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who have not received the commission, our Lord has given no such promise. A person not commissioned from the bishop, may use the words of Baptism, and sprinkle or bathe with the water, on earth, but there is no promise from Christ, that such a man shall admit souls to the Kingdom of Heaven. A person not commissioned may break bread, and pour out wine, and pretend to give the Lord's Supper, but it can afford no comfort to any to receive it at his hands, because there is no warrant from CHRIST to lead communicants to suppose that while he does so here on earth, they will be partakers in the Saviour's heavenly Body and Blood. And as for the person himself, who takes upon himself without warrant to minister in holy things, he is all the while treading in the footsteps of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, whose awful punishment you read of in the book of Numbers. (Compare Numbers xvi. with Jude v. 11.)
It is of the utmost importance that you should know and understand that it is by virtue of this commission, that we Clergymen lay claim to your attention, when we minister the Word and the Sacraments. It is not because we have received an expensive education ; it is not because we move in the station of what is called gentlemen ; it is not because we have hitherto been encouraged by the State; it is not because we, most of us, have enough of this world's goods, both to supply our own wants, and to impart to the necessities of others; it is not for these things that we dare to speak to you in the name of God. Time was when the clergy had them not; the time may come again when they shall not have them. Men may rudely and unjustly take away these things; may make us as poor as the poorest; may destroy what is called our station in society; may make us appear in the eyes of men a humbled and degraded class, as they did the Apostles ; may
“ cast out our name as evil for the Son of Man's sake,” as they did theirs. This cannot alter our position in spiritual things, nor the relation which we bear to God and CHRIST, and to your souls. Men cannot take away what Christ has given us,-I mean the Divine commission; they cannot set aside the trust which He has placed in our hands, I mean "the ministry of reconciliation," (2 Cor. v. 18.) nor make void the promise He has made, that in the faithful exercise of this ministry, He is “ with us always, even to the end of the world.”
Remember, then, that whether your pastors be rich or poor, honoured or despised by the world, it is only the having received this comMISSION that makes us “ bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God," (1 Thess. ii. 2.); and it is only this that can give you any security that the ministration of the Word and Sacraments shall be effectual to the saving of your souls. Learn, then, to cherish and value the blessing which God has vouchsafed to you, in having given you pastors who have received this commission. The Dissenting teachers have it not. They lay no claim to regular succession from the Apostles; and though the Roman Catholic clergy have indeed been ordained by the hands of Bishops, they are mere intruders in this country, have no right to come here, and besides, have so corrupted the truth of God's word, that they are not to be listened to for a moment.
The Feast of the Ascension.
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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
ACCOUNT OF RELIGIOUS SECTS AT PRESENT
EXISTING IN ENGLAND.
"I Beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.”
Rom. xvii. 17.
It is conceived, that many members of the English Church, whom late events have awakened to a knowledge of the religious differences which exist in the world, are but insufficiently acquainted with the chief points which distinguish the various religious bodies which are among them; and may be anxious for information on the subject. The following statement, drawn up by a Clergyman at the request of a parishioner, is submitted to their consideration.
The English Church, which is a true branch or portion of the “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" of Christ', receives and teaches the entire Truth of God according to the Scriptures; the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. This may be proved by reference to the Scriptures ; in which no fundamental doctrine can be pointed out, which the Church does not teach : nor can it be shown that the Church teaches any thing, as necessary to salvation, but what is contained in the Scriptures, or can be proved by them,—this being the acknowledged rule of teaching set forth in the 6th Article of the Church.
I See Nicene Creed.
The parties which are separated from, and opposed to, the Church, may be arranged into three classes. 1. Those who reject the Truth. 2. Those who receive and teach a part, but not the whole, of the Truth. 3. Those who teach more than the Truth.
I.-Those who reject the Truth.
Under this head are included all who deny that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of the living God',” and that salvation is. through His blood. Such are
1. Socinians (so called from Socinus, a chief teacher of their error), who profess to receive the Old and New Testament, but reject these fundamental doctrines as there set forth, and reject also the doctrine of the Personality and operations of the Holy Ghost?. These men commonly call themselves Unitarians.
2. Jews, who profess to receive the Old Testament, but denounce our LORD as an Impostor. These contradict the Prophets of the Old Testament, to whose evidence our LORD appealed while fulfilling their prophecies': and they forget the living witness they themselves afford to our Saviour's truth, who foretold concerning their Church and nation, the evils which have since happened, and under which they are now suffering *
3. Deists (so called from professing to acknowledge merely a Deity), who reject both the Testaments, denying that God has ever revealed His will to men. Thus they contradict reason, which suggests that He would not leave the beings whom He created capable of happiness, without instruction how to attain that happiness : they contradict also the unanswerable evidence of history, miracles, and fulfilment of prophecy, which prove that
1 Matt. xvi. 16. > On these points see “Churchman's Manual.” Oxford, 1834. pp. 20 -23. 3 John v. 39. 46. 4 See Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Jews.
He actually has revealed His Will, and that the Book which we call the Bible contains that Revelation ?
4. Atheists (i. e. men“ without God”) who deny altogether the existence of a God. These contradict the voice of nature, which, by the regularity of seasons, the succession, growth, and decay, of plants, of animals, and men, by the course of the planets and all its other wonderful works, attest the existence, power, and goodness of a Superior Being, who must have made all these things at the first, and now continues and preserves them.
These four Classes may be placed together, because to all four the same passage of St. John is applicable. " Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the FATHER ?," and of all four it
may be truly said, “ They have trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing, and done despite to the Spirit of Grace 3.”
II.—Those who receive and teach a part but not the whole of the
truth, erring in respect of one or more fundamental doctrines.
Under this head are included most of what are called “ Protestant Dissenters.” The chief of these are,
1. PRESBYTERIANS, so called from maintaining the validity of ordination by Presbyters or Elders only, in other words, by the second order of the clergy, dispensing with and superseding the first
2. INDEPENDENTS, so called from being opposed to and independent of all ecclesiastical government”.
3. METHODISTS (subdivided into an immense variety of sects ; the chief are Wesleyans, Whitfieldians, or Lady Huntingdon's,
1 See Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Deists. 2 1 John ii. 23.
3 Heb. ix. 29. 4 From this error have sprung all Sects enumerated under this second head.
5 See Hebrews xiii. 17.