« PreviousContinue »
and twice had been to Church. Peggy thought over all this, as she listened to the blessed assurance of forgiveness read by the minister from the Word of God itself. She did not know at that time that these words were also listened to by her father himself. But such was the case, John Caller had left his cottage early in the morning, and his family had thought that he had walked away to an adjoining parish, where he once lived in service, to see his old master, and endeavour to obtain from him some assistance in these very trying times. He had indeed taken such walk, and had met with his master: his master had received him with kindness, given him a breakfast, and pointed out means of bettering his condition, provided he became more steady, attentive, and sober. With pleasant and good impressions on his mind, John walked back towards bis home, and approached his parish Church as the people were assembling around it, and the bell announced that the hour of divine worship was approaching. John recognized several of his acquaintance, and entered with them the house of God. When he had been there before, he had come in late, and had lost the advantage of hearing those sentences from the Scripture read, which form sofitting a commence ment to the praises and devotions which are to follow. He was deeply impressed with the words, “He shall save his soul alive,”. and from that day John never willingly missed his Church. Peggy on seeing her father in the church-yard after the service, ran to him with the greatest delight, and they both agreed in their walk home," that not only was it right and good regularly to go to Church, but that it was of the greatest importance to be there in good time.” As they were proceeding homewards very happily, Peggy thought she heard some sound of distress at a distance across the moss. Her father thought the same, and they picked their way as well as they could to the spot from whence the sounds came. As they came nearer the sounds became fainter, though still they evidently came from a person, and a young person in distress. At length they reached a piece of boggy water, on which something was observed to float, and when they came near, Peggy and her father were both shocked to find Mattie Jamison struggling and striving to get out of the hole into which she had fallen. She was evidently sinking fast, and if John Caller had not been with his child on that day, Mattie Jamison could not have been saved. She was taken from the hole a deplorable object : John put her on his back and carried her to her home. And when she was well enough to give. an account of herself, she said, that finding she was very late,
she had taken a short cut across the bog, hoping by so doing to get to Church in time. She had run very hard, and without noticing where she stopped, her foot had gone aside into a soft piece of turf, which gave way under her, and but for the merciful Providence which sent John Caller to her assistance, there she must have perished.
EASY EXPOSITION OF THE APOSTLES CREED.
BY BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR.
I Believe in God, I believe that there is a God, who is one, true, supreme, and alone, infinitely wise, just, good, free, eternal, immense, and bles. sed, and in him alone we are to put our trust.
The Father Almighty. I believe that he is, 1. the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 2, of all that believe in Him, whom He hath begotten by His Word, and adopted to the inheritance of sons: and because He is our Father, He will do us all that good to which we are created and designed by grace; and because He is Almighty, He is able to perform it all; and therefore we may safely believe in him, and rely upon Him.
Maker of Heaven and Earth. He made the sun and the moon, the stars, and all the regions of glory; He made the air, the earth, and the water, and all that live in them; He made angels and men; and He who made them does, and He only can, preserve them in the same being, and thrust them forwards to a better. He that preserves them, does also govern them, and intends they should minister to His glory; and therefore we are to do worship and obedience to Him in all that we can, and that He hath commanded.
And in Jesus Christ, I also believe in Jesus Christ, who is, and is called, a Saviour, and the Anointed of the Lord, promised to the patriarchs, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit, and with power, to become the great Prophet, and declarer of his Father's will to the world ; telling us how God will be worshipped and served : He is anointed to be the Mediator of the new covenant, and our High Priest, reconciling us to His Father by the sacrifice of Himself; and to be the great King of all the world. And by this Article we are Christians, who serve and worsbip God the Father through Jesus Christ.
His only Son, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He alone, of Him alone. For God by his Holy Spirit caused Him to be born of a Virgin; by His power He raised Him from the dead, and gave Him a new birth or being in the body; he gave Him all power, and all excellency. And beyond all this, He is the express image of His person, the brightness of His glory, equal to God, beloved before the beginning of the world, of a nature perfectly divine ; very God by essence, and very man by assumption; as God, all one in nature with the Father; and as man, one Person in Himself.
Our Lord ; Jesus Christ, God's only Son, is the Heir of all things and persons in His Father's house : all angels and men are His servants, and all the creatures obey Him. We are to believe in Him, and by faith in Him only and in His Name we shall be saved.
Juho was conceived by the Holy Ghost, I believe that Jesus Christ was not begotten of a man, nor born by natural means, but that a divine power from God (God's Holy Spirit) did overshadow the Virgin-Mother of Christ, and made her in a wonderful manner to conceive Jesus in ber womb; and by this his admirable manner of being conceived, he was the Son of God alone, and no man was his father.
Born of the Virgin Mary, Though God was His Father, and He begat Him by the power of the Holy Ghost, and caused Him miraculously to begin in the womb of His mother; yet from her He also derived His human nature, and by His mother He was of the family of king David, and called the Son of man : His mother being a holy person, not chosen to this great honour for her wealth or beauty, but by the good will of God, and because she was of rare exemplary modesty and humility: and she received the honour of being a mother to the Son of God, and ever a virgin, and all generations shall call her blessed.
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, After that Jesus passed through the state of infancy and childhood, being subject to his parents, and working in an humble trade, to serve his own and his mother's needs, he grew to the state of man: he began to preach at the age of thirty years, and having for about three years-and-a-half preached the Gospel, and taught us His Father's will, having spoken the Gospel of His
Kingdom, and revealed to us the secrets of eternal life and resurrection of the dead, regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Spirit, perfect remission of sins, and eternal judgment : at last that He might reconcile the world to His Father, he became a sacrifice for all our sins, and suffered himself to be taken by the malicious Jews, and put to a painful and shameful death; they being envious at Him for the number of His disciples, and the reputation of His person, the innocence of His life, the mightiness of His miracles, and the power of His doctrine : and this death He suffered when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea.
duas Crucified, Jesus Christ being taken by the rulers of the Jews, bound and derided, buffetted and spit upon, accused weakly and persecuted violently; at last, wanting matter and pretences to condemn Him, they asked Him of His person and office; and because He affirmed that great truth, which all the world of good men longed for, that He was the Messiah, and designed to sit at the right hand of the Majesty on high, they resolved to call it blasphemy and delivered Him over to Pilate, and by importunity and threats forced him, against his conscience, to give Him up to be scourged, and then to be crucified. The soldiers therefore mocking Him with a robe and a reed, and pressing a crown of thorns upon His head, led Him to the place of His death; compelling Him to bear His cross, to wbich they presently nailed Him; on which for three hours He hanged in extreme torture, being a sad spectacle of the most afflicted and the most innocent person of the whole world.
Dead, When the holy Jesus was wearied with tortures, and He knew all things were now fulfilled, and His Father's wrath appeased towards mankind, His Father pitying His innocent Son, groaning under such intolerable miseries, hastened His death; and Jesus, commending His Spirit into the hands of his Father, cried with a loud voice, bowed His head, and died; and by His death sealed all the doctrines and revelations which He first taught the world, and then confirmed by His blood. He was consecrated our merciful High Priest, and by a feeling of our miseries and temptations, became able to help them that are tempted ; and for these His sufferings was exalted to the highest throne and seat at the right hand of God; and hath shown, that to heaven there is no surer way than suffering for his name; and hath taught us willingly to suffer for His sake, what Himself hath already suffered for ours.
He reconciled us to God by His death, led us to God, drew us to Himself, redeemed us from all iniquity, purchased us for His Father, and for ever made us His servants and redeemed ones, that we, being dead unto sin, might live unto God. And this death, being so highly beneficial to us, he hath appointed means to apply to us, and to represent to God for us in the holy Sacrament of his last supper. And upon all these considerations, that cross, which was a smart and shame to our Lord, is honour to us; and as it turned to his glory, so also to our spiritual advantages.
And Buried. That he might suffer every thing of human nature, he was by the care of his friends and disciples, by the leave of Pilate, taken from the cross, and embalmed, (as the manner of the Jews was to bury,) and wrapped in linen, and buried in a new grave, hewn out of a rock. And this was the last and lowest step of His humiliation.
He descended into Hell, That is, went down into the lower parts of the earth, (as himself called it,) into the heart of the earth ; by which phrase the Scripture understands the state of separation, or of souls severed from their bodies. By this His descending to the land of darkness, where all things are forgotten, he sanctifieth the state of death and separation, that none of His servants might ever after fear the jaws of death and hell; whither he went not to suffer torment, (because He finished all that upon the cross,) but to triumph over the gates of hell, to verify his death, and the event of His sufferings, and to break the iron bars of those lower prisons, that they may open and shut hereafter only at his command.
The Third Day He rose again from the Dead. After our Lord Jesus had abode in the grave the remaining part of the day of His Passion, and all the next day, early in the morning upon the third day, by the power of God, he was raised from death and hell to light and life, never to return to death any more; and is become the first-born from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept; and although he was put to death in the flesh, yet now, being quickened in the Spirit, he lives for ever. And as we all die in Adam, so in Christ we shall all be made alive; but every man in his own order: Christ is the first: and we, if we follow Him in the regeneration, shall also follow Him in the resurrection.