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seeking. What do our readers guess is the text selected by our author for his discourse upon this delicate topic? It reminds us strongly of that witty divine, Lawrence Sterne, who recommends Acts ii. 9–11, as a text suitable for any sermon by any preacher upon any subject. After this example, the Head Master of Rugby takes for his text to this sermon upon “ Creeds," Acts iv. 24 : “ They lifted up their voice with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, who hast made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”
We have no space for observation upon the garbled manner in which the verse is quoted by Dr. Arnold; we forbear to remark upon the unjustifiable severance from the context, wbich the preacher, to serve his purpose, has ventured to adopt. Let these things pass; we confine ourselves to more serious points. Our author asserts, in the opening of this discourse, that“ these words, and those which follow them, may be called the earliest and best specimen of the nature of a christian CREED, when used in the public service of the Church ; "—where it is to be regarded, “not as reviving the memory of old disputes, and a sort of declaration of war against those who may not agree with us in them, but as principally a free and triumphant confession of thanksgiving to God for all the mighty works which he has done for us.”—Pp. 305, 306.
In the first place, we crave the privilege of stating that this hymn of thanksgiving is not what we understand by a creed at all; and we venture to say, that Dr. Arnold is the first divine who has so named it. In the second place, it is our duty to protest against the strange and new-fangled doctrine of our author, that the Apostles' Creed, as used in the daily Service of our Church, partakes " much more of the nature of a triumphant hymn," than of a confession of christian faith! It is impossible to conceive a greater mistake ; nor is there the least ground for the notion ; and we challenge Dr. Arnold to produce a single authority for his fond fancy! Did our limits permit, we could shew by ten thousand witnesses, that this creed is “a summary," as Wheatly says, “ of fundamental doctrines;" or "a brief comprehension of the objects of our christian fuith,” as Pearson writes; or “a standard of belief,” according to Dr. Nares ; but we content ourselves with one testimony, fearful of wearying our readers with unnecessary argument upon a question so plain. We quote from Dr. Nares's Discourses on the Three Creeds. - " Tria sunt symbola ; primum Apostolicum, secundum Nicenum, tertium Athanasii; primum factum est AD FIDEI INSTRUCTIONEM; secundum ad fidei explanationem ; tertium ad fidei defensionem. This is the account of Ludolphus of Saxony, in his Life of Christ; and the second, which is that of our own countryman, Alexander de Ales, who wrote in the thirteenth century, is similar—Causa multiplicationis symbolorum fuit triplex ; INSTRUCTIO FIDEI, veritatis explanatio, erroris expulsio ; the sum of the whole being merely this, that the first, or Apostles' Creed, is a mere exposition or statement of the primary articles of christian faith .... It is a true ' instructio fidei,' or' regula fidei,' rule of faith, as it is termed by Irenæus, Tertullian, and other ancient fathers; or among the Greeks, õpoç and ěkdooig alotews, which are equivalent,—by Theodoretus, simply niotis,—by some of the Greek historians páonua, ypapr), ypappu. It contains the primary and fundamental doctrines of Christianity." Not a syllable do we read of the Creed partaking of the nature of a triumphant hymn. Can our readers imagine why Dr. Arnold, in his latitudinarian liberality, should broach this pedantic whim? It is not that he would convert this “rule of faith " into a vague song, indeed; that blasphemy we would not lay to his charge; but the Apostles' Creed, metamorphosed into " a triumphant hymn," may admit of a liberal and free construction better suited to the lax notions of Nothingarians, than the strict interpretation of the “ form of sound words,” according to the orthodox tenets of the Church of England.
It seems, then, (writes our author,) that that minute dwelling upon every word of the Creeds, which has been the practice of expositors; that careful recording what particular sect or opinion every clause may be considered as combating, so far from being necessary, in order to our using the Creeds aright in our daily service, would actually injure our use of them, by mixing up other thoughts and feelings, by no means akin to those of devotion.-Pp. 309, 310.
We cease to wonder, after this exposé of Dr. Arnold's opinions on the point before us, at his disparagement of Bishops Pearson and Bull in comparison with Aristotle and Bacon! And we proceed to still graver matters in our official examination of the volume on our table.
Dr. Arnold's tenth and eleventh Sermons, upon Hebrews x. 14, and Hebrews vii. 25, are meant to shew that “ Christ is our Priest," and “ our only Priest;" for that He alone died for us, and now exclusively intercedes for us in heaven:
In all our relations with God, Christ, our High Priest, should ever be present with our minds, as alone giving us access to God, and alone purifying our hearts, by his Spirit. In him we have all that we need ; and as he is our Priest, without whom we have no boldness to come before the throne of grace, so he is our only Priest, and all others who do in any way pretend to be priests like him, are thieves and robbers, from hearing whom, may he, by his Spirit of truth, save his true sheep for evermore !-P. 133.
From the bottom of our hearts we say, " Amen! Amen! So be it." We altogether coincide with our author's statement, and gladly add our feeble imprimatur to it; but this simple and orthodox position does not embrace all Dr. Arnold's view of the question he is discussing; and therefore he proceeds to new points, than which it is impossible, we think, to conceive any thing more mischievous, more false, more uncalled for by the spirit of the times, or more derogatory to the clerical body, of which he is a member! The Head Master of Rugby School, preaching, be it observed, to the assembled boys under his special tuition, dares to call the christian priesthood of our Church “ A PROFANE SUPERSTITion.” (P. 138.) His ignorance can be matched only by his assurance. He assumes, without warrant, that the term priest means a mediator ; that there is but one Mediator, (as we all confess,) between God and man, and that consequently the assumption of the character of priest by Protestant ministers, is a " profane theft, and a superstitious robbery." But what will be said to this statement of the learned Master of Rugby, should it be proved to have no foundation whereon to stand ? Such, however, is the fact. “ The word Priest is the English of Presbyter, and not of Sacerdos ; there being in our tongue no word in use for Sacerdos,--Priest, which we use for both, being improperly used for a Sacrificer, but naturally expressing a Presbyter, the name whereby the apostles call both themselves and those which succeed them in their charge. For who can deny that our word “ Priest" is corrupted of Presbyter ? Our ancestors, the Saxons, first used Preoster, whence, by a farther contraction, come Preste and Priest. The high and low Dutch have Priester, the French, Prestre, Italian, Prete, but the Spaniard only speaks full Presbytero."* Our readers will see how futile is the elaborate argument of Dr. Arnold, and how foolish his objections to the title of Priest as applied to one of the orders of the christian ministry. But, it is a term greatly liable to mischievous abuse, and must, on that account, be condemned as “a grievous error."
How gladly do very young boys persuade themselves that their age keeps them in the back ground; ....... How gladly do elder persons fancy that they, not being ininisters of Christ, may be permitted to live less strictly! P. 135.
And is this the logic of this Aristotelian scholar, the Head Master of Rugby? Are we to renounce the christian priesthood, aye, even the christian ministry too, (for to that extent the argument goes,) because the perverseness of man may abuse it by “ gross profaneness, and an abandonment of their christian duties ?” We suspect that Dr. Arnold has read Aristotle to little purpose ; and therefore we beg leave to quote, for his instruction, the following apposite passage from the Rhetoric of that illustrious philosopher. “Ei èè, őrl meyala Bávelev åv ó xpó uevos αδίκως τη τοιαύτη δυνάμει των λόγων, τούτό τε κοινόν εστι κατά πάντων των αγαθών, πλην αρετής, και μάλιστα κατά των χρησιμωτάτων, οίον ισχύος, υγιείας, πλούτου, στρατηγίας τούτοις γαρ άν τις ώφηλίσειε τα μέγιστα, χρώμενος δικαίως, και βλάψειεν, αδίκως."
Again we refer to the Sermon under review, and read what follows:
* Discourses on Divers Texts of Scripture, by Joseph Mede, B.D. London, A.D. 1642.
† Arist. Rhet. Lib. I. c. 1. $ 3.
God speaks to us, NOT THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF OTHERS, but directly; his message is in our hands, and it is ours to read it and to receive it....... « Where two or three are gathered together in Christ's name, there is ALL THE FULNESS of a Christian Church, for there, by his own promise, is Christ himself in the midst of them.”—P. 138.
What mere trash is this! How directly contrary to Holy Writ! How in point blank opposition to the Articles of our Church!
St. Paul. God speaks to us not through the Now then, we are ambassadors ministry of others.-P. 138.
for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's
stead.”—2 Cor. v. 20. Where two or three are gathered The visible Church of Christ is a together, there is all the fulness of a congregation of faithful men, in the Christian Church."-P. 138.
which the pure word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are
requisite to the same.”-Art. XIX. “ God's message is in our hands, “How shall they bear without a and it is ours to read it, and to receive preacher?"-Rom. x. 14. it."-P. 138.
“ Understandest thou what thou readest? and he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?"
Acts visi. 30, 31. « Without any other interpreter of “God hath reconciled us unto himGod's will, or dispensers of the seals self by Jesus Christ, and hath given of his love to us, we are brought to us the ministry of reconciliation.”— directly into the presence of God 2 Cor. vi. 18. through the eternal priesthood of his “Let a man account of us, as of Son Jesus."-P. 137.
the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”—1 Cor. iv. 1.
" A bishop must be ... ... apt to teach."-1 Tim. ïïi. 2.
“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ."1 Tim. iv. 6.
“ These things command and teach." 1 Tim. iv. 4.
“ The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”- 2 Tim. ii. 2.
« Preach the word; . . . . . exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine."
-2 Tiin. iv. 2. “ The superstitious error of making “ God hath set some in the Church, a broad and perpetual distinction be- first, apostles ; secondarily, prophets; tween one part of Christ's Church and thirdly, teachers," &c. &c.-i Cor. another."--P. 136.
xii. 28. “ Social helplessness and intellec “The Priest's lips should keep tual frivolousness, have been the prin knowledge, and they should seek the cipal causes of the abandonment by law at his mouth, for He is the mes
ST. PAUL. the Church, of its own government, senger of the Lord of hosts.”—Mal. and leaving it in the hands of the ii. 7. Clergy."-Introd. p. xvi. See too p. “ And he gave some, apostles; and xix. where the “ separation of Clergy some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and Laity” is spoken of in terms of and some, pastors and teachers; for the reprobation.
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."-Ephes. iv. 11, 12.
"It is evident unto all men diligently reading holy Scripture and ancient authors, that from the apostles' time, there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church ; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.”- Preface to the Form of Making and Ordaining Bishops, fc. &c., according to the
Order of the Church of England. “ The christian ministry is wholly “For this cause left I thee in Crete, independent of any pretended apostolic that thou shouldest set in order the cal succession," which“ was a device to things that are wanting, and ordain imitate the natural hereditary descent elders in every city, as I had appointed of the old priesthoods, by a succession thee.”—Tit. i. 5." of adoptions ...... The Clergy in the “Lay hands suddenly on no man.”— second generation after the apostles, 1 Tim. v. 22. had no essential superiority over other “ As the Father hath sent me, even men; and thus none being specially so send I you."- John xx. 21. marked out by God, either as teachers “ All power is given unto me in
common right of all societies, that of and teach all nations, baptizing them in appointing its officers by its own laws." the name of the Father, and of the Son, -Appendix, p. 425.
and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them “The divine right of the Clergy, if to observe all things whatsoever I grounded on their apostolical succes have commanded you; and lo! I am sion is a mischievous superstition." with you alway, even UNTO THE END OF Appendix, p. 426.
THE WORLD.”—Matt. xxviii. 18-20.
Our limits forbid us to continue this contrast. We beg leave, therefore, summarily to state, in reference to the texts, which we have here quoted, that they flatly contradict the assertions of Dr. Arnold. They shew us an express commission to the ministry, given by Christ himself, with a full power of delegating that gift to others, for the continuation of the christian priesthood “unto the end of the world." Holy Writ abounds with evidence to shew what construction the apostles themselves put on the commission entrusted to their hands, as ministers of God, and “stewards of the mysteries” of Christ. Witness the instances of Epaphroditus, (Phil. ii. 25,) Timothy, and Titus.* The priestly power vouchsafed to themselves they conferred by imposition of hands upon others, and this power so delegated by the apostles was spoken of by them as a grace or gift of God. See Acts xx. 28; 1 Tim. iv. 14;