Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

may seem the only motive for printing a fourth edition of this. In excuse, the Authoress can only say, that as the original manuscript was examined and approved by Archdeacons Nares and Cambridge, and other distinguished persons in the Church; and as she is assured the book is still asked for and recommended, she hopes that it may still prove useful. Another motive to republication has been, that she intends to devote the profits of the edition as a contribution towards the erection of a church in a rural district, where, from distance, and various other circumstances, most of the inhabitants are debarred from attending public worship.

ON THE

NATURE AND EFFICACY

OF THE

BLESSED SACRAMENT.

E learn from the Scriptures, that, from the creation of the world, it pleased the Almighty to make a covenant with the

beings he had created — the W

terms of which were, on their part, faith and obedience, and, on the part of the Creator,

blessings and rewards unspeakable, even eternal life.

In this first covenant, we see the design of those instituted symbols or signs which we call Sacraments, which have no natural virtue in themselves to convey blessings, but are made the effectual means of them by the Divine appointment. When the Lord God placed Adam in the garden of Eden, he appointed the tree of

[graphic]

A

life for a symbol or sacrament of immortality, to make him sensible that eternal life, which was the object of his hopes, was the free gift of his Creator; and the tree of knowledge for a trial of man's faith and obedience, commanding him not to touch it under the penalty of death. In the opinion of the early Christians, “ Paradise was to Adam a type of heaven; and the never-ending life of happiness promised to our first parents, if they had remained obedient, would not have been continued in this earthly paradise, but have commenced only here, and been perpetuated in a higher state of exist

> ence.

Man, in a primeval condition, consisted of a soul and body, unsullied, and endued with powers enabling him to grow and increase in the divine life, that he might be translated at length to immortality in heaven, but under the threatening of death if he should violate the terms of acceptance. The terms were violated, -“ Adam, by transgression, fell”—and the whole race of mankind, corrupted in him, became unfit for the high and glorious end for which they had been made and fitted by a gracious Creator. It was the doctrine of the early Church, which has been followed by the Church of England, that “ from that instant the soul became spiritually dead, the Holy Spirit, which is the life of the soul, being then withdrawn and separated from it by the just judgment of the offended God.” We read in the Book of Wisdom,“ God created man to be immortal,

« AnteriorContinuar »