« AnteriorContinuar »
herein is our speedy repentance, further infection of this our calawith prayer and fasting, together mity, and making account of all also with the good use of ordinary good means, and medicinable help means, and wary and careful carriage made known unto us for our better of ourselves out of the danger of preservation ; lest we may seem to contagion: let us be truly wise, mock God by prayer and fasting, and demean ourselves in this time to beg a mitigation of this his useful of our trial, as those that make good chastisement, and yet we frame our use of God's corrections; let us nei actions contrary and opposite to the ther murmur nor grudge against the success we pray for. will of God, nor take impatiently And, among all other things yet what our sins have deserved, and God spoken of, let this one advice be in his fatherly care hath inflicted added without offence unto any; upon us for our amendment; let us That though it be a Christian and not now add sin unto sin, but for laudable custom to accompany the asmuch as the desperate security bodies of the dead unto the grave, of those that seem neither to fear, and commend them in decent mannor to fly from this infection, is but ner unto their rest; yet, seeing the a tempting and provoking of the end of such assemblies as are then judgment of God; seeing it may be gathered together is, by the use of an hindrance unto the fruit of the prayer and the word preached rather prayers and fasting of the church, to give comfort unto the living, than which, be they never so strict and any benefit unto the dead; let men zealous, shall hardly procure a re- be advised, persuaded, and content, lease of this burden of God, if wilful that their dead should be buried with and intemperate spirits will not be no more company than is needful for kept in order; seeing such their un- the interring and laying them up in ruly licentiousness extendeth itself to the earth, because the gathering tothe breach of all charity, and bringeth gether of friends and neighbours in upon their own heads no less than so common a contagion cannot be the guilt of wilful murder, both of without present danger, and hazard themselves, their children, their fa. of their health and lives : and it is milies, and neighbours, which hate- verily thought that infection by this ful cruelty against their own kind, means of meeting hath ensued unto Turks and infidels would abhor; many; and here, if time and place seeing it procureth also a public served, the magistrates might be adand manifest detriment to the state monished of their oversight, in that and places where they dwell, by hin- they have taken no more care in the dering their traffic, and impoverish- beginning for the stay of the overing their neighbours in their trades flowing of this evil. But now the and occupations ; let men at the last contagion being grown so general, be warned, and if there be any fear there is no probable means, espeof God, any obedience to his word, cially in the city of London, how any conscience of the magistrate's they can by any circumspection do authority, any fruits of our faith and that good which might at the first Christian profession, whose badge entrance have been effected. So and cognizance is mutual love and that now the chief remedy to be charity, to further and procure the expected from man is, that every common good of all; let us not go one would be a magistrate unto himforward to tempt God, to continue self and his whole family, and en50 cruel to ourselves, and so harm- deavour by all good care both to ful to others; let us be more hum- preserve themselves, being yet sound; ble in the day of our affliction, sub- or, being diseased, not to scatter their mitting ourselves to those good and infection upon others. If men acwholesome orders and decrees als quainted with the custom of other ready published for preventing the countries should compare the great severity there used in such times as wrath of God, and turn away this these are, with the remiss indul- his indignation from us, restoring us gence which our magistrates have again to his wonted favour, and our used, they shall find great difference former health and safety; which of care and government; which is grace God the Father of all mercy not here remembered to urge any and consolation grant unto us, even sharper directions than may well for his dearly beloved Son Christ agree with the nature of our people. Jesus, his sake, our only Lord and
The conclusion of all is this, That Saviour. Amen. though there cannot be too much care taken for the preserving of those Such was the Exhortation or Hothat are yet sound, and for the se- mily appended to the form of prayer cluding and separating of those that for 1604. An appropriate form of are sick, yet must this warning be thanksgiving was issued a few therewith given: That the infected months after, on the ceasing of the households may not be so shut up, calamity. A copy of it lies before us; as that they be also shut out from but we have not space for further all succour, and relief of necessary extracts. We purpose, in our next maintenance, very many of those Number, to notice several other families which have been, and are forms of prayer which were issued yet visited, being of the poorer sort. during the seventeenth century, on To whose affliction, if you shall add occasion of the frequent visitations affliction, and suffer them to want of the plague during that eventful means of ordinary sustentation, alas! period. what shall become of them, seeing necessity knoweth no law, and want and hunger break stone walls. In THE COMMUNION TABLE NOT which case of need they must, and will break forth for the succour of their lives, though with never so to the Editor of the Christian Observer. much danger to themselves or others. Wherefore, it shall well beseem Having lately undertaken the Sunthose that are rich and able, to shew day duties of a brother clergyman, their fellow-feeling of their brethren's I found on the communion table a necessity; it shall well become the thin quarto book, with the following misery of the time for men to be title, which I conceive to be unorfruitful in good works, whereby their thodox and unprotestant: “The Altar Christian duty may be testified unto Services, according to the Use of the God and men. And it shall agree United Church of England and Irealso with the exercise of fasting and land.” prayer now in hand, that in every Underneath this apparently authoassembly gathered together to that rised but very improper title, were end, there be a collection made of the Cambridge University Arms; and the benevolence of the people, to below them, the following words : be faithfully and truly distributed “Cambridge: printed by J. Smith, by those that are put in trust, unto Printer to the University,” and to my the poor shut up and visited with utter astonishment,“ cum privilegio.” this affliction. So shall your prayers, Without further comment on the fastings, and almsdeeds, as the in- astounding fact, that the“privileged” cense and odours of the faithful, qua printer of a Protestant University in lify the stench and corruption of England has either ventured, or has our sins, and as sacrifices, where- been authorised, to print so Judaical, with God is well pleased, being made so Papistical, a title to any portion acceptable in that sweet smelling of our Protestant Book of Common „savour of our Saviour Christ, Prayer, I beg to offer a few obserwhose intercession shall mitigate the vations on this abuse of the term
" Altar," as applied to the worship 10. The “altar” which St. Paul and services of our Christian, Scrip- says“we have ” as Christians, is not tural, Apostolical, Protestant church; the table of the Lord, but the Lord of which my heart says, “May it be himself; presented in whose name, perpetual.”
and through faith in whose blood, 1. The sacrament of the Lord's our prayers and praises are accepted supper is a commemorative feast, by our Heavenly Father, through his and not a preparatory sacrifice; there- prevailing intercession fore there is no victim, no “altar.” So much for the arguments from
2. A supper is partaken of at a reason and Scripture. I proceed to table, and not at an “altar.”
state several other objections from 3. The original institution of the history, to this use, or rather misuse, holy communion was made at a of the term “ altar." table, (around which the Apostles 1. The ancient communion“tables" sat, or rather reclined), and not at were made of wood, and had legs an “altar.”
attached to them as those in com4. The Sacred Scriptures no where mon use, which " altars” had not, call the place where the elements and have not. are administered, an "altar," but ex- 2.“ Altars,” both the thing and pressly use the words “the table of the name, are of Popish invention the Lord.”
and application; Pope Sixtus the 5. The word "altar” either car- Second having first introduced them ries our ideas back to the Mosaic into the Church of Rome, whence sacrifices, or reminds us of what has they came to us. been called by some the "unbloody,” 3. The most learned and pious and even the “vicarious" sacrifice of foreign, as well as our English,Prothe Mass.
testant divines have written against 6. The use of this term “altar," it this use of the word “altar,” as apis feared, has an almost irresistible plied to the communion table. tendency, to say the least, to lead 4. The statute, 1 Edward VI., men away from the one offering or chap. 1, (A.D. 1547), which denosacrifice for sin of the only Saviour; minated the communion “ table" an and to cause them to attempt to sub- “ altar," was shortly after repealed ; stitute in its place an imaginary and and in the act of repeal, the word self-righteous sacrifice, as though it “altar” was changed to “ table.” were equally acceptable to God, and 5. The stone “altars” used in our perfective of the one and already unreformed church, were, in 1550, perfect sacrifice of Christ.
ordered to be taken down, and tables 7. The sacrifices of “praise," of "a of wood to be provided in their room. broken spirit and a contrite heart,” 6. Day, bishop of Chester, and of “ourselves, our souls and our Heath, bishop of Worcester, for rebodies," are not expiatory as if fusing to obey the royal injunctions brought to an “altar," but a eucha- of our Sixth Edward, (which ordered ristic,“ living," and "spiritual” sur- the then “altars” to be removed, and render or dedication of the soul to “tables” to be placed in their room, God at the Throne of Grace, in the and to be so called), were actually exercise of Christian graces and deprived of their bishoprics, Oct., duties. In this sense, alms given 1551. from love to Christ, are a sacrifice 7. Queen Elizabeth's first injuncpleasing to God.
tions order the "table" to be placed 8. The body of Christ having been in the chancel, without any menonce offered, this sacrifice neither tion of the word “altar.” needs to be, nor can be repeated. 8. The rubric of the communion
9. As “there remaineth no more service several times uses the word sacrifice for sin,” no “altar” is requi- “ table,” but never" altar." red on which to offer a sacrifice. 9. The 82d canon of 1603, orders the “ table” to be placed in Professor of Divinity at Oxford. I the body of the church.
therefore send you a letter which I 10. Archbishop Laud was ex- addressed nearly fourteen years since, pressly accused of favouring, if not to a Right Reverend prelate in the of reintroducing, Popery, mainly United States (who had been kind because he elevated the "table" by enough to favour me with his thoughts means of steps, (as though he wished upon a sermon I had then published it to appear like an altar, and to be on the doctrine of regeneration), and so considered and denominated), and which anticipates much of what I also fenced it in with rails, and placed might have said on the present ocon it a knife; all which circumstances casion; with the advantage of infavoured the Jewish and Popish no. troducing the argument without the tions of a sacrifice.
irritation that might arise from a For these twenty reasons I object personal controversy. This irritato the words “altar services,” and tion, in the present crisis of the should have sent my objections to church, is peculiarly deprecated by the Cambridge printer as recom
Your obedient servant, mended by an aged, pious, zealous,
D. WILSON. and distinguished member of that University, with the sanction of his
“Worlon, O.ron. July 31, 1818. name to my strictures, but for the “ ...... On the great subject of your consideration that the error having letter, Right Rev, sir, I am sure you extended far beyond that renowned will expect me to write with that seat of learning, the correction of it frankness and sincerity which become ought to be made equally extensive. the cause of truth, tempered with
Patriots and warriors may fight that respect and deference which “pro aris et focis,” and Politicians your longer experience in the sacred may write of "the throne and the functions of the ministry, and your altar," while others, who ought to be superior rank as a father and bishop taught better, will use their “Com- in the church, necessarily demand ; panion to the Altar,” which those who not to say that a spirit of meekness knou better ought not to print and and humility is the best recommencirculate; but let the “watchmen" of dation of an argument which touches our Israel, and, the “porters” of the the vitals of religion, and which temple, who are “commanded to should therefore be peculiarly adorned watch," take heed that no such errors by charity and forbearance. find admission within our walls, or, “Permit me then to say, in the first if they do, lift up their voice against place, that I am far from imagining them.
J.W.N. the doctrine of regeneration to be
free from difficulties. In the broad P.S. Since I wrote the above, I and commanding features of it, it find with much regret, that the sister stands clear and conspicuous; but University has printed a volume with in the details, and especially as conthe same improper title.
nected with the expositions of our church, various questions arise. In fact, I believe this to be the case
with regard to every great doctrine LETTER FROM THE REV. DANIEL of religion. Humility is the way to WILSON.
knowledge. Christianity is more a
science of the heart than of the unTo the Editor of the Christian Observer. derstanding; more a matter of faith My time has been so completely ab- than mere reason. I have seldom sorbed by duties that could not be therefore found much gained by conpostponed, that I have not been able troversy. The passions are soon to write a line on the subject of the inflamed and irritated, and truth paper of the Reverend the Regius eludes and escapes from the tumult. Whilst we keep on plain and prac- doctrines of many truly pious clertical topics, and follow the varying gymen; the errors and extravagancies stream of Holy Scripture wherever of enthusiasts were charged upon it flows, I find I can proceed with them; and they were even branded comfort; but when I come to mi- as heretics for maintaining that an nute explications and rigid system, entire change in all the powers of I am aground—my bark refuses the soul is not invariably commuto obey the helm—I am bewildered nicated in baptism, and that such a and lost. Whoever then holds the change is indispensably requisite in fundamental truths of the total cor- order to salvation. In order to supruption of our nature, and the indis- port this acccusation, Dr. (now Bp.) pensable necessity of our becoming Mant asserted that a change of heart, 'new creatures' in Christ Jesus, old sanctification, an inward work of the things passing away and all things Holy Ghost, a new taste and dispobeing made new,' is my friend and sition does uniformly accompany the my brother. Whoever, on the con- administration of baptism; and that trary, explains these truths away, and it is impossible for any man to say virtually resolves this mighty change when such a change takes place, if it of nature into an external reception were not at the sacramental font. of the sacrament of baptism ; and The whole statement was calculated flatters men with the hope of being to loosen the very key-stone of real, real Christians when they are still practical religion, as beginning in a dead in sin, and far from God and communication of a principle of holispiritual religion, is, in my judgment, ness, and leading to conversion, peessentially wrong. I say this the nitence, faith, love, and obedience. more freely, because I perceive with Dr. Mant, one would have thought, pleasure that here you entirely agree must have seen clearly enough, that with me. If those on our side of the entire arch rested on this conthe Atlantic, who have been agitat- necting and binding point; and that, ing this controversy, had all agreed if he could resolve all that the Scripwith you that baptism confers only tures say on the subject of a change privileges as a deed does an estate; of nature into the grace exclusively that it is only a translation from and inseparably attendant on bapa state of nature into the Christian tism, the whole of spiritual and vital church, conveying no moral change piety would sink to its fall; whilst a in the inward dispositions of the cold and formal religion, decent but heart, no new nature, but only placing not energetic, would be reared in its us in a new situation and pledging stead-a religion of external cere. to us certain benefits (which is, I per- mony, worldliness, vanity, and pride, ceive, your view of the case), whilst founded on merely human wisdom the absolute necessity of an entire and power, and extending only to a change of heart and nature, or, as you civil prudence,-a religion whose better express it, “a radical change in foundation was no longer ‘Jesus the carnal and sinful heart,' must be Christ and him crucified, but the enforced on all who are living in sin natural efforts of reason and educaand neglect of God and serious reli- tion, and the external privileges of gion;—if this, or any thing like this, the church. But I retract this,had been the prevailing sentiments I ought not to say that Dr. Mant of the clergy here, no controversy intended this,-let me charitably would have arisen. Mutual charity hope that better motives actuated would have covered those less dif- him: it is sufficient for me to assure ferences of opinion which seem una- you, that such an attack on spiritual voidable in the infirmity of the militant religion had not appeared in my church. But the case with us, as I memory, and that whatever might be conceive, was very different. A bold the designs of the author, the effect and open attack was made on the on the judgments and preaching of