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This, of which we have instanced were vigorous and flourishing, if two comparatively unimportant out 'ever there were riches flowing of a multitude of instances, is what through a people, redundant and we call our national inheritance demanding employment, if ever lithe fruit of ages of religious and berty was secure-surely in all these civil liberty. It is upon this foun- predicaments is the English nation dation that we trust we are build- at this moment. ing; from this root that a vigorous: We do not say that there are no aud wide-spreading tree is extend- dangers or difficulties before using its branches beyond our own intimately connected as all parts of shores, distributing generous fruits, Europe now are, there can scarcely and affording wholesome shelter to be an unsound member any where; others. It is the perverted taste of and England not be affected. , The some men to deny all this; there state of Spain, and her projects on are mien, our countrymen, who de her colonies, are either of them light to tell us, that we are only enough at any moment to place us seemingly strong and rich, that our in a puzzling dilemma-what, under day of glory is gone by, and our certain circumstances, should be star descending: that with an over- the conduct of this country, it is pot whelming debt, and an impoverished for us to say--we have great conpopulation, the states of Europe fidence that the same moderation know that war is impossible to us, and firmness which reconciled our and therefore that we hold our high honour and our interest on a former rank only by courtesy, and the yet occasion, will be able to preserve unextinguished though fading me both, if future difficulties arise. mory of the past. Some there are But of this we are sure, that if unwho listen to these teachers—we happily we should be driven into a enyy neither-the masters nor the necessary war, we shall go into it as scholars. War undoubtedly is not high iu hope, as gallant in courage, desirable for us, and on general and as firm in resources, as any war grounds we would sacrifice much to which this country ever waged, or avoid it; but if ever a nation was which it ever brought to a prosperheart-whole, if ever institutions ous conclusion.
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ON THE DUTY OF READING THE
By the indwelling of this word is SCRIPTURES.
intended to be expressed that strong COL. iii. 6.
hold which it should retain on our
affections, the abiding, which it Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
you richly, should make, in our hearts, and the in all wisdom.
inseparable companionship, if I may By “ the word of Christ,” in this so speak, which it should have with passage of the Apostle, we are to all our actions. understand the Gospel of Christ, as The persons admonished are it is contained prophetically in the Christians — men, like ourselves, Old Testament, and actually in the baptized into the name of Christ New ; embraciog all that was pre- resting all their hopes of salvation dicted of our blessed Lord in the on Christ and looking to his exformer ; and all that he said, and ample and commands for the guiddid, and suffered for our sakes, as ance of their conduct, and to his related in the latter, together with the promises for their spiritual strength preaching of his Apostles, and those and consolation-men consequently, holy Epistles, which were written to who, if they believed as they proparticular Churches, or to individu- fessed, could not but have been als, or to the Church of Christ gene- anxious to search the holy Scriprally, and that glorious revelation of tures daily with their fellow disci. future events which was vouchsafed ples the Bereans, giving attend. to the beloved Disciple, when an ance to the reading of them, that exile in the Island of Patmos, for they might be thoroughly furnished the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is, therefrom, as from a spiritual arin a word, the Bible, that ever- moury, unto every good word and lasting record of our salvation, work. of our hopes, and of our duties; The degree in which we are thus which is no longer, what it once to be conversant with the Scripwas, a sealed book, read and ex. tures, and their holy and animating hibited only in a language that truths, is expressed by the remains the people did not comprehend, der of the apostolic admonition, but open to all, placed within the “ let the word of Christ dwell in reach, and understanding of all, in you richly in all wisdom”-abunwhatever is essential to salvation, dantly, and with as perfect a knowand read every sabbath-day in the ledge in all essentials, as is attainChurch, as were Moses and the able by your own endeavours and by Prophets in the synagogues of old. prayer to the Father of lights for
REMEMBRANCER, NO, 62,
his light and guidance. The Apos. contents most intimately concerning tle's admonition, therefore, may be every child of earth, who looks for. summed up in these few words: ward after death to live through his that we labour, under the divine Redeemer in heaven. blessing, to make ourselves as tho- Consider then, I beseech you, roughly acquainted, as we can, with with becoming attention, the expres. the holy Scriptures.
sion of the Apostle in the text. And has not the Apostle repeat- How often is the spiritual husedly enforced this same admonition bandman seen sowing the good in various other parts of his Epis- seed on the hearts of his hearerstles? Has not our blessed Lord left but it falls, alas! upon them, as did a strict injunction unto us to search the seed in the parable on the the Scriptures, an injunction address. rocky, and shallow, and thorny soil, ed indeed to the Jew, but applying where it either abideth not, or taketh with double force to the Christian? no root, or is quickly choked by the “ Search the Seriptures," saith he, cares and vanities of the world! Or " for in them ye think," and that how often in the privacy of the rightly, “that ye have eternal life; chamber, or in the presence of our and they are they that testify of me." families, are the Scriptures taken Was not David's study, the man after up and read, and laid down again, God's own heart, all the day long and the reader can be compared in them? and was not this the so- only after the powerful similitude lemn command of Moses, uttered of St. James, “to a man beholding indeed by him, but inspired by the his natural face in the glass; for Holy Ghost? “ Lay up these my he beholdeth himself, and goeth words," the words of God's law, his way, and straightway forgetieth in vour heart and in your soul ; what manner of man he was ;" and and teach them your children, speak- how many spiritual blemishes, ing of them when thou sittest in shewn in the mirror of the Gospel, thine house, and when thou walkest he had to correct. But neither in by the way, and when thou liest the hearer, that heareth only with down, and when thou risest up, that the outward ear, nor in the reader, your days may be multiplied, and that readeth only with the outward the days of your children, in the eye, can the word of Christ be said land which the Lord sware unto to dwell. In him alone it dwelleth, your fathers to give them.” Moses on whose memory it is lastingly im. not only enjoins in these words, the pressed; on whose heart it is deeply careful study of the holy Scriptures imprinted; whose affections are then existing, but attaches unto this constantly warmed and purified by study a temporal promise of the its heavenly anticipations, and holy highest value: an earnest of that no precepts and examples; whose less sure, and still higher promise, words savour of it; and whose that awaits the Christian, that truly actions are in all things regulated by studies the whole body of them now. it—who can truly and practically say
And, consider what they are- of it, with holy David, Lord, what by whom written, and what con. love have I unto thy law! thy word taining-written indeed by men, is a lantern unto my fect, and a and in the language of men for our light unto my paths ! thy testimonies understanding but by men imme- have I claimed as my heritage for diately inspired by the Holy Spirit ever; and why? they are the very of God, and recording the com- joy of my heart--I have applied my mands, and threatenings, and pro- heart to fulfil thy statutes alway, mises, the very words and works even unto the end. In him that can of God himself. These constitute thus heartily feel the excellence, and the contents of the Scriptures by the assisting grace of God, can “ virtuously transform himself,” (to Presumption and arrogancy are the . adopt the language of an old Father mother of all error, and humility of our Church,) into the sanctifying 'needeth to fear no error. For huspirit of the word of Christ, in him mility will only search to know the it truly dwelleth-and in him it shall truth ; it will search and bring todwell abundantly; for he will read gether one place with another, and with a hearty desire to know, that where it cannot find out the meanhe may practise, and thus, through ing, it will pray, it will ask of his Redeemer, be made wise unto others that know, and will not presalvation. He will read carefully, sumptuously and rashly define any and with a strong and fervent inté- thing which it knoweth not. rest in what he reads—and what is “And concerning the hardness thus read will be sure to leave an im- of Scripture, he that is so weak, that pression deep and - lasting on the he is not able to brook strong meat, mind. He will compare Scripture yet he may suck the sweet and ten. with Scripture, in the just expecta- der milk, and defer the rest until he tion that one part of the same divine wax stronger, and come to more volume may serve to throw light on knowledge. For God receiveth the another; he will call in to his aid all learned and unlearned, and casteth the learning, that is within his reach, away none. And the Scripture is of the living or the dead; he will ap- full as well of low valleys, plain ply all the powers of his own mind ways, and easy for every man to use to understand, and will be continu- and walk in; as also of high hills ally imploring the prevailing light and mountains, which few men can and strength of God's most blessed climb unto. And whoever giveth Spirit-and to the exertions of a his mind to holy Scripture with diman so earnest, so humble, so pi- ligent study and burning desire, it ous, and yet withal so unwilling to cannot be that he should be left leave any power, with which God without help. If we read once, may have endowed him, untried, the twice, or thrice, and understand not, blessing of our most gracious and let us not cease so, but still con. heavenly Father will never be de- tinue reading, praying, asking of nied. “ If any of you lack wisdom, others, and so by still knocking, at let him ask of God, that giveth to all the last the door shall be opened.” men liberally, and it shall be given I would add one other remark, him." .
which is in some measure anticipated " I will shew you,” saith the by this extract from the Homily, on Church, in her first Homily, “ how the expression“ in all wisdom." you may read the holy Scriptures There are some things in the Scrip. without danger of error. Read it hum- tures, especially in the Epistles of bly with a meek and lowly heart, to St. Paul, which, as St. Peter says, the intent you may glorify God, and are hard to be understood; and not yourself, with a vain shew of the which there is consequently danger knowledge of it; and read it not that they that are unlearned-unwithout daily praying to God that prepared by a previous course of he would direct your reading to education, and unstable--not suffi. good effect: and take upon you to ciently grounded in the principles expound it no farther than you can of our holy religion, may unhappily plainly understand it. For the know. wrest, unto the destruction of their ledge of holy Scripture is a great, present, if not of their everlasting and large, and a high place; but peace : but then, to our comfort be the door is very low, so that the it remembered, that it is not neces. high and arrogant man cannot run in; sary to the plain Christian to underbut he must stoop low, and humble stand every deep and difficult text, bimself, that shall enter into it. and every local allusion, of which
the learned themselves can scarcely sufficient to enable the plainest discover a trace. The word of Christ Christian, whose heart is in his duty, will dwell richly enough in them, if to learn out of the Scriptures all they are wise in all that is essential that is needful to make him, with to their salvation; this is all the God's help, holy and happy here, wisdom that they require; and in and to secure for him, through the this wisdom let them pray, and la- merits of his Redeemer, eternal hapbour earnestly that is the word of piness hereafter.. Christ may dwell in them.” Every And as to the matter of time, there Christian should be intimately ac. are few, rather I would say none, quainted, as he juay be, with the but can find leisure to read some history of the creation, and with portion of the Scriptures, before the state of man before and after they enter on the business of the the fall, as far as it is clearly re- day, or lay themselves down to vealed in the Scriptures; every sleep at its close. Joshua, David, Christian should have, drawn out and Daniel, men occupied in the in his mind, a chain of the most weighty affairs of states and kingstriking prophecies, with their in- doms, could yet find time, amid them terpretations and fulfilment in the all, for the study of God's law. I will person of his Redeemer ; every not, however, press this farther: my Christian should be familiar with sole object is so to bring before you, the life, and sayings, and actions of from year to year, the duty and benehis Lord, and more especially with fit of reading and meditating on the every particular of his death and holy Scriptures, that you may be led passion, on which all his hopes of to examine your own conduct on this salvation are founded; every Chris- point; that if you have not hitherto tian should have, stored up in his been duly impressed with their vamind, all those passages of the Epis- lue, you may hasten to learn it, by tles in which the essential doctrines a more intimate acquaintance with of the Gospel are plainly and briefly them; that if you have not hitherto laid down, together with the nu- made a conscience of reading them merous and affecting exhortations daily, you may henceforth begin scattered throughout, to a pious, to do so ; that if your reading and holy, and charitable life; and has been hitherto irregular, through from the Apocalypse itself much the interruption of worldly busimay be extracted for the sanctifi- ness, you may henceforth be careful cation of his conduct, and the con- to preserve a strict and unbroken firmation of his trust in God's over- regularity, remembering that the ruling providence.
first and last thing in the day that Now for this neither much time the Christian has to seek, is the nor learning is required. An early kingdom of God and his righteouseducation for laying the foundation ness, and that these can primarily be of good principles, for checking the found only in the Scriptures using to growth of the tares of evil, and for the right understanding of the same strengthening and enuring the mind every help that is in your power, to reflect, and the memory to retain that the word of Christ may indeed -an ability to read-and a know- dwell in you richly in all necessary ledge, not of the words only, but wisdom; and, above all, praying to of the full meaning of that admirable the Father of lights, in some such summary of doctrine and practice, words as these: the Catechism of our Church-these, Dh eterpall and most mercyfull added to the lightcontinually thrown God, whois word is the lyght unto on the meaning of Scripture in our stappes, and the lanterne unto the Liturgy, and the discourses of our fete, We moost humble beGod's ministers, will be abundantly seche the to illuminat our mynds