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tures alone, acted on the princi- tian man," he speaks thus under
ple of private judgment, and taught it to others in the fullest extent, whose description of the church of Christ destroyed its national constitution, and whose notions of its officers struck at the foundation of prelacy as well as of popery, it is no wonder, I say, that the Pope, and King, and the Cardinal, and the Chancellor and the Bishops, and their numerous sycophants and dependents, should all join in the cry," Away with such a fellow from the earth, it is not fit that he should live!" Nor is it wonderful under such circumstances, that the martyr should consider the king as being the soul of the conspiracy against him, that he should have exclaimed loudly and fervently at the stake" Lord open the king of England's eyes."
the bead" Baptism." "The washing preacheth unto us that we are cleansed with Christes bloud shedding, which was an offering and a satisfaction for the sin of all that repent and believe, consenting and submitting themselves to the will of God. The plunging into the water signifieth that we die and are buried with Christ, as concerning the olde life of sinne which is Adam. And the pulling out againe, signifieth that we rise again with Christ in a newe life full of the Holy Ghost, which shall teach us, and guide us, and work the will of God in us, as thou seest."* Rom. vi.
The following description of the ministry and character of Tyndale by the excellent John Fox is remarkably striking and correct:
"When the Sunday came, then It has been stated that he was went he to one merchant's chaman elder of a congregational church; ber or other, whither came many and that he was well acquainted other merchants, and unto them with such discipline, is evident would he read some one parcel of from his thus writing of private Scripture, the which proceeded so offences in regard to members of fruitfully, sweetly, and gently from the same church. "And I will him (much like to the writing of ask my brother forgiveness (if the St. John the Evangelist,) that it peace I mean, be not made already) was heavenly comfort and joy to and will make to my power such the audience to hear him read the satisfaction to him as shall seem Scriptures and likewise after dinright in his eyes, if he be reasonable, or as the congregation should assign, or faithful men appointed thereunto by the congregation, or such as I and he shall agree upon, and will endeavour myself to do so no more with the help of thy grace, and will submit myself to the wholesome ordinance of the congregation according to the doctrine of thy son Jesus and of his faithful apostle, for there is none other name under heaven than Jesus given to men that we may be saved by." Acts iv.
Whether he was a Baptist or not let the reader of his works decide: "In the obedience of a Chris
"A brief declaration of the Sacraments,
expressing the fyrst oryginall, how they came up and were instituted, with the true and moost syncere meaning and understandynge of the same, very necessarye for receaving therof. Compyled by the godly learned man Wyllam Tyndall. Imprinted at Londonby Robert Stoughton, dwellynge within Ludgate, at the sygne of the Bishoppes Miter." This is a 12mo. printed in black letter without date, but thought to be about 1533, consisting of 36 leaves or 72 pages. It is a most elaborate and scriptural defence of
all men that wyl not erre in the true use and
the views of the Sacramentarians, and is
printed in the "Works of the English and Reformers," with another title. Vol. iii. Edited by the Rev. J. Russel,
ner he spent an hour in the aforesaid manner."
"In opening the Scriptures, what truth, what soundness can a man require more, or what more is to be said than is to be found in Tyndale? In his Prologues upon the five books of Moses, upon Jonas, upon the Gospels, and Epistles of St. Paul, chiefly to the Romans ; how perfectly doth he hit the right sense and true meaning in every thing! In his obedience, how fruitfully teacheth he every person to his duty! In his Exposition, and upon the Parable of the Wicked Mammon, how pithily doth he persuade! how gravely doth he exhort! how lovingly doth he, comfort! simply, without ostentation; vehement, without contention. Which two faults, as they commonly are wont to follow the most part of writers, so how far the same were from him, and he from them, his replies and answers to Sir Thomas More do well declare. In doctrine sound, in heart humble, in life unrebukeable, in disputation modest, in rebuking charitable, in truth fervent, and yet no less prudent in dispensing the same, and bearing with time and weakness of men as much as he might, saving only where mere necessity constrained him otherwise to do, for defence of truth against wilful blindness and subtle hypocrisy. Briefly, such was his modesty, zeal, charity, and painful travail, that he never sought for any thing less than for himself, for nothing more than for Christ's glory, and edification of others; for whose cause he not only bestowed his labours, but his life and blood also. Wherefore not unrightly he might be then; as he is yet called, the Apostle of England, as Paul called Epaphroditus the Apostle of the Philippians, for his singular care and affection towards them. For
as the Apostles in the primitive age first planted the church in truth of the gospel; so the same truth being again defaced and decayed by enemies in this our latter time, there was none that travelled more earnestly in restoring of the same in this realm of England than did William Tyndale."
The following epitaph is the only one that has been as yet composed for this "Apostle of England!" "Not worthy to contain so great a mind, Tyndale for Christ, his country leaves be
Maligned through life,-victim of popish
others will also revive us again; by the same means. It was when
if we seek him with our whole" hearts.
they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, that the people understood the meaning, wept bitterly, and entered anew into covenant with God.
We know that true religion in its nature and principles is always the same. The prayer implies both its existence and its declension"the wonted force and vigour At the time of our Lord's comof those who thus prayed were ing, the forms of religion were obabated;" and they plead past re- served, but every thing indicated vivals and former enjoyments, and that the power of it was little unthe experience of others, saying in derstood; one cause of it is deeffect; "Wilt not thou who art clared to be that "the Pharisees the author of our faith be the had made void the word of the finisher also?" Thou who hast Lord through their traditions." In visited others with times of refresh-like manner the revival by the ing, wilt thou not revive us again? preaching of John the Baptist and Lord to whom shall we go? thou, the introduction of Christianity thou alone hast the words of eter- was attended by a constant appeal nal life! to the Scriptures!
Having, my Christian friends, been encouraged by good tidings of what the Lord is accomplishing for others, we have this day been praying for a better state of things amongst ourselves. I shall point out some of those things which most usually occasion a decline, and others which accompany a revival of religion.
In confirmation of this sentiment it would be easy to trace the awful apostacy of the church of Rome to the disuse of the Holy Scriptures; and to shew that the reformation from popery was chiefly accomplished by their returning to the word of the Lord. Let it not be thought that by laying this stress upon the use of the Scriptures, we view them in any other light than as the means by which the Lord is pleased to work his own will. Every instrument implies an agent: that agent is the Holy Spirit; but when do we hear of his influences being felt where the word of God is either unknown or neglected? On the contrary, may we not conclude that as the word was indited by the Spirit of God, that a disregard of the Scriptures is one of those evils by which the Spirit has been grieved, and on account of which his more copious influences,
I. The first resolution which follows the text, is a renewed and zealous regard to the Scriptures of truth. ver. 8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak, &c. And if we examine the history of past ages, we shall find, that true religion has prospered or languished, in proportion to their regard to, or neglect of the word of God. Thus in the days of Manasseh, when the book of the law was lost, and could not be found even in the temple, the abominations of idolatry became open and universal in the land of Israel; when Josiah suc-have been, and are still withheld ceeded, the lost book was found, and the reading of it to the people became the chief instrument of the reformation which took place. Another glorious revival took place in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah,
from us? Let us call to mind our own experience, and we shall find that usually in seasons of doubt, of langour and of difficulty, it was by his word that the spirit quickeued, strengthened, and comforted
us! O then, how ought we to prize that word which the Lord "hath magnified above all his name," which David "esteemed more than thousands of gold and silver," and which is the appointed medium of sanctification and comfort to every believer. Hence our Saviour prayed for all his true disciples, Sanctify them through the truth, thy word is truth." The Scriptures contain doctrines to be understood and believed, precepts to be learned and obeyed; and remedies to be applied; but if any of us remain ignorant of their contents, or regardless of their application, their being easy of access will but render us more inexcusable if we are not made wise unto salvation.
man who consults a legal adviser; they each state their case and look up. Observe that poor man who has just knocked at a rich man's door.
He states his deep distress, and begs relief; watches and waits till he is answered. But some Christians often go away, one to his farm another to his merchandize, and think no more of their prayers. On the other hand, did we carefully remember what we have prayed for, how would it secure our circumspection and stability. What meekness and humility might be expected from them who have been confessing their own sins, and resolving to go softly all the days of their life!' What vigilance from them who have been lamenting the plague of their own heart! what II. Let us enquire whether we zeal and activity from them who have at all times been careful to have been giving thanks for their understand and remember the sub- own deliverance, and imploring ject of our own prayers? It is the influences of his Holy Spirit very awful to think of approach- to revive the heart of the contrite ing the Searcher of hearts, without and turn the children of disobeunderstanding what we say, de-dience to the wisdom of the just! siring what we ask for, or be- III. Let us cultivate a humble lieving that our prayers will be and believing dependence upon the heard. And yet who can say that influences of the Holy Spirit. It no degree of this solemn mockery is indeed the Spirit that quickenruns through his petitions? Alas, eth; and let the consideration of how many prayers have been pre- what he has done for us, make sented, that came not from the us at once humble and thankful. heart, were forgotten as soon as If we are not now what we desire uttered! Need we wonder if no to be, we are not as we once were. answer were obtained? It was the We much need reviving, but when resolution of David to pray and the Spirit first found us we were look up. "Unto thee will I direct destitute of life, like a condemned my prayer and will look up." Ps. criminal in a putrid fever: there v. 3. But we have sometimes pray- was the hand of a double death ed and instantly looked down, pur- upon us. Till quickened by the sued the world and forgot our own Spirit man is dead in sin, and under petitions! Yet when we address the condemnation of God's righa letter to an absent friend upon teous law. And even after we have important business we look for an been raised from this state of disanswer; we often recal the con-tance and of death, we often need tents of our requests, and continue to be revived again; a sense of this to cherish expectation till we shall need is a sign of life, as hungering have a reply; so does the invalid and thirsting are as much proofs who applies to a physician, or the of life as eating and drinking, so
we trust the earnest desires so to pray for as we ought, but the often and so fervently expressed Spirit helpeth our infirmities." The this day, are some proof of spiri- wisest if left to themselves would tual life, though it has been also often ask amiss either as to the an acknowledgment of its feeble-object or the motive-but he makThat we may ascertain whe-eth intercession according to the ther from this time we begin to will of God. The most zealous recover, we shall point out some grow careless and formal-but he symptoms of its operations on the quickens when our souls cleave to hearts of sincere penitents. the dust. The holiest contract 1. It is the Holy Spirit that fresh guilt, and when they rememquickens our convictions of sin, ber God are troubled-but He reparticularly the remembrance of vives their confidence by the apour own sins. Many sins impress plication of the blood of sprinkling, us less as time removes them to a and restores unto them the joys of distance from us; and a sense of God's salvation. Hence the cautheir guilt often wears away by tion against "grieving the Holy forgetfulness, instead of beingwashi- Spirit of God, whereby we are ed away in the blood of Christ. sealed, unto the day of redempBut the operation of the Spirit tion." It would not only be the upon our hearts will make us of vilest ingratitude, considering what quick understanding in the fear of he has done for us, but the greatthe Lord. Under his influence we est folly, to provoke Him by our detect our own sin, where others sins; for who besides can restore us would not accuse us of it, and re- to repentance? Hence the exmember those sins which they had hortation, Quench not the Spirit.' perhaps forgotten; and whilst some Floods of iniquity will quench the say with Cain, "My punishment holy flame. "Minding earthly is greater than I can bear," the things" intensely, will tend to smotrue penitent says with David, ther it. Neglecting the means of My sin is ever before me!" Sin grace is like leaving a fire without is embittered to him by the very supply of fuel, it dies away-trusthope that it is forgiven; his deep-ing in the means without enjoying est regrets are felt at the foot of the cross.
2. The Spirit also quickens our spiritual desires and enjoyments. When He shews us the fulness that there is in Christ, its adaptation to our necessities, and the freeness with which it is imparted to those who come unto God by him, and enables us to taste and enjoy the things of the Spirit.
We need his influence in maturing all the graces of the Christian character, and in performing every duty of the Christian life. We need the help of the Spirit, especially in prayer, as a spirit of grace and of supplication. What says the Apostle?" We know not what
his influence, is offering contempt to him who holds our souls in life. O then brethren, with what resolution should we follow up the confessions and supplications of this day! Let us hasten to our closets, enter the chambers of imagery, and desire to detect every secret sinand should the enemy of souls pursue us even to the mercy seat, let us pray that the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against him.
But a diligent regard to the state of religion in our own hearts, and in the respective churches with which we are connected, will not lead to the neglect of those persons that are yet without. The land within is the land possessed;