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acknowledged, were intended to be on the day of Pentecost, did inperformed, not by the Apostles deed affect the discharge of the alone, but by an order of men ministerial function in many of its which was to be permanent in the branches, and it affected no less, church.
on certain occasions at least, the Now, if Christ's commission in- state of the congregations comstituted an order and succession of mitted to the charge of their remen, the powers with which that spective pastors. The Spirit was commision invested the first in or- poured out upon their sons and upon der of that succession (without a their daughters, and they did proplain restriction in the investiture, phesy: their young men saw visions, or some other plain indication of and their old men dreamed dreams*. the intention of the Institutor), These extraordinary gifts must, of are to be considered as descending course, have affected the whole of course to their successors. body of the church. They most
In the commission we are con- especially, while they were contisidering, there certainly are no nued, have influenced, in a very words of restriction. Nor do I considerable degree, the conductknow of any plain argument from ing of public worship in the asScripture, that our gracious Mas semblies of the primitive Christer intended that the power of tians. But we do not find that they absolution, which was one of these superseded the ministry or altered powers, and which had an equal any of the relations between the relation to the common wants of presbyters and people, or between mankind in every age, should cease the bishop and the presbyters. with his first accredited messen. Hence we find the Apostle ad gers to the world.
dressing the elders or presbyters I admit, indeed, that the Apo- of Ephesus, as overseers made by stles and first teachers did go forth the Holy Ghost. They were, in their invested with some extraordinary respective flocks, the residentiary powers peculiar to themselves, or agents and ambassadors of God; rather to their age, which did not ordained for men in things pertain. descend to their successors in the ing to God; pastors and shepherds; ministry, and indeed had never be- stewards of the mysteries of God: longed to the ministry, exclusively, whose office it was, to divide to at all. These extraordinary and God's household their portion of miraculous powers we trace prin- meat in due season. They were cipally to the out-pouring of the scribes instructed for the kingdom Holy Ghost on the day of Pente- of God, having the keys of the cost; though they were frequently kingdom of heaven. afterwards bestowed by the laying To such an order of men, there. on of the Apostles' hands. But fore, separated to the Gospel of among the diversities of gifts, the God, in their respective flocks, the differences of administrations, and Apostles committed their spiritual the diversities of operations which authority, while themselves superresulted from this out-pouring of intended the general concerns of the Spirit, we find no mention of the Christian cause. And the histhis authority to forgive and re- tory of the Church, which goes tain sins, or any thing necessarily back nearly to the time when the and immediately connected with canonical Scriptures close, attests, its discharge.
at its very commencement, that The Christian ministry, with all such an order of men then pre. its permanent powers and privi. sided over the Church, exercising leges, had been, in fact, previously spiritual functions, agreeably to the nstituted. The gift of the Spirit
* Acts, xi. 17.
above scriptural representations. This would in truth be blessing Nor has the divine institution of our enemies, and pouring oil into the Christian ministry ever been their wounds; and shall hereafter questioned in the Church, until, be told as a memorial of England, comparatively, modern ages. There not only through France, but is also no doubt or question, but throughout the whole world." that among those spiritual exer. To carry this object into effect, cises which were performed by the a few active individuals, in the ministers of the primitive church, vicinity of every depot of prisonthe granting of absolution to peni- ers, should immediately form themtents was one. Indeed, the super selves into committees ; ascertain stition and tyrannical abuse of this the exact number of prisoners unordinance, in «after-ages, by the provided with Bibles, at their reministers of antichrist, is in itself spective stations ; communicate a testimony that it must have been without loss of time with the Lonpreviously in use, and in high esti- don Secretaries of the British and mation among Christians; since Foreign Bible Society, and solicit that abomination arose; in one re. the grant, and speedy transmission, spect, by a distorted use and idola. of a certain proportion of Bibles, or trous corruption of sacred and die Testaments, perhaps of the latter, vine institutions : so that it is not to save 'expense. The committee more evident that the sacrifice of should make a similar cominunicathe mass was a corruption of the tion and request to the other sosacrament of the Lord's supper, cieties established for the promothan that the popish rites of pe- tion of Christianity. When the nance, and the sale of indulgences, different grants are added together, have arisen from the legitimate ex- the committees will judge whether ércise of the power of Christian any application to the public may ministers to absolve, in the name of be necessary in order to supply the Christ, believing penitents. D. E. deficiency. The books should be
collected without delay, and de
posited in places convenient to ON GIVING BIBLES TO THE FRENCH the depots. to be ready on the den PRISONERS..
parture of the prisoners, that every MR. EDITOR,
man may be put in possession of - When you have perused the one, either by gift, or by sale at a following, I am in hopes you will reduced price. readily give it a place in your va- . It is impossible to calculate the luable work: the earliest insertion immense benefits that may follow may be of the utmost consequence, the importation into infidel France and will greatly oblige yours, &c. of 80,000 sacred volumes ; more 20th Feb. 1814.
P. especially as the duration of the
peace would be very questionable, GREAT Britain is now on the and a revival of Popery may be eve of a general peace. During expected ; and in the event of rethis long eventful contest she has newed hostilities, the intercourse acted a magnanimous part. She with France would again be cut has stood forth as the champion of off, and possibly the Parisian Bible freedom and the defender of the Society be totally extinguished. faith, and ere long will restore . Such an opportunity should not about 80,000 Frenchmen to their be passed by. Much more might native land; and honourable in- be said on this interesting subject, deed will it be to our great and but I trust enough has been stated Christian" nation, if every captive to call forth the active zeal and returns with a Bible in his hand. beneficence of British Christians.
CHRIST. GUARD. VOL. VI. AA
THE POOR MAN'S FRIEND.
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. the waters, and others in dry
ground. Different colours, forins,
and sizes, distinguish them front The truth and excellence of each other, and produce a diverthe religion of Jesus Christ ap- sity of character and appearance, pears to be remarkably established which affords a delightful variety, by the union of similarity with va- both for the purposes of use and riety, in the 'effects which it pro- beauty. Yet is that variety pero duces on the hearts and lives of fectly consistent with their essentrue believers. In the grand and tial unity of nature in the vegeessential features of Christian ex- table kingdom, to which they all perience, the whole household of equally belong. God possess an universal sameness In another particular they like, of character, a family likeness, wise resemble. They both die a which distinguishes them from all natural death. The Lord ever the world besides : yet, in nume- preserves “ a seed to serve him," rous particulars, there also exists from generation to generation; a beautiful variety.
for, as one disappears, another On the one hand, in the aged springs up to supply his place. and the young, in the wise and But “ it is appointed unto all men the unlearned, in the rich and the once to die."--" Man cometh poor ;' in those of stronger and forth like a flower, and is cut weaker degrees of mental capa- down; he fleeth as a shadow, and city, in more sanguine or more se- continueth not."- All flesh is as date dispositions, and in a multi- grass, and all the glory of man as tude of otherwise varying circum- the flower of the grass. The stances, there is a striking con- grass withereth, and the flower formity of principles and feeling to thereof falleth away." Christ, and to each other. Like In the midst of such diversity of the flowers of the field and the Christian characters, there is much garden, they are “all rooted and to love and admire, I have segrounded” in the soil of the same lected the case of little Jane, as earth; they are warmed by the one not undeserving of notice. same sun, refreshed by the same It is true, she was only a child air, and watered by the same -a very poor child--but a child dews. They each derive nourish- saved by divine grace, enlighten-, ment, growth, and increase, from ed with the purest knowledge, and the same life-giving Souree. As adorned with unaffected holiness; the flower puts forth its leaves and she was a child, humble, meek, petals, adorns the place which it and lowly. She'“ found grace in inhabits with its beauty, and pos- the eyes of the Lord," while she sesses an internal system of quali- was on, earth; and, I doubt not, ties, whereby it is enabled to bring will be seen on his right hand at forth its seed or fruit, in the ap- the last day. As such, there is pointed season; so does the Chris- preciousness in the character, tian. ..
which will account for my attempte But, on the other hand, like ing once more to write concernthe flowers also, some Christians ing her, and describe her last momay be said to grow on the moun- ments, before she went to her 'ain tops, some in valleys, some in final rest.
It was not yet day, when I left of nature was, at that hour, pecumy house to obey the summons. liarly appropriate to the circumThe morning star shone conspi- stances of the case ; and the more cuously clear. The moon cast a so, because that twilight was sig. mild light over the prospect, but nificantly adorned with the bril. gradually diminished in bright- liant sparklings of the star on one ness, as the eastern sky became hand, and the clear pale lustre of enlightened. The birds were be- the waning moon on the other. ginning their song, and seemed When I arrived at the house, I ready to welcome the sun's ap- found no one below; I paused a proach. The dew plentifully co- few minutes, and heard the girl's vered the field, and hung suspend- voice very faintly saying, “ Do ed in drops from the trees and you think he will come? I should hedges. A few early labourers be so glad-so very glad to see appeared in the lanes, travelling him before I die." towards the scene of their daily I ascended the .stairs-her faoccupations.
ther, mother, and brother, togeAll besides was still and calm. ther with the elderly woman beMy mind, as I proceeded, was fore spoken of, were in the chamdeeply exercised by thoughts con- ber. Jane's countenance bore the cerning the affecting events which marks of speedy dissolution. Yet, I expected soon to witness. although death was manifest in the
The rays of the morning star languid features, there was some." were not so beautiful in my sight, thing more than ever interesting as the spiritual lustre of this young in the whole of her external asChristian's character. Her " night pect. The moment she saw me, a was far spent;" the morning of a renewed vigour beamed in her 66 better day was at hand." The eyes-grateful affection sparkled Sun of eternal Blessedness was in the dying face. ready to break upon her soul with · Although she had spoken just rising glory. Like the moon, before I entered, yet for some which I saw above me, this child's time afterwards she was silent, but exemplary deportment had gently never took her eyes off me. There cast a useful light over the neigh- was animation in her look-there bourhood where she dwelt. Like was more--something like a fore. this moon, she had for a season taste of heaven seemed to be felt, been permitted to shine amidst the and gave an inexpressible charac. surrounding darkness : and her ter of spiritual beauty, even in rays were also reflected from a lu- death. minary, in whose native splendour At length she said, “ This is her own would quickly be blend- very kind, Sir,-I am going fasted and lost.
I was afraid I shoảld never see you The air was cool, but the breezes again in this world.” of the morning were refreshing, I said, “ My child, are you reand seemed to foretell the ap- signed to die?" proach of a beautiful day. Being " Quite.” accustomed, in my walks, to look 66 Where is your hope?". for subjects of improving thought She lifted up her finger, pointand association, I found them in ing to heaven, and then directed every direction around me, as I the same downward to her own hastened onwards to the house heart, saying successively as she where Jane lay, waiting for a dis- did so, “ Christ there, and Christ missal from her earthly dwelling. here."
I felt that the twilight gravity These words, accompanied by
the action, spoke her meaning ways-read the Bible I give you more solemnly than can easily be mine- I have found it a precious conceived.
book. Do you not remember our A momentary spasm took place. little brother, who died some years
Looking towards her weeping since ?--he was praying to the last mother, she said, “ I am very cold moment of his life. Learn to
but it is no matter--it will soon pray, while you are in health, and be over
you will find the comfort and . She closed her eyes for about a power of it when you come to minute, and, on opening them die ; but, first of all, pray for a again; said, “ I wish, Şir, when I new heart-without it you never am gone, you would tell the other will see God in heaven--your prechildren of the parish, how good sent ways lead to misery and ruin the Lord has been to me, a poor, -may the Lord turn your heart sinner-tell them, that they who to love and follow him!” seek him early will find him-tell To the other woman she said, them, that the ways of sin and ig. “I thank you, Dame K- , for norance are the ways to ruin and all your kindness, since I have hell-and pray tell them, Sir, from been ill-you have been a Chrisme, that Christ is indeed the Way, tian friend to me, and I hope the the Truth, and the Life-- he will Lord will remember you for it, in no wise cast out any that come. according to his rich mercy :-you
Tell them that I, a poor girl," and I have many a time talked to.
She was quite exhausted, and gether about death ; and though I sunk for a while into a torpid am the youngest, he calls me first state, from which, however, she, to pass through it; but, blessed recovered gradually, uttering these be his name, I am not terrified. I expressions : “ Where am I?-I once thought I never could die thought I was going-Lord, save without fear; but indeed I feel
quite happy, now it is come; and “ My dear child, you will soon so will you, if you trust him-he be for ever in his arms, who is is the God both of the old and the now guiding you by his rod and young." staff through the valley of the "Ah, my child !” said the woshadow of death."
man, “ I wish I was as fit to die " I believe so, indeed I do," as you are ; but I fear that will said she ; “ I long to be with him! never be--my sins have been -O how good, how great, how many, very many." merciful !- Jesus, save me, help “ Christ's blood cleanseth from me through this last trial.”. all sin,” said the child.
She then gave one hand to her At that moment, instead of father, the other to her mother, growing weaker, through the faand said, “ God bless you, God tigue of so much speaking, she . bless you-seek the Lord—think seemed to gather fresh strength. of me, when I am gore-it, may. She turned to me with a look of be for your good-remember your surprising earnesiness and animasouls-0! for Christ's sake re- tion, saying, member your souls--then all may “You, Sir, have been my best be well-you cannot know what I friend on earth-you have taught have felt for both of you--Lord, me the way to heaven, and I love pardon and save my dear father and thank you for it-you have and mother !"
: borne with my weakness and my "She then took hold of her bro- ignorance--you have spoken to ther's hand, saying, “ Thomas, I me of the love of Christ, and he beg of you to leave off your bad has made me to feel it in my heart