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late you on yonr proficiency. Be true to your studies and loyal to your instructors. You all know, however young, that you have lost much time. Redeem what is lost. Waste no more. Nothing is so precious. As to your studies I will only say, Be diligent, and when you cannot perceive the advantage of any particular branch of learning, pursue it as though you did, for you must be assured it would not be required of you were it not for your profit. Let early piety be manifest in you. While
your hearts are tender seek unto the Lord God of your fathers. Shun evil communications. Be afraid of nothing but sin.
Repress the curiosity of the youthful heart. Prayerfully resist each form of temptation. “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." Connect your path in life with your eternal destiny. Raise for yourselves the supplication,-it is so very beautiful, for the ways of ambition, and voluptuousness, and heedlessness, are ways which perish,"Lead me into the way everlasting.” Should you die in early life, yours will be a blessed grave, if you are born again. The Grecians buried their youth in the morning twilight : that of the evening would have reminded them of night—but this led on to the orient, the day-spring, the meridian sun! With better right should we remember you and bail you, as we laid you low, amidst the dawn and progress of your eternal day!
It may not be improper to remind you, that most young persons continue to unfold the same character which has been formed in their
A skilful observer is seldom in error when he takes his forecast of their future bearing. The listless are still listless, the ingenuous are still ingenuous, the diligent are still diligent. Habits are forming now : they are clinging things. Passions are opening now: they are unappeasable things. Aims are settling now : they are undiverting things. The presages and germs bespeak your whole future character and course !
But this is deeper insight: it is not formed upon the inspection of a day. We who are the casual witnesses of such a scene are often disappointed. The quick and brilliant youth may be well calculated for a part in some public display,-he seizes the prize and catches the applause. But so will not his teachers reckon him. Let the honour of this exercise,—doubtless well-awarded !—be the incentives to a yet more vigorous application, and let those who win the race also consider that they must keep it. Pitiable will it be if any laureate brow should this day show itself to be no more seen! If hopes be excited only to be deceived ! As in the Epigraphæ of Homer we read of Nireus thrice, -only in form inferior to Pelides, -we see him bounding over the main,—but in council and in battle we never hear of him more!
Let me especially urge you to keep your station. You are of gentle descent and blood. Beware of low habits, and pursuits, and terms,
and haunts, and associates. Never speak lightly of rectitude and independence. It is very fashionable to boast, in these times, of an unprincipled recklessness. Affect no liberalism at the sacrifice, and to the disdain, of your ancestral and educational principles. Think, at least, no worse of any cause because it is contemned of the unreflecting and the wicked.
“Suffering for Truth's sake,
Now begin to form your library. The sight of books, on which your youthful eyes were bent, will not suffer your maturer studies to relax.
Procure,” says the author of the Aywyn Iaidov, “ Procure for youth the ancient writers, to make a collection of them as husbandmen do of all instruments for their employ. For of the same nature is the use of books to scholars as being the tools and instruments of learning.” Resolve, in the strength of God, to prepare yourselves for useful lives.
We see you coming forward on the stage which we must soon leave. We welcome you to it. We resign our places for you. You have opportunities of action which our youth did not command. You possess facilities of education which we did not enjoy. Transcend us, -easily you may,—by your deeds. Take a station which we could never reach. Wield a hitherto unessayed power. The old man can only speak of the past, yet it may be a glorious reminiscence. The middle-aged feel that their strength, though impaired, is haply not exhausted. The young pant, and fill the future with dreams of fame. Thus the three choirs of the Spartan festival were wont to sing :
'Αμμες ποκ' ημες αλκιμοι νεανιαι.
'Αμμες δε γ ειμεν αι δε λης, πειραν λαβε.
* We were once young, courageous in battle.
We will in our intrepidity excel you all.
ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH.
BY PROFESSOR MERLE D'AUBIGNÉ.
Being the substance of an Address to the Students of the Theological Seminary at
Geneva, at the Commencement of the Summer Session of 1844.
I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY UNIVERSAL CHURCH.* A few months ago, I was called to preach the word of the Lord at Rome, on the site of the ancient Capitol, on the Tarpeian rock, above the ruins of the Forum, and opposite to those of the Palatine Mount.t I began my sermon with the words, I believe in the holy universal church. In the presence of the splendours of St. Peter's, and the Vatican and Quirinal Palaces ; in the presence of the church which calls itself the holy universal church, and of the priest who pompously proclaims himself its head, it was my desire, avoiding all irritating terms of controversy, but with the freedom of a GospelChristian, to profess in Rome itself faith in the church, the holy church, the universal church, the Christian church, the one church
ONE SOLE BODY.
The same faith I am now come to profess at Geneva before you, my friends; for I hold to your having faith in the church, and to your feeling the strongest interest in the preservation of its holy unity.
The church has been founded by Christ himself; and consequently, like him, it is imperishable. It is a building, of which He is the chief corner-stone-a temple consecrated to God—the habitation of God through the Spirit.
First of all, and before anything else can be said of the church, it is “the collection of the sanctified.” (Acts xxvi. 18.)
But the life which God has put into it, must have an outward manifestation. “ The saints,” says Calvin, "are gathered together
* Catholic is the Greek form of the Latin word Universal. We shall be obliged sometimes to translate passages of Scripture, according to the French version used by the author : otherwise the allusions and arguments would be obscure.
† When the Chevalier Bunsen was the Prussian minister at Rome, his love of antiquarian researches led him to purchase a residence on the Capitol. The premises still continue in the possession of the Prussian legation; and we understand that the present minister has with him a clergyman of evangelical sentiments, who acts as his chaplain in this official mansion. We conjecture, that it was in the private chapel of the Prussian minister, that M. Merle d'Aubigné preached. Assuredly it could not be in public, for he and Dr. Macrie have been denounced, on account of their writings on the Reformation (of which, or portions of them, Italian translations are in circulation in various places of Italy) in a Pastoral Circular Epistle of the Pope, issued on May 7th, 1844, and published to warn against and forbid the circulation of the Bible and Protestant books.
into the fellowship of Jesus Christ, with the express object of their communicating to each other the gifts which God bestows upon any of them ;” and, we will add, with the express object also of their exercising an active influence upon those that are without, the world ; thus answering to the words, “ How shall they hear without a preacher ? And how shall any preach, except they be sent ?”
Thus Jesus Christ has founded his church, to be both invisible and visible, inward and outward.
This church, after having been formed by the word of the apostles, was deformed by the word of men, and, above all, of popes, and then was reformed in the sixteenth century, by the word of God, of which the reformers were the instrument.
Such is the church ; a union with which our seminary has always professed, and to which we repeat the profession.
We want nothing but the Christian church, reformed by the word of God: but such we do want, and will have. We do not want it, and we will not have it, as deformed afresh, and even far more deformed than it was before the sixteenth century, by Rationalism, Socinianism, Arianism, Pelagianism.
Now, we ask, are the churches numerous, which still rest upon the true foundation ?
Doubtless, a man must be deeply prejudiced, who could affirm, that churches, in which the errors just mentioned have seduced almost all the ministers—have thrown still lower almost all the people—have thoroughly impregnated the education of our youth—and have filled the books of church-service; that such churches are, in all essential respects, what they were when Calvin founded and instructed them.
What lesson do we learn from the sad facility with which churches, formerly the purest, turned away from the truth?
We learn that the church has need of a continual reformation.
The church must be manifested to the world ; but, by that very thing, it is exposed to the contracting of many defilements. Spiritual deadness, party-divisions, offences, slavery to political power, worldly transformations, substitution of falsehood for truth, even downright infidelity, will make entrance for themselves. While men sleep, (alas, they have slept above a hundred years!) the enemy comes, sows his tares, and goes his way. A time comes, when men will not endure sound doctrine ; but, having ears itching for smooth things, heap to themselves teachers according to their own desires. There are dotings about questions and strifes of words, whereof come envyings and contentions. There is even a necessity for there being divisions among us, that those who are approved may be made manifest.
This is the reason why we do not fix ourselves on the sixteenth century. We do not crystallise into the figure of our reformers. We seek not the earthly form which they gave to the church, but the life which from heaven came down upon them. Before all things else, the church must live, the church must grow, by the power of the word of God. It needs to be incessantly purified by sufferings, sustaining (says Melanchthon) diversified and oppressive sorrows, both general and peculiar. The judgment of God must begin at his own house. The church will always need to be cleansed anew from the impurities brought into it by men of the world, as the ore requires to be purified from the foreign matters which stick to it. By frequent reformations, the church must be continually brought back to its historical and spiritual origin. Do our bodies need to be attended to only now and then, or, at most, once a year? Do they not require daily food, refreshment, and restoration? Yes; and so it is with that of which the apostle speaks, when he says, There is one body.
Now, one of the most efficient means for maintaining, and, if need be, restoring, the truth and life of the church, is to maintain or restore its UNITY.
Universally, where the church is in the state of oneness with its Head, it is at the same time in the state of life and truth. The unity is the guarantee of the truth.
The reformation of our age must consist in giving to the church unity and liberty, in truth and love.
But how must this unity of the church be obtained and preserved ? By inward action, not outward.
Now is the time that Christians must apply all their cares and efforts to two things. 1. Not to divide from one another, for matters of secondary importance. 2. To grow in attachment to all those essential things which are our common possession, and are the bond of union.
We cannot be one at Geneva, Berlin, London, Edinburgh, the Hague, Paris, New York, Calcutta, Tahiti, and even Moscow and Rome, without our being all at the feet of Jesus Christ : that is the right position for the church, its model state, [l'état normal.] The Reformation of the sixteenth century unavoidably drew after it many rents and lacerations, even in its own bosom. That of the nineteenth must bring forth unity; unity, out of Rome, but in Christ.
What then are the various aspects of unity, to which God calls us ? St. Paul enumerates them, Eph. iv. 4–6. Let each of these apostolic words become to all of us a realised truth, and the church of our day will soon undergo a REFORMATIon the most powerful, the most intimate, the most glorious.
I. There is one body. Whose body is it? It is Christ's. He is “the Head of the church, which is his body,"-his spiritual body. Since it is a spiritual body, its means of union must be spiritual: and since Christ calls all the sanctified “his body," it would be a monstrous thing for a Christian to refuse communion with any one of those whom