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he addressed a letter, and from each of whom, I be- eth on the outward appearance, God looketh
of the man. It is this consideration which
may keep up, before men, a semblance of said to be learned in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and piety, and though they may even satisfy the Arabic languages. Their censorship was tedious, and standard with which a worldly heart is concertainly could not have tended to the improvement tented to measure the amount of required of the work. Finally, all parties propitiated, the first edition was published in 1823, by virtue of a license, in
duty; yet he who offers them, if he has any which its publication is said to be the more seasonable, just notions at all of God, as a God who as being calculated to obviate the mischief done by searcheth the heart, can never cheat himself the Bible Society of London. When printed, it was into the belief that such services, when laid before the Congregation of the Index in Rome,
weighed in the balance of God's sanctuary, who transmitted to the bishop, by their nuncio in Madrid, a communication by no means favourable.
will not be found fatally wanting. ThroughIn the second edition, he did not give more notes, as out his word, therefore, lest any man should they desired; but he so far yielded, as to maintain, in deceive himself in this matter, God has laid his preface to the Old Testament, that the reading of the Scriptures is not necessary for salvation. Doubt
emphatic force upon the truth, that motive less, Amat is well able to translate the Scriptures;
alone is valuable in his sight. And, indeed, but it is lamentable to see a man, whose talents and how could it be otherwise? The benefit of philanthropy would have adorned a minister of a purer our deeds can never reach unto God: he is Church, laying his work under the censorship of in; removed to such a distance from his creatures, terested men, and allowing it to come into the world under their bias. It cannot, therefore, be the basis of that neither their good deeds nor their evil evangelical comment, nor be used as a standard for can add to, or detract from, his complacency. citation and reference. The well-known version of His happiness arises from himself; he is Veis also, being made from the Vulgate
, is altogether complacent in his own completeness: and he inadequate to the use of a sound Christian ministry in the Spanish language.
must remain, therefore, for ever unaffected It is, therefore, most important that a version of the by the deeds, whether good or evil, of the holy Scriptures be made immediately from the origin- sons of men : it is the quality of actions als, and executed with most scrupulous exactness;
which he can alone regard, because this and, of course, with all due regard to the proprieties of style. You are aware that a version, designed to
quality of the action decides what measure of answer to this description, begins to be in progress,
resemblance there is in the agent to his own together with a commentary designed to meet the moral excellence. The passage before us case of the ignorant and superstitious Romanist, of the contains a remarkable union of action and degraded infidel, and of any whose minds may be awakened and opened to the reception of vital truth.
motive : and occurring, as it does, in that This may, perhaps, be published at first in small memorable place where Christ himself departs; and eventually, should the version be approved, scribes the procedure of the great day of it may go forth without note or comment. Yet, in the absence of preachers, a stirring commentary might
account, it furnishes us with a remarkable arouse popular attention, and excite a thirst for the
proof, that neither works disjoined from faith, word of God itself.
nor faith from works, however they may
dissevered in the systems of man's invention, WORKS DONE FOR CHRIST, THE LAW will find any recognition in the measures of OF JUDGMENT:
the judgment-seat of Christ. The more comA Sermon,*
prehensive our acquaintance with the word
of God, the more extended our view of the By The Rev. Robert Ecen, M.A.
principles it contains, the more convinced Late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, O.cford. shall we be, that the distinctions of man have Matt. xxv. 37-40.
no place in the system of truth, and that re* Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, ligious knowledge is made up of a full-orbed
when saw we thee an hungred, and feci thee? or contemplation of every part of the declared
by this enlargement of our view will be, that came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say
we shall rectify our notions of good works. uuto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have Undoubtedly, the natural tendency of man is done it unto one of the least of these iny brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
to rest in his own performances, to smile
upon his own good deeds, and to persuade The word of God teaches us one truth himself that God shall smile upon them too: throughout, and that is, that while man look- nay, he goes so far, until he is untaught, as
Preached at St. Paul's Church, Ball's Pond, Islington, on to justify himself by his works. All this is
evil-most evil; and, whether it be a notion mittee of that Institution.
held as the doctrine of any Church, or an idea
cherished within the folds of our heart, it is the teacher to dwell upon, and for the hearers alike to be abhorred. But if it be untrue to to receive ; and, in their results, tend to the hold that good works have any power to jus- diffusion of blessings among men--a decisive tify or even to recommend us unto God, it is test of the excellence of the principle that also possible that they may be very inju- produces such fruit. riously displaced from our individual creed. And, not only must the doctrine of good We should listen, with equal respect, to every works be taught as an integral part of the one of the revelations of God; with no con- system of Christian truth, provided no meriscious bias in favour of any one part; and torious or propitiatory quality be assigned then alone may we hope to
grow up to to them, but the reward, too, of good works a perfect man-to the measure of the stature (within the same limits) is as " constantly of the fulness of Christ.” Minds of a humble to be affirmed.” It can never be perilous cast (the minds, for the most part, of those to declare fearlessly what the Scripture who are conscious that they have been " for- has taught expressly : and if we shun altogiven much,") will dwell with an almost ex- gether to speak of “reward," we elusive interest upon those parts of Scripture neglect many plain statements of the word which exalt the grace of God; and the men- of God. The reward which the Gospel protion of good works, even when nothing more mises, is not the payment of a debt, but is meant than to describe the quality of such the recognition of allegiance; not the price deeds, as distinguished from evil ones, will of benefit, but the acknowledgment of serproduce a sensation bordering on distress. But vice. The prospect of such reward, not of the healthy condition of the mind is different debt, but of grace, is one of the many argufrom this : the most truly pious will desire to ments which God in his wisdom has emhave no will but God's in doctrine, any more ployed to stir up our sinking energies,-to than in deed. Their prayer will be, “ Lead animate our flagging zeal. Love to God shall me, O Lord, in thy truth ; make thy way be met by the return of his love to us. “Them plain before my face.”
that honour me I will honour.” DistinguishWe need not be more scrupulous than the ing regard to Christ shall receive like disScripture itself has been in the admission of tinction from him. “ Whosoever shall give any truth : the Scripture condemns only that you a cup of water to drink in my name, statement of good works which would assign because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto to them any expiatory value. Short of this you, he shall not lose his reward.” --of attaching to them any inherent and The doctrine of a judgment according to atoning efficacy--not only may they be taught works is to be interpreted on the same prinscripturally, but they must be taught con- ciples : it does not, in the slightest degree, stantly.
derogate from the freeness of that "
of St. Paul is remarkably urgent on this point. God which bringeth salvation;" it “casts not In an epistle written to a bishop of the early one grain of incense upon the altar of human church, and the express object of which is to merit.” It is, in fact, the uniform doctrine tell him what should be the topics of his of the word of God, meeting us there at all ministry, and which he should, in his turn, points; taught alike by prophets, by Christ, impress on those ministers whom he should and by his apostles; and taught by them so ordain ;~in this epistle, when he is reckoning unequivocally, that he who does not instantly up, not the occasional, but the permanent bear us witness that it is so, when we make subjects of ministerial teaching, he insists the assertion, argues not us, but himself, of a upon the necessity of good works, introducing very shortened acquaintance with the prinhis injunction to Titus on this head with a ciples of Divine truth.
ciples of Divine truth. “ Truth (it has been form of words found only in one or two other well said) is always consistent with itself, and places of his writings, and evidently reserved needs nothing to help it out:" and shall not as the preface to some truth of unusual im- this be pre-eminently claimed for the truth of portance: “ This is a faithful saying,” in the God? Every distortion of truth's features truth and necessity of which we may place proves only that she has a face divine, whose the fullest confidence ; " and these things I beauty has been calumniated ; and they who will that thou affirm constantly;" insist upon are jealous of her honour will not conceal her this truth with immovable zeal, and at all countenance as though it were ugly, but, times, " that they which have believed in drawing it in its perfect symmetry, will disGod might be careful to maintain good play her as she is. And it is not because the works :" that they who profess to have made Romanist (who corrupts the whole body of regood the point of faith, be equally anxious to ligion, from the crown even to the sole of the cherish a habit of good works. “ These foot,) teaches, as one among many monstrous things are good, and profitable unto men:” things, the merit of works ; it is not because such lessons as these are sound subjects for among those who profess a different creed from the Romanist, the unsubdued heart, | results. Why, we ask again, upon six obgoing about to establish its own righteous- vious workings of Christian kindness, is the ness, cannot brook submission to the righte- entrance into, or exclusion from, God's kingousness of God by faith, that, therefore, we dom of glory made to depend? Because, are to shun to declare the truth of a judg- though only fruits, they are pledges that the ment according to our works. It is retribu- “ root of the matter” is there: they contain tion which the Scriptures teach ; retribution, the elements of a renewed nature; they are which is the law of the universe,—the law of the growth of a seed which the land of God God. It is in the eternal necessity of things could alone have sown; the denial of self, that good should produce good ; and evil, love to our brethren, and both from regard evil : “ Be not deceived; God is not mocked; to Christ. And such expressions of our love whatsoever a man soweth, that shall be also to himself, Christ requires of us; they are reap: he that soweth to his flesh, shall, of not only the natural and necessary, but the the flesh, reap"—that which the flesh is required tribute of our esteem. To " abound “ corruption :" and he that soweth to the in every good work” is to " keep the comSpirit, shall, of the Spirit, reap (in like ana- mandments" of our Lord : the truths of his logy) life everlasting.” As certainly as the word, and the promises of his Gospel, may seed sown in the earth springs up, and bears be received by us, but they may lie inert in its own fruit, so certainly shall goodness the mind : not so, however, with deeds of lead to good, and wickedness unto evil. mercy shewn to the suffering members of The doings of any one of his rational crea- Christ's body for the sake of the Head; these, tures assist not the judgment of God in form- in their very nature, cannot be passive; they ing an estimate of his character ; for his eyes at once prove and enlarge the love from are continually resting upon the springs of which they sprung; "inasmuch as ye have action : but the doings of the life, if good, done it unto one of the least of these my producing to the doer good, and if evil, evil, brethren, ye have done it unto me." shall " vindicate the ways of God to man :" I am sure that these latter words, “ the least shall cause him to be “justified in his saying, of these my brethren,” must strike every and clear when he is judged." Retribution, mind here present as peculiarly fitting in with a payment in kind, as like produces like, the occasion for which I address you. He according to that unchangeable order of cause who used them as descriptive of the judg. and effect whereby God governs his moral ment, and who shall again use them when creation ; this, we apprehend, is the explana- that awful occasion is no longer, as it then tion of the principle of a judgment according was, a matter of description, but actually to works. “As righteousness tendeth to life, present, he meant (it is probable) by that so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his expression, the least of these my brethren," own death." “ The wicked worketh a de- all those who, from whatever cause, and in ceitful work; but to him that soweth righte- whatever point of view, were mean, and little ousness shall be a sure reward."
esteemed in the eyes of men. But, surely, it This law of retribution, if we bear it in is of literal application, and describes most mind, will be the key for understanding the strictly the objects of that excellent charity process of Christ's final judgment, spoken of which is now commended to your liberal in our text. In the splendid and awful de- support. scription which is there given by Him who I would hope that this assembly are preshall “judge the quick and dead at his ap- sent here to-night, not to acquire an interest pearing,” he declares that the sentence of in this institution, but that they have been acceptance or rejection from his lips shall drawn hither by an interest already created : hinge upon certain deeds of charity performed that they have come prepared to shew that or neglected : a most remarkable announce they are true followers of a Saviour, who, ment, when we remember the mighty stress while he taught the truths he had received that is laid, in the later revelations of the from God, realised and consummated every apostles, upon faith in the atonement, as the part of that heavenly knowledge which he main binge of salvation. Upon six charities taught, in perfect charity; who, whilst lie of practical beneficence is suspended the sen- appeared as the well-spring of uncreated tence which shall consign one portion of an wisdom, manifested himself to be the founassembled world to "* everlasting punish- tain of everlasting love ; “ who gave him. ment,” and introduce the other to “life eter- self for us," and who could, therefore, with nal.” And why is this? It is simply re- singular force, lay it down as an axiom in solvable into a “faith which worketh by the philosophy of the Gospel, that "it is love;" the same principle which Paul after- more blessed to give than to receive.". We wards preached, in its source as well as its trust that the benefits, which this charity results, though Christ dwells chiefly on the shall reap from your presence here this even
ing will shew that your hearts have long ago whom I am now an advocate have a claim been prepared and disposed towards the good to your compassionate regard, upon this conwork to which we invite you. In this hope sideration, which was once the only plea of we would rejoice to think that much of the all the children of Adam at the throne of task is already done to our hands. But, for grace--" We are orphans and fatherless, and any part of it that remains to be done, we our mothers as widows." need not shrink from it as arduous.
But the charity for which we are now pleadThe cause of the orphan is one which needs ing is not merely an asylum for orphans. not the skill of rhetoric, nor the force of ora- Were it, indeed, only one of those many intory, to set it forth. It is a simple tale of stitutions of this nature that have so long sorrow; and, when exhibited in this its na- existed, and with which we are familiar, it tive simplicity, will be most efficacious. It would have a claim to our support: were it is a state so distressing, so comfortless, so either Christ's Hospital (that noble foundation lonely, that it seems, by the bare mention of of the pious King Edward): or the London it , to plead its own cause. The eye of Heaven Orphan Asylum (an institution, which, though seems to drop a tear of pity over this class of it had not a royal founder, had a kingly spirit sufferers : God frequently represents himself, in those who devised it, and, not less, in those as it were, overcome by their cries, and taking who now support and conduct it): or were them under his protection in a way that he it the Clergy Orphan School, where the childtakes no other. The same God, who is de- ren of deceased ministers of God are eduscribed in the Psalm as gloriously “riding cated: or the Orphan Working School, where upon the heavens," appears, in the next verse, destitute children, for the nourishment they as “ a father of the fatherless, and a judge receive, give their own exertions in return: of the widow." The case of the fatherless or were it the Westminster Asylum for female has been thus allegorised by Bishop Horne: objects of this kind, where the sex of the " The poor afflicted orphan, thrown upon sufferers is added to the plea of orphanage, the wide world, there to wander without and presents a case of peculiar interest: or house or home, in hunger and thirst, in cold the school of Bancroft, where children of and nakedness, in pain and sickness; craving parents in the middle class are liberally supof those who pass by the way, regardless ported and taught : or St. Ann's School (an of his complaints, and not at leisure to be institution rich in the advantages it bestows): troubled with his pitiable story, one morsel or were it, finally, the British Orphan Asylum of bread for the love of Jesus,—what is he (which, for several years, was fixed very near but a picture of fallen man, cast out of Para- this spot-an institution which, from its exdise, and doomed to wander, a stranger and cellent benefits as a school, and from the a sojourner upon the earth ; hungering and religious and affectionate guardianship of its thirsting after something that might satisfy governors, deserves to be much more widely his empty soul; incessantly beat upon by known and assisted): were it any one of these cares and sorrows; imploring, for the love of admirable charities for which we had to plead, the same Jesus, his daily bread ; entreating we should urgently recommend it to your forgiveness of his sins, and deliverance from care. But we have a special cause now in evil. But, thanks be to God, the importunity hand. It is not an orphan asylum merely, of a petitioner is never complained of by Him but an INFANT Orphan Asylum, that we now with whom we have to do. No angry frown hold up to your notice. This establishment, bids the sinner be gone from the gate of hea- situated a short distance from this place, was ven. There let him relate, at length, the story instituted nine years ago. It has, indeed, of his woes. It is as music to Him who first very many supporters, but it is not yet ex
prepareth the heart of the penitent for tensively known: it is known to exist, but prayer, and then his ear hearkeneth thereto.' | the public do not generally know what it is The Church, considered in that state in which that distinguishes this from other similar chashe was left by the fall and death of the first rities. None of these open their doors to the Adam, is frequently represented in Scripture fatherless until they have reached the age of as a widow, surrounded by fatherless child- seven years. This limitation has been most ren. In this condition the second Adam, the wisely made, as the term from seven to fourLord from heaven, saw her, and had com- teen years embraces a distinct period of passion on her. She became the spouse of human life, and a period of such importance the King of heaven, and her children were and magnitude, as to be amply sufficient for made the sons of God. In him the father-their undivided care. But before this instiless found mercy,' and he caused the tution was provided, there was no receptacle widow's heart to sing with joy,' everlasting for the fatherless babe ; nor is there now any hallelujahs to her benefactor and Saviour, other in the land but this. The institution, her Lord and her God." They, therefore, for therefore, at Dalston, might be called the “National Infant Orphan Asylum.” Consider, cause itself: many, who shall hear that the now, with yourselves, before you decide upon infant orphan's cry has gained a number of the amount of your gift to-night, what it is new listeners, will be awakened by that cry that craves your help. Say not, This is one of themselves, and will take to themselves a the many orphan appeals which have begged share in the performance of this good work. for and have shared my liberality, and it can Think, before you fix the amount of your only now receive its proportion ; but say, contribution, how far the aims of this charity This cause stands apart from all that are like it, reach. It not only nurtures those destitute and demands from me a separate consideration. babes for the first seven years of their life, You are asked to supply a shelter to the but it does this that it may hand them over orphan in its most helpless condition. The with greater effect to those other asylums child which has lost both or either of its pa- which receive the orphan after that age. rents, if it has reached the age of seven years, Viewed, then, as an avenue to those many has already passed through one distinct pe- other institutions that exist for the older riod of its life, and is drawing nearer, at least, orphan, it fairly and naturally asks for the every day, to that age when it will become assistance of all those who commend those conscious of its bereaved state, and led to other charities ; and it is not too much to make suitable exertions for itself. But an affirm, that they who have at heart the proinfant orphan, what shall become of it? Full sperity and the full efficiency of the several of wants which it can neither express, nor, orphan asylums to which we have referred, if it express, can find relief for them - these cannot do less than support this Infant instiwants, too, not only pressing upon it now, tution : if it is an avenue to the others, can but certain to continue for many years : en- you do less than widen and lengthen that compassed with necessities of which it is un- avenue, that it may contain all who would conscious, but which are not, on that account, press into it? Think, again, that it takes the less pressing-necessities to which it has the orphan at a most important moment of no means of administering--and which, even its life. Do you feel that your own children could it administer to them, would recur at that age are objects of special interest, daily and hourly, and that for years to come. and are you extremely careful that their very Take the two cases of orphanage, and you earliest associations should be kept from all will see that either of them calls aloud to you that is evil, and connected with all that is for sympathy. How desolate the situation good ? Bestow this solicitude which you give of a poor widow with one or several infant to your own child upon the child of your less children! the human hand which fed her wealthy brother, whose need of moral proand them feeds them no longer : her earnings tection is the same as that of your own child, will hardly support herself, but her children with this affecting difference in his case, that they cannot support; the burden is felt too he has none to cast around him that moral heavy, and she sinks beneath it. Or, sup- shelter which you are so anxious your own pose the case of deeper woe, where both child should, and which he does possess; a parents are removed-what is to save the protection the effects of which, possessed or destitute infant, if the hand of Christian pity denied, may reach out to the infinite duration is not promptly stretched out to it? Such a of that child's existence. hand this Infant Asylum holds forth : it asks Think (once more) that this institution apyou to give nerve to its exertions. It holds peals peculiarly to this congregation and neighout both its arms to the orphan babe : it asks bourhood, from its locality amongst us.
I you to stay them up. Measure your gifts, mean not to say, that it has on this ground we repeat, not by placing this among the any claim : its objects are public, and by many like charities; but as it stands alone the public, therefore, it claims to be mainin its nature, so let it meet in you a singular tained. But, I would say that it is for the support.
honour of our Christian profession, that a Surely it was a tender and touching sense charity that is planted so very near our own of human destitution that moved the hearts dwellings, that is rearing its head almost in of those who first formed the plan of this our very sight, should receive a conspicuous Infant Asylum : surely they knew how to degree of support from those who live near realise human woe in one of its keenest forms. it: and I may say, too (without the suspicion Shew them that you appreciate their charity of an unworthy compliment), that this conEvery fresh gift to this good cause not only gregation have a character to maintain in increases the funds of the institution, and this respect; for full well do I know that enables it to do much more good than it there are not a few of this church who are could before do; but it is a new argument forward to every good work, and who might in favour of the cause itself. You thereby be held up as patterns of the most zealous record your testimony of the merits of the and unwearied co-operation with their mi