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mercy of our heavenly Father, for all those who rest the whole hope of their salvation on him alone. 5th, A firm resolution, in future, to conduct ourselves in a more orderly and careful manner.
In these particulars true repentance consists, and this repentance should be professed before the servant of Christ; First, that from him we may receive instruction and spiritual advice, to the more hopeful amendment of ourselves in future, Secondly, that he, in the name of Christ, may make known to the penitent the remission of his sins, and may give him assurance out of the gospel, concerning the mercy of God, that he may have the hope of salvation.
The acknowledgment and confession of sins ought not to be general; but we should mention particularly, and by name, what sort of sins we have committed; for it is impossible that hidden wounds can be cured; and it is the more necessary we be particular, when it is considered that this confession is not made unto man but unto God, the searcher of our hearts, and the trier of our reins. Moreover, why should we blush to make known before man that which we are not ashamed 'to transact before the most holy eyes of God ?
Confession should be made whenever our consciences torment us, by reproaching us with some sin or other; and at least when we are prepa
ring to receive the communion. If, as above stated, there can be no remission of sins in repentance, except to him who believes in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, consequently that repentance which has no faith in the Saviour can never be effectual. *
Of Ordination. Ordination is a mystery in which the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of his servants,consecrateth the worthy person chosen, to dispense the ordinances, and feed the flock of Christ.
Formerly it was observed, that in the church, as in a properly regulated society, there exists an ecclesiastical government. The collective body
* According to the statement of our author, it was formerly the custom for the priests to make very particular enquiries of the person who came to confess, urging the necessity of uncovering the wounds, in order to have them healed; but this custom is now nearly laid aside, for the priest only recites the ten commandments, and asks the person which of them he has been guilty of breaking. After confession, the priest prays that Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, through his grace, bounty, and love to mankind, may forgive the person all his sins, from which he then absolves him, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The common people usually confess in the church, one by one, apart with their spiritual father ; but, people of distinction get the priests to come and receive their confessions in their own houses.
of those who feed the flock of Christ, are the spiritual rulers, and through this body the Lord himself makes choice of others who are worthy.
The pastoral office necessarily requires, that he who is chosen to this great charge should be, Ist, Of an unblameable character. 2d, Apt to teach: For, according to the prescription of Paul, a pastor ought to be “ an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” And he is commanded, “ to preach the word; to be instant in season and out of season; to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine.” i Tim. iv. 12. and 2 Tim. iv. 2.
After being chosen according to this rule, the candidates are ordained to be ministers through the superior pastors of the church, such as the bishops ; and the bishops are ordained through other bishops. This ordination is performed through the invocation of the Holy Ghost, and the laying on of hands in the midst of the assembled church, who confirm the choice made, by exclaiming, “ He is worthy !" *
which is used at the ordination of the secua lar clergy, as Dr King observes, is probably of very high antiquity ; as it seems to derive its origin from the ancient mana ner of electing to these offices, by suffrage of the people; who signified their approbation by, saying Agios; or their disapprobation, by saying Avažnos, he is unworthy.
This manner of ordination, through the laying on of hands, had its beginning with the apostles themselves, from whom, by an uninterrupted succession, it has descended to us. Thus it is written concerning it in the Acts of the Apostles, xiv. 23. “ And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” *
Of the duty of pastors, we have already spoken under Section xxix. of this Part. And from the considerations just stated, it follows: First, that those who are not ordained by the laying on of hands, can neither dispense the ordinances, nor teach in the church. Secondly, That to the
pastors of the church, and particularly to those who labour in word and in doctrine, every Christian ought to shew all due respect, so that they may perform this duty with joy, and not with grief. Heb. xiii. 17. +
* Slavonian. “And having laid their hands on the presbyters of all the churches, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed."
† The prayers and numerous ceremonies attending the ordination of the different orders of Russian priests, may be seen, at large in Dr King's translation of them.
Of Marriage. Marriage is a holy rite,* in which the servant of the church unites two marriageable persons, and prayeth for the blessing of God to fall upon them.
In this act there must be two persons, a man and a woman, who, according to their mutual love and consent, enter into lawful marriage between themselves. Having brought them into the temple, (that their mutual engagements may be attested by the witnesses present,) the servant of the church unites their hands, and prays with the whole assembled church of God, that he would give unto them love, peace, and the blessed fruit of the womb. And thus, through this ceremony, their
engagements become the firmer, in as much as they are attested before the altar of the Lord;
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled;" Heb. xiii. 4. Therefore, polygamy is by no means permitted according to the laws of Christianity; for, “ from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female;" Mark
* In respect to marriage, our author has been censured for departing from the orthodox faith ; for in place of calling marriage a tain or mystery, he uses quite a different word, and denominates it an obriad, which literally signifies a rite or ceremony.