« 上一頁繼續 »
not! Better that the speck should be clouded and the mass bright. But the speck will not be the darker, though the full light of heaven should be poured on all the rest, it will rather glow with increased brightness, with its own original sunshine, and the sunshine of heaven besides.
Trust not then, dear young friends, to the uncertain happiness of time; but rather seek to be happy through eternity. “ Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
S. E. P.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
The School and the Sanctuary. SIR,—An interested reader of your magazine, is encouraged to submit the following question. Is it her duty to sacrifice the privilege of attending an afternoon service on the Sabbath, in order to instruct the young at a Sunday school, where her services would be welcomed ?
We should recommend that course from which she derives most spiritual profit; due importance being also given to the necessity of the case. It is not enough that her services would be welcomed in the Sunday school : to what extent are they required?
Forgiveness of Sins. Can you explain the meaning of John xx. 23.
E. Z. A.
To forgive sin is certainly the prerogative of God alone. This is stated in Eph. i. 7, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” After the resurrection, Christ promised his apostles a large measure of the Holy Spirit, to be bestowed upon them when he ascended into heaven. He breathed on them, and said, “ Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Among other privileges thus conferred, was the power of discerning spirits, to such an extent, that they were authorized to pronounce the remission of sins to those whom they saw truly penitent, and possessed of faith in Jesus Christ, by whose blood, nevertheless,
remission of sins was alone procured; and also to declare, on the contrary, to those who really rejected Christ and the gospel, that they were yet in their sins.
This remark will also explain Matt. xviii. 18, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven,” &c.
If E. Z. A. should require any further information, he may refer to the commentaries of Guyse, Scott, Burkitt, and others, in confirmation of the opinion I have expressed. St. Austin speaks the same sentiments.
A Bow drawn at a venture. The following letter has afforded us sincere gratification : it is one of our highest rewards to learn that we have been spiritually useful to any of our readers.
February 3rd, 1845. SIR,- I cannot refrain from expressing my gratitude to the writer of “A Mistake corrected,” inserted in your February Magazine. Surely the Lord indites in the heart of his people what they shall write, that it may profit the reader. Little did the writer think when penning her thoughts, that they were to be directed so particularly to one of the readers of the “ Youths' Magazine.' A few months since and I should have read such an article with indifference, but having since then suffered under a heavy bereaving stroke, I have been led to fall into " the mistake” of undervaluing that life which God has given, and prolongs for the wisest purposes, I confess to have felt that reservation” the writer speaks of, when exclaiming to myself, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait.” But her remarks have led me to see the sinfulness of such a feeling, and convicted me of the self-deception of supposing that my desire to be for ever with the Lord, proceeded entirely from hatred to sin, and love of holiness. Having derived much comfort and edification from the perusal of them, I submit it to you, sir, if you think proper, to insert this for the encouragement of your correspondent—that she may see that her labour of love has not been in vain in the Lord. Your's respectfully,
A READER SEEKING FOR PRofit.
The Passover. Our correspondent, T, K. asks. “Does the following text refer to the kingdom of God on earth, or in heaven ?”
“I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof (meaning the passover), until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”—Luke xxii. 16. The Saviour is here anticipating his death, which would be the fulfilment of the passover, which typified it; the substance being come, the shadow declined. The phrase, “ kingdom of God," may include that kingdom on earth and in heaven. The paschal Lamb was about to be changed into a new sacrament, in which the blessings of redemption should be fully set forth.
On the whole, I consider the term,“ kingdom of God,” has its true application in the kingdom of glory. This seems to be confirmed by Matt. xxvi. 29, “ I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom,” where our Lord seems to intimate that the time was approaching when he and his disciples should be mutual partakers of the joy and comfort, signified by this sacramental wine, which he calls drinking it new, or in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. There the fruit of his redemption shall be fully enjoyed, and Christ “shall see of the travail of Elis soul, and be satisfied.”
R. C. Penryn.
THE OUTER WORLD.
Church altars. On the 31st January, Sir H. Jenner Fust delivered his judgment on the stone altar case, referred to in our last volume at pp. 210, 318. The perpetual curate of St. Sepulchre's, the Rev. R. R. Faulkner, having appealed from the decision in the consistorial court of Ely, to the Arches' court, the question was heard before Christmas last, but owing to its vast importance, the sentence was not given till the day above mentioned. The substance of this memorable judgment, which occupied five hours in its delivery is to this effect:
The simple question is this ; – Is the stone altar at Cambridge, or is it not, a communion-table within the meaning of the rubric, within the meaning of the eighty-second canon, and of the general laws, canons, and constitutions ecclesiastical of this realm? If the rubrics have expressly decided that a communion-table should be of wood, and not fixed, but moveable, the court could not authorise the erection of a stone table fixed to the wall or floor of the church; and if, on a consideration of the authorities, it should appear that, according to the construction of the word “ table'
in the rubrics and canons, it
should be of wood and moveable, the court must proceed in precisely the same manner as if it had been expressly so declared. The question therefore is, whether this is a communion-table or not, within the meaning of the canons and rubrics ? It appears that this stone structure consists of a slab, supported by three upright slabs, all of stone, resting upon a lower slab, also of stone, and that the weight is about two tons ; that the lower part is imbedded in mortar or concrete, about an inch below the floor of the chancel, which is built up to the table and covered with encaustic tiles ; and that the table was also made to adhere to the east wall of the chancel. There is some dispute as to this last act, but it is sworn on one side, and not contradicted on oath. If the fact were material in the view which the court is disposed to take of this case, it must be taken to be as stated in the affidavit. But the court is satisfied to give the churchwardens the benefit of any alteration which has been made since the first erection. This structure, Mr. Faulkner contends, is a stone altar or altar-table, such as is erected and used with the credence-table for idolatrous and heretical purposes in Popish countries ; that the rubrics and canons require that the communion table should be of wood and moveable. On the other hand, the churchwardens deny that it is an altar, or such as is used in Popish countries for idolatrous and heretical purposes ; and that it is essential to the preservation of uniformity in the internal arrangements of the church.
Now, the question is, what is the real meaning of the word “table" in the rubrics and canons of the church? We all know that after the Reformation one of the doctrines of the church of Rome renounced by the Church of England, was the doctrine of transubstantiation; and it will be found that the material and the form of the altar in the Romish church are connected with this doctrine of transubstantiation, and with the eucharist as a sacrifice. It was contended that by the rubrics of the Roman Catholic Church, altars must be built of stone, and must be immoveable, but it is not incumbent upon the court to pronounce whether this is or is not an altar. At the same time, it may not be inexpedient to consider what was the origin of the altars as used in the Roman Catholic churches, of what material they were constructed, and of what form, in order to arrive more readily at the meaning and intention of those who directed the removal of stone altars and the substitution of tables. The altars used in the early ages of Christianity were made of wood, and in the form of a table; but about the year 509 they began to be of stone, although the wooden tables were not altogether abolished. The form altered with the material. Sometimes the altar or table was supported by one pillar, sometimes by four or two, and latterly they assumed the form of a tomb, as of the sepulchre of the martyrs, whence they derive their name; and there is no doubt that at the time of the Reformation the altars in the English churches were of stone, fixed and immoveable. At the time of the separation of the Church of England from that of Rome, amongst the many points of differences between them, one of the most important was that respecting the doctrine of transubstantiation in the Supper of the Lord, which as is declared by the twenty eighth article of our Church, “cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture.” In the reign of Henry VIII. the feeling against this doctrine was not so decided as it afterwards became; nor did any material change take place in the early part of the reign of Edward VI.. for we find in his first Prayer-book, 1549, that the mass was still to be celebrated in the order for the Supper of the Lord, commonly called the Mass;” and the word “altar” was used in different parts of the service as set forth in that book. But in his second Prayer-book 1552, the terms “mass” and “altar” were altogether omitted. The order was for the adminstration of “the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion.” The table was to stand in the body of the church or in the chancel, where morning and evening service were appointed to be read; and the priest, instead of standing in the midst of the altar, was to stand at the north side of the “table,” and so on through the service. In 1550, Ridley, Bishop of London, issued an injunction to the following effect; -“Whereas some of us use the Lord's board after the form of a table, and some as an altar, whereby dissension is perceived to arise among the unlearned; therefore, wishing a godly unity to be observed in all our dioceses, and for that the form of a table may more move and turn the simple from the old superstitious opinions of the Popish mass, and to the right use of the Lord's Supper, we exhort the curates, churchwardens, and quest men here present, to erect and set up the Lord's board after the form of an honest table, decently covered, in such place of the choir or chancel as shall be thought most meet by their discretion, so that the ministers with the communicants may have their place separated from the rest of the people; and to take down and abolish all other by-altars or tables." These injunctions were of course confined in the first instance to the diocese of London, and to the form of an ex hortation. But there was an order in council, issued to Bishop Ridley strictly charging and commanding him, for avoiding strife and contention, to take down altars and place communion tables in their stead. It appears also from Burnet's History of the Reformation, that on the 19th of November, 1550, letters were sent to every Bishop throughout England, to pluck down altars.” This "plucking down and removing of altars," and the substitution of “honest tables,” in their