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quietness of mind for which we here pray. It is the fruit of that " faith which worketh by love.” It springs from a lively feeling of our acceptance through Christ, and from the habit of walking worthy of that holy name wherewith we are called. So that, if we have only a dim perception of the privileges of the Gospel, or if we walk negligently before God, then most certainly our evidences of being in a state of grace will be clouded, and our comfort greatly abated : nay, we shall most probably be distressed by many gloomy thoughts and doubts; and our serving of God will be characterized by a spirit of constraint and bondage. Whereas if we accept the whole of that pardoning and justifying grace which is so freely offered us in Christ, and if, moreover, we exercise ourselves to have always a conscience void of offence both towards God and towards man, then we shall enjoy an inward serenity and calm, which all the trials of life can never take away. It is for the honour of God that consistent believers should possess this happy quietness of mind : for he has given his word of promise that they shall possess it. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” “ And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isaiah xxvi. 3, and xxxiii. 17.)
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
Two leading thoughts form the subject-matter of this Collect : namely, God's protection of his Church; and the devotedness of the Church to the service of her Lord.
1. First, we pray that the Lord would protect his Church. The Lord has a special love for his Church : for Christ purchased it with his blood, and it is an habitation of God, through the Spirit. Anciently, the descendants of faithful Abraham were, in a more especial sense, his Church : as Moses declarès, “ The Lord's portion is his people : Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” (Deut. xxxii. 9.) But now we, sinners of the Gentiles, are admitted equally to the high privileges of the Church of God. Christ hath reconciled both Jews and Gentiles unto God in one body by the cross. “ Now then,” says the apostle to the Ephesians, (ii. 19, 20.) “ Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.”
But highly as this body is honoured by Christ, it is, like its Master, poor and of no reputation in the world. Nay more ; in the world the disciples of Christ shall have tribulation. Because they are not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world, therefore the world hateth them. Did not therefore our God and Saviour, spread his sheltering wing over his Church, the wicked, who utter and speak hard things, would go much further in their enmity ; they would break in pieces the heritage of the Lord. They would silence the faithful preachers of the Gospel, and scatter the feeble flock. We pray therefore for the protection of God, that we may enjoy freedom from all adversities ; " that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Tim. ii. 2.)
2. Our prayer, however, is not simply for outward security : but that the Church, being thus protected, may manifest her devotedness to her Lord. We desire to be kept “ in continual godliness ; ” we pray that we may be “devoutly given to serve God in good works.” Worldly peace does not always promote holiness in the Church : on the contrary, it has often proved the occasion of sloth, luxury, and secularity. On the other hand, times of persecution have frequently been the means of purifying the true servants of God, even as gold is tried and purified seven times in the furnace. Yet, all this notwithstanding, persecution is a sore and dreadful evil, which we should most earnestly beseech God to avert: and peace is an unspeakable blessing, which we should pray that God would bestow on us, rendering it also protitable to his Church. It was in a time of profound and general peace throughout the world, that the Gospel was at first preached by the apostles : and hence arose many and great advantages for carrying the glad tidings from country to country, and thus fulfilling the commission of Christ, “Go, teach all nations.” And though, after a wbile, persecution arose because of the word, still the Apostle Paul, who knew what would further, and what would hinder, the Gospel, earnestly prayed that peace and safety might be vouchsafed to the Church; so that the name of the Lord might be magnified, both in the temporal and spiritual prosperity of his saints. Thus he writes to the Thessalonians, (2 Thess. iii. 145.) “ Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you : and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men : for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do, and will do, the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."
Whenever and wherever these prayers for the Church are graciously answered, her tranquillity and purity may be viewed as a type and foretaste of the blessedness of heaven. May we, as members of this highly-favoured household, both exult in the thought that “ The Lord reigneth ; "and also remember with devoted hearts, that elevating expression of the Psalmist, “ Holiness becometh thine house, O) Lord, for ever!”
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
This Collect consists of a solemn invocation, and an importunate prayer.
1. In the invocation we look up to God as our refuge and strength. This is a title often ascribed to him by the sacred writers. We find it, for instance, at the commencement of that noble Psalm, the 46th. “ God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Again in Psalm lxii. 7. “ In God is my salvation and my glory : the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.” Let us listen to those who have passed through the greatest dangers, and learn who was their defence. Men who have had large experience of the Lord's loving-kindness, faithfulness and power in the day of their distress, (which was so frequently the case with David,) tell us with a peculiar authority how blessed a thing it is to trust in God. Or take the example of Moses, the man of God, who, at the close of his eventful life, thus addresses the people of Israel ; “ The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms! Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee; 0 people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency!” (Deut. xxxiii. 27, 29.)
When we contemplate the nature and character of God, as he has revealed himself in the covenant of grace, this title, “ Our refuge and strength,” has a peculiar beauty. For it points distinctly to Christ, the Redeemer and refuge of our lost souls.“ Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength :" that is, in Christ Jesus the Lord : in Christ, who is Jehovah, and whose merits are infinite; who delivereth us from the wrath to come: through whose name we flee for refuge to the hope set before us in the gospel. He is to our souls, what the cities of refuge were to the Israelites of old ; our place of safety, our protection, our salvation.
But we further address the Lord, as being “ the author of all godliness.” The expression is very comprehensive. By “ all godliness," we mean the whole work of man's sanctification, from its first origin, throughout all the continued progress of the work, to its completion in glory. The Scriptures are very full and clear, concerning every part of this subject. Thus the church of old addresses Jehovah, (Isa. xxvi. 12.) • Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us ; for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” The doctrine of sanctification, as being the work of the Spirit, was well understood by the saints under the Old Testament, although it was made more explicit after the glorious day of Pentecost. Thus in Ezekiel xxxvi. 26, 27, the holiness of the saints, is ascribed to the oparation of the Spirit. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you ; and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” In the New Testament, the declarations on this subject are numerous: one or two it may be sufficient to quote. “ Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kinydom of God. That which is born of the Aesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.” (John iii. 5, 6.) Here the “author of all godliness” is stated distinctly to be the Spirit. Again, in Rom. viii. 26, St. Paul declares that “ the Spirit helpeth our infirmities : ” and be refers particularly to prayer, showing that all acceptable supplications fow from the influence of God's Spirit on our ignorant and infirm hearts. All that we have, is from him : “ According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (2 Peter i. 3.) In short, all who ever did, and all who ever shall reach heaven, will with one mouth ascribe glory to the Lord, as the author of all godliness : the first source, the continued streams, and the abundant flow of grace, perOCTOBER, 1842.
fected at length in everlasting glory, all are from God. We for our parts are exhorted to “ work out our own salvation with fear and trembling:" but our encouragement herein is the assurance, that “ it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. ii. 12.).
2. Let us consider next, the importunate prayer which we offer up.
The prayer itself is general ; namely, that we may obtain effectual grace. Looking to God as the author of the work of sanctification, we entreat him effectually to work this grace in us. “ Sanctify us wholly!” To ask less than this, would show that our hearts are not right in the sight of God: for there is no such thing as serving him a little, or in part. We must not come as double-minded suppliants to the throne of grace. If we thus trifle with the Spirit of God, we shall find by bitter experience, that our prayers will have no answer.
The importunate character of our petition is marked by our intreating, that the Lord would be “ ready to hear our devout prayers.” We know that he always is ready; yea, that he is more ready to bear, than we to pray. But by this earnest manner of address, we show that we have, by the help of his Spirit, prepared our own hearts to pray. Being in this frame of mind, let us not doubt but that he will abundantly answer us in all things which we ask according to his will. “ The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him : he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” If indeed any one should pray without faith, “ Let not that man think,” says St. James, “ that he shall obtain any thing of the Lord.” Or if any one should ask amiss, he must be reminded of what the Psalmist says, “ If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm lxvi. 18.) Let us ask faithfully ; and then what is described at the close of the same Psalm, shall be our blessed experience : “ Verily God hath heard me: he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor bis mercy from me.”
EXTRACT FROM THE LIFE OF SIR RICHARD HILL.
BY THE REV. EDWIN SYDNEY.
The unsoundness of the last century which vented itself in acts of persecution, carrying with them their own palpable condemnation, was less likely to be prejudicial to the cause of truth, than the sinooth and specious sophistry of the Semi-Romanists, propounded with a wioning gentleness by men of so much virtue and zeal, that it would be unjust to attribute to them any other spirit than that of sincerity.
PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE REV. DR. TYNG.*
MINISTER OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE STATES, TO HIS PEOPLE.
MY BELOVED CHRISTIAN FRIENDS.—You find, by the date of this, that I am thus far on my way in security and peace. By the goodness of God, my tedious and protracted voyage has been completed, and I am settled here for a little season in very great comfort. The kindness and attention with which I have been received here, bas filled me with a grateful sense of God's goodness, and a deeper view of my own unworthiness. It is my hope and prayer that all his mercies may be made to increase my fidelity and usefulness among you, if I am permitted to return. As another holy Sabbath dawns upon me, my heart rejoices to meet the privilege of once more addressing you. I would speak to you to-day as believers in the Lord Jesus. This is one of the blessed titles by which the people of God are distinguished on the earth. Happy would it be for us, if we could practically carry out the principles and character which the title indicates. We are called believers in a special reference to that entire dependence which we have upon our glorious Lord for all things needful for life and for godliness. Faith is the simple spirit of dependence. It has received promises and assurances of prepared and certain benefits. And it lives upon the truth and reality of these promises, rejoicing in them,-calculating upon them,- deriving from them unceasing and great comfort. It is not merely an acknowledgment of truths, but a practical dependence upon them, as truths for itself. And we are called believers, because we are to be distinguished by this spirit of dependence upon the divine promises and word.
As believers, the subjects of our faith are all the blessed provisions and promises of the grace of God. They include all things which we can want for time and for eternity. But they are especially those wonderful mercies of rich and free redemption which are provided for us, and offered to us in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These are the things which we believe, and upon the truth of which we depend. God hath mercifully provided a remedy for our guilty condition in the obedience and death of his own dear Son. He hath offered to us eternal life and glory in the righteousness of his divine Lord. And we are called believers, because we have received these precious offers from God as certain truth, and depend upon them, and expect the fulfilment of them. Whatever he has spoken, we receive as he has spoken it ; knowing that he is truth, and cannot deceive, or be deceived. And how precious and valuable are these subjects of faith! What want have we, of soul or body, which is not provided for, in these vast and wonderful mercies of God to his guilty creatures ? If we are believers, these are all received by us without hesitation or
* Many of our readers who remember Dr. Tyng's visit to London in May last, to attend the Anniversaries of the Religious Societies, and were then delighted with his eloquent speeches,
ill read with great interest this edifying pastoral letter, addressed to the people of his charge during his temporary absence from them.