Page images
PDF
EPUB

even to have visted Spain, and the utmost bounds of the West (Britain) whence returning to Rome he suffered for CHRIST, about A.D. 68.

IV. PRESENT MISSIONS.

The printed “Reports of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel,” are indeed most encouraging; and we have great cause to praise God for the success which, at this time, seems abundantly to accompany its labours ; and we may, on this ground, confidently ask for support and help from those who, themselves knowing the value of the Gospel, desire to communicate its bles. sing to others.

From Madras, the Bishop says, “ I write with a heart full of thankfulness, to inform you that ninety-six villages, in one of our missionary districts, have come forward, unsolicted but by the preventing grace of God, and a purer life among their converted countrymen-have utterly abolished their idols, and have begged that they may be placed under Christian teaching." A zealous and faithful minister in the same district cheers us with an account of five hundred converted natives united in the service of God; adding the encouraging hope, “ that the time is not far distant when the Church will be filled with humble and devout worshippers." This laborious Missionary shows the effect of the Gospel on the hearts of those who in faith receive it. “ How wonderful,” he writes, “is the influence of Christianity in uniting men, removing their little differences, and destroying their prejudices! The converted Hindoos meet as brethren, and consult how they may best aid the cause of christianity, which once they held in detestation.” “I am convinced,” he adds, “that the well-wishers of our cause will not leave me to work unaided in this importance crisis.”

Other ministers, sent by this Society, are proclaiming the same glad tidings in the same regions, of whose labours, we do indeed receive such accounts as give us good cause to believe that God is blessing the work, and lead us to look forward to the heavenly prospects of a permanent establishment of the Christian faith in these distant lands.

And, if we turn our eyes to the Western world, there the labours, and the watching, and the journeyings, amidst innumerable difficulties and impediments, almost bring to our minds the toils, and cares, and zeal of the Apostles-the first Missionaries of Christianity.

There is ample room for the most extended exertions, and great need of them all. And these exertions, will not be withheld by those who themselves know the value of Gospel truth, and the blessedness of “the people who have the Lord for their God.”—The Bishop of Peterborough.

CAUSES OF INFIDELITY. The chief impediment to the Gospel is the corruption of the heart, it is not ignorance, it is not weakness of intellect, it is not want of learning which are the main causes of infidelity; it is an absence of that moral feeling, of that deep conviction of our own frailness, and of the necessity of holiness, which first leads men to justify what they are determined to commit, and then sets them to hate that which would prove their principles to be wrong.

BURTON'S LECTURES.

HINTS ON READING "I would say, as a good general rule, never read the works of ordinary men, except on scientific matters, or when they contain simple matters of fact. Even on matters of fact, silly and ignorant men, however honest and industrious in their particular subject, require to be read with constant watchfulness and suspicion : whereas, great men are always instructive, even amidst much of error on particular points. In general, however, I hold it to be certain, that the truth is to be found in the great ones, and the error with the little ones.”

DR. ARNOLD.

INDUSTRY AND INTELLECT. If there be one thing on earth that is truly admirable it is to see God's wisdom blessing an inferiority of natural powers, where they have been honestly and truly cultivated.

DR. ARNOLD.

SELF SACRIFICE.

“Whom have I in heaven but Thee ?"

There are who tread life's weary way

And have no home;
True saints who realize each day,

The world to come ;
Who live upon the future—whose keen eye
Pierces the shadows of Eternity,

And sees afar-
Tbro' the dim vista that obscures their sight,
Beyond the waves, Beyond the reign of night,

Beyond the stars,
Or Isles, or clouds, or sea—Their home of peace,
Where rest the weary and the wicked cease.

Lone souls are they,

No other lot they seek,
Than here to watch and pray

From week to week,
As did their master; calmly waiting on-
Doing each day what duty bids be done,

As to their Lord.
Spare frames have they, and gentle voices meek,
And minds subdued, and hearts that only seek

His will and word :
Their dearest daily object how to make
Some sacrifice of self for His dear sake.

Dear Lord ! my Faith increase,

I ask no more ;
I ask not wealth, nor ease,

Nor worldly store;
Grant me but Faith to realize my home,
Low at thine Altar Steps; and let me come

Oft to thy cross;
There overpowered with love devoutly fall,
And consecrate to Thee, myself, my all,

Nor count it loss:
Then wait in patience, what my fate may be,
Life, death, or Martyrdom, as pleaseth Thee.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

The Mission of the Sunday School Teacher, i.e. for what end he is to labour, and how; of what nature his authority is and whence derived, is a more important and complex question than at first sight appears. Yet upon the right understanding of it depend all the Teacher's success and much of his comfort. If he mistake the end for which he is to labour, he will spend his strength in vain and much valuable energy and zeal will be wasted. In the same manner, if he mistake the means by which he is to effect his ends, he may fall into grievous errors, and find at length that he has been defeating his purposes instead of accomplishing them. If he know not of what nature his authority is, he may get out of the path of duty by overstepping the bounds of his commission; or he may fall into the opposite error, of not realizing how much is confided to his care, and so, of not rising to the full reality of his duties and privileges.

It must be laid down at the outset, that it is impossible fully to apprehend the nature of the Teacher's office, without first acquiring a clear notion of the theory of a Church; for it is only in so far as Sunday Schools are under the government of the Church, that they can be properly worked.

The Church is God's appointed instrument for bringing into union with Himself, those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind. It consisted originally of those eleven men--the holy Apostles, whom our Lord by special commission formed into a corporate body, charging them with the performance of sacred duties, and promising that the Holy Ghost should dwell in and amongst them, to guide

K

them into all truth unto the world's end. Proceeding immediately after their Lord's ascension to act upon His commands, they completed their number, by the election of Matthias in the place of Judas; and then admitted into fellowship with themselves all who made profession of the faith which had been delivered to them, and which they were commissioned to teach. To them was committed the ministry of reconciliation, by the exercise of which men were to be recovered from the world and brought into the Church. The Church thus founded and commis: sioned was to effect the regeneration of the world, not by the founding of other bodies, but by the extension of its own.

As time went on and the growth of the harvest called for an increase of labourers, the Apostles proceeded to ordain ministers, and make regulations for discipline. They also transmitted to their successors authority to do the same. The Christians of any one country being united together under Bishops, descended in unbroken line from the Apostles, and holding the Apostolic doctrine, were accounted an independent church; whose rulers were free in all respects to ordain and change anything pertaining to rites and ceremonies, so long as they acted in conformity with Holy Scripture and the consent of the rest of the church. While, however, it was an independent church in these respects, it was still in union with the whole Catholic body, and bound in all matters of doctrine by its decisions, from the primitive age downwards. Such was the constitution of the Apostolic Church. When we speak of the Catholic Church, we mean the whole of this great body from the days of the Apostles to the present. When we speak of a particular Church, we mean any church which has within it those signs or notes, by which the Catholic body is distinguished, viz. an ordained ministry of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, in uninterrupted succession from the

« PreviousContinue »