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we dont say as they do, “Examine yourselves whether ye be in our church; but we say, examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; and we freely acknowledge and confidently assert that you may be in the faith without being in our church. The way to find rest for your soul is not to seek refuge in the church; but in the Saviour: it is not to seek the mediation of the clergy, but the mediation of the only mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus: and by the united testimony of all the sacred writers, and of all the people of God, you will find that whatever is a clear and scriptural proof that you belong to Christ is a clear and scriptural proof that you belong to the holy Catholic church. What though the the partizans of a sect* tell you that there is nothing for you but uncovenanted mercies, unless you worship in their temple, and adopt their peculiarities: is it not written that “we are the circumcision (or what is the same thing), that we are the true church who worship God in the spirit, who rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Only be convinced that your religious character is described in these words, then bigotry may assail you in vain, then whatever the church may call you, or the world may call
* The marriage of a Churchman with a Baptist, is an act which in my conscience I believe to be sinful and most provoking to the Saviour."-Tract No. 40.
you, or whatever they may not call
you come from the east, or the west, or the north, or the south, whether you worship in a meeting-house, in a cathedral, or in a barn, you have the seal of heaven, and signature of God Almighty stamped upon the certainty of your relationship to Christ, and consequently of your relationship to the one holy, Catholic, and apostolic church. Your sect and the marks of your attachment to it may become extinct, yet your christianity may still remain; but spiritual worship, and joy in Christ, and confidence in God, can never die; but with the death of religion, and the hopes of immortality in your soul.
Let us carefully distinguish things that are essential from those that are merely accidental to the church of Christ. Take away certain divine qualities, and the church is destroyed; but take away other qualities of an adventitious nature, and she will remain unimpaired, and even most adorned when unadorned. Now it is not denied that the church of God and the kingdom of God mean the same thing; but, “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, or outward show; neither shall they say lo here! or lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you.” If then the kingdom of God is within you, why look without
you to church and sacraments—to bishops and priests, and traditions of the fathers, to ascertain your safety and your connection with the Holy Catholic church?
The kingdom of God consists not in the life of a recluse*-in hard-lodging,-in wearing hair-cloth, in laborious postures in prayer,
in whippings, cold, hunger, watchings, and all kinds of punishment. This is the mawkish piety of the Tractarian school, and not the piety of the Bible: for no man rationally, and no man scripturally, ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it even as the Lord the church.yt
The kingdom of God consists not in maintaining the doctrine of purgatory, or in offering up prayers for the dead, or in worshipping the Virgin Mary, and invoking her as the queen of Heaven, and mother of God; or in praying, or preaching, or fasting, according to act of parliament, and creeds, and catechisms, and
* "Slept on the floor, and a nice uncomfortable time I had of it, tasted nothing to day till tea time, and then only one cup and dry bread. Oct. 13, kept a good fast day as far as eating goes ; spoilt all this evening by playing at that game (cards) instead of coming and reading; have been delighted with Shakspear's “Midsummer Nights' Dream.” Nov. 3, I have kept my fast very strictly having taken nothing till near nine this evening, and then a little bread without butter. “ As I get nearer Oxford, feel that I shall have to keep a sharp look out on myself; said my prayers inattentively; have rather stuffed at breakfast; cannot help taking my money out at a meal; dinner at Birmingham; ate very little, though very hungry; thought the charge unreasonable ; tried to shirk the waiter; sneaking!” Such is a specimen of the piety of the Rev. Mr. Froude, published by Newman and Keble, for the admiration and imitation of the faithful !
+ Rome has in her monastic institutions a refuge from the weariness and vanities of the world. --Dr. Pusey to Archbishop of Canterbury.
confessions of faith: or in the observance of Easter, or Christmas, or Good Friday, or any of those hundred and fifty holy days recommended in the calendar, but for which there is no precept, and no example in the word of God.
The kingdom of God consists not in masonry, or sculpture, or architecture; in the consecration of churches, or churchyards stone altars, or lighted candles, or crucifixes, or flowers, or garlands, or stained glass, or the long drawn aisle, and the dim religious lightor in most exquisitely beautiful paintings of the crucifixion: they may paint the wounds, of Christ, but they cannot paint the truth that “he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.” Our corrupt nature is well pleased with outward pomp, and with all those arrangements intended to please the eye, or charm the ear; but it is the presence of God alone that can confer dignity on his worship; and even if our church, or our chapel could vie with the splendour of Solomon's temple, it would not be so suitable a residence for the Deity as that man that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at his word.
The kingdom of God consists not in archbishops and archdeacons, in chancellors, deans, canons, and minor-canons, precentors, and vicars choral, in endless genealogies, and old wives' fables, in the celibacy of the clergy, or in their trappings of white surplices, or black
gowns,* or in their pecuniary exactions, whether they consist of tithes, or rates, or fees at the baptismal font, or even at the gates of the grave. It consists not in one particular mode of preaching, or praying, or singing, or chanting, or playing on the organ.p. It consists not in adoration of the altar, or the bread and wine upon the altar; or in the adoration of bones, or pieces of wood and stone, absurdly enough called holy relics. It consists not in making the sign of the cross, or in bowing at the name of Jesus, and not at the name of the Father; and in turning to the east: for the great object of religious adoration is no more in the east than in the west; no more in the chancel than in the church, and God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Now some or all of these things are insisted on in the tracts for the times, as though the
* One of the Tracts finds fault most severely with Bishop Jewell; not because he was not pious, learned, amiable and useful, but because at the consecration of a bishop he appeared in a black gown and not in lawn sleeves !
+ The book of Homilies (to which every clergyman subscribes,) expressly condemns chanting and playing upon the organ, as sorely displeasing to God, and filthily defiling his holy house.
What then must we think of a man who secretly approves of chanting and organ playing in public worship; but who to serve a purpose solemnly declares that he believes them to be displeasing to God, and that they filthily defile his holy house? If this is right, perjury cannot be wrong.
# For rather than they would lack a relic, they would offer you a horse bone instead of a virgin's arm, or the tail of the ass to be kissed and offered unto for relics. O wicked, impudent and most shameless men, the devisers of these things. O silly, foolish and dastardly daws, and more beastly then the ass whose tail they kissed, that believe such things!
If all the pieces of the cross were gathered together, the greatest ship in England would scarcely bear them.--Homily on peril of Idolatry.