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Ån honest pagan historian saith of sation, candid and benign in our the christian profession, that “nil nisi censures, innocent and inoffensive, justum suadet et lene;" the which is a yea, courteous and obliging in all true, though not full character thereof. our behaviour towards all persons. It enjoineth us, that we should sin- It commandeth us to root out of our cerely and tenderly love one another, hearts all spite and rancour, all envy should earnestly desire and delight and malignity, all pride and haughin each other's good, should heartily tiness, all evil suspicion and jealousy; sympathize with all the evils and to restrain our tongue from all slansorrows of our brethren, should be der, all detraction, all reviling, all ready to yield them all the help bitter and barsh language ; to banish and comfort we are able, being will- from our practice whatever may
ining to part with our substance, our jure, may hurt, may needlessly vex ease, our pleasure, for their benefit or trouble our neighbour. It engages or succour; not confining this our us to prefer the public good before charity to any sort of men, particu- any private convenience, before our larly related or affected towards us, own opinion or humour, our credit or but, in conformity to our heavenly fame, our profit or advantage, our Father's boundless goodness, ex- ease or pleasure; rather discarding tending it to all ; that we should a less good from ourselves, than demutually bear one another's bur- priving others of a greater. Now thens, and bear with one another's who can number or estimate the beinfirmities, mildly resent and freely nefits that spring from the practice remit all injuries, all discourtesies of these duties, either to the man that doue unto us, retaining no grudge observes them, or to all men in comin our hearts, executing no revenge, mon? Oh divinest Christian charity! but requiting them with good wishes | what tongue can worthily describe and good deeds. It chargeth us to thy most heavenly beauty, thy inbe quiet and orderly in our stations, comparable sweetness, thy more than diligent in our calling, veracious royal clemency and bounty? How in our words, upright in our deal- nobly doth thou enlarge our mind ings, observant in our relations, obe- beyond the narrow sphere of self and dient and respectful towards our private regard into a universal care superiors, meek and gentle to our and complacence, making every man inferiors ; modest and lowly, inge- ourselfand all concernments to be ours! nious and compliant in our conver- Dr. Barrow, Sermon 16, vol. ii.
GLORY OF THE CLERGY.
God is the fountain of honour, and in their lives, active and laborious in the conduit by which he conveys it their charges, bold and resolute in to the sons of men are virtuous and opposing seducers, and daring to look generous practices. Some indeed vice in the face, though never so may please and promise themselves potent and illustrious.
And lastly, high matters from full revenues, to be gentle, courteous, and compas stately palaces, court nterests and sionate to all. These are our robes, great dependances. But that which and our maces, our escutcheons and makes the clergy glorious, is to be highest titles of honour. Dr. South, knowing in their profession, unspotted vol. i. p. 264.
IN THE CHURCH OF SAINT MARY, NEWINGTON, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1833.
Acts, iv. 13.-" And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Were I to be asked in what true ter: on the contrary, it was imputed christianity consists, the latter part to them, that they were unlearned of my text would furnish an appro- and ignorant men. In themselves priate answer. It is entirely depen- they certainly had no distinguishing dent on our association with Jesus marks of excellence, either as it reChrist, the Head of the church. The spected their birth, their education, distinguishing feature in the charac- or their rank in society. Their octer of the persons to whom allusion cupation was that of humble fisheris here made, obviously arose from men, and it was while they were this cause. We inquire, then, with busily employed in mending their some degree of justifiable curiosity, nets, that our Lord called them to into the history of these individuals, become “ fishers of men." This on whom this high eulogium was pro- seems to have been the principal nounced. We know of no greater charge brought against them by the commendation that could bave been rulers of the people, and elders of bestowed upon them; there is no Israel. They had seen two indivihigher point of distinction we would duals perform a notable miracle, more earnestly desire to attain, than restoring to the use of his limbs, a that it should be apparent to all, that man who had been a cripple from we have “been with Jesus." Yet his birth. They bad heard them what was in reality their greatest preach the resurrection from the dead honour, was alleged against them as through Jesus Christ, with a power a cause of reproach ; so perverse are they could not resist, with a force the opinions of men, they frequently of argument they could not refute. “call good evil, and evil good.” It was clear, therefore, that Peter
The individuals to whom my text and John were no common persons, refers were eminent servants of the though their dress, habits, and emliving God-Peter and John : but ployment, bespoke them to be inditheir eminence arose from this cir- viduals occupying the humbler walks cumstance, “that they had been with in life; the only way of accounting Jesus;" in other respects there was for this extraordinary alteration of nothing remarkable in their charac- l character, was by saying " that they
had been with Jesus." If they to invent such a story; or if invented, meant to ascribe the power by which to have imposed it on the world with the apostle spoke and acted to the any prospect of success. It is eviinfluence of Christ, they at once ac- dent to the mind of every unprejuknowledged “ that same Jesus whom diced person, that these individuals they had crucified to be the Lord must have derived their power and of life and glory :” so that they stand authority from some other source condemned by their own words; and than their own combined energies. we have the testimony not only of Such was the will of God, he chose his friends, but also his enemies, of to accomplish his purpose by mealis the wonderful things which the name the most improbable, and persons the of Jesus was able to accomplish. most unqualified, in order that all
First of all, then, we are led to boasting on the part of man might notice the effects produced in the be excluded, and that He alone apostles by their association with might be exalted: “ He made the Jesus : secondly, we would advert foolish things of the world to conto the effects which ought to be pro- | found the wise, and the weak things duced in the men of this generation, of this world to confound the things by the same cause, This, together which are mighty.” So it was opwith the application of the subject, dained in the case before us: with will form materials for a discourse, such power and demonstration of the which I trust, that this same Jesus Spirit, were Peter and John enabled whom we seek to glorify will accom- to speak; with such authority did pany with His blessing,
these illiterate men charge the Jewish We have already remarked the rulers with the blood of Jesus, that apostles' former habits of life ; no- they were perfectly dumb with asto thing apparently could be so ill nishment; and although they could adapted to that station which they neither contradict their assertions were hereafter to fill; with nor repel their charges, they comother knowledge than such as was manded them no longer to speak in requisite to enable them to pro- the name of Jesus, that fearful and cure their daily sustenance from powerful name, not knowing wbat the bosom, of the deep. But God might be the result to themselves had a mighty work to accomplish and their kingdom. Here was an by them ; he qualified them, there- astonishing sight, rulers and priests fore, for the undertaking. This has confounded, and trembling before a often been brought forward by the few poor fishermen, who, but a short disputers of this world, as an objec- time before, would scarcely have tion to Christianity, that its first prea- dared to venture into their presence. chers were ignorant and unlearned But lest it might be said that the men ; whereas this appears to me boldness of the apostles was assumed, to be one of the strongest proofs of that they were not only ignorant, its divine origin. It shows that it but that this ignorance was also could not have been a fable, cun- accompanied, as we sometimes see ningly devised by the ingenuity of to be the case, with impudence and man ; for, it originated not among audacity ; they were enabled to afford those who were held in reputa- a positive proof that they were no tion for their wisdom, but among impostors. The same Holy Spirit that class who, of all others, was which enabled them-boldly to promost unlikely, and most unable claim the resurrection of Jesus, eua
bled them also in His name to perform | Ghost bearing testimony by the miracles; to restore an impotent mouths of two sea-faring men to man to the use of his limbs, of which the truth as it is in Jesus, to some he had been deprived from his mo- out of every nation under heaven. ther's womb; so that, if no credit Well might the rulers, the scribes, were to be attached to their words, and pharisees be astonished when they at least demanded belief for they saw these fishermen disciples, their works' sake. They came, there in defiance of threats, in spite of fore, with the best possible creden- their stern authority, hazarding even tials which could be afforded, that their lives for the Gospel's sake ; they were the authorised preachers confirming their mission by signs of that new system of religion, which and wonders performed by an apwas one day to shake the foundations proving God. Surprise was strongly of the earth ; and nought but the stamped on every countenance ; it proverbial obstinacy and hardness was impossible to conceal the fact, of the Jewish hearts could have that some unheard of thing had hapresisted the divine power, which pened in the city, which was turned wrought among them such deeds of upside down : they could only acwonder. But who can marvel that count for this mysterious transaction they who crucified the Lord of life by saying that the apostles “ had and glory, should afterwards not been with Jesus.” Thus did God only turn a deaf ear to his servants, raise to himself a church from the but raise also against them their ruins of opposition and persecution ; murderous hands.
thus did He, by the impotency of : Again, another striking display human agency, lay the foundation of this divine power was exhibited of that Gospel, which is one day by these apostles. It is probable, to subvert the dominions of Satan, from the situation they held, that extending its salutary influence from they could only speak the language pole to pole, until “ the earth shall of their native tongue, and that too, be filled with the knowledge of the most likely, in common with persons Lord." of their rank in life, but imperfectly. But are the apostles the only perWhat then must have been the as- sons who have been able to afford tonishment of the multitude from all undoubted testimony of their approxparts of the world, when they came imation to Jesus? Let us consider, together at the celebration of one in the second place, the benefits which of their great feasts, to hear these are to this hour conferred on those poor despised disciples speaking to who hold communion with him, and them in their own language wherein of whom it may be recorded that they were born : so that strangers “they have been with Jesus." It is of every realm, whether Parthians, true that, in the present day, we Medes or Elamites, or inhabitants of must not expect the miraculous effumore distant regions, were instructed sion of the Holy Spirit, although and taught; Peter and John were I know that this assertion will be enabled to converse with them all, contradicted by some, who have and preach to them, for the first time, claimed for themselves the passesthe Gospel of Jesus Christ, in their sion of these gifts, and assert that own native language. What a sight their absence in general is owing was here! What a wonderful dis- to our reluctance in asking and explay of divine power! The Holy pecting, not from any unwillingness
on the part of God to bestow them. / from our souls, it can only be efWe cannot give countenance to such fected by a ray from the Sun of notions, being, in our opinion, unsup- Righteousness. ported by fact, and unwarranted by Modern scepticism, and the infiscriptural expectation. We deem delity of the present day, would deny it possible, though scarcely think it both the necessity for divine teachprobable, that the miraculous gifts ing, and its capability ; whatever may again be vouchsafed to the is not to be comprehended by the church, all we would contend for, is, force of intellect, or the deductions of that the period has not yet arrived. reason, is rejected as an article of God works now by ordinary me- belief, unworthy to compose the thods, though not less effectual: His creed of a Christian population. Spirit is the great agent now, as in But we must not suffer ourselves former days, for effecting great to be hurried down the tide of human changes in the universe ; but it is opposition to the mandates and docby an invisible display of its power. trines of heaven ; yea, rather we There is the same necessity, there must attempt to arrest the flood of fore, for going to Jesus for instruc- false liberality and vain philosophy, tion in spiritual things, as in apos- by opposing the grand barrier of tolic days, “ 10 man knoweth the truth to its progress. We must reFather but the Son, and he to whom iterate in the ears of our auditory, the Son will reveal him.” In one as the avenues to their hearts, the respect we all resemble the fisher- unwelcome, the humiliating, but the ' men disciples of old ; we are igno- indisputable assertion of an inspired rant and unlearned, “knowing no- apostle, " that the things of GOD thing as of ourselves;" we are “fools, knoweth no man, but the Spirit of and slow of heart to believe" all the God:” they can be, therefore, only revelations of Jehovah ; we want the communicated by the Spirit. We will and power so to receive the things have then, just the same need as of God, as to render them avail- the disciples to be instructed in righable to salvation. By our natural teousness, by the same infallible abilities we may form correct notions teacher, ere we shall have obtained of the scheme of religion. Our creed that “ wisdom which comes down may be orthodox, yet extending only from above." to the information of the understand- Again, we are by nature like the ing, not the regulation of the heart: apostles, timid, weak, unstable creait is this knowledge which the apostle tures, liable every moment to be says, puffeth up. It is just this su- carried away captive by the insidious perficial glance at the doctrines of attacks of an implacable foe. From the Bible, which passes current for whence are we to derive a knox. true religion ; which lulls the soul ledge of his designs, or the power of many a professor into a fatal to frustrate them. From whence slumber: but we must be otherwise is the strong temptation to be overtaught, if we would be aroused from come, the raging lust burning like our lethargy and become alive unto a fever to be resisted, the fierce God. We must become the willing desire to be controlled! Look at disciples of the blessed Jesus, and a man without the Spirit of God, sit in the posture of humility to learn under the influence of all his pasof Him. If the clouds of our natural sions, and you seem him transformed darkness are ever to be dispersed into the image of satan. There ex