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was to administer the symbolic service, of which We would speak with caution here; or rather the meaning and the end was Christ. They we would speak with truth. Far from us be the were, in a judicial sense, the keepers of the levity which would even seem to disparage the Law, and their expositions of it were those, so two sacred ordinances of Christ, though we to speak, of the bench rather than the pulpit; combat deadly superstitions arising from the expositions of its meaning in the letter, not of sinful exaltation of them. Christ sent forth its spiritual application to the conscience. We His first disciples to baptize and to preach; by no means contend that a holy priest would these men set apart others for the same work, not instruct the people in a much higher sense, -the ministry of the Word and Sacraments. and endeavour to reach the conscience and the But if the reader should search for any indicaheart with spiritual lessons. But when he did tions of the superior dignity of the Sacraments so he rose above his office and its legal requisi. compared with the preaching of the Word, he tions; for the time he was a prophet rather will search in vain. St. Paul made his boast than a priest. It was by a succession of pro- at Corinth that Christ sent him not to baptize, phets that the work of instruction was carried but to preach the Gospel; he rejoiced that,

The prophets, rather than the priests, with a very few exceptions, he had baptized were the spiritual teachers of the people; and none of them; and, on the other hand, he the chief of the prophets were not of the tribe thanked God that he spake with tongues more of Levi,

than they all-that is, he preached the Gospel Granting, then, that the Christian ministry not only in Greek and Hebrew, with which he were a Priesthood, the admission would be de. was familiar, but, through miraculous aid, in grading. It stands already upon much higher other languages; and in this he gloried. Does grounds, and has a nobler office. What if it this agree with that disparagement of preach. were true that "the clergy are entrusted with ing, of which we hear so much? The great the awful privilege of making the body and business of the ministry was, then, the preachblood of Christ” (a phrase with which of late ing of the Word; not in the restricted sense in years we have become so painfully familiar), which we sometimes use the term; for it was the youngest of their body and the most un to be done in public and in private, in the worthy could perform this awful mystery. He weekly assembly and from house to house. It would then, in fact, be entrusted, equally with included reproof, and counsel, and exhortation. the wisest and the best, with the power of It was to be practised in season and out of working miracles. But the power of working season; with the wayside passenger, as when miracles is by no means the highest that Christ Philip the deacon preached Christ to the confers upon His ministers. Laymen fre. Ethiopian eunuch; at midnight in the houses quently possessed it as well as ministers; and of the faithful, as when Paul preached in the St. Paul taught even laymen to regard it as by upper chamber, and Eutychus was restored to no means their highest gift, or one to be greatly life. Such duties, interrupted by laborious coveted. Granting, we say, that the ministry study, intermixed with prayer and praise, rewere a Priesthood, the concession would ada lieved by meditation, stimulated by success, nothing to their true dignity. Already they and freshened up even by persecution, were the are “ambassadors for Christ,” and fellow. life of a Christian minister. They are so still. workers with God;” shall they forsake this high But the man who would attain to such a life distinction to encumber and degrade themselves must be a man of God. He must be sustained again beneath a yoke of Jewish bondage ? by higher considerations than those of his

If we take the New Testament for our guide, priestly office or his apostolic descent. He and are content to submit to its decisions, we must have more than an official sanctity, or shall at once reject the imposture (for we must he will not be an able minister of the New call it so) of a sacrificing priesthood in the Testament, but a hireling, and perchance a church of Christ. St. Panl writes largely on drudge. the subject of the Christian ministry. His These principles were common once in charge to the Ephesian elders, his letters to England, and its Church was built upon them. Timothy and Titus, dwell almost exclusively The preaching of the Word was honoured as, upon it. But we cannot gather from them no less than the Sacraments, an ordinance of that Christian ministers are priests; or that Christ Himself. Our very definition of a Church the celebration of the Sacraments is their is this: “A congregation of faithful men, in highest function.

which the pure Word of God is preached, and the

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UFFER me, then, my fair hearers, in wisdom and virtue, to be a help-meet for

to recommend this exchange,--this your husband? What! are you endued preference of decoration. Like the with reason and immortality, only to be

king's daughter, be all glorious enamoured with a piece of embroidery, or to within.' Let the Bible be the mirror at pay your devotions to the colour of silk ? which you dress; and while others are Are you sublimely resolved never, never to weightily engaged in catching a fashion, or leave the world of fans, and enter the region adjusting a curl, let the object of your culti- intelligence and of mind? vation be the understanding, the memory,

" These decorations are not CORRUPTIBLE.' the will, the affections, the conscience. Let All other ornaments perish in the using.' 110 part of this internal creation be un- All other attire gives place to the shroud. adorned : let it sparkle with the diamonds • Beauty consumes away like a moth—the of wisdom, of prudence, of humility, of sparkling eye is closed in darkness'-the gentleness. These ornaments alone will body is . laid in the grave; death shall feed confer dignity, and prepare for usefulness. upon it.' The charmer, looking in vain for If destitute of these, can you imagine it pos- admirers, says 'to corruption, Thou art my sible to obtain real durable regard? Need father: to the worm, Thou art my mother you be told that these skin-deep perfections, and my sister.' these exterior senseless appendages, imply “Accidents disfigure, and diseases corno excellency in the wearer, and are only rode. How quickly time changes the counadmired by the weak or the worthless ? Aro tenance! How transient the empire of you ignorant that men often despise a soul colours and of tints! Ilow soon wrinkles lodged in a form they adore, and admire and gaudy attire disagree! Having laid in nonsense because it is poured from handsome no stock of mental influence and sober enterlips? Are you designed for toys, or rational tainment against the evil day, what becomes beings,-the playthings of the senses, or of these delightful creatures ? A few years improving companions? Would you in com- reduce them to insignificance, leaving them pany keep your husbands on thorns, while only the humiliating claims of pity, or the they wish you to be seen, and hope you will uncertain returns of gratitude. not be heard; know how much more likely “But an accomplished pious woman can you are to strike by the quality and pattern never be the object of neglect; she will of your robes, than by the insipidity and attract notice and confer happiness even inanity of your discourse ?

when descending into the vale of years. The Adorn yourselves in the newest mode, in ravages of time cannot reach the soul : death the richest attire, plait your hair, deck your- cannot strip off the habits of immortality : it selves with pearls, --will these render you will only change her from glory to glory :' valuable? Will these qualify you to manage only remove her from earth, unworthy of the concerns of a family, to give a portion her continuance, and place her among the to your maidens,' to train up your children innumerable company of angels."'-W. Jay.

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“Know thyself !” cries the sage: but he cries “Though many other books are comparable to cloth, in vain. For "the heart is deceitful above all in which, by a small pattern, we may safely judge of things . who can know it?” “Such know. the whole piece, yet the Bible is like a fair suit of ledge is too high for us, it is wonderful; we arras, of which, though a shred may assure you of the cannot attain to it.” Who shall teach us? fineness of the colours and richness of the stuff

, yet Plutarch, who tells us that the human soul is the hangings never appear to their true advantage but

a subtle air”? Aristotle, who maintains it when they are displayed to their full dimensions and

to be "an active fire”? Hipponius, who makes are seen together.”—BOYLE.

it "an ethereal fluid”. Anaximander, who 7UT abundantly evident as is the describes it as “a composition of earth and

Divine character of the Bible, from water”? Or Empedocles, who affirms it to be the history of its unique preservation a mixture of all the elements”? Shall we

and the spectacle of its unparalleled believe Epicurus, who places it in the stomach? effects, it is not less so from an examination of or Descartes, who says it is in the pineal its structure and the nature of its contents.

gland ? And although, from the number and magni. "If a man die, shall he live again ?" And tude of the subjects to be comprised within even before he dies, is he at the mercy of the the narrow limits of these chapters, our treat- Three Sisters ? Are we left to the tender ment of this topic must necessarily be very mercies of unpitying Fate? or abandoned to brief, to omit it altogether would be un- the mockery of Chance ? Moral character, pardonable. In enumerating, then, a few of moral capacity, moral conduct—are they not the more prominent particulars in which the all imaginary? Above all, is there an actual Bible, viewed with regard to its contents, Moral Governor-and a future Moral Retristands alone, we give precedence to

bution ? or is Promasdes helpless against I. Its Object.

Arimanes ? Nor is our perplexity at an end The Bible is a revelation. “ Canst thou when we descend from the moral to the mateby searching find out God ?” The question | rial. What about the world itself? whence is one which involves its own answer. To came it ? and why? A concourse of atomsthe sophists of our own day, alternating causes, in an eternal succession without any between the Atheism which does its best precession, — can any suppositions be more and bitterest to banish Him from the uni- transparently ridiculous than these ? and yet verse, and the Pantheism which pretends are not these the best of the best masters? to identify Him with the dust beneath our Is matter eternal ? the thing is simply infeet, it is not less full of rebuke than it was conceivable: and yet—"ex nihilo nihil fit!" three thousand years ago to the patriarch of Ah, how true those words, “ Vain man Uz. “No man hath seen God at any time;" would be wise!” But “where shall wisdom be and, apart from the revelation of Him who is found?” Man knoweth not the price thereof; “in the bosom of the Father,” no man “ hath neither is it found in the land of the living. declared Him.” Diogenes Laertius tells us that The depth saith, It is not in me! and the sea Pythagoras saw the soul of Homer in Hades, saith, It is not with me! ... God underhanging on a tree and surrounded by serpents, standeth the way thereof, and He knoweth as a punishment for what he had said of the the place thereof.” “O Earth, Earth, Earth, gods. Yet if Homer had lived in another hear the word of THE LORD!” land, he might have learned the lesson taught That matter is not eternal, but "created;" by the wonders of the Exodus five hundred that (notwithstanding Lord Monboddo and years before, “ The gods of the heathen are Professor Huxley) “there is a spirit in man, no gods," as he heard the creed of Jethro and the breath of the Almighty giveth him reiterated by the congregated thousands on understanding;" that though a man die, he the top of Carmel: "Jehovah, He is the God ! shall live again, for "the earth shall cast out Jehovah, He is the God!"

the dead;" that “verily there is a God that


judgeth in the earth" –"the Creator, who infancy to childhood, childhood to youth, youth fainteth not, neither is weary”—who “hath

to mature age.

Men are impatient, and for made all men of one blood," and fixed the precipitating things; but the Author of Nature bounds of their habitation—who “hateth no- appears deliberate throughout His operations, thing that He has made”_"a God of truth, and accomplishing His natural ends by slow sucwithout iniquity,” clouds and darkness round cessive steps. And there is a plan of things about Him, yet righteousness and judgment beforehand laid out, which, from the nature of the habitation of His throne, while "His tender it, requires various systems of means, as well mercies are over all His works," speaking to as length of time, in order to the carrying on the fathers in times past by " the mouth of its several parts into execution. Thus, in the His holy prophets, which have been since the daily course of natural providence, God operates world began," and above all-transcending in the very same manner as in the dispensation the highest hopes of Socrates and Alcibiades of Christianity, making one thing subservient -speaking to us in these last days by His to another; this to somewhat further, and Son :-he who, on these and kindred topics, so on through a progressive series of means, contrasts the luminous explicitness of Holy which extend both backward and forward Scripture with the obscure verbosity, the con- beyond our utmost view. Of this manner of fused and contradictory guesses of the wisest operation, everything we see in the course of heathen, will need no other proof that the nature is as 'much an instance as any part of Bible is in very deed a revelation of truths, the Christian dispensation."* So that this which soaring, as of necessity they must, far characteristic progressiveness, common alike above the influences of human reason and the to Nature and to Revelation, is one of the comprehension of the human understanding, many incontrovertible facts which prove that are nevertheless of the highest practical im- the Author of both is one and the same. The portance to every human being. Spurious truth of God, like His unchangeable purpose, imitations, Mohammedan or Mormon — may is indeed incapable of progress; but with the indeed pretend to the name of revelations, but revelation of that truth (as of that purpose), it to present any claim to the character is utterly is otherwise. “Known unto God are all His beyond their power. “They that make them works from the beginning;" whereas to men are like unto them” – revealers who have they are not known at all, except as (from nothing to reveal. But to be a revelation in time to time) they are made known. As, in very deed; a revelation from God; a revelation nature, the rising sun scatters the mists of the of objective truth on subjects worthy the Divine morning, and brings into light first one promi. interposition, and stamped with the "hall. nence and then another, until every hill and mark” of Divine attestation-this it is which valley is clothed with splendour, so, in revelamakes the Bible as different as possible from tion, the progress is not in the truth, but in every other book, and more than justifies the the clearness and impressiveness with which Psalmist's exclamation, “ The entrance of THÝ Scripture reveals it. The landscape even when WORD giveth light: It giveth understanding unseen is still unchanged. The progressive to the simple.”

character of successive dispensations-the II. Characteristic and unique as is the matter Adamic, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, the of this Divine Revelation, not less so is its mode. Gospel—is evident to all; but though less

“This much is manifest, that the whole visibly, not therefore less really, was the Gospel natural world and government of it is a in the visions of Ezekiel and the ordinances of scheme or system, not a fixed but a pro- Leviticus,—the Gospel in type and prophecy. gressive one; a scheme in which the operation “Will God in very deed dwell with men upon of various means takes up a great length of the earth p” It required centuries of religious time before the ends they tend to can be training to enable men to contemplate the attained. The change of seasons, the ripening possibility and understand the purport of the of the fruits of the earth, the very history of a fact. Centuries more must pass before men flower, is an instance of this; and so is human were ready for the prophetic Gospel. "The life. . . . Our existence is not only successive, Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to as it must be of necessity, but one state of our His temple"-"The tabernacle of God is with life and being is appointed by God to be a men." "Before the world began"+ - before preparation for another, and that to be the

* Bp. Butler's " Analogy of Religion :" Part ii, ch, 4. means of attaining to another succeeding one;

+ Tit. 1, 2, προ χρόνων αιωνίων.


the commencement of the remotest of those And yet "the Old Testament is not contrary to incalculable epochs with which geologists de- the New: for both in the Old and New Testalight to baffle our lagging conceptions-deep ment everlasting life is offered to mankind by hidden in the counsels of THE ETERNAL was Christ, who is the only Mediator between God the promise of “eternal life;" but yet that and man, being both God and man.

"* In both “ life and immortality” were never“ brought | Testaments we find the same essential truths to light” but “by the Gospel.”

exhibited in perfect correspondence and agree. III. Not less prominent than the progressive ment; the same views of the nature and pur. character of Revelation is its Unity,

poses of God-the only views worthy of Him Notwithstanding its many writers, the Bible which have ever been given; the same views has the first requisite of a great book-a single of the nature of man--views different, indeed, purpose; and that purpose kept in view on from all others, but which alone are found to . every page. As the mightiest oak with its agree with actual fact; and those very views myriads of leaves is unfolded from a single of the nature of true happiness which, acorn, so the developed revelation, like its though found nowhere else, are proved by ex. carliest germ, is not many, but one. See its perience to be true. Between the scaffolding unity of doctrine:-in its declaration of the and the building there may, indeed, be very unity of God; in the creation and preservation little resemblance, but there is a most intimate of all things by Divine Power; in a general and necessary connexion. And between the and particular Providence; in a Divine law, Old and New Testaments it will often be found with its inscrutable distinctions between right that the relation is closest even where the reand wrong; in its account of the moral de. semblance is least. clension and corruption of mankind; in its IV. This unity is the more remarkable on doctrine of atonement through vicarious suf- account of the variety of the materials from fering; in the obligation and efficacy of prayer; which it has been evolved. in direct Divine influence; in human respon. The Bible-Book of books-consists of about sibility; and in the necessity of practical holi- seventy pieces, none longer than many a

modern pamphlet, some as short as a two. Then, again, look at its uniformly moral paged tract. These pieces include almost purpose. The Hindu Shastras dilate largely every variety of literary composition. They on the origin of the universe; the Koran in. are the production of some forty writers; men dulges its readers with grossly sensual descrip- of great diversity of character, rank, genius, tions of the physical theory of a future life; acquirements; separated from each other by the Talmud abounds with fables which, for such intervals of time as rendered a common lack of practical importance, are not to be sur- understanding or a general confederacy im. passed, except by the Legends of Rome, or the possible. They are like a long line of travellers dreams of Swedenborg; while the Bible, on passing a particular spot where each throws a the other hand, is throughout intensely moral stone, but where by and by, instead of 3 and practical. Its cosmogony, its mythology, mere cairn, there rises a finished structure of its metaphysics, its marvels, are all moral: it most perfect symmetry, with fitting ornament, contains no ideal which is not also a reality. suitable for habitation and use. “In other In its histories, biographies, prophecies, words, the stray leaves, the irregular contripsalmody, it has but one aim-to reunite the butions of many centuries, the tracts and sundered ties by which the whole human papers of thirty generations, turn out to be a family is restored to its normal recognition Book !-a book with a beginning, middle, and and enjoyment of the Fatherhood of God. end, pervaded by a single purpose, and de

Nor does this unity of purpose suffer any veloping an entire system of thought, condiminution, even in those parts of the Bible sistent, harmonious, and complete.” which present the greatest apparent dis- To sum up what has been said, we repeat similarity. In the Old Testament we find a that the Bible is perfectly unique, because religion abounding in ceremonies, and adapted there is no other book that can furnish any. only to the peculiar circumstances of one thing at all analogous. “Nec viget quidquam nation. In the New Testament, on the other simile aut secundum.” “There is no book, and hand, we have a system of religion which, with no collection of books, so interlaced and interbut few ceremonies, and those of a very simple woven one with another, in which one part character, admits of universal application.

* " Articles of Religion," Art. VII.

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