(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Tracts for the times"





1 




44- 



■^. 




I f^ 







y( 



3 -« 



[^^ 



^ 



7 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES 



MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. 



VOL. L 

FOR 

1833-4. 



*' If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the 
battle ?" 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and waterlog place, pall mall: 
& J. H. PARKER, OXFORD. 

1834. 



•^* These Tracts are continued in Monthly Numbers, at the price 
of 2d. per sheet. 



Among other corrections the reader is requested to make the 
following : — 

No. 18. p. 6. for crucifixion and murder, read betrayal and crucifixion, 
p. 9. for observing, read observation. 
22. p. 9. for christians, read children. 



OILBERT & RIVINOTON, PRINTEI18, 

St. John's Square, London. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



The following" Tracts were published with the object of 
contributing something towards the practical revival of doc- 
trines, which, although held by the great divines of our 
Church, at present have become obsolete with the majority 
of her members, and are withdrawn from public vieMj even 
by the more learned and orthodox few who still adhere to 
them. The Apostolic succession, the Holy Catholic Church, 
were principles of action in the minds of our predecessors of 
the 17th century; but, in proportion as the maintenance of 
the Church has been secured by law, her ministers have been 
under the temptation of leaning on an arm of flesh instead of 
her own divinely-provided discipline, a temptation increased 
by political events and arrangements which need not here be 
more than alluded to. A lamentable increase of sectarianism 
has followed; being occasioned (in addition to other m6re ob- 
vious causes,) first, by the cold aspect which the new Church 
doctrines have presented to the religious sensibilities of the 
mind, next to their meagreness in suggesting motives to 
restrain it from seeking out a more influential discipline. 
Doubtless obedience to the law of the land, and the careful 
maintenance of " decency and order," (the topics in usage 
among us,) are plain duties of the Gospel, and a reasonable 
ground for keeping in communion with the Established 
Church ; yet, if Providence has graciously provided for our 

weakness more interesting and constraining motives, it is a 

a2 



IV ADVERTISEMENT. 

8in tliaiiklessly to neglect tliem; just as it would be a mis- 
take to rest the duties of temperance or justice on the mere 
law of natural religion, when they are mercifully sanctioned in 
the Gospel by the more winning authority of our Saviour 
Christ. Experience has shewn the inefficacy of the mere 
injunctions of Church order, however scripturally enforced, 
in restraining from schism the arwakened and anxious sinner; 
who goes to a dissenting preacher " because (as he expresses 
it) he gets good from him :" and though he does not stand 
excused in God's sight for yielding to the temptation, surely 
the Ministers of the Church are not blameless if, by keeping 
back the more gracious and consoling truths provided for 
the little ones of Christ, they indirectly lead him into it. 
Had he been taught as a child, that the Sacraments, not 
preaching, are the sources of Divine Grace ; that the Apos- 
tolical ministry had a virtue in it which went out over the 
whol^ Church, when sought by the prayer of faith ; that 
fellowship with it was a gift and privilege, as well as a duty, 
we could not have liad so many wanderers from our fold, 
nor so many cold hearts within it. 

This instance may suggest many others of the superior 
influence of an apostolical over a mere secular method of 
teaching. The awakened mind knows its wants, but can- 
not provide for them; and in its hunger will feed upon 
ashes, if it cannot obtain the pure milk of the word. 
Methodism and Popery are in different ways the refuge of 
those whom the Church stints of the gifts of grace ; they 
are the foster-mothers of abandoned children. The neglect 
of the daily service, the desecration of festivals, the Eucha- 
rist Acantily administered) insubordination permitted in all 
ranks of the Church, orders and offices imperfectly deve- 
loped, the want of Societies for particular religious objects, 
and the like deficiencies, lead the feverish mind, desirous of 
a vent to it« feelings, and a stricter rule of life, to the 
tmailer religious C(»mmunities, to prayer and bible meetings, 
and ill-adyised institutions and societies, on the one hand, — 

on the other, to the solemn and captivating services by 
1 



ADVERTISEMENT, 



which Popery gains its proselytes. Moreover, the multi- 
tude of men cannot teach or guide themselves ; and an 
injunction given them to depend on their private judgment, 
cruel in itself, is doubly hurtful, as throwing them on such 
teachers as speak daringly and promise largely, and not 
only aid but supersede individual exertion. 

These remarks may serve as a clue, for those who care to 
pursue it, to the views which have led to the publication of 
the following Tracts. The Church of Christ was intended j 
to cope with human nature in all its forms, and surely the | 
gifts vouchsafed it are adequate for that gracious purpose, f 
There are zealous sons and servants of her English branch, 
who see with sorrow that she is defrauded of her full 
usefulness by particular theories and principles of the pre- 
sent age, which interfere with the execution of one portion 
of her commission ; and while they consider that the revival 
of this portion of truth is especially adapted to break up 
existing parties in the Church, and to form instead a bond 
of union among all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sin- 
cerity, they believe that nothing but these neglected doc- 
trines, faithfully preached, will repress that extension of 
Popery, for which the ever multiplying divisions of the 
religious world are too clearly preparing the way. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of All Saints, 1834. 



CONTENTS. 



No. 
1. 



7. 

8. 

9. 

10. 



11. 

12. 
13. 

14. 
15. 

16. 
17. 



18. 



19. 

20. 
21. 

22. 



Thoughts on the Ministerial Com- 
mission, respectfully addressed 
to the Clergy. 

The Catholic Churqh. 

Thoughts respectfully addressed 
to the Clergy on alterations in 
the Liturgy. 

Adherence to the Apostolical Suc- 
cession the safest Course. 

A short Address to his Brethren 
on the Nature and Constitution 
of the Church of Christ, and of 
the Branch of it established in 
England. By a Layman. 

The Present Obligation of Pri- 
mitive Practice. 

The Episcopal Church Apostolical. 

The Gospel a Law of Liberty. 

On shortening the Church Service. 

Heads of a Week-day Lecture, 
delivered to a Country Congre- 
gation in shire. 

The Visible Church. Letters L 
and n. 

Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. 

Sunday Lessons. — The Principle 
of Selection. 

The Ember Days. 

On the Apostolical Succession of 
the English Church. 

AdvenL 

The Ministerial Commission a 
Trust from Christ for the Be- 
nefit of his People. 

Thoughts on the Benefits of the 
System of Fasting enjoined by 
our Church. 

Od Arguing concerning the Apos- 
tolical Succession. 

The same continued. Letter IIL 

Mortification of the Flesh a Scrip- 
ture Duty. 

The Atbanasbn Creed. 

The Faith and Obedience of 



No. 

Churchmen, the Strength of 
the Church. 

24. The Scripture Vievr of the Apos- 
tolic Commission. 

26. Bishop Beveridge on the great 
Necessity and Advantage of 
Public Prayer. 

26. Bishop Beveridge on the Neces- 

sity and Advantage of frequent 
Communion. 

27. Bishop Cosin on the Doctrine of 

the Eucharist. 

28. The same continued. 

29. Christian Liberty; or, Why should 

we belong to the Church of En- 
gland ? By a Layman. 

30. The same continued. 

31. The Reformed Church. 

32. The Standing Ordinances of Re- 

ligion. 

33. Primitive Episcopacy. 

34. Rites and Customs of the Church. 

35. The People's Interest in their 

Minister's Commission. 

36. Account of Religious Sects at 

present existing in England. 

37. Bishop Wilson's Form of Ex- 

communication. 

38. Via Media.— No. L 

39. Bishop Wilson's Form of receiv- 

ing Penitents. 

40. Baptism. 

41. Via Media.— No. n. 

42. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred OflBce. No. 1. — 
Sunday. 

43. Length of the Public Service. 

44. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 2.— 
Monday. 

45. The Grounds of our Faith. 

46. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 3. — 
Tuesday. 



RErORDS OF THE CHURCH. 



1. Epistle of iK>>i>>'» so the 

Eph«»tans. 
II. Epiatle of Ignatius to tlie 

Magnesians. 
III. The Apostle Sl John and the 

Robber. 



IV, Epistle of Ignatius to Poly- 
carp. 
V. Kpiitie of Ignatius to the 
Trallians. 

VI, Account of the Martyrs of 
Lyons and Vienne. 



TABLE OF TRACTS. 



Vll 



to the 



to the 



No. 

VII. Epistle of Ignatius 

Smyrneans. 
VIII. Epistle of Ignatius 
Romans. 
IX. The Martyrdom of Ignatius 
at Rome. 
X, Epistle of Ignatius to the Phi- 

ladelphians. 
XL Account of the Martyrdom of 

St. James the Apostle. 
XII. The Martyrdom of Polycarp. 
XIII. Justin Martyr, on primitive 
Christian Worship. 



No. 

XIV. Irenseus on the Rule of 
Faith. 
XV. The temporal Condition and 
the Principles of Christians, 
from the Epistle to Diog- 
netus. 
XVI. Address of Clement of Alex- 
andria to the Heathen. 
XVII. Tertullian on the Rule of 
Faith. 
XVIII. The same continued. 



TABLE OF THE TRACTS, 

SHEWING THEIR 

ARRANGEMENT ACCORDING TO SUBJECTS. 



I. 
LITURGICAL. 



No. 



3. Thoughts respectfully addressed 
to the Clergy on alterations in 
the Liturgy. 

9. On shortening the Church Ser- 



No. 

13. Sunday Lessons. — The Principle 
of Selection. 

37. Bishop Wilson's Form of Ex- 
communication. 

39. Bishop Wilson's Form of receiv- 
ing Penitents. 



II. 
ON ORDINANCES. 



14. The Ember Days. 

16. Advent. 

18. Thoughts on the Benefits of the 
System of Fasting, enjoined by 
our Church. 

21. Mortification of the Flesh a Scrip- 
ture Duty. 

25, Bishop Beveridge on the great 
Necessity and Advantage of 
Public Prayer. 



26. 



27. 

28. 
32. 

34. 



Bishop Beveridge on the Neces- 
sity and Advantage of frequent 
Communion. 

Bishop Cosin on the Doctrine of 
the Eucharist. 

The same continued. 

The Standing Ordinances of Re- 
ligion. 

Rites and Customs of the Church. 



III. 



ON THE APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION. 



1. Thoughts on the Ministerial Com- 
mission, respectfully addressed 
to the Clergy. 

4. Adherence to the Apostolical Suc- 
cession the safest Course. 

7- The Episcopal Church Apostoli- 
cal. 
10. Heads of a Week-dav Lecture, 



delivered to a Country Congre- 
gation in shire. 

17- The Ministerial Commission 2 
Trust from Christ for the Bene- 
fit of his People. 

24, The Scripture View of the Apos- 
tolic Commission. 

33. Primitive Episcopacy. 



TABLE OF THE TRACTS. 



No. 

36. The People's Interest in their 
Minister's Commission. 

42. Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 
his Sacred Office. No. 1. — 
Sunday. 



No. 
44. 



46. 



Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Otfice. No. 2. — 

Monday. 
Bishop Wilson's Meditations on 

his Sacred Office. No. 3. — 

Tuesday. 



IV. 



ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH. 



The Catholic Church. 

A short Address to his Brethren 
on the Nature and Constitution 
of the Church of Christ, and of 
the Branch of it established in 
England. By a Layman. 

The Visible Church. Letters I. 
and n. 



20. The same continued. Letter IIL 
23. The Faith and Obedience of 

Churchmen, the Strength of 

the Church. 

29. Christian Liberty ; or. Why should 

we belong to the Church of En- 
gland ? By a Layman. 

30. The same continued. 



V. 
ON THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. 



16. On the Apostolical Succession of 

the English Church. 
31. The Reformed Church. 



36. Account of Religious Sects at 

present existing in England. 
38. Via Media.— No. I. 
41. Via Media.— No. IL 



VI. 
ON THE ARGUMENT FOR THE CHURCH. 



6. The Present Obligation of Pri. 

raitive Practice. 
8. The Gospel a Law of Liberty. 



19. On Arguing concerning the Apos- 
tolical Succession. 
45. The Grounds of our Faith. 



VII. 
RICHARD NELSON. 



12. Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. 
22. The Athanasian Creed. 



40. Baptism. 

43. Length of the Public Service. 



VIII. 

RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

X. Epistle of Ignatius to the Phi- 

ladelphians. 
XI. Account of the Martyrdom of 

St. James the Apostle. 
XII. The Martyrdom of Polycarp. 

XIII. Justin Martyr, on primitive 
Christian Worship. 

XIV. Irenaeus on the Rule of 
Faith. 

XV. The temporal Condition and 
the Principles of Christians, 
from the Epistle to Diog- 
nctns. 
W 1. .Vddrcss of Clement of Alex- 
andria to the Heathen. 
XVII. Tertullian on the Rule of 
Faith. 
XVIII. The same continued. 



I. Epistle of Ignatius to the 
Ephesians. 
II. Epistle of Ignatius to the 
Magnesians. 

III. The Apostle St. John and the 

Robber. 

IV. Epistle of Ignatius to Poly- 

carp. 
V. Epistle of Ignatius to the 

Trallians. 
VI. Account of the Martyr* of 

^ and Vienne. 
VI! of Ignatius to the 

^ means. 

Vlll. Epistle of Ignatius to the 
Romans. 
IX. The Martyrdom of IgnatJttB 
a I Rome. 



THOUGHTS 

ON 

THE MINISTERIAL COMMISSION, 

RESPECTFULLY ADDRESSED TO THE CLERGY. 



I AM but one of yourselves, — a Presbyter ; and therefore I con- 
ceal my name, lest I should take too much on myself by speaking 
in my own person. Yet speak I must; for the times are very 
evil, yet no one speaks against them. 

Is not this so? Do not we " look one upon another," yet per- 
form nothing ? Do we not all confess the peril into which the 
Church is come, yet sit still each in his own retirement, as if 
mountains and seas cut off brother from brother? Therefore 
suffer me, while I try to draw you forth from those pleasant re- 
treats, which it has been our blessedness hitherto to enjoy, to 
contemplate the condition and prospects of our Holy Mother in a 
practical way ; so that one and all may unlearn that idle habit, 
which has grown upon us, of owning the state of things to be 
bad, yet doing nothing to remedy it. 

Consider a moment. Is it fair, is it dutiful, to suffer our 
Bishops to stand the brunt of the battle without doing our part 
to support them ? Upon them comes " the care of all the 
Churches." This cannot be helped; indeed it is their glory. 
Not one of us would wish in the least to deprive them of the du- 
ties, the toils, the responsibilities of their high office. And, 
black event as it would be for the country, yet, (as far as they 
are concerned,) we could not wish them a more blessed termina- 
tion of their course, than the spoiling of their goods, and mar- 
tyrdom. 

To them then we willingly and affectionately relinquish their 
high privileges and honors ; we encroach not upon the rights of 
the SUCCESSORS of the apostles ; we touch not their sword 
and crosier. Yet surely we may be their shield-bearers in the 
battle without offence ; and by our voice and deeds be to them 
what Luke and Timothy were to St. Paul. 

Now then let me come at once to the subject which leads me to 
address you. Should the Government and Country so far forget 
their God as to cast off the Church, to deprive it of its temporal 
honors and substance, on what will you rest the claim of respect 
and attention which you make upon your flocks ? Hitherto you 

A 



have been upheld by your birth, your education, your wealth, 
your connexions ; should these secular advantages cease, on what 
must Christ's JNIinisters depend? Is not this a serious practical 
question ? We know how miserable is the state of religious bo- 
dies not supported by the State. Look at the Dissenters on all 
sides of you, and you will see at once that their IVIinisters, de- 
pending simply upon the people, become the creatures of the 
people. Are you content that this should be your case ? Alas ! 
can a greater evil befal Christians, than for their teachers to be 
guided by them, instead of guiding ? How can we '' hold fast 
the form of sound words/' and " keep that which is committed 
to our trust," if our influence is to depend simply on our popu- 
larity } Is it not our very oflice to oppose the world, can we then 
allow ourselves to court it ? to preach smooth things and pro- 
phesy deceits ? to make the way of life easy to the rich and indo- 
lent, and to bribe the humbler classes by excitements and strong 
intoxicating doctrine .'' Surely it must not be so ; — and the 
question recurs, on what are we to rest our authority, when the 
State deserts us } 

Christ has not left His Church without claim of its own upon 
the attention of men. Surely not. Hard blaster He cannot be, 
to bid us oppose the world, yet give us no credentials for so 
doing. There are some who rest their divine mission on their 
own unsupported assertion ; others, who rest it u|K)n their popu- 
larity ; others, on their success ; and others, who rest it upon 
their temporal distinctions. This last case has, perhaps, been 
too much our own ; I fear we have neglected the real ground on 
which our authority is built, — our apostolical descent. 

We have been born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, 
nor of the will of man, but of God. The Lord Jesus Christ gave 
His Spirit to His Apostles ; they in turn laid their hands on 
those who should succeed them ; and these again on others ; and 
80 the sacred gift has been handed down to our present Bishops, 
who have appointed us us their jissistants, and in some sense re- 
presentatives. 

Now every one of us believes this. I know that some will at 
first deny they do ; still they do believe it. Only, it is not suffi- 
ciently, practically impressed on their minds, 'i'hey do believe 
it ; for it is the doctrine of the Ordination Service, which they 
have recognised as truth in the most solemn season of their lives. 
In order, then, not to prove, but to remind and impress, I entreat 
your attention to the words used when you were made INIinisters 
of Christ's Church. 



s 

The office of Deacon was thus committed to you : " Take thou 
authority to execute the office of a Deacon in the Church of God 
committed unto thee : In the name, &c. 

And the Priesthood thus : 

*' Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office and work of a Priest, 
" in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposi- 
" tion of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are for- 
'^ given ; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. 
" And be thou a faithful dispenser of the Word of God, and of 
" His Holy Sacraments : In the name, &c. 

These, I say, were words spoken to us, and received by us, 
when we were brought nearer to God than at any other time of 
our lives. I know the grace of ordination is contained in the 
laying on of hands, not in any form of words ; — yet in our own 
case, (as has ever been usual in the Church,) words of blessing 
have accompanied the act. Thus we have confessed before God 
our belief, that from the Bishop who ordained us, we received 
the Holy Ghost, the power to bind and to loose, to administer 
the Sacraments, and to preach. Now how is he able to give 
these great gifts? Whence is his right? Are these words idle, 
(which would be taking God's name in vain,) or do they express 
merely a wish, (which surely is very far below their meaning,) or 
do they not rather indicate that the Speaker is conveying a gift ? 
Surely they can mean nothing short of this. But whence, I ask, 
his right to do so ? Has he any right, except as having received 
the power from those who consecrated him to be a Bishop ? He 
could not give what he had never received. It is plain then that 
he but transmits ; and that the Christian Ministry is a succeS' 
sion. And if we trace back the power of ordination from hand 
to hand, of course we shall come to the Apostles at last. We 
know we do, as a plain historical fact ; and therefore all we, who 
have been ordained Clergy, in the very form of our ordination 
acknowledged the doctrine of the apostolical succession. 

And for the same reason, we must necessarily consider none to 
be really ordained who have not thus been ordained. For if or- 
dination is a divine ordinance, it must be necessary ; and if it 
is not a divine ordinance, how dare we use it ? Therefore all 
who use it, all of us, must consider it necessary. As well might 
we pretend the Sacraments are not necessary to Salvation, while 
we make use of the offices of the Liturgy ; for when God ap- 
points means of grace, they are the means. 

I do not see how any one can escape from this plain view of 
the subject, except, (as I have already hinted,) by declaring, that 



the words do not nieaii all that they say. But only reflect what 
a most unseemly time for random words is that, in which Mi- 
nisters are set apart for their office. Do we not adopt a Liturgy, 
in order to hinder inconsiderate idle language, and shall we, in 
the most sacred of all services, write down, subscribe, and use 
again and again forms of speech which have not been weighed, 
and cannot be taken strictly ? 

Therefore, my dear Brethren, act up to your professions. Let 
it not be said that you have neglected a gift ; for if you have the 
Spirit of the Apostles on you, surely this is a great gift '' Stir 
up the gift of God which is in you." JMake much of it. Show 
your value of it. Keep it before your minds as an honorable 
badge, far higher than that secular respectability, or cultivation, 
or polish, or learning, or rank, which gives you a hearing with 
the many. Tell them of your gift. The times will soon drive 
you to do this, if you mean to be still any thing. But wait not 
for the times. Do not be compelled, by the world's forsaking 
you, to recur as if unwillingly to the high source of your autho- 
rity. Speak out now, before you are forced, both as glorying in 
your privilege, and to ensure your rightful honor from your 
people. A notion has gone abroad, that they can take away your 
power. They think they have given and can take it away. 
They think it lies in the Church property, and they know that 
they have politically the power to confiscate that property. They 
have been deluded into a notion that present palpable usefulness, 
produceable results, acceptableness to your flocks, that these and 
such like are the tests of your Divine commission. Enlighten 
them in this matter. Exalt our Holy Fathers the Bishops, as 
the Kepresentatives of the Apostles, and the Angels of the 
Churches ; and magnify your office, as being ordained by them to 
take part in their Ministry. 

But, if you will not adopt my view of the subject, which I 
offer to you, not doubtingly, yet (I hope) respectfully, at all 
events, choosk your side. To remain neuter much htnger will 
be itself to take a part. Choose your side ; since side ytm shortly 
must, with one or other party, even though you do nothing. Fear 
to be of those, whose line is decided for them l)y chance circum- 
stances, and who may perchance find themselves with the ene- 
mies of Christ, while tliey think but to remove themselves from 
worldly politics. Such abstinence is impossible in troublous times. 
Hk tuat is not with me, is against mb, and ue that 

OATHEBBTU NOT WITH ME BCATTERETH ABROAD. 

^^ . Kivf.. I'KiMjn, ST. CLEMBM's, OXrOBD. 



Sept. 9. 1833.] [>o. 2. 



THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. 

JSTo weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every 
tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment THOU SHALT 

CONDEMN. 

It is sometimes said, that the Clergy should abstain 
from politics ; and that, if a Minister of Christ is political, he is 
not a follower of Him who said, " My kingdom is not of this 
world." Now there is a sense in which this is true, but, as it is 
commonly taken, it is very false. 

It is true that the mere affairs of this world should not engage 
a Clergyman ; but it is absurd to say that the affairs of this world 
should not at all engage his attention. If so, this world is not a 
preparation for another. Are we to speak when individuals sin, 
and not when a nation, which is but a collection of individuals ? 
Must we speak to the poor, but not to the rich and powerful ? In 
vain does St. James warn us against having the faith of our Lord 
Jesus Christ with respect of persons. In vain does the Prophet de- 
clare to us the Word of the Lord, that if the watchmen of Israel 
" speak not to warn the wicked from his way," " his blood will be 
required at the watchman's hand." 

Complete our Lord's declaration concerning the nature of His 
kingdom, and you will see it is not at all inconsistent with the duty 
of our active and zealous interference in matters of this world. 
" If My kingdom were of this world," He says, " then would 
My servants fight,'^ — Here He has vouchsafed so to explain Him- 
self, that there is no room for misunderstanding His meaning. No 
one contends that His Ministers ought to use the weapons of a 
carnal warfare ; — but surely to protest, to warn, to threaten, to ex- 
communicate, are not such weapons. Let us not be scared from a 
plain duty, by the mere force of a misapplied text. There is an 
unexceptionable sense in which a Clergyman may, nay mus,t be 
political. And above all, when the Nation interferes with the 
rights and possessions of the Church, it can with even less grace 
complain of the Church interfering with the Nation. 

With this introduction let me call your attention to what seems 
a most dangerous infringement on our rights, on the part of the 
State. The Legislature has lately taken upon itself to remodel 
the dioceses of Ireland ; a proceeding which involvei the appoint- 



nient of certain Bishops over certain Clergy, and of certain Clergy 
under certain Bishops, without the Church being consulted in the 
matter. I do not say whether or not harm will follow from this 
particular act with reference to Ireland ; but consider whether it be 
not in itself an interference with things spiritual. 

Are we content to be accounted the mere creation of the State, 
as schoolmasters and teachers may be, or soldiers, or magistrates, 
or other public officers ? Did the State make us ? can it unmake 
us ? can it send out missionaries ? can it arrange dioceses ? Surely 
all these are spiritual functions ; and Laymen may as well set about 
preaching, and consecrating the Bread and Wine, as assume these. 
I do not say the guilt is equal ; but that, if the latter is guilt, the 
former is. Would St. Paul, with his good will, have suffered the 
Roman power to appoint Timothy, Bishop of Miletus as well as 
Ephesus ? Would Timothy at such a bidding have undertaken the 
charge ? Is not the notion of such an order, such an obedience, 
absurd ? Yet has it not been realized in what has lately happened ? 
For in what is the English State at present different from the Roman 
formerly ? Neither can be accounted members of the Church of 
Christ. No one can say the British Legislature is in our commu- 
nion, or is even Christian. What pretence then has it for, not 
merely advising, but superseding the Ecclesiastical Power ? 

Bear with me, while I express my fear that we do not, as much 
as we ought, consider the force of that article of our Belief, " The 
<me Catholic and Apostolic Church." This is a tenet so import- 
ant as to have been in the Creed from the beginning. It is men- 
tioned there as a fact, and a fact to he believed^ and therefore 
practical. Now what do we conceive is meant by it ? As people 
vaguely lake it in the present day, it seems only an assertion that 
there is a number of sincere Christians scattered through the world. 
But is not this a truism } who doubt it ? who can deny that 
there are people in various places who are sincere believers } what 
comes of this ? how is it important ? why should it be placed as 
an article of faith, after the belief in the Holy Ghost ? Doubtless 
tlie only true and satisfactory meaning is that which our Divines 
have ever taken, that the re is on earth an existing Society, Apostolic 
as founded by the Apostles, Catholic because it spreads its branches 
in every place ; i. e. the Church visible with its Bishops, Priests, 
and Deacons. And this surely is a most important doctrine ; for 
what can be better news to the bulk of mankind than to be told 
that Christ, when He ascended, did not leave us orphans but 
appointed representatives of Himself to the end of time ? 



" The necessity of believing the Holy Catholic Church," says 
Bishop Pearson, in his Exposition of the Creed, " appeareth first 
" in this, that Christ hath appointed it as the only way to eternal 
" life .... Christ never appointed two v^^ays to heaven, nor did 
" He build a Church to save some, and make another institution for 
" other men's salvation. There is none other name under heaven 
" given among men whereby we must be saved, but the name of 
" Jesus ; and that name is no otherwise given under heaven than 
" in the Church. This is the congregation of those persons here 

" on earth which shall hereafter meet in heaven There is a 

" necessity of believing the Catholic Church, because except a man 
" be of that, he can be of none. Whatsoever Church pretendeth to 
" a new beginning, pretendeth at the same time to a new Church- 
" dom, and whatsoever is so new is none." This indeed is the 
unanimous opinion of our Divines, that, as the Sacraments, so 
Communion with the Church, is " generally necessary to salva- 
" tion," in the case of those who can obtain it. 

If then we express our belief in the existence of one Church on 
earth from Christ's coming to the end of all things, if there is 
a promise it shall continue, and if it is our duty to do our part 
in our generation towards its continuance, how can we with a safe 
conscience countenance the interference of the Nation in its con- 
cerns ? Does not such interference tend to destroy it ? Would it 
not destroy it, if consistently followed up ? Now, may we sit still 
and keep silence, when efforts are making to break up, or at least 
materially to weaken that Ecclesiastical body which we know is in- 
tended to last while the world endures, and the safety of which is 
committed to our keeping in our day ? How shall we answer for it, 
if we transmit that Ordinance of God less entire than when it came 
to us ? 

Now what am I calling on you to do ? You cannot help what 
has been done in Ireland ; but you may protest against it. You 
may as a duty protest against it in public and private ; you may 
keep a jealous watch on the proceedings of the Nation, lest a 
second act of the same kind be attempted. You may keep it before 
you as a desirable object that the Irish Church should at some fu- 
ture day meet in Synod and protest herself against what has been 
done ; and then proceed to establish or rescind the State injunc- 
tion, as may be thought expedient. 

I know it is too much the fashion of the times to think any 
earnestness for ecclesiastical rights unseasonable and absurd, as if 
it were the feeling of those who lived among books and not in the 



world. But it is our duty to live among books, especially to live 
by ONE BOOK, and a very old one ; and therein we are enjoined 
to ** keep that good thing which is committed unto us,** to " neglect 
not our gifts." And when men talk, as they sometimes do, as if 
in opposing them we were standing on technical difficulties instead 
of welcoming great and extensive benefits which wculd be the re- 
sult of their measures, I would ask them, (letting alone the question 
of their beneficial nature, which u a question,) whether this is not 
being wise above that is written, whether it is not doing evil that 
good may come. We cannot know the effects which will follow 
certain alterations ; but we can decide that the means by which it 
is proposed to attain them are unprecedented and disrespectful to the 
Church. And when men say, " the day is past for stickling about 
ecclesiastical rights,** let them see to it, whether they do not use 
substantially the same arguments to maintain their position, as those 
who say, ♦* The day is past for being a Christian.** 

Lastly, is it not plain that by showing a bold front and defend- 
ing the rights of the Church, we are taking the only course, which 
can make us respected ? Yielding will not persuade our enemies to 
desist from their efforts to destroy us root and branch. We cannot 
hope by giving something to keep the rest. Of this surely we 
have had of late years sufficient experience. But by resisting 
strenuously, and contemplating and providing against the worst, we 
may actually prevent the very evils we fear. To prepare for per» 
secution may be the way to avert it. 



«^ These Tracts may be had at TuRRtLL% No, 250, Regent 
Street, Lttndon. 



THOUGHTS 

RESPECTFULLY ADDRESSED TO THE CLERGY 

ON ALTERATIONS IN THE LITURGY. 



Attempts are making to get the Liturgy altered. My dear 
Brethren, I beseech you, consider with me whether you ought 
not to resist the alteration of even one jot or tittle of it. Though 
you would in your own private judgments wish to have this or 
that phrase or arrangement amended, is this a time to concede 
one tittle ? 

Why do I say this ? because, though most of you would wish 
some immaterial points altered, yet not many of you agree in 
those points, and not many of you agree what is and what is not 
immaterial. If all your respective emendations are taken, the 
alterations in the Services will be extensive ; and though each 
will gain something he wishes, he will lose more from those alter- 
ations which he did not wish. Tell me, are the present imper- 
fections (as they seem to each) of such a nature, and so many, 
that their, removal will compensate for the recasting of much 
which each thinks to be no imperfection, or rather an excellence ? 

There are persons who wish the Marriage Service emended ; 
there are others who would be indignant at the changes proposed. 
There are some who wish the Consecration Prayer in the Holy 
Sacrament to be what it was in King Edward's first book ; there 
are others who think this would be an approach to Popery. 
There are some who wish the imprecatory Psalms omitted ; there 
are others who would lament this omission as savoring of the 
shallow and detestable liberalism of the day. There are some 
who wish the Services shortened ; there are others who think we 
should have far more Services, and more frequent attendance at 
public worship than we have. 

How few would be pleased by any given alterations ; and how 
many pained ! 

But once begin altering, and there will be no reason or justice 
in stopping, till the criticisms of all parties are satisfied. Thus 
will not the Liturgy be in the evil case described in the well- 
known story, of the picture subjected by the artist to the observa- 
tions of passers-by ? And, even to speak at present of compara- 



tively immaterial alterations, I mean such as do not infringe 
upon the doctrines of the Prayer Book, will not it even with these 
be a changed book ? and will not that new book be for certain an 
inconsistent one, the alterations being made, not on principle, but 
upon chance objections urged from various quarters ? 

But this is not all. A taste for criticism grows upon the 
mind. When we begin to examine and take to pieces, our 
judgment becomes perplexed, and our feelings unsettled. I do not 
know whether others feel this to the same extent, but for myself, 
I confess there are few parts of the Service that I could not dis- 
turb myself about, and feel fastidious at, if I allowed my mind 
in this abuse of reason. First, e. g. I might object to the ojjen- 
ing sentences ; *' they are not evangelical enough ; Christ is not 
mentioned in them ; they are principally from the Old Testa- 
ment." Then I should criticise the Exhortation, as having too 
many words, and as antiquated in style. I might find it hard to 
speak against the confession ; but " the Absolution," it might 
be said, " is not strong enough ; it is a mere declaration, not an 
announcement of pardon to those who have confessed." And 
so on. 

Now I think this unsettling of the mind a frightful thing ; 
both to ourselves, and more so to our flocks. They have long 
regarded the Prayer Book with reverence as the stay of their 
faith and devotion. The weaker sort it will make sceptical ; the 
better it will offend and pain. Take, e. g. an alteration which 
some have offered in the Creed, to omit or otherwise word the 
clause, " He descended into hell.'' Is it no comfort for mourners 
to be told that Christ Himself has been in that unseen state, or 
Paradise, which is the allotted place of sojourn for departed 
spirits ? Is it not very easy to explain the ambiguous word, is it 
any great harm if it is misunderstood, and is it not very difficult to 
find any substitute for it in harmony with the composition of the 
Creed ? I suspect we should find the best men in the number of 
those who would retain it as it is. On the other hand, will not 
the unstable learn from us a habit of criticising what they should 
never think of but as a djvin e voice suppli ed by the Church for 
their need ? 

But as regards ourselves, the Clergy, what will be the effect of 
this temper of innovation in us? We have the power to bring 
about changes in the Liturgy ; shall we not exert it ? Have we 
any security, if we once begin, that we shall ever end ? Shall 
not we pass from non-essentiuls to essentials ? And then, on 



looking back after the mischief is done, what excuse shall we be 
able to make for ourselves for having encouraged such proceed- 
ings at first ? Were there grievous errors in the Prayer Book, 
something might be said for beginning, but who can point out 
any ? cannot we very well hear things as they are ? does any 
part of it seriously disquiet us ? no ; — we have before now freely 
given our testimony to its accordance with Scripture. 

But it may be said that " we must conciliate an outcry which 
is made ; that some alteration is demanded." By whom ? no 
one can tell who cries, or who can be conciliated. Some of the 
laity I suppose. Now consider this carefully. Who are these 
lay persons ? Are they serious men, and are their consciences 
involuntary hurt by the things they wish altered? Are they 
not rather the men you meet in company, worldly men, with 
little personal religion, of lax conversation and lax professed 
principles, who sometimes perhaps come to Church, and then are 
wearied and disgusted ? Is it not so ? You have been dining 
perhaps with a wealthy neighbour, or fall in with this great 
Statesman, or that noble Aristocrat, who considers the Church 
two centuries behind the world, and expresses to you wonder 
that its enlightened members do nothing to improve it. And 
then you get ashamed, and are betrayed into admissions which 
sober reason disapproves. You consider too that it is a great 
pity so estimable or so influential a man should be disaiFected to 
the Church ; and you go away with a vague notion that some- 
thing must be done to conciliate such persons. Is this to bear 
about you the solemn office of a Guide and Teacher in Israel, 
or to follow a lead ? 

But consider what are the concessions which would conciliate 
such men. Would immaterial alterations ? Do you really think 
they care one jot about the verbal or other changes which some 
recommend, and others are disposed to grant ? whether "the un- 
seen state" is substituted for "hell," "condemnation" for 
*' damnation," or the order of Sunday lessons is remodelled ? 
No ; — they dislike the doctrine of the Liturgy. These men of 
the world do not like the anathemas of the Athanasian Creed, 
and other such peculiarities of our Services. But even were the 
alterations, which would please them, small, are they the persons 
whom it is of use, whom it is becoming to conciliate by going out 
of our way ? 

I need not go on to speak against doctrinal alterations, be- 
cause most thinking men are sufficiently averse to them. But, I 



earnestly beg you to consider whether we must not come to them, 
if we once begin. For by altering immaterials, we merely raise 
without gratifying the desire of correcting ; we excite the crav- 
ing, but withhold the food. And it should be observed, that the 
changes called immaterial often contain in themselves the germ 
of some principle, of which they are thus the introduction. 
E. G. If we were to leave out the imprecatory Psalms, we cer- 
tainly countenance the notion of the day, that love and love only 
is in the Gospel the character of Almighty God and the duty of 
regenerate man ; whereas that Gospel, rightly understood, shows 
His Infinite Holiness and Justice as well as His Infinite Love, 
and it enjoins on men the duties of zeal towards Him, hatred of 
sin, and separation from sinners, as well as that of kindness and 
charity. 

To the above observations it may be answered, that changes 
have formerly been made in the Services without leading to the 
issue I am predicting now ; and therefore they may be safely 
made again. But, waving all other remarks in answer to this 
argument, is not this enough, viz. that there is peril ? No one 
will deny that the rage of the day is for concession. Have we 
not already granted (political) points, without stopping the course 
of innovation ? This is a fact. Now, is it worth while even to 
risk fearful changes merely to gain petty improvements, allowing 
those which are proposed to be such ? 

We know not what is to come upon us ; but the writer for 
one will try so to acquit himself now, that if any irremediable 
calamity befalls the Church, he may not have to vex himself 
with the recollections of silence on his part and indifierence, 
when he might have been up and alive. There was a time when 
he, as well as others, might feel the wish, or rather the tempta- 
tion, of steering a middle course between parties ; but if so, a 
more close attention to passing events, has cured his infirmity. 
In a day like this there are but two sides, zeal and persecution, 
the Church and the world ; and those who attempt to occupy the 
ground between them, at best will lose their labour, but probably 
will be drawn back to the latter. Be practical, I respectfully 
urge you ; do not attempt impossibilities ; sail not as if in plea- 
sure boats upon a troubled sea. Not a word falls to the ground, 
in a time like this. Speculations about ecclesiastical improve- 
ments wliich might be innocent at other times, have a strength 
of mischief now. They arc realized before he who utters them 
understands that he has committed himself. 



Be prepared then for petitioning against any alterations in the 
Prayer Book which may be proposed. And, should you see that 
our Fathers the Bishops seem to countenance them, petition still. 
Petition them. They will thank you for such a proceeding. 
They do not wish these alterations ; but how can they resist them 
without the support of their Clergy ? They consent to them, (if 
they do,) partly from the notion that they are thus pleasing you. 
Undeceive them. They will be rejoiced to hear that you are as 
unwilling to receive them as they are. However, if after all there 
be persons determined to allow some alterations, then let them 
quickly make up their minds how far they will go. They think 
it easier to draw the line elsewhere, than as things now exist. 
Let them point out the limit of their concessions now ; and let 
them keep to it then ; and, (if they can do this,) I will say that, 
though they are not as wise as they might have been, they are 
at least firm, and have at last come right. 



THE BURIAL SERVICE. 

We hear many complaints about the Burial Service, as un- 
suitable for the use for which it was intended. It expresses a 
hope, that the person departed, over whom it is read, will be 
saved ; and this is said to be dangerous when expressed about 
all who are called Christians, as leading the laity to low views of 
the spiritual attainments necessary for salvation ; and distressing 
the Clergy who have to read it. 

Now I do not deny, I frankly own, it is sometimes distressing 
to use the Service ; but this it must ever be in the nature of 
things, wherever you draw the line. Do you pretend you can dis- 
criminate the wheat from the tares ? of course not. 

It is often distressing to use this Service, because it is often 
distressing to think of the dead at all ; not that you are without 
hope, but because you have fear also. 

How many are there whom you know well enough to dare to 
give any judgment about ? Is a clergyman only to express a 
hope where he has grounds for having it ? Are not the feelings 
of relatives to be considered ? And may there not be a difference 
of judgments ? I may hope more, another less. If each is to 
use the precise words which suit his own judgment, then we can 
have no words at all. 

But it may be said, " every thing of a personal nature may be 
left out from the Service." And do you really wish this ? Is this 
the way in which your flock will wish their lost friends to be 
treated ? a cold " edification" but no affectionate valediction to 
the departed? Why not pursue this course of (supposed) im- 
provement, and advocate the omission of the Service altogether ? 

Are we to have no kind and religious thoughts over the good, 
lest we should include the bad ? 

But it will be said, that, at least we ought not to read the Ser- 
vice over the flagrantly wicked ; over those who are a scandal to 
religion. But this is a very different position. I agree with it 
entirely. Of course we should not do so, and truly the Church 
never meant we should. She never wished we should profess our 
hope of the salvation of habitual drunkards and swearers, open 
sinners, blasphemers, and the like ; not as daring to despair of 
their salvation, but thinking it unseemly to honor their memory. 
Though the Church is not endowed with a power of absolute judg- 



ment upon individuals, yet she is directed to decide according to 
external indications, in order to hold up the rules of God's 
governance, and afford a type of it, and an assistance towards 
the realizing it. As she denies to the scandalously wicked the 
Lord's Supper, so does she deprive them of her other privileges. 

The Church, I say, does not bid us read the Service over open 
sinners. Hear her own words introducing the Service. " The 
" office ensuing is not to be used for any that die unbaptized, or 
excommunicate, or have laid violent hands upon themselves." 
There is no room to doubt whom she meant to be excommu- 
nicated, open sinners. Those therefore who are pained at the 
general use of the Service, should rather strive to restore the 
practice of excommunication, than to alter the words used in 
the Service. Surely, if we do not do this, we are clearly de- 
frauding the religious, for the sake of keeping close to the 
wicked. 

Here we see the common course of things in this world. We 
omit a duty. In consequence our Services become inconsistent. 
Instead of retracing our steps we alter the Service. What is 
this but, as it were, to sin upon principle 1 While we keep to 
our principles, our sins are inconsistencies ; at length, sensitive 
of the absurdity which inconsistency involves, we accommodate 
our professions to our practice. This is ever the way of the 
world ; but it should not be the way of the Church. 

I will join heart and hand with any who will struggle for a re- 
storation of that " godly discipline," the restoration of which our 
Church publicly professes she considers desirable ; but God for- 
bid any one should so depart from her spirit, as to mould her 
formularies to fit the case of deliberate sinners ! And is not this 
what we are plainly doing, if we alter the Burial Service as pro- 
posed ? we are recognizing the right of men to receive Christian 
Burial, about whom we do not like to express a hope. Why 
should they have Christian Burial at all ? 

It will be said that the restoration of the practice of Excom- 
munication is impracticable ; and that therefore the other alterna- 
tion must be taken, as the only one open to us. Of course it is 
impossible, if no one attempts to restore it ; but if all willed it, 
how would it be impossible ? and if no one stirs because he thinks 
no one else will, he is arguing in a circle. 

But, after all, what have we to do with probabilities and pros- 
pects in matters of plain duty ? Were a man the only member of 
the Church who felt it a duty to return to the Ancient Discipline, 



8 

yet a duty is a duty, though he be alone. It is one of the great 
sins of our times to look to consequences in matters of plain 
duty. Is not this such a case ? If not, prove that it is not ; but 
do not argue from consequences. 

In the mean while I offer the following texts in evidence of 
the duty. 

Matth. xviii. 15—17. Rom. xvi. 17. 1 Cor. v. 7—13. 2 Thes. iii. 6, 
14,15. 2Tim. iii.5. Tit. iii. 10, Jl. 2 John, 10, 11. 



THE PRINCIPLE OF UNITY. 

Testimony of St. Clement, the associate of St. Paul, (Phil. iv. 
3.) to the Apostolical Succession. 

The Apostles knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that strife would arise 
for the Episcopate. Wherefore having received an accurate foieknowledge, 
they appointed the men I before mentioned, and have given an orderly suc- 
cession, that on their death other approved men might receive in turn their 
office. Ep. i. 44. 

Testimony of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, to Episcopacy. 

Your celebrated Presbytery, worthy of God, is as closely knit to the Bishop, 
as the strings to a harp, and so by means of your unanimity and concordant 
love Jesus Christ is sung. Eph. 4. 

There are who profess to acknowledge a Bishop, but do every thing without 
him. Such men appear to lack a clear conscience. Magn. 4. 

He for whom I am bound is my witness that I have not learned this doctrine 
from mortal man. The Spirit proclaimed to me these words : " Without the 
Bishop do nothing." Phil. 7. 

With these and other such strong passages in the Apostolical 
Fathers, how can we permit ourselves in our present practical 
disregard of the Episcopal Authority ? Are not we apt to obey 
only so far as the law obliges us ? do we support the Bishop, and 
strive to move all together with him as our bond of union and 
head ? or is not our e very-day conduct as if, except with respect 
to certain periodical forms and customs, we were each inde- 
pendent in his own parish ? 

& Any one is at liberty to reprint these Tracts, with such 
alterations as approve themselves to his judgment. 



W. KIKO, PRINTEB, ST. CLEMENT S, OXFORD. 



ADHERENCE TO THE APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION 
THE SAFEST COURSE. 



We who believe the Nicene Creed, must acknow- 
ledge it a high privilege, that we belons; to the Apostolic Church. 
How is it that so many of us are, almost avowedly, so cold and in- 
ditferent in our thoughts of this privilege ? 

Is it because the very idea is in itself overstrained and fanciful, 
apt perhaps to lay strong hold on a few ardent minds, but little in 
accordance with the general feelings of mankind ? Surely not. 
The notion of a propagated commission is as simple and intelligble 
in itself, as can well be ; is acted on daily in civil matters, (the ad- 
ministration of trust property, for example,) ; and has found a most 
ready, sometimes an enthusiastic, acceptance, in those many nations 
of the world, which have submitted, and are submitting themselves 
to sacerdotal castes, elective or hereditary. "Priests self-elected, 
or appointed by the State," is rather the idea which startles ordinary 
thinkers; not " Priests commissioned, successively, from heaven.'* 

Or is our languor rather to be accounted for by the want of ex- 
press scriptural encouragement to the notion of a divine ministerial 
commission ? Nay, Scripture, at first sight, is express ; whether 
we take the analogy of the Old Testament, the words of our Lord, 
or the practice of»His Apostles. The Primitive Christians read it 
accordingly ; and cherished, with all affectionate reverence, the pri- 
vilege which they thought they found there Why are we so 
unlike them ? 

I fear it must be own^'d, that much of the evil is owing to the 
comparatively low ground, which we ourselves, the Ministers of 
God, have chosen to occupy in defence of our commission. For 
many years, we have been much in the habit of resting our claim 
on the general duties of submission to authority, of decency and 
order, of respecting precedents long established ; instead of appeal- 
ing to that warrant, which marks us, exclusively, for God's Am- 
bassadors. We have spoken much in the same tone, as we 



might, had we been mere Laymen, acting for ecclesiastical purposes 
by a commission under the Great Seal. Waving the question, 
*' was this wise ? was it right, in higher respects?" — I ask, was it 
not obviously certain, in some degree, to damp and deaden the in- 
terest, with which men of devout minds would naturally regard the 
Christian Ministry ? Would not more than half the reverential 
feeling, with which we look on a Church or Cathedral, be gone, if 
we ceased to contemplate it as the House of God, and learned to 
esteem it merely as a place set apart by the State for moral and 
religious instruction ? 

It would be going too deep in history, were one now to enter on 
any statement of the causes which have led, silently and insensibly, 
almost to the abandonment of the high ground, which our Fathers 
of the Primitive Church, i. e. the Bishops and Presbyters of the first 
five centuries, invariably took, in preferring their claim to canonical 
obedience. For the present, it is rather wished to urge, on plain 
positive considerations, the wisdom and duty of keeping in view the 
simple principle on which they relied. 

Their principle, in short, was this : That the Holy Feast on our 
Saviour's sacrifice, which all confess to be " generally necessary to 
salvation," was intended by Him to be constantly conveyed through 
the hands of commissioned persons. Except therefore we can shew 
such a warrant, we cannot be sure that our hands convey the sacri- 
fice; we cannot be sure that souls worthily prepared, receiving the 
bread which we break, and the cup of blessing which we bless, are 
Partakers of the Body and Blood of Christ. Piety, then, and 
Christian Reverence, and sincere, devout Love of our Redeemer, 
nay, and Charity to the souls of our brethren, not good order and 
expediency only, would prompt us, at all earthly risks, to preserve 
and transmit the seal and warrant of Christ. 

If the rules of Christian conduct were founded merely on visible 
expediency, the zeal with which those holy men were used to main- 
tain the Apostolical Succession, might appear a strange unaccount- 
able thing. Not so, if our duties to our Saviour be like our duties 
to a parent or a brother, the unalterable result of certain known 
relations, previous to all consideration of consequences.* Reflect 
on this, and you presently feel what a difference it makes in a 
pious mind, whether ministerial prerogatives be traced to our Lord's 
* Butler's Analogy, p. ii. c. 1. 



own institution, or to mere voluntary ecclesiastical arrangement. 
Let two plans of Government, as far as we can see, be equally good 
and expedient in themselves, yet if there be but a fair probability 
of one rather than the other proceeding from our Blessed Lord 
Himself, those who love llim in sincerity will know at once which 
to prefer. They will not demand that every point be made out by 
inevitable demonstration, or promulgated in form, like a State de- 
cree. According to the beautiful expression of the Psalmist, they 
will consent to be " guided by" our Lord's " eye ;" * the indications 
of His pleasure will be enough for them. They will state the 
matter thus to themselves : " Jesus Christ's own commission is the 
best external security I can have, that in receiving this bread and 
wine, I verily receive his Body and Blood. Either the Bishops 
have that commission, or there is no such thing in the world. 
For' at least Bishops have it with as much evidence, as Presbyters 
without them. In proportion, then, to my Christian anxiety for 
keeping as near my Saviour as I can, I shall of course be very 
unwiUing to separate myself from Episcopal communion. And in 
proportion to my charitable care for others, will be my industry 
to preserve and extend the like consolation and security to them.** 

Consider the analogy of an absent parent, or dear friend in 
another hemisphere. Would not such an one naturally reckon it 
one sign of sincere attachment, if, when he returned home, he found 
that in all family questions respect had been shewn especially to 
those in whom he was known to have had most confidence ? 
Would he not be pleased, when it appeared that people had not 
been nice in enquiring what express words of command he liad 
given, where they had good reason to think that such and such a 
course would be approved by him ? If his children and depend- 
ants had searched diligently, where, and with whom, he had left 
commissions, and having fair cause to think they had found such, 
had scrupulously conformed themselves, as far as they could, to 
the proceedings of those so trusted by him; would he not think 
this a better sign, than if they had been dextrous in devising ex- 
ceptions, in explaining away the words of trust, and limiting the 
prerogatives he had conferred ? 

Now certainly the Gospel has many indications, that 07ir best 
Friend in His absence is likely to be well pleased with those who do 



their best in sincerily lo keep as near to His Apostles as they can. 
It is studiously recorded, for example, by the Evangelists, in the 
account of our Lord's two miraculous Feasts, that all passed through 
His Difciples' hands: (His twelve Disciples; as is in one instance 
plainly implied in the twelve baskets full of fragments.) I know 
that minute circumstances like this, in a Parable or symbolical act, 
must be reasoned on with great caution. Siill, when one considers 
that our Blessed Lord took occasion from this event to deliver more 
expressly than at any other time the doctrine of communion with 
Him, it seems no unnatural conjecture, that the details of the miracle 
were so ordered, as to throw light on that doctrine. 

But, not to dwell on what many will question, (although on 
docile [and affectionate minds I cannot but think it must have its 
weight,) what shall we say to the remarkable promise addressed to 
the Twelve at the Pascal Supper ? ** Ye are they which have 
continued with Me in My temptation : and I appoint unto you a 
Kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me ; that ye may eat 
and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging 
the twelve tribes of Israel." Thus much nobody will hesitate to 
allow, concerning this Apostolical Charter: that it bound all Chris- 
tians whatever to be loyal and obedient to Christ's Apostles, at 
least as long as they were living. And do not the same words 
equally bind us, and all believers to the world's end, so far as the 
mind of the Apostles can yet be ascertained ? Is not the siArit of 
the enactment such, as renders it incumbent on every one to prefer 
among claimants to Church authority those who can make out the 
best title to a warrant and commission from the Apostles ? 

I pass over those portions of the Gospel, which are oftenest 
quoted in this controversy; they will occur of themselves to all 
nien ; and it is the object of these lines rather to exemplify the 
occasional indications of our Lord's will, than to cite distinct and 
|)alpable enactments. On one place, however, — the passage in the 
Acts, which records, in honour of the first converts, that " they 
continued stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship," — one 
question must be asked. Is it really credible, that the privilege so 
emphatically mentioned, of being in communion with the Ajwstles, 
ceased when the last Aix>stle died ? If not, who among living 
Christians have «o/air a cAancc of enjoying that privilege, as those, 



who, besides Purity of Doctrine, are careful to maintain that Aposto- 
lical Succession, preserved to them hitherto by a gracious and 
special Providence ? I should not much fear to risque the whole 
controversy on the answer which a simple unprejudiced mind would 
naturally make to these two questions. 

Observe, too, how often those principles, which are usually called, 
in scorn, High-Churchmanship, drop as it were incidentally from 
the pens of the sacred writers, professedly employed on other sub- 
jects. " How shall they preach, except they be sent ?" — *' Let a 
man so account of us, as of the Ministers of Christ, and Stewards 
of the mysteries of God." — " No man taketh this honour to him- 
self, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." I do not think 
it possible for any one to read such places as these with a fair and 
clear mind, and not to perceive that it is better and mo!-e scriptural 
to have, than to want, Christ's special commission for conveying 
His Word to the people, and consecrating and distributing the 
pledges of His holy Sacrifice, if such commission be any how at- 
tainable ; — ^better, and more scriptural, if we cannot remove all 
doubt, at least to prefer that communion which can make out the 
best probable title, provided always, that nothing heretical, or other- 
wise immoral, be inserted in the terms of communion. 

Why then should any man here in Britain, fear or hesitate boldly 
to assert the authority of the Bishops aiicl Pastors of the Church, on 
grounds strictly evangelical and spiritual : as bringing men nearest 
to Christ our Saviour, and conforming them most exactly to His 
mind, indicated both by His own conduct, and by the words of His 
Spirit in the Apostolic writings ? Why should we talk so much of 
an estahlishnent, and so little of an Apostolical Succession ? 
Why should we not seriously endeavour to impress our people with 
this plain truth ; — that by separating themselves from our commu- 
nion, they sepa'ate themselves not only from a decent, orderly, 
useful society, but from the only Church in this realm 
which has aright to be quite sure that she has the 
Lord's Body to give to His People ? 

Nor need any man be perplexed by the question, sure to be pre- 
sently and confidently asked, " Do you then unchurch all the Presby- 
terians, all Christians who have no Bishops ? Are they to be shut 
out of the Covenant, for all the fruits of Christian Piety, which seem 



to have sprunsj up not scantily among them ?" Nay, we are not 
j udging others, but deciding on our own conduct. We in England 
cannot communicate with Presbyterians, as neither can we with 
Roman Cathohcs, but we do not therefore exclude either from salva- 
tion. " Necessary to Salvation," and " necessary to Church Com- 
munion," are not to be used as convertible terras. Neither do we 
desire to pass any sentence on other persons of other countries ; but 
we are not to shrink from our deliberate views of truth and duty, 
because difficulties may be raised about the case of such persons ; 
any more than we should fear to maintain the paramount necessity 
of Christian belief, because similar difficulties may be raised about 
virtuous Heathens, Jews, or Mahometans. To us such questions are 
abstract, not practical : and whether we can answer them or no, it 
is our business to keep fast hold of the Church Apostolical, whereof 
we are actual members ; not merely on civil or ecclesiastical 
grounds, but from real personal love and reverence, affectionate 
reverence to our Lord and only Saviour. And let men seriously 
bear in mind, that it is one thing to slight and disparage this holy 
Succession where it may be had, another thing to acquiesce in the 
want of it, where it is, [if it he any where,) really unattainable. 

I readily allow, that this view of our calling has something in 
it too high and mysterious to be fully understood by unlearned 
Christians. Bit the learned, surely, are just as unequal to it. It 
is part of that ineffable mystery, called in our Creed, The Commu- 
nion of Saints : and with all other Christian mysteries, is above the 
understanding of all alike, yet practically alike within reach of all, 
who are willing to embrace it by true Faith. Experience shews, at 
any rate, that it is far from being ill adapted to the minds and feel- 
ings of ordinary people. On this point evidence might be brought 
from times, at first glance the most unpromising ; from the early 
part of the 17th century. The hold which the propagandists of the 
" Holy Discipline" obtained on the fancies and affections of the 
people, of whatever rank, age, and sex, depended very much on 
their incessant appeals to their fancied Apostolical Succession. 
They found persons willing and eager to suffer or rebel, as the case 
might be, for their system ; because they had possessed them with 
the notion, that it was the system handed down from the Apostles, 
*' a divine Episcopate ;" so Beza called it. Why should we despair 



of obtaining, in time, an influence, far more legitimate and less 
dangerously exciting, but equally searching and extensive, by the 
diligent inculcation of our true and scriptural claim ? 

For it is obvious, that, among other results of the primitive doc- 
trine of the Apostolical Succession, thoroughly considered and fol- 
lowed up, it would make the relation of Pastor and Parishioner far 
more engaging, as well as more aweful, than it is usually considered 
at present. Look on your Pastor as acting by man's commission, 
and you may respect the authority by which he acts, you may 
venerate and love his personal character ; but it can hardly be called 
a religious veneration ; there is nothing, properly, sacred about 
him. But once learn to regard him as " the Deputy of Christ, 
for reducing man to the obedience of God ;" and every thing about 
him becomes changed, every thing stands in a new light. In pub- 
lic and in private, in church and at home, in consolation and in 
censure, and above all, in the administration of the Holy Sacra- 
ments, a faithful man naturally considers, " By this His messenger 
Christ is speaking to me ; by his very being and place in the world, 
he is a perpetual witness to the truth of the sacred history, a per- 
petual earnest of Communion with our Lord to those who come 
duly prepared to His Table." In short it must make just all the 
difference in every part of a Clergyman's duty, whether he do 
it, and be known to do it, in that Faith of his commission from 
Christ, or no. 

How far the analogy of the Aaronical priesthood will carry us, 
and to what extent we must acknowledge the reserve imputed to the 
formularies of our Church on this whole subject of the Hierarchy ; 
and how such reserve, if real, may be accounted for ; — these are 
questions worthy of distinct consideration. 

For the present let the whole matter be brought to this short 
issue. May it not be said both to Clergy and Laity ; " Put your- 
" selves in your children's place, in the place of the next generation 
" of believers. Consider in what way they will desire you to have 
" acted, supposing them to value aright, (as you must wish them,) 
" the means of communion wuth Christ ; and as they will then 
*' wish you to have acted now, so act in all matters affecting that 
*' inestimable privilege." 



ON ALTERATIONS IN THE PRAYER BOOK. 



The 36th Canon provides that " no person shall hereafter be 

** received into the Ministry except he shall first subscribe" 

certain " three Articles." The second of these is as follows. 

" That the Book of Common Prayer, and of Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and 
" Deacons, containeth in it nothing contrary to the Word of God, and that it 
" may lawfully so be used ; and that he himself will use the form in the said 
" Book prescribed, in public Prayer, and administration of the Sacraments, 
" and none other." 

Now here is certainly a grave question to all who have sub- 
scribed this Article. We need not say, it precludes them from 
acquiescing in any changes, that are lawfully made in the Common 
Prayer ; but surely it makes it most incumbent on them, to inquire 
carefully whether the Parties altering it have a right to do so ; e. g. 
should any foreign Power or Legislature, or any private Nobleman 
or Statesman at home, pretend to reform the Prayer Book, of course 
.we should all call it an usurpation, and refuse to obey it ; or rather 
we should consider the above subscription to be a religious obstacle 
to our obeying it. So far is clear. The question follows ; where 
is the competent authority for making alterations ? Is it not also 
clear, that it does not lie in the British Legislature, which we know 
to be composed not only of believers, but al^o of infidels, heretics, 
and schismatics ; and which probably in another year may cease 
to be a Christian body even in formal profession ? Can even a 
Committee of if, ever so carefully selected, alsolve us from our 
subscriptions ? Whence do laity derive their power over the 
Clergy ? Can even the Crown absolve us ? or a commission from 
the Crown ? If then some measure of tyranny be practised against 
us as regards the Prayer Book, now are we to act ? 



RING, PRlNtCR, ST. CLBMKNT 8, OXfOltDt 



SHORT ADDRESS TO HIS BRETHREN 



NATURE AND CONSTITUTION 



THE CHURCH OF CHRIST; 



THE BRANCH OF IT ESTABLISHED IN ENGLAND. 



BY A LAYMAN, 



—♦»«©«««<- 



I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church." — Nic. Creed. 



— >»>9$9<«>-> 



OXFORD, 

PRINTED BY S. COLLINGWOOD ; 

ANDSOLDBY J.TURRILL, 250, REGENT STREET, LONDON. 

MDCCCXXXIII. 

Price 3d. each, or 2s. 6d. per Dozen. 



A 

SHORT ADDRESS TO HIS BRETHREN 

ON THE 

NATURE AND CONSTITUTION 

OF 

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST; 

AND OF 

THE BRANCH OF IT ESTABLISHED IN ENGLAND. 
BY A LAYMAN. 

I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: Nic. Creed. 



There are many persons who have the happiness of being mem- 
bers of that pure and Apostolical branch of Christ's holy Church, 
which, as it is established in this our country, we call '' the Church 
of England ;" persons who attend with regularity and devotion to 
her services, and have participated in the benefits of her Sacra- 
ments ; who may yet have no very clear idea either of the nature 
of that body which we call " the Church" in general, or of the 
peculiar circumstances and events which have led to the present 
position and constitution of that portion of it to which we belong. 

To such persons it may not be unacceptable if we present them 
in these pages with a short account of " the Church ;" of that in- 
stitution which, previous to His return to the regions of His hea- 
venly glory, our Lord bequeathed to the world, to be cherished 
and enjoyed as a precious legacy, until His coming again ; of that 
body which He framed for the reception of the first gifts of His 
Almighty Spirit, and for the transmission of those precious gifts, 
from age to age, to the end of time. Such an account will natu- 
rally lead to a brief statement of the manner in which it has pleased 
Providence to bless us, in this our own island, with a branch of 

A 



2 

that holy institution ; and thus to have established, and to continue 
among us, a body of men bearing a commission direct from Him- 
self to admit us into His fold by the waters of Baptism, and to 
nourish us in the same, not only with the pure word of His doc- 
trine, but with the spiritual nourishment of His most blessed body 
and blood. 

It would have been in vain that the two Sacraments had been 
instituted, had no persons, no pet of men, been appointed to ad- 
minister them. You cannot suppose that you or I — (for he who 
thus addresses you is a layman like yourselves, that is, has never 
received the ordination of a clergyman — ) you cannot, I say, sup- 
pose that any one of us might, with no other authority than his 
own good pleasure, proceed to baptize, or to administer the bread 
and 'svine in the Lord's Supper. Such a proceeding would, it is 
evident, involve the highest degree of arrogance and impiety, and 
would be nothing short of a mockery of that great and awful Being, 
of whose gifts these sacred ordinances are alike the appointed means 
and pledges. 

And if, as men, as simple members of Christ's Church, we have 
not this power, the next question to ask is, who could give us this 
authority ? If admission into the great Christian congregation, if 
the promise, confirmed to us in Baptism, of the assistance of Christ's 
Holy Spirit, cannot give it, is it to be supposed that any act ema- 
nating from men, from sinful creatures like ourselves, should be of 
force to convey it ? Clearly not ; no command of an earthly king, 
no ordinance of an earthly legislature, could invest us with power 
over the gifts of the Holy Ghost ; for such may we well term the 
power duly to administer the Sacraments which Christ has ordained. 
No Act of Parliament, however binding the provisions of such Acts 
may be with regard to the temporal affairs of the nation, could 
make any one of us a Priest, or clothe us with one jot or one tittle 
of power over the things of the unseen world. 

As little, surely, could popular election invest us with this power 
from on high. Men may express their readiness to receive the gifts 
of Heaven at our hands ; but is it not absurd, that those who are 
to be the receivers from us of any boon whatsoever, should them- 
selves be the persons to supply us with the means of bestowing 
it ? It cannot be, then, that those to whom we are to administer 
the Sacraments should themselves confer upon us the power of 
their ministration. 



To cut this inquiry short. He alone is evidently entitled to confer 
the power of conveying, by the appointed means, the gifts of His 
Spirit, who Himself gave, in the first instance, that Spirit to His 
Church. It is to Him that such commission must be traced in the 
case of every individual who would establish his right to this holy 
office. 

He appointed in the first place, as is well known to every reader Constitn- 
of the Scriptures, the Apostles; to whom He at diff^erent periods ^j'" ^^'^ 
entrusted all such powers as were necessary to the formation and the Apo- 
continued protection of His Church, which they, under His Spirit, ^"®^* 
were to establish. He gave them the power of admitting members 
into it ; and He put into their hands that power of expulsion from 
it, which it was necessary, for the well being of the society, should 
be vested somewhere : assuring them, at the same time, that their 
decrees in this respect should be ratified on high ; that what they 
'^ bound on earth, should be bound in heaven." To them it was 
that he entrusted the power of baptizing all nations ; and still more 
exclusively the power of celebrating the sacred rite which comme- 
morates His passion ^. They undertook the sacred trust, preached 
to all, and at first baptized all converts ; though, when the number 
of these increased, when the Church could reckon its three thou- 
sand and its five thousand members, and when thus, to borrow the 
prophetic language of Daniel, the stone began to swell which was 
destined in time to become a great mountain, and to fill the whole 
world, it was plainly impossible that the small band of Apostles, 
employed as they were in the business of teaching the word, should 
suffice themselves to baptize all who should accept their offers of 
salvation. For this, among other purposes, the formation of a class 
of ministers, distinct from, and subordinate to, themselves, became 
necessary ; a class, of the first establishment of which we read in 
the 6th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The members of this 
new class were called " Deacons :" they were at first only seven in 
number : they were chosen, at the suggestion of the Apostles, by 
the believers in general, or, in the language of the Church, by the 
laity ; but they were ordained to the office by the Apostles them- 
selves, by the laying of their hands on them, accompanied by prayer. 



a *< This do in remembrance of me," Luke xxii. 19 ; whereas the commis- 
sion to baptize was apparently given to others besides the Apostles, though to 
them in the first place. Matt, xxviii. 18, 19. 

a2 



A principal part of their office, when they were first appointed, was 
the distribution of the charitable gifts of the more wealthy believers 
among their poorer brethren : but that the power of administering 
baptism was a part of their commission is evident from the history 
of Philip the Deacon, contained in Acts ix. There were thus two 
classes of guides and teachers to the Church of Christ, Apostles 
and Deacons ; the first bearing authority over the general flock by 
the direct word of Christ Himself ; the second by commission from 
those thus directly authorized ; a commission given by them when 
the Holy Spirit was most abundantly poured out upon them, and 
solemnly ratified by that Holy Spirit Himself in the miraculous 
powers and graces vouchsafed to Stephen and his colleagues. 

But as the limits of the Church began to extend, and the be- 
lievers, instead of dwelling in one body in the city of Jerusalem, 
began to spread over the adjoining regions, the want was felt of 
another class, to superintend the scattered divisions of Christ's 
flock, to act in some measure as the substitutes of the Apostles in 
their absence, and as their deputies and subordinate officers in their 
presence. This class, of higher rank in the Church than the Dea- 
cons, and forming a connecting link between them and the Apostles, 
bears in Scripture the name of " Elders" or " Bishops," and is, by 
one or other of these names, the subject of frequent mention in the 
later books of the New Testament. The constitution of the Church 
was then, for the time being, complete. The Apostles, as, in the 
exercise of their high office, they founded congregations from city 
to city, ordained (always by the laying on of hands) Elders and 
Deacons ; in whom each congregation recognised the ministers set 
over them by their Lord and Master in heaven ; from whom they 
received the blessings conveyed in His Sacraments ; and to whom 
they looked for guidance and example in the holy course on which 
they had entered, the Christian warfare which they had undertaken. 
The Apostle himself, however, who had planted each of these con- 
gregations, continued to exercise over it a general superintending 
authority, and to interfere, where the case required it, in the most 
solemn and decided manner. The nature and extent of the power 
thus assumed over each local Church, in virtue of his heavenly 
commission, by its Apostolic head, will be manifest from a study of 
the two Epistles written by St. Paul to the Church of the Co- 
rinthians ; and from a comparison of the second of these Epistles 
with the first, it will be seen how fully this authority was recog- 



nised, and the directions thus sanctioned were obeyed, by the pri- 
mitive believers. 

It may not be amiss here to point out a circumstance from which 
we may most decidedly infer it to have been the will of the Holy 
Spirit that ordination, or the solemn ceremony above mentioned of 
the laying on of hands, should be the only mode of admission to 
the ministration of His gifts in the Church. Were there any one 
person who might, from the very peculiar circumstances of his call 
and conversion, have had grounds for conceiving himself entitled 
to dispense with this ceremony, that person was undoubtedly St. 
Paul ; yet we find that, favoured as he had been, when it was seen 
meet to send him as an Apostle to the Gentiles, the Holy Ghost 
deigned to give express directions that he should be separated to 
the purpose ; ordained, that is to say, to such ministry ; and that, 
in compliance with those directions, the heads of the Church at 
Antioch, when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on 
them^, sent him and Barnabas away. 

The Church, under the government of its Apostles, Elders, and The Apo- 

Deacons, was, as we have already stated, for the time being;, com- ^^^^*^''*J 

•' ^ coninus- 

plete. One thing, however, was still wanting to give perpetuity siou. 

to its constitution, and that was, a provision for the supply of or- 
dained ministers to distribute the gifts of the Spirit to the genera- 
tions who should live when the Apostles themselves, and those who 
had received ordination from their hands, should have alike passed 
a^vay from the scene of their labours. It was necessary that the 
Apostles should appoint successors to themselves ; persons to be 
armed with at least all that portion of their authority which did 
not depend on their miraculous powers or extraordinary gifts of the 
Spirit ; with neither of which was the power of ordination to any 
rank of the ministry necessarily connected. They felt this neces- 
sity, and they did appoint such persons ; but from the altered con- 
dition of the Church, and the number of converts in each particular 
place, it became expedient, instead of giving to each person so ap- 
pointed that species of general commission with which the Apostles 
themselves had commenced their labours, to fix the residence of 
each in some particular city, and to give him the peculiar superin- 
tendence of the Church therein and in the districts adjoining. It 
was thus that St. Paul appointed Timothy to preside (as what we 

b Acts xiii. 3. 
A 3 



6 

now call Bishop) over the Church at Ephesus; and Titus over 
that of Crete : and the Holy Spirit, by dictating to the Apostle 
those directions to them for the discharge of the duties of these 
offices which form the Epistles bearing their names, gave the fullest 
and most solemn ratification, not only to their individual appoint- 
ment, but also to the establishment in perpetuity of the episcopal 
order in the Church. 

Though this event in the history of the Church has been nar- 
rated as occurring subsequently to the appointment of the lower 
classes of ecclesiastical ministers, it must not be supposed that it 
was an after thought, or that the Apostles were not from the first 
aware that their office was to be perpetuated by succession. Our 
Lord ended the sentence in which He endued them with power to 
baptize, with the promise of His assistance in the discharge of their 
functions through all time : '' Go," said He, " baptize all nations : 
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world :" a 
phrase which, as addressed to mortal men, must clearly have been 
understood as a promise of continual assistance to them and to 
their successors. We find, accordingly, that so far were they from 
understanding this gracious promise as applying solely to the indi- 
viduals to whom the words were spoken, that one of their very first 
joint acts, when deprived of the presence of their Lord, was to 
select a person to be associated with themselves in the apostolic 
office, that the number originally named to that office by our 
Saviour might be complete. They did not, it is true, ordain him, 
in the manner afterwards adopted, by the laying on of hands ; they 
were not, indeed, themselves consecrated to the exercise of this 
power till the descent upon them of the Holy Ghost ; but in the 
pouring out of the gifts of Pentecost upon the head of Matthias, 
as well as upon those of the eleven, the Spirit bore a testimony, 
which could hardly be misunderstood, to the will of the Almighty 
that the Apostles should from time to time, as it became necessary, 
nominate such associates in their general apostolic toils and powers 
as they might select ; associates on whom, as they themselves were 
gradually withdrawn from the world, the whole government of the 
Church, and the whole care of providing for its further continuance, 
must ultimately devolve. 

The miraculous gifts and graces, which God in the first instance 
showered upon His Church, answered their purpose in giving it its 
first footing in the world ; and, when no longer necessary for that 



purpose, were consequently withdrawn : but it should never be 
forgotten, that these, wonderful and striking as they must have 
been, were but secondary and subsidiary to those invisible spiritual 
gifts, which are the real fulfilment of God's promise of constant aid 
to his Church. With regard to these latter, it was indeed necessary 
that they should be her portion through all ages ; but the others 
derived in truth their sole value from the evidence which they bore 
to the existence of these more precious boons ; an evidence which, 
though immediately addressed to converts in the first ages, was in- 
tended to convince, not them alone, but all those to whom their 
report of these miraculous gifts should come, of the reality of God's 
promises with regard to those gifts which were not palpable to 
earthly senses ; of the truth of Christ's saying, already quoted, that 
He would be with His Church even unto the end of the world ; 
and of His declaration that the Comforter, whom He would send, 
should abide with that Church for ever. 

What name was originally applied to the ofiice borne by Timothy 
and Titus, of destined successors to the Apostles, is not very clear. 
There was perhaps at first no one name specially used to designate 
it. They may have sometimes been called Evangelists (see 2 Tim. 
iv. 5.) ; sometimes, from their bearing in some measure the charac- 
ter of heavenly messengers to mankind, the Angels of their re- 
spective Churches. By this name, at least, the heads of the dif- 
ferent Churches of Asia are addressed in the 2d and 3d chapters 
of the book of Revelations. Consecrated as they were by different 
Apostles in different parts of the world, some little time would 
necessarily elapse, before one general name would be applied by the 
whole Christian Church to the associates and successors of its first 
inspired governors. 

Of the powers entrusted to these persons, a good idea may be 
formed from the study of the Epistles addressed to two of them. 
Timothy, it appears, had apostolic authority to superintend and 
arrange the celebration of divine service, to prescribe the nature of 
prayers to be used therein, and to give general directions for the 
decent and orderly behaviour of the congregation. (See 1 Tim. ii.) 
Copious instructions were given him as to the persons whom he 
should choose to ordain as Bishops (or Elders) and Deacons, (chap, 
iii.) He had power to select among the Elders such as should 
rule, (ver. 17,) probably over different portions of his congrega- 
tion ; and to hear and decide upon any accusations brought against 

a4 



8 

them in the discharge of their office^ (ver. 19.) He was reminded 
by St. Paul to stir up the gift that was in him by the putting on of 
his hands, (2 Tim. i. 6,) and of the hands of the presbytery ; 
(1 Tim. iv. 14;) to ordain no man suddenly, (1 Tim. v. 22,) or 
without due examination into his character, but to commit the 
doctrine which he had learnt of St. Paul to faithful men, who 
should be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. ii. 2.) 

Titus was left in Crete that he might set in order the things 
that were wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as St. Paul had 
appointed him. (Tit. i. 5.) He was taught what sort of characters 
befitted those whom he should make Bishops — he was to exhort 
and rebuke ^vith all authority, and let no man despise him. (ii. 15.) 
He was to be the general instructor of his flock, and to have the 
power of expelling thence obstinate heretics, (iii. 1 0.) But it is 
unsatisfactory to quote particular passages; the whole of these 
three epistles should be seriously studied by those who wish to 
form a good general idea of the powers with which the Apostles, 
or rather the Holy Ghost, by their means, invested those who were 
to bear rule in the Church in times when they themselves should 
have gone to their reward. 

Those times came. — St. John, the last of the glorious company 
of the Apostles, entered into his rest, and the Church found itself 
committed, under Heaven, entirely to the charge of the three 
established orders of its ministers. To each of these a specific 
title was now ascribed, and applied with greater exactness than 
before. The title " Bishop," which had at first been used indif- 
ferently with " Elder," became the exclusive property of the highest 
class of functionaries, the colleagues of Timothy and Titus. The 
word " Elder" served to designate the second, and from its Greek 
equivalent, " Presbuteros," we have formed our English word 
" Priest," by which " Elder," is now, in common use, superseded. 
The third class preserved its original and appropriate name of 
" Deacons." 

Such, then, was the constitution of which the Church, when 
first deprived of outward supernatural aid, found herself possessed ; 
such the machinery at her disposal for the dispensation to man- 
kind of those glorious gifts and privileges, which it was hers, and 
hers alone, to confer. As Priests or Deacons were required for 
the ministration of the Word and Sacraments to the diflferent por- 
tions of her flock, the Bishops, in exercise of the heavenly gift 



confided to them, laid hands upon such individuals as they deemed 
suited to the charge, and as vacancies occurred among the angels 
of the churches, the successors of the Apostles themselves, or as 
additions were required to their number, the existing members of 
the sacred band, consecrated new individuals to the participation 
of their privileges, candidates for the office being presented to 
them by the laity for their approval, or fit and proper persons 
being selected by themselves. 

The gift conferred by their ordination was now no longer con- 
firmed by outward ocular demonstration ; but, while they rever- 
ently complied with all the particulars and forms of these holy 
rites, as established under the guidance of inspiration by their pre- 
decessors, they would have held it a most guilty instance of want 
of faith, had they presumed to doubt the continued fulfilment of 
the Redeemer's promise, or the continued abiding, with the Church 
which he had framed, of the Almighty Comforter. 

Since the Apostolic age seventeen centuries have rolled away — The Apo- 

exactly eighteen hundred years have elapsed since the delivery of ^^^^ '^^ . 

•^ =5 J ^ •' succession. 

Christ's recorded promise ; and, blessed be God, the Church is with 
us still. Amid all the political storms and vicissitudes, amid all 
the religious errors and corruptions which have chequered, during 
that long period, the world's eventful history, a regular unbroken 
succession has preserved among us ministers of God, whose au- 
thority to confer the gifts of His Spirit is derived originally from 
the laying on of the hands of the Apostles themselves. Many in- 
termediate possessors of that authority have, it is true, intervened 
between them and these, their hallowed predecessors, but the gifts 
of God are without repentance; the same Spirit rules over the 
Church now who presided at the consecration of St. Paul, and the 
eighteen centuries that are past can have had no power to invalidate 
the promise of our God. Nor, even though we may admit that 
many of those who formed the connecting links of this holy chain 
were themselves unworthy of the high charge reposed in them, can 
this furnish us with any solid ground for doubting or denying 
their power to exercise that legitimate authority with which they 
were duly invested, of transmitting the sacred gift to worthier fol- 
lowers. 

Ordination, or, as it is called in the case of Bishops, Consecra- 
tion, though it does not precisely come within our definition of a 
sacrament, is nevertheless a rite partaking, in a high degree, of the 



10 

sacramental character, and it is by reference to the proper sacra- 
ments that its nature can be most satisfactorily illustrated. And 
^vith respect to these, it would lead us into endless difficulties were 
we to admit that, when administered by a minister duly authorised 
according to the outward forms of the Church, either Baptism or 
the Lord's Supper depended for its validity either on the moral and 
spiritual attainments of that minister, or on the frame of mind in 
which he might have received, at his ordination, the outward and 
visible sign of his authority. Did the Sacraments indeed rest on 
such circumstances as these for their efficacy in each case of their 
ministration, who would there be of us, or of any Christian con- 
gregation, who could positively say whether he had been baptized 
or not ; or what preparation or self-examination could give to a 
penitent the confidence that he had truly partaken of the body and 
blood of Christ, were the reality of that partaking to depend upon 
something of which he had no knowledge, and over which he could 
exercise no control ; upon the spiritual state, not only of the 
officiating minister himself, but of every individual Bishop through 
whom that minister had received his authority, through the long 
lapse of eighteen hundred years ? He who receives unworthily, or 
in an improper state of mind, either ordination or consecration, 
may probably receive to his own soul no saving health from the 
hallowed rite ; but while we admit, as we do, the validity of sacra- 
ments administered by a Priest thus unworthily ordained, we can- 
not consistently deny that of ordination, in any of its grades, Avhen 
bestowed by a Bishop as unworthily consecrated. 

The very question of worth, indeed, with relation to such mat- 
ters, is absurd. Who is worthy ? Who is a fit and meet dispenser 
of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? What are, after all, the petty dif- 
ferences between sinner and sinner, when viewed in relation to 
Him whose eyes are too pure to behold iniquity, and who charges 
His very angels with folly ? And be it remembered that the Apo- 
stolic powers, if not transmitted through these, in some instances 
corrupt channels, have not been transmitted to our times at all. 
Unless then we acknowledge the reality of such transmission, we 
must admit that the Church which Christ founded is no longer to 
be found upon the earth, and that the promise of His protection, 
8o far from lieing available to the end of the world, is forgotten and 
out of date already. 

The unworthiness of man, then, cannot prevent the goodness of 



11 

God from flowing in those channels in which He has destined it to 
flow ; and the Christian congregations of the present day, who sit 
at the feet of ministers duly ordained, have the same reason for 
reverencing in them the successors of the Apostles, as the primitive 
Churches of Ephesus and of Crete had for honouring in Timothy 
and in Titus the Apostolical authority of him who had appointed 
them. 

A branch of this holy Catholic (or universal) Church has been. The Churcli 
through God's blessing, established for ages in our island ; a branch °^ England 
which, as has been already stated, we denominate the Church of 
England. Its ofliciating ministers are divided into the three ori- 
ginal orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and into no other. 
In the exercise of that authority which is inherent in every society^ 
of making salutary laws and regulations for its own guidance, it has 
been found expedient to vest in two of the principal members of 
the episcopal order in England a certain authority over the rest, 
and to style them Archbishops, but this is not by any means to be 
understood as constituting them another order in the Church. 
They are but, in strictness of language, 'the first and leading 
Bishops of our land. 

The Priests and Deacons, (whom we usually class together under 
the common name of Clergymen,) who officiate in the Churches 
and Chapels of our Establishment, have each received ordination to 
the discharge of their holy office by the laying on of the hands of a 
Bishop, assisted, in the case of Priests, by members already ad- 
mitted into the presbytery or priesthood, as was St. Paul in the 
ordination of Timothy, (iv. 14.) 

And each Bishop of our Church has, at the hands of another 
Bishop, (himself similarly called to the office,) received in the 
most solemn manner the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that Aposto- 
lical power over the Church, for the support of which the Re- 
deemer pledged Himself that His assistance should never be want- 
ing to the end of time. 

Wonderful indeed is the providence of God, which has so long 
preserved the unbroken line, and thus ordained that our Bishops 
should, even at this distance of time, stand before their flocks as 
the authorized successors of the Apostles; — as armed with their 
power to confer spiritual gifts in the Church, and, in cases of neces- 
sity, to wield their awful weapon of rejection from the fold of 
Christ; — as commissioned, like Titus, to bid, on heavenly au- 



thority, no man despise them, and to point out to those who, as a 
class, as Bishops of the Church, do despise them, the solemn words, 
" He that despiseth you, despiseth Me ; and he that despiseth Me, 
** despiseth Him that sent Me." 

The mode in which new candidates for the episcopal station 
have been presented to existing Bishops for consecration, has dif- 
fered in different ages and countries. They have sometimes been 
chosen by the laity, sometimes selected by other Bishops, and 
sometimes by civil magistrates. In our own country the latter 
mode has for some centuries prevailed, and the King of England 
has presented to the Prelates of its Church persons for their ap- 
proval and consecration. 

As the King and Legislature were the pledged defenders of the 
purity and integrity of that Church, this was perhaps a mode as 
unobjectionable as any which could have been substituted for it, 
and it possessed the advantage of being free from the turmoil and 
party feeling which have always been generated by proceedings in 
the way of popular election. 

The mode, however, in which this presentation is made is, after 
all, of minor importance, it being understood that it is upon the 
responsibility of the Bishop himself that the solemn rite at last 
takes place. No earthly authority can compel him to lay his 
hands upon what he may conceive an unworthy head, or can pre- 
sume to dispense with his concurrence, and arrogantly assume to 
itself the power to confer the Holy Ghost. The solemn words in 
which the offices of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon, are respectively 
conferred, are annexed to these pages, and from their perusal it 
will be seen how impious it would be, in any one but the deputed 
minister of Heaven, to utter them over a fellow-mortal, or to con- 
ceive that he, whatever his earthly rank or station, could bestow, 
or even aid in bestowing, the gifts imparted thereby. 

Many ages ago the civil rulers of our country recognised the 
principle that a Christian nation should, as such, consider itself a 
branch of the Apostolical Church of Christ ; they therefore acknow- 
ledged, and gave temporal dignity, and a voice in the general coun- 
cils of the State to her ministers ; privileges which they to the 
present day enjoy. And the Church, on her part, the above prin- 
ciple having been adopted by the State, acknowledged in the head 
of that State, the King, her temporal head ; investing him with 
that general supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs, which he already 



13 

possessed in civil. But we are not thence to infer that she gave, 
or that she could give, to an earthly monarch, or to his temporal 
legislature, the right to interfere with things spiritual, with her 
Doctrines, with her Liturgy, with the ministration of her Sacra- 
ments, or with the positions, relative to each other, of her Bishops, 
Priests, and Deacons. 

When corruptions, prevalent among the professedly Christian 
world, render it necessary for her to state the substance of her 
faith in articles, (as was done in A. D. 1562,) or when circumstances 
appear to require any change or variation either in th e forms of her 
Liturgy, or in her general internal government, the King has the 
constitutional power of summoning the houses of convocation, a 
sort of ecclesiastical parliament composed of Bishops or Clergy, 
from which alone such changes can fitly or legally emanate. 

Such are the circumstances under which a branch of Christ's 
Church is domiciled among us, and claims over us, while acting 
according to His Spirit, the delegated authority of her Founder. 
She makes no pretensions to that immediate inspiration of the 
Spirit which, by positively securing her ministers from error, 
would clothe her decisions with absolute infallibility. She puts the 
Bible into the hand of every member of her communion, and calls 
upon us to believe nothing as necessary to salvation which shall 
not appear, upon mature examination, to be set down therein, or 
at least to be capable of being proved thereby ; but shewing, at the 
same time, her authority as its appointed interpreter, she cautions 
him not rashly, or without having fully weighed the subject, to 
dissent from her expositions, the results of the accumulated learn- 
ing and labour of centuries. She warns him not, without cause, to 
run the risk of incurring the fearful sin of schism, or unnecessary 
separation from, and violation of the unity of, Christ's fold ; a sin 
of which, surely, none can think lightly, who remembers the Sa- 
viour's affecting and repeated prayer (see John xvii.) that His fol- 
lowers might be one, even as He and His Almighty Father were 
one. She bids him in that Bible itself read her credentials ; she 
there exhibits, in the recorded indications of her Lord and Master's 
will, the rock on which she is built ; the foundation which, what- 
ever changes may convulse the globe around it, is to abide, un- 
moved and immoveable, till time shall be no more. 

The duties which our knowledge of these things. Brethren of 
the Laity, makes incumbent upon us, are almost too clear to need 



14 

recapitulation. Filial love and affectionate reverence toward the 
collective Church, and toward those, her Pastors and Masters, who 
are set in spiritual authority over us ; a zeal for the inculcation of 
her pure doctrine and the extension of her heavenly fold ; a deter- 
mination in evil report and in good report to stand by her, and to 
approve ourselves her faithful members and children ; these, and 
such feelings as these, are, by our bond of communion with her, 
peremptorily required of us ; these let us make it the business of 
our lives to cultivate and comply with ; and if tempted, as any one 
of us may be, hastily and needlessly to forsake her hallowed pale, 
let us reply to the temptation by addressing her in words some- 
what similar to those of Peter to his Divine Master, " To whom 
" shall we go ? Thou hast the words of eternal life ; and we be- 
" lieve and are sure that Thou art the" Minister and Representa- 
tive of " Christ, the Son of the living God." 



15 



APPENDIX 



The following are the words addressed respectively to Bishops, 
Priests, and Deacons, when their offices are conferred upon them 
by the laying on of hands. 

TO A BISHOP. 

" Receive the Holy Ghost, for the Office and Work of a Bishop 
" in the Church of God, now committed unto Thee by the Impo- 
" sition of our hands ; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
** and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And remember that thou stir 
" up the grace of God which is given thee by this Imposition of 
" our hands ; for God hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but of 
" power, and love, and soberness." 

TO A PRIEST. 

'' Receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest 
" in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the Imposi- 
*^ tion of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are for- 
" given ; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. And 
" be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of His 
" holy Sacraments ; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
" and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." 

TO A DEACON. 

" Take thou authority to execute the office of a Deacon in the 
" Church of God committed unto thee ; in the name of the Father, 
" and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." 



Oct. 29, 1833.] [No. 6. 



THE PRESENT OBLIGATION OF PRIMITIVE 
PRACTICE. 



When we look around upon the present state 
of the Christian Church, and then turning to ecclesiastical history 
acquaint ourselves with its primitive form and condition, the 
difference between them so strongly acts upon the imagination, 
that we are tempted to think, that to base our conduct now on the 
principles acknowledged then, is but theoretical and idle. We 
seem to perceive, as clear as day, that as the Primitive Church 
had its own particular discipline and political character, so have 
we ours ; and that to attempt to revive what is past, is as absurd 
as to seek to raise what is literally dead. Perhaps we even go on 
to maintain, that the constitution of the Church, as well as its 
actual course of acting, is different from what it was ; that Episco- 
pacy now is in no sense what it used to be ; that our Bishops are 
the same as the primitive Bishops only in name ; and that the 
notion of an Apostolical Succession is " a fond thing.'* I do not 
wish to undervalue the temptation, which leads to this view of 
Church matters; it is the temptation of sight to overcome faith, 
and of course not a slight one. 

But the following reflection on the history of the Jewish Church, 
may perhaps be considered to throw light upon our present duties. 

I. Consider how exact are the injunctions of Moses to his peo- 
ple. He ends them thus : " These are the words of the covenant 
" which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children 
" of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which He 

" made with them in Horeb Keep therefore the words of 

" this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that 

" ye do Neither with you only do I make this covenant and 

" this oath ; but with him that standeth here this day before the 
" Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this 
** day." Deut. xxix. 



2. Next, survey the history of the chosen people for the several 
first centuries after taking possession of Canaan. The exactness 
of Moses was unavailing. Can a greater contrast be conceived 
than the commands and promises of the Pentateuch, and the history 
of the Judges ? " Every man did that which was right in his own 
" eyes." Judges xvii. 6. 

Samuel attempts a reformation on the basis of the Mosaic law ; 
but the effort ultimately fails, as being apparently against the 
stream of opinion and feeUng then prevalent. ITie times do not 
allow of it. Again, contrast the opulent and luxurious age of 
Solomon, though the covenant was then openly acknowledged and 
outwardly accepted, more fully than at any other time, with the 
vision of simple piety and plain straightforward obedience, which 
is the scope of the Mosaic Law. Lastly, contemplate the state of 
the Jews after their return from the captivity ; when their external 
political relations were so new, the internal principle of their 
government so secular, God's arm apparently so far removed. 
This state of things went on for centuries. Who would suppose 
that the Jewish Law was binding in all its primitive strictness at 
the age when Christ appeared ? Who would not say that length 
of time had destroyed the obligation of a projected system, which 
had as yet never been realized ? 

Consider too the impossible nature, (so to say,) of some of its 
injunctions. An infidel historian somewhere asks scoffingly, whe- 
ther " the ruinous law which required all the males of the chosen 
** people to go up to Jerusalem three times a-year, was ever ob- 
" served in its strictness." The same question may be asked con- 
cerning the observance of the Sabbatical year ; — to which but a 
faint allusion, if that, is made in the books of Scripture subsequent 
to the Pentateuch. 

3. And now, with these thoughts before us, reflect upon our 
Saviour's conduct. He set al)out to fulfil the Law in its strictness, 
just as if He had lived in the generation next to Moses. The 
practice of others, the course of the world, was nothing to Him ; 
He received and He obeyed. It is not necessary to draw out the 
pvidonrc of this in detail. Coniidcr merely His emphatic words 



in the beginning of Matth. xxiii. concerning those, whom as indi- 
viduals He was fearfully condemning. " The Scribes and Phari- 
" sees sit in Moses' seat ; all therefore whatsoever they bid you 
** observe, that observe and do." — Again reflect upon the praise 
bestowed upon Zacharias and his wife, that " they were both 
" righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and 
'* ordinances of the Lord blameless." — And upon the conduct of 
the Apostles. 

Surely these remarkable facts impress upon us the necessity of 
going to the Apostles, and not to the teachers and oracles of the 
present world, for the knowledge of our duty, as individuals and 
as members of the Christian Church. It is no argument against 
a practice being right, that it is neglected ; rather, we are warned 
against going the broad way of the multitude of men. 

Now is there any doubt in our minds, as to the feelings of the 
Primitive Church regarding the doctrine of the Apostolical Suc- 
cession ? Did not the Apostles observe, even in an age of miracles, 
the ceremony of Imposition of Hands ? And are not we bound, 
not merely to acquiesce in, but zealously to maintain and inculcate 
the discipline which they established ? 

The only objection, which can be made to this view of our 
duty, is, that the injunction to obey strictly is not precisely given 
to us, as it was in the instance of the Mosaic Law. But is not 
the real state of the case merely this ; that the Gospel appeals 
rather to our love and faith, our divinely illuminated reason, and 
the free principle of obedience, than to the mere letter of its in, 
junctions ? And does not the conduct of the Jews just prove to 
us, that, though the commands of Christ were put before us ever 
so precisely, yet there would not be found in any extended course 
of history a more exact attention to them, than there is now ; that 
the difficulty of resisting the influence, which the world's actual 
proceedings exert upon our imagination, would be just as great, 
as we find it at present ? 



A SIN OF THE CHURCH. 

Remember from, whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy 
first works ; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will re- 
move thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 



The following extract is from Bingham, Antiq. xv. 9. 

In the primitive ages, it was both the rule and practice of all in general, 
both Clergy and Laity, to receive the Communion every Lord's day .... As 
often as they met together for Divine Service on the Lord's day, they were 
obliged to receive the Eucharist under pain of Excommunication .... And if we 
run over the whole history of the three first ages, we shall find this to have 
been the Church's constant practice .... We are assured farther, that in 
some places they received the Communion every day. 

Is there any one who will deny, that the Primitive Church is the 
best expounder in this matter of our Saviour's will as conveyed 
through His Apostles } 

Can a learned Church, such as the English, plead ignorance of 
His will thus ascertained ? 

Do we fulfil it ? 

Is not the regret and concern of pious and learned writers among 
us, such Bingham, at our neg.ect of it, upon record ^ 

And is it not written, " that servant which knew his 
lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did 
according to his will, shall be beaten with many 
stripes ?" 

And, putting aside this disobedience, can we wonder, that faith 
and love wax cold, when we so seldom partake of the means, 
mercifully vouchsafed us, of communion with our Lord and Sa- 
viour? 



QC/' Tliese Tracts may be had at Turrill^s, Ko. 250, Regent 
Street, London, ^ , 

W. KINO, I'RINIEK. ST. CLKMENt's, OXFORD. 



^ Any one is at liberty to reprint these Tracts, with such 
alterations as approve themselves to his judgment. 



THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH APOSTOLICAL. 



There are many persons at the present day, 
who, from not having turned their minds to the subject, think 
they are Churchmen in the sense in which the early Christians 
were, merely because they are Episcopalians. The extent of 
their Churchmanship is, to consider that Episcopacy is the best 
form of Ecclesiastical Polity ; and again, that it originated with 
the Apostles. I am far from implying, that to go thus far is no- 
thing; or is not an evidence, (for it is,) of a reverent and sober 
temper of mind ; still the view is defective. It is defective, 
because the expediency of a system, though a very cogent, is no^ 
the highest line of argument that may be taken in its defence ' 
and because an opponent may deny the fact of the Apostolicity 
of Episcopacy, and so involve its maintainer in an argument. 
Doubtless the more clear and simple principle for a Churchman 
to hold, is that of a Ministerial Succession ; which is undeniable 
as a fact, while it is most reasonable as a doctrine, and sufficiently 
countenanced in Scripture for its practical reception. Of this. 
Episcopacy, i. e. Superintendence, is but an accident ; though, 
for the sake of conciseness, it is often spoken of by us as synoni- 
mous with it. It shall be the object of the following tract to 
insist upon this higher characteristic of our Church. 

My position then is this ; — that the Apostles appointed suc- 
cessors to their ministerial office, and the latter in turn appointed 
others, and so on to the present day ; — and further, that the 
Apostles and their Successors have in every age committed portions 
of their power and authority to others, who thus become their 
delegates, and in a measure their representatives, and are called 
Priests and Deacons. The result is an Episcopal system, because 
of the practice of delegation ; but we may conceive their keeping 
their powers altogether to themselves, and in the same proportion in 
which this was done, would the Church polity cease to be Episco- . 



palian. We may conceive the Order of Apostolic Vicars, (so 
to call it,) increased, till one of them was placed in every village, 
and took the office of parish priest. I do not say such a measure 
would be justifiable or ])ious ; — doubtless it would be a departure 
from the rule of antiquity — but it is conceivable ; and it is useful 
to conceive it, in order to form a clear notion of the Essence of 
the Church System, and the defective state of those Christian 
Societies which are separate from the Church Catholic. It is ii 
common answer made to those who are called High Churchmen, 
to say, that *' if God had intended the form of Church Govern- 
" ment to be of great consequence. He would have worded His 
" will in this matter more clearly in Scripture." Now enough 
has already been said to show the irrelevancy of such a remark. 
We need not deny to the Church the abstract right, (however 
we may question the propriety,) of altering its own constitution. 
It is not merely because Episcopacy is a better or more scrip- 
tural form than Presbyterianism, (true as this may be in itself,) 
that Episcopalians are right, and Presbyterians are wrong ; but 
because the Presbyterian Ministers have assunied a power, 
which was never intrusted to them. They have presumed to 
exercise the power of ordination, and to perpetuate a succession 
of ministers, without having, received a commission to do so. 
This is the plain fact that condemns them ; and is a standing 
condemnation, from which they cannot escape, except by ar- 
tifices of argument, which will serve equally to protect the self- 
authorized teacher of religion. If they may ordain without 
being sent to do so, others may teach and preach without being 
sent. They hold a middle position, which is untenable as de- 
stroying itself ; for if Christians can do without Bishops, (i. e. 
Commissioned Ordainers,) they may do without Commissioned 
Ministers, (i. e. the Priests and Deacons). If an imposition of 
bands is necessary to convey one gift, why should it not be to 
convey another? 

1. As to the fact of the Apostolical Succession, i. e. that our 
present Bishops are the heirs and representatives of the Apostles 
by successive transmission of the prerogative of being so, this is 
I too notorious to require proof. Every link in the chain is knoivn 
from St, Peter to our4)re8ent IMetropolitans. Here then I only 
ask, looking at this plain fact by itself, is there not something of 
a divine providence in it ? can we conceive that this Succession 



has been preserved, all over the world, amid many revolutions, 
through many centuries, for nothing ? Is it wise or pious to 
despise or neglect a gift thus transmitted to us in matter of fact, 
even if Scripture did not touch upon the subject ? 

2. Next, consider how natural is the doctrine of a Succession. 
When an individual comes to me, claiming to speak in the name 
of the Most High, it is natural to ask him for his authority. If 
he replies, that we are all bound to instruct each other, this reply 
is intelligible, but in the very form of it excludes the notion of a 
ministerial order, i. e. a class of persons set apart y?'o??z others for 
religious offices. If he appeals to some miraculous gift, this too 
is intelligible, and only unsatisfactory when the alledged gift is 
proved to be a fiction. No other answer can be given, except a 
reference to some person, who has given him license to exercise 
ministerial functions ; then follows the question, fiow that indivi- 
dual gained his authority to do so. In the case of the Catholic 
Church, the person referred to, i. e. the Bishop, has received it 
from a predecessor, and he from another, and so on, till we arrive 
at the Apostles themselves, and thence our Lord and Saviour. 
It is superfluous to dwell on so plain a principle, which in 
matters of this world we act upon daily. 

3. Lastly, the argument from Scripture is surely quite clear 
to those, who honestly wish direction for practice, Christ pro- 
mised He would be with His Apostles always, as ministers of 
His religion, even unto the end of the world. In one sense the 
Apostles were to be alive, till He came again ; but they all died 
at the natural time. Does it not follow, that there are those 
now alive who represent them ? Now who were the most 
probable representatives of them in the generation next their 
death ? They surely, whom they have ordained to succeed them 
in the ministeral work. If any persons could be said to have 
Christ's power and presence, and the gifts of ruling and ordain- 
ing, of teaching, of binding and loosing, (and comparing together 
the various Scriptures on the subject, all these seem included in 
His promise to be with the Church always,) surely those, on 
whom the Apostles laid their hands, were they. And so in the 
next age, if any were representatives of the first representatives, 
they must be the next generation of Bishops, and so on. Nor 
does it materially alter the argument, though we suppose the 
blessing upon Ministerial Offices made, not to the Apostles, but 



to the whole body of Disciples ; i. e. the Church. For, even if 
it be the Church that has the power of ordination committed to 
it, still it exercises it through the Bishops as its organs ; and the 
question recurs, how has the Presbytery in this or that country 
obtained the power ? The Church certainly has from the first 
committed it to the Bishops, and has never resumed it ; and the 
Bishops have no where committed it to the Presbytery, who 
therefore cannot be in possession of it. 

However, it is merely for argument sake that I make this allow- 
ance, as to the meaning of the text in Matt, xxviii. At the same 
time, let it be observed what force is added to the argument for 
the Apostolic Succession, by the acknowledged existence in Scrip- 
ture of the doctrine of a standing Church, or permanent Body 
Corporate for spiritual purposes. For, if Scripture has formed all 
Christians into one continuous community through all ages, (which 
I do not here prove,) it is but according to the same analogy, that 
the Ministerial Office should be vested in an Order, propagated 
from age to age, on a principle of succession. And, if we proceed 
to considerations of utility and expedience, it is plain, that, accord- 
ing to our notions, it is more necessary that a Minister should be 
perpetuated by a fixed law, than that the community of Christians 
should be, which can scarcely be considered to be vested with any 
powers, such as to require the visible authority which a Succession 
supplies. 



K^* Any one ts at liberty to reprint these Tracts, with such 
alterations as approve themselves to his judgment. 



THE GOSPEL A LAW OF LIBERTY 



It is a matter of surprise to some persons 
that tlie ecclesiastical system under which we find ourselves, is 
so faintly enjoined on us in Scripture. One very sufficient ex- 
planation of the fact will be found in considering^ that the Bible 
is not intended to teach us matters of discipline so much as 
matters of faith; i.e. those doctrines, the reception of which 
are necessary to salvation. But «.nother reason may be suggested, 
which is well worth our attentive consideration. 

The Gospel is a Law of Liberty, We are treated as sons, 
not as servants; not subjected to a code of formal commands, 
hut addressed as those who love God, and wish to please Him. 
When a man gives orders to those who he thinks will mistake 
him, or are perverse, he speaks pointedly and explicitly ; but 
when he gives directions to friends, he will trust much to their 
knowledse of his feelinofs and wishes, he leaves much to their 
discretion, and tells them not so much what he would have 
done in detail, as what are the objects he would have accom - 
plished. Now this is the way Christ has spoken to us under 
the New Covenant ; and apparently with this reason, to try us, 
whether or not we really love Him as our Lord and Saviour. 

Accordingly, there is no part perhaps of the ecclesiastical 
system, which is not faintly traced in Scripture, and no part 
which is much more than faintly traced. The question which a 
reverend and affectionate faith will ask, is, " what is most likely 
to please Christ?'* And this is just the question that obtains an 
answer in Scripture ; which contains just so much as intimations 
of what is most likely to please Him. Of course different mind 
will differ as to the degree of clearness with which this or that 
practice is enjoined, yet I think no one will consider the state o^ 
the case, as I have put it, exaggerated on the whole. 

Many duties are intimated to us by example, not by precept — 
many are implied merely — others can only be inferred from a 



comparison of passages — and others perhaps are contained only in 
the Jewish Law. I will mention some specimens to assist the re- 
flection of the reader. 

The early Christians were remarkable for keeping to the Apos- 
tles' fellowship. Who are more likely to stand in the Apostles' 
place since their death, than that line of Bishops which they them- 
selves began ? for that the Apostles were in some sense or other 
to remain on earth to the end of all things, is plain from the text, 
" Lo, I am with you," &c. 

St. Paul set Timothy over the Church at Ephesus, and Titus over 
the Churches of Crete; i.e. as Bishops; therefore it is safer 
to have Bishops now, it is more likely to be pleasing to Him 
who has loved us, and bids us in turn love Him with the heart, 
not with formal service. 

Our Lord committed the Administration of the Lord's Supper 
to His Apostles ; " Do this in remembrance of Me" — therefore 
the Church has ever continued it in the hands of their Successors, 
and the delegates of diese. On the other hand the command to 
baptize was given in the presence of the Disciples, and so indirectly 
to them ; and therefore the Church has allowed lay-baptism, in 
cases where an ordained Minister could not be obtained. 

From Christ's words, ** Suffer the litde children," &c. and 

from His blessing them, we infer His desire that children should be 

brought near to Him in baptism ; — as we do also from St Paul's 

conduct on several occasions. Acts xvi. 15, 33. 1 Cor. i. 16. 

\ So also we continue the practice of Confirmation, from a desire 

\io keep as near the Apostles' rule as possible. 

Again, what little is there of express command in the New 
Testament for our meeting together in public worship ! Yet we 
see what the custom of the Apostolic Church was from the book 
of Acts, 1 Cor. &c. 

In like manner, the words in Genesis ii. and the practice of the 
Apostles in the Acts, are quite warrant enough for the Sanctifica- 
tion of the Lord's Day, even though the 4th Commandment were 
not binding on us. 

For the same reason we continue the Patriarchal and Jewish 
rule of paying tithe to the Church. Some portion of our goods 
is evidently due to God; — and the ancient Divine Command is a 
direction to us in a case when reason and conscience have no meani 
of deteruiining. 



These may be taken as illustrations of a general principle. And 
at this day it is most needful to keep it in view, since a cold 
spirit has crept into the Church of demanding rigid demonstra- 
tion for every religious practice and observance. It is the fashion 
now to speak of those who maintain the ancient rules of the eccle- 
siastical system, not as zealous servants of Christ, not as wise and 
practical expounders of His will, but as inconclusive reasoners, 
and fanciful theorists, merely because, instead of standing still 
and arguing, they have a heart to obey. Are there not numbers 
in this day, who think themselves enlightened believers, yet who 
are but acting the part of the husbandman's son in the Gospel, 
who said, ** I go, sir" — and went not ? 



CHURCH REFORM. 



Surely, before the blessing of a Millenium is vouchsafed 
to us, the whole Christian world has much to confess in its se- 
veral branches. Rome has to confess her Papal corruptions, and 
her cruelty towards those who refuse to accept them. The Chris- 
tian communities of Holland, Scotland, and other countries, their 
neglect of the Apostolical Order of Ministers. The Greek Church 
has to confess its saint-worship, its formal fasts, and its want of zeal. 
The Churches of Asia their heresy. All parts of Christendom 
have much to confess and reform. We have our sins as well as the 
rest. O that we would take the lead in the regeneration of the 
Church Catholic on Scripture principles. 

Our greatest sin perhaps is the disuse of *' a godly discipline.** 
Let the reader consider 

1. Tlie command. 

** Tut away from yourseWes the wicked person." " A man, that is a heretic » 
after the first and se/ond admonition reject." " Mark them which cause divi- 
sions and c^ences, . . . and avoid them." 

2. The exam^ L', viz. in the Primitive Church. 

" I'he l^ersons or Ohjects of Ecclesiastical Censure were all such delinquents, 
*' as fell into great and scandalous crimes after baptism, whether men or women, 
" priests or people, rich or poor, princes or subjects." Ding. Aatiqu. xvi.3. 

3. The warning. 

" Whosoever .... shall break one of tliese least commandments and shall 
•• teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." 



KING, PRiNTKP, ST. Clement's, oxroit». 



■s:t Any one is at liberty to reprint these Tracts, with such 
alterations as approve themselves to his judgment. 

ON SHORTENING THE CHURCH SERVICES. 



There is a growing feeling that the Services of 
the Church are too long ; and many persons tliink it a sound 
feehng, merely because it w a growing one. Let such as have 
not made up their minds on the subject, suffer themselves, before 
going into the arguments against our Serviees, to be arrested by the 
following consideration. 

The Services of our Church, as they now stand, are but a 
very small i)art of the ancient Christian worship ; and, though 
people now-a-days think them too long, there can be no doubt 
that the primitive believers would have thought them too short. 
Now I am far from considering this as a conclusive argument 
in the question ; as if the primitive believers were right, and 
people now-a-days wrong ; but surely others may fairly be called 
upon, not to assume the reverse. On such points it is safest 
to assume nothing, but to take facts as we find them ; and the 
facts are these. 

In ancient times Christians understood very literally all that 
the Bible says about prayer. David had said, " seven times a 
day do I praise Thee;" and St. Paul had said, " pray always.'* 
These texts they did not feel at liberty to explain away, but 
complying with them to the letter, praised God seven times a 
day, besides their morning and evening prayer. Their hours of 
devotion were, in the day time, 6, 9, 12, and 3, which were 
called the Horai Canonicae ; in the night, 9, 12, and 3. vvhich 
were called the Nocturns; and besides these the hour of day- 
break and of retiring to bed ; — not that they set apart these hours 
in the first instance for public worship, this was impossible; 
but they seem to have aimed at praying with one accord, and 
and at one time, even where they could not do so in one place. 
" The Universal Church," says Bishop Patrick, " anciently ob- 
" served certaiji set hours of prayer, that all Christians through- 
** out the world might at the same time join together to glorify 
** God ; and some of them were of opinion, that the Angelical 



*' Host, being acquainted with those hours, took that time to join 
" their prayers and praises with those of the Church.*' The 
Hymns and Psahns appropriated to these hours were in the first 
instance intended only for private meditation ; but afterwards, when 
religious societies were formed, and persons, who had withdrawn 
from secular business, lived together for purposes of devotion, 
chanting was introduced, and they were arranged for congrega- 
tional worship. Throughout the Churches which used the Latin 
tongue, the same Services were adopted with very little variation ; 
and in Uoman Catholic countries they continue in use, with only 
a few modern interpolations, even to this day. 

The length of these Services will be in some degree understood 
from the fact, that in the course of every week they go through 
the whole book of Psalms. The writer has been told by a dis- 
tinguished person, who was once a Roman Catholic Priest, that 
the time required for their performance averages three hours a 
day throughout the year. 

The process of transition from this primitive mode of worship 
to that now used in the Church of England, was gradual. Long 
before the abolition of the Latin Service, the ancient hours of 
worship had fallen into disuse ; in religious Societies the daily 
and nightly Services had been arranged in groups under the names 
of Matins and Vespers; and those who prayed in private were 
allowed to suit their hours of prayer to their convenience, pro- 
vided only that they went through the whole Services each day. 
Neither is it to be supposed that this modified demand was at all 
generally complied with. Thus in the course of time, the views 
and feelings, with which prayer had been regarded by the early 
Christians, became antiquated ; the forms remained, but stripped 
of their original meaning ; Services were compressed into one, 
which had been originally distinct ; the idea of united worship, 
with a view to which identity of time and language had been 
maintained in dirterent nations, was forgotten ; the identity of 
time had been abandoned, and the identity of language was not 
thought worth preserving. Conscious of the incongruity of pri- 
mitive forms and modern feelings, our Reformers undertook to 
construct a Service more in accordance with the spirit of their 
age. They adopted the English language; they curtailed the 
already compressed ritual of the early Christians, so arranging it 
that the Psalms should be gone through monthly, instead of 



weekly ; and, carrying the spirit of compression still further, they 
added to the Matin Service what had hitherto been wholly distinct 
from it, the Mass Service or Communion- 

Since the Reformation, the same gradual change in the pre- 
vailing notions of prayer has worked its way silently but gene- 
rally. The Services, as they were left by the Reformers, were, 
as they had been from the first ages, daily Services ; they are 
now weekly Services. Are they not now in a fair way to become 
monthly f 



SUNDAY LESSONS. 



There are persons who wish certain Sunday Lessons removed 
from oirr Service, e. g. some of those selected for Lent, — nay, 
Jeremiah v. and xxii. ; and this, on the ground that it is painful to 
the feelings of Clergymen to read them. 

Waving other considerations, which may be urged against inno- 
vation in this matter, may we not allow some weight to the follow- 
ing, which is drawn from the very argument brought in favour of 
the change ? Will not the same feeling, which keeps men from 
reading the account of certain sins and their punishment from the 
Bible, much more keep them from mentioning them in the pulpit ? 
Is it not necessary that certain sins, which it is distressing to speak 
of, should be seriously denounced, as being not the less frequent 
in commission, because they are disgraceful in language ? And if 
so, is it not a most considerate provision of the Church, to relieve 
her Ministers of the pain of using their own words, and to al- 
low them to shelter their admonitions under the holy and reverend 
language of Inspired Scripture ? 



KINO, PBINTCS, »T. CLtMENT 8, OXFOttD. 



HEADS OF A WEEK-DAY LECTURE, 

DELIVERED TO A COUNTRY CONGREGATION IN SMIRE. 



Before we meet again, we shall have cele- 
brated the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, the Apostles. You 
will be at your daily work, and will not have the opportunity to 
attend the service in church. For that reason, it may be as well, 
you should lay up some good thoughts against that day ; and 
such, by God's blessing, I will now attempt to give you. 

As you well know, there were twelve Apostles ; St. Simon and 
St. Jude were two of them. They preached the Gospel of Christ ; 
and they were like Christ, as far as sinful man maybe accounted 
like the blessed Son of God. They were like Christ in their 
deeds and in their sufferings. The Gospel for the festival * shows 
us this. They were like Christ in their works, because Christ 
was a witness of the Father, and they were witnesses of Christ. 
Christ came in the name of God the Father Almighty ; He " came 
" and spoke," and "did works which none other man did." In 
like manner, the Apostles were sent " tobear witness of Christ, to 
** declare His power, His great mercy. His sufferings on the cross 
" for the sins of all men. His willingness to save all who come to 
" Him." 

But again, they were like Christ in their sufferings. " If the 
" world hate you," He says to them, ** you know that it hated 
" Me, before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world 
" would love his own ; but because ye are not of the world, but 
" I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth 
" you. Remember the word that I said unto you. The servant is 
" not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they 
" will also persecute you ; if they have kept My saying, they will 
" keep yours jUso." 

Thus, they were like Christ in office, I do not speak of their 
holiness, their faith, and all their other high excellences, which 
God the Holy Ghost gave them. I speak now, not of their per- 
sonal graces, but of their office, of preaching, of witnessing Christ, 
of suffering for being His servants. Men ought to have listened 
to them, and honoured them ; some did ; but the many, the 
world did not — they hntcd them ; they hated them, for their 
office-sake ; not because they were Paul, and Peter, and Simon, 
and Jude, but because they bore witness to the Son of God and 
were chosen to be His Ministers. 

• John XV. 17. 



Here is a useful lesson for us at this day. The Apostles indeed 
are dead ; yet it is quite as possible for men still to hate their 
preaching and to persecute them, as when they were alive. For 
in one sense they are still alive ; I mean, they did not leave the 
world without appointing persons to take their place ; and these 
persons represent them, and may be considered with reference to 
us, as if they were the Apostles. When a man dies, his son takes 
his property, and represents him ; that is, in a manner he still 
lives in the person of his son. Well, this explains how the 
Apostles may be said to be still among us ; they did not indeed 
leave their sons to succeed them as Apostles, but they left spiritual 
sons ; they did not leave this life, without first solemnly laying 
their hands on the heads of certain of their flock, and these took 
their place, and represented them after their death. 

But it may be asked, are these spiritual sons of the Apostles 
stdl alive ? no ; — all this took place many hundred years ago. 
These sons and heirs of the Apostles died long since. But then 
they in turn did not leave the world without committing their 
sacred office to a fresh set of Ministers, and they in turn to another, 
and so on even to this day. Thus the Apostles had, first, spiritual 
sons ; then spiritual grandsons ; then great grandsons ; and so on 
from one age to another down to the present time. 

Again, it may be asked, ivho are at this time the successors and 
spiritual descendants of the Apostles ? I shall surprise some 
people by the answer I shall give ; though it is very clear, and 
there is no doubt about it; the bishops. They stand in the 
place of the Apostles ; and, whatever we ought to do, had we 
lived when the Apostles were alive, the same ought we to do for 
the Bishops. He that despises them, despises the Ajx>stles. It 
is our duty to reverence them for their ofiice-sake ; they are the 
shepherds of Christ's flock. If we knew them well, we should 
love them for the many excellent graces they possess, for their 
piety, loving-kindness, and other virtues. But we do not know 
them ; yet still, for all this, we may honour them as the ministers 
of CiiiiiST, without going so far as to consider their priVfUe worth ; 
and we may keep to their " fellowship," * as we should to that of 
the Apostles. I say, we may all thus honour them even witho it 
knowing tluni in private, because of their high ottice ; for tliw 
have the marks of Ciihist's presence upon them, in that they wil- 
iiess for CiiKisT, and suffer for Him, as the A[)ostles did. I will 
explain to you how this is. 

There is a temptation which comes on many men to honour no 
one, except such as they themselves know, such as have done a 

• AcUii. 42. 



favour or kindness to them personally. Thus sometunes people 
speak against those who are put over them m this world's matters, 
as the King. They say, " What is the King to me ? henever did 
me any good." Now, I answer, whether he did or not, is nothing- 
to the purpose. We are hound for Christ s sake, to honour him 
because he is King, though he lives far from us ; and this all 
well-disposed right-minded people do. And so, in just the same 
way, though for much higher reasons, we must honor the Bishop, 
because he is the Bishop ; — for his o^cc-sake ; — because he is 
Christ's Minister, stands in the place of the Apostles, is the 
Shepherd of our souls on earth, while Christ is away. This is 
Faith, to look at things not as seen, but as unseen ; to be as sure 
that the Bishop is Christ's appointed Representative, as if we 
actually saw upon his head a cloven tongue like as of fire, as you 
may read in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. 

But you will say, how do we know this, since we do not see 
it. I repeat, the Bishops are Apostles to us, from their witnessing 
Christ, and suffering for Him. 

1. They witness Christ in their very name, for He is the true 
Bishop of our souls, as St. Peter says, and they are Bishops. They 
witness Christ in their stafion ; — there is but one Lord to save 
us, and there is but one Bishop in each place. The meetingers 
have no head, they are all of them mixed together in a confused 
way ; but we of Christ's Holy Church have one Bishop over 

us, and our Bishop is the Bishop of . Many of you have 

seen him lately, when he confirmed in our church. That very 
confirmation is another ordinance, in which the Bishop witnesses 
Christ. Our Lord confirms us with the Spirit in all goodness ; 
the Bishop is His figure and likeness, when he lays his hands on 
the heads of children. Then Christ comes to them, to confirm 
in them the grace of Baptism. Moreover, the Bishop rules the 
whole Church here below, as Christ rules it above ; and here 
again the Bishop is a figure or witness of Christ. And further, 
it is the Bishop who makes us Clergymen God's Ministers. He 
is Christ's instrument ; and he visibly chooses those whom 
Christ chooses invisibly, to serve in the Word and Sacraments 
of the Church. And thus it is from the Bishop that the news of 
redemption and the means of r/race have come to all men ; this 
again is a witnessing Christ. I, who speak to you concerning 
Christ, was ordained to do so by the Bishop ; he speaks in me, — 
as Christ wrought in him, and as God sent Christ. Thus 
the whole plan of salvation hangs together. — Christ the True 
Mediator above ; His servant, the Bishop, His earthly likeness ; 
mankind the subjects of His teaching ; God the Author of Sal- 
vation. 



2. But I must now montion the more painful pirt of ilie subject, 
i. e. the svjferincfs of the Bishops, which is tlie second mark of their 
being our living Apostles. The Bishops have undergone this trial in 
every age. As the first Apastles were hated and persecuted, so have 
they ever been. Time was, when they were cruelly slain by fire and 
sword. That time, (though God avert it!) may come again. But, 
whether or not Satan is permitted so openly to rage, certainly sonie 
kinds of persecution are to be expected in our day ; nay, such have 
begun. It is not so very long since the great men of the earth told 
them to prepare fcrr persecution ; it is not so very long since the 
mad people answered the summons, and furiously attacked them, 
and seemed bent on destroying them, in all parts of the country. 

Yes ! the day may come, even in this generation, when the Re- 
presentatives of Christ are spoiled of their sacred possessions, and 
degraded from their civil dignities. The day may come, when each 
of us inferior Ministers — when I myself, whom you know — may have 
to give up our Churches, and be among you, in no better temporal 
circumstances than yourselves ; with no larger dwelling, no finer 
clothing, no other fare, with nothing different beyond those gifts, 
which I trust wc gained when we were made Ministers ; and those 
again, which have been vouchsafed to us before and after that time, 
for the due fulfilment of our Ministry. Then you will look at us, 
not as gentlemen, as now; not as your superiors in worldly station, 
but still, nay, more strikingly so than now, still as messengers from 
Him, who seeth and worketh in secret, and who judgeth not by out- 
ward appearance. Then you will honor us, with a purer honor 
than you do now, namely, as those who are intrusted with the keys 
of heaven and hell, as the he raids of mercy, as the denouncers of 
woe to wicked men, as intrusted with the awful and mysterious gift 
of making the bread and wine Christ's body and blood, as far 
greater than the most powerful and the wealthiest of men in our un- 
seen strength and our heavenly riches. This may all come in our 
day ; and I can hardly wish it should not come, painful as is the 
thought of the great wickedness, which those men must show forth, 
who persecute us ; painful as is the thought of the sufferings, which 
that persecution will cause us. And, after all, if God's loving kind- 
ness spares both us and you the trial, siill it will have been useful 
to have steadily thought about it beforehand, and to have prepared 
our hearts to meet it. 



KIN(i. l-niNI I )■ 



Nor. 11, 1833.] . [No. 11.— Pnce l^d. 

THE VISIBLE CHURCH. 

fin Letters to a Friend.J 



LEITER I. 



MY DEAR 



You wish to have my opinion on the doctrine 
of " the Holy Catholic Church," as contained in Scripture, and 
taught in the Creed. So I send you the following lines, which 
perhaps may serve, through God's blessing, to assist you in your 
search after the truth in this matter, even though they do no more ; 
indeed no remarks, however just, can be much more than an 
assistance to you. You must search for yourself, and God must 
teach you.,^^ 

I think I partly enter into your present perplexity. You argue, 
that true doctrine is the important matter for which we must con- 
tend, and a right state of the affections is the test of vital religion 
in the heart ; and you ask, " Why may T not be satisfied if my 
Creed is correct, and my affections spiritual ? Have I not fti 
that case enough to evidence a renewed mind, and to constitute a 
basis of union with others like minded ? The love of Christ is 
surely the one and only requisite for Christian communion here, 

and the joys of heaven hereafter.'* Again you say, that and 

are constant in their prayers for tne teaching of the Holy 

Spirit ; so that if it be true, that every one who asketh receiveth, 
surely they must receive, and are in a safe state. 

Believe me, I do not think lightly of these arguments. They 
are very subtle ones ; powerfully influencing the imagination, and 
difficult to answer. Still I believe them to be mere fallacies. Let 

me try them in a parallel case. You know the preacher at , 

and have heard of his flagrantly immoral life ; yet it is notorious 
that he can and does speak in a moving way of the love of Christ, 
&c. It is very shocking to witness such a case, which (we will hope) 
is rare ; but it has its use. Do you not think him in peril, in spite 
of his impressive and persuasive language ? Why ? — You will say, 
his life is bad. True ; it seems then that more is requisite for 
salvation than an orthodox creed, and keen sensibilities ; viz. con- 
sistent conduct. — Very well then, we have come to an additional 
est of true faith, obedience to God's word, and plainly a scriptural 



test, according to St. John's canon, " He who doeth righteousness 
is righteous." Do not you see then your argument is already 
proved to be unsound ? It seems that true doctrine and warm 
feelings are not enough. How am I to know what is enough ? you 
ask. I reply, 5y searcJiing Scripture, It was your original fault 
that, instead of inquiring ^vhat God has told you is necessary for 
being a true Christian, you chose out of your own head to argue 
on the subject ; — e. g. " I can never believe that to be such and 
such is not enough for salvation,'* &c. Now this is worldly wisdom. 

Let us Join issue then on this plain ground, whether or not the 
doctrine of " the Church," and theduty of obeying it, be laid down 
in Scripiure. If so, it is no matter as regards our practice, whe- 
ther the doctrine is primary or secondary, whether the duty is much 
or little insisted on. A Christian mind will aim at obeying the 
whole counsel and will of God ; on the other hand, to those who 
are tempted arbitrarily to classify and select their duties, it is 
written, " Whosoever shall break one of these least command- 
ments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the 
kingdom of heaven." 

And here first, that you may clearly understand the ground I 
am taking, pray observe that I am not attempting to controvert any 
one of those high evangeHcal points, on which perhaps we do not 
altogether agree with each other. Perhaps you attribute less 
efficacy to the Sacrament of Baptism than I do ; bring out into 
greater system and prominence the history of an individual's war- 
fare with his spiritual enemies ; fix more precisely and abruptly the 
date of his actual conversion from darkness to light ; and consider 
that Divine Grace acts more arbitrarily against the corrupt human 
will, than I think is revealed in Scripture. Still, in spite of this 
diiference of opinion, I see no reason why you should not accept 
heartily the Scripture doctrine of" the Church." And this is the 
point I wish to press, not asking you to abandon your present opi- 
nions, but to add to them a practical belief in a tenet which the 
Creed teaches and Scripture has consecrated. And this surely is 

quite possible. The excellent Mr. , of , who has lately 

left , was both a Calvinist, and a strenuous High-Churchman. 

You are in the practice of distinguishing between the Visible and 
Invisible Church. Of course I have no wish to maintain, that those 
who shall be saved hereafter are exactly the same company that are 
under the means of grace here ; still I must insist on it, that Scrip- 



ture makes the existence of a Visible Church a condition of the 
existence of the Invisible. I mean, the Sacraments are evidently 
in the hands of the Church Visible ; and these, we know, are ge- 
nerally necessary to salvation, as the Catechism says. Thus it is 
an undeniable fact, as true as that souls will be saved, that a Visible 
Church must exist as a means towards that end. The Sacraments 
are in the hands of the Clergy ; this few will deny, or that their 
efficacy is not diminished by the personal character of the admini- 
strator. What then shall be thought of any attempts to weaken 
or exterminate that Community, or that Ministry, which is an ap- 
pointed condition of the salvation of the elect ? But every one, 
who makes or encourages a schism, must weaken it. Thus it is 
plain, schism must be wrong in itself, even if Scripture did not in 
express terms forbid it, as it does. 

But further than this ; it is plain this Visible Church is a stand- 
ing body. Every one who is baptized, is baptized into an existing 
community. Our Service expresses this when it speaks of bap- 
tized infants being incorporated into God's Holy Church. Thus 
the Visible Church is not a voluntary association of the day, but a 
continuation of one which existed in the age before us, and then 
again in the age before that ; and so back till we come to the age 
of the Apostles. In the same sense, in which Corporations of the 
State's creating, are perpetual, is this which Christ has founded. 
This is a matter of fact hitherto ; and it necessarily will be so 
always, for is not the notion absurd of an unbaptized person baptiz- 
ing others ? which is the only way in which the Christian commu- 
nity can have a new beginning. 

Moreover Scripture directly insists upon the doctrine of the 
Visible Church as being of importance. E. g. St. Paul says ; — 
" There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one 
hope of your calling ; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God 
and Father of all." Ephes. iv. 4 — 6. Thus, as far as the Apostle's 
words go, it is as false and unchristian, (I do not mean in degree 
of guilt, but in its intrinsic sinfulness,) to make more bodies than 
one, as to have many Lords, many Gods, many Creeds. Now, I 
wish to know, how it is possible for any one to fall into this sin, if 
Dissenters are clear of it ? What is the sin, if separation from the 
Existing Church is not it ? 

I have shown that there is a divinely instituted Visible Church, 
and that it has been one and the same by successive incorporation 



of members from the beginning. Now I observe further, that the 
word Church, as used in Scripture, ordinarily means this actually 
existing visible body. The exceptions to this rule, out of about 
100 places in the New Testament, where the word occurs, are 
four passages in the Epistle to the Ephesians ; two in the Colos- 
sians; and one in the Hebrews. (Eph. i. 22. iii. 10, 21. v. 23—32. 
Col. i. 18, 24. Heb. xii. 23.) — And in some of these exceptions the 
sense is at most but doubtful. Further, our Saviour uses the word 
twice, and in both times of the Visible Church. They are remark- 
able passages, and may here be introduced, in continuation of my 
argument. 

Matth. xvi. 18. " Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Now I am certain, any 
unprejudiced mind, who knew nothing of controversy, considering 
the Greek word eV/cXTjo-Za means simply an assevibiy, would have 
no doubt at all that it meant in this passage a visible body. What 
right have we to disturb the plain sense ? why do we impose a 
meaning, arising from some system of our own ? And this view is 
altogether confirmed by the other occasion of our Lord's using it, 
where it can on^y denote the Visible Church. Matt, xviii. 17. " If 
he (thy brother) shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church ; 
but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a 
heathen man and a publican." 

Observe then what we gain by these two passages ; — the grant 
of power to the Church ; and the promise of permanence. Now 
look at the fact. The body then begun has continued ; and has 
always claimed and exercised the power of a corporation or so- 
ciety. Consider merely the article in the Creed, " The Holy 
Catholic Church ; which embodies this notion. Do not Scripture 
and History illustrate each other ? 

I end this first draught of my argument, with the text in 1 Tim. 
iii. 15., in which St. Paul calls the Church " the pillar and ground 
of the Truth," — which can refer to nothing but a Visible Body ; 
else martyrs may be invisible, and preachers, and teachers, nnd thu 
whole order of the Ministry. 

My paper is exhausted. If you allow mc, I will send you soon 
a second Letter ; meanwhile I sum up what I have been proving 
from Scripture thus ; tliat Almighty God might have left Chris- 
tianity as a sort of sacred literature, as contained in the Bible, 
which each person was to take a;id use by himself; just as we read 



the works of any human philosopher or historian, from which we 
gain practical instruction, but the knowledge of which does not 
bind us to be Newtonians, or Aristotelians, &:c. or to go out of 
our line of life in consequence of it. This, I say. Me might have 
done ; but, in matter of fact, He has ordained otherwise. He has 
actually set up a Society, which exists even at this day all over the 
world, and which, (as a general rule,) Christians are bound to join ; 
so that to believe in Christ is not a mere opinion or a secret con- 
viction, but a social or even a political principle, forcing one into 
what is often stigmatized as party strife, and quite inconsistent with 
the supercilious mood of those professed Christians of the day, who 
stand aloof, and designate their indifference as' philosophy. 



Ever 



your s. 



LETTER TI. 

MY DEAR 

I AM sometimes struck with the inconsistency 
of those, who do not allow us to express the gratitude due to the 
Church, while they do not hesitate to declare their obUgation to in- 
dividuals who have benefitted them. To avow that they owe their 
views of religion and their present hopes of salvation to this or that 
distinguished preacher, appears to them as harmless, as it may be in 
itself true and becoming ; but if a person ascribes his faith and 
knowledge to the Church, he is thought to forget his peculiar and 
unspeakable debt to that Saviour who died for him. Surely, if 
our Lord makes man His instrument of good to man, and if it is 
possible to be grateful to man without forgetting the Source of all 
grace and power^ there is nothing wonderful in His having ap- 
pointed a company of men as the especial medium of His instruction 
and spiritual gifts, and in consequence of .His having laid upon us 
the duty of gratitude to it. Now this is all I wish to maintain, 
what is most clearly, (as 1 think,) revealed in Scripture, that the 
blessings of redemption come to us through the Visible Church ; so 
that, as we betake ourselves to a Dispensary for medicine, without 
attributing praise or intrinsic worth to the building or the immediate 
managers of its stores, in something of the like manner we are to 



come to that One Society, to which Christ has entrusted the office 
of stewardship in the distribution of gifts of which He alone is 
the Author and real Dispenser. 

In the letter I sent you the other day, I made some general re- 
marks on this doctrine ; now let me continue the subject. 

First, the Sacraments, which are the ordinary means of grace, are 
clearly in possession of the Church. Baptism is an incorporation 
into a body ; and invests with spiritual blessings, because it is the 
introduction into a body so invested. In 1 Cor. xii. we are taught 
first, the Spirit's indwelling in the Visible Church or body ; I do 
not say in every member of it, but generally in it ; — next, we are 
told that the Spirit baptizes individuals into that body. Again, the 
LoRD^s Supper carries evidence of its social nature even in its name ; 
it is not a solitary individual act, it is a joint communion. Surely 
nothing is more alien to Christianity than the spirit of Independence ; 
the peculiar Christian blessing, i. e. the presence of Christ, is 
upon two or three gathered together, not on mere individuals. 

But this is not all. The Sacraments are committed, not into the 
hands of the Church Visible assembled together, (though even this 
would be no unimportant doctrine practically,) but into certain defi- 
nite persons, who are selected from their brethren for that trust. I 
will not here determine who these are in each successive age, but 
will only point out how far this principle itself will carry us. The 
doctrine is implied in the original institution of the Lord's Supper, 
where Christ says to His Apostles, " Do this." Further, take that re- 
markable passage in Matth.xxiv. 45 — 51. Luke xii. 42 — 46, " Who 
then is that faithful and wise Steward,whom his Lord shall make ruler 
over His household, to give them their portion of meat in due season ? 
Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when He comethy shall find 
so doing !" &c. Now I do not inquire roho in every age are the 
stewards spoken of, (though in my own mind I cannot doubt the 
line of Bishops is that Ministry, and consider the concluding verses 
fearfully prophetic of the Papal misuse of the gift ; — by the bye, at 
least it shows this, that bad men may nevertheless be the channels 
of grace to God's " household,") I do not ask who are the stewards, 
but surely the words, when He coniethy imply that they are to con- 
tinue till the end of the world. This reference is abundantly con- 
firmed by our Lord's parting words to the eleven ; in which, after 
giving them the baptismal commission, He adds, " Lo ! I am with 
you always, even unto the end of the world.'* If then He was with 



the Apostles in a way in which He was not present with teachers 
who were strangers to their "fellowship,'* (Acls ii. 42.) which all 
will admit, so, in like manner, it cannot be a matter of indifference 
in any age, what teachers and fellowship a Christian selects ; there 
must be those with whom Christ is present, who are His 
" Stewards," and whom it is our duty to obey. 

As I have mentioned the question of faithfulness and unfaithful- 
ness in Ministers, I may refer to the passage in 1 Cor. iv. where St. 
Paul, after speaking of himself and others as « Stewards of the 
mysteries of God," and noticing that "it is required of Stewards, 
that a man be found faithful, " adds, « With me it is a very small 
thing that I should be judged of you or of man's judgment.... 
therefore ^M^^e nothing before the time.'' 

To proceed, consider the following passage : '* Obey them that 
have rule over you, and submit yourselves." Heb. xiii. 17. Again I 
do not ask who these are ; but whether this is not a duty, however 
it is to be fulfilled, which multitudes in no sense fulfil. Consider 
the number of people, professing and doubtless in a manner really 
actuated by Christian principle, who yet wander about from church 
to church, or from church to meeting, as sheep without a shepherd, 
or who choose a preacher merely because he pleases their taste, and 
whose first movement towards any clergyman they meet, is to exa- 
mine and criticize his doctrine, what conceivable meaning do they 
put upon these words of the Apostle ? Does any one rule over them ? 
do they in any way submit themselves ? Can these persons excuse 
their conduct, except on the deplorably profane plea, (which yet I 
believe is in their hearts at the bottom of their disobedience,) that 
it matters little to keep Christ's " least commandments," so that 
we embrace the peculiar doctrines of His gospel ? 

Some time ago I drew up a sketch of the Scripture proof of the 
doctrine of the Visible Church ; which with your leave I will here 
transcribe. You will observe, I am not arguing for this or that form 
of Polity, or for the Apostolical Succession, but simply the duties of 
order, union, and ecclesiastical obedience ; I limit myself to these 
points, as being persuaded that, when they are granted, the others 
will eventually follow. 

I. That there was a Visible Church in the Apostles' day. 

1. General texts. Matt. xvi. 18. xviii. 17. 1 Tim. iii. 15. Acts 
passim, &c. 



8 

2. Organization of the Church. 

(1) Diversity of ranks. 1 Cor. xii. Eph. iv. 4 — 12. Rom. 
xii. 4— 8. 1 Pet. i v. 10, 11. 

(2) Governors. Matt, xxviii. 19. Mark xvi. 15, 16. John 
XX. 22, 23. Luke xxii. 19, 20. Gal. ii. 9, &c. 

(3) Gifts. Luke xii. 42, 43. John xx. 22, 23. Matt, xviii. 18. 

(4) Order. Acts viii. 5, 6, 12, 14, 15, 17. xi. 22. 23. xi. 2, 4. 
ix. 27. XV. 2, 4, 6, 25. xvi. 4. xviii. 22. xxi. 17—19. 
conf. Gal. i. 1, 12. 1 Cor. xiv. 40. 1 Thes. v. 14. 

(5) Ordination. Acts vi. 6. 1 Tim. iv. 14. v. 22. 2 Tim. i. 6. 
Tit. i. 5. Acts xiii. 3. cf. Gal. i. 1, 12. 

(6) Ecclesiastical obedience. 1 Thes. v. ,12, 13. Heb. xiii. 17. 
Tim. v. 17. 

(7) Rules and discipHne. Matt, xxviii. 19. Matt, xviii. 17. 
1 Cor. V. 4—7. Gal. v. 12. &c. 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. 1 Cor. 
xi. 2, 16, &c. 

(8) Unity. Rom. xvi. 17. 1 Cor. i. 10. iii. 3. xiv. 26. CoL 
ii. 5. 1 Thes. v. 14. 2 Thes. iii. 6. 

II. That the Visible Church, thus instituted by the Apostles, was 
intended to continue. 

1. Why should it not } The onus probandi lies with those who 
deny this position. If the doctrines and precepts already cited 
are obsolete at this day, why should not the following texts ? 
e. g. 1 Pet. ii. 13. or, e. g. Matt. vii. 14. John iii. 3. 

2. Is it likely so elaborate a system should be framed, yet with 
no purpose of its continuing ? 

3. The objects to be obtained by it are as necessary now as then. 
(1.) Preservation of the faith, (2.) Purity of doctrine. (3.) Edi- 
fication of Christians. (4.) Unity of operation. Vid. Epists. to 
Tim. & Tit. passim. 

4. If system were necessary in a time of miracles, much more is 
it now. 

5. 2 Tim. ii. 2. Matt, xxviii. 20, &c. 

Take these remarks, as they are meant, as mere suggestions for 
your private consideration, and believe mf , &c. &c. 
1 '> -^^''^^ " ■*'- ' >^-^l' • 

^ These Tracts may he had at TuHRiLh'Sy No, 250, Regent 
Street, of ',)f1. ])(■}• sheet, 1)^(1. the half slieet, and \d. per quarter 
sliest. ^\<^XV r 



Dec. 4, 1833.] [Ao. 12.—Pnctf 3d. 

RICHARD NELSON. 

I. 



" It is evident unfo all men diligently reading the Holy Scripture and ancient 
authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these orders of i\Iinist©r» 
in Christ's Church; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons." 

Pre/, to the Ordination Service. 

Ln the course of this last summer of 1833, I had the pleasure of 
a visit from an old and valued friend, one of the most respectable 
merchants in the city of Bristol, (and this, in my opinion, is no 
small praise.) 

We were discussing one day the subject of National Schools, 
their merits and demerits. He was pleading strenuously for them ; 
and to confirm his arguments, " I will mention," said he, "a circum- 
stance which happened to me when I was in this part of the world 
about eleven or twelve years ago. I was travelling on a coach 
somewhere between Sheffield and Leeds, when we took up a lad 
of fourteen or fifteen years of age ; a rough country-looking boy» 
but well mannered and of an intelligent countenance. 

** I found upon conversation with him, that he belonged to a Na- 
tional School in the neighbourhood, which he was, he said, on the 
point of leaving. This gave me occasion to ask him various ques- 
tions, which he answered with so much readiness and vivacity, yet 
without any self-conceit in his manner, that when the coach stopped 
(l think it was at Barnsley) for a short time, I took him with me 
into a bookseller's shop, and desired him to select some book which 
I might give him as a testimony of my approbation. After look- 
ing at a few which the bookseller recommended, he fixed on a 
♦* Selection from Bishop Wilson's Works," whose name, he said, he 
had often heard. He begged me to write his name in it, which I did, 
and we parted with mutual expressions of good-will ; and I will 
be bold to prophesy that that boy (or young man as he must now 
be, if he is still alive) is givmg by his conduct stronger testimony 
in favour of the National School System than a thousand of your 
speculating philosophers can bring against it." 



" Well," said I, " you are apt to be sanguine in your views, but 
as I must confess they are very often right, so I will hope you may 
not have been deceived in this instance." 

It so happened that two or three days after this conversation we 
were taking a walk together, and discussing various topics, such as 
the present state of things might well suggest, when we met a 
young man, a neighbour of mine, a mason, who detained us two or 
three minutes, while he asked my directions about some work he 
was doing for me. 

After he was out of hearing, — ** That," said I, " is one of the most 
respectable young men I know. Soon after I came here, more than 
four years ago, he married a young woman of a disposition similar 
to his own ; and they live in that cottage that you see there, to the 
right of that row of beeches." 

"I see it, I believe," said he, hardly looking the way I pointed, 
and not altogether seeming pleased at having our conversation thus 
interrupted. 

" He has two or three little children, and I believe some- 
times it goes hard with them, as in the winter work is short 
hereabouts, and he does not like beating about far from home. I 
sometimes tell him he ought to look farther ; but he is so fond of 
his home, his wife and children, that I verily think he would rather 
live on potatoes seven days in the week with them, than have meat 
and beer by himself. And besides, I know he does not relish the 
companions he must work with at the town. However, on the 
whole, they do tolerably well, as they have a garden of a fair size, 
and he never spends an unnecessary penny." 

" lam glad to hear it," said he ; " but we were talking about the 
value of an apostolical succession in the ministry, were we not ? 
and of the great ignorance and neglect now prevailing on the 
subject." 

** We were," said I ; " but to tell you the truth, though I have 
bestowed considerable attention on the subject, and examined the 
various opinions which liave been put forth on it, yet I have 
scarcely learned so much hereon from the works of learned theolo- 
gians,^ as I have from repeated conversations with that very young 
man we just now met." 

" You surprise me," said he. 



3 

" You may be surprised, but it is however true, and, (if you have 
no objection,) I will tell you how it was." 

'* By all means," he answered. 

" When I tirst came to the parish I looked about for some 
person to take charge of the Sunday School, as the master 
was old, and so deaf as to be unequal to the work. I was re- 
commended to apply to Richard Nelson, (that is the man's name,") 
—Here my friend interrupted me, saying, " Richard Nelson ? 
why, now I remember, that was the very name of the boy I tra- 
velled with." " Indeed !" said I, " then doubtless it is the same 
person : for his age will agree with your account very well, and I 

know he was bred at National School." " Well," said he, 

" I am quite delighted to find myself a true prophet in this in- 
stance." " Perhaps," said I, " you will be still more pleased, 
when you have heard all I have to tell you : you will find that 
your little present was by no means thrown away." " Go on," 
said he, " lam all attention." 

" I was telling you, I believe, that I requested Nelson to become 
master of the Sunday School. After some httle hesitation, he de- 
clined my offer, under the plea that he could not give constant and 
regular attendance ; though he was willing to attend occas'onally, 
and render what assistance he could. So it was arranged that the 
old master should still remain ; and I afterwards discoverd that 
an unwillingness to deprive him of the little emolument, was 
Nelson's real reason for declining my offer. As the Sunday School 
is nearly three-quarters of a mile from my house, in a direction 
beyond Nelson's, along the Beech Walk, as we call it, it frequently 
happened that we joined in company as we went to and fro. We 
generally talked over such subjects as had reference to the School, 
or to the state of religion in general : and, amongst other topics, 
that on which you and T are conversing, — the authority of Chris- 
tian ministers. I remember it was on the following occasion that 
the subject was started between us. I thought that I had observed 
one Sunday, that he was making the boys of his class, (our School 
professes to be on the Bell System,) that he was, I say, making his 
boys read the nineteenth and some other of the Thirty-nine Articles 
relatmg to the ministerial oflftce : and that afterwards he was ex- 
plaining and illustrating them, after his usual manner, by referring 
them to suitable parts of Scripture. On our walk homewards, I 
enquired if I was right in my conjecture. He said, Yes : and that. 



in the present state of things, he could not help thinking it qirite a 
duty to direct the minds of young persons to such subjects. And 
on this and many subsequent occasions, he set forth his opinions 
on the matter, which I will state to you, as far as I can remember, 
in his own words. 

" My good mother," he said, " not long before her death, which 
happened about half-a-year before I came to live here, said to me 
very earnestly one day, as I was sitting by her bed side. — * My dear 
Richard, observe my words : never dare to trifle with God Al- 
mighty.* By this I understood her to mean, that in all religious 
actions we ought to be very awfuU and to seek nothing but what 
is right and true. And I knew that she had always disapproved 
of peoples' saying, as they commonly do, * that it little matters 
what a man's religion is, if he is but sincere ;' and * that one opi- 
nion or one place of worship is as good as another.' To say, or 
think, or act so, she used to call * Trifling with God's truth :' and 
do you not think, sir, (addressing himself to me,) that she was 
right ?" 

" Indeed I do," said I. 

" And," he said, " I was much confirmed in these opinions by 
constantly reading a very wise, and, as I may say to you, precious 
book, which a gentleman gave me some years ago, whom I met by 
chance when I was going to see n^y father in the infirmary. It is 
called a Selection from Bishop Wilson's Works, and there are 
many places in it which shew what his opinions were on this sub- 
ject ; and I suppose, sir, there can be no doubt that Bishop Wilson 
was a man of extraordinary judgment and piety." 

" He has ever been considered so," I answered. 

" 1 could not think much of any one's judgment or piety either, 
who should say otherwise," he replied ; " and what Bishop Wilson 
says, is this, or to this eff'ect : — That * to reject the government of 
Bishops, is to reject an ordinance of God.' " ♦ 

That *• our salvation depends, under God, upon the ministry of 
those whom Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost have appointed 
to reconcile men to God." f 

That " the personal failings of ministers do not make void their 
commission." % 

That " if the Unity of the Church is once made a light matter, 
and he who is the centre of Unity, and in Christ's stead, shall 
» Sacr. Piiv. f Serm. 88. Ibid. 



come to be despised, and his authority set at nought, then will 
error and infidelity get ground ; Jesus Christ and His Gospel 
will be despised, and the kingdom of Satan set up again here 
as well as in other nations."* With many other expressions like 
these. 

" And yet, Sir," he continued, '< the gentleman who lives over 
there, (pointing to a great house in sight four or five miles oiFdown 
the valley,) who is said to be a person of much learning, and who 
does a great deal of good, he does not take the matter in the same 

light. For he told a man of whom I was working with, that if 

a person preached what was right and good, that was the best sign 
of his being ordained a minister, without the ceremony of laying on 
a Bishop's hands upon his head. And the man that told me, very 
much admired the opinion, in regard (he said) of its being so very 
liberal, or some such word. Though I confess I could not exactly 
see what there was so much to admire. Because, if the opinion 
were true, it was good, and if it were false, it was bad, equally as 
much (to my thinking) whether it were called liberal or bigotted." 

" Doubtless you were right," said I. " And," he proceeded, 
** it seemed to me, (and I told the man so,) like going round and 
round in a wheel, to say. If he is God's minister, he preaches 
what is good ; and if he preaches what is good, he is God's minister. 
For still the question will be, what is right and good ? and some 
would say one thing and some another ; and some would say there 
is nothing right nor good at all in itself, but only as seems most 
expedient to every person for the time being. So for my ow« 
satisfaction, and hoping for God's blessing on my endeavour, I re- 
solved to search the matter out for myself as well as I could. My 
plan was this. First, to see what was said on the subject in the 
Church Prayer Book, and then to compare this with the Scriptures; 
and if, after all, I could not satisfy myself, I should have taken 

the liberty of consulting you, Sir, if I had been here, or Mr. , 

who was the minister at , where I came from." 

" Yours was a good plan," I said ; " but I suppose you had for- 
gotten that the chief part of the Church Services which relate to 
these subjects, is not contained in the Prayer Books which we 
commonly use." 

" I was aware of that," he answered, " but my wife's father 
• Charge 1721. 



had been clerk of parish, and it so happened that the 

churchwarden had given him a large Prayer Book in which all 
the Ordination Services were quite perfect, though the book was 
ancient, and in some parts very ragged. This book my wife 
brought with her when we came here, and indeed she values it 
very highly on account of her poor father having used it for so 
many years. Thus you see, Sir, with the Bible and Prayer Book, 
and, (as I hoped,) God*s blessing on my labours, I was not, as you 
may say, unfurnished for the work.'* 

** Indeed, Richard, you were not," 1 replied. 

"Well then," he proceeded, " I first observed, that the church 
is very particular in not allowing any administration of the Sacra- 
ments, or any public service of Almighty God to take place, 
except when there is one of her Ministers to guide and take the 
lead in the solemnity. Thus not only in the administration of 
Baptism, and of the Lord's Supper, but in the daily Morning and 
Evening Prayers, in the Public Catechizing of Children, in the So- 
lemnization of Marriage, in the Visitation of the Sick, and in the 
Burial of the Dead ; — in all these cases the Christian congregation 
is never supposed complete, nor the service perfect, unless there be 
also present a minister authorized to lead the devotions of the peo- 
ple. And yet I also observed that neither minister nor people, not 
even with the leave of the Bishop himself, had power or authority 
given them to alter or vary from the Rules set down in the Prayer 
Book. And often have I thought how well it would be if Ministers 
and people too would be more careful to keep to the rules." 

** Yes," said I, "it is too true ; we are all to blame." 

"But," he proceeded, takhig a small Prayer Book out of his 
pocket, " the question I had next to ask was, — who are meant 
by these Ministers so often referred to in the Church Service. 
To this question I found a general answer in the Twenty-third, 
Twenty-sixth, and Thirty-sixth Articles; where the judgment of 
the Church is thus plainly given : — 

1st. '* 1 hat it is not lawful for any man to take ujwn him the 
office of public preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the 
Congregation, before h^^ Im' lawfully called and sent to exrcute the 
sarae." 

2ndly. " That tho'c are lawfully called and Fcnt, who are 



chosen and called to the work by men who have public authority 
given them in the Congregation to call and send Ministers into the 
Lord's vineyard." 

3rdly. " That though sometimes evil men may have chief 
authority in the ministration of the Word and Sacraments; yet, 
forasmuch, as they do not the same in their own name but in 
Christ's, and do minister by His commission and authority, we 
may use their ministry with full hope of God's blessing.'* 

4thly. " That whosoever are consecrated and ordained accord- 
ing to the Rites there prescribed, are rightly, orderly, and lawfully 
consecrated and ordained." 

" But here. Sir, I will take occasion to ask you whether it would 
not have been better, instead ofcaUing the second order of Ministers 
Priests, to have used the word which is frequently found in the 
New Testament applied to them, " Elders," or " Presbyters." 

" Why," I said, " I have no doubt the wise and good men who 
framed the Prayer Book liad a good reason for retaining the title 
of Priests. But in truth it is one of the very words you mentioned, 
only somewhat shortened by our forefathers in their pronunciation 
of it — Presbyter was made Prester, and that by degrees became 
Prest, or Priest." 

** That," said he " is very remarkable, and proves that we 
ought to enquire before we find fault. But to go on with what I 
was saying — I next proceeded to read over, and I assure you, Sir, 
I did it with great care, the three Services in our Great Prayer 
Book — namely, for Consecration of Bishops, Ordaining of Priests, 
and Making of Deacons. And I must confess to you that I could 
not but greatly admire them ; and at the same time feel much 
astonishment at two considerations which they brought to my 
mind." 

" What were they, Richard?" I enquired. 

** The one was," he said, " to think that after such a solemn de- 
dication to the ministry, there should be such a thing as a care- 
less or a wicked Clergyman. And yet. Sir, is it not also astonish- 
ing that after such a solemn dedication of ourselves as we all make 
to God in Baptism, there should be such a thing as a careless or a 
wicked Christian?" 

" So it is," I said, " when we judge others we condemn our- 
selves. But what was the other ground of your surprise .^* 



" Why, it was this ; that there should be any doubt what the 
opinion of the Church is respecting the Christian Ministry. Com- 
paring the Ordination Service with the Liturgy and Articles, it 
seems to me quite clear, that in the judgment of the Church, none 
can shew themselves duly authorized Ministers of Christ, who do 
not belong to one or other of the three orders, of Bishops, Priests, 
or Deacons. 

" But, said I to myself, other Churches have erred, why may 
not this then be the misfortune of the Church of England also ? 
and this very opinion may be one of her errors. You see then. 
Sir, the next thing I had to do was to consult the Scriptures on the 
subject, and (if it be not too bold in such a one as I to say so) to 
try the Prayer Book by the Bible.'* 

** Your method was the best possible," I said. ** But, if you 
please, do not use the expression, the Church of England, but the 
Church in England." 

" Why indeed, Sir," said he, " in the present state of things 
perhaps it would be more proper. But to proceed with my en- 
quiry. I first observed, that in the History of the Jews, as con- 
tained in the Old Testament, as well as in that of Christians in the 
New, the Almighty seems almost or quite always to have commu- 
nicated His will to mankind through some chosen Minister ; some 
one, whether it were angel or man, who could give suitable evidence 
of the authority by which he spoke or acted. But there seemed 
to me to be this great difference between Jews and Christians, in 
this as in other cases ; that in the Jews* religion, all the rules and 
regulations were set down so plainly and distinctly, that no one 
could mistake their meaning ; for instance, in the Levitical laws 
concerning the priesthood ; of what family and tribe the Priests and 
High Priest should be, what their respective duties, and what their 
dress, &c. Whereas in the Christian religion, the rules and regula- 
tions, however important, and even necessary, are yet not so exactly 
set down. And I remember bearing a very good and wise Clergy- 
man say in a Sermon at Church, that this is probably what 

St James mean-, when he calls the Gospel * a Law of Liberty ;* 
namely, that its rules and directions are not so plainly set down, 
on purpose, that Christians might have freer space, (1 remember that 
was his expression,) and opportunity, to exercise their Faith and 
Love for their Re leemer. And I have sometimes thought myself, 



that what St. Paul says about the difference between walking by 
faith and by sight, seems to suit the different cases of Jews and 
Christians. They walked by sight, ive must walk by faith ; and 
faith, in this world, we are told, can see but as through a glass 
darkly.'* 

" It seems, so," I said. 

He proceeded. 

" With this view I went on to examine the New Testament, ex- 
pecting to find therein some general instruction respecting the 
institution and authority of Ministers in the Christian Church. 
But I did not expect that these rules should be as particular and 
distinct as those on the same subject in the Old Testament, any 
more than I should expect to find a command to Christians to ob- 
serve the Lord's Day set down as distinctly as the command to 
observe the Sabbath was set down for the Jews. And yet. Sir, I 
suppose all will agree, that no one who wilfully neglects the Lord's 
Day can be a true Christian." 

" There are strange opinions now afloat," said I ; " and if many 
despise the Lord's Ministers, it is no wonder if many also despise 
the Lord's Day. 

** Indeed, Sir," said he, " it is not to be wondered at. But to 
go on with my statement. On carefully perusing the New Testa- 
ment History, I remarked that our Lord did not grant ministerial 
authority to His disciples in general, but first to twelve, and then to 
seventy ; that of those twelve, one was among the wickedest of 
mankind, and that our Lord knew (St. John vi. 64. xiii. 18.) 
his character when he appointed him ; that possibly some of those 
seventy also might be unworthy persons ; that our Lord, just 
before His departure, gave what may be called a fresh com- 
mission to His Apostles, which they should act upon after His 
ascension ; that after that event, the twelve Apostles were the lead- 
ing persons in the Christian Church, having under them two orders 
or degrees, viz. Bishops (sometimes called Elders) and Deacons ; 
that this threefold division of Ministers in the Church lasted as far 
as the New Testament History reaches, the Apostles having set men 
over different Churches with Apostolical authority, to preside dur- 
ing their absence, and to succeed them after their decease. This 
sufficiently appears from places in St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy 
and Titus." 



10 

" Do you remember any of the passages," 1 asked him. 
*♦ I cannot," he said, " call to mind chapter and verse, but I 
have with me a little paper of memorandums which I use at the 
school, and which, if it be not loo much troublp, I will thank you 
to look at," 

The paper was as follows : — for I thought it well to copy what 
he had written into my pocket memorandum-book. 

It appears that Timothy had autliority at Ephesus to check false or unedify- 
ing Teachers. 1 Tim. i. 3, 4; — to select persons proper to be ordained Bishops, 
iii. 1 — 7 ; — and al.vo Deacons, iii. 8—13. 

That he should have particular regard to the Elders who rule well. v. 17. 

That he should be cautious of receiving accusations against Elders, v. 19. 

That if any [Elders] were convicted it was his duty to reprimand them pub- 
licly. V.20. 

That ia his decisions he should be strictly impartial, v. 21. 

That he should be very qautious on whom he laid his hands, v. 22 

That limoihy was in a station, which even the rich and great mighi respect, 
vi. 17. 

That Timothy had been ordained by St. Paul himself, once, if not twice. 
2 Tim. i. 6. 

That at his ordination or consecration there was something remarkable in the 
Sermon. 1 Tim.iv. 14. i. 18. 

That he was to commit what he had heard from St. Paul to faithful men, who 
should be able to pass it on to others. 2 Tim. ii. 2. 

That liitis had authority to set in order what was wanting iu the Cretan 
Church ; Tit. i. 5: and to ordain Bishops in every city ; i. 5, 7. 

'i'hat be was to be cautious whom he selected for this office, i. 6 — 9. 

That he should itbuke false teachers sharply, i. 13. 

That if liius himself was a pattern of good works and a teacher of truth, thi 
whole Church would gain credit, ii. 7, 8. 

That he should lebuke with all authority, ii. 15. 

'JMiat he should suffer no man to despise him. ii. 15. 

That after one or two admonitions he should reject heretical persons, iii. 10. 

" Now, Sir, it see nsto me evident, from these and others similar 
passages, that there were certainly in the Church, as far as the 
Testament History reaches^ 3 different ranks or orders of Ministers, 
one above the other." 

" It is plainly so," 1 said. 

" But," said he, " there was one point which rather perplexed 
me, and I was some time before I could make out such an ex- 
planation of it as was satisfactory to myself." 

*' What was that," I asked. 

"Why," said he, ** it was tins. I considered that any person to 
whom the Apostles granted apostolical authority, (Timothy, for in- 
stance,) was from that time higher than a Presbyter or Bishop, 
and yet could not properly be called an Apostle. What then 
could he be called } I at last remembered a place in Bishop 



11 

Wilson's little book, which led me to reflect, that surely as there 
were Angels, (whether it might mean guardians, or heavenly mes- 
sengers, or missionary Bishops, as we might say,) of the seven 
Ch'urches in Asia,— so Timothy might have been called the Angel 
of the EjDhesian Church ; and Titus, of the Church of Crete ; and 
the same in other cases. And it came into my thoughts, that, 
perhaps, after St. John's decease, whether out of humility, or be- 
cause, (the Churches being settled,) the ministers need no longer 
be missionaries, the title of Apostles or Angels was laid aside, and 
that of Bishops limited to the highest of the three orders. 

Thus I seemed to myself every where to have traced the three- ' 
fold order, down from the beginning of the Gospel ; the authority 
and distinction pecuHar to each being preserved, a difference in 
name only taking place. 

Thus at first they were •. . . . Apostles, Elders, Deacons. 
After the decease of some of the 
Apostles, or at least, while 

St Johif was yet living . . . Angels, Bishops, Deacons. 
At some period, after St. John's 

decease Bishops, Priests, Deacons. 

" I do not see how, what you have said, can be contradicted," 
I replied. 

•' But,*' he proceeded, " there is one thing I must. Sir, confess to 
you, and it is this ; — that I have often said to myself, what a com- 
fort it would be, if it had pleased GoD to preserve to us some few 
writings of the good men who lived close after the Apostles, that 
so we might have known their opinion on matters of this kind : 
and we might have known, too, by what names thei/ distinguished 
the different orders of Ministers, one from another. For, surely, 
what they would think most proper in such cases, must be safest 
of all rules for us to follow ; unless, (which is a thing not to be sup- 
posed,) their rules should be contrary to those of the Apostles, as 
set down in Scripture. So, Sir, I have often thought, if any such 
writings could be found, what a precious treasure they would be." 

" What," said 1, " Richard, did you never hear of those who 
are called the Apostolic Fathers : Clement, Poly carp, Ignatius ?" 

*' I beheve 1 have heard of them," he answered ; " but I ob- 
served, that you. Sir, and other Clergymen, scarcely ever notice 
them in your Sermons; and the nian I mentioned just now told 



12 

me that, Mr. Cartwright, who is the minister of the Independent 
Chapel at the Town, and who is reckoned to be a very learned man 
2md an admired preacher,- — that he should say in a Sermon, that 
the works of the Fathers were very imperfect, and their opinion 
not much to be trusted to." 

" But," said I, ** Richard, if a person, whose word you could 
take, were to shew you an old book written by persons who had 
seen our Saviour ; who had heard St. John and St. Paul preach, 
and had been well acquainted with them ; should you not value 
such a book, and wish to know whether there was any thing in it, 
which could throw light on the history of those early times of the 
Church, and especially with reference to the subjects you and I 
have been now conversing on ?" 

" Indeed, Sir, I should," he said. *' But if what Mr. Cartwright 
said is true, it is too much to expect that any such treasure should 
be found by us." 

" No, Richard," I said, " it is not too much. The kind Pro- 
dence of God has permitted some of the writings of those good 
men to be preserved to this day. And there is no more doubt that 
they are their genuine writings, than that Bishop Ken wrote the 
Evening Hymn, or Bishop Wilson that little book you hke so 
much." 

" If this is indeed as you say," he replied, ** we have great 
reason to be thankful for such a proof of God's care for His Church. 
But I beg you, Sir, to tell me, whether there is any thing in these 
writings you speak of, which confirms what I have been venturing 
to state to you as my opinion gathered from Scripture, concerning 
the threefold distinction of Christian Ministers." 

" Next SiAiday," said I, " you shall see and judge for your- 
self." 

As we came home from Church in the afternoon of the following 
Sunday, he reminded me of my promise ; and I gave him a written 
paper, containing a few extracts, which I had translated from the 
works of the A|K)stolical Fathers, telling him, that I might possibly 
have n.ade a mistake here and there in the rendering, but that he 
might depend on such being the general force and meaning of the 
passages. 



I 



13 

The Extracts T o-avo him were the followino; : — 

" Clement, with other my fellow labourers." — Phil. iv. 3. 

" Ignatius and the holy Polycarp, the Bishop of the Smyrmaeans, had for- 
merly been disciples of the holy Apostle 5 ohn J"— Mar hjrdom of S. Ignatius. 



" The Apostles, preaching throughout countries and cities, used to appoint 
their first fruits, after they had proved them by the Spirit, to be IJishops and 
Deacons of those who should hereafter believe."' — S. Clement to the Cor. 

" The Apostles knew that there will be dispute about the name of Bishopripk 
or Episcopacy, wherefore they appointed the aforementioned, and gave them 
authority beforehand, in order that if themselves should fall asleep, other ap- 
proved men might succeed to their ministerial office.'' — The same. 

" All of you follow the Bishop as Jesus Christ followed the Fathf.k ; and 
the Presbytery as the Apostles ; and reverence the Deacons as God's ordinance. 
Let no man do any of those things which pertain to the Church without the 
Bishop. He that honoureth the Bishop, is honoured of God ; he that doeth any 
thing without the privity of the Bishop, doeth service to the Devil." — S. Ignat. 
to the Smyrm. 

" Have regard to the Bishop, that Goo also may regard you. My soul for 
theirs who are subject to the Bishops, Elders, and Deacons ; and may it be my 
lot to have a portion with them in Gon."— aS". Ignat. to Polycarp. 

** The Bishops who were appointed in the farthest regions are according io 
the will of Jesits Christ ; whence it becometh you to go along with the will of 
the Bishop."— .S'. Ignat. to the Ephes. 

" That ye may obey the Bishop and the Presbytery, having your mind with- 
out distraction, breaking one bread." — The same. 

" Some indeed talk of the Bishop, yet do every thing without him : but such 
persons do not appear to me conscientious ; on account of their congregations 
not being assembled strictly according to the commandment." — S. Ignat. to the 
Magnes. 

" I exhort you to be zealous to do all things in divine concord: the Bishop 
presiding in the place of God, and the Presbyters in the place of the council of 
Apostles, and the Deacons, (in whom I most delight,) intrusted with the service 
of Jesus Christ." — The same. 

" For as many as are God's and Jesus Christ's, these are with the Bishop." 
— S. Ignat. to the Philadelph. 

" Be ye earnest to keep one Eucharist, for the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ 
is one, and there is one cup in the unity of His blood, one altar, as one Bishop, 
together with the Presbytery, and Deacons, my fellow-servants."— 2^e*a»ie. 

" Hold to the Bishop, and to the Presbytery, and Deacons. Without the 
Bishop do nothing." — The same. 

" Wiien you are subject to the Bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me 
as living not according to man's rule, but according to Jesus Christ."— 5'. 
Ignat. to the Trail. 

" He that without the Bishop, and Presbytery, and Deacon, doeth ought, 
that person is not pure in his conscience." — The same. 

" Polycarp, and the Presbyters, who are with hiin, to the Chuich of God. so- 
journing at Philippi."— .y. Polyc. to the Philipp. 

" Being subject to the Presbyters Deacons, as to God and Chiiist."— 

The same. 



14 • 

Two or three weeks afterwards, as we were walking homewards 
after Evening Service, he gave ine back the paper, with expressions 
of great satisfaction and tliankfulness ; and added, that he blessed 
God for having led him to make the enquiry ; and that he was sure, 
if many religiously-disposed persons, who now think little of such 
matters, would turn their minds to them without partiality, they 
would fear to separate from a Church like ours, which, whatever 
may be its imperfections, is substantially pure in its doctrine, and 
in the Apostolical Succession of its Ministry. 

" Sir," said he, " I am a poor liard- working man, as you know : 
but the interests of my soul and of those dear to me, are of as great 
importance in the sight of Almighty God, and ought to le to me also, 
as if my lot had been cast in a higher station. It is to me, therefore, 
no matter of indifference, (as many have told me it should be,) what 
is the truth on these great subjects; but I am more and more sure 
that it is a Christian duty first to enquire into them, and, when 
we have found the truth, to act up to it, humbly but resolutely. 

" The times are bad, I confess ; but yet, young though I am, I 
do not expect, as the world now goes, to see them much better. 

*' What our Lord said about iniquity abounding, and love grow-» 
ing cold, seems to be but too suitable to our present slate. I have 
often thought it and said it, though I have seldom met with any one 
who would agree with me in the opinion. The Church of England 
lean plainly see, more plainly perhaps than a person in a higher 
station, is in a manner gone. The Church in England, God be 
thanked, however afflicted, remains, and ever will, I trust, — whether 
the world smiles or frowns upon her. 

" I have therefore determined. Sir, by God's grace, to look to 
myself, my wife, and children ; and not to trust the world to do 
us any good, either in time, or in Eternity. 

'* And if by following the truth now, we shall all be together 
hereafter in the Society of Prophets, Apostles, Saints, and Martyrs, 
you know then. Sir, we shall have nothing more to wish for, 
nothing more to fear ; every doubt will be satisfied, every diflficulty 
removed. And I assure you. Sir, it is the very comfort of my life 
to spend a portion of every Sunday, in looking forward to that 
happy time." 



15 



"God bless you, Richard," said I, " as we parted at his garden 
gate." And, ^vhen I came home, I could not but fall on my knees 
and thank God for having given me such a Parishioner. 



OC^ These Tracts may be had at Turrjll^s, No. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, lid, the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



rniNrrn, st. n.F.MFSi 



Z>r. 5, 1833.] [.Vo 13. 

SUNDAY LESSONS. 

THE PRINCIPLE OF SELECTION. 



Among projected alterations in the Liturgy, not the least popu- 
lar seems to be a very considerable change in the selection of the 
Sunday Lessons. People do not see, first of all, why such and 
such chapters are chosen out of the Old Testament, in preference 
to others, which they think more edifying. Secondly, they see no 
reason why the Church should not assign Proper Lessons to every 
Sunday from the New Testament, as well as from the Old. 

One who hopes that he should not be found froward, were a 
change to be made by competent Spiritual Authority, begs leave, 
nevertheless, to submit, to all considerate lovers of the Prayer- 
Book, the following remarks on the two points specified above. 

I, Before people find fault with the selection of particular chap- 
ters, they ought to be tolerably certain that they understand the 
principle, on which the Lessons in general were selected. It is to 
be regretted, that we have remaining little, if any, historical 
evidence, touching the views of the Compilers of the Liturgy in that 
portion of their task. What we do know, amounts to this : — 

In King Edward's Prayer-Books no distinction was made, as to 
appointing Lessons, between Sundays and other days of the week. 
The chapter of the Old Testament set down for the day of the 
month was read in course for the Sunday Lesson ; as is the case 
still in regard of the New Testament. With a view to this, pro- 
bably, the well-known notice was prepared, which now stands 
prefixed to the Second Book of Homilies, but in Strype's opi- 
nion' belongs rather to the First Book. " Where" (i. e. whereas,) 
it may so chance, some one or other chapter of the Old Testament 
to fall in order to be read upon the Sundays or Holidays, which 
were better to be changed with some other of the New Testament 
for more edification, it shall be well done to spend your time to con- 
sider well of such chapters before-hand." This came out first, as 
it seem<, in 1560; and about the same time a Commission was 
' Life of Paikcr, i. 167. 8vo. 



given to Archbishop Parker, Bishop Grinda), and others ; " to 
peruse the order of the Lessons, throughout the whole year, and to 
cause new Calendars to be printed." In pursuance of which the 
present Table of Sunday Lessons was prepared, and came out the 
same year. We may then consider it as Archbishop Parker's ; 
and surely not one among the Reformers might be more thoroughly 
depended on for a sound practical view of things. Farther than 
this, we have no direct information. We must be guided, there- 
fore, entirely by the internal evidence of the Lessons themselves. 

The series begins from Septuagesima Sunday, because it was the 
custom of the early Church to read the Book of Genesis in 
Lent. ' Let us examine them in their order, ending with the 6th 
Sunday after Epiphany in the following year. We shall find, if I 
mistake not, that the selection may be accounted for on this sup- • 
position, viz. That the arrangers desired to exhibit God's former 
dealings with His chosen people collectively, and the return made 
by them to God, in such manner as might best illustrate His deal- 
ings with each individual, chosen now to be in His Church, and 
the snares and temptations most apt to beset us as Christians. 

Certainly, there does exist a very wonderful analogy between 
these two cases, that of the Jewish nation delineated in the Bible, 
and that of a baptized Christian, as known by daily experience : 
an analogy most striking in itself, most clearly pointed out more 
than once in the New Testament, and very serviceable, if rightly 
understood, in many great points of faith and practice. This 
analogy arises out of the fact, that Christians severally are, what 
the Jews collectively were, partakers of an especial Covenant. 

It is to be supposed, that the Great Enemy has his peculiar way 
of dealing with souls placed in such a relation, as with parents, 
children, subjects, and others, according to their several relations. 
To exhibit such his purpose and proceedings, and to exemplify 
also the counteracting methods of Providence, seems to be one 
especial purpose of the historical portions of the Old Testament : 
in which the prophetical are here included. 

To give an instance of what is here meant. One of the most 

prevailing temptations to unbelief and careless practice is the 

daily experience we have, of Christians behaving so very differently 

from what one should expect, d priori, in God's elect. It does 

I See Wheatley on the CotnnioB Prayer, cb. iii. sect. x. $. 4. 



not seem as if, left to ourselves, we should have any adequate idea 
of the kind of hypocrisy described by Bishop Butler, in his Sermon 
on Self-deceit, and elsewhere ; I mean, the temper which leads 
men to act towards God Almighty, (whom, in theory and under- 
standing, they own,) as if it were in their power to deceive Him. 
To explain this for the benefit of those most in danger, seems one 
great purpose of the Old Testament : to explain it, I say, for the 
benefit of unworthy Christians, who may discern themselves, by 
anticipation, in the faithless demeanour of the Jews. 

It is conceivable, that a series of extracts might be made, to 
illustrate this matter more particularly; i.e. on a principle of 
admonition. Would not such a series coincide, very nearly, with 
the Sunday Lessons ? 

Thus, the first and second chapters of Genesis represent man as 
at first placed in covenant with his Maker ; the third, sixth, and 
ninth represent his fall, and the wonderful mixture of judgment 
and mercy which prepared him for the recovery, which God had 
in store for him, by virtue of a New Covenant. Then, (Gen. xii.) 
follows the first definite step towards the establishment of that New 
Covenant : the call of Abraham, to be the select pattern and spiri- 
tual progenitor of all who shall ever be saved by it. And here 
again judgment is shewn mingled with mercy, and thorough proba- 
tion accompanying both, by the two selected chapters of Abraham's 
history; the fall of Sodom', and the sacrifice of Isaac-. Then 
begins the account of Jacob and his family, the other great section 
of the Patriarchal History ; displaying on the one hand, the great 
danger of taking liberties with moral duty, under the notion of 
being favourites with God ; (for the subsequent misfortunes of 
Jacob's family are clearly traceable to that first want of faith ;) on 
the other hand, the mysterious ways of Providence, turning those 
misfortunes and errors into means for the great purpose of prepar- 
ing a covenanted nation to take the place of the covenanted family .» 

With Exodus begins the history of that nation, which may per- 
haps not improperly be styled the appropriate type of each back- 
sliding Christian, as Abraham we know was the type of the faith- 
ful. The chapters selected shew, first, God preparing the way 
for their election * ; then their reluctant acceptance of the favour s, 
next, the actual process of their deliverance'^ ; the whole being so 

' Gen. xix. '^ Gen. xxii. ' Gen. xxvii. xxxiv. xxxix. xlii. xliii. xlv, 

* ExoU. iii. * Exod. v. ^ Exod. ix. x. xii. xiv. 



arranged, that this latter shall correspond with the season of 
Easter ; which is indeed (so to speak) the point of sight of the 
whole Christian Calendar, as the passover is of the Jewish. 

But to proceed : — The Lessons from Easter to Whit-Sunday, 
(taking into account the great days of Easter-week and Ascension,) 
are so many specimens of the transgressions of the elect people, 
and of the methods taken to chastise or reclaim them '. The case 
of Balaam, most evidently, needs not to be excepted from this 
account; for never was a clearer analogy than between him 
and the Jewish people ; they murmuring and rebelling with the 
Shechinah before their eyes ; he coveting the reward of iniquity, 
perhaps plotting seduction in his heart, while he heard the words 
of God, and saw the vision of the Almighty. No analogy can 
be more exact ; except it be that between the same miserable man 
and a Christian baptized, sinning against faith and knowledge. 

The Lessons for Trinity-Sunday, as was natural, interrupt for 
one week the progress of the history, for the purpose of reviewing 
the whole course. The mind is carried back, first, to God's origi- 
nal intent in creating man after His own image ^ ; next, to the 
appointed condition or mean, by which that image is to be regained ; 
viz. the imitation of Abraham's faith ^. In effect, they rehearse to 
us both Covenants ; that of Paradise, and that of the Gospel. 

Resuming our view of the covenanted people, we contemplate 
them first victorious', peaceful, and comparatively innocent, 
renewing their engagements with their Maker in the days of 
Joshua ^ ; in the days of the Judges backsHding and factious, but 
not yet deliberately unbelieving^; next, trained by Eli's sons to 
irreverence for holy things ^ ; and so, not ill-prepared to apostatize, 
by choosing a king on principles of accommodation and worldly 
policy 8. 

The gradual degeneracy and downfal of that unhappy king,^ 
(the emblem of the Jews of his time, as Balaam had been of a 
former generation,) and the substitution of one of better mind, 
are continued through a chain of Lessons, to the excision, long 
after his death, of almost all that remained of his family. '" 

' £zod. xvi. xvii. xx. xxxii. Numbers xvi. xxii. xxtii. xxiv. xxv. Deut. iv. v. 

vi. vii. viii. ix. x. xii. xiii. xvi. xxx. ' Gen. i. ' Gen. xviii. * Josh. x. 

» Josh.xxiii. • Judges iv. v. ' 1 Sam. ii. iii. * 1 Sam. xii. 
• 1 Sam. xiii. xv. xvii. '" 2 Sam. x\\. 



But, in- the mean time, a new source of sin and misery had 
arisen in the family of David himself. His personal sins, indeed, 
were fast followed by sincere repentance, and therefore obtained 
speedy pardon ' ; but because they were the sins of one with whom 
a peculiar covenant had been made ^ they drew down the severest 
temporal judgments; the sword never departed from his house; 
and, by the dissentions which arose in his time ^ a way was pre- 
pared for the schism and two-fold apostacy, first heretical and 
afterwards infidel, of the greater part of the chosen people. These, 
with God's endeavours to reclaim them by the warnings of Elijah 
and Elisha s and by the sword of Jehu ^, are traced in the chapters 
taken from the Books of Kings, from the first curse on Jeroboam's 
schismatical altar, till the final reprobation and captivity of the 
ten tribes ^. In the course of which history, especial emphasis is 
laid, first on the misfortunes incurred by the nameless prophet 
from Judah, by king Jehoshaphat and others, for their licentious 
communication with the heretical and idolatrous tribes, ' secondly, 
on the extension of God's favour to the Gentiles, in two 
instances ^ for ever memorable ; which extension, we may believe, 
was virtually a signal warning to His then elect people. 

At length we arrive at the last sad scene of the history ; the 
downfal of the Church of Judah also. We behold a temporary 
amendment in the days of Hezekiah, occasioned by the combina- 
tion of miraculous mercy to herself, with judgment on Samaria in 
her sight ^. But we presently read of her thorough relapse ; of her 
resistance to the example and efforts of good Josiah '° ; of her 
sensuaHty " and oppression '^ her neglect'^ and contempt'^ of 
warnings, all accompanied with high pretences to civilization, and a 
certain kind of orthodoxy. All these, her dealings with God, are 
delineated at large by Jeremiah. In the Lessons from Ezekiel we 
have revealed more of God^s dealings with her. He peremptorily 
orders his message to be delivered, whether men will hear, or 
whether they will forbear'*. He denounces the false prophets, 
preaching peace where there was no peace ; and discovers their secret 



» 2 Sam xii. xxiv. 2 x's. Ixxxix. 2 Sam. xii. 14. ^ 2 Sara. xix. 

■• 1 Kings xiii. xvii. xviii. xix. xxi. xxii. 2 Kings v. ^ 2 Kings ix. x. 

* 2 Kings xviii. 7 j Kings xiii. xxii. 2 Kings ix. x. ^ 1 Kings xvii. 2 Kings v. 
^ 2 Kings xviii. xix. '<' 2 Kings ^xiii. " Jeiem. v. '•* Jercni, xxii. 

" Jtiein. XXXV. »' Jcrera. xxxvi. i* Ezek. ii. 



and vulgar artifices *. He answers pretences from feigned confor- 
mity, from reliance on the remnants of good in the land ^ ; and again, 
from an affected perplexity at the supposed inequality of his proceed- 
ings ^ He recapitulates, by special message, all their past con- 
duct, as His chosen people * : a summary, answering with marvel- 
lous exactness to the sad experience of the Christian world. When 
all these had failed, He utters, in two fearful parables, a final sen- 
tence of direct reprobation *. All this we have set before us from 
Ezekiel. The Lessons from Daniel ^ serve to show that the chosen 
people were not yet abandoned ; they keep alive hope, and exem- 
plify faith, triumphing in the worst of times ; which is also the 
drift of the prophecy selected from Joel. Then Micah is intro- 
duced, like Samuel and Ezekiel, recapitulating the whole course 
of the probation of the elect "^ ; and Habakkuk 8, extending the 
judgment to their oppressors, and reasserting the condition 
required on their part to make their election not a curse but a 
blessing. " The just by his faith shall live.'* Finally, the read- 
ings from the Proverbs ^ of Solomon bring the warning home, 
so to speak, to every man's own door. Taken in connexion with 
all that had gone before, they turn God's miraculous proceedings 
with the Jews into an available sanction of righteousness, for 
the meanest man's use on the slightest occasion. 

And now, the year drawing to a close, and the mysterious time 
of Christmas approaching, our Mother, with true parental anxiety, 
takes up, as it were, the thread of her instructions anew, at that 
point of the fortunes of Israel, to which the circumstances of civi- 
lized and Christian Europe, especially those of our own country, 
during the comparatively few years which have passed since the 
arrangement of the Prayer-Book, may reasonably be thought to 
correspond most nearly. The Church reverts to the time of Heze- 
kiah, and selects the prophecy of Isaiah as the fittest to prepare 
the mind for Christ's two Advents. By the confession of some, 
who are most apt to find fault, her selection here has been most 
appropriate. Witness the sins reproved in the Jews ; their for- 
mality "*, pride", oppression, drunkenness, presumption, sophis- 
tical self-deceit "'^ ; their impatience of primitive truth, and reliance 

' Ezek. xiii. "Ezck. xiv. ^ j.;2^..|i. xviii. * Ezek. xx. * Ezck. xxiv. 

* Dan. iii. vi. Joel ii. ' Micah vi. " llabuk. ii. » Prov. i. iii. 

xi.— xvii. xix. '^ Isaiah i. " Isaiah ii. '- Isaiah v. 



upon mere worldly expedients'. Witness again the wonderful 
mixture of triumph and desolation, judgments and mercies, fore- 
told^ ; such as might seem impossible to be accomplished together, 
at one and the same time, among one and the same people. Yet 
we seem to behold both accomplished ; the one in the tendencies 
of the Gospel, and what it performs for the faithful privately ; the 
other, in men's ordinary way of receiving it, and what may be 
called its public failure. The very denunciations against idolatry ^, 
by some, perhaps, accounted an outward sin, how well do they 
apply to the various apostasies, which men contrive for themselves 
now, and say, to one after another. Deliver me, for thou art my 
God 1 The summaries of past national mercies *, how truly do they 
represent what is now done for each redeemed and sanctified soul ! 
And as to the anticipation of mercies and judgment to come^, 
they do not only correspond to the revelations of the New Testa- 
ment, but we have the express authority of our Lord and St. Paul^ 
for believing, that, of both, language was purposely used, (in the 
purpose, I mean, of the Holy Spirit,) which literally refers to the 
life and death everlasting, the sanctions of God's covenant with 
every Christian singly. 

This hasty and brief sketch may serve to point out the thread of 
warning, which, it is conceived, runs through the Sunday Lessons, 
and renders it very improper to deal with them as if they had been 
taken at random, or might fitly be changed at will, for others sup- 
posed in themselves more edifying. 

Whether Archbishop Parker and his coadjutors had this con- 
nexion in view, as it is not, perhaps, possible to ascertain, so nei- 
ther is it very material. But that they must have had some special 
rule of selection in their minds is plain, from the fact mentioned 
above, that they had just before authorized the Clergy, provision- 
ally, to read what each thought, prima facie, most edifying. 

The idea, therefore, according to which it is now wished to 
new-model the Lessons, had occurred to them, and the result 
shows that they did not think it, on the whole, the most instructive 
way. Perhaps the fact of its spontaneous evolution, (if such an 



' Isai. XXX. - Isai. xxiv. xxvi. xxxii. xli. xliii. xlix. Iv. Ix. Ixiv. Ixv. Ixvi. 

3 Isai. xliv. xlvi. * Isai. xliii. li. * Isai. Ixv. Ixvi. ^ St. Mark 

ix. 44. comp. Isai. Ixvi. 24, 1 Cor. ii. 9. comp. Isai. Ixiv. 4. 



expression may be allowed,) would make it appear so much the 
more delicate, and tampering with it so much the more perilous. 
For, on that supposition, it must be more than humanly inter- 
woven with the very staple of the Scripture History. But, sup- 
posing it designed, it may have been suggested by the tenour of the 
Invitatory Psalm, commonly called, Venite exuiiemus ; which 
Psalm had been used daily in the Church quite down from primi- 
tive times. Many persons, probably, have asked themselves, why 
that Psalm in particular should be preferred above the many of the 
same general tenour, for unremitting use in the Church daily. 
The answer probably may be found in the grave monitory warn- 
ings at the end ; which, by the case of the Jews in the wilderness, 
describe so forcibly the position and peculiar danger of a chosen 
people. That one Psalm may, on reflection, give the key to the 
arrangement of the Lessons ; allowing, of course, for the interrup- 
tion sometimes caused by the special matter of some great Chris- 
tian Festival. In general, however, the course of the Lessons will 
be found adapting itself, with exquisite felicity, to the com"se of 
the Festivals also. 

Occasionally, the Archbishop's choice may have been influenced, 
(in subordination, however, to the great principle,) by the con- 
nexion of the portion of history with some offence which required 
warning, but, from the weakness of human nature, was very likely 
to pass unnoticed. The thirty-fourth of Genesis, and the fifth of 
Jeremiah, are instances. When men shrink from reading those 
chapters, they bear witness instinctively to the wisdom and kindness 
of the Church in ordering them to be read. 

Whatever may be one's private opinion, it is not necessary here 
to maintain, that the general principle suggested above was the very 
best on which selection might proceed, or that the very aptest 
chapters of all have been selected in each instance. But clearly, 
if such a principle be at all recognized, it ought to be most carefully 
kept in view, whatever insertions or omissions are proposed. Many 
persons seem to think, that questions of this sort are settled, if on 
merely comparing the present Lesson with the proposed substitute, 
it appear that the one, taken singly, is more edifying than the 
other. But this will not hold, if it be a mistake altogether to take 
anyone singly and apart. The quantity of edification maybe greater 
on the whole by completing the pro|)osed narrative or argument, 
though on this or that particular day the impression made may be 



less. To neglect this consideration partakes of the same error, as if 
one should reckon all preaching nugatory, which did not expressly 
place the highest matters of faith in the most affecting point of 
view. If Christianity be a great system, such a test of preaching 
must be incorrect : and if the Sunday Lessons be a series, it will 
never do to censure any one chapter as unedifying, except you can 
produce one more edifying, which would come in equally well at 
the same point of the series. 

I will take the example which appears to myself the most doubt- 
in the whole Calendar. At first sight, almost any one would say, 
that 2 Sam. xxi. might with great advantage be changed for 
1 Kings, iii. or viii. the dream of Solomon, or the dedication of 
the Temple. Not so, perhaps, when we come to recollect, that die 
melancholy tale of the ruin of Saul's family is completed in the 
first-mentioned chapter, and with it the denunciation of such per- 
verse conduct as drew down the curse upon him. The other chap- 
ters, however instructive in themselves, can hardly with so much 
propriety be said to make part of the system of warning. 

And surely those who, in whole or in part, are for disturbing that 
system, should look to it, that they be well provided with somewhat, 
on the whole, more edifying, in its room. Else they may go far 
towards depriving the Church of a great help to practical know- 
ledge, and to the true use of the Old Testament. Inadequate views 
of that portion of God's Word have ever been found fruitful in 
heresy, filling men's hearts with perplexity and irreverence. Can 
it be denied, that our own times show fearful symptoms in that 
quarter ? There is room for not a little anxiety, surely, lest a clue 
to many Scripture difficulties, so necessary to the people's welfare, 
and, (may we not say?) so providentially put into the Pastor's 
hands, should be let drop, because some of us do not always clearly 
see which way it is leading them. 

It may be said, the alterations proposed would not amount to a 
disturbance of the general system. This the writer begs leave to 
doubt ; since it is conceived a very moderate alteration, which shall 
include all the following particulars, "some, (at least three I sup-' 
pose,) of the Proper Lessons for the Sundays in Lent, five chapters 
in Deuteronomy, two in Jeremiah, four in Ezekiel," and the prin- 
ciples on which these are made specimens of ** omittenda," would 
as well justify the omission of at least twenty more. Either, there- 
fore, the rule of selection adopted by Archbishop Parker must be 



10 

renounced, or other chapters must be found, completing his idea as 
accurately as these do : which latter, it is imagined, would prove 
a difficult task. 

2. The other matter proposed for enquiry is less important, and 
may be dismissed in a few words. Why, it is asked, should there 
not be Lessons from the New Testament proper for every Sunday in 
the year, as well as for a few great days ? In answer to which it 
may be observed, first, that there are, generally, two such Lessons, 
always one, read in the Communion Service. Only that which is 
called The Second Lesson, varies with the day of the month. Of 
the reasons which, in point of fact, led to the continuance of this 
latter arrangement, I am not aware that any record remains. But 
it appears to be accompanied with two incidental advantages, which 
some may think considerable enough to render alteration unadvise- 
able, without very clear proof of greater benefit likely to arise 
from it. 

One of these advantages is, the standing memorial thus aftbrded 
to the people, that there v\^s once such a thing as a Daily Service ; 
that such is the; system and wish of our Church, and the theory on 
which the Prayer-Book is constructed. It is an intelligible hint, 
that a Churchman's devotion was not meant to be all narrowed 
into the Sunday. The Services of that holy day were but to be a 
continuance and an expansion of those due on the other days ; not 
a totally distinct thing. This we are weekly reminded of, by the 
very place in the Calendar, where we must look for the Second 
Sunday Lesson. The value of the hint people of course will esti- 
mate more or less highly, according to their sense of the importance 
of a Daily Service, and of the responsibility which Churchmen 
have incurred by letting it drop so very quietly in almost every 
parish of the kingdom. 

The other advantage of these varying Second Lessons, (and it will 
be found in practice a very considerable one,) is this ; that it pre- 
sents the Old and New Scriptures in endless variety of mutual 
combinations, the more striking because they are unforeseen, and 
in a certain sense casual. The thought is happily expressed by 
Herbert, thus addressing Holy Scripture : — 

♦' O that I knew how all thy lights combine, 

And the confij^urations of their glory ; 
Seeing not only how each verse doth shine, 

But all the constellations of the story !" 



11 

Very much help, both for pastors and people, both for giving and 
receiving instruction, may be gathered, (if the writer deceive him- 
self not concerning the results of his own experience,) by attending 
to this hint yearly, as the varying Psalms and Second Lessons 
come successively into conjunction with the unvarying First 
Lessons, Epistles, and Gospels. To note and collect the scattered 
lights will be found in itself a most engaging and interesting task, 
and it will serve in no slight degree to impress considerate minds, 
from time to time, more deeply with the fulness, the harmony, the 
condescension, of the Word of Life. 

These reasons are respectfully addressed to those, who, in their 
anxiety for immediate visible edification, appear somehow to over- 
look the fact, that the Church Lessons are a series, arranged 
according to certain general principles. Scruples, and feelings of 
different kinds, occurring to this or that person as to the use of 
particular passages, must be met, of course, on their own grounds ; 
except so far as they ought to be silenced by the overpowering 
advantage, which may appear to arise by adhering to the general 
principle of selection. 

At any rate, it is much to be wished, that very free talking, and 
very cheap publishing, in behalf of such changes, were carefully 
avoided. Is there not something even cruel, in raising scruples and 
niceties, and unpleasant associations of various kinds, among those 
who as yet happily have never dreamed of criticising the Bible ? 
If change is wanted, let proper reasons be quietly submitted to 
competent authorities. But let us not appeal lightly, and at ran- 
dom, to the sense of an irreverent presumptuous age, on one of the 
most sacred of all subjects. 



0:^ These Tracts may he had at Turrill^s, No. 250, Regent 
Street, London. 



KING, PRI^fTER, ST. CLEMENT S, OXFORD. 




D^c. 12, 1833.] po 14, 

THE EMBER DAYS. 



In reading the Epistles of St. Paul we cannot but observe how 
earnestly he presses upon those to whom he was writing, the duty 
of praying for a blessing on himself and his ministry. We not 
only find his request contained in general terms (l Thess. v. 25.), 
" Brethren, pray for us ;" but when he feels he stands in need 
of any particular support, he mentions it as an especial sub- 
ject of prayer for the Churches. For instance, in writing to the 
Romans, at a time when he was looking forward to trouble from 
Jewish unbelievers, he says to them (c. xv. 30.) " Strive toge- 
ther with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be deli- 
vered from them that do not believe in Judsea;" and in Phil. i. 19. 
he expresses a confidence that the very opposition he was meeting 
with would, through the intercession of the Saints, be turned into 
a good to himself. " I know that this shall turn to my salvation 
through your prayer." It is the same when he has any object at 
heart, which he desires to see accomplished. He longs much for 
the spread of the Gospel, and therefore, in 2 Thess. iii. 1. he says, 
" Finally, Brethren, pray for us, that the w ord of God may have 
free course and be glorified." And feeling his own weakness to 
discharge the sacred trust committed to him, he asks the Ephe- 
sians (c. vi. 15. 19.) to make supplication in his behalf, " that ut- 
terance might be given unto him, that he might open his mouth 
boldly, to make know^n the mystery of the Gospel." I shall men- 
tion but one passage more, that in 2 Cor. i. 1 1 ; for here not only 
the duty of praying for their Apostle is pressed upon the people, 
but they are bidden to do so for the express purpose that they 
might also join in expressing thanks that their prayer had been 
graciously heard. " Ye also helping together by prayer for us, 
that, for the gift bestowed on us by the means of many persons, 
thanks may be given by many on our behalf." (Compare Col. ii. 4. 
Heb. xiii. 19. Philem. 22.) 

These texts show clearly, that it is the Christian's duty to pray 
at all times for the Ministers of the Gospel. There are other texts 
which teach that supplication ought particularly to be made for 
them at the time of their Ordination. We find, that, when our 



Lord was about to send forth His twelve Apostles to preach His 
kingdom, " He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued 
all night in prayer to God." (Luke vi. 12.) And when one of those 
Apostles had by transgression fallen from his Ministry, the whole 
Church united in supplication to God, that He would shew whom 
He had chosen to succeed him. (Acts i. 24, 25.) The same is ob- 
servable in the Ordination of the first Deacons, where it is said, 
(Acts vi. 6.) the multitude set them before the Apostles, and 
" when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them." Again, 
when Paul and Barnabas are sent forth on their special mission, 
" the Church fasted and prayed" for them. (Acts xiii. 3.) And 
St. Paul in turn observed the same practice, when he ordained 
Elders in the Churches where he had preached. " They prayed 
with fasting, and commended them to the Lord, on whom they 
believed." Acts xiv. 23. 

In conformity to this Apostolical custom, the Church of England 
views with peculiar solemnity the times at which her Ministers 
are ordained ; and invites all her members to join, at these sacred 
seasons, in prayer and fasting in their behalf. It is the object of 
these pages to bring this subject especially before the reader's no- 
tice ; for the observance of this ordinance of the Church has 
fallen so generally into disuse, that few comparatively feel the 
value of it ; and some perhaps are not even aware of its exist- 
ence. To those who may be in this case, I would say briefly that 
the Ordination Sundays occur four times a year, and that the days 
of fasting, or Ember days, (as they are called,) are in the week 
immediately before those respective Sundays. These days are as 
follows ; the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sun- 
day in Lent ; after the Feast of Pentecost ; after Sept. 14. ; after Dec. 
13. ; as may be seen by referring to the Prayer-Book. And particular 
prayers are ordered during the whole of the weeks, in which these 
days occur ; that the Bishops may make a wise and faithful 
choice, and that those who are to be called to the Ministry, may 
especially be blessed with God's grace and heavenly benediction. 

That such a practice is good and right in itself, and could not 
fail to produce a large benefit, cannot be doubted by those, who 
believe that prayer is the appointed channel whereby God is 
pleased to send mercies on mankind. He that feels the truth of 
" Ask, and it shall be given you," cannot deny, that he is losing 



a great privilege, whenever he neglects this duty. And if there is 
any Order of men who more especially need the help of others* 
supplications, it is that of those, who are called to the high office 
of ministering the Word of Life to their fellow -creatures, and of 
being labourers together with their Divine Master in bringing men 
to salvation. I would go furdier than this, and say, that if there 
is any time when the Ministers of the Gospel more particularly 
call for the prayers of the Church, it is at these seasons of Ordi- 
nation. Whether we consider the solemn office which the Bishops 
are performing, or the solemn vows which the Priests and Deacons 
are taking on themselves, we must allow that it is an occasion of 
the greatest importance. Here are a number of men going forth 
for the great work of winning back to Christ souls which have 
gone astray from the right path, and of fighting in the first ranks 
against the world, the flesh, and the devil ; and in most cases 
going forth young and inexperienced in their work, not knowing 
(for who can know till he has tried ?) the dangers and difficulties 
which beset them. Surely it is the duty of every Christian to give 
them what help he can, and send them forth strengthened for the 
Labours of their journey. 

I doubt not that there are many in this kingdom, who are in 
the habit of making supplication to God for their Ministers ; many 
who join heartily in the several prayers of the Church Services, 
where mention is made of them, as well as remember them in 
their private devotions. And some of these may ask, of what ad- 
vantage it is to appoint particular days for such intercession. 
They may say, *' we pray daily for the Clergy, and not unfre- 
" quently for those who are just entering their Ministerial life. 
" Why should one day be fixed upon as better than another for 
" this purpose ? Let each do as he finds opportunity." I would 
answer, first, that if it was the custom of the Apostles to set apart 
the times of Ordination for especial prayer, as well as the regula- 
tion of our ovni Church, it is no longer a matter of indifference to 
us whether we adopt this method or not. The example of the one, 
and the inj unction of the other, mark plainly for us what we ought 
to do. But, secondly, there will be advantages to ourselves in 
taking the course so recommended ; I would mention one or two 
which appear to be of importance. 

1, When men have been at all careless and indifferent about any 



duty, (and how few are there who can say that they have not been 
careless in this matter ?) it is very useful to have some settled way 
for beginning it aright. What has long been put off from time to 
time is seldom properly attended to, if we leave the performance 
of it to any chance opportunity that may be offered. The conve- 
nient season will seldom come, or at least will not come to us in 
so profitable a way. For setting apart a particular occasion for 
solemn prayer, brings with it more seriousness and attention, and 
makes us think fer more of the value of the blessing for which 
we ask. 

2. And, secondly, I would remind all those who value the pro- 
mises of the Bible, that there is an especial blessing promised to 
united prayer. Our Lord says, (Matt, xviii. 19.) " If two of you 
shall agree on earth, as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall 
be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven.*' And when 
a good is sought for all, all ought to be seeking for it, and " striving 
together," that it may be obtained. Now this could not be done, 
except days were appointed, which all may know of as a standing 
Ordinance ; and to be able to join together in spirit, however far 
apart they are in body. We might thus not only in all parts of 
this kingdom, but in distant lands, wherever our Brethren are re- 
siding, unite in sending up supplications, which our common Fa- 
ther would not fail to hear and answer abundantly. And when 
engaged in prayer we should have the great comfort and support 
of knowing that we are not single, but that others are perhaps 
mentioning what we are leaving out ; and that others have more 
earnestness and devotion than we feel in ourselves. 

Should this paper fall into the hands of any who have never be- 
fore heard or thought seriously of this Institution, it may be useful 
to offer a few hints for its better observance. Let each consecrate 
the days as much as possible to prayer and holy meditation, add- 
ing to them religious Fasting, if health permit. The true end of 
fasting is beautifully expressed in the Collect for the first Sunday 
in Lent ; ** using such abstinence, that our Flesh being subdued 
to the Spirit, we may ever obey our Lord's godly motions in 
righteousness and true holiness." It is to give the mind liberty 
and'abiUty to consider and reflect while it is actually engaged in 
Divinu Service, or preparing for some solemn part of it ; to hum- 
ble ourselves before God under a sense of our sins, and the misery 



I 
i 



5 

to which they expose us ; to deprecate His anger, and to sup- 
plicate His mercy and favour*. We must use it in the same 
spirit in which Daniel did, when he set himself to pray for pardon 
for his own and his brethren's sins, and sought " the Lord God 
with prayer and supplication, and fasting, and sackcloth, and 
ashes.'* Dan. ix. 3. 

. The subjects for prayer on the Ember days will be the Church of 
God of which we are members ; especially those who are called to 
bear office in the same ; and of these more particularly those who 
are either ordaining or being ordained. But our Petitions need 
not stop with these. These are seasons, in which every Minister 
should be remembered before the throne of grace, in which every 
Bishop, Priest, and Deacon, claim the prayers of the People. We 
may ask for them, that their doctrine may be sound and pure, and 
may come to the hearts of their hearers ; that they may diligently 
labour in their several spheres of action, for the glory of God and 
the good of mankind ; above all, that they may themselves lead holy 
lives, such as are consistent with their high profession. And, 
because we are so much more earnest in prayer when we are asking 
for particular things, and those which we feel to need ourselves, 
we may make especial mention of our own Clergyman, and our 
own Bishop, praying that the light, which shines on them, may be 
reflected on our own neighbourhood. For the same reason, if we 
happen to know of any trouble or trial, to which the Sacred Ministry 
near us is exposed, we may mention this also. Additional subjects 
of meditation will arise according to the particular Ember days 
which we are celebrating. In those in Lent, we shall have more 
particularly before us our Lord's example of prayer and fasting, 
and ask for His Ministers, that they may be like Him, in retiring 
from the world and overcoming worldly snares and temptations. 
In those in Whitsun-week, we shall remember our Saviour's 
words, that His disciples would fast when He was taken from them, 
think much of the Holy Spirit, which is vouchsafed to them to 
supply His absence, and implore God that on us in our day this 
precious Blessing may be given abundantly. And again in those 
in Advent, we shall reflect on the near approach of the anniversary 
of our Lord's birth, reflect on His forerunner, the self-denying 
Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Ghost from His mother's 
* Nelson's Festivals and Fasts, p. 358. 



6 

womb, and pray that the " ministers and stewards of His mysteries 
may like him prepare the way for Christ's second coming." 

The times in which we hve will furnish additional ground for 
supplication. We cannot but see, that there is a great struggle 
going on between good and evil ; and that, while we trust true Reli- 
gion is increasing, it cannot be denied that Infidelity and Opposi- 
tion to lawful authority, whether of God or man, is increasing like- 
wise. And, especially, as regards our own Church, we cannot shut 
our eyes to the fact, that she has many and powerful enemies, both 
visible and invisible, and that wicked spirits and wicked men are 
seeking to undermine and overthrow her. The thought of these 
evils on all sides will naturally lead us to Him, who alone can pro- 
tect us from them. 

These remarks are written, in the hope that those who read them 
will ask themselves honestly, whether they have not been guilty of 
neglecting the proper observance of the Ember days ; and whether 
the revival of the primitive custom of keeping them might not be 
attended with a great national blessing ; whether it might not be 
a means under God of averting the dangers which surround us. 
Many are now lamenting that we have in some respects lost sight 
of that " godly discipline," which the Church orders for the good of 
her members. But ought we not to seek a restoration of what is 
lost, as well as lament for it ; and seriously set ourselves to the 
most effectual way of gaining what we need ^ And again, many 
are crying out against the faults of the Church, but have any a 
right to do so, till they themselves have tried every means in their 
power of amending what they feel to be an evil ? And can we say, 
that we have tried every means, as long as an Institution like that of 
which I have been speaking, so edifying, and so likely to gain a 
blessing, is so generally neglected ? 



ft^* T/iese Tracts may be Jiad at TuRRiLL*Sf ^o. 250, Regent 
Street, London. 



W. KING, rniNTIiR, ST. CLEMKKT 8, OXFORU. 



Dee. 13, 1833.] - {No. 15. 



ON THE APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION IN THE 
ENGLISH CHURCH. 



When Churchmen in England maintain the Apostolical 
Commission of their Ministers, they are sometimes met with the 
objection, that they cannot prove it without tracing their orders 
back to the Church of Rome ; a position, indeed, which in a certain 
sense is true. And hence it is argued, that they are reduced to 
the dilemma, either of acknowledging they had no right to separate 
from the Pope, or, on the other hand, of giving up the Ministerial 
Succession altogether, and resting the claims of their Pastors on some 
other ground ; in other words, that they are inconsistent in repro- 
brating Popery, while they draw a line between their Ministers 
and those of Dissenting Communions. 

It is intended in the pages that follow, to reply to this supposed 
difficulty ; but first, a few words shall be said, by way of preface, 
on the doctrine itself, which we Churchmen advocate. 

The Christian Church is a body consisting of Clergy and Laity ; 
this is generally agreed upon, and may here be assumed. Now, 
what we say is, that these two classes are distinguished from each 
other, and united to each other, by the commandment of God Him- 
self; that the Clergy have a commission from God Almighty 
through regular succession from the Apostles, to preach the gospel, 
administer the Sacraments, and guide the Church ; and, again, that 
in consequence the people are bound to hear them with attention, 
receive the Sacraments from their hands, and pay them all dutiful 
obedience. I shall not prove this at length, for it has been done 
by others, and indeed the common sense and understanding of 
men, if left to themselves, would be quite sufficient in this case. I 
do but lay before the reader the following considerations. 

1 . We hold, with the Church in all ages, that, when our Lord, 
after His resurrection, breathed on His Apostles, and said, " Receive 
ye th© Holy Ghost, — as My Father hath sent Me, so send I you ; '* 

B 



He gave them the power of sending others with a divine commis- 
sion, who in like manner should have the power of sending others, 
and so on even unto the end ; and that our Lord promised His con- 
tinual assistance to these Successors of the Apostles in this and all 
other respects, when He said, " Lo I am with you," (that is with 
you, and those who shall represent and succeed you,) " alway, 
even unto the end of the world." 

And, if it is plain that the Apostles left Successors after them, it is 
equally plain that the Bishops are these Successors. For it is only 
the Bishops who have ever been called by the title of Successors ; 
and there has been actually a perpetual succession of these Bishops 
in the Church, who alone were always esteemed to have the power 
of sending other Ministers to preach and administer the Sacraments. 
So that the proof of the doctrine seems to lie in a very small 
space. 

2. But, perhaps it may be as well to look at it in another point 
of view. I suppose no man of common sense thinks himself 
entitled to set about teaching religion, administering Baptism and 
the Lord's Supper, and taking care of the souls of other people, 
unless he has in some way been called to undertake the office. 
Now, as religion is a business between every man's own conscience 
and God Almighty, no one can have any right to interfere in the 
religious concerns of another with the authority of a teacher, unless 
he is able to shew, that God has in some way called and sent him 
to do so. It is true, that men may as friends encounige and in- 
struct each other with consent of both parties ; but this is some- 
thing very different from the office of a Minister of religion, who is 
entitled and called to exhort, rebuke, and rule, with all authority, 
as well as love and humility. 

You may observe that our Lord Himself did not teach the 
Gospel, v/ithout proving most plainly that His Father had sent 
Him. He aiKl His Apostles prove their divine commission by 
miracles. As miracles, however, have long ago come to an end, 
there must be some otlier way for a man to prove his right to be a 
Minister of religion. And what other way can there possibly be, 
except a regular call and ordination by those who have succeeded 
to the Apostles ? 

3. Further, you will observe, that all sects think it necessary that 
their Ministers should be ordained by other Ministers. Now, if 



this be the case, then the validity of ordination even with them 
rests on a succession ; and is it not plain that they ought to trace 
that succession to the Apostles ? Else, why are lliey ordained 
at all ? And, any how, if their Ministers have a Commission, who 
derive it from private men, much more do the Ministers of our 
Church, who actually do derive it from the Apostles. Surely those 
who dissent from the Church have invented an ordinance, as they 
themselves must allow ; whereas Churchmen, whether rightly or 
wrongly, still maintain their succession not to be an invention, but 
to be GoD^s ordinance. If Dissenters say, that order requires 
there should be some such succession, this is true, indeed, but still 
it is only a testimony to the mercy of Christ, in having, as 
Churchmen maintain, given us such a succession. And this is cdl 
it shows ; it does nothing for them ; for, their succession, not pro- 
fessing to come from God, has no power to restrain any fanatic 
from setting up to preach of his own will, and a people with itch- 
ing ears choosing for themselves a teacher. It does but witness to 
a need, without supplying it. 

4. I have now given some slight suggestions by way of 
evidence for the doctrine of the Apostolical Succession, from Scrip- 
ture, the nature of the case, and the conduct of Dissenters. Let 
me add a word on the usage of the Primitive Church. We know 
that the Succession of Bishops, and ordination from them, was the 
invariable doctrine and rule of the early Christians. Is it not 
utterly inconceivable, that this rule should have prevailed from the 
first age, everywhere, and without exception, had it not been given 
them by the Apostles ? 

Cut here we are met by the objection, on which I propos-^i to 
make a few remarks, that, though it is true there was a continual 
Succession of pastors and teachers in the early Church who had a 
divine commission, yet that no Protestants can have it ; that w^e 
gave it up, when our communion ceased with Rome, in which 
Church it still remains ; or, at least, that no Protestant can plead it 
without condemning the Reformation itself, for that our own pre- 
decessors then revolted and separated from those spiritual pastors, 
who, according to our principles, then had the commission of 
Jesus Christ. 

Our reply to this is a flat denial of the alleged facts on which it 
rests. The English Church did not revolt from those who in 



that day had authority by succession from the Apostles. On the 
contrary it is certain that the Bishops and Clergy in England and 
Ireland remained the same as before the separation, and that it 
was these, with the aid of the civil power, who delivered the Church 
of those kingdoms from the yoke of Papal tyranny and usurpation, 
while at the same time they gradually removed from the minds of 
the people various superstitious opinions and practices which had 
grown up during the middle ages, and which, though never 
formally received by the judgment of the whole Church, were yet 
very prevalent. I do not say the case might never arise, when it 
became the duty of private individuals to take upon themselves the 
office of protesting against and abjuring the heresies of a corrupt 
Church. But such an extreme case it is unpleasant and unhealthy 
to contemplate. All I say here is, that this was not the state of 
things at the time of the Reformation. The Church then by its 
proper rulers and officers reformed itself. There was no new 
Church founded among us, but the rights and the true doctrines of 
the Ancient existing Church were asserted and established. 

In proof of this we need only look to the history of the times. 
In the year 1534, the Bishops and Clergy of England assembled 
in their respective Convocations of Canterbury and York, and 
signed a declaration that the Pope or Bishop of Rome had no more 
jurisdiction in this country by the word of God, than any other 
foreign Bishop ; and tliey also agreed to those acts of tlie civil go- 
vernment, which put an end to it among us*. 

The people of England, then, in casting oti'the Pope, but obeyed 
and concurred in the acts of their own spiritual Superiors, and com- 
mitted no schism. Queen Mary, it is true, drove out after many 
years the orthodox Bishops, and reduced our Church again under 
the Bishop of Rome, but this submission was only exacted by 
force, and in itself null and void ; and, moreover, in matter of fact 
it lasted but a little while, for on the succession of Queen Elizabrth, 
the true Successors of the Apostles in the English Church w( le 
reinstated in their ancient rights. So, I repeat, there was no revolt, 
in any part of these transactions, against those who had a commis- 
sion from God ; for it was the Bishops and Clergy themselves, who 
maintained the just rights of their Church. 

B>it, it seems, the Pope has ever said, that our Bishops were bound 

• \ i.i.(.olli.i, !. . Ill' p "1. 



by the laws of God and the Church to obey him ; that they were 
subject to him ; and that they had no right to separate from him, 
and were guihy in doing so, and diat accordingly they have involved 
the people of England in their guilt ; and, at all events, that they 
cannot complain of their flock disobeying and deserting them, when 
they have revolted from the Pope. Let us consider this point. 

Now that there is not a word in Scripture about our duty to obey 
the Pope, is quite clear. The Papists indeed say, that he is the 
Successor of St. Peter ; and that therefore he is Head of all Bishops, 
because St. Peter bore rule over the other Apostles. But though 
the Bishop of Rome was often called the Successor of St. Peter in 
the early Church, yet every other bishop had the same title. And 
though it be true, that St. Peter was the foremost of the Apostles, 
that does not prove he had any dominion over them. The eldest 
brother in a family has certain privileges and a precedence, but he 
has no power, over the younger branches of it. And so Rome has 
ever had what is called the primacy of the Christian Churches ; 
but it has not therefore any right to interfere in their internal ad- 
ministration ; not more of a right, than an elder brother has to meddle 
with his younger brother's household. 

And this is plainly the state of matters between us and Rome, 
in the judgment of the Ancient Church also, to which the Papists are 
fond of appealing, and by which we are quite ready to stand or 
fall. In early times, as is well known, all Christians thought sub- 
stantially alike, and formed one great body all over the world, 
called the Church Catholic, or Universal. This great body, con- 
sisting of a vast number of separate Churches, with each of them 
its own Bishop at its head, was divided into a number of portions 
called Patriarchates ; these again into others called Provinces, and 
these were made up of the separate Dioceses or Bishopricks. We 
have among ourselves an instance of this last division in the Pro- 
vinces of Canterbury and York, which constitute the English 
Church, each of them consisting of a number of distinct Bishop- 
ricks or Churches. The Head of a Province was called Arch- 
bishop, as in the case of Canterbury and York ; the Bishops of 
those two sees being, we know, not only Bishops with Dioceses 
of their own, but having, over and above this, the place of 
precedence among the Bishops in the same Province. In like 
•nannijr, the Bishop at the head of a Patriarchate was called the 



Patriarch, and had the place of honour and certain privileges over 
all other Bishops within his own Patriarchate. Now, in the early 
Christian Church there were four or five Patriarchates ; e. g. one 
in the East, the Head of which was the Bishop of Antioch ; one in 
Egypt, the Head of which was the Bishop of Alexandria ; and, 
again, one in the West, the Head of which was the Bishop of 
Rome. These Patriarchs, I say, were the Primates or head Bishops 
of their respective Patriarchates ; and they had an order of pre- 
cedence among themselves, Rome being the First of them all. 
Thus the Bishop of Rome, being the first of the Patriarchs in 
dignity, might be called the honorary Primate of all Christendom. 

However, as time went on, the Bishop of Rome, not satisfied with 
the honours which were readily conceded to him, attempted to gain 
power over the whole Church. He seems to have been allowed the 
privilege of arbitratmg in cases of appeal from other Patriarchates, 
Jf, e. g. Alexandria and Antioch had a dispute, he was a proper 
referee; or if the Bishops of those Churches were at any time un- 
justly deprived of their sees, he was a fit person to interfere and 
defeiKl them. But, I say, lie became ambitious, and attempted to 
lord it over G»od's heritage. He interfered in the internal manage- 
ment of other Patriarchates ; he appointed Bishops to sees, and 
Clergy to parishes which were contained within them, and imposed 
on them various religious and ecclesiastical usages illegally. And 
doing so, surely he became a remarkable contrast to the Holy 
Apostle, who, though inspired, and an universal Bishop, yet suf- 
fered not himself to control the proceedings even of the Churches 
he founded ; saying to the Corinthians, " not for that we have do- 
minion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy ; for by faith 
ye stand." 2 Cor. i. 24. This impressive declaration, which seems 
to be intended almost as a prophetic warning against the times of 
which we speak, was neglected by the Pope, who, among other 
tyrannical proceedings, took upon him the control of the Churches 
in Britain, and forbade us to reform our doctrine and u ages, 
which he had no right at all to do. He had no right to do so, 
because we were altogether independent of him ; the EiJ<;li.sli and 
Irish Chui'cl»es, though in thii West, being exterior to his Patri- 
archate. Here again, however, some explanation is necessary. 

You must know, then, that from the first there were portions of 
tlw ChiLsiiun world, which were not included iu any Pulriurcluite, 



but were governed by themselves. Such were the Churches of 
Cyprus, and such were the British Churches. This need not here he 
proved ; it is confessed by Papists themselves. Now, it so hap- 
pened, in the beginning of the 5th century, the Patriarch of An- 
tioch, who was in the neighbourhood of Cyprus, attempted against 
the Cyprian Churches, what the Pope has since attempted against 
us; viz. took measures to reduce them under his don)inion. And, 
as a sign of his authority over them, he claimed to consecrate their 
Bishops. Upon which the Great Council of the wliole Christian 
world assembled at Ephesus, A. D. 431. made the following decree, 
which you will find is a defence of England and Ireland against 
the Papacy, as well as of Cyprus against Antioch. 

" An innovation upon the Rule of the Church and the Canons 
of the Holy Fathers, such as to affect the general liberties of Chris- 
tendom, has been reported to us by our venerable brother Rheginus, 
and his fellow Bishops of Cyprus, Zeno,and Evagrius. Wherefore, 
since public disorders call for extraordinary remedies, as being 
more perilous, and whereas it is against ancient usage, that the 
Bishop of Antioch should ordain in Cyprus, as has been proved to 
us in this Council both in words and writing, by most orthodox 
men. We therefore decree, that the Prelates of the Cyprian 
Churches shall be suffered without let or hindrance to consecrate 
Bishops by themselves; and moreover, that the same rule shall be 
observed also in other dioceses and provinces every where, so that 
no Bishop shall interfere in another province, which has not from 
the very first been under himself and his predecessors ; and further, 
that, if any one has so encroached and tyrannized, he must reHn- 
quish his claim, that the Canons of the Fathers be not infringed, 
nor the Priesthood be made an occasion and pretence for the pride of 
worldly power, nor the least portion of that freedom unawares be 
lost to us, which our Lord Jesus Christ, who bought the world's 
freedom, vouchsafed to us, when He shed His own blood. Where- 
fore it has seemed good to this Holy Ecumenical Council, that the 
the rights of every province should be preserved pure and inviolate, 
which have always belonged to it, aceording to the usage which has 
ever obtained, each Metropolitan having full liberty to take a copy 
of the acts for his own security. And, should any rule be adduced 
repugnant to this decree, it is hereby repealed." 



8 

Here we have a remarkable parallel to the dispute between Rome 
and us ; and we see what was the decision of the General Church 
upon it. It will be observed, the decree is past /or all provinces in 
all future timeSy as well as for the immediate exigency. Now this 
is a plain refutation of the Romanists on their own principles. 
The}/ profess to hold the Canons of the Primitive Church ; the very 
line they take, is to declare the Church to be one and the same in 
all ages. Here then they witness against themselves. The Pope 
has encroached on the rights of other Churches, and violated 
the Canon above cited. Herein is the difference between his 
relation to us, and that of any civil Ruler, whose power was in 
its origin illegally acquired. Doubtless we are bound to obey 
the Monarch under whom we are born, even though his ancestor 
were an usurper. Time legitimises a conquest. But this is not 
the case in spiritual matters. The Churcb goes by Jixed laws ; 
and this usurpation has all along been counter to one of her ac- 
knowledged standing ordinances, founded on reasons of universal 
application. 

After the Canon above cited, it is almost superfluous to refer to 
the celebrated rule of the First Nicene Council, A. D. 325, which, 
in defending the rights of the Patriarchates, expresses the same 
principle in all its simple force and majesty. 

" Let the ancient usages prevail, which are received in Egypt, 
Libya, and Pentapolis, relative to the authority of the Bishop of 
Alexandria ; as they are observed in the case of the Bishop of 
Rome. And so in Antioch too, and other provinces, let the pre- 
rogatives of the Churches be preserved." 

On this head of the subject, I will but notice, that, as the Council 
of Ephesus controlled the ambition of Antioch, so in like manner 
did St. Austin rebuke Rome itself for an incroachment of another 
kind on the liberties of the African Church. 

Bingham says, 

" When Pope Zosimus and Celestine took upon ihem to receive 
Appellants from the African Churches, and absolve those whom 
they had condemned, St. Austin and all the African Churches 
sharply remonstrated against this, as an irregular practice, violating 
the Laws of unity, and the settled rules of ecclesiastical commerce; 
which required, that no delinquent excommunicated in one Church 



9 

should be absolved in another, without giving satisfaction to his 
own Church that censured him. And therefore, to put a stop to 
this practice, and check the exorbitant power which Roman 
Bishops assumed to themselves, they first made a Law in the 
Council of Milevis, That no African Clerk should appeal to any 
Church beyond sea, under pain of being excluded from commu- 
nion in all the African Churches. And then, afterwards, meeting 
in a general Synod, they dispatched letters to the Bishop of Rome, 
to remind him how contrary this practice was to the Canons of 
Nice, which ordered, That all controversies should be ended in the 
nlaces where they arose, before a Council and the Metropolitan*." 

Thus I have shown, that our Bishops, at the time of the Re- 
formation, did but vindicate their ancient rights ; were but loyal, 
grateful, and therefore jealous champions of the honour of the old 
Fathers, and the sanctity of their institutions ; were but acting in 
the magnanimous spirit of that Apostle, who bade us " stand fast 
in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." — For true 
magnanimity consists in neither encroaching nor submitting to en- 
croachment : in taking our rights as we find them, and using them ; 
or rather in regarding them altogether as trusts, the responsibility 
of which we cannot avoid. As the same Apostle says, " Let 
every man abide in the same calling, wherein he is called.'* And, 
if England and Ireland had a right to assert their freedom under 
any circumstances, much more so, when the corruptions imposed 
on them by Rome even made it a duty to do so. 

I shall answer briefly one or two objections, and so brinsj these 
remarks to an end. 

L First, it may be said, that Rome has withdrawn our orders, 
and excommunicated us ; therefore we cannot plead any longer 
our Apostolical descent. Now I will not altogether deny, that a 
Ministerial Body might become so plainly apostate, as to lose its 
privilege of ordination. But, however this may be, it is a little too 
hard to assume, as such an objection does, the very point in dis- 
pute. When we are proved to be heretical in doctrine, then will 
be the time to begin to consider, whether our heresy is of so 
grievous a character as to invalidate our orders ; but, till then, we 
may fairly and fearlessly maintain, that our Bishops are still in- 
vested with the power of ordination. 

* Bingh. Antiq.xvi. 1. § 14. 



10 

2. But it may be said, on the other hand, that, if we do. not 
admit ourselves to be heretic, we necessarily must accuse the Ro- 
manists of being such ; and that therefore, on our own ground, we 
have really no valid orders, as having received them from an here- 
tical Church. True, Rome is heretical now ; but she was not an 
heretical Church in the primitive ages. She has apostatized, but 
it was at the time of the Council of Trent Then it was that 
the whole Roman Communion bound itself by a perpetual bond 
and covenant to the cause of Antichrist *. But before that time, 
grievous as were the corruptions in the Church, no individual 
Bishop, Priest, or Deacon, was bound by oath to the maintenance 
of themf. Extensively as they were spread, no Clergyman was 
shackled with obligations which prevented his resisting them ; he 
could but suffer persecution for so doing. He did not commit him- 
self in one breath to two vows, to serve faithfully in the Ministry, 
and yet to receive all the superstitions and impieties which human 
perverseness had introduced into the most gracious and holiest of 
God's gifts. On the contrary, we may say with the learned Dr. 
Field, " that none of those points of false doctrine and error which 
Romanists now maintain, and we condemn, were the doctrines of 
the Church before the Reformation constantly delivered or generally 
received by all them that were of it, but doubtfully broached, and 
devised without all certain resolution, or factiously defended by 
some certain only, who as a dangerous faction adulterated the 
sincerity of the Christian verity, and brought the Church into 
miserable bondage +.'* Accordingly, acknowledging and deploring 
all the errors of the dark ages, yet we need not fear to maintain, that 
after all they were but the errors of individuals, though of large 

* The following is from the Life of Bernard Gilpin, vid. Wordsworth's Eccle- 
siastical Biography, vol. iv. p. 94. " Mr. Gilpin would often say that tl»e 
Churches of the Protestants were not able to give anyfirme and solid reason of 
their sepcration besides this, to wit, that the Pope is Antichrist .... The Church 
of Rome kept the rule of faith intire, untill that rule was changed and altered by 
the Council of Trent, and from that time it seemed to him a matter of Pieces - 
sitie to come out of the Church of Rome, that so that Church which is true and 

called out from thence might follow the word of God But he did not these 

things violently, but by degrees." 

t The Creed of Pope Pius IV., in which every Roman Priest professes and 
promises to maintain all the errors of Popery, was only imposed after the 
Council of Trent. 

X See Field on the ('hurch, Appendix to book iii. where he proves all this. 
»See also Birkbeck's Prottslaut'b Evidence. 



11 

numbers of Christians ; and we may safely maintain, that they no 
more interfere with the validity of the ordination received by our 
Bishops from those who lived before the Reformation, than errors 
of faith and conduct in a priest interfere with the grace of the 
Sacraments received at his hands. 

3. It may be said, that we throw blame on Luther, and some 
of the foreign Reformers, who did act without the authority of their 
Bishops. But we reply, that it has been always agreeable to the prin- 
ciples of the Church, that, if a Bishop taught and upheld what was 
contrary to the orthodox faith, the Clergy and people were not 
bound to submit, but were obliged to maintain the true religion ; 
and if excommunicated by such Bishops, they were never accounted 
to be cut off from the Church. Luther and his associates upheld 
the true doctrine of the Church ; and though it is not necessary 
to defend every act of fallible men like them, yet we are fully 
justified in maintaining, that their conduct generally in defending 
the truth against the Romish party, even in opposition to their 
spiritual rulers, was worthy of great praise. At the same time it 
is impossible not to lament, that they did not take the first oppor- 
tunity to place themselves under orthodox Bishops of the Aposto- 
lical Succession. Nothing, as far as we can judge, was more 
likely to have preserved them from that great decline of religion, 
which has taken place on the Continent. . 



OCf* These Tracts may be had at Turrjll*s, JVb. 250, Regent 
Street, London. — ./Iny one is at liberty to reprint them. 



W. KING, PRlNltR, ST. CLEMENT S, OXFORD. 



Doc. 17, 1833.] [jYo, 16. 



A D V E N T. 



The name Advent, which means Coming, is given to the four 
Sundays immediately before Christmas-day, the feast which cele- 
brates our Lord's coming in the flesh to suffer for us. This season, 
then, is set apart by the Church, in accordance with ancient and 
venerable usage, in the first place, to prepare the minds of her 
children, by holy meditation, for welcoming with more devout and 
heartfelt joy that great day, the day of Christ's Nativity. But 
her services at this solemn time are also directed to another object, 
very closely connected with the former ; viz. to lead our thoughts 
onward to that ^ecowc? coming of our Lord and Master " in His glo- 
rious Majesty to judge the quick and the dead," which the Church 
is still expecting and anxiously looking for. These two subjects 
are very closely blended in the services of this season, as indeed 
there is much naturally to unite them in our thoughts and feelings ; 
for the promise of Christ's second coming is to us, what the hope 
of His Jirst coming was to the Jews. And therefore, while we go 
back in our thoughts to the time when Christ appeared in the 
flesh, and to the state of the Jewish Church at that time, we must 
apply all to the searching out of our own spirits, whether we are 
like holy Simeon and Anna, and the faithful few, who " waited for 
redemption in Jerusalem," or rather like the great mass of the 
people, who thought only of worldly and temporal things, and so 
rejected their King when He appeared among them. Let us here 
examine, what help the Church will give us in comparing our own 
privileges and condition with those of God's ancient people. 

The Collects for the Sundays in Advent, those at least for the 
first three Sundays, are very much formed upon the language of 
the Epistles, with more or less reference to the Gospels. It will be 
right, then, to look first to the Epistles, and from them try to learn, 
how, as members of the Christian Church, we are to prepare for 
the second awful coming of our Lord and Master. 

1. We are awakened, then, in the Services of the first Sunday, 



by the warning voice of an Apostle, that ** now it is high time to 
awake out of sleep ;" that '* the night is far spent, — the day is at 
hand ;" that we must therefore, without delay, " cast off the works 
of darkness, and put on the armour of light." Just so the Jewish 
Church was awakened by the voice of one crying in the wilder- 
ness, " Prepare ye the way of the Lord ;" the message of John the 
Baptist was the same as the Apostle's to us — " Repent ye, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand.'* He was to " turn the heart of 
the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of 
the just ;" he was to be the Elias who was " to restore all things ;" 
and accordingly the prophecy in which his mission was foretold, 
after vehement rebukes and warnings to the Jewish people, con- 
cluded with a solemn exhortation to them to " remember the law of 
God's servant Moses, which he commanded in Horeb for all Israel, 
with the statutes and the judgments."" (Mai. iv.) In like manner 
St. Paul urges upon us the solemn Law which has been given to 
the Christian Church, the " new commandment,'''* by which we shall 
be tried, when the Messenger of the Covenant comes again to His 
Temple. The Apostle has been giving many precepts of Chris- 
tian practice, (ch. xii, xiii.,) but it seems as if he heard his Mas- 
ter's voice, "Behold, I come quickly," and so the more anxiously 
sounded in our ear the simple commandment which He left us, to 
" love one another." " He that loveth another, hzih fulfilled the 
Law. Love is the fulfilling of the Law. And that, knowing the 
time ; the day is at hand ; let us therefore walk honestly as in the 
day, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus 
Christ." And now, having seen and felt what Christ will 
seek for, when He comes into His temple, we may profit duly by 
the awful lesson which we learn in the Gospel. The Jews had 
long been looking impatiently for the promised Deliverer ; (Mai. ii. 
17. iii. 1.) and when they saw Him riding into Jerusalem as the 
Prophet had foretold, they cried, saying, '* Hosanna to the Son of 
David, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord ; Ho- 
sanna in the highest !" Meanwhile, what were the thoughts of the 
" meek and lowly" King? His forerunner had been despised, the 
Law of Moses had not been " remembered," the hearts of the fa- 
thers were not turned to the children, nor the hearts of the children 
to the fathers ; — and He was now coming to " smite with a curse." 



(Mai. iv. 6.) And when He came near, He beheld the city and wept 
over it ; He went into the temple, and cast out the buyers and the 
selle'-s and the money changers, as a type and signal of that still 
more fearful clearing of His Temple, when He laid Jerusalem even 
with the ground, and her children within her, and gave the privi- 
leo-es of His chosen to the Gentile world. Such fearful vengeance 
was taken of those who " refused Him that spake on earth ;" how 
then " shall we escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh 
from heaven ?" — we, who have " received the kingdom which 
cannot be moved ;" who are come not to Horeb, but unto Mount 
Sion^ " unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jernsalem.^* 
Surely it becomes us to listen to the affectionate warnings of the 
Church, as she awakens us from our slumber, and recounts our 
high duties and our inestimable privileges. 

2. In the services of the Second Sunday we have the first great 
privilege of the Church brought before us, viz. that in the Church 
we have preserved to us those Holy Scriptures, in which is set be- 
fore us " the blessed hope of everlasting life." *' The promises 
made to the fathers" have now been fulfilled ; and as they " through 
patience and comfort of the Scriptures" had " hope" of Christ's 
first coming, and through Him of life and immortality, so we, 
having the same sure word of prophecy, may look onward to the 
day of the Church's final redemption, and anticipating that coming 
of Christ's kingdom for which we daily pray, and that " life ever- 
lasting," in which we daily profess our belief, may " abound in 
hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." Meanwhile the in- 
fluence which Holy Scripture is intended to have upon the Chris- 
tian Church, is strikingly put before us in the context of the Epistle. 
St. Paul has been enforcing the duty of mutual forbearance by the 
argument of Christ's example ; " for even Christ pleased not 
Himself. . . . Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to 
be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus; 
that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. AVherefore receive ' ye one 
another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.' " The 
faith of the Holy Catholic Church, grounded upon God's " Holy- 
Word," is the bond -of unity ; a link which so binds together the 
congregation of the faithful every where, that there is but " one 



body and one spirit." And in that Christian Temple the worship- 
pers so speak " as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising 
and thanking the Lord,"— the " Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of 
Sabaoth;" — that " the house is filled with a cloud," the special 
presence of the Great Author of peace and Lover of Concord, " the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince 
of peace *." And when we recollect the deep and earnest tones 
of Christ's last solemn prayer before He suffered, that the Church 
might be one in itself and in Him through the faith which He had 
o-iven it ; and when again we remember, that the sentence of His 
judgment-seat, when He shall come the second time in His glory, 
will be grounded on the relation between Himself as the Head of 
the Church, and His brethren as its members, — a relation so close, 
that what has been done unto them. He considers as done unto 
Him ; and what has been denied to them, as denied to Him ; 
(St. Matth. XXV.) we shall surely return with a feeling of deeper 
humiliation to the Church's Advent Prayer, that we may have 
" grace to cast off the works of darkness, and to put on the armour 
of light ;" that so, when " He shall come again in His glorious 
Majesty to judge the quick and the dead," those Holy Scriptures, 
which were given to His Church for our learning, may not rise up 
in judgment against us for our neglect of that new and great com- 
mandment, the observance of which was to be the distinctive cha- 
racteristic of His disciples. 

3. But fresh privileges and responsibilities are brought before us 
in the services of the Third Sunday in Advent. For we have in 
the Church not merely " Holy Scriptures written for our learn- 
ing," but Ministers of Christ and Stewards of the mysteries of 
God," sent to prepare and make ready the way for His second 
coming, that we may then be found an acceptable people in His 
sight. We might have been left to derive from Scripture by our 
own unaided efforts its rich and glorious contents " for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ;" but 
our merciful Father has dealt otherwise with His Church under 
each dispensation. For the Baptist, who heralded Christ at His 
coming, though " more than a prophet," was but the successor of a 
" goodly company," whom God had raised up from time to time 
* I'raycr for Unity. 



to vindicate the Law and to foreshew the Gospel. " But he that is 
least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." The prophet of 
the ancient Church had for his main office to enforce the Law, to 
shew God's people their transgression and their sin ; if he spoke 
of the Gospel, it was in prospect only, and seen afar off. The 
Messengers sent to us are a " Ministry of reconciliation," Ministers 
and Stewards of the mysteries of redemption, with power and com- 
mandment, as ambassadors of Christ, to declare and pronomice 
to God's people, being penitent, the blessed tidings of forgiveness, 
and in the preaching of His word and the distribution of His sacra- 
ments to convey and apply its benefits to each individual member of 
Christ's body. And does not this great blessing entail upon us 
a heavy responsibility ? Let us learn from the Church how such 
a gift should be received ; she instructs us in the words of St. 
Paul's admonition to the proud and schismatical Church of Corinth. 
The Apostle bids them look upon himself and his fellow-labourers 
as Ministers of Christ, responsible to their own Master, and to be 
judged by Him alone ; as men who thought it a very small thing 
that even their own consciences acquitted them, or that in man's 
judgment they were preferred and made the head of a party ; who 
were Stewards, and therefore required to be faithful to Him who 
gave them their commission ; and who sought to have *' praise'* 
not of man but " of God," in that solemn day of His appearing, 
when He should " bring to light the hidden things of darkness and 
make manifest the counsels of the heart." And if we had imbibed 
more deeply St. Paul's spirit, we should less resemble than, (it is 
to be feared,) ^we sometimes do, the contentious Corinthians, or the 
multitudes who flocked to the wilderness to the Baptist's preach- 
ing, as if it had been some spectacle for idle curiosity. (Matt, xi.) 
Wisdom would be justified of all her children, even in our judg- 
ment ; we should see them all to be Ministers and Ambassadors of 
God, and our commendations and censures would be turned into 
prayers on their behalf, such as the Church has taught us, that like 
the Baptist they " may likewise so prepare and make ready the 
way of Christ, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the 
wisdom of the just, that at His second coming to judge the world, we 
may be found an acceptable people in His sight." And in this 
way too, as well as in faith in the inspired Word, we should pro- 



mote the fulfilment of Christ's commandment of love ; for it was 
for this purpose that He has commissioned the Ministers and 
Stewards of His word and sacraments. St. Paul tells us, " He 
gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets ; and some, evangelists ; 
and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the 
saintSy for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body 
of Christ ; till we all come in the unity of faith and of the know- 
ledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ ; that we henceforth be no 
more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every 
wind of doctrine, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up 
unto Him in all things which is the Head, even Christ ; from 
whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that 
which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in 
the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the 
edifying of itself in love." (Eph. iv. 11 — 16.) 

4. And now, having reviewed the privileges with which we are 
favoured in Christ's Holy Church, until His coming again, we are 
solemnly warned in the Epistle of the fourth Sunday, as before in 
that of the first, of His near approach ; " The Lord is at hand.'* 
And if we indeed lived answerably to our privileges as members of 
Christ's Church and household, we should be able to await the fulfil- 
ment of the promise in the spirit of calm confidence and joy, which 
St. Paul describes in the verses that follow ; *' the peace of God which 
passeth all understanding," *' keeping our hearts and minds by 
Christ Jesus." The passage which is chosen for the Gospel, places 
us at the point of time when Christ was on the eve of appearing 
as " the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." He 
had been baptized, and was now returning from the wilderness ; for 
it was " the next day," we read, that the Baptist pointed Him out 
to the notice of His disciples. He was already standing among 
them, though they knew Him not, ready to baptize them with the 
Holy Ghost and with fire. And so now, in these latter days, 
the Heralds of Christ's second coming are warning the people 
that He is at hand, and like the Baptist, referring to the Scripture 
for a proof that they are duly commissioned to prepare His way 
before Him. Like Him they tell the Church of a '* salvation ready 
to be revealed," of ** times of refreshing" to come " from the 



presence of the Lord," of times " of the restitution of all things," 
and of the more glorious establishment of Christ's kingdom ; and in 
earnest looking for the promise, they offer up the prayer of the Church 
that God would be pleased to raise up His power and come among 
us, and with great might succour us. But, while we hope for the 
promise, we must not forget the threatening ; the Baptist spoke of 
Christ's coming with His fan in His hand, and of the separation 
which He would make between the chaff and the wheat ; (comp. 
Mai. iv. ;) but what were the days of vengeance upon the Jewish 
Church compared with those which we must expect, when the time 
is at length come that judgment must begin at the house of God, 
and the heavenly Reaper thrusts in His sharp sickle and reaps the 
earth ? " The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His 
temple ; behold He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts ; but 
who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when 
He appeareth ?" We find that when Jesus was coming nigh to 
Jerusalem, on the day of His triumphant entry, because they 
thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He 
added and spake a parable ; it was the parable of the talents. 
(Luke xix.) And so, when we are disposed to indulge in bright 
anticipations of coming glory to the Church, let us rather turn our 
thoughts inward to our own individual privileges and individual 
responsibility, remembering that the kingdom of God is within us, 
and that to whomsoever much is given, of him will be much 
required. And especially let us remember that among the gifts 
given to us, for which we must give account, are, the New Com- 
mandment of love, the Inspired Word of God, written for our 
learning, and His duly appointed Ministers sent before Him to pre- 
pare us for His coming. 



C^ These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, No. 250, Regent 
Street, London. 



KINO, PRINTER, ST. CI.EMKNTS, OXFOItD. 



Dec. 20, IS33.] l^o 17. 

THE MINISTERIAL COMMISSION 

A TRUST FROM CHRIST FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS PEOPLE. 



It will be acknowledged by all who have followed the Jewish 
Church through her days of suffering, and who have learnt the 
deep feeling of our own impressive Litany, that the main strength of 
the Church of God, in her times of trial and danger, is in the 
lowliness of her humiliation before her heavenly Guardian, for her 
many imperfections and sins. But there is another element of her 
strength, which, it is to be feared, is sometimes forgotten, though 
not less essential to her character ; I mean, her firm and unshaken 
reliance upon the promises of God made to her. Thus in Daniel's 
prayer there are the most heart-broken confessions of sin in the 
name of his Church and people ; but, at the same time, there is 
throughout a stedfast hope of God's mercy, as pledged to His holy- 
city and temple. " O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, 
but unto us confusion of face, as at this day ; to our kings, to our 
princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee." 
" O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, 
let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jeru- 
salem, Thy holy mountain ; because for our sins, and for the 
iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people are become a 
reproach to all that are about us. Lord, hear ; O Lord, for- 
give ; Lord, hearken and do ; defer not, for Thine own sake, 
O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy 
Kame.'*'' It can scarcely be necessary to remind the members of 
our own Church, how beautifully the close of her Litany breathes 
the spirit of Daniel's prayer ; how, in the midst of reiterated sup- 
plications for God's forgiveness and mercy, now addressed more 
especially to the Son, now to the Father, now to every Person of 
the Blessed and Holy Trinity, now in the prevailing words which 
Christ Himself has taught us; supplications so deeply expressive 
of " the sighing of a contrite heart, the desire of such as be sorrow- 



fnl," — there still break in a gleam of faith and hope in the memory of 
the noble works which we have heard with our ears, and our 
Fathers have declared unto us, a strong yet humble confidence, 
that God will yet again arise and help us, and deliver us for His 
Name's sake, and for His Honour. 

Now this is a point which it is of great importance to have strongly 
impressed upon our minds ; because it is to be feared, that there 
are many of our brethren in the present day, who allow the 
thoughts of present and past transgressions, of our own sins, and 
those of our Fathers, to banish entirely the remembrance of the 
glorious promises and privileges which belong to us. They see so 
much neglected, and so much to be done, that they think it would 
become us each to work in lonely humiliation, " in fear and in 
much trembhng," instead of endeavouring to magnify our office, 
and cheer one another with the songs of Zion. Now, I would ask, 
if this notion exist in any of our brethren, whether, under the 
semblance of good, it does not argue something of mistaken feeling, 
and that in more than one essential point. 

1. Does not this opinion seem to imply the supposition that 
the dignity conferred on the Ministerial Office is something given 
for the exaltation of the Clergy, and not for the benefit of the 
people ? as if there were a different interest in the two orders, 
and, in maintaining their Divine appointment, the Clei^y would 
make themselves " Icwds over God's heritage ?" I do not now 
enter upon the point, that to magnify the office is not necessarily to 
exalt the individual who bears it ; nay, that the thought which 
will most deeply humble the individual, most oppress him with the 
overwhelming sense of his own insufficiency, is the consciousness 
** into how high a dignity, and to how weighty an office and charge" 
he has been called ; an office " of such excellency, and of so great 
difficulty." I would now rather ask, for whose benefit this high 
and sacred Office has been instituted ? For the Clergy, or for the 
people ? The Apostle will decide this point : " He gave some. 
Apostles; and some. Prophets; and some. Evangelists ; and some. 
Pastors and Teachers ; for the perfecting of the saintSy for the work 
of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.*' (Eph. iv.) 
" All things are yours, whether Paul, or ApoUos, or Cephas.'* 
(1 Cor. iii.) And this, it should be well observed, the Apostle says 



on purpose to put an end to that exaltation of individuals, which the 
Church of Corinth had fallen into from forgetting that their pastors 
and teachers were all " Ministers of Christ ;" Ministers by whom 
they beheved " even as the Lord gave to every man.^' And so 
again to the same Church, and in reference to the same subject, St. 
Paul says, " All things are /or your sakes, that the abundant grace 
might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of 
God." (Cor. ii. 15.) Scripture then is express upon this point, 
that whatever power and grace Christ has given to His Ministers, 
He has given them for the good of His people, and the glory of 
His heavenly Father. And do not our own understandings and 
consciences bear witness to the same truth ? For what is our com- 
mission ? Is it not a " Ministry of reconcihation ?" — " to wit, 
that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself;" and 
hath committed to us the proclamation of the pardon ? Let us put 
the case on which the Apostle's language is founded ; the case, I 
mean, of people in rebellion against their Sovereign, visited with the 
news that their King is willing, nay, even anxiously desirous to give 
them forgiveness and favour. In such a case, would not the first 
question be, what authority does this report go upon ? who are the 
persons who bring it ? is it merely a matter of their individual 
belief, or are they duly authorized and commissioned from the 
Court ? are they come as volunteers, or have they been sent by 
their Master ? " Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ ;^^ 
we are sent to " bring good tidings and to publish peaee,^^ " to 
preach deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison 
to them that are bound ;" and, if we allow our commission to be 
questioned, nay, if we do not most unequivocally and prominently 
assert it, whom are we robbing ? not ourselves of honour, but the 
people, to whom we are sent, of the blessedness and joy of know- 
ing, that God " desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that 
he should turn from his wickedness and live ;" and that, in token 
of this desire, He " hath given power and commandment to His 
Ministers to declare and pronounce to His people, being penitent, 
the absolution and remission of their sins." We are sent to preach 
good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, to com- 
fort all that mourn ; and it is the meek, and the broken-hearted, 
and the mourners, which will feel the loss, if our blessed Office be 



set at nought, or disregarded. Let us well consider this point. 
There is a humble and fearful member of Christ's flock, who 
desires to strengthen and refresh his soul by the Body and Blood of 
Christ; but he cannot quit his own conscience; he requires 
farther comfort and counsel. Surely it is to his comfort, that there 
is a duly commissioned Minister of God's Word at hand ; to whom 
he may come and open his grief, and receive the benefit of the 
sentence of God's pardon, and so prepare himself to approach the 
holy Table " with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet 
conscience;" and so draw near with faith, and take that holy 
Sacrament to his comfort. And then, again, when he lieth sick 
upon his bed, does not his Saviour " make all his bed in his sick- 
ness,'* when he sends His Minister to him, to receive the confession 
of his sins, and to relieve his conscience of the " weighty" things 
which press it down ; and then, (" if he humbly and heartily desire 
it,") by virtue of the power which He has left to His Church, as- 
sures him of the pardon of his sins, that so, as his sufferings abound, 
his consolation also may abound through Christ; and as his 
outward man perisheth, the inward man may be renewed day by 
day. How then ought we to look upon the power which has been 
given us by Christ, but as a sacred treasure, of which we are 
Ministers and Stewards, which it is our duty to guard for the sake 
of His little ones; for whose edification (2 Cor. xiii. 10.) the Lord 
Himself has left the powers with His Church. And if we suffer it 
to be lost to the Christian Church, how shall we answer it, not 
merely to those who might now rejoice in its holy comfort, but to 
those also that are to come after us ? " For the promise is unto 
you and to your children, and unto all that are afar oflT, even as 
many as the Lord our God shall call." 

2. But if we are thus bound by our duty to the Christian flock, 
are we not also still more solemnly bound by our obligation to its 
Chief Shepherd, and Bishop } For we are Ministers of Christ 
and Stewards of the mysteries of God ;" and " in Stewards it is 
fc^quired that a man be found faithful." It becomes us, therefore, 
well to consider and ask, what is the full amount of the riches 
which have been committed to our care ; what is the height and 
depth of the Mysteries which have been entrusted to our keeping ; 
for we serve a Master who will strictly require at our hands every 



talent which He has left with us, and rigorously examine whether 
we have been afraid and hid it in a napkin, or have diUgently put 
it out to usury and turned it to full account. Let us turn our 
thoughts again to the representation, which St. Paul gives us, of our 
character and caUing. " We are Ambassadors for Christ." Now 
what should we think of the Ambassador of an earthly King, who 
when he came among the people to whom he was sent, should 
seem to regard it as a matter of slight importance, whether he were 
indeed commissioned or not, or seem willing to conceal the full 
powers with which he was vested, and speak only as an indivi- 
dual ? Would this be to be faithful to him that appointed him ? 
would his Master own him as a good and faithful servant ? And 
if we are Ambassadors for Christ, His " deputies for the reducing 
of man to the obedience of God,'* we must follow the example 
which our Master has set us, and, as he was, so must we be in this 
world. For He has Himself declared to us, " as My Father hath 
sent Me, even so send I you*." How then did Christ fulfil the 
office which the Father had committed to Him ? Let us look to 
His discourses as recorded in St. John's Gospel, and to the so'emn 
prayer with which He concluded His earthly Ministry. We there 
find Him again and again proclaiming that He had been sent from 
the Father ; it was with this in view He prayed so earnestly for 
the unity and holiness of His Church, that the world might believe 
that the Father had sent Him ; it was because His chosen disci- 
ples had believed that the Father had sent Him, that He poured 
forth such fervent thanksgivings on their behalf f. " I am not 
come of Myself, but He sent ilfe." " I have not spoken of Myself, 
but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, 
what I should say and what I should speak." " They have 
known that all things are of Thee ; they have known that I came 
out from Thee; they have believed that Thou didst send MeX:'' 
Thus did Christ stand in the midst of His generation as an Apos- 
tle, as one sent from God ; and so must His deputies likewise 
stand among their brethren ; as men sent to a rebellious house, 
whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, speaking with 

* Comp. St. John xvii. 18. " As Thou hast sent Me into the world, so have I 
also sent them into tlie world " 

t St. John xvii. 8.21, 23. 25. X Ibid. xii. 49,50. Comp. xiv. 10,24. 

vjd. also our Lord's remarkable words, ibid. v. 31. 43. 



authority, " as though God did beseech you by uSf we pray you in 
Christ'' s stead, be ye reconciled unto God." And if we are 
asked by what authority we speak, and who gave us this authority, 
we have our credentials at hand ; " whose soever sins ye remit, they 
are remitted, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.'* 
" Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth sh-iU 
be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall 
be loosed in heaven." " He that heareth you, heareth Me ; and 
he that despiseth you, despiseth Me ; and he that despiseth Me, 
despiseth Him that sent Me." (Vid. St. Matth. xviii. St. Luke x. 
St. John XX.) 

If ever, then, we are tempted to be ashamed of Christ and of 
His words, or to allow His high and heavenly mission to be thought 
lightly of in the person of His Deputies and Ministers, let us re- 
member, that it is no matter of personal consideration, that two 
sacred interests are involved, the glory of God and the edifying 
of His people. Let us remember that, as Christ received of the 
Father " a commandment," so we too have received a command- 
ment from Him, the " commandment*' as well as the " power" to 
declare to His people the message of forgiveness ; that Christ has 
commanded us to teach all nations to observe whatsoever He has 
commanded us, and then He will be with us alway, even to the 
end of the world. And above all, let us not be silenced by the 
sense of past unworthiness and neglect, whether in ourselves indi- 
vidually, or in the Church at large ; this would be but to add sin 
to sin. Rather, seeing we have this Ministry, this glorious mini- 
stration of righteousness, (2 Cor. iv. 1. comp. ch. iii.), let us not 
faint, but strive how we may shew ourselves " dutiful and thankful 
to that Lord who hath placed us in so high a dignity." The 
world would fain silence our glorying, and would have Christ 
rebuke His disciples, but let us not be ashamed of the good con- 
fession ; for with such powers and graces, given to us by Christ 
Himself, as Ambassadors for Him, and Workers together with God, 
if we should hold our peace, the very stones would immediately 
cry out. 

CCt* TJiese Tracts may be had at Turrill's^ JVb. 250, Regent 
Street, London, 

W. KING, I'BINTtR, 6T. CLEMENt's, UXFORX). 



Dee. 21, 1833.] [No. \S.— Price 5d. 

THOUGHTS 
ON THE BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM OF FASTING. 

KXJOINKD BY OUR CHLRCFI. 



To a person but little accustomed to observe any stated Fasts* 
the directions given by our Church on this subject, would probably 
occasion two very opposite feelings. On the one hand, he would 
be struck by the practical character and thoughtful ness evinced by 
some of the regulations ; on the other, he would probably feel re- 
pelled by the number of days, and the variety of occasions, which 
the Church has appointed so to be hallowed. Most Christians, who 
really loved their Saviour, (unless prevented by the habits of early 
education,) would probably see something appropriate and affection- 
ate in the selection of the Friday, for a weekly commemoration of 
their Saviour's sufferings, and of humiliation for their own sins, 
which caused them ; or, at all events, they would feel that there was 
some thoughtfulness in the direction annexed, that this weekly Fast 
should not interfere with the Christian joyousness brought back by the 
Festival of their Lord's Nativity, when these should in the cycle of 
years coincide. Again, if they should fail to appreciate the wisdom 
of appointing certain days to be kept sacred in memory of the holy 
men who left all to follow Christ, and consequently should be rather 
deterred than attracted, by observing that many of these days were 
ushered in by a preceding Fast ; still they would hardly fail to be 
struck by the provision, that this previous Fast should not interfere 
with the Christian's weekly Festival of his Lord's Resurrection, but 
that " if any of these Feast-days should fall upon a Monday, then 
the Fast-day should be kept on die Saturday, not upon the Sunday 
next before it." i Again, he must observe, that during certain 
periods of the Church's year, which are supposed to be times of 

' See Tables prefixed to the Common Prayer-book. 



especial joy to the Christian, those, namely, following the Nativity 
and the Resurrection, these preparatory Fasts are altogether omitted. 
Some or other of these regulations would probably strike most 
thouorhtful minds, as instances of consideration and reflection in 
those who formed them. The Clergy more especially would ap- 
preciate, abstractedly at least, the imitation of the Apostolic practice 
of Fasting, when any are to be ordained to any holy function in the 
Church; and some probably will feel mournfully, that if the 
Church were now more uniformly to observe those acts of Fasting 
and Prayer, which were thought needful, before even Paul and 
Barnabas^ were separated for God's work, we should have more 
reasonable grounds to hope, that many of our Clergy would be 
filled with the spirit of Barnabas and Paul. 

On the other hand, it is naturally to be expected, that one not 
accustomed to any outward restraint in this matter, would feel 
indisposed to ordinances so detailed ; that, although he could recon- 
cile to himself the one or the other of these observances, which 
most recommended themselves to his Christian feelings, he would 
think the whole a burthensome and minute ceremonial, perhaps 
unbefitting a spiritual worship, and interfering with the liberty, 
wherewith Christ has made him free. This is very natural ; for 
we are by nature averse to restraint, and the abuse of some maxims 
of Protestantism, such as the " right of private judgment," has 
made us yet more so : we are reluctant to yield to an unreasoning 
authority, and to submit our wills, when our reason has not first 
been convinced ; and the prevailing maxims of the day have 
strengthened this reluctance : we have been accustomed to do, 
** every one that which was right in his own eyes," and are jealous 
of any authority, except that of the direct injunctions of the Bible : 
we have, I fear also, so untruly spiritualized our religion, that we have 
almost lost sight of that part of it, which is adapted to us, as being 
yet in the flesh : in our zeal for the blessed truths of the cross of 
CHRiST,and of our sanctification by the Holy Spirit, we have begun 
insensibly to disparage other truths, which bring us less immediately 
into intercourse with God, to neglect the means and ordinances, 
which touch not upon the very centre of our faith. 

The practical system of the Church is altogether at variance with 

» Arts xiii. 2—4. iv.23. 



3 

that which even pious Christians in these days have permitted 
themselves to adopt; much which she has recommended or en- 
joined would now be looked upon as formalism, or outward service : 
in our just fear of a lifeless formalism, we have forgotten that every 
Christian feeling must have its appropriate vehicle of expression ; 
that the most exalted acts of Christian devotion, that our closest 
union with our Saviour, is dependant upon certain forms ; that the 
existence of forms does not constitute formalism ; that where the 
Spirit of Christ is, there the existence of forms serves only to give 
regularity to the expression, to chasten what there might yet remain 
of too individual feehng, to consolidate the yet divided members 
*' in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, 
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness 
of Christ/' 

Yet, as in every case in which the current of prevailing opinions, 
either in faith or practice, has for some time set in one direction, 
there have not been wanting indications, that Christians have felt 
their system incomplete ; that there was something in the tranquil 
piety of former days, which they would gladly incorporate into the 
zealous excitement of the present ; that although religion is in one 
sense strictly individual, yet in the means by which it is kept alive, 
it is essentially expansive and social ; that the only error here to 
be avoided, is a reliance upon forms ; that the forms themselves, 
as soon as they are employed to realize things eternal, and to 
cherish their communion with their Saviour, become again spi- 
ritual and edifjring. 

It is accordingly remarkable in the present day to observe, in 
how many cases individuals have been led back by their own 
Christian experience to observances, in some respect similar to those 
which the Church had before suggested and provided for them. In 
the more advanced period of their Christian course, or amid the 
respite from the unceasing circle of active duty, which God has 
granted them through an interval of sickness, they have seen the 
value of those rites, the scrupulous adherence to which they once 
regarded as signs of lifelessness. In either case they would wil- 
lingly own, that the union provided by the Church is not only 
more ordered, and less liable to exception, tlian one which indivi- 
duals could frame ; but also, that, as being more comprehensive, it 
would more effectively realize their objects. 



It is granted, then, that the proportion of the Fast Days enjoined 
by the Church will, to persons unaccustomed to observe them, ap- 
pear over-large, and the variety of the occasions for which they 
are adapted, over-minute and arbitrary. The question however oc- 
curs, whether we ought to be influenced by such considerations to 
reject the entire system, or whether we ought not rather to be 
moved by the indications of a practical character evinced in some 
regulations, to make the trial of those, whose benefit we do not at 
present discern. Now it would seem plain that, in a practical 
matter, he who from the traces of wisdom or thoughtfulness in one 
regulation should infer the probable wisdom and reasonableness 
of others emanating from the same source, would act more wisely 
than one, who, on account of the apparent unreasonableness and 
superfluity of some provisions, should proceed to condemn the 
whole. For in practical matters, the great test of the expediency 
of any habit, for which we have not direct divine authority, is ex- 
perience : they only who have tried a line of conduct, or narrowly 
watched its effects upon others, can speak with certainty as to its 
result. Of all the lesser courses of action, which tend so power- 
fully to form our moral habits, it would be impossible, probably, 
for one who had not tried their effect, to predict certainly what 
that effect would be ; or if we could guess the nature of the effect, 
certainly we should not be able to foresee its degree and amount. 
With the exception of gross and flagrant sins, whose character and 
wages we know from authority, there is probably no one line of 
action, with regard to which we might not beforehand prove very 
plausibly to ourselves, that it would not have the effects, to which 
it is in fact tending, and which we afterwards perceive to have 
been its natural results. Yet such abstract reasonings about the 
possibilities or tendencies of things would not be listened to in any 
other case. When sick, men eagerly listen to the means, however 
improbable, by which any disease, resembling their own, was re- 
moved. Be it a poison, which they are bidden to take, yet if it be 
proved satisfactorily that, in cases like their own, that poison has 
been the messenger of health, they would not hesitate. They would 
listen to no abstract reasonings, that it was improbable that what 
had been an instrument of death could be their life ; they would 
look to those, whom it had restored to health, and would do the 
like. The sight of one person, undeniably raised from death to 



life, would affect men more than any a priori demonstration that the 
medicine wa? pernicious or deadly. Much more then, since this 
medicine has been recommended to us by the great Physician of 
our souls ; since it has been beneficial, wherever it has not been 
substituted for all other means of restoring or maintaining our spi- 
ritual health. The only question is, — ^not whether Fasting be in itself 
beneficial, but — whether certain regulations concerning it tend to 
promote or to diminish its efficacy ; and in this case, the testimony 
of those who have proved their value, is manifestly of primary 
importance ; the preconceived opinions of such as have not tried 
them, are but mere presumptions. If then either in the regulations 
or the histories of those holy men, through whom these recom- 
mendations have become part of the system of our Church, we 
find indications that they themselves knew from experience the 
value of what they recommended, we have evidence of the value 
of their advice, which we may not, without peril of injury to our 
souls, neglect. 

It was in part, by some such process as the preceding, that the 
writer of these pages was led to consider what one may be allowed 
to term the less solemn Fasts of the Church, those which Christians 
now ordinarily pay less regard to ; for Ihe first day of Lent, and the 
annual commemoration of our Saviour's sufferings, are, I suppose, 
still very commonly observed. As the history of every mind is, 
under some modifications, the mirror of many others, it may to 
some be useful to see by what course of reflection or experience 
an individual was brought to feel the value of the regulations of 
the Church in this respect. 

It will perhaps to some seem strange to find placed among the 
foremost of these advantages, the Protection thereby afforded — 
protection against one's self; protection against the habits and cus- 
toms of the world, which sorely let and hinder one in systematically 
pursuing what one imagines might be beneficial. I speak not of 
course of any known duty ; in that case the opinion or practice or 
invitations of the world were nothing ; but with regard to those in- 
definite duties or disciplines, which one thinks may be performed as 
well at one period as at another, and which, on that very account, 
are frequently not performed at all, or at best occasionally only, 
and superficially. No thoughtful Christian will doubt of the pro- 



priety and duty of fasting, whatever he may understand by the 
term. " The bridegroom is taken away from us, and so we must 
fast in these days :" ' our Blessed Saviour has given us instructions 
how we ought to fast,^ and therefore imphed that His disciples 
would fast: the Apostles were "in fastings often :"' in fastings, "^ 
as well as in sufferings for the Gospel, or by pureness, by know- 
ledge, by all the graces which the Holy Ghost imparted, they ap- 
proved themselves the Ministers of God. " Our Lord and Sa- 
viour," says Hooker,5 " would not teach the manner of doing, 
much less propose a reward for doing that which were not both 
holy and acceptable in God's sight.'* And yet, after all the allow- 
ances which can be made for that fasting, which is known to our 
Father only who seeth in secret, one cannot conceal from one's 
self that this duty is in these days very inadequately practised. 
It is, in fact, a truth almost proverbial, that a duty which may be 
performed at any time, is in great risk of being neglected at all 
times. The early Christians felt this, and appointed the days of 
our Blessed Saviour's crucifixion and murder, the Wednesday and 
Friday of each week," to be days of fasting and especial humilia- 
tion. Those days, in which especially the bridegroom was taken 
away, the days, namely, in which He was crucified and lay in the 
grave, were besides early consecrated as Fasts by the widowed 
Church. Nor was it because they were in perils, which we are 
spared ; because they were in deaths oft, that they practised or 
needed this discipline. Quite the reverse. Their whole life was 
a Fast, a death to this world, a realizing of things invisible. It was 
when dangers began to mitigate, when Christianity became, (as 
far as the world was concerned,) an easy profession, it was then 
that the peril increased, lest their first simplicity should be cor- 
rupted, their first love grow cold ! ' Then those who had spiritual 
authority in the Church increased the stated Fasts, in order to 
recal that holy earnestness of life, which the recentness of their 
redemption, and the constant sense of their Saviour's presence, 
had before inspired. Fasts were not merely the voluntary disci- 

> Matlh. ix. 15. Mark ii. 20. Luke v. 35. ' Matili vi. 16-18. 

3 2 Cor. xi. 27. "• lb. vi. 5. 

* £ccl. Pol. B. V. §. 72. lip. Taylor, Rule of Conscience, B. ii. c. 3. rule O. 

•* See Bingham, Anliq. of the (christian Citurch, B. xxi. c. 3. 

7 Cassian. CoUat. xxi. c. 30. ap. Bioghani, B. xxi. c. 1. 



pline of men, whose conversation was in heaven ; they were adopted 
and enlarged in periods of ease, of temptation, of luxury, of self- 
satisfaction, of growing corruption. 

To urge that Fasts were abused by the later Romish Church, is 
but to assert that they are a means of grace committed to men ; 
that they would subsequently be unduly neglected, was but to be 
expected by any one, who knows the violent vacillations of human 
impetuosity. It was then among the instances of calm judgment 
in our Reformers, that cutting off the abuses which before pre- 
vailed, the vain distinctions of meats, the lucrative dispensations, 
and, above all, the subtle poison of the intrinsic acceptableness of 
Fasting, and, (which was closely allied to it,) the monstrous doctrine 
of human merit, they still prescribed Fasting " to discipline the 
flesh, to free the spirit, and render it more earnest and fervent to 
prayer, and as a testimony and witness with us before God of our 
humble submission to His high Majesty, when we confess our sins 
unto Him, and are inwardly touched with sorrowfulness of heart, 
bewailing the same in the affliction of our bodies."' 

They omitted that, which might be a snare to men's consciences, 
they left it to every man's Christian prudence and experience, how 
he would fast ; but they prescribed the days upon which he should 
fast, both in order to obtain an unity of feeling and devotion in 
the members of Christ's body, and to preclude the temptation to 
the neglect of the duty altogether. Nor is the interference in this 
matter any thing insulated in our system, or one which good men 
would object to, had not our unhappy neglect of it now made it 
seem strange and foreign to our habits. In some things we are 
accustomed to perform a duty, which is such independently of the 
authority of the Church, in the way in which the Church has pre- 
scribed, and because she has so appointed. We assemble our- 
selves together on the Lord's day, because God has directed us by 
His Apostle not to forsake such assemblies ; but we assemble our- 
selves twice upon that day rather than once, not upon any reason 
of the abstract fitness of so doing, but because the Church has pre- 
scribed it. And probably at an earlier period of our lives, perhaps 
even later, when indisposition or indolence or any prevailing temp- 
tation has beset us, there are few amongst us who have not owed 

' First Paitof tilt' Homily on Fasting. 



8 

their regular perseverance in public worship to this ordinance of 
the Church ; there is no one assuredly who havinsc broken this 
ordinance, has afterwards by God's mercy been brought back to 
join more uniformly in the pubHc worship of his God and Saviour, 
who has not been thankful for this restriction. This then is pro- 
tection. * 

The like has undoubtedly taken place even in the celebration of 
the Supper of our Lord. Individuals have been induced to join, 
and that beneficially to themselves, in the Communion even of their 
Saviour's body and blood, just so often in the year as their Church 
has prescribed to them. This is not so unusual a case as it might 
seem. One cannot doubt, that in many cases, where the Holy 
Communion is celebrated but three times in the year, this is so 
done, because such is the smallest number, of which the Church 
admits, and the Minister supposes that his flock would not join with 
him more frequently. Had the Church made no such regulation, 
many probably, who now partake three times a year, might not 
have joined even thus often ; yet would it not be true to say that 
such persons in all cases partook without real devotion, or any love 
to their Saviour. Again, where there are opportunities of a monthly 
Communion, there may be some, who would not have desired 
the privilege unless the provision had been made for them, and 
they had been invited by the Church so to do ; yet will it not of 
necessity follow that they partake coldly or unacceptably, A 
warmer love would indeed lead the one to a more frequent, the 
other to a more glad Communion ; nor have such persons well 

' " No doubl butpenitency is as prayer, a thing acceptable to God, be it in 
public or in secret. Howbeit, as in the one, if men were only left to their own 
voluntary meditations in their closets, and not drawn by laws and orders unto 
the open assemblies of the Church, that there they may join with others in 
prayer, it may soon be conjectured what Christian devotion would that way 
come unto in a short time; even so in the other, we are by sufficient expe- 
rience taught, how little it booteth to tell men of washing away their sins with 
tears of repentance, and so to leave them altogether to themselves. O Lord, 
what heaps of grievous transgressions have we committed, the best, the per- 
fectest, the most righteous amongst us all, and yet clean past them over un- 
sorrowed for, and unrepented of, only because the Church hath forgotten utterly 
liow to bestow her wonted times of discipline, wherein the public example of 
all was unto every particular person a most eflectual mean to put them often 
in mind, and even in a manner to draw them to that, which now we all quite 
and clean forget, as if penitency were no part of a Christian man's duty," 
Hooker, 1. c. 



understood the principles of their Church; still, God forbid that 
we shall judge that they had not partaken worthily and devo- 
tionally. 

Here again then is protection ; in either case, we have a com- 
mand of God, obeyed in such wise as is prescribed by the Minis- 
ters, whom He has made the Stewards of His Word and Sacra- 
ments ; and since we in these cases admit their regulation, why 
should we think it strange or incongruous, that they have given us 
their godly admonitions in another ordinance of God ? 

Nor is it to the undecided, or the timid, or the hesitating, or the 
novice only, that this protection is beneficial ; although no reflect- 
ing Christian will speak lightly of the value of any mean, which 
tends to strengthen the broken reed or to kindle anew the smoul- 
dering flax. The comparison of our own times with those of the 
Reformers were proof enough of the benefit of authoritative inter- 
position in these matters. Is human nature changed ? or have we 
discovered some more royal road, by which to arrive at the subju- 
gation of the body, the spiritualizing of the afl'ections ? or have we, 
even from, without, fewer temptations to luxury and self-in- 
dulgence ? or will not even the more pious and decided Christians 
among us confess, upon reflection, that they had probably been 
now more advanced, had they in this point adhered to the Ancient 
Discipline of our Church ? Our Reformers kept and enjoined one 
hundred and eight days in each year, either entirely or in part, 
to be in this manner sanctified ; two sevenths of each year they 
wished to be in some way separated by acts of self-denial and 
humiliation. Let any one consider what proportion of each year 
he has himself so consecrated, and whether, had he followed the 
ordinances of the Church, his spirit would not probably have 
been more chastened and lowly, more single in following even 
what he deems his duty, whether self would not have been more 
restrained, whether he would not have walked more humbly with 
his God. 

Yet authority is a valuable support against the world, even to 
minds who yet are not inclined to compromise with the world 
unlawfully. There are many situations in life, in which it were 
almost impossible to continue without observing a system of ha- 
bitual and regular Fasting, certainly not one, attended with those 



10 

accompaniments, which the Fathers of our Church thought it de- 
sirable to unite with it. It is true, that every Fast may be made 
a Feast, and every Feast a Fast, that as far as self-denial is con- 
cerned, if there be a stedfast purpose, the objects may perhaps be 
better accomplished in the midst of plenty and luxury, than by the 
purposed spareness of a private board ; it is possible also, that the 
acts might be in some measure concealed ; still there are very 
many minds, and those such as one would be the most anxious 
to protect, to whom the very suspicion that they might be 
observed, would be matter of pain and a species of profanation ; 
they would shrink from any thing which might be construed into 
Pharisaic abstinence, or which would seem to pretend to more 
than ordinary measures of Christian prudence. To such mild 
and unobstrusive spirits, the recommendation or direction of the 
Church is an invaluable support ; they may now adopt the line of 
conduct which they love, unimpeded by any scruple, lest their 
good should be evil spoken of; they are acting under authority ; 
they pretend to nothing more than the Founders of their Church 
have deemed expedient for every one ; their conduct involves no 
lofty pretensions ; they follow in simplicity and faithfulness an old 
and trodden track, which has been marked out for them as plain 
and safe. 

The first advantage then which may result from the autho- 
ritative interposition of the Church in regulating this duty, is the 
securing of greater regularity and more uniform perseverance in its 
performance ; not undoubtedly as in itself an end, but as leading 
to great and important ends ; for as those pious men, who laid so 
much stress thereon, themselves say, " when it respecteth a good 
end, it is a good work ; but the end being evil, the work is also 
evil." * " Fasting is not to be commended as a duty, but as an 
instrument ; and, in that sense, no man can reprove it, or under- 
value it, but he that knows neither spiritual acts, nor spiritual 
necessities.'*' 

But further, it is not even true, that all the purposes of Fasting 
can be attained by mere self-denial in the midst of luxury. For 
the acquisition of the habit of self-denial, although an important 

' First Part of the Homily on Fasting. 
•^ Bishop Taylor, Works, iv. 212. 



11 

object, is by no means the sole end of Fasting. ' The great pur- 
pose, in connection with which it is chiefly mentioned in Holy 
Scripture, is prayer. The influences of Society, rightly chosen, 
may dispose the mind to more fervent (possibly only more excited) 
prayer ; it is solitude generally, or communion with a single friend, 
which brings us to a humble, contrite, lowly, intercourse with our 
God. In the present day, the first paramount evil which destroys 
its tens of thousands, is probably self-indulgence ; the second, which 
hinders thousands in their progress heavenwards, is the being 
*' busy and careful about many things," whether temporal or spiri- 
tual. " We have kept the vineyards of our mother's children, but 
our own vineyards have we not kept." The tendency of the age is 
to activity, and we have caught its spirit ; if we be but active about 
our Master's calling we deem ourselves secure ; we think not, until 
we are precluded from active exertion, " how much activity belongs 
to some (ages and some) natures, and that this nature is often mis- 
taken for grace." 2 Meanwhile an activity, which leads us not 
inwards, has taken place of that tranquil retiring meditation on the 
things of the unseen world which formed the deep, absorbing, con- 
templative, piety of our forefathers ; even the conception of the 
joys of heaven, which very many of us form, is but a glorified 
transcript of our life here ; we look, when through God's mercy 
in Christ we shall be delivered from the burthen of the flesh, to 
be like the " Ministers of His, who do His pleasure;" but we look 
not, comparatively at least, to that which our Fathers longed for, to 

" Much hurt hath grown to the Church of God through a false imagination 
that Fasting standeth men in no stead for any spiritual respect, but. only to take 
down the frankness of nature, and to tame the wildness of the flesh. Where- 
upon the world being bold to surfeit, doth now blush to fast, supposing that 
men, when they fast, do rather bewray a disease, than exercise a virtue. I 
much wonder what they, who are thus persuaded, do think, what conceit they 
have, concerning the Fasts of the PaUiarchs, the Prophets, the Apostles, our 
Lord Jesus Christ himself." Hooker's Eccl. Pol. B. v. $. 72. 

" If the Church intends many good ends in the Canon, any one is suffi- 
cient to tie the law upon the conscience, because, for that one good end, it can 
be serviceable to the soul; and indeed Fasting is of that nature, that it can be 
a ministery of repentance by the aflliction, and it can be a help to prayer, by 
taking off the loads of flesh and a full stomach ; and it can be aptly ministerial 
to contemplation. Now, because every one is concerned in some one or more 
of these ends of Fasting, all people are included within the circles of the law, 
unless by some other means they be esempted." Bp. Taylor, Rule of Conscience, 
B iii. c. 4. rule 19. 

"^ A Fragment, written in illness, by the Rev, Richard Cecil. 



12 

be with Christ and to see Him as He is. Our age is in general 
too busy, too active, for deep and continued self-observation, or for 
thoughtful communion with our God. It would not be too broad 
or invidious a statement to say, that for real insight into the recesses 
of our nature, or for deep aspirations after God, we must for the 
most part turn to holy men of other days : our own furnish us 
chiefly with that which they have mainly cherished, a general ab- 
horrence of sin, they guide us not to trace it out in the lurking corners 
of our own hearts : they teach us to acknowledge generally the 
corruption of our nature, the necessity of a Redeemer, and the 
love we should feel towards Him ; but they lead us not to that indi- 
vidual and detailed knowledge of our own personal sinfulness, 
whence the real love of our Redeemer can alone flow. A religious 
repose and a thoughtful contemplation would be a second advan- 
tage of complying in this respect with the instructions of our 
Church.* 

Braced and strung by retirement into ourselves, and tranquil 
meditation upon God, we should return to our active duties with so 
much more eflftciency, as we ourselves had become holier, humbler, 
calmer, more abstracted from ourselves, more habituated to refer all 
things to God. Were human activity alone engaged on both sides, 
then might we the rather justify the prevailing notions of the day, 
that energy is to be met by counter-energy alone : but now, since 
" we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, 
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,'* 
it especially behoves us to look wherein our great strength lies, and 
to take heed that " the weapons of our warfare be not carnal." It 
is tempting to adopt into the service of God the weapons or the 
mode of warfare, which in the hands of His enemies we see to be 
efficacious ; but the faithful soldier of Christ must not go forth 
with weapons which he has not proved ; the Christian's armoury, 
as the Apostle continues to describe it, is mainly defensive ; and 



* '* It is best to accompany our Fasting with the retirements of reliinon and the 
enlargements of charity ; giving to others what we deny to ourselves." Bp. Tay- 
lor, Works, iii. 102. 

" Fasting, saith TertuUian, is an act of reverence towards God. The end 
thereof, sometimes elevation of mind ; sometimes the purpose thereof clean 
contrary. The reason why Moses in the Mount did so long fast, was mere 
divine speculation; the reason why David, humiliation." Hooker, 1. c. 



13 

when he has urged his brethren to assume it, he exhorts them to add 
that whereby alone it becomes effectual — a duty in which again we 
appear to ourselves to be inactive — " praying always with all 
prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with 
all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Fasting, retire- 
ment, and prayer, as they severally and unitedly tend to wean us 
from ourselves and cast us upon God, will tend to promote single- 
ness of purpose, to refine our busy and over-heated restlessness 
into a calm and subdued confidence in Him, in whose strength we 
go forth. Nor shall we until the day of judgment know how 
much of the victory was granted to those, who in man's sight took 
no share in the conflict ; how far the " unseen strength" of Fasting, 
humiliation, prayer, put forth by those of whom the world took no 
account, was allowed by God to prevail. The world saw only that 
the Apostle whom they had imprisoned, escaped their power ; they 
knew not that the prayer of the Church had baflrled their design. ' 
In the present conflict throughout the "world, in which the pride 
of human and Satanic strength seems put forth to the utmost, hu- 
mility and a chastened dependent spirit would seem to have an 
especial efficacy. On these, as the graces most opposed to the 
world's main sin, we might look the more cheerfully for God's 
blessing ; thus shall we at least be saved from augmenting the evil 
we would oppose. " Fasting directly advances towards chastity, 
and by consequence and indirect powers to patience, humility, 
and indifference. But then it is not the fast of a day that can do 
this ; it is not an act, but a state of fasting, that operates to 
mortification." ^ 

A third benefit, which might be hoped to result from the more 
assiduous practice of this duty, would be a more self-denying exten- 
sive charity. " Fasting without mercy, is but an image of famine ; 
Fasting without works of piety is only an occasion of covetous- 
ness;"3 and an Apostolic Father^ gives us this excellent instruc- 
tion, " A true Fast is not merely to keep under the body, but to 
give to the widow, or the poor, the amount of that which thou 

' Acts xii. 5. 

'^ Bp. Taylor, Works, iii. 97. 

3 Chrysologus Serm. 8. tie Jejun. ap. Bingham, Book xxi. c. 1. §. 18. 
* Hermas Pastor, Lib. iii. c. 3, p. 105. ed. Coteler. Fasting without alms- 
giving, says Augustine, is a lamp without oil. 



14 

woiildest have expended upon thyself ; that so he who receives it 
may pray to God for thee.*' 

It may perhaps seem strange to some that the present age should 
be thought wanting in self-denying charity. And yet let men but 
consider with themselves not what they give only, but what they 
retain ; let them enquire a little further, not only what wants are 
relieved, but what remediable misery remains unabated ; or let 
them but observe generally the glaring contrasts of extremcst luxury 
and softness, and pinching want and penury ; between their own 
cieled houses, and the houses of God which lie waste ; or let them 
only trace out one single item in the mass of human wretchedness, 
disease, insanity, religious ignorance, and picture to themselves 
what a Christian people might do, what the primitive Christians 
would have done to relieve it, — and then turn to what is done, to 
what themselves do, and say whether means to promote self-denying 
charity can well be spared. 

A further important object of the stated and frequent recurrence 
of the prescribed Fasts of our Church, is the pubhc recognition of 
the reality of things spiritual. Here also very many have felt, (and 
it is a feeling whose strength is daily increasing,) that some public 
protest is needed against the modes of acting, tolerated (would one 
must not say, reigning !) in our nominally Christian land : that the 
Church, or the body of believers, ought to have some recognized mode 
of distinguishing themselves from those, who manifest by their deeds, 
that although " amongst us, they are not of us ;" and who, on the 
principles of our Church, would have gone out or been removed 
from us. It has been with a right view of what the ideal of the 
Christian Church should be, its holiness, and its purity, although 
not, I must think, with a just conception of the nature of the 
Church, that men jealous for the honour of their God and their 
Redeemer, have in some measure formed Churches within the 
Church. The plan has, I think, been defective, sacred and praise- 
worthy as was the object contemplated. It is true, that the 
mere union in the celebration of the weekly festival of our Lord's 
Resurrection does not, as things now are, furnish a sufficient con- 
demnation of the maxims and offences of the world ; that the 
Church and the world are too much amalgamated ; that while the 
light of the Church has in part penetrated the gross darkness of the 



15 

world, tliere is yet danger, lest that light itself should be obscured. 
Yet the remedy for this, under God's blessing, is not to be sought 
in rescuing or concentrating some scattered rays of that Church, 
while the Church itself is abandoned to the world. The Ordinances 
of the Church itself afford the means of its own restoration. Not 
to speak of those ulterior and fearful powers, committed to it, (and 
which other communions exercise,) of ejecting from its bosom " the 
wicked person," the observance of its own other institutions would 
virtually eject them. Not indeed at once, (as indeed God Himself 
has thought fit to allow even His own Blessed Spirit but gradually 
to leaven our corrupted mass,) not at once, for at present, long con- 
tinuance in opposed habits would prevent many from receiving the 
Ordinances of the Church, but yet, one should trust, steadily and 
increasingly ; the mists which now encircle the Church, would 
disperse, and its glorious elevation on Zion's hill would more 
effectually be seen. Those, whom the easy Service of the Lord's 
Day repels not, who would fain serve God on the seventh day, and 
Mammon on the remaining six, would be brought to some test of 
what spirit they were ; and if the Church, like Him, who is its 
Head, and because joined to that Head, becomes a stone of stumb- 
hng, if some shall more openly fall back unto perdition, still it 
will have performed its office ; many, one may be sure, (for our 
assurance rests on God's Word,) would also be awakened from their 
lethargy of death ; and if it be to some a savor of death, it will, by 
God's mercy, be to many more a savor of life, unto hfe. Yet the result 
of any system, built upon God's Word, belongs not to us. Were the 
consequences of more Apostolic practice a great apparent defection 
and desolation, we dare not hesitate. " It must be made manifest 
that they are not all of us." Meanwhile a beacon will be held out 
to those, who would wish to see their path : the plea, that every 
shew of religion, which the world tolerates not, is the mere excess 
and badge of a party, could no longer be held ; those, who shrink 
from what might seem a voluntary or ostentatious forwardness, would 
no longer be deterred from uniting in observances, which, if autho- 
rized, they would love ; and there might again be no separation but 
between those who serve God, and those who serve Him not. The 
world has seen that its own principles are leading to its own destruc- 
tion ; it acknowledges that its increased laxity has fearfully increased 



16 

its corruption ; offences, which even it abhors, are multiplied ; vices, 
which disturb even its peace, stalk more openly ; yet while it reaps 
the bitter fruits of its own ways, it dares not strike the root. 

The Fasts, appointed by our Church, appear eminently calculated, 
not in truth as a panacea of all evil, but as one decided protest 
against the '* corruption which is in the world by lust,*' as one 
testimony to the conviction of men of the reality of tilings eternal. 

Men may " fast for strife and to smite with the fist of wicked- 
ness," as they may also " for pretence make long prayers ;" yet 
will not men, in general, submit to inconvenience and privation, 
except for a real and substantial object ; the world has easier paths 
for its followers : he, who suffers hardship for an unseen reward, at 
least gives evidence to the world of the sincerity and rooted ness of 
his own conviction ; he attests that he is a pilgrim journeying to a 
better country, and however men may for a while neglect his testi- 
mony, it cannot be silenced. 

Such are some of the advantages, which a recurrence to the 
system of our Church in respect of Fasting might, in dependance upon 
God's blessing, tend to realize : a more uniform, namely, and regular 
observance of an injunction of our Blessed Saviour ; a deeper humi- 
liation, and a more chastened spirit in carrying on His will ; a more 
thorough insight into ourselves, and a closer communion with our 
God ; a more resolute and consistent practice of self-denying charity ; 
a more lively realizing of things spiritual ; a warning to the world of 
God's truth and its own peril. I have spoken with reference to 
prevailing habits and general character only, partly because they 
are these habits which the regulations of a Church must mainly 
contemplate ; ' in part also, because, in whatever degree, they will 
probably form a portion of our own. The evil or defective character 
of any period is not formed by, nor will it exist in, those only who 
are evil ; it encompasses us, is within us ; we also contribute in our 
degree to foster and promote it ; nay, it is from us probably that it 
receives its main countenance and support. Our own standard is 
insensibly lowered by the evil, with which we are environed. A 
self-indulgent age is not a favourable atmosphere for the growth 

I •• We must observe all thai care in public Fasts, which we do in private; 
knowing that our private ends arc included in the public, as our persons are in 
the communion of saints, and our hopes in the common inheritance of sons." 
bishop Taylor, Works, iv. 103. 




17 

of self-denial ; nor an age of busy and self-dependant activity for 
that of a calm and abiding practical recognition, that every thing 
is in God's hands ; nor a period absorbed in the things of sense for 
thoughtful meditation on things eternal. The predominant evils 
will indeed appear in the Christian in a subdued form ; yet whether 
the temptation be to an unconscious compliance with them, or un- 
wittingly to oppose evil with evil, the danger lies nearer here than 
in any other part of duty. And if the salt in any wise lose its 
savour, wherewith shall the self-corrupting world be preserved ^ 
wherewith the salt itself be salted ? 

The benefits above named are such as depend on the encreased 
degree of Fasting, exercised in compliance with the directions of 
the Church, independantly of the consideration of the days or 
seasons selected for that purpose. The results to be anticipated 
from a more general adherence to these rules appear, however, to 
be heightened by that selection. The general objects of the 
Church were, 1. to impress upon the mind and life the memory of 
her Saviour's sufferings ; 2. to prepare the mind for different so- 
lemn occasions, which recur in her yearly service. The first, or 
the Friday Fast, as above stated, was universally adopted in the 
early Church, and in all probability was coeval with the Apostles ; 
it was continued uninterruptedly, alike in the Eastern and the 
"Western Church, and preserved in our owti, through the respect 
which she bore to primitive antiquity, and the experience of the 
elder Church. It was perhaps at the first adopted, as the natural 
expression of sorrow for the loss of their Lord and for His bitter 
sufferings. With this would soon connect itself, almost to the ex- 
clusion of the former, sorrow for the sins, which caused those suf- 
ferings. " We do not fast," ' says Chrysostom, " for the Passion 
or the Cross, but for our sins ; — the Passion is not the occasion 
of fasting or mourning, but of joy and exultation. — We mourn not 
for that, God forbid, but for our sins, and therefore we fast." As 
then the Lord's day was the weekly festival of their Saviour's re- 
surrection, a weekly memorial of our rising again, in Him and 
through Him, to a new and real life ; so was the Friday's fast a 

^ Ap. Bingham, b. xxi. c. 1. $. 14. Chrysostom is there speaking of the 
nt Fast, but the application is the same. 

a2 



18 

weekly memorial of the death to sin, which all Christians had in 
their Saviour died, and which, if they would live with Him, they 
must continually die. Thus each revolving week was a sort of re- 
presentation of that great week, in which man's redemption was 
completed ; the Church never lost sight of her Saviour's suffer- 
ings ; each week was hallowed by a return of the " good Friday." ' 
One need scarcely insist upon the tendency of such a system deeply 
to impress on men's hearts the doctrine of the Atonement, by thus 
incorporating it into their ordinary lives, and making them by their 
actions confess this truth. In the early Church its efficacy was 
probably increased by the accession of the Fast of the Wednesday, 
or fourth day of the week ; so that no portion of the week was 
without some memorial of the Saviour of the Church. There is 
however another object, which, although not originally contem- 
plated, was in fact attained by this institution, the holier celebra- 
tion, namely, of our most solemn day, that of our Saviour's death. 
Most Christians, probably, who have endeavoured to realize to 
themselves the events of that day, have been painfully disappointed 
in so doing ; instead of 

" Touching the heart with softer power 
For comfort than an angel's mirth," 

it has been to them an oppressive day ; its tremendous truths over- 
whelmed rather than consoled ; it was so unlike all other days, 
that the mind was confounded by its very greatness ; it seemed 
unnatural to do any thing, which one would do even on any other 
holy day, and the heart was equally unsatisfied with what it did 
or did not do. Something of this kind has taken place in very 
many minds ; and the reason probably was, that the solemnity of 
that day was too insulated ; that, (if one may use the expression,) 

» •' Forasmuch as Christ hath foresignified that when Himself should be taken 
from them, His absence would soon make then> apt to fast, it seemed that even 
as the first Festival Day appointed to be kept of the Church was the day of our 
Lord's return from the dead, so the first sorrowful and mournful day was that 
which we now observe, in memory of His departure out of this world. It came 
afterwards to be an order, that even as the day of Christ's resurrection, so the 
other two, in memory of his death and burial, were weekly. The Churches 
which did not observe the Saturday's fast, had another instead thereof, for that 
when they judged it meet to have weekly a day of humiliation, besides that 
whereon our Saviour suflTered death, it seemed best to make their choice of that 
day especially, whereon the Jews are thought to have first contrived their treason 
together with Judas against Chiisi." Hooker, 1. c. 



19 

it was out of keeping with the religious habits of the rest of the 
year.' This then the weekly Fast and solemn recollection recom- 
mended by the Church are calculated to remedy ; as indeed, had 
they been observed, these feelings would never have found place. 
In whatever degree its advice is adhered to, Good Friday becomes 
a day of more chastened, and yet, probably, of intenser feeling ; 
it is connected with a train of the like emotions, affections, and 
resolves ; insulated no longer, but the holiest only among the holy. 
" Neither in moral or religious, more than in physical and civil 
matters," says a very acute observer of human nature, "do people 
willingly do any thing suddenly or upon the instant ; they need a 
succession of the like actions, whereby a habit may be formed ; 
the things which they are to love, or to perform, they cannot con- 
ceive as insulated and detached : whatever we are to repeat with 
satisfaction, must not have become foreign to us."* The prin- 

1 Goethe aus meinem Leben, torn. ii. p. 179. The author is there lament- 
ing '• the nakedness which, Jeremy Taylor says, the excellent men of our sister 
Churches complained to be among themselves," and which our own happily 
avoided. In the contrast there drawn, it is not a little remarkable to see, that 
the doctrine of Apostolical Succession which has of late been by some regarded 
as cold and unpractical, is put forward as that which gives tchthe Romish Sa- 
craments a warmth, which the Lutheran Church does not possess. He sums 
up thus; " All these spiritual miracles spring not, like other fruits, from the 
natural soil; there can they neither be sown, nor planted, nor nurtured. 
One must obtain them by prayer from another country ; and this cannot every 
one do, nor at all times. Here then we are met by the highest of these symbols 
derived from an old venerable tradition. We hear that one man can be fa- 
voured, blessed, consecrated from above more than others. Yet, in order that 
this may appear no mere natural gift, this high favour, united as it is with a 
weight of duty, must be transmitted from one commissioned individual to an- 
other ; and the greatest good which man can attain, and yet cannot possess 
himself of by any exertions or power of his own, must be preserved and perpe- 
tuated upon earth by a spiritual inheritance. Nay, in the consecration of the 
Priest, every thing is united, which is necessary for eflectually joining in those 
other holy ordinances, whereby the mass of Believers is benefitted, without their 
having any other active share therein, than that of Faith and unconditional con- 
fidence. And thus the Priest is enrolled in the succession of those who have 
preceded or shall come after him, and in the circle of those anointed to the same 
office, to represent Hira, from whom all blessings flow ; and that the more glo- 
riously, because it is not Himself whom we respect, but His office; it is not 
before His bidding that we bow the knee, but before the benediction which he im- 
parts, and which seems the more sacred, the more immediately derived from 
Heaven, because the earthly instrument cannot, by any sinfulness or viciousness 
of his own, weaken it, or render it powerless." The author manifestly speaks 
of the value of the Sacraments, with the feelings with which a spectator might 
be inspired, but still as one, in whom great powers of observation could supply 
every thing but the warmth of actual experience. 



20 

ciple is of important application in the whole range of our duties ; 
nor could it be too often repeated, in warning, " that what is not 
practised frequently, can never be performed with delight.** We 
are sensible of the value of habits in moral action, and are not 
surprised that one, who makes only desultory efforts, should never 
succeed in acquiring any habit ; we feel it in some degree in our 
public worship of God, and think it natural that one who does not 
diligently avail himself of all his opportunities of attending it, 
should join in it but coldly and lifelessly ; it is strange to him, and 
therefore at best a stiff and austere service : and yet, in other mat- 
ters, we act in defiance of this maxim ; we have allowed our Fasts 
to become rare, and therefore it has come to pass, that so many 
never fast at all ; our holy days have passed for the most part into 
neglect, and therefore the few that remain excite but little com- 
parative feeling ; our daily service is well nigh disused, and there- 
fore our weekly is so much neglected ; we have diminished the 
frequency of our communions, and therefore so many are strangers 
to the Lord's Table, so many formal partakers. Not so the Apos- 
tles, nor the Primitive Church, nor our own in its Principles, or in 
its most Apostolic days : they knew human nature better ; or, ra- 
ther, acting from their own experience and self-knowledge, they 
ordained what was healthful for men of like nature with them- 
selves ; what was a duty at any period of the year, must needs be 
performed throughout ; each portion had its Festivals and its Fasts, 
and the varying circle formed one harmonious whole of Christian 
humiliation and Christian joy. » 

The Church was in those days consistent ; its ministers derived 
their commission not of man, but of God, who called them in- 
wardly by His Spirit, and outwardly through those to whom, 
through his Apostles, He had delegated this high office. The ad- 
mission into Holy Orders was no mere outward consecration or 
ceremony, but an imparting of God's Spirit to those who were se- 
parated to this work through the prayers of the congregation, and 
the delegated authority of the Bishop. Christian edification was 
not left to each man's private judgment, but each was taught by 

• " We are more apt to Calendar Saints' than sinners' days, therefore there 
is in the Church a care not to iterate the one alone, but to have frequent repe- 
tition oi the other." Ilookrr, I.e. 



21 

those who had authority and experience, what was fgood and ex- 
pedient for his soul's health. We also have been in these days 
becoming consistent ; if we fast, we fast for ourselves ; if we keep 
a holy day, or select a portion of the weekly service, it is because 
we of our own minds deem it convenient ; we have become in all 
things the judges of the Church, instead of reverently obeyino- 
what has been recommended to us ; we judge beforehand what 
will be useful to us, instead of ascertaining by experience whether 
that recommended by elder Christians be not so. 

Yet I would fain hope that there will not long be this variance 
between our principles and our practice ; but that, instead of exa- 
mining what is the present practice of any portion of our Church, 
and enquiring how this may be amended, men would first investi- 
gate, in the Canons and the Rubrics,' what the real mind of the 
Church is, and see whether adherence to these would not remove 
the regretted defect. 

One only objection can, I think, be raised by any earnest- 
minded Christian to this weekly Fast, namely, that the means em- 
ployed, mere self-denial in so slight a matter as one's food, is so 
petty and trifling a thing, that it were degrading the doctrine of the 
Cross to make such an observance in any way bear upon it. One 
respects the feelings of such a person and his love for the Cross ; 
but the objection probably proceeds from inexperience in the habit 
of Fasting. For let any one consider from his childhood upwards 
by what the greater part of his habits have been formed and by 
what they are continued : not by any great acts or great sacrifices, 
(as far as any thing might be relatively great,) but by a succession 
of petty actions, whose effect he could not at the time foresee, or 
thought too minute to leave any trace behind them, and which 
have in fact, whether for good or for evil, made him what he is. 
Practice will universally shew, that the motive ennobles the action, 
not that the action dishonours the motive. " True it is," says 
Bishop Taylor, ' " that religion snatches even at little things ; and 
as it teaches us to observe all the great commandments and signifi- 



* Iq respect to the ordinance of Fasting, it might contribute to regularity, if 
Clergymen were to observe the direction of their Church as contained in the 
Rubric after the Nicene Creed. 

' Life and Death of the Holy Jesus, Works, t. iii. p. 96. Of Fasting. 



22 

cations of duty, so it is not willing tj^ pretermit any thing, which, 
although by its greatness it cannot of itself be considerable, yet by 
its smallness it may become a testimony of the greatness of the 
affection, which would not omit the least minutes of love and 
duty." He who pronounced a blessing upon the gift of a 
cup of cold water to a disciple in His name, will also bless 
any act of sincere self-denial practised in memory of Him. 
Only let us not mock God, let us deny ourselves in something 
which is to us really self-denial ; let us, in whatever degree we 
may be able to bear it without diminishing our own usefulness, 
put ourselves to some inconvenience, in sorrow and shame for 
those sins, " the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and 
the pride of life," which made our Saviour a man of sorrows, and 
exposed him to shame, and we shall not afterwards think the prac- 
tice degrading to Him, or without meaning. The Fast of the early 
Christians during Lent was an entire abstinence until evening, 
on the Friday, until three o'clock ; unused as we for the most part 
are to any such discipline, many of us would at the first not be 
well able to endure it ; at all events its introduction had best be 
gradual : the Church has left the mode of observing her Fasts free 
to the conscience of each, only let them consist in real self-denial, 
and be accompanied by charity and prayer. 

The early Church acted, as it supposed, upon our Blessed Sa- 
viour's own authority, in connecting these acts of bodily absti- 
nence with the memory of His death. The Bridegroom was taken 
away ! Yet if any one should find in himself any abiding repug- 
nance to associate matters, necessarily humiliating, with the doc- 
trine of the Cross, let him not endeavour to force his feelings ; the 
Church wished to lay no yoke upon her members ; let him perform 
the acts in mere compliance with the advice of the Church, and 
the experience of elder Christians ; when he shall have attained 
the habit of self-denial and self-humiliation, the doctrine of the 
Cross will, without effort, connect itself with each such perform- 
ance. 

The other Fasts of the Church require the less to be dwelt upon, 
either because, as in Lent, her authority is yet in some degree 
recognized, although it be very imperfectly and capriciously 
obeyed ; or, as in the case of the Ember Weeks, the practice has 



23 

direct scriptural authority ; or in that of the other Festivals, 
because when we shall again value the privilege of having the 
blessed examples of Martyrs and Saints set before us to 

Remind us, how our darksome clay 

May keep the ethereal warmth our new Creator brought; 

we shall feel also the advantage of ushering in each such day by 
actions which may remind us how they entered into their glory, by 
taking up their Saviour's cross and following Him. ^ 

Only with regard to the Ember Weeks, it may be permitted 
to observe, how this institution yet more fully embraces the 
objects which some good men are endeavouring, by voluntary 
association, to attain. For the solemn period of the four Ember 
Weeks is obviously calculated for prayer, not for those only who 
are to be ordained to any holy function, but for all who shall have 
been so called, that God " would so replenish them with the truth 
of this doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they 
may faithfully serve Him;" and thus, not only some few indivi- 
duals, more nearly known to each other, but all the Ministers and 
all the people of Christ should, with one mind and one mouth, 
implore a blessing upon the Ministry, which He has appointed. 

And this also is an especial privilege of the whole public Fasting 
of our Church, beyond the voluntary discipline adopted by indi- 
viduals, that it presents the whole Church unitedly before God, 
humbling themselves for their past sins, and imploring Him not 
to give His heritage to reproach. The value of this united humi- 
liation and prayer God only knoweth ; yet, since He hath promised 
to be present where two or three are gathered together in His name, 
how much more when His Church shall again unite before Him 
" in weeping, fasting, and praying ;" how much more shall he 
spare, though we deserve punishment, and in His wrath think 
upon mercy. He who spared the Ninevites, how much more 
may we trust that He will spare us, for whom He has given His 
well-beloved Son. 

I The only case in which the preparatory Fast is omitted (besides those 
already alluded to, pp. 1, 2.), is the Festival of St. Michael and all Angels, 
in which this ground for the Fast also ceases. See VVheatley. 



24 

** Let us, therefore, dearly beloved, seeing there are many more 
causes of fasting and mourning in these our days, than hath been 
of many years heretofore in any one age, endeavour ourselves both 
inwardly in our hearts, and also outwardly with our bodies, dihgently 
to exercise this godly exercise of fasting, in such sort and manner, 
as the holy prophets, the apostles, and divers other devout persons 
for their time used the same. God is now the same God that he 
was then ; God that loveth righteousness, and that hateth ini- 
quity ; God which willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather 
that he turn from his wickedness and live ; God that hath promised 
to turn to us, if we refuse not to turn to him : yea, if we turn our 
evil works from before his eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well, 
seek to do right, relieve the oppressed, be a right judge to the 
fatherless, defend the widow, break our bread to the hungry, 
bring the poor that wander into our house, clothe the naked, and 
despise not our brother which is our own flesh ; Then shah thou 
call, saith the prophet, and the Lord shall answer ; thou shalt cry, 
and he shall say. Here am I : yea, God, which heard Ahab, and 
the Ninevites, and spared them, will also hear our prayers, and 
spare us, so that we, after their example, will unfeignedly turn 
unto him : yea, he will bless us with his heavenly benedictions, 
the time that we have to tarry in this world, and, after the race of 
this mortal hfe, he will bring us to his heavenly kingdom, where 
we shall reign in everlasting blessedness with our saviour Christ, 
to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be all honour and 
glory, for ever and ever. Amen." Homily on Fasting, part 2. 

" Lord have mercy upon us, and give us grace, that while we 
live in this miserable world, we may through thy help bring forth 
this and such other fruits of the Spirit, commended and com- 
manded in thy holy word, to the glory of thy name, and to our 
comforts, that, after the race of this wretched life, we may live 
everlastingly with thee in thy heavenly kingdom, not for the merits 
and worthiness of our works, but for thy mercies sake, and the 
merits of thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and tlie 
Holy Ghost, be all laud, honour, and glory, for ever and ever. 
Amen." Homily on Fasting, part 1. 



25 



POSTSCRIPT. 



In the preceding remarks, the observance of the Fasts enjoined 
by the Church has been recommended on the ground of the 
practical wisdom and spiritual experience of the Holy Men, by 
whose advice they were adopted, rather than on that of the direct 
authority of the Church. And this has been done, not because the 
writer doubted of the validity of that authority in this instance, but 
because it involved a question, which would to many appear distant 
and abstract ; whether, namely, the Church's Laws on this subject 
were by long disuse virtually abrogated. For I am persuaded 
that many excellent men, who would shrink from contravening 
a distinct command of their Church, do in fact neglect these, 
from some notion that the Church herself has tacitly abandoned 
them. This notion does indeed appear to me to rest on a wrong 
supposition. 

For, 1st. Since the Church has not annexed any censures to 
the neo-lect of this Ordinance, (which may correspond to the penal 
provisions of a civil law,) the mere silence of the Church, or of 
her Spiritual Authorities, is no proof of her acquiescence in the 
breach of its directions. 

2. It would be admitted in any other case, that the mere multi- 
tude of those who broke any law, did not alone abrogate that law ; 
that the intrinsic sanctity of the law cannot depend upon the 
obedience which men may yield to it ; that the laxity or remiss- 
ness of men, at one period, cannot annihilate the authority by 
which that remissness was to be controlled. The disobedience of 
others, be they many or few, nay, though they should be even the 
majority, can have no force in absolving us from the law by 
which we are in common bound. It is true that observances, 
which the Church has at one time on her own authority ordained, 
she may at another abrogate ; yet, until she do this, it is to be 
presumed that she wishes them to be retained in force. And it 



26 

has already happened, that ordinances have for a time fallen into 
disuse, which yet were never intended to be abrogated, and which 
afterwards have been very beneficially revived. It is within the 
memory of man, that the yearly Commemoration of our Blessed 
Saviour's death was in country congregations very generally 
omitted. This is now, I trust, almost universally observed ; nor 
is there any apparent reason, why this other ordinance of the 
Church, whereby we humble ourselves for the sins which caused 
that Death, should not, if men once came seriously to consider it, 
be promptly, and with very wholesome results, restored. I doubt 
not, that if the question were formally proposed to the Spiritual 
Authorities of our Church, whether they would think it adviseable 
that our stated Fasts should be abolished, they would earnestly 
deprecate it. Their silence therefore on this subject is rather to 
be ascribed to the supposed hopelessness of attempting to bind 
our modern manners to Ancient Discipline, than to any dispaiage- 
ment of the institutions themselves. Our institutions in many 
cases sleep, but are not dead ; nay, one has reason to hope, that 
although the many negleci them, a faithful few have ever been 
found, who have experienced and could testify the value of those, 
which the world seems most entirely to neglect. 

Yet, although these grounds of Church avithority appear to 
myself perfectly vaUd, and I doubt not that many others will feel 
their weight, as soon as they shall reflect upon them, the other 
argument, drawn from the practical wisdom and experience of the 
enacters of these regulations, seems to lie nearer to men's con- 
sciences. The argument lies in a narrow compass. Regular and 
stated Fasts formed a part of the DiscipHne, by which all Christians 
of old, (if health permitted,) subdued the fiesh to the spirit, and 
brought both body and mind into a willing obedience to the Law 
of God. They thought this DiscipHne necessary as an expression 
and instrument of repentance, as a memorial of their Saviour, 
to " refrain their souls and keep them low," to teach them to 
** trust in the Lord," and seek communion vnth Him. The value 
of this remedy for sin has come to us attested by the experience, 
and sealed by the blood of Martyrs ; who having learnt thus to en- 
dure hardships, like good soldiers of Christ, at last resisted to the 
blood, striving against sin. Shall we untried pronounce that to 



27 

be needless for ourselves, which the Goodly Company of the Pro- 
phets, the Noble Army of Martyrs, the Holy Church throughout all 
the world, found needful ? 

I can hardly anticipate other than one answer. Only let not 
any one be deterred by the irksomeness, or perplexities, or ha- 
rassing doubts, which every one must find in resuming a neglected 
portion of duty. It were scarcely a discipline, if its practice 
brought with it an immediate reward ; and we have besides to pay 
the penalty of our sloth and diseased habits. " Patiently to lack 
what flesh and blood doth desire, and by virtue to forbear what by 
nature we covet, this no man attaineth unto, but with labour and 
long practice."* And if it be that blessed instrument of holiness, 
which they who have tried it assure us, it will not be without some 
struggle with our spiritual enemy, that we shall recover the ground 
which we have lost. Only let us persevere, not elated with the 
first petty victories over ourselves, which may be perhaps conceded 
to us, in order to produce over-confidence and carelessness ; nor 
dejected by the obstacles which a luxurious and scoffing age may 
oppose ; nor by the yet greater difficulties from within, in acquir- 
ing any uniform or consistent habit. Men, aided by God, have 
done the like ; and for us also, His grace will be sufficient. 

OXFOED. E. B. P. 

The Feast of St. Thomas. 

' Hooker, 1. c. 



'X^ These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, No. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, lid. the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



KINO, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENT S, OXFORD, 



Dee. 23, 1833.] i-^o. 19. 



ON ARGUING CONCERNING THE APOSTOLICAL 
SUCCESSION. 



Men are sometimes disappointed with the proofs offered in be- 
half of some important doctrines of our rehgion ; such especially 
as the necessity of Episcopal Ordination, in order to constitute a 
Minister of Christ. They consider these proofs to be not so strong 
as they expected, or as they think desirable. Now such persons 
should be asked, whether these arguments they speak of are in 
their estimation weak as a guide to their own practice, or weak in 
controversy with hardheaded and subtle disputants. Surely, as 
Bishop Butler has convincingly shown, the faintest probabilities 
are strong'^enough to determine our conduct in a matter of duty. 
If there be but a reasonable hkehhood of our pleasing Christ more 
by keeping than by not keeping to the fellowship of the Apostolic 
Ministry, this of course ought to be enough to lead those, who 
think themselves moved to undertake the Sacred Office, to seek 
for a licence to do so from it. 

It is necessary to keep this truth distinctly in view, because of 
the great temptation, that exists among us, to put it out of sight. I 
do not mean the temptation, which results from pride, — hardness 
of heart, — a profane disregard of the details and lesser command- 
ments of the Divine Law, — and other such like bad principles of our 
nature, which are in the way of our honestly confessing it. 
Besides these, there is a still more subtle temptation to slight it, 
which will bear insisting on here, arising from an over-desire to 
convince others, or, in other words, a desire to out-argue others, a 
fear of seeming inconclusive and confused in our own notions and 
arguments. Nothing, certainly, is more natural, when we hold a 
truth strongly, than to wish to persuade others to embrace it also. 
Nay, without reference to persuasion, nothing is more natural than 



to be dissatisfied in all cases with our own convictions of a prin- 
ciple or opinion, nay suspicious of it, till we are able to set it down 
clearly in words. We know, that, in all matters of thought, to 
write down our meaning is one important means of clearing our 
minds. Till we do so, we often do not know what we really hold 
and what we do not hold. And a cautious and accurate reasoner, 
when he has succeeded in bringing the truth of any subject home 
to his mind, next begins to look round about the view he has 
adopted, to consider what others will say to it, and to try to make 
it unexceptionable. At least we are led thus to fortify our opinion, 
when it is actually attacked ; and if we find we cannot recommend 
it to the judgment of the assailant, at any rate we endeavour to 
make him feel that it is to be respected. It is painful to be thought 
a weak reasoner, even though we are sure in our minds that we 
are not such. 

Now, observe how these feelings will affect us, as regards such 
arguments as were alluded to above ; viz. such as are open to ex- 
ception, though they are sufficiently strong to determine our con- 
duct. A friend, who differs from us, asks for our reasons for our 
own view. We state them, and he sifts them. He observes, that 
our conclusions do not necessarily follow from our premisses. E. g, 
to take the argument for the Apostolical Succession derived from 
the ordination of St. Paul and St. Barnabas, (Acts xiii. 2, 3.), he 
will argue, that their ordination might have been an accidental 
rite, intended merely to commission them for their Missionary 
journey, which followed it, in Asia Minor ; again, that St. Paul's 
direction to Timothy (1 Tim. v. 22.), to " lay hands suddenly on 
no man," may refer to confirmation, not ordination. 

We should reply, (and most reasonably too,) that, considering 
the undeniable fact that ordination has ever been thought neces- 
sary in the Church for the Ministerial Commission, our inter- 
pretation is the most probable one, and therefore the safest to 
act upon ; on which our friend will think awhile, then shake his 
head, and say, that " at all events this is an unsatisfactory mode 
of reasoning, that it does not convince him, that he is desirous of 
clearer light, &c." 

Now what is the consequence of such a discussion as this on 
ourselves ? not to make us give up the doctrine, but to make us 



afraid of urging it. We grow lukewarm about it ; and, with an 
appearance of judgment and caution, (as the world will call it,) 
confess that " to rest the claims of our Clergy on an Apostolical 
Descent is an unsafe and inexpedient line of argument ; that it will 
not convince men, the evidence not being sufficient ; that it is not 
a practical way of acting to insist upon it, &c." — whereas the 
utmost that need be admitted, is, that it is out of place to make it 
the subject of a speculative dispute, and to argue about it on that 
abstract logical platform which virtually excludes a reference to 
conduct and duty. And indeed, it would be no unwise caution to 
bear about us, wherever we go, that our first business, as Chris- 
tians, is to address men as responsible servants of Christ, not as 
antagonists ; and that it is but a secondary duty, (though a duty,) 
to " refute the gainsayers." 

And, as on the one hand it continually happens, that those who 
are most skilled in debate are deficient in sound practical piety, so 
on the other it may be profitable to us to reflect, that doctrines, 
which we believe to be most true, and which are received as such by 
the most profound and enlarged intellects, and which rest upon the 
most irrefragable proofs, yet may be above our disputative powers, 
and can be treated by us only with reference to our conduct. And 
in this way, as in others, is fulfilled the saying of the Apostle, that 
** the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness ; 
but unto us, who are saved, it is the power of God . . . Where is 
the wise ? where is the scribe ? where is the disputer of this 
world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ? . . . 
The foolishness of God is wiser than men ; and the weakness of 
God is stronger than men.*' 



ON RELUCTANCE TO CONFESS THE 
APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION. 



If a Clergyman is quite convinced that the Apostolical Succession 
is lost, then of course he is at liberty to turn his mind from the 
subject. But if he is not quite sure of this, it surely is his duty 
seriously to examine the question, and to make up his mind care- 
fully and deliberately. For if there be a chance of its being pre- 
served to us, there is a chance of his having had a momentous talent 
committed to him, which he is burying in the earth. 

It cannot be supposed that any serious man would treat the sub- 
ject scoffingly. If any one is tempted to do so, let him remember 
the fearful words of the Apostle. " Esau, a profane person, who 
for one morsel of meat, sold his birthright." 

If any are afraid, that to insist on their commission will bring 
upon them ridicule, and diminish their usefulness, let them ask 
themselves, whether it be not cowardice to refuse to leave the event 
to God. It was the reproach of the men of Ephraim that, though 
they were " harnessed and carried bows,'* they " turned themselves 
back in the day of battle." 

And if any there be, who take upon them to contrast one doc- 
trine of the Gospel with another, and preach those only which 
they consider the more essential, let them consider our Saviour's 
words, " These things ought ye to have done, and not to leave the 
other undone." 



0::^* These Tracts may he had at TuRRihVSy Xo. 250, Regent 
Street, London, 



W. KINO, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENT 8, OXFORD. 



Dec. 24, 1833.] I^o 20. 

THE VISIBXE CHURCH. 



LEirEKS TO A FRIEND. 

No. in. 

MY DEAR 

You have some misgivings, it seems, lest the doc- 
trine I have been advocating " should lead to Popery." I will not, 
by way of answer, say, that the question is not, whether it will lead 
to Popery, but whether it is in the Bible ; because it would bring 
the Bible and Popery into one sentence, and seem to imply the 
possibihty of a "communion" between "light and darkness.'* 
No ; it is the very enmity I feel against the Papistical corruptions 
of the Blessed Gospel, which leads me to press upon you a doc- 
trine of Scripture, which we are sinfully surrendering, and the 
Church of Rome has faithfully retained. 

How comes it that a system, so unscriptural as the Popish, makes 
converts ? because it has in it an element of truth and comfort 
amid its falsehoods. And the true way of opposing it is, not to 
give up to them that element, which God's providence has pre- 
served to us also, thus basely surrendering '* the inheritance of our 
Fathers," but to claim it as our own, and to make use of it for 
the purposes for which God has given it to us. I will explain 
what I mean. 

Before Christ came. Divine Truth was, as it were, a pilgrim in 
the world. The Jews excepted, men who had portions of the 
Spirit of God, knew not their privilege. The whole force and 
current of the external world was against them, acting powerfully 
on their imagination, and tempting them to set sight against faith, 
to trust the many witnesses who prophesied falsehood (as if) in 
the name of the Lord, rather than the still small voice which spoke 
within them. Who can undervahie the power of this fascination, 
who has had experience of the world ever so little ? Who can go 
at this day into mixed society, who can engage in politics or other 
active business, but finds himself gradually drifting off from the 
true Rock on which his faith is built, till he begins in despair to 
fancy, that solitude is the only safe place for the Christian, or, 
(with a baser judgment,) that strict obedience will not be required 
at the last day of those who have been engaged in active life ? If 
such is now the power of the world's enchantments, surely much 
greater was it before our Saviour came. 

Now what did He do for us, in order to meet this evil? His 



merciful Providence chose means which might act as a counter 
influence on the imagination. The visible power of the world 
enthralled men to a lie ; He set up a Visible Church, to witness 
the other way, to witness for Him, to be a matter of fact, as unde- 
niable as the shining of the sun, that there was such a principle 
as conscience in the world, as faith, as fear of God ; that there 
were men who considered themselves bound to live as His servants. 
The common answer which we hear made every day to persons 
who engage in any novel undertaking, is, " You will get no one 
to join you ; nothing can come of it ; you are singular in your 
opinion; you do not take practical views, but are smit with a 
fancy, with a dream of former times," &c. How cheering is it to 
a person so circumstanced, to be able to point to others elsewhere, 
who actually hold the same opinions as himself, and exert them- 
selves for the same objects ! Why ? because it is an appeal to a 
fact, which no one can deny ; it is an evidence that the view 
which influences him is something external to his own mind, 
and not a dream. What two persons see, cannot be an ideal ap- 
parition. Men are governed by such facts, much more than by ar- 
gumentative proof. These act upon the imagination. Let a person 
be told ten times over that an opinion is true, theyac^ of its being 
said becomes an argument for the truth of it ; i. e. it is so with 
most men. We see from time to time the operation of this prin- 
ciple of our nature in political matters. Our American colonies 
revolt ; France feels the sympathy of the event, and is revolu- 
tionized. Again, in the same colonies, the Episcopal Church flou- 
rishes ; we Churchmen at home hail it as an omen of the Church's 
permanence among ourselves. On the other hand, what can be 
more dispiriting than to find a cause, which we advocate, sinking 
in some other country or neighbourhood, though there be no reason 
for concluding, that, because it has fallen elsewhere, therefore it 
will among ourselves. In order then to supply this need of our 
minds, to satisfy tlie imagination, and so to help our faith, for this 
among other reasons Christ set up a visible Society, His Church, 
to be as a light upon a hill, to all the ends of the earth, while time 
endures. It is a witness of the unseen world ; a pledge of it ; and 
a prefiguration of what hereafter will take place. It prefigures the 
ultimate separation of good and bad, holds up the great laws of 
God's Moral Governance, and preaches the blessed truths of the 
Gospel. It pledges to us the promises of the next world, for it is 
something (so to say) in hand ; Christ has done one work as the 
earnest of another. And it witnesses the truth to the whole world ; 
awing sinners, while it enspirits the fainting believer. And in all 
these ways it helps forward the world to come ; and further, as 



the keeper of the Sacraments, it is an essential means of the reaUz- 
ing it at present in our fallen race. Nor is it much to the purpose, 
as regards our duty towards it, what are the feelings and spiritual 
state of the individuals who are its officers. True it is, were the 
Church to teach heretical doctrine, it might become incumbent on 
us (a miserable obligation !) to separate from it. But, while it 
teaches substantially the Truth, we ought to look upon it as one 
whole, one ordinance of God, not as composed of individuals, but 
as a House of God's building ; — as an instrument in His hand, to 
be used and reverenced for the sake of its Maker. 

Now the Papists have retained it ; and so they have the advan- 
tage of possessing an instrument, which is, in the first place, suited 
to the needs of human nature ; and next, is a special gift of Christ, 
and so has a blessing with it. Accordingly we see that in its 
measure success follows their zealous use of it. They act with 
great force upon the imaginations of men. The vaunted antiquity, 
the universality, the unanimity of their Church puts them above 
the varying fashions of the world, and the religious novelties of the 
day. And truly when one surveys the grandeur of their proceed- 
ings, a sigh arises in the thoughtful mind, to think that we should 
be separate from them ; Cum talis esses, utinam noster esses ! — 
But, alas, an union is impossible. Their communion is in- 
fected with heresy ; we are bound to flee it, as a pestilence. They 
have estabUshed a lie in the place of God's truth ; and, by their 
claim of immutability in doctrine, cannot undo the sin they have 
committed. They cannot repent. Popery must be destroyed ; it 
cannot be reformed. 

Now then what is the Christian to do ? Is he forced back upon 
that cheerless atheism (for so it practically must be considered) 
which prevailed in the world before Christ's coming, poorly alle- 
viated, as it was, by the received polytheims of the heathen ? Can 
we conceive a greater calamity to have occurred at the time of our 
Reformation, one which the Enemy of man would have been more 
set on effecting, than to have entangled the whole of the Church 
Catholic in the guilt of heresy, and so have forced every one who 
worshipped in spirit and in truth, to flee out of doors into the bleak 
world, in order to save his soul ? I do not think that Satan could 
have desired any event more eagerly, than such an alternative ; viz. 
to have forced Christians, either to remain in communion with 
heresy, or to join themselves in some such spontaneous union 
among themselves, as is dissolved as easily as it is formed. Blessed 
be God ! his malice has been thwarted. I do believe it to be one 
most conspicuous mark of God's adorable Providence over us, as 
great as if we saw a miracle, that Christians in England escaped in 



that evil day from either extreme, neither corrupted doctrinally, 
nor secularized ecclesiastically. Thus in every quarter of the 
world, from North America, to New South Wales, a Zoar has been 
provided for those who would fain escape Sodom, yet dread to 
be without shelter. I hail it as an omen amid our present perils, 
that our Church will not be destroyed. He hath been mindful of 
us ; He will bless us. He has wonderfully preserved our Church 
as a true branch of the Church Universal, yet withal preserved it 
free from heresy. It is Catholic and Apostolic, yet not Papistical. 

With this reflection before us, does it not seem the most utter 
ingratitude to an astonishing Providence of God's mercy, to be 
neglectful, as many Churchmen now are, of the gift ? to attempt 
unions with those who have separated from the Church, to break 
down the partition walls, and to argue as if religion were altoge- 
ther and only a matter of each man's private concern, and that the 
State and Nation were not bound to prefer the Apostolical Church 
to all self-originated forms of Christianity ? But this is a point 
beside my purpose. 'J'ake the matter merely in the light of human 
expedience. Shall we be so far less wise in our generation than 
the children of this world, as to rehnquish the support which the 
Truth receives from the influence of a Visible Church upon the 
imagination, from the energy of operation which a well disciplined 
Body ensures ? Shall we not foil the Papists, not with their own 
weapons, but with weapons which are ours as well as theirs } or, 
on the other hand, shall we with a melancholy infatuation give them 
up to them ? Depend upon it, to insist on the doctrine of the 
Visible Church is not to favour the Papists, it is to do them the most 
serious injury. It is to deprive them of their only strength. But 
if we neglect to do so, what will be the consequence ? Break 
down the Divine Authority of our Apostolical Church, and you are 
plainly preparing the way for Popery in our land. Human nature 
cannot remain without visible guides ; it chooses them for itself, if 
it is not provided for them. If the Aristocrac]|^ and the Church 
fall. Popery steps in. Political events are beyond our power, and 
perhaps out of our sphere ; but ecclesiastical matters are in the 
hands of all Churchmen. 

But my letter has run to an unusual length. — Excuse it. 

And believe, &c. 



{C^ Tlwse Tracts may be had at Turrjll% JVb. 250, Regent 
Street, London, 



w. KING, rniNitn, sx. clement s, oxfohd. 



Jan. 1, 1834.] {No. 2\.-^Price \d. 



MORTIFICATION OF THE FLESH 
A SCRIPTURE DUTY. 



If we take the example of the Holy Men of Scripture as our 
guide, certainly bodily privation and chastisement are a very 
essential duty of all who wish to serve God, and prepare them- 
selves for His presence. 

First, we have the example of Moses. His recorded Fasts were 
miraculous ; still they were Fasts, and the ordinance was recom- 
mended to the notice of all believers afterwards, by the honour 
put upon it. " I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights ; 
I neither did eat bread nor drink water." Again ; " I fell down 
before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights ; I did 
neither eat bread nor drink water, because of all your sins." Deut. 
ix. 9.18. Fasting is in the former instance subservient to divine con- 
templation, in the latter to humiliation and intercession for sinners. 

Elijah. " He said unto him. What manner of man was he which 
came up to meet you, and told you these words ? And they answered 
him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about 
his loins. And he said. It is Elijah the Tishbite." 2 Kings, i. 7, 8. 
It is indeed needless to show the ascetic character of him, who was in 
fact the chief and type of those who " wandered about in sheepskins 
and goatskins," " in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and 
caves of the earth." He too fasted by the power of God for forty 
days and nights ; " He arose and did eat and drink, and went in 
the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights, unto Horeb 
the mount of God." 1 Kings, xix. 8. 

Daniel. " I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer 
and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes ; and I 
prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession." Dan. 
ix. 3, 4. It must be observed, that Daniel was not bound by any 
vow, as Samson and Samuel. Moreover, it would appear the gift of 
prophecy was given him in reward for his self-chastisements, as the 
following passage shows. " In those days I Daniel was mourning 
three full weeks ; I ate no pleasant bread, neither came fiesh nor 
wine in my mouth ; neither did I anoint myself at all, till three 

whole weeks were fulfilled And he said unto me, O Daniel, 

a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto 
thee, and stand upright ; for unto thee am I now sent Fear 



not, Daniel ; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart 
to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words 
were heard, and I am come for thy words." Dan. x. 2, 3, 11, 12. 
Vide also Luke ii. 37. Acts x. 30. 

2. Now here it will be objected, perhaps, that these instances 
are taken from the Old Testament, and belong to the Law of 
Moses, which is not binding on Christians. 

I answer ; 

(1.) That in the above passages Fasting is connected with moral 
acts, humiliation, prayer, meditation, which are equally binding 
on us as on the Jews. Man is now what he was then ; and if 
affliction of the flesh was good then, it is now. 

(2.) In matter of fact, private Fasting, such as instanced in the 
passages above quoted, was no special duty of the Mosaic Law. 
Public Fasting, indeed, was on one occasion enjoined by Moses 
himself, and on others by subsequent Rulers ; but this was in part 
a ceremonial act, not a moral discipline, and was doubtless abo- 
hshed with the other rites of the Law. . 

" Of Fasts," says Lewis, " there was no more than one ap- 
pointed by the Law of Moses, called the Fast of Expiation 

The great day of Expiation was a most severe Fast, kept every 
year upon the tenth day of the month Tizri, which answers to our 

September This solemnity was observed with fasting and 

abstinence, not only from all meat and drink, but from all other 
pleasure whatsoever ; insomuch that they did not wash their faces, 

much less anoint their heads, nor wear their shoes, nor, (if 

their Doctors say true,) read any portion of the Law which would 
give them delight. They refrained likewise not only from pleasure, 
but from labour, nothing being to be done upon this day but con- 
fessing of sins and repentance." * 

Nay, it may rather be said, that the Jewish Law, as such, was 
rather opposed than otherwise to austerities. The Nazarites and 
Rechabites, being exceptions to the rule, are evidence to it. Vide, 
on the other hand, Deut. xii. Eccles. v. IS.f 

Such then being the character of the Law in its formal letter, 
it tells just the contrary way to that which superficial reasoners 
might expect. For it is most remarkable, first, that the greatest 
prophets under it, such as Elijah, and Daniel, were without 
express command singularly austere and self-afflicting men, in the 
midst of a people, who from the first went lusting after " the fish 
which they eat in Egypt freely ; the cucumbers, and the melons, 

* Lewis, Hebrew Republic, iv. 14. 

t Vitl. Spencer de Legg. Hebracor. lib. 3. diss. 1. ii. 3. diss. 4. i. 5. &c. 



and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick, and said, Who 
shall give us flesh to eat ?" Next, there is something of a very 
startling and admonitory nature in the miraculous fasts of Moses 
and Elijah, under this same imperfect dispensation. The miracle 
evidently was for some purpose ; yet it did not sanction, in any 
direct way, any injunction of the Law. Was it not an admonition 
to the Israelites, that there was a more excellent way of obedience 
than that which Almighty God as yet thought fit to promulgate 
by solemn enactment ? Is it not an intimation serviceable for 
Christian practice, as much as Moses' announcement of the des- 
tined " Prophet hke unto him" is intended for the comfort of 
Christian faith ? 

Surely the duty of bodily discipline might be rested on the 
answer to this plain question, JVhy did Daniel use austerities not 
enjoined by the Law ? 

3. Now turn to the New Testament, and observe what clear 
light is therein thrown upon the duty already recommended to us 
by the Old Testament Saints. 

First, there is the instance of St. John the Baptist. " John came 
neither eating nor drinking." Matt. xi. 28. ; and his disciples 
fasted. Matt. ix. 14. 

Our Saviour did not statedly fast ; but here also the exception 
proves the rule. He who did not fast, was the only one born of 
woman who was untainted by sinful flesh ; which seems to im- 
ply, that all who are natural descendants of guilty Adam ought 
to fast. 

He bade His disciples to fast. Consider His implied precept, 
which is an express command to those who obey the Law of 
Liberty. " When thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy 
face, that thou appear not unto men to fast." Matt. vi. 17, 18. 

Consider, moreover, the general austere character of Christian 
obedience, as enjoined by our Lord ; — a circumstance much to be 
insisted on in an age like this, when what is really self-indulgence 
is thought to be a mere moderate and innocent use of this world's 
goods. I will but refer to a few, out of many texts, which I am per- 
suaded are now forgotten by numbers of educated and amiable 
men, who are fond of extolling what they call the mild, tolerant, 
enlightened spirit of the Gospel. Matt. v. 29, 30. vii. 13, 14. 
X. 37—39. Mark ix. 43—50. x. 2^. Luke xiv. 12. 26—33. 

And reflect, too, whether the spirit of texts, such as the follow- 
ing, will not move every true [member of the Church Militant, 
" The ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents ; and my lord 
Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open 



fields ; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink ? 

as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing." 
2 Sam. xi. 11. 

Now take the example of the Apostles. St. Peter was fasting, 
when he had the vision which sent him to Cornelius : Acts x. 10. 
The prophets and teachers at Antioch were fasting, when the Holy 
Ghost revealed to them His purpose about Saul and Barnabas : 
Acts iii. 2, 3. Vide also Acts xiv. 23. 2 Cor. vi. 5. xi. 27. 

Weigh well the following text, which, I am persuaded, many- 
men would deny to be St. Paul's writing, had not a gracious Pro- 
vidence preserved to us the epistle containing it. *' I keep under 
my body, and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any means, 
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.'* 
1 Cor. ix. 27. 

Lastly, Consider the practice of the Primitive Christians. 

The following account of the early Christian Fasts, is from Bing- 
ham, Antiq. lib. xxi. 

The Quadragesimal on Lent Fast. — " The Qhadragesiraal Fast be- 
fore Easter," says Sozomen, " some observe six weeks, as the lllyrian and 
Western Churches, and all Libya, Egypt, and Palestine ; others make it seven 
weeks, as the Constantinopolitans and neighbouring nations as far as Phoenicia ; 
others fast three only of those six or seven weeks, by intervals ; others the three 
weeks next immediately before Easter." 

'J'he manner of observing Lent among those that were piously disposed to 
observe it, was to abstain from all food till evening, for anciently a change of 
diet was not reckoned a fast; but it consisted in perfect abstinence from all 
sustenance for ihe whole day till evening. 

The Fasts of the Four Seasons. — The next .-Anniversary fasting days were 
those which were called Jejunia quatuor temporum, the Fasts of the Four 

Seasons of the Year These were at first designed to beg a blessing 

of God upon the several seasons of the year, or to retuin thanks for the benefits 
received in each of them, or to exercise and purify both body and soul in a 
more particular manner, at the return of these certain terms of stricter discip- 
line and more extraordinary devotion. [These afterwards became the Ember 
Fasts.] 

Monthly Fasts.— In some places they had also Monthly Fasts throughout 

the year; except in the two months of July and August because of the 

sickness of the season. 

Weekly Fasts. — Besides these they had their Weekly Fasts on Wednesday 
and Friday, called the Stationary Days, and Half- Fasts, or Fasts of the Fourth 

and Sixth Days of the Week These Fasts, being of continual use every 

week throughout the year, except in the Fifty Days between Easter and Pentecost, 
were not kept with that rigour and strictness which was observed in the time 
of Lent . . . . .[but] ordinarily held no longer than 9 o'clock, i.e. 3 in the 
afternoon." 

OXFORD. J. H. N. 

The Feast of the Circumcision, 



& Tfiese Tracts may be had at Turrjll^s, J^o. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d per sheet, \^d,the half sheet, and \d. per quarter 
sheet. 



W. KING, PUINTER, ST. CLEMENT », OXFORD. 



Jan. 6, 1S34.] [JVb. 22.— PWcc 3d. 



RICHARD NELSON. 

II. 



" .... Alhanasius's Creed ought thoroughly to be received and 

believed; for [it] may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture." 
— Article viii. 



I LOOK back with much pleasure to the visit I had from my 
friend Mr. Woodnot, the Bristol Merchant I before spoke of. 

He staid with me some days, and we had many agreeable 
rambles and discussions together, which were to me peculiarly 
interesting, from the wide experience he had had of men and 
things, and of places too, as he had been often abroad, in Swit- 
zerland, in Turkey, and on different parts of the American Con- 
tinent, where he had spent some years. 

Two or three days after our meeting with Richard Nelson, as 
stated before, we took our walk, (it being a pleasant evening towards 
the end of August,) along the side of a little stream, which we 
traced for a mile or two down the valley, returning by a kind of 
natural terrace, which terminated in my favourite beech-walk. 
The sun was low when we got here ; and we stood still, {it was 
not far from Nelson's garden hedge,) to admire its rich glow 
on the opposite side of the valley. I was pointing out to my 
friend a bold and almost mountainous outhne of hills rising in the 
distance, far to the west in Lancashire, Pendle-hill, as I fancied, 
and other lofty tracts in the neighbourhood of Clitheroe ; and we 
were speculating on the distance they might be from us. 

*' Sir," said a voice, which startled me, from my not observing 
that any one was near ; " Pendle-hill must be full fifty miles off; 
what you see is most likely some of the high ground beyond 
Hahfax." 



" Why, Richard," said I, " What are you doing down there ?'* 
for I could scarcely see more than his head — *' You seem to be 
making a strong entrenchment round your castle." 

" 1 dare say. Sir," he answered, " you may wonder what I am 
about ; but at this time of year, when the springs arc low, I gene- 
rally spend an hour, when I have leisure in an evening, in repairing 
the garden-mound, that it may be fit to stand against the assaults 
of what I call my two winter enemies." 

" What can they be ?" I asked ; " I did not know that you 
had any enemies." 

" Yes, Sir, I have," he rephed ; " at least my garden had two, 
land-floods, and Scotch ponies. Almost every winter, once, if not 
twice, there is a violent land-flood from the high ground behind 
the house ; and if this ditch were not kept clear, to take the water 
off immediately, the garden would not recover the damage all the 
next year. To be sure, this kind of flood does not commonly last 
many hours ; but that is long enough, you know. Sir, to spoil the 
labour of weeks and months." 

" That I can understand," I answered ;" but how you can be 
in any alarm about Highland ponies, I cannot imagine." 

" Why," said he, ** you know. Sir, that there is a fair at the 
town every year, early in the Spring, where a great many of these 
ponies are bought and sold ; and for many years past, Mr. Saveall, 
the owner of this field, has let it for one day and night to the 
horsedealer, (a well-known man out of Lincolnshire,) to turn those 
ponies into, as well as other horses he may have purchased at the 
fair. The first year I was here, I was not aware of this custom, 
and had taken no precaution against it ; so these little moun- 
taineers got in at a weak place in the hedge during the night, and 
trod the garden, as one may say, to a mummy. So, to protect 
myself for the future against such mischievous visitors, 1 put this 
fence along, which I was now repairing. And if you will please 
to look at it, I think you, Sir, will allow that it was not badly con- 
trived, though I say it, who should not say it." 

All along the whole length of the garden, (which might be 
perhaps nearly one hundred yards,) on that side which was next 
the foot-path, he had fixed very neatly, about half way up the 
slope of the ditch on the opposite side, a double indented line of 



sharp strong stakes, pointing upwards, presenting a sort of chevaux 
de frise ; an impenetrable barrier, which no pony, highland or 
lowland, could possibly get through or over. 

We said something in commendation of his skill and pre- 
caution : on which he observed ; " I am glad, Sir, you approve of 
what I have done ; for it has cost me a good deal of labour. And 
my neighbour, Farmer Yawn, who has been standing by me for 
the last three quarters of an hour, and went away just as you came 
up, he says, I am taking a deal of trouble, and very likely for 
nothing ; how can I be sure there will be a land-flood, or that the 
man will turn in the ponies ? and besides, (says he,) neither land- 
flood nor ponies would stay twelve hours. But I know better, Sir, 
than to take Mr. Yawn's advice ; for if my bit of garden should be 
ruined for a twelvemonth, it would be no comfort afterwards to 
think, that perhaps it might not have happened, or that the mis- 
chief was quickly done, or that with timely caution it might have 
been prevented." 

After a few more words we wished him a good evening, and 
walked on for some little way in silence, which my companion 
put an end to by saying, " It must be confessed that our friend 
Nelson is a sensible man ; and not the less so, (added he, with a 
smile,) because I am sure he will agree with me in opinion.'* 

For in the course of our walk we had been discussing rather 
earnestly the subject of the Athanasian Creed ; the question 
between us not being as to the doctrines contained in it, but as to 
the expediency of retaining it in the Liturgy, supposing any 
changes should take place in that also, as in every thing else. 
Not that there was any real difference of opinion between us on 
that point either ; but wishing to know his views on the subject, 
I had been urging the various objections, such of them at least as 
are most plausible, and had been gratified with observing how 
little weight he attached to them ; and my satisfaction was the 
greater, because, from his education and profession, as a layman 
and a merchant, he could not be accused of what have been scorn- 
fully designated as " academical and clerical prejudices." 

In the course of our conversation he had expressed himself 
most earnestly in favour of the Athanasian Creed ; alleging, for 
this his opinion, various reasons, and among others the following ; 



" that he regarded this Creed in the light of a fence or bulwark 
set up to protect the Truth against all innovations and encroach- 
ments ; and that to take it away, particularly in times when popu- 
lar opinion, or rather feeling, was against it, would be almost high 
treason against God : (that was his Word :) would be, so far as in 
us lies, wilfully to expose the Truth to be trodden down by its 
enemies." 

*' Now," said he, " whilst you were talking to our friend Nelson, 
it struck me that his care about his garden very aptly expresses our 
duty in respect of this very subject. For why is this Creed so ob- 
noxious ? simply because it is so strongly and sharply worded ; 
because it leaves no opening for a semi-socinian or a five-quarter 
latitudinarian to creep in at ; because it presents an insurmountable 
obstacle to every intruder who would trample under foot the 
Lord's vineyard. 

*' And even if the aspect of things were more favourable, even if 
there were no sign of danger at hand, I should much rather advise 
that, like Nelson, we should look forward to probable or possible 
inroads, than venture to neglect, much less to remove, our fences. 

" But," he continued, " in the present condition of what is by 
courtesy, (or one might almost say, facetiously,) called the Christian 
world, it were in my judgment little less than madness to yield so 
strong a position, — one too, which if once lost can never be reco- 
vered." 

And then he referred to what he had before been insisting on, 
the great mistake made by the American Church in rejecting the 
Athanasian Creed from her Liturgy ; and how, from personal obser- 
vation during his residence first at New York, and afterwards at 
Charleston, he was sure the time would come when its loss would 
be felt and acknowledged by the true sons of that Church. ** And 
I wisii," added he, as we concluded our walk and our discussion 
together, ** you would endeavour to ascertain what aie the senti- 
ments of our friend Nelson on this subject, for I have no doubt he 
has turned it over in his mind ; and his opinion must certainly 
be of value, because happily for himself he has not been, I sup- 
pose, in the way of hearing the profane absurdities that are daily 
written and spoken against this inestimable Creed." 

" Yc«," said I, ** whatever his opinions arc, I doubt not they 



will be found candid, and free from unreasonable prejudice ; and I 
will take an early opportunity of ascertaining them." 

Soon after this my friend left me, and I promised to communi- 
cate to him the result of my enquiries. The Sunday following, it 
being a serene autumnal morning, according to the description of the 
Divine Poet — " most calm, most bright" — I proceeded earlier than 
usual towards the school. 

When I came up to Richard's cottage, he was standing at the 
gate, with his infant child in his arms, looking as if he could envy 
no man ; as if Sunday were to him what it should be to us all, 
** the couch of time, care's balm and bay." 

" You are rather earlier. Sir, than usual," he said. 

" Yes," I answered, " the morning is so lovely, so Sunday-like, 
I could not endure to stay any longer within doors." 

After some few observations had passed between us, — in which he 
expressed with an unaffected solemnity of manner peculiar to him- 
self, his sense of the value of each returning Lord's day, calling it, 
(and I think he used, though unconsciously, Isaac Walton's very 
words,) " a step towards a blessed eternity," — I asked him if he 
would have any objection to take two or three turns with me in the 
beech-walk, as it still wanted a considerable time to school. 

He answered that he would gladly accompany me, especially as it 
might be better for the child to be taken under the shade of the 
trees. 

" Richard," said I, " my friend Mr. Woodnot, and I may call 
him your friend too, was much amused with your plan for keeping 
off the enemies of your garden. He commended it highly, and 
thinks you therein set a good example to all true Churchmen, and 
especially to us of the Clergy." 

" In what respect. Sir ?" he asked. " Why," I replied, *' in keep- 
ing your fences strong and sharp, and contrived in the best possible 
way to serve the purpose of fences ; namely, to preserve one's pro- 
perty from injury. For we understood you to say, that, were it not 
for a little observation and foresight, however well all might be for 
three hundred and sixty-four days in the year, in one twenty-four 
hours all might be laid waste, either by the torrent from the high 
ground above you, or by the catde from your neighbour's field." 

*' Indeed, Sir," he answered, " that is no more than the truth. 



But I confess I do not exactly see how in acting thus 1 have set any 

particularly good example. No person of common sense could do 
otherwise." 

" As to that," I replied, " perhaps what some witty man said of 
common honesty, he might too have said of common sense, that it 
is a very uncommon thing. But be that as it may, it certainly 
would appear to me to be no mark of sense nor of honesty either, if 
we Christians who are ** put in trust (as St. Paul speaks) with the 
Gospel," were to draw back from our strong advanced positions, in 
the vain hope that the Enemy would be content with this success, 
and encroach no further." 

" May I ask, Sir," he said, " what it is you refer to ?" 

** Why, Richard," I replied, *' of course you have heard that a 
great many people think the Church Prayer Book oiight to be 
altered ; and that first and foremost the Athanasian Creed ought to 
be put out of it.'* 

«' Sir," said he, " I have heard more than one person make this 
observation, but I never took much account of it till about a year or 
eighteen months ago, when a brother-in-law of mine, who is fond 
of poring over the newspapers, told me he had been reading extracts 
from the works of a famous preacher, one Dr. Hoadley, which I am 
sorry to Say he was inclined to admire. For in these extracts there 
were objections made to other parts of the Church Service, and 
particularly to the Athanasian Creed, which (the Dr. said) was a 
great blot in the Prayer Book, and that he wished we were well 
rid of it, with other such disrespectful expressions. Now, Sir, it 
seemed to me such a thing, for a Clergyman who had signed the 
Articles and the Prayer Book, and had his maintenance from the 
Church, and had taken an oath before God and man to teach the 
truth to his flock, according to the Prayer Book; that a Church 
Minister should take upon him to omit so remarkable a portion of the 
Church Service; nay more, should speak so slightingly of what 
he had solemnly assented to, and was even sworn to; this seemed 
to me to be astonishing ; and, I must confess to you, even shock- 
ing. And, Sir, I thought of what my mother had said to me in her 
last illness, about the danger of trifling with God Almighty. I 
thought too, if there should be many such Clergymen as this Dr. 
Hoadley, what confusion and perplexity they would throw people's 



minds into, driving some perhaps into downright infidelity. And 
then I went on to reHect, what if my poor children should hereafter 
fall into the way of some such false teachers, and learn to deny the 
Lord that bought them, and to despise the Spirit of Grace. 

" This thought I could not endure ; so I resolved, that with God's 
gracious help, I would search the matter out for myself;, for surely. 
Sir, it is a matter in which not the Clergy only, but we all are 
deeply interested." 

" You say right," I replied ; " the knowledge of God*s truth 
must be the greatest earthly treasure to us all. It unquestionably 
concerns the Laity full as much as it does the Clergy, to ascertain 
the Truth and to keep it ; also to hand it on pure and uncorrupted to 
their children after them." 

He proceeded ; " My plan was this ; first to endeavour to make 
out what was the intention of the. Church in appointing this and 
the other two Creeds to be occasionally used ; and then to try this 
Athanasian Creed by Scripture rules ; and if I could not reconcile it 
to them, why then certainly, however unwillingly, I should have 
joined in opinion with those who wish to have it left out of the 
Prayer Book." 

" A very good plan," said I, " but you must recollect that the 
enemies of this Creed would ask, what possible reason you could 
have for being unwilling to part with it, especially when you know 
that great numbers of people have so vehement a dislike to it." 

" Sir," said he, " I have long made up my mind, that on ques- 
tions of this kind relating to God and Eternity, people's likings and 
disHkings are not much in the scale either way. But I think, Sir, 
I can offer one or two good excuses for my being unwilling to have 
this Creed laid aside. In the first place, it would give me pain to 
have any great alterations made in such a book as the Prayer Book ; 
which I have been used to from my infancy ; which as a child I 
was always taught to reverence ; and which, (I am not ashamed to 
say,) I do reverence from my heart more and more the older T grow. 
In the next place, I am sure all must allow that some parts of the 
Athanasian Creed are very noble and beautiful to hear, especially 
when they are well read or repeated. And again, even a child 
may see that if this Creed be put away, great encouragement will 



8 

be given, not only to protest infidels, but iilso to many wild thought- 
less persons, who would fain believe that Religion, like every thing 
else, needs to be radically reformed." 

" But, Richard,'* I said, " you are not, I suppose, so vain as to 
imagine that our Church Reformers will be willing to keep the 
Prayer Book just as it is, merely because you and I and a few 
more admire some of the clauses in this Creed." 

" Sir," said he, *' you may be sure I never imagined such a 
thing. I was not presuming to give an opinion, whether or not 
the Prayer Book is likely to be improved by any alterations which 
may be made in it. 1 was only excusing myself for being lothe to 
part with the Athanasian Creed." 

" But," said I, " will you now tell me what conclusion you 
came to in your enquiry into the intention of the Church in ap- 
pointing this and the other two Creeds to be used. 

" I remembered," he said, " that I had heard you. Sir, or some 
one whose opinion I could take on these subjects, make an obser- 
vation, that the three Creeds were not written all at the same time, 
but at three different periods. That the Apostles' Creed was made 
first, either in the time of the Apostles, or very soon after. That 
the Nicene Creed came next, after an interval of two hundred years 
or more. And that then again, after another considerable space, I 
think I understood more than a century, followed the Creed of St. 
Athanasius, as it was called. 

" So it came into my thoughts that the Church seemed to act 
like a tender mother very anxious for her children, from the very 
first ; but growing still more and more anxious as they grow older, 
are more exposed to dangers, and yet less and less willing to yield 
themselves to her control. 

** Thus it may seem, that in the most ancient, the Apostles' 
Creed, a plain simple rule of faith is given. 

" In the next, the Nicene Creed, tJie same rule is laid downy 
but more at length, and in a tone of anxiety and caution as if the 
enemy were at hand. 

" But in the last, the Athanasian Creed, where still the very 
same rule of faith is laid rfoM;?i,the alarm is loudly sounded, there 
is throughout an expression of urgent warning, as needful for per- 



9 

sons in the very midst of foes, some open, and more secret foes, 
who would rob God of His honour, and man of the everlasting in- 
heritance, purchased for him by his Saviour's Blood. 

" Indeed," said I, " it is fearful to think to what lengths the 
pride of human reason will draw those who yield to it. But 
before you proceed with your statement, I should wish to know 
what opinion you have come to respecting what are so falsely, not 
to say profanely, called * the damnatory clauses' in the Athana- 
sian Creed. You are doubtless aware that many good sort of per- 
sons, who profess not to disapprove of the other parts of the 
Creed, are, (or at least fancy themselves,) much offended and hurt 
in their feelings by these clauses. 

** Observe, I am not now exactly referring to persons who speak 
harshly or disrespectfully of this Creed, but rather to persons of 
piety and learning, who with all reverence for it as an ancient and 
true confession of faith, have yet thought that some of the expres- 
sions in it are unnecessarily strong, and what they cannot endure 
to repeat or to hear." 

" Sir," he replied, " if it is not presumptuous in me to pass my 
opinion on the conduct of such persons as you represent, I should 
say to them, if you can endure to believe these things, you may 
also endure to acknowledge such your belief, and to hear it con- 
firmed by the voice of the Church. 

" The parent who cannot endure to correct his child, will doubt- 
less live to repent his mistaken tenderness, as we are taught in 
Scripture. 

** And if the Church or her Ministers through like false pity should 
no longer endure to hold out to our consciences the terrors of the 
Lord, we of the people shall no doubt have cause to lament their 
mistaken tenderness ; even though now, like over-indulged Chris- 
tians, we may many of us be impatient of strict restraint or of 
warnings seemingly severe ; yet, if the Church luill he hut firm to 
her sacred trust, many souls will doubtless in the end bless God 
for these very warnings and threatenings, which now they fancy 
to be almost intolerable. 

" But as to persons who scruple not to speak scornfully and 
reproachfully of this Creed, or any part of it, I must think such 
language of theirs shows rashness, and ignorance too, very unbe- 



10 

coming a Christian. For, it may well be asked, is a mother to be 
blamed who, seeing her child in imminent danger, warns him of 
it in language the most powerful her tongue can give utter- 
ance to ? 

" If the Gospel of Christ be indeed our only hope^ is not the 
Church a true friend to us, in telling us so ; in making us confess 
it, as one may almost say, whether we choose or no ? 

If the Gospel of the Lord Jesus be our only hope ; is not this 
kind?" 

" Indeed," said I, " your argument is most just ; it is the truest 
kindness to warn people of their danger. But as it is too often a 
thankless office ; so in the present instance. For, as you know, 
these which may fitly be called ' The Warning Clauses,' or * The 
Monitory Clauses,' are especially reviled ; as, in fact, the ten- 
dency of the whole Creed is accounted to be unscriptural and 
uncharitable, even by some who think themselves, and desire to 
be thought by others, very serious Christians." 

" Sir," said he, " to any Christian who was disposed to think 
so ill of it, I should like just to mention a conversation I had some 
time last year with a man of our parish, Edmund Plush, the man 
that has set up the new beer-house. You know. Sir, I dare say, 
that he was once a gentleman's servant." 

" I have heard so," I answered ; " but as I see some of the 
boys coming, it is time for me to leave you, and make the best of 
my way to the school." 

" And I,'* said he, " will take the child back, and be after you 
in a quarter of an hour ; but in the evening I shall hope. Sir, to 
have some further conversation with you." 

" I hope so too," I answered. But, as it happened, I was 
called to go after the Evening Service to visit a sick person in a 
distant part of the parish ; and a week or two passed away before 
we again met. He then happened to come to my house one even- 
ing to settle an account ; I desired he might come to me into my 
Study ; and when we had concluded our business, I told him I 
wished he would stay half an hour, that we might finish the con- 
versation which we had broken off so abruptly before. 

He said, if I were disengaged he would be glad to stay ; and 
not without some difficulty I prevailed on him to sit down. 



il 

" Richard," said I, " if you recollect, you were going to teli 
me of a conversation you had with Edmund Plush." 

" Yes, Sir," he replied ; " I had two or three days' work, point- 
ing his garden wall ; (for Edmund is very curious about his fruit, 
especially about some favourite Orlean plums:) and one day, as 
he was standing by me, and running on with his talk about alter- 
ations and reforms, he said, among other observations not very 
moderate, that the Church Prayer Book wanted to be altered and 
reformed as much as any thing." 

To this I replied, that " alteration was one thing, and reform 
was another ; and that if the Prayer Book was altered, it did not 
follow that it would be reformed." 

" He then went on to say, that while he was footman at Squire 
Martingal's, over in Cheshire, one day, when he was waiting at 
table, and there were four or five gentlemen at dinner, they were 
talking about the Prayer Book, and whether it was not now time 
for it to be altered. 

*' And the Squire gave it as his opinion that there was one word 
in particular which he wished very much to see put entirely out 
of the Book ; and that was, the word ' damnation.' Such words 
as that, he said, ought not to be in a book, which gentlefolks were 
expected to sit and hear. 

" Edmund went on to say, that there was a gentleman at the 
table, who observed, it would be better to alter the word to 
* condemnation :' of which the company very much approved, 
though, (as Plush himself remarked,) it was not easy to see what 
was gained by the alteration. 

" Now, Sir, it does seem to me, that Squire Martingal and his 
friends forgot, when they made such short work with the Prayer 
Book, that there was the Bible still in their way, quite as much 
needing to be corrected and amended. 

" And I told Edmund so ; and I also told him, that if I were in 
his'place, I should not like to go about repeating private conversa- 
tions which he might have overheard at his master's table ; espe- 
cially when they were so little calculated to be of use. 

" However, Edmund must do as he pleases ; but for myself, 
Sir, I do assure you, that after giving the subject the best con- 
sideration in my power, the objections which people make against 



12 

the Athanasian Creed, are, to my thinking, not at all more sub- 
stantial than Squire Martingal's against the Prayer Book and 
Bible. Indeed, Sir, it is my opinion, that there is nothing in that 
Creed either unscriptural or uncharitable, but quite the very con- 
trary ; that it is essentially, (as I once heard you call the Commi- 
nation Service,) ' in its matter. Christian Truth ; and in its manner, 
Christian Love.' And, Sir, if you v^^ill not be weary of me, I will 
try to show you how I came to this conclusion." 

" Richard," said I, " you need not fear that you will tire me." 

" Well, Sir," he proceeded ; " it seemed to me plain from the ■ H 
Scriptures, (what no one indeed will deny or question,) that the * 
Great Almighty God should be the object of all our Love and 
Adoration. From the same Scriptures it also appeared, that the 
Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Hope, is entitled to 
all our Love and Adoration. 

" And again, from the same Scriptures, it appears that the 
Holy Spirit of God, the only Sanctifier, Guide, and Guardian 
of His Church, is entitled to all our Love and Adoration." 

" Certainly," I replied ; " no one, who believes the Scriptures, «- 
can doubt this." 

" And is not this," he said, " the very doctrine of the first 
part of the Creed ; * that the Father is God, the Son is God, and 
the Holy Ghost is God ; and yet they are not three Gods, but one 
God ?'" In hke manner, if any man enquire for the very founda- 
tion of Christian hope and consolation, surely it is the doctrine that 
God our Saviour took on Him our frail and mortal nature ; that 
He was * perfect man,' as well as * perfect God.' Without this 
doctrine, the peculiar hopes and consolations of the Gospel fade 
away and disappear. Now this is the great truth prest on our 
thoughts in the second part of the Athanasian Creed, where we are 
taught boldly to maintain that * the right faith is, that we believe 
AND CONFESS, — not believe only, but beheve and confess, — that our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.' " 

" Yes," I answered, " it is difficult to imagine how any one who 
acknowledges the truth of the Scriptures, can deny and question 
this. But you must, I am sure, be aware, that many people object, 
that this doctrine is not simply stated, and so left to every one's 
own conscience to approve, but that attempts are made to draw 



13 

out distinctions and explanations, which are not in the Scripture, 
and which no one can understand ; and then, after all, people are 
made to say, that whoever does not believe all this, has no chance 
of salvation." 

" Sir," he replied, " there is a verse in the Psalms, which 
seems to give an answer to such objectors ; * If I should say Hke 
them, I should condemn the generation of God's children.* No 
one will dare deny that those who framed this Creed, and those 
who put it into our Prayer Book, were good and holy men, sin- 
cerely anxious for the honour of Almighty God, and for the 
salvation of men's souls. It was surely not their fault that these 
distinctions and explanations, (if they are to be so called,) became 
necessary, but the fault of rash or loose-minded people, who at- 
tempted to corrupt the hearts of the simple with their false dis- 
tinction- and false explanations. 

" Against such, the Church, as a good parent should, warns her 
sons in the strongest terms ; and if stronger terms could have been 
found, no doubt she would have used them. 

" And it seems to me, that it is not at all the intention of the 
Church, in this Creed or anywhere else, to endeavour to explain 
what is above human comprehension ; but only to warn us that 
quibbled and pretended distinctions have been made of old, and 
will be again, against the essential doctrines of the Gospel ; and 
that, come in whatever shape they may, they are to be opposed at 
once with a sharp and strong denial ; to be at once, and as the Arti- 
cle says, " thoroughly" rejected. 

" And the absolute need of some such strong impenetrable 
fence appears from what I have heard, that there have been 
Church people, and even Clergymen, who denied these doctrines, 
and, (as might be expected,) scorned this Creed. How they could 
reconcile their conduct to their consciences, it is not for me to say ; 
but it is plain, that if the fence were taken away and weakened, the 
danger to the fold would be much increased." 

" I fully agree with you," was my reply ; " but you know those 
who dislike this Creed assert, that the ' Fence,' as you call it, is 
much sharper and stronger than it need be ; and that it would be 
better to have no ' Monitory Clauses' at all, than any exprest in 
such strong and, as they call them, violent terms." 



14 

" Sir," he answered, " you know that in different places in the 
New Testament we are taught that adultery, fornication, drunken- 
ness, and other such crimes, are entirely unsuitable to the Chris- 
tian Profession, and that persons who are guilty of them do in 
practice renounce the Gospel. 

" Now supposing it should be thought well by the Governors of 
the Church to set forth a solemn warning to profligates thus 
worded : — M: 

" * Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that 
he avoid the crimes of adultery, whoredom, drunkenness, and 
blasphemy ; which crimes, unless every one do carefully abstain 
from, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly ;' 

" And if then were to follow some solemn admonitions, setting 
forth, (according to the sense, though not in the very words of 
Scripture,) the necessity of self-denial, mortification, and constant 
communion with Almighty God in prayer and at His holy table, 
so that the affections may be kept set on high and heavenly things ; 
and all concluding thus : — 

** ' This is the rule of Christian Purity, which except a man ob- 
serve faithfully he cannot be saved ;* 

" Do not you. Sir, think such warnings would be quite agree- 
able to Scripture and to Christian Charity ?'* 

" Indeed I think so," I replied. 

" And yet," he proceeded ; " supposing such an admonition as 
this were to be made by authority, and ordered to be printed in all 
the Prayer Books, and to be read twelve times a year in every 
Church in England, do you not think there would be a great out- 
cry against it ; and that many people, when it was going to be read, 
would shut their books, or perhaps go out of the Church ?" 

" It is too probable," I replied, "considering how little account 
is now made of crimes of this kind, even by many who are 
thought rehgious people. Indeed, I have understood from a per- 
son I can rely upon, otherwise I could not have credited it, that 
one of the objections which Mr. Cartwright himself brought 
against the Prayer Book was, that in the Litany, fornication is 
termed * a deadly sin.' " 

" it is strange, indeed. Sir," said he, " and sad to think that 
any one who believes the Scriptures could offer such an objection. 



15 

But it contirnis an opinion I was going to express to you. 
For if a good kind of man, as Mr. Cartwright is said to be, objects 
to the Litany on such grounds, how much more is it to be expected 
that such an admonition as that which I have spoken of would be 
frequently scorned and hooted at. 

" And then," continued he, " supposing such an admonition as 
this had been made and used in the Church for hundreds of years, 
and it were now to be left out in the reformed Prayer Book, 
would not such a measure give great satisfaction and encou- 
ragement to all the loose dissolute people throughout the country ?" 

" That cannot be doubted," I answered. " But there is one 
objection, (absurd enough to be sure,) which people offer against 
the Athanasian Creed, which you have not noticed, perhaps 
because you had never heard of it. 

" The objection I mean is, that this Creed leaves no allowance 
for unavoidable ignorance, or bad education ; nor any chance even 
for persons of v/eak doubting minds, no not for idiots, or children, 
to escape from its heavy censures. 

" It is, obviously, an absurd objection, yet it is what people do 
urge, and people too who make pretension to reason and religion." 

" Sir," said he, " I can never suppose that any really con- 
scientious person, whose mind was free from prejudice, could offer 
such an objection. 

" It must be quite plain to all candid minds, that as in the Scrip- 
ture itself, so in the Church Prayer Book, we are always instructed 
to believe that our merciful God makes allowance for our weak- 
ness and bhndness in matters of knowledge and faith, as well as 
in other things. As in the Scriptures, so in the Church Prayer Book 
we are always taught, that occasional doubt and perplexity are no 
proof of want of Faith ; that he truly believes who acts, (if I may 
so say,) upon trust, who like Abraham, the father of the faithful, 
* obeys and goes on' obeying, * not knowing whither he goes ;' 
knowing only that if he follow God's guidance, he must be 
right. 

" It is too always taught, as in the Scriptures, so in the Prayer 
Book, that upon true repentance, sincere faith in the Blood and Me- 
diation of the One Redeemer, and entire submission to the guidance 
of the One Sanctifier, it is, I say, always taught, that the door of 



16 

mercy is open even to the most inveterate sinners, whatever the 
nature of their sins might have been ; unless indeed the sin against 
the Holy Ghost be considered an exception ; to guard Chris- 
tians against which, may be supposed one great and surely cha- 
ritable purpose of this Creed. 

" How then," he proceeded, " can the Church with any show 
of reason be called ' uncharitable,' which, with this evangelical 
doctrine implied in all her Services, uses occasionally the strongest 
language of warning, (or even of threatening,) against fatal sins 
and errors, if by any means she may preserve the souls commit- 
ted to her charge stedfast in the faith, * the faith which was once 
delivered unto the Saints ?' " 

" Yes," said I, " once for all, never to be changed or frittered 
away in base compliance with the ever-varying customs and fancies 
of worldly and self-conceited men." 

" And Sir," he proceeded, " I put it to myself in this way. 
What a fearful thing it would be for a person on his death-bed to 
deny the Son of God, the only Redeemer, and the Spirit of God, 
the only Comforter ! Now the Church Prayer Book considers us 
all as it were on our death-beds, or at least but a little way from 
them. The Services for the Visitation of the Sick, and the Burial 
of the Dead, come very close after Baptism and the Catechism. As 
we should wish to die, so the Church would have us live. If it be 
an awful thought to pass into Eternity in wilful ignorance or neg- 
ligence of the essential truths of the Gospel; is it not also an 
awful thought that people should spend this their probationary 
time in such ignorance or negligence ? And again, I would ask, 
can the Church be called * uncharitable,' which earnestly and in- 
cessantly, and in the plainest, strongest words that the English 
language can supply, warns her members of their danger in this 
respect ?" 

" Certainly, Richard," I replied, " what you say is most worthy 
to be thought on by all persons who find fault with this Creed. 
But I wish you to recollect, that many of them take what they call 
* high ground' in their argument. They confidently assert that it 
is * bigotted,' * unscriptural,' * unchristian,' and other such hard 
names, to pretend that * modes of faith,' (that is their term,) are of 
any great importance, or indeed of any importance at all ; that if a 



17 

man's life is in the right, his faith can't be wrong ; that of course 
adultery and those kind of things are forbidden in the Testament, 
but that there are few passages or (as some of them say) none at all, 
which can be brought forward in support of the opinions put forth 
in the Athanasian Creed ; much less (they assert) can any passages 
be found, denouncing so heavy a woe against those who reject 
these opinions." 

*' Sir," he replied, with more than even his usual energy, " I 
will be bold to say, that there are as many passages in the New 
Testament, distinctly proving and supporting the great doctrines 
put forth in the Athanasian Creed, as there are passages expressly 
forbidding adultery, and other such crimes. But supposing it 
were otherwise, it really does not appear to me, that the case 
would be different. Gambling is not in words forbidden, (so far as 
I can recollect,) in any part or passage of the Old or New Testa- 
ment ; yet no one doubts, I mean, no serious thinking person, that 
it is one of the most fatal habits a person can get into ; not because 
it is expressly forbidden in any part or passage, but because it is 
against the whole Gospel ; utterly inconsistent with a Christianas 
practice. 

" Now, Sir, it really does appear to me, that to deny the great 
doctrines contained in this noble Creed, is not merely to go against 
express passages of Scripture ; passages, I mean, wherein our 
Lord Jesus, and the Blessed Spirit, are spoken of as God ; but 
more than this, it is against the whole Gospel, utterly inconsistent 
with a Christian's faith.' ^ 

" Well, Richard," I said, '* the considerations you have sug- 
gested are certainly such as should lead all Christians to pause 
before they encourage in themselves or others any dislike of this 
ancient, and as you justly call it, this noble Creed." 

" Sir," he replied, " in my poor judgment it is indeed a noble, 
a magnificent confession. 

" But still, noble and magnificent as it is, if it, or any part 
of it, were against Scripture, or against Christian Charity, I, for 
one, should not be easy till it were put out of the Prayer Book. 

** How happy then am I to think that it breathes the very spirit 
of pure Christian Charity ; of Love, more than parental ; of Love 
like His, Sir, who ' so often would have gathered His children 

a2 



18 

together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but 

THEY WOULD NOT !'* 

" Yes, Richard," I said ; " and often as this tender yearning 
anxiety for men's souls is displayed in the conduct and words of 
our adored Master, I have frequently thought it nowhere more 
strikingly appears, than in that pathetic chapter of warnings to 
which you refer, the 23rd of St. Matthew ; a chapter truly of 
* monitory clauses.' " 

** Sir," he answered, " it might almost be expected of those 
who rashly accuse the Church of uncharitableness for retaining 
the Athanasian Creed, that they should also wish to have that 
chapter left out of the Calendar ; as indeed I have heard that they 
do wish many of the Psalms to be omitted on some such ground. 

" But it is now time for me to wish you good evening ; hoping. 
Sir, that I have not taken too great a liberty in thus speaking out 
my opinions, or wearied you by staying too long." 

" Richard," said I, " once for all, believe me it is one of the 
chief comforts and encouragements I have, to be with you at 
Church and at School, and to talk with you on these great 
subjects." 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of the Epiphany. 



{j^ These Tracts may be had at Turrill^s, No. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, Hd. the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



W. KINO, PIUMLH, »i. (LEMENI S, OXFORD. 



Jan. 6, 1831.] [No. 23.— Price ]d. 



THK FAITH AND OBEDIENCE OF CHURCHMEN, 
THE STRENGTH OF THE CHURCH. 



" And Simon Peter answered and said. Thou art the Christ, 
the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered and said unto 
him. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath 
not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. 
And I say als.o unto thee. That thou art Peter ; and upon this rock 
I will build My Church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it." Matt. xvi. 16 — 18. 

The rock, then, upon which the Church is built, is the confes- 
sion, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God ; a 
truth set forth and shadowed by the Prophets, but openly and 
plainly taught by the Apostles. St. Paul uses a similar expres- 
sion, when he speaks of the body of Christians being " built 
upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets ;" (i. e. resting in 
the sound and true doctrine which they taught ;) " Jesus Christ 
Himself being the chief corner-sione," (Ephes. ii. 20.) ; — our very 
spiritual existence depending upon our adherence to this great truth, 
that Jesus was the anointed Son of God, God and Man, the pro- 
mised Saviour of the world ; — He, who by taking man's nature 
upon Him in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, fulfilled the prophecy, 
that the Saviour should be of the seed of Abraham, in whom 
" all the nations of the earth should be blessed," (Gen. xxii. 18.) 
and the seed of the woman, who should " bruise the serpent's 
head," (Gen. iii. 15.) ; — and who, inasmuch as He was " the Only- 
begotten Son of God, (John iii. 18.) " God of God," " Very 
God of very God," (Nicene Creed,) fulfilled the prophecy, that 
the Saviour should be " the mighty God," (Isaiah ix. 6.) ; — He, 
of whom it was said, " Let all the Angels of God worship Him," 



(Heb.i. 6.) ;--and of whom it was likewise said, ** Thy throne, () 
God, is for ever and ever.'* Ps. xlv. 6. 

I said, that our very spiritual existence depends upon our ad- 
hering to this great and fundamental truth ; and this I said, not 
of us as individuals only, but as Members of the Church of 
Christ, and of that portion of Christ's Church in this Kingdom 
which is usually called the Church of England. It is true of us 
individually, as appears by the words of St. John ; " He that hath 
the Son, hath life ; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not 
life," (1 John v. 12.) ; by which we learn, that as long as we 
slight or disbelieve, or deny this sacred truth, we have no spiritual 
life in us. It is also true of us, as Members of the Church of 
Christ, and of that portion of Christ's Church in this Kingdom 
which is usually called the Church of England, as appears from 
the passage before us ; " Upon this rock, (i. e. upon this firm con- 
fession of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living 
God,) " I will build My Church; and tlie gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it." For from this we learn, that the Church, and 
any given portion of that Church, is only then able to defy the 
assaults of the Devil, that she can only then look forward with 
confidence to get the victory, so long as she adheres firmly to this 
faith and belief in Christ. When she departs from that founda- 
tion, then she ceases to have a claim for the continuance of the 
promised aid. This is a matter which it behoves Christians at all 
times to place before their eyes, and to keep in remembrance ; 
but, especially, at the present time, does it behove us, who are 
Members of the Church of Christ in England, to do so ; because 
of the unceasing endeavours which are being made by men who 
are either careless of religion altogether, or who have embraced 
false views of it, to overthrow our Church ; endeavours, which we 
have reason to regard either with fear, or not, according as we 
have reason, or not, to suppose that the Members of the Church 
have departed from the true faith and fear of God, and of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. If there is reason to believe that many or 
most of the Members of our Church are regardless of that true 
faith, and of the honour of Him in whom we believe, that by their 
lips, or hy their lives, they set at nought His Majesty, neglect His 
Sacranvonts, dospi-e His Word, forsake His Worship, obey not His 



Voice, or look for redemption and salvation by any other means 
than by His Cross and Blood, then we have every reason to fear, 
that these endeavours of our enemies will be successful ; that the 
light of God's presence will be withheld from us ; and that, as 
He withdrew from the Jews, when they neglected Christ, the 
Lord of Glory, so He will withdraw from our Nation also, and 
leave it to the wretchedness of its own chosen ways ; to the enjoy- 
ment of those idols, the world, the flesh, and the Devil, for which 
it will have forsaken the Holy One of Israel, and refused to 
hearken to the voice of the Lamb of God, who died to take away 
the sins of the world. But if not, if we have reason to hope that 
there are many true Servants of God still to be found ; that there 
are many who, not with their lips only, but in their hearts and 
with their lives acknowledge Him the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom He has sent ; acknowledge Him so as to obey His 
voice, and keep and do what He has commanded ; then may we 
regard the attempts of our enemies without dismay ; then may we 
have firm and stedfast hope, that the gates of Hell shall not pre- 
vail against us : that though it may please God that we should 
suffer for a while ; — as we suffered, together with good King Charles, 
at the hands of the Dissenters ; as we suffered, in the days of 
bloody Queen Mary, at the hands of the Roman Catholics ; as we 
suffered during the first three hundred years after Christ, at the 
hands of the Heathens and the Jews ; — yet that eventually triumph 
will await us ; that He will bring our Church out of the trial, like 
gold out of the fire, more pure and of greater worth, (" I will 
purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin ;" Is. i. 25.) 
that " all things will work together for good" to us ; and that the 
purpose aimed at by the affliction is, that He " may present our 
Church to Himself as a glorious Church, not having spot, or 
wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be holy and with- 
out blemish." Ephes. v. 27. 

It will hence appear, that it is in the power of every individual, 
by a holy and religious life in the true faith and fear of God and 
our Lord Jesus Christ, to promote not only his own salvation, 
but the welfare and stability of the Church of Christ ; or by an 
unholy, careless, and irreligious life, not only to secure his own 



damnation, but to assist the enemies of God and man, who are 
purposed to overthrow that Church. 

If times of confusion and trouble shall come, where can we 
seek for comfort but in the love of Christ, in the love of God 
to man for Christ's sake ? But how can we then take comfort 
in that love, if now we take no account of it ? Let me entreat you, 
then. Christian Brethren, while the days of peace are vouchsafed 
to you, to give more and more heed to all religious duties. The 
days may come, when your Churches will be shut up, or only 
filled by men who will not teach the whole truth as it is in Jesus ; 
when you will be deprived of Ministers of Religion ; or have only 
such as are destitute of God's Commission. Do not, I beseech 
you, by your neglect now, add to your misery then the bitterness 
of self-reproach, when you will have to say, " I had once the 
opportunity of worshipping God aright, but I neglected it, and 
He now has withheld it from me. I had once the means of re- 
ceiving the Body and Blood of my Saviour, at the hands of His 
own Minister ; but I refused it, and now He has placed it out of 
my power." 

oxford. 
The Feast of the Epiphany, 



OC?" These Tracts may be liad at TurrilVs, Xo. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3c?. per sheet, \^d. tfie half sheet, and Id. per qtiarter 
sheet. 



W, klNC, PKINTEK, SI. CI I^MEM t>, 0\roai». 



,/«. 25, 1834.] [No. 2A.^Prirf' 2r/. 



THE SCRIPTURE VIEW OF THE 
APOSTOLIC COMiMlSSION. 



I.\ referring to the Epistles of the New Testa'ment for proof 
of the duty of submission to Spiritual Authority, #e kr^ iometiiries 
met by the objection, that the case is very much altered since thre 
days of the Apostles, and since the extraordinary gifts of the Spii'tiT 
have been withdrawri from the Church. Now it writ reddfTy 
]ie admitted, on all hands, thtit the state of the Clfurch is ^ery 
greatly altered since these miraculous powers have ceased ; Mit 
at the same time we must not allow a general principle of this 
sort to set aside the authority of Holy Scripture, as far as regaMs 
our own pratctice, until, by a diligent and careful study of the Apos- 
tles* writings, we have found that the principle ddes really apply' to 
the case in question ; as, for instance, that the Apostolic Autlibrity 
is grounded in Scripture upon the possession of miraculous powers, 
and therefore necessarily ceased when those powers were vv^ithh^l'd. 
Let us then examine this point more particularly. 

Have we then considered, in refererite to this matter, that the 
extraordinary gifts of the Spirit w^^re not confined to the appointed 
teachers of the Church, but Were shed abroad upon the congre- 
gation at large, npon the young and the old alike, upon the 
servants, and upofi the hand-maidens } (Comp. Jofel ii. 28, '29.) 
It ivas ^he promise of the Old Testament, that, uridet the dispenss- 
tion 6f the New Covenant, Gob would write His La^V in the hearts 
of His people, so that they should teach no fhore every man his 
neighbour, and every man his brother^ saying • Know the LditD, 
" for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto^ th% gresite^t 
of them, saith the Lord." (Jer. xxxi. 33, 34.) This promise, we aJfe 
told in the Epistle to the Hebrew^,' vi^^s fulfilled in the G6spel ; 
and St. John, in his First General Epistlfe, expressly acknow- 
ledges: the accomplishment of th^ Prophet's words. He says to 

A 



his " little children,*' " Ye have an unction from the Holy One, 
and ye knoiv all things. I have not written unto you because ye 
know not the truth, but because ye know it. These things have I 
written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the 
anointing which ye have received from Him abideth in you, and ye 
Tieed not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing 
teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as 
it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." (1 John ii. 20, 21, 27.) 
Such general illmnination by God's Holy Spirit might seem to 
make any authoritative Apostolic declarations altogether unneces- 
sary for the converts ; but we still find St. John writing to them, 
and declaring his testimony to the Christian doctrine with much 
earnestness ; and why ? Let us hear his own words at the beginning 
of his Epistle ; " That which we have seen and heard declare we 
unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us ; and truly our 
fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.'* 
Here we have the object of the Apostle's affectionate address fully and 
clearly stated. He and his Fellow-Apostles, the witnesses of their 
Master's Life and Death and Resurrection, had received from Him a 
glorious revelation to communicate to the world ; they had seen 
and did testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of 
the world ; upon this foundation they were commissioned to build 
the Christian Church ; and it was their holy and blessed office to 
" stablish, strengthen, settle" the faith of their " little children" in the 
Gospel ; to tell them how they might keep themselves from the spirit 
of error ; and continuing " stedfast in the ^^postles' doctrine and 
fellowship,'* might through them have fellowship with the Father 
and the Son, and so " rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of 
glory." Here we learn the full force of St. John's authoritative 
language. He was marking the lines of *' the foundation of the 
Apostles and Prophets," in order that his disciples might duly be 
built upon their most holy faith into a temple meet for the habita- 
tion of God through the Sphiit ; they were God's building, and the 
Apostle was one of the " wise master-builders," whom Chkist had 
appointed to build His Spiritual House. And this view of the 
matter will become still clearer, if we study well the prayer which 
Christ offered for His Church at the solemn moment when He 



was just about to purchase it to Himself by the shedding of His 
precious Blood. We there find our Blessed Lord, having first de- 
clared that His work was finished on earth, and having earnestly 
besought the Father now to glorify Him, proceeds to pray for 
His Apostles, that His Father would preserve them in unity, and 
truths and holiness. He says, " I have manifested Thy name unto 
the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; I have given unto 
them the words that Thou gavest Me, and they have received them ; 
Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast 
given Me, that they ^nay be one as We are. Sanctify them through 
Thy truth ; Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the 
world, even so have 1 also sent them into the world. And for their 
sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through 
the truth." Thus did Christ lay the foundations of His One Holy, 
Catholic, Apostolic Church ; in the remainder of His prayer He 
intreats like blessings for all who should be built on this sure 
foundation, that they might be so joined together in unity of spirit 
by the Apostles' doctrine, as to be made an holy temple acceptable 
to God through Him. (Coll. for St. Simon and St. Jude.) " Nei- 
ther pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe 
on Me through their word ; that they all may be one, as Thou 
Father art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, 
that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." Accordingly 
weread that when, on the day of Pentecost, three thousand were 
brought to believe on Christ through St. Peter's word, they were 
baptized into that holy communion, " and they continued stedfast in 
the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship,'' (according to a text already 
quoted,) and the Lord daily added fresh members to this Church. 
And in later times, when false teachers were gone abroad seducing 
the disciples, the Apostles wrote to them, declaring and remindino- 
them what the Apostolic doctrine was, that they might have the joy 
fulfilled in themselves of knowing that they were in the unity of 
the Apostolic Church, one in Christ and in the Father. And 
so St. Paul explains why he wrote to the Corinthians, " not for 
that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy ; 
for by faith ye stand." (2 Cor. i. 24.) 

St. Peter, again, in his Second Epistle, uses exactly the same 
language with St. John. He writes as '* a servant and an Apostle 



of Iesus Chiust, to thciii that have obtained like precious faith 
with us ; according as His divine power hath given unto us all 
things that pertain unto hfe and godliness ; exceeding great and 
precious promises, that by these 7/e might be partakers of the Divine 
nature ;•' i.e. he does notdrawany line of di<Terence between iiimself 
and his brethren, as if he had miraculous powers which they had not ; 
but rests his teaching on the plain fact of his being commissioned, and 
commissioned with the simple object of communicating the doctrine 
which had been disclosed to him. He addresses his converts 
just as St. John does, not as though they were ignorant or unmind- 
ful of the truth, but in order to strengthen their conviction of tlwse 
holy facts and doctrines to which he and his Brother- Apostles were 
commissioned to bear witness. " I will not be negligent," he says, 
^' to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye 
know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it 
meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting 
you in remembrance. Moreover, I will endeavour that after my 
decease ye may have these things always in remepibrance. For 
WE have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made 
known unto you the power and coniing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

but were eye-witnesses of His Majesty, and this voice which 

came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the Holy 
Mount.'' Again he says, *' This Second Epistle, beloved, I now 
write unto you ; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of 
remembrance, that ye may be mindful of the words which were 
spoken before by the holy Prophets, and of the commandment of 
us the .Apostles of the Loud and S.^vioun.'* For by adherence 
to the commandment of the Apostles, and the doctrine of the Pro- 
phets, it might be known that Christians were building theniselyes 
up on the only true foundation, even Jesus Cii|iist. 

But it is in St. Paul's writings that we shall find tlie fullest and 
clearest view of Apostolical Authority ; and it is weil worthy of our 
observation, that the Church upon which the Apostle most strongly 
enforces that Authority, is the very Church which is niost distin- 
guished in the New Testament fop the abundance of its Spiritual 
gifts; so that clearly it was not an exclusive possession of miracu- 
lous powers, which constituted the distinction between Apostles and 
private Christians. He begins his First Epistle to the Corinthians 
by thanking GoD on their behalf" for the grace of GuD which was 



given Uiem by Jesus Christ, that in every thing they were en- 
riclieti by Him in all utterance and in all knowledge, so that tliey 
came behind in no gift.'' But the Apostle goes on immediately to 
reprove them for their want o^ unity ; it had been declared to him, 
that there were contentions among them. And how did these con- 
tentions arise ? in low views of Apostolical Authority. They had 
forgotten that there was but One Foundation ; One Building of God ; 
One Rule, according to which the several builders must carry up the 
structure which Apostles had founded. And how did the Apostle 
endeavour to drive out the spirit of schism ? by asserting and en- 
forcing his own authority over them, as the one only father whom 
they had in the Gospel, (though they might choose for themselves 
ten thousand instructors,) and by sending Timothy to bring into 
their remembrance his ways which were in Christ, as he taught 
every where in every Church. Thus were they to be brought back 
to the blessed unity of spirit of the One Catholic and Apostolic 
Church. — And here, by the way, we have light thrown upon the 
doctrine contained in the Epistles of Ignatius. Remarkable and 
consolatory to the inquirer after truth as is the evidence therein 
afforded to the divine appointment of Episcopacy, perhaps there is 
mingled with his satisfaction some surprise at the earnestness and 
frequency with which the Holy Martyr urges the doctrine. But it 
is plain, what the Apostles are in St. Paul's Epistles, such the Bishops 
are in those of Ignatius, centers of unity ; and as St. Paul, when 
denouncing schism, magnifies the Apostolic Office, in just the same 
natural, or rather necessary way, does Ignatius oppose the varieties 
of opinion in his own day by the doctrine of Episcopacy. — To 
return : the same Apostle writes to the Church of Rome ; " I 
myself am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of 
goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in 
some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the gnace that is given 
to me of God, that I should be the Minister of Jesus Christ to 
the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God.*' (Rom. xv. 14—16.) 
The passage which follows is worthy of especial notice, as shewing 
that the Apostles marked out for themselves distinct provinces, so 
that each had his own Diocese, as it were, his own peculiar sphere 
of duty and authority. St. Paul tells us he strove to preach not 



6 

where Christ was named, lest he should build upon another man's 
foundation, (ibid. 20.). Each laid down for himself his own " mea- 
sure," and would not stretch beyond it. (2 Cor. x. 14.) And this will 
perhaps help to explain the fact which early tradition hands down to 
us of the wide dispersion of the Apostolic Body. At all events, it is 
certain from History, that the different Churches claiming Apostolic 
Descent, were very careful to maintain the practices which they had 
each derived from their respective Founders. To the Church of 
Corinth accordingly St. Paul writes as its sole Founder and Father, 
claiming upon this ground Supreme Authority over it in the name of 
Jesus Christ. And with this Epistle before us, we cannot doubt 
of the conclusion which we have already seen may be clearly 
enough deduced from other Epistles of the New Testament, viz. 
that the Authority which the Apostles claim for themselves, they 
claim, not on the ground of high supernatural endowments, (for 
these were the possession of the Church at large,) but on the 
ground of " the Grace and Apostleship" which they had received 
from Christ, the Head of the Christian Church, " for obe- 
dience to the faith among all nations for His name." That is, they 
refer directly to their Commission as His Apostles, to go into all the 
world and preach the Gospel to every creature ; they refer to the 
Authority with which He invested them when He stood in the midst of 
them, and said unto them, " as My Father hath sent Me, even so 
SEND I you ;" and bade them receive the Holy Ghost, to be with 
them in the prosecution of their High and Holy Office. This point 
is very strikingly exhibited in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 
because there the possession of extraordinary gifts, and the posses- 
sion of Spiritual Authority, are brought into immediate contrast with 
each other. The Corinthians, proud of the gifts of other teachers, 
had raised parties in opposition to St. Paul, and questioned his 
authority. How then did he maintain it ? not by claiming higher 
gifts and graces^ for himself, (though he spoke with tongues more 
than they all,) but by referring to his Office^ as a Minister and an 
Apostle of Christ, whose One Spirit governs the whole body of the 
Church, appointing divers orders, and dividing to every man seve- 
rally as He will. That he M;a.yan Apostle he proved by the fact, 
that he had been equally favoured with the Twelve; that he had 
seen our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh ; and had received the 



doctrines of His Gospel, and grace to preach them to the 
world. This was the simple ground on which he claimed Au- 
thority; it was not, because of the gifts or graces which he as an 
individual possessed ; nor was it because he had laboured more 
abundantly than all the other Apostles; nor because of his signal 
labours and afflictions for Christ's sake. He mentions these 
in his Second Epistle, to show, that if he chose to adopt the lan- 
guage of his adversaries, he had a better right than they to glory ; 
but all the while he tells the Corinthians that he was " become a fool 
in glorying ;" that they had compelled him ; that he could show the 
signs of an Apostle^ and needed no epistles of commendation. It 
was in right of his Office that he claimed Authority ; it was for the 
sake of that Office that he endeavoured to give no offence in any 
thing, but in all things to approve himself as the Minister of 
God. 

Now, perhaps some persons may be disposed to think that this 
Apostolical Authority would terminate with the Apostles themselves, 
with the favoured men who had been " eye-witnesses and ministers 
of the word," and could declare to others what they had themselves 
heard and seen. This might appear probable, if we had only our 
own reasonings to go upon, but Scripture teaches us a very different 
lesson. When St. Paul felt that his time was now nearly come, he 
writes to Timothy, his " dearly beloved son," giving him his last 
solemn charge, as to one who was henceforth to occupy the post 
which he had hitherto, by God's grace, maintained in the battles of 
his Lord. He earnestly commands him, " watch thou in all 
things, endure afflictions, do the work of an Evangelist, make full 
proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the 
time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I 
have finished my course, I have kept the faith." This faith which 
St. Paul had so anxiously kept, was now to be committed to Timo- 
thy's charge ; he had already been put in trust with the Gospel by 
the Holy Ghost and the imposition of the Apostles' hands; and 
now upon Him was to devolve the solemn responsibility of being 
left in charge of the Apostles' testimony, and of handing it down 
to future ages. " Be not thou therefore ashamed," says the Apos- 
tle, " of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner ; Hold 
fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me in faith 



and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing wJiich was 
committed unto thecy keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in 
us." And, in reminding him of this indwelHng of the Holy 
Ghost, the promise of Christ to His Ministers, the Apostle endea- 
vours, with evident anxiety, to embolden Timothy, by filling liim with 
a sense of the authority arid power committed to hini. " I put thee in 
remembrance, that thou stir vp the gift of God which is in thee by 
the putting on of my hands. For GoD hath not given us the spirit 
of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound Aiin<l *." '* Thou, 
therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 
And the things that thou hast heard of me among rhamj witnesses, 
the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach 
others also-f."" This last passage is very important, because it 
shows so clearly that the testimony which the Apostles bore to 
Christ did not cease with their ministry, but was to be transmit- 
ted along the sacred line of those whom they ordained, and so 
handed down to those who were to come after. And wh^re does 
this line end ? Blessed be God, it has not ended yet ; and Christ's 
promise gives us the comfortable assurance that it shall last " even 
to the end of the world." Down to our days, the Church has been 
" a witness and keeper of Holy Writ," (Art. xx.) and so faithful 
a witness, and so watchful a keeper, that we can feel as certain of 
the facts of the Gospel History, and so of the glorioirs doctrines 
which rest upon them, as if we heard them from the Apostles' ow^n 
lips. And how beautifully are we reminded of St. Paul's dying 
charge to Tim6thy, when we see the Fathers of our own Church 
laying their hands on the heads of their sons in the faith, 
bidding them receive the Holy Ghost for their high office and 
work in the Church of God, and charging them to be faithful 
dispensers of the Word of God and His Holy Sacraments ; and then 
deHvering into their hands that Holy Book which the Church ha? 
preserved and handed down, with authority to preach it in th( 
congregation ! Thus is the testimony of the Apostles still delivered 
in the Church, which is " the pillar and ground of the truth;" and 

♦ iSo, Writing to tlie Corinlhians, St. Paul joins 'limolliy with himself, and 
claims for him like authority. " If Timotheus come, see that he may b^ uith 
you vit/toi(t/e(tr ; for he ^vorkl■lh the work of the Loud, as I also do. Let no 
man therefore despise him." 

t Comp. 1 Tim. i. 18. 



thus do their Successors declare it with authority, " God also 
bearing them witness," not indeed now, " with signs, and won- 
ders, and divers miracles," but still according to His own most 
true promise with invisible " gifts of the Holy Ghost." 

Let us now return to see how St. Paul exercised his Apostolical 
Authority. He had been consulted by the Church of Corinth 
upon several questions which had caused difference of opinion 
among them ; how then does he decide these questions ? In the 
first place, he draws a broad line of distinction between the points 
(in which he had an express commandment of his Lord to go 
upon, and those on which he had to give his own judgment. In some 
cases he says, " I command ;" in others, " not I, but the Lord." As 
a Minister and Steward of Christ's household, his first consider- 
ation was, whether in the course of His ministry his Master had 
left him any explicit commandment; if he found no such com- 
mandment, his next duty was to decide the question by the principles 
of Christ's Gospel. In this case, he gave his " judgment, as 
one that had obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful," as having 
been " allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel ;" and 
in such decisions he felt assured that he had the Spirit of God. 
\ccordingly he says with confidence, " If any man think himself to 
be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that 
I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord ;" referring at 
the same time to his Apostolical Authority, " What ? came the 
word of God out from you ? or came it unto you only ? is it 
nothing to you that the Apostles have so ordained, and the Catholic 
Church so received and practised .'"' And now I would ask, where 
is the essential difference between the Apostolic age and our own, 
as to the relation in which God's Ministers and His people stand to 
each other ? I do not say that the Ministers of His word in these 
days can feel so sure as the Apostles could, that in the command- 
ments which they give they have the Spirit of God ; very far 
from it. But I do say, that neither can the people feel so sure as 
in those days of miraculous gifts, that they hdive the Spirit of God 
with them ; and thus the relation between the two parties remains 
the same. Since the times of the Apostles and of miracles, the 
City of God is, as it were, come down from heaven to earth ; the 

a2 



10 

scene is changed, but the city remains the same. The Corner-stone 
is the same, its foundations are the same ; if it be not built up by 
the same heavenly rule, it will not be the city that is at unity in 
itself, the city of Him, who " is not the Author of confusion, but of ' 
peace, as in all Churches of the Saints.'^ His Holy Spirit 
works at sundry times in divers manners according to His own 
Almighty wisdom ; sometimes He descends upon His Ministers with 
an audible sound and in a visible form ; and sometimes invisibly, 
amidst the deep silence and the prayers of His faithful congrega- 
tion. Outward appearances may be changed, yet His Mighty 
Agency remains the same ; and it will be our wisdom and our 
blessedness to feel and acknowledge His presence in the " still 
small voice," as well as in the " mighty and strong wind," and in 
" the fire." For though miracles and tongues may have ceased, He 
has never ceased to send forth Apostles, and Prophets, and Evan- 
gelists, and Pastors, and Teachers ; nor will He cease to send them 
until the work of their ministry is accomplished in " the edification 
of the body of Christ ;" " till we all come in the unity of the 
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a per- 
fect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of 
Christ." 

The question to which these few observations refer, is one, it 
must be allowed, of much importance. Our Blessed Lord de- 
clares to His Apostles, "As My Father hath sent Me, even so 
send I you." Again He says, " He that heareth you, heareth Me ; 
and he that despiseth you, depiseth Me." It becomes then a 
grave question, to whom did Christ address these words ? To 
the Twelve Apostles exclusively, or to them and their Successors to 
the end of the world ? It is surely worth our while carefully to 
search the Scriptures with a view to ascertain this point. And 
while we do this, let us bear constantly in mind that slight intima- 
tions of our Lord's Will are in their degree as much binding upcm 
us as express commands; that he who knows what probably 
his Lord's Will is, will be judged as one who had probability to 
guide him ; that he who knew not through negligence or slothfulness, 
will have his negligence or slothfulness to answer for. It will not 
be a sufficient excuse for us that we thought all that was said in 



11 

the New Testament of Apostolical Authority could apply only to 
the Apostolic age. Let us remember, as a solemn warning to us, 
how it came to pass that the Jews despised and rejected Christ. 
They saw no sign from heaven, and therefore thought He could not 
be the Prophet, like unto Moses. Their fault was, that they did not 
humbly and heartily " search the Scriptures.'* 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. 



^ These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, No. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, l^d. the half sheets and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



KING, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENT'S, OXFORD. 



Jan. 25, 1834.] [jVo. 25.— PWce IJc?. 

THE GREAT NECESSITY AND 

ADVANTAGE OF PUBLIC PRAYER. 

(Extracted from Bishop Beveridge's Sermon on tJie subject. J 



Besides our praying to, and praising God in the midst 
of other business, we ought to set apart some certain times in 
every day wholly for this. The Saints of old were wont to do it 
three times a day, as we learn from Daniel. For when King 
Darius had signed the decree, *' That whosoever should ask a 
petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of the king, 
should be cast into the den of lions," it is written, " That when 
Daniel knew that the decree was signed, he went into his house ; 
and, his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, 
he kneeled upon his knees three times a-day, and prayed, and 
gave thanks unto his God, as he did aforetime." (Daniel vi. 10.) 
As he did aforetime ; which shows that this had been his constant 
practice before, and he would not leave it off now, though he was 
sure to be cast into the den of lions for it. But what times of the 
day these were, which were anciently devoted to this rehgious 
purpose, we may best gather from King David, where he saith, 
« Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud ; 
and He shall hear my voice." (Psal. Iv. 17.) He begins with the 
evening, because day then began, according to the Jewish account ; 
but he observed all these times of prayer alike. And so question- 
less did other devout people as well as he. The Jews have a tra- 
dition that those times were ordained to that use, the morning by 
Abraham ; noon, by Isaac ; and evening by Jacob. But whether 
they have any ground for that or no, be sure this custom is so 
reasonable and pious, that the Church of Christ took it up, and 
observed it all along from the very beginning. Only to distinguish 
these times more exactly, the Christians called them, (as the Jews 
also had done before,) by the names of the thirds the sixth, and 
the ninth hours. Of which TertuUian saith, " Tres istas horas ut 
insigniores '\a. rebus humanis, ita et solenniores fuisse in ora- 
tionibus divinis ; ' as they were more famous than others in human 
affairs, so they were more solemn in divine prayers.'" (Tertul. de 
Jejun. c. 10.) 



I know the Primitive Christians performed their private de- 
votions at other times as well as these ; but at these set times 
every day, especially at the third and ninth hour, they always 
performed them publicly, if they could get an opportunity. And 
if we would be such Christians as they were, we must follow their 
pious example in this, as well as in other things. 
♦ ♦ * ♦ 
As the Jewish Church had by God's own appointment the 
Morning and Evening Sacrifice every day in the year ; so all 
Christian Churches have been used to have their Morning and 
Evening Prayers publicly performed every day. As might easily 
be shewn out of the Records of the Church, from the beginning 
of Christianity. 

Not to insist upon other Churches, I shall instance at present 
only in our own ; which, as in all thin^ else, so particularly in 
this, is exactly conformable to the Catholic and Apostolic Church. 
In the First Book of Common -Prayer, made by our Church at the 
beginning of the Reformation, there was a Form composed both 
for Morning and Evening Prayer : the title of that for the Morning 
ran thus ; An Order for Mattins daily through the Year ; and of 
that for the Evening, An Order for Even Song throughout the 
Year : and accordingly there were Psalms and Chapters appointed 
both for the Morning and Evening of every day. About three or 
four years after, the same book was revised and put forth again. 
And then the Church taking notice that Daily Prayers had been 
in some places neglected, at the end of the Preface she added two 
new Rules, or, as we call them. Rubrics ; which are still in force, 
as ye may see in the Common-Prayer Books which we now use. 

The first is this : 

And all Priests and Deacons are to say daily the Morning and Evening 
Prayer, either privately or openly, not being let by sickness, or other urgent 
cause. 

By this, every one that is admitted into Holy Orders, although 
he be neither Parson, Vicar, nor Curate of any particular place, 
yet he is bound to say both Morning and Evening Prayer every 
day, either in some Church or Chapel where he can get leave to 
do it, or else in the House where he dwells, except he be hindered 
by some such cause which the Ordinary of the place judges to be 
reasonable and urgent. 



k 



The other Order is this : 

And the Curate that minister eth in every Parish-Church or Chapel, being 
at home, and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say the same in 
the Parish-Church or Chapel where he ministereth, and shall cause a bell to 
be tolled thereunto, a conveniait time before he begin, that people may come 
to hear God's Word, and jn-ay with him. 

Here we have a plain and express command, that the Curate, 
whether he be the Incumbent himself, or another procured by him 
to do it; whosoever it is that ministereth God's Holy Word and 
Sacraments in any Parish-Church or Chapel in England, shall say 
the same Morning and Evening Prayer daily in the Parish-Church 
or Chapel where he ministereth, and shall take care that a bell be 
tolled a convenient time before he begins, that people having 
notice of it, may come to God's House to hear his Holy Word 
read, and join with the Minister in performing their public devo- 
tions to him. This every Minister or Curate in England is bound 
to do every day in the year, if he be at home, and be not other- 
wise reasonably hindered. And whether any hinderance be reason- 
able or no, the Minister himself is not the ordinary judge ; for in 
all such cases that is referred by the common laws of the Church 
to the Bishop of the Diocese, or the Ordinary of the place where 
he ministereth. 

The law hath made this the duty of every Minister, and the 
Bishop or Ordinary is to see he doeth it ; and whether any have 
reasonable cause ever to omit it, or whether the cause they pretend 
for it be reasonable or no ; this is left by the law to him. He 
may allow or disallow of the pretence, as he upon the full hearing 
of it shall see good ; and may punish with the censures of the 
Church any Minister within his jurisdiction that doth not read 
the Prayers of the Church, or take care they be read every Morn- 
ing and Evening^ in the Year, except at such times when the 
Minister can prove that he had such a reasonable hinderance or 
impediment as will justify him before God and His Church. 

This care hath our Church taken, that Public Prayers be read 
every Morning and Evening throughout the Year in every parish 
within her bounds, that all who live in her communion, may after 

the example of the Apostles , go every day into the 

Temple or Church at the Hour of Prayer. She hath not appointed 
the hour when either Morning or Evening Prayer shall begin ; 
because the same hour might not be so convenient in all places. 



So that in some places it might be pretended that there was a 
reasonable hinderance ; that it could not be done just at the time. 
Wherefore to prevent any such plea, and to make the duty as easy 
and practicable, both to the Minister and people, as it could be, 
the Church hath left that to the Ministers themselves, who con- 
sidering every one his own and his peoples' circumstances, may, 
and ought to appoint such hours both for the Morning and Evening 
Prayer in their respective places, as they in their discretion shall 
judge to be most convenient. Only they ought to take care in 
general that Morning Prayers be always read before, and Evening 
after Noon. And it is very expedient that the same hours be every 
day, as much as it is possible, observed in the same place, that 
people knowing it beforehand, may order their affairs so as to be 
ready to go to the Church at the hour of prayer. 

But notwithstanding this great care that our Church hath taken 
to have daily Prayers in every parish, we see by sad experience, 
they are shamefully neglected all the kingdom over ; there being 
very few places where they have any Public Prayers upon the 
Week-days, except perhaps upon Wednesdays an 1 Fridays ; be- 
cause it is expressly commanded, that both Morning and Evening 
Prayers be read every day in the Week, as the Litany upon those. 
And why this commandment should be neglected more than the 
other, for my part 1 can see no reason. But I see plain enough 
that it is a great fault, a plain breach of the known laws of 
Christ's Holy Catholic Church, and particularly of that part of 
it, which by his blessing is settled among us. But where doth this 
fault lie ? I hope not in the Clergy. For I dare not suppose or 
imagine, but that every Minister in England that liath the care of 
souls committed to him, would be willing and glad to read the 
Prayers every day, for their edification, if the people could be 
persuaded to come to them. I am sure there is never a Minister 
but is obliged to read them daily ; and never a parish in England, 
but where the people may have them so read, if they will ; for they 
may require it by the laws both of our Church and Statcy except 
at such times when their Minister is reasonably hindered from the 
execution of his office, in the sense before explained. 

But the mischief is, men cannot, or rather will not be persuaded 
to it. They think it a great matter to come to Church uix>n the 
Lord's Day, when they cannot openly follow their particular cal- 
lings if they would. Upon other days they have other business to 



( 



mind of greater conse(|iience, as they think, than going to Prayers. 
To some it is a great disturbance to haar the bell sounding in their 
ears, and calling them to their duty, which they being resolved not 
to practise, it makes them very unea-y to be so often put in mind 
of it. Others can make a shift to bear that pretty well, as not 
looking upon themselves concerned in it. For they take it for 
granted, that Prayers were intended only for such as have nothing 
else to do. As for their parts, they have a great deal of work upon 
their hands, and must mind that, without troubling their heads 
about any thing else. This is the plain case of some ; but not of 
all. Blessed be God, He hath opened the eyes of many, especially 
in this city, who now see " the things that belong to their everlast- 
ing peace," and therefore are as constant at their public devotions, 
as they are at their private business. And I trust in His infinite 
Goodness and Mercy, that He who hath " begun so good a work 
among us,'* will one day perfect it, that we may all meet together 
" with one heart, and with one mouth to pray unto him,*' and 
praise and glorify His great name every day in the week, both in 
this city, and all the kingdom over. What a happy city, what a 
glorious kingdom would it then be ! And how happy should I think 
myself, if it would please God to make me, the unworthiest of all 
His Servants, an instrument in His Almighty hand towards the 
effecting of it in this place ! It is too great a felicity for me to 
flatter myself with the least hopes of. Howsoever I must do my 
duty, and leave the issue to Him who hath the hearts of all men 
in His hand. 

« « * * - 

That it is His [Christ's] pleasure that we should constantly use 
that Form of Prayer, which He, as our Great Lord and Master, 
was pleased to compose for all his Disciples is so plain, that I wonder 
how any can doubt of it ; there being no command in all the Bible 
more plain than that, " When ye pray, say. Our Father, which art 
in Heaven," &c. (Luke xi. 2.) But it is as plain, that He designed 
this Prayer should be used publicly, and in common by his Dis- 
ciples when met together in their public assemblies : in that he 
hath drawn it up all along in the plural number, that many may 
join together in it, and say, " Our Father, which art in Heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into 
temptation ; but deUver us from evil." So that there is not on 



petition, nor one expression in it, but what a whole congregation 
may jointly use. From whence St. Cyprian truly observed, that 
this is Publica et communis Oratio ; a Public and Common 
Prayer. Not but it may, and ought to be used also privately by 
every single Christian apart by himself; because every Christian 
is a member of Christ's Catholic Church, and should pray as 
such in private as well as in public ; and for all his fellow- 
members, as well as for himself, they being all but one body. But 
however, it must be acknowledged, that, it being so exactly fitted 
to a public congregation, it was primarily and chiefly intended for 
that purpose. And that our Saviour would have us say this 
Prayer every day, appears most plainly from that petition in it, 
" Give us this day our daily bread." For this shews, that as we 
depend upon God every day for our necessary food, so we ought 
to pray unto Him every day for it. And if we must put up this 
petition every day, we must put up all the rest with it. For 
Christ hath joined them together, and therefore we must not put 
them asunder. Neither is there any part of the Prayer but what 
is as necessary to be said every day as this. 

Wherefore seeing our Blessed Saviour Himself was most gra- 
ciously pleased to compose this Prayer so as to suit it to our daily 
public devotions, and hath plainly commanded us to use it, accord- 
ing as He had composed it ; we may reasonably from thence in- 
fer, that it is His divine will and pleasure that we should publicly 
pray to our Heavenly Father every day^ as His Church had all 
along before done it. Morning and Evening. Be sure His Apos- 
tles thought so, when they had received His Holy Spirit, ** to 
lead them," according to His promise, ** into all truth," and to 
** bring into their remembrance all things that He had said unto 
them." For after the day of Pentecost, on which the Holy Ghost 
came upon them, the next news that we hear of any of them is, 
that " Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the 
hour of Prayer, being the ninth hour," or the hour of Evening 
Prayer ; which they would not have done, if they had not believed 
it to be agreeable to the doctrine which He had taught them. 
« * « « 

The more pleasing any duty is to God, the more profitable 
it is to those who do it. And therefore He having so often, both 
by word and deed, manifested Himself well-pleased with the 
public or common Service which His people perform to Him, we 



cannot doubt but they always receive proportionable advantage 
from it. The Jews call stated public Prayers m"1D^D, Stations i 
and have a saying among them, " That without such Stations the 
world could not stand." Be sure no people have any ground to 
expect public peace and tranquillity, without praising and praying 
publicly unto Him, who alone can give it. But if all the people 
(suppose of this nation) should every day with one heart and 
mouth join together in our common supplications to Almighty 
God, how happy should we then be ? how free from danger ? how 
safe and secure under His protection ? This is the argument which 
Christ Himself useth, why " Men ought always to pray, and not 
to faint;" in the Parable of the unjust Judge, who was at last 
prevailed with to grant a widow's request, merely by her impor- 
tunity in asking it. " And shall not God," saith He, " avenge 
His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear 
long with them ? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily." 
But then He adds, " Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, 
shall He find faith on i\^ earth ?" (Luke xviii. 7, 8.) As if He had 
said, God will most certainly avenge and protect those who cry 
day and night, morning and evening, to Him. But men will not 
believe this ; and that is the reason why there are so few who 
believe that He will hear their prayers, according to His promise. 
But blessed be God, though they be but few, there are some, who 
really believe God's Word, and accordingly pray every morning 
and evening, not only for themselves, but for the country where 
they live, for all their Governors both in Church and State, and 
for all sorts and conditions of men among us. To these the whole 
kingdom is beholden for its support and preservation. If they 
should once fail, I know not what would become of us. But so 
long as there are pious and devout persons crying day and night 
to God for aid and defence against our enemies, we need not fear 
any hurt they can ever do us ; at least according to God's ordinary 
course of dealing in the world. I know that He is sometimes so 
highly incensed against a people, that He will hearken to no inter- 
cessions for them. As when he said of the idolatrous and factious 
Jews ; " Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind 
could not be towards this people." (Jer. xv. 1.) Moses had before 
diverted His wrath from them, (Exod. xxxii. 11, 12, 14.) ; and so 
had Samuel, (1 Sam. vii. 9.) ; but at this time He saith, Though 



both of them stood before Him, and besought Him for it, yet He 
would not be reconciled to this people. Which plainly implies, 
that this was an extraordinary case, and that He ordinarily used 
to hearken to the prayers which His faithful servants, such as 
Moses and Samuel were, made to Him in behalf of the people 
among whom they dwelt : according to that of the Apostle St. 
James, " The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 
much." {Jam. v. 16.) To the same purpose is that parallel place 
in the Prophet Ezekiel, where God saith, " That if a land sin 
grievously against Him, and He send the famine, the sword, the 
pestilence, or the Hke punishment, to cut off both man and beast 
from it ; though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in 
it, they should deliver none but their own souls." (Ezek. iv. 14, 
16, 18, 20.) But here we may likewise observe, that in such an 
extraordinary case as this, (which God grant may not be our own 
ere long !) although such righteous persons by all their prayers and 
tears can deliver none else, yet they themselves shall be delivered. 
As Lot was out of Sodom, and the Christians at the final destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, when eleven hundred thousand Jews perished, 
(Joseph, de Bel. Jud. 1. 7. c. 17.) and not one Christian, they being 
all, by the secret providence of God, conveyed out of the city 
before the siege began. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 1. 3. c. 5.) Which shews 
the particular care that God takes of all that believe and serve 
Him. And that one would think is enough to prevail with all that 
consult their own and others* welfare, to neglect no opportunities 
which they can get of serving so great and good a Master, all the 
ways they can, and particularly by performing their daily devo- 
tions to Him. In that they have good ground to hope that He will 
hear their prayers for others^ but may be sure He will take care of 

ihemt whatsoever happens. 

« « « * 

oxford. 
T%e Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. 



ff^* These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, Xo. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, \^d. the luilf sJieet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 

w. KING, rniNTEn, sr, Clement's, oxford. 



Feb. 2, 183 4.] 1^0. 2G.— Price 4d, 



THE NECESSITY AND ADVANTAGE OF FREQUENT 
C031MUNI0N. 

C Extracted from Bishop Beveridge's Sermon on the subject. J 



I HAVE done what I could ; I have taken all occasions to 
convince you of your sin and danger in neglecting this Blessed 
Sacrament, and to persuade you to a more frequent receiving of 
it ; but I see nothing will do : indeed nothing can do it but the 
Almighty Power of God, whom I therefore beseech of His Infinite 
Mercy to open men's eyes, that they may " see the things that 
belong to their everlasting peace, before they be hid from them.'* 
And then I am sure this Sacrament would be as vauch frequented, 
as it hath been hitherto neglected. Bat seeing He is usually pleased 
to do this great work by the Ministry of His Word, I shall make 
it my business at this time, in His name, to put you in mind of 
your duty and interest in this particular, and so set before you 
such reasons why you ought to take all opportunities of receiving 
the Mystical Body and Blood of Christ your Saviour, as I hope by 
His blessing may prevail with many to do it : God grant that it 
may do so with all that hear me at this time. 

For this purpose, therefore, I desire you to consider, First, that 
this is Christ's own Institution and Command. He, " who 
being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with 
God, and yet made Himself of no reputation for your sakes." He, 
who loved you so, as to give Himself for you, — He, who laid down 
His own life to redeem and save you, — He, the very night before 
He died for you, He then instituted this Holy Sacrament ; and He 
then said to all that hoped to be saved by Him, and to you among 
others, " Do this in remembrance of Me ;" and, " do this as oft 
as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." What ? and will you that 
hope to be saved by Him, will you never do this at all ? Or only 
now and then, when perhaps you have nothing else to do ? How 
then can ye hope to be saved by Him ? Do you think that He will 

A 



save you, whether ye observe His commands or no ? And which 
of all His commands can ye ever observe, if ye do not observe this, 
which is so plain, so easi/y so useful, and so necessary for you ? 
No, deceive not yourselves. He that came into the world, and died 
on purpose to save you, you may be confident would never have 
required you to do this, and as often as you do it, to remember 
Him, but that it is necessary for your salvation that ye do it, and 
that ye do it as often as ye can, in remembrance of Hirn. And if 
it had been necessary in no other, as it is in many respects, yet His 
very commanding it, makes it so to you, and to your salvation. 
For as He is the only " Author of eternal salvation," He is so only 
to " those who obey Him," (Heb. v. 9.) ; that is, " to those who 
observe all things whatsoever He hath commanded." (Matth. xxviii. 
20.) But this is one of those things which He hath commanded ; 
and therefore unless you do this, you do not obey Him, and so 
liave no ground to expect salvation from Him. He Himself hatli 
told you in effect, that He will not save you ; in that He said, 
" Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke xiii. 3,5.) 
But ye all know, that he who lives in any wilful and known sin, 
or in the wilful neglect of any known duty, he hath not yet repented, 
and turned to God, but is still in his natural estate, in a state o f 
sin and damnation. And if he happens to do so, he must inevit- 
ably perish ; there is no help in the world for it. 

Wherefore, my brethren, ye had need look about you. Christ 
your Saviour hath expressly commanded you often to receive the 
Sacrament of His Body and Blood in remembrance of Him. And 
therefore you, who never yet received it, have lived all this while 
in the wilful breach of a known Law, and by consequence in a wil- 
ful and known sin : and you who receive it but seldom, do not 
fully obey or come up to the Law, which plainly requires you to 
do it often; at least if it may be had. It is true, should God in 
His Providence cast you upon a place where you could not receive 
it if ye would, I do not doubt but He would accept of your earnest 
desires of it, as well as if ye did receive it ; and would make up 
the great losses you sustained in your spiritual estate for want of 
it, some other way. But blessed be His Great Name, this is not 
your case ; for He in His good Providence hath so ordered it, that 
you live in a place where this Holy Sacrament is actually cele- 
brated every Lord's Day, and may h? so, if there be occasion. 



fimi/ dmi in the yf'ar. Our Church requires the first, and hath 
provided for the other, by ordering that the same Collect, Epistle, 
and Gospel which is appointed for the Sunday, shall serve all the 
week after ; and by consequence the whole Communion Service, 
of which they are a part. And therefore, unless you receive it, 
and receive it often too, you will live in the gross neglect, if not in 
a plain contempt of Christ's command ; as you will one day 
find to your shame and sorrow ; for how well soever ye may other- 
wise live, this one sin is enough to ruin and destroy you for ever. 
" For," as St. James saith, " whosoever shall keep the whole law, 
and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James ii. 10.) 
And therefore, whatsoever else ye do, if ye do not this, but offend 
in this one point, you are liable to all the punishments that are 
threatened in the Law of God. Neither is there any way to avoid 
them, except you repent, and turn from this as well as from all 
other sins. 

And that ye may not think that the receiving of this Blessed 
Sacrament only now and then, as perhaps two or three tim£s a 
year, will excuse you from the imputation of living in the neglect 
of Christ's command; I desire you to consider how the Apostles 
themselves and the Primitive Christians understood it. Which 
they sufficiently declared by their practice. For when our Lord 
was gone to Heaven, and had, according to His promise, sent 
down the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles, and by that means 
brought into His Church about three thousand souls in one day, 
it is said of them, that " they continued stedfastly in the Apostles* 
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers,' ' 
(Acts ii. 42.) ; and of all that beheved, it is said, that " they, 
continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking 
bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and 
singleness of heart, (ii. 46.) Where we may observe, first, that by 
breaking of bread in the New Testament, is always meant the 
Administration of the Load's Supper. Secondly, this they are 
said to have done, kut oIkov, from house to house, as we translate 
it ; or rather in the house, as the Syriac and Arabic versions have 
it, and as the phrase koct oIkov is used by the Apostle himself, Rom. 
xvi. 5. 1 Cor. xvi. 19. ; that is, they did it either in some private 
house where there was a Church, or more probably in some of the 
houses or chambers belonging to the Temple, where they daily 



continued. Thirdly, as they continued daibj in the Temple at the 
hours of prayer, to perform their solemn devotions there, so they 
daily received the Holy Sacrament, and ate this spiritual food 
" with gladness and singleness of heart." This being indeed the 
chief part of their devotions, whensoever they could meet together 
to perform them. Especially upon the Lord's Day, as the Holy 
Ghost Himself informs us, saying, " And upon the first day of 
the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul 
preached unto them, being ready to depart on the morrow,*' (Acts 
XX. 7.) ; where we see, they did not only break breadyOT administer 
the Sacrament of our Lord's Supper upon the first day of the 
week, which we, from St. John, call the Lord's Day; but upon 
that day they came together for that end and purpose. It is true, 
St. Paul being to go away next day, he took that opportunity when 
they were met together for that end, to give them a Sermon. But 
that was not the end of their meeting together at that time. They 
did not come to hear a Sermon, though St. Paul himself was to 
preach, but they came together to administer and receive Christ*s 
Mystical Body and Blood ; which plainly shews, that this was the 
great work they did every Lord's Day : and that they came toge- 
ther then on purpose to meet with Christ, and to partake of 
Him at His own table. And seeing that the Law itself required, 
" that none should appear before the Lord empty, (Exod. xxiii. 
15.) ; therefore St. Paul requires, that upon the Jlrst day of the 
week, when Christians thus met together to receive the Sacrament, 
•* every one should lay by him in store, as God prospered him, 
for pious and charitable uses," (1 Cor. xvi. 2.) And hence pro- 
ceeded that custom which is still continued in our Church, and 
ought to be so in all. That whensoever we appear before the 
Lord at His own table, we, every one, according to his ability, offer 
up something to Him, of what He had bestowed upon us, as our 
acknowledgment of His bounty to us, in giving us whatsoever we 
have, and of His infinite mercy in giving Himself for us. 

Now seeing the Apostles themselves, and such as they first con- 
verted and instructed in the faith of Christ, usually received this 
Holy Sacrament every day in the week, and constantly upon the 
Lord's Day ; it cannot be doubted, but that they looked upon 
themselves as obliged by Christ's command to do so : and that 
when He said, " Do this, as often as ye do it, in remembrance of 



Me," His meaning and pleasure was, that they should often do it, 
so often as they met together to perform their public devotion to 
Him, if it was possible, or at least upon the Lord^s Day. And 
as this was the sense wherein the Apostles understood our Sa- 
viour's words ; so they transmitted the same together with the 
Faith, to those who succeeded them. For Tertullian, who lived in 
the next century after the Apostles, saith, that the Sacrament of the 
Eucharist, " in omnibus mandatum a Domino, etiam Antelucanis 
coetibus," was commanded by our Lord, to be celebrated in all 
Christian assemblies, even those which were held before day, (Ter. 
de cor. mil. cap. 3.) And before him Pliny the Second, who was 
contemporary with St. John, in the account he gave of the Chris- 
tians' manners to the Emperor Trajan, saith, among other things, 
** that they were wont upon a certain day, to meet together, before 
it was light, and to bind themselves by a Sacrament, not to do any 
ill thing, (Phn. Ep. 1. 10. cap. 97.) Which can be understood 
only of the Sacrament of the Lord^s Supper, as administered and 
received by them upon the Lord's Day. And Justin Martyr him- 
self, who lived in the next age after, in the Apology he wrote to 
Antonius Pius in behalf of the Christians, giving a particular ac- 
count of what they did in their pubHc congregations, saith, that 
Tg rov 7}Xiov XeyojweVij yiyi-epgc, upon that which is called the day of 
the Sun, or Sunday, all Christians that live either in the cities, or 
in the country, meet together ; where they hear the writings of 
the Prophets and Apostles read, and an exhortation made to them ; 
and then they having all joined together in their common prayers, 
bread and wine is brought and consecrated, or blessed by the 
President or Minister ; and distributed to every one there present, 
and carried by Deacons to such as were absent. Ka» tj hdha-ii; 
Koi rj /x€TaXij4'K o^tto rZv ^v'/ja.^KrTrtBivrav fKaa-ra yiveroct. And the 
distribution and participation of the consecrated elements is made 
to every one, (Just. Mart. Apol. 2.) And this food, saith he, 
KaXiTrai irap' ^yuv Evxapurtia,, is called by US the Eucharist. From 
whence it appears, that in these days, every one that was at Prayers 
and Sermon, received also the Holy Sacrament, at least upon the 
Lord's Day. None offered to go out until that was over ; or if 
they did so, they were cast out of the Church, as not worthy to 
be called Christians : as appears from the Apostolical Canons 
made or collected much about that time, or soon after. One 



6 

whereof runs thus, ndvrcci; rohq ciV/ovTa? Trto-Toi/^, etc. All believers 
that come to Church, and hear the Scriptures, but do not stay to 
join in the Prayers ^ and the Holy Communion^ ought to be excom- 
municatedi as bringing confusion into the Church, (Can. Apostol. 
9.) It was then, it seems, reckoned a great disorder and confu- 
sion for any to go out of the Church, as they now commonly do, 
until the wliole Service, of which the Communion was the principal 
part, was all over : and if any did so, they were judged unfit to 
come to Church, or keep company with Christians any longer. 
This was the discipline of the Primitive and Apostolic Church. 
This was the piety of the first Christians : and it continued in a 
great measure for some ages, as might easily be shown. But this 
may be sufficient at present to prove, that the Apostles and Primi- 
tive Christians did not think that they observed our Lord's com- 
mand in the institution of this Holy Sacrament aright, by receiving 
it only noiv and then. For, as they would never have done it at 
all, but only in obedience unto that command; so in obedience to 
that command^ they took all opportunities they could get, of doing 
it J at least they never omitted it upon the Lord's Day. But upon 
that day, whatsoever they did besides, they always did this in re- 
membrance of what their Great Lord and Saviour had done for 
them. And if we desire to be such Christians as they were, we 
must do as they did. We nmst, after their pious example, observe 
our Lord's command, by eating thi^ bready and drinking this cup 
as often as we can ; lest otherwise we lose the benefit of that death 
He suffered for us, by our neglecting to do what He hath com- 
manded in remembrance of it. 

* * * * 
What effect they [my arguments] will have upon those that hear 
them, 1 know not ; but fear that it will be much the same that 
reason and argument usually have upon the greatest part of man- 
kind ; that, very little, or none at all. But for my own part, 
when I seriously consider these things, I cannot but wonder with 
myself, how it comes to pass, that this Holy Sacrament, instituted 
by Christ Himself, is so much neglected and disused as it is, in 
a place where His religion is professed and acknowledged to be, as 
really it is, the only true religion in the world. And after all my search, 
I can resolve it into nothing else but the degeneracy of the age we 
live in, and the great decay of that most Holy Religion ymong us. 



T am sure f from the beginrwig it was not so. For some ages after 
the Establishment of the Christian Religion by Christ our Saviour, 
so long as they who embraced it gave themselves up to the con- 
duct of that Holy Spirit which He sent down among them, and 
were inspired by it with true zeal fop God, and enflamed with love 
to their ever blessed Redeemer, so as to observe all things that He 
had commanded, whatsoever it cost them ; then they never met 
together upon any day in the week, much less upon the Lord's 
Day, for the Public Worship of God, but they all received this 
Holy Sacrament, as the principal business they met about, and 
the most proper Christian service they could perform. And it is 
very observable, that so long as this continued, men were endowed 
with the extraordinary gifts as well as the graces of God's Holy 
Spirit, so as to be able to do many wonderful things by it ; yea, 
and suffer too whatsoever could be inflicted on them for Christ's 
sake. But in process of time men began to leave off their first love 
to Him, and turn His religion into dispute and controversy ; and 
then as their piety and devotion grew cooler and cooler, the Holy 
Sacrament began to be neglected more and more ; and the Priests 
who administered it, had fewer and fewer to receive it, until at 
length they had sometimes none at all. But still they mistook 
themselves to be obliged in duty and conscience to consecrate and 
receive it themselves, although they had none to receive with them. 
And this mistake, I suppose, gave the first occasion to that multi- 
tude of private masses which have been so much abused in the 
Church of Rome ; where the priest commonly receives himself, 
although he hath never a one to communicate with him ; and so 
there can be no communion at all. And as that abuse, so the disuse 
of the Holy Sacrament, sprang first from men*s coldness and m- 
differency in religion, which hath prevailed so far in our days, 
that there are many thousands of persons who are baptized, and 
Uve many years in the profession of the Christian religion, and yet 
never receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood in all 
their lives. And but very few that receive it above once or twice a 
year ; which is a great reproach and shame to the age we live in ; 
but none at all to the Church : for she is always ready to admi- 
nister it, if people could be persuaded to come to it. But that 
they cannot, or rather will not be ; they have still one pretence or 



other to excuse themselves, but none that will excuse them before 
God and their own consciences another day. 

What their pretences are, I shall not undertake to determine. 
They are so many, that they cannot easily be numbered. And 
many of them so vain and trifling, that they are not worth re- 
hearsing. But the bottom of them all is this ; men renounced the 
world, the devil, and the flesh in their baptism, but they are loth 
to do it in their lives : they then promised to serve God, but now 
they find something else to do. They have all one sin or other 
that reigns over them, and captivates their hearts and affections, 
so that they cannot endure the thoughts of parting with it. And 
they think, as they ought to do, that if they come to the Holy 
Sacrament, they must first examine themselves, repent of all their 
sins, turn to God, renew their baptismal vow, and resolve to lead 
a new life. But this they are resolved not to do. And if they 
should come to the Sacrament, it would but disturb their quiet, 
make them uneasy in their minds, and hinder them from enjoying the 
pleasure they were wont to take in all their sins And for their 
part, they had rather displease God than themselves ; and neglect 
their duty rather than leave their sins. And so add sin to sin, and 
♦'treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and 
the revelation of the righteous judgment of God." This is plainly 
the case of most of those who live in the neglect of His Holy Com- 
mandment. And what can be said to such men } so long as such, 
they are not fit to come to the Communion. And therefore all 
that can be said to them, is only to beg of them to consider 
their condition before it be too late, and repent as soon as they 
can : lest they die, as they have lived, in sin, and so be punished 
with " everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and 
from the glory of His power.*' 

But there are others who do receive the Sacrament of Christ's 
Body and Blood sometimes, as perhaps two or three times in a 
year ; and my charity prompts me to believe, that they would do 
it oftener, if they thought it to be their duty. But there are some 
things which at first sight may seem, at least to them, to plead 
their excuse ; and therefore deserve to be duly considered by us. 
As first, they say, our Church requires them only to receive three 
times a year : and they do not question but she would oblige them 



I 



9 

to receive it oftenery if it was necessary. This is a mistake that 
a great many have fallen into, and by that means have been kept 
from the Sacrament more than otherwise they would have been. 
I call it a mistake ; for it is so, and a very great one. For as in 
all things else, so particularly in this, our Church keeps close 
to the pattern of the Apostolic and Primitive Church ; when, as I 
have before observed, the Lord's Supper was administered and 
received commonly every day in the week, but most constantly 
upon the Lord's Day. And our Church supposeth it to be so 
still, and therefore hath accordingly made provision for it. Which, 
that I may fully demonstrate to you, it will be necessary to en- 
quire into the sense and practice of our Church in this point all 
along from the beginning of the Reformation, or, to speak more 
properly, from the time when she was restored to that Apos- 
tolical form which she is now of, as she was at first ; which we 
date from the reign of King Edward VL 

For in the first year of that pious prince, the Liturgy, or Book 
of Common Prayer, was first compiled ; and in the second it was 
settled by act of parliament. In which book it is ordered, that 
the Exhortation to those who are minded to receive the Sacrament, 
shall be read ; which is there set down, much the same that we 
read now. But afterwards it is said, " in Cathedral Churches, or 
other places where there is daily Communion, it shall be sufficient 
to read this Exhortation above written once in a month. And in 
Parish Churches upon the week-days it may be left unsaid." Fol. 
123. Where we may observe, first, that in those days there was 
daily Communion in Cathedral Churches, and other places, as 
there used to be in the Primitive Church. And accordingly I 
find, in the records of St. Paul's, that when the plate, jewels, &c. 
belonging to the said Cathedral, were delivered to the King's Com- 
missioners, they, upon the Dean and Chapter's request, permitted 
to remain, among other things, "two pair of basyns for to bring 
the Communion Bread, and to receive the offerings for the poor ; 
whereof one pair silver, for every day, the other for festivals, &c. 
gilt." (Dugdal Hist, of St. Paul's, page 274.) From whence it is 
plain, that the Communion was then celebrated in that Church 
every day. And so it was even in Parish Churches. For other- 
wise it needed not to be ordered as it is in the Rubric above 
mentioned, that in Parish Churches upon the week-days the said 



10 

Exhortation may be left unsaid. And to the same purpose it is 
afterwards said, " when the Holy Communion is celebrated on 
the work-day, or in private houses, then may be omitted the Gloria 
in Excelsis, the Creed, the Homily and the Exhortation." Fol. 132. 

Next after that we quoted first, this Rubric immediately follows ; 
" And if upon the Sunday or Holy-day, the people be negligent 
to come to the Communion, then shall the Priest earnestly exhort 
his parishioners to dispose themselves to the receiving of the Holy 
Communion more diligently, saying," &c. Which shews, that 
upon all Sundays and Holy-days people then generally received ; 
the Church expected and required it of them. And if any 
Minister found that his parishioners did not always come, at least 
upon those days, he was to exhort and admonish them to dispose 
themselves more diligently for it ; and that by the command of 
the Church itself ; whereby she hath sufficiently declared her will 
and desire, that all her members should receive the Communion 
as they did in the Primitive times, every day in the week if possi- 
ble ; and if that could not be, yet at least every Sunday and 
Holy-day in the year. 

In the Rubric after the Communion Service, there are several 
things to the same purpose; for it is there ordered, that upon 
Wednesdays and Fridays, although there be none to communicate, 
the Priest shall say all things at the Altar appointed to be said at 
the celebration of the Lord's Supper, until after the Offertory. 
And then it follows : " And the same order shall be used when- 
soever the people be customably assembled to pray in the Church, 
and none disposed to communicate with the Priest.*' Fol. 130. 
Whereby we are given to understand, that upon what day soever 
people came to Church, the Priest was to be ready to celebrate the 
Holy Sacrament if any were disposed to communicate with him. 
And if there were none, he was to shew his readiness, by read- 
ing a considerable part of the Communion Service. 

There is another Rubric in the same place, that makes it still 
plainer. Which I shall transcribe, because the book is not coni- 
monly to be had ; neither can it be expressed better than in its 
words, which are these : " Also, that the receiving of the Sacra- 
" ment of the Blessed Body and Blood of Christ, may be most 
** agreeable to the Institution thereof, and to the usage of the 
" Primitive Church, in all Cathedral and Collegiate Churches there 



11 

" shall always some communicate with the Priest that ministereth. 
** And that the same may be also observed every where abroad in 
** the country, some one at the least of that house in every Parish^ 
" to whom by course, after the ordinance herein made, it apper- 
" taineth to offer for the charges of the Communion ; or some other 
" whom they shall provide to offer for them, shall receive the Holy 
** Communion with the Priest ; the wiiich may be the better done, 
" for that they know before when their course cometh, and may 
*' therefore dispose themselves to the worthy receiving of the 
" Sacrament. And with him or them, who doth so offer the 
" charges of the Communion, all other who be then godly disposed 
" thereunto, shall likewise receive the Communion. And by this 
" means the Minister having always some to communicate with 
" him, may accordingly solemnize so High and Holy Mysteries, 
" with all the suffrages and due order appointed for the same. 
" And the Priest on the week-day shall forbear to celebrate the 
" Communion, except he have some that will communicate with 
" him." 

Here we see what care the Church took that the Sacrament 
might be daily administered, not only in Cathedral, but likewise 
in Parish Churches. For which purpose, whereas every Parish- 
ioner had bel^)re been used to find the Holy Loaf, as it was called, 
in his course; in the Rubric before this, it is ordained that every 
Pastor or Curate shall find sufficient Bread and Wine for the Com- 
munion ; and that the Parishioners every one in his course, shall 
offer the charges of it at the Offertory to the Pastor or Curate ; 
and in this it is ordained that every such Parishioner shall 
then in his course communicate, or else get some other person to 
do it, that so the Communion may be duly celebrated ; and all 
there present that were godly disposed might partake of it. 
Which one would have thought as good a Provision as could 
have been made in the case. But nothwitlistanding, through the 
obstinacy or carelessness of some, in not making their said offering 
as they were commanded, it sometimes failed ; as appears from the 
Letter written about a year after by the Privy Council, and sub- 
scribed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, to the 
Bishops, to assure them that the King intended to go on with 
the Reformation, wherein among other things they say : " And 
" farther, whereas it is come to our knowledge that divers froward 



12 



*' and obstinate persons do refuse to pay towards the finding o 
" Bread and Wine for the Holy Communion, according to the or- 
" der prescribed in the said book, by reason whereof the Holy 
" Communion is many times omitted upon the Sunday ; These 
" are to will and command you to convent such obstinate per- 
" sons before you, and them to admonish and command to keep 
" the order prescribed in the said book. And if any such shall 
" refuse so to do, to punish them by suspension, excommunica- 
" tion, or other censures of the Church." (Hist, of Reform. Part ii. 
Coll. p. 192). From whence we may also learn how much they 
were troubled to hear that the Holy Sacrament was any where 
omitted even upon the Sunday, upon any Sunday ; how great a 
fault and scandal they judged it to be, and what care they took 
to prevent it for the future. 

This was the state of this affair at the beginning of the 
Reformation, and it continues in effect the same to this day. 
About three or four years after the aforesaid Book of Common 
Prayer first came out, it was revised, and set forth again with 
some alterations in the form, but none that were material in the 
substance of it. Only the former way of the Parishioners finding 
Bread and Wine for the Communion every one in his course, being 
now found not so effectual as was expected ; that^ras now laid 
aside, and it was ordered to be provided at the charges of the 
Parish in general, in these words ; ** The Bread and Wine for 
** the Communion shall be provided by the Curate and Church- 
" wardens, at the charges of the Parish ; and the Parish shall be 
•' discharged of such sums of money or other duties, which hither- 
" to they have paid for the same, by order of their houses, every 
** Sunday." Where we may take notice, that as hitherto it had 
been provided every Sunday by the houses of every Parish, as 
they lay in order, it was now to be provided by the Minister and 
Churchwardens, at the charges of the whole Parish, but still every 
Sunday, as it was before ; which being the most certain way 
that could be found out for it, it is still continued. The first 
part of this Rubric, whereby it is enjoined, being still in force. 
But the latter part, from these words, " and the Parish shall be 
discharged," &c. is now left out, as it was necessary it should bci 
after the former course had been disused for above an hundred 
years. 



fS 



13 

Now this Book of Common Prayer, which was thus settled by 
Act of Parliament, in the fifth and sixth year of Edward the VI., 
w^s that which was afterwards confirmed in the beginning of 
Queen Elizabeth*s reign, with one alteration or addition of certain 
lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year, and the form of 
the Litany altered, and corrected, with two sentences only added 
in the delivery of the Sacrament to the Communicants. These 
were all the alterations that were then made, or indeed that have 
been ever made since that time to this, except it be in words or 
phrases, in the addition of some prayers, and in some such incon- 
siderable things, as do not at all concern our present purpose. 
For the care of our Church, to have the Holy Communion 
constantly celebrated, hath been the same all along, from the time 
that the Book of Common Prayer before spoken of, was first set- 
tled. As may be easily proved from that which was established 
by the last Act of Uniformity. Which therefore I shall now briefly 
consider, so far as it relates to the business in hand ; that we may 
understand tlie sense of our Church at present concerning it. 

For this purpose therefore we may first observe that the Commu- 
nion Service is appointed for the Communion itself, and therefore 
called the Order for the Administration of the Lord*s Supper, or 
Holy Communion. Now our Church supposing, or at least hoping 
that some of her members will receive this Holy Communion every 
day, hath taken care that this service may be used every day in 
the week, as appears from the Rubric immediately before the pro- 
per lessons, which is this : *' Note also, that the Collect, Epistle,^ 
" and Gospel appointed for the Sunday, shall serve all the week 
" after, where it is not in this book otherwise ordered." But the 
Collect, Epistle, and Gospel are part of the Communion Ser- 
vice, for which there is no occasion on the week-days ; neither can 
it be used except the Communion be administered, which therefore 
is here supposed to be done every day in the week. And so it is 
also in the celebration of the Communion itself, where there are 
proper prefaces appointed to be used upon certain days. Upon 
Christmas-day and seven days after. Upon Easter-day and seven 
days after. Upon Ascension-day and seven days after. Upon 
Whit-Sunday and six days after, (the next day being Trinity Sun- 
day, which hath one peculiar to itself). Now to what purpose are 
these prefaces appointed to be used seven days together, or six. 



14 

none of which can be a Sunday, if the Sacrament ought not to be 
administered upon all those days, and so upon week days as 
well as Sundays ? They are all, as I intimated before, to be used 
in the actual Administration of it, and therefore plainly suppose it 
to be actually administered upon each of those days, which being 
for the most part neither Sundays nor Holy-days, they most evident- 
ly demonstrate, that according to the mind and order of our Church, 
as well as the Primitive, the Lord's Supper ought to be admi- 
nistered every day, that all who live as they ought, in her Commu- 
nion, may be daily partakers of it. 

In the rules and orders, (which we call the Rubric,) after the 
Communion Service, there are several things tliat deserve to be con- 
sidered in this case. It is there ordered, that there shall be no 
celebration of the Communion, except there be a convenient 
number; that \s,four, or three at the least, to communicate with 
the Priest. According to which rule, although the Priest have all 
things ready, and desires to consecrate and receive the Holy Sacra- 
ment himself, yet he must not do it, unless he have such a num- 
ber to communicate with him, that it may be properly a Communion. 
But, as it is there ordered, " Upon the Sundays and other Holy- 
" days (if there be no Communion) shall be said all that is 
" appointed at the Communion until the end of the general prayer 
" (for the good estate of the Catholic Church of Chkist) ;" where 
we may observe, that the Church, as 1 have shewn, appoints the 
Sacrament to be administered evei-y day. But if it so fall out, 
that there be not in any place a convenient number to conmiuni- 
cate with the Priest, and by consequence according to the order 
before mentioned, no Communion ; yet nevertheless upon Sundays 
and other Holy-days so much of the Communion Service shall be 
said as is there limited. Why only upon Sundays and Holy-days, 
but to distinguish them from other days, on which if there be a 
sufficient number of Communicants, the whole Connnunion Ser- 
vice is to be used ; but no part of it, except there be so ; but 
upon Sundays and Holy-days, although there be not such a num- 
ber, and therefore no Communion ; yet, however, the Priest shall 
go up to the Altar, and there read all that is appointed to be said 
at the Communion, until the end of the prayer for Christ's 
Catholic Church ; whereby the people may see, that neither he nor 
the Church is lo be blamed, if the Holy Sacrament be not then ad- 



15 

ministered. For as miuli as he is there ready by the order of the 
Church to do it, and goes as far as he can in the Service appointed 
for it, without the actual administration of it ; and therefore that 
the fault is wholly in themselves that it is not actually admi- 
nistered, because they will not make up a convenient number among 
them to communicate with him. Which is a most excellent order; 
for the people hereby have not only God's Holy Commandments 
solemnly proclaimed, the Epistle and Gospel for the day, the 
Nicene Creed, and prayers proper for that occasion read to them ; 
but they are likewise put in mind of their duty to their Saviour 
in receiving His most Blessed Body and Blood, and upbraided with 
their neglect of it. For which purposes also, I think it very ex- 
pedient, that the order of the Church for the reading that part of 
the Service at the Communion Table, even when there is no Com- 
munion, be duly observed. 

The next Rubric, in the same place, that concerns our present 
business, is this ; " And in all Cathedral and Collegiate Churches 
and Colleges, where there are many Priests and Deacons, they 
shall all receive the Communion with the Priest every Sunday at 
the least, except they have a reasonable cause to the contrary.'' 
Where we see that the Church doth not command, but supposes 
that the Sacrament is constantly administered in all such places ; 
taking it for granted, that it is never omitted there, where there are 
so many persons devoted to the service of God ; but that there is 
always a sufficient number to communicate. But she absolutely 
commands, that all Priests and Deacons that belong to such foun- 
dations, shall receive the Communion with the Priest every Sunday 
at the least, except any of them have a reasonable cause to the 
contrary, (which the Ordinary of the place, I suppose, is to be 
judge of:) they are bound therefore, all and every one of them, 
to receive it every Sunday, which notwithstanding they cannot do, 
unless it be administered every Sunday among them. Wherefore 
if there be any such places where it is not so administered, or any 
such persons who do not, without just cause to the contrary, receive 
it every Sunday in the year, I do not see how they can answer it 
to God, to the Church, or to their own consciences. Neither are 
they bound to receive it only every Sunday, but every Sunday at 
the least : which plainly supposeth that it is administered upon 
other days as well as Sundays. For otherwise they could not re- 



in 

ceive it oflener, if they would. And it is to be hoped, that all 
such persons receive it as often as it is administered among them. 
But the Church expressly requires them to receive it at least every 
Sunday, so as never to omit it at least u})on that day, except they 
have a reasonable, or such a cause to the contrary as will justify 
their omission of it before the Church, and Christ Himself 
at the last day. These things being thus briefly explained, we 
shall easily see into the meaning of the words that gave us the oc- 
casion to discourse of them, which are these, in the place last 
quoted ; .4nd note^ that every parishioner shall communicate at 
the least three tim^s in the year^ of which Easter to he one. From 
whence some have been tempted to think, that the Church doth 
not look upon it as necessary that they should communicate above 
thrice a year. I say, tempted to think so. For no man surely in 
his right wits can of himself draw such an inference from these 
words, which is so directly contrary to the sense of the Church, 
and hath no foundation at all in the words themselves. For the 
Church, as I have shown, hath taken all the care she can, that the 
Holy Sacrament should be every where administered, if it was 
possible, every day, at least every Sunday and Holy- Day in the 
year ; which she would never have done, if she had thought it suf- 
ficient for any one to receive only thrice a year. For then all her 
care about the frequent administration of it, would be in vain, and 
to no purpose. And besides, she hath drawn up an excellent ex- 
hortation to be read by the Minister of every parish, in case he 
sees the people negligent to come to the Holy Communion, begin- 
ning thus : " Dearly beloved, on I intend by God's Grace, 

to celebrate the Lord's Supper." Where we may observe, that 

it is not said on such a Sunday, but on with a blank, to 

shew that the Minister may appoint the Communion on any day 
of the week, when he can have a sufficient number to communicate 
with him ; and so it is in the other exhortation ; only there is day 
put in, which may be understood of Tuesday or Wednesday, or 
any other day as well as Sunday, for the same reason. In that 
first mentioned, the Minister, in the words, and by the order of the 
Church, invites all there present, and beseecheth them for the 
Lord Jesus Christ's sake to come to the Lord's Supper, 
And among other things, he saith to them all, " 1 bid you in the name 
of God, 1 call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you as you love your 



I 



17 

own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this Holy Comilnunion." 
There are several such pathetical expressions in that Exhorta- 
tion, wherewith the Church most earnestly exhorts, adviseth, ad- 
nionisheth all persons to come to this Holy Sacrament. And this 
Exhortation every Minister is to read publicly before all his con- 
gregation, whensoever he sees them negligent to come to it ; as all 
are, who come but two or three times a year, where they may have 
it oftener if they will. They plainly live in the neglect of it, and 
therefore ought to have this Exhortation read to them, according 
to the order of the Church. Whereby she hath sufficiently de- 
monstrated, that she doth not think it enough for people generally 
to receive it only three times in a year ; but that it is her opinion , 
that they ought, and her hearty desire they would receive it as often 
as it is, or, according to her order, ought to be administered 
among them. 

But then she wisely considers withal, that being a Mationnl 
Church, made up of all sorts of persons, it is necessary that her 
general Rules and Orders should be accommodated as much as pos- 
sible, to the several conditions and circumstances that many of 
them may be sometimes in. And therefore, although she exhorts 
all her members to frequent and constant Communion, yet she 
does not think fit to command, and oblige them all, under the 
pain of excommunication, to receive oftener than three times a year, 
lest some might be thereby tempted to come sometimes without 
that preparation and disposition of mind that is requisite to the 
worthy partaking of so great a Mystery. I say, under pain of 
excommunication; for that is the meaning and the effect of 
this law, that they who do not communicate at least three times 
in a year, may, and ought to be cast out of the Communion of 
Christ's Church, as no longer fit to be called Christians, seeing 
they five in such a gross neglect of Christ's own command, and 
of that duty whereby Christians are in an especial manner distin- 
guished from other men. Other men, as Jews, Turks, and 
Heathens, may fast and pray and hear Sermons, in their way ; 
but to receive the Sacrament of Christ's Supper, is proper and 
peculiar only to Christians, or such as profess that religion which 
Jesus Christ hath settled in the world. And therefore they 
who receive the Sacrament, do thereby manifest themselves to 
be Christians. They who do it not, make it at least doubtful whe- 

a2 



18 

tlier they be Christians or no ; for although they were baptized, 
and so made Christians once, who knows whether they have not 
renounced their baptism and apostatized from the Christian rehgion ? 
They themselves perhaps may profess they have not; but the 
Church can never know it, but hath just cause to suspect the con- 
trary, so long as they refuse to renew the vow they made in the 
Sacrament of Baptism, by receiving that of the Lord's Supper. 
And the least that can be required of them for that purpose, is to 
do it three times a year ; which therefore the Church absolutely 
requires ; not that it is not necessary for them to receive it oftener, 
in order to their salvation ; but because it is necessary they 
should do it at least so often, that the Church may be satisfied that 
they continue in their communion, and constant to that religion 
wherein alone salvation can be had. 

And hence it is, that in the rule itself, it is not said that every 
person, but every parishoner, shall communicate at the least three 
times in the year ; which therefore is required of all, not as they 
are members only of the Catholic, but as they are members of a 
Parochial Church ; and they are bound by this law to do it at 
least so often in their own Parish Church, where they are parish- 
ioners : otherwise they do not do it as parishioners, as the law 
requires. So that although a man communicates an hundred 
times in any other place ; as in the Cathedral, which is free to all 
of the Diocess, or in a Chapel of Ease, or in any other Church, 
when he can have it at his own, this does not satisfy the law. But 
he must communicate at least three times in the year, as a parish- 
ioner, in his own Parish Church, where there are officers called 
Churchwardens, appointed on purpose to take notice of it, and to 
inform the Church against him, if he neglect to do it so often as 
she requires. That she may use the most effectual means to 
bring him to repentance for his sin, and to make him more 
careful for the future to perform so great and necessary a duty 
as this is ; or if he continue obstinate, cut him off from the 
Body of Christ, as no longer worthy to be called a member 
of it. And therefore all that can be reasonably inferred from 
this law, is, that the Church doth not think them fit to com- 
municate at all, who will not communicate at least three times 
in the year. But as for her opinion of the necessity of com- 
municating oftener, in order to men's obtainmg eternal salvation 



19 

by the Blood of Christ, that she hath sufficiently declared, by the 
great care she hath taken, to have this Holy Sacrament administered 
constantly, as often as it was in the Apostles' and Primitive time 
of Christianity ; that is, as often as any Christian can desire to 
have it. For according to the order and discipline of our Church, 
if a sufficient number of parishioners^ against whom there is no 
just exception, desire to receive it every Sunday ^ or every day in 
the year, the Minister of their parish not only may, but, as I hum- 
bly conceive, is bound to consecrate and administer it to them. 
The want of such a number being, as far as I can perceive, the % 
only reason that can ever justify the omission of it. 

I have endeavoured to set this matter in as clear a light as I 
could, because it will discover to us, several things very observable 
concerning the Church we live in. For hereby we see how exactly 
she follows the pattern of the Primitive and Apostolic Church 
in this particular, as well as others; what great care she hath taken 
that the Bread and Water of Life may be duly distributed to all her 
members whensoever they hunger and thirst after it. With how 
great prudence she hath so ordered it, that all may have it as often 
as they will, and yet none compelled to receive it oftener than it 
is absolutely necessary, in order to their manifesting themselves to 
continue in the faith of Christ. How desirous she is that all 
would receive it constantly, and yet how careful that none may re- 
ceive it unworthily. How uniform she hath been in her orders 
about it all along ; and by consequence what cause we all have to 
bless God, that we live in the communion of such a Church; and 
how much it behoves us to receive the Holy Communion of her ; 
not only as often as she strictly commands all to receive it under 
the pain of excommunication, but as often as she adviseth and ex- 
horteth us to do it in order to our Eternal Salvation, and as she is 
ready and desirous to communicate it to us. And then we should 
be sure to receive it as often as we are bound, either in duty to 
God, or by our own interest to do it. 

* * * * 

The Blessed Body and Blood of Christ, received, as it ought 
to be, with a quick and lively faith, will most certainly have 
its desired effect. But it operates, for the most part, upon our 
souls, as our ordinary food doth upon our bodies, insensibly 
and by degrees. We eat and drink every day, and by that 



20 

means our bodies grow to their full stature, and are then kept 
up in life, health, and vigour, though we ourselves know not 
how this is done, nor perhaps take any notice of it. So it is 
with this spiritual meat and drink, which God hath prepared for 
our souls. By eating and drinking frequently of it, we grow 
by degrees in grace, and in the "knowledge of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ," and still continue steadfast and active in the s 
true faith and fear of God ; though after all, we may be no way 7 
sensible how this wonderful effect is wrought in us, but only as we 
find it to be so by our own experience. And if we do that, we 
have no cause to complain that we get nothing by it ; for we get 
more than all the world is worth ; being strengthened in the inward t 
man, and so made more fit for the service of God, more constant 
in it, and more able to perform it ; or at least are kept from falhng 
back, and preserved from many sins and temptations, which other- 
wise we might be exposed to ; and this surely is enough to make 
any one that really minds the good of his soul, to hunger and thirst 
after this Bread and Water of Life, and to eat and drink it as often 
as he can, although he do not presently feel the happy effect of it, 
as some have done, and as he himself sometimes may, when God 
seeth it necessary or convenient for him. In the roeaa while he 
may rest satisfied in his mind, that he is in the way that Christ 
hath made to Heaven ; and thank God for giving him so many 
opportunities of partaking of Christ's Body and Blood, and also 
grace to lay hold of them, to improve them to his own unspeakable 
comfort, such as usually attends the worthy receiving of the Lord's 
Supper : whereby we are not only put in mind of the great Sacri- 
fice which the Son of God offered for our sins, but likewise have 
it actually communicated unto us, for our pardon and reconciliation 
to the Almighty Governor of the world, which is the greatest 
comfort we can have on this side Heaven ; so great, that we shall 
never be able to express it unto others, how deeply soever we may 
be affected with it in ourselves. And though we be not always 
thus sensibly cheered and refreshed with it, as we could wish to be, 
howsoever we can never receive the Blessed Sacrament, but we 
have the pleasure and satisfaction of having done our duty to our 
Maker and Redeemer, which far exceeds all the comforts of this 
life, and therefore may well stay our stomachs till God sees good 
to give us more. 



21 

The oftener we do it, [partake the Lord's Supper,] the more 
expert we shall be at it, and the more benefit and comfort we shall 
receive from it. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for those who 
do it only now and then, (as once or twice a year,) ever to do it as 
they ought; for every time they come to it, they must begin as it 
were again ; all the impressions which were made upon their minds 
at the last Sacrament, being worn out before the next ; and it 
being a thing they are not accustomed to, they are as much to seek 
how to do it now, as if they had never done it before. It is by 
frequent acts that habits are produced. It is by often eating 
and drinking this spiritual food, that we learn how to do it, 
so as to digest and convert it into proper nourishment for our 
souls. And therefore I do not wonder that they who do it seldom, 
never do it as they ought, nor by consequence get any good by it ; 
I should rather wonder if they did. But let any man do it often, 
and always according to the directions before laid down, and my 
life for his, he shall never lose his labour ; but, whether he per- 
ceives it or not, he will grow in grace, and gather spiritual strength 
every time more and more. 

If such considerations as these will not prevail upon men, to lay 
aside their little excuses for the neglect of so great a duty, and to 
resolve for the future upon the more constant performance of it ; 
for my part I know not what will : and therefore shall say no 
more, but that I never expect to see our Church settled, Primitive 
Christianity revived, and true piety and virtue flourish again among 
us, till the Holy Communion be oftener celebrated, than it hath 
been of late, in all places of the Kingdom : and am sure, that if 
people were but sensible of the great advantage it would be to 
them, they would need no other arguments to persuade them to 
frequent it as often as they can. For we should soon find, as many 
have done already, by experience, that this is the great means ap- 
pointed by our Blessed Redeemer, whereby to communicate 
Himself, and all the merits of His most precious Death and Passion 
to us, for the pardon of all our sins, and for the " purging our con- 
sciences from dead works to serve the Living God." So that by ap- 
plying ourselves thus constantly unto Him, we may receive constant 
supplies of grace and power from Him to live in His true faith and 
fear all our days ; and by conversing so frequently with Him at His 
Holy Table upon earth, we shall be always fit and ready to go to 



22 

Him, and to converse perpetually with Him at His Kingdom above, 
where we shall have no need of Sacraments, but shall see IJimface 
to face, and adore and praise Him for ever ; as for all His other 
blessings, so particularly for the many opportunities he hath given 
us, of partaking of His most Blessed Body and Blood. 
* * * ♦ 

OXFORD. ' '^ 

The Feast of the Purification. 



K^ Tliesc Tracts may be had at Turrill^s, No, 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d. per sheet, Ijrf. the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



W. KING, rtllMtA, SI. CLEMENT b, OXFURI». 



Feb. 24, 1834.] [Xo. 27.—Pric» 3d. 



THE 

HfSTORY OF POPISH TRANSUBSTANTIATION ; 

TO WHICH IS OPPOSFD THE CATHOIIC DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SCniPirHE 
THE ASCIKNT FATHERS, AND THE nEFORMKD CHURCHES. 

fBy John Cosin, Bishop of Durham J 



CHAPTER I. 

The Spiritual Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord's 

Supper. 

Those words which our Blessed Saviour used in the institu- 
tion of the blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, *' This is My Body 
which is given for you ; this is My Blood which is shed for you, 
for the remission of sins ;" are held and acknowledged by the Uni- 
versal Church to be most true and infallible : and if any one dares 
oppose them, or call in question Christ's veracity, or the truth 
of His words, or refuse to yield his sincere assent to them, except 
he be allowed to make a mere figment, or a bare figure of them, 
we cannot, and ought not, either excuse or suffer him in our 
Churches ; for we must embrace and hold for an undoubted truth 
whatever is taught by Divine Scripture. And therefore we can 
as little doubt of what Christ saith, John vi. 55, " My Flesh is 
meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed;" which, according 
to St. Paul, are both given to us by the consecrated Elements ; for 
he calls the Bread, " the Communion of Christ's Body," and 
the Cup, " the Communion of His Blood.'* 

Hence it is most evident, that the Bread and Wine, (which ac- 
cording to St. Paul are the Elements of the holy Eucharist,) are 
neither changed as to their substance, nor vanished, nor reduced 
to nothing, but are solemnly consecrated by the words of Christ, 
that by them His blessed Body and Blood may be communicated 
to us. 

And further it appears from the same words, that the expres- 
sion of Christ and the Apo tie, is to be understood in a sacra- 
mental and mystic sense ; and that no gross and carnal presence 
of body and blood can be maintained by them. 

And though the word Sacrament be no where used in Scripture 
to signify the blessed Eucharist, yet the Christian Church, ever 
since its Primitive ages, hath given it that name, and always called 



the presence of Christ's Body and Blood therein, Mystic and 
Sacramental. Now a Sacramental expression doth, without any 
inconvenience, give to the sign the name of the thing signified ; 
and such is as well the usual way of speaking, as the nature of 
Sacraments, that not only the names, but even the properties and 
effects of what they represent and exhibit, are given to the out- 
ward Elements. Hence (as I said before) the Bread is as clearly 
or positively called by the Apostle, the Communion of the Body 
of Christ. 

This also seems very plain, that our Blessed Saviour's design 
was not so much to teach, what the Elements of Bread and Wine 
are by nature and substance, as what is their use and office and^ 
signification in this mystery; for the Body and Blood of our 
Saviour are not only fitly represented by the Elements, but also, 
by virtue of His institution really offered to all, by them, and so 
eaten by the faithful mystically and sacramentally ; whence it is, 
that " He truly is and abides in us, and we in Him." 

This is the spiritual (and yet no less true and undoubted than if 
it were corporal) eating of Christ's Flesh, not indeed simply as 
it is flesh, without any other respect, (for so it is not given, 
neither would it profit us,) but as it is crucified and given for 
the redemption of the world ; neither doth it hinder the truth and 
substance of the thing, that this eating of Christ's body is spi- 
ritual, and that by it the souls of the faithful, and not their 
stomachs, are fed by the operation of the Holy Ghost ; for this 
none can deny, but they who being strangers to the Spirit and the 
divine virtue, can savour only carnal things, and to whom, what 
is spiritual and sacramental, is the same as if a mere nothing. 

As to the manner of the presence of the Body and Blood of 
our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we that are Protestant and 
Reformed according to the ancient Catholic Church, do not search 
into the manner of it with perplexing inquiries ; but, afler the exam- 
ple of the Primitive and purest Church of Christ, we leave it to 
the power and wisdom of our Lord, yielding a full and unfeigned 
assent to His words. Had the Romish maintainers of Transub- 
stantiation done the same, they would not have determined and 
decreed, and then imposed as an article of faith absolutely neces* 
sary to salvation, a manner of presence, newly by them invented, 
under pain of the most direful curse, and there would have been 
in the Church less wrangling, and more peace and unity than 
. now is. 



CHAPTER II. 

Illustrated from Protestant Authorities. 

So then, none of the Protestant Churches doubt of the real 
(that is, true and not imaginary,) presence of Christ's Body and 
Blood in the Sacrament ; and there appears no reason why any 
man should suspect their common confession, of either fraud or 
error, as though in this particular they had in the least departed 
from the Catholic faith. 

^ For it '\8 easy to prpduce the consent of Reformed Churches 
ali3 authors, whereby it will clearly appear, (to them that are not 

^ wilftrlly blind,) that they all zealously maintain and profess this 
truth, without forsaking in any wise the true Catholic faith in this 
matter. 

I begin with the Church of England It teacheth therefore, 

" that in the Blessed Sacrament, the Body of Christ is given, 
taken, and eaten ; so that to the worthy receivers, the consecrated 
and broken Bread is the communication of the Body of Christ ; 
and likewise the consecrated Cup the communication of His 
Blood ; but that the wicked, and they that approach unworthily 
the Sacrament of so sacred a thing, eat and drink their own 
damnation, in that they become guilty of the Body and Blood of 
Christ." And the same Church, in a solemn prayer before the 
consecration, prays thus ; ** Grant us, gracious Lord, so to eat 
the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink His Blood, 
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His body, and our 
souls washed through His most precious blood ; and that we may 
evermore dwell in Him, and He in us." The Priest also, blessing 
or consecrating the Bread and Wine, saith thus ; " Hear us, O 
merciful Father, we most humbly beseech Thee, and grant that 
we receiving these Thy creatures of Bread and Wine, according to 
Thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remem- 
brance of His Death and Passion, may be partakers of His most 
blessed Body and Blood." .... The same, when he gives the Sacra- 
ment to the people kneeling, giving the bread, saith ; " The Body 
of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve 
thy body and soul unto everlasting life." Likewise when he 
gives the cup, he saith, " The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ 
which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul to ever- 



4 
lasting life." Afterwards, when the Communion is done, fol- 
lows a thanksgiving; " Almighty and everliving God, We most 
heartily thank Thee, for that Thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, 
who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual 
food of the most precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, our 
Saviour Jesus Christ ;" with the Hymn, Glory he to God on 
high, &c. Also in the public authorised Catechism of our 
Church, appointed to be learned of all, it is answered to the 
question concerning the inward part of the Sacrament, that " it is 
the Body and Blood of Christ which are verily and indeed taken 
and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper." And in the 
Apology for this Church, writ by that worthy and Reverend Pre- 
late Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, it is expressly affirmed, '* that to 
the faithful, is truly given in the Sacrament the Body and Blood of 
our Lord, the life-giving Flesh of the Son of God which quickens 
our souls, the Bread that came from Heaven, the Food of immor- 
tality, grace and truth, and life ; and that it is the Communion 
of the Body and Blood of Christ, that we may abide in Him, 
and He in us ; and that we may be ascertained that the Flesh and 
Blood of Christ is the food of our souls, as bread and wine is 
of our bodies." 

* ♦ * ♦ 

The right Reverend Doctors, T. Bilson, and L. Andrews, Prelates 
both of them, thoroughly learned, and great defenders of the 
Primitive Faith, .... made it most evident by their printed writings, 
that the Faith and Doctrine of the Church of England is in all 
things agreeable to the holy Scriptures, and the Divinity of the 
Ancient Fathers, And as to what regards this mystery, the first 
treats of it, in his Answer to the Apology of Cardinal Alan, and 
the last in his Answer to the Apology of Cardinal Bellarmine, 
where you may find things worthy to be read and noted as follows. 
" Christ said this is My Body ; in this, the object, we are agreed 
with you, the manner only is controverted. We hold by a firm 
belief, that it is the Body of Christ, of the manner how it comes 
to be so, there is iiot a word in the Gospel ; and because the Scrip- 
ture is silent in this, we justly disown it to be a matter of faith ; 
we may indeed rank it among tenets of the school, but, by no 
means, among the Articles of our Christian Belief. We like well 
of what Durandus is reported to have said, * We hear the word, and 
feel the motion, we know not the manner, and yet believe the 
presence ;' for we believe a real presence no less than you do. 



5 

We dare not be so bold as presumptuously to define any thing con- 
cernino- the manner of a true presence ; or rather, we do not so 
much as trouble ourselves with being inquisitive about it ; no more 
than in Baptism, how the Blood of Christ washeth us ; or in the 
Incarnation of our Redeemer, how the divine and human nature 
were united together. We put it in the number of sacred things, 
or sacrifices, (the Eucharist itself being a Sacred Mystery,) where- 
of the remnants ought to be consumed with fire ; that is, (as the 
Fathers elegantly have it,) adored by faith, but not searched by 
reason,'* 

♦ * ♦ * 

As for the opinion and belief of the German Protestants, it will 
be known chiefly by the Augustan Confession, presented to Charles 
the Fifth by the Princes of the Empire, and other great persons. 
For they teach, that " not only the bread and wine, but the Body 
and Blood of Christ is truly given to the receivers ;" or, as it is 
in another edition, that " the Body and Blood of Christ are truly 
present, and distributed to the communicants in the Lord's Sup- 
per ;" and refute those that teach otherwise. They also declare, 
** that we must so use the Sacraments, as to believe and embrace 
by faith, those things promised which the Sacraments offer and 
convey to us." Yet we may observe here, that faith makes not 
•those things present which are promised ; for faith, as it is well 
known, is more properly said to take and apprehend, than to pro- 
mise or perform ; but the Word and Promise of God, on which our 
faith is grounded, (and not faith itself,) make that present which is 
promised ; as it was agreed at a conference at St. German, betwixt 
some Protestants and Papists ; and therefore it is unjustly laid to our 
•charge by some in the Church of Rome, as if we should believe, 
that the presence and participation of Christ, in the Sacrament, 
is effected merely by the power of faith. 

The Saxon Confession, approved by other churches, seems to be 
a repetition of the Augustan. Therein we are taught, that " Sacra- 
ments are actions divinely instituted ; and that, although the same 
things or actions in common use, have nothing of the nature of 
Sacraments, yet when used according to the divine institution^ 
Christ is truly and substantially present in the Communion, and 
His Body and Blood truly given to the receivers ; so that He testi- 
fies that He is in them ; as St. Hilary saith, * these things taken 
and received make us to be in Christ, and Christ to be in us.' '* 

The Confession of Wittemberg, which in the year 1552, was 



propounded to the Council of Trent, is like unto this : for it teacheth 
that " the true Body and Blood of Christ are given in the Holy 
Communion ;" and refutes those that say, " that the Bread and 
Wine in the Sacrament are only signs of the absent Body and 
Blood of Christ.'* 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Luther was once of opinion, that the Divines of Basil and Stras- 
bourg did acknowledge nothing in the Lord's Supper besides 
Bread and Wine. To him Bucerus, in the name of all the rest, 
did freely answer ; " That they all unanimously did condemn that 
error ; that neither they, nor the Switzers, ever beheved or taught any 
such thing ; that none could expressly be charged with that error, 
except the Anabaptists ; and that he aho had once been persuaded, 
that Luther in his writings, attributed too much to the outward 
symbols, and maintained a grosser union of Christ with the bread 
than the Scriptures did allow ; as though Christ had been cor- 
porally present with it, united into a natural substance with the 
bread ; so that the Avicked as well as the faithful were made par- 
takers of grace by receiving the Element ; but that their own doc- 
trine and behef concerning that Sacrament was, that the true Body 
and Blood of Christ was truly presented, given, and received to- 
gether with the visible signs of Bread and Wine, by the operation 
of our Lord, and by virtue of His institution, according to the 
plain sound and sense of His words ; and that not only Zuinglius 
and (Ecolainpadius had so taught, but they also, in the public con- 
fessions of the Churches of the Upper Germany, and other 
writings, confessed it ; so that the controversy was rather about the 
manner of the presence or absence, than about the presence or ab- 
sence itself." All which Bucer's associates confirm after him. He 
also adds ; " That the magistrates in their Churches had denounced 
very severe punishments to any that should deny the presence of 
the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper." Bucerus 
did also maintain this doctrine of the blessed Sacrament in pre- 
sence of the Landgrave of Hesse and Melancthon, confessing, 
" That together with the Sacrament we truly and substantially re- 
ceive the Body of Christ." Also, ** That the Bread and Wine 
are conferring signs, giving what they represent, so that together 
with them the Body of Christ is given and received." And to 
these he adds ; " That the Body and Bread are not united in the 
mixture of their substance, but in that the Sacrament gives what 
it promiseth, that is, the one is never without the other ; and so 



they agreeing on both parts, that the Bread and Wuie are not 
changed, he holds such a Sacramental Union." Luther having 
heard thi>, declared also his opinion thus ; " That he did not locally 
include the Body and Blood of Christ with the Bread and Wine, 
and unite them together by any natural connexion ; and that he 
did not make proper to the Sacraments that virtue whereby they 
brought salvation to the receivers ; but that he maintained only a 
sacramental union betwixt the Body of Christ and the Bread, 
and betwixt His Blood and the Wine^ and did teach, that the power 
of confirming our faith, which he attributed to the Sacraments, 
was not naturally inherent in the outward signs, but proceeded 
from the operation of Christ, and was given by His Spirit, by 
His words, and by the Elements." And finally, in this manner 
he spake to all that were present; " If you believe and teach, that 
in the Lord's Supper the true Body and Blood of Christ is given 
and received, and not the Bread and Wine only ; and that this 
giving and receiving is real and not imaginary, we are agreed, 
-and we own you for dear Brethren in the Lord." All this is 
set down at large in the twentieth tome of Luther's Works, and 
in the English Works of Bucer. 

The next will be the Gallican Confession, made at Paris in a 
National Synod, and presented to King Charles IX. at the Confer- 
«nce of Poissy. Which speaks of the Sacrament on this wise ; 
** Although Christ be in Heaven, where He is to remain until He 
come to judge the world, yet we believe that by the secret and in- 
comprehensible virtue of His Spirit, He feeds and vivifies us by the 
substance of His Body and Blood received by faith. Now we say 
that this is done in a spiritual manner ; not that we believe it to be 
a fancy and imagination, instead of a truth and real effect, but ra- 
ther because that mystery of our union with Christ is of so sub- 
lime a nature, that it is as much above the capacity of our senses, 
as it is above the order of nature." Item; "We believe that in 
the Lord's Supper God gives us really, that is, truly and efficaci- 
ously, whatever is represented by the Sacrament. With the signs 
we join the true profession and fruition of the thing by them offered 
to us ; and so, that Bread and Wine which are given to us, become 
our spiritual nourishment, in that they make it in some manner 
visible to us that the Flesh of Christ is our food, and His Blood 
our drink. Therefore those fanatics that reject these signs and 
symbols are by us rejected, our blessed Saviour having said, * this 



8 

is My Body, and this cup is My Blood.* " This Confession hath 

been subscribed by the Church of Geneva. 

« « « * 

Now because great is the fame of Calvin, (who subscribed the 
Augustan Confession, and that of the Switzers,) let us hear what 
he writ and believed concerning this sacred mystery. His words in 
his Institutions and elsewhere are such, so conformable to the style 
and mind of the Ancient Fathers, that no Catholic Protestant 
would wish to use any other. " 1 understand," saith he, " what is 
to be understood by the words of Christ ; that He doth not 
only offer us the benefits of His Death and Resurrection, but His 
very body, wherein He died and rose again. T assert that the Body 
of Christ is really, (as the usual expression is,) that is truly given 
to us in the Sacrament, to be the saving food of our souls.'* Also 
in another place ; Item^ *' That word cannot lie, neither can it 
mock us ; and except one presumes to call God a deceiver, he will 
never dare to say, that the symbols are empty, and that Christ is 
not in them. Therefore if by the breaking of the bread our 
Saviour doth represent the participation of His Body, it is not to 
be doubted but that He truly gives and confers it. If it be true 
that the visible sign is given us, to seal the gift of an invisible thing, 
we most firmly believe that receiving the signs of the Body, we also 
certainly receive the Body itself. Setting aside all absurdities, I do 
willingly admit all those terms that can most strongly express the 
true and substantial Communication of the Body and Blood of 
Christ, granted to the faithful with the symbols of the Lord's 
Supper ; and that, not as if they received only by the force of their 
imagination, or an act of their minds, but really, so as to be fed 
thereby unto Eternal Life." Again, ** We must therefore confess 
that the inward substance of the Sacrament is joined with the visi- 
ble sign, so that, as the bread is put into our hand, the Body of 
Christ is also given to us. This certainly, if there were nothing 
else, should abundantly satisfy us, that we understand, that 
Christ, in His Holy Supper, gives us the true and proper substance 
of His Body and Blood, that it being wholly ours, we may be 
made partakers of all His benefits and graces." Again, ** The 
Son of God offers daily to us in the Holy Sacrament, the same 
Body which He once offered in sacrifice to His Father, that it may 
be our spiritual food.'* In these he asserts, as clearly as any one 
ran, the true, real, and substantial Presence and Communication 



9 
of the Body of Christ, but how, he undertakes not to determine. 
" If any one,*' saith he, ** ask me concerning the manner, I will 
not be ashamed to confess that it is a secret too high for my reason 
to comprehend, or my tongue to express ; or to speak more pro- 
perly, I rather feel than understand it : therefore without disput- 
ing I embrace the truth of God, and confidently repose on it. He 
declares that His Flesh is the food, and His Blood the drink of 
my soul ; and my soul I offer to Him to be fed by such nourish- 
ment. He bids me take, eat, and drink His Body and Blood, 
which in His holy Supper He offers me under the symbols of Bread 
and Wine : I make no scruple, but He doth reach them to me, and 
I receive them," All these are Calvin's own words. 

I was the more willing to be long in transcribing these things at 
large, out of Public Confessions of Churches, and the best of 
Authors ; that it might the better appear, how injuriously Protes- 
tant Divines are calumniated by others unacquainted with their 
opinions, as though by these words, Spiritually and Sacramentally, 
they did not acknowledge a true and well-understood real Pre- 
sence and Communication of the Body and Blood of Christ in 
the Blessed Sacrament ; whereas, on the contrary, they do pro- 
fessedly own it, in terms as express as any can be used. 



CHAPTER nr. 

How tJie Papists understand the Doctrine of the Spiritual Presence, 

Having now, by what I have said, put it out of doubt, that 
the Protestants believe a spiritual and true presence of Christ 
in the Sacrament, which is the reason, that according to the ex- 
ample of the Fathers, they use so frequently the term spiritual in 
this subject, it may not be amiss to consider, in the next place, 
how the Roman Church understands that same word. Now they 
make it to signify, " That Christ is not present in the Sacra- 
ment, either after that manner which is natural to corporal things, 
or that wherein His own body subsists in heaven, but according to 
the manner of existence proper to spirits, whole and entire in 
each part of the host : and though by Himself He be neither 
seen, touched, nor moved, yet in respect of the species or accidents 
joined with Him, He may be said to be seen, touched, and moved ; 
and so the accidents being moved, the Body of Christ is truly 



10 

•moved accidentally, as the soul truly changeth place with the 
body ; so that we truly and properly say, that the Body of Christ 
is removed, lifted up, and set down, put on the Paten, or on the 
Altar, and carried from hand to mouth, and from the mouth to the 
stomach ; as Berengarius was forced to acknowledge in the Roman 
Council under Pope Nicholas, that the Body of Christ was sen- 
sually touched by the hands, and broken and chewed by the 
teeth of the Priest." But all this, and nmch more to the same 
effect, was never delivered to us, either by holy Scripture, or 
the ancient Fathers. And if souls or spirits could be present, as 
here Bellarmine teacheth, yet it would be absurd to say that 
bodies could be so likewise, it being inconsistent with their nature. 
Indeed Bellarmine confesseth with St. Bernard, that *' Christ 
in the Sacrament is not given to us carnally, but spiritually ;"and 
would to God he had rested here, and not outgone the holy Scrip- 
tures, and the doctrine of the Fathers. For endeavouring, with 
Pope Innocent III. and the Council of Trent, to determine the 
manner of the presence and manducation of Christ's Body, with 
more nicety than was fitting, he thereby foolishly overthrew all that 
he had wisely said before, denied what he had affirmed, and opposed 
his own opinion. His fear was lest his adversaries should apply 
that word spirituallyy not so much to express the manner of pre- 
sence, as to exclude the very substance of the Body and Blood of 
Christ ; " therefore," saith he, " upon that account it is not safe 
to use too much that of St. Bernard, * the body of Christ is not 
corporally in the Sacrament,' without adding presently the above- 
mentioned explanation." How much do we comply with human 
pride, and curiosity, which would seem to understand all things ! 
Where is the danger ? And what does he fear, as long as all they 
that believe the Gospel, own the true nature, and the real and 
substantial presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament, 
using that explication of St. Bernard, concerning the manner, 
which he himself, for the too great evidence of truth, durst not 
but admit ? and why doth he own that the manner is spiritual, 
not carnal, and then require a carnal presence, as to the manner 
itself? As for us, we all openly profess with St. Bernard, that the 
presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament, is spiritual, 
and therefore true and real ; and with the same Bernard, and all 
the Ancients, we deny that the Body of Christ is carnally either 
present or given. The thing we willingly admit, but humbly and 
religiously forbear to enquire into the manner. 



11 

We believe a presence and union of Christ with our soul and 
body, which we know not how to call better than sacramental, 
that is, effected by eating ; that while we eat and drink the con- 
secrated Bread and Wine, we eat and drink therewithal the Body 
and Blood of Christ, not in a corporal manner, but some odier 
way, incomprehensible, known only to God, which we call spi- 
ritual ; for if with St. Bernard and the Fathers a man goes no 
further, we do not find fault with a general explication of the 
manner, but with the presumption and self-conceitedness of those 
who boldly and curiously inquire what is a spiritual presence, as 
presuming that they can understand the manner of acting of 
God's Holy Spirit. We contrariwise confess with the Fathers, that 
this manner of presence is unaccountable, and past finding out, 
not to be searched and pried into by reason, but believed by faith. 
And if it seems impossible that the flesh of Christ should de- 
scend, and come to be our food, through so great a distance ; we 
must remember how much the power of the Holy Spirit exceeds 
our sense and our apprehensions, and how absurd it would be to 
undertake to measure His immensity by our weakness and narrow 
capacity ; and so make our faith to conceive and believe what our 
reason cannot comprehend. 

Yet our faith doth not cause or make that presence, but appre- 
hends it as most truly and really effected by the word of Christ : 
and the faith whereby we are said to eat the flesh of Christ, is 
not that only whereby we beUeve that He died for our sins, (for 
this feiith is required and supposed to precede the Sacramental 
Manducation,) but more properly, that whereby we believe those 
words of Christ, This is My Body ; which was St. Austin*s 
meaning when he said, " why dost thou prepare thy stomach and 
thy teeth ? believe and thou hast eaten.*' For in this mystical 
eating by the wonderful power of the Holy Ghost, we do invisibly 
receive the substance of Christ's Body and Blood, as much as 
if we should eat and drink both visibly. 

The result of all this is, that the Body and Blood of Christ are 
sacramentally united to the Bread and Wine, so that Christ is 
truly given to the faithful ; and yet is not to be here considered 
with sense or worldly reason, but by faith, resting on the words of 
the Gospel. Now it is said, that the Body and Blood of Christ 
are joined to the Bread and Wine, because, that in the celebration 
of the Holy Eucharist, the Flesh is given together with the Bread, 
and the Blood together with the Wine. All that remains is, that 



12 

we should with faith and humility admire this high and sacred 
mystery, which our tongue cannot sufficiently explain, nor our 
heart conceive. 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Popish Doctrine of Transuhstantiation* 

It is an Article of Faith in the Church of Rome, that in 
the blessed Eucharist the substance of the Bread and Wine is 
reduced to nothing, and that in its place succeeds the Body 

and Blood of Christ The Protestants are much 

of another mind ; and yet none of them denies altogether but 
that there is a conversion of the Bread into the Body, (and 
consequently the Wine into the Blood,) of Christ; for they 
know and acknowledge, that in the Sacrament, by virtue of the 
words and blessing of Christ, the condition, use, and office of the 
Bread is wholly changed, that is, of common and ordinary, it be- 
comes our mystical and sacramental food ; whereby, as they affirm 
and believe, the true Body of Christ is not only shadowed and 
figured, but also given indeed, and by worthy communicants truly 
received. Yet they believe not that the bread loseth its own, to 
become the substance of the Body of Christ ; for the holy Scrip- 
ture, and the ancient interpreters thereof for many ages, never 
taught such an essential change and conversion, as that the very 
Substance, the matter, and form of the bread should be wholly 
taken away, but only a mysterious and sacramental one, whereby 
our ordinary is changed into mystic bread, and thereby designed and 
appointed to another use, end, and office than before. This change, 
whereby supernatural effects are wrought by things natural, while 
their essence is preserved entire, doth best agree with the grace 
and power of God. 

There is no reason why we should dispute concerning GoD*s 
Omnipotency, whether it can do this or that, presuming to measure 
an Infinite Power by our poor abihty, which is but weakness. We 
may grant that He is able to do beyond what we can think or ap- 
prehend, and resolve His most wonderful acts into His absolute will 
and power, but we may not charge Him with working contradic- 
tions. And though God's Almightiness were able in this mystery 
to destroy the substance of Bread and Wine, and essentially to 
change it into the Body and Blood of Christ, while the accidents 
of Bread and Wine subsist of themselves without a subject, yet wc 



13 

desire to have it proved that God will have it so, and that it is so 
indeed. For, that God doth it because He can, is no argument ; 
and that He wills it, we have no other proof but the confident as- 
sertion of our adversaries. TertuUian against Praxeas declared 
*' that we should not conclude God doth things because He is able, 
but that we should enquire what He hath done ;" for GoD will 
never own that praise of His Omnipotency, whereby His un- 
changeableness and His truth are impaired, and those things over- 
thrown and destroyed , which, in His Word, He affirms to be ; for, 
take away the Bread and Wine, and there remains no Sacrament. 

They that say, that the matter and form of the Bread are wholly 
abolished, yet will have the accidents to remain. But if the sub- 
stance of the Bread be changed into the substance of Christ's Body 
by virtue of His words, what hinders that the accidents of the 
Bread are not also changed into the accidents of Christ's Body ? 
They that urge the express letter, should show that Christ said, 
" This is the substance of My body without its accidents." But He 
did not say, that He gave His Disciples aphantastic body, such a 
visionary figment as Marcion believed, but that very body which 
is given for us, without being deprived of that extension and other 
accidents of human bodies, without whicfi it could not have been 
crucified ; since the maintainers of transubstantiation grant that the 
Body of Christ keeps its quantity in Heaven, and say it is with- 
out the same in the Sacrament ; they must either acknowledge 
their contradiction in the matter, or give over their opinion. 

Protestants dare not be so curious, or presume to know more 
than is delivered by Scripture and antiquity, they firmly believing 
the words of Christ make the form of this Sacrament to consist 
in the union of the thing signified with the sign, that is, the exhi- 
bition of the Body of Christ with the consecrated Bread, still 
remaining bread ; by divine appointment these two are made one ; 
and though this union be not natural, substantial, personal, or 
local by their being one within another, yet it is so straight and so 
true, that in eating the blessed Bread, the true Body of Christ is 
given to us, and the names of the sign and thing signified are 
reciprocally changed, what is proper to the Body is attributed to 
the Bread, and what belongs only to the Bread, is affirmed of the 
Body, and both are united in time, though not in place. For the 
presence of Christ in this mystery is not opposed to distance but 
to absence, which only could deprive us of the benefit and fruition 
ef the object. 



14 

From what has been said it appears, that this whole controversy 
may be reduced to four heads ; 1. Concerning the Signs ; 2. Con- 
cerning the thing signified ; 3. Concerning the union of both ; and 
4. Concerning their participation. As to the first, the Protestants 
differ from the Papists in this ; that according to the nature of 
Sacraments, and the doctrine of the holy Scripture, we make the 
substance of Bread and Wine, and they accidents only to be signs. 
In the second, they not understanding our opinion, do misrepre- 
sent it, for we do not hold, (as they say we do,) that only the 
merits of the death of Christ are represented by the blessed 
Elements, but also that His very Body which was crucified, and 
His Blood which was shed for us, are truly signified and offered, 
that our souls may receive and possess Christ, as truly and cer- 
tainly as the material and visible signs are by us seen and received. 
And so in the third place, because the thing signified is offered 
and given to us, as truly as the sign itself, in this respect we own 
the union betwixt the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Ele- 
ments, whose use and oflftce we hold to be changed from what it 
was before. But we deny what the Papists aflftrm, that the sub- 
stance of Bread and Wine are quite abolished, and changed into 
the Body and Blood of our Lord in such sort, that the bare acci- 
dents of the Elements do alone remain united with Christ's 
Body and Blood. And we also deny that the Elements still re- 
tain the nature of Sacraments when not used according to divine 
institution, that is, given by Christ's Ministers, and received by 
His people ; so that Christ in the consecrated bread ought not, 
cannot be kept and preserved to be carried about, because He is 
present only to the communicants. As for the fourth and last 
point, we do not say, that in the Lord's Supper we receive only 
the benefits of Christ's death and passion, but we join the 
ground with its fruits, that is, Christ with those advantages we 
receive from Him ; affirming with St. Paul, " That the bread which 
we break is Koivuvia^ the Communion of the Body of Christ, and 
the cup which we bless, the Communion of His Blood," (1 Cor. 
X. 16.) ; of that very substance which He took of the blessed Virgin, 
and afterwards carried into Heaven ; differing from those of Rome 
only in this, that they will have our union with Christ to be 
corporal, and our eating of Him likewise ; and we on the contrary 
maintain it to be, indeed as true, but not carnal or natural. And 
as he that receives unworthily, (that is, with the mouth only, but 
not with a faithful heart,) eats and drinks his own. damnation ; so 



15 

he that doeth it worthily, receives his absolution and justification ; • 
that is, he that discerns^ and then receives the Lord's Body as 
torn, and His Blood as shed for the redemption of the world. But 
that Christ (as the Papists affirm) should give His Flesh and Blood 

to be received with the mouth, and ground with the teeth, 

this our words and hearts do utterly deny. 

So then, (to sum up this controversy by applying it to all that 
hath been said,) it is not questioned whether the Body of Christ 
be absent from the Sacrament duly administered according to His 
institution, which we Protestants neither affirm nor believe ; for it 
being given and received in the Communion, it must needs be that 
it is present, though in some manner veiled under the Sacrament, so 
that of itself it cannot be seen. Neither is it doubted or disputed 
whether the Bread and Wine, by the power of God and a super- 
natural virtue, be set apart and fitted for a much nobler use, and 
raised to a higher dignity than their nature bears ; for we con- 
fess the necessity of a supernatural and heavenly change, and 
that the signs cannot become Sacraments but by the infinite power 
of God, whose proper right it is to institute Sacraments in His 
Church, being able alone to endue them with virtue and efficacy. 
Finally, we do not say that our Blessed Saviour gave only the 
figure and sign of His body ; neither do we deny a Sacramental 
Union of the Body and Blood of Christ with the sacred Bread 
and Wine, so that both are really and substantially received 
together : but (that we may avoid all ambiguity) we deny that 
after the words and prayer of Consecration, the Bread should re- 
main bread no longer, but should be changed into the substance 
of the Body of Christ, nothing of the bread, but only the acci- 
dents continuing to be what they were before ; and so the whole 
question is concerning the Transubstantiation of the outward 
Elements ; whether the substance of the Bread be turned into the 
substance of Christ's Body, and the substance of the Wine into 
the substance of His Blood ; or, as the Romish Doctors describe 
their Transubstantiation, whether the substance of bread and wine 
doth utterly perish, and the substance of Christ's Body and 
Blood succeed in their place, which are both denied by Pro- 
testants. 

The Church of Rome sings on Corpus Christi day, This is not 
bread, but God and Man my Saviour. And the Council of 
Trent doth thus define it ; " Because Christ our Redeemer said 
truly, that that was His body, which He gave in the appearance of 



Id 

bread ; therefore it was ever believed by the Church of God, and 
is now declared by this sacred Synod, that by the power of Con- 
secration the whole substance of the bread is changed into the 
substance of Christ's Body, and the whole substance of the wine 
into the substance of His Blood ; which change is fitly and pro- 
perly called Transubstantiation by the holy Catholic (Roman) 
Church. Therefore if any one shall say, that the substance of 
Bread and Wine remains with the Body and Blood of our Saviour 
Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular con- 
version of the whole substance of the Bread and Wine into the 
substance of the Body and Blood of Christ, the only appearance 
and outward form of the Bread and Wine remaining, which con- 
version the Catholic (Roman) Church doth fitly call Transubstan- 
tiation, — let him be accursed.'* 

* ♦ * * 

Now we leave inquiring what God is able to do, for we should 
first know His will in this matter, before we examine His power ; 
yet thus much we say, that this Roman Transubstantiation is so 
strange and monstrous, that it exceeds the nature of all miracles. 
And though God by His Almightiness be able to turn the substance 
of bread into some other substance, yet none will believe that He 
doth it, as long as it appears to our senses, that the substance of the 
Bread doth still remain whole and entire. Certain it is, that hither- 
to we read of no such thing done in the Old or New Testament, 
and therefore this tenet, being as unknown to the Ancients as it is 
ungrounded in Scripture, appears as yet to be very incredible, and 
there is no reason we should believe such an unauthorised figment, 
newly invented by men, and now imposed as an article of Christian 
Religion. For it is in vain that they bring Scripture to defend 
this their stupendous doctrine ; and it is not true, what they so often 
and so confidently affirm, that the Universal Church hath always 
constantly owned it, being it was not so much as heard of in the 
Church for many ages, and hath been but lately approved by the 
Pope's authority in the Councils of Lateran and Trent. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St Matthias, 

{To he continued.) 

C:^* These Tracts may he had at Tuhrill's, No. 250, Regent 
Streett at 3d. per sheet, l^d. the half sheet, ^ Id. per quarter sheet. 

KINC, I'RIMVB, bT. C1.£.MIJ< 1 'b, OXFORD. 



March 25, 1834.] ',<nl Chrum.) [Xo, 2S.-^Frice 4d. 

THE 

HISTORY OF POPISH TRANSUBSTANTIATION ; 

TO WFIICII IS OPPOSKD THE CATIIOI IC nOCTiaNE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURF, 
THE AXCItNT TATHtRS, AND THE UEFORMED CHURCHES. 

(^Bij John Cusin, Bishop of Durham. J 
^Continued. J 



CHAPTER V. 

TJie doctrine of Transuhstantiatlon is contained neither in Scripture 
nor in the writings of the Fathers, 

The word Transubstantiation is so far from being found either 
in the Sacred Records, or in the Monuments of the Ancient Fathers, 
that the raaintainers of it do themselves acknowledge that it was 
not so much as heard of before the twelfth century. For though 
one Stephanus, Bishop of Autun, be said to have once used it, yet 
it is without proof that some modern writers make him one of the 
tenth century ; nor yet doth he say, that the Bread is transub- 
stantiated, hut as it were transubstantiated, which well understood 
might be admitted. 

Nay, that the thing itself without the word, that the doctrine 
without the expression, cannot be found in Scripture, is ingeni- 
ously acknowledged by the most learned Schoolmen, Scotus, 
Durandus, Biel, Cameracensis, Cajctan, and many more, who 
finding it not brought in by the Pope's authority, and received 
in the Roinan Church, till 1200 years after Christ, yet endea- 
voured to defend it by other arguments. 

* * * * 

And indeed, the words of institution would plainly make it 
appear to any man that would prefer truth to wrangling, that it is 
wiih the Bread that the Lord's Body is given, (as His Blood with 
the Wine,) for Christ, having taken, blessed, and broken the 
Bread, said, " This is My Body ;" and St. Paul, than whom none 
could better understand the meaning of Christ, explains it thus ; 
" The Bread which we break is the Koivccvia, Communion or 
communication of the Body of Christ," that whereby His Body 
is given, and the faithful are made partakers of it. That it was 
Bread which He reached to them, there was no need of any proof, the 
receiver's senses sufficiently convinced them of it ; but that there- 
with His Body was given, none could have known, had it not 



been declared by Him who is the Truth itself. And though, by 
the divine institution and the explication of the Apostle, every 
faithful communicant may be as certainly assured that he receives 
the Lord's Body, as if he knew that the Bread is substantially 
turned into it ; yet it doth not therefore follow, that the Bread is 
so changed, that its substance is quite done away, so that there 
remains nothing present, but the very natural Body of Christ, 
made of Bread ; for certain it is, that the Bread is not the Body 
of Christ any otherwise than as the Cup is the New Testament, 
and two different consequences cannot be drawn from those two 
not different expressions. Therefore as the Cup cannot be the 
New Testament but by a Sacramental figure, no more can the 
Bread be the Body of Christ, but in the same sense. 

As to what Bellarmine and others say, that it is not possible the 
words of Christ can be true, but by that conversion, which the 
Church of Rome calls Transubstantiation, that is so far from being 
so, that if it were admitted, it would first deny the Divine Omni- 
potency, as though God were not able to make the Body of Christ 
present, and truly to give it in tlie Sacrament, whilst the sub- 
stance of the Bread remains. 2. It would be inconsistent with 
the Divine Benediction which preserves things in their proper 
being. 3. In would be contrary to the true nature of the Sacra- 
ment, which always consisteth of two parts. And lastly, it would 
in some manner destroy the true substance of the Body and Blood 
of Christ, which cannot be said to be made of Bread and Wine 
by a Priest, without a most high presumption. But the truth of 
the words of Christ remains constant, and can be defended, 
without overthrowing so many other great truths. Suppose a testator 
puts deeds and titles in the hand of his heir, with these words, 
* Take the house which I bequeath thee ;' there is no man will 
think that those writings and parchments are that very house 
which is made of wood or stones, and yet no man will say that 
the testator spake falsely or obscurely. Likewise our blessed 
Saviour, having sanctified the Elements by His words and 
prayers, gave them to His Disciples as seals of the New Testa- 
ment, whereby they were as certainly secured of those rich and 
precious legacies which He left to them, as children are of their 
father's lands and inheritance, by deeds and instruments signed 
and delivered for that purpose. 

To the Sacred Records we may added the judgment of the 



I 



Primitive Church. For those orthodox and holy Doctors of our 
holier religion, those great lights of the Catholic Church, do all 
clearly, constantly, and unanimously conspire in this, that the 
presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament is only mystic 
and spiritual. As for the entire annihilation of the substance of 
the Bread and the Wine, or that new and strange tenet of Transub- 
stantiation, they did not so much as hear or speak any thing of it ; 
nay, the constant stream of their doctrine doth clearly run against 
it, how great soever are the brags and pretences of the Papists to 
the contrary. And if you will hear them one by one, I shall 
bring some of their most noted passages only, that our labour may 
not be endless by rehearsing all that they have said to our pur- 
pose on this subject. 

I shall begin with that holy and ancient Doctor, Justin Martyr, 
who is one of the first after the Apostles' times, whose undoubted 
writings are come to us. (A. D. 144.) What was believed at Rome 
and elsewhere in his time, concerning this holy mystery, may well be 
understood out of these his words : '* After that the Bishop hath 
prayed and blessed, and the people said Amen, those whom we 
call Deacons or Ministers give to every one of them that are pre- 
sent a portion of the Bread and Wine ; and that food we call the 
Eucharist, for we do not receive it as ordinary bread and wine.'* 
They received it as bread, yet not as common bread. And a httle 
after ; " By this food digested, our flesh and blood are fed, and 
we are taught that it is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ." 
Therefore the substance of the bread remains, and remains cor- 
ruptible food, even after the Consecration, which can in no wise 
be said of the immortal Body of Christ ; for the Flesh of Christ 
is not turned into our flesh, neither doth it nourish it, as doth that 
food which is sacramentally called the Flesh of Christ. But 
the Flesh of Christ feeds our souls unto eternal life. 

After the same manner, it is written by that holy Martyr Irenseus, 
Bishop much about the same time. {A.. D. 160.) " The bread which 
is from the earth is no more common bread, after the invocation 
of God upon it, but is become the Eucharist, consisting of two 
parts, the one earthly, and the other heavenly." There would be 
nothing earthly if the substance of the bread were removed. 
Again : " As the grain of wheat falling in the ground, and dying, 
riseth again much increased, and then receiving the word of 
God becomes the Eucharist ; (which is the Body and Blood of 



Christ ;) so likewise our bodies, nourished by it, laid in the 
ground and dissolved, shall rise again in their time." Again ; " We 
are fed by the creature, but it is He Himself that gives it. He hath 
ordained and appointed that Cup which is a creature, and His 
Blood also, and that Bread which is a creature, and also His Body. 
And so when the Bread and the Cup are blessed by God's word, 
they become the Eucharist of the Body and Blood of Christ, 
and from them our bodies receive nourishment and increase.'* 
Now that our flesh is fed and encreased by the natural Body of 
Christ, cannot be said without great impiety by themselves that 
hold Transubstantiation. For naturally nothing nourisheth our 
bodies but what is made flesh and blood by the last digestion, 
which it would be blasphemous to say of the incorruptible Body 
of Christ. Yet the sacred Elements, which in some manner are, 
and are said to be the Body and Blood of Christ, yield nourish- 
ment and encrease to our bodies by their earthly nature, in such 
sort, that by virtue also of the heavenly and spiritual food which 
the faithful receive by means of the material, our bodies are fitted 
foF a blessed Resurrection to immortal glory. 

Tertullian, who flourished about the two hundreth year after 
Christ, when as yet he was Catholic, and acted by a pious zeal, 
wrotei against Marcion the Heretic, who, amongst his other impi- 
ous opinions, taught that Christ had not taken of the Virgin 
Mary the very nature and substance of a human body, but only 
the outward forms and appearances ; out of which fountain the 
Romish Transubstantiators seem to have drawn their doctrine of 
accidents abstracted from their subject hanging in the air, that is, 
subsisting on nothing. Tertullian, disputing against this wicked 
heresy, draws an argument from the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to 
prove that Christ had not a phantastic and imaginary, but a true 
and natural body, thus : the figure of the Body of Christ proves 
it to be natural, for there can be no figure of a ghost or a phantasm. 
** But," saith he, *' Christ having taken the Bread, and given it 
to his Disciples, made it His Body by saying, * This is my Body, 
that is, the figure of my Body.' Now, it could not have been a 
figure except the Body was real, for a mere appearance, an imagi- 
nary phantasm is not capable of a figure." Each part of this ar- 
gument is true, and contains a necessary conclusion. For, 1. 
The bread must remain bread, otherwise Marcion would have re- 
turned the argument against Tertullian, saying as the Tran&ub- 



I 



stantiators ; it was not bread, but merely the accidents of bread, 
which seemed to be bread. 2. The Body of Christ is proved to 
be true by the figure of it, which is said to be bread, for the bread 
is fit to represent that Divine Body, because of its nourishing vir- 
tue, which in the bread is earthly, but in the Body is heavenly. 
Lastly, the reality of the Body is proved by that of its figure ; and 
so if you deny the substance of the Bread, (as the Papists do,) you 
thereby destroy the truth and reality of the Body of Christ in the 
Sacrament. 

Origen also, about the same time with TertuUian, speaks much 
after the same manner. " If Christ,'* saith he, " as these men 
(the Marcionites) falsely hold, had neither Flesh nor Blood, of 
what manner of Flesh, of what Body, of what Blood did He give 
the signs and images when He gave the Bread and Wine ?" If 
they be the signs and representations of the Body and Blood of 
Christ, though they prove the truth of His Body and Blood, yet 
they being signs, cannot be what they signify ; and they not being 
what they represent, the groundless contrivance of Transubstanti- 
ation is overthrown. Also upon Leviticus he doth expressly 
oppose it thus : " Acknowledge ye that they are figures, and there- 
fore spiritual, not carnal ; examine and understand what is said, 
otherwise if you receive as things carnal, they will hurt, but not 
nourish you. For in the Gospel there is the Letter, which kills 
him that understands not spiritually what is said ; for if you un- 
derstand this saying according to the Letter, * Except you eat My 
Flesh and drink My Blood,' the Letter will kill you." Therefore as 
much as these words belons: to the eating and drinking of Christ's 

S O O 

Body and Blood, they are to be understood mystically and spirit- 
ually. 

* iit * * 

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, a glorious Martyr of Christ, 
(A.D. 250.) wrote a famous Epistle toCoecihus concerning the sa- 
cred Chalice in the Lord's Supper, whereof this is the sum ; " Let 
that cup which is offered to the people in commemoration of Christ 
bemixt with wine," (against the opinion of the Aquarii, who were 
for water only,) " for it cannot represent the Blood of Christ when 
there is no wine in the cup, because the Blood of Christ is ex- 
prest by the Wine, as the faithful are understood by the Water." 
But the patrons of Transubstantiation have neither Wine nor 
Water in the ChaHce they offer ; and yet without them (especially 



the Wine appointed by our Blessed Saviour, and whereof Cyprian 
chiefly speaks,) the Blood of Christ is not so much as sacra- 
mentally present. So far was the Primitive Church from any 
thing of believing a corporal presence of the Blood, the Wine 
being reduced to nothing, (that is, to a mere accident without the 
substance,) for then they must have said, that the Water was 
changed into the people, as well as the Wine into the Blood. But 
there is no need that I should bring many testimonies of that Fa- 
ther, when all his writings do plainly declare that the true substance 
of the Bread and Wine is given in the Eucharist ; that that spirit- 
ual and quickening food which the faithful get from the Body and 
Blood of Christ, and the mutual union of the whole people joined 
into one body may answer their type, the Sacrament which repre- 
sents them. 

Those words of the Council of Nice, (A. D. 325.) are well known, 
whereby the faithful are called from the consideration of the outward 
visible Elements of Bread and Wine, to attend the inward and spiri- 
tual act of the mind, whereby Christ is seen and apprehended. 
" Let not our thoughts dwell low, on that Bread and that Cup which 
are set before us, but lifting up our minds by faith, let us consider, 
that on this sacred Table is laid the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sins of the world. And receiving truly His precious 
Body and Blood, let us believe these things to be the pledges and 
emblems of our resurrection ; for we do not take much, but only 
a little, (of the Elements,) that we may be mindful, we do it not 
for satiety, but for sanctification." Now, who is there, even 
among the maintainers of Transubstantiation, that will understand 
this, not much, but a little, of the Body of Christ ; or who can 
believe that the Nicene Fathers would call His Body and Blood 
symbols in a proper sense ? when nothing can be an image or a 
sign of itself. And therefore, though we are not to rest in the Ele- 
ments, minding nothing else, (for we should consider what is chieftest 
in the Sacrament, that we have our hearts lifted unto the Lord, who 
is given together with the signs,) yet Elements they are, and the 
earthly part of the Sacrament, both the Bread and the Wine, 
which destroys Transubstantiation. 

St. Athanasius, famous in the lime, and present in the Assembly 
of the Nicene Council, a stout Champion of the Catholic faith, 
acknowledgcth none other but a spiritual nianducalion of the Body of 
Christ in the Sacrament. " Our Lord," saith ho, *' made a 



difference betwixt the Flesh and the Spirit, that we might under- 
stand that what He said, was not carnal, but spiritual. For how 
many men could His Body have fed, that the whole world should 
be nourished by it ? But therefore He mentioned His ascension 
into heaven, that they might not take what He said in a corporal 
sense, but might understand that His Flesh whereof He spake is 
a spiritual and heavenly food given by Himself from on high ; for 
the words that I spake unto you they are spirit, and they are life, 
as if He should say, My Body which is shown and given for the 
world, shall be given in food, that it may be distributed Spiritually 
to every one, and preserve them all to the resurrection to eternal 
life." Cardinal Perron having nothing to answer to these words 
of this holy Father, in a kind of despair, rejects the whole Tractate, 
and denies it to be Athanasius's, which nobody ever did before 
him, there being no reason for it. 

* * * * 

Likewise St. Ambrose, (A. D. 380.) explaining what manner of 
alteration is in the Bread, when in the Eucharist it becomes the Body 
of Christ, saith, " Thou hadst indeed a being, but wert an old crea- 
ture, but being now baptized or consecrated, thou art become a new 
creature." The same change that happens to man in baptism, 
happens to the Bread in the Sacrament : if the nature of man is 
not substantially altered by the new birth, no more is the Bread 
by consecration. Man becomes by baptism, not what nature made 
him, but what grace new-makes him ; and the Bread becomes by 
consecration, not what it was by nature, but what the blessing con- 
secrates it to be. Fot nature made only a mere man, and made 
only common bread ; but Regeneration, of a mere man, makes a 
holy man, in whom Christ dwells spiritually ; and likewise the 
Consecration of common Bread makes Mystic and Sacramental 
Bread. Yet this change doth not destroy nature, but to nature 
adds grace ; as is yet more plainly exprest by that holy Father in the 
fore-cited place. " Perhaps thou wilt say," saith he, " this my 
bread is common bread ; it is bread indeed before the blessing of 
the Sacrament, but when it is consecrated it becomes the Body of 
Christ. This we are therefore to declare, how can that which is 
Bread be also the Body of Christ ? By Consecration. And Con- 
secration is made by the words of our Lord, that the venerable 
Sacrament may be perfected. You see how efficacious is the 
Word of Christ. If there be then so great a power in the 



Word of Christ to make the Bread and Wine to be what they were 
not, how much greater is that power which still preserves them to 
be what they were, and yet makes them to be what they were 
not ? Therefore, that I may answer thee, it was not the Body of 
Christ before the Consecration, but now after the Consecration, 
it is the Body of Christ ; He said the word and it was done. 
Thou thyself went before, but wert an old creature ; after thou hast 
been consecrated in Baptism thou art become a new creature." 
By these words St. Ambrose teacheth how we are to understand 
that the Bread is the Body of Christ, to wit, by such a change 
that the Bread and Wine do not cease to be what they were 
as to their substance, (for then they should not be what they were,) 
and yet by the blessing become what before they were not. For so 
they are said to remain, (as indeed they do,) what they were by 
nature, that yet they are changed by grace ; that is, they become 
assured Sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by 
that means certain pledges of our Justification and Redemption. 
W*hat is there, can refute more expressly ^the dream of Transub- 
stantiation ? 

St. Chrysostom ( A. D. 390.) doth also clearly discard and reject this 
carnal Trans ubstantiation and eating of Christ's Body, without 
eating the Bread. *' Sacraments," saith he, " ought not to be con- 
templated and considered carnally, but with the eyes of our souls, 
that is, spiritually ; for such is the nature of mysteries ;" where 
observe the opposition betwixt carnally and spiritually^ which ad- 
mits of no plea or reply again. " As in Baptism the spiritual power 
of Regeneration is given to the material water ; so also the imma- 
terial gift of the Body and Blood of Christ is not received by any 
sensible corporal action, but by the spiritual discernment of our 
faith, and of our hearts and minds." Which is no more than 
this, that sensible things are called by the name of those spiritual 
things which they seal and signify. But he speaks more plainly 
in his Epistle to Caesarius ; where he teacheth, that in this mystery 
there is not in the bread a substantial, but a Sacramental change, 
according to the which, the outward Elements take the name of 
what they represent, and are changed in such a sort, that they 
still retain their former natural substance. " The Bread," saith 
he, " is made worthy to be honoured with the name of the Flesh 
of Christ, by the consecration of the Priest, yet the Flesh retains 
the proprieties of its incorruptible nature, as the Bread doth its 



9 

natural substance. Before the Bread be sanctified we call it 
Bread ; but when it is consecrated by the divine grace, it deserves 
to be called the Lord's Body, though the substance of the Bread 
still remains." When Bellarmine could not answer this testimony 
of that great Doctor, he thought it enough to deny, that this Epis- 
tle is St. Chrysostom's ; but both he and Possevin do vainly con- 
tend that it is not extant among the works of Chrysostom. For 
besides that at Florence and elsewhere it was to be found among: 
them, it is cited in the Collections against the Severians which are 
in the version of Turrianus the Jesuit, in the 4th tome of Antiq^ 
Lectionum of Henry Canisius, and in the end of the book of Joh. 
Damascenus against the Acephali. 

* * * * 

Which also hath been said by St. Austin ( A. D. 400.) above a thou- 
sand times; but out of so many almost numberless places, I shall 
choose only three, which are as the sum of all the rest. " You are 
not to eat this Body which you see, nor drink this Blood which My 
crucifiers shall shed ; I have left you a Sacrament which, spiritually 
understood, will vivify you." Thus St. Austin, rehearsing the 
words of Christ again ; " If Sacraments had not some resemblance 
with those things whereof they are Sacraments, they could not be 
Sacraments at all. From this resemblance they often take the 
names of what they represent. Therefore as the Sacrament of 
Christ's Body is in some sort His Body ; so the Sacrament of 
Faith, is faith also." To the same sense is what he writes against 
Maximinus the Arian. *' We mind in the Sacraments, not what 
they are, but what they show ; for they are signs, which are one 
thing, and signifies another." And in another place, speaking of 
the Bread and Wine ; " Let no man look to what they are, but to 
what they signify, for our Lord was pleased to say, * this is My 
Body,' when He gave the sign of His Body.' " 

* * * * 

And the same kind of expressions were also used 

by venerable Bede, our countryman, who lived in the eighth cen- 
tury, in his Sermon i^pon the Epiphany ; of whom we also take 
these two testimonies following; : " In the room of the Flesh and 
Blood of the Lamb, Christ substituted the Sacrament of His 
Body and Blood, in the figure of Bread and Wine." Also, " At 
Supper He gave to His Disciples the figure of His holy Body and 
Blood." These utterly destroy Transubstuntiation. 



10 

In the same century Charles the Great wrote an Epistle to our 
Alcuinus, wherein we find these words. *' Christ at Supper 
broke the Bread to His Disciples, and likewise gave them the Cup, 
in figure of His Body and Blood, and so left to us this great 
Sacrament for our benefit." If it was the figure of His Body, it 
could not be the Body itself; indeed the Body of Christ is given 
in the Eucharist, but to the faithful only, and that by means of the 
Sacrament of the consecrated Bread. 

But now, about the beginning of the ninth century, started up 
Paschasius, a Monk of Corbie, who first, (as some say whose judg- 
ment I follow not,) among the Latines, taught that Christ was 
consubstantiated, or rather inclosed in the Bread, and corporally 
united to it in the Sacrament ; for as yet there was no thoughts of 
the Transubstantiation of Bread. But these new sorts of expres- 
sions not agreeing with the Catholic doctrine, and the writings of 
the ancient Fathers, had few or no abettors before the eleventh 
century. And in the ninth, whereof we now treat, there were not 
wanting learned men, (as Amalarius, Archdeacon of Triars ; 
Rabanus, at first Abbot of Fulda, and afterwards Archbishop of 
Ments ; John Erigena, an English Divine ; Waldfridus Strabo, a 
German Abbot ; Ratramus or Bertraraus, first Priest of Corbie, 
afterwards Abbot of Orbec in France ; and many more ;) who by 
their writings opposed this new opinion of Paschasius, or of some 
others rather, and delivered to posterity the Doctrine of the An- 
cient Church. Yet we have something more to say concern- 
ing Paschasius, whom BsUarmine and Sirmondus esteemed so 
highly, that they were not ashamed to say, that he was the 
first that had writ to the purpose concerning the Eucharist; 
and that he had so explained the meaning of the Church, 
that he had shown and opened the way to all them who treated 
of that subject after him. Yet in that whole book of Pas- 
chasius, there is nothing that favours the Transubstantiation of 
the Bread, or its destruction or removal. Indeed, he asserts the 
truth of the Body and Blood of Christ's being in the Eucharist, 
which Protestants deny not; he denies that the consecrated 
Bread is a bare figure, a representation void of truth, which Pro- 
testants assert not. But he has many things repugnant to Tran- 
substantiation, which, as I have said, the Church of Rome itself 
had not yet quite found out. I shall mention a few of them. 
'* Christ," suith he, " left us this Sacrament, a visible figure and 



11 

character of His Body and Blood, that by them our spirit might 
the better embrace spiritual and invisible things, and be more fully 
fed by faith." Again, " We must receive our spiritual Sacrament 
with the mouth of the soul, and the taste of faith." Item, " Whilst 
therein we savour nothing carnal, but we being spiritual, and un- 
derstanding the whole spiritually, we remain in Christ." And a 
little after, *' The Flesh and Blood of Christ are received spirit- 
ually." And again, " To savour according to the Flesh, is death ; 
and yet to receive spiritually the true Flesh of Christ, is life 
eternal." Lastly, " The Flesh and Blood of Christ are not re- 
ceived carnally, but spiritually." 

* * * * 

As for the opinion of Bertram, otherwise called Ratramnus, or 
Ratramus, perhaps not rightly, it is known enough by that book 
which the Emperor Charles the Bald, (who loved and honoured him, 
as all good men did, for his great learning and piety,) commanded 
him to write concerning the Body and Blood of our Lord. For 
when men began to be disturbed at the book of Paschasius, 
some saying one thing, and some another, the Emperor being 
moved by their disputes propounded himself two questions to 
Bertram. 1. Whether, what the faithful eat in the Church, be 
made the Body and Blood of Christ in figure and in mystery. 
2. Or whether that natural Body which was born of the Virgin 
Mary, which suffered, died, and was buried, and now sitteth on 
the right hand of God the Father, be itself daily received by the 
mouth of the faithful in the mystery of the Sacrament. The 
first of these Bertram resolved affirmatively, the second negatively ; 
and said, that there was as great a difference betwixt those two 
bodies, as betwixt the earnest and that whereof it is the earnest. 
" It is evident," saith he, " that that Bread and Wine are figura- 
tively the Body and Blood of CnRtST. According to the substance 
of the Elements, they are after the Consecration what they were 
before. For the Bread is not Christ substantially. If this mys- 
tery be not done in a figure, it cannot well be called a mystery. The 
Wine also which is made the Sacrament of the Blood of Christ 
by the Consecration of the Priest, shews one thing by its out- 
ward appearance, and contains another inwardly. For what is 
there visible in its outside but only the substance of the Wine } 
These things are changed, but not according to the material part, 
and by this change they are not what they truly appear to be 



12 

but are something else besides what is their proper being ; for 
they are made spiritually the Body and Blood of Christ ; not 
that the Elements be two different things, but in one respect they 
are, as they appear, Bread and Wine, and in another the Body 
and Blood of Christ. Hence, according to the visible creature 
they feed the body ; but according to the virtue of a more ex- 
cellent substance they nourish and sanctify the souls of the faith- 
ful." Then having brought many testimonies of holy Scripture and 
the ancient Fathers to confirm this, he at last prevents that 
calumny which the followers of Paschasius did then lay on the 
orthodox, as though they had taught that bare signs, figures, and 
shadows, and not the Body and Blood of Christ were given in 
the Sacrament. *' Let it not be thought," saith he, " because we 
say this, that therefore the Body and Blood of Christ are not 
received in the mystery of the Sacrament, where faith apprehends 
what it believeth, and not what the eyes see ; for this meat and 
drink are spiritual, feed the soul spiritually, and entertain that life 
whose fulness is eternal." For the question is not simply about 
the real truth, or the thing signified being present, without which 
it could not be a mystery, but about the false reality of things 
subsisting in imaginary appearances, and about the carnal presence. 
All this the Fathers of Trent, and the Romish Inquisitors 
could not brook, and therefore they utterly condemned Bertram, 
and put his book in the Catalogue of those that are forbidden. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Romish objections considered, as drawn from the writings of the 

Fathers. 



.... Let us see what props these new builders pretend to borrow 
from Antiquity to uphold their castle in the air, Transuhstantiation. 
They use indeed to scrape together many testimonies of the Faihers 
of the first and middle age, whereby they would fain prove, that 
those Fathers believed and taught the Transuhstantiation of the 
Bread and Wine into the natural Body and Blood of Christ, 
just as the Roman Church, at this day, doth teach and believe. 



13 

We will therefore briefly examine them, that it may yet more fully 
appear that Antiquity and all Fathers did not in the least favour the 
new tenet of Transubstantiation ; but that, that true doctrine 
which I have set down in the beginning of this book, was constantly 
owned and preserved in the Church of Christ. 

Now, almost all that they produce out of the Fathers will be 
conveniently reduced to certain head>^, that we may not be too 
tediotis in answering each testimony by itself. 

1. To the first head belong those that call the Eucharist the Body 
and Blood of Christ. But 1 answer, those Fathers explain them- 
selves in many places, and interpret those their expressions in such 
a manner, that they must be understood in a mystic and spiritual 
sense, in that Sacraments usually take the names of those things 
they represent, because of that resemblance which they have with 
them ; not by the reality of the thing, hut by the signification of 
the mystery ; as we have been shown before out of St Austin and 
others. For nobody can deny, but that the things that are seen are 
signs and figures, and those that are not seen, the Body and Blood 
of Christ. And that therefore the nature of this mystery is such, 
that when we receive the Bread and Wine, we also together with 
them receive at the same time the Body and Blood of Christ, 
which, in the celebration of the holy Eucharist, are as truly given 
as they are represented. Hence came into the Church this maimer 
of speaking, ' The consecrated Bread is Christ's Body.' 

2. We put in the second rank those places that say, that the Bishops 
an 1 Priests make the Body of Christ with the sacred words of 
their mouth, as St. Hierom speaks in his Epistle to Heliodorus, and 
St. Ambrose, and others. To this I say, that at the prayer and 
blessing of the Priest, the common bread is made Sacramental 
Bread, which, when broken and eaten, is the Communion of the 
Body of Christ, and therefore may well be called so, sacrament- 
ally. For the Bread, (as I have often said before,) doth not only 
represent the Body of our Lord, but also being received, we are truly 
made partakers of that precious Body. For so saith St. Hierom ; 
" The Body and Blood of Christ is made at the prayer of the 
Priest ;" that is, the Element is so quahfied, that being received it 
becomes the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, 
which it could not without the preceding prayers. The Greeks 
call this, " To prepare and to consecrate the Body of the Lord." 
As St Chrysostom saith well ; " These are not the works of man's 



14 

power, but still the operation of Him, who made them in the last 
Supper ; as for us, we are only Ministers, but He it is that sanctifies 
and changeth them." 

3. In the third place, to what is brought out of the Fathers, con- 
cerning the conversion, change, transmutation, transfiguration, and 
transelementation of the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist, (wherein 
the Papists do greatly glory, boasting of the consent of Antiquity 
with them,) I answer, that there is no such consequence. Transub- 
stantiation being another species of change, the enumeration was not 
full, for it doth not follow, that because there is a conversion, a 
transmutation, a transelementation, there should be also a Tran- 
substantiation ; which the Fathers never so much as mentioned. 
For because this is a Sacrament, the change must be understood 
to be sacramental also, whereby common Bread and Wine become 
the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ ; which could 
not be, did not the substance of the Bread and Wine remain, for a 
Sacrament consisteth of two parts, an earthly and a heavenly. 
And so, because ordinary Bread is changed by consecration into a 
Bread which is no more of common use, but appointed by divine 
institution to be a sacramental sign, whereby is represented the 
Body of Christ, in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead 
bodily, and being thereby dignified, having great excellencies 
superadded, and so made what it was not before, it is therefore 
said by some of the Fathers to be changed, to be made another 
thing. And truly that change is great and supernatural, but yet 
not substantial, not of a substance which substantially ceaseth to 
be, into another substance which substantially beginneth to be, but 
it is a change of state and condition which alters not the natural 
properties of the Element. This is also confirmed by Scripture, 
which usually describes and represents the conversion of men, and 
the supernatural change of things, as though it were natural, 
though it be not so. So those that are renewed by the Word, 
and Spirit, and Faith of Christ, are said to be regenerated, con- 
verted, and transformed, to put off the old man, and put on the 
new man, and to be new creatures ; but they are not said to be- 
come another substance, to be transubstantiated; for men thus 
converted are still the same human body, and the same rational 
soul as before, though in a far better state and condition, as every 
Christian will acknowledge. Nay, the Fathers themselves used 
those words. Transmutation, Transformation, Transelementation, 



15 

upon other occasions, when they speak of thingf5 whose substance 
is neither lost nor changed. 

* * * * 

4. To the fourth head I refer what the Fathers say of our touching 
and seeing the Body of Christ, and drinking His Blood in the 
Sacrament ; and thereto I answer, that we deny not but that some 
things emphatical, and even hyperbolical, have been said of the 
Sacrament by Chrysostom, and some others ; and that those 
things may easy lead unwary men into error. That was the an- 
cient Fathers' care, as it is ours still, to instruct the people not to 
look barely on the outward Elements, but in them to eye with 
their minds the Body and Blood of Christ, and with their hearts 
lift up to feed on that heavenly meat ; for all the benefit of a 
Sacrament is lost, if we look no further than the Elements. Hence 
it is that those holy men, the better to teach this lesson to their 
hearers, and move their hearts more efficaciously, spake of the 
signs as if they had been the thing signified, and like orators said 
many things which will not bear a literal sense, nor a strict examen. 
Such is this, of an uncertain author under the name of St. Cyprian; 
*' We are close to the Cross, we suck the Blood, and we put our 
tongues in the very wounds of our Redeemer, so that, both out- 
wardly and inwardly we are made red thereby." Such is that of 
St. Chrysostom ; " In the Sacrament the Blood is drawn out of 
the side of Christ, the tongue is made bloody with that wonder- 
ful Blood." Again, *' Thou seeth thy Lord sacrificed, and the 
crowding multitude round about sprinkled with His Blood ; He 
that sits above with the Father is at the same time in our 
hands. Thou doth see and touch and eat Him. For I do not shew 
thee either Angels or Archangels, but the Lord of them Himself." 
Again ; "He incorporates us with Himself, as if we were but the 
same thing. He makes us His Body indeed, and suffers us not 
only to see, but even to touch, to eat Him, and to put our teeth in 
His Flesh ; so that by that food which He gives us, we become 
His Flesh." Such is that of St. Austin ; " Let us give thanks, not 
only that we are made Christians, but also made Christ." Lastly, 
such is that of Leo ; " In that mystical distribution, it is given 
us to be made His Flesh." Certainly, if any man would wrangle 
and take advantage of these, he might thereby maintain, as well 
that we are transubstantiated into Christ, and Christ's Flesh 
into the Bread, as that the Bread and Wine are transubstantiated 



16 

into His Body and Blood. But Protestants who scorn to play the 
sophisters, interpret these and the like passages of the Fathers, 
wilJi candour and ingenuity, (as it is most fitting they should.) For 
the expressions of Preachers, which often have something of a 
paradox, must not be taken according to that harsher sound where- 
with they at first strike the auditor's ears. The Fathers spake not 
of any transubstantiated bread, but of the mystical and consecrated, 
when they used those sorts of expressions ; and that for these rea- 
sons ; 1. That they might extol and amplify the dignity of this 
mystery, which all true Christians acknowledge to be very great 
and peerless. 2. That communicants might not rest in the out- 
ward Elements, but seriously consider the thing represented, 
whereof they are most certainly made partakers, if they be worthy 
receivers. 3. And lastly, that they might approach so great a 
mystery with the more zeal, reverence, and devotion. And that 
those hyperbolic expressions are thus to be understood, the Fathers 
themselves teach clearly enough, when they come to interpret 
them. 

5. Lastly, being the same holy Fathers who, (as the manner is to 
discourse of Sacraments,) speak sometimes of the Bread and Wine 
in the Lord's Supper, as if they were the very Body and Blood 
of Christ, do also very often call them types, elements, signs, 
the figure of the Body and Blood of Christ ; from hence it ap- 
pears most manifestly, that they were of the Protestants, and not 
of the Papists' opinion. For we can without prejudice to what 
we believe of the Sacrament, use those former expressions which 
the Papists believe, do most favour them, if they be understood, as 
they ought to be, sacramentally. But the latter none can use, but 
he must thereby overthrow the groundless doctrine of Transub- 
stantiation ; these two, the Bread is transubstantiated into the Body, 
and the Bread also is the type, the sign, the figure of the Body of 
Christ, being wholly inconsistent. For it is impossible that a 
thing that loseth its being should yet be the sign and represen- 
tation of another ; neither can any thing be the type and the sign 
of itself. 

But if without admitting of a sacramental sense the words be 
used too rigorously, nothing but this will follow ; that the Bread 
and Wine are really and properly the very Body and Blood of 
Christ, which they themselves disown, that hold Transubstan- 
tiation. Therefore in this change, it is not a newness of sub- 



17 

stance, but of use and virtue that is produced ; which yet the 
Fathers acknowledged with us, to be wonderful, supernatural, and 
proper only to God's Omnipotency ; for that earthly and corrupti- 
ble meat cannot become to us a spiritual and heavenly, the Com- 
munion of the Body and Blood of Christ, without God's 
especial power and operation. And whereas it is far above phi- 
losophy and human reason, that Christ from Heaven, (where 
alone He is locally,) should reach down to us the divine virtue of 
His Flesh, so that we are made one body with Him ; therefore it 
is as necessary as it is reasonable, that the Fathers should tell us, 
that we ought with singleness of heart to believe the Son of God, 
when He saith. This is My Body ; and that we ought not to 
measure this high and holy mystery by our narrow conceptions, 
or by the course of nature. For it is more acceptable to God 
with an humble simplicity of faith to reverence and embrace the 
words of Christ, than to wrest them violently to a strange and 
improper sense, and with curiosity and presumption to determine 
what exceeds the capacity of men and Angels. 



CHAPTER VII. 

History of the rise of the Romish Doctrine of Transuhstantiaticyn, 

We have proved it before, that the leprosy of Transubstan- 
tiation did not begin to spread over the body of the Church in a 
thousand years after Christ. But at last the thousand years 
being expired, and Satan loosed out of his prison, to go and' 
deceive the nations, and compass the camp of the Saints about, 
then, to the great damage of Christian peace and rehgion, they 
began here and there to dispute against the clear, constant, and 
universal consent of the Fathers, and to maintain the new-started 
opinion. It is known to them that understand History, what 
manner of times were then, and what were those Bishops who 
then governed the Church of Rome ; Sylvester II. John XIX. 
and XX. Sergius IV. Benedictus VIII. John XXI. Benedict IX. 
Sylvester III. Gregory VI. Damasus II. Leo IX. Nicholas II. 

A 2 



18 

Gregory VII. or Hildebrand ; wlio tore to pieces the Church of 
Rome with grievous schisms, cruel wars, and great slaughters. 
For the Roman Pontificate was come to that pass, that good men 
being put by, they whose life and doctrine was pious being op- 
pressed, none could obtain that dignity, but they that could bribe 
best, and were most ambitious. 

In that unhappy age the learned were at odds about the pre- 
sence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament ; some defending 
the ancient doctrine of the Church, and some the new-sprung- 
up opinion. 

Fulbert, Bishop of Chartres, (A. D. 1010.) was tutor to Berenga- 
rius, whom we shall soon have occasion to speak of, and his doctrine 
was altogether conformable to that of the Primitive Church, as ap- 
pears clearly out of his Epistle to Adeodatus, wherein he teacheth, 
" That the mystery of faith in the Eucharist, is not to be looked 
on with our bodily eyes, but with the eyes of our mind. For 
what appears outwardly Bread and Wine, is made inwardly the 
Body and Blood of Christ ; not that which is tasted with the 
mouth, but that which is relished by the heart's affection. 
" Therefore," saith he, " prepare the palate of thy faith, open the 
throat of thy hope, and enlarge the bowels of thy charity, and 
take that Bread of life which is the food of the inward man." 
Again, " The perception of a divine taste proceeds from the faith 
of the inward man, whilst by receiving the saving Sacrament, 
Christ is received into the soul." All this is against those who 
teach in too gross a manner, that Christ in this mystery enters 
carnally the mouth and stomach of the receivers. 

Fulbert was followed by Berengarius, his scholar. Archdeacon 
of Angers in France, a man of great worth, by the holiness both 
of his life and doctrine. 

« ♦ * « 

Berengarius stood up valiantly in defence of that doctrine which 
170 years before, was delivered out of God's Word and the holy 
Fathers, in France, by Bertram, and John Erigena, and by others 
elsewhere, against those who taught that in the Eucharist neither 
Bread nor Wine remained after the Consecration. Yet he did 
not either believe or teach, (as many falsely and shamelessly have 
imputed to him,) that nothing more is received in the Lord's 
Supper, but bare signs only, or mere Bread and Wine ; but he 



19 

believed and openly profest, as St. Austin and other faithful Doctors 
of the Church had taught out of God's "Word, that in this mys- 
tery, the souls of the faithful are truly fed by the true Body and 
Blood of Christ to life eternal. Nevertheless it was neither his 
mind nor his doctrine, that the substance of the Bread and Wine 
is reduced to nothing, or changed into the substance of the natural 
Body of Christ ; or, (as some then would have had the Church 
believe,) that Christ Himself comes down carnally from heaven. 
Entire books he wrote upon this subject, but they have been wholly 
supprest by his enemies, and now are not to be found. Yet what 
we have of him in his greatest enemy Lanfrank, I here set down ; 
" By the Consecration at the Altar the Bread and Wine are made 
a Sacrament of Religion ; not to cease to be what they were, but 
to be changed into something else, and to become what they were 
not ;" agreeable to what St. Ambrose had taught. Again, " There 
are two parts in the Sacrifice of the Church, (this is according to 
St. Ireneeus,) the visible Sacrament, and the invisible thing of the 
Sacrament; that is, the Body of Christ." Item, " The Bread 
and Wine which are consecrated, remain in their substance, having 
a resemblance with that whereof they are a Sacrament, for else 
they could not be a Sacrament." Lastly, " Sacraments are visible 
signs of divine things, but in them the invisible things are ho- 
noured." All this agrees well with St. Austin, and other Fathers 
above cited. 

He did not therefore by this his doctrine exclude the Body of 
Christ from the Sacrament, but in its right administration he 
joined together the thing signified with the sacred sign ; and 
taught that the Body of Christ was not eaten with the mouth in 
a carnal way, but with the mind, and soul, and spirit. Neither 
did Berengarius alone maintain this orthodox and ancient doctrine ; 
for Sigibert, William of Malmesbury, Matthew Paris, and Matthew 
of Westminster, make it certain, that almost all the French, Ita- 
lians, and Enghsh of those times were of the same opinion ; and 
that many things were said, writ, and disputed in its defence by 
many men ; amongst whom was Bruno, then Bishop of the same 
Church of Angers. Now this greatly displeaseth the Papal faction, 
who took great care that those men's writings should not be 
delivered to posterity, and now do write, that the doctrine of Beren- 
garius, owned by the Fathers, and maintained by many famous 
nations, skult only in some dark corner or other. 



20 

The first Pope who opposed himseU" to Berengarius was Leo the 
Ninth, a plain man indeed, but too much led by Humbert and 
Hildebrand. For as soon as he was desired, he pronounced sen- 
tence of excommunication against Berengarius absent and unheard ; 
and not long after he called a council of Verceil, wherein John 
Erigena and Berengarius were condemned, upon this account, that 
they should say, that the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist 
are only bare signs ; which was far from their thoughts, and 
further yet from their belief. This roaring therefore of the Lion 
frightened not Berengarius ; nay, the Gallican Churches did also 
oppose the Pope, and his Synod of Verceil, and defend with Beren- 
garius the oppressed truth. 

To Leo succeeded Pope Victor the Second, who seeing Beren- 
garius could not be cast down and crushed by the fulminalions of 
his predecessor, sent his legate Hildebrand into France, and called 
another Council at Tours, where Berengarius being cited, did freely 
appear, and whence he was freely dismissed, after he had given it 
under his hand, that the Bread and Wine in the Sacrifice of the 
Church, are not shadows and empty figures ; and that he held none 
other but the common doctrine of the Church concerning the 
Sacrament. For he did not alter his judgment, (as modern Papists 
give out,) but he persisted to teach and maintain the same doctrine 
as before, as Lanfrank complains of him. 

Yet his enemies would not rest satisfied with this, but they ur- 
ged Pope Nicholas the Second, who, (within a few months that 
Stephen the Tenth sate,) succeeded Victor without the Emperor's 
consent, to call a new Council at Rome against Berengarius. For, 
that sensual manner of presence, by them devised, to the great dis- 
honour of Christ, being rejected by Berengarius, and he teaching 
as he did before, that the Body of Christ was not present in such 
a sort, as that it might be at pleasure brought in and out, taken 
into the stomach, cast on the ground, trod under foot, and bit or 
devoured by any beasts, they falsely charged him as if he had de- 
nied that it is present at all. An hundred and thirteen Bishops 
came to the Council, to obey the Pope's Mandate ; Berengarius 
came also. ** And, (as Sigonius and Leo Ostiensis say,) when 
none present could withstand him, they sent for one Albericus, a 
Monk of Mount Cassin, made Cardinal by Pope Stephen :" who 
having asked seven days' time to answer in writing, brought at 
last his scroll against Berengarius. The reasons and arjruments 



21 

used therein to convince his antagonist are not now extant, but 
whatever they were, Berengarius was commanded presently with- 
out any delay to recant, in that form prescribed and appointed by 
Cardinal Humbert, which was thus : " I Berengarius, &c. assent 
to the Holy Roman and Apostolic See, and with my heart and 
mouth do profess, that 1 hold that faith concerning the Sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Table which our Lord and venerable Pope 
Nicholas, and this sacred Council, have determined and imposed 
upon me by their evangelic and apostolic authority ; to wit, that 
the Bread and Wine which are set on the Altar, are not after the 
consecration only a sacrament, sign, and figure, but also the very 
Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ ; (thus far it is well 
enough, but what follows is too horrid, and is disowned by the 
Papists themselves ;) and that they (the Body and Blood) are 
touched and broken with the hands of the Priests, and ground 
with the teeth of the faithful, not sacramentally only, but in truth 
and sensibly." This is the prescript of the Recantation imposed 
on Berengarius, and by him at first rejected, but by imprisonment, 
and threats, and fear of being put to death, at last extorted from 
him. 

This form of Recantation is to be found entire in Lanfrank, 
Algerus, and Gratian ; yet the Glosser on Gratian, John Semeca 
marks it with this note ; " Except you understand well the words 
of Berengarius," (he should rather have said of Pope Nicholas, and 
Cardinal Humbertus,) " you shall fall into a greater heresy than his 
was, for he exceeded the truth, and spake hyperbohcally." And 
so Richard de Mediavilla ; " Berengarius being accused, overshot 
himself in his justification:" but the excess of his words should 
be ascribed to those who prescribed and forced them upon him. 
Yet in all this we hear nothing of Transubstantiation. 

Berengarius at last escaped out of this danger, and conscious to 
himself of having denied the truth, took heart again, and re- 
futed in writing his own impious and absurd Recantation, and said, 
" That by force it was extorted from him by the Church of Malig- 
nants, the Council of Vanity." Lanfrank of Caen, at that time 
head of a Monastery in France, afterwards Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and Guitmundus Aversanus answered him. And though it 
is not to be doubted but that Berengarius, and those of his party, 
writ and repUed again and again, yet so well did their adversaries 



22 

look to it, that nothing of theirs remains, save some citations in 
Lanfrank. But it were to be wished that we had now the entire 
works of Berengarius, who was a learned man, and a constant 
follower of Antiquity ; for out of them we might know with more 
certainty how things went, than we can out of what his profest 
enemies liave said. 

This sacramental debate ceased awhile because of the tumults 
of war raised in Apulia and elsewhere by Pope Nicholas the Second ; 
but it began again as soon as Hildebrand, called Gregory the 
Seventh, came to the Papal chair. For Berengarius was cited again 
to a new Council at Rome, " where some being of one opinion and 
some another,*' (as it is in the acts of that Council, writ by those of 
the Pope's faction,) his cause could not be so entirely oppressed 
but that some Bishops were still found to uphold it. Nay, the 
ringleader himself, Hildebrand, is said to have doubted, " whether 
what we receive at the Lord's Table be indeed the Body of 
Christ by a substantial conversion." But three months space 
having been granted to Berengarius, and a fast appointed to. the Car- 
dinals, " that God would shew by some sign from heaven, (which 
yet He did not,) who was in the right, the Pope or Berengarius, 
concerning the Body of the Lord ;" at last the business was 
decided without any oracle from above, and a new form of retrac- 
tion imposed on Berengarius, whereby he was henceforth forward 
to confess, under pain of the Pope's high displeasure, " that the 
mystic Bread," (first made magical and enchanting by Hildebrand,) 
** is substantially turned into the true and proper Flesh of Christ ;" 
which whether he ever did is not certain. For though Malmes- 
bury tells us, " that he died in that Roman faith," yet there are 
ancienter than he, who say, " that he never was converted from 
his first opinion." And some relate, " that after this last con- 
demnation having given over his studies, and given to the poor all 
he had, he wrought with his own hands for his living." Other 
things related of him by some slaves of the Roman See, deserves 

no credit. These things happened, in the year 1079 ; 

and soon after Berengarius died. 

Berengarius being dead the orthodox and ancient doctrine of 
the Lord's Supper which he maintained did not die with him ; 
(as the Chronicus Cassinensis would have it ;) for it was still con- 
stantly retained by St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, who lived 



23 

about the beginning of the twelfth century. In his discourse on 
the LoRD*s Supper, he joins together the outward form of the 
Sacrament, and the spiritual efficacy of it, as the shell and the 
kerne], the sacred sign, and the thing signified ; the one he takes 
out of the words of the Institution, and the other, out of Christ's 
Sermon in the sixth of St. John. And in the same place explain- 
ing, that Sacraments are not things absolute in themselves without 
any relation, but mysteries, wherein by the gift of a visible sign, 
an invisible and divine grace with the Body and Blood of Christ 
is given, he saith, " That the visible sign is as a ring, which is 
given not for itself or absolutely, but to invest and give possession 

of an estate made over to one." Now, as no man can fancy 

that the ring is substantially changed into the inheritance, whether 
lands or houses, none also can say with truth, or without absur- 
dity, that the Bread and Wme are substantially changed into the 
Body and Blood of Christ. But in his Sermon on the Purifica- 
tion, which none doubts to be his, he speaks yet more plainly ; 
" The Body of Christ in the Sacrament is the food of the soul, 
not of the belly, therefore we eat him not corporally : but in the 
manner that Christ is meat, in the same manner we understand 
that he is eaten." Also in his Sermon on St. Martin, which un- 
doubtedly is his also ; " To this day," saith he, " the same flesh 
is given to us, but spiritually, therefore not corporally." For the 

truth of things spiritually present is certain also. 

* ■* * * 

The thirteenth century now follows ; wherein the world grow- 
ing both older and worse, a great deal of trouble and confusion 

there was about rehgion So that now there remained nothing 

but to confirm the new tenet of Transubstantiation, and impose 
it so peremptorily on the Christian world, that none might dare 
so much as to hiss against it. This Pope Innocent the Third 
bravely performed. He succeeding Celestin the Third at thirty 
years of age, and marching stoutly in the footsteps of Hildebrand, 
called a Council at Rome in St. John Lateran, and was the first 
that ever presumed to make the new-devised Doctrine of Tran- 
substantiation an Article of Faith necessary to salvation, and that 
by his own mere authority. 

* * :* * 

In the fifteenth century the Council of Constance , (which by a 
sacrilegious attempt took away the sacramental cup from the peo- 



24 

pie, and from the Priests when they do not officiate,) did wrong- 
fully condemn Wiclif, who was already dead, because amongst 
other things he had taught with the Ancients, " That the substance 
of the Bread and Wine remains materially in the Sacrament of 
the Altar ; and that in the same Sacrament, no accidents of Bread 
and Wine remain without a substance.'* Which two assertions 
are most true. 

« « « « 

By these any considering person may easily see, that Transub- 
stantiation is a mere novelty ; nor warranted either by scripture 
or antiquity ; invented about the middle of the twelfth century, 
out of some misunderstood sayings of some of the Fathers ; con- 
firmed by no ecclesiastical or Papal Decree before the year 1215, 
afterwards received only here and there in the Roman Church ; 
debated in the schools by many disputes ; liable to many very bad 
consequences ; rejected, (for there was never those wanting that 
opposed it,) by many great and pious men, until it was maintained 
in the sacrilegious Council of Constance ; and at last in the year 
1551, confirmed in the Council of Trent, by a few Latin Bishops, 
slaves to the Roman See ; imposed upon all, under pain of an ana- 
thema to be feared by none ; and so spread too far, by the tyran- 
nical and most unjust command of the Pope. So that we have no 
reason to embrace it, until it shall be demonstrated, that except 
the substance of the Bread be changed into the very Body of 
Christ, His words cannot possibly be true; nor His Body present. 
Which will never be done. 



OXFORD. 

The Feast of the .Annunciation. 



OC?* These Tracts may be had at Turrill's, No. 250, Regent 
Street, at 3d, per sheet, l^d, the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



W. KING, PRINTFH, ST. CI-EMKNl's, OXFOHD. 



March 25, 1834.] r^d PopulumJ [No. 29. Price 2d. 

CHRISTIAN LIBERTY; 

OR, 

WHY SHOULD WE BELONG TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1 
BY A LAYMAy\ 



He that receiveth you, receiveth Me ; and he that receiveth Me, receiveth 
Him that sent Me. 

He that receiveth a prophet, in the name of a prophet, shall receive a pro- 
phet's reward ; and he that receiveth a righteous man, in the name of a righteous 
man, shall receive a righteous man's reward. Matth. x. 40, 41. 

John Evans was walking along the lane between his own 
house and the common, when just at the place where the lane 
makes a turning, he suddenly met Dr. Spencer, the Rector of 
his parish. John was not particularly pleased at thus meeting 
his Pastor, for several reasons. He had formerly been a most 
regular attendant at the parish church, from which he had lately 
chosen to absent himself, with his family. Not that he stayed 
away from idleness, or from any intentional disregard of the com- 
mands of God ; he felt, as he imagined, the same reverence for 
the Divine Will as ever ; it was, indeed, rather a mistaken zeal than 
any thing else, which had led to his change of conduct. He had 
been induced, one Sunday, by a friend who belonged to a dissent- 
ing congregation, to go with him to the meeting-house ; and when 
he was there, there was something in the energy of the preacher's 
manner, in the vehement action by which his teaching was ac- 
companied, and in his seeming earnestness in the holy cause of 
God, which, as it was quite new to John, was particularly striking 
to him. Compared with the fervour of this man, the quiet but 
sound discourses of his Rector seemed spiritless and tame ; and 
John came out of the meeting under the influence of such enthu- 
siastic feelings, as led him to resolve to visit it again the first 
opportunity. And thus he was led on to go again and again, till 
at last he made up his mind to become a regular attendant there. 



Thither he accordingly took his family, Sunday after Sunday ; and 
deserted, of course, the old parish church, the venerable building 
in which he and his had received the holy rite of Baptism, in which, 
as each of them in turn outgrew their infancy, they had heard 
for the first time the solemn sound of congregational prayer, and 
in which those who had arrived at a proper age, had frequently 
received, from Christ's authorized Ministers, the symbols of His 
sacred Body and Blood. 

It will be seen from what follows, that in making this change 
upon such grounds as have been described, John Evans did not 
understand that he was disobeying the God whom he was trying 
to serve, and putting a slight upon that Saviour, whose disciple 
he not only professed himself, but in good earnest desired to be. 
Yet though he did not enter into this view of the matter ; though 
he knew not that he had shown disrespect to Christ in His Mi- 
nister; still he felt as though he had not been behaving with 
perfect respect to the Doctor, whom he loved on his own account, 
as he had indeed every reason to do. So what with his fear of a 
rebuke on this ground ; (a rebuke which he dreaded the more 
from the mildness of the language in which he knew that it would 
be clothed ;) what with the irksomeness of having to avow opinions 
which must be disagreeable to one whom he so highly respected ; 
and moreover, the suspicion which he could not help feeling, that 
in these new ways of his, so different from what he had been used 
to revere, and so suddenly taken up, he might possibly be wrong ; 
for all these various reasons, he met his Pastor with a downcast 
and half-guilty look, very different from the open, honest smile 
with which he had till then ever greeted the good Clergyman. 

Dr. Spencer, however, took no notice of the difference. " Well, 
John," said he, *' I am glad to see you. I was on my way to 
have a little conversation with you, and should have been sorry to 
have missed you." 

John thought it best to be bold, and come out at once with his 
defence of himself. " I believe, Sir," said he, ** that I can 
guess what it is you were wishing to talk with me about. I have 
taken a step which 1 fear, ... I know, . . . must be displeasing to you. 
Sir. I trust however, that in exercising n)y Christian Liberty in 
the choice of my spiritual teacher, and joining the meeting in- 
stead of going to Church, I shall not seem to have acted from dis- 



respect to you, Sir, who have so long been a good friend to me 
and mine." 

Dr. — By no means, John ; do not suppose either that I feel 
personally offended by your conduct, or that I do not regard you 
with feelings as friendly as ever. But, as to the Christian Liberty 
you speak of, we perhaps understand that matter rather differently ; 
and it was because I thought you were in some mistake about it, 
that I was coming to see you to-day. I have missed yourself and 
family for some Sundays past in Church, and understood you 
had joined the meeting. Is not this the case? 

John. — It is. Sir ; and, as t have already said, without the 
slightest notion of showing you disrespect. 

Dr. — Say no more about that, John ; I know you too well to 
suspect you for a moment of such a feeling as that. Speak to me, 
as to your sincere friend and well-wisher, in perfect candour ; and 
do not fear that I shall be offended by any thing you say, while 
vou tell me fairly your reasons for this change in your conduct. 

J. — I am sure. Sir, that in the old Church I never heard any 
thing from you but what was good ; and I never thought, till the 
other day, that I could pray better in any other words than in 
those of the Church Service. But there is something so fine in 
the prayers without book, as they are offered at meeting, and 

Dr. — And something perhaps in the manner and language of 
the preacher, who preaches there without book also ? But let me 
ask, had you no other reasons than these, and such as these, 
for leaving the Church ? 

J. — None, Sir, but such as these ; at least none that I am 
aware of. 

Dr. — You did not consider that either the Church Prayer-Book, 
or my Sermons, taught doctrines contrary to the great truths re- 
vealed in God's Word ? 

J. — God forbid. Sir. 

Dr. — You had then, perhaps, some such notion as this ; you 
thought that in the Church you could pray well, but at meeting 
you could pray rather better ? 

J. — Just so, Sir. 

Dr. — And you thought that you were doing God service, then, 
by joining that worship which touched you most ? 

J. — And surely. Sir, I was right in that thought, at least. 



I^. — You would have been right, if God had not chosen a 
Minister for you. In that case perhaps you might have used your 
Christian Liberty, as you call it, and joined any congregation and 
worship you pleased. But His having given a clear command 
alters the case, and makes that which would otherwise have been 
a matter of indifference, an act of disobedience and sin. 

J. — But if I may be so bold as to ask. Sir, when did God give 
this command, and where is it to be found ? I am not so ready 
with the Bible as learned people, yet I know it in my own way. That 
was the very thing I heard Mr. Tims, who preaches at the meet- . 
ing, ask last Sunday. He said, " where is the Church of England 
spoken of in the Bible ? name chapter and verse where we are bid 
belong to it." And then he went on to say, that the new heart 
is every thing ; and that we shall not be asked at the last day, 
whether we were Churchmen or Dissenters, but what the state of 
our heart is. 

Dr. — We shall be asked at the last day, whether we have obeyed 
God's commandments ; now, one of those commandments is, that 
we should belong to the Church, as I will soon show you. But 
first you shall tell me what has been your reason, till lately, for 
going to Church. 

J. — I was born of Church-going parents, and that made me a 
regular Church-goer in my youth. And when I grew up, I always, 
at least till the other day, thought that I had the best of reasons 
for keeping regular to Church. In the first place, the Church was 
the Law Church ; and that of itself would be a reason, even if 
there were no other, for good subjects keeping to it ; and then, 
I knew it had been in the country many, many years, whereas 
all the meetings about are (so to say) of yesterday, and in one 
sense upstarts. And then I had heard from you. Sir, that in 
former limes it had Saints and Martyrs, such as were when our 
Lord was on earth. And I thought it therefore far more likely to 
be right, and had a stronger claim on me than any other religion ; 
and especially since I was a pretty regular reader of my Bible, 
and never found the teaching which I heard at Church different 
from that which I thus picked up at home. 

Dr. — All good reasons as far as they went ; but I see that I 
was right in supposing the chief claim the Church has on sJl 
Christians, is unknown to you. Our Church is sprung from that 



very Church which Christ set up at Jerusalem when He came 
upon earth ; and none of the sects have this great gift. It is a 
branch of that Holy Church, which Christ promised to be with, 
" even unto the end of the world." You must surely often have 
met in the Bible with mention of " the Church :" what did you 
suppose the word to mean ? 

J. — I do not know, Sir, that I had any very clear idea what it 
meant ; but I rather thought it meant all sincere Christians in all 
parts of the world, to whatever Church or sect they might belong. 
Dr. — Then it seems you did not understand the word *' Church" 
to signify a body of men, bound by the same laws, acting together, 
speaking the same thing, attending the same worship, reverencing 
the same Pastors and Teachers, and receiving at their hands the 
Sacraments which Christ has ordained. Yet it is quite certain 
that this is what our Lord meant, when He spoke of His Church. 
He meant a Church such as the Church of England. This will 
be clear to you from Matth. xviii. 15, 16, 17. In these verses Christ 
speaks of the Church ; in the last of them He bids His Disci- 
ples regard any one who should in certain cases refuse to ** hear 
the Church," as a heathen, and a publican ; as an opposer of His 
authority, and an outcast from His sacred fold. Thus it appears 
the Church He speaks of, is not a mere number of good people 
scattered over the world, who may or may not have communion 
with each other, (which was your notion of the word,) but one 
public orderly body, consisting of Ministers and people, such as 
the Church of England. To be sure the Church of England 
happens to have wealth and honour, and that first Church had 
not ; but this is but an accidental difference between them. If 
the Church of England were to lose its wealth and honour, it 
would not, could not cease to be a branch of the true Church. 
For the true Church, and the Church of England, as a branch 
of it, is founded on a rock, and against it the gates of hell will 
never prevail ; as you may read, Matth. xvi. 18, 19. 

J. — If you would kindly write down these texts for me, I will 
turn them out of my own Bible, and think over them. There is 
one thing, however. Sir, which comes into my mind to ask you. 
Even supposing all Christians ought to join together in one, yet 
they do not. There are a good many religions among us, and 
how is a plain unlearned man like me to know which is the real 
Church, spoken of in these passages ? 



6 

Dr. — The matter is not so difficult as you imagine, even to the 
most unlearned. The true Church of Christ must possess, as I 
will now show you, certain marks ; to which not even a pretence 
is made by the numerous sects of Dissenters with which our 
country, from different unfortunate circumstances, abounds. Let 
me go back to the time when the Gospel was first preached, and 
converts made by the Apostles. Many of these believers, we 
find, acknowledged in the Apostles the authority which Christ 
had given them over the flock, and were followers of them even 
as they were of Christ, (1 Cor. xi. 1.) remembering them in all 
things, and keeping the ordinances which they had delivered to 
the congregation in each place ; and for this conduct the Corin- 
thians received the inspired praise of St. Paul. (ibid. 2.) But 
there were others, who called themselves Christians, who caused 
divisions among the brethren, (1 Cor. ii. 18, 19.) forming parties 
of their own, and setting at nought the Apostolical Authority. To 
these St. Paul spoke in vain, when he said, " I beseech you, 
brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all 
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you ; 
but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in 
the same judgment.'* (1 Cor. i. 10.) They slighted the Lord's 
accredited Minister, and said that his bodily presence was weak, 
and his speech contemptible. (2 Cor. x. 10.) Many of the sects 
which these men formed, fell, as was to be expected, into follies and 
heresies ; but even without reference to this fact, even if we sup- 
pose them to have taught the great doctrines of Christianity with 
the same purity as the Apostles did, could a reasonable man enter- 
tain a moment's doubt, granting Christ had indeed founded a 
Church on earth, which that Church was ; whether the name of 
Church belonged to the company of Christians which obeyed His 
Apostles ; or, on the other hand, to any one of the sects which 
vilified and despised them ? 

J. — Certainly not ; that is, there could be no doubt, as long as 
the Apostles were alive, tliat the Christians whom they governed 
must have made up the true visible Church of Christ. 

Dr. — Sharply argued, John ; but you shall not escape from me, 
notwithstanding. For at all events, is it not plain that there was 
great number of sects then as now ? so that a man, who wished to 
his duty, would have to look about him carefully, and would 
in danger of doing wrong, if he joined the first body of so-call< 



4 



Christians, which he met with ? — a great number of sects, I repeat, 
in spite of the Apostles being alive ; so that it is not the mere 
circumstance of the Apostles being dead, which makes a search 
necessary to find the true Church. 

J. — I see what you would say, Sir. 

Dr. — Now then to proceed. You are disposed to doubt, whe- 
ther one Church was truer than another after the Apostles' death. 
Surely is it not plain, that that Church would still be the true 
one, which they had governed ? Now you will find, (Matt, xxviii. 
19, 20.) that our Lord promised to be with His Apostles in their 
character of teachers and baptizers of the nations, alway, even 
unto the end of the world. What did He mean by that ? 

J. — He could not mean that Peter, James, or John, or their 
brethren, were to live for ever on earth ; for we know that they 
are long since dead. 

Dr. — Certainly not ; and we must therefore ascribe to His words 
the only other meaning which they can reasonably bear. As He 
could not have spoken of the persons of the Apostles, He must 
have spoken of their offices. He must have meant that though 
Peter, James, and John should be taken from the world, the true 
Church should never be left without Apostles, but be guided by 
their successors to the end of time. 

John Evans had all this while been retracing with Dr. Spencer 
the way he had lately come, and had now arrived at the door of 
his own house. The good Clergyman thinking he had given him 
matter enough to cast in his mind, took this as a fit moment to 
break off the conversation, determining to resume it some early 
day. He therefore merely went into his parishioner's house to 
turn out for him the texts he had referred to, and then wished 
him good evening. 

The next Sunday John was at Church ; and after the Service 
was over, he kept lingering in the path which led to the Dr.'s 
house, in hopes of being overtaken by his Rector. He was not 
disappointed. Dr. Spencer soon joined him, and the argument 
between them was resumed. 

J» — If, Sir, as you were saying, our Lord meant, that there 
should be teachers and rulers of the Church, to stand in the place 
of the Apostles after their death, how is it we hear nothing of these 
successors, so to call them, in Scripture ? 



8 

Dr. — On the other hand I affirm, we hear a great deal about them 
in Scripture, as you will agree with me. Surely you recollect the 
Apostles solemnly laying their hands on others, or, as it is called, 
ordaining them, to act as their assistants and fellows ; and this 
they did, when Christians became too numerous for them to attend 
to them all by themselves. Such a person was Timothy, whom 
St. Paul thus consecrated by the putting on of his hands, (1 Tim. i. 
6.) to bear rule over that branch of the Church which was estab- 
lished at Ephesus in Asia ; Titus too, whom he left with authority 
over the Church in the island of Crete, " to set in order the things 
that were wanting ;" (Tit. i. 5.) and such Epaphroditus, whom he 
sent to the Philippians as his " brother, and companion in labour, 
and fellow-soldier, but their messenger,'* or Apostle, (Phil. ii. 25.) 
Now in the absence of the Apostles, what do you suppose would 
have been the conduct of all true Christians to these whom the 
Apostles had appointed ? 

J. — Of course they would have shown them all honour and 
obedience, in order to show their respect for the Apostles them- 
selves. 

Dr. — Certainly ; as reverencing St. Paul, they would have at- 
tended to his plain doctrine ; " Whether any do enquire of Titus, 
he is my partner and fellow-helper concerning you ; or our bre- 
thren (i. e. Luke and another sent to act jointly with Titus) be 
enquired of, they are the Apostles of the Churches, and the glory 
of Christ. Wherefore show ye to them and before the Churches, 
the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf." 
(2 Cor. viii. 23, 24.) On the other hand, how do you think these 
new Apostles would have been treated by those who shghted the 
authority of St. Peter and St. Paul. 

J. — Those who set at nought the Apostles themselves, would 
also set at nought those who stood in their place. 

Dr. — You see then, that had we lived in the days of the Apostles, 
we should have had one plain test among others, for discovering 
the true Church, in spite of all counterfeits of it. The true Church 
was that Christian body, which was governed by men com.' 
missioned by the Apostles ; and those who were perverse towards 
St. Peter and St. Paul, would have been disobedient towards 
them. But let us now go a step further. Do you suppose that 
Timothy, for instance, ceased to be an Apostle, such as St. Paul 
had made him, on the death of St. Paul ? 



9 

J. — I do not see why he should ; but I should like to know whe- 
ther there is proof from Scripture that he did not. 

Dr. — When St. Paul was just going to be put to death for the 
sake of the Gospel, he writes thus to Timothy : " Preach the 
Word ; be instant in season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, ex- 
hort with all long-suffering and doctrine Watch thou in all 

things, endure affliction, do the work of an evangelist, make full 
proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and 
the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, 
I have finished my course." (2 Tim. iv. 2 — 7.) 

J. — From these words it is certainly clear that St. Paul intended 
Timothy, whom he had appointed to act as his brother and fellow- 
labourer while he lived, to act as his successor when he should 
be no more. 

Dr. — And all true Christians, who had reverenced Timothy as 
if really St. Paul, when that Apostle was removed from them for 
a time by distance, would no less reverence him as such, when 
the Apostle was removed once for all by death, 

J. — They could do no less. 

Dr. — It follows then, that even when the Apostles had all en- 
tered into their rest, i. e. in the second age of the Gospel, we 
might still have used the test I have given, to distinguish the 
Church of Christ from sects falsely claiming that name. We 
should have found the one set of Christians reverently sitting at 
the feet of the successors of the Apostles ; all the others so-called, 
openly rejecting their rightful authority. 

J. — It is true ; ever while these successors of the Apostles lived, 
all who professed to obey Christ, were bound to pay them, and 
would have paid them, a reverence which the false sects would 
not have paid ; so that in those times there would certainly have 
been no difficulty in finding which was the Church, which it was 
our duty to join. 

Dr. — And when Timothy, Titus, or Epaphroditus, as exercising 
the same full authority which had been exercised by St. Paul, 
themselves appointed fellow-labourers and successors, committing, 
as the Apostle had enjoined one of them to do, the things which 
they had heard to faithful men who might be able to teach others 
also ; (2 Tim. ii. 2.) would not these faithful men be reverenced 



10 

by all true Christians, for the very same reasons which led them 
to reverence those who appointed them ? 

J. — They would so, no doubt. As long as a direct line was 
continued from the Apostles themselves onwards, all consistent 
Christians must have paid them reverence. And such a succession 
might have gone on for a long while, — an hundred years or more. 
Dr.^ — What if it have now gone on for eighteen hundred years ? 
What if, by the good providence of God, the line which began 
with the Apostles Peter and Paul should have continued even to 
this very day ? so that there are men who stand in the place 
of the holy Saints and Martyrs of Scripture up to this very 
hour, under the great and eternal Head of the Church ? You look 
surprised, but such is the fact ; and if such persons do really 
exist, and if we find one community of Christians acknowledging, 
and obeying, and ruled by them, while every other body of pro- 
fessing Christians in our island disclaims and rejects them, you will 
see that this test will enable the most simple-minded and unlearned 
person to discriminate between the true Church of Christ and the 
unauthorized sects which call themselves Christ's followers now, 
almost as clearly as he could, had He lived in the days of the 
Apostles themselves. 

J. — Yes ; the body of Christians, which reverences and is guided 
by the successors of the Apostles must be the true Church of 
Christ. But who are these successors of the Apostles in our 
country ? though, to be sure, I think I know that answer you will 
give me. 

Dr. — The Bishops of the Church of England are they. There is 
not one of them who cannot trace his right to guide and govern 
Christ's Church, and to ordain its Ministers, through a long line 
of predecessors, up to the favoured persons who were consecrated 
by the laying on of the holy hands of St. Peter and of St. Paul. 
This is a fact which dissenters from the Church of England do 
not, and cannot, deny : nor do they profess that the authority of 
those, whom they call their ministers, to teach and to administer 
the Sacraments, rests at all on such grounds as these. 

J. — l understand you. Sir ; but I have one remark to make, if 
you will please to hear it. Bishops do not work miracles, as the 
Ajjostles did ; nor can you mean that we are to look upon their 



11 

teachino- and writings now, as dictated by immediate inspiration, 
and consequently infallible, like the New Testament. How then 
are they Successors of the Apostles ? 

Dr. — You are bringing me to a large subject, John ; which we 
will discuss some other time, not on a Sunday evening, when you 
have your young ones at home, waiting to say their verses to you ; 
and I had rather rest than argue after the Services of the day. 
We will have some further talk, when occasion offers ; meanwhile, 
in answer to your enquiry, I will but bid you compare John xx. 
with Acts ii. The miraculous gifts were sent down upon the 
Apostles on the day of Pentecost ; but the commission to preachy 
teach, and ordain, were given, quite independently of all such 
extraordinary endowments, before our Saviour ascended into 
heaven. One word at parting. — You have had a good education ; 
your mind has been opened to enter into arguments, to see ob- 
jections, and answer questions ; your understanding has been 
sharpened. This is a talent which may be used rightly, or ab- 
used ; to the unwary all gifts are temptations. As riches betray 
men into selfishness and an evil security ; so does a sharp wit 
tend to make them self-confident, arrogant, and irreverent. Look 
at the advantages which God has given you, not as a cause of 
boasting and self-gratification, but seriously and anxiously, as a 
treasure of which you are steward for Gop, and concerning which 
you must one day give account to Him. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of the Annunciation, 



^ These Tracts may be had at TuRRiLL'Sy ^"o. 250, Regent 
Street, at 2d. per sheet, l^d. the half sheet, and Id. per quarter 
sheet. 



KING, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENT », OXFORD. 



.l/wrr/t 25, 1834.] ^4rf Po^^w/^mj.^' [i\"o. 30. Price ] id. 

CHRISTIAN LIBERTY; 

OR, 

wriv siforu) \vi: helong to the church_of England i 

BY A I.AYMAN. 

{Continued. J 



He that receivoth you, receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me, receiveth 
Him that sent Me. 

He that receiveth a prophet, in the name of a prophet, shall receive a pro- 
phet's reward ; and he that receiveth a righteous man, in the name of a righteous 
man, shall receive a righteous man's reward. Matth. x. 40, 41. 

John Evans did not fail to look out in his Bible the texts 
to which Dr. Spencer had referred him ; and he saw clearly that 
the miraculous powers with which it pleased God to endue the 
Apostles, were by no means necessarily connected with the com- 
mission which those Apostles had previously received from our 
Lord ; the commission, we mean, to teach and baptize all nations. 

John was seen again on the next Sunday, at his accustomed place 
in church. The Dr. preached from the text, Mark xvi. 17, 18; 
" And these signs shall follow them that believe : in My name shall 
they cast out devils ; they shall speak with new tongues ; they 
shall take up serpents ; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall 
not hurt them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall 
recover." 

He pointed out to his congregation the beautiful regularity which 
pervades the works of God ; the settled laws, the established order, 
with which our Maker guides the course of things around us ; the 
certainty with which the stars rise and set, the moon waxes and 
wanes, the flower follows the bud, and the seed the flower. He 
reminded his hearers how truly, from the times of the Hood, God*s 
promise has been fulfilled ; and seed time and harvest, cold and 
heat, summer and winter, day and night, have not ceased. (Gen. 
viii. 8.) " And surely," said he, " we see in these things the 
proofs that God is a God of order ; that He would not lightly or 
without important reasons change the system which He has esta- 
blished, the laws which He has framed. If then we were to hear 
that the Almighty had on a certain occasion broken through 
these laws, and violated by miracles the established order of na- 



2 

ture, we should have the strongest reasons to suppose, 1st, that 
He had only done so, in order to accomplish something which 
could not conceivably have been accomplished without such inter- 
positions ; and 2ndly. that He would discontinue these interpositions 
as soon as they became no longer necessary. 

" Now both these conclusions," continued the Doctor, " we 
find to agree alike with the Bible and with the recorded history of 
mankind. It was necessary that the doctrines of Christianity 
should be known to be the infallible truth of God ; that what the 
Apostles said or wrote on the subject should be received as the 
words of God Himself speaking to mankind. Now this authority, 
as far as we can see, can be given to mortal man only by God's 
visibly interfering in his support ; and such interferences are what 
we call miracles. We see then, that for the establishment in the 
world of Christianity, and of the authority of those sacred books 
which form the New Testament, miracles were necessary ; and we 
find from Scripture, that miracles were then vouchsafed. But 
when the interference had been fully proved, when evidence of it 
could be handed down by ordinary means to following gener- 
ations ; and when no more divine truth was to be revealed, miracles 
were needed no longer ; and the history of the world informs us, 
that they have ceased for seventeen hundred years." 

And while the Dr., in conclusion, pointed out on the one hand 
the folly of expecting a recurrence of such marvels in our own 
days, an expectation which amounts to an acknowledgement that 
Christianity is as yet imperfect, and that we are to look for a more 
complete revelation ; he dwelt with much earnestness on the danger 
of imagining that God's peculiar protection of Christianity, God's 
peculiar inward gifts to believers ceased with the cessation of the 
outward signs and wonders which at first accompanied the reve- 
lation of His Word. 

John listened with great attention ; and, when the Service was 
over, he thought long and deeply upon what had been said. He 
looked out also the different texts which the Dr. had mentioned in 
his Sermon ; and in so doing, he came to one which rather puzzled 
him. It was, John xiv. 16. '* It is strange," said he to himself; 
" our Lord promised that the Comforter whom He would send 
should abide with His followers for ever ; I really do not see why 
this promise should be given, if the greatest and most striking 
gifts which that Comforter was to bestow, were to cease at the 
end of one, or at most of two generations." 



That evening, as he was strolling in the fine summer twilight 
along the banks of the river, he met the Dr., who had walked that 
way to enjoy the fineness of the season, and to refresh himself 
after the holy labours of the day. He told him his difficulty, 
nearly in the words in which we have expressed it; and the Dr., 
smiling good naturedly, thus replied. 

Dr. — Are you quite sure, John, that you have stated your case 
aright ? Is it perfectly certain that miraculous powers were the 
greatest gifts which the Eternal Spirit was commissioned to be- 
stow upon mankind ? 

j._It certainly appeared to me that they were ; such marked, 
such striking instances of God's favour were surely greater boons 
than any thing else which we can conceive to be given to mortals 
in this present life. I think, Sir, that I have heard you yourself 
call these gifts of the Spirit, as opposed to others, His extraordi- 
nary gifts. 

Dr. — You may very probably have heard me so call them ; but 
" extraordinary" only means " unusual;" and it does not always 
follow that what is unusual is more important than what is of 
frequent occurrence. But tell me, John, in the case in which one 
thing is done in order to prepare for the doing of some other 
thing, which is the most important of the two ? the first of these 
things or the last ; the means or the end ? 

J. — The end, of course, is more important than the means ; n© 
man would venture to call the scaffolding which is raised that the 
house may be built, more important than the house itself. 

Dr. — Now think a moment, John, before you answer me ; why 
were the miraculous powers bestowed on the Apostles ? 

J. — To make men believers in Christ. 

Dr. — To prepare the way, that is, for their receiving those 
inward gifts of the Spirit in which true believers now participate 
as fully as those who lived in the days of the Apostles. 

J. — I see. Sir ; the extraordinary gifts might be compared to the 
scaffolding, the ordinary ones to the house. 

Dr. — Exactly so, John ; marvellous and striking as were the 
signs and wonders of the Apostolic age, we should ever recollect 
that they were not greater gifts, or even gifts so great as those 
inward ones which are our evangelical inheritance, as well as that 
of the Primitive Christians. When the doctrine of the Holy 
Ghost, and of His inward influence, was new to the world, it 
pleased God to confirm it, and to show that the influence was 



real, by permitting, in some cases, those on whom it descended to 
perform works which they could not have done, had not God been 
with them. Thus the real importance, even then, of these mira- 
culous gifts consisted in their bearing witness to the inward and 
unseen ones which God still showers upon His Church. 

J. — And which we dare not suppose to have ceased merely be- 
cause the outward signs of them did, when God Himself had 
promised that they should last for ever. 

Dr. — Well ; the promise of support to the Apostles, in the per- 
formance of their Ministerial duties, was equally perpetual ; Christ 
was to be with them, we have seen, as the teachers and baptizers of 
all nations, " alway,even unto the end of the world." The reality 
of their powers, and, among others, of their power of conferring 
the Holy Ghost on others, was attested at first by miracles. 
(Acts viii. 17, IS.), But we have no more reason for supposing 
that the true powers of the Ministry ceased with the outward signs, 
in the case of the Apostles, than we have for supposing, in the 
case just mentioned of the gifts of common believers, that from 
the moment miracles were no longer vouchsafed, the Holy Spirit 
withdrew Himself from the guidance of the Church for ever. That 
God has bestowed Apostolic gifts upon Apostles, and the re- 
generating influences of His Holy Ghost upon other believers, 
we know from the recorded testimony of those who witnessed the 
miracles by which the reality of those gifts and influences was at 
first established. That those gifts and influences will be alike 
perpetual in the Church, we are bound to believe upon the solemn 
word of Him who gave them. 

J. — Miracles, then, performed in one age, and handed down by 
history to others, form the standing proofs of the reality of those 
gifts which were given to the Church for ever ; and one of those 
gifts was undoubtedly the Apostolic power ; which we must be- 
lieve, upon this evidence, to be still existing. 

Dr. — Exactly so ; and infallibility of doctrine, itself a miracle, 
ceased with miracles in general. We cannot see any reason for 
the continuance of such a gift to the successors of the Apostles, 
when the Apostles themselves have recorded all things necessary 
to salvation in those sacred Scriptures which have come down to 
our times, and to which we can all refer. Nor have we the slightest 
ground for doubting the permanence of those Apostolic privileges 
which were of perpetual necessity, merely because a miraculous 
gift, evidently no longer necessary, has been discontinued. 



J.— This, Sir, 1 understand ; but there is one dilHculty which 
occurs to me. xVs the rulers of the true Church are no longer in- 
fallible, what is to prevent their all falling together into error, and 
thus leading astray the whole Church committed to their care ? 

Dr.— We may infer from Christ's promise already mentioned, 
that this will never happen to the whole Church at once ; that 
some true Apostles will be found on earth in every age, until that 
last period of the world's history, which shall witness His coming. 
But that with regard to particular branches of His Church this 
may happen, and has happened, is a melancholy truth. There is 
one simple test, however, by which we may at once assure our- 
selves that the Church of England has not so fallen away, or, as 
it is called, apostatized from the faith of her Lord and Master. 
J. — And what is that, Sir ? 

Dr. — As the eternal truth of God is contained in His revealed 
word, the Bible ; no Church, whatever may be the errors of its 
individual members, can be said, as a Church, to have fallen away, 
and consequently to have lost her claim to the obedience of 
Christ's true disciples, while she still reverences that Bible ; — 
while she puts it into the hand of each of her followers, and bids 
him read it, and seek there and there only the proofs of the doc- 
trine which she inculcates ; and while she declares, as the Church 
of England does in her 6th Article, that " Holy Scripture con- 
taineth all things necessary to salvation ; so that whatsoever is 
not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be re- 
quired of any man that it should be believed as an article of the 
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." 

J. — Then according to you. Sir, the Church of England is not 
only the true, but the original Church of Christ established in 
this kingdom. — Now Sam Jones, the Catholic, who attends the 
Popish Chapel in the next parish, tells me that his is the original 
Church, and that the Church of England is a new one. 

Dr. — That which is trdy the Catholic Church, is indeed the 
oldest ; but though we in a common way call the Papists, or fol- 
lowers of the Pope, Catholics, yet it is we who are the true 
Catholics ; for the term only means members of Christ's uni- 
versal Church. The history of the Papists is this. Many centuries 
ago, strange and corrupt notions and practices prevailed in many 
of the churches in Europe. Among others, people thought that 
the Pope or Bishop of, Rome was gifted with authority from Heaven 
to conlroul all the branches of the Church on earth, and that his 



word was to be of more weight than even the Holy Scriptures 
themselves. But about three hundred years ago, the Bishops of 
the Church of England saw these errors in their true light ; they 
saw that the Pope's authority was no: founded on Scripture, and 
they consequently refused to acknowledge it, while they at the 
same time corrected, upon scriptural principles, the other errors 
and evil practices which I have alluded to. These changes did 
not make the Church of England a new church, nor prevent that 
body which was Christ's true and original Church before, from 
being Christ's true and original Church still. Some Bishops 
of that day, it is true, disapproved of these changes, and refused 
to accede to them ; but as, when they died, they providentially 
appointed no successors, there has never since been any real 
ground for doubt which was the true Church of Christ in this 
favoured land. The Bishops of the Church of England, and they 
only, are the representatives by succession of those who, more than 
a thousand years ago, planted the Gospel on our shores*. 

J. — But there are persons whom the Papists call their Bishops — 
whence do they come ? 

Dr. — They derive what they call their right from their appoint- 
ment by foreign Bishops in an unauthorized manner. The Pope 
and his followers would by no means acknowledge the changes 
which had taken place in England ; they declared that our Church 
had apostatized from the faith, and refused to communicate with 
us, till we should return to all our ancient errors. They have since, 
upon the alleged ground that our Hne of Bishops was extinct, given 
commission from time to time to different persons to exercise 
episcopal authority here ; but as the ground was false, the com- 
mission was of course void. We acknowledge the Pope and his 
Bishops in foreign countries to be, by station, ministers of the 
Church, though we admit and lament the fact, that they have led 
the branches of it over which they preside into apostasy and 
shame ; yet we feel that in sending their representatives hither, 
to act in defiance of the Church already estabhshed, they are 
exceeding the limits of their authority. We feel that God, who 
is not the author of confusion, but of peace, in all churches of the 

♦ In the same manner it may be shown, llial the established Church of lie- 
land alone represents that (jhurch which the labours of ^t Patiick, in the filth 
century, planted in the island. Those who preside over the Romanists have 
received consecration from Rome at a very recent period. And the corruptions 
which prevail in their religion, and which distinguish it from ours, became pre- 
valent lone; after I he Saint's death. Our doctrines, therefore, approach more 
nearly to his than theirs do ; and our Church is tho true and original Church 
of (JunisT in Ireland, in every sense wliich the words will bear. 



saints, (1 Cor. xiv. 33.) cannot sanction the intrusion of one Bishop, 
however duly consecrated, into the See of another, with a view 
to the usurpation of his name and oftice, and to the organizing 
a systematic opposition to his authority. We are compelled there- 
fore to regard those who are ordained, as Popish Priests are, by 
these intruding Bishops, as unauthorized and schismatical ministers 
of religion, and as violators, like the other dissenters around them, 
of the laws of Christ's Church, and of the unity of His fold. 

J. — I thank you, Sir, for giving me so good an answer to Sam 
M hen next I meet him. And I thank you too, deeply and sincerely 
do I thank you, for teaching me the nature of one great branch 
of Christian duty which I never understood before. I seem now 
to see that there is a sin of which a Christiam may be guilty, of 
which I never before thought; the sin, I mean, of refusing obedi- 
ence to the command of our Redeemer to hear His Apostles ; 
to demean ourselves as dutiful members of the Church which 
those holy persons founded, and over which He Himself, invisibly, 
presides ; a sin, of which they are deeply guilty who separate 
themselves from that Church altogether, and join one or other 
of the many sects which reject her authority. Pray, Sir, by what 
name is such a sin properly called ? 

Dr. — It is called ** schism," from a Greek word signifying 
" division." A man may forfeit the privileges enjoyed by him as 
a member of Christ's Church in two ways : — either on account of 
" heresy," of his adopting opinions opposed to the great truths of 
the Word of God ; or through schism, through a disregard of 
Church authority, and a notion that so long as his doctrine is 
pure, he may join what sect he pleases, or even set up one for 
himself. The exercise of such a privilege I have heard some 
people call " Christian Liberty." 

J. -(smibng.) — I understand you, Sir ; but you shall hear me use 
the word in this improper sense no more. The true liberty, where- 
with Christ has made as free, is theirs alone, who, in reverencing 
His ministers, walk in the way of His commandments. Admitting, 
as I now do, the force of what you have said ; convinced, as I 
now am, that the Church of England is the Apostohc Church of 
Christ, established by our Lord Himself, I cannot but see that 
their sin is indeed great, who wilfully reject and despise it. 

Dr. — Such persons would do well to consider our Saviour's 
words to those Ministers whose successors they slight. ** He that 
despiseth you, despiseth Me ; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth 
Him that sent me." fLuke x. 16.) 



J. — They would indeed, Sir ; and I thank God that you have 
shown me the meaning of this text before I had completely sepa- 
rated myself from the Church to which my Saviour has com- 
manded me to belong. God knows, I meant to do no such thing 
when first my curiosity led me to the meeting. 

Dr. — I know it, John ; but let this show you the danger of 
making the first step, of yielding to the first temptation. Curiosity 
led you to a place, to which, if you understood your duty, you 
had no business to go ; you were pleased, and tempted to repeat 
your visit, and might soon have been led to unite yourself entirely 
to that unauthorized congregation ; in defiance, as I have now 
shown you, of the solemnly declared will of the Almighty. 

J. — Well, Sir ; I will, by God's blessing, keep myself from 
such temptations for the future. I trust that on each succeeding 
Sunday, while life and health are spared me, I shall be found in 
my old accustomed seat at Church, and kneel in the sacred spot 
where my forefathers knelt before me ; and God grant that no 
temptation may ever again lead me astray, or induce me to sepa- 
rate from the holy Church of my Redeemer. 

Dr. — It gives me, John, the sincerest pleasure to hear you 
express such sentiments as these. One good effect will, through 
God's grace, result even from this your temporary wandering 
from the fold. You will now know better than you did what we 
mean when in the words of our Liturgy we pray for " the good 
estate of the Catholic Church ;" and you will be enabled, I trust, 
to join more fully than heretofore in the beautiful prayer, *♦ that 
it may be so guided and governed by God's good Spirit, that 
all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the 
way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of 
peace, and in righteousness of life." 

J. — I hope, Sir, that I shall ; I hope that I shall ever feel duly 
thankful for the blessing of being called into Christ's Church, 
thus happily established among us ; and I trust that when in the 
name of the congregation you put up the prayer for protection 
against " false doctrine, heresy, and schism,^'' my heart and soul may 
accompany my lips in the response, — ** Good Lord, deliver us 1" 

oxford. 
Tlie Feast of the Annunciation. 

& These Tracts may he had at Messrs, Rivingtons\ 
Waterloo Place, London, 

KING, PRINTFR, 8T. CI.F.MFNt's, OXFORD. 



iVo. 31.] (AdClenm.) [Pnce \d, 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



THE REFORMED CHURCH. 



All the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, 
because the foundation of the House of the Lord was laid. But many of the 
Priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men that had 
seen the first House, when the foundation of this House was laid before their 
eyes, wept with a loud voice. — Ezra iii. 11, 12. 

Some remarks may, perhaps, be profitably made on the following 

well known lines in Herbert's Church Militant, in which the text 

above quoted is applied to our own period : 

The second Temple could not reach the first, 
And the late Reformation never durst 
Compare with ancient times and purer years, 
But in the Jews and us, deserveth tears. 
Nay, it shall every year decrease and fade. 
Till such a darkness shall the world invade 
At Christ's last coming, as His first did find; 
Yet must their proportions be assigned 
To these dimiiushings, as is between 
The spacious world and Jewry to be seen. 

Surely there is a close analogy between the state of the Jews 
after the captivity, and our own ; and, if so, a clear understand- 
ing and acknowledgment of it will tend to teach us our own place, 
and suggest to us our prospects. 

1. It is scarcely necessary to notice the general correspondence 
between the fortunes of the two Churches. Both Jews and 

'Christians *' left their first love," mixed with the world, were 
brought under the power of their enemies, went into captivity, 
and at length, through God's mercy, were brought back again from 
Babylon. Ezra and Nehemiah are the forerunners of our Rid- 
leys and Lauds ; Sanballat and Geshem of the disturbers of our 
Israel. Samaria has set up its rival temple among us. 

2. The second Temple lacked the peculiar treasures of the 
Temple of Solomon, the Prince of Peace ; such as the Ark, the 
visible glory of God, the tables of the Covenant, Aaron's rod, the 
manna, the oracle. In like manner the Christian Church was, in 
the beginning, set up in unity ; unity of doctrine, or truths unity 
of discipline, or Catholicism^ unity of heart, or charity. In spite 
of the heresies which then disturbed the repose of Christians, 
consider the evidences which present themselves in ecclesiastical 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



history of their firm endurance of persecution, their tender 
regard for the memhers of Christ, however widely removed by 
place and language, their self-denying liberality in supplying their 
wants, the close correspondence of all parts of the body Catholic, 
as though it were but one family, their profound reverential spirit 
towards sacred things, the majesty of their religious services, and 
the noble strictness of their life and conversation. Here we see 
the " Rod" of the Priesthood, budding forth with fresh life ; the 
" Manna" of the Christian ordinances uncorrupted ; the " Oracle" 
of Tradition fresh from the breasts of the Apostles ; the " Law," 
written in its purity on " the fleshly tables of the heart ;" the 
" Shechinah," which a multitude of Martyrs, Saints, Confessors, 
and gifted Teachers, poured throughout the Temple. But where 
is our unity now ? our ministrations of self-denying love ? our 
prodigality of pious and charitable works? our resolute resistance 
of evil ? We are reformed ; we have come out of Babylon, and 
have rebuilt our Church ; but it is Ichabod ; *' the glory is de- 
parted from Israel." 

3. The Jewish polity was, on its restoration, so secularized, 
that the vestiges of a Theocracy scarcely remained in the eyes of 
any but attentive believers. That it really existed as before, is 
plain from the prophetic gift possessed by Caiaphas, wicked man 
as he was. Consider the anomaly of the political relation of the 
Jews towards the Ptolemies and Seleucidae, their alliance with 
Rome, their dispersion over the Roman Empire, their disuse of 
certain of the Mosaic ordinances, the cruelties and blasphemies of 

/ Antiochus, the reign of Herod, and his virtual re-building of the 
I Temple, a remarkable omen as regards ourselves. Turn to the 
restored Christian Church, and reflect upon the perplexed ques- 
tions concerning the union of Church and State, to which the 
politics of the last three centuries have given rise ; the tyrannical 
encroachments of the civil power at various eras ; the profanations 
at the time of the Great Rebellion ; the deliberate impiety of the 
French Revolution ; and the present apparent breaking up of 
Ecclesiastical Polity every where, the innumerable schisms, the 
mixture of men of different creeds and sects, and the contempt 
poured upon any show of Apostolical zeal. 

4. Consider the following passages from the Prophets, after 
the Captivity, and see if they do not apply to present times. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Hagg. i. 4 — 10. *' Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your 
ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus 
saith the Lord of Hosts, Consider your ways. Ye have soivn 
much, and bring in little ; ye eat, but ye have not enough ; ye 
drink, but ye are not filled with drink ; ye clothe you, but there 
is none warm ; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put 
it into a bag with holes," &c. 

Mai. i. 6 — 13. " A son honoureth his father, and a servant his 
master ; if then I be a Father, where is Mine honour ? and if I 
be a Master, where is My fear ? .... Ye say, The table of the Lord 
is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even His meat, contemptible. 
Ye say also. Behold what a weariness is it, . . . and ye brought 
that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick ; thus ye brought 
an offering ; should I accept this of your hands, saith the Lord ?" 

Mai. ii. 1 — 9. " And now, O ye Priests, this commandment is 
for you . . . And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment 
unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord 
of Hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace, and I 
gave them to him, for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was 
afraid before My Name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, 
and iniquity was not found in his lips ; he walked with Me in 
peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For 
the Priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they shall seek the 
Law at his mouth ; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. 
But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to 
stumble at the Law ; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, 
saith the Lord of Hosts. Therefore have I also made you con- 
temptible and base before all the people.'' Does not the history 
of the times of Hoadley and such as he, and our present trials 
throw light upon the parallel ? 

Mai. iii. 8, 9. " Will a man rob God ? yet ye have robbed 
Me ; but ye say. Wherein have we robbed Thee ? in tithes and 
offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse ; for ye have robbed Me, 
even this whole nation." 

5. It is remarkable that, while the reinstated Jewish Church 
was so deficient in zeal, piety, and consistent obedience, and was 
punished by failure and disorganization ; yet it never fell into 
those gross and flagrant offences, which were the opprobrium of 
its earlier period. // was clear of the sin of idolatry. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

6. Moreover consider the parties, unknown to the era of the 
Theocracy, which divided the Church after the captivity ; the 
Pharisees, Sadducees, and the rest ; the necessary consequence of 
a relaxation of the original principle of national union. The case 
is the same in this day ; as if the Church were already dead, new 
forms of organization, multiplied varieties of life and action, show 
themselves within her. 

7. Lastly. The following texts suggest hope to all true Chris- 
tians. (Hag. ii. 5 — 9.) According to the rvord that I covenanted 
with you, when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth 
AMONG YOU : fear ye not." He will be with us even in this base 
and grovelling age, as with St. Paul, St. Cyprian, and St. Atha- 

nasius. 

" Thou wilt ; for Thou art Israel's God ; 
And thine unwearied arm 
Is ready yet with Moses' rod," &c. 

" The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of 
THE FORMER, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

Strange it now seems before the event, how the Church should 
close both with glory and yet in unbelief ; yet surely, as in the 
history of Jerusalem, so now both predictions will be at once ful- 
filled. (Mai. iv. 1, 2.) " The day cometh that shall burn as an 
oven, and all the proud, yea, and all who do wickedly, shall be 
stubble : but unlo you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righ- 
teousness arise with healing in His wings." 

And let it be remembered, that when our Lord seems at great- 
est distance from His Church, then He is even at the doors. 
Doubtless, when the Angel appeared in the Temple to Zacharias, 
the news of a miraculous interposition was as great a marvel to 
the world at large as if it were now noised abroad of one of our 
own Ministers in the course of his Christian Service. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. Mark. 

LONDON: 
J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

8T. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL. 



1834, 



Gilbert 8r Riviwoton, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



J^'o. 32.] C^d Clerum.J [Price Id. 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



THE STANDING ORDINANCES OF RELIGION. 



Most of us, perhaps, will find, upon examination, that we do 
not feel and act, as the Apostles and the early Church felt and 
acted, with regard to the Ordinances of our Religion. The reader 
is entreated to give this suggestion a fair consideration ; not to 
hurry on, nor turn away from the recollection, that we shall all 
one day be judged, not merely by what we actually knew, but by 
what we might have known, respecting our duties to Christ and 
His Church. Let him consider, whether his own reason, and the 
Holy Scriptures, which were expressly written in order that we 
might possess full religious knowledge, do not say more on this 
subject than he has yet duly weighed and acted upon. 

First, consider what Reason says ; which surely, as well as 
Scripture, was given us for religious ends. 

1. Can you possibly imagine any better method of perpetuating 
doctrines, than by ordinances, which live on like monuments ? 
Consider, for instance, what is implied in Christian Salvation; 
remember whose property and subjects we are when we come into 
the world ; and then endeavour, if you can, to estimate the value 
of those two Blessed Ordinances, which are the standing and defi- 
nite publication, to every one of us, to our fathers, and our 
children, of the infinite mercies of God, as manifested in the Co- 
venant of the Gospel. E.g. a generation of ungodly men (suppose) 
rise up and possess the earth ; Satan, through their means, cor- 
rupts all that he can, in the world; but meantime, something is 
living on, in the very midst of them, independent of the variable 
opinions of the human mind ; something, which they cannot spoil, 
and which, after they are gone to their account, and all their 
wretched folly has spent itself upon their owm head, will come 
forth pure and unsullied, full of sweetness and edifying comfort 
to the remnant which shall then rise up, who will feed upon it by 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

faith, and form anew the living temple of the Holy Ghost, in their 
generation. Thus the consecrated Form of Religion will be like 
some fair statue, which lies buried for ages, but comes forth at 
length as beautiful as ever ; they will be furnished with all requi- 
sites for teaching us those lessons, which the preceding age has 
been engaged in obliterating. 

2. If it be true that our weak and carnal minds do not readily 
dwell upon, nor comprehend, spiritual things by themselves, can 
we conceive any thing more precious to us on earth, than the 
outward forms which God Himself has appointed to arrest our 
attention, to embody unseen realities, to serve as a kind of ladder 
between earth and heaven, between our spirit and the Spirit of 
Holiness ? It is much to our purpose to observe, that Almighty 
God Himself directly declares that this is His design, in the insti- 
tution of Forms and Ordinances. And the consideration of such 
passages of Scripture may perhaps set us on asking ourselves whe- 
ther we can be really desiring the end, if we find ourselves at all 
irregular in seeking the means which He has appointed. (Vide 
Exod. xii. 26. xiii. 5 — 10. and 11 — 16. Levit. xxiii. 43. Josh, 
iv. 1—7.) 

3. Further, religious ordinances are, to the consciences of indi- 
viduals, a recurring testimony against sin. Can we conceive any 
thing more precious in an ungodly world, in the perverse world 
of our own heart ? Dare we then suffer to decay, and go to 
nought, the means which God has provided for calling sinners to 
repentance, and even the best men to self-examination ? Shall 
we suffer ourselves to think and speak lightly of them, and neg- 
lect to defend them when they are attacked ? To remove a barrier 
against error, is in its measure to encourage and tempt men to it ; 
and comes under the denunciation pronounced by our Blessed 
Lord, (Luke xvii. 1, 2.) " Woe unto him through whom offences 
come ; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about 
his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should make to 
stumble one of these little ones." 

Just the same care did God take of His peculiar people of old. 
'♦ Write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel ; 
put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Ale 
against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth 
with milk and honey, and they shall have eaten and filled them- 
selves, and waxed fat ; then will they turn unto other gods, and 
serve them, and provoke Me, and break My covenant. And it 
shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen 
them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness ; for 
it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed." (Deut. 
xxxi. 19—21.) 

*' Which of you," says Hooker, " receiveth a guest whom he 
honoureth, and whom he loveth, and doth not sweep his chamber 
against his coming ? And shall we suffer the chambers of our 
hearts and consciences to lie full of vomiting, full of filth, full of 
garbage, knovdng that Christ hath said, * I and My Father will 
come and dwell with you ?'. . . Blessed and praised for ever and ever 
be His Name, who, perceiving of how senseless and heavy metal 
we are made, hath instituted in His Church a Spiritual Supper, 
and an Holy Communion, to be celebrated often, that we might 
thereby be occasioned often to examine these buildings of ours, 
in what case they stand. For sith God doth not dwell in temples 
which are unclean ; sith a shrine cannot be a sanctuary to Him ; 
and this Supper is received as a seal unto us, that we are His 
house and His sanctuary ; that His Christ is as truly united unto 
me, and I to Him, as my arm is united and knit unto my shoul- 
der ; that He dwelleth in me as verily as the elements of bread 
and wine abide within me ; which persuasion, by receiving these 
dreadful mysteries, we profess ourselves to have ; a due comfort, 
if truly ; and if in hypocrisy, then woe with us." 

4. These arguments, in behalf of the duty of keeping to the 
Standing Ordinances of Religion, are strengthened by the consi- 
deration of the peculiar influence which old and familiar institu- 
tions exert over the affections. If Christianity were left to select 
and reject its ordinances, as one age succeeded to another, there 
would be no safeguard for the permanence and identity of the 
religious temper itself. God indeed might invisibly preserve it ; 
but so He might (did He so choose) without ordinances of any 
kind. But, since He has vouchsafed to employ them, it is but 
judging according to the revealed course of His Providence, to 
say, that His purpose is more fully answered by their being of a 

A 2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

standing than of a variable nature. Thus we find an argument 
from the reason of the case, for rigidly adhering to those which 
have been transmitted to us. 

5. Consider for one moment what becomes of any of us, if we 
be not blest and supported with the Divine Grace ; and then 
consider through what channels it is most natural to expect, and 
safest to seek this Grace: whether through Standing Ordinances, 
those to which the Church has ever had recourse as appointed 
by Christ and His Apostles, or those which we follow without 
inquiry as to their antiquity or acceptableness. The analogy of 
former dispensations leads us to the same conclusion. Abraham 
at Hebron (Gen. xv. 8, 9.) seeks a sign ; Almighty God refers 
him to the usual ordinance of worship, sacrifice, and therein sends 
him a sign. So again. He might have revealed Himself to Moses 
in any place ; but if Moses would find Him, it must be in the 
Tabernacle. Cornelius prayed and fasted, certainly not expect- 
ing a supernatural vision ; but one was sent him, with the mes- 
sage of salvation. On the other hand, it is the peculiarity of 
false prophets and unsound teachers to seek change and novelty 
in the rites with which they approach God. "When Balaam 
saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not as at 
other times to seek for enchantments, but he set his face towards 
the wilderness-" (Numb. xxiv. 1.) Accordingly he is obliged 
to speak with a wavering belief: " Peradventure the Lord will 
come to meet me." 

So much for what Reason suggests to us. Now let us observe 
what God Himself has directly told us in Scripture concerning 
Standing Religious Ordinances. 

1. He positively ej\]oms them. Turn to the Jewish ceremo- 
nies, and remember that they were, — (1.) Often unintelligible in 
their full import, yet positively enjoined, even on pain of death. 
E. g. Circumcision (Gen. xvii. 14.), the Passover (Exod. xii. 15. 
Numb. ix. 13 ) And remember that our faith and obedience are 
chiefly tried in things not understood, as, for instance, in the pro- 
hibition of the tree of knowledge. (2.) They were afterwards 
found to be significant. See the Epistle to the Hebrews 
throughout. Just as wise teachers store the minds of children 
with things wliich they will not fully understand till a future day, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

SO does our Divine Master admit us to the Symbols of that 
eternal worship and service of Him, which shall constitute the 
blessedness of the next life, a blessedness which it hath not 
entered into man's heart to conceive. (3.) The ordinances of 
the Christian Church are held in such high honour, that even to 
those whom He had first enriched with His miraculous gift, it 
was yet a farther and indispensable blessing to receive a solemn 
admission into her sacred mysteries. Mark, for instance, St. 
Peter's converts. Acts x. 44 — 48. They had received the Holy 
Ghost, and spake with other tongues : " Then answered Peter, 
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, 
which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we ? And he 
commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." 
Vide also Acts xiii. 2, 3. 

2. God provided that the Jews should be able to keep His 
ordinances ; rather interrupting the course of nature, and con- 
trolling the feelings of whole nations, than that the ordinances of 
His service should be set aside on a single occasion. If He com- 
mands the observance of the Sabbath in the wilderness. He pro- 
vides for the people a double store of manna on the day before, 
and miraculously preserves it from corruption. (Exod. xvi. 5. 24.) 
If He directs that the land be allowed to lie fallow every seventh 
year, He sends a triple harvest in the sixth year. (Levit. xxv. 
21.) If He enjoins all the males to leave their homes, and appear 
before Him thrice in the year. He suspends all the jealous 
and hostile feelings of the neighbouring nations, and promises 
that they should not even " desire" the land of the Israelites. 
(Exod. xxxiv. 24.) 

3. We cannot dare to conjecture how much evil may come from 
neglecting positive ordinances. King Saul departed from the 
express command of God, respecting the way in which sacrifice 
should be made to Him. He could even make a plausible excuse 
for what he did; but turn to 1 Sam. xiii. 13, and see what it 
drew down upon him : " Thou hast done foolishly ; thou hast 
not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God which He com- 
manded thee ; for now would the Lord have established thy king- 
dom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not 
continue ; the Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

and the Lord hath commanded Him to be captain over His 
people, because thou hast^ not kept that which the Lord com- 
manded thee." Think again of Nadab and Abihu ; they did not 
neglect the worship of God ; but they thought they might surely 
take the fire for the sacrifice, from whence they would ; " surely 
this was a minor point," as some among us are presumptuous 
enough to say. But He who gave laws to them and us, knows 
nothing of minor points. There can be no little sin, for there is 
no little authority to sin against. Nadab and Abihu were struck 
dead for ofiering with strange fire. This is agreeable to the 
analogy of the physical world, which is open to our senses. It 
is a simple and apparently harmless thing to place a candle near 
gunpowder, or to bring certain gases together ; but the result 
may cost us our life. 

4. Such was the importance of observing positive ordinances 
in the Jewish Church. Surely the lesson delivered in the Old 
Testament is intended for us Christians. We have the same un- 
changing Father, who was the God of Israel, and who has given 
us the Scriptures that we may have the means of searching out 
His will. First consider the light in which He views in the law 
of Moses what we are apt to call " minor points." " Therefore 
shall ye abide at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation 
day and night, seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, 
that ye die not." (Levit. viii. 35.) After the death of Nadab and 
Abihu, the charge is given " unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and 
Ithamar, his sons, uncover not your heads, neither rend your 
clothes, lest ye diCf and lest wrath come upon all the people," 
(Levit. X. 6.) " Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou nor 
thy sons with thee, when ye go into the Tabernacle of the Con- 
gregation, lest ye die" (Ibid.) 

This was the uniform tone of the Divine Guardian of the 
Church then. Is the duty less urgent now? when, (1.) the 
added claim on our gratitude is all that the New Testament 
tells us : (2.) The Ordinances are so much fewer, and therefore, 
first, the trouble of them is so incomparably diminished ; next, 
the preciousness of tliem (humanly speaking) so miich more 
strikingly seen : they are the only jewels of this sort that wc 
have left. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

5. Remark may be made upon the very circumstance, that, | 
in the Christian Covenant, Standing Ordinances are made the 
channels of its peculiar blessings. The first use of Ordinances 
is that of witnessing for the Truth, as above mentioned. Now 
their sacramental character is perfectly distinct from this, and is 
doubtless a great honour put on them. Had we been left to con- 
jexjture, we might have supposed, that in the more perfect or 
spiritual system, the gifts of grace would rather have been 
attached to certain high moral performances ; whereas they are 
deposited in mere positive ordinances, as if to warn us against 
dropping the ceremonial of Christianity. 

This last observation leads to the brief notice of an objection 
sometimes brought against the necessity of a Christian's attention 
to Ordinances, grounded on the notion of the spiritual character 
of Christianity. Now, — 1. Are we quite sure that rve are more 
spiritual, and more independent of the external helps of the 
Church, than Samuel, — Hezekiah, — Josiah, — and Daniel? — 
2. What does oui own experience say? Do we see the best and 
holiest of men becoming most independent and regardless of 
them, or the very reverse ? 3. Are the feelings of love, affec- 
tion, reverence, tender remembrance, which are entertained to- 
wards such places and things as are associated in our minds with 
the persons who are the primary objects of these feelings, incon- 
sistent with spiritual-mindedness ? Are not the Ordinances which 
►Christ and His Apostles have appointed, the bond of perpetuated 
unity to the Church, a precious and mysterious medium for the 
" Communion of Saints" in all countries and ages ? No one 
among us would think it a mark of weakness to cherish with 
attachment and respect a Bible which his father had used for half 
a century, from which he had learned the words of life and the 
way of salvation. And is it not a soothing and elevating privi- 
lege, to feel that we, even at this distant day, are allowed to 
come and walk in the very steps of all the holy men of old, the 
glorious company of the Apostles, and the noble army of martyrs, 
to take that narrow path, whose farther end they have now found 
to be in heaven ? In walking over the very ground where the 
holy Apostles lived and walked as Bishops, or in following our 
Lord Himself into Gethsemane, along the beach of the sea of 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Gennesareth, or in pausing with Him on the Mount Olivet, as 
He weeps over Jerusalem, we find ourselves moved with some- 
thing too deep and touching for words, and almost for thought ; 
and is it no privilege, no blessing, to think with Him, to have 
our spirit admitted to move in the same path which His Holy 
Spirit has chosen ; to be consecrated with Him and to Him in 
the water of Baptism, to eat the Holy Supper with Him, to fast 
with Him, to pray with Him in the very form and very thoughts 
which flowed from His divine mind and lips ? 

If these things are so, how can we hold up our heads, and 
dare to think of the way in which we have handled His Ordi- 
nances, handled that Form in which He has deigned to live on in 
the world, and to move before the eyes of His Church ! If we 
can recollect the moment when we have been so dead in heart as 
to have found ourselves considering, not how often our Saviour 
would let us come and hold communion vnth Him, but how few 
times would satisfy Him, — whether " this one" omission would 
draw down His displeasure, — if there be one of us who lives in 
this spirit, " how dwelleth the love of God in him ?" 

Once more, if, when all times, all places, all forms, are in 
themselves alike, yet it has pleased the High and Lofty One 
that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy, to choose to Him- 
self certain forms, places, and times, for His especial dwelling 
upon earth, — with what reverend and solemn feelings should we 
go to meet Him there, and approach His altar with our gift ! We 
read (Lev. xxii. 18. 25.) that the God of Israel would admit no 
blemished creature to be sacrificed to Him ; nor will He now 
accept the offering of our hearts unless we cleanse ourselves from 
all unbelief, insincerity, and guile : " wash our hands in inno- 
cency, and so go to Hi? altar." 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. Mark, 

LONDON: 

J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and waterlog place, pall mall. 

1834. 



A'o. 33.1 ( Ad Scholas.) [^Price \d. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



PRIMITIVE EPISCOPACY. 



The first step towards evangelizing a heathen country in the 
early times, seems to have been to seize upon some principal 
city in it as a centre of operation ; to place a Pastor, i. e., a 
Bishop there ; to surround him with a sufficient number of asso- 
ciates and assistants ; and then to wait, till, under tl^e blessing of 
God, this Missionary College was enabled to gather around it 
the"scattered children of grace from the evil world, and invest 
itself with the shape and influence of an organized Church. The 
converts would, in the first instance, be naturally attracted to the 
immediate vicinity of the Missionary or Bishop, whose diocese, 
nevertheless, would extend indefinitely over the heathen country 
on every side, his mission being without restriction to all to 
whom Christ had never been preached. As he prospered in the 
increase of his flock, and sent out his clergy to greater and 
greater distances from the city, so would the homestead (so to 
call it,) of the Church enlarge ; other towns would be brought 
under his government, till at length he would find " the burden 
too heavy for him," and would appoint other Pastors to supply 
his place in this or that part of his diocese. To these he would 
commit a greater or lesser share of his spiritual power, as might 
be necessary ; sometimes he would make them fully his repre- 
sentatives, or ordain them Bishops ; at other times he would 
employ presbyters for his purpose. These assistants, or (as they 
were called) Chorepiscopi, would naturally be confined to their 
respective districts ; and if Bishops, an approximation would 
evidently be made to a division of the large original diocese into 

A 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

a number of smaller ones connected with and subordinate to the 
liishop of the metropolitan city. Thus, from the very Missionary 
character of the Primitive Church, there was a tendency in its 
polity to what was afterwards called the Provincial and Patri- 
archal system. 

It is not, indeed, to be supposed that this was the only way in 
which the graduated order of sees (so to call it) originated ; but> 
at least, it is one way. And there is this advantage in remark- 
ing it : we learn from it, that large dioceses are the characteris- 
tics of a Church in its infancy or weakness ; whereas, the more 
firmly Christianity was rooted in a country, and the more vigour- 
ous its rulers, the more diligently were its sees multiplied 
throughout the ecclesiastical territory. Thus, St. Basil, in the 
fourth century, finding his exarchate defenceless in the neigh- 
bourhood of Mount Taurus, created a number of dioceses to meet 
the emergency. These subordinate sees may be called suffragan 
to the Metropolitan Church, whether their respective rulers were 
mere representatives of the Bishop who created them, i. e,, Cho- 
repiscopi ; or, on the other hand, substantive authorities, sove- 
reign within their own limits, though bound by external ties to 
each other and to their Metropolitan. The most perfect state of 
a Christian country would be, that of a sufficient number of 
separate dioceses ; the next to it, the system of Chorepiscopi, or 
Suffragan Bishops in the modem sense of the word. 

Few persons, who have not expressly examined the subject, 
are aware of the minuteness of the dioceses into which many parts 
of Christendom were divided in the first ages. Some Churches 
in Italy were more like our rural deaneries than what we now 
consider dioceses ; being not above ten or twelve miles in exn 
tent, and their sees not above five or six miles from each other. 
Even now (or, at least, in Bingham's time,) the kingdom of 
Naples contains 147 sees, of which twenty are Archbishopricks. 
Asia Minor is 630 miles long, 210 broad; yet in this country 
there were almost 400 dioceses. Palestine is in length 160 miles, 
in breadth 120; yet the number of known dioceses amounted to 
48. Again, in the province of Syria Secunda, the see of Larissa 
(e. g.) was about 14 miles from Apamea, Arethusa 16 from Epi- 
phania. And so, again, in the West, though the dioceses were 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

generally larger, as partaking more of a Missionary character, 
yet in Ireland there were at one time from 50 to 60 sees. 

Such was the character of the Primitive Regimen, where 
Christianity especially flourished in the zeal and number of its 
professors. But, where the country was mountainous or desert, 
the inhabitants scanty, or but partially Christian, it was consi- 
dered advisable to leave all to the management of one chief 
Pastor, who appointed assistants to himself according to his 
discretion, as the circumstances of the times required. The 
office of these Chorepiscopi, or country Bishops, was to preside 
over the country clergy, inquire into their behaviour, and report 
to their principal ; also to provide fit persons for the inferior 
ministrations of the Church. They had the power of ordaining 
the lower ranks of clergy, such as the readers, sub-deacons, and 
exorcists ; they might ordain priests and deacons with the leave 
of the city Bishop, and administer the rite of confirmation ; and 
were permitted to sit and vote in synods and councils. Thus 
their office bore a considerable resemblance to that of our Arch- 
deacons ; except, of course, that they had the power of ordina- 
tion ; whereas the latter are but presbyters. And, in matter of 
fact, by such presbyters {visitors, as they were called,) they were 
superseded in the course of the fourth and following centuries, 
till at length the Pope caused the order to be set aside almost 
altogether in the ninth. 

liittle use was made of Suffragans during the middle ages ; 
but, at the time of our Reformation, Archbishop Cranmer felt the 
deficiency of the English Church in respect of Bishopricks, and 
projected several measures to supply it. The most complete 
was that of increasing the number of dioceses ; availing himself 
of existing circumstances, he advised the King to apply the 
Abbey lands to the founding of twenty additional sees. Bishop 
Burnet gives some of the particulars of this attempt in the follow- 
ing passage : — 

" On the 23rd of May, in the session of Parliament, a bill was 
brought in by Cromwell for giving the king power to erect new 
bishopricks by his letters-patent \ It was read that day for the 

^ It is scarcely necessary to observe, that parliament was then the lay 
synod of the Church of England. 



TB-AGTS FOR THE TIMES. 

first, second, and third time ; and sent down to tlie Commons. 
The preamble of it was, * that it was known what slothful and 
ungodly life had been led by those who were called religious. 
But that these houses might be converted to better uses ; that 
God's word might be better set forth ; children brought up in 
learning ; clerks nourished in the universities ; and that old de- 
cayed servants might have livings ; poor people might have 
almshouses to maintain them ; readers of Greek, Hebrew, and 
Latin, might have good stipends ; daily alms might be adminis- 
tered, and allowance might be made for mending of the highways, 
and exhibitions for ministers of the Church ; for these ends, if 
the king thought fit to have more bishopricks or cathedral 
churches erected out of the rents of these houses, fiill power was 
given him to erect and found them, and to make rules and sta- 
tutes for them, and such translations of sees, or divisions of them, 
as he thought fit.' In the same paper, there is a list of the sees 
which he intended to found ; of which what was done afterwards 
came so far short, that I know nothing to which it can be so 
reasonably imputed, as the declining of Cranmer's interest at 
court, who had proposed the erecting the new cathedrals and 
sees, with other things mentioned in the preamble of the statute, 
as a great mean of reforming the Church \" Some of the pro- 
posed additional dioceses are then enumerated ; Essex, Hertford, 
Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Oxford and Berkshire, North- 
ampton and Huntingdon, Middlesex, Leicester and Rutland, 
Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Suffolk, Stafford and Salop, Notting- 
liam and Derby, Cornwall. As to the means by which they were 
to be endowed, no opinion is here expressed on its lawfulness, as 
the present sketch is confined to the consideration of the spiritual 
part of the ecclesiastical system. It is scarcely necessary to add, 
that Cranmer's views were partly realised, in the subsequent 
creation of the dioceses of Chester, Bristol, Glocester, Oxford, 
and Peterborough. 

The same prelate, whose episcopate has had so important an 
infiuence upon the constitution of our Church ever since, also 
projected with great wisdom, a system of suffragan bishops or 



Burnet, Hist. Refprm. iii. 



« 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Chorepiscopi, which he was able to bring into effect, and which 
lasted till the reign of King James. Twenty-six such bishops 
were appointed ; the bishop of the diocese having the power of 
presenting two persons to the king, who might choose either of 
them, and present him to the archbishop of the province for con- 
secration. These suffragans exercised such jurisdiction as their 
principal gave them, or as had formerly been committed to 
suffragans ; their authority lasting no longer than he continued 
their commission to them. " These were believed," says Burnet \ 
" to be the same with the Chorepiscopi in the primitive church ; 
which, as they were begun before the first council of Nice, so they 
continued in the Western Church till the 9th century, and then 
a decretal of Damasus being forged, that condemned them, they 
were put down every where by degrees, and now revived in 
England. The suffragan sees were as follows; Thetford, Ipswich, 
Colchester, Dover, Guilford, Southampton, Taunton, Shaftsbury, 
Molton, Marlborough, Bedford, Leicester, Gloucester, Shrews- 
bury, Bristol, Penrith, Bridgwater, Nottingham, Grantham, Hull, 
Huntingdon, Cambridge, Pereth, Berwick, St. Germain's, and the 
Isle of Wight." 

After the disuse of suffragans in the reign of James I. there 
was a fresh project for establishing them on the Restoration. 
Charles, in one of his declarations, promises to increase the 
number of bishops, in accordance with Archbishop Usher's plan 
for episcopal government. However, his intention was not put 
into execution, doubtless owing to existing circumstances, which 
reasonably interfered with it. 

The following extract is made from Bingham, Antiqu. ix. 8. 
** One great objection against the present diocesan episcopacy, and 
that which to many may look the most plausible, is drawn from the 
vast extent and greatness of most of the northern dioceses of the 
world, which makes it so extremely difficult for one man to dis- 
charge all the offices of the episcopal function The Cliurch 

England has usually followed the larger model, and had very 
great and extensive dioceses ; for at first she had but seven bishop- 
ricks in the whole nation, and those commensurate in a manner, 

* Hist. Reform, ii. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

ill- Oi Hf 



to the seven Saxon kingdoms. Since that time she'ltas thought 
it a point of wisdom to contract her dioceses, and multiply them 
into above 20 ; and if she should think fit to add 40 or 100 
more, she would not be without precedent in the practice of the 
Primitive Church. ... In Ireland, there are not now above half the 
number of dioceses that there were before, and consequently they 
must needs be larger by uniting them together. In England, there 
are more in number than formerly, some new ones being created 
out of old ones, and at present, the whole number augmented to 
three times as many as they were for some ages after the first 
conversion. Besides that, we have another way of contracting 
dioceses in efiect here in England appointed by law, which law 
was never yet repealed ; which is by devolving part of the bishop's 
care upon the Chorepiscopi, or suffragan bishops, as the law calls 
them : — a method commonly practised in the ancient Church in 
such large dioceses as those of St. Basil and Theodore t, one of 
which had no less than fifty Chorepiscopi under him, if Nazianzen 
rightly informs us. And it is a practice, which was continued 
here all the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and even to the end of 
King James ; and is what may be revived again, whenever any 
bishop thinks his diocese too large, or his burden too great to be 
sustained by himself alone." 

To the above statements, may be subjoined the present number 
of souls, and the area of square miles, in certain of our dioceses, 
as given in a pamphlet lately published, which has come into the 
writer's hands since the foregoing was put on paper. (Vide 
Plan for a New Arrangement, &c. by Lord Henley.) 

Souls. Square Miles. 

Chester 1,806,722 4140 

London 1,676,725 1942 

York 1,526,288 5300 

Lincoln 920,011 5775 

Lichfield 978,655 3344 

By this table, it is not here intended to insinuate the necessity of 
any immediate measure of multiplying the English sees or appoint- 
ing suffragans, (the expediency of which is to be determined by a 
rariety of considerations, which it were unprofitable here to de- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

tail,) but to show that the genius of our ecclesiastical system tends 
towards such an increase, and that it is but a question of time 
which has to be determined. These statements are also made 
with a view of keeping up in the minds of churchmen a recollec- 
tion of the injury, which the Irish branch of our Church has lately- 
sustained in the diminution of its sees. bnnh^ 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. Philip and St. James. ^^^ ^^ 



These Tracts are sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. 
for 50 copies. 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 
ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place. 



1834. 



Gilbert & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



?.ilOI_t6-! 



No. 34. (Ad Scholas.) [Price \d. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



RITES AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHURCH. ' 

'O fikv ovv iriffToi;, ojg xpOi "^^f^ kpfKOfievog ovH deiTai Xoyov Kai airiag, 
virep S)v av iiriTaxOy, aXS! apKiirai ry irapadocxfi fiovy. 

Chrysost. in 1 Cor. Horn. 26. 

He who is duly strengthened in faith, does not go so far as to require reason 
and cause, for what is enjoined, but is satisfied with the tradition alone. 



The reader of ecclesiastical history is sometimes surprised at 
finding observances and customs generally received in the Church 
at an early date, which have not express warrant in the Apostolic 
writings ; e. g. the use of the cross in baptism. The following 
pages will be directed to the consideration of this circumstance ; 
with a view of suggesting from those writings themselves, that a 
minute ritual was contemporaneous with them, that the Apostles 
recognize it as existing and binding, that it was founded on reli- 
gious principles, and tended to the inculcation of religious truth. 
Not that any formal proof is attainable or conceivable, consider- 
ing the brevity and subjects of the inspired documents ; but such 
fair evidence of the fact, as may recommend it to the belief of the 
earnest and single-minded Christian. It is abundantly evident 
that the Epistles were not written to prescribe and enforce the 
ritual of religion ; all then we can expect, if it existed in the 
days of the Apostles, is an occasional allusion to it in their 
Epistles as existing, and a plain acquiescence in it : and thus 
much we find. 

Let us consider that remarkable passage, (1 Cor. xi. 2 — 16.) 
which, I am persuaded, most readers pass over as if they could get 
little instruction from it. St. Paul is therein blaming the Co- 
rinthians for not adhering to the custom of the Church, which 
prescribed that men should wear their hair short, and that women 
should have their head covered during divine service ; a custom 



TRACTS fOR THE TIMKS. ' 

apparently most unimportant, if any one ever was, but in his view 
strictly binding on Christians. He begins by implying that it is 
one out of many rules or traditions (^n-apacocreig) which he had 
given them, and they were bound to keep. He ends by re- 
fusing to argue with any one who obstinately cavils at it and 
rejects it : " If any man seem to be contentious, we have no such 
custom, neither the churches of God." Here then at once a view 
is opened to us which is quite sufficient to remove the surprise 
we might otherwise feel at the multitude of rites, which were in 
use in the Primitive Church, but about which the New Testa- 
ment is silent ; and further, to command our obedience to such 
as come down to us from the first ages, and are agreeable to 
Scripture. 

In accordance with this conclusion, is the clear and forcible 
command given by the Apostle, (2 Thess. ii. 15.) " Brethren, 
stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, 
whether by word, or our epistle." 

To return. St. Paul goes on to give the reason of the usage, 
for the satisfaction of the weak brethren at Corinth. It was, he 
implies, a symbol or development (so to say) of the principle of 
the subordination of the woman to the man, and a memorial of 
the history of our creation ; nay, it was founded in " nature,'* 
i. e. natural reason. And lastly, it had a practical object ; the 
woman ought to have her head covered ** because of the angels." 
We need not stop to inquire what this reason was ; but it was a 
reason of a practical nature which the Corinthians understood, 
though we may not. If it mean, as is probable, " because she is 
in the sight of the heavenly angels," (1 Tim. v. 21.) it gives a 
still greater importance to the ceremonies of worship, as connect- 
ing them with the unseen world. 

It would seem indeed as if the very multiplicity of the details 
of the Church ritual made it plainly impossible for St. Paul to 
write them all down, or to do more than remind the Corinthians 
of his way of conducting religious order when he was among 
them. " Be ye followers of me," he says, *' I praise you that 
ye remember me in all things." It is evident there are ten 
thousand little points in the working of any large system, which a 
present instructor alone can settle. Hence it is customary at 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

present, when a school is set up, or any novel manufacture in 
trade, or extraordinary machinery is to be brought into use, to set 
it going by sending a person fully skilled in its practical details. 
Such was St. Paul as regards the system of Christian discipline 
and worship ; and when he could not go himself, he sent Timothy 
in his place. He says in the 4th chapter : " I beseech you, be 
ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timo- 
theus, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which 
be in Christ, as I teach every where in every Church." Here 
there is the same reference to an uniform system of discipline, 
whether as to Christian conduct, worship, or Church govern- 
ment. 

Another important allusion appears to be contained in the 22nd 
verse of the chapter above commented on. " What have ye not 
houses to eat and drink in ? or despise ye the Church of God ?" This 
is remarkable as being a solitary allusion in Scripture to houses of 
prayer under the Christian system, which nevertheless we know 
from ecclesiastical history were used from the very first. Here 
then is a most solemn ordinance of primitive Christianity, which 
barely escapes, if it escapes, omission in Scripture. 

A passing allusion is made in another passage of the • same 
Epistle, to the use of the word Amen at the conclusion of the 
Eucharistical prayer, as it is preserved after it and all other 
prayers to this day. Thus the ritual of the Apostles descended 
to jninutiae, and these so invariable in their use as to allow of an 
appeal to them. 

In the original institution of the Eucharist, as recorded in the 
Gospels, there is no mention of consecrating the elements ; but 
in 1 Cor. x. 16, St. Paul calls it *' the cup of blessing, which we 
bless." This incidental information, vouchsafed to us in Scrip- 
ture, should lead us to be very cautious how we put aside other 
usages of the early Church concerning this sacrament, which do not 
happen to be clearly mentioned in Scripture ; as e. g. the solemn 
offering of the elements to God by way of pleading his mercy 
through Christ, which seems to have been universal in the 
('hurch, till Popery corrupted it into a superstitious and blas- 
phemous ordinance. 

As regards the same Sacrament, let us consider the use of the 



TRACTS FOR Till: TIMES. 

word Xiirovpyov yroy y niinistering (Acts xiii. 2.); a word which, 
dropt (so to say) by accident, and interpreted, as is reasonable, by 
its use in4;he services of the Jewish Law, (Luke i. 23 ; Heb. x. 1 1.) 
remarkably coincides with the Xeirovpyia of the Primitive Church, 
according to which the offering of the Altar was intercessory, as 
pleading Christ's merits before the throne of grace. 

Again, in 1 Cor. xv. 29, we incidentally discover the existence 
of persons who are styled " the baptized for the dead." Perhaps 
it is impossible to determine what is meant by this phrase, on 
which little light is thrown by early writers. However, any how 
it seems to refer to a custom of the Church, which was so usual as 
to admit of an appeal to it, which St. Paul approved, yet which 
he did not in the Epistle directly enforce, and but casually 
mentions. 

In 1 Cor. i. 16, St. Paul happens to inform us that he baptized 
the household of Stephanus. It has pleased the Holy Spirit to 
preserve to us this fact ; by which is detected the existence of a 
rule of discipline for which the express doctrinal parts of Scrip- 
ture afford but indirect warrant, viz. the custom of household 
baptism. (Vid. also Acts xvi. 15. 33.) This accidental dis- 
closure accurately anticipates the after practice of the early 
Church, which urged the baptism of families, infants included, 
and gave a weighty doctrinal reason for it ; viz. that all men were 
bom in sin and in the wrath of God, and needed to be individually 
translated into that kingdom of grace, into which baptism is the 
initiation. 

These instances, then, not to notice others of either a like or a 
different kind, are surely sufficient to reconcile us to the complete 
ritual system which breaks upon us in the writings of the Fathers. 
If any parts of it indeed are contrary to Scripture, that is of 
course a decisive reason at once for believing them to be ad- 
ditions and corruptions of the original ceremonial ; but till this 
is shown, we are bound to venerate what is certainly primitive, 
and probably is apostolic. 

It will be remarked, moreover, that many of the religious 
observances of the early Church are expressly built upon words 
of Scripture, and intended to be a visible memorial of them, after 
the manner of St. Paul's directions about the respective habits 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

of men and women, with which this paper opened. Metaphorical 
or mystical descriptions were represented by a corresponding 
literal action. Our Lord Himself authorised this procedure when 
He took up the metaphor of the prophets concerning the fountain 
opened for our cleansing (Zech. xiii. 1) and represented it in the 
visible rite of baptism. Accordingly, from the frequent mention 
oi oil in Scripture as the emblem of spiritual gifts, (Is. Ixi, 1—3, 
&c.) it was actually used in the primitive Church in the cere- 
mony of admitting catechumens, and in baptizing. And here 
again they had the precedent of the Apostles, who applied it in 
effecting their miraculous cures. (Mark vi. 13. James v. 14.) 
And so from the figurative mention in Scripture of salt, as the 
necessary preparation of every religious sacrifice, it was in use 
in the Western Church, in the ceremony of admitting converts 
into the rank of catechumens. So again from Phil. ii. 10, it was 
customary to bow the head at the name of Jesus. It were 
endless to multiply instances of a similar pious attention to the 
very words of Scripture, as their custom of continual public 
prayer from such passages as Luke xviii. 7 ; or of burying the 
bodies of martyrs under the altar, from Rev. vi. 9 ; or of the 
white vestments of the officiating ministers, from Rev. iv. 4. 

Two passages from the Fathers shall now be laid before the 
reader, in order to the further illustration of our subject : 

" Though this observance has not been determined by any text of l^crip- 
ture, yet it is established by custom, which doubtless is derived from Apos- 
tolic tradition. For how can an usage ever obtain, which has not first been 
given by tradition ? But you say, even though tradition can be produced, 
still a written (Scripture) authority must be demanded. Let us examine, 
then, how far it is true, that an Apostolic tradition itself, unless written in 
Scripture, is inadmissible. Now 1 will give up the point at once, if it is not 
already determined by instances of other observances, which are maintained 
without any Scripture proof, on the mere plea of tradition, and the sanction 
of consequent custom. To begin with baptism. Before we enter the water, 
we solemnly renounce the Devil, his pomp, and his angels, in church in the 
presence of the Bishop. Then we are plunged in the water thrice, and 
answer certain questions over and above what the Lord has determined in 
the written gospel. After coming out of it, we taste a mixture of milk and 
honey ; and for a whole week from that day we abstain from our daily bath. 
The sacrament of the Eucharist, though given by the Lord to all and at 
supper time, yet is celebrated in our meetings before day break, and only at 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

the hand of otir presiding ministers We sign our forehead with the 

cross whenever we set out and walk, go in or out, dress, gird on our sandals, 
bathe, eat, light our lamps, sit or lie down to rest, whatever we do. If you 
demand a scriptural rule for these and such like observances, we can give 
you none ; all we say to you is, that tradition directs, usage sanctions, faith 
obeys. That reason justifies this tradition, usage, and faith, you will soon 
yourself see, or will easily learn from others ; meanwhile you will do well to 
believe that there is a law to which obedience is due. I add one instance 
from the old dispensation. It is so usual among the Jewish females to veil 
their head that they are even known by it. I ask where the law is to be 
found ; the Apostle's decision of course is not to the point. Now if 1 
no where find a law, it follows that tradition introduced the custom, which 
afterwards was confirmed by the Apostle when he explained the reason of 
it. These instances are enough to show that a tradition, even though not in 
Scripture, still binds our conduct, if a continuous usage be preserved as 
the witness of it." — TertuUian de Coron. § 3. 

Upon this passage it may be observed, that TertuUian, flourish- 
ing A.D. 200, is on the one hand a very early witness for the 
existence of the general doctrine which it contains, while on the 
other he gives no sanction to the claims of those later customs 
on our acceptance which the Church of Rome upholds, but which 
cannot be clearly traced to primitive times. 

Basil, whose work on the Holy Spirit, § 66, shall next be 
cited, flourished in the middle of the fourth century, 150 years 
after TertuUian, and was of a very different school ; yet he will be 
found to be in exact agreement with him on the subject before 
us, viz. that the ritual of the Church was derived from the 
Apostles, and was based on religious principles and doctrines. 
He adds a reason for its not being given us in Scripture, which 
we may receive or reject as our judgment leads us, viz. that 
the rites were memorials of doctrines not intended for publication 
except among baptized Christians, whereas the Scriptures were 
open to all men. This at least is clear, that the ritual could 
scarcely have been given in detail in Scripture, without impart- 
ing to the Gospel the character of a burdensome ceremonial, and 
withdrawing our attention from its doctrines and precepts. 

" Of those articles of doctrine and preaching, which are in the custody 
of the Church, some come to us in Scripture itself, some are conveyed to us 
by a continuous tradition in mystical depositories. Both have equal claims 
on our devotion, and are received bv all, at least by all who are in any 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

respect Churchmen. For, should we attempt to supersede the usages which 
are not enjoined in Scripture as if unimportant, we should do most serious 
injury to Evangelical truth ; nay, reduce it to a bare name. To take an 
obvious instance; which Apostle has taught us in Scripture to sign be- 
lievers with the cross ? Where does Scripture teach us to turn to the east 
in prayer ? Which of the saints has left us recorded in Scripture the words 
of invocation at the consecration of the bread of the Eucharist, and of the cup 
of blessing ? Thus we are not content with what Apostle or Evangelist has 
left on record, but we add other rites before and after it, as important to the 
celebration of the mystery, receiving them from a teaching distinct from 
Scripture. Moreover, we bless the water of baptism, and the oil for anoint- 
ing, and also the candidate for baptism himself. .... After the example of 
Moses, the Apostles and Fathers who modelled the Churches, were accus- 
tomed to lodge their sacred doctrine in mystic forms, as being secretly and 
silently conveyed This is the reason why there is a tradition of ob- 
servances independent of Scripture, lest doctrines, being exposed to the 

world, should be so familiar as to be despised We stand instead of 

kneeling at prayer on the Sunday ; but all of us do not know the reason 
of this. » . . . Again, every time we kneel down and rise up, we show by our 
outward action, that sin has levelled us with the ground, and the loving mercy 
of our Creator has recalled us to heaven." 

The conclusion to be drawn from all that has been said in 
these pages is this : — That rites and ordinances, far from being 
unmeaning, are in their nature capable of impressing our memo- 
ries and imaginations with the great revealed verities ; far from 
being superstitious, are expressly sanctioned in Scripture as to 
their principle, and delivered to the Church in their form by 
tradition. Further, that they varied in different countries, ac- 
cording to the respective founder of the Church in each. Thus, 
e. g., St. John and St. Philip are known to have adopted the 
Jewish rule for observing Easter-day ; while other Apostles ce- 
lebrated it always on a Sunday. Lastly, that, although the 
details of the early ritual varied in importance, and corrupt 
additions were made in the middle ages, yet that, as a whole, 
the Catholic ritual was a precious possession ; and if we, who 
have escaped from Popery, have lost not only the possession, 
but the sense of its value, it is a serious question whether we are 
not like men who recover from some grievous illness with the 
loss or injury of their sight or hearing ; — whether we are not 
like the Jews returned from captivity, who could never find the 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

from union with Him, from communion with the faithful, and 
cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven. For it is expressly said, 
" Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His 
blood, ye have no life in you." (John vi. 53.) St. Paul also 
tells us, that the ministration of these sacraments is entrusted to 
the pastors of the Church by this commission, when he says, 
" Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and 
stewards of the mysteries of God." (1 Cor. iv. 1.) 

This commission, which you find in chapter xvi. given to St. 
Peter, and in chapter xviii. given to all the Apostles, — which is 
made mention of in St. Luke's Gospel, where our Saviour says 
to them, " I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath 
appointed unto Me," (Luke xxii. 29.) and again in St. John's, 
where Christ says, " As My Father hath sent Me, even so send 
I you," (John XX. 21.); — this commission, I say, was left by the 
apostles to their successors, viz. those apostles or bishops whom 
they appointed to be their helpers in governing the churches 
during their life-time, and to occupy their place when dead. And 
it has been handed down, by the laying on of hands, from bishops 
to bishops, and will so continue to the end of time, according to 
that promise, whereby our Lord engaged to continue with them 
always in the exercise of it, when He said to the apostles, '' Lo, 
I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matt. 
xxviii. 20.) By virtue of this commission, each bishop stands 
in the place of an apostle of the Church ; and discharges the 
important trust reposed in him, either in his own person, or by 
the clergy whom he ordains and gifts with a share of his autho- 
rity. 

Herein is the difference between the ministry of such persons 
as have received this commission from the bishop, and of those 
who have not received it ; — that to the former, Christ has pro- 
mised that His presence shall remain, " Lo, I am with you always, 
even to the end of the world :" and that when they minister the Word 
and Sacraments (which are the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven), 
what they do upon earth, in His name, according to His will, 
shall be ratified and made good in heaven. " Whatsoever thou 
shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever thou 
shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." But to those 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

who have not received the commission, our Lord has given no such 
promise. A person not commissioned from the bishop, may use 
the words of Baptism, and sprinkle or bathe with the water, on 
earth, but there is no promise from Christ, that such a man shall 
admit souls to the Kingdom of Heaven. A person not commis- 
sioned may break bread, and pour out wine, and pretend to give 
the Lord's Supper, but it can afford no comfort to any to receive 
it at his hands, because there is no warrant from Christ to lead 
communicants to suppose that while he does so here on earth, 
they will be partakers in the Saviour's heavenly Body and Blood. 
And as for the person himself, who takes upon himself without 
warrant to minister in holy things, he is all the while treading in 
the footsteps of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, whose awful punish- 
ment you read of in the book of Numbers. (Compare Numbers 
xvi. with Jude v. 11.) 

It is of the utmost importance that you should know and un- 
derstand that it is by virtue of this commission, that we Clergy- 
men lay claim to your attention, when we minister the Word 
and the Sacraments. It is not because we have received an ex- 
pensive education ; it is not because we move in the station of 
what is called gentlemen ; it is not because we have hitherto 
been encouraged by the State ; it is not because we, most of us, 
have enough of this world's goods, both to supply our own wants, 
and to impart to the necessities of others ; it is not for these 
things that we dare to speak to you in the name of God. 
Time was when the clergy had them not ; the time may come 
again when they shall not have them. Men may rudely and 
unjustly take away these things ; may make us as poor as the 
poorest ; may destroy what is called our station in society ; may 
make us appear in the eyes of men a humbled and degraded 
class, as they did the Apostles ; may *' cast out our name as evil 
for the Son of Man's sake," as they did theirs. This cannot 
alter our position in spiritual things, nor the relation which we 
bear to God and Christ, and to your souls. Men cannot take 
away what Christ has given us, — I mean the Divine commis- 
sion ; they cannot set aside the trust which He has placed in our 
hands, — I mean "the ministry of reconciliation," (2 Cor. v. 18 ) 
nor make void the promise He has made, that in the faithful 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

exercise of this ministry, He is '* with us always, even to the end 
of the world." 

Remember, then, that whether your pastors be rich or poor, 
honoured or despised by the world, it is only the having received 
this COMMISSION that makes us " bold in our God to speak unto 
you the Gospel of God," (1 Thess. ii. 2.) ; and it is only this that 
can give you any security that the ministration of the Word and 
Sacraments shall be effectual to the saving of your souls. Learn, 
then, to cherish and value the blessing which God has vouch- 
safed to you, in having given you pastors who have received this 
commission. The Dissenting teachers have it not. They lay 
no claim to regular succession from the Apostles ; and though 
the Roman Catholic clergy have indeed been ordained by the 
hands of Bishops, they are mere intruders in this country, have 
no right to come here, and besides, have so corrupted the truth 
of God's word, that they are not to be listened to for a moment. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of the Ascension. 



These Tracts are sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or Is. 
for .'jO copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. 0. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE. 
1834. 



Gilbert & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



iVo. 36.] C^d Populum.) [Prke Id, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



ACCOUNT OF RELIGIOUS SECTS AT PRESENT 
EXISTING IN ENGLAND. 



" I Beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, 
contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them." 

Rom. xvii. 17. 



It is conceived, that many members of the English Church, 
whom late events have awakened to a knowledge of the religious 
differences which exist in the world, are but insufficiently ac- 
quainted with the chief points which distinguish the various 
religious bodies which are among them ; and may be anxious 
for information on the subject. The following statement, drawn 
up by a Clergyman at the request of a parishioner, is submitted 
to their consideration. 

The English Church, which is a true branch or portion of the 
"One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" of Christ', re- 
ceives and teaches the entire Truth of God according to the 
Scriptures ; the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the 
Truth. This may be proved by reference to the Scriptures ; in 
which no fundamental doctrine can be pointed out, which the 
Church does not teach : nor can it be shown that the Church 
teaches any thing, as necessary to salvation, but what is con- 
tained in the Scriptures, or can be proved by them, — this being 
the acknowledged rule of teaching set forth in the 6th Article of 
the Church. 



' See Nicene Creed. 
A 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

The parties which are separated from, and opposed to, the 
Church, may be arranged into three classes. 1 . Those who reject 
the Truth. 2. Those who receive and leach a party but not the 
whole, of the Truth. 3. Those who teach more than the Truth. 

■ I.- — Those who reject the Truth. 

Under this head are included all who deny that Jesus '* is the 
Christ, the Son of the living God\" an4 ^t salvation is 
through His blood. Such are :- 1.-, .'*,.- r . 

1. SociNiANs (so called from Socinus, a chief teacher of their 
error), who profess to receive the Old and New Testament, but 
reject these fundamental doctrines as there set forth, and reject 
also the doctrine of the Personality and operations of the Holy 
Ghost ^. These men commonly call themselves Unitarians. 

2. Jews, who profess to receive the Old Testament, but 
denounce our Lord as an Impostor. These contradict the Pro- 
phets of the Old Testament, to whose evidence our Lord appealed 
while fulfilling their prophecies ^ : and they forget the living wit- 
ness they themselves afford to our Saviour's truth, who foretold 
concerning their Church and nation, the evils which have since 
happened, and under which they are now suffering *. 

3. Deists (so called from professing to acknowledge merely 
a Deity), who reject both the Testaments, denying that God has 
ever revealed His will to men. Thus they contradict reason, 
which suggests that He would not leave the beings whom He 
created capable of happiness, without instruction how to attain 
that happiness : they contradict also the unanswerable evidence 
of history, miracles, and fulfilment of prophecy, which prove that 



* Matt xvi. 16. 

* On these points see "Churchman's Manual." Oxford, 1834. pp.20 
—23. 

3 John V. 39. 46. 

* See Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Jew.s. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

He actually has revealed His Wilt,' and that the Btyokuvhicii we 
call the Bible contains that Revelation \ '^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^-mix^y 

4. Atheists (i. e. men *' rvithout God") who deny altogeUi^r 
the existence of a God. These contradict the voice of nature, 
which, by the regularity of seasons, the succession, growth, and 
decay, of plants, of animals, and men, by the course of the planets 
and all its other wonderful works, attest the existence, power, 
and goodness of a Superior Being, who must have made all these 
things at the first, and now continues and preserves them. 

These four Classes may be placed together, because to all four 
the same passage of St. John is applicable. " Whosoever de- 
nieth the Son, the same hath not the Father^," and of all four 
it may be truly said, " They have trodden under foot the Son of 
God, and counted the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing, and 
done despite to the Spirit of Grace ^." 



II. — Those who receive and teach a part but not the whole of the 
truthf erring in respect of one or more fundamental doctrines. 

Under this head are included most of what are called " Pro- 
testant Dissenters." The chief of these are, — 

1. Presbyterians, so called from maintaining the validity of 
ordination by Presbyters or Elders only, in other words, by the 
second order of the clergy, dispensing with and superseding the 
first*. 

2. Independents, so called from being opposed to and inde- 
pendent of all ecclesiastical government *. 

3. Methodists (subdivided into an immense variety of sects ; 
the chief are Wesleyans, Whitfieldians, or I^ady Huntingdon's, 

' See Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Deists. 
2 1 John ii. 23. 3 Heb. ix. 29. 

* From this error have sprung all Sects enumerated under this second 
head. 

' See Hebrews xiii. 17- 

A 2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Ranters, or Primitive Methodists, Brianites, or Bible Christians, 
Protestant Methodists, Tent Methodists, Independent Methodists, 
and Kilhamites). 

These three do not receive or teach the Truth respecting the 
doctrine of " laying on of hands," which St. Paul classes among 
the fundamental doctrines of Christianity', and by which the 
Christian ministry receives its commission and authority to ad- 
minister the Word and Sacraments. For they one and all reject 
the first (i, e. the Apostolic, or as we now call it. Episcopal) order 
of clergy, who exercised that rite according to the New Testa- 
ment, and without whom there is no warrant from Scripture for 
believing that the Clergy can be appointed, or the Sacraments 
be duly administered ^. 

4. Baptists, who have departed from the Truth not only as 
concerns the doctrine '' of laying on of hands," but also as con- 
cerns the doctrine of Baptism ; another of the fundamental doc- 
trines, according to St. Paul. For they refuse to permit their 
children to receive that sign of admission into the Christian cove- 
nant. Thus they contradict the Old Testament, for there we find 
that to the Christian Covenant, or Covenant in Christ, which God 
confirmed^ with Abraham, children were enjoined to be admitted ; 
and those children whose parents withheld them from receiving 
the sign of the covenant, were counted by God to have broken 
His covenant*. They contradict also the New Testament, 
for there our Saviour says, *' Suffer little children to come unto 
me, and forbid them not^;" and St. Paul declares that where 
either parent is a believer, then *' are the cliildren holy,*' i.e. ad- 
missible to the covenant of grace®. 

5. Quakers, who reject altogether laying on of hands, and 
both the Sacraments. 

Besides these are, especially in Wales, Jumpers and Shakers, 



» Heb. vi. 2. 

2 See "Churchman's Manual," pp.6— 16. Acts xiv. 2,3. 1 Tim. v. 22. 
Tit. i. 5. 

» Gal. iii. 17. * Gen. xvii. 14. 

» Mark x. 14. • 1 Cor. vii. 14. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



a chief part of whose religious worship consists in violent exercise 
and contortions of the body ^ 



III. — Those who teach more than the truth. 

Under this head are included all who teach besides the Scrip- 
tures, something else as of equal authority with what is contained 
in them. The chief of these are, — 

1. Romanists, or Papists, (so called because they are the 
followers of the Pope or Bishop oi Rome,) who teach that the 
images of God and of the Saints ought to be worshipped ; that 
the Virgin Mary and other Saints ought to be prayed to ; that 
in the Lord's Supper, after consecration, the bread is no longer 
bread, the wine no longer wine ; that all Churches owe obedience 
to the Pope of Rome, &c. &c.^ They have at different times 
attempted to confirm these doctrines by pretended miracles. 

2. New Jerusalemites, or Swedenborgians, so called from 
their leader, who pretended to have received a new revelation. 

3. SouTHCOTiANS ; the followers of Johanna Southcote, who 
pretended to be a prophetess. 

4. Irvingites ; so called from one of their chief leaders, who 
pretend to have received a new Revelation, and a new order of 
Apostles, which, like the Papists, they attempt to confirm by pre- 
tended gifts of unknown tongues, prophecy, and miracles ; like all 
under this head, a mixture of delusion and imposture. 



Churchman, whosoever thou art, that readest the list of follies 
and errors in the 2d and 3d classes, into which the pride of man's 
heart and the wiles of Satan, have beguiled so many of those who 

* The Moravians are purpoifty omitted : for they cannot well be said to 
be opposed to the Church. They lay claim also to an Apostolic or Episcopal 
Ministry, though it is believed that they are unable to substantiate the 
succession. 

' See Churchman's Manual, pp. 15 — 19. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ \ first give to God 
your hearty thanks for having preserved you a member of the 
*' One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church," which teaches the 
way of God in truth ^, " neither handling the Word of God de- 
ceitfully," like the second class, nor following cunningly devised 
fables ', like the third, but by manifestation of the truth, com- 
mending itself to every man's conscience in the sight of God *. 
Next pray to Him for yourself, that you may have grace to walk 
worthy of your high calling and privilege ; in repentance, faith, 
and holiness, and in close communion with the Church, especially 
by a frequent participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Sa- 
crament of the Lord's Supper, which is at once the highest and 
most essential act of Christian worship, and the surest token of 
Church membership. Next pray to God for mercy upon all, both 
those who have gone beyond or fallen short of the Truth, and 
those who have altogether rejected it ; that He may be pleased 
so to turn their hearts, and fetch them home to His flock, that 
they may be saved together with His true servants, and be made 
one fold under one Shepherd. 

One word more. From each of these three Classes, which 
have been here considered, the Church in England has undergone 
persecution. 1st. In the 4th and 6th centuries, /row those who 
reject the Truth, when "they who denied that Jesus is the Christ 
the Son of the living God, expelled and murdered those who 
believed in Him, and called upon His Name. 2nd. In the 16th 
century, from those mho teach more than the Truth, when the 
Papists or Romanists burned alive those who rejected their cor- 
rupt additions to the Catholic faith. 3rd. In the I7th century, 
from those who teach less than the Truth, when the Protestant 
Dissenters expelled and barbarously treated the Clergy, shut up 
the Churches, and forbade the use of the English Liturgy. But 
on each occasion, though it pleased God for a while to try the 
faith and constancy of his servants by sufferings, He failed not 
finally to deliver His people, and to protect and strengthen His 
Church. 

' i Cor. i. 2. ' Matt. xxii. IG. 

» 2 Pet. i. 16. * 2 Cor. iv. 2. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

At the present time, these three Classes of opponents have 
united their forces, and Unbeliever, Papist, and Protestant Dis- 
senter, obeying Satan's bidding, are endeavouring to do that 
together, which they have failed to do singly, namely, to over- 
throw and destroy our branch of the Catholic and Apostolic 
Church. And it is not improbable that God, for our correction 
and improvement, or for the glory of His name, may again put 
the faith and constancy of His servants to the proof, by permitting 
them to suffer afflictions for His name's sake. But as He is 
•' the same yesterday and to-day and for ever *," His power 
undiminished. His truth unchanged, we may rest assured, that if 
we will be true to Him, He will be true to us ; and will protect 
the Church of His Son, which is *' built upon the foundation of 
the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the 
Chief Corner-stone ^," and concerning which Church, that Son has 
said, that " the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it^." Fear 
not, therefore, neither be faint-hearted ; has not God commanded 
you ? Be strong, and of good courage ! 

1 Heb. xiii. 8. » Eph. ii. 20. 

' Matt. xvi. 15. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St, Barnabas. 



3ffw ,j\l4l^l! tx 



tn-rq grft rraH'w ^^sr-^T 



These Tracts are published monthly ^ and sold at the price of 2d, 
for each sheet, or 7s, for 50 copies. 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE, /iUftft 

1834. 
Gilbert & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



Xo, 37.] C^'^d PopulumJ IPrice Id, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



BISHOP WILSON'S FORM OF EXCOMMUNICATION. 



It is well known that Bishop Wilson, who presided over the Church in 
the Isle of Man, from 1698 to 1755, was stirred up by Him who made him 
overseer, to revive the Primitive Discipline, and was remarkably blest in his 
undertaking. The principle of this discipline is, that no man who sinned 
openly, whether in creed or practice, should be allowed to remain in free 
and full communion with the Church ; but should be censured, put to 
penance, suspended, or excommunicated, as the case might require. The 
following is the form he proposed to use, in inflicting' the extreme punish- 
ment of excommunication. 



My Brethren, and all good Christians here met together. 

We are met upon a very unusual and mournful occasion. 

We have hitherto (blessed be God), preserved, in some good 
measure, the ancient discipline of the Church ; and notorious 
sinners have been prevailed upon to take shame to themselves in 
a public confession of their offences ; and to desire the prayers 
of the Church for the grace that is necessary for a true con- 
version. 

I am sorry to tell you, that there is a person now under the 
censures of the Church, who utterly refuseth to submit to this 
wholesome discipline ; being more concerned for the shame that 
attends his censures, than he is for his salvation. 

We have laid before you his crimes ; and the Christian methods 
which have been made use of to bring him to a sense of his guilt 
and danger, and to oblige him to make what satisfaction he can 
for the scandal he hath given. 

You will see how very long we have waited in hopes of bring- 
ing him to submit to the discipline of the Church ; until at last 
our discipline begins to be slighted, as too weak for such 
offenders. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

However, it ought not to repent us that we have waited with 
patience ; when we consider with what mighty patience God 
himself waiteth to be gracious ; and that the sentence of excom- 
munications was never, in the primitive Church, executed hastily, 
nor until all other probable ways had been made use of without 
effect \ 

Now, this being the last remedy which the Church can make 
use of for awakening obstinate offenders, the whole Church ought 
to be satisfied upon what grounds, and by what authority we pro- 
nounce this sentence ; and what will be the effects of such a 
sentence when passed according to the will and appointment of 
Jesus Christ. 

The Holy Scriptures tell us, that our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who came to seek and save his lost creatures, has appointed divers 
ordinances for the conversion and salvation of men. 

For instance : — He has appointed Preaching ^, to draw men to 
him ; He has appointed the Sacrament of Baptism ^, by which we 
are admitted into His household the Church ; and that of the 
Lord's Supper *, as a pledge of his love, and of our communion 
with Him. And lastly. He hath ordained Godly Discipline^, 
that such who do not live as becomes their Christian profession 
may be reproved, corrected, and amended, or else cast out of his 
Church. 

And all these ordinances are committed unto His Ministers, 
who are called his Stewards^ ; because to them He has committed 
the keys ' of His house and kingdom, that is, the Church ; that 
they may admit such as are worthy, and that they may shut out 
such as behave themselves disorderly in His family. 

Jesus Christ, I say, committed this power to His Apostles, 
and they to their successors ' ; with this assurance from his own 
mouth. He that heareth you, heareth Me, and he that despiseth 
you, despiseth Me, and Him that sent Me. 



' Matt, xviii. 16 — 17 ' Mark xvi. 15. 

' iSIatt. xxvni.'lO. * Luke xxii. 19. 1 Cor. xi. 2«. x. \ii. 

5 Matt, xviii. 15, &c, « 1 Cor. iv. I, 2. Luke xii. 42. 

' Matt. xvi. 19. xviii. 16, &c. John xx. 2.3. 1 Cor. v. 4. 

« Compare Matt. x. 40., Luke x. 16., and Tit. ii. 15. iii. 10. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

So that you see, whosoever makes a jest of Church Discipline, 
makes a jest of an ordinance of God ; and a man may as well 
despise the whole Christian Religion, as this power, which is as 
much the ordinance of Jesus Christ, as preaching, or the use of 
the Sacraments. 

The most unlearned Christian will understand this, when he is 
asked, For what end he was baptized ? He will answer, That he 
might thereby be made a member of Christ, a child of God, aaid 
an inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven. 

But why does he believe that Baptism does give him a right to 
these blessings? Why; because Jesus Christ gave power to 
His Ministers to baptize all nations ; that such as are baptized ^ 
into Christ, have put on Christ ; that is, are members of 
Christ's body, which is His Church. 

Now, will not our Lord Christ, who has promised to own 
you for His children when His Ministers have admitted you into 
His Church by Baptism, will He not also disown you, when the 
same Ministers, acting in His name, shall by the same power of 
the keys, shut you out of His Church ? 

For if you believe that they receive you into Christ's Church 
by Baptism, you must believe that they shut you out as effectually 
by excommunication. 

In short, every Christian, when he is baptized, is admitted 
into the Church upon a most solemn promise to live as a Christian 
ought to do ; if he does not do so, those very Ministers who ad- 
mitted him are bound to exhort ^, to rebuke and to censure him ; 
and if these methods will not do, to excommunicate him; that is, 
to cut him off from the body of Christ, and from God's favour 
and mercy : — not that he may be lost for ever, but that he may 
see his sad condition, and repent, and be saved. 

The form of excommunication made use of by the Apostles of 
our Lord, was, by delivering offenders to Satan ^ Now, because 
this is laughed at by profane persons, who do not know the 
Scriptures, I will show you what that means. The Spirit and 
the Word of God has told us, that the devil has a kingdom and 

1 Gal. iii. 27- 2 2 Tim. iv. 2. 

3 1 Cor. V. 5. and I Tim. i. 20. 

A 2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

subjects, over whom he reigns; that is, over the children of dis- 
obedience \ 

That Jesus Christ has also His kingdom and subjects ; and 
when the Apostles gained over any of the subjects of Satan unto 
Christ, they are said to turn them from darkness to lights and from 
the po7ver of Satan unto God ^. 

Now, when any of Christ's subjects become rebellious, and 
refuse to be governed by the laws of the Gospel, His Ministers 
are bound to admonish them of their sin, and of their danger ; and 
if they refuse to obey their godly admonitions, then to turn them 
out of that society of which Christ is the head ; and conse- 
quently, such persons fall under the power of Satan again, who 
useth his subjects like slaves. And God permits him to do so, 
that sinners, if they are not utterly lost, may with the prodigal, 
when he was forced to herd with swine, see the state they are 
fallen into, and repent; and desire to get out of the snare and 
|)Ower of the devil ; and be restored to the favour of God. 

So that excommunication is made use of, not as a punishment 
only, but as a remedy ; that sinners, seeing the evil state they are 
in, being deprived of all hopes of salvation while they are out of 
the Church, may desire to be restored to God's grace, from which 
they are fallen, that they may work out their salvation with more 
fear for the time to come. 

But here I must take notice of one thing that often hinders the 
Discipline of the Church from having this good effect upon 
sinners. They are apt to say, If I am shut out of this Church I 
can go to another. Why, has Christ more Churches than one'? 
Is Christ divided*? saith the Apostle. Do not all Christians 
profess to believe one holy^ Apostolic Church*? And is not 
this Church a member of that holy Church ? And have not the 
Ministers of Christ here the same authority from their Lord and 
Prince, as any other Christian Bishop ; namely, the authority of 
binding, and loosing ? And will not our sentence, when we pro- 
ceed according to the rules which Christ hath given us, be con- 

' p:ph. ii. 2. * Acts XX vi. 18. 

' Eph. iv. 4, &c. ' ♦ 1 Cor. i. 13. 

• Nicene Creed. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

firmed in Heaven ? If so, what advantage will a sinner get by- 
going to another society, if after all Jesus Christ shall confirm 
the sentence of his former Pastor ? And for want of being recon- 
ciled by Him, shall shut him out of Heaven ? 

It is true, our Lord hath not given us any power to compel 
men by outward force^ either to come into, or to continue in His 
Church ; but will people for this reason despise the power which 
Christ has given us ? They will hardly do so, if they know what 
St. Paul hath said upon this : " The weapons we use," saith he, 
" are not carnal, but mighty through God ^ ;" that is, God can 
humble the stoutest sinner, and make the power of His ministers 
effectual, when they use their power for His glory, and according 
to His will. 

You see, good Christians, that we take upon us no authority 
but what Christ has given us ; what His Apostles exercised, 
and what we are bound by our most solemn vows to exercise. 

Every Bishop, for instance, at his consecration, solemnly pro- 
mises, that he will correct and punish disobedient and criminous 
persons within his diocese, according to such authority as he has by 
God's word ^. What authority he has by God's Word, you have 
already heard; and all serious Christians must acknowledge, that 
we should become adversaries to ourselves, to our Church, and 
our country, if we should suffer Christ's discipline to fall into 
decay, while we are warranted and bound, both by the laws of 
God and this land, to exercise it ; especially when vices of this 
kind begin to grow upon us. 

Only let us take care that we use this authority as the Apostle 
directs, ybr edification, and not for destruction ^. 

And if we must be forced to shut this unhappy person out of 
the Church, let it be with the same compassion and reluctancy 
that a father turns his rebellious son out of his house, not with a 
design that he should starve and be lost for ever ; but that being 
made sensible of the misery of being out of his father's house, he 

' 2Cor. X. 4. 

- See Consecration Service. 

' 2 Cor. X. 8. See too the Service for the Consecration of Bisliops, in the 
Prayer just before Consecration. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

may more earnestly desire to return and be received into favour, 
and become a more dutiful child for the time to come. 

God has infinite expedients to bring back sinners that are gone 
away from Him. We know how ^ the prodigal son was brought 
to a sense of his condition by the miseries he met with when he 
was from under his father's care. How David's eyes were opened 
by a parable ^. How Manasseh became an instance of repentance, 
when in bonds '. And we should not despair, but be confident 
rather that God will bless His own institutions in the hands of us 
His ministers, for the good of all such persons as draw these cen- 
sures upon themselves. And it will be far from being severity to 
them, if by these means they may be brought to a sense of their 
evil condition, and *' their souls saved in the day of the Lord 
Jesus*." 

This is the design of Church censures ; and that they may have 
this good effect, the Apostle has given directions to all Christians^ 
not to accompany with such, that they may be ashamed. And 
our holy Church in her Articles, as you will find it in the thirty- 
third Article of the Church of England, has declared in these 
words : That person which by open denunciation of the Church is 
rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, 
ought to be taken of the rvhole multitude of the faithful, as a 
heathen and publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and 
received into the Church by a judge that hath authority thereunto. 

Pursuant to which Article, the Church in the eighty-fifth Canon 
appoints, that all persons excommunicated, and so denounced, be 
kept out of the church by the churchwardens. 

And in the sixty-fifth Canon directs, That all such as stand 
lawfully excommunicated, shall every six months be openly de- 
nounced and declared excommunicate ; that others may be thereby 
admonished to refrain their company and society, ^c. 

As for any temporal penalties or incapacities which an excom- 
municate person may be exposed to ; these do not properly belong 



1 Luke XV. 17. * 2 Sam. xii. 1, he. 

^ 2 Chron. xxxiii. 12. * 1 Cor. v. o. 

* 2Tlu«ss. iii. 6. 14. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

to the Church ; they are no part of our sentence ; they are alto- 
gether in the hands of the civil magistrate. Our sentence is 
purely spiritual ; it is the sentence of Jesus Christ, and only 
concerns the good of the souls of those He has committed to our 
care. It is part of that ministry which we received by the impo- 
sition of hands, and which we most humbly pray God to enable 
us to exercise to His glory ^ to the putting a stop to the growing 
vices of the age, and to the edification of the Church of Christ, 
which He has purchased with his blood ^ Amen. 



The Sentence. 

It is with great reluctancy, God is our witness, and after many 
prayers to God for their conversion, that we proceed to this last 
remedy which Christ has appointed for the conversion of sinners. 

But we hope you are not shut out, that you may ever remain 
out of the Church ; but that you may become sensible of your 
errors, and return with more zeal to your Heavenly Father. 

In the mean time we must do our duty, and leave the event to 
God. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, and by the authority which we 
have received from Him, we separate you from the communion of 
the Church, which He has purchased with His blood, and which 
is the society of all faithful people ; and you are no longer a 
member of His Body, or of His kingdom, until you be openly 
reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a judge 
that hath authority so to do. 

When Persons excommunicated are received hack into the 
Church, 

I, an unworthy minister of Jesus Christ, by the same autho- 
rity and power, even that of our Lord Jesus Christ ; by which 
for thy obstinacy, and other crimes, thou hast been excluded from 
the communion of Christ's Holy Church : By the same power, 

^ Acts XX. 28. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

I do now release thee from that bond of excommunication, ac- 
cording to the confession now made by thee before God and this 
Church ; and do restore thee again unto the communion of the 
Church of Christ : beseeching the Almighty to give thee His 
grace that thou mayest continue a worthy member of the same 
unto thy life's end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of Si, John the Baptist. 



Erratum in No. 34. 
Page 3, line 28, for elements read cup. 



These Tracts are published monthly ^ and sold at the price of 2d. 
for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 
ST. Paul's church yard, and waterlog place. 

1834. 
Gn.DF.iiT& RiViNOTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



,Xo. 38.] (y^d Scbolas.) [Price 2d. 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



VIA MEDIA. 



Laicus, — Will you listen to a few free questions from one who 
has not known you long enough to be familiar with you without 
apology ? I am struck by many things I have heard you say, 
which show me that, somehow or other, my religious system is 
incomplete ; yet at the same time the world accuses you of 
Popery, and there are seasons when I have misgivings whither 
you are carrying me. 

Clericus. — I trust I am prepared, most willing I certainly am, 
to meet any objections you have to bring against any doctrines 
which you have heard me maintain. Say more definitely what 
the charge against me is. 

L. That your religious system, which I have heard some 
persons style the Apostolical, and which I so name by way of 
designation, is like that against which our forefathers protested 
at the Reformation. 

C. I will admit it, i. e. if I may reverse your statement, and 
say, that the Popish system resembles it. Indeed, how could 
it be otherwise, seeing that all corruptions of the truth must be 
like the truth which they corrupt, else they would not persuade 
mankind to take them instead of it. 

L. A bold thing to say, surely ; to make the earlier system 
an imitation of the later ! 

C. A bolder, surely, to assume that mine is the later, and the 
Popish the earlier. When think you that my system (so to 
call it) arose ? — not with myself? 

L. Of course ; but whatever individuals have held it in our 
Church since the Reformation, it must be acknowledged that 
they have been but few, though some of them doubtless eminent 
men. 

C. Perhaps you would say (i. e. the persons whose. views you 
are representing), that at the Reformation, the stain of the old 
theology was left among us, and has shown itself in its measure 
ever since, as in the poor, so again in the educated classes ; — 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

tliat the peasantry still use and transmit their Popish rhymes, 
and the minds of students still linger among the early Fathers ; 
but that the genius and principles of our Church have ever been 
what is commonly called Protestant. 

L. This is a fair general account of what would be maintained. 

C. You would consider that the Protestant principles and 
doctrines of this day were those of our Reformers in the six- 
teenth century ; and that what is called Popery now is what was 
called Popery then. 

L. On the whole : there are extravagances now, it is obvious. 
I would not defend extremes ; but I suppose our Reformers 
would agree with moderate Protestants of this day, in what they 
meant by Protestantism and by Popery. 

C. This is an important question, of course ; much depends 
on the correctness of the answer you have made to it. Do you 
make it as a matter of history, from knowing the opinions of our 
Reformers, or from what you consider probable ? 

L. I am no divine. I judge from a general knowledge of 
history, and from the obvious probabilities of the case, which no 
one can gainsay. 

C. Let us then go by probabilitieSf since you lead the way. 
Is it not according to probabilities that opinions and principles 
should not be the same now as they were 300 years since ? that 
though our professions are the same, yet we should not mean by 
them what the Reformers meant ? Can you point to any period 
of Church history, in wldcli doctrine remained for any time un- 
corrupted ? Three hundred years is a long time. Are you quite 
sure we do not need a second reformation ? 

L. Are you really serious ? Have we not Articles and a 
Liturgy which keep us from deviating from the standard of 
truth set up in the sixteenth century ? 

C. Nay, I am maintaining no paradox. Surely there is a 
multitude of men all around us who say the great body of the 
Clergy has departed from the doctrines of our Martyrs at the 
Reformation. I do not say I agree with the particular charges 
they prefer ; but the very circumstance that they are made is a 
proof there is nothing extravagant in the notion of the Churcli 
having departed from the doctrine of the sixteenth century. 

Z. It is true ; but the persons you refer to bring forward, at 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

least, an intelligible charge ; they appeal to the Articles, and 
maintain that the Clergy have departed from the doctrine therein 
contained. They may be right or wrong ; but at least they give 
us the means of judging for ourselves. 

C, This surely is beside the point. We v^ere speaking of 
probabilities. I observed that change of opinion was probable. 
Probable in itself you can hardly deny, considering the history 
of the universal Church ; not extravagantly improbable, more- 
over, in spite of articles, as the extensively prevailing opinion 
to which I alluded, that the clergy have departed frdm them, 
sufficiently proves. Now consider the course of religion and 
politics, domestic and foreign, during the last three centuries, 
and tell me whether events have not occurred to increase this 
probability almost to a certainty ; the probability, I mean, that 
the members of the English Church of the present day differ from 
the principles of the Church of Rome more than our forefathers 
differed. First, consider the history of the Puritans from first 
to last. Without pronouncing any opinion on the truth or un- 
soundness of their principles, were they not evidently further 
removed from Rome than were our Reformers ? Was not their 
influence all on the side of leading the English Church farther 
from Rome than our Reformers placed it ? Think of the fall of 
the Scottish Episcopal Church. Reflect upon the separation and 
extinction of the Nonjurors, of the rise of Methodism, of our 
political alliances with foreign Protestant communities. Consider 
especially the history and the school of Hoadley. That man, 
whom a high authority of the present day does not hesitate to 
call a Socinian \ was for near fifty years a bishop in our Church. 

L. You tell me to think on these facts. I wish I were versed 
enough in our ecclesiastical history to do so. 

C. But you are as well versed in it as the generality of edu- 
cated men ; as those whose opinions you are now maintaining. 
And they surely must be well acquainted with our history, and the 
doctrines taught in the different schools and eras, M^ho scruple not 
to charge such as me with a declension from the true Anti-popish 
doctrine of our Church. For what the doctrine of the Church is, 

' " It is true he was a Bishop, though a Socinian."— Bp. Blomfield's 
Letter to C. Butler, Esq. 1825. 

A 2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

what it has been for three centuries, is a matter of fact which 
cannot be known without reading. 

L. Let us leave, if you please, this ground of probability ^ 
which, whatever you may say, cannot convince me while I am 
able to urge that strong objection to it which you would not let 
me mention just now. I repeat, we have Articles ; we have 
a Liturgy ; the dispute lies in a little compass, without need 
of historical reading : — do you mean to say we have departed 
from thepi ? 

C. I am not unwilling to follow you a second time, and will 
be explicit. I reply, we have departed from them. Did you 
ever study the Rubrics of the Prayer Book ? 

L. But surely they have long been obsolete; — they are im- 
practicable ! 

C. It is enough ; you have aiiswered your own question with- 
out trouble of mine. Not only do we not obey them, but it 
seems we* style them impracticable. I take your admission. 
Now, I ask you, are not these Rubrics (I might also mention 
parts of the services themselves which have fallen into disuse), 
such as the present day would call Popish ? and, if so, is not 
this a proof that the spirit of the present day has departed 
(whether for good or evil) from the spirit of the Reformation ? — 
and is it wonderful that such as I should be called Popish, if the 
Church services themselves are considered so ? 

Z. Will you give me some instances ? 

C Is it quite in accordance with our present Protestant no- 
tions, that unbaptized persons should not be buried with the 
rites of the Church? — that every Clergyman should read the 
daily service morning and evening at home, if he cannot get a 
congregation ? — that in college chapels the Holy Communion 
should be administered every week ? — that Saints' Days should 
be observed ? — that stated days of fasting should be set apart by 
the Church? Ask even a sober-minded really serious man 
about the observance of these rules ; will he not look grave, and 
say, that he is afraid of formality and superstition if these rules 
were attended to ? 

L. And is there not the danger ? 

C. The simple question is, whether there is more danger now 
than three centuries since ? was there not far more superstition 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

in the sixteenth than in the nineteenth century ? and does the 
spirit of the nineteenth move with the spirit of the sixteenth, if 
the sixteenth commands and the nineteenth draws back ? 

L. But you spoke of parts of the services themselves, as laid 
aside ? 

C. Alas! 

What is the prevailing opinion or usage respecting the form 
of absolution in the office for Visiting the Sick ? What is 
thought by a great body of men of the words in which the 
Priesthood is conveyed ? Are there no objections to the Atha- 
nasian Creed ? Does no one stumble at the word " oblations," 
in the Prayer for the Church Militant ? Is there no clamour 
against parts of the Burial Service ? No secret or scarcely secret 
murmurings against the word regeneration in the Baptismal ? No 
bold protestations against reading the Apocrypha ? Now do not 
all these objections rest upon one ground : viz. That these parts 
of our services savour of Popery ? And again, are not these 
the popular objections of the day ? 

L. I cannot deny it, 

C. I consider then that already I have said enough to show 
that the Church of this day has deviated from the opinions of our 
Reformers, and become more opposed than they were to the 
system they protested against. And therefore, I would observe, 
it is not fair to judge of me, or such as me, in the off-hand way 
which many men take the liberty to adopt. Men seem to think 
that we are plainly and indisputably proved to be Popish, if we 
are proved to differ from the generality of Churchmen now a-days. 
But what if it turn out that they are silently floating down the 
stream, and we are upon the shore ? 

L. All, however, will allow, I suppose, that our Reformation 
was never completed in its details. The final judgment was not 
passed upon parts of the Prayer Book. There were, you know, al- 
terations in the second edition of it published in King Edward's 
time ; and these tended to a more Protestant doctrine than that 
which had first been adopted. For instance, in King Edward's 
first book the dead were prayed for ; (not of course as if there 
were a purgatory, but as if it were right to commemorate and 
hold communion with the saints in paradise ;) in the second this 
commemoration was omitted. Again, in the first book the ele- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

ments of the Lord's Supper were more distinctly offered up to 
God, and more formally consecrated than in the second edition, 
or at present. Had Queen Mary not succeeded, perhaps the 
men who effected this would have gone further. 

C. I believe they would ; nay indeed they did at a subse- 
quent period. They took away the Liturgy altogether, and sub- 
stituted a Directory. 

L. They ? the same men ? 

C. Yes, the foreign party : who afterwards went by the name 
of Puritans. Bucer, who altered in King Edward's time, and 
the Puritans, who destroyed in King Charles's, both came from 
the same religious quarter. 

L. Ought you so to speak of the foreign Reformers? to them 
we owe the Protestant doctrine altogether. 

C. I like foreign interference, as little from Geneva, as from 
Rome. Geneva at least never converted a part of England from 
heathenism, nor could lay claim to patriarchal authority over it. 
Why could we not be let alone, and suffered to reform our- 
selves ? 

L. You separate then your creed and cause from that of the 
Reformed Churches of the Continent ? 

C. Not altogether ; but I protest against being brought into 
that close alliance with them which the world now a-days would 
force upon us. The glory of the English Church is, that it has 
taken the via media, as it has been called. It lies between the 
(so called) Reformers and the Romanists ; whereas there are 
religious circles, and influential too, where it is thought enough 
to prove an English Clergyman unfaithful to his Church, if he 
preaches any thing at variance with the opinions of the Diet of 
Augsburg, or the Confessions of the Waldenses. However, 
since we have been led to speak of the foreign Reformers, 1 
will, if you will still listen to me, strengthen my argument by 
an appeal to them. 

Z. That argument being, that what is now considered Pro- 
testant doctrine, is not vdiat was considered such by the Re- 
formers. 

C. Yes ; and I am going to offer reasons for thinking that the 
present age has lapsed, not only from the opinions of the Eng- 
lish Reformers, but from those of the foreign also. This is too 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

extensive a subject to do justice to, even had I the learning for 
it ; but I may draw your attention to one or two obvious proofs 
of the fact. 

L. You must mean from Calvin, for Luther is, in some points, 
reckoned nearer the Romish Church than ourselves. 

C. I mean Calvin, about whose extreme distance from Rome 
there can be no doubt. What is the popular opinion now con- 
cerning the necessity of an Episcopal Regimen ? 

L. A late incident has shown what it is ; that it is uncharita- 
ble to define the Catholic Church, as the body of Christians in 
every country as governed by Bishops, Priests, and Deacons; 
such a definition excluding pious Dissenters and others. 

C. But what thought Calvin ? " Calvin held those men 
worthy of anathema who would not submit themselves to truly 
Christian Bishops, if such could be had*." What would he have 
said then to the Wesleyan Methodists, and that portion of the (so 
called) Orthodox Dissenters, which co-operates, at present, with 
the Church? These allow us, or numbers among us, to be 
truly Christian, yet make no attempts to obtain Bishops from uso 
Thus the age is more Protestant now than Calvin himself. 

L. Certainly in this respect ; unless Calvin spoke rhetorically 
under circumstances. 

C. Now for a second instance. The following is his statement 
concerning the Lord's Supper. " I understand what is to be un- 
derstood by the words of Christ ; that He doth not only offer 
us the benefits of His death and Resurrection, but His very 
body, wherein He died and rose again. I assert that the body 
of Christ is really, (as the usual expression is,) that it is truly 
given to iis in the Sacrament, to be the saving food of our souls." 
. . . . . "The Son of God offers daily to us in the Holy Sacra- 
ment, the same body which He once offered in sacrifice to His 
Father, that it may be our spiritual food." ....." If any one 
ask me concerning the manner, I will not be ashamed to confess 
that it is a secret too high for my reason to comprehend, or my 
tongue to express^." Now, if I were of myself to use these 
words, (in spite of the qualification at the end, concerning the 

' Vide the Churchman's Manual, p. 13. 
2 Vide Tracts for the Times, No. 21, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

manner of His presence in the Sacrament,) would they not be 
sufficient to convict me of Popery in the judgment of this 
minute and unlearned generation ? 

L. You speak plausibly, I will grant ; yet surely, after all, it 
is not unnatural that the Reformers of the sixteenth century 
should have fallen short of a full Reformation in matters of doc- 
trine and discipline. Light breaks but gradually on the mind : one 
age begins a work, another finishes. 

C. I am arguing about a matter of fact, not defending the opi- 
nions of the Reformers. As to this notion of their but partial 
illumination, T am not concerned to oppose it, being quite con- 
tent if the persons whom you are undertaking to represent are 
willing to admit it. And then, in consistency, I shall beg them 
to reproach me not with Popery but with Protestantism, and to 
be impartial enough to assail not only me, but "the Blessed Re- 
formation," as they often call it, using words they understand 
not. It is hard, indeed, that I have no share of their praise, 
while they praise those who hold what I hold. 

Z. You speak as if you really agreed with the Reformers. 
You may say so in an argument, but in sober earnest you cannot 
mean to say you really agree with the great body of them. Nei- 
ther you nor I should hesitate to confess they were often incon- 
sistent, saying, at one time, what they disowned at another. 

C. That they should have said different things at diflferent 
times, is not wonderful, considering they were searching into 
Scripture and Antiquity, and feeling their way to the Truth. 
Since, however, they did vary in their opinions, for this very 
reason it is obvious I should be saying nothing at all, in saying, 
that I agreed with them, unless I stated explicitly at what period 
of their lives, or in which of their writings. This I do state 
clearly : I say I agree with them as they speak in the formularies 
of the Church ; more cannot be required of me, nor indeed is it 
possible to say more. 

L. What persons complain of is, that you are not satisfied 
with the formularies of the Church, but add to them doctrines 
not contained in them. You must allow there is little stress 
laid in the Articles on some points, which are quite cardinal 
in your system, to judge by your way of enforcing them. 

C. This is not the first time you have spoken of this supposed 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

system of ours. I will not stop to quarrel with you for calling 
it ours^ as if it were not rather the Church's ; but explain to 
me in what you consider it to consist. 

L. The following are some of its doctrines : that the Church 
has an existence independent of the State ; that the State 
may not religiously interfere with its internal concerns ; that 
none may engage in ministerial works except such as are 
episcopally ordained ; that the consecration of the Eucharist 
is especially entrusted to Bishops and Priests. Where do you 
find these doctrines in the formularies of the Church, so pro- 
minently set forth, as to sanction you in urging them at all, 
or at least so strongly as you are used to urge them ? 

C, As to urging them at all, we might be free to urge them 
even though not mentioned in the Articles ; unless indeed the 
Articles are our rule of faith. Were the Church first set up 
at the Reformation, then indeed it might be right so to exalt its 
Articles as to forbid to teach " whatsoever is not read therein, 
nor may be proved thereby." I cannot consent, I am sure the 
Reformers did not wish me, to deprive myself of the Church's 
dowry, the doctrines which the Apostles spoke in Scripture, 
and impressed upon the early Church. I receive the Church 
as a messenger from Christ, rich in treasures old and new, rich 
with the accumulated wealth of ages. 

L. Accumulated ? 

C. As you will yourself allow. Our articles are one portion 
of that accumulation. Age after age, fresh battles have been 
fought with heresy, fresh monuments of truth set up. As I will 
not consent to be deprived of the records of the Reformation, 
so neither will I part with those of former times. I look upon 
our Articles as in one sense an addition to the Creeds ; and 
at the same time the Romanists added their Tridentine articles. 
Theirs I consider unchristian ; ours as true. 

L. The Articles have surely an especial claim upon you ; 
you have subscribed these, and are therefore more bound to 
them, than other truths, whatever or wherever they be. 

C. There is a popular confusion on this subject. Our Articles 
are not a body of divinity, but in great measure only protests 
against certain errors of a certain period of the Church. Now 
I will preach the whole counsel of God, whether set down in the 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Articles or not. I am bound to the Articles by subscription ; 
but I am bound, more solemnly even than by subscription, by 
my baptism and by my ordination, to believe and maintain the 
whole gospel of Christ. The grace given at those seasons comes 
from the Apostles, not from Luther or Calvin, Bucer or Cart- 
wright. You will presently agree with me in this statement. 
Let me ask, do you not hold the inspiration of Holy Scripture ? 

L. Undoubtedly. 

C. Is it not a clergyman's duty to maintain and confess it ? 

L. Certainly. 

C. But the doctrine is no where found in the Articles ; and 
for this plain reason, that both Romanists and Reformers admitted 
it ; and the difference between the two parties was, not whether 
the Old and New Testament were inspired, but whether the 
Apocrypha was of canonical authority. 

Z. I must grant it. 

C. And in the same way, I would say, there are many other 
doctrines unmentioned in the Articles, only because they were 
not then disputed by either party ; and others, for other reasons, 
short of disbelief in them. I cannot, indeed, make my neighbour 
preach them, for he will tell me he believes only just so much 
as he has been obliged to subscribe ; but it is hard if I am 
therefore to be defrauded of the full inheritance of faith myself. 
Look at the subject from another point of view, and see if we 
do not arrive at the same conclusion. A statesman of the last 
century is said to have remarked that we have Calvinistic 
Articles, and a Popish Liturgy. This of course is an idle 
calumny. But is there not certainly a distinction of doctrine 
and manner between the Liturgy and the Articles ? And does 
not what I have just stated account for it, viz. that the Liturgy, 
as coming down from the Apostles, is the depository of their 
complete teaching ; while the Articles are polemical, and for the 
most part only protests against certain definite errors? Such 
are my views about the Articles ; and if in my teaching, I lay 
especially stress upon doctrines only indirectly contained in them, 
and say less about those which are therein put forth most pro- 
minently, it is because times are changed. We are in danger 
of unbelief more than of superstition. The Christian minister 
should be a witness against the errors of his day. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

L. I cannot tell whether on consideration I shall dgree with 
you or not. However, after all, you have said not a word 
to explain what your real differences from Popery are ; what 
those false doctrines were which you conceive our Reformers 
withstood. You began by confessing that your opinions and 
the Popish opinions had a resemblance, and only disputed 
whether yours should be called like the Popish, or the Popish 
like yours. But in what are yours different from Rome ? 

C. Be assured of this — no party will be more opposed to our 
doctrine, if it ever prospers and makes noise, than that of Rome. 
This has been proved before now. In the seventeenth century 
the theology of the body of the English Church was substantially 
the same as ours is ; and it experienced the full hostility of 
the Papacy. It was the true Via Media ; Rome sought to 
block up that way as fiercely as the Puritans. History tells 
us this. In a few words then, before we separate, I will state 
some of my irreconcilable differences with Rome,; and in stating 
her errors, I will closely follow the order observed by Bishop 
Hall in his treatise on " The Old Religion," whose Protes- 
tantism is unquestionable. 

I consider that it is unscriptural to say with the Church of 
Rome, that " we are justified by inherent righteousness." 

That it is unscriptural that " the good works of a man 
justified do truly merit eternal life." 

That the doctrine of transubstantiation is profane and impious. 
That the denial of the cup to the laity, is a presumptuous 
encroachment on their privileges as Christ's people. 

That the sacrifice of the mass is a mere corruption, without 
foundation in Scripture or antiquity ; blasphemous and dangerous. 
That the honour paid to images is dangerous in the case of 
the uneducated, that is of the great part of Christians. 
That indulgences are a monstrous invention. 
That the doctrine of purgatory is a wicked invention, at 
variance with Scripture, cruel to the better sort of Christians, 
and administering deceitful comfort to the irreligious. 

That the practice of celebrating divine service in an unknown 
tongue is a great corruption. 

That forced confession is an unauthorised and dangerous 
practice. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. ^ 

That the invocation of Saints is a dangerous practice, as tend- 
ing to give, often actually giving, to creatures the honour and 
reliance due to the Creator alone. 

That there are not seven Sacraments. 

That the Romish Doctrine of Tradition is unscriptural. 

That the claim of the Pope to be Universal Bishop cannot be 
maintained. 

I might add other points in which also I protest against the 
Church of Rome, but I think it enough to make my confession 
in Hall's order, and so to leave it. And having done so, I will 
ask you but one question. Which uses the stronger language 
against Poperj*. the Articles or I ? The only severe words in 
the Articles being, that •' the Sacrifice of Masses*' ** were blas- 
phemous fables and dangerous deceits 5" whereas the " doctrines 
concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration, as 
well of Images as of relics, and also invocation of saints," is only 
called " a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no 
warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of 
God." 

L, Thank you for this conversation; from which I hope to 
draw matter for reflection, though the subject seems to involve 
such deep historical research, I hardly know how to find my way 
through it. 

Oxford, 
The Feast ofSf. James. 



7%ne Tnieii mrt pHblisked mmtJkly, and sold at the price of9d. 
fir each theety or 1s»for 50 copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVIKGTON, 

ST. PAi IS CHI RCH YARD, ASO WATERLOO PLACE, 

18S4. 



GlLBSRift RiTiNGTON, Prinltrs, St. John's Stuart. London. 



A^o. 39.] (AdPopulum.) [Price Id, 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



BISHOP WILSON'S FORM OF RECEIVING 
PENITENTS. 



/f/ter Morning Prayers, the person who is censured to penance 
sta?iding in the accustomed place and habit, the Minister shall 
exhort him as follows : 



Brother, 
The Church being a society of persons professing to live in the 
fear of God, and expecting the judgments of God to fall upon 
them, if His laws are broken without calling the oflfenders to 
account ; it is reasonable that every member of this society who 
has been guilty of any scandalous offence, should either openly 
confess liis sins, and promise reformation for the time to come ; 
or else should be cut off" from the body of Christ, which is the 
Church. 

Now, to awaken you to a true sense of your condition, I will 
set before you the Word of God ; that you may certainly know 
what will be the end of a wicked life ; and that knowing the 
terror of the Lord, you may speedily turn unto Him and make 
your peace. 

Hear then what the Apostle St. Paul saith of great offenders : 

Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor 
effeminate, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, 
nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God ^ 

Hear also what the same Apostle saith : 

Now the works of the flesh are these, adultery, fornication, 
uncleanness, lasciviousness, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emula- 
tions, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunk- 
enness, revellings, and such like : of the which I tell you before, 
as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such 
things shall not inherit the kingdom of God ^ 

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, 

1 1 Cor. vi. 9. 2 Gal. v. ID. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

who can destroy both body and soul in hell ; where the worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched *. 

These being the very words of God, you will do well to con- 
sider into what a condition you have brought yourself ; and, in- 
deed, the only comfort you have is this, that you are yet alive, 
and that the day of grace and repentance is yet afforded you. 
Which that you may make use of, 1 must also let you know, 
what God has declared concerning such as repent and turn unto 
God, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. 

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, 
though we have rebelled against him *. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us 
our sins *. 

And our blessed Saviour, to show us what great compassion 
God has for him that has gone astray, and returns to his duty ; 
He represents Him as a man, who having found his lost sheep, 
takes it upon his shoulders, rejoicing. 

And in another parable, to make us understand the love of 
God for penitent sinners, he shows us how we may hope to be 
received, even as a compassionate father received his prodigal 
son, whenever he became humble and sensible of his faults ; he 
embraced him, he clothed him, he rejoiced with his whole family. 
And such joy there is amongst the angels of God, when a sinner 
repenteth ". 

Such great encouragement you have to return to God. But 
then, you must do it sincerely ; you must not only appear out- 
wardly a penitent, but with a true penitent heart come before God 
and His Church. Which if you do, you will not look upon this 
as a punishment inflicted upon you by the Church, but as a 
wholesome medicine administered for the good of your precious 
soul. Without which, you might have gone on, adding sin to 
sin, until there had been no more space for repentance. 

You will suffer yourself to be admonished ; acknowledge your 
oflfence ; and give glory to God, in owning his power to punish 
you in the next life, though you should escape in this. 

You will testify to others that it is, indeed, an evil thing and 

» Heb. X. .31. 3 Dan. ix. 9. 

^ J John i. 0. * Luke xv. 10. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

bitter to forsake the Lord. And owning this so publicly, you will 
be ashamed to return to the sins you have repented of. 

Then we shall all pray to God that He would, for Christ's sake, 
accept of your repentance ; that He would enable you to live for 
the time to come in obedience to the laws of Jesus Christ, that 
your souls may be saved at the day of judgment. 

These are the wholesome ends the Church proposes in her 
censures ; following herein the Apostle's direction s\ in meekness 
instructing those that oppose themselves, that they may recover 
themselves out of the snares of the devil, who are taken captive 
by him at his will. 

Therefore, dear brother, consider that you are in the presence 
of God — the searcher of hearts. You may, indeed, deceive this 
congregation with a feigned repentance, but you cannot deceive 
Him that made you ; who, if you dissemble in this matter, will 
shut you out of heaven, though you continue a visible member of 
His Church here. 

But that we may take all due caution, I must in the name of 
this congregation, ask you these questions : 

Are you from your heart sorry for the sin you have com- 
mitted ? — Answer. I am. 

Will you be more careful for the time to come ; and by God's 
help, avoid all temptations to it 1 — Answer. I will. 

Will you constantly pray to God to assist you to do so ? — 
Answer. I will. 

Do you desire the forgiveness of all good Christians whom you 
may have offended ? — Answer. I do. 

And do you desire that others, seeing your sorrow, may beware 
of falling into any grievous sin ? — Answer. I do desire it. 

Will you take patiently the admonition of such as, after a 
Christian manner, shall advise you, if they shall see you forget 
yourself and the promises you have now made? — Answer. I 
will. 

Then shall the Minister say, 

May the gracious God give you repentance to life eternal ; re- 
ceive you into his favour ; continue you a true member of the 
Church of Christ ; and bring you unto his everlasting kingdom, 
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen, 
1 2 Tim. ii. 25. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

After which he shall speak to tj^e congregation, as follows : 

Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this person is moved 
by the good Spirit of God to confess his sins, and to be afflicted 
for them ; let us, that we may mourn with him as becomes good 
Christians, consider that we are all subject to sin, and to death 
eternal ; 

That there is nothing so vile and wicked which we should not 
run into, did not the grace of God prevent us ; 

That, therefore, we have nothing to value ourselves for above 
others, but what the good Spirit of God has given us. 

Let him, then, as the Apostle advises, that thinks he stands, 
take heed lest he fall. 

Let us ever remember the word of Christ, Watch and pray, 
that ye enter not into temptation ; because our adversary the 
devil, as a roaring lion, walketh continually about, seeking whom 
he may devour. 

Let us learn never to be ashamed to acknowledge our sins, but 
let us confess and forsake them, that we may find mercy. For it 
is far better to suffer shame here, than the wrath of God here- 
after. 

In a word ; let us all with penitent hearts call our sins to 
remembrance, and judge ourselves, though we are not censured 
by the Church. Let us confess our sins unto God, who is most 
willing to pardon us, if we turn unto Him with all our hearts, 
stedfastly purposing to lead a new life. Which God grant we 
may all do, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. 
Then shall he said distinctly the fifty -first Psalms together tvilh 

the Prayers appointed in the Commination service for Ash- Wed- 
nesday. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St. James. 

These Tracts are published monthlyf and sold at the price of 2d, 
for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place. 

1834. 

Gilbert & Riyinoton, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



Ao. 40.] (Ad Populum.) [Price 2d. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



RICHARD NELSON. 

No. III. 



" Ye hear in the Gospel the express words of our Saviour Christ, that 
except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God. Whereby ye may perceive the great necessity of this Sacra- 
ment, where it may be had." — Office of Baptism for those of Riper Years.^ 



During the summer, after the conversation last related, in which, 
as the reader may remember, we had been speaking of the Atha- 
nasian Creed, I was called away to a distance from home by the 
unexpected illness of a near relation, which became serious, and 
lasted so long as to keep me absent for two or three Sundays. 
The time of year was about Midsummer, and it so happened that 
one of the Sundays was the eighth after Trinity. Thinking over 
the first morning lesson of the day, as I sat watching by my kins- 
man's bedside, I was forcibly struck by the awful way, in which 
it appears to impress upon men the duty of separating themselves, 
in some way or other, from unbelievers. " Eat no bread, nor 
drink water, neither turn again by the way that thou camest :" 
that is, " however tired, hungry, and thirsty you may be, and 
however kind and pressing they may be, have nothing at all to 
say to them : do not even return the same road, but make your- 
self as strange among them as ever you can." Long and deeply, 
with my Bible in my hand, did I muse upon this history, and the 
more 1 thought, the more I was convinced, putting every thing 
together, that such as I have said is its true moral and meaning. 
I must own, however, that the train of thought was not altogether 
agreeable to me. I could not disengage myself from an unplea- 
sant, though not a very distinct, conviction that this material part 



XKACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

of piety, separation from the enemies of God, had not been suffi- 
ciently pressed on my people, in my course of parochial instruc- 
tion. The thought came across my mind, " What if any of 'them 
now should go astray for want of due warning on that point, and 
should come to a bad end ?" And I secretly determined with 
myself, in the silence of the sick room, that I would endeavour for 
the future to supply this great deficiency, and that until Church 
discipline can be restored again (which the Prayer Book teaches 
us to wish and pray for,) I would try to prevail on those who 
were most likely to be prevailed to act upon the principles of it, 
and establish something like it in their own houses : using a kind 
of holy reserve towards those who will not hear the Church. 
These thoughts occupied me that night during most of my wak- 
ing hours ; my patient happily sleeping soundly, and my anxiety 
about him of course- growing less : and when towards morning I 
was relieved on my post as nurse, the same thoughts still haunted 
me in dreams. At last I settled into a sound slumber, and, as 
was not unnatural, overslept myself. I was awakened on the 
Monday morning, an hour after the usual time, by my friend's 
servant bringing a letter into my room, which I saw by the post- 
mark came from my own parish, but I could not at all recollect 
the hand writing. I opened it eagerly, not knowing what to 
expect, and read as follows : 

'* Honoured and dear Sir, 
^' I make bold to trouble you with a few lines, as I find on 
calling at the Parsonage that Mr. Mason is not yet well enough 
for you to leave him : which a little troubled me, for I wanted to 
ask your kind advice on a matter of some consequence, and I 
could do it much more comfortably by word of mouth. As it is, 
I must try and state my case to you by letter, hoping that I shall 
be able to make it plain, and knowing that you will excuse other 
defects, which will be many. The thing, Sir, is this : you have 
seen something of my nephew, young Philip Carey, the bricklayer 
of Amdale. For I remember, when he had some work in our 
parish, he went to you to buy a Bible, and you had some talk with 
him, and named him to me afterwards, seeming rather pleased with 
him ; and indeed he is a steady, good tempered lad, though 1 



TRACTS rOK THE TIMES. 



say it that should not say it. Well, Sir, that Bible was intended 
for a present, he would not tell me then to whom, but 1 afterwards 
found that he had given it to a young woman named Vane, who 
was in service, where he last worked : and in short, there was a 
talk among the people, which I as a kinsman was one of the last 
to hear, that they were very soon going to be married. I was not 
very much surprised at this : but I own to you, Sir, I was more 
vexed than some of our people can well account for. Not that I 
have any thing to say against the young woman's conduct ; indeed 
I believe she has always borne a good character, and is, as the world 
goes, very respectable : but I knew very well that her father had 
been for many years unsettled in his thoughts on religion — more, 
as I believed, of a Baptist than any thing else : and I thought to 
myself, if Letitia (for that is her name) is not very different from 
her father, how can the Church's blessing go along with such an 
union? and without the Church's blessing, how can they expect to 
be happy ? So I made it my business to see my nephew, and asked 
him quietly, if no scruple of this sort had ever come into his mind ; 
and a good deal passed between us, which I need not at present 
tire you with. However, the upshot was, we parted good friends, 
but both of the same mind as when we met. And on the Sunday 
I walked over to Amdale, and called on my sister Lucy, Philip's 
mother (his father died last year), and we had a long discourse, in 
which she seemed to think me strange and bigoted : but yet I 
hoped that what I had said would keep them from going on quite 
inconsiderately. So much the more was I disappointed at re- 
ceiving a note from my sister this morning, begging me to order 
my matters so as to be at Amdale church at 10 o'clock next 
Saturday, they having fixed on that day for the wedding, and 
wishing me to give the young woman away. I can see, they 
quite reckon upon it, and I fear they will be very much affronted 
should I refuse. I conclude they hardly thought me quite in 
earnest in what I said to them. But though it will be a great 
grief to me to have them look unpleasant at me (for next to 
my own family, I have always delighted in my sister's), I seem to 
have made up my mind, unless you. Sir, should think differently, 
not to have any thing to do with this marriage ; and I cannot help 
thinking they will one day tliank me for it. I shall not now 
9 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

intrude on you with my reasons ; but one line just to say yes or 
no would greatly oblige, 

"Honoured and dear Sir, 

"Your obliged and humble servant, 
" " Richard Nelson." 

When I had read this letter, though I was grieved to think 
that my friend Richard, who had always lived such a quiet life, 
and with whom 1 had sometimes talked of the great happiness 
we both enjoyed — a rare happiness in these times — of belonging, 
each of us, to a family undivided in religious opinions : though, 
I say, I was grieved to think of Richard's being thus disturbed, 
yet I was on the whole more pleased for the thing to have be- 
fallen him than if it had happened to any other man in the parish, 
for reasons w^hich the reader will easily guess. I wrote to him 
as he desired, not a long letter, but such as to show him that I 
heartily approved of his principles, and trusted to his discretion 
for apjDlying them in the most effectual way. While I stayed with 
my relation, I heard no more of the matter, but I thought of it 
day and night, and wondered how it would turn out. The 
middle of the next week, my relation having nearly recovered, I 
returned home ; and the first thing I did was to contrive a little 
job of walling, that T might have an excuse for sending to 
Richard Nelson. I saw at once, when he came into the room, 
that he had been going through a good deal; he looked anxious, 
though very calm and cheerful. The following conversation, or 
something very like it, passed between us, after I had given my 
orders about the work : — 

" And how goes on this wedding, Richard ?" 

" Pretty much as I expected. Sir : we have had a good deal 
to say to each other about it, I, and my sister, and Mr. Vane ; 
but though I spoke very plainly to them, they would not believe 
I was in earnest, till the very day before that intended for the 
marriage. And when they saw that I meant what I said, they 
were forced to put off the marriage, till a friend of theirs can be 
written to, and come, with whom it seems they had made an 
old engagement, that he should be the father at their wedding, if 
any one was, out of their two families. In the mean time I am 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



sorry to say they look rather black on me ; and not only they, 
but a many of the neighbours, too. But luckily I had made up 
my mind to that beforehand." 

" They must look black upon me^ too, then. . For I should have 
done just the same, according to what I understand of the case. 
But I suppose you told them on what ground you went?" 

" I did, Sir, as well as I could, in my plain way. I saw them 
all at different times, Mr. Vane, and my sister, and the two young 
people, and told them all the same thing; viz., that I look on 
marriage as a sacred thing ; that the Church never meant her 
sacred things to be made common ; that such would be the case, 
were a person in Letitia's state (for do you know. Sir, she is not 
yet even baptized,) to be admitted to Christian marriage ; that 
the neglect of this rule is every day doing great mischief ; and 
that, being as I am, Philip's Godfather, as well as his nearest 
relation, I was bound especially to do what I could to hinder him 
from the sin and the peril. 

" And it was curious to me. Sir, in the midst of my vexation, 
to observe in what a different way the different persons I had to 
deal with received what I had to say. Each had his ovni objec- 
tion, one to one part of my notions, and another to another. Mr. 
Vane thought it very strange that marriage should be made so 
purely a matter of Religion ; my sister, I am sorry to say, was 
inclined to think very slightly of the difference between us and 
the Baptists ; Philip was quite sure, that let him be once mar- 
ried, he should soon bring his wife to the same way of thinking 
as himself, (for to do him justice, he has no thought of leaving 
the Church ;) and, as for the young woman, she said but little, 
but what she said, affected me more than all the rest ; for she 
really seemed to think me unkind and cruel, in exposing and 
discrediting her, and making her out (so she said,) to be no 
Christian." 

" I do not much wonder," said I, " at the young people ; but 
I own I am a little surprised that Mr. Vane should utter a 
thought which appears to me so very shocking, as that marriage 
need, not be sanctified by Religion at all." 

"Why, Sir," replied Richard Nelson, " he has been of late much 
out and about, talking with all sorts of people ; and then he med- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

dies with politics and elections, all rather in a wild way, and it 
brings him into strange company, and sets him on reading strange 
books. So he has picked up this notion among others, which 1 
understand the French are very full of, as well as our Frenchified 
newspapers. But I should not have thought of arguing with him 
about it, it seems so absurd and shocking of itself, if I had not 
been afraid of his doing my nephew some harm by it ; for Philip 
was in the room with us, of course listening eagerly to what 
passed. But I do not know" (interrupting himself,) " why I am 
troubling you. Sir, with this conversation." 

" By all means go on, I beg of you. I am a little inquisitive 
to know what he could have to say for such a notion." 

" His fancy was, as far as I could make it out, that the peace 
and order of the country is every thing. And if, said he, people 
can go on well, and be faithful and happy in marriage without any 
public religious service, why should it be urged on them by the 
law ?" 

" To which I suppose you answered, that there is another world 
as well as this ; and it does not follow^ that things will turn out well 
in that, because to our short and dim sight they seem to go on in 
peace and order here." 

"To be sure. Sir, that is very plain ; but I do not think I 
went so deep. I took him straight to Scripture ; for in that way 
I thought Philip would attend to me most. I put it to him in 
this way : if marriage is a different thing to a Christian from 
what it would be to any one else ; if it is not only one of the 
greatest earthly blessings, but also a speciJil and holy token, 
appointed by God to signify unto us the mystical union that is 
betwixt Christ and his Church; then, to enter on it without 
prayer, or in any other but a religious way, must be almost as 
affronting to the Almighty, as if one profaned the Sacrament of 
His Son's body and blood. And again, since we are plainly 
told, that Christian men ought never to expect any blessing from 
God, except as members of His Son's body, (that is, I take it, 
as parts of His Church,) how can one help fearing to forfeit the 
whole of the blessing intended in matrimony, if one scornfully 
refuse it as olfered by the Church ? And I take it, that every 
man does reject it in God's sight, who, disliking it in his heart, 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

submits to it merely because it is the law of the land. Thus I 
went on, not expecting to make any impression on Mr. Vane ; 
indeed, I saw too clearly that he was sneering in his heart all the 
time, but he did not like to say much, for fear of turning Philip 
against him ; who, as I rejoiced to perceive, entered very much 
into this part of my talk. And as we walked away to my sister's, 
he expressed to me some wonder that so pious a man as Mr. Vane 
should ever have approved of the notion of marrying by Justices 
of the Peace. ' But I assure you, uncle,' said he, ' that we none 
of us agree with him. My mother and Letitia would both of 
them be miserable if they thought the Church's blessing would be 
wanting on our union. And although I must acknowledge that 
I could wish some parts of the service omitted, yet it must be 
owned, on the whole, to be extremely beautiful ; and I for my part,* 
he went on to say, * never expect to see the day, when / shall take 
any dislike to the Church, for that or any other reason.' " 

Here I interrupted Richard in his recital. " I do wish," I 
said, " that people who are so much wiser and more delicate than 
the Prayer Book, would look a little into their Bibles too. And 
when they have well reformed both, we shall see how purely the 
world will go on, the warnings of God being silenced, and the 
mistake corrected, which the Church has made, in speaking out 
plainly about fashionable and shameful sins." 

My friend Richard smiled at my vehemence, and said, " To 
be sure, Sir, it is tolerably plain, (what I have often thought of 
the warnings of the Athanasian Creed also,) that the very repug- 
nance which many men feel towards repeating them, is rather a 
proof of their usefulness and necessity, supposing the substance 
of them to be true. For it is plain, that people who shudder so 
much at repeating them after the Church, would never have 
courage to deliver the like warnings for themselves. And the 
same kind of remark may be made on the passages you now 
allude to in the Office for Matrimony. And thus people might 
be left to perish unwarned, through false delicacy, or false good- 
nature. I must say, that if I was a Clergyman, and felt, as I 
suppose I should feel, that such warnings ought to be given, I 
should feel most deeply obliged to the Prayer Book for putting 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

words into my mouth, and commanding me to speak them. 1 
would much rather have it so, than be left to form words of my 
own. I should feel it less painful to myself, and probably less 
annoying to others. And now that we are upon this subject ; 
permit me, Sir, just to ask you, do you not think it would do 
much good, and correct what may perhaps be justly called the 
vulgar objections to the Marriage Service, if men would try to 
enter a little more into the spirit of the household stories, and 
family scenes in the Old Testament 1 The book of Ruth es- 
pecially — can any one read it reverentially, and not learn a great 
deal of the difference between True and False Delicacy ? You 
will feel my meaning, Sir, at once." 

*' Indeed," said I, "I do ; and although I am not aware that I 
ever before heard it said in so many words, yet, I should imagine 
it must have been silently experienced by every right-minded 
reader. And if it should turn out, that the spirit of that Book 
is exactly the same with the spirit of our Marriage Service, who 
would desire a more complete vindication of it ? But pray let us 
go back to your story, which I beg pardon for having interrupted. 
You were on the way to your sister, Mrs. Carey's ; and I think 
you told me, that you found it very hard to make her so 
much as understand your objection to the marriage, or how 
any one could possibly imagine Baptists, as such, to be aliens to 
the Church." 

" Yes ! she was quite positive at first, that I must have some 
view of my own, some worldly purpose, in * setting my head' 
against the match. As long as she had this fancy, she would 
not even listen to my arguments : and as it was, I believe she 
did but half hear them. I did not indeed trouble her with many : 
for I thought that two or three plain texts, with the interpreta- 
tion confirmed by a little unquestionable history, might and 
ought to be sufficient." 

" Let me just guess, what line you probably took with her. 
I suppose you first pointed out to her, that our Saviour's pro- 
raises are made to individuals, not simply as believing and re- 
penting, but as joining themselves, by faith and repentance, to the 
Church which He was founding through his Apostles. For in- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

stance, you might perhaps put her in mind, that our Saviour in 
His prayer before His sufferings, in eh. xvii. of St. John, plainly 
had an eye to the command he purposed to give them, when he 
was going to be taken out of their sight : which command we 
read in the last three verses of St. Matthew. The prayer was 
" not for the Apostles alone, but for all who should believe on 
Him THROUGH THEIR WORD : that they all might be one." For 
whom was this prayer offered ? Not for all who any how should 
believe in Christ, but " for them who should believe on Him 
through the word of the Apostles :" i. e. for the very same per- 
sons described in the other text : "Go ye and teach (or, as it 
is in the margin, make Disciples, or Christians, of) all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost." Those whom he had before prayed for, 
he here in effect orders to be taught or made Disciples, by per- 
sons having Apostolical authority. But these very same Dis- 
ciples are to be one and all baptized. For our Lord's words 
are quite express : " Make Christians of them by baptizing 
them ;" so that if we are to go by these words, it is quite plain 
that persons unbaptized cannot properly be called Christians : 
and if we compare the same words with the other text, it seems 
very doubtful whether such persons are included in the mean- 
ing of our Saviour's gracious intercession : which is surely a 
point to be deeply considered. Do you quite understand me, 
Richard ?" 

" Yes, Sir, I believe I do. Those are some of the places in 
Scripture, which I turned to and begged my sister Lucy to con- 
sider. But of course. Sir, I could not reason on them so exactly 
as you have now done. There was another place too, which I 
begged her to think a good deal of, which must needs, I think, 
sound very awful to those who are inclined to make light of Bap- 
tism : I mean what was said to Nicodemus, " Except a man be 
bom OF water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the king- 
dom of God." It seems to me. Sir, that in speaking those words, 
our Saviour, who knew what he would do, must have borne in 
mind his purpose of causing water to be what it is made in the Sa- 
crament of Baptism, the outward and visible sign of our new birth. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

and admission into His Church". I put the substance of the 
two places side by side in this way. 

St. John iii. 5. St. Matt, xxviii. 19. 

If you would enter into the If you would be a Disciple, 
kingdom of God, you must be or Christian, you must be bap- 
bora of water and of the Spirit, tized by Apostolical authority 

in the name of the Holy Tri- 
nity. 

What made me stronger in this opinion, was observing the 
like argument in our Divine Master's language, when speaking 
of the other Holy Sacrament. As thus : for I wrote the four 
places down, to make my meaning plain to the very eye. 

St. John vi. 53. St. Matt. xxvi. 28. 

If you would have life in If you would eat Christ's 

you, you must eat the flesh of body and drink his blood, you 

the Son of man, and drink his must take and eat the bread, 

blood. and drink of the cup, blessed 

by those who have authority 
to bless it, in remembrance of 
Hun. 

" I hope, Sir, you will not think that I am using the Bible too 
freely : but I must own, to me it is very convincing, when I see 
one part of our Saviour's discourses thus pointing as it were to 
another, and both so thoroughly agreeing with the known cus- 
toms of the early Church, as I have always understood these do. 

** For it is now some few years, Sir, since I began to think on 
this subject, and what few doubts I had, were very much settled 
by a book which you kindly spared me from your Lending 
Library. I think it was called ' A conference of two men on 
the subject of Infant Baptism.' And it showed to my thinking 
most clearly, the opinion of the Church on that subject, in times 
when they must have known what the very Apostles used to do. 

*' These things, in my plain way, I tried to point out to my 
sister ; and I was in hopes to have convinced her, that wilfully 
to remain unbaptized is a more grievous sin than the generality 
of Dissenters (aye, and a great many (-hurchmeii) imagine. I 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

thought, when our Lord so distinctly affirmed, that one must be 
born of water and the Spirit, before one could even " enter into 
God's kingdom," it was not too much to ask of a Christian 
man, that he should not marry such a person, considering what 
the Holy Spirit has said by St. Paul to all Christians, that if 
they marry, they must marry "in the Lord;" that is to say, 
must select such persons as make part of the body of Christ, 
considering too what strict charges were given to the Israelites of 
old time, not to make marriages with the heathen and unbe- 
lievers. I thought to myself, and I put it strongly to my 
sister, how can I, with these convictions, with the Scriptures 
lying open before me, and as I think distinctly forbidding such 
things, how can I be helper to such a union ? how can I come to 
God's altar, and present my relation there to Him, and beg His 
blessing on an act which in ray conscience I believe to be sinful, 
and most provoking to Him ? In short, I told them it was 
out of the question ; and if they would put themselves in my 
place for a moment, they would see that it must be so." 

" I should like to know what the young man thought, as he 
stood by and heard all this." 

" Oh, Sir, I could see that he was very uneasy ; he made two 
or three endeavours to break in upon us with some remarks of 
his own : but I was steady in not permitting him till I had stated 
my own view, so as to give it a fair chance. When I had 
finished, and was going away, leaving my sister, as it seemed to 
me, more puzzled than convinced by what had been said, Philip 
came close up to me, and said, in the tone of a man more or less 
vexed, * You mistake me quite, uncle, if you think I have any 
notion of leaving the Church, because I am proposing to marry 
one who is not yet a Churchwoman. I like the Church as well 
as ever. I was born and bred in it, and hope to die in it ; nay, 
and by this very engagement of mine, I expect to do good ser- 
vice to the Church. For I shall be very much disappointed 
indeed, if Letitia be not very soon prevailed on to be baptized, 
and conform, after she becomes my wife.' 

'♦ 1 told him, if such was indeed her mind, the matter might 
in no long time be settled to the satisfaction of us all. He had 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

only to wait till that happy change, which he so confidently 
looked for, had taken place, and I would most gladly attend him 
as he desired. At this he looked a little disconcerted, and it was 
plain enough that he had been mistaking what he only wished, 
for what was likely to happen. So I just asked him one ques- 
tion, whether he thought himself wiser and steadier than Solo- 
mon ? He very likely (said I), when he permitted himself first 
to form an attachment to a heathen, expected to bring her over 
to the faith and worship of the one true God ; but it ended in 
his becoming himself an idolater. Indeed, God's warnings to 
his ancient people, not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, 
every where go upon the notion, that the corrupting side in such 
unions will be comrauonly too strong for that which was originally 
right. How can it be otherwise, while human nature is corrupt, 
and when the aid of Divine Grace is forfeited by men's pre- 
sumptuously running themselves into a state of continual tempta- 
tion ? And, I added, what I have more than once heard from 
those who have read modern history, that the same kind of 
result is there also visible enough, attending on the like profane 
marriages among those who call themselves Christians. I ven- 
tured to mention one example, which had occurred to myself, in 
such little reading as I have had time for in that line — the ex- 
ample of one whom I deeply honour and reverence — you will 
guess that I mean King Charles the Martyr. I do not know 
whether I am right, but it has always seemed to me, that the 
one great error of his Majesty's life was his being " unequally 
yoked" with a person of another creed, — a person with whom 
I suppose he could not well pray, although, as we happen to 
know for certain, he prayed constantly for her conversion. His 
own faith to be sure was unstained ; but we know what evil 
ensued to his family and kingdom ; and perhaps many of his 
own calamities* might be traced to the same cause. Now if that 
just and good king cannot be excused for such a marriage, what 
can be said for an ordinary Christian, should he run into the 
like danger ? What is * tempting God, if this be not ?' Thus 
I ran on ; but Philip evidently paid little attention to me. He 
seemed to be making up his mind that 1 was prejudiced, and 

1 



^ 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

that it was no use his listening at all. So I went away for the 
present, hoping before long to have an opportunity of speaking 
to him when he was more willing to hear." 

*' I thought," said I, " that you told me just now of your 
having conversed with the young woman herself : did I mistake 
you ? or was that at another time ?" 

** That was just as I was going away : I passed by accident 
through the room where she was, and we had a very few words 
together. It was plain at once, by her manner, that she con- 
sidered me personally unkind in what I had been saying of her 
to my sister. I begged her to bear with me, considering that I 
was so much older, and that I could have nothing at heart but 
my nephew's good ; and I put her in mind of two or three things 
which had passed, such as I thought would be most apt to pacify 
and soothe her when she remembered them ; and then I begged 
her seriously to consider, not at present whether I was right or 
no in my opinion of the necessity of Baptism, but, supposing I 
thought myself right, how could I act otherwise than I was 
doing ? Which, I asked, is the truer charity ? to let people go 
on unbaptized and unsanctified, for fear of paining them ; — to 
treat them as if they were quite safe, when, if you will believe 
our Saviour, you must believe they have not yet even entered 
into the Church and Kingdom of God, — or to show them that 
you feel in earnest for their danger ; to remind them what sen- 
tence the Church would pass on them, should they die in their 
present condition ? She would not, in that case, allow them 
Christian burial. Why ? Evidently, because she thinks them 
not members of Christ's body ; not entitled by covenant to those 
promises, the rehearsing of which over the grave are in her mind 
a part of Christian burial. I believe and obey the Church ; and 
if it was the nearest and dearest relation I have, I should count 
it kindness, not cnielty, to treat him as she would have him 
treated ; to ' have compassion on him, making a difference,' and 
so try to bring him, with an humble and penitent heart, to our 
Saviour's Baptism in good time. 

" This was the tone of what I said to her; but I had hardly 
time for so much as this : however, as she is naturally good 
tempered and candid, she seemed to take it pretty well." 



IKACTb rOh Tlllv TIMES, 



" I should like to know," said I, " whether she has ever ex- 
pressed any wish for Baptism. A person who thinks of it, but 
is as yet irresolute, may be regarded, I should think, in a dif- 
ferent light from one who distinctly slights and disparages it ; 
more like one of the beginners in Christianity, who were called 
in old time Catechumens. Whereas, those who indulge in scorn, 
and make themselves easy in such a condition, show the very 
temper of the worst heretics. Have you any notion to which of 
these two classes the young woman you are speaking of rather 
belongs?" 

" I should not suppose she had ever thought much of the 
matter, until of late, that the question has been started by this 
proposed wedding. What thoughts she has, I should fear, are 
rather of the scornful kind. She has been used to hear people 
say, under breath, perhaps, but not the less emphatically for that, 
something like what Naaman the Syrian said, * May I not wash 
elsewhere and be clean V with plenty of hints about superstition 
and Popery, and other words of the like sound." 

" It is too likely ; one has heard of late of too much of that 
kind among the Baptists, and among others who agree with them 
in slighting the ancient Church. And worse consequences even 
than the contempt of Baptism follow, I fear, too often. Persons 
become generally irreverent towards religion altogether. A proud 
common sense, as it calls itself, usurps the place of that humility 
which befits a creature and a sinner in judging of his duties 
towards God. Nothing is cordially believed which is not theo- 
retically understood : nothing carefully and reverently practised, 
of which the use is not perceived. And thus the religion of our 
time is in danger of dwindling down to a wretched kind of 
political decency : and where, of all parties, is the change going 
on most rapidly ? Among those who left the Apostolical Church 
because * it was not spiritual enough^ for them !' 

** And yet. Sir, is there any thing so strange in that ? Our 
blessed Lord joined the two together, — the high, mysterious, 
and spiritual, doctrine of the Trinity, with the no less mysterious 
communication of grace by water Baptism. They who begin by 
being so bold as to despise the water, which He commanded to 
be used, it is very natural, as far as I sec, that they should end 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

by despising the word which He commanded to be spoken, — the 
sacred name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." 

" It is indeed but too natural, like all the other steps which 
men make down the broad way which leads to perdition. But 
it is some kind of satisfaction to me to find, that quiet thoughtful 
laymen see the danger, as well as we who are of the clergy. 
And I suppose we shall be pretty well agreed upon the remedy, 
namely, to do what little we can towards reviving among men 
the knowledge and love of the ancient Church." 

" Ah, Sir, if that might be ! But a Christian must not de- 
spond about the Church, nor the meanest Christian of being 
made useful, in his place, towards the highest ends. I will not 
therefore indulge in forebodings ; but will rather try again what 
I can do with the opportunity which Providence has put in my 
way. I certainly will do nothing to countenance this marriage ; 
and if I cannot prevent it, at least some part of what I say may 
rise up in some of their minds some day, and may help them to 
truer and better thoughts. But you must help me. Sir, with 
your advice, and (may I be so bold?) with your prayers." 

" It is my bounden duty, Richard," said I, as I shook him 
by the hand at parting. " And take this Scripture home for 
your comfort ; that if a man humbly ' cast his bread upon the 
waters,' — if he trust his Maker with it in earnest, he shall ' find 
it after many days.' " 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. James. 



These Tracts are published Monthly, and sold at the price of 
2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies. 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place. 

1834. 



Gilbert & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



No. 4 1 .] (^d Scholas.) [Price 2d, 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



VIA MEDIA. 

No. II. 



Laicus. I am come for some further conversation with you ; 
or rather, for another exposition of your views on Church mat- 
ters. I am not well read enough to argue with you ; nor, on 
the other hand, do I profess to admit all you say : but I want, if 
you will let me, to get at your opinions. So will you lecture^^^Tf I 
give the subjects ? 

Clericus. To lecture, as you call it, is quite beyond me, since 
at best I have but a smattering of reading in Church history. 
The more's the pity ; though I have as much as a great many 
others : for ignorance of our historical position as Churchmen is 
one of the especial evils of the day. Yet even with a little know- 
ledge, I am able to see certain facts which seem quite incon- 
sistent vdth notions at present received. For my practice^ I 
should be ashamed of myself if I guided it by any theories. 
Here the letter and spirit of the Liturgy is my direction, as it is 
of all classes of Churchmen, high and low. Yet, though I do 
not lay a great stress on such views as I gather from history, it is 
to my mind a strong confirmation of them, that they just account 
for and illustrate the conclusions to which I am led by plain 
obedience to my ordination vows. 

L. If you only wish to keep to the Liturgy, not to change, 
what did you mean the other day by those ominous words, in 
which you suggested the need of a second Reformation ? 

C. Because I think the Church has in a measure forgotten its 
own principles, as declared in the 16th century; nay, under 
stranger circumstances, as far as I know, than have attended* 
any of the errors and corruptions of the Papists. Grievous as 
are their declensions from primitive usage, I never heard in any 
case of their practice directly contradicting their services ; — 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

whereas, we go on lamenting once a year the absence of disci- 
pline in our Church, yet do not even dream of taking any one 
step towards its restoration. Again, we confess in the Articles 
that excommunication is a solemn duty of the Church under 
certain circumstances, and that the excommunicated person must 
be openly reconciled by penance, before he is acknowledged by 
the faithful as a brother ; yet excommunication, I am told, is now 
a civil process, which takes place as a matter of course at a cer- 
tain stage of certain law proceedings. Here a reformation is 
needed. 

L. Only of discipline, not of doctrine. 

C. Again, when the Church, with an unprecedented confidence, 
bound herself hand and foot, and made herself over to the 
civil power, in order to escape the Pope, she did not expect that 
infidels (as it has lately been hinted) would be suffered to have 
the absolute disposal of the crown patronage. 

L. This, again, might be considered matter of discipline. Our 
Reformation in the 16th century was one in matters of fail h; 
and therefore we do not need a second Reformation in the same 
sense in which we needed a first. 

C, In what points would you say the Church's faith was re- 
formed in the 16th century ? ipv* h>s> 

L. Take the then received belief in purgatory and pardons, 
which alone was a sufficient corruption to call for a refor- 
mation. 

C. I conceive the presumption of the Popish doctrine on these 
points to lie in adding to the means of salvation set forth in 
Scripture. Almighty God has said His Son's merits shaJZ wash 
away all sin, and that they shall be conveyed to believers 
through the two Sacraments ; whereas, the Church of Rome 
has added other ways of gaining heaven. 

Z. Granted. The belief in purgatory and pardons disparages 
the sufficiency, first of Christ's merits, next of His appointed 
sacraments. 

, C. And by "received" belief, I suppose you mean that it was 
the popular belief, which clergy and laity acted on, not that it 
was necessarily contained in any particular doctrinal formulary. 
..X. Proceed. 

lo 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

C. Do you not suppose that there are multitudes both among 
clergy and laity at the present day, who disparage, not indeed 
Christ's merits, but the Sacraments He has appointed ? and if 
so, is not their error so far the same in kind as that of the Romish 
Church — the preferring Abana and Pharpar to the waters of 
Jordan ? Take the Sacrament of Baptism. Have not some 
denominations of schismatics invented a rite of dedication instead 
of Baptism ? and do not Churchmen find themselves under the 
temptation of countenancing this Papist-like presumption? — 
Again, there is a well-known sect, which denies both Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper. A Churchman must believe its members 
to be altogether external to the fold of Christ. Whatever be- 
nevolent works they may be able to show, still, if we receive the 
Church's doctrine concerning the means " generally necessary to 
salvation," we must consider such persons to be mere heathens, 
except in knowledge. Now would there not be an outcry raised, 
as if I were uncharitable, did I refuse the rites of burial to such 
an one ? 

L. This outcry would not proceed from the better informed or 
the rulers of our Church. 

C. Happily, we are not as yet so corrupted as at the era of the 
Reformation. Our Prelates are still sound, and know the dif- 
ference between what is modern and what is ancient. Yet is not 
the mode of viewing the subject I refer to, a growing one ? and 
how does it differ from the presumption of the Papists ? In both 
cases, the power of Christ's Sacraments is denied ; in the one 
case by the unbelief of restlessness and fear, in the other by the 
unbelief of profaneness. 

L, Well, supposing I grant that the Church of this day is in a 
measure faulty in faith and discipline ; more or less, of course, 
according to the diocese and neighbourhood. Now, in the next 
place, what do you mean by your Reformation ? 

C. I would do what our Reformers in the 16th century did : 
they did not touch the existing documents of doctrine — there was 
no occasion — they kept the creeds as they were ; but they added 
protests against the corruptions of faith, worship, and discipline, 
which had grown up round them. I would do the same thing 
now, if I could : I would not ckatige the articles, I would add to 

A 2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



them : add protests against the erastianism and latitudinarianism 
which have incmsted them. I would append to the Catechism a 
section on the power of the Church. 

L. You have not mentioned any corruptions at present in 
worship ; do you consider that there are such, as well as errors 
of faith and discipline ? 

C. Our Liturgy keeps us right in the main, yet there are what 
may be considered such, though for the most part occasional. 
To board over the altar of a Church, place an orchestra there of 
playhouse singers, and take money at the doors, seems to me as 
great an outrage as to sprinkle the forehead with holy water and 
to carry lighted tapers in a procession. 

L, Do not speak so harshly of what has often been done 
piously. George the Third was a patron of concerts in one of 
our Cathedrals. 

C Far be it from my mind to dare to arraign the actions of 
that religious king I The same deed is of a different nature at 
different times and under different circumstances. Music in a 
Church may as reverentially subserve the feelings of devotion 
as pictures or architecture ; but it may not. 

L. You could not prevent such a desecration by adding a 
fortieth article to the thirty-nine. 

C. Not directly : yet though there is no article directly con- 
demning religious processions, they have nevertheless been dis- 
continued. In like manner, were an article framed (to speak by 
way of illustration) declaratory of the sanctity of places set apart 
to the worship of God and the reception of the saints that sleep, 
doubtless Churchmen would be saved from many profane feelings 
and practices of the day, which they give into unawares, such as 
the holding vestries in Churches, theflocking to preachers rather 
than to sacraments, (as if the servant were above the Master, who 
is Lord over His own house,) the luxurious and fashionable 
fitting up of town Churches ; the proposal to allow schismatics 
to hold their meetings in them ; the off-hand project of pulling 
them down for the convenience of streets and roads ; and the 
wanton preference (for it frequently is wanton) of unconsecratcd 
places, whether for preaching to the poor, or for administering 
sacred rites to the rich. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

L. It is visionary to talk of siicli a reformation : the people 
would not endure it. 

C. It is ; but I am not advocating it, I am but raising a|)ro- 
tesl. I say this ought to be, *' because of the angels*," but I do 
not hope to persuade others to think as I do. 

L. I think I quite understand the ground you take. You 
consider that, as time goes on, fresh and fresh articles of faith 
are necessary to secure the Church's purity, according to the rise 
of successive heresies and errors. These articles are all hidden, 
as it were, from the first, in the Church's bosom, and brought out 
into form according to the occasion. Such was the Nicene Con- 
fession against Arius ; the English Articles against Popery : and 
such are those now called for in this age of schism, to meet the 
mew heresy, which denies the holy Catholic Church — the heresy 
of Hoadley, and others like him. 

C. Yes — and let i-t never be forgotten, that, whatever were the 
errors of the Convocation of our Church in the beginning of the 
1 8th century, it expired in an attempt to brand the doctrines of 
Hoadley. May the day be merely delayed ! 

L. I understand you further to say, that you hold to the Re- 
formers as far as they have spoken out in our formularies, which 
at the same time you consider as incomplete ; that the doctrines 
which are wanting in the Articles, such as the Apostolical Com- 
mission, are the doctrines of the Catholic Church ; doctrines 
which a member of that Church holds as such prior to subscrip- 
tion ; that, moreover, they are quite consistent with our Articles, 
sometimes even implied in them, and sometimes clearly contained 
in the Liturgy, though not in the Articles, as the Apostolical 
Commission in the Ordination Service ; lastly, that we are clearly 
bound to believe, and all of us do believe, as essential, doctrines 
which nevertheless are not contained in the Articles, as e. g. the 
inspiration of Holy Scripture. 

C. Yes — and further I maintain, that, while I fully concur in 
the Articles, as far as they go, those who call one Papist, do not 
acquiesce in the doctrine of the Liturgy. 

L. This is a subject I especially wish drawn out. You threw 

» I Cor. xi. 10. 
No. 41. a 3 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

out some hints about it the other day, though I cannot say yon 
convinced me. I have misgivings, after all, that our Reformers 
only began their own work. I do not say they saw the tendency 
and issue of their opinions ; but surely, had they lived, and had 
the opportunity of doing more, they would have given into 
much more liberal notions (as they are called) than you are 
disposed to concede. It is not by producing a rubric, or an in- 
sulated passage from the services, that you can destroy this 
impression. Such instances only show they were inconsistent, 
which I will grant. Still, is not the genius of our formularies 
towards a more latitudinarian system th^i they reach ? 

C I will cheerfully meet you on the ground you propose. 
Let us carefully examine the Liturgy in its separate parts. I 
think it will decide the point which I contended for the other 
day, viz. that we are more Protestant than our Reformers. 

L. What do you mean by Protestant in your present use of it ? 

C. A number of distinct doctrines ^e included in the notion 
of Protestantism : and as to all these, our Church has taken the 
Via Media between it and Popery. -At present I will use it in 
the sense most apposite to the topics we have been discussing ; 
viz. as the religion of so-called freedom and independence, as 
hating superstition, suspicious of forms, jealous of priestcraft, 
advocating heart-worship ; characteristics, which admit of a good 
or a bad interpretation, but which, understood as they are in- 
stanced in the majority of persons who are zealous for what is 
called Protestant doctrine, are (I maintain) very inconsistent 
with the Liturgy of our Church. Now let us begin with the 
Confirmation Service. 

L. Will not the Baptismal be more to* your purpose? In it 
regeneration is connected with the formal act of sprinkling a 
little water on the forehead of an infant. 

C. It is true ; but I would rather shew the general spirit of 
the services, than take those obvious instances which, it seems, 
you can find out for yourself. Is it not certain that a modern 
Protestant, even though he granted that children were regene- 
rated in Baptism, would, in the Confirmation Service, have 
made them some address about the necessity of spiritual renova- 
tion, of becoming new creatures, &c. ? I do not say such warn- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

ing is not very appropriate ; nor do I propose to account for 
our Church's not giving it ; but is it not quite certain that the 
present j^'^^^vailing temper in the Church would have given it, 
judging from the prayers and sermons of the day, and tliat the 
Liturgy does not ? Were that day like this, would it not have 
been deemed formal and cold, and deficient in spiritual-minded- 
ness, to have proposed a declaration such as has been actually 
adopted, that " to the end that Confirmation may be ministered 
to the more edifying of such as shall receive it ... . none hereafter 
shall be confirmed, but such as can say the Creed, the Lord's 
Prayer, and the Ten Commandments," &c. ; nothing being said 
of a change of heart, or spiritual affections ? And yet, upon 
this mere external profession, the children receive the imposi- 
tion of the Bishop's hands, " to certify them by this sign, of 
God's favour and gracious goodness towards them." 

L. From the line you are adopting, I see you will find services 
more Anti-Protestant (in the modern sense of Protestant,) than 
that for Confirmation. 

C. Take, again, the Catechism. What can be more technical 
and formal (as the persons I speak of would say,) than the divi- 
sion of our duties into our duty towards God and our duty 
towards our neighbour ? Indeed, would not the very word duty 
be objected to by them, as obscuring the evangelical character of 
Christianity ? Why is there no mention of newness of heart, of 
appropriating the mercies of redemption, and such like phrases, 
which are now common among so-called Protestants ? Why no 
mention of justifying faith ? 

L. Faith is mentioned in an earlier part of the Catechism. 

C. Yes, and it affords a remarkable contrast to the modern 
use of the word. Now-a-days, the promment notion conveyed 
by it regards its properties, whether spiritual or not, warm, 
self- renouncing. But in the Catechism, the prominent notion is 
that of its object^ the believing " all the Articles of the Christian 
faith," according to the Apostle's declaration, that it is * the 
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' " 

L. I understand ; and the Creed is also introduced into the 
service for Baptism. 

C. And still more remarkably in the order for Visiting the 



TRACTS FOR THE TIRFES. 

Sick : more remarkably, botli because of the season when it 
is introduced, when a Christian is drawing near his end, and also 
as being a preparation for the absolution. Most comfortable, 
truly, in his last hour, is such a distinct rehearsal of the great 
truths on which the Christian has fed by faith, with thanksgiving, 
all his life long ; .yet it surely would not have suggested itself to 
a modern Protestant. He would rather have instituted some 
more searching examination (as he would call it,) of the state 
of the sick man's heart ; whereas the whole of the minister's 
exhortation is what the modern school calls cold and formal. It 
ends thus : — " I require you to examine yourself and your 
estate, both toward God and man ; so that, accusing and con- 
demning yourself for your own faults, you may find mercy at 
oui; heavenly Father's hand for Christ's sake, and not be accused 
and condemned in that fearful judgment. Therefore, I shall 
rehearse to you the Articles of our Faith, that you may know 
7vhether you believe as a Christian man should^ or no." 

L. You observe the Rubric which follows: it speaks of a 
further examination. 

C. True; still it is what would now be called formal and 
external. 

L. Yet it mentions a great number of topics for examination : 
— " Whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity 
with all the world ;" exhorting him to forgive, from the bottom 
of his heart, all persons that have oiFended him ; and, if he hath 
offended any other, to ask them forgiveness ; and, where he hath 
done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the 
uttermost of his power. And, if he hath not before disposed of 
his goods, let him then be admonished to makd his will, and to 
declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing to him ; for 
the better discharging of his conscience, and the quietness of his 
executors." Here is an exhortation to repentance, charity, for- 
giveness of injuries, humbleness of mind, honesty, and justice. 
What could be added ? 

C You will be told that worldly and spiritual matters are 
mixed together; and, besides, not a word said of looking to 
Christ, resting on Him, and renovation of heart. Such are the 
expressions which modem Protestantism would have considered 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

necessary, and would have inserted as such. They are good 
words ; still they are not those which our Church considers the 
words for a sick-bed examination. She does not give them the 
prominence which is now given them. She adopts a manner of 
address which savours of what is now called formality. That our 
Church was no stranger to the more solemn kind of language, 
which persons now use on every occasion, is evident from the 
prayer " for a sick person, when there appeareth small hope of 
recovery," and " the commendatory prayer;" still she adopts 
the other as her ordinary manner. 

Z. I can corroborate what you just now observed about the 
Creed, by what I lately read in some book or books, advocating 
a revision of the Liturgy. It was vehemently objected to the 
Apostles' Creed, that it contained no confession of the doctrine 
of the atonement, nor (I think) of original sin ! 

C. It is well to see persons consistent. When they go full 
lengths, they startle others, and, perhaps (please God) them- 
selves. Indeed, I wish men would stop a while, and seriously 
reflect whether the mere verbal opposition which exists between 
their own language and the language of services (to say nothing 
to the difference of spirit), is not a sort of warning to them, if they 
would take it, against inconsiderately proceeding in their present 
course. But nothing is more rare at this day than quiet thought. 
Every one is in a bustle, being bent to do a great deal. We 
preach, and run from house to house ; we do not pray or 
meditate. But, to return. Next, consider the first exhortation 
to the Communion : would it not be called, if I said it in dis- 
course of my own, dark, cold, and formal? " The way and 
means thereto [to receive worthily] is, — First, to examine your 
lives and conversations by the rule of God*s Commandments^ &c, 
.... Therefore, if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hin- 
derer or slanderer of His word, an adulterer^ or be in malice^ or 
envy, or any other grievous crime, repent you of your sins," &c. 
Now this is what is called, in some quarters, by a great abuse of 
terms, " mere morality." 

L. If I understand you, the Liturgy, all along, speaks of the 
Gospel dispensation, under which it is our blessedness to live, as 
being, at the same time, a moral law ; that this is its prominent 



TRACTS FOR THE riMES. 

view ; and that external observances and definite^ acts of duty 
are made the means and the tests of faith. 

C. Yes ; and that, in thus speaking, it runs quite counter to 
the innovating spirit of this day, which proceeds rashly forward 
on large and general views, — sweeps along, with one or two 
prominent doctrines, to the comparative neglect of the details of 
duty, and drops articles of faith and positive and ceremonial 
observances, as beneath the attention of a spiritual Christian, as 
monastic and superstitious, as forms, as minor points, as tech- 
nical, lip-worship, narrow-minded, and bigotted. — Next, con- 
sider the wording of one part of the Commination Service : — 
" He was wounded for our offences, and smitten for our wicked- 
ness. Let us, therefore, return unto Him, who is the merciful 
receiver of all true penitent sinners ; assuring ourselves that He 
is ready to receive us, and most willing to pardon us, if we 
come unto Him with faithful repentance ; if we will submit our- 
selves unto Him, and from henceforth walk in His ways ; if we 
will take His easy yoke and light burden upon us, to follow 
Him in lowliness, patience, and charity, and be ordered by the 
governance of His Holy Spirit ; seeking always His glory, - and 
serving Him duly in our vocation with thanksgiving : This if 
we do, Christ will deliver us from the curse of the law," &c. 
Did another say this, he would be accused by tlie Protestant 
of this day of interfiering with the doctrine of justification by 
faith. 

L. You have not spoken of the daily service of the Church 
or of the Litany. 

C. I should have more remarks to make than I like to 
trouble you with. First, I should observe on the absence of 
what are now called, exclusively, the great Protestant doctrines, 
or, at least, of the modes of expression in which it is at present 
the fashion to convey them. For instance, the Collects are 
summaries of doctrine, yet I believe they do not once mention 
what has sometimes been called the articulus stantis vel ca- 
dentis Eccelsiae. This proves to me that, true and important as 
this doctrine is in a controversial statement, its direct mention 
is not so apposite in devotional and })ractical subjects as modern 
Protestants of our Church would consider it. Next, consider 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

the general Confession, which prays simply that God would 
grant us " hereafter to live a godly, righteous, and sober life." 
Righteous and sober ! alas ! this is the very sort of words which 
Protestants consider superficial ; good, as far as they go, but 
nothing more. In like manner, the priest, in the Absolution, 
bids us pray God " that the rest of our life hereafter may be 
pure and holy." But I have given instances enough to explain 
my meaning about the Services generally : you can continue the 
examination for yourself. I will direct your notice to but one 
instance more, — the introduction of the Psalms into the Daily 
Service. Do you think a modern Protestant would have intro- 
duced them into it ? 

L. They are inspired. 

C. Yes, but they are also what is called Jewish. I do certainly 
think, I cannot doubt, that, had the Liturgy been compiled in a 
day like this, at most, but a selection of them would have been 
inserted in it, though they were all used in the primitive worship 
from the very first. Do we not hear objections to using them 
in singing, and a wish to substitute hymns ? Is not this a proof 
what judgment would have been passed on their introduction 
into the Service, by reformers of the nineteenth century ? First, 
the imprecatory Psalms, as they are called, would have been set 
aside, of course. 

L, Yes ; I cannot doubt it ; though some of them, at least, 
are prophetic, and expressly ascribed in the New Testament to 
the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. 

C. And surely numerous other passages would have been 
pronounced unsuitable to the spiritual faith of a Christian. I 
mean all such as speak of our being rewarded according to the 
cleanness of our hands, and of our walking innocently, and of 
the Lord's doing well to those that are good and true of heart.^ 
Indeed, this doctrine is so much the characteristic of that hea- 
venly book, that I hardly see any part of it could have been 
retained, but what is clearly predictive of the Messiah. 

L. I shall now take my leave, with many thanks, and will 
think over what you have said. However, have you not been 
labouring superfluously ? We know all along that the Puritans 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

of Hooker't time did object to the Prayer Book : there was no 
need of proving that. 

C. I am not speaking of those who would admit they were 
Puritans ; but of that arrogant Protestant spirit (so called) of 
the day, in and out of the Church (if it is possible to say what 
is in and what is out), which thinks it takes bold and large views, 
and would fain ride over the superstitions and formalities which 
it thinks it sees in those who (I maintain) hold to the old Catho- 
lic faith ; and, as seeing that this spirit is coming on apace, I cry 
out betimes, whatever comes, it is that corruptions are pouring 
in, which, sooner or later, will need a second Reformation. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St, Bartholomew, 



These Tracts are 'published monthly ^ and sold at the price of 2d. 
for each sJieety or 7s. for 50 copies* 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE. 

1834. 



GiLDEUT & RiviNCTON, Printers, St. Juhii's Square, London. 



Xo. 42.] (Ad Populum.) [Price 2d. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



BISHOP WILSON'S MEDITATIONS ON HIS SACRED 
OFFICE. 

No. I.— SUNDAY. 



Question from the Office of Consecration. — Are you persuaded 

THAT YOU BE TRULY CALLED TO THIS MINISTRATION, ACCORDING 
TO THE WILL OF OUR LoRD JeSUS ChRIST, AND THE ORDER Of 
THIS REALM ? AjlS. I AM SO PERSUADED. 

Almighty God, who by Thy Providence hast brought me into 
Thine immediate service, accept my desire of serving Thee ; 
and grant that, in the sincerity of my soul, I may perform the 
several duties of my calling, and the vows that are upon me. 

Blessed be Thy Good Spirit, that ever it come in my heart to 
become Thy minister. May the same Good Spirit make me 
truly sensible of the honour and danger of so great a trust, and 
of the account I am to give. And give me grace to make 
amends, by my future diligence, for the many days and years 
that I have spent unprofitably. And this I beg for Jesus Christ 
His sake. 

He that doth not find himself endued with a spirit of his 
calling, hath reason to fear that God never called him 

Marks of a True Pastor. 

St. John X. 1. " He that entereth not by the door into the 
sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief 
and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the 
shepherd of the sheep." A larvful entrance^ upon motives which 
aim at the glory of God and the good of souls. An external call 
and mission, from the Apostolic authority of Bishops. 

" The sheep hear his voice ;" that is, when he speaks to their 
hearts and to their capacities. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

" He that calleth his sheep by name ;" that is, he knows them 
so well, as to know all their wants. 

" He goeth before them, and they follow him." He leads such 
a life, as they may safely follow. 

" A stranger will they not follow ;" that is, they ought not to 
follow such as break Catholic Unity. 

" I am the door." It is by Jesus Christ, not by us, that the 
flock is kept in safety ; without Him, we can do nothing ; nei- 
ther by our learning, our eloquence, or our labours : — This is to 
roh Christ of the glory of saving His sheep ; and to enter into 
the ministry, only to plunder the Church of her revenues. 

" The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep ;" either by 
spending it in the ministry ; or suffering, if there be occasion ; 
never sacrificing the flock to his own ease, avarice, or humours. 

" The hireling careth not for the sheep." He lords it over 
them, makes what advantage he can of them, and counts them 
his own no longer than they are profitable to him. " He leaves 
them," that is, when dangers threaten. Then the good shepherd 
and the hireling are discovered. 

Heb. V. 4. " No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he 
that is called of God, as was Aaron." 

Heb. V. 2 " High Priest, who can have compassion on 

the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way." A pastor, 
who is sensible of his own infirmities, will not fail to treat sinners 
with meekness and compassion. 

Heb. xiii. 17. " They watch for your souls, as they that 
must give account." A most dreadful consideration this ; inso- 
much as that St. Chrysostom said, upon reflecting upon it, " It 
is a wonder if any ruler in the Church be saved." It wifl be 
work enough for every man to give an account for himself; but 
to stand charged, and to be accountable for many others, who can 
think of it without trembling ? O God ! how presumptuous was 
I, to be persuaded to take upon me this charge ! 

Who will value himself upon ecclesiastical dignities, who con- 
siders that Judas was chosen to be an Apostle ? 

O Good Shepherd ! I beseech Thee, for myself and for my 
flock, to seek us, to find us, to lead us, to defend us, and to 
preserve us to life eternal. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



If God be satisfied with a pastor, it is of little importance 
whether he please or displease men. 

Tit. ii. 15. " These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with 
all our authority. Let no man despise thee;" that is, for want 
of exercising ecclesiastical discipline. 

The following are truths which cannot be preached too often : 
viz., the bondage of man by sin, the necessity of a Deliverer, the 
manner of our redemption, the danger of not closing with it, the 
power of grace to deliver us, &c. A pastor should do all this, 
and act with the dignity of a man who acts by the authority of 
God. 

The Authority of Bishops. 

We are willing enough to desire to imitate Jesus Christ and 
his Apostles in their authority, without thinking of following 
them in their humility, their labours, self-denial, &c. 

A Bishop is a Pastor set over other Pastors They were to 
ordain Elders. They might receive an accusation against an 
Elder. They were to charge them to preach such and such 
doctrines, to stop the mouths of deceivers, to set in order the 
things that were wanting. And, lastly, this was the form of 
Church government in all ages, so that, to reject this, is to reject 
an ordinance of God. 

Matt. V. 19. " Whosoever shall do and teach the command- 
ments, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of God." 
It is in this the true greatness of a Bishop does consist, not in 
the eminence of his see, multitude of attendants, favour of 
princes, &c. 

Bishops were called to sit in Parliament, to give their counsel 
according to God's Law ; as the civil judges were to give their 
advice according to the temporal laws in matters of difficulty. 

Mark x. 44. *' Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall 
be servant of all." The greatest Prelate in the Church is he 
who is most conformable to the example of Christ, by humility, 
charity, and care of his flock, and who, for Christ's sake, will 
be a servant to the servants of God. 

O Sovereign Pastor of souls! renew in Thy Church, and 
especially in m-c, this spirit of humility ; that I may serve Thee 
in the meanest of Thy servants. If I lie under the necessity of 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

being served by others, let it be with regret, and let me exact no 
more service than is necessary. ^rjsmib 

Luke X. 3. " Behold, I send you forth as lambs among 
wolves." It belongs to Thee, O Lamb of God, to guard both 
me and my flock from w^olves who assault us, either openly or in 
sheep's clothing, I depend entirely upon Thee, in whatever re- 
lates to my own preservation, or that of the people committed to 
my care. 

Luke xix» 20. " Lord, behold, here is Thy pound, which I 
have kept laid up in a napkin," O my Saviour ! I tremble to 
think how I have followed the example of this slothful servant ; 
and what reason I have to dread his doom. Rest is a crime in 
one who has promised to labour all the days of his life ; and in 
me, therefore, it is a great evil, not to be always doing good. 
Pardon me, my God, for what is past ; and let me not imagine 
that, because I am free from gross and scandalous crimes, that, 
therefore, I lead a good life. O Lord, give me grace proportion- 
able to the talents I have received, and to the account I am to 
give ; that I may faithfully perform all the duties belonging to 
my state. Amen. 

Whoever is associated in the Priesthood of Christ, ought, in 
imitation of Him, to sacrifice himself for the advantage of His 
Church, and for all the designs of God. 

Luke xxii. 26. " But ye shall not be so ; but he that is 
greatest among you, let him be as the younger ; and he that is 
chief, as he that doth serve." A Bishop does not know his office 
in the Church, if he pretends to distinguish himself by power, 
imperiousness, and grandeur ; or by any other way than by hu- 
mility, and by a great concern for souls. Marks of distinction 
are rather a burthen, which he bears out of necessity, but com- 
plains of them secretly to God. He considers himself as the 
servant, not as the Lord of souls. Even Jesus Christ made 
Himself our pattern in this. 

Translation of Bishops and Pastors. 

Self-love is too often at the bottom, and not the glory of God 
or the good of souls. When men's labours are attended with 
tolerable success, yet, because either they can better their tem- 
poral rondition. or think that a more public station would be 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

more suitable to their great capacities, they leave their station 
for one more full of dangers, without any prospect of being more 
serviceable to God or to His Church, and the souls of men ; not 
considering that this is the voice of pride, self-love, and covetous- 
ness, and an evil example to others, to whom we do, or should, 
preach humility, as the very foundation of Christianity. 

The greater share we have in the authority of Jesus Christ, 
the greater must we expect to have in His suflferings ; the cross 
being the reward of faithful pastors. 

To leave a clergy and a people to whom one is perfectly well 
known, to go to another to whom one is a stranger, and this for 
the sake of riches, which are supposed to have been renounced, — 
this w^as unknown to the first ages of Christianity. 

He is but the vain image of a Pastor, an idle shepherd, who 
chooses to abandon his flock, and leave them to the conduct of 
those who have no concern for them, and entrust the salvation of 
those souls to others, for whom he himself is responsible to Gop. 
He may be learned, he may be employed, &c. but he cannot be 
a good shepherd 

Church Government. 

Col. iv. 5. " Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, 
redeeming the time." Prudence is very necessary in dangerous 
times ; it being no small fault to give occasion to the raising of 
storms against the Church and her ministers, for want of having 
a due regard to the times and to the passions of carnal men .... 

Matt. XX. 26, 27. " Whosoever will be great among you, let 
him be your minister ; and whosoever will be chief among you, 
let him be your servant ; even as the Son of man came not to be 
ministered unto, but to minister." God give me a true and 
prudent humility ; to have nothing of the air of secular governors, 
to attend the flock of Christ as a servant, to look on Him as my 
pattern, to study His conduct and spirit, to spend and be spent 
for my flock, that 1 may never desire to increase my burden, 
that I may be better qualified to be ministered unto, and that I 
may never strive to live at ease, in plenty, in luxury, repose, and 
independence. Amen. 

The name of a servant ought to be esteemed honourable to the 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

eye of faith, and a real privilege ; since Jesus Christ took upon 
Him the nature of a servant. 

Bishops and Priests, (saith St. Ambrose,) are honourable, on 
account of the sacrifice they offer. The power of the keys, and 
the exercise of that power ; the due use of confirmation, and 
(previous to that) examination ; a strict examination into the 
learning, lives, and characters, of such as are designed for Holy 
Orders, are matters of infinite and eternal concern. . . . 

A man may be ruined by those very means which were de- 
signed to enable him to discharge his duty with more conveni- 
ence. And Bishops have too often been put into such easy 
circumstances, as to forget that they were Bishops. . . . 

Rev. i. 16. ** And He had in His right hand seven stars." 
Make me, O Jesus, a shining star in Thy Church ; support me 
by Thy right hand ; guide and direct me by Thy light ; let me 
never become a wandering star. 

A primitive Bishop will be careful to avoid, as much as pos- 
sible, worldly equipage and retinue, excess, pomp, and osten- 
tation 

Bishops are called angels in the Revelations, intimating that 
they should have no interest on earth at heart so much as that of 
the good of the Church and the honour of God 

At the Lord's Supper. 

(Before the Service begins.) 

May it please Thee, O God, who hast called us to this ministry, 
to make us worthy to offer unto Thee this sacrifice for our own 
sins and for the sins of Thy people. Accept our service and our 
persons, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth 
with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. 
Amen. 

O, reject not this people for me and for my sins ! 

(Upon placing the alms upon the Altar.) 

All that we possess is the effect of Thy bounty, O God ! Of 
Thy own do we give Thee. Pardon all our vain expences ; and 
accept of this testimony of our gratitude to Thee, our benefactor, 
for the Lord Jesus* sake. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

( Upon placing the Elements upon the Altar. J 

Vouchsafe to receive these Thy creatures from the hands of us 
sinners, O Thou self-sufficient God ! 

(Immediately after the Consecration.) 

We offer unto Thee, our King and our God, this bread and this 
cup. We give Thee thanks for these and for all Thy mercies ; 
beseeching Thee to send down Thy Holy Spirit upon this sacri- 
fice, that He may make this bread the body of Thy Christ, and 
this cup the blood of Thy Christ ; and that all we, who are par- 
takers thereof, may thereby obtain remission of our sins, and all 
other benefits of His passion. 

And, together with us, remember, O God, for good, the whole 
mystical body of Thy Son ; that such as are yet alive may finish 
their course with joy ; and that we, with all such as are dead in 
the Lord, may rest in hope and rise in glory, for Thy Son's sake, 
whose death we now commemorate. Amen. 

May I adore Thee, O God, by offering to Thee the pure and 
unbloody sacrifice, which Thou hast ordained by Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 

But how should I dare to offer Thee this sacrifice, if I had not 
first offered myself a sacrifice to Thee, my God ? May I never 
offer the prayers of the faithful with polluted lips, nor distribute 
the bread of life with unclean hands. 

1 acknowledge and receive Thee, O Jesus, as sent of God, a 
Prophet, to make His will known to us, and His merciful purpose 
to save us ; as our Priest, who offered Himself an acceptable 
sacrifice for us, to satisfy the Divine Justice, and to make inter- 
cession for us ; and as our King, to rule, and defend us against 
all our enemies. 

May I always receive the Holy Sacrament in the saAie mean- 
ing, intention, and blessed effect, with which Jesus Christ ad- 
ministered it to His Apostles in His last Supper. 

Concerning Confirmation. 

By faith we receive the Spirit, which is of God. " I will put 
My Spirit within you, saith God." 

We are truly Christians by receiving the Spirit of Christ. 
This is the great blessing of the Gospel, the fellowship of the 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

Holy Ghost, with the desire of which we conchide our daily 
prayers, with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . 

The effect and blessing of Confirmation, 

It is to convey the inestimable blessing of the Holy Spirit of 
God by prayer and the imposition of the hands of God's mini- 
sters, that He may dwell in you, and keep you from the tempta- 
tions of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

Confirmation is the perfection of baptism. The Holy Ghost 
descends invisibly upon such as are rightly prepared to receive 
such a blessing, as at the first He came visibly upon those that 
had been baptized 

As the Holy Spirit is present in our baptism, to seal the re- 
mission of sins, and to infuse the seeds of Christian life ; so is 
He present in confirmation, to shed further influences on those 
that receive it, for stirring up the gift of God bestowed in bap- 
tism, &c. 

Prayer after Confirmation. 

Matt. xix. 15. And He laid His hands on them. 

O Holy Spirit of grace ! I make my humble supplication to 
Thee in behalf of those Thy servants on whom I have this day 
laid my hands. Be Thou their wisdom, to give them the know- 
ledge of religion ; their understanding, to know their duty ; their 
counsel in all their doubts ; their strength against all tempta- 
tions ; their knowledge, in what belongs to the state of life in 
which Thy Providence shall place them ; their piety and godli- 
ness in all their actions ; and be Thou their fear, all their life 
long, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. Bartholomew. 

Tliese Tracts are published Monthly ^ and sold at the price of 
2d. for each sheets or 7s. for 50 copies. 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place. 

1834. 

Gilbert & Rivinoton, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



No. 43.] IPrice 2d. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



RICHARD NELSON. 
No. IV. 



What a weariness is it !" — Mal. i. 13. 



-' O, they be blessed that may dwell 
Within Thy house always : 
For they all times Thy facts do tell, 
And ever give Thee praise. 

Yea, happy sure likewise are they 

Whose stay and strength Thou art, 
Who to Thy house do mind the way. 

And seek it in their heart." 

Psalm Ixxxiv. 5, 6. 

Among all the boys of our Sunday-school, none have given me 
so much trouble as Absalom Plush, and two of farmer Yawn's 
sons. They are almost always behind their time : at school they 
are very inattentive, and at Church their conduct has been 
repeatedly so disgraceful that it even attracted the attention of 
one of the Churchwardens, who gave them a severe reprimand, 
and threatened to send for a constable ; since which, they have 
conducted themselves rather more decently. Perhaps my readers 
may be inclined to ask why I suiFer them to remain in the school, 
their behaviour having been so bad. My answer must be, that 
as they are but little boys, (for Absalom is the eldest, and he is 
not more than eleven, if so much,) I still hope they may improve ; 
and if I were to put them out of the school, I fear I should lose 
all chance of gaining any influence over them. However, I have 
made up my mind that if they behave in this sort of way again, 
they shall go. 



$ TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

There is, too, another consideration which has ratlier disposed 
me to be sorry for these boys in the midst of my displeasure, 
namely, that if they had been well instructed, and a good ex- 
ample had been set them at home, they would, perhaps, have 
behaved differently at school and in Church. For young Plush 
does not want for sense, though he is so unruly ; and as to tlie 
little Yawns, they are not naturally of bad dispositions, but so 
determinedly indolent and unwilling to make any exertion for 
their own improvement, that it is a great trial of one's patience to 
endeavour to teach them. I am, however, sorry to say, the ex- 
amples they have before them at home are not such as to 
encourage them to turn to good account the instruction they may 
receive at Church or at the school. This I was fully aware of 
from the first, and, accordingly, as it is my usual custom when 
the children behave ill at school to take the first opportunity of 
mentioning it to the parents and friends, with the hope of throw- 
ing in a word which may be for their good too, I determined that 
I would do so in these instances. 

An occasion soon offered itself of speaking to farmer Yawn, 
whose house is very near to mine. But before I state what 
passed between us, I should say that I had, that same morning, 
talked the matter over with my friend Richard Nelson, in whose 
class Absalom was, as well as the elder of the two Yawns. 

" Sir," replied Richard, in answer to my question respecting 
the conduct of thege boys, " as to Lawrence Yawn, 1 cannot say 
that he applies much to l^is book, or, as I think, ever means to do 
so. Indeed, I have heard that he should say he likes to be at the 
bottom of the class, because then he 1ms a chance of leaning 
against the waU» or of resting on the corner of my chair. But 
Absalom Plush is ^luch more untractable, and inclined to be im- 
pudent too. To give you an instance, Sir, what happened only 
last Sunday. He came in very late, as he frequently does, and 
when I spoke to him about it he only laughed, and said he could 
not come sooner, and under breath, as I thought, he should not, 
and he seemed to me occasionally to be humming to himself 
some kind of song." 

*'Asong!" said I, "what in the school? tliat is something 
new indeed." 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 3 

" However," proceeded Nelson, " according to your advice to 
us in such cases, I took no notice at the time : but in the evening, 
as he happened to come along the path by our garden, I said to 
him, ' Absalom, I do wish you would pay a little more attention 
at school, 1 really fancied to-day you were singing something 
of a song.* • Well,' said he, 'suppose I was — what then ? 
'twas only a bit of a tune that a man was singing in at father's, 
one night last week ; and father said, that altering the words a 
little, it would just suit us boys of the Sunday-school. There is 
no harm (he continued) in the words, I will tell you what they 
were.' But they seemed to me. Sir, to be part of a very mis- 
chievous ballad, signifying that instead of Churches and Prayer 
Books, people had better sit in public houses and study news- 
papers ; that Church-going is time-wasting, and so forth. So 
it is plain that the boy is encouraged at home in his bad ways ; 
and, as you ask me the question, Sir, I fear it is not much better 
with the two Yawns ; for I dare say you must have observed 
that there are six or seven people, who always come late into 
Church, rain or shine, morning or evening, and amongst them 
Master Yawn comes in as regularly as possible just about the end 
of the first Lesson." 

" Yes," I said, " I have observed it, and have long wished for 
an opportunity of inquiring into the cause of such a practice." 

After some other observations we parted, and it happened, as 
I before observed, that on the same day my neighbour Yawn 
came to our house to borrow a milking bucket, which I very 
readily lent him, though not with my servant's good will, as such 
articles seldom returned from the farmer's in exactly as good a 
condition as they went. m^^ ' ^^^ u^u^i^ 

Seeing him, then, go out of the yard with the bucket in his 
hand, I met him at the garden gate, and said to him at once, 
*' I do wish, Mr. Yawn, you would speak to Lawrence and the 
little boy, for by their irregularity and extreme idleness, t^ey 
vex me very much, and do harm to the other boys in ifie 
school." ' ' ' 

" Sir," he replied, making a low bow, "I am very sorry in- 
deed to come troubling again so soon for a bucket, but our people 



4 TKACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

are so careless — " " O never mind about the bucket," I said, 
" only please let it be throughly cleaned — but I want you to tell 
me what will be the best way of treating that idle fellow, Law- 
rence, and his little brother." 

" Sir," he answered, " 1 am very sorry indeed they should have 
done any thing to offend you, but you may depend on it they 
ishall always for the future come to school in good time, and mind 
what is said to them ; otherwise, their mother or I will give Ihevi 
the stick as sure as every Sunday morning comes round." 

" Mr. Yawn," I replied, "I should be very sorry to have 
Sunday made the day for such unpleasing performances in your 
house or in any other. I do not at all wish any boys to come to 
the school against their will, especially if their friends only send 
them to please me." 

" O Sir," he said, " I am sure it is not at all against our will — 
though, certainly, 'tis a longish while for the children to stay, 
from nine to half past twelve, or more ; and I don't altogether 
wonder that the boys are tired. But they shall come for the 
future, and stay too, tired or not tired, for I should be very sorry 
we should do any tiling to offend you, Sir." 

" You have told me so now three times, Mr. Yawn," I 
answered, " so of course 1 ought to believe it. But at all events, 
I hope / shall not offend you if I take this opportunity to ask 
you, why you and Edward Gape, and two or three others, make 
a rule of treating our Church service in such a careless, and I 
must say scornful, way ?" 

"il/e treat the Church with scorn !" he replied, *' why. Sir, what 
can you be thinking of? Why I scarcely ever miss a Sunday. 
'Twould be a good thing for you clergymen if every body else 
was as regular.'* 

" As to that," I replied, " it makes no sort of difference to us 
whether people come or stay away, except so far as that we ought 
to be thankful when they do right, and grieved when they neglect 
their duty. In this respect, Mr. Yawn, 7vc are the really ' in- 
dependent' ministers. But what 1 allude to is, your strange 
unaccountable custom of coming into Church so late. I have 
been here now nearly six years, and in all that time, though by 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. O 

your own account you have come to Church regularly once every 
Sunday, yet I doubt if ever you have been within the walls till 
after I had begun reading the Lessons." 

" Yes, Sir, I have," he said, " you are mistaken there." 

" Come now," I said, " if I have been here five years and a 
half, I have been here 286 Sundays, and I think I may venture 
to say, that during all that time you have not been in Church 
time enough to hear all the first Lesson more than twenty times." 

" Perhaps not," he said, " twenty is a good many." 

"Well," I replied, "I will venture to say not more than ten 
times." 

" I am not sure of that," he answered. 

" But I am sure of it," I said, " sure that you have not been 
in by the time I mention, evenjioe Sundays." 

" I can remember at least three times," he answered, " once 
when T mistook the clock, and once when old Thomas Pout 
brought his new bassoon, and on the Fast-day I was in at the 
Psalms, I am confident. But I don't wish to make an argument 
about the matter ; I will tell you, Sir, plainly, that I have a great 
deal to do on a Sunday morning, more than you think of, and 
that instead of finding fault with me for being so late, you should 
thank me for 'coming at all. Think, Sir, how many don't come 
at all, and there am I in the pew as regular, pretty near, as old 
Job the clerk, only half an hour later." 

" Yes," I said, " you are very regular, in your irregularity. 
But, Mr. Yawn, let me ask you this one question, — do you come 
to Church to do any good to Almighty God, or to me, or to 
yourself? Is it any profit to the Almighty that you serve Him, 
if such an imperfect attendance as yours can be called service ; 
or to me is it any profit oi advantage in the way of worldly inte- 
rest ? You know full well, my friend, that yours is the danger, 
yours will be the loss, if you persist in thus dishonouring the 
holy, jealous God." 

To this his only reply was, that he had been used to do it 
for a good way in forty years, and it was not to be expected he 
should alter now ; and with this observation he walked slowly 
away with the bucket over his ^rm. But thinking, I suppose, 



b TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

that he had not been quite civil to me, he turned round with the 
intention, as I hoped, of making some sort of promise of amend- 
ment ; but my hope was groundless, for he came back and said in 
rather a low voice, "I hope, Sir, nothing I have said will prevent 
you taking your butter of us as usual ; and as to the boys, I 
promise you they shall be well punished every Sunday morning, 
and then, Sir, if they do behave ill, you know it will not be my 
fault, or my wife's." 

I made no answer, but as I walked back to the house, I was 
led sadly to reflect on the tendency of a worldly and selfish spirit 
to deaden not merely all serious sense of Religion, but even the 
natural affection of a parent for his children. 

Some few evenings afterwards, as I was returning homewards 
from a distant part of the parish. Nelson overtook me, when I 
told him of the conversation I had with my neighbour Yawn, 
adding that I had little hope his boys would ever come to any 
good, especially as their father seemed determined to keep to his 
bad habit merely because it was his habit, without giving any 
sort of reason or excuse for it. 

" O Sir," replied Nelson, " he fancies he has a very fair reason, 
only he did not like to mention it to you. He thinks or at least 
pretends to think, (for I do not imagine he puts his mind much to 
any thing,) that the Church Service altogether is too long and 
tedious. And he and some others have of late been much en- 
couraged in this their notion by a travelling man, (whether he 
comes from Hull or Preston I am not sure,) who quarters at 
Plush's occasionally, sometimes for a fortnight at a time, and is 
so kind as to offer to enlighten us in this dark comer of the 
world." 

" I have heard of him," I said ; " it seems then he dabbles in 
religion as well as in politics." 

" Yes, Sir," replied Richard, " that he certainly does, for I had 
the whole account of him from a man who was working with me 
the week before last ; you know him, Sir, I dare say, William 
Burnet." 

** O yes, I know him," I said, " very well ; any thing like 
the prospect of a change in religion or politics William dearly 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. /;, 

loves, without troubling himself much to inquire whether or i^ot 
it is likely to be a change for the better in either case. But 
what did the wise man from Hull say about the Church Service?" 

" Why," answered Nelson, "as I never was in company wit^, 
the man myself, perhaps it will be the best way for me to tell you. 
Sir, if you like to hear it, what passed between Burnet and me 
on the subject. And indeed it is not Burnet only, but a good 
many others are of the same way of thinking, more than used to 
be formerly." 

" Yes," said I, " their number increases, I fear, very rapidly, 
and if so, all who love Truth and the Prayer-book, ought to be 
on their guard. But now will you please to tell me how you 
answered Burnet's arguments ?" 

" Sir," he replied, " I will tell you as near as I can remember, 
what passed between us on this subject, though I do not promise 
to be able to repeat his exact words ; and certainly nothing I said 
is worthy to be called an answer to arguments." 

" Make no apologies," I said, " but proceed." 

Well then, Sir, said Nelson, thus it was, — Burnet was 
ctmstantly commending this friend of his, who was then lodging 
at Plush's, and wishing me to come along if it were but one even- 
ing, that I might judge for myself how beautiful he could talk 
and expound on any subject a person might choose to mention, 
politics, trade, agriculture, learning, religion, and what not. 

But I said to him, " No, Will, I have something else to do of 
an evening than to sit in a beer-shop listening to your friend Tip- 
top (for that is the man's name). But I dare say you can give 
me some account of his wise sayings ; what was he upon last 
night ?" 

" Last night, (said Will, after some little consideration,) last 
night he was lecturing about the Church Prayer-book, a subject 
that he has often spoken very well upon in my hearing, but never 
better than he did yesterday evening." 

" What was his argument ?" I asked. 

*' Judge by this," said Will, taking a printed paper out of his 
pocket, " it is one of Mr. Tiptop's perspectuses, as he calls them." 
(I have this paper with me, said Nelson to me, and with your 



8 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

leave, Sir, 1 will read some of the heads.) " The Church Service 
lengthy, tedious, and prolix — in this respect lamentably prejudicious 
to the spread of vital religion — vast numbers of highly-talented 
individuals unable to devote their time and attention to these pro- 
crastinated forms— consequently comjielledto neglect religion alto* 
gether — surprising effects, if the service was abbreviated at least 
one half — the churches immediately sure to be filed with crowds of 
devout worshippers — this with facility accomplished by merely 
shortening the lessons three-ffthsy omitting all superstitious forms, 
such as the absolution, creeds, <^c. — the Lord's Prayer repeated 
usque ad nauseum" (At this expression, Will said all the company 
expressed their approbation very vehemently, some even clapping 
their hands ; but he did not like to ask what it meant, for fear 
of appearing ignorant) : and so Mr. Tiptop finished with 
saying, that in his opinion, about a couple of pleasing hymns, a 
dozen verses out of the Testament, three or four prayers, and a 
sermon in quantity ^tmd quality according to the taste of the 
audience ; this would be enough for him in all conscience , and he 
supposed for others too, and need not altogether take up more 
than thirty-five or forty minutes at the outside, allowing fifteen 
or twenty for the sermon. 

" But Will," said T, " do you really and seriously imagine it 
would be well if such alterations as these were made in the 
Church Service?" 

" To be sure I do," he answered, "and so do many other people, 
who understand these things better than I or you do. Indeed 
Mr. Tiptop told us that some gentlemen had actually taken the 
matter up, and that it would be brought before the parliament very 
speedily, and such alterations would be made as should suit tlie 
spirit of the age ; above all, that the Service must be shortened, 
otherwise the Church would be entirely deserted, and the Esta- 
blishment upset." 

" God forbid," I said, "that the Church should be governed by 
the spirit of the times. I trust she is governed by a very differ- 
ent Spirit. I trust she may be willing to be (as you threaten) 
utterly deserted, rather than lierself desert the station allotted to 
her by the Chief Shepherd. And as to the Establishment being in 
danger, it may be perhaps true, yet 1 am sure nothing more dan- 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 9 

gerous can befal it, than for our governors to hearken to the coun* 
sels of such orators as Tiptop, though encouraged by all the 
Plushes in England, each with a company of puffers and smokers 
about him." 

" But Dick," said he to me, " what is the use of a Church, 
my friend, if people are tired of it, and won't go to it ?" 

To this I answered, " You might as well ask, what is the use of 
our Saviour's precepts, if people are tired of them and won't obey 
them ? You will not, I suppose, say, that the holy rules of the 
Gospel ought to be publicly set aside, merely because they are 
so generally neglected ?" 

" No," he replied, " of course I do not mean that." 

*' Well then," said I, " neither should you affirm that it is the 
duty of the Church to withdraw or alter her rules, merely because 
people are weary of complying with them." 

" That may be true," he answered, " but you must remember 
that the Church herself did not mean that the Service should be 
so long. What we have all at once, was formerly divided into 
two or three parts, as I have understood. Why should it not 
be so again ?" 

" What you say is, I believe, no more than the truth," I re- 
plied ; " I have been lately reading a little book upon the sub- 
ject, and from that I understood that there were first the early 
morning prayers — then, perhaps, after two or three hours, the 
Litany — and then again, after a short interval, the Communion 
Service, including a sermon of considerable length, (an hour 
possibly) and afterwards the administration of the Sacrament. 
But this last service alone, would be much beyond Mr. Tiptop's 
limit of forty minutes; and in this way, * the spirit of the age' 
[would be more opposed even than it is now." 

" O," he said, " I never thought of having the Sacrament 
administered every Sunday." 

" Then," replied I, " you forgot one of the principal inten- 
tions of the Church in having the Services so divided. If the 
Bishops and clergy thought well, I do not deny that it would in 
many respects be edifying, if this ancient custom in all its parts 
could be revived-; but yet I will tell you plainly, that I do not 
think it would have the effect you seem to imagine, of bringing 

10 



10 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

more people to Church, for, to my knowledge, it was tried by a 
clergyman in a parish near Sheffield, and to his great surprise, 
many of his parishioners staid in consequence quite away from 
the Church. Some said, they should not think of going to hear 
half a service ; others, who had a mile or two to come to Church, 
said they were scarcely allowed to rest themselves, but that as soon 
as they got in it was time to go back. So the clergyman thought 
it best to return to the old, or, rather I should say, the modem 
custom again, of uniting the services." 

" And yet," said Burnet, " the American Church has shortened 
the Lessons very much, Mr. Tiptop told us." 

" It may be so," I answered, " but it does not follow that it 
is a wise measure nevertheless, though far be it from me to say 
that it is otherwise. Still, of the two, the daughter should take 
pattern from the mother, rather than the mother from the daughter. 
And for myself I must say, that I have often been glad that the 
lessons are of considerable length, for two reasons especially." 

" What are they ?" he asked. 

** The one is," I replied, " that in very short readings it is not 
so easy to discover the general meaning and argument ; and the 
other, that if I have from any cause been inattentive in one part, 
I have not been so throughout. So also with respect to the 
Lord's Prayer, I have often and often been glad to have had a 
second and a third opportunity of joining in it with increased 
attention. Therefore, Will, I for one shall never give my vote 
to have the Service shortened in either of these ways ; and as to 
Mr. Tiptop's fine perspecius, or what he calls it, I don't think it 
worth a rush." 

To this Burnet answered, " that it was plainly of no use to 
reason with me, as he saw I was determined to keep to the old 
ways." 

** That I am," said I, " and think I have pretty good authority 
for it, authority somewhat more to be depended on than Mr, 
Tiptop's opinion." 

" But," continued Will, " I do still persist in affirming that 
great numbers of people are weary of the length of the Service, 
and that it would be but common kindness to see what can be 
done to relieve their grievance. And since nothing can be more 

4 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 11 

easy than just to omit a few prayers and other old-fashioned 
forms, and shorten the lessons, it would be a shame not to try it, 
and when it is done, every body will be pleased, and the Church 
establishment will be greatly strengthened." 

" Well," said I, " whatever effect such a measure might have 
on the Establishment i I am confident it would deeply injure the 
Church, And as to what you say about relieving a grievance, I 
wish you to consider this argument which I met with in a book 
of Sermons that was lent to me a few weeks ago. ' If people 
were weary merely of the length of the Service, they would be at 
least attentive at the beginning, and their weariness would come 
on by degrees ; but we know it is not so. Of the two, they are 
often more tired in the early part of the Service than in the later.' 
I do not remember the exact words, but such is the meaning." 

" Yes," he said, " that is because they care more about the 
sermon than they do about the Prayers and Lessons." 

" Very well," I replied, " you have supplied me with a strong 
argument against your own views. For by whose opinion do 
you think the Church ought to be chiefly guided, that of the few 
(if they be few) who delight in the Prayers and Lessons, or that 
of the many (if they be many) who are weary of them even from 
the beginning ?" 

** Why," he replied, ** I thought it was now almost universally 
agreed, that What most people think, is True — What most people 
determine, is Just — What most people like, is Good. Mr. Tiptop 
called these ' Three Grand Parliament Principles,' and we all 
admired them . " -j^, yyj^.v 

*' But, Will," I said, " suppose it should happen that ' What 
most people like' might be to get rid of the restraints of Religion 
altogether, I reckon you would not consider this a safe and good 
principle to be guided by ; and yet you may be sure that this, and 
nothing less than this, lies at the root of all these pretended 
Church Reforms. And as to the principal contriver of these de- 
ceits, the Great Reformer himself, I do not choose to mention his 
name to you, but I think you will find him spoken of, and his 
character awfully set forth, in the eighth chapter of St. John, and, 
if I recollect right, the 44th verse. 

" But really now, Will," I continued, " will you be kind 



12 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

enough to tell me, what are people hindered from by the length 
of the Service ? how comes it men's time is so much more precious 
now than it was formerly ? and if the Service were made shorter, 
how would they be better employed than in hearing God's holy 
word, and praying for His blessing on themselves and their 
friends ? 

" I say, Will, what do Farmer Yawn, and Ned Gape, and the 
rest of you do, who walk always so late into church ; are you 
spending your time any better than as if you came into God's 
house before the bell ceases ?" 

" As to that," said he, laughing, " we generally sit on the 
wall, at least when the weather is dry, and look at Ned's pigs, or 
talk over the news, or any thing, JMst to pass the time. But the 
farmer's rule is, to begin shaving just as the bells chime, and 
then he comes in at the first lesson as exact as clock-work, and 
we after him." 

" Then," said I, " why should you and he trouble about 
having the Service shortened, for I suppose, whatever were its 
length or shortness, you would always come in twenty minutes 
after it had begun." 

" That would be as we should please," he said. " However, 
I see plainly I shall never be able to reason you out of your 
bigoted old fashioned notions. I only wish I could bring you 
and Mr. Tiptop together. I think he would soon settle you and 
your arguments too ; he would quickly turn the laugh against 
you, I can assure you. Master Nelson." 

To this I answered, " that I had no reason to be afraid of 
Tiptop, his arguments, or his jests, but that I never would 
willingly go or stay in the company of persons who could make 
light of serious matters ; and I told Burnet, that I was sure, 
sooner or later, he would allow that I was right in this resolu- 
tion." 

" This, Sir, was the substance of my conversation with Will ; 
and if you should be disengaged next Sunday evening and dis- 
posed to see me, I should be glad to have a few more words with 
you on the same subject." 

To this I readily agreed, so we parted at his garden-gate ; and 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 13 

as I heard his door shut, I could not but say to myself, if happi- 
ness is to be found on earth it is in that cottage, and what is the 
precious secret whereby it has been attained ? No secret at all, 
(I answered myself) but simply the practice of " pure and unde- 
filed religion," " patient continuance in well doing," with " glory, 
honour, and immortality" in view. 

When he came to me into my study on the Sunday evening, 
according to appointment, he said that he really was anxious to 
know whether there was any truth in the report which Tiptop 
and others had so confidently spread about, that some alteration 
of the Prayer-book was intended, especially (as they said) for 
the purpose of making the Service more ' short and compact, and 
suitable to the taste of the times.' 

I answered, " that of course it was out of my power to say 
what our governors in Church or State might wish, but that I 
feared that in Religion, as in other matters, there was some reason 
to apprehend too great regard might be paid to popular fancies, 
even by those who are as far as possible from approving of 
them." 

" Sir," he replied very earnestly, " I hope and trust the Church 
Services will never be shortened one .sentence, line, or word. 
Grown people, Sir, are but children in Religion. If once you 
begin to yield to their indolence and dislike of trouble, you 
sanction the bad feeling, and it will go on increasing till it has 
eaten out the very heart of piety." 

" Yes," I replied, " I fully agree with you. And to say the 
truth, it is my firm opinion that if any alteration is necessary, it 
is the other way, that the Service should be longer instead of 
shorter. I mean, for instance, that the '* Prayer for Christ's 
Church Militant" should be regularly used as appointed, after the 
morning sermon when there is no Communion ; at least where it 
can be done without any great inconvenience, which possibly in 
some churches may not be the case. It is to my mind one of the 
most perfect of uninspired compositions, and it is greatly to be 
wished that it might be made familiar to every ear and every 
heart." 

" Sir," said he, " I have often thought so. Still at the best 



14 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

our weakness is great : ' the corruptible body,' as the wise man 
says, ' presses down the soul ;' and I suppose it is the case with 
all of us occasionally, and even when we would most earnestly 
deplore and strive against it, that our thoughts are apt to wander 
and our devotions to be cold. Whenever, therefore, I have 
found myself disposed to be weary of God's house and service, or 
have heard others complaining of the tediousness of the Prayers 
and Lessons, I have said to myself, — if David, the Prince 'of Peni- 
tents, were here now, would he speak or think thus, he who 
desired to abide in God's tabernacle for ever — who envied (as it 
were) the sparrows and the swallows their continual abode under 
the sacred roof — who, when shut out, or far away, longed, yea, 
even fainted for the courts of the Lord, as a hart thirsting for the 
water brooks ! If holy Daniel, that greatest of statesmen, that 
real " man of business ;" if he were among us now — he, who in a 
far distant land, and prime minister to the greatest of earthly 
kings, would yet let no day pass in which he would not thrice 
find or make leisure to offer solemn prayers to the God of his 
fathers, his windows being open in his chamber towards Jerusa- 
lem, where lay the temple of his God in ruins ; that as he could 
not be there in person, he would be so in heart and mind, would 
he say that our Church Service is too long ? If St. Paul, that 
most heroic, and (if there were such a word,) that most unselfish 
of men, — if he were now among us, would he be weary of our 
Lessons, Prayers, and Creeds, — he, whose conversation and home 
was in heaven — who desired to depart and to be with Christ, 
and who calls on all true Christians to *' hold fast the form of 
sound words," in Christian faith and love ! Or the beloved John, 
the last and greatest of prophets, — weary, not of his Lord's 
service, but of being kept so long from His presence — would 
he, and all the other holy men of every age, prophets, apostles, 
martyrs, confessors, and saints, whether of the Patriarchal, Jew- 
ish, or Christian Churches, would they complain of our Services 
being too long 1 

" O no, Sir, that is not to be imagined. So neither ought we 
to complain, heirs with them of the same promises, and looking 
to meet them herealter hi our one great eternal Home," 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 16 

*' Richard," I replied, " you say true. As it is dangerous for 
an individual to take for his guidance any but a perfect pattern of 
Christian conduct, so is it dangerous for the Church to follow 
any but a perfect model of Christian worship, so far as perfec- 
tion can be obtained. Her rules should be framed not according 
to what people are, but to what they ought to he : otherwise you 
must plainly see that a door will be at once opened for number- 
less errors as well in doctrine as in practice." urai 

" Yes, Sir, I see it," he replied. *' And, therefore, it seems to 
me, that when on such subjects popular opinion runs vehemently 
in a wrong direction, (or if not wrong, at least questionable,) 
that then it is not the best time, but the very worst possible, 
for yielding to its fancies. So that even if it should be, 
at any time, necessary or expedient (which I cannot think it 
ever will be) to shorten the Church Services, yet then is the very 
worst of all times to set about it, when there is the greatest 
demand for it." 

" You are quite right," I said, " beyond all doubt. But I 
think it would be a great support to the good cause, that is, 
to the cause of God, and truth, the Church, and the Prayer 
Book ; and also a great encouragement to such among us of the 
clergy as desire to stand in the old paths ; if in every parish a 
few serious thinking persons would consider of drawing up and 
signing a solemn address to their respective Bishops, plainly say- 
ing that they utterly disapprove of all plans whatever for shorten- 
ing the Church Service, unless some urgent cause should arise, 
stronger than they have ever yet heard ; and that as churchmen 
they never can or will consent to any such plans of miscalled 
Church reform. For you know, Richard, laymen are quite as 
much part of the Church 2ls the clergy ; and it is your right 
and duty to stand up in its defence, as much as it is ours." 

*' Sir," he replied, " you may be sure I would gladly sign such 
a declaration as this you propose, and I think I know four or five 
more who would sign it also with all their hearts. 

" That will be sufficient," I said, " for our parish, for no doubt 
the Bishops will estimate the value of such addresses, not by the 
quantity, but by the quality of those who sign them — not by the 



16 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

number of names, but by the worth of those who bear them, 
their honesty, piety, and truth." 

So we agreed that an address of this kind should be prepared, 
and kept ready to be presented to the Bishop whenever circum- 
stances should seem to require. 

Not of course that we were so vain as to expect that our ex- 
ertions could be of much avail ; but still, as Richard said, " We 
cannot stand by and see the noble old Prayer Book pulled to 
pieces, just to humour a mob of Tiptops, Gapes, and Yawns." 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St, Matthew, 1834. 



ERRATA in No. 41. 

P. 5. 1. 3. from bottom, /or one, read me. 

P. 10. 1. 4. from bottom, /o?- eccelsiae, read ecclesiae. 

P. 12. 1. 2. from bottom, for conies, it is, read comes of it. 



These Tractsare j)ublished monthly ^ and sold at the i^rice of 2d* 
for each sheet, or Is. for 50 copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and waterlog place. 

1834. 

Gilbert & Hivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



A'o. 44.] f/ld Populum.) [Price Id. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



BISHOP WILSON'S MEDITATIONS ON HIS SACRED 

OFFICE. 

No. 2.— MONDAY. 



Question from the Office of Consecration. — Are you persuaded 

THAT THE HoLY ScRIPTURES CONTAIN SUFFICIENTLY ALL DOC- 
TRINE REQUIRED OF NECESSITY TO ETERNAL SALVATION THROUGH 

FAITH IN Jesus Christ ? And are you determined, out of 
THE same Holy Scriptures, to instruct the people com- 
mitted TO YOUR CHARGE, AND TO TEACH OR MAINTAIN NOTHING 
AS REQUIRED OF NECESSITY TO ETERNAL SALVATION, BUT THAT 
WHICH YOU SHALL BE PERSUADED MAY BE CONCLUDED AND PROVED 
BY THE SAME ? AnS. I AM SO PERSUADED AND DETERMINED BY 

God's grace. 

Question. — Will you then faithfully exercise yourself 

IN THE SAME HoLY SCRIPTURES, AND CALL UPON GoD BY PRAYER 
FOR THE TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SAME ; SO AS YOU MAY 
BE ABLE BY THEM TO TEACH AND EXHORT WITH WHOLESOME 

DOCTRINE, AND TO WITHSTAND AND CONVINCE GAINSAYERS ? 

AnS. I WILL DO SO BY THE HELP OF GoD. 

O God, the fountain of all wisdom, enlighten my mind, that I 
myself may see, and be able to teach others, the wonders of Thy 
law ; that I may learn from Thee, what I ought to think and 
speak concerning Thee ; and that whatever in Thy Holy Word 
I shall profitably learn, I may in deed fulfil the same. Direct 
and bless all my labours. Give me a discerning spirit, a sound 
judgment, and an honest and a religious heart, that in all my 
studies, my first aim may be to set forth Thy glory, by setting 
forward the salvation of men. And if, by my ministry, Thy 
kingdom shall be enlarged, let me, in all humility, ascribe the 
success, not unto myself, but unto Thy Good Spirit, which enables 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

US both to will and to do what is acceptable to Thee, through 
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Luke xxiv. 45. "Then opened He their understanding, that 
they might understand the Scriptures." O Jesus, cause me to 
read, to understand, to love, to practise, and to preach Thy 
word 

Luke xxii. 32. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy 
brethren." God grant that we may all of us consider the absur- 
dity of going about to convert others, without being converted our- 
selves. To understand the Holy Scriptures aright, is to under- 
stand them as the Primitive Church did. 

1 Sam. iii. 9. " Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." 
Speak to my hearty that I may obey Thy word. " Teach me to 
do Thy will, for thou art my God." It belongs to God, to give 
the true understanding of His own word. 

Matt. vii. 5. "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out 
of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the 
mote out of thy brother's eye." That is, purify your own heart 
from all worldly aims ; mortify your own passions, which are the 
cause of your blindness ; study that Word which alone can en- 
lighten you ; and lay aside all prejudices which are contrary to 
piety. A Pastor should never undertake to teach a virtue which 
he has never practised himself. 

Luke V. 5. " We have toiled all the night, and taken nothing." 
So does every preacher, who does not beg God's blessing upon 
his labours. It is impossible for any man to teach well, who 
does not live well 

John vii. 16. " My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent 
Me." To preach our own thoughts, forsaking God's word, is like 
an ambassador, who neglects his prince's instructions, and fol- 
lows his own fancy. With what truth can it be said, that " the 
sheep hear his voice," when the shepherd speaks of things, or in 
such a manner, as is above their capacity ? . . . . 

Sermons 

Should be instructions, not declamations, or displaying curious 
thoughts, which may amuse, but not edify Christians. 

If God suffers even an holy pastor not presently to see the fruits 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

of his labours, it is to convince him, that the success of his labours 
belongs to God ; that he ought to humble himself, and pray much, 
and fear lest the fault should be in himself. 

Pride and irreligion meet with darkness in the midst of light ; 
raise vain disputes, unprofitable reflections and inquiries ; vi^hile 
humility attains to light, in the midst of darkness and difliculties. 

Whenever God vouchsafes to open the heart, be the under- 
standing and parts never so small, w^e see the reasonableness and 
beauty of His Word, we taste the sweetness, and feel the power 
thereof. 

John xii. 16. "These things understood not His disciples at 
the first ; but, when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they 
that these things were written of Him, and that they had done 
these things unto Him." We often read Scripture, without 
comprehending its full meaning ; however, let us not be dis- 
couraged; the light, in God's good time, will break out, and 
disperse the darkness, and we shall see the mysteries of the 
Gospel. Grant me, O Lord, a persevering love of Thy Word, 
and so much light, as is necessary for myself, and those that 
hear me. 

John xii. 30. " Jesus said, This voice came not for Me, but 
for your sakes." The way to profit by reading the sacred Scrip- 
tures, is, to apply to ourselves that which is spoken in general to 
all ; this truth, this command, this threat, this promise, this inti- 
mation, is to me 

Acts i. 1. " The former treatise have I made of all that Jesus 
began both to do and teach." This is the whole of a Pastor's 
life. For a man to preach the Gospel before he has practised it, 

is to be a very bad imitator of the Prince of Pastors More 

sinners are converted by holy, than by learned men Who 

can say it is not owing to himself, that his flock are ignorant of 
their duty ? 

Col. iv. 4. " That I may make it manifest, as I ought to 
speak." All preachers do not speak as they ought, A man may 
have the skill to give Christian truths a turn agreeable to the 
hearers, without affecting their hearts 

2 Tim. iv. 1, 2. &c. '* I charge thee, before God and the 
Lord Jesus Christ, preach the Word. Be instant in season, 



TRACTS VOK nil. IIMKS, 

out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering 
and gravity. For the time will come, when they will not endure 
sound doctrine, &c. . . . Preaching is a duty, hut not the only 
duty of a Pastor. He is to take all occasions to instruct those 
that seek the truth ; refute such as oppose it ; reprove those that 
do not practise it ; and confirm such as have embraced it. And 
the more we perceive the times of Apostasy approaching, the 
more zealous ought we to be to defend sound doctrine. It will 
be no comfort to a Pastor, that the world praises him for some 
one part of his duty, while God condemns him for the neglect of 

another 

Reading Scripture. 

John xvi. 13. "The Holy Spirit shall lead you into all 

truth." O Holy Spirit, make me to understand, embrace, 

and love the truths of the Gospel. Give, O God, Thy blessing 

unto Thy Word, that it may become effectual to my conversion 

and salvation, and to the salvation of all that read or hear it 

Let Thy gracious promises, O God, contained in Thy Word, 
quicken my obedience. Let Thy dreadful threatenings and 
judgments upon sinners, fright me from sin, and oblige me to a 
speedy repentance, for Jesus Christ His sake. . . . Grant, O 
Lord, that in reading Thy Holy Word, I may never prefer my 
private sentiments before those of the Church in the purely an- 
cient time of Christianity. Give me a full persuasion of those 

great truths, which Thou hast revealed in Thy Holy Word 

From hardness of heart and contempt of Thy Word, Good Lord, 

deliver us 

Matt. xiii. 36. " Declare unto us this parable." This should 
instruct us, that the knowledge of God's Word, and the mysteries 
of the Gospel, are favours which we must always beg of. God. 

OXFORD. 

The Feast of St. Michael. 

These Tracts are published Monthly^ and sold at the price of 
2d, for each sheets or 7s. for 50 copies. 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH Tf ARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE. 

1834. 

Gilbert & Rivington, Printers. St. John's Square, London. 



No. 45.] C^d Clerum.) [Price U. 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



THE GROUNDS OF OUR FAITH. 



I 



Every system of theology has its dangers, its tendencies towards 
evil. Systems short of the truth have this tendency inherent 
in themselves, and in process of time discover it, and work out 
the anticipated evil, which is but the legitimate though latent 
consequence of their principles. Thus, we may consider the 
present state of Geneva the fair result on the long run of the 
system of self-will which was established there in the sixteenth 
century. But even the one true system of religion has its dan- 
gers on all sides, from the weakness of its recipients, who pervert 
it. Thus the Holy Catholic doctrines, in which the Church was 
set up, were corrupted into Popery, not legitimately, or necessa- 
rily, but by various external causes acting on human corruption, 
in the lapse of many ages. St. Paul's command of obedience to 
rulers, was changed into the tyrannical rule of one Bishop over 
all countries ; his recommendation of an unmarried life, for cer- 
tain religious objects, was made a rule of celibacy in the case of 
the clergy. Now, let us ask, what are the bad tendencies of 
Protestantism ? for this is a question which nearly concerns 
ourselves. We are nearly 300 years from its rise in this country ; 
have any evils yet shewn themselves from it ? It is not here 
proposed to examine the question at large ; but a hint on one 
part of the subject, may be made in answer to it. 

At the Reformation, the authority of the Church was discarded 
by the spirit then predominant among Protestants, and Scripture 
was considered as the sole document both for ascertaining and 

A 



^ TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

proving our faith. The question immediately arose, ** Is this or 
that doctrine in Scripture ?" — and in consequence, various intel- 
lectual gifts, such as argumentative subtilty, critical acumen, 
knovi^ledge of the languages, rose into importance, and became 
the interpreters of Christian truth. Exposition lay through con- 
troversy. Now the natural effect of disputation is to make us 
shun all but the strongest proofs, those which an adversary will 
find substantial impediments in his line of reasoning; and, 
therefore, to generate a cautious, discriminative turn of thought, 
to fix in the mind a standard of proof simulating demon- 
stration, and to make light of mere probabilities. This intellectual 
habit, resulting from controversy, would also arise from the pecu- 
liar exercises of thought necessary for the accurate scholar or 
antiquarian. It followed, that in course of time, all the delicate 
shades of truth and falsehood, the unobtrusive indications of 
God's will, the low tones of the " still small voice," in which 
Scripture abounds, were rudely rejected ; the crumbs from the 
rich man's table, which Faith eagerly looks about for, were 
despised by the proud-hearted intellectualist, who, (as if it were 
a favour in him to accept the Gospel,) would be content with no- 
thing short of certainty, and ridiculed as superstitious and illogical 
whatever did not approve itself to his own cold, hard, and unim- 
passioned temper. For instance, if the cases of Lydia, of the jailor, 
of Stephanas, were brought to shew our Lord's wish as to the 
baptism of households, the actions of his apostles to interpret his 
own commands, it was answered ; " This is no satisfactory proof; 
it is not certain that every one of those households was not him- 
self a believer ; it is not certain there were any children among 
them :" — though surely, in as many as three households, the 
probability is on the side which the Church has taken, especially 
viewing the texts in connexion with our Saviour's words, ** Suffer 
the little children," &c. Again, while the observance of the 
Lord's day was grounded upon t)ie practice of the apostles, it was 
somehow felt, that this proof was not strong enough to bind the 
mass of Protestants : and so the chief argument now in use is one 
drawn from the Jewish law, viz., the direct Scripture command, 
contained in the fourth commandment. 

Our Saviour has noticed the frame of mind here alluded to, in 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 3 

Mark viii. 11, 12, where his feelings and judgment upon it are 
also told us : — " And the Pharisees came forth, and began to 
question with Him, seeking of Him a sign from heaven^ tempting 
Him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit ^ and saith, Why doth 
this generation seek after a sign ? Verily I say unto you, There 
shall no sign he given unto this generation. And He left them." 

We are warned against the same hard, intractable temper in the 
book of Psalms : — " I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way 
wherein thou shalt go ; and I will guide thee with Mine eye. 
Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding ; 
whose mouths must be held with hit and bridle, lest they fall upon 
thee." Ps. xxxii. 9, 10. This stubborn spirit, which yields to 
nothing but violence, is determined to feel Christ's yoke ere it 
submits to it, will not see except in broad day-light, and like the 
servant who hid his talent, is ever making excuses, murmuring, 
doubting, grudging obedience, and stifling docile and open-hearted 
faith, is the spirit of ultra-Protestantism, i. e. that spirit, to which 
the principles of Protestantism tend, and which they have in a 
great measure realized. On this subject the reader may consult 
Nos. 4. 8, and 19, of this series of Tracts. 

Now to apply this to the doctrines, at present so much under- 
valued, which it is the especial object of these Tracts to enforce. 

When a clergyman has spoken strongly in defence of Episcopacy, 
a hearer will go away saying, that there is much very able and 
forcible, much very eloquent and excellent, in what he has just 
heard ; but after all, there is very little about Episcojiacy in Scrip- 
ture. This is the point to which a shrewd, clear-headed reasoner 
will resort, — " after all ;" we come round and round to it ; the doc- 
! trine advocated is plausible, useful, generally received hitherto; — 
'granted, — but Scripture says very little about it. 

Now it cannot be for a moment allowed, that Scripture contains 
little on the subject of Church Government ; though it may 
readily be granted that it obtrudes on the reader little about it. 
The doctrine is in it, not on it ; not on the surface. This need 
not be proved here, since the subject has been variously considered 
in former Numbers of this series. But it may be useful in a few 
words to shew how the state of the argument and controversy con- 
cerning Episcopacy, illustrates the above remarks, and how 

a2 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 



parallel it is to the state in which other religious truths are 
found, which no Churchman ventures to dispute. 

1. Now in the first place, let us suppose, for the sake of 
argument, that Episcopacy is in fact not at all mentioned in 
Scripture : even then it would be our duty to receive it. Why ? 
because the first Christians received it. If we wish to get at the 
truth, no matter how we get at it, if we get at it. If it be a fact, 
that the earliest Christian communities were universally episcopal, 
it is a reason for our maintaining Episcopacy ; and in proportion 
to our conviction, is it incumbent on us to maintain it. 

Nor can it be fairly dismissed as a non-essential, an ordinance 
indifferent and mutable, though formerly existing over Christen- 
dom; for, who made us judges of essentials and non-essentials? 
how do we determine them ? In the Jewish law, the slightest 
transgression of the commandment was followed by the penalty of 
death ; vide Lev. viii. 35 ; x. 6. Does not its universality imply 
a necessary connexion with Christian doctrine ? Consider how 
such reasonings would carry us through life ; how the business 
of the world depends on punctuality in minutes ; how " great a 
matter" a mere spark dropped on gunpowder " kindleth." 

But, it may be urged, that we Protestants believe the Scrip- 
tures to contain the whole rule of duty. — Certainly not ; they 
constitute a rule of faith, not a rule of practice ; a rule of 
doctrine, not a rule of conduct or discipline. Where (e. g.) are 
we told in Scripture, that gambling is wrong? or again, suicide ? 
Our Article is precise ; " Holy Scripture containeth all things 
necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, &c. 
is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an 
article oi faith." Again it says, that the Apocrypha is not to be 
applied " to establish any doctrine," implying that this is the use 
of the canonical books. 

2. However, let us pass from this argument, which is but 
founded on a supposition, that Episcopacy is not enjoined in Scrip- 
ture. Suppose we maintain, as we may well maintain, that it is 
enjoined in Scripture. An objector will say, that, at all events it 
is but obscurely contained therein, and cannot be drawn out from 
it without a great deal of delicate care and skill. Here comes in 
the operation of that principle oi faith in opposition to criticism, 

7 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 5 

which was above explained ; the principle of being content with 
a little light, where we cannot obtain sunshine. If it is probably 
pleasing to Christ, let us maintain it. Now take a parallel case : 
e. g. the practice of infant baptism ; where is this enjoined in 
Scripture ? No where. Why do we observe it ? Because the 
primitive Church observed it, and because the Apostles in Scrip- 
ture appear to have sanctioned it, though this is not altogether 
certain from Scripture. In a difficult case we do as well as we 
can, and carefully study what is most agreeable to our Lord and 
Saviour. This is how our Church expresses it in the xxviith 
Article : " The baptism of young children is in any wise to be 
retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of 
Christ." This is true wariness and Christian caution ; very dif- 
ferent jfrom that spurious caution which ultra-Protestantism 
exercises. Let a man only be consistent, and apply the same 
judgment in the case of Episcopacy: let him consider whether 
the duty of keeping to Bishops, be not " most agreeable with the 
institution of Christ." If, indeed, he denies this altogether, these 
remarks do not apply ; but they are addressed to waverers, and 
falsely moderate men, who cannot deny, that the evidence of 
Scripture is in favour of Churchmen, but say it is not strong 
enough. They say, that if Almighty God had intended an 
uniformity in Church Government among Christians, he would 
have spoken more clearly. 

Now if they carried on this line of argument consistently, 
they would not baptize their children: happily they are incon- 
sistent. It would be more happy still, were they consistent on 
the other side ; and, as they baptize their children, because it is 
safer to observe than to omit the sacrament, did they also keep 
to the Church, as the safer side. The received practice, then, of 
infant baptism seems a final answer to all who quarrel with the 
Scripture evidence for Episcopacy. 

3. But further still, infant baptism, like Episcopacy, is but 
a case of discipline. What shall we say, when we consider that 
a case of doctrine, necessary doctrine, doctrine the very highest 
and most sacred, may be produced, where the argument lies as 
little on the surface of Scripture, — where the proof, though most 
conclusive, is as indirect and circuitous as that for Episcopacy ; 



6 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

viz. the doctrine of the Trinity ? Where is this solemn and 
comfortable mystery formally stated in Scripture, as we find it 
in the creeds ? Why is it not ? Let a man consider whether all 
the objections which he urges against the Scripture argument for 
Episcopacy may not be turned against his own belief in the 
Trinity. It is a happy thing for themselves that men are incon- 
sistent ; yet it is miserable to advocate and establish a principle, 
which, not in their own case indeed, but in the case of others 
who learn it of them, leads to Socinianism. This being consi- 
dered, can we any longer wonder at the awful fact, that the 
descendants of Calvin, the first Presbyterian, are at the present 
day in the number of those who have denied the Lord who 
bought them ? 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St. Luke. 



These Tracts are published Monthly, and sold at the price of 
2d, for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies, 

LONDON : PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place. 

1834. 

Gilbert & Rivinoton, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



In a few days will appear, 
THE FIRST VOLUME 

OF THE 

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES, 

CONTAINING THE NUMBERS PUBLISHED DURING THE 
ACADEMICAL YEAR JUST CONCLUDED, 

AND ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THEIR SUBJECT?. 



PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. Paul's church yard, and Waterloo place, London 
AND SOLD BY ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS. 



r s-ih*!] v^.wwWtjo^ »Vv> ' .<)h 



adMiT 3HT flOi aTJAAT 



:s. aiH KO gikroiTATiaaM a'Koaaiw <ioHfciis 






boaasiii 



A^o. 46.] (Ad Poputum.) IPrice Id. 



TRACTS FOR THE TLMES. 



BISHOP WILSON'S MEDITATIONS ON HIS SACRED 
OFFICE. 

No. 3.— TUESDAY. 



r 



Question from the Office of Ordination. — Are you ready, 

WITH ALL FAITHFUL DILIGENCE, TO BANISH AND DRIVE AWAY 
ALL ERRONEOUS AND STRANGE DOCTRINE, CONTRARY TO God's 
WORD ; AND BOTH PRIVATELY AND OPENLY TO CALL UPON AND 
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME? AnS. I AM READY^ 

THE Lord being my helper. 

Blessed be the good providence of God, who, in great compas- 
sion for this Church and Nation, has hitherto preserved us from 
heresies and schisms. 

O Lord, continue to us this great mercy, and grant that we, 
who are appointed to watch over Thy flock, may employ our 
learning and our time in promoting of true piety ; that we may 
never grow secure and careless, but that we may endeavour to 
secure the power, as well as the form of godliness. Have pity 
upon all Christian Churches, that are distracted by contending 
parties, and reduce all that wander out of the way. Enable us 
to preserve this Church in peace and unity, by all means becom* 
ing the spirit of the Gospel. Keep us stedfast in the faith, that 
we may never be tossed about with any wind of doctrine, or the 
craft of men. Let the zeal and industry of those that are in 
error provoke us to be zealously affected in a righteous cause ; in 
labouring to make men good, and in converting sinners from the 
error of their ways ; which God grant for Jesus Christ's sake. 
— Amen. 

*' But," the Bishop, " himself also, as his important affairs will 
permit him, shall use his best endeavour by instruction, per- 

A 



2 TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

suasion, and all good means he can devise, to reclaim both Ihem 
and all other within his Diocese so affected." — Canon 6&th, 

2 Tim. iv. 3. "The time will come when they will not 
endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap 
to themselves teadhets, having itching fears." 

N. B. We are now in these sad times, and it behoves all faith- 
ful Pastors to know it. It is not the doctrine of the Gospel, if 
it favours men's lusts. They that will not receive, or who reject, 
the truth, are often judicially punished with a greediness to re- 
ceive errors, falsehoods, and fables. '• 

Ver. 5. " Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, make 
full proof of (or fulfil) thy ministry." He that is wanting in any 
essential part, is wanting to his own salvation. 

Lord, Thou art just in all the troubles which Thou hast 
brought upon this Church and Nation. Yet, O Lord, have 
mercy upon us, and restore to us that peace and unity which mc 
once enjoyed. 

Matt. vii. 20. " By their fruits ye shall know them." Tliis 
rule, though given by Christ himself, is seldom observed. The 
best fruits are counted as nothing, are overlooked, and often con- 
demned by those who have none good to show. Hence, all the 
evils the Church suffers. 

Matt. xiii. 25. " But while men slept, his enemy came and 
sowed tares among the wheat." O Jesu, awaken the Pastors of 
Thy flock, and open their eyes, that they may perceive the tares 
which choke the seed, — the wolves which destroy Thy sheep. 

A mixture of good and bad in the Church is necessary to 
instruct, exercise, purify, sanctify, and keep the righteous in 
humility. ) -- , ., 

Matt. xiii. 29. " Nay, lest, while ye gather up the<taf9M,vye 
root up also the wheat with them." A zeal not regulated by this 
prohibition, allows no time to the good to grow strong in goodness, 
or to the wicked to forsake their evil ways ; but chooses rather 
to destroy the good, provided they can but destroy the bad. 

Rev. ii. 14, 20. " I have a few things against thee, because thou 
hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught 
Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to 
eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Thou 

4 



TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 3 

ufFerest that woman Jezebel to teach and to seduce my servants 
10 commit fornication." How dreadful is the government of the 
Church, wherein a man must answer for those sins which he does 
not hinder ! To tolerate by silence those who favour and pro- 
mote sin, Jesus Christ rebukes in the persons of these Bishops. 

O my Saviour ! Thou who givest me this warning, enable 
me to profit by it. Assist me, in this day of trial, effectually to 
oppose and suppress that spirit of impurity, idolatry, profaner 
ness, and irreligion, which is broken in upon us. 

If for fear of offending men, or from a false love of peace, we 
forbear to defend the truth, we betray and abandon it. 

Acts xxviii. 29. " And when he had said these things, — the 
Jews had great reasonings among themselves." A preacher of 
the truth is not to be blamed for the contests which it gives oc- 
casion to carnal men to raise. Even Christ Himself could not 
preacii without disturbing sinners ; — and if He came not to bring 
peace on earth, but a sword of division. His Ministers ought to 
expect to do the same. 

It is not by the heat of disputation, but by the gentleness of 
charity, that souls are gained over to God. And when contro- 
versy is necessary, as sometimes it is, let it never be managed 
with harshness, bitterness, or severity, lest it exasperate and 
harden, more than convert and edify. A prudent condescension 
has often prevailed upon the weak, and rendered them capable of 
hearkening to reason, when the contrary conduct would have 
removed them farther from the light. 

We ought to avoid evil men and seducers, in order to shame 
them; — to deprive them of that credit, whereby they may do 
hurt ; — to make them to return to a right mind ; — and that we 
may avoid the snare ourselves. 

Disputes. 

tr^^Tfee primitive Fathers were ever modest upon religious ques- 
tions. They contented themselves with resolving such questions 
as were proposed to them, without starting new ones ; and care- 
fully suppressed the curious, restless temper. 

May I receive from Thee, O God, at all times, the rules of my 
behaviour on these occasions. 



« TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 

God judges otherwise than we do of these things. He knows 
the good He intends to bring out of evil, — either for the sanctifi- 
cation of the righteous, — conversion of the wicked, by His good- 
ness in bearing with them, — or leaving them without excuse. 

One single soul is worth the utmost pains of the greatest Minis- 
ter of Christ. But, then, let us take care, when it is brought 
into the fold, that he be a better Christian than before, — that he 
be not two-fold more the child of hell than before. 

Oxford, 
The Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude. 



Tlicse Tracts are published Monthly, and sold at the price oj 
2d. for each sheets or "is. for 50 copies. 

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON, 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE. 
1834. 

GiLBEttT& RiviNOTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London. 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. I. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and Martyr, is reported to 
have been the child whom Christ took into His arms, in order to 
give His disciples a pattern of Christian humbleness. But, however 
this was, he certainly was a disciple and friend of the Apostles, 
particularly St. Peter and St. John. 

St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have laid on him their hands, 
and made him Bishop of Antioch. In A. D. 106, when he had 
been Bishop nearly 40 years, the persecuting Emperor Trajan 
came to Antioch ; and on finding Ignatius resolute in confessing 
the faith of Christ, he ordered him to be carried prisoner to Rome, 
and there thrown to the beasts in the idolatrous heathen shows, a 
command which was strictly obeyed. During his journey, he wrote 
letters to various Churches, by way of taking leave of them, and 
to confirm them in Christian zeal, love, and unity ; and these by 
God's good providence are preserved to us. They are especially 
valuable to us at the present day, as shewing us how important it 
is, in the judgment of this blessed Martyr, to honor and obey our 
Bishops. They are as follows. — 



Epistle of Tgnathis, the friend of St. Peter, on the way to 
Martyrdom,' to the Ejihesiuns. 



Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to her who is blessed in the 
greatness and fulness of God the Father ; to the predestinate be- 
fore all worlds to be ever in marvellous glory unchangeable, united, 
and elect through the true Passion, through the will of the Father 
and Jesus Christ our God ; to the truly beatified Church, which 
is in Ephesus of Asia, all health in Jesus Christ and in unspotted 
grace. 

I. I WELCOME in God's behalf that well-beloved name, which 
ye have attained in all righteousness, according to the Faith and 
Love which is in Jesus Christ our Saviour, for that being 
followers of God, and kindling the inward flame by the blood of 
God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work that belonged to 
you, when ye heard that I came bound from Syria, for the common 
name and hd))e ; trusting through your prayers to fight with beasts 
at Rome, that so by suffering I may become indeed the Disciple 
of Him "who gave himself to God, an Offering and Sacrifice 
" for us.*' How many ye be, that be called by the name of God, 
I have heard from Onesimus, whose love is beyond all words, 
your Bishop according to the flesh ; whom I beseech you, by Jesus 
Christ, to love, and that ye would all be like unto him. And 
blessed be God, who has granted unto you, who are so worthy of 
him, to f njoy such a Bishop. 

n. As to my fellow-servant Burrhus, who is your most blessed 
Deacon, in things pertaining to GoD, I pray that he may abide 
with you to the honour both of you and of your Bishop. And 
Crocus, also, worthy both of God and you, whom I have re- 
ceived as the sample of your love, has in all things refreshed 
me, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ shall also re- 
fresh him ; together with Onesimus, and Burrhus, and Euplus, 
and Fronto, in seeing whom I have seen the love of you all. 
And may I always have joy of you, if I be worthy of it ! It 
is therefore fitting that you should by all means glorify Jesus 



Christ, who hath glorified you : that by a unitbrm obedience, 
" Ye may be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in 
" the same judgment ; and may all speak the same thing :" and 
that being subject to your Bishop, and his Presbytery, ye may be 
sanctified in all things. 

III. These things I prescribe to you, not as if I were some- 
body ; for though I am bound for His name, I am not yet per- 
fect in Christ Jesus. But now I begin to learn, and I speak 
to you as Fellow-Disciples together with me. For I ought to 
have been stirred up by you in Faith, in Admonition, in Patience, 
in Long-suffering. But forasmuch as Charity suffers me not to 
be silent towards you, I have first taken upon me to exhort you, 
that ye would all concur in the mind of God. For Jesus 
Christ, our inseparable Life, is the Mind of the Father ; like 
as the Bishops, appointed even unto the utmost bounds of the 
earth, are after the mind of Jesus Christ. 

IV. Wherefore it will become you to concur in the mind of 
your Bishops, as also ye do. For your famous Presbytery, worthy 
of God, is knit as closely to its Bishop, as the strings to a harp. 
Therefore by your unanimity and harmonious love Jesus Christ 
is sung ; and each of you taketh part in the chorus : that so 
being attuned together in one mind, and taking up the song of 
God, ye may with one voice, and in a perfect unity, sing to the 
Father by Jesus Christ ; to the end that by this means He may 
both hear you, and perceive by your works, that ye are indeed 
the members of His Son. Wherefore it is profitable for you to 
live in blameless unity, that so ye may always have fellowship with 
God. 

V. For if I in this little time have held such communion with 
your Bishop, I mean not earthly, but spiritual ; how much more 
must I think you blessed, who are so joined to him, as the Church 
is to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ to the Father ; that so 
all things may agree in the same unity .'' Let no man deceive him- 
self ; if a man be not within the altar, he faileth of the bread 
of God. For if the prayer of one or two be of such force, as we 
are told, how much more that of the Bishop and the whole Church ? 
He, therefore, that does not come together into the same place 
with it, is proud, and has already condemned himself. For it is 
written, " God resisteth the proud." Let us take heed therefore. 



that we do not set ourselves against the Bishop, that we may be 
set under God. 

VI. And the more any seeth his Bishop keep silence, the more 
let him reverence him. For whomsoever the master of the house 
sendeth to his own household, we ought so to receive, as we would 
him that sent him. It is plain then that we ought to look to the 
Bishop, even as to the Lord himself. And truly Onesimus him- 
self doth greatly commend your good order in God : in that ye 
all live according to the truth, and that no heresy dwelleth among 
you, but ye hearken to no man above Jesus Christ, speaking to 
you in truth. 

VII. For some there are who carry about the name of Christ 
in deceitfulness, and do many things unworthy of God ; whom ye 
must flee, as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, 
which bite secretly ; against whom ye must guard yourselves, as 
hardly to be cured. .There is one Physician, both Fleshly and 
Spiritual ; Begotten, not Made ; God incarnate ; true Life in Death ; 
both of Mary and of God ; first made subject to suffering, then 
liable to suffer no^more. 

VIII. Wherefore let no man deceive you ; as indeed neither 
are ye deceived, being wholly the servants of God. For inas- 
much as there is no contention nor strife among you, to trouble 
you, surely ye live according to God's Will. My soul be for 
yours ; and I myself the expiatory offering for your church of 
Ephesus, so famous to all ages. They that are of the flesh cannot 
do the works of the spirit ; neither they that are of the spirit the 
works of the flesh ; as also faith cannot do the works of un- 
faithfulness ; neither unfaithfulness the works of faith. But even 
those things which ye do according to the flesh are spiritual ; for- 
asmuch as ye do all things in Jesus Christ. 

IX. Nevertheless I have heard of some who have gone to yr)n, 
having perverse doctrine ; who^i ye did not suffer to sow amo;;.: 
you ; but stopped your ears, that ye might not receive thosj 
things that were sown by them : as being the stones of the tem- 
ple of the Father, prepared for His building ; and drawn up on 
high by the cross of Christ, as by an engine ; using the Holy 
Ghost as the line by which to ascend : your faith being your 
support, and your charity the way that leads you up unto God. 
Ye therefore, with all the companious of your way, arc full of 



God, of His spiritual temple, of Christ, of the Holy One: 
adorned in all things with the commands of Christ ; through 
whom also I triumph, in that I have been thought worthy by this 
present Epistle to hold converse with you ; and to joy together, 
that having regard to the other life, ye love nothing but God 
only. 

X. Pray also without ceasing for all men ; for there is hope 
of repentance in them, that they may attain unto God. Suffer 
them therefore to learn from you, if only from your works. 
Against their raging, be ye mild ; against their boasting, be ye 
lowly-minded ; against their blasphemies, oppose your prayers ; 
against their errors, be ye " stedfast in the faith ;'* against their 
cruelty, be ye gentle : not striving to imitate them again, let us 
be found their brethren in all kindness, but imitators of the 
Lord ; if any one be more than other either injured, or de- 
frauded, or despised ; that so no plant of the devil be found in 
you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety both of body 
and spirit, in Christ Jesus. 

XI. The last times are come upon us : let us therefore be very 
reverent, and fear the long-suflfering of God, that it be not to us 
unto condemnation. For let us either fear the wrath that is to 
come, or be thankful for present grace ; one of the two ; only to 
be found in Christ Jesus, unto true life. Besides Him, let 
nothing be worthy of you ; for whom also I bear about these bonds, 
those spiritual jewels in which I would to God, that through 
your prayers, I might rise again ; of which may I ever partake, 
that I may be found in the lot of the Christians of Ephesus, who 
have always agreed with the Apostles, through the power of Jesus 
Christ. 

Xn. I know both who I am, and to whom I write ; I, a man 
condemned ; ye, such as have obtained mercy : I, exposed to 
danger ; ye, confirmed against danger. Ye are the passage of 
those that are killed for God; the companions of Paul in the 
mysteries of the Gospel ; the holy martyr, the truly blessed Paul ; 
in whose footsteps may I be found, when I shall have attained 
unto God ; who, throughout all his Epistle, makes mention of you 
in Christ Jesus. 

XHI. Let it be your care therefore to come oftener together, to 
^ive thanks and glory to Gop. For when ye meet often together in 



the same place, the powers of the devil are destroyed, and his mis- 
chief is dissolved by the unity of your faith. And indeed, nothing 
is better than peace ; by which all war, both spiritual and earthly, 
is abolished. 

XIV. Of all which nothing is hid from you, if ye have perfect 
faith and charity in Jesus Christ, which are the beginning and 
end of life : the beginning, faith ; the end, charity. And these 
two joined together, are of God; and on them foUoweth all 
other goodness. No man, professing a true faith, goes wrong ; 
neither does he who has charity, hate any. *' The tree is made 
"manifest by its fruit;" so they who profess themselves to be 
Christians, shall be known by what they do. For it is not now 
the time for profession, but for the power of faith, if a man be 
found faithful unto the end. 

XV. It is better for a man to hold his peace, and be ; than to 
say he is a Christian, and not to be. It is good to teach, if what 
he says, he does likewise. There is therefore one master " who 
spake, and it was done ;" and even those things which he did with- 
out speaking, are worthy of the*Father. He that hath the word 
of Jesus, is truly able to hear his very silence, that he may 
be perfect; and both do according to what he speaks, and be 
known by those things in which he is silent. There is nothing 
hid from GoD, but even our secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us 
therefore do all things, as becomes those who have God dwelling 
in them ; that we may be His temples, and He may be our God 
within us, as also He is, and will show Himself, before our faces, 
by those things for which we justly love Him. 

XVI. Be not deceived, brethren ; those that corrupt other, 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If therefore they who do 
this according to the tlesh, have suffered death ; how much more 
shall he die, who by his wicked doctrine corrupts the faith of God, 
for which Christ was crucified ? He that is thus defiled, shall 
depart into uiKjuenchable fire, and so also shall he that hearkens 
«nto him. 

XVII. For this cause did the Lord suffer the ointment to be 
poured on His head ; that He might breathe the breath of immor- 
tality unto His church. Be not ye therefore anointed with the 
evil savour of the doctrine of the prince of this world ; lest he lead 
yoo away captive from the life that is set before you. And why 



are we not all wise ; seeing we have received the knowledge of 
God, which is Jesus Christ ? Why do we suifer ourselves fool- 
ishly to perish ; not considering the gift which the Lord has truly 
sent to us ? 

XVIII. My life be an offering for the doctrine of the Cross ; 
which is indeed a stumbling-block to the unbehevers, but to us 
salvation and life eternal. " Where is the wise man ? Where is 
" the disputer ?" Where is the boasting of those who are called 
wise ? For Jesus Christ, our God, was according to the dis- 
pensation of God, conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of 
David, by the Holy Ghost : was born, and baptized, that through 
his Passion he might purify water. 

XIX. Now the virginity of Mary, and her deUvery, was kept in 
secret from the prince of this world ; as \vus also the death of our 
Lord ; three most notable mysteries, yet done in secret by God, 
How then was our Saviour manifested to the world ? There 
shone a star in heaven above all other stars, and its light was 
unspeakable, and its strangeness wrought amazement. All the 
other stars, yea, the sun and moon also, were but its train ; and 
it sent forth its light beyond them all. And there was trouble to 
think whence this unwonted strangeness might be. Hence ail the 
power of magic was dissolved ; and every bond of wickedness was 
destroyed ; ignorance was taken away ; the old kingdom was 
abolished ; God himself appearing in the form of a man, for the 
renewal of eternal life. Moreover the full dispensation of God 
then took its beginning. From thenceforth all things were dis- 
turbed ; forasmuch as he designed to abolish death. 

XX. But if Jesus Christ shall give me grace through your 
prayers, and it be His will, I purpose in a second Epistle which 
I will shortly write unto you, to manifest to you more fully the 
dispensation, (of which I have now begun to speak,) unto the new 
man, which is Jesus Christ ; both in his £aith, and in his love, 
in his suffering and in his resurrection, especially if the Lord shall 
make it known unto me : that ye may all and each of you, by grace, 
concur in professing the name of one faith, and one Jesus Christ, 
w^ho was of the race of David according to the flesh ; the Son of 
man, and Son of God ; that ye may obey your Bishop and the 
Presbytery with an entire affection ; breaking one and the same 



8 

bread, which is the medicine of immortality ; our antidote that we 
should not die, but live for ever in Christ Jesus. 

XXI. My soul be for yours, and for theirs whom ye have sent 
to Smyrna, to the glory of God ; from whence also I write to 
you; giving thanks unto the Lord, and loving Polycarp even 
as I do you. Remember me, as Jesus Christ doth remember 
you. Pray for the church which is in Syria, from whence I am 
carried bound to Rome, being the least of all the faithful which 
are there ; amongst whom I have been thought worthy to be found 
to the glory of God. Fare ye well in God the Father, and in 
Jesus Christ, our common hope. Amen. 



KINO, PRINTER, ST. CLEMSNT's, OXFORD. 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. If. 

THE HOLY CflUnCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, on his way to Martyrdom, 
to the Magnesians. 

Ignatius, which is also Theophorus, to tlie Church that is in 
Ma2;nesia, nigh to Maeander, the blessed of God the Father 
through Jesus Christ our Saviour : in whom I salute it, and pray 
that it may have all joy, in God the Father and Jesus Christ. 

I. Being aware how righteously ordered is your love and charity 
in God, the gladness which I feel has induced me to address you in 
the spirit of Jesus Christ. For, admitted as I am to the noblest of 
titles in the bonds which I bear about me, I make my song to the 
Churches, praying that they may possess a union of the Flesh and 
Spirit of Jesus Christ, (who is our hfe evermore,) and of Faith, and 
Charity which surpasseth all things, and, more than these, of Jesus 
and of the Father, through whom, when we have endured all as- 
saults from the prince of this world, after we have escaped, we shall 
be with God. 

II. Seeing now it is my privilege to behold you, through Damas 
your most holy Bishop, and your worthy Presbyters, Bassus and 
Apollonius, and your Deacon my fellow-labourer Sotion, toward 
whom I am tenderly afFectioned, because he is subject to his Bishop 
as to a gracious gift from God, and to the Presbytery as to an insti- 
tution of Jesus Christ, I determined to write unto you. 

III. Your duty likewise is it, not to bear yourselves toward your 
Bishop with a freedom proportioned to his youth, but according to 
the power of God the Father, to concede to him all homage. As I 
am aware the holy Presbyters do, you take no occasion from his 
apparent youthfulness for the station, but as men wise in a godly 
wisdom submit themselves to him ; vet not to him, but to the Father 



of Jesus Christ, tlie Bishop of us all. Meet therefore it is, that for 
the honour of IJim, who wills it, ye should present an obedience 
that is without guile ; since in any delusion of your visible Bishop, 
you trifle rather with the Bishop invisible, and so the question is 
not with flesh, but with God who seeth the secrets. 

IV. It is mens' duty not merely to bear the name of Christians, 
but such to be likewise ; whereas some there are, who use the name 
of Bishop, yet do all without consideration of the office. To me such 
persons appear to be void of a good conscience, since they are a 
congregation of men not gathered together in strict conformity to 
the commandment. 

V. Now, as all things have their end, two alternatives are laid 
before us, death, and life : and every man must go to his own 
place. For there are, as it were, two coins, one of God and one 
the world's : and each of these has its proper mark upon it ; unbe- 
lievers the mark of this world, and they who in love believe, the 
mark of God the Father through Jesus Cukist; through whom 
if we are not readily disposed to die after die likeness of His passion, 
neither have we His hfe in us. 

VI. Seeing now that, throu«:h the persons aforenamed, I have seen 
you all gathered together in faith and love, t^ke good heed, I charge 
you, that you do all things in a spirit of godly concord : — the Bishop 
holding presidency over you, in the place of God; and the Pres- 
byters in the place of the Council of Apostles ; and die Deacons, 
my well-beloved, entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ, who 
was with the Fatheu before the worlds, and appeared in the last 
days. Assuming therefore all of you this scheme of godly unity, 
give heed one to another, and let no man regard his neighbour in 
a fleshly spirit, but love ye one another continually in Jesus Christ. 
Let there be in you nothing which can divide you ; but be ye made 
one, in die Bishop, and in the Superiors, for an example and lesson 
of incorruption. 

VII. As therefore our Loud, bcfing united with the Father, widi- 
out Him, neither of Himself, nor by His Apostles, did any thing ; so 
neither do yo«i do any thing, apart from the Bishop and the Pres- 
byters. Neither seek ye gratification in any thing to your own 
selfish judgment, but be there in thesiime place, one Form of prayer, 
one topic of supplication, one Mind, one Hope, in love and joy re- 
proachless. There is One Jesus Christ, who surpasseth all things ; 
together therefore haste yc all, as to Ouc Temple of God, as to One 



Altar, as to One Jesus Christ, who proceeded from One Father, 
and is in One, and to One returned. 

VIII. Be not led astray by strange doctrines, nor by old fables, 
which are unprofitable. For if we still live under the Judaic Law, 
it is a confession that we have not received Grace. For in the faith 
of Jesus Christ the holy Prophets lived ; wherefore also they were 
persecuted, being irispired with His grace, that unbelievers might be 
fully assured, that there is One God, who manifested Himself in 
Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, (not proceeding 
from silence,) who in all things well pleased Him who sent Him. 

IX. If then they^^vho lived under the old dispensation, have come 
to a newness of hope, superseding the Sabbatical system, with that 
rule of life which is according to the Lord's Day, wherein our life 
has arisen through the Lord, and through His death which some 
deny; (from which mystery we received our faith, and thence take 
patience, that we may be found Disciples of Jesus Christ our only 
Master ;) how shall we be able to have life except through Him .'' 
\Vhom the prophets also, being His Disciples, expected in spirit as 
their Master; and therefore He for whom they justly waited, did by 
His advent raise them from the dead. 

X. Let us not then be insensible to His goodness ; for, if He should 
imitate the way in which we act, we already have perished. Where- 
fore, becoming His disciples, let us live according to the religion of 
Christ; for whosoever is called by any other name but this, is not 
of God. Put aside therefore the evil leaven, which hath grown old 
and waxed sour, and be ye changed into the new leaven which is 
Jesus Christ. Be ye salted in Him, that none among you may be 
corrupted, inasmuch as by your savour shall ye be judged. The 
name of Jesus Christ cannot be joined with an adherence to Ju- 
daism. For the Christian faith goes not for its completion to the 
Jewish, but the Jewish goes to the Christian ; that every tongue that 
believeth may be gathered to God. 

XL Beloved, it is my desire, not as knowing that any of you are 
so affected, but as setting myself below you, to guard you against 
these things, so that you fall not upon the hooks of vain doctrine, 
but be fully assured of the Birdi, and Passion, and Resurrection, which 
took place in the time of the government of Pontius Pilate ; which 
verily and surely are things done by Jesus Christ our Hope : — and 
from that Hope may none of you be turned away. 

XH. May you be my joy in all things, if of that I be worthy ; and 



bound though I am, I am above comparison with any of you who 
are loosed. I know that ye are not puffed up, for ye luve Jesus 
Christ within you ; and I know that from the abundance of my 
])raise ye gather caution ; as it is written, the just man accuseth 
himself. 

XIII. Study therefore to be confirmed in the doctrines of the Lord 
and of the Apostles, that in all you do, you may be well advanced in 
flesh and spirit, in faith and love, through the Son, Father, and 
Spirit, the Beginning and the End; under your most excellent 
Bishop, and your Presbytery, a well twined spiritual garland, and 
the Deacons according to God : be ye subject to the Bishop, and 
one to another, as Jesus Christ to His Father according to the 
Flesh, and the Apostles to Christ, and to the Father, and to the 
Spirit, that your union may be of the flesh and of the spirit. 

XIV. Knowing that God dwelleth in you richly, I have exhorted 
you in few words. Remember me in your prayers, that I may be 
joined to God. Remember also the Church which is in Syria, 
(whereby I am not worthy to be called;) for I require your united 
prayer and love to God, that the Church in Syria may be refreshed 
with dew through your Church. 

XV. The Ephesians in Smyrna, (whence I write to you,) salute 
you; who now are here to the glory of God, like unto you, and 
have refreshed me in all things, together with Polycarp, Bishop of 
the Smyrnaeans. Likewise the other Churches salute you in the 
honour of Jesus Christ. Be strong in the concord of God, pos- 
sessing the Spirit indivisible, which is Christ Jesus. 



KINO, J'RINIIR, ST. CLUitM S, OXTOllD* 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. III. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



The Apostle St. John and the Robber, (from the Church History 
of Eusebius.J 

Listen to a tale, which is no mere tale, but a true story which 
has been handed down and kept in memory, of John the Apostle. 
For when the Roman Emperor was dead, and St. John had 
returned to Ephesus from [his banishment in] the island of 
Patmos, he went over the neighbouring countries ; in some places 
to appoint Bishops, in some to establish new Churches, in 
others to separate to the Ministry some one of those whom 
the Spirit pointed out to him. At length he arrived at a city not 
very far from Ephesus, of which some even give the name ; and 
after he had refreshed the brethren, he turned at last to the Bishop, 
whom he had appointed, and having observed a youth of goodly 
stature, comely appearance, and of an ardent spirit, " Here," he 
said, " is a deposit which I earnestly commend to your care, in the 
sight of Christ and the Church." And after the Bishop had 
accepted the charge, and had promised all that was required of 
him, he repeated the same request, and with the same solemn form 
of words. Accordingly the Elder, taking to his home the youth 
intrusted to him, bred, controlled, fostered, and at last admitted him 
to baptism. After this he relaxed somewhat of his constant cam 
and watchfulness, as having placed upon him the seal of the Lord, 
that last and best preservative from evil. But the other, having 
thus obtained his liberty too early, was taken hold of by certain idle 
and profligate youths of his own age, themselves habituated to 
wickedness. At first they lure him on by expensive revellings, 
next they carry him along with them on a thieving expedition by 



' ^3 2 

night, and then they beg him to join them in some still greater 
Crime. By little and little he became habituated to vice, and then 
through the hotness of his nature, starting like a hard-mouthed 
and spirited horse out of the right path, and taking as it were the 
bit into his mouth, rushed so much the more violently down the 
precipice. Finally despairing of the salvation which is by God, 
he was no longer contented with more petty offences ; but, as he 
was now altogether lost, would fain do some great thing, and dis- 
dained to suffer but an equal punishment with the rest. He took 
therefore with him these same companions, and having got together 
a band of robbers, became their ready leader, and of all the most 
violent, the most bloody, the most cruel. 

An interval elapsed ; and upon some need falling out in the 
Church, the men of the city again called upon John to visit them. 
After he had set in order the things for which he came, " Come," 
said he to the Bishop, " give me back the deposit which I and 
Christ committed to thee in the sight of the Church over which 
you preside." The Bishop was at first amazed, for he thought 
that John was unjustly charging him with money which had not been 
really given him, and knew not either how to credit a demand for 
what he had never received, or how to discredit the Apostle. But 
when he said plainly, " It is the youth I demand of thee, the soul 
of a brother," the old man groaned from the bottom of his heart, 
and shedding a few tears at the thought, answered him, " He is 
dead." " How then did he die, and by what death ?" " He is 
dead," he said, " to God, for he has ended in becoming wicked 
and abandoned, and to sum up all, a robber, and now instead of 
the Church, he has taken to the hills with an armed band of rob- 
bers like himself." Then the Apostle tore his garment, and utter- 
ing a loud wail, beat his head, and said, " A careful guardian 
truly, I left of the soul of my brother, but bring me a horse, and 
let me have some one to guide me on my way. So he rode away 
from the Church, just as he was, and when he came to the place, 
being taken, by the outposts of the robbers, he neither fled from 
them, nor asked for mercy, but cried out, " For this purpose came 
I, bring me to your chief." He in the mean time, in the armour 
he wore, waited for his approach. When, however, he recognized 
St. John, as lie drew near, he was filled with shame, and turned 
nnd fled. \\\\\ llic /\postl( lullcMVcd aftT him with all his strength, 



forgetful of his years, and calling out, " Why do you fly from me, 
my son, me your father, unarmed, and stricken in years ; pity me, 
my son, and fear me not. Thou hast yet hope of life. I will give 
account for thee to Christ ; yea, if it be needful, I will willingly 
undergo the death for thee, even as our Lord the death for us. For 
thee will I render up my breath. Stay and believe, Christ hath 
sent me." But the young man, when he heard his words, first 
stood still, with eyes cast down to the ground ; next threw away 
his arms, and then trembling, wept bitterly. And when the old 
man drew nigh to him, he threw his arms around him, and be- 
sought pardon, as best he could, with his groans, and was baptized 
as it were a second time, with tears, hiding only his blood-stained 
hand. But John, with promises and solemn protestations of his 
having obtained his pardon from the Saviour, besought him, nay, 
knelt to him, and kissed the very right hand he had withheld from 
him, as already cleansed by change of heart ; and so brought him 
back to the Church. Finally interceding for him, sometimes in 
frequent prayers, sometimes striving together with him in long 
continued fasts, and sometimes soothing his spirit with various holy 
text, he departed not, so they tell us, till he had fully reinstated 
him in the Church, and had thus set forth a mighty example of 
true change of heart, and a mighty proof of regeneration, a trophy 
as it were of a visible resurrection. 



Here we see sinners baptized, taught, and brought to repentance 
by the holy Church, at the hands of the Bishops, whom the 
Apostles have appointed. 



Conduct of the Apostle St. John towards the false teacher Cerinthust 
(from the Church History of Eusebius.J 

DiONYSius, Bishop of Alexandria, in noticing certain facts con- 
cerning the Revelation of St. John, derived from ancient tradition, 
makes mention of this Cerinthus, and affirms that the doctrine 
which he taught was, that the reign of Christ would be upon 
earth, and that it would consist, for so he wickedly dreamt in the 
pleasures, which he himself desired, being a lover of the body, 
and altogether carnal, in the gratification, that is, of the fleshly 
lusts, in meats namely, and drinks and marriages, or as he thought 
in fairer words, to reach the same meaning, in feastings, and in 
sacrifices, and in the slaughter of victims. 

Thus far Dionysius ; moreover certain of his more secret 
and false opinions are added by Irenaeus, who has also handed 
down to us in writing a story, which ought never to be for- 
gotten, and which he gives us on the authority of Polycarp, [the 
disciple of St. John himself, and whom Irenmus had known in his 
youth."] " John the Apostle," he says, " entering for the purpose 
of bathing into some public baths, and learning that Cerinthus 
was within them, recoiled from the spot, and rushed out of doors, 
not even enduring to be under the same roof with him ; and ex- 
horting them also that were with him to adopt the same conduct, 
in these words ; ' Let us flee, lest the very building should fall in, 
within which Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is abiding.' " 



Hence we learn to avoid false teachers, after the pattern of the 
Blessed Apostle, even though it inconvenience us to do so. 



KING, PAINTER, ST. CLEMENT n, OXFORD. 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. IV. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTM 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEB. 



Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peterson his way to Martyrdom, 
to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. 

Ignatius, called also Thaophorus, to Polycarp, of the Church at 
Smyrna, Bishop and Superintend ant : yea, rather himself su- 
perintended by God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, 
All hail! 

I. Welcoming thy disposition which is to God ward, founded 
as upon an immoveable rock, I glorify Him, in that I have been 
honoured by thy holy presence, and praying that I may rejoice in 
it through God. I beseech thee, by the grace of God, wherewith 
thou art invested, to press onwa'-ds in thy course, and to exhort all 
unto salvation. Maintain thy station in all diligence, both of body 
and soul ; study to preserve that unity, than which nothing is 
better. Endure all men, as the Lord lias also endured thee ; con- 
tinue, as thou dost, to bear with all men in love ; devote thyself to 
prayer without ceasing ; seek for more understanding than thou 
hast ; watch with an unwearied spirit ; speak unto every one as 
God shall enable thee : as a practised combatant, endure the 
weaknesses of all ; for where labour abounds, there also abounds 
gain. 

II. For in that thou lovest the good disciples, what thank hast 
thou ? yea, rather with mildness bring into subjection the more 
mischievous. For every wound is not treated with the same ap- 



plication ; but violent paroxysms are to be assuaged by emollient 
medicines. Be in all things " wise as the serpent, and harmless 
as the dove." For this end art thou formed of flesh and spirit, 
that thou mayest soften the things which are in thy sight : but 
pT-ay that the things which are invisible may be revealed unto 
thee, that thou mayest want in nothing, but abound in every gift 
of God. The present season demands thee, as pilots the wind, as 
the storm-tost mariner his desired haven, that thou attain unto 
God. Be temperate, as God*s Champion ; the reward is incorrup- 
tion, and eternal life : in which also thy faith is firm. In all 
things, my soul is as thine, and so are my bonds which thou hast 
loved. 

III. Be not dismayed at those who seem worthy of trust, and 
yet teach new doctrines : stand firm, as the anvil under the stroke, 
for he is a mighty champion, who though buffetted, yet over- 
cometh. But above all, for the sake of God, we must endure all, 
that He also may endure us. Become more and more zealous : 
study the times ; await Him who is above all time, the Eternal, the 
Invisible, (who yet for us men became visible,) the Impalpable, the 
Impassible : who yet for our salvation became subject unto suffer- 
ing, and endured all things. 

IV. Let not the widows be neglected, for thou under the Lord 
art their guardian ; let nothing be done without thy sanction, 
neither thyself do any thing without the sanction of God ; which 
thing indeed thy constancy suffers thee not to do. Let your as- 
sembHes be held more frequently. Seek out and address all by 
name. Slight not the slaves ; yet suffer them not to be puffed 
up, but let them rather serve the more diligently unto the glory 
of God, that from Him they may obtain a more perfect freedom. 
Let them not seek to b2 emancipated at the public cost, lest they 
be found to be.the slaves of their own desires. 

V. Avoid evil arts ; nay, rather mention them not at all. Speak 
unto my sisters, that they love the Lord, and be content, in will as 
in deed, with their husbands. Exhort also my brethren in the name 
of Jesus Christ, that they love their wiv.s, even as the Lord 
loveth the Church. If any one can remain in chastity, to the 
honour of the flesh of our Lord, let him do so in all humility. 
If hf bf>iist, 1v^ i- :ibf.wlv 1<)>1 : v<;i. iflu r. vr:il il lo ;niv otu*. save 



the Bishop, he is corrupted. It is fitting for those who purpose 
matrimony, to accomplish their union with the sanction of the 
Bishop ; that their marriage may be godly, and not according to 
lust. Let all things be done to the honour of God. 

VI. Hearken unto your Bishop, that God may also hearken 
unto you. My soul is as the soul of them who are in subjection 
to their Bishop, thsir Presbyters, their Deacons ; and may my 
portion be with them in the Lord ! Labour together, strive toge- 
ther, run together, suffer together, lie down together, rise up 
together, as the stewards, the ministers, and the servants of God. 
Seek to please Him, whose soldiers ye are, and whose wages ye 
receive. Let none of you be a deserter : let your baptism remain, 
for it is your armour ; your faith, a helmet ; your love, a spear ; your 
long-suffering, a coat of mail. Let your deposits be your good 
works, that ye may finally receive the portion earned by your ser- 
vice. Be patient with one another in mildness, as God is with 
you. May I rejoice in you alway ! 

VII. But as it has been disclosed to me that the Church of 
Antioch in Syria, through your prayers, is at peace, I have rather 
been of good cheer in secure reliance on God, (if through suffering 
I shall attain unto Him,) that by your prayers also I may be 
found in the resurrection a true disciple. It is meet, O most 
blessed Polycarp, that thou shouldst call together a holy council, 
and choose some one, well-beloved and zealous, that he may be 
called God's Messenger ; and to appoint him to go into Syria, 
that he may make manifest your zealous love, to the glory of 
Christ. A Christian is not master of himself, but is devoted to 
God's service. This work is God's, and your's, when you have 
accomplished it. For I trust in the Grace which is in you, that ye 
are ready to every good work which appertaineth unto God ; and 
therefore, as I know your zeal for the truth, my exhortation has 
been brief. 

VIH. Since I have not been able to write to all the Churches, 
because I have been suddenly called upon to sail from Troas to 
Neapolis, do thou write to those which are nearest to thee, knowing 
that God's will is that they shall do the same onwards, sending, 
if possible, messengers ; if not, entrusting their Epistles to those 
whom thou shalt send, that ye may all be glorified for ever, as ye 



are worthy. I salute all by name ; and especially the wife of Epitro- 
pus, with her household and family. I salute Attalus my beloved. 
I salute him who shall be chosen to go into Syria ; that the grace 
of God may be with him alway in my prayer, through our God 
Jesus Christ ; in whom may you continue in the unity of God, 
and under His protection. Salute Alee, my well-beloved. Fare- 
well in the Lord ! 



KING, rniNTEll, ST. CI.EMF.NT 8, OXFOIID. 



KECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. V. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



flpislle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, on his way to Martyrdom, 
to the Trallians. 

Ignatius, which is also Theophorus, to the Holy Church that is In 

Tralles in Asia,' beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, 

chosen, godlike, having peace through the flesh and blood and 

passion of Jesus Cpirist, (who is our hope in the following of 

His resurrection,) which I salute in the plenitude of my Apostolic 

character, and pray that it may have all joy. 

I. 1 know the reproachless spirit, and unfailing unanimity, that not 

by occasion, but habitually belong to you ; which also were set forth 

to me by Polybius ypur Bishop, who, by God's will and the will of 

Jesus Christ, was present in Smyrna, and so rejoiced with me in 

my bonds for Jesus Christ, that in his person you were all before 

my eyes. So that meeting with this godly kindness in him, I 

reckon on finding you, (as I have also known you,) the followers of 

God. 

n. For in that you are subject to your Bishop as to Jesus 
Christ, you seem to me to be living not after the way of men, but 
according to Jesus Christ ; who died for your sakes, that by be- 
lieving in His death ye may from death escape. It is therefore your 
bounden duty, as it also is your practice, to do nothing apart from 
the Bishop. Be subject moreover to the Presbj^tery, as to the Apos- 
tles of Jesus Christ our hope : may we be found to have had our 
conversation in Him ! It is requisite too, that they who are 
Deacons [ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should be 
obliging to all men in every manner ; for they are not ministers 



[deacons] of meat and drink, but servants of God's Church : they 
must therefore guard against reproach as against fire. 

III. Likewise let all men give heed to the Deacons, as to an in- 
stitution of Jesus Christ; and to the Bishop, as to the image of 
God ; and to the Presbyters as to the Council of God and ihe Com- 
pany of Apostles. Without these the name of Church is not. On 
which points I am persuaded that you hold with me ; for I found 
and retain with me a specimen of your love in the person of your 
Bishop ; whose whole constitution of mind is an instructive lesson, 
and his meekness full of power. 1 suppose that even Atheists 
respect him. Though able to write on this point, Ujus far only I 
mean to do so, lest a convict such as I should be giving laws to 
you like an Apostle. 

IV. God has granted to me the knowledge of many things ; but 
I controul myself, lest I perish in my boasting : for now I must be 
especially fearful, and hold off from them that puff me up. For 
they who make me their talk, inflict a persecution tipon me. I am 
well contented to suffer, yet I know not that I am worthy to do so. 
My zeal, known but to few, is the more excited in myself. I have 
need therefore of that moderation, whereby the Prince of this world 
is brought to nought. 

V. Am I unable to write to you of spiritual things ? I am not 
unable, but fear lest I should bring an injury on infants such as you. 
Excuse therefore my doing so ; lest from inability to receive my 
words, you be choked of them. For even I, prisoner as I am, am 
not enabled to behold the things that are in Heaven, the marshal- 
ling of the Angels, the stations of the celestial Powers, visible things 
and things invisible, but herein I am but a learner. For many 
things are placed beyond our capacity, lest we cease to have de- 
pendence on God. 

VI. I exhort you, therefore, (yet not I, but the love of Jesus 
Christ,) to use only the Christian nourishment, and to abstain from 
the strange herb, which is heresy. For the heretics receiving credit 
on the score of worldly reputation, invest Christianity with poison ; 
offering as it were their fatal drug in a sop ; and he who knows it 
not, accepteth death with a ready and fatal welcome. 

VII. From such men keep yourselves guarded. And guarded ye 
will be, if ye are not puffed up, nor separated from Jesus Christ 
our LoED, and from the Bishop, and from the rules laid down by 



the Apostles. He that is within the ahar is pure : lie that is without, 
whoever, namely, acts independently of the Bishop, the Presby- 
tery, and the Deacons, is a man of unclean conscience. 

VIII. I am not aware that there is aught of this kind in you, but, 
for the love I bear you, I put you on your guard, foreseeing as I do 
the snares of the Devil. Do you therefore, gathering a spirit of 
meekness, stablish yourselves in Faith, which is the flesh of the 
Lord, and in Love, which is the blood of Jesus Christ. Let 
none of you find a fault in his neighbour. Give no occasion to the 
heathen ; lest, on the score of a foolish, the godly many be evil 
spoken of; for " woe unto him, because of whose levity My name 
is evil spoken of by any.'* 

IX. Turn then a deaf ear to any man who departs in what he says 
from Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David, and born of 
Mary ; who verily was born, did eat and did drink ; verily was per- 
secuted, under Pontius Pilate ; verily was crucified and died, being 
seen of them that are in Heaven, of them that are on earth, and of 
them that are under the earth ; who verily also was raised from the 
dead, His Father raising Him; in the likeness whereto, us also 
who believe in Him shall His Father raise up through Jesus 
Christ, without whom the real life belongs not to us. 

X. But if, (as some godless men, which are unbelievers, assert,) 
it was only His shade that suffered, (whereas they are but a 
shade,) how came I to be in bonds ? and why do I rejoice in the 
prospect of " fighting with beasts ?" In such case I perish to no 
purpose, and belie my Lord. 

XI. Avoid then those mischievous offshoots, fruitful of death, 
the which if a man taste he shall die thereby ; for these were not 
planted of the Father. For if they were, we should see them 
growing from the Cross, and their fruit would be unto eternal life ; 
in accordance whereto He in His passion inviteth you under the 
title of His own Members. The Head and the limbs cannot 
therefore have a separate existence, for God hath promised their 
union, and Himself existeth therein. 

XII. I send you my salutation from Smyrna, together with the 
: salutation of the Churches that are here with me, which have 
"every way refreshed me, both in body and spirit. My bonds sup- 
ply you with a lesson ; for I bear them for Jesus Christ's sake, 
[praying that I may go to God. Continue in one mind, and 



assemble together for prayer ; for it is right for every one of you, 
and for the Presbyters particularly, to refresh your Bishop's spirit, 
that so you may show honour to the Father, to Jesus Christ, 
and to the Apostles. I pray that you may hear me in love ; and 
that I may not, by writing this, be made a testimony against you. 
Likewise do you for my sake pray, (for I desire your love in the 
mercy of God,) that I may be held worthy of that destiny which I 
press on to gain, and may not become a castaway. 

XIII The love of the Smyrneans and Ephesians saluteth you. 
Remember in your prayers the Church that is in Syria, whereby 
I am not worthy to be called, being last among them. Be strong 
in Jesus Christ ; subject to your Bishop as to the command- 
ment, and to the Presbytery likewise. Love one another, every 
one of you, with an undivided hea t. My spirit saluteth you ; not 
now only, but when I shall have gone to God. I have yet to fear 
for myself; but the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ, to fulfil 
my prayer and yours. In Him may you be found blameless 1 



MNO, I'HiNiiBt Sr* CLIiMEMT S, OXfOKD. 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH. 

No. VI. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



Account of the Martyrs of Lyons and Fienne, 
(From the Church History of Eusehius.J 

In the seventeenth year of the Emperor Antoninus Verus, 
the persecution raged wjth fresh violence against us, in some parts 
of the world, by means of the attacks made on us by the populace 
of the several cities. We may conjecture, from what occurred in a 
single country, that myriads of martyrdoms took place throughout 
the earth. These are well worthy of immortal memory, and hap- 
pen to have been transmitted to posterity in writing. The whole 
document, which contains the fullest account of them, is placed in 
my collection of Martyrs, containing a description which is not 
merely historical, but also instructive. As much, however, as is 
connected with my present purpose, I will select and insert here. 

Others, in composing historical narrations, commit to writing 
victories in war, and trophies over the enemy, and the exploits of 
generals, and the valour of troops, stained with blood and endless 
slaughter, in defence of their children, their country, and their 
fortunes. But our narrative of the acts of a Divine Commonwealth, 
will rather seek to inscribe, on an everlasting monument, those 
most peaceful wars for the peace of the soul ; and the Heroes who 
have fought in these, rather for the truth than for their country, 
and rather for religion than for the objects of their dearest affections. 
It will proclaim, for eternal memory, 'the perseverance, and the 
enduring valour of the combatants in the cause of Piety, and their 
trophies over devils, and their victories over unseen adversaries, 
and their crowns which followed. 

Gaul [i. e. France], then was the place of the conflicts of which 
we speak. The principal cities of this country, remarkable and 

I celebrated above others, are Lyons and Vienne, through both which 
runs the stream of the Rhone, which passes with a rapid course 
round that whole region. The account of the martyrdoms, trans- 
mitted by the Churches of chief note in these parts to those in Asia 
and Phrygia, thus describes the things done among them ; and I 



Letter of the Churches of Lyons mul Vicnnc in the South of France 
to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia. 

The Servants of Christ, that sojourn at Vienne and Lyons in 
Gaul, to the Brethren iti Asia and Phrygia, who have the same 
faith and hope of redemption with us, peace, and grace, and glory, 
from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. * * 
* * The greatness of the sufferings in this country, and 
he wonderful rage of the heathen against the Saints, and how 
much the blessed Martyrs endured, w^ are neither able accu- 
rately to declare, nor is it possible to be comprehended in 
writing. For the Adversary rushed down upon us with all his 
might, as already anticipating his future coming without controul * ; 
and went through all possible means in preparing, and exercising his 
own beforehand, against the Servants of God. So that we were 
not only excluded from the houses, the baths, and the market ; but 
it was even fofbidden for any of us to shew himself, in any place 
whatever. 

But the Grace of Goo took the lead in opposition to him ; and, 
protecting the weak, set Firm Pillars in battle array against him, 
whose fortitude rendered them first to draw on themselves the 
whole violence of the Evil One ; men who went forth to meet him, 
supporting patiently every kind of insult and torture, and count- 
ing the most he could do as litde, were in haste to be with Christ ; 
shewing, of a truth, that " the sufferings of this present time are 
not to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.'* 

And, in the first place, they nobly endured all the injuries heaped 
on them by the assembled populace, who hooted, beat, dragged 
about, plundered, stoned, and confined them ; and did all such 
things, as are wont to be done by a furious mob to those, whom it 
hates and counts its enemies. And, lastly, when brought into the 
market-place by the commander of the troops and the authorities of 
the city, and questioned before the whole multitude, they confessed, 
and were shut up in prison till the arrival of the Governor. 

And when afterwards they were brought before the Governor, 

and he shewed the utmost cruelty towards us, Vettius Epagathus, 

one of the brethren, (full of love toward God and his neighbour, 

and of so exact and perfect a life, that, though a young man, he 

• Kev. XX. 3. 



was equal to the testimony borne to the aged Zacharias, in that 
lie " walked in all the commandments and judgments of the Lord 
blameless," and ready in every service to his neighbour, having 
great " zeal toward God," and " fervent in spirit,") this excel- 
lent man could not endure the unreasonable judgment, which was 
passing against us, but testiti d his indignation, and demanded to 
be heard himself in defence of the Brethren. And when those 
about the tribunal hooted him down, (for he was a man of note,) 
and the Governor would not allow the just claim he had put in on 
our behalf, but only asked if he too were a Christian, he confessed 
with a loud voice, and was himself taken, and so took his place 
among the number of the Martyrs ; being called the Advocate of 
the Christians, and having in himself the " Advocate," (or the 
Comforter, John xiv. 16.) the Spirit, yet more than Zacharias 
(Luke i. 67.). Which he also shewed by the fulness of his love, 
being ready to lay down his own life for the sake of defending his 
Brethren. For he was, yea, is, a genuine Disciple of Christ, 
*' following the Lamb wherever He goeth." 

Then also others began to be distinguishable ; and the First 
Martyrs were conspicuous and prepared, fulfilling with all 
readiness the Martyr's confession. Those also might be discerned 
who were unprepared and unexercised, and still weak, unable to 
bear the strain of a great conflict. About ten of whom fell away ; 
who also caused us much grief and unmeasured lamentation, and 
hindered the readiness of others, who were not yet arrested, and 
who, though suffering all possible indignities, were in attendance 
on the Martyrs, and did not desert them. Then, however, we were 
all greatly alarmed by the uncertainty of the confession ; not 
fearing the cruelties that were inflicted, but looking to the end, 
and fearing that any one might fall away. 

Those, however, who were worthy, were daily apprehended, 
filling up their number, so that there were taken up, from the two 
Churches, all the best men, and those, by whom things here w€re 
chiefly kept together. There were also taken up some heathen 
servants belonging to persons amongst our number, since the Go- 
vernor ordered a public inquisition to be made after us all. And 
they, by a device of Satan, fearing the tortures which they saw 
the Saints endure, the soldiers urging them on, belied us as hold- 
ing Thyestean feasts*, and guilty of impurities like those of 
* i. e. Eating human flcoh, a calumny derived from the liOau's Supper. 



aSdipus, and such things as it is not allowed us to mention, or 
even to think of, no, nor to believe that they ever existed among 
mankind. 

But when these things were noised abroad, all were infuriated 
against us ; so that, even if any had before shewn moderation on 
account of connections, even these were greatly enraged, and stung 
with malice (Acts v. 33.) against us. And that was fulfilled which 
the Lord had foretold us (John xvi. 2.) " the time shall come, 
when every one, that killeth you, shall think that he doeth God ser- 
vice.*' Then afterwards the Holy Martyrs endured tortures beyond 
all description ; Satan being ambitious of drawing some to blas- 
pheme with their lips. 

But most eminently did all the rage of the populace, the Go- 
vernor, and the soldiers, light on Sanctus, a deacon of Vienne ; 
and on Maturus, one newly enlightened, but a noble champion ; 
and on Attains, a Pegamese by birth, who had always been " a pillar 
and support" * of those in this neighbourhood ; and on Blandina, by 
whom Christ shewed that the things which are lowly esteemed 
among men, and held by them mean and contemptible, are thought 
worthy of great honour with God, for that love of Him, which is 
shewed forth in power, and does not boast in a vain appear- 
ance. 

For when we all were in fear, and her own mistress according to 
the flesh, (who also herself was one champion among the Martyrs,) 
was in agony for her, lest she should be unable to make even one 
bold confession, from the weakness of her body ; Blandina was 
filled with such strength, that even those, who tortured her by turns 
in every possible way, from morning till evening, were wearied 
and gave it up, themselves confessing that they were conquered, 
having nothing more that they could do to her. And they won- 
dered at her remaining still alive, her whole body being mangled 
and pierced in every part ; and declared, that any one kind of tor- 
ture was enough to deprive her of life, not to say so many and so 
severe. 

But that blessed woman, like a brave wrestler, renewed her 
strength in confessing ; and it was to her recovery, and rest, and 
ease from her sufferings, to say " I am a Christian," and " Nothing 
vile is done amongst us." 

* 1 Tim. iii. 15. 



5 

Sanctus also, for his part, enduring exceedingly, and above 
every man, all the cruelties of men with a noble patience, when 
the wicked hoped that, by means of the continuance and severity 
of the tortures, they should hear something from him that ought 
not to be uttered, set himself against them with such firmness as 
not to mention even his own name, nor that of the nation or city 
whence he was, nor whether he were bond or free ; but to all ques- 
tions he answered in the Roman tongue " I am a Christian." This 
he repeatedly declared to be to him instead of a name, instead of 
a country, and instead of a family ; but no other word did the 
heathen hear from him. Whence also there was great strife both 
of the Governor and torturers against him ; so that, when they had 
nothing left that they could do to him, at last they fastened red hot 
plates of brass on the tenderest parts of his body. But though his 
limbs were burning, he remained upright and unshrinking, sted- 
fast to his confession, bathed and strengthened from Heaven with 
that fountain of living water, that springs from the well of Christ. 
But his body bore witness of what had been done, being one entire 
wound and bruise, and wrenched, and deprived of the external 
form of man. In whom Christ Himself suffering shewed forth 
great glory, confounding the adversary, and shewing, for an ex- 
ample to others, that nothing is terrible where is the love of the 
Father ; nothing painful where is the glory of Christ. For 
when the ungodly again after several days tortured the Martyr, 
and thought that they should overcome him by applying the same 
torments while his wounds were yet swollen and sore, and could 
scarce bear the mere touch of the hand ; or that by dying under 
the torture he would at least alarm the rest ; not only did no such 
thing befal him, but also, contrary to all human expectation, his 
frail body recovered and wa? strengthened in his latter torments, and 
regained its former appearance, and the use of the limbs ; so that, 
by the favour of Christ, his second torture was made to him no 
punishment, but a remedy. 

And then the Devil, thinking he had already swallowed up 
one woman of the number of those, who had denied Christ, 
named Biblias, led her to the torture, to compel her to say impious 
things concerning us, as one now easily to be broken, and without 
courage. But she came to herself under the tortures, and awoke, 
r-o to speak, from a deep sleep ; being reminded by temporal pu- 



6 

nishment of the eternal misery of hell ; and declared, in contradic- 
tion of the blasphemers, " How should those devour children, with 
whom it is not allowed even to eat the blood of brute animals ?" 
And from this time she confessed herself to be a Christian, and 
was added to the number of the Martyrs. 

But, when these tyrannical cruelties were confounded by Christ 
through the patience of the Blessed Martyrs, the Devil imao-ined 
other devices, such as confinement in prison, in the darkest and 
most loathsome dungeon ; and stretching their feet in the stocks, 
even to the fifth hole ; and all other such insults, as the under- 
keepers, when enraged, (and these same men filled with the Evil 
Spirit) are accustomed to put upon their prisoners ; so that many 
were suffocated in the prison, those whom the Lord willed thus to 
escape, showing forth His glory. Some there were who had been 
bitterly tormented, so that it should have seemed that with all pos- 
sible care they could scarce have lived, who stayed in prison ; de- 
prived indeed of human care, but revived and strengthened by the 
Lord in body and soul, and exciting and comforting the rest. But 
the young, and those newly apprehended, whose bodies had suffered 
no previous mangling, could not endure the pressure of this confine- 
ment, but died in prison. 

But the blessed Pothinus, who was entrusted with the bishoprick 
of the Church in Lyons, above ninety years of age, and quite worn 
out in body, scarce able to breathe from his previous infirmity, but 
renewed in strength by the readiness of his spirit, in his earnest 
desire of martyrdom, himself also was dragged to the tribunal; 
his body worn out with age and disease ; but his life being still kept 
in him, that Christ might triumph through it : — who, when brought 
by the soldiers to the tribunal, all the authorities of the city follow- 
ing him, and all the crowd, as though he had been Christ Him- 
self, uttering all sorts of cries against him, bore a good testimony. 
And when asked by the Governor, who might be the God of the 
Christians ? he said, " If thou be worthy, thou shalt know." After 
this he was dragged about without mercy, and sufiered all kinds of 
buffeting, those who were near him insulting him with their hands 
and feet, without regard to his age ; and those at a distance throw- 
ing at him whatever came to hand ; and all thinking any one guilty 
of a great fault and impiety, who should be wanting in insolence 
towards him. For they considered that they should thus avenge 



I 



their gods. And he was cast, scarce alive, into the prison, and died 
after two days. Here then, there took place a remarkable dispen- 
sation of God, and ah infinite compassion of Jesus was shown 
forth ; a thing, which had rarely occurred in the brotherhood, but is 
not unsuited to the wisdom of Christ. For those, who denied at 
their first apprehension, were themselves also confined, and partook 
of our sufferings. At this time the denial of the faith was of no 
use to them ; for those, who confessed what they were, were im- 
prisoned as Christians, no further charge being brought against 
them ; whereas these were still detained as murderers* and impure, 
suffering double the punishment of the rest. Those indeed the 
joy of martyrdom f, and the hope of the promises, and the love of 
Christ, and the Spirit of the Father, comforted; but these, 
conscience tormented with great vengeance ; so that, in passing by, 
their countenances might be distinguished amongst all the rest. For 
the one went cheerfully, great glory and grace being mingled 
in their countenances; so that their very chains hung on them as a 
noble ornament, as on a bride adorned with robes embroidered and 
fringed with gold ; at the same time, smelling so of the sweet odour 
of Christ, that some even appeared to have been anointed with 
earthly perfumes. But the others went abashed, and dejected, and 
wretched in their looks, and full of disgrace ; and, moreover, re- 
proached by the very heathen as ignoble and unmanly ; bearing 
indeed the charge of murder +, but having lost the honourable, and 
glorious, and life-giving Name. The rest, seeing these things, were 
confirmed ; and those who were apprehended, confessed without he- 
sitation, not even taking any thought of the reasonings of the Devil. 
* * * 

To conclude ; their martyrdoms were distinguished by various 
kinds of death. For, having plaited a crown of diff*erent colours, 
and of all kinds of flowers, they off'ered it to the Father. It 
was needful, it seems, that these noble champions, who had en- 
dured a varied conflict, and been greatly victorious, should receive 
the great and incorruptible crown. 

Maturus, and Sanctus, and Blandina, and Attains, were taken 
to the beasts in the public place, for a common spectacle to 
the inhumanity of the heathen; this day of wild-beast fighting 

• Vid. p. 4. t Bearing witness. 

i Namely, of eating human Hcsli, as above, p. 4. 



being given on purpose to shew forth our Martyrs. And Maturus, 
and SanctuB, again went through, in the Amphitheatre, every 
torture, as if they had absolutely suffered nothing before. Rather, 
as having now in several combats foiled the Adversary, and 
engaged in the contest for the very crown, they supported again the 
courses of scourging usually inflicted there, and the dragging about 
by the beasts, and whatever else the mad populace shouted and 
demanded on this side and that, to have done to them ; and above 
all, the iron seat, on which their bodies, being scorched, choked them 
with the smell. But their persecutors did not cease even with this ; 
but were yet more outrageous, wishing to overcome their patience. 
And even thus they could hear nothing from Sanctus, beyond the 
words of confession he had been accustomed to use from the first. 
These then, their life holding out long through a severe conflict, 
were at last put to death ; being by themselves, throughout that day, 
a spectacle to the world, instead of all the variety of single com- 
bats. But Blandina, hung up on a cross, was placed to be devoured 
by the beasts that were turned in. She, thus visibly hanging 
in the figure of a Cross, and engaged in earnest prayer, wrought 
great readiness in those who underwent the conflict ; since they saw, 
in the midst of their suflferings, even with the outward eye, in 
their sister. Him who was crucified for them, to persuade 
those who believe in Him, that every one who hath suffered 
for the glory of Christ, hath for ever communion with the Living 
God, And, none of the beasts having at that time touched her, 
she was taken down from the cross, and carried up again to the 
prison, to be kept for another conflict ; that, by conquering in yet 
more encounters, she might bring inexorable condemnation on the 
crooked Serpent ; and, though by nature little, weak, and easily to 
be despised, yet having put on Christ, the great and invincible 
Champion, she might encourage the brethren ; having overpowered 
the Adversary in many combats, and having won in the contest the 
incorruptible crown. 

Next Attains himself, being much called for by the multi- 
tude, (for he was a well-known man,) came in prepared for the 
combat by a good conscience, since he was truly exercised in the 
Christian discipline, and had always been amongst us a witness of 
the truth. He was led all round the Amphitheatre, with a tablet 
carried before him, on which was written in Latin, " This is Atta- 



his the Christian." And the people being exceedingly enraged 
ao-ainst him, the Governor, having understood that he was a Eoman, 
ordered him to be taken back among the rest that were in the pri- 
son ; concerning whom he sent to Ccesar, and waited for his 
decision. But the* meantime was not idle nor fruitless to them, 
but through their patience the infinite mercy of Christ appeared. 
For the dead members were enlivened through the living ; and the 
Martyrs shewed favour to those who were not martyrs, and there 
was great joy to the Virgin Mother, the Church, in receiving those 
again living, whom she had cast away as dead and abortive. For 
by those good men, the greater number of those, who had denied 
Christ were renewed, and reconceived, and rekindled ; and 
learned to confess ; and now, living and full of nei-ve, were brought 
before the tribunal ; — God, who desireth not the death of a sinner, 
but sheweth goodness to repentance, granting them of His kindness 
to be again questioned by the Governor. For, (Caesar having ordered 
that these should be executed, but that if any denied, they should 
be released,) when the public festival here began, which is nume- 
rously attended by persons, who come together to it from all 
nations, he brought the blessed Martyrs to the tribunal for a spec- 
tacle, and to make a show of them to the multitudes. Wherefore 
also he examined them again ; and as many as appeared to have 
had Roman citizenship, he beheaded ; but the rest he sent to the 
beasts. But Christ was greatly glorified in those who had denied be- 
fore, but then confessed, contrary to the expectation of the heathen. 
For these were even separately examined, as on the idea that they 
were to be dismissed ; but confessing, were added to the number of 
the Martyrs. But those remained without, who never had any trace 
of faith, nor a feeling of the bridal garment, nor a sense of the fear 
of God ; but by their very manner of life brought scandal on the 
true way, that is, the sons of perdition. But all the others were 
united to the Church. And while they were under examination, 
one Alexander, a Phrygian by birth, and a physician by profession, 
who had lived many years in the provinces of Gaul, and was 
known almost by all, for his love to God, and boldness in declar- 
ing the word, (for he was not without a share of the Apostolic gift,) 
standing by the tribunal, and encouraging them by signs in their 
confession, was observed by those who stood round the tribunal, to 

B 



10 

be thus as it were in travail for them.* But the multitude, beino^ 
enraged at hearing these confess again, who had before denied, 
cried out against Alexander, as if he had been the cause of it. And 
the Governor turning upon him, and asking who he was, he an- 
swered " A Christian ;" upon which the other, in" a rage, condemned 
him to be given to the beasts. And next day he came in with Atta- 
ins. For the Governor, to please the people, gave up Attalus also 
again to the wild beasts. But they, in the Amphitheatre, having 
passed through all the instruments of torture, that ever were in- 
vented, and endured a most severe conflict, were at last put to 
death. Alexander without uttering a groan or a syllable, but con- 
versing in his heart with God. But Attalus, when he was placed 
on the iron seat, and scorched, when the vapour went up from his 
body, said to the crowd, in the Roman tongue ; " Behold this is 
man-eating, which yourselves do ; but we neither eat men, nor do 
any other evil thing." And when asked v^^hat name God hath, 
he answered, " God hath not a name, as a man hath.'* 

And after all these things, on the last remaining day of the com- 
bats, Blandina was brought in again, with a boy from Pontus, of 
about fifteen years old ; (who had been also brought in every day to 
see the tortures of the others ;) and were commanded to swear by 
their idols. And because they remained constant, and set them 
at nought, the multitude was enraged against them ; so that they 
neither pitied the youth of the boy, nor respected the female ; but 
they put them to all the most dreadful tortures, and made them 
pass through the whole course of inflictions, demanding of them 
again and again to swear, (by the heathen gods,) but unable to make 
them do so. For the youth of Pontus, encouraged by our sister, so 
that^ven the heathen saw that she was forwarding and confirming 
him, having nobly endured all his torments, gave up the ghost. 
But the blessed Blandina, last of all, like a noble mother, having 
stirred up her children, and sent them forward victorious to the 
king ; and having herself gone through all the same conflicts with 
her children, hastened after them, rejoicing and exulting in her 
departure, as if called to a marriage supper, instead of being thrown 
to wild beasts. And after the scourging, after the wild beasts, after 
the scorching, at last she was placed in a basket, and thrown to a 

• Gal.iv. 19. 



11 

bull ; and died, after having been much tossed about by the animal, 
having no feeling of her sufferings, through her hope and hold of 
those things which she believed, and her converse with Ceirist; 
even the heathen themselves confessing, that no woman ever 
among them bore such and so numerous tortures. 

But nut even thus could their madness, and cruelty to the Saints, 
be satisfied; for those fierce and barbarous tribes, stirred up by the 
Dragon, were hardly to be quieted. And they made another 
fierce attack on the bodies of the Martyrs, being not ashamed of 
their former defeat, because they had not the reasonable feeling 
of men ; but it rather inflamed their anger, as though both 
Governor and people had been of some brute nature, shewing 
like unjust hatred toward us ; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, 
" he that is ungodly, let him be ungodly still, and he that is 
righteous, let him be righteous still. *. For they even threw those, 
who were stifled in the dungeon, to the dogs ; watching them 
carefully night and day, lest any should be buried by us. And 
then having exposed what beasts and fire had left, partly torn, 
and partly burnt to a cinder, and the heads of the rest, with 
the headless bodies, they kept them in like manner unburied, 
with military observation and guard, many days. And some grinned 
and gnashed their teeth at them, seeking to wreak some further 
vengeance on them ; others mocked and jested at them, glorify- 
ing their idols, and ascribing to them the punishment of the 
dead. Even the better sort, and those who seemed to have some 
compassion, uttered many reproaches, saying, *' Where is their God, 
and what has his service profited them, which they chose before 
their own lives r" Such were the various doings of our enemies; 
but we were in great sorrow, for that we could not commit the 
bodies to the earth. For neither would night enable us to do it, 
nor w^uld money persuade, nor entreaties shame them ; but they 
guarded them in every way, as if they gained much in depriving 
them of burial. 

* * * 

The bodies of the Martyrs, when they had been publicly insulted 
and exposed in every way for six days, were at last burnt to ashes 
by the ungodly, and swept into the river Rhone, which runs by, 

* Rev. xxii, 11. 



12 

that not a fragment of them might appear still on the earth. And 
this they did, as if they could overcome God, and deprive them of 
their resurrection ; in order, as they said, that " these Christians 
may not have even that hope, of rising again, which persuades 
them to bring in upon us some strange and new worship, and to 
despise all terrors, coming readily and with joy to their death. 
Now let us see, if they will rise again ; and if their God can help 
them, and take them out of our hands." 



Such were the sufferings of the Blessed Saints in early times for 
Christ their Saviour. 

Hence we learn how Christ supports all who trust in Him; and 
how far we are below the Saints of early times in courage, patience, 
and love. We learn that our greatest troubles are very slight, com- 
pared with those which Christians then underwent, and underwent 
for their very virtue's sake ; whereas now we often suffer only for our 
sins. And we learn beside, how blessed ft is to suffer boldly in a 
good cause-, for we encourage others to do the same ; and we are re- 
minded what a short time the fiercest sufferings last ; for these cruel 
trials of the Christians of France took place so long ago, that it is as 
if they had never been ; whereas ever since, and now, and so on 
for ever, these Martyrs have been rejoicing in heaven in the pre- 
sence of God. 

Moreover we learn hovv we ought to think of, love, and imitate 
good Christians, however far off. We are not so far from France, 
as France is from Asia. Now this letter was written to the Churches 
of Asia ; which shows, how anxious the Christians in those parts 
were, to know about the trials of their brethren of France. 



OC^ These Tracts may he had at TurrilVs^ No. 250, Regent 
Street, London. 

KINO, rniMEU, SI. cllmlnt's, ox I ok d. 



JVov. 30, 1833.] 

RECORDS OF THE CPIURCH. 

No. vir. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St. Peter, on his ivay to martyrdom., 
to the Church at Smyrna. 

Ignatius, who is called also Theophorus to the Church of God 
the Father and the beloved Jesus Christ, which is at 
Smyrna in Asia, mercifully blessed with every gift of God, 
fulfilled in faith and love, most acceptable in His sight, and fruit- 
ful in Saints, deficient in no one of His Gifts ; Hail, in the 
Holy Spirit and in the Word of God ! 

I. I glorify Jesus Christ, even God, who has made you thus 
wise unto salvation. For I have perceived that ye are perfected in 
immoveable faith, as though ye were nailed, both in body and 
soul, unto the cross of our Lord Jesus ; and firmly stablished in 
love through the blood of Christ, most fully believing upon our 
Lord ; who verily was of the race of David according to the flesh, 
but the Son of God according to the Will and the Power of God ; 
truly born of a Virgin, baptized of John, in order that all righte- 
ousness might be fulfilled by Him, who for us was truly nailed to 
the cross in the flesh under Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrarch, 
of whose fruit are we, through His divine and blessed Passion ; 
that He may by His resurrection raise a standard for ever for His 
faithful Saints, whether Jews or Gentiles, in one body of His 
Church. 

H. For He suffered all these things for us, and for our salva- 
tion ; and He verily suffered, as He in verity also raised Himself 
again ; and not as some unbelievers say, that He suffered in ap- 
pearance only, being themselves only an appearance ; and accord- 
ing to their belief, so shall it be unto them, seing that they are 
Phantastics and Demoniacs. 

HL For I know, that even after the Resurrection He was in the 
flesh, and beheve that He still is ; and, when He came unto Peter 
and his companions. He said *' Take hold, handle me, and see, 
that I am not an incorporeal Spirit." And immediately they touched 
Him, and believed ; being convinced both by His Flesh and His 



Spirit ; through which conviction also they despised death, and 
were found to be superior to it. But after His Resurrection He in 
the flesh ate and drank with them, although being in the Spirit 
united to the Father. 

IV. These things I exhort you, my beloved, knowing that thus 
also ye are disposed of yourselves. But I forewarn you against 
beasts in human shape ; these you must not only not admit to your 
society, but if possible, not even come in their way. Only, pray for 
them, if by any means they may repent ; which yet is a hard 
matter ; but our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our true Life has 
power even for this. For if in appearance only these things were 
done by our Lord, then are my bonds also in appearance only. 
But wherefore have I given myself up unto death, to the fire, to 
the sword, to beasts ? But if I am near the sword, I am near God ; 
and if I am among beasts, I am with God also. Only, in the name 
of Jesus Christ I endure all : that I may suffer with Him, as He, 
who became perfect man, gives me strength. 

V. Whom some, not knowing, deny : nay, rather are denied of 
Him, being the advocates not of truth but of death ; whom neither 
the prophecies, nor the Law of Moses, nor even the Gospel up to 
this day, nor our individual sufferings have converted. For they 
think the same thing even concerning us. What availeth it to me, 
if any one praiseth me, but blasphemeth my Lord, denying that 
He came in the flesh ? But he who denieth this, denieth Him 
altogether, being dead in Spirit. But the names of these men 
it hath not seemed good to me to write, seeing that they are in 
unbelief; nay, I would not that I should mention them at all, until 
they shall be turned to belief in His Passion, in which consists our 
Resurrection. 

VL Let no one deceive himself. Even heavenly things, and the 
glory of Angels, and Powers visible and invisible are condemned 
already, if they believe not in the blood of Christ. " He that is 
able to receive this, let him receive it." Let no one be puffed up 
by rank. For Faith and Love, to which nothing is preferable, are 
all in all. But consider those who hold other doctrines than 
the grace of GpD which has come unto us, how contrary they are 
to the will of God ; who have no care for brotherly love, who 
take no thought for the widow, the orphan, or the oppressed, bond, 
or free, hungry, or thirsty. 

VIL These abstain from the Sacrament, and from prayer ; 



because they confess not that the Sacrament is the Body of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, which sufifered for our sins, which the 
Father in His mercy raised again. They then, denying the Gift of 
God, perish in their disputes. Well had it been for them to 
accept It rather with thankfulness, that through It they might rise 
again. From such then it is meet that you should abstain ; and not 
even to speak concerning them, either in private or public. But 
attend diligently to the Prophets, and above all to the Gospel in 
which His Passion is made manifest to us, and His Resurrection per- 
fected ; but avoid divisions, as the beginning of evils. 

VHI. Follow your Bishop, all of you, even as Jesus Christ 
the FATHER ; and the body of Presbyters, as the Apostles. Respect 
the Deacons, as ye would the commandment of God. Let no one 
do any thing pertaining to the Church without the Bishop. Let that 
be esteemed a well-ordered celebration of the Sacrament, which 
is administered either by the Bishop, or by those to whom he has 
committed it. Where the Bishop is, there let the body of Believers 
be ; even as where Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. Without 
the Bishop it is lawful neither to baptize, nor to celebrate the Com- 
munion ; but whatever he judges right, that also is well-pleasing 
unto God, that all which is done be safe and firm. 

IX. It is meet that we should return to a sober mind, and while 
we have yet time, repent and turn unto God. It is good to reo-ard 
God, and the Bishop. Whoso honoureth the Bishop, he is honoured 
of God. But he that doeth any thing hidden from the Bishop, 
sheweth the Devil. May all things abound unto you in grace, for 
ye are worthy. In all things ye have refreshed me ; even as Jesus 
Christ has refreshed you. Ye have loved me when I was pre- 
sent, and ye have loved me when I was absent. God reward you 
therefore, for whom ye endure all things ; wherefore also ye will 
attain unto Him ! 

X. Ye have done well, in that ye have received as the servants of 
Christ, even of God, Philo, and Rheus, and Agathopus, my 
followers in the word of God ; who also bless the Lord for you, 
because ye have in every way refreshed them. None of these 
things shall perish. My soul be as your souls, and my bonds, 
which ye despised not, neither were ashamed of; wherefore He who 
was perfect Faith, even Christ Jesus, will not be ashamed of you. 

XI. Your prayer has come unto the Church which is at Antioch 



in Syria ; O^om whence coming in bonds, which are acceptable to 
God, I salute you all. Nor ara I worthy to be called one of that 
Church, because 1 am the last of them. But by the will of God 
I was deemed worthy ; not as being myself conscious thereof,^ut 
through the grace of God ; which I pray may be given unto me 
perfectly, that through your prayers I may attain unto God. That 
therefore your work may be perfected, both on earth and in heaven, 
it is right for the honour of God ; that your most sacred Church 
should elect some one to go into Syria to congratulate them that 
they are at rest, and that their numbers have been regained, and 
their body reestablished. It seems to me befitting, that you should 
send some one of your members with an Epistle, that he may with 
them glorify God for the quietness, which He has vouchsafed unto 
them ; and for their having reached the harbour through your 
prayers. As ye are perfect, so let your sentiments be perfect. For 
to those who wish to do well, God is ready to vouchsafe it. 

XII. The love of the brethren at Troas salutes you ; from which 
place I send this Epistle by the hands of Burrhus, whom you sent 
with me, along with your Ephesian brethren, and who has in every 
way been a comfort to me. And would that all imitated him, as 
a pattern of God's Ministry ! The grace of God will fully re- 
ward him. I salute your holy Bishop, your most sacred Presbytery, 
and my fellow servants the Deacons, individually and together in 
the name of Jesus Christ, in His flesh and blood. His Passion and 
Resurrection, both of Body and Spirit, in the unity of God and of 
you. Grace be with you, mercy, peace, and patience evermore ! 

XIII. I salute the households of my brethren, their wives and 
children, the virgins and widows. Farewell through the Spirit. 
Philo, who is with me, salutes you. I salute the household of 
Tabia, and pray that she may be stablished, in body and soul, in 
Faith and Love. I salute Alee, my well-beloved, and the incompara- 
ble Daphnus, and Eutecnus, and all of you by name. Farewell in 
the grace of God ! 



ff3* Tliese Tracts may be had at Turrill's, Xo. 250, Regent 
Street y Lovdon. 

\V. KINO, PRINTER, ST. CLEMENt's, OXFORD. 



Dec. 6, 1833.] 



RECORDS OF THE CHURCH, 

No. VIII. 

THE HOLY CHURCH THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD DOTH 
ACKNOWLEDGE THEE. 



Epistle of Ignatius, the friend of St, Peter, on his way to martyrdoMy 
to the Romans. 

Ignatius, which is also Theophorus, to the Church which hath 
found mercy by the greatness of the supreme Father and of 
Jesus Christ His only Son, beloved and enlightened by the 
will of Him, who willeth all things, according to the love of 
Jesus Christ our God ; and which is established in the place 
of the Romans, all-godly, all-gracious, all-blessed, all-praised, 
all-prospering, all-hallowed, enthroned in Love, with the name 
of Christ and with the name of the Father ; salutation in the 
name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father ; so that ye 
being united in flesh and spirit, according to all His will, ever 
filled with the grace of God, and cleansed from all outward 
pollution, may have a plenteous and blameless joy, through the 
Lord Jesus Christ our God. 

I. Since, through prayer to God, it hath been granted unto me, 
to behold your godly countenances, (an event I have very greatly 
desired,) bound as I am in Jesus Christ, I have a hope of 
saluting you, if by God's will I be deemed worthy to attain unto 
my end. For my progress has been begun successfully if I but 
find grace to come unto my consummation without hindrance. 
For I have fears from your love, lest even it should bring injury 
upon me ; for to you it is easy to work your purpose ; but there 
will be a difficulty in the way of my going unto God, if your afiec- 
tion interfere for me. 

II. I desire that ye be not men-pleasers, but pleasers of God, 
which ye also are. For never shall I find such an opportunity of 
gaining the presence of God ; nor can you have any deed reported 
of you more glorious, than your sil nee now. For if you abstain 



worship to the heathen gods ;> so that all who professed the 
Christian religion were either reduced by their fears to acquiesce 
in this worship, or were exposed to the prospect of death if they 
refused it. Alive to the danger which had fallen on the Church of 
Antioch, this valiant soldier of Christ permitted himself to be 
brought before Trajan, who was residing at the time in that city, 
and w^as on the eve of an expedition against Armenia and the 
Parthians. When brought into the imperial presence, he was thus 
addressed by Trajan. — " Who art thou," he said, " and what evil 
spirit is exercising its malice upon thee, that thou hast thus adven- 
tured to transgress the commands which I have given, and even 
to exercise such persuasion upon others, as has brought them to a 
miserable end ?" Ignatius answered, " I bear the title of Theo- 
phorus ; evil spirits cannot influence the acts of those who bear 
that name ; the Servants of God are protected from the approach 
of Demons. But if, in supposing the malice of such beings 
towards me, you imply my hostility against them, I admit that you 
are not mistaken. For I am the subject of a Heavenly King, whose 
name is Christ, and by His help I bring to nought the counsels