteem, for its own sake ; but it is also highly worthy of zealous support as connected with the divinity of our Saviour: that doctrine, which gives a sanction to his precepts above all that can be pretended to, in the schools of antient Egypt, Home, or Athens; where, nevertheless, admirable morality was delivered from the suggestions of unassisted reason.
They, therefore, who would preserve Christianity, in its full vigour and its highest purity, will be active in preserving among the congregation, over which they may preside, and in all
situations, situations in which they may have in-. fluence over numbers, the dignity and importance of the Sacraments, by explaining their nature, pointing out their benefits, and recommending a frequent Communion. The Eucharist should ever be represented, not only as a duty, in which man alone is concerned, but as a rite, in the performance of which, God condescends to interpose, and by the agency of his Holy Spirit to participate. It is this which gives it a superiority above all other modes and expressions of faith and devotion practised in any age or in any region of the universe.
Throughout this treatise, and all other papers which I have ever written on the important doctrines of Divinity, I wish, from unaffected diffidence, to be supported by the opinion of great scholars and good men, who were, or are, the ornaments of their times. I hope to be sheltered under their wings from the shafts of angry heretics and sophists, which are often tipt with poison, though emitted from a feeble bow. The doctrine which 1 havejust mentioned, that the Eucharist is a rite, in which God
u 2 bears bears a part, shall be brought forward under the protection of Waterland. He says: " In the first place let it be noted, that the Eucharist is not merely a duty of ours, but a sacred Rite, in which God himself bears a part." The doctrine of our Church, and of all Christian Churches, early and late, is much the same with what our Homilies teach us; namely, that "in the Sacraments God embraces us, and offereth himself to be embraced by us." A learned writer observes, and proves, that a Sacrament relates to that which Flows From God To us; and he adds," that it is a thing neither denied nor forgotten by any, but is evident from what the Scriptures teach concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper *. Indeed the
* Towerson on the Sacraments, p. ia. Vossius, to the same purpose, says :" Gtuemadmodum Fide* est quasi Manus Nostra, qua nos quaerimus, et accipimus: sic verbum et Sacramenta sunt quasi Manus Dei, quibus is nobis offert et confert, quod a fide nobis petitur et accipitur :"—As faith is, as it were, Our Hand, by which we seek and receive; so the Word and the Sacraments are, as it were, the Hand Op God ly which he offers and confers upon us whatever is thus
. sought and received ly faiths
. .-»' Socinian Socinian scheme is, to exclude God, as it were, out of the Sacraments, and to allow him no part in them, but to reduce alK to a bare human performance or positive
duty ; BUT WE HAVE NOT SO LEARNED
In the case of one of \he Sacramento Baptism, what does the infant do ? a'duty? No ; a rite is performed upon the Infant by man, and grace to complete the Sacrament is bestowed by God. In the Eucharist, more indeed is done by the receiver; but still God applies the benefit, and it is, by the gracious Ordinance of Heaven, a Communion *.
* " Jamais l'Eglise de Dieu ne sera sanctifiee, ni jamais le Christianisme ne sera bien reformé, que par le bon Usage de la Communion. Raisonnons Tant Qu'il Nous Flaira; il en faudra toujours revenir a ces adorables paroles du Sauveur; si vous ne mangez la Chair du Fils de l'homme, vous n'aurez point la vie en vous: au contraire, si quelq'un mange de ce Pain, il vivra eternellement; il vivra en ce monde par La Grace,et dans l'autre, parla Gloire."
Of the Church, as distinguished from the World; and the Expediency of preserving our union with the Church by Sacramental Communion.
It seems probable that few, in comparison, have given themselves the trouble to form a true idea of the Catholic Church; though it is absolutely necessary, not only that its nature should be rightly understood, but that every man, who professes himself a Christian, should. become an incorporated member of it. What is the Church, is a question that many cannot answer
According to the plain deductions from Scripture, mankind are divided into two distinct tribes; those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, and those who belong to the World. The kingdom of Christ is the Catholic Church; but here it must