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this matter home to every man's own soul, not only on the general ground of submission to all our Lord's ordinances, but because the bread and wine in the Eucharist was not accounted the true Sacrament of Christ, without Christ's warrant given to the person administering: which warrant, the Fathers well knew, could only be had through His Apostles and their successors.

Hear again the same St. Ignatius. “ Let that Lord's Supper be counted a Lord's Supper indeed, which is ministered by the Bishop, or by one having his commission.” Observe, Ignatius, the friend of the Apostles, reckons the Sacrament no Sacrament, if the consecrating minister want the Bishop's commission. Could St. Ignatius possibly mistake the mind of the Apostles on that point, he who had conversed familiarly with them at the time when the Church was used to "continue daily in breaking of bread ?"

And with him agreed the whole Church of God for the first fifteen hundred years: knowing that when our LORD said, “ Do this in remembrance of Me," His Apostles only were present; therefore none but they and their deputies could be said to have His warrant for blessing that bread and cup. And this is a matter pertaining to each man's salvation. For that bread and cup are the appointed mean, whereby the faithful are to partake of Christ's Body and Blood offered for their sins.

Can any devout man, considering this, reckon it a matter of small moment, whether the minister with whom he communicates be a minister by apostolical succession or no? In the judgment of the Church it makes no less difference than this: Whether the bread and cup which he partakes of shall be to him Christ's Body and Blood or no. I repeat it: in the judgment of the Church, the Eucharist administered without apostolical commission, may to pious minds be a very edifying ceremony, but it is not that blessed thing which our Saviour graciously meant it to be: it is not “verily and in deed taking and receiving" the Body and Blood of Him, our Incarnate LORD.

Even as St. Paul seems to intimate, when he so pointedly asks the Corinthians, “ The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of CHRIST? The bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ ?" Why such a stress on the words," which we bless," which we break;"

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except because the Corinthians knew (and they could only know by Apostolical teaching), that the agency of the Apostles in blessing and breaking was needful to assure us that the holy signs really convey the thing signified.

Thus you see every thing concurs; the ordination of St. Matthias, the promise of our LORD, the hints found elsewhere in holy Scripture, the express laws of the Universal Church, the constant doctrine of the friends of the Apostles ;--all agree to show that Communion with God incarnate, such Communion as He offers in His holy Supper, cannot be depended on without an Apostolical Ministry.

To think otherwise is the error of those, who, mixing up human inventions with the everlasting Gospel, take upon them to si

choose Christ," instead of humbly owning themselves “ chosen by Him," and labouring to bear fruit accordingly.

But still more fatal will be our error, if having this high privilege, we cause it to be reproached by our abuse or negligent using. We, by God's blessing, are among those, who through an Apostolical Ministry, have constant access to the Body and Blood of our REDEEMER. What if we be found no more exemplary, no humbler, no more consistent in our piety, than those whose

possession of the means of grace is so much more questionable than ours ? There is a prophetic warning against such : “You only have I known of all the families of the earth : therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” There is also a yet more awful warning from Him who will come to be our Judge: “Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto Heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

These Tracts are published Monthly, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 78. for 50 copies.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE.

1835.

GILBERT & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London.

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

BISHOP WILSON'S MEDITATIONS ON HIS SACRED

OFFICE.

No. V.-THURSDAY.

CHURCH DISCIPLINE.

AND

Question from the Office of Consecration.—Will you MAINTAIN AND SET FORWARD, AS MUCH AS IN YOU LIETH, QUIETNESS, LOVE AND PEACE, AMONG ALL MEN; AND SUCH AS BE UNQUIET, DISOBEDIENT, AND CRIMINOUS WITHIN YOUR DIOCESE, CORRECT PUNISH, ACCORDING TO SUCH AUTHORITY AS YOU HAVE BY God's WORD, AND AS TO YOU SHALL BE COMMITTED BY THE ORDINANCES OF THIS REALM 1 ?-Ans. I WILL SO DO, BY THE HELP OF God.

O God of peace and love, make me, thy minister, a messenger and instrument of peace to this people to whom I am sent; that by thy gracious assistance I may root out all strife and variance, hatred and malice, and that this Church and Nation may enjoy a blessed tranquillity. Bless the discipline of this Church in my hands, and make it effectual for the conviction of wicked men and gainsayers. Assist me, by thy good Spirit, that I may apply a proper cure to every

disorder; that I mildness, censure with equity, and punish with compassion.

O merciful God, who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and live, bring into the right way all such as are gone astray from thy commandments. Vouchsafe unto all penitents, (and especially unto all such as are now under the censures of the Church,) a true sense of their crimes, true

may reprove with

1 This can never be looked upon as any limitation of the power received from Christ, but only as directing the exercise thereof, as to the manner, form, and circumstance.-Bp. Wilson.

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repentance for them, and thy gracious pardon, that their souls may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Church Discipline. However the Church be in some respects incorporated with the commonwealth in a Christian state, yet its fundamental rights remain distinct from it; of which this is one of the chief-to receive into, and to exclude out of the Church, such persons which, according to the laws of the Christian society, are fit to be taken in, or shut out.

And when temporal laws interpose, it is temporal punishment only, which they design to inflict or set aside. Bishop Stillingfleet.

Ezek. ii. 6. “ And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words ; thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

2 Cor. xii. 10. • Lest I should use sharpness, according to the power," (namely, of binding and loosing,) " which God hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.”

1 Tim. i. 20. " Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may not blaspheme.” O admirable use and command of Satan! He is God's enemy, and yet does Him service; and an adversary to man, and yet helps to save him. He is the author of blasphemy, and yet. teacheth not to blaspheme. That is, One that is stronger than he directs his malice to ends which he did not intend. Satan is set on work to take him down by terror and despair whom before he had tempted to sin. But while Satan thinks to drive him to destruction by despair, God stops his course, when the sinner is sufficiently humbled ; and then, as it was with Christ, Satan is dismissed, and Angels come and minister unto him.--Rouse.

What great man shall we now find, who will not take it ill to be reproved ? and yet David, a prince and favourite of God, when he was reproved, even by a subject, did not turn away in a rage, but confessed his fault, and repented truly of his sin.St. Ambros.

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David. The very office of Consecration, so often confirmed by Acts of Parliament, does warrant every Bishop, in the clearest and most express terms, to claim authority, by the Word of God, to exercise all manner of spiritual discipline within his own diocese:Codex Jur. Eccl. Angl. p. 18.

Men should be persuaded, not forced, to forsake their sins; because God rewards not those who, through necessity, forsake their sins; but such as do so voluntarily.- Chrysost.

Be steady and fearless in the discharge of your duty, without failing in that respect which is due to higher powers.

Grant, O God, that I may have an eye to duty only, that I may fear no temporal evil, and be concerned only lest I should not in all respects please Thee my God.

Deut. i. 17. “ The judgment is God's." As this should oblige all people to be afraid of a judgment or censure passed by men commissioned by God, so it should make us very careful that our judgment be such as is worthy of God, and agreeable to His will and Word.

1 Cor. xvi. 22. “ If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” Here is a positive direction to the Church to excommunicate all such as plainly discover that they have no love for Jesus Christ,—who are scandalous or profane.

Since we are to give an account of the souls committed to our charge, we cannot be debarred of making use of all the means enjoined us by the Gospel to reduce sinners.

We ought to be thankful for the favours which we have received from religious princes; but if our benefactors require of us what is inconsistent with our trust, we then know whom we are to obey.

2 John 10, 11. “ If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed,- for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds." Not to show our abhorrence of sin, is to consent to it. Men do not sufficiently consider the guilt of this, when they converse with notorious offenders without scruple. They partake with them in their sins; they harden the sinner; they forget the fidelity they owe to God and to his laws, and greatly hazard their own salvation.

Excommunication was never pronounced except where the case

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