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which had been obscured under the cloud of darkness and ignorance, were brought to light, and betrayed themselves, too obviously, to be any longer tolerated. The Bishops and Governors of the Church of England, gradually became sensible of these corruptions; and acknowledged sincerely the defects, to which truth would permit them no longer to be blind. But to ascertain, and to supply a proper remedy, was, with them, a work of deliberation, of labour, and of time. The rashness and presumption of other reformers, both at home and abroad, in resolving, at once, to raze to the ground the venerable pile of their forefathers, and to build with the materials a new edifice of human invention, proved a warning to them, not afforded in vain. Venerating the fabric which had been reared by apostolic hands, they slowly and carefully removed the incrustations which disfigured it; and, clearing the foundations of the rubbish which had choked them up, brought to light the great keystone of the corner, and displayed the real rock, upon which it was built. Thus, the primitive and apostolic church stood forth distinct and clear, from out the ruins in which it had been long imbedded, in all the dignified simplicity, and majestic plainness, which had obtained for it, in former times, the respect of the heathen, and the willing blood of martyrs.' – Sermon at the consecration of Bishop Luscomb, by the Rev. W. F. Hook, M.A. p. 19. Lond. 1825.
(7) Page 28.] · Accessimus autem, quantum maxime potuimus, ad ecclesiam Apostolorum, et veterum Catholicorum Episcoporum, et Patrum, quam scimus adhuc fuisse integram, utque Tertullianus ait, incorruptam virginem, nulla dum idololatria, nec errore gravi ac publico contaminatam : nec tantum doctrinam nostram, sed etiam sacramenta, precumque publicarum formam, ad illorum ritus et instituta direximus. Religionem turpiter neglectam et depravatam, ad originem, et ad primordia revocavimus. Inde enim putavimus instaurationem petendam esse, unde primą religionis initia ducta essent. Hæc enim ratio,' inquit antiquissimus Pater, Tertullianus, ' valet adversus omnes hæreses, id esse verum, quodcunque primum; id esse adulterum, quodcunque posterius.' Irenæus sæpe ad antiquissimas ecclesias provocavit, quæ Christo fuissent viciniores, quasque credibile vix esset erravisse. Jam vero, cur ea hodie ratio non initur ? Cur ad antiquarum ecclesiarum similitudinem non redimus ? Cur id a nobis hodie audiri non potest, quod olim in Concilio Nicæno, a tot Episcopis, et Catholicis patribus, nullo refra. gante, pronuntiatum est, εθη αρχαια κρατειτω ;' Jewel. Apol. p. 155. Lond. 1692.
THESE words bring before us the two chief properties of public worship, the two grand requisites of genuine devotion ; zeal for the glory of God, and desire for the sanctification of man. These things, God hath been pleased to join together. Throughout the Scriptures, his own glory, and the sanctification of his reasonable creatures, are used almost as convertible terms; and, as such too, they would seem to be commonly regarded, in the offices of our Church. In the following plain and familiar observations, therefore, it shall be my object to show, that, in our public Liturgy, we are taught and invited to "give the Lord the honour due unto his name,' by adoring him, as he is revealed to reason and to faith, in
his works and in his word; and to “ worship the Lord, with holy worship,” by making all the imitable qualities of the divine nature, at once, the source, and the model, of our own attainable proficiency.
The authors of our Liturgy, in their view of Him, who ruleth over us, and careth for us, have observed a happy, and scriptural moderation. They do not, as the manner of some is, compel us to shrink, under the gloomy apprehension, of a mysterious, arbitrary tyrant, clothed in terrors, and dwelling in. blackness, darkness, and tempest: they do not, in the opposite extreme, permit us to sleep on, and take our rest, in the cold, abstract, philosophic veneration, of a first cause, first mover, and supreme intelligence. The service, which they teach and recommend, is, at once, reasonable, and affectionate. They make provision, for the removal of unquiet and uneasy feelings, by giving us worthy thoughts of our almighty Ruler. They lead us, to the meek and reverential love of our all-wise, all-powerful, all-perfect God; our Father, no less than our Creator; awful, indeed, in his holiness, but inexpressibly benignant, in his condescension.
This, then, is the spirit of our Liturgy: a spirit, which infuses hope, into the humblest confessions; and which gives comfort, in the very
sighings of a contrite heart, This is the spirit, which testifies, that wilfully to offend God, is the only real misery; and consciously to please him, the only true source of peace and joy : that we can be wretched, only by defacing in ourselves his glorious image; and happy, only by the participation of his nature; rendering us, in the true scriptural sense of the words, and according to the measure of our bounden capacities, pure as he is pure, merciful as he is merciful, perfect as he is perfect.
It is, accordingly, a distinctive feature of our Common Prayer, that, while it never loses sight of the perfect purity and holiness of God, and never lowers the standard of practical Christianity, it always remembers, that we serve a God of mercy and compassion, of long suffering and of great goodness; a God, who waiteth his opportunity to be gracious; who doth not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; who despiseth not the beginnings of good, however small; and whose wise, and gracious benignity, hath provided milk for babes, no less carefully than strong meat for those of full age.
We are to observe, then, that our Church opens her maternal arms, to all, however weak, and even however criminal, who have but a sincere desire to turn from their wickedness and