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In the first place, the preacher could not but be aware, that the declaration of such sentiments, however cautiously and modestly made, would be likely to offend the prejudices of many whe might hear or read his sermons, and consequently tend to diminish the generally beneficial effects which they were etherwise eminently calculated to produce. This is surely a consideration of no slight moment, and might, we think, have been conscientiously allowed to have prevailed. In the next place, there is an evident appearance in the representation of his views respecting the doctrines of election and final perseverance, of considering them as the test, at least as one of the proofs, of the advancement of him who holds them to a higher form in the school of Christ. We recollect some other instances of a similar kind, where this idea is more ...'... Now, whatever may be the truth of the doctrines in question, or the fact as to the character and experience of those who adopt them, we cannot but think that this is not the way in which the subject should be represented. Doubtless it appears thus to those who agree in sentiment with Mr. Vaughan; and so, no doubt, is the directly opposite view of this most difficult question considered, by those who have deliberately and conscientiously embraced it, and perhaps have even grown old in defending and cherishing it. Great forbearance, therefore, and moderation ought to be maintained on both sides: nor should either party apear to assume a superiority which is mutually disallowed. Certainly many eminently pious men might be mentioned, whose zeal and humility, and whose abounding consolations in Christ would not suffer by a comparison with any of their brethren, however distinguished, whe yet continued through life to those views .# Mr. o: represents as giving its perfection and rotundity, as it were, to the
Christian character. And we cannot but believe that Mr. Vaughan himself would admit, that the reception of those views is not always a security that the person receiving them has made a superior progress to others in the cultivation of the graces of the Holy Spirit.—Having said thus much, however, on one side of this perplexing subject, it is but justice to add a few words on the other. And here the first remark we would make, relates to the cry which, we doubt not, some amongst the hearers, and others amongst the readers of the sermons before us, have not failed to raise against the Calvinism of their auther. But where is the sense or reason of such a cry? What has Mr. Waughan stated concerning the doctrines of election and perseverance (for to these two points alone does his declaration refer), which, if not either expressed in the words of Scripture, or in those of the 17th article of our Church, may not, without any impeachment either of learning or fairness, be deduced from them What have the author of these sermons, and many others of his brethren, to whom the name of Calvinistic has been affixed, asserted upon this subject, which has not been previously affirmed by some of the wisest, most pious, and most learned divines which the Church of England has produced It is surely no disgrace, at least, to a man to hold sentiments which have been avowed and defended by Hooker, Davenant, and Hall; by Hopkins and Usher; to say nothing of a crowd of other writers, scarcely inferior even to those distinguished names. Surely it may be permitted (though we ourselves could wish that they did not avail themselves of the permission) wo English Presbyters in the present day, without any severe reproach, to declare such opinions in temperate and candid terms, and without incurring the danger of being denounced as monsters of ab*. and irreligion. 2 H2
. This is all for which we have so soften contended. And notwithstanding some recent and formidable ap
pearances to the contrary, we cau-, . But to return to the subject of this
not but hope that this is the temper and view which will ultimately prevail. ... We have extended our remarks on this sermon so far, that we can only recommend the conclusion of it—on the success afforded by the #. Lord of the harvest, to all his faithful labourers, and on the exigencies and appearances of the present times—to all our readers. ... The last of the three sermons is “on the Salvation which is in Christ ..only.” from Acts iv. 12. Excellent as this discourse is, it will not be necessary to enter, into a minute examination of it. It offers nothing of a controversial nature, if we except two sensible notes on the imputation of the sin of Adam to his posterity; a subject, however, con£erning which Mr. Vaughan very 3. observes, that, it would e better if we could altogether repress our reasonings. So far, also, is he from introducing into this sarmon any of , the peculiarities of what is called Calvinism, that, in speaking of some of the distinguishing properties of the salvation which is in Christ, he has expressly deglared, that it is “universal as to its objects;” that “it applies itself to all men.”. “I mean not,” continues our author, “ that all men will ultimately be partakers of it.” . What writer, indeed, of our Church will venture to assert this proposition? Alas! many will “eventually be injured, rather, than profited by it. It is capable, however, of being effectually applied to all. It is urgently offered to all. The fault is in man; in the invited; and not in the Master of the feast; if all taste not of it.” We might add other extracts from all these discourses, in which the points, which the adversaries of Calvinism, falsely so called, contend to be either o: inconsistent with that system, or praqtically neglected by its disci
ples, such as the necessity of good works, and of labour and diligence in the use of means, are plainly, minutely, and pointedly is: #.
third sermon. It gives a full and scriptural account of the nature of
- the salvation made known by the
Gospel, and proves that this is in Jesus Christ, and in Him only. From this last division of the subject, we could with pleasure quote several passages, in which the various pleas that ignorance and self-righteousness too often urge to avoid a simple
dependence on Christ alone for sal
vation, are clearly and decisively refuted, as well as from the animated improvement and application of the whole subject. But we purposely, forbear. We consider this sermon as, forming so good a
model of general parochial preach
ing, that we cannot but wish it may be very extensively read; and we should consider it as one of the best tokens of the blessing of God upon our Church, if the main principles which it contains were cordially embraced by all her ministers, and preached in all her pulpits, with equal ability, eloquence, and piety. -The Ercellence of the Liturgy, a Ser"'mon, preached in the Parish Church of St. Mary, Aylesbury, at the Visi'tation of the Archdeacon of Bucks, on Wednesday, June 27, 1810. By the Rev. Basil Woodp, M. A. Rector of Drayton Beauchamp, Minister of Bentinck Chapel, St. Mary-le-bone; and Chaplain to the most noble the Marquis of Townsend. London: Bridgewater. pp. 30. Price is. 6d.
We can assure Dr. Marsh, that Mr. Woodd has been a zealous friend of the British and Foreign Bible Society, as well as a contributor to its funds from the period of its commencement. We can also assure him, that the publication of the pre
* See particularly pages 30 to 33 of the first sermon; and 129, 132, and 188 of the third.
sent sermon is no puritan trick on the part of Mr.Woodd, intended to furwish a seasonable answer to Dr. Marsh's argument, that the contributors to the Bible Societv must of necessity become unfriendly, or at least indifferent, to the Prayer-book. The sermon has lain on our table for near a year and a half, and but for the press of other matter would have been noticed by us long ago. It will now serve a purpose which Mr.Woodd could not have anticipated; for who could have anticipated that a learned Professor of Divinity, himself a beneficed clergyman, should have published a pamphlet of eighty pages, besides an address and a hand bill; and, if report do not belie him, should be about to publish a second pamphlet still more bulky than the first,-all in order to prove, by the force of dialectic skill (“abstract reasoning.” the Professor calls it), that the circulation of the Scriptures alone tends to generate a disrespect for the Liturgy, and must have a malign influence on the Church of England! It will serve to shew that there are among the members of that church, who contribute to the Bible Society, aye, and among the most suspected part of that number—we mean the evangelical clergy-men who not only love the Liturgy themselves, but who labour strenuously to make others love and prize it too. We really mean nothing invidious to Dr. Marsh; we merely mean to oppose FActs to “abstract reasoning,” when we bring into competition his own claims and those of Mr. Woodd (this member not only of a mischievous society, which distributes the pure word of God alone, without note or comment, but of that arrogant and heretical sect denominated “evangelical”) to be considered as firm and active supporters of the church and her services. First, and this must be no mean merit in the eyes of Dr. Marsh, Mr. Woodd has been a member of the society in Bartlett's Buildings for twenty-six years: what he has done
not perform the service of the Church of England twice or thrice. as well as preach three or four times to numerous congregations. He has superintended, for many years, extensive schools, which are conducted on strictly Church-ofEngland principles: and to give more weight to the formularies of that church, in the eyes of the crowds who attend his ministry, he has instituted, on the afternoon of the first Sunday in every month, at his chapel at Paddington, catechetical exercises, which are attended by the children of all his schools in that quarter, as well as by an overflowing congregation of adults, and which he generally closes by a familiar exposition of some part of the catechism of the Church of England. He has laboured assiduously, not only from the pulpit and by means of schools, but through the medium of the press, to rear the youth of the land as sound churchmen; the very titles of his numerous little works will shew this; but we beg Dr. Marsh not to be satisfied with the titles: he will find the whole matter of them to be very good. That he may do this, we will give him the titles of a few of them. A short Introduction to the Church Catechism, price 2d. The Church Catechism with short Questions, designed for the Use of Sunday Schools, price 3d. Abrief Explanation of the Church Catechism, by way of Question and Answer, price 8d. A short Summary of Christian Doctrine and Practice, in the Words of Scripture, extracted from Bishop Gastrell's Christian Institutes”, “designed for the Use of Children, price 3d. * One of the books of the Society for promoting Christian knowledge.
An Address to young Persons on Confirmation, shewing the Antiquity
of the Rite, the serious Preparation .
requisite, and the Benefit resulting from this solemn Act of Dedication to God, designed also as a general Illustration of the Order of Confirmation, price 6d. The Excellence of the Liturgy, a Sermon, price 1s. 6d. &c. &c. Now, what number of Prayerbooks and Church-of-England tracts Dr. Marsh may have distributed during the eleven years of his affiliation with the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; what have been his parochial labours as a minister of the sanctuary and a preacher of the Gospel; what schools he may have instituted and superintended among his flock; what may have been his catechetical exertions; what pains he may have taken to recommend and explain the Bible and its best companion, the Liturgy, among them—we do not pretend to know. This, however, we will say, that if in these respects he has rivalled Mr. Woodd, he has deserved well of his country and of the church of Christ. To his recent honours as a preacher", and the alarm which he has recently sounded in behalf of the Church and her Liturgy, we are, indeed, no strangers. Their fame is now probably co-extensive with the limits of the United Kingdom. We shall rejoice to learn that he is equally well known within the bounds of his parish as the laborious minister of Jesus Christ, the messenger of the Gospel, the instrument of diffusing divine light and knowledge, the firm opposer of all vice, the comforter of the afflicted whether in body or mind, the earnest and affectionate j. of repentance, faith, and oliness; in short, the vigilant, faithful, and affectionate shepherd
* There is a rumour abroad, that his sermon is likely to obtain a very wide circulation indeed, in c *i of a proposal to adopt it as one of the tracts of the Society in Bartlett's Builmings, provided no envious black-ball should interfere to prevent this additional distinction,
part of it.
of that flock over which the Holy
mary of our most holy religion, and
as a course of scriptural instruction, but as an exercise of rational, pure, exalted devotion, he thus proceeds:
“This form of sound words may be considered, at once, as an epitome of the Christian Religion, and as a standard of pastoral instruction. It carefully avoids those subjects of controversy which have unhappily divided the Church of Christ. The Commou Prayer-book has been justly stiled “the poor man's body of divinity; and it certainly contains a general summary of what a Christian ought to kuaw, believe, and praotise to his seul's health. As Bishop Beveridge has well expressed it, “There is nothing in the Liturgy but what is necessary for our edification; and all thiugs that are, or can be, for our edification, are plainly in it. You will find nothing asserted but what is consonant to God's word; nothing prayed for, but according to His promise; nothing required as a duty, but what is agreeable to his commands". The Liturgy not only is presented to us as a form of prayer, but it is at the same time a standing Christian sermon, delivered every returning sabbath, in upwards of ten thousand churches; diffusing an atmosphere of religious knowledge throughout the kingdom; establishing a pure and unsophisticated standard of evangelical truth, so combined, that no man can duly attend to the service, and remain ignorant of the nature of the Gospel.” :*: r
“Let us, my reverend brethren, who are ministers of our venerable establishment, be ourselves stedfast in our attachment to its constitution, doctrine, and discipline. Let our discourses from the pulpit breathe the
** Bishop Beveridge's Sermon on the Coumon Prayer, page 20, printed by the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.”
same spirit, exhibit the same distinguishing truths, and recommend the same purity of practice. * Let it be our constant aim to exhibit to our parishioners the glory of God; the excellence of the divine law; the guilt, condemnation, and helpless state of man; that they may be convinced of their sins, brought to repentance, and earnestly enquire what they must do to be saved. “Let us prominently exhibit the Lord Jesus Christ, in the glory of his person, and the riches of his grace, as the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world. Let us frequently explain the nature of the New Covenant, and practically enforce the necessity of repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us direct their attention to the Holy Spirit of God, that they may be enriched with his heavenly grace, and enabled to amend their lives according to his holy word. As we invariably enforce the necessity of repentance and faith, in order to obtain the pardon of our sins, and justification before God; so let us as constantly enforce the necessity of those living fruits of faith, holiness, obedience, and good works, in order to salvation. While we maintain that “we are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings." Let us be equally strenuous in maintaining that we must live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this world; and that at the last day we shall be judged according to our works. We shall then, with the venerable Hooker, make it evident, that while we discard the meritorious dignity of good works, we maintain the dutiful necessity of them. We shall, by this means, equally guard against the error of those who trust in themselves that they are righteous, while they have a form of godliness without the power: and the fatal delusion of those who would turn the grace of God into licentiousness. We shall maintain that union of faith and works which God hath joined together, and which no man, but at the expence of his salvation, can put asunder".
“*” The way of salvation,’ says the late excellent Bishop Horne, “is but one, viz. faith in Christ, bringing forth the fruits thereof; and nonc but those who preach that are the servants of the Most High God; who shew unto men the way of salvation. The fruit receives its goodness from the tree, not the tree from the frust; which does not make
“Thus let us hold fast this form of sound words, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus. Let us hold it fast in faith, as to our own personal belief of the truth therein exhibited, and as a sacred trust committed to us at our designation to the ministerial office. Let us hold fast this form of sound words' in love’ to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to whose grace we are indebted for all the mercy which it proclaims; ‘in love” to the souls committed to our charge, whose spiritual interests it is so well calculated to promote; * in love” to each other, and to all mankind. And let not our parishioners forget to shew their estimation of the Liturgy, by constant regular attendance on divine worship; by early attendance at the beginning of the service; by endeavouring to enter into its devotional spirit, and by diligently observing the beneficent practice which it enforces.
“By these means, through the blessing of Almighty God, we shall be nourished and built up together in all truth and goodness.”
“We live in a day in which many have departed from the communion of the Church of England; and it becomes an object of important inquiry, by what means the unity of the church may most effectually be promoted. Let the ministers of the church be faithful to her doctrine, taught in her form of sound words; let them, by their life and conversation, adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. The church will then prove her own bulwark; and the sin of schism will hide its diminished head. If in any of our parishes we should have Christians of different denominations, let us defend the church by consecrated weapons; by pureness; by knowledge; by long-suffer
the tree good, but shews it to be so; because men do not gather grapes of thorns. So works receive all their goodness from faith, not faith from works; which do not themselves justify, but shew a prior justification of the soul that produces them, as it is written, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” Apology, 1756,610. And again, “To preach practical sermons, i.e. sermons upon virtues and vices, without inculcating those great Scripture truths of redemption. grace, &c. which alone can incite and enable us to forsake sin and follow after righteousness, what is it but to put together the wheels, and set the hands of a watch, forgetting the spring which is to make them all go.” Life of Bishop Horne, by the Rev. W.,