« السابقةمتابعة »
told afterwards it was very wrong for us to wish for, what then?"
"Why, I suppose we must give it up, sir, and try and forget that we had ever wanted it; but it would be a hard matter to one so young; and God knows what's best to be done, sir; I'm sure I don't. But, don't you think that, if you or Mr, Morton would have the kindness to write to her, she would mind more? O sir, I do feel as if that would bring all right," she exclaimed, and smiled through the tears which still trickled down her furrowed cheeks.
spirit, united for life, and, it was to be hoped, to be re-united after death. And then he asked her how those could be one in heart and mind who could not agree on the only really vital point, the means of salvation, the way to heaven? He proceeded to prove to her that, were she married to a Roman catholic, her hopes, her fears, her works of charity, her spiritual pastors, her Sunday services, and her daily prayers, all must be different to his. And how, he asked, could the holy bond of fellowship, the blessed feeling of having" one Lord, one faith, one baptism", and one hope of a joyful resurrection, with those we love, exist where that was the case? Then he reminded her of her baptismal vows, those vows made before God, and in the presence of men and of angels, by which she was bound, to fight under Christ's banner against sin, the world, and the devil; and he told her that, inasmuch as schism was sin, and that the Roman heresy was schism, if she were tempted to leave the church of which she had solemnly been admitted a member, that she would be breaking those vows and exposing
For myself, I did not feel very sanguine as to the success attending on the adoption of the measure proposed; but, not wishing to damp the poor wowan's new-found hope, I merely promised to do all I could in the cause, and then took my leave. Thinking that words of counsel would come more home to Kitty's heart from Mr. Morton, who had ever treated her as a father might his child, and that, backed by his age and position, they would have more weight with her than any thing I could say, I rode at once towards the vil-herself to the vengeance of an injured and strictly lage, and entered the rectory, determined to lay just God. And Mr. Morton begged her to conthe case before him, and to ask him to write to the sider which, if religion became the subject erring one. I found the rector in his study, his of discussion between them, would be the more bible open before him, and his fine open counte- likely of the two to convert the other-McHale, nance wearing that tranquil and holy expression who would be supported by his spiritual advisers; which always marked it when he was engaged in by the fact of his faith being the faith of the counthe study of that holy book. Tears came into his try in which they lived, and the friends by whom eyes when he heard of the false step taken by "his they were surrounded, and supported by the aulittle Kitty;" and it was some minutes before he thority of a husband, which, if not always directly replied to my request that he would himself write exercised, is yet always felt by the weaker and less to her. At length he said, "Yes, I will write-self-relying wife; or she, who would stand alone to-day-at once-there is no time to be lost; but I fear there is little hope of any thing that I can say availing ought to change the determination of the poor, wilful child; but let us pray, Relton, that I may be mistaken: let us pray that the Holy Spirit may dictate my letter, and incline her heart to receive it with meekness, as the word of one set over her in the Lord." With my assistance, and not without difficulty (for he was then very infirm) the venerable "father of the flock" bent his knee, and heartily and with tears did he wrestle, "wrestle in prayer, "for the wandering, but still muchloved sheep of his fold." Calmed by the exercise, Mr. Morton arose; and having pointed out to me a passage in a work he had been studying, which he wished me to read, he sat down to write the letter, on which we felt that so much depended. When it was finished, I myself rode with it to the post, to avoid all risk of accident or delay. It was long, and forcibly and affectionately worded. He began it, as to a member of his own family: "My dear child" and throughout, the spirit which it breathed was that of a father reasoning with a dear, but wayward daughter. In the first place, calmly, but without disguise, Mr. Morton set forth the differences, of vital importance, which exist between the doctrines of the churches of England and of Rome, showing how soul-destroying are the tenets of the one, when received in all their fulness, and how pure and apostolical is the faith of the other, when accepted with the simplicity of a disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus. Then he spoke of the close and holy nature of the marriage-tie; bade Kitty remember that those united by it were no more twain, but one flesh," one in body, soul, and
in her belief, far from home and counsellors; she, who had never given the momentous subject the attention due to it, nor the thought nor the prayer sufficient to enable her to make a good confession of faith, or to give a satisfactory account of the grounds of the hope that was in her?" You cannot," Mr. Morton continued, "answer this question with truthful candour, without acknowledging that your faith is not strong enough to resist the continued assaults of the tempter; that by marrying a Romanist you are placing yourself on the edge of a precipice, with but a broken fence to support you, should your feet totter on the brink." "But," the letter went on to say, supposing that you are mercifully saved from the fearful guilt of apostacy from the true faith, yet think of the daily trials to which you will be exposed by your proposed marriage with McHale, the constant misunderstandings which will occur between you, and a husband with whom you must necessarily have some concealments, knowing that the very secrets of your heart, if confided to him, might be revealed through the confessional to the priest. Consider the pain you would experience at hearing scoffing remarks, made by those dear to you, on the church of your fathers; the misery, if God give you children, of feeling that they are being brought up to profess an unsound creed, with dangerously false ideas of God and Christ, and of the way by which God's favour is to be obtained, heaven won, and hell avoided; and, moreover, to know that at the school to which you will be obliged to send them, they will be taught to regard the traditions of men with equal, if not with greater veneration than the inspired word of the Almighty, and to break his
holy commandment by bowing the knee to other names besides that of Jesus, which is the only name given among men whereby we can be saved." In conclusion, Mr. Morton urged on Kitty the sacred and binding nature of the duty which she owed to her parents; he represented the grief they were enduring at the thought of her union with McHale, and assured her that, did she persist in her determination to become his wife, her marriage would be unsanctioned by their approval, and unsanctified by their blessing. Then, with a prayer for her peace and welfare, and many assurances of his unabated interest in and regard for her, he ended this affectionate appeal by assuring her that he was then, as ever, "her faithful friend and
"Surely," I thought, as I laid the letter down, "surely it must have some effect on the warmhearted Kitty." Alas! she was warm-hearted, but very, very much more was she self-willed!
About a week after this, I was teaching in the boys' school, when a servant came from the rectory to say that his master would be glad to speak to me before I left the village. Judging rightly as to the nature of the communication about to be made to me, I lost no time in obeying the
"God has seen fit to deny us that for which we prayed, my dear Relton," said the rector, as I shook his thin hand, and took the open letter, which he held out to me: "May he, who oftentimes brings good out of seeming evil, do so now! Kitty is determined, you will see, to plunge into troubled waters. Heaven grant that they may only make shipwreck of her earthly happiness, and that by its ruin she may be led to turn where more abiding happiness is to be found.'
A heartfelt "Amen!" was the only reply I made, for my heart was full.
Kitty Kyle's letter was well written and well expressed; and in it her character might be read. It was both grateful and affectionate; and she described herself as deeply pained at the anxiety which she was causing friends who must ever be most dear to her; but--her resolution was taken, and was unalterable; her happiness depended on her union with McHale; and McHale's wife she was quite determined, at all hazards and in spite of all opposition, to become. Her parents' consent she said she was sure of obtaining; and she was right: she assured them that, separated from her lover, her heart would break: they could not bear the thought of seeing their pretty child pining away, and it might be dying; and, as in every other case, their wills yielded to hers, and they wrote the blessing which they could not in person give.
Not many weeks after, in a Roman catholic chapel, Kitty Kyle vowed to love, honour, and obey Ryan McHale, the papist!
A. E. L.
THOUGHTS ON THE
CHARACTER OF CHRIST AS THE ONLY MEDIATOR*.
BY THE REV. BEAVER H, BLACKER, M.A.
"For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus."-1 TIM. ii. 5.
FROM this chapter of St. Paul's first epistle to Timothy we derive authority for the use of prayer, not only for the church, but for every fellowcreature. But, while the word of God permits the intercession of living saints in behalf of their living brethren, it totally excludes that most anti-scriptural opinion, that departed saints may be sup plicated to mediate between God and men:
There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. We may therefore, and we ought to, pray for each other here; but, since the work of mediating, or of effecting reconciliation, belongs exclusively to him who died upon the cross for sinners, they who employ other mediators (as is publicly avowed and practised in the church of Rome) forsake God," the fountain of living waters," and, hewing out for themselves "cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jer. ii. 13), dishonour the Lord Jesus, and worship the creature as well as, or even more than, the Creator.
I have thus exemplified one of the many species of idolatry; namely, the worship of God through false mediators. It is true that he appointed a kind of mediator between himself and the Jews, and conferred the office first on Moses, then on Aaron, and subsequently on the high priests in succession; but all these, as we well know, were merely typical, were mere shadows of that one great High Priest and Mediator who was to be revealed, and "who, when he had by himself once purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. i. 3), where he, and he alone, 66 ever liveth to make intercession" for us (Heb. vii. 25). This one Mediator we have; and hence it follows that the worship which so many persons pay to angels and saints is really a false worship not distinguishable from idolatry†.
It has, indeed, been urged as an excuse, that they worship them only as mediators. Now, even if this excuse were good (which we, from the public and allowed offices of their church, may well deny), yet to apply to a false mediator is as much a departure from Christ Jesus, our only Advocate, as to worship a false deity is withdrawing our allegiance from the true God. St. Paul says, expressly, "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the head which is Christ" (Col. ii. 18). In such terms the apostle forewarned Christians. The worship of angels and saints, as mediators, nevertheless, made its way into the church about four hundred years after, and has continued ever since, in defiance of his admonitions, and against the whole tenor of the sacred scriptures. Though many subtle distinctions have been * The substance of this paper appeared some years since, as an anonymous communication, in an Irish periodical. It is now reprinted, with alterations.
Jeremy Taylor's "Dissuasive from Popery," p. 47.
drawn to palliate the idolatry of the church of Rome, one cannot "peruse her popular works of devotion without being convinced that, if there be such a crime as formal idolatry, she is guilty of it." Whose image, I would ask, is most honoured in every Romish sanctuary? Is it not that of the virgin Mary? The Romanists, however, will tell us that supplication is only made to the blessed virgin that she may act as the intercessor of her worshippers. To this we may at once reply, that to look to her for intercession (and what I now say has reference to the whole doctrine of the intercession of departed saints) is to interfere with one of the fundamental verities of our holy faith, with one of the deepest sources of Christian consolation-the intercession of the one and only Mediator. For, guard their language as they may with qualifying cautions, the practical effect which the Romish writers labour to produce is this; to interpose between Christ and the sinner another mediator," and to represent the Son of God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive, "either as an angry and vindictive Being, from whom the virgin is to save the sinner, or else as an infant under the government and tutelage of his mother."
Throughout the New Testament we have many exhortations against this grievous sin, because into it "little children" (1 John v. 21) are so easily led; and it is because the sin is the result of a scriptural principle wrongly applied, that those who have been educated in it are so unwilling to renounce it. Nature and revelation alike declare that the Almighty is to the sinner an awful Being, a terrible God: this is a trat at the very foundation of all revealed religion-a truth implied in our condemnation for original sin, and in our consequent need of a Saviour. God, indeed, is too terrible to be approached by man, even in a state of redemption, except through a Mediator. But, what is the glory, what the consolation, of the gospel? Is it not this-that, to provide us with a Mediator, to give us the means of approaching the otherwise unapproachable God, the Word was made flesh, and the manhood was taken into God; so that in Jesus, perfect God though he be, we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, an High Priest that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin? Having such a Mediator, we are commanded to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. iv. 16). Is it not, therefore, an impeachment of the mercy of God incarnate to seek another intercessor ?*
We have seen that the distinguishing feature of the gospel is to bring God nigh unto man, and man nigh unto God. "If any man sin," says St. John, "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John ii. 1). But, what is the opinion of St. Alphonsus Liguori, or rather of the church of Rome, who has set her seal to his impious and pernicious heresies?†
* Dr. Hook's sermon on the "Peril of Idolatry." London. 1842.
He was canonized, with four others, by the late pope Gregory XVI., on Trinity Sunday, 1839. See "The Glories of Mary, Mother of God; containing a beautiful paraphrase on the Salve Regina,' translated from the Italian of St.
Strange as it may appear, the purport of his words can be nothing else than this-that, if a man be just, if he have no sin, Jesus Christ is his Advocate; but that if he be a sinner, he needs another advocate, even the mother of Christ! "Once introduced to her," says Albertus Magnus, as quoted by this same Alphonsus, once introduced to her, let us be silent; for it does not become us to open our mouth before the Lord, whom we have so much offended, but leave Mary to speak and intercede for ust". Thus, the sinner is taught, not only that it is to the mercy of Mary that he is to flee from the vengeance of her Son, but that, having fled to her, he is not even to dare to pray to God, but to leave the whole matter of his salvation to her intercession.
However much this may be approved by the church of Rome, what would it have appeared to the penitent thief upon the cross? Did he, in dread of his Saviour's presence, appeal to the virgin for her intercession? Did he not rather address himself immediately to Christ; and was not his prayer at once accepted? Yes, he did not for a moment think that there could possibly be any one more capable of entering into his wants, of sympathizing with his infirmities, and of compassionating his sins; convinced as he was that Christ, his fellow-sufferer, was his only refuge, and that an appeal to any other intercessor would have been infinitely derogatory to the goodness of God.
Space does not permit, nor does occasion, I think, require, that more should be said to prove that the invocation of departed saints is in direct opposition to the word of God. Whenever, or with whomsoever this invocation began, it was, I must say, "a most unwarrantable and mischievous intrusion into things unseen a rash and sinful attempt to draw aside the veil which hides what God had determined to conceal; and a system, as taught in the church of Rome, than which it is impossible to conceive any thing (short of a formal denial of the Trinity) more utterly subversive of Christianity." In conclusion, I would quote the words of St. Paul: "How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?" (Rom. x. 14). Christ said: "Ye believe in God, believe also in me" (John xvi. 1); but he never said, "Ye have believed in me, believe also in my mother and in my saints. No: "there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." And, therefore, we must come to God, not by saints, nor by any other mediator save the one, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life:
Grant us that Way to know,
THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE:
BY THE REV. J. Davies, D.D.,
Rector of Gateshead, and Master of King James's Hospital, Durham.
2 CHRON. vi. 41.
guilt, than by neglecting to use every practicable means of meeting the demands of a growing and still extending population. In the theory of our own enlightened and wellbalanced constitution, based as it is upon the foundation of Christian truth as laid down by apostles and prophets, there is a provision made for the maintenance of the worship of God, and the spiritual instruction of the people, over the whole range of the community. In the practical working of that theory, however inadequately and imperfectly it may have hitherto been brought to bear on the growing wants of the people, there is ample
“Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting-scope given for calling forth into energetic place, thou and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and
let thy saints rejoice in goodness."
We are this day assembled together, my brethren, for the special purpose of dedicating a new temple to the service of the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity. It must, therefore, be regarded as an occasion of peculiar interest and importance by all those who are capable of forming a correct estimate of what is at once most conducive to the glory of God and the welfare and happiness of mankind. While the whole material universe may be considered as one vast edifice, reared for his worship and fitted to be the dwelling-place of his majesty, yet, in conde. scension to the limited faculties and capabilities of man here below, and in adaptation to the exigencies and infirmities of his present condition, he hath appointed, in all ages of the world, and under every dispensation of religion, that specific localities and buildings should be provided for the several offices of devotion, and the spiritual instruction of the community. Such is manifestly the will of him who knoweth what is in man; and it is a narrow and inadequate view of human nature, as well as an attempt to be wise above what is written, to maintain that the interests of religion and its influence among the people can be sustained without such a provision. Universal experience has proved, what a previous knowledge of the present character and condition of man would have suggested, that there is no more certain way of generating every species of corruption, vice, and wretchedness, eventually resulting in moral anarchy and social disorganization, than to abandon crowded and still accumulating masses of human beings to utter spiritual destitution; nor can the legislature of a Christian country, nor the individual members of the Christian ehurch, easily commit a greater mistake, or incur a larger share of responsibility and **Preached at the consecration of the church of St. Cuth bert's, Gateshead, March 16, 1848.
action the resources of both principles the legislative and the voluntary. Nor, to a candid and well-regulated mind, is there any greater inconsistency in the united action of these principles than in the combination of a legal provision for the poor with the exercise of private and individual charity. Without the former, the latter has proved itself inadequate: without the latter, innumerable modes and occasions of destitution must occur, which the statutory provisions of the former must be utterly incapable of meeting. The edifice in which we are this day met must be regarded, like the vast multitude of churches which have sprung up in the course of the last quarter of a century, as the combined result of the national and the individual principle of action. The resources, by means of which it has been directly reared, have been derived from the spontaneous offerings of individuals; but it has sprung up under the wing of the ecclesiastical establishment, and the liberality by which it has been called into existence has unquestionably been quickened into life and roused into energy through the influence of that broad system of ramifications which is rooted in the national mind, and is, I trust, gradually, though slowly, extending its growth to meet the demands of the vast national community. And this, I rejoice to feel, it is effecting without the slightest encroachment upon that Christian liberty which secures to every member of the social body the right and the privilege of worshipping the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the dictates of his own conscience.
A church having been thus built, it became a matter of propriety, of venerable usage, of scriptural precedent-as recorded in the chapter before us-and of ecclesiastical requirement, that it should be solemnly set apart by a suitable form of prayer and dedication, offered by the appointed chief pastor of the church in this diocese, for the sacred services for which it was originally designed. This is
the sole object and import of the impressive ceremonial in which we are this day engaged. It would be the idlest superstition to imagine it is what no enlightened member of our church does imagine-it would be the grossest prejudice to represent it as designed to impart, or as professing to communicate, any inherent and indestructible sanctity to the materialism of which the structure is composed. In its spirit and intention it is simply a separation of the building and of the soil whereon it stands, and by which it is immediately surrounded, from all ordinary and secular uses, for the purpose of being, in a special manner, a "resting-place" of the divine presence, It is to indicate, in connection with the most sacred and elevating associations, sustained by the most distinct and encouraging promises, that henceforth this building is to be the residence of the divine glory; that this house is to be none other than the house of God; that, in its mystic signification and in its purposed instrumentality, it is to be none other than the gate of heaven; and that the ground, peculiarly identified with it, is to be regarded, like that which surrounded the burning bush, as preeminently holy ground.
In accordance with the high intent of this ecclesiastical ordinance, therefore, we feel that the solemn invocation before us is peculiarly expressive of the views and feelings by which we should be actuated on such an occasion. "Now therefore arise, O Lord God," &c. In this devout and elevating appeal there is, first, an unequivocal recognition of the necessity of the divine presence, in order that a church may be a source of real benefit to the people. In fulfilment of the will of God, and of his own pious and ardent desire, Solomon had already reared a structure of unrivalled splendour and magnificence. In this, as congenial with the spirit of the existing dispensation, and as carrying into effect the express command of Jehovah, he did right. He had garnished this superb edifice with a rich array of marble and gold: he had prepared the holy place with all its appointed furniture: he had reared a lofty altar of incense: he had deposited the ark of the covenant within the holiest of all; and the cherubim of glory expanded their golden wings over the whole breadth of the sanctuary. All this was in fulfilment of the divine command as expressive of the symbolical and shadowy character of that preparatory economy. It was essential to the due performance of the temple worship. But, comparatively dark and emblematic of better things to come as that dispensation was, the wise man felt that, without the divine pre
sence, without the display of the divine glory, as manifested in the Shechinah resting over the ark, all this rich machinery would be of no avail. Therefore it is that at the dedication of his temple, he exclaims with fervid and devout energy: "Now, therefore, O Lord God, arise-leave as it were, the seat of thy glory above, thou and the ark of thy strength, that sacred depository of thy law, that standing record of thy truth, that pledge of thy protection, that lasting memorial of thy power and strength-arise, and take permanent possession of this thy appointed earthly dwelling-place. Let thy presence be ever here displayed, and be thou ever found of them that here seek thee." And, if under that comparatively cloudy and ceremonial dispensation the presence of God, in the display of his various attributes of power and holiness, of wisdom and goodness, was so essential in order to give meaning and effect to his worship, how much greater reason have we, under a dispensation of pre-eminent simplicity, spirituality, and truth, on such an occasion to supplicate his presence in this humble dwelling to be devoted to his service! It cannot, indeed, be too deeply impressed upon our minds, especially in these days, that it is not the external materialism of the temple, but the gold of the temple, the pure truth dispensed in the temple, that it is not the mechanism of the worship, but the sincerity, the fervency, the enlightened and scriptural spirituality of the worship, that can alone render it acceptable to him who has revealed himself as a Spirit, and requireth those that worship him to worship him in spirit and in truth.
This will be rendered more obvious while we remark briefly on the second petition contained in this devout invocation: "Let thy priests be clothed with salvation." A temple implies the service of priests-a Jewish temple that of Jewish priests, a Christian church that of Christian ministers. In both cases it is indispensably necessary that they should have a divine commission and suitable personal qualifications. In respect of the former requisite, in the case of the Levitical priesthood there could be no mistake. The office was vested in a peculiar tribe, and passed down in hereditary succession from generation to generation. This, however, did not supersede the necessity of personal and individual religion. According to what is implied in the prayer of Solomon, it was not enough that the priests of the temple should possess a divine and authentic commission; it was not enough that they should have been solemnly ordained and consecrated to their 1 office; it was not enough that they should be