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and hatred for sin, must be joined with pity for the wanderer and the sinner, especially whenever he shall seem to have wandered or sinned through weakness or ignorance, rather than wilfully and profanely. The Christian, and especially the Christian pastor, must distinguish between the deceiver and the deceived, between the wilful teacher of heresy and the unwilling follower. "And of some have compassion, making a difference and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Such are the warnings of St. Jude on the duty of Christians to save (at least) themselves, and (if possible) others also, from false doctrine, heresy, and schism.
And surely we must all feel that such are greatly needed by us, more or less needed perhaps by all. Strictness of faith has passed away from us, no less than strictness of life. Men have learnt to be careless about religious error, indifferent to religious truth, and tolerant even of heresy; even as (only in a yet greater degree than) they have learnt to be careless, and indifferent, and tolerant of evil and sinful practices. But the gospel of Jesus Christ, as His apostles preached it, is a religion of strictness; strictness of faith no less than strictness of life. And so the Church
hath ever taught, that "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. . . . This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved."
And thus the words of the Church, and of the Creed of St. Athanasius, which we have this day repeated, are as an echo of the words of the apostle St. Jude, and of the words of our blessed Lord also, when He said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." No doubt the Almighty and All-merciful God knoweth and readeth the hearts: He knoweth how far any are cut off from the Church and her means of grace, by their own sin or that of others; He knoweth how far any may have fallen into, or continue in, false doctrine and heresy, through their own sin or the sin of others; and He will judge all such. He will draw the line, which man may not draw, between what is in a man's own power and rests (under God) upon his own will, and what is not in a man's own power and will. And He will judge, in righteousness and in mercy also, both the servant who knew not his Lord's will and did commit things worthy of stripes, and the servant who knew his Lord's will, but prepared not himself, nor did according to His
will. But, after all, all holy Scripture, and all the teaching of Christ's Church in all ages, witness to this, that there is a grave and solemn responsibility resting upon us all in this matter, more than we usually allow, or like to allow; that God's truth is holy, blessed, and sanctifying to such as receive it, and very awful to such as deny it, or refuse to receive it; nay, that every part and portion of it is so; that we cannot refuse or deny any portion of it whatever, without more or less of sin and danger,-usually not without serious sin and fearful danger; that it is a serious matter to set aside any part of God's message by His apostles and by His Church.
Would that the lesson were not called for at this very day.
May God keep us from this sin and danger; may He give us grace so to be joined together in unity of spirit by the doctrine of His holy apostles, that we may be made an holy temple unto Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
JOHN HENRY PARKER, OXFORD AND LONDON.
Sermons for the Christian Seasons.
ALL SAINTS' DAY.
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.
HEBREWS xii. 1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
WE on this day close the series of festivals of our Christian year. The order, as you remember, begins in Advent with St. Andrew the Apostle, the first called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and ends with this festival of All Saints. ing many ages of the Church, there were many more days set apart in memory of God's saints than there are now, with special services and lessons. Not only did the whole Church commemorate, in common, them who had been the chief martyrs for Christ, or the chief teachers of His Church, or the chief patterns of holi ness; but each particular Church kept sacred the
memory of its own sainted bishops, and teachers,
But three hundred years ago, the then bishops of our Church judged it necessary to take away from the number of these holy days. In length of time, great corruptions of doctrine and practice had grown up, and men had been taught, or (at the least) had been allowed, without reproof from those who should have reproved them, to look to the merits and intercessions of the saints more than to the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. Our bishops then, as I said, thought it right, where such lamentable corruptions existed, to take away from the number of these holy days. Besides the days which are kept holy in memory of the holy apostles, they retained only the festivals of the blessed Virgin St. Mary, of the evangelists St. Mark and St. Luke, of St. Stephen the first martyr, of St. John Baptist, of the Holy Innocents, and of St. Michael and All Angels. For no others were any special services retained. Their names indeed stand, on their several days, in the calendar; but the direct and solemn commemoration, by our Church, of all other of God's saints, is confined to this one day. Now our rulers in the Church then did what may have